Thursday, January 03, 2008
by Heather Cassell
Life is different for transgender teacher Dana Rivers, who lost her high school teaching job in Sacramento nearly 10 years ago. The media spotlight that was her life for nearly three years has faded, she now lives in the Bay Area, and while she still teaches at the high school level, her students are different.
Rivers, 52, an award-winning educator, knows she's fortunate and is happy to be teaching again.
"I always thought that [I] would teach again because it's what I do," said Rivers, who teaches social studies and history at Five Keys Charter School in San Francisco's county jail. "There was a period of time when I thought that the activist part of my world would kind of dominate things for a while, and it did for a couple of years, but when that quieted down, I just went back looking for another teaching job and went back to doing this." . . .
Ironically, Cayne had just about given up on getting her acting career going when Dirty Sexy Money fell onto her lap and turned things around for the transformed former Brendan McDaniel. . . .
The recent remarks by Meredith Bacon, president of the board of the National Center for Transgender Equality, denouncing the Human Rights Campaign’s handling of the ENDA debate, serve as a vivid and disappointing reminder of why the trans movement hasn’t progressed as far as the gay rights movement.
“[A]s the chair of the NCTE Board of Directors, I can assure all who read this blog that NCTE will not work with HRC in the foreseeable future, until the current leadership is completely purged, and until we are convinced that, unlike its predecessors, any new HRC leadership is totally committed to working for transgender rights,” Bacon wrote.
“As long as HRC is controlled by and is dependent upon white, rich, professional gay men, such collaboration may never occur,” she wrote. . . .
A Vietnam vet puts on her big-girl outfit to take care of fellow sufferers.
By BY JIMMY FOWLER
2 January 2008
At a recent Wednesday night benefit show at the popular gay bar Stampede, a crowd of 30 or so had wandered out on a week night to catch a Fort Worth legend — albeit one that most Fort dwellers have never heard of.
This legend didn’t need an ornate theater full of dazzling lights and extravagant costumes. More fittingly, the Stampede was just as laid-back as ever — pictures of Santa Claus exhorting “Merry Christmas!” mingled with illustrations of shirtless, hairy-chested men in cowboy hats. A twinkling Christmas tree sat next to the DJ booth. And there wasn’t even a stage — just a brightly lit patch of wood floor in front of the bar near the restrooms.
She strode into the bar, microphone in hand, at 9 p.m. sharp—all her Wednesday-night benefit shows start with military punctuality — looking at least 6’5” tall in heels. As the hostess for the Fort Worth “Wall of Food” shows, whose earnings benefit the food pantry at the city’s AIDS Outreach Center, Rhonda Mae was not so much regal as charmingly down-home and self-deprecating. She never dominates these shows, preferring to emcee the proceedings with a maternal touch. This night she favored a simple knee-length black skirt and black short-sleeved blouse with glittery golden swirls. Perched on her aquiline nose were a pair of thick-lensed suburban-mom glasses that covered the top half of her face.
She sidled up to one good-looking Latino man at the end of the bar, ran her long fingers playfully through his hair, and declared in a very deep, cigarette-honed voice, “You know what I want for Christmas: diamonds. But honey, sapphires will do, too.” . . .
Jennifer Madden M.D.
House Bill 711 did not make it past the committee hearing stage. This is the bill that would have required insurance companies in the state of New Hampshire to cover physician-prescribed hormone medications to individuals regardless of assigned sex at birth.
Am I saddened by this decision? Do I think it's discriminatory? The answer for me is yes, of course, but I am a transsexual and a physician who cares for transgendered patients.
Was the fight useful? Did we accomplish anything? Have we done anything to change societal attitudes toward transgendered people?
Yes, I believe we have. The fact that this letter is being printed is proof of that.
Gender variance is not something new to society, but it is something that Judeo-Christians have trouble accepting, even when science supports it.
Vern Bullough, the author of "Science in the Bedroom," once wrote: "The main obstacle to understanding our own sexuality is realizing that we are prisoners of past societal attitudes."
How can the majority of human beings understand something that's foreign to them, that they don't experience? If it's not true for them, then they must either act on faith believing what I and other transgendered individual's sense about ourselves is true or take the alternative course and say we're all crazy. . . .