Tag Archives: transgender

The Truth About Anti-Transgender Bathroom Laws – A Political Charade that Endangers Lives

Photo credit: Christopher “GoodKnews” Cardwell

You may have heard a thing or two about controversial “anti-transgender bathroom bills” and confusing messages about what it means to be transgender. My latest column in Rochester Woman Online explores and explains what’s really going. Here’s a hint: these laws have nothing to do with bathroom safety and have created danger where there used not to be.

Although most of the proposed and existing bathroom legislation includes trans men and trans women, I’m going to focus primarily on trans women because we’re the main target of misleading political propaganda and fearmongering tactics. So, what’s all the fuss about transgender bathroom use and how come no one seemed to care until about a year ago? I’ll attempt to explain that and reveal dangerous implications that may affect all women transgender or not.

I encourage you to read the full article in Rochester Woman Online, or continue here…
Continue reading The Truth About Anti-Transgender Bathroom Laws – A Political Charade that Endangers Lives

Writing for Rochester Woman Online – “All About the H”

Just as 2016 was coming to a close, a cool and exciting new opportunity came knocking at my door. I was invited to join the writing team of Rochester Woman Online (formerly Rochester Woman Magazine). The publication started the new year moving from printed magazine to digital distribution.

My contribution will be a monthly column called: “All About the H” Please take a few minutes to read the first entry featured in the January edition: Meeting Life’s Challenges as Growth Opportunities. My biggest challenge in life has been being a transgender woman in a world that doesn’t understand what “transgender” means. I share how I turned this challenge into a rewarding career path as a public speaker and human rights advocate.
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Transition Transmission: Episode 71 Gabbing Gabby is Back!

Transition Transmission PodcastI was invited to join podcasters: Amber, Tibby and Ramona for Episode 71 of Transition Transmission. It was an honor and joy to join the Transgender Trio for my third appearance on their entertaining and informative podcast.

Show topics:

  • I talk about public speaking, personal history, family and the complicated relationship with my wife
  • The potential social impact of trans model Carmen Carrera getting married on reality TV
  • Caitlyn Jenner’s remark about trans women who look like a “man in a dress”
  • A 46 year old trans woman living as a 6 year old girl
  • Discussion about a woman who claims Star Wars is racist

I’ve been a big fan of Transition Transmission since discovering it about a year and a half ago. Give it a listen and I bet you’ll become a fan, too! One of my favorite things about the show is that they’re not all about trans stuff, all the time. In addition to intelligent and thoughtful discussion about the latest transgender news, there’s plenty of humor, fun, geek-talk, banter and off-topic side discussions.

Website: Transition Transmission
iTunes: Transition Transmission
Continue reading Transition Transmission: Episode 71 Gabbing Gabby is Back!

Free Public Presentation: Understanding & Supporting Transgender Friends & Family

understanding transgender graphic v2b1_50

If you live within reasonable travel distance of Rochester, NY, please join us for this free public event! It will be held at Open Arms MCC (707 East Main Street Rochester, NY 14605), Sunday November 15, 2015, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

Knowledge is power and I’m all about empowering people!

About the event
Transgender people face a variety of social and economical challenges. Issues such as: discrimination, disparagement, ridicule, assault, murder, and lack of access to affordable healthcare from qualified providers, are just the tip of the iceberg.

This adversity isn’t limited to the transgender population. It also affects friends and families of transgender people, who may feel powerless to help. Our loved ones want to be understanding and supportive, and sometimes need a little guidance and support themselves.
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The Savvy Psychologist and Transgender Awareness Done Right

Psychology has long been a topic of much interest to me. Over the years, research and study in this field has been immensely helpful in understanding myself better and maintaining a level of sanity in an insane world. My enthusiasm for psychology continues and there are so many handy resources to tap into, including a number of excellent podcasts.

About a month ago I discovered The Savvy Psychologist’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Mental Health. Podcast host Ellen Hendriksen, PhD, invites listeners to, “Meet life’s challenges with evidence-based research, a sympathetic ear, and zero judgement.” She offers “quick and dirty tips” using “practical psychology to help you be happy, relaxed and most importantly, yourself.”

Transgender 101: 6 Essential Questions and Answers
This week’s episode is about a topic near and dear to my heart: transgender awareness and education. In preparation for the show, Ellen enlisted my help as a consultant. As a fan of the podcast, it was fun to get involved behind-the-scenes and play a supportive role. Her dedication to providing useful information and treating the subject with dignity and respect was clear from the start, and very much appreciated. To say I was impressed with the end result would be an understatement. I encourage you to check it out for yourself here on the audio podcast and transcript page.
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Trans Documentary: “Line in the Sand”, Vanity and My Personal Struggle With Gender Dysphoria

Line in the Sand
This short documentary by University of Rochester student and talented filmmaker: Hayden Freedman, explores being transgender in a society that doesn’t quite understand “transgender”. Trans woman: Natalie Robin shares some of her experiences in coming out, gender roles/expectations and discusses a rather questionable suggestion from her therapist.

Also included are interviews with my friend and mentor: Jeanne Gainsburg, Education Director for the Gay Alliance, and another trans woman you may be familiar with: me.

Natalie has a YouTube channel and Tumblr blog where she shares her transition progress, thoughts and feelings. I encourage you to check out her offerings and maybe send her a little love and support in a thoughtful comment.

Painful realities that are difficult to share
Rather than rehashing what the documentary covers (and rather well, I might add), I’m going to take this opportunity to talk a little about gender dysphoria and share my personal struggle living with it.
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I’m Trans, I Don’t Pass, and Christmas Shopping at the Mall is a Breeze

Gabrielle in car 2012-12-20Almost daily, I hear accounts of transgender people having a difficult time in public, often being disparaged, laughed at, or otherwise treated poorly/different just for being trans. It used to be that way with me, too. It wasn’t long ago that I also experienced being laughed at and disparaged. Today however, it’s a pretty rare occurrence.

Christmas shopping is a pretty common activity. Most people do it, and their biggest complaint is finding a parking space. I’m happy to say that on this particular day, I had little trouble finding a good parking space at a local mall, packed as it was.

The reason I’m posting this is to draw attention to the very positive experiences I have out in public, and why I believe no one gives me a hard time anymore.

Passing isn’t everything
Within the very diverse transgender community, there is some debate as to whether or not it’s important, or even desirable to pass (ie: to look like a cisgender person; to not look trans). Some feel it is very important to pass, others don’t care, some don’t want to, and there are even those who look down upon trans people who do, want to, or go out of their way to pass.

Personally, I do want to pass. I want to look like an attractive cisgender woman to the rest of the world. There is no shame in being transgender. I’m rather proud to be trans and plan to continue speaking publicly to educate about trans realities. For me it’s a vanity thing, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of my desire to pass – good or bad.
Continue reading I’m Trans, I Don’t Pass, and Christmas Shopping at the Mall is a Breeze