Open Letter to the Minnesota State High School League

Here is an email I just sent. If you are a local who supports trans* kids in our schools, please know a concerted effort to deny these kids participation in school sports as the gender they identify is underway by the right-wing Child Protection League.

If you’d like to write them but are at a loss for words, please feel free to use any of the below language yourself. You can find the addresses of the board here: http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/aboutMSHSL.asp?page=5

SUBJECT LINE: Please support trans kids in Minnesota’s school athletics

Dear MSHL Board,

I am writing to you out of concern for our state’s most vulnerable students: transsexual kids. Transsexuals have the highest rates of suicide, the worst health outcomes, and the highest rates of murder and abuse of any other subsection of our society.

As a mom with two children in Minneapolis public schools, I feel passionately that we need to keep these most vulnerable of children safe. Accepting them — as they are — and integrating them into our community is the best way for us to ensure their safety. We also need to model for our children that we care for ALL students in our schools, and that all are welcome.

Minnesotans have always placed strong importance on acceptance and tolerance, on community, and on a live-and-let-live philosophy.

A vote this Thursday to allow students to compete in sports based on their identified gender rather than the gender we assigned them at birth is a vote supporting those traditional Minnesota values, and a vote to keep more kids happy, healthy, and alive.

Most sincerely,

Haddayr Copley-Woods
[identifying information about my kids and their schools removed]

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Locals: We Can Do Better. Please send some emails to support trans* students athletes!

On Wednesday, the Minnesota State High School League’s board of directors will study a proposed policy that would allow transgender student-athletes the ability to participate in league-sponsored activities.

This would allow a transgender athlete to participate according to gender choice, rather than the one listed on a birth certificate.

A vote on whether to adopt the policy is scheduled for Thursday’s board of directors meeting. If passed, it would apply to all MSHSL member schools, public and private.

The Child Protection League, the group that fought anti-bullying measures and GLBT protections in schools, has taken out a full-page ad below in the Star Tribune. The MSHSL needs to hear from those of us who support this measure. If you are local, would you email the board to voice your support?

http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/aboutMSHSL.asp?page=5

This is the ad, which infuriates me beyond measure:

showers

On My Butchness: from The Toast

I found this deeply moving, and related to it so entirely, that I want to write reams and reams and reams about it. Instead, I am beyond words:

The fact is that all women are targets of gender policing. We’re punished when we don’t conform to femininity, because we’ve stepped outside of our “place.” We’re punished when we are feminine, because femininity is understood as inferiority. When I get uneasy about being butch, it’s because I’m anxious about whether I’m performing gender in a way that hurts other women. How do I avoid that if I’m “masculine,” being that masculinity is defined by its diametric opposition to femininity?

After agonizing over the matter and consulting and commiserating with other butch women, I’ve come to realize that butchness doesn’t need to be understood as “masculinity” at all. Its form and substance don’t have to be defined by its opposition to femininity. Read the story.

 

 

This is what a bisexual looks like

bisexualIt’s Bisexual Visibility Day! I was going to make a joke about this, like: “for the zero point one of you who doesn’t know I’m a queer,” but this is rather serious, actually.

Because our culture generally assumes monogamy (and is generally correct), when we settle down with long-term partners people then assume we are straight or gay.

Even Robyn Ochs, national bisexual activist and advocate, was labeled a ‘lesbian’ by media outlets on her wedding day. The reason it matters is that we have terrible health outcomes compared to the straight and gay community and we feel lonely, isolated, and invisible. Seeing us and honoring us for how we identify is one way you can help us to stay happy and healthy.

Thanks!

*a word on the binary: many queer folks of my stripe don’t like the word ‘bisexual’ as it seems to support the idea of the binary. I respect and honor them, and generally use the word ‘queer’ myself as a result. That said, the original reason many bisexuals took on that word was as a way of claiming the psychological description of queers as ‘bisexual,’ as in: having neither or both male and female characteristics, which I see as being trans* from the start, or genderqueer, or at least subverting the binary. This is an issue up for vigorous debate, of course.

My parenting this morning:

arghhh-53210171572Put on your gi
Put on your gi
Put on your gi
Put on your gi
Put on your gi
Put on your gi
Put on your gi
Put on your gi
Get in the car
close the door
put on your seatbelt
put on your seatbelt
put on your seatbelt
please exit the vehicle
please exit the vehicle
goddamnit get out of the car
. . .
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi
Take off your gi

I AM GOING TO MURDER YOU TAKE OFF YOUR GI I AM NOT KIDDING I WILL BE IN THE PAPER I WILL GO TO JAIL

TAKE. OFF. YOUR. GI.

Aspiring writer looking for mentoring/feedback?

m-rickert-photoOH MY GOD you guys Mary Rickert, World Fantasy Award winner, brilliant short-story writer and novelist, and deeply kind and helpful soul is offering help with people’s manuscripts for a ridiculously low fee!!! If you’ve ever wanted a pro to look over your work and give you pointers, she is the REAL DEAL. What an amazing opportunity!

Mentoring Services with Mary Rickert.