Posts Tagged ‘transgender’

Why Ugly Betty’s Alexis Meade is important

March 12, 2008

From the wonderful blog Transgriot:

Rebecca Romijn’s Alexis Meade character is that important, peeps. While Ms. Romijn isn’t transgender, her character, like Uhura 40 years before is a representative of a group marginalized in American society. Alexis is not only intelligent and beautiful, but is shown in a position of power and influence. The reactions of her family members ranging from her mother Claire’s total acceptance of her daughter to her father Bradford’s outright rrejection and her brother Daniel struggling with the changes in their relationship mirror what goes on in our lives.

She also gives non-transgender people a glimpse of the prejudice we face, the alienation that we experience from friends and family alike, our complicated love lives, and the gut wrenching emotions we go through before and after transition. I could write posts every day for the next ten years about these issues, but a top rated TV show such as Ugly Betty in the one hour it’s on the air reaches more people than Bilerico and my TransGriot one combined.

Like the unknown positive effects of Nichelle Nichols’ Uhura that became apparent decades later, how many transkids who are being teased, tormented and bullied flip on Ugly Betty and are reassured by Rebecca’s character they aren’t alone, they aren’t freaks and they can one day BE Alexis Meade? How many of those transkids will be inspired to do great things because of this character?

Club for crossdressers can’t open

January 16, 2008

image via Metro Times Detroit

“Tranny space,” Metro Times Detroit

But it’s not exactly business as usual, because the proposed club will be for cross-dressing men and transgender people. Club owner Janet Law (a self-described tranny who legally changed her name from Tom to Janet) and her lawyer say the case is more about dirty politics, the First Amendment right to assemble and discrimination against transgendered people.

Law owns a 15,000-square-foot building on Fort Street in the downriver community. National Engines, a garage and parts store for race cars, occupies about 12,000 square feet. Another part of the building is Janet’s Closet, a store selling wigs, makeup, clothing and accessories for cross-dressing men.

“We’re not an adult store. There’s no porn. There are no dildos. There’s no ass lube. There’s no butt plugs,” Law says. “This is an upscale store. It’s not a black room with one light bulb. This is a serious store for a cross-dresser or transgendered person.”

As her business grew, Law renovated the last 1,200 square feet of the building into the club. Men would be able to arrive in their “regular” clothes and use on-site locker rooms to apply makeup, do their hair and change into women’s apparel.

“There’s no sex here. There’s nothing like that,” Law says. “It’s a clean, discreet place for transgenders.”

“Officials keep club for cross-dressers shuttered,” The Detroit News

WYANDOTTE — Dressed for guests in heels and a short skirt, Janet Law sipped a drink alone in the private club she hopes to open for cross-dressing men.

She mailed invitations to city officials in hopes of making peace in a year-long feud over the club. None came Tuesday to Janet’s Place, the disco-lighted lounge and dance floor in the back of Law’s Fort Street speed shop and race car engine-building business, National Machined Engine.

“I was hopeful, but did I really think any of them would come and meet me and see what they fear? No,” said Law, 56, who was well-known in the car racing community as Edward “RJ” Law before getting breast implants four years ago and living as a cross-dresser.

City officials have refused to issue permits to allow Law to operate the club, insisting she lacks parking to accommodate customers. She and her lawyer say officials have ulterior motives and will make a final appeal Wednesday to the Zoning Board of Appeals before filing suit.

In a standoff that’s caught the attention of advocates in the transgender community, Law’s lawyer, Guy Conti, says Wyandotte is violating her constitutional rights because the 1,400-square-foot club otherwise meets zoning rules.

Victory for transgendered Georgia elected official Michelle Bruce!

December 4, 2007

Yay! Good news in this horrid, anti-trans lawsuit:

“Judge finds no gender fraud in Riverdale election,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In Riverdale, incumbent Michelle Bruce — cited by the National Center for Transgender Equality as the first transgender elected official in the Georgia — will compete against political newcomer and Atlanta firefighter Wayne Hall for council ward 2.

Two losing Riverdale City Council candidates — Georgia Fuller and Stan Harris — asked a judge to rule the Nov. 6 general election invalid and halt the runoff, alleging Bruce lied to voters when she ran as a woman.

In their suit, Fuller and Harris allege Bruce’s name is Michael Bruce. Their attorney, Michael King, argued that Bruce’s birth certificate lists her as Mickey Dwayne Bruce and a man.

“I understand he’s been on the council for four years, but they believed he was a female and not a male,” King told the court. “He did that to deceive the females to get their vote.”

Bruce testified that she changed her name in Clayton County Superior Court in 1980 to Mickey Michelle Bruce and goes by Michelle Mickey Bruce. She said she is transgender and declined to answer additional questions about her gender.

Bruce testified that she never was named Michael Bruce.

Cole Thaler, a transgender rights attorney for gay advocacy group Lambda Legal, said he was pleased to see the judge side with Bruce.

“There is a common misunderstanding that transgender are misrepresenting themselves,” said Thaler, who sat in on the hearing but did not represent Bruce. “The judge’s ruling shows that he understands transgender people are being their true selves and not defrauding the public.”…

After the hearing, Bruce said she was disappointed by the personal attacks but planned to continue campaigning for the runoff.

“I feel vindicated, and it shows that special interest groups don’t care about the citizens of Riverdale or their wishes,” Bruce said. “I can’t say it doesn’t hurt. It does hurt.”

Crossdressing book release party TONIGHT!

November 29, 2007

Erotic Stories cover

6PM Crossdressing

6PM Reception, 7PM Program, $10. With Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel & authors Helen Boyd and Veronica Vera, respectively pictured below:

Caught reading by Anya Garrett

Veronica Vera, reading at True Sex Confessions Night April 18th

“Explore the erotic thrill of crossing the gender divide and mixing things up in these sultry stories about slipping into something more comfortable. From a femme who channels Marlene Dietrich in the sexiest of suits to a high-powered male executive whose tearoom trick is thrilled by his lingerie, these characters boldly indulge their fantasies of being a girl . . . or a guy . . . for a night,” according to Crossdressing. Rachel Kramer Bussel is senior editor at Penthouse Variations, host of the In The Flesh Erotic Reading Series, and wrote the popular “Lusty Lady” column for The Village Voice. Helen Boyd is the author of My Husband Betty, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary award, and the follow-up memoir, She’s Not the Man I Married. Veronica Vera ( is the author of Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls: Tips, Tales and Teachings from the Dean of the World’s First Crossdressing Academy and Miss Vera’s Crossdress for Success: A Resource Guide for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. Miss Vera’s Academy is in New York City.

Candis Cayne’s Hollywood genderbending history

November 14, 2007

Photo from Flickr user hobbes313

Candis Cayne offers up a history of crossdressing and genderbending in TV and film over at Elle (yes, Elle!!), from I Love Lucy to Ugly Betty and much more. Here’s what Elle has to say:

Dirty Sexy Money has captured audiences this season with a heady mix of politics, riches, and between-the-sheets action. But its most notable draw has been the presence of Carmelita, a transgender character who one-ups Ugly Betty’s foray into blurry sex lines courtesy of Candis Cayne, nee Brendan McDaniel?a true life transgender who is breaking barriers in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. “When the role first came along, I thought ‘My life, my career, me me me,’ and then I realized, this is so much bigger than me,” Cayne said. “There have been a lot of other transgender people in the other arts, but never on a network show.” Cayne herself is at the forefront of a recent gender-bending trend, starting with last year’s Transamerica, continuing with Rebecca Romijn’s Alexis Meade character (one of the first transgenders on television, but still played by a woman) and leading up to a general pop culture attitude that is not just tolerant, but of open heart and mind. Here, Cayne shares with us some of the most enlightened moments in drag queens, androgyny, and the thin line between boy and girl. .

See also:
Candis Cayne on Wikipedia