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Celebrating Butch: A Powerful Photo Collection on Female Masculinity

September 19, 2014 by Meg Allen

In a world where gender is a strictly enforced binary of male or female, female masculinity can make lots of people uncomfortable – who then make it uncomfortable and even dangerous for butch individuals to just be themselves.

In spite of the harassment and violence experienced by butch folk, butch is being reclaimed with pride to more accurately describe people who identify and present female masculinity.

BUTCH is a beautiful, intersectional, and eye-opening photo collection by Meg Allen featuring dozens of butch individuals who show the range, fluidity, and subjectivity of female masculinity.

Click through for more photos
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The story of Jordan Blisk, as told by Jess Ruliffson. I love reading trans stories with a happy ending.
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Date who you want.  The transphobic part is going up to trans people and expecting them to listen to your little speech and give you an official stamp of approval on it.

I don’t want you to date anyone you’re not attracted to, for any reason good or bad.  I wouldn’t want to date anyone who’s not genuinely into me, squishy bits and all.  But I’ve gotten a lot of asks like this and it’s frustrating.  Why the hell do you need my “backing” to not date people who are sort of like me?  You can just go right ahead and not do it.

But it feels humiliating to be asked to say, in so many words, “Oh yes, I totally get why you wouldn’t be attracted to people like me.  Very natural feeling.  Very common.  Not agonizing at all for me to think about.  Anything I can do to make it even more comfortable for you to be repelled by my genitals?”
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Worked like a debutante’s coming out used to… (incidentally the debutante’s coming out is where we get the terminology) and so being gay or trans or what have you meant getting presented to the reigning monarch.

“Your majesty, may I present… a gay”

I would love this as a story conceit? Like, an upper class who have to engineer elaborate confections to present the younger generation of queers in the Appropriate Manner for Social Advancement. 

“Have you heard about Lady Hemington’s youngest? They’ll be coming out as genderqueer!”

“Oh, poor dear Lady Hemington - so hard on the heels of the first two. She can hardly arrange a come-out until the first two have had their chance to shine…”

“And the cost of another nonbinary ball - !”

“The costume changes alone will be terribly hard to bear. But, of course, one mustn’t skimp. Not when that wretched Lucrezia Netherbottom threw such a come-out for her first.”

“Oh, I know, my dear, I know. I’m so terribly grateful that my wife was able to present our boys at Court herself - I’d simply die if the Netherbottoms had an advantage in wooing the Prince, just because Lucrezia’s quite willing to spend thousands on a French cosmetic surgeon.”

“And you’ve got that dear little daughter who’s looking quite Hard Butch, isn’t she?”

“Oh yes, we do hope it isn’t just a phase; ‘twould be such a nice change to throw a proper Lumberjane Ball…”


No seriously, I need a series of romance novels set in this universe.
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Saying that man and woman are the only genders is actually LESS nuanced than saying that earth, water, air, and fire are the only elements.

This is fantastic.
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via camp tries to reinvent the Hebrew language, so transgender kids can fit in:



Some of the important bits:

When Zev Shofar, a 14-year-old from Takoma Park, started going to Jewish summer camp seven years ago, the children all learned the Hebrew words to introduce themselves. “Chanich” means a male camper; “chanichah” means a female camper.

But what if Zev didn’t feel male or female — neither a chanich nor a chanichah?

Zev’s camp didn’t have a word that worked for Zev. In fact, the Hebrew language doesn’t have any words. Like many other languages — Spanish, French and Russian, for example — Hebrew assigns each noun a gender.

In Israel, or anywhere else that Hebrew is spoken, there’s no linguistic solution, either. But now there is at camp. Zev is a chanichol.

The seven Habonim Dror camps, spread across North America, are pioneering a new gender-neutral form of Hebrew this summer. They hope to set an example that Hebrew-speakers worldwide might someday follow.

Those cheers have had to be rewritten this summer to fit the new gender-neutral Hebrew. Plural masculine nouns in Hebrew — including any group of people that includes at least one man — typically end in im, while feminine nouns end in ot. At Camp Moshava, all groups of both boys and girls now end in a blend: imot.

In Israel, some LGBT communities have adopted the –imot plural, but few seem to have decided on a non-binary singular.

So Habonim Dror decided on its own that –ol would be its singular non-binary ending, based on the word kol, which means “all.”

?אני אישל

An interesting addition to previous descriptions of gender-neutral pronouns in Hebrew:  

The way genderqueer Hebrew speakers have solved the problem is interesting, both grammatically and politically. Gramatically, the genderqueer population has basically invented its own. There are a few methods of making speech genderqueer: either one uses general verbs that have no gender – “I feel like eating,” for instance, which in Hebrew would be “it’s coming to me to eat.” Infinitives aren’t gendered, nor is the phrase “ba li,” which literally means “it’s coming to me,” but really means “I want” or “I feel like” doing or having or being something.

Another way genderqueer folks have gotten around the binary nature of Hebrew is to simply harness it and mix it all up with itself. A genderqueer person might then say something like “I am male-going to the gallery and female-buying art.” Or they will say, “I am male-going/female-going to the gallery and female-buying/male-buying art.” Since the feminine endings of words in Hebrew are usually simply an added suffix, genderqueer folks can play with the pronunciations of words to make them ambiguous.
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You mean trans people who’ve transitioned and now feel self-actualized in the correct gender?  I’m very happy for them!

…That’s probably not what you meant.

So I actually have a lot of trouble saying that I have dysphoria, not because I don’t want to transition, but because it’s hard for a fish to say “I’m wet.”  I’ve lived in this body and assigned gender my whole life.  I don’t necessarily notice dysphoria, except when certain events sort of rub my nose in it.  What I notice more is a glorious, soaring euphoria when people recognize me as male and when I perceive myself as male.  Is that euphoria just the way normal life feels to people who don’t have dysphoria?  I don’t know.  I’m a fish.

Therefore, I have plenty of empathy for trans people who don’t describe their experiences in terms of dysphoria because they’re like me, unable to put a label to it because they’ve never experienced anything else.

But I’m sure, because Tumblr is vast and contains multitudes, that there are some people out there who would object to that characterization, who would say that they have perfectly good insight into their own dysphoria and they seriously don’t have any, they just feel trans regardless. 

…And heck, you know what, I support them too.  I don’t think that gatekeeping who gets to be trans is ever a good thing. It doesn’t make medically diagnosed dysphoric trans people look more legitimate; it just spreads the idea that trans fakers and wannabes are a serious problem that everyone should watch out for.

Just as I think “sexuality is complex, and many sexualities are okay” is a better narrative for LGBQ people than “we were born this way, so please accommodate our unfortunate situation,”  I think “gender is complex, and many genders are okay” is a good narrative for trans people.

Right now, I’m in my fifth month of intensive screening for being a Fake Trans before getting any kind of medical transition treatment.  And I’ve got it easy compared to trans people in a lot of places.  I don’t think “trans people aren’t doubted enough” is a problem we need to be fighting super hard.
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via trans couple in Ecuador to have a baby say they want to have more:

Diane Rodriguez – a prominent LGBT-activist – last year shared the exciting news that her boyfriend Fernando Machado was pregnant with their son.

Ms Rodriguez and Mr Machado – who have been a couple since 2013 – believed their first pregnancy was the first of its kind in South America.

The couple announced their pregnancy online, and Mr Machado gave birth to their child in June.

“We are the same as other families. Even though we might not have the same rights, we’re the same,” Mr Machado told the BBC, saying they want to expand their growing family even further.

Of the obstacles to being recognised as female, and thinking she would never be a mother, Ms Rodriguez said: “Being a mother was never something I thought I would do because I am a transsexual… The law before demanded that to be recognised as a woman you had to be castrated.”

Ms Rodriguez first made headlines in her native country in 2013, when she became the he first Ecuadorian trans candidate to run for Congress.

She has previously campaigned for trans rights across South America, after recounting her own struggles after she came out.

The advocate says she was shunned by her family, before being thrown out and forced to live on the streets.

Luckily, the pair have the full support of Mr Machado’s family, as well as the thousands of well-wishers who have congratulated the pair online.

What a beautiful family! Congratulations Diane and Fernando :)
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scene: a bunch of cis historian men sitting around a coffee table, faces in their hands, ties loosened, exhausted from wracking their brains trying to figure out why the greeks would have a god with breasts and a penis. suddenly, a man bursts through the door, sweating and panting, shirt half-untucked from his pants

“you guys… i … hhff….i got it… its uh… it’s symbolic of heterosexual marriage”
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Some trans history for trans day of visibility! Here is a poem written in 1322 by a jewish trans woman! (source and alternate translation). In case you were in need of the knowledge that yes, trans people have been around for a long, long time. [this is an english translation from hebrew]

“What an awful fate for my mother
that she bore a son.
What a loss of all benefit! …
Cursed be the one who announced to my father:
“It’s a boy! …

Woe to him who has male sons.
Upon them a heavy yoke has been placed, restrictions and constraints.
Some in private, some in public,
some to avoid the mere appearance of violation,
and some entering the most secret of places.

Strong statutes and awesome commandments,
six hundred and thirteen.
Who is the man who can do all that is written,
so that he might be spared?

… Oh, but had the artisan who made me
created me instead—a fair woman.
Today I would be wise and insightful.
We would weave, my friends and I,
and in the moonlight spin our yarn,
and tell our stories to one another,
from dusk till midnight.
We’d tell of the events of our day, silly things,
matters of no consequence.
But also I would grow very wise from the spinning,
and I would say, “Happy is she who knows how to work with combed flax and weave it into fine white linen.”

And at times, in the way of women,
I would lie down on the kitchen floor,
between the ovens, turn the coals, and taste the different dishes.
On holidays I would put on my best jewelry.
I would beat on the drum
and my clapping hands would ring.

And when I was ready and the time was right,
an excellent youth would be my fortune.
He would love me, place me on a pedestal,
dress me in jewels of gold,
earrings, bracelets, necklaces.
And on the appointed day,
in the season of joy when brides are wed,
for seven days would the boy increase my delight and gladness.

Were I hungry, he would feed me well-kneaded bread.
Were I thirsty, he would quench me with light and dark wine.
He would not chastise nor harshly treat me,
and my [sexual] pleasure he would not diminish

Every Sabbath, and each new moon,
his head he would rest upon my breast.
The three husbandly duties he would fulfill,
rations, raiment, and regular intimacy.
And three wifely duties would I also fulfill,
[watching for menstrual] blood, [Sabbath candle] lights, and bread…

Father in heaven, who did miracles for our ancestors with fire and water,
You changed the fire of Chaldees so it would not burn hot,
You changed Dina in the womb of her mother to a girl,
You changed the staff to a snake before a million eyes,
You changed [Moses’] hand to [leprous] white
and the sea to dry land.
In the desert you turned rock to water,
hard flint to a fountain.

Who would then turn me from a man to woman?
Were I only to have merited this, being so graced by your goodness…

What shall I say? Why cry or be bitter?
If my Father in heaven has decreed upon me
and has maimed me with an immutable deformity,
then I do not wish to remove it.
And the sorrow of the impossible
is a human pain that nothing will cure
and for which no comfort can be found.
So, I will bear and suffer
until I die and wither in the ground.
And since I have learned from the tradition
that we bless both the good and the bitter,
I will bless in a voice, hushed and weak,
Blessed are you, O Lord,
who has not made me a woman.
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via Pain That Most Transmen Are Ashamed to Talk About:


We have learned of the higher risks of cancer if a hysterectomy is not completed after five years of being on testosterone.

This is important.  Read it.  Especially if you have been on T for over or close to 5 years.  I have felt these pains.  Even just today.  I have been on T for over 5 years.

Something I have learned and have tried to be less of afraid of as a trans person is that you need to put your physical health above your feelings of shame.  If you’re having a serious medical concern you need to find a doctor you are comfortable with and talk to them.  It’s not fun, it’s not easy to do, but it’s important for your health.


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