In Case You Missed It: The Week of May 14th, 2012

In Case You Missed It: The Week of May 14th, 2012


From sexual health, mental wellness, relationships, and everything in between, these are some of the news highlights that have happened this week:

Sexualized women are viewed as objects. Literally.

Ohio: Franciscan University drops the campus’ entire student health insurance plan over the birth control mandate. (Maybe the students can retaliate by dropping the school.)

The House nixes protections to LGBT victims from the Violence Against Women Act, and President Obama threatens to veto it.

Poverty and inequality causes teens to have babies, not the other way around. 

The new TV hit Scandal, starring Kerry Washington, has gained a huge following. Why did it take so long to get the green light from the ABC network?

California: Are you in the Bay area? Passionate about transformative justice (or would like to learn more about it)? Want to work to end child sexual abuse? The Bay Area Transformative Justice Collaborative is looking for new members!

Janet Mock launches the Girls Like Us Campaign to empower transgender women of color. 

“Pro-Family” conservative states aren’t doing squat to make life easier for families.

Republican National Convention chairman Reince Priebus says, “End LGBT Discrimination!” GOP replies, “Huh?”

Which states are the best  for working moms? (Hint: Only 2 states received an A rating.)

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It’s rare that trans women are given the mic to speak about our experiences on our own terms, and it’s an even rarer occurrence when we women of color get to share space with one another and truth tell in a public space.

I’m proud of the nearly 10 minutes I shared with Isis King, who came into the media’s focus when she was recruited to compete on Cycle 11 of America’s Next Top Model in 2008. I’m proud to call Isis my dear sister and to be able to speak with her about our public lives.

For In The Life Media’s landmark 20th season, Isis and I discuss living visibly as trans women, our personal experiences in the media and our views on “tranny” and divisive trans terminology.

I’d like to use this space to clarify three things:

1. Isis mentioned Laverne Cox as one of the only examples she’s known of trans women like herself on television. I’d like to highlight the fact that other sisters are and have also represented on television: Carmen Carrera, Candis Cayne, Jamie Clayton, Nina Poon, Harmony Santana and Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong.

2. I made a statement about our responsibility to educate others about our experiences. I said, “You have to use your life as a teaching moment.” It’s a personal choice to do so, and it’s a responsibility that I take on, but it is NOT our job to educate people about us. I was reminded of this when I read Janani Balasubramanian’s essay “Brown Silence,” where she so eloquently writes: “Not everyone’s education needs to be our responsibility all the time…Our words and energy should also be conserved.”

3. I also said the dehumanization of trans women in the media “leads to trans women hurting themselves in a way that they feel they don’t deserve more.” Instead, I’d like to add that the systematic dehumanization of trans women through words, images and the lack thereof of words and images that represent the totality of our experiences actually is what contributes to others seeing us as less than human therefore justifying the violence, battery, criminalization and murders we face. 

Finally, I hope conversations like these continue to happen, and that they happen with a wide array of women, because it’s only in hearing a plethora of our voices do we paint a more realistic portrait of womanhood. 


A Conversation With Isis King and Janet Mock

America’s Next Top Model’s first transgender contestant, Isis King, sits down with staff editor and transgender advocate, Janet Mock, for a conversation about representations of transgender people in media.

This is the type of discussion i wish you could see more of in the media.