Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Follow up on DSM-still-considers-trans-folks-"disordered" post

First, thanks to everyone re-tweeted, re-posted, shared links, and commented on my Trans people still “disordered” according to latest DSM blogpost yesterday. The response has been overwhelming, and I'm sorry that I haven't been able to respond to people's comments and questions...

As I alluded to in that post, I was disappointed that the DSM's Transvestic Disorder diagnosis received so little attention at the time. But this latest interest/outrage encourages me that we may be able to work toward completely removing this diagnosis from the next revision of the DSM (DSM-VI?).

There are a few things that I want to add here as a postscript:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Trans people still “disordered” according to latest DSM

[This essay has recently been revamped (with additional material!) as a chapter in my third book Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism]

This morning, I woke up and found my Twitter feed full of article links celebrating that transgender people are no longer “disordered” according to the DSM (that is, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - often referred to as the "psychiatric Bible" because it contains all of the official psychiatric diagnoses). The DSM gets revised every 10-20 years or so, and diagnoses sometimes get modified, expanded, or completely removed. The change that people are now celebrating is the fact that the previous diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) has now been changed to Gender Dysphoria.

Admittedly, the new Gender Dysphoria diagnosis is an improvement over GID for a number of reasons - Kelly Winter of GIDreform.org describes some of these improvements, as well as many of the lingering problems with the new diagnosis. Despite the remaining drawbacks (for instance, that gender variance is still formally pathologized in the DSM), many people seem excited that transgender people are no longer described as being "disordered" in the DSM. But the problem is that this is patently untrue.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bisexuality and Binaries Revisited

[note added 8-1-13: The following piece will be included in my next book, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, which comes out in October, 2013!]

In October, 2010, my essay, “Bisexuality does not reinforce the gender binary,” first appeared on the internet. The main reason why I wrote the piece was to illustrate how the reinforcing trope (i.e., the notion that certain genders, sexualities or identities “reinforce” the gender binary, or heteronormativity, or the patriarchy, or the hegemonic-gender-system-of-your-choice) is selectively doled out in queer and feminist communities in order to police their borders. Since queer communities are dominated by non-feminine, cisgender, and exclusively gay and lesbian folks, these individuals are almost never accused of “reinforcing the gender binary.” In contrast, more marginalized identities (e.g., bisexual, transgender, femme) are routinely subjected to the reinforcing trope. While my “reinforcing” essay received many positive responses, it also garnered some harsh criticism, particularly from within certain segments of transgender and gender variant communities. All of the critiques that I heard or read pretty much ignored my primary point—namely, the underlying forms of sexism that determine who gets accused of “reinforcing” shit and who does not—and instead focused solely on the rote assertion that the word “bisexual” (and, by association, anyone who identifies as bisexual) really does “reinforce the gender binary.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

julia update November 2012

hey folks! just a quick update about a flurry of upcoming events I have!

1) San Francisco reading Wednesday (tomorrow/today) November 7th.
2) “Our Art is Our Advocacy” panel at the Transgender Leadership Summit on Friday, November 9th.
3) presentation at Boston College on Tuesday November 13th.
4) SF Dyke March forum on AGE DIVERSITY AND GENDER FLUIDITY on November 15th.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Making Feminist, Queer and Trans Movements More Genuinely Inclusive

Hello! So news about this upcoming event (a reading I am giving) has been getting around on Facebook. But for those who haven't seen it, here's all the details - hope you can make it! -j.

https://www.facebook.com/events/433105406750508/permalink/437852916275757/

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
7:00pm until 8:30pm
Making Feminist, Queer and Trans Movements More Genuinely Inclusive

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoughts on the election and “Romnesia”


So it probably won’t surprise too many people that I will be voting for Obama in this year’s election. Like a lot of progressives, there are certainly a number of things the Obama administration has done (or not done) in the last four years that have disappointed me. He is certainly more politically moderate than I would like, but then again, I am registered as Green, so basically any president who gets elected will inevitably be to the political right of me.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

julia update September 2012

in this update:

1) consider bringing julia out to your campus!
2) julia will be speaking/performing in Peterborough, Ontario next weekend
3) website revamp

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

consider bringing Julia Serano out to your campus!

So a new academic year has begun, and as always, I am looking forward to having the opportunity to speak/perform at various colleges & universities this year!

If you are affiliated with a college - especially if you belong to a trans, LGBTQIA+, and/or feminist-related organization - please consider bringing me out to your campus! And even if you aren't associated with a college yourself, please feel free to forward this onto people that you know who are students, staff, or faculty somewhere.

Friday, July 27, 2012

going to Dore Alley Street Fair? consider volunteering on behalf of Girl Talk!

So as many of you know, I am one of the co-curators of the recurring show Girl Talk: A Trans and Cis Woman Dialogue. I just received the following post from Gina de Vries (also a Girl Talk co-curator) that may interest some of you:

Monday, July 16, 2012

videos of Biggest Quake: New thinking on the San Francisco AIDS epidemic

So as I mentioned in a previous blog post, last month I had the honor of reading in Kirk Read's show Biggest Quake: New thinking on the San Francisco AIDS epidemic. The event ran 3 nights, with writers doing different material each night. It was one of the most amazing performance experiences of my life - my fellow performers' pieces were so beautiful, funny, intense, and moving.

For those who missed those shows, you still have the chance to see them, as they were all video-recorded and are now available on the web! Here are the appropriate links for each show:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

the Fully Functional Cabaret!

Happy Sunday! I just wanted to let folks know about what looks to be a *spectacular* show taking place in San Francisco next weekend. It's called "The Fully Functional Cabaret," and it features some of my very favorite trans women performers! All the details can be found below - I encourage interested folks to buy tickets in advance, as me thinks that it is very likely to sell out. And even if you cannot attend yourself, please help spread the word about the show (all relevant links can be found at the bottom of this post)...thanks!  -julia

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Biggest Quake: New thinking on the San Francisco AIDS epidemic

So here we are again, at the start of another Pride month! I wanted to let folks know about an awesome spoken word event that I will be taking part in next week:

The Biggest Quake: New thinking on the San Francisco AIDS epidemic

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Laura Jane Grace and coming out as trans in the public eye

So about once every year or two, somebody comes out as trans in a rather high profile way. Two years ago it was Chaz Bono. Before that there was Christine Daniels, Susan Stanton, and others before them. When this happens, I usually experience a mix of emotions.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Justice for Brandy

So a few days ago, a trans woman of color was murdered in my neighborhood, just a few blocks from my apartment. There has been scant media coverage about this, so some of us are trying to get the word out. Please help pass this news around. And if you know any media folks, please encourage them to cover the story. Here are all the links to this story that I am currently aware of. If you have additional ones, please post them in the comments section. Thanks! -j.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

my Ms. Magazine blog article on Trans Feminism

So some of you may already be aware of this, but yesterday my article "Trans Feminism: There’s No Conundrum About It" appeared on Ms. Magazine's blog. It is my rebuttal to a previous article on trans feminism that they published last month.

If you're interested, you can check out the aforementioned link...enjoy! -j.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trans-misogyny primer

[note added January, 2017: This primer now appears as a chapter in my third book Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism]

I am often asked to explain trans-misogyny to people. While I've written extensively about trans-misogyny in Whipping Girl and other places, I sometimes find it difficult to sum up the concept in a few short words. This is especially true when explaining the concept to people who are relatively unaware about trans issues and experiences. Such people are often stuck in the mindset of viewing trans women as "men", and as a result, they have a hard time wrapping their brains around how misogyny might impact trans women's lives.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Julia @ Southern Oregon University!

So on April 5th I will be speaking at Southern Oregon University on the topic of Intersections of Feminism, Queer and Trans Politics. A Facebook invite for the event can be found here:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Come to the "Girl Talk" pre-show mixer Thursday @ 6pm!

Hey "Girl Talk: A Trans & Cis Woman Dialogue" ticket holders:

We (the co-curators of Girl Talk) are throwing a mixer just before the show! There will be food and drink, plus music provided by the amazing DJ CPI! There will be a merch table where you can check out (and perhaps even procure) books, CDs, zines, etc., by Girl Talk cast members. But most importantly, this will be a chance for those of us who are committed to fostering community between queer trans women and queer cis women to meet one another, chat, and have a bit of fun before the event begins!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Girl Talk tickets selling like hotcakes!!!

Hey folks, a quick reminder to purchase your tickets for Girl Talk 2012: a Trans & Cis Woman Dialogue *as soon as possible*, as over half the advance tickets are already sold! Every year the show has sold out, so we highly advise you to get your tickets right away - all of the show info (including a link to purchase advance tickets) can be found below...

Hope you can make it! -julia

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ways to pass time when you have pneumonia...

sleep.

eat, or not eat. (mostly the latter.)

fondly reminisce about oxygen.

make up lots jokes along the lines of “Oh my god I can *not* believe that I fucking have pneumonia. how the fuck did this happen!”

stop for a minute to catch my breath.

unleash cunning trans woman sense of humor when chest-xray-technician repeatedly asks me: “so you’re absolutely sure your not pregnant, right?”

recall how, as a young child, I thought that the medical condition pneumonia and the chemical ammonia were somehow interrelated.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

announcing Girl Talk 2012: a Trans & Cis Woman Dialogue

Hey folks, so over the weekend the official Girl Talk 2012: a Trans & Cis Woman Dialogue details were announced! Here is the official Facebook invite and here is the official QCC website. All the details also appear below.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Upcoming queer trans women & cis women events!

First, SF Bay Area folks, save the date: On Thursday, March 29th, me & my co-curators Gina de Vries and Elena Rose will be presenting the fourth annual Girl Talk, a cis and trans woman dialogue! Rest assured, I will be posting more details in the very near future. (more info about Girl Talk more generally, including video clips from the 2011 show, can be found by following the above link)...

Femme conference call for submissions

Hi folks, just figured I would pass this along, as some folks who follow my blog might be interested. It is a press release from the Femme 2012 conference, which will be in Baltimore this August. Not sure if I will be there, given that it is kinda sorta on the other side of the country from me. But if you have an interest in attending or presenting in some capacity, I encourage you to check it out... -j.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Adjustments (a 2011 personal retrospective)

Happy new year everyone!

So back in the early fall of 2010, I set a goal for myself: I promised myself that I would finish writing my (currently untitled) second book by the end of 2011. It was a new years resolution of sorts, albeit made several months in advance of Janurary 1st. However, sometimes in life, things do not go quite as planned.

When I made that commitment, what I did not know was that the minor “scalp problem” I was dealing with would eventually blossom into my first major full-on psoriasis flare up. At the time, I was unaware that I had the condition. In fact, I did not even know what psoriasis was, although later I would find out that it was the condition that was responsible for all the scabs that covered my grandmother’s legs, which I remember from back when I was a kid. And I would later find out that several other relatives on that side of my family had it too, although they covered it up by always wearing long sleeves and long pants. Even though it ran in the family, no one ever really talked about it (or at least they did not talk about it around me).