What a pleasure and a delight it's been to guestblog here! With the holidays and my job and everything, it went very quickly. I was unable to get to a number of topics I thought might be of interest, such as: controversy as a marketing tool, the anesthetic shamans of philosophy (Benjamin Paul Blood and William James), X-ray hair removal, the work of Dmitri K. Belyaev, the connection between transgenderism and transhumanism, some amazing trans historical figures, other trends on Facebook and Wikipedia, an interview with my Googlegängers, the history of the Chicago River… perhaps another time or another place. The hardest part for me was to let so many amazing insightful reader comments (both agreements and disagreements) pass unacknowledged. My thanks to each of you for taking the time to read and comment! A couple more things…
Image: Yours truly backstage at last year's Trans March.
I hope my posts got you to think about things you hadn't previously considered and made you aware of new points of view. Many of you raised my awareness. I believe 95% of all discussion is preaching to the choir and talking to like-minded people, rather than reaching out to other people in ways that will actually shake things up. I consider myself a muckraker of the old-school variety, one who "comforts th' afflicted, afflicts th' comfortable." I encourage each of you to do some muckraking of your own around whatever topic is important to you, and to afflict people when they start getting too comfortable (yourself included). I also encourage each of you to do something creative every day.
In my lifetime, transgender Americans were routinely rounded up by the police, and that's still the case in parts of the world. That recent history makes me very aware of how our culture tries to demonize, criminalize and pathologize difference, and how much of that centers around reproductive ideologies (steeped in religious or scientific language, sometimes both). In other times and places, trans and gender-variant people have had an important and valued place in society. For reasons not yet clear, trans people are often especially adept at languages (especially music, writing, linguistics, and computing languages). My friend Lynn Conway, a historically significant figure in the history of computing, maintains a great (but far from complete) list of successful trans women and successful trans men.
If you ever want to know anything about hair removal, please stop by HairFacts and HairTell, and if you or a friend ever need information on the practical aspects of gender transition, please stop by Transsexual Road Map. This year marks my 15th anniversary of providing this free information online.
My business partner Calpernia Addams and I speak all over the country, so, have us visit your campus or group!
I thought I'd sign off with what I consider the ultimate Unicorn Chaser: Mr. Winkle as a baby unicorn (available here)! Thanks once again!