Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Campari, "The Secret"


Thanks to Toby for the link to this *facinating* commercial.

Campari group, beverage company that is responsible for dozens of brands, including Skyy Vodka, hired "Radical Media" and the result was an awards winning advertizement that capitalizes on the excitement and titilation of "gender bending". Oh, if only all the coming out moments were like this.

Oh, and if you recognize the music, yep, it's from the orgy scenes in Eyes Wide Shut.

See the video

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Alternatives to the stereotypes

Today on pg. 19, Daily News, "Transsexual flipped over will sez mom" (sic) is another stupid article that portrays trans people as criminal derelicts.

However there are alternatives, and people working to change that sterotype with the mainstream. Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Sofia Quintero (who also goes as pen name Black Artemis), author of the currently released chica novel, Divas Don't Yield. Quintero was is the subject of the current Gothamist interview, where she mentioned having a trans character in her next book.

When I asked her about the portrayal of her trans character, she said the most risky for her audience is that, "she is the most healthy, happy, normal character in the book." Quintero is an artist and activist who reaches a large audience, and someone to put on your map of allies.








Friday, March 31, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

Crossdressing is Funnier When it Involves Child Abduction!



From my homestate, where else? I love that the headline accuses her of crossdressing and not kidnapping...

Mother accused of impersonating kids' father
Mar. 27, 2006. 12:32 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A woman accused of abducting her two young children from their father, then dressing like a man so she could assume his identity, agreed Monday to return to Arizona where she faces kidnapping charges, authorities said.
Shellie White, 30, was taken into custody Friday in Roanoke Rapids, where police said she and a woman lived together as the children’s father and mother.

The arrest came more than two years after White was charged with custodial interference in the children’s disappearance, the U.S. Marshals Service said. Her ex-husband, Ernest Karnes, had custody of the children at the time and learned Friday that they had been found.

“The first thing that came out of his mouth was, ‘Did they get my kids, too? Are my kids OK?’” Gila County, Ariz., Sheriff’s Det. Johnny Holmes said Monday.

The U.S. Marshals Service, in a news release, said White “radically changed her appearance to that of a man and assumed many aliases,” including her ex-husband’s.

“She even went so far as to tell her children, aged three and five at the time, that she was their father,” the marshals service said. “When she was arrested, the children, now aged six and eight, asked why they were arresting their daddy.”

White, in a telephone interview from Halifax County jail with the Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, denied any wrongdoing.

“I did not steal my children,” she said. “I have court papers saying I have custody.

“When I left Arizona in 2003, I told Ernie. He told me ‘No problem.’”

Under the terms of the divorce, Ernest Karnes had custody of the children, a boy and a girl, but his wife had visitation rights, Holmes said. He said Karnes’ wife could take the children to Tucson when she lived there, but neither parent could leave the state with them without the other’s permission.
certified translation
White signed a waiver of extradition on the fugitive warrant Monday, said Leslie Faithful, the assistant clerk of courts in Halifax County.

Holmes said that after charging White with custodial interference in January 2004, authorities were able to trace the children to various schools, but always came up empty.

Holmes said he was contacted about a month or two ago by a police officer in North Carolina who had received a letter from Ernest Karnes, who said he believed his ex-wife was in the area. Karnes contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children earlier this month.

Karnes told WRAL-TV the break came when a bill collector led detectives to the home in Roanoke Rapids, about 135 kilometres northeast of Raleigh.

He and his current wife flew to North Carolina on Sunday to seek custody of the children from Halifax County authorities. They hoped to see the children Monday and take them back to Arizona, WRAL reported.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Scent of a Person

Gender-free fragrances allow the nose free rein.
By RUTH LA FERLA
Published: March 23, 2006
WHEN it comes to fragrance, Trevor Mitchell is an equal opportunity sampler. Mr. Mitchell, a professional tenor, is not averse to a spritz of citrus or musk now and then. But neither is he shy or furtive about misting himself with essence of jasmine or tuberose.
Gender-free fragrances allow the nose free rein.
Not everyone shares his evenhanded approach. Mr. Mitchell is an ardent fan of an effusive rose scent by Creed called Fleurs de Bulgarie. The first time he bought it, he recalled, "the people at the fragrance counter just assumed I was buying it for someone else."
He chafes at such typecasting. "I decided a long time ago I would buy and wear what I like to smell," he said. "It has nothing to do with gender, sexuality or any of that."
Mr. Mitchell is a member of a small but influential (and sometimes persnickety) clan, fragrance lovers — youthful, sophisticated, affluent and, increasingly, male — who thumb a nose at artificial gender distinctions. They are men bored by the industry's conventional interpretation of manhood as a blast of lime, leather or musk. They are women who prowl men's fragrance counters when shopping for a scent, heading without bias where their noses lead them. Increasingly they gravitate to scents and brands that are blended, positioned and marketed without regard to sex.
"We're finding that when it comes to fragrance, old sensibilities and tastes are breaking down," said Lucy Perdomo-Ruehlemann, the vice president for global marketing for Jo Malone, the British fragrance house. Today industry insiders recognize that to more and more customers, buying fragrance by gender is a notion as quaint as gaiters.
To embrace those consumers, Jo Malone, and houses like Fresh, Creed and Bond No. 9, are simply sidestepping the issue of sex altogether, letting the customer decide what is appropriate. A few of these brands are claiming their own store real estate, a neutral environment set apart from the men's or women's fragrance counters.
They also avoid being typecast by offering neutral packaging: bottles and labels that look as though they might contain premium vodkas. Neither stereotypically masculine nor feminine, their notes are unexpected, often sharp or crisp and darkly sensuous at the same time, as in a blend of mandarin spiked with nutmeg and softened with vanilla or musk.
Gender-neutral fragrances appeal to Austin Cohen, a real estate investor in his 20's who likes to douse himself with Bleecker Street from Bond No. 9. "Basically my rule is don't wear something you'll smell on a lot of people," Mr. Cohen said.
Bleecker Street may have a conventionally feminine aura, redolent of violet leaf, jasmine and vanilla, but it passes his sniff test as a preferable alternative to sprays mass-marketed to young men. "I don't want to show up at the party in Drakkar or Obsession, something that I wore in puberty," he said.
For similar reasons Elizabeth Lawton has backed away from pronouncedly feminine scents, heady floral or powdery notes, which she regards as dated.
"I love to wear something quite natural with a citrus base," said Ms. Lawton, 27, a writer. "Men love it. It's not cloying, and it doesn't remind them of their Great Aunt Lily or marzipan."
Perfumers are betting that even the most tradition minded shoppers will not be put off by scents with neutral-sounding names like Jo Malone Lime Basil Mandarin or Pomegranate Noir, the fragrance world equivalent of Chris or Leslie. They appeal pretty much to both sexes, Ms. Perdomo-Ruehlemann said. So do L'Eau d'Hiver, Musc Ravageur and Bigarade (made by Éditions Frédéric Malle); Silver Mountain Water and Impériale Millésime (Creed); Premier Figuier and Thé Pour un Été (L'Artisan Parfumeur); and L'Eau d'Orange Verte (Hermès).
Bleecker Street, Wall Street and Little Italy, gender-free offerings from Bond No. 9, also appeal to all, said Laurice Rahmé, the impresario behind them, and account for about 50 percent of its sales. Ms. Rahmé argues that to her customers, separating perfumes by sex makes no more sense than doing so with food or wine. "Those pleasures, too, are genderless," she said.

Monday, March 20, 2006

TSG highlights cross-dresser


It's hard to say much about this report. The Smoking Gun has posted a mug shot and police report for a person charged with public indecency for pleasuring himself at the local library. The reason that TSG finds the case notable is that this man was wearing a dress, heels, make-up and a wig.

It is the main story on the site today.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0320061lady1.html

Friday, March 17, 2006

AXE -order of the snakey add campaign


Dear AXE,

You promise to, "Scrub away the shame from a questionable hookup." But can you wash away the flaky damage caused by a fucked up add campaign? Your motto: "clean body clean conscious," doesn't match your questionable website ( http://orderoftheserpentine.com/)
AXE promises customers: "No more embarrassment because you woke up next to the bearded lady"
AXE thinks that there is shame in hooking up with female body builders.
AXE FAQ
If my girl wears axe, will ladies be attracted to her too?

I know where you are going with this, threesome, unfortunately Axe only works for males. But don't get too down, put a little Axe on the next time you go out and women will be competing to please you.

AXE posters poke fun at strong women and your site cracks jokes at the expense of people who don't meet your standards of manliness. Convincing dudes that it is awesome to use shower gel made from an exfoliated blend of cactus oils and desert minerals is a tough job. Why would you promote irresponsible notions about gender and sexuality, likely to offend your key audience-dudes open to using beauty products?

AXE, I have enjoyed your smell on many occasions, so please clean up your act.

xoxo

Miss. Spees

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Conviction" ironically lacking in itself...

I think there are only three or four people actually watching the latest Law & Order spin off, Conviction, so this may not really be relevant. However, in the second episode, this week's that aired Friday night 3/10/06, had a classic transphobic joke in the first five minutes.

Jordan Bridges (pictured) plays a new ADA, Nick Potter, in New York City and this episode he got hazed by his fellow ADAs. The joksters' first prank involved convincing Nick that a line up was to take place that had to consist entirely of "trannies"--i.e. that one of these trannies was the perpetrator of some crime. Unfortunately, they were short one trannie, so the new guy is asked to "dress up" and put a wig on. As Nick emerges with a black dress on, of course, the entire office is there to greet him, laughing. Nick blushes, we cut to a commercial break, and all mention of trannies ends.

A major part of the episode involves a hate crime fag-bashing which is justified when we find out the gay dude was beaten for blackmailing a closeted athlete during their relationship, but I'll let GLAAD handle that shit.

Upon finally seeing RENT again, on video, ten years later

The reason child molesters are so successful in their perpetration is that they are, in addition to being sexually deviant, incredibly charming to a child. They’re nice and friendly and give you attention when maybe not too many people are. Growing up in insular, rural Midwest, RENT did just that for us in 1997. Years before it was even possible to see either the Angel or Benny touring company in Chicago, the original cast recording was making the rounds around the queer/outcast circles my sophomore year in high school. The popularity of the show exploded overnight—the show choir performed Seasons of Love, one of the lesbian couples on campus performed “Light My Candle” for one of the hall talent shows, the theater groups did improve games with some other shitty song. RENT touched us in bad places but no one else touched us at all.

I suppose I should explain that I went to kind of a different high school. IMSA was chock full of progressive-enough liberals, the overflow of cornfed academics trying to make a living in the tundra of Northern Illinois. Our entire sophomore class read “And The Band Played On” and Spectrum was founded years before other high schools even dreamed of GSAs. RENT was exactly the kind of romantic notion of queers, PWAs and Greenwich Village artists that the instructors found palatable, and Larson’s rock songs appealed to musical theater geeks AND their friends.

I was 15, and other than RENT, we had Go Fish, arguably less polished and accessible, Bar Girls (ick), My Own Private Idaho (don’t get me started), and a few other texts to keep us satiated. But basically, the soundtrack of my mid-high school experience was you-know-what. I only ever saw the show once—in Chicago. I don’t remember much of it, other than I was surprised there was a cohesive story line—I never knew anything that wasn’t on the recording, and even now, I have a hard time keeping the characters and plot lines straight. I was floored when I found out that Mr. Rapp played the one with the movie camera and not the guitar player. Ten years, folks.

Watching RENT, the movie, watching those morons dump flaming trash onto the street and show up to PWA meetings with a motion picture camera, I feel ashamed I ever fell for this stuff in the first place. I feel used, but I also am lucky for having figured it out in the end at all. Jonathan Larson, you can never make it up to me, what you have perpetrated on my body. I’d kill you a thousand times and wake you the fuck up and kill you again if I could. You make me feel dirty. “One Song Glory” still breaks my heart.

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Synopsis of Transamerica

There hasn't been a unified community response to Transamerica. I would guess that the reason is that transpeople don't bother to see movies about transpeople that are produced by people outside the community.

Here's a great summary of the film, whether you've seen the flik or not. Enjoy. http://charliegrrrl.livejournal.com/111707.html?view=694107

"Crash" wins for lack of transsexual jokes


Is it me or is it rare to see a film that doesn't dane to make one solitary transsexual joke? "Crash," this year's best picture, didn't bother to crack even one jibe at the transfolk. It did, however, remind us that black women are victims, white men are good (or not that bad) and the rest of us...well, just screw the rest of us.

For those of you interested in the film, I can't recommend highly enough the review posted on the blog blackademic.com which also links to some other good ones.

But really, good work, Crash producers, and thanks for leaving us the heck alone.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Gender policing on college campuses


"Hood College is reviewing its homecoming rules after a lesbian was crowned king, a college official says." If this isn't a fabulous opening sentence, I don't know what is.

I want to be careful not to conflate the very complex gender and sexuality identities being misunderstood and/or sensationalized by mainstream media, but I feel the need to post a link to this article, about a woman who was just voted homecoming king by her college.

This event is gender-threatening and rather than the fact that she is a lesbian (she wasn't voted in with a partner, for instance) this is an issue of a woman-in-a-man's-place at Hood College. I especially like the comment by one of the losers that a woman winning this competition "made it seem like a joke."

The full article

"She is not a man," said Singleton Newman, a 22-year-old senior who was among the queen candidates. "It is a gender issue, and she is a woman."

Santo Provenzano, 21, who competed for king, said Jones' selection made the event seem like a joke. "It discourages guys from wanting to take part in the future," he said.

Larry King Interviews



Larry King Transcript

When I can get a copy of that SNL skit about the transpeople that aired March 4, 2006 I'll put it up, but until then, take a gander at this--Larry's interview with T.J. (Jourian) and some other folks.

Larry King is obviously an idiot. Here's an exerpt, one of my favorite moments.

KING: T.J. Jourian, when did you start to have different feelings?

T.J. JOURIAN, TRANSMALE: Well that was pretty much early on. I knew I was a boy as young as three-years-old. But I didn't really start questioning my gender until I was in college and around the age of 20. So it's only been about four years now that I've really started identifying as a transmale.

KING: Transmale meaning you want to be a woman?

JOURIAN: No, transmale is another term for female to male, so transmale would be wanting to transition into a male identity. KING: Wait a minute. Are you a girl?

JOURIAN: I was born in a female body. I wish to transition to a male one.

KING: But you look like a male.

JOURIAN: Yes, because I guess I am one.

KING: But you look like a male and you sound like a male.

JOURIAN: Well, that term is actually called passing. I pass pretty well for someone who hasn't gone through the transition yet.

BOYLAN: The hard thing is keeping track of all the stuff. It's no wonder that people get confused. We don't have a good vocabulary for talking about this stuff. If you've never thought about this, it just seems like it comes from Mars.

KING: Should there be a different word for male-to-female than female-to-male.

BOYLAN: Well we say transwomen for people like me and transmen for people like our guest. But I think that it's very hard for people to understand.

KING: Isn't your surgery going to be a lot more difficult, T.J.?

JOURIAN: Well there is no point of reference because most people have not gone through both. But from what I understand, from the research that I've done, transmale surgery is a lot more complicated, but at the same token I don't speak of it as an expert because I've not gone through it.

KING: Do you feel totally like a man?

JOURIAN: Yes, completely, 100 percent.

We made it to the oscars!




Here's the clip of Jon Stewart making that transphobic joke, the first one of the 78th Academy Awards.

"Ladies, Gentlemen...Felicity"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-A986cc1Ps&search=jon%20stewart