New York Times Documentary Features Trans Military Couple

A scene from "Transgender, at War and in Love."

A scene from “Transgender, at War and in Love.”

Two very brave trans folks, Logan Ireland and Laila Villanueva, took a huge risk: They publicly “came out,” so to speak, via a video documentary featured on The New York Times. But unlike, say, Caitlyn Jenner, Ireland and Villanueva serve in the United States military, which can, and does, openly discriminate against transgender people. In short, they could both be discharged and lose their jobs. Read more »

Buzz Bissinger on His Caitlyn Jenner Story and the Trans Community

buzz bissinger caitlyn jenner

Philadelphia magazine contributor and author of Friday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger is in the spotlight again this week after penning the much-talked-about profile of Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair. Since the cover hit the web on Monday, he says he’s received hundreds of interview requests. He’s done the morning-show circuit, and appeared on Anderson Cooper and Katie Couric to talk about his experience profiling the most famous transgender woman in the world.

I caught up with Buzz on the phone this morning to find out how the story came about. Why did he get the assignment? What precautions did he take to keep it under wraps? Did he, a man who’s written about his own gender experimentation, glean any insight from his time with Caitlyn? 

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Brian Sims on Caitlyn Jenner, and How She Can Help the Republican Party

brian sims caitlyn jenner

Caitlyn Jenner broke the Internet yesterday and, like a busted piñata, it spilled forth pages and tweets and status updates worth of opinions and remarks about this most famous of all gender transformations. We’ve heard it all (Philly Mag columnist Monica Weymouth details some of it here), but local State Representative Brian Sims chimed in today on a topic that we haven’t heard much about since yesterday’s news broke: the fact that the world’s most recognized transgender woman is … a Republican! He shared his take on Facebook in a status update:

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Internet Meets Caitlyn Jenner, Immediately Sexualizes Her

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I was getting coffee when Caitlyn Jenner met the Internet. Not fancy coffee — regular drip, black, get that cinnamon-sugar shaker away from me — so we’re talking maybe 15 minutes away from my desk. And yet that was enough time for seemingly the entire world to chime in on the Vanity Fair cover story documenting her transition.

Many were supportive and respectful, from Lady Gaga to Rick Santorum. Others, of course, were decidedly less so. (Tell me, how does it feel to be behind Rick Santorum in the Evolution line? Or don’t you guys believe in that yet? As you were.) But lurking through it all — the Facebook comments, the coverage from major outlets, even Vanity Fair’s presentation and promotion of the story — was an ugly subtext: After less than a day of revealing her new identity, Caitlyn Jenner had already been objectified and sexualized for our entertainment.

Which makes sense. She is, after all, a woman. Read more »

West Philly Trans Femme Conference Attempts to Serve Marginalized Community

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Shutterstock.com

“The Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (PTHC) was founded by trans women who had no forum for their voices to be heard,” says April Anderson. “But every year, we’ve seen the amount of programming devoted to [the trans woman’s] needs shrink to the point that we’ve been crowded out of a desperately necessary space.”

Anderson, along with other local trans women, are trying to address this issue by establishing the first West Philadelphia Trans Femme Conference, which is being held this year on June 5th and 6th at A-Space on Baltimore Avenue. Two of these dates overlap with the Mazzoni Center‘s three-day PTHC. Of course, this has caused some intrigue and serious questions—particularly, why the need for the divide? Read more »

Man Arrested in Stabbing Death of Transgender Woman London Chanel [UPDATED]

Photo via London Chanel's Facebook page.

Photo via London Chanel’s Facebook page.

UPDATE [5/20/2015, 4:12 am]: New York Daily News has an update in the murder of transgender woman London Chanel, who was stabbed to death early Monday morning in an abandoned rowhome in North Philadelphia:

Raheam Felton, 31 | Philadelphia Police Department.

Raheam Felton, 31 | Philadelphia Police Department.

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in the fatal stabbing of his roommate, a transgender woman who police found bleeding on a sidewalk outside the abandoned Philadelphia building they shared …

It’s believed Raheam Felton repeatedly stabbed Londyn Kiki Chanel, 21, in the neck and back during a fight over what authorities described as domestic matters – not because she was a transgender woman. …

Felton, who has prior felony convictions of aggravated assault, prostitution and burglary, shared the apartment in the 2200 block of Ingersoll Street with Chanel and another transgender woman.

ORIGINAL: A 21-year-old transgender woman was stabbed to death in a fight early Monday in North Philadelphia.

NBC10 reports that a man stabbed London Chanel in the back and neck inside an abandoned rowhome along the 2200 block of Ingersoll Street in North Philadelphia. More:

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Youth Voices: “Stop Killing My Sisters”

G Philly presents a new collaboration with youth from The Attic Youth Center to spotlight the creative magic and cultural contributions of Philly’s LGBTQ youth of color. Today, Dalyla gets deep in a discussion about misconceptions within our community, and sounds off about the lack of media coverage of trans* women of color. 

Photo courtesy of Lou Rok Photography.

Photo courtesy of Lou Rok Photography.

What do you imagine for the future of Philadelphia’s LGBT youth of color?
I imagine it getting better. Because, you know, gay isn’t as big as it used to be. In a way, it’s like racism. It’s all just swept under the rug and forgotten about. But it’s still a problem. I just hope that it progresses as time goes on.

How do you imagine that change for trans* women of color and trans* youth of color?
Oh, God. See, that is one of our biggest problems right now. And I’m so brokenhearted by it that I honestly don’t know what to say. All I can do about it is pray that the violence stops—for trans* women of color, for people of color, and for children. I just want it to stop. That’s what I want for the future.

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Men’s Health May Soon Have Its First Transgender Cover Model

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Photo via Facebook

Transgender bodybuilder Aydian Dowling is blowing away the competition in an online model search conducted by Men’s Health looking for a man to grace the cover of an upcoming issue. If he wins, Dowling will be the first transgender man to appear on the cover of the popular men’s fitness magazine.

You may remember Dowling, 27, as the buff chap who recreated Adam Levine’s iconic nude photo that appeared in Cosmo UK. That image spread like crazy across the Internet—which could explain his more than 15,000-point lead in the Men’s Health cover competition. (Tally taken at publish time.)

The contest is seeking “the guy who possesses all of the qualities that make up today’s well-rounded, active, health-conscious and thoughtful guy. … a guy who is fit and fearless; a doer who gives back and leads by example.”

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Top Resources for Transgender People in Philadelphia

Attic Youth Center

255 South 16th Street
215-545-4331, atticyouthcenter.org
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. It provides myriad creative outlets for local youth, such as poetry, print screening, drag, art and more.

GALAEI

1207 Chestnut Street
215-851-1822, galaei.org
GALAEI (Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative) is unwavering in its commitment to promote queer Latin@ social justice in the Philadelphia area. It’s outreach projects include everything from promoting sexual health in the Philadelphia Latin@ community to stumping for equal rights. It also fosters a program for trans folks in Philadelphia called the Trans-Health Information Project (TIP).

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