Learning Through Listening

In the work of becoming an informed, affirming and effective ally, one of the best things we can offer is our attention to other people’s stories. For many straight folks, it was through hearing the stories of gays and lesbians that they grew to better understand the struggles and accomplishments of gay and lesbian people. Similarly when gays and lesbians listen to bisexuals, we can begin to reverse the prejudice and misinformation that too often has been the norm within our LGBT communities and organizations.

The past few years I have been able to hear directly from many transgender people about their lives, their coming out processes, their identities, struggles, triumphs, concerns, needs, desires and dreams. Through the Internet today like never before we have the opportunity to hear first-person accounts about transgender lives and in so doing can counter assumptions, myths and fallacies that have flourished for far too long.

Back in October 2006 after I met him for the first time in Sweden, Alex Resare shared some of his story on this blog. Check out Meet Alex Part One and Part Two. In addition to Alex, I have posted parts of Yuki Vivienne Choe’s story. You can read your blog for yourself here. Diana in her little corner of the Nutmeg State has been blogging for years, and she shared some of her poetry on this blog here.

with Mila & Jayna!

with Mila & Jayna!

One amazing source for learning about transitioning and so much more is the always entertaining and incredibly informative Trans-Ponder Podcast. Mila and Jayna are so much fun and so smart. As of today they have 115 episodes up (including two episodes in which I speak about my Transfigurations play. See episodes 19 and 102)

Where to begin with Trans-Ponder Podcast? I suggest an early episode like Episode Five.

This episode focuses on the concepts of transphobia/transprejudice and we answer questions on Jayna’s relationship with her children and how we chose our names.

Notes: The studies we referenced in the podcast can be found here: Workplace bias study and… Guardian Covers transgender employment and incarceration

Also check out the riveting interview with trans historian Dr. Susan Stryker–Episode 106.

Being a historian, educator, activist, feminist, author, and film maker it seems like there is not much that Susan Stryker has not done. We talk about the place of transgender people and transsexuals in particular in queer culture, in feminism, and our role in history. We also discuss the Bindel debate and the decline of separitist ideology, the documentary film Screaming Queens and street history in the Tenderloin, the terms queen and tranny, usefulness of anger in activism and how to make use of it, marginalization, generational changes in trans people, and so much more.

I have also learned a great deal from various YouTube videos and channels. Jayna and Mila have their own video series which again is both entertaining and informative (and silly in a geeky sort of way).

Over at YouTube I also subscribe to Grisho’s Channel. Originally from Utah, Grisho has since moved to NYC where she has continued the transition process. Check out her introduction video, My Transgender Life (Part One) which is part of a five part series. In it she looks at her own journey and the role that YouTube and social networking has been for her.

In looking at the FTM (female to male) experience, I have spent a great deal of time looking at a series of videos produced by a group of trans men. MighTMenFTM covers a wide range of topics by a range of trans men.

Check out Jacob’s MTM4 Taking T or Not, a discussion about transition and testosterone.

A new resource I have found is TransMentors International. Check out their website and consider joining the Facebook Cause.

If you want to dabble more into the podcasting world, check out Rebecca Nay’s Tranny Wreck Radio.

Tranny Wreck is a warped audio blog of a liberal, agnostic (ex-Mormon), transexual woman. No topic is off limit on this show. I am often vulgar and opinionated

You may also enjoy Ethan St. Pierre’s The Radicalguy Podcast.

A fun loving FtM transsexual with a good sense of humor and a HOT temper. There are three things that I will NOT tolerate:

1) Right wing Nut-Jobs
2) Proud Supporters of the Human Rights Campaign.
3) ANY Transgender organization who is a Proud. supporter of the Human Rights Campaign..
The rest of you are A-Okay.

You can find more great podcast and radio shows at TransFM.

I will live you with the music of Coyote Grace, an amazing musical group with Joseph Stevens, a trans man, with the lead vocals.


This post has 5 Comments

  1. Oliver Danni on April 15, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Man, I wish someone would transcribe the Trans-Ponder broadcasts. I really prefer to read information than to listen to it, and my deaf friends NEED to read rather than listen.

  2. p2son on April 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Good point Oliver Danni. Mila? Jayna?

  3. transmanaz on April 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Awesome links here, Peterson. Thanks – I’ll be pointing several people this direction.

    THANK YOU for listening to us (the trans community)

    Michael Brown
    Executive Director
    TransMentors International

  4. p2son on April 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    ur welcome Michael, so glad you no longer go to spam when you post :-p

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