Tag Archives: transphobia

Stanford Solidarity With Real Talk Dartmouth

As students committed to resisting sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, and other systems of oppression at Stanford University, we are in solidarity with our peers who carried out a protest at Dartmouth College’s admit weekend.  We are outraged at the violent harassment they have been met with, including threats to their personal safety, as well as other aggressive and oppressive remarks.  They have brought important conversations to the Dartmouth student body regarding sexual violence, harassment, and racism.  The reactions the protestors are receiving demonstrate the need for their action and continued resistance. Continue reading

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Sex and Cis-tems of Oppression

by Joanna Poppyfield, student

Note: This post contains images that are NSFW.

bodySince I began my transition from living as a male to living as a female between my sophomore and junior year of college, my mother often expresses her pity for me at my “disability,” as she calls it. She refers to my penis.

When I began my medical transition — that is to say I started taking hormones — it was assumed that I would have surgery to “fix my problem.” Sure, there was always the option to not have the surgery, but it was often presented as less valid. I felt like there was no other option but to have surgery, or else I’d never be a “true girl.”

I’ve been living the past four years as a trans*woman — someone who is assigned a male sex and gender at birth, but instead identifies as a female — but I’ve felt feminine ever since I comprehended what feminine meant. I attached the words feminine and girl later on in my life. Continue reading

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Microaggressions at Stanford

by Holly Fetter, ’13

Stanford is a pretty liberal place. It’s a sunny university near San Francisco, so everyone assumes it’s a happy place to be different. And it is! There are incredible resources for students of every background, and diversity isn’t just another buzzword on campus – it’s an integral part of the school’s identity. Stanford (unlike some of its peer institutions) has always been co-ed, racially integrated, and was even tuition-free for the first 30 years of its existence. It is, and always has been, an inclusive place.

But such a comfortable environment can make instances of prejudice even more pernicious. They’re much harder to identify, and if they are identified, the victim is often met with raised eyebrows or counterarguments. Many of us with privilege only see the dangerous “-isms “ (racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, etc.) manifested in blatant, infrequent, dramatic events, without noticing the subtle ways in which we all accidentally communicate prejudice, even if our intentions are good.

These less obvious occurrences are called “microaggressions.” All those syllables refer to “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward a particular identity group.” Continue reading

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Why Should I Care About Trans* Awareness Week?

by Alok Vaid-Menon, ’13

As a member of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation, a queer activist group on campus, I’ve been organizing Beyond the Binaries: Transgender Awareness Week 2012 for the past few weeks and I want to contribute my thoughts on why you should care that Stanford is hosting Beyond the Binaries.

1. Chances are you know very little about transgender experience

You may  have several gay friends and resonate deeply with their struggles. You may identify as an ‘ally,’ and believe that all gay people should have the right to marry and serve in the military. Yet, I doubt that you know much about transgender identity, politics, and the experience of transgender people in our country It’s not your fault. Openly trans* people make up a very small percentage of our population. You don’t learn about trans* people in class. There are only a few out trans* students at our school.  This is why it’s important to have a Transgender Awareness Week. Most people (even in the ‘LGBT’ community) are blithely ignorant about transgender issues. In coordinating a week dedicated to trans* experiences we highlight narratives, issues, and perspectives that are often lost or neglected in our dominant culture. Continue reading

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Why Transgender Awareness Week Matters

by Leanna Keyes, ’14

In the parody video “Sh*t Sorority Girls Say,” one (drag-costumed) man bubbily suggests, “Let’s raise awareness!” as if such a goal is silly or ineffective. And yet, in the face of the catastrophically cissexist* interview Barbara Walters conducted for trans* Miss Universe contestant Jenna Talackova, I’m reminded of just how far we’ve come and how very very far we still have to go.

Riese of Autostraddle already did a great breakdown of many of the reasons this interview was a disaster, so I won’t repeat her words–go read them if you have the time, they’re worth it. The gist is that Walters asked Talackova a string of questions that were extremely invasive without even realizing that she was being wildly inappropriate. It was the standard slew of clueless-interviewer questions asked to trans* people: “Which bathroom did you use?” “Have you had the surgery?” “Did your boyfriend know?” and the like, all framed such that Talackova’s gender is based purely on her surgical status and ability to be read the way Walters likes–i.e., read as cis, female, conventionally attractive–rather than being something that Talackova herself is allowed to determine. My absolute favorite quote from this interview:

“So if I saw you undressed you would look like a woman to me, totally? Yes?” – Barbara Walters

This is why we need Transgender Awareness Week. Continue reading

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Let’s talk about Trans Rights, And That Means You

by Elizabeth S. Q. Goodman, third-year graduate student in Mathematics 

I use some terms in this article which may be unfamiliar to many readers. Here is a useful glossary that gives definitions I believe to be current. Also, trigger warnings for several brief discussions of violence.

A full-time blogger named Natalie Reed recently wrote about an upcoming bill, C-279, which aims to make gender identity protections in Canada. Many Canadians, she says, assumes that transgender people already have protections against discrimination; but these laws are not sufficiently explicit, have been subject to interpretation, and even a court case about discrimination against a trans woman ultimately ruled that such discrimination was legal. Please read her article, skip my piece if you already care about trans rights, and if you’re Canadian, I hope you’ll write to your MP. Even if you’re not, you can sign this petition which is gaining momentum, and you can spread the word.

So, why should cis Canadians worry about trans rights? Why should cis Stanford students or Americans care? Even if we do care, what good will it do to talk about rights for transgender people, particularly transsexual people? Continue reading

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