1. How many books do you have that are about transgender people?
2. How many of those are accessible to most people as in not written academic, highly abstract, medical, or psychological jargon?
3. How many of those are written by transgender people themselves?
4. How many books do you have written about and by cisgender people?
Some other questions to ask:
Do you consider yourself an LGBT, queer, radical bookstore? If so, what does that mean to you?
Do you consider yourself supportive of independent artists? If so, what does that mean to you?
Thank you to Quimby’s of Chicago, Giovanni’s Room of Philadelphia, Buffalo Books of Ithaca, and especially BGSQD of New York for being wonderful exceptions. Shop at these places!
(for some reference, see www.gaytransguys.com and scroll through the posts a little ways until you find it.)
1. I said I have no interest in dating gay men, not no interest in dating cis men. I do date cis men. I have no interest in dating gay identified ftms either. Please make sure you actually listen before you criticize someone. My preference has to do with the person’s ideology, not discrimination based on body types. *I will add that I’m not dead set against it, because there may be people who are queerly gay, for a lack of a better term. But it’s more a matter of self-protection than anything else.
2. I live in a conservative area. I have not had positive experiences. I do not like participating in gay male culture in other areas either. I have plenty experience with this scene, and have actually not dated women in the past except as a teen, in atypical, mostly secret situations. To say that I’m used to women and am not aware of “gay male social conventions” is unfair. Cis women can be just as mean and actually my very limited experience in that realm was just as bad if not worse.
3. Bill Roundy totally defended this view when he basically told me that grindr is just like that and that some gay men just have shallow standards. He also, I believe, was meant to represent the viewpoint that there are accepting gay men out there. Again, I’ve been involved with men 5 years now. I’m not stupid and I know that my experience is not the only one. I’m not a noobie gay or something. If I were coming from the lesbian scene though, would my criticism be less valid? I did not like Bill’s story about young trans men being comforted by his comic and that’s what I was reacting to. Honestly, I do not care for his comic. I wanted to interject that I do not need the approval of gay men because I tire of being seen as a victim in need of an understanding savior who dates trans men.
4. A queer identity is not ‘superior’ to a gay identity and I don’t especially see myself as either, but a queer mentality is generally more inclusive and compatible with my own. I AM SPEAKING ONLY FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE. Isn’t everybody? If gay men are awesome in Europe that’s awesome but again, that is one person’s opinion. Some trans men even in my town are not bothered by blunt questions that I take as transphobic and abrasive. I have gay men who I consider close friends but at this point, I have trouble dating anyone who identifies as something monosexual, and this is also due to what I like to do in the bedroom, which is not anyone’s business. I have become very jaded and I am very selective with the people I become close to. I want someone who views gender similarly to me. Most gay people do not, in my experience. Most people do not, period, and that is a big part of why I remain alone.
5. A gay trans man who loves the gay community and fits right in would probably have been an interesting counterpoint but I would have probably argued with him anyway and just offended more people. I think that a critical trans guy is also a rare voice and so please don’t dismiss me as “oh here we go again.” Please, by all means, use as many venues to share your positive stories. No one is stopping you by sharing a small fraction of his negative experience. Conversely, people have criticized my NY Times article because I fit in too well with the gay community as a white twink type and complained that you don’t see other view points. Why do people who want diverse viewpoints complain when views that aren’t their own are voiced?
I apologize if I’m being overly defensive, but this is not the only place I’ve been dealing with this. It seems a reoccurring theme that people dislike my “negative” views and accuse me of being divisive, online and in my local community. I have been really looking inside myself and I don’t think I am doing anything wrong. Huff Post invited me on the show and I gave my opinion. I was flustered and speaking off the cuff and in a bitter mood, but I am really OK with everything that I said and stand by it. In general, I try to be responsible but mostly just candid and true to my own experience. I think of myself as a storyteller more than an activist. I try to be aware of my strengths and weaknesses and I am not ever looking to be a spokesperson. In fact few things would cause me more anxiety.
I’m going to be interviewed tonight on Huff Post Live in a segment about “gay [cisgender] men who date trans men and visa versa.” Funny enough, I don’t date gay men. I don’t technically date anybody, but I have no interest in gay men. So tune in at 5:45 PM ET to see if anybody asks me about my genitals. Don’t get upset if you go to the page right now- that’s not my mugshot, it’s Justin Beiber. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/
I will be…
Reading at the Bureau of General Services- Queer Division
Elliott DeLine, Reading and Book-Signing at the Bureau of General Services- Queer Division
Where: BGSQD, hosted at Cage. 83A Hester St. New York, NY 10002
When: Friday, January 17th, 7 PM
What: Reading and book signing with wine! Including a musical performance by Audrey Zee Whitesides of the Brooklyn trans punk band Little Waist.
Syracuse people in particular, please read this letter from Dr. Chase Catalano at the LGBT Resource Center and read my brief note at the end.
November 15, 2013
Dear Syracuse University Communities:
On Friday morning, November 15, 2013, we arrived to campus to witness a clear act of symbolic violence and we are dealing with the emotional repercussions in response. Our passive educational effort to raise awareness that trans* (transgender, transsexual, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and gender fluidity) lives matter at Syracuse University, that was situated on one of the grassy knolls between Schine and Newhouse, was vandalized. The destruction of the lawn signs (metal bent, tossed signs, stolen signs, spit on and stepped on signs) was not due to an act of wind; this was an intentional action to silence, intimidate, disrespect, and disregard the message of the LGBT Resource Center. In an effort to resist such tactics, the remaining signs were repaired and put back in the ground, attempting to reflect the original message that Trans* Lives Matter.
We speak of valuing diversity, inclusion, and social justice at Syracuse University, and today, I believe, we find ourselves lacking any embodiment of those values – aside from our enduring spirit and persistence by replanting and recovering the original signs.
To those who vandalized our signs and tried to literally throw away our message, we say, “You will not succeed in your attempts to disempower us.” Your actions will be considered a challenge to develop stronger solidarity across Syracuse University amongst all marginalized people. Your tactics will not deter us from being a part of a larger strategy of inclusion, respect and acknowledgement that all lives matter at SU. This did not happen to just the LGBT Resource Center, our staff, or any affiliated students – this happened to all of Syracuse University.
We are thankful that, as far as we know, direct violence on any individuals did not occur, and we want to be clear that violence against bodies is not the only way to enact violence against people. The responsibility to resist, to name disappointment and outrage, does not rest solely on those who are trans* or part of LGBTQ communities at SU. Silence in response to this act of vandalism is complicit agreement. Speak up. Work to make SU safer. All lives should matter.
D. Chase J. Catalano
I have started a post I am asking people to reblog on tumblr. It includes the photos I took earlier that week of the installation. In addition, feel free to post the photos around facebook and wherever else. Don’t worry about crediting me. This way, the vandals will have inadvertently caused even more people to see these important messages. Thank you to everybody at the center who worked on this installation. I appreciate all your hard work and recognize that this must be a hard time for you. I hope the larger SU community responds to this and that it doesn’t all fall on the trans community’s back to stand up for ourselves, as usual. I won’t hold my breath.