The recent protests in Charlotte and other cities in our country area is a great reminder that we cannot be complacent and simply stand by waiting for change to happen, because as we wait, more people are dying. While the current fight is for race equality, the same battles exist for all minorities, not the least of which is the transgender community.
I have the greatest respect for people who risk everything in attending protests, but not everyone has the ability or willingness to do so. Fortunately, there are other ways to effect change, and while less dramatic and slower, still move us forward.
For the transgender community, visibility is key. Most of the world has no knowledge of our existence, or if they do, it is based on misunderstanding and prejudice.
One way to enhance visibility is to announce your presence in the room, the building, the community, and the world. Obviously, most of us cannot do this as directly as we would like, due to safety concerns.
But, most of us have opportunities nearly every day to drop a note or a card, anonymously if necessary, leaving a message that we are sharing space in this world. The Transgender Encounter Project (TEP) was started to promote such opportunities.
There is a map on our website where you can mark where you have dropped your cards, so that you and the rest of us can see acknowledgement of where we are in the world. Please take the time to participate. Let’s cover the map!
Our latest issue is out and our cover boy Jack London took a lot of photos for our magazine that we couldnt put in it. Even some to show off his bottom surgery. Due to nudity we didnt feature in the magazine and they will be censored here. Click on the photos to see the uncensored. You have been warned! Click here to read the full magazine with Jack’s story inside.
Local libraries are doing a decent job of housing all types of publications for folks to peruse at their leisure but for an atmosphere of community I’d be hard pressed to find a better collection of literature than at my local LGBTQ community center. The Center here in Las Vegas has a specialized collection of literature for and by LGBTQI+ authors and a few days ago I found myself walking along the shelves looking for something to read.
Several covers later, one caught my eye because of its unusual title: Finding the Boyfriend Within—A Practical Guide for Tapping into Your Own Source of Love, Happiness, and Respect by Brad Gooch. Written in the late 1990s, the book served as an answer to gay cis men’s seemingly restless and unsatisfying search for the perfect boyfriend. Using the age-old advice that loving another requires loving oneself first, Gooch paints a detailed picture of what self-care looks like and how it thinks, as well as the tools to give you a better life of your own creation.
I can relate directly to this book, being gay myself, but his advice and perspective is universal. Just insert “girlfriend” or some other title in its place and you’ll see what I mean. Despite how hokey this title may seem to those who aren’t as in touch with their emotions, Finding the Boyfriend Within has plenty of insights that are worth reflecting on no matter who you are and whether you decide to use his many awareness exercises. Continue reading “You Are Not Who You Date: Self-Reliance and the Single Life” »
I was having an interesting conversation with some folks the other day, and it was suggested that those of us in the trans community should always remind people that we want a seat at the table when it comes to discussions with community leaders, or speaking at events. I’m not so sure i’m on the same page as them, so I thought i’d write this blog to discuss it, and possibly help me think the process through.
I’ve been an activist for over ten years, having dealt with nationwide leaders, local political officials, and other movers and shakers in the lgbt and non lgbt community. I’ve always made my voice perfectly clear, and at times had to demand people listen to how certain things affect or don’t affect the trans and gnc communities.
So, here’s where I’m kind of stuck. I’m not sure that having to remind people that Trans and Gender nonconforming people exist and want their voices heard should have to be a constant thing. There are decisions made everyday that affect the lives of those under the trans umbrella, and our opinions are never asked.
When we stand up and talk about what effects us, we’re told to quit victimizing ourselves…to do something about it…to affect change if we don’t like something. My question is this: do gay men and lesbians have to remind people they want their voices heard? Are we as a trans community ever going to have to stop being loud and crystal clear as to what our needs are?
There was an event recently where there was no trans representation from my local community, and when it was asked why there was no one trans to speak at this event, the answer was, “We didn’t think about it. No one from the trans community called and said they wanted to speak.” Why should we have to?
It says to me, very poignantly, that we always have to remind people to ask us to share our voices and our opinions. LBG organizations have often taken money and donations from non trans friendly organizations, and when this is pointed out, the answer is “Oh, I didn’t know.”
So now on top of having to constantly remind people to have trans and gnc folks actively participate in community discussions, we now have to remind them to ask places and people they take money from whether or not they’re trans friendly? I say no.
I say they have the responsibility to automatically ask how the business or person they’re taking money from affects change and actively supports the trans and gnc communities. I’m not talking about simply hanging the “T” at the end of the acronym and calling themselves inclusive.
According to a February 2015 publication called TransInformational Impact done by the Funders For LGBTQ Issues, the trans community receives .015 percent of foundation funding, which equals about a penny for every hundred dollars awarded.
We need more pennies obviously, but we also need for them to include us without having to constantly remind them that we even exist. We need to have a seat at the table when decisions are made for and about the trans and gnc communities. When we do ask to speak up for ourselves, we don’t need to be told that not everything is about the trans community, or that we’re being aggressive and demanding too much.
The opportunity to have our voices heard loud and clear is not too demanding; it is being equal. It is our equal right not to be “forgotten about” when LGB(T) organizations receive funds from sources that don’t include the diverse trans community. This type of trans exclusion is not ok, and it needs to be called out.
Accountability without compassion is an act of violence. And so is forgetting about or excluding the trans community. We shouldn’t have to be constantly begging to be included and actively involved in processes and discussions that impact our lives. We can and will always speak for ourselves, whether or not our voices are wanted or heard. That’s one thing that will never change.
Blue Montana is the Transgender Programs Manager at The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and a former Board Member at San Diego Pride. He studied LGBT Studies at San Diego State University. Now he lives in Las Vegas with his husband.
Tygh was a natural pick for our cover model for the DILF issue. In fact, he’s the reason the whole issue exists. We picked him before we picked the topic! Magazines may come and go–some before they even begin–but Tygh will long stand as role model and trans father figure for many FTMs. He is always putting out new videos, photos, and blogs (for our site now, too!)–he’s his own media institution, himself! When he signed at our table at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, tons of guys were coming up to meet him! But transitioning later in life has also come with a toll: a harsh rejection by his former social network. Read more about his transition from motherhood to fatherhood in our second issue!
Giovanni has two daughters, and he opens up about how transitioning has changed their relationships publicly and privately. He humbly reminds us not to underestimate how open children can be to a parent’s transition–e.g. they are not losing a mother, they are gaining a happier father. Check out his interview and pictures with his family in our DILF issue.
Mykel is Superman to his daughter, and that’s why he’s on it “24/7/365.” And she is, obviously, his queen: “It’s her world. I’m just living in it.” Read the advice he’s got for guys with kids who are considering transitioning in Issue 2.
Derek transitioned about three years after giving birth to his son. And it only took his son about 20 minutes to start calling him Daddy. Find out how Derek has made his son part of his journey in our latest issue!
Lucky you, we’ve got a bonus DILF for the blog only, FTM porn star, Matty Boi. Not only is he a sexy he’s rt throb, he’s also a daddy. And he just might be that other kind of Daddy too, but you’d have to check out his YouTube video with Ryan Cassata on BDSM to find out for sure! But we do know his favorite part of being a father:
“Do I really have to pick one?! That list is endless.
I absolutely love watching her express herself as her own person. Seeing her find passion in things and ALWAYS blowing me away with her talents and intelligence is an irreplaceable experience. (She is an incredible writer, watch out world!) Also, it’s amazing to look at your kid doing simple or huge things like school projects, moving up a grade, falling in love for the first time, or telling you about their plans for the future and go, ‘Holy shit, I helped that person become their own person.’ And let me tell you, she is an awesome person. I’m honored that I’ve been able to be a part of her life. She’s my heart and soul. I guess ultimately, she is my favorite part of being a dad. My favorite part is that I’m her dad.”
That’s a loaded question, so let me start by defining Transgender.
Transgender is an umbrella term that includes all people whose authentic identity does not conform to typical stereotypes of male or female genders. However, some parts of the trans community define transgender as having transitioned in some way. Unfortunately the language that is often used by the community is exclusionary. Some people feel it is acceptable to question the authenticity of trans people, and imply that you are only transgender if you present a certain way, take hormones, and get certain surgeries. As if there is only one way to be transgender!
Transgender is simply a label, but emphasizing labels is divisive rather than inclusive. Labels, I hate them. Not everyone feels the need to transition completely or partially, and some do not chose to transition at all.There should not be specific criteria associated with identifying as transgender.
I have to think about labels regarding my gender. I don’t know what box to check because I’m a little bit of this and I’m a little bit of that. Labels are pointless. I hate them. Many of us don’t fit into neat boxes. We aren’t one particular gender and we don’t neatly fit under the familiar umbrella.
There are so many labels, but still none seem to really fit. Labels work really well for inanimate objects that don’t have the ability to adapt and change. But, when it comes to me and my life, labels fall short. Labels are wrong. I hate them. I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I’m not a this or a that. I’m not a who, a which or a what. I am me and I am trans enough.
Transgender should be a label of self-identification, and there is no right or wrong way to be trans. Therefore we are all trans enough.
This Blog in particular is dedicated to us transguys. We are often the invisible, more silent, yet still harmed component of the transgender and gnc communities. When I heard about the death of Amos this past memorial day weekend, it got me thinking about the issues transmen face that aren’t often talked about. Everyone in the trans community faces much higher instances of discrimination in housing and work, we face stigmas that no one should ever have to face.
Transmen often blend into stealth lives and on with life we go. Homelessness is always to quick to rear its ugly head, which then puts us in unpredictable situations. I myself have struggled with being homeless more than once. Its not because I couldn’t get a job, I had one. I simply couldn’t work enough to live in a state that afforded me almost every protection and safety that could be offered to a trans identified individual. I had amazing health insurance, and protection from discrimination, and even the knowledge that I couldn’t be disrespected after I passed away and buried under my birth name in a dress thanks to Toni Atkins and the dignity after death bill she helped pass.
However, homelessness is one issue that isn’t being dealt with quick enough to stop transwomen and transmen from being sex workers to support themselves. No one should have to sell their body in order to have a roof over their head and eat, yet some do it everyday as a form of survival. Amos was homeless for reasons unknown to me, but what is known to me is that he struggled just as bad if not worse than all us us do, and being trans and homeless took his life. The disparity that regular society needs to recognize is prevalent now more than ever, and we are standing smack dab in the middle of our own civil rights movement, the right to exist.
Since I am just starting out as a Blogger, I thought that title would be great.
Struggles of waking up in the morning, not feeling just right. Tough to sleep because your thoughts keep you up all night. I know the feeling. It’s tough out there. But I have learned with Healthy Living, life is much more livable.
Eating healthy foods can keep your body full of nutrients. When we eat bad meals and when we are not fueling our bodies we can get chronic illness. Cholesterol levels are very important to those looking to start or already on Testosterone. If we are not eating healthy our cholesterol levels could be off and it could affect us from getting prescribed Testosterone. Also, eating healthy can help with chemical imbalances. Cutting out sugar is a good way to start maximizing your life. Last THING Drink MORE water. When you think you have drunk enough, DRINK MORE. Being Dehydrated is not fun.
Next, Exercise is for more for than just losing weight and getting muscular. It is also a stress reliever and mood enhancer. I have not had top surgery yet, so I get dysphoric at times because of my chest. I have to take the focus off the fat pockets on my chest somehow so I workout. I set realistic goals and try my best to do them. If I don’t complete those, I still did my best and start again the next day… just never give up. This can help us feel good about ourselves and that is the most important thing.
Thank you for reading Transgentlemen’s Club Magazine Blog Style
That is all….this time. If you have any questions, hit me up. I’m looking forward to it.
Hey what's up there you beautiful people!?!?
My name is Devyn. Unfortunately that is not my legal name, YET. But just as many others who want their birth name changed, I hope it is changed soon.
I am a Trans Man, soon to be 33 (June, Gemini, whoop whoop), also 5 months on that there Testosterone.
I'm pretty much a happy guy that truly loves people, I want to encourage all people to set goals and motivate them to achieve those goals. I'm really big into Healthy Living now, Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and on some levels Spiritual, Internal and External health. I just want many people to live longer and healthier. Which I believe is true happiness.
2016 is going to be a pivotal year. A culmination of five years of exponential expansion of LGBT rights. 2011 marked the end of DADT. In 2013 DOMA was ruled unconstitutional. Then, in 2015, marriage equality was made the rule of the land. Little by little our country has been chipping away at its last vestiges of legalized discrimination. Sixty years ago my parents could not marry in the state they lived in because they were of different races. Today, that seems unbelievable to most. Until last year I could not marry my wife in most states because legally we were of the same sex. Just a year later, it’s hard to imagine not having this right. This year, I can marry whomever I want, but I cannot legally use the bathroom consistent with my gender identity in some states. While, we still have a ways to go, I am hopeful that a year from now, we will all be celebrating the elimination of socially and legally accepted discrimination in the United States.
As ridiculous as this seems, there are many out there who are desperate to ensure that my right to pee, rent, and work are dependent on me conforming to the majority’s definition of gender. But, just as bathroom restrictions for people of different races were ultimately determined to be unconstitutional, so will be restrictions based on gender identity. If not by our current Supreme Court, then certainly by one in the near future. The President who is elected this year will likely choose 2 or 3 Supreme Court justices, who ultimately will decide our future. We need to vote in November, and we need to vote wisely. Our lives depend on it.
Tygh Lawrence-Clarke is a transman. He was born in Beverly Hills, CA and was raised by a single mother, who was a prominent physician. His family moved to Las Vegas when he was 11, where he remained for most of his life. He retired in 2011 from the Pharmacy field to become a stay at home Dad. He now lives in the woods of New Hampshire with his wife, son and his menagerie of pets. Since his transition, Tygh now spends his free time advocating for the transgender community. He has a Youtube channel where he documents his transition and makes educational videos. He, with the help of his wife, is also working with a nonprofit organization called 41%, which strives to pair people in the transgender community with supportive volunteer peers in an effort to address the suicide problem. Despite the challenges Tygh faces every day, he couldn't be happier now that he is living his life as his true self.