Striking Portraits Shed Light On Bangladesh’s Third Gender
I feel like a mermaid. My body tells me that I am a man but my soul tells me that I am a woman. I am like a flower, a flower that is made of paper. I shall always be loved from a distance, never to be touched and no smell to fall in love with.” -Heena
Bangladeshi Hijras (transgender women) are individuals who were designated male at birth but adopted feminine gender roles. Their physical appearance and behavior set them apart in this conservative country.
Photographer Shahria Sharmin grew up thinking Hijras were “less than human”. Then she met Heena, who opened her life to the photographer and made her understand her, and others who live in her community, as the mothers, daughters, friends and lovers that they actually are.
Brooke Guinan is the FDNY’s ONLY transgender firefighter. Not only does she save lives everyday as part of her job, she is an inspiration to us all standing up for embracing who you are without fear or shame, but with pride and strength. Brooke tirelessly fights to increase the percentage of women and people of color in the FDNY as well as fight for a continually equal work environment.
Brooke is role model in the So Trans So What campaign.
Read more at So Gay So What.
Two spirits in the Venezuelan jungle
These are photos of tida wena or “twisted women”, transgender women of the Warao, indigenous people in a remote part of Venezuela.
Like other women, the tida wena tended to the home, cooked and cared for children and elders. They also participated in the harvest of important crops, like the ocumo chino, a starchy tuber. Historically, tida wena were sometimes the second or third wives of polygamous men.
They also occasionally performed the role of shaman — the Warao are deeply rooted in the shamanist tradition — and tida wena in particular are thought to possess two spirits, bringing them closer to the ancestor spirits that roam the jungle.
This dual-spirit identity of transgender people is common in some indigenous communities
What It’s Like To Be Transsexual Without Transitioning
The actor Lauren Hennessy identifies as male, but chooses not to pass or transition.And his fiancé is just fine with that.
In Lauren’s interesting article “Yo: Pronouns and cons” he writes:
Recently, transgender people like me began popping up in the media and probably in your social circles. We are no longer trying to hide who we are and assimilate quietly. Just as the gay rights movement reared its head in the late ’60s, we’re now seeing a similar movement of transgender people, straight and gay alike. We are asking to be referred to using the pronouns that match our gender identities. For me, although I look like a “girl,” that would mean referring to me using the words “he,” “him” and “his.”
I suspect that a majority of transsexuals are not transitioning, and for a wide variety of reasons.
There is still a lack of positive transgender characters in comics. The wonderful sci fi series Trees has one, however: the Chinese woman Zhen. I love the following sequence, where her new friend Chenglei overcomes his own transphobia in six frames.
Trees is written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Jason Howard.
It’s On Us
It is on us stop sexual assault
to get in the way before it happens
to get a friend home safe
to not blame the victim
It is on us to look out for each other
to not look the other way
it’s on us to stand up
to step and to take responsibility
it’s on us
It’s On Us is the brand new White House campaign to stop sexual assault.