Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ohio License Doesn't Require Surgery, Just Insanity

It’s official. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ no longer requires a letter stating a person has had gender-confirmation surgery, an amazing victory. Now people are able to correct their licenses gender marker enabling them safer, more accurate identification. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.

This past week I was sent the unofficial, pre-press printout of the new BMV form. I was thrilled, like a kid on Christmas. My head was swimming with the possibilities, not just for myself, but for so many others. I opened the PDF and started to read.

“To be qualified, the medical professional must attest that the transition is being conducted in accordance with World Professional Association for Transgendered Health (WPATH) Standards of Care. This change is only to be made as part of a permanent, full time gender transition.”

My heart sank. I could see the image of that laminated M disappear. I can’t get my marker changed because I don’t follow the standards of care.

Every six months I drive five and a half hours to Chicago to get my trans-health care because I refuse to be diagnosed with gender identity disorder. My identity is not mentally disordered. I refuse to be labeled as such simply because queer gender does not conform to what is considered normal. If you had the right doctor, you could maybe swing something, but good luck finding a doctor who’s willing to break out of the box. Remember, this is Ohio. Could I get a letter? Maybe I could, but in order to do that I have to bow to a system of standards that oppress me, that oppress my people. I don’t look like a woman, I don’t sound like one, and I don’t belong to the F marked on my license but that isn’t enough to get it changed. I have to be legally diagnosed as mentally disordered- I have to be certifiably “transsexual” and apparently I’m trans enough to count. I understand that GID is on the books, and as long as it is I shouldn’t expect our community to get anything but the bare minimum, and as a genderqueer I shouldn’t expect to get anything.

Diligent, amazing activists worked hard to make this change as comprehensive and accessible as possible, but as long as we are inside a system that supports the pathologization of gender non-conformity our community is still controlled and oppressed. We are all trapped in this system, and if we ever want these first steps take us anywhere, the system itself must be changed. My dear friend wrote about change happening from the ‘bottom up.’ To me, it isn’t just about grassroots activism; it is a statement that this is the bare-minimum. We started with nothing, now we have a something, but we have a long way to go. Other movements have left us out but we cannot leave each other. Any gender transgressor is in our community and deserves to fight and to be fought for. No genderqueer left behind.

x-posted MidwestGenderQueer.com
x-posted Amplify Your Voice

Intro Post

Hello All,
I'm the newest contributor, JAC Stringer, commonly known as Midwest GenderQueer. I'm a trans-genderqueer community activist, performer, and writer. I focus the majority of my work on bettering Ohio and the Midwest for queers and genderqueers alike. I have founded several organizations focusing on activism and education, such as GenderBloc, The Queer Peer Education Program, The Queer Canon Zine, the GenderQueer Coalition where I currently serve as director. I'm also a co-manager and performer in the internationally recognized drag troupe The Black Mondays. In addition to activism I'm pursuing independent research in sexology and gender studies focusing on non-pathologized gender variance, GID reform, and queer sexualities. I'm very excited to take part in this excellent blog project. Thanks for having me!


Friday, September 18, 2009

DNC governing body gets first trans member

Good news:

The Democratic National Committee voted last week to welcome a transgender woman to its ranks, the first time that a major U.S. political party has appointed an openly transgender person to its national governing body.

Transgender activist Barbra Casbar Siperstein, president of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats, a statewide LGBT organization, was among six new LGBT people nominated Sept. 7 by DNC Chair and Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine for at-large seats on the 447-member DNC.

The six LGBT nominees were among 75 at-large DNC nominees that the full DNC approved Sept. 11 during a meeting in Austin, Texas. The additions bring the total number of LGBT people sitting on the DNC to 25, up from 15 in 2008, and boost the membership of the DNC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Americans Caucus to its highest level since the party officially recognized the caucus in 1998. full article

The Colonic

Sunday, September 13, 2009


NCTE held a conference call tonight about ENDA & they've put a recording of it online (.mp3). The deadline is rapidly approaching. They've got a bunch of resources up (.pdf), and on Facebook, Jillian Weiss is posting daily actions.

This is for all of us - LGBTQI & all our families & allies.

No one should lose or not get a job because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. Make those calls, send letters, emails, and forward this info to your friends & families so they do the same.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

protecting our trans communities: CA and the Equal ID Act

Nice work, California:

California State Senate joined the Assembly in passing the Equal ID Act by a 22-14 vote. The bill, AB 1185, sponsored by Equality California (EQCA) and introduced by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), expands legal protections for transgender people born in California. If signed by the Governor, the new law would allow qualified transgender people born in California to return to the county of their birth and obtain a court order reflecting their correct gender and an accompanying name change, if applicable. The court order is then used to obtain a corrected California birth certificate. full article

The Colonic