Pastiche Foundation

Gender Variance made Simple

activism made easy

Access to Healthcare is a challenge across the community due to employment challenges and the obvious medical access issues. This is also an example of appealing to the needs of others–my personal note to Mr. Capus, inset below, doesn’t mention trans issues. Instead, it points out to him why he should want this to happen.

Why is this a Trans issue? Trans and allied activists are working to get ENDA instated in the original form it was intended, with gender identity back on the table. You know about the section of ERISA that states that our needs don’t have to be covered–even though the same treatments are regularly provided to people who aren’t transgendered? Once ENDA and Health Care access are available, we can use the legal protection afforded by ENDA and the Health Care Access to construct arguments for Gender Confirmationcoverage! This process will be part and parcel to the rights, dignity, health and employability of transfolks–so I urge you to participate in this action and it to others!

Dear Friend, Americans’ lives depend on whether we pass the right kind of health care reform. So why is NBC News airing an infomercial that will spread dangerous misinformation? Rick Scott is the Chairman of a group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, and he has a history of disseminating lies and misinformation. According to the AP, Scott is “the former head of Columbia/HCA health care company who was ousted amid a fraud investigation that ultimately resulted in the firm pleading guilty to charges of overbilling.” His “documentary” looks to be an extended version of videos he’s been promoting over the last few weeks, which FactCheck.org characterized as “misleading” in part because they misrepresented the opinions of a doctor who actually favors the public option. I just sent an e-mail to NBC News President Steve Capus asking him not to air Rick Scott’s shameful propaganda. I hope you will too. The text of my personal note to Mr. Capus is below:

Dear Steve, You may not think access for all to health care affects NBC News, but it does. Sometimes workers’ lives cost too much to have benefits taken out of their paycheck. Looking at the numbers, it isn’t always who you’d think. This commercial threatens your organization.

Access for All will lower the following financial challenges:

  • crime (reduced financial need = reduced need for crime)
  • SSDI cases (prevents and halts poor health, keeping more employees at work)
  • Welfare claims (again, health = ability to work)
  • HR expenses (less turnover at corporations, less paperwork, lower unemployment claim rates, and NBC can quit pitching in to their employees’ health care!)

Please don’t allow this commercial to be played–Access for All is a boon to your corporation. Thank you.

Please have a look and take action.

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Proposition Hate

Today, the California Supreme Court upheld the rights of some to take away the rights of others.

I feel sick. I can’t believe this was ever a vote in the first place. I can’t understand how this is at all civilised. Kathy Griffin did well when she said:

“I’ve got a few questions for those who supported Proposition 8. My question is a very profound one. What the [censored] is it to you?…Why are people in this state, when we have so many things on our plate, we have a fiscal disaster going on, why does anyone even wasting their time with this issue? Why does anyone even care if gay people get married?…You would never in a million years go up to a person of color and say ‘well, you know I hear that Black people want to get married now. I mean, it’s fine if they live together.” You would cringe, would you not? ‘I hear that Mexicans want to vote! There goes the neighborhood!’ Right? It would sound absolutelly silly. And yet, across the state, people are having dinner conversations saying, ‘well, do gay people really have the right to get married?’ Yes! Domestic union, domestic partnership is not the same.”

My reaction to this is unprintable, but I can tell you I sit in a state of outrage, nausea, and disbelief.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IGFE to APA: Gender Variance is not an illness!

Thanks to Arvan for posting this on SexGenderBody:

This was posted over at International Foundation for Gender Education and needs to be seen, tweeted and passed around.

Health

Resolution

Whereas people are naturally endowed with a wide diversity of gender expression, identities, and sexual orientations;

Whereas, the distress felt by gender non-conforming people is fundamentally due to social prejudice and heterosexism, and is not a characteristic of their identities;

Whereas diagnosis of psychological disorders has been used as a form of social control;

Whereas, the inclusion of normal variations of behavior as diagnostic criteria has been widely used to justify discrimination against gender non-conforming people by individuals, governments, and corporations; and has resulted in material harm to people;

Whereas, the principle responsibility of medicine is to “Do No Harm;”

Therefore, be it resolved that we find the American Psychiatric Association to have a responsibility to ameliorate this harm, and hereby call for the following remedies:

(1) We hereby call on the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association to issue a declaration stating that: Gender variance, and gender non-conforming behavior do not constitute a psychological disorder;

(2) We hereby call on the American Psychiatric Association to remove the diagnosis of so- called “Transvestic Fetishism,” which explicitly pathologizes gender non-conforming behavior, from their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual;

(3) We hereby call for the reform of any diagnosis that can be made solely based on gender non-conforming behavior, specifically including “Gender Identity Disorder in Children.”

Resolved this day May 15, 2009 by the Board of Directors of
The International Foundation for Gender Education

May 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An Open Letter to Gloria Steinem

Dear Mrs. Steinem,

I grew up in Los Angeles in the 80s, watching you on the news. It shocked and confused me how you could take some thing so seriously, but at the same time I adored you because I knew you could think. You were probably the number one influence on my views on reproductive rights, and you helped me learn there was a whole world out there of thought and opinion. Thank you so much for these things.

I was disturbed this morning to find this on the web: Excerpts from ‘If Men Could Menstruate’. The way it was rehashed made it seem best suited to the compost heap, til I noticed it was a link to the full essay here, published when I was barely out of diapers. The full essay is rich, hilarious and somewhat correct.

As a man who has menstruated, though, I would like to clear a few things up.

  • Not all men are the same… some would indeed make it the new d!*% measuring contest, but I personally found it horrific. Several times the distress was so great that despite my knowledge of veins and arteries in the area, I became tempted to commit home surgery on the offending organ.
  • I think the National Institute of Dysmenorrhea ought absolutely be founded! I support this wholeheartedly, and think those who menstruate deserve extra days off if they want them.

What do you suppose tampons would look like? I suppose they’d be much the same, just a little longer. Of course, would straight genetic men be comfortable using them? If they chose napkins, how would that change mens fashion? Would we be the ones wearing the skirts? (hey that might be fun…)

Anyway, thank you for being there for the young queer boy who grew up in a conservative small town and dearly cherished your voice as a promise that things didn’t have to be the way they were then.

Sincerely,

Lance Worth

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My mother’s against gay marriage.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

My husband and I had a commitment ceremony a year ago, with most of our friends in attendance. As we were leaving Minneapolis at the time, the reception after was also a ‘bon voyage’ celebration. Both our parents turned down our invitations (complete with offers to find them guesting space) because they ‘wouldn’t feel comfortable participating’. Back then we chose not to legally marry, as our financial situation made it unwise at the time.

As any couple should, we periodically reassess our finances. This time around, we found we’d benefit from legal marriage in the following ways:

  • It will leave us better provided for financially
  • It will protect our rights should one of us fall ill
  • My husband plans to go to seminary and several friends pointed out that not being legally wed may disadvantage him during the application process and beyond. Don’t get me started… but they’re right.

Since Governor Gregoire signed the bill that gave gay couples full rights (WOOHOO!), I wanted to register as a domestic partnership/civil union, but that’s not feasible right now. The seminary David plans to attend is in California and thanks to Prop 8, our filing may prove useless there. Again… don’t get me started. I’m not sure we’d be able to get a Civil Union anyway, since according to Uncle Sam, I’m female. I’m more like Michael Novotny than Lindsay Peterson, but personal gender doesn’t matter to the government. Until I get top surgery and change my birth certificate, we have to do the hetero papers.

It should be said that I love my mother. A lot. She got a record machine when she wanted a cd player, but always did her best to try to help me growing up. She taught me a lot about the world and worked far too hard to keep us in food and clothing.

I called my mom today and told her this was going to happen. Her response floored me:

“Is this going to be an Adam and Eve marriage, or an Adam & Steve marriage?”

My response: “There would have to be an Eve in the relationship to have the first one. I couldn’t be a woman if I tried.” In L’esprit de l’escalier, I wish I would have made the joke about David, but oh well. I was too busy being shocked at her comfort with saying that to her gay son.

This sort of thinking has weighed heavily on our thoughts lately–in fact, David wrote an article about it a few weeks ago that discussed the situation better than I could. I recommended he post it at SexGenderBody and this morning, he did.

What my mom doesn’t understand about preventing/destroying gay marriage, in a few brief points:

  • A Constitution is a promise to the people, not the other way around. Altering it to limit contracts between consenting adults is therefore illegal.
  • “All men are created equal”? Not when actions like Prop 8 continue to happen.
  • Regardless of personal views, it is immoral and unethical to take the rights of a fellow American because you don’t understand/are uncomfortable with where they are coming from.
  • The point of Democracy according to our Founding Fathers was to PREVENT, not encourage these problems.
  • Disempowering someone on this deep a level can prevent them from doing good for the world.
  • Compare a couple that’s spent 30 years together, laughing and crying, grieving and growing, and the dedication it takes, to a couple that’s been dating for two years and tied the knot last month. If the latter couple happens to be opposite-gender and the former same-gender, the latter couple have less rights. What?
  • For years, Lesbian and Gay Americans have entered sham marriages with any or all of the results below:
    • Had miserable lives that damaged the hearts and minds of any children they had
    • Divorced, which destroys a kid’s world
    • Became addicted to drugs or alcohol to escape the strain, or
    • Had affairs, possibly catching something and passing it to their spouse.
      • AIDS is not “a gay disease”. Had gay been ok when it started, it wouldn’t be as widespread as it is.
  • ‘It’s about families/the children’? Really?
    • What about straight married couples that can’t/won’t have children? Is their family less valid? Why?
    • What about our child? Should I throw away love, break up my kid’s home and marry a woman? That seems about the most unhealthy and foolish thing I could do.

I left my mother with a request: I told her I didn’t care what decision she came to, but asked her to think about the fact that what she does with these opinions, she does to her own son.

I am an eternal optimist and I refuse to give up on anyone. I believe that the people who want to take away my rights truly believe they’re doing what’s best for culture and country, and in that, I cheer them. If I reach one person and help them realize they’re damaging the fabric of society by doing this, I will have done my part. In the meantime, I’m going to button my lip and make the legal paperwork as small a deal as possible, then go forward fighting for my brothers and sisters as I have always done.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

DADT repeal? No time soon.

Pentagon Stop the Hate! Dont Ask, Dont Tell Discriminates!

Pentagon Stop the Hate! Don't Ask, Don't Tell Discriminates!

Pentagon: No Plans To End Military Gay Ban

a brief excerpt from the article, found on Gay News Blog:

Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters Tuesday that repeal was not being actively pursued.

The ban, known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” prescribes discharge from the military for gay and lesbian service members who do not remain closeted or celibate.

This is one of those intersections between my two communities–Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We share the irony and ignominy of systematic second-class treatment even as we serve others, straight and queer alike.

I am not military and never will be–medically unfit–but I have tons of friends that are in and/or work for the military. One friend in particular is counting down the days til she gets retired from active service, because then she can stop dressing for her genes and start dressing like herself.

Of course she’ll still have to be careful–her job when she’s not on active duty is to make and modify machinery that requires an impressive Security Clearance. I asked her the other day if she’ll be able to be herself full time post retirement. She told me that dressing as herself would cost her the Clearance because according to the higher ups, she could be ‘blackmailed’ with her identity.

This seems to me all the more reason to repeal DADT–after all, if there are no secrets, nothing to blackmail with! This is why I live Out. I have plans to develop a para-political career, publish books, and possibly counsel professionally within my community or go to seminary. I have NO interest in giving anyone permission to start a Tranny Panic! to try to discredit me or give me bad press.

Please ask, I’ll Tell.

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

administration and more

Our site is in the midst of being reconstructed and we’re switching the hosting to Memento Projects‘ host. I’ve also got some major administrative work to do. In the meantime, if you’re inspired to share the Project with others, organise, or participate in a fundraising event please email me or send me a facebook message. I can help with that process, marketing, and more!

May 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Transgender Inclusiveness 101

This has been passed to me by Arvan of SexGenderBody and I wanted to share with you. If you’re in the Bay area, please consider attending!

Subject: transgender inclusion 101

Hi Arvan,

Thanks for your direct message.  I am promoting a class coming up this Thursday, May 21st in San Francisco.  It is called Transgender Inclusion 101 and I wondered if you have any followers from San Francisco that may be interested or know how to pass the word along to those that are.

The class benefits the Transgender Law Center and details are here: http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://www.classesforcauses.org/learn/index.cfm?eventID=30

Thanks for any help you can provide,
Susan

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Fundraiser wrap up and thoughts

I didn’t do a proper blog post on Friday, just a promo for a spur-of-the-minute fundraiser inspired by discovering TipJoy via Twitter. I will return to regular blogging shortly, but I wanted to discuss what I did right and wrong during this first cyber-push.

I confirmed some suspicions I had about fundraising, people and Project Pastiche itself these last few days. I had a feeling that this would be great for Project Pastiche’s visibility, and I was absolutely right. I gained new members for the Project, and got donations from absolute strangers thanks to a key set of awesome people. It also confirmed my personal opinions that positive language is the best way to go, and that no matter how positive you are, people will help you out with what you can do better.

For example, some of the things I say on my site make me uncomfortable. The specific quote is

“The surgery is life-preserving and very necessary.”

It’s kinda sketchy, but I couldn’t think of a better way to say it. I knew that at some point, someone would criticise it, and they did:

I have a problem with his claim that this surgery is “life-preserving and very necessary”. The only “risk” is that he might get depressed and commit suicide if people don’t give him money for a sex change.

That’s just juvenile. Lots of people want things really, really badly. Unless they’re under the age of 12, they don’t threaten to kill themselves if someone else doesn’t buy them what they want.

I responded with backup evidence (including a statement from the AMA) and asked the commenter what he would say. Unfortunately no response has been offered, so I’m opening this up for you, gentle reader. How would you say it?

Other things I did right:

  • Repeated requests for retweets
  • Keeping people updated on the status of the drive (on Twitter and Facebook alike)
  • Keeping these posts minimal–counter-intuitive to many Twitterers, but quite frankly, I don’t want to see 5 posts on the same thing in a row. I’m likely to unfollow or leave an email list because that person starts to look like a greedy gus to me. I’ve got my own bills and so do you.
  • I have to hat-tip to Save Karyn once again, because $1 is not intimidating. Some give less, some give more, but no matter how little people do or give, it means a lot.

Things I could have done better:

  • Made sure I knew TipJoy’s technology before I tried to use it, but I got a laugh out of my own shortcomings!
  • Done some kind of warm-up to let people know this was coming.

Some things that surprised me:

  • Just how effective this was for publicity and funds
  • TipJoy’s fee for service? 1.05%. Paypal is nearly double that, so I may transfer everything over.
  • I really need to up my comprehension before I do that.

Either way, I came away from that event really excited for the future of the Project… it only reinforced my belief that Project Pastiche will succeed. As always, I would love your feedback and suggestions… and by all means, the donations still coming in to my TipJoy Account are still welcome!

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Fundraising, rights, SOFFAs, Transition Ftm Transmen Transman Transgender Transsexual | | Leave a comment

Less than a Cup of Coffee…

ALRIGHT EVERYONE! The next 24 hours are going to be fun, because we have our first fundraiser on!

We’re experimenting alongside tipjoy, which seems like a fun group (I met them on Twitter), to see if we can raise $100 dollars toward The Project!

9 am on Friday, may 15 – 9 am Saturday, May 16 is when the magic happens.

Click here to see the latest on our success, and please share this with everyone (have them pass it on too!)

Ready? And…..GO!

May 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment