Community Response to events held on Trans Day of Remembrance

As community organisers and involved members of the Australian trans male and/or AFAB (assigned female at birth) trans/genderqueer communities we, the undersigned, feel that using Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) to promote projects which do not provide a platform or voice for the most vulnerable and only self- serve for individualistic gains to be disrespectful, unethical and immoral. We wish to make this statement because any critical feedback that is obstructed or erased is not only unconstructive to public discourse but is also deeply harmful to any marginalised community where voices are silenced on a daily basis.

We acknowledge that projects of a personal nature and benefit, that are promoted during TDoR can and do cause deep hurt for people. TDoR is about a global issue about the violence and murder that trans people experience as a result of transphobia and misogyny. This is affecting so many people and we believe that to turn a day of remembrance into an opportunity for self promotion and self gain and even as we have witnessed, in to a fundraising opportunity for ones own surgery is something we find to be in direct opposition to our politics, nor does it reflect the sentiments and the principles of TDoR.

We wish to acknowledge the lived realities, struggles, oppression and experiences of trans* people in a world where misogyny, discrimination and hate rule over the lives of marginalised and vulnerable groups of people. In particular, we are speaking about trans women, trans women of colour and trans women who are sex workers, who disproportionately experience greater levels of transphobic violence and are at greater risk of being attacked, experiencing sexual violence, being abused, murdered, assaulted and vilified.

For us, this is what TDoR stands for, to honour the ones who have been taken from us, to acknowledge and pay respect to the ones who struggle to assemble a life fully lived, free from harm and daily oppression. We are not saying that trans guys don’t experience similar prejudices or attacks, in fact some of us personally have, but unfortunately the reality is, disproportionately trans women experience a greater amount of violence, due to the anti-female fuelled violence in this world that seems determined to devalue, dehumanize and demoralize women. Further to this, systematic oppression silences the voices of those most vulnerable. We don’t provide spaces to hear from the people who really need the most help and instead we speak for them and about them. This is everything that we believe is wrong with TDoR. We want this to not be another day in the queer calendar which perpetuates all that we know is wrong with society.

We need to make a concerted effort to build stronger and unified communities where the voices of minority groups and those on the fringes are supported to lead true social change. This kind of change will improve the lived experiences of all people, both within and outside of the queer and trans communities. We often label the voice of dissent as ‘annoying’, ‘divisive’, ‘hating’ and ‘raining on our parade’, but this silencing of marginalised voices perpetuates structures of oppression. When we do this, it is a missed opportunity to learn and evolve and strengthen the resistance to the oppressive forces, which undermine us all. It is only through conversations, which often involve criticisms, anger and passion that we can learn from one another and this is not something we shy away from.

We acknowledge that events, which may personally benefit individuals in the community can come from a place of good intention and is most certainly not purposely malicious. Therefore, this statement is an invitation to learn and to connect with a long standing community of trans* people who have been actively involved in creating a strong network and facilitating change on many levels. There are many more people out there who have been doing this – there are many unsung heroes and those who are not acknowledged who continue to fight transphobia everyday. We would also like to extend our ongoing support and efforts to building a safer and healthier national community, and one which is all inclusive and unified between trans men, trans women, gender non-conforming people and allies and/or trans connected communities.

Perhaps we can turn this into an opportunity to generate more conversation on how we can go about doing this and listen to each other about what impacts each persons life, so that we can strive to be truly inclusive, understanding and supportive within our communities and beyond.

Thank you.

Signed:

Jez Pez, Xavier Moustache, Ash Pike, Teddy Cook, Atari Metcalfe, Villy, Jayke Burgess, Gabe Curtis, Patrick Kay, Jaxxon Chilli, Blake Coburn & Okapi.

Update & DUDE 3 is under construction!!

Hi everyone!!

This year has been pretty big for all the people involved with DUDE. We launched the 2nd issue in February across the east coast of Australia. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane! Each event was incredible and it was amazing to meet so many special people within our communities. Thank you to all the amazing people who helped make all these events possible. The list of names would easily exceed 50 people. It really was a momentous time for the project and for community building.

During the launch time in Brisbane I ran a workshop with the help of the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities, who have since been defunded by the awful QLD State dis-government. Thanks to T-BAR and the Blue House and the staff of QAHC for all your support whilst I was there.

Then later in the year we launched DUDE in San Francisco with the help of Transmen for Men and EROS. Thanks to Niko and Ken, Kelly, and everyone else who helped make it happen. It was a successful event and an achievement for everyone who was involved with DUDE and who contributed to DUDE.

Recently I became a father to twins (which is beautiful, but extremely hard… beyond words…) and it has really taken up a lot of my year and energy. It delayed the process of getting the 3rd issue together and I can appreciate that people want to know what is happening. Fortunately, we have an excellent editing team who are keen to keep it all rolling and produce a fantastic 3rd issue.

Later this month, I am running a work shop with Mish Glitter Pony at the Queensland Transgender, Sistergirl and Gender Diverse Conference in Cairns. We are going to focus on the topic of exploring sex as a trans person. This topic is central to the original idea behind DUDE. To get more people exploring sex and enjoying sex! I can’t wait to meet up with some of the Sistergirls and I am desperately hoping that Crystal Love will be there! In fact click here to see an example of Bindi Cole’s work, photographing the Sistergirls!

So thank you everyone for all your support, contributions and positive energy throughout the life of DUDE. We hope to see you all soon when we launch the 3rd issue, which is about LOVERS/PARTNERS/RELATIONSHIPS. Below is a sneak peak of some of the beautiful photography which will be featured in our next issue.

Cheers!

Jez Pez

 

Ethan & Pluto… by Morgan Carpenter

Stand up against sexual violence in our communities

***trigger warning – this post is about sexual violence***

Hello,

This is Jez Pez, the Editor of DUDE. This week we were informed that a rapist was possibly going to attend our Brisbane launch party. It is something I want to talk about and something I think we should all be talking about. Sexual violence or any form of violence is completely unacceptable, but unfortunately it is so heartbreakingly common.

Once we were notified we were in a position to take responsibility and accountability as event organisers, as feminists, as male identified people and as community members. I want to express sincerest thanks for being notified so that we could work to make our event safe for everyone and also take action in the community.

It was important to me and to the other people I worked with to address this matter, that  we first and foremost respected the survivor/s, without question. Something which I think the legal and judicial systems fail to do. Something which I think society often fails to do.

Another reason why I am posting this statement is to advocate against sexual violence and domestic violence in our communities. It happens, it is happening now and it isn’t OK. And nobody is exempt from this. It hurts people and destroys lives and it hurts communities.

I’m going to post some links below. Some are fact sheets on sexual assault and some are radical and anarchic community responses to sexual assault, including workshop kits about consent. Please take the time to read, share and generate discussion in your community. This shit can’t be swept under the rug.

Stand up against rape, against rape culture and against slut shaming.

Regards,

Jez Pez

LINKS

http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/sexual-assault

http://zinelibrary.info/dealing-our-shit-six-years-mens-group-and-accountability-work

http://zinelibrary.info/taking-first-step-suggestions-people-called-out-abusive-behavior

http://www.anarchapistemology.net/archives/409#more-409

http://zinelibrary.info/world-without-sexual-assault-community-response-sexual-assault

“Is there a hierarchy of trans visual representation?” An interview with Alix Iron

Interview with Alix Iron. By Jez Pez

Is there a hierarchy of trans visual representation? A perspective from a charming and handsome trans-ish, genderqueer, intersex, fae-masculine sweetheart.

J: What does trans mean to you and your identity?

A: I can say that I identify as genderqueer, I identify as someone who was born Intersex and I am someone who identifies as trans and sometimes, tongue in cheek, yet serious, I sometimes identify as trans-ish. I guess that sometimes I feel as though I need to qualify that, because I am not on hormones and I don’t know if it’s OK to claim the identity of trans without being on T… Because I’m just not sure it holds the same weight… Although I do go by ‘he’ in my personal and professional life, I think that there is, as we mentioned, a disparity between hormone vs. non hormone users and within that context, I also find it a bit challenging to fully understand how my being born Intersex also comes into play within that trans identity. I still think about them separately, as being Intersex is how I was born biologically. Anyway, that is generally how I identify but I think it’s complex topic. I think my answer also illustrates the internal struggle/questions I have about what exactly “makes” a trans man.

J: Yeah I can understand that. It is pretty awful to feel like you need to qualify your identity, because there are so many people out there who don’t take hormones and who don’t have surgeries and still deserve their identity to be respected.

A: Yeah so, I am 41 years old and I came out in 1988 and I was friends and lovers with some of the first people who were on testosterone, purchasing it on the underground black market. And I’ve seen and known and have a history that existed as a queer person, prior to FTM identity. I don’t feel pressure to need to take hormones to claim trans in a way, but when we are talking and pontificating about the concepts of bodies, that certain aesthetics and certain surgeries and certain babes in the community who are idealized, certain porn and/or magazines that publish certain photos of guys who look certain ways, do prioritize, I believe, bodies that have been on hormones and have had surgery over those who haven’t. I am a bit nervous about making that statement but that is my opinion. So I think there is something to be said about how there seems to be less and less people portrayed in the queer media who are claim and embrace the third sex or the liminal stage as the anthropologist Malanowski defines it, which is the state of “betwixt and between”.

J: Yeah sure. So having been around to witness a bit of an explosion of trans culture, born from that what I call a “trans pop culture”, especially with YouTube videos, magazines and poster, do you think we are replicating some of the same stereotypes as mainstream culture? If so, do you perceive this as perhaps negating a diversity of bodies?

A: Well, I believe that the trend of hormones and surgery with folks in theirs 20’s has become the norm. I guess that with certain magazines, movies and folks in the community it does seem like the “ideal” and thus a majority of images portrayed seem to focus on people who have fully transitioned. I feel like a dying breed. I feel like the few people, myself included, who still claim butch, dyke or genderqueer and who even still have their breasts and who do not inject testosterone, I feel like we are all a rare and somewhat archaic marginal group of people.

J: I understand what you are saying. Can you tell me more about the workshops you run with James Darling?

A: We recently presented on a panel for the Butch Voices Conference and it was called Pansies, Mommy’s Boys & Sissies: Fae Representations of Masculinity within the Queer Community.

J: Fae masculinites – I like that! I feel like that maybe better represents parts of our community, people who may feel more camp and dandy.

A: Yes, I do too! But the conference was for folks in the Butch, Stud, Aggressive & Trans communities, and in the end, I think Jae & I kinda reached the conclusion that Pansies, Mommy’s Boys & Sissies don’t necessarily “fit in” those groups. At least, we don’t know or see many people in the Bay Area who equally embrace fae as well as masculine identities…..I did see more fluidity in Sydney though which I LOVED! A few nights ago for example, I was wearing pearls, eye shadow and vintage fur to a show, although granted, it was to a concert, but other dykes & trans guys didn’t really know how to react to me…

What I enjoy in dressing up is presenting a complex gendered identity. Personally, I like to see the most manliest man who also has a gentle grace about him. What bums me out is not seeing some of the complexities be so apparent within the trans community. I’m not saying they are not there, certainly the people I know are the shape shifters and are the in-betweeners. For me, I think the interesting points that I want to explore are really delving into the liminal state and the grey area of what it means to occupy a more complex space. For me, maybe that means being tough on the outside and a marshmallow on the inside. It means, being able to stand proud in the fact that I claim Sissy or Pansy as an identity, but still being able to be strong, fierce and butch too. Both/And NOT Either/Or.

It’s also about shifting the paradigm of words that would normally mean ‘weak’ in mass culture, whereas for me they are strong. It’s what we did with the term ‘queer’ in the 1990’s and dyke/fag in the 1980’s. It’s about reinvention. What saddens me about some pop culture trans representations, I’m not sure I’m totally seeing the complexity of identities represented in media and when I see the pendulum swing to reinforce a dominate paradigm, it makes me uneasy. It saddens me because of the invisibility factor of folks of different takes on trans gender and also the lack of images celebrating people who haven’t had surgery or are of bigger size. I’m really talking of the top of my fucking head here, so I hope I am making sense. I’m a bit nervous to express my opinions on this matter and I am still working out my thoughts on all of this – so hope I don’t offend anyone. Again, this is my humble opinion, coming from a US, Bay Area specific viewpoint.

J: I don’t think you are alone in thinking this way. I share similar thoughts, so maybe it’s good to get a conversation going. Maybe we could continue next time in Australia?

A: That sounds fine, sweet and dandy. I am hoping to come back during Mardi Gras in 2012 and may try to even facilitate a few panels/workshops about a few topics I touched on. Thanks for interviewing me Jez. Being a guy who isn’t on hormones and who hasn’t had top surgery, it is really validating to be interviewed for Dude Magazine, so thanks heaps!

********

ALIX IRON is running a panel and class on Service and Queer Mommy dynamics in Sydney this February 29th! This is an event which delves into dynamics between consenting adults. Just like the well known Daddy/Son play – of which I am an active BOY – and I’m so happy that someone is sticking their neck out to talk about Mommy/Daughter and Mommy/Son dynamics – it might be taboo – but that is what is hot! This is ADULT play…. grr.

Click on the flyer for more information!!

Alix Iron’s class and panel on service and Mommy/Mummy dynamics.. <3

DUDE is free online only

Hello DUDE fans!

We’ve been getting quite a few inquiries about getting copies of DUDE, so we just wanted to make our financial position clear to the community.

The {also} foundation have been incredibly supportive and generous: helping us pay for the printing costs of DUDE 1 and 2, as well as our initial mail out. However we still have incidental and other ongoing costs, and we want to be able to make DUDE sustainable as an ongoing project independent of {also}’s funding, which is not guaranteed (for a variety of reasons). We are also very grateful for all the donations we have received and also the support from the Melbourne community at recent events. This also helps us to pay for printing.

In order to be able to keep printing future editions, we need to ensure our cash flow is healthy. Therefore we have decided to sell DUDE.2 hard copies (printed versions of the magazine) and make it available free online only. This recipe means that printing and ancillary costs in future are paid for by sales of current issues, advertising income and sponsorship.

We have also sold hard copies of DUDE.1 on this basis. We have also distributed many free copies of DUDE.1. DUDE.1 will be reprinted on an ongoing basis and some free copies will be distributed through service providers to drive positive change in service delivery to trans people, as well as in certain sections of the wider community to aid in trans awareness.

DUDE will ALWAYS be available for FREE online, but we need to charge for printed copies to ensure the longevity of the project.

See you over the summer at a launch party!

Max, Jez & Ash

DUDE MAGAZINE will be at the SF Zine Fest Sep 3 & 4

Come along to grab a copy of DUDE MAGAZINE #1 and meet the Editor (Jez Pez).

for more information go to http://www.sfzinefest.org/

DUDE Party!

DUDE Magazine is set to begin working on issue #2 and launch a website and take to the streets of San Francisco!

A good enough reason to party and with a line up like this one it is sure to be a hoot.

So make sure you get in early because there is limited space at The Wesley Anne.

Saturday 27th August
Doors 8pm Shows 9pm
$8/$10

There will be bands and there will be shows. Check out the poster for more information.

Ana Nicole
Razz Berry & The TransAction
Lady President
Jez Pez
Agent Cleave
Slutz4Lyfe
Mummy Complex
Pluto Savage (SYD)
Nana Doris
DJ Crystal McKinnon

For any information or assistance regarding venue accessibility please email Ash at dudetranszine@gmail.com.

You will have fun. Scouts honour.

(Click the image above to go to the facebook event.)

http://dudemagazine.wordpr​ess.com/
www.dudemag.org

DUDE Launch Photos

The official launch of DUDE was on Friday the 18th. It was amazing and full of beautiful and interesting people.

Photos were taken by Alison Bennett

http://www.samesame.com.au/gallery/15527/DUDE-Magazine-Launch.htm

PLEASURE SALON

PLEASURE SALON 07.02.11

I’ll be presenting at the Melbourne Pleasure Salon and there will be a limited edition, pre-release of DUDE.

Check out it out here:

DUDE LAUNCH

DUDE LAUNCH 18.02.11

That’s right, DUDE will be launched very soon in Melbourne.

At Hares and Hyenas, 63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, 7.30pm.

Don’t miss it!!! Click the image below to go to the Facebook invite

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