Laverne Cox Makes Cover of TIME Magazine

Laverine Cox

Trans icon Laverne Cox has made the cover of TIME Magazine.  It’s the first time that a transgender person has made it to the front of the esteemed publication.

Cox gives a candid interview in the issue, and discusses her suicide attempts, her humiliating grade school experiences, her frequently-referenced Katie Couric confrontation about genitalia, and her touching interaction with a bullied child in San Francisco.  You can read the entire piece here.

Penn Adopts ‘Preferred Name Initiative’ for Trans Students

name tag

Transgender students at Penn now have the option to use a name other than the one on their birth certificate thanks to the university’s newly launched Preferred-Name Initiative. The new plan streamlines a process that was already in place on campus. Previously, students could set up a meeting with Senior Associate Director of the LGBT Center Erin Cross to institute a name change, but the process wasn’t publicized. Therefore, most students would only hear about it through word of mouth. More from The Daily Pennsylvanian

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10 Totally Handsome Men Born as Women [NSFW]

Balian Buschbaum Trans

A German pole vaulter, Balian Buschbaum underwent gender-reassignment surgery in 2008 as Yvonne Buschbaum.

A must-see list of successful, super-studly (and oh-so-hairy!) trans men has been making the rounds around the Web this week, and it’s beyond enthralling. Not that we needed proof that the trans community has a host of folks who make for some va-va-voom sensations, but wow!

It’s not just the men making the rounds in headlines, either: Season Three Drag Race contestant Carmen Carrera made waves last week when she was considered for a Victoria’s Secret modeling gig. (One that would be well-deserved, if you ask us.) At last count, Carrera had 42,464 signed petitions of a desired 50,000 on She would be the first trans Victoria’s Secret model.

Even in light of some continually disturbing trends, we’ll call it an all-in-all strong week for recognition of the trans community.

Take a look at the list of female-to-male hunks here, and judge for yourself how high they rank on the Hottie Scale.

Justin Bond is Coming to Philly

Justin Bond (courtesy of Facebook)

“It’s all about role-playing, isn’t it?” says William Way spokesperson Paul Blore. At least that’s the inspiration for the one-night-only Queer Fear Cabaret (Oct. 26). And headlining the Halloween-themed event is Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, a trans-identified chanteuse and performance artist from New York City. Bond is internationally known for playing Kiki in the performance art piece Kiki and Herb. Bond was nominated for a Tony Award for Kiki and Herb Alive On Broadway in 2007, a show that had previewed at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater just a year earlier. You may also remember Bond’s memorable turn in John Cameron Mitchell’s flick Shortbus.

Opening this very special cabaret night will be the Bearded Ladies, a Philly group that experiments with cabaret to tackle the politics of popular culture, sex, gender and art. “The Bearded Ladies play with and challenge gender roles frequently,” says Blore. “and Mx. Justin Vivian Bond does, too. We all play roles in our everyday lives.”

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New Website Launches for Trans College Students

Photo by Think Stock

Navigating college life can be a big change for anyone making the transition away from home for the first time. And for trans students, the experience can be even more challenging. That’s why the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) launched the Transgender On-campus Nondiscrimination Information (TONI) project, one of the first websites for trans college and university students in the country.

“With the start of another academic year, the TONI Project isurgently needed,” says NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling. “Colleges and universities have always been at the forefront of the progress we’ve made in trans inclusion. But there are still too many trans college students who have trouble getting to, paying for and graduating from college. That’s why NCTE and our allies came together to develop this site and hope it’ll go a long way to make the challenges of college life just a little bit easier to overcome.”

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Weekend Roundup

Friday, Sept. 21

Courtesy of Lynn Wilson

The AIDS Walk kicks off with a special presentation in Rittenhouse Square (11 a.m.) documenting the last 30 years of the disease. Read all about it here.

Lynn Wilson exhibits her collages at Gleaner’s Cafe Gallery (5:30 p.m.).

Yikes celebrates its LEED Platinum status during an unveiling ceremony (5:30 p.m.) at their headquarters on East Girard Ave. The owners of the web design firm are featured in the current fall issue of G Philly.

Pancakes 4 Supper benefits the Philly Trans March (6 p.m.) at Sam’s Morning Glory Diner.

Gender EDGE presents “an evening of bleeding ears” (7 p.m.) at the Turnerdome with bands Sex Gender, Hivebent, Heather Holepuncher and Ex by V.

The Voice contestants Tony Vincent and Juliet Simms perform at Parx Casino (8 p.m.).

The Shortbus Sisters go back to school (10 p.m.) at Tabu with drag performances by Satine Harlow, Navaya Shay, Cherry Pop, Misty Maven and Omyra Lynn.

September Stimulus celebrates with the Second Annual Back 2 School party (10 p.m.) at Shampoo. There’s even an under 21 lounge.

DJ Deejay spins BBG vs. KKR at Sisters (10 p.m.).

Saturday, Sept. 22

It’s Family Play Day at the William Way (10 a.m.) with wildlife experts from the Philadelphia Zoo. Join Philadelphia Family Pride for the fun, free and educational event for kids of all ages.

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A Message for Miss Pennsylvania

Dear Sheena Monin,

I think we can agree that Donald Trump hasn’t exactly been supportive of gay rights over the years. He’s said more than once that he opposes same-sex marriage. And he’s faced criticism over the way he implements policies in his business ventures time and time again. And his reactions to powerful women who criticize him? Not nice. At all. Two words: Rosie O’Donnell.

Despite the laundry list of reasons we can think of to loathe this guy, that he would allow transgender contestants to compete in the Miss Universe pageant is a big step, one that’s been a long time coming. We don’t always get behind the Donald, but this time, we applaud him for making the right decision and to allow someone who is a woman to compete in a pageant for women.

But that you, Miss Monin, might throw in your crown because the contest allows women who may not have been biologically born that way – but who are every bit of woman – is a disappointment to LGBT people everywhere, especially in our own state that you represent.

Admittedly, we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about which beauty queen wins or loses (one could argue the whole experience adds up to more of a draw), but we do pay attention when someone representing our home turf may think that a transgender woman like Jenna Talackova should not be afforded the same opportunities as you – opportunities, we admit, that include strutting around in a bathing suit. Who are we to judge you for wanting to be in a beauty pageant? Sure, we’d like to see more young women paying attention to what’s inside their heads than what sits atop them, but if you manage to find a platform – however antiquated – at least use it wisely.

Let’s be clear, there are plenty of important news headlines to worry about this week – like the 14-year-old boy who accuses President Obama of turning his friends gay, the recent court loss over DOMA and even the local discussion we’ve been having about what works and doesn’t at Philly Pride. We can’t reasonably spend a lot of time on who’s on top or not … in a beauty pageant. But we would ask that you reconsider how you treat your fellow contestants and our transgender friends every step on the cat walk.

In this day and age, we also realize that causing a controversial stink (like saying a pageant’s rigged) usually guarantees you 15 minutes of fame. Congratulations on grabbing some, but it’s up to you how you’ll use it.

Our suggestion? Do something decent. Turn down whatever offer you get for the centerfold. Avoid the reality TV pitfalls. And say something nice to and about Jenna Talackova.

Believe us when we say that history doesn’t always treat homophobes and transphobes well in the long run. And even though one’s looks may fade, your legacy is all yours. It’s up to you how you’d like to be remembered – before that 15 minutes is up. Tick tock.


G Philly

Watch: Transgender Muslims

In Indonesia, “waria” refers to men who live openly as women. And while the country is known for being conservative – Lady Gaga canceled a show there recently after receiving threats from Muslim groups – a new documentary sheds light on what it’s like for gender nonconformists in the heavily Islamic culture.

Tales of the Waria follows four men who live openly as women in Indonesia, revealing their own experiences and misconceptions about gender, sexuality and Islam. It premieres June 3 as part of the PBS Independent Lens Global Voices series.

Check out a preview:

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