Signal Boost – United Latino Pride: Tools for the Causal Activist

By , May 18, 2015 11:24 am

Tools for the Casual Activist, a bilingual evening of workshops co-hosted by the Trans Oral History Project that is part of this year’s United Latino Pride. Below are details in Spanish and English.

Herramientas Para Los Activistas Casuales

Todo los días la gente crea el mundo y nosotros también podemos cambiarlo.

Miercoles, Junio 9th 6-9pm
Youth Services Project (3942 West North Ave)

Embajadores de Arco Iris 101

Un conversación de como enfrentar la ignorancia de colegas de trabajo, extraños, y/o familia con herramientas básicas de educación y practicando con situaciones reales.

Creando Aceptacion Hacia las Personas Trans

Aprenda más sobre los temas que enfrenta la comunidad trans a través del arte de contar historias y aprenda estrategias para ser un(a) mejor aliado(a) con el proyecto de Historias Orales Trans.

Continue reading 'Signal Boost – United Latino Pride: Tools for the Causal Activist'»

Fox Chicago interview

By , April 27, 2015 12:09 pm


FOX 32 News Chicago

Link to the Fox Chicago page.

I’m mostly happy with how it went. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to express why “born a boy” is problematic language, and to (before the interview) explain I’d rather not share my birth name. Also, I would have liked to explicitly mention my race and class privilege. But, on the whole, I’m proud of it.

(Other than the freeze frame they chose makes me look either exhausted, stones, or both…)

Fox Chicago appearance

By , April 25, 2015 8:19 pm

Hey all! I’m scheduled to be on Fox Chicago’s Good Day Chicago on Monday, 4/27 to discuss transgender identity. Hope you can tune in!

Writing Trans Experiences

By , February 16, 2015 2:18 pm

These notes came from a workshop on Writing Trans Experiences, hosted by the Trans Bodies, Trans Selves crew, that I helped facilitate at Creating Change 2015 in Denver, CO. I’d love more suggestions and opinions, if people have them!

General Writing Tips

  • The way to get better at writing is is to Do It. You won’t become better by not doing something.
  • Think about Showing versus Telling
    • How can you allow an audience to come to their own conclusions, rather than hitting them over the head with what’s going on?
    • Makes your work a collaborative experience with the reader.
  • Give yourself time to walk away before looking at your work. You don’t need to finish a piece and immediately reread it or critique it.
  • Find collaborators. You have permission to get help, whether it’s someone to provide feedback, a writing partner, or simply someone to keep you company while you work.
  • How do you sit down and start writing? Thoughts from workshop participants
    • The physical act of writing has value and can be cathartic
    • Journaling in long-hand, ‘working’ on a keyboard?
    • Google Docs, WordPress, apps and software on computers and tablets
    • Turn off spellcheck and grammar check and just write! Editing is for later!
    • Study playlists, cinema scores (great for focusing on a specific tone while writing)
    • No distractions
    • Long-handing versus typing?
    • There are tools to help writing
    • Music in the background?
    • You’re allowed to make notes and come back to a certain section later
    • Find a specific clothing or location or food/drink to help get your juices flowing

Continue reading 'Writing Trans Experiences'»

Resisting being ‘done’ transitioning

By , February 9, 2015 2:06 pm

I legally changed my name in July, 2009. I still haven’t updated my birth certificate to Rebecca Rodin Kling. I had gender reassignment surgery in December, 2013. In Illinois, this gave me the ability to change the gender marker on my birth certificate. I haven’t done that, either.

I’ve been teling myself that the delays were out of laziness or simply prioritizing more pressing matters. I’m not applying for jobs or undergoing background checks, so having a birth certificate with my old name isn’t – logistically speaking – a big deal. I’m not planning to get married anytime soon, so the gender marker on my birth certificate isn’t exactly standing in the way of any life goals.

Updating my birth certificate in on my ‘to-do,’ sitting below a reminder to water my plants every week and above a note about planning a trip to visit a friend this summer. And yet, for the past five and a half years, my birth certificate – the original, reading Jared Daniel Kling (M) – has sat in a filing cabinet in my mom’s basement in Skokie.

I was in Los Angeles for much of January, performing Something Something New Vagina at a small theater in North Hollywood. I ended each performane with a post-show Q&A, as I do with all my shows. Someone asked a question about how easy it was to change my birth certificate from M to F, and whether it shows the old gender marker or not. I was forced to admit that I haven’t actually updated my birth certificate and, for the first time, I realized I’ve been delaying doing so for deeper reasons than simple laziness. There’s an aspect of updating that document that feels very final, and like it somehow cuts me off from a past I’ve been working for almost a decade, the course of my transition, to move beyond. Continue reading 'Resisting being ‘done’ transitioning'»

Racism within the trans community

By , January 29, 2015 9:17 pm

I saw a trans person comment on this link, a new NBC segment featuring Janet Mock, and imply that Mock only cares about trans PoC. Specifically, that person said, “I wonder how many times she’ll reference Trans Men/Women of Color — as if that’s all there is in our community??”

Here’s my response:

I’m disappointed to see this comment. Undoubtedly, trans people of all gender expressions, ages, classes, sexualities, and every other possible category experience both explicit and implicit discrimination in our society. We face issues with employment, housing, sex and relationships, and simply walking down the street safely.

And yet, to overlook or deny the impact race has on that discrimination seems – at best – naive.

You make an implicit accusation against Janet, that she’s only speaking on behalf of trans PoC, or only using her position in the media spotlight to work for their success. Certainly, white trans people deserve attention and recognition. I say this as a white trans person; I don’t want my story to be overlooked or forgotten, or the hardships I’ve faced to be erased. But PoC – as a population – have it worse at every step of the way. Educationally, socially, when it comes to employment, when it comes to the criminal justice system; PoC have the deck stacked against them. In turn, white trans folks benefit from that stacked deck. No, this doesn’t mean white trans people have it easy. But we have it ever-so-slightly (and often very significantly) less hard. Continue reading 'Racism within the trans community'»

Signal Boost: Staged reading in Brooklyn

By , January 20, 2015 11:56 am

Hey all! Here’s a signal boost for a staged reading going on in Brooklyn. Disclaimer: I don’t have any connection with this project – or knowledge of its content – so hopefully it’s a good one.


Seeking one Transgendered Male (mid-late 20s) and one Transgendered Female (early-mid 30s) for a New York City reading of a play which premiered in Shanghai in June 2014 as part of the 6th Annual Pride Week in conjunction with Shanghai LGBT.

The staged reading will take place February 6th at the Brooklyn LGBT community enter. Payment will be donation-based and will be split between the creative team. Continue reading 'Signal Boost: Staged reading in Brooklyn'»

Signal Boost: Waterloo Arts calls for trans artist submissions

By , January 16, 2015 1:26 pm

The Waterloo Arts Center in Cleveland, OH is looking for trans artists to submit work for an upcoming show:

Waterloo Arts invites artists who identify as trans* individuals to submit artwork for inclusion in a group exhibition showcasing work which express compelling narratives regarding gender identity in contemporary society. Depictions of triumphs, struggles and hopes for the future are all welcomed perspectives. Artists will be selected based on the quality of their work and how well their work contributes to a cohesive group exhibition.  The purpose of the exhibition is to advance social equality through increased awareness and empathy for the trans* community.

More info is at or by emailing [email protected]

Review: Selma

By , January 4, 2015 5:28 pm

You should see Selma, the fictionalized telling of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s involvement in the march from Selma to Montgomery in March, 1965, to push for voting rights for black Americans. The movie is definitely entertainment and not an accurate representation of history, although it appears to do pretty well at getting the broad strokes – and many of the minor details – right. Even when it falls short in getting every detail correct, it does a masterful job of capturing the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of the civil rights movement. Simplicity, because the stated goals – full and complete legal and civil equality for black Americans – could be easily encapsulated and fit on a protest sign. Complexity, because the many organizations, leaders, politicians, and individuals involved in the movement had different – and often mutually exclusive – ideas on how to get there. Continue reading 'Review: Selma'»

One Year Post-Op

By , January 2, 2015 4:21 pm

I was back in Philadelphia for my one year followup appointment on Monday, December 15, 2014. I’ve been back to Philly, and to Dr McGinn’s office, a few times since my surgery, but this time felt different. The drive up was uneventful, the appointment was quick and easy (McGinn said everything is healing well), but everything seemed to catch up with me on the drive back. “It’s been one whole year,” I kept thinking.

I drove alone from New Hope to Philadelphia, passing through the town where I’d spent my initial recovery in late 2013. The Potomac River peeked in and out from between bare trees, and the landscape was gray and quiet. I started to cry shortly after getting on the highway, awkwardly trying to suppress  tears so I could focus on the road. I blasted Laura Jane Grace and tried to figure out what the emotions bubbling up through me meant. Continue reading 'One Year Post-Op'»

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