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…)
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!
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
- For example, [INSERT LONGER CHARACTER DESCRIPTION HERE] or [FIGURE OUT HOW THIS WILL WORK]
- Find a specific clothing or location or food/drink to help get your juices flowing
Continue reading 'Writing Trans Experiences'»
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'»
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 http://waterlooarts.org/transgender-art-exhibit/ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been a while since my last update on life as a touring artist, so I figured I’d take some time and share some thoughts. The 2014-15 school year has been going well! Since September I’ve been to Iowa, Boston, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Oregon for work. I’ve also been to Portland and Santa Fe for weddings and to Colorado to visit my brother, sister in law, and their new baby. After all this travel, I’ve updated my touring map:
Red are school gigs, yellow are festivals or conferences
Most of my work is still in the Midwest and Northeast, but I’m starting to see more in the South and a little bit on the West Coast. Still no Mountain States, but I have a few conversations going that will hopefully turn into gigs in the coming months or next school year.
Continue reading 'Updates on life on the road'»
Chelsea Manning is in the news again. She’s the US solider who was convicted of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, and later came out as trans. Manning is back in the news because the Pentagon is now considering moving her to a prison where she can receive transition-related care, including (potentially) access to hormones. To be clear, this has the potential to be a Good Thing, although prisons are certainly not known for being safe spaces for anyone, let alone a famous trans woman.
What strikes me, though, is the photographs that the media – even feminist, trans-positive sites – uses to accompany their stories about Manning. Continue reading 'Chelsea Manning and problems with trans representation in the media'»
Believe it or not, Chicago WILL get warmer soon!
As I sit at my desk, it’s 51 degrees and gray outside. It may not be raining at this very moment, but it looks like it’ll start soon. And yet, summer is approaching. Slowly, inconsistently, but at long last summer is approaching. And I have some shit I want to do this summer! I realized, though, if I don’t actually think things through, it’s incredibly easy for summer plans – summer “I want to”s – to slip away into summer “I wish I hads.” SO! Summer stuff I want to do!
Continue reading 'Summer Bucket List'»
I used the now-standard line on the TSA agent in Shreveport, LA, when they flagged the bag with my dilators: “I’m a sex educator. Those are dildos.” The agent visibly paused, zipped the bag back up, and said, “I’m not going to open it. I still have to wipe it down to check. He,” she gestured at the agent at the x-ray machine, “owes me.”
I was delayed getting into Dallas, so missed my connecting flight. I gave candy to the ticketing agents and – low and behold – I was the first person called from the standby list. Got a window seat, too, and saw lightening flashing in some clouds during the flight. Very pretty.
I gave more candy to the flight attendant on the plane from Dallas to Chicago (they’d been delayed and I figured they could use some love) and he gave me a bottle of wine saying he needed to “even out the karma.” That’s right, not a glass of wine during the flight; he handed me an entire bottle of red wine in an opaque plastic bag as I was getting off the plane.
Never a dull moment. But now I am so incredibly ready for bed.
Welcome to the Life of a Touring Artist
In late 2010, I quite my job and started working as a touring artist and educator full-time. Since then, I’ve gone on dozens of flights, a handful of road trips, stayed in hotels, university guest housing, and on people’s couches, spent way too much money on shitty airport food and side-of-the-road diners, and met tons of students and teachers and fellow artists and activists and educators. In the course of all that, I’ve learned a few lessons about making travel as easy and pleasant (or, at least, as un-un-pleasant) as possible. I’ve already written a bit about spending money to make money, and this post can kind of be thought of as an extension of that idea. Except here, I’m not necessarily talking about spending money to make money, but spending money (carefully and with consideration) to make travel as smooth as it can be. Continue reading 'Travel Tips from a Touring Artist'»