You'll rarely find me singing the praises of any major financial institution, but the new True Name Card from Mastercard does seem like a thoughtful way to catch up with reality:
For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity. As a result, for the transgender and nonbinary community, the card in their pocket can serve as a source of sensitivity, misrepresenting their true identity when shopping and going about daily life.
Mastercard is making a commitment to address this challenge by introducing the True Name™ feature. We are working with partners to bring products to market that will allow for chosen names to appear on the front of cards, helping ease a major pain point for the transgender and nonbinary community.
BMO Harris Bank is the first partner to make this feature available on their consumer debit and credit cards as well as on their small business debit and credit cards.
That partner bank, BMO Harris, adds in its own statement that, "Research shows one-third of individuals whose ID has a name that doesn’t match their gender presentation experience harassment and denial of service."
While it's frustratingly remarkable that, "Respecting people by calling them whatever they'd like to be called" remains a controversial stance, it's still nice to see otherwise-amoral institutions putting in these small efforts to be more humanist and empathetic.
True Name™ by Mastercard
Inclusivity comes to credit cards: Mastercard creates ‘True Name’ for transgender, non-binary customers [Hannah Denman / The Washington Post] Read the rest
Back in September, a rare print edition of Space Adventures #7—originally published by the new-defunct Charlton Comics in 1953—sold for $1,800.
The comic book speculator market isn't normally the kind of cash cow that the 90s thought it was going to be. Unless you've got one of those very rare early superhero origin comics—or you happen to sell something random like Avengers #257 at the exact right time for a convenient movie tie-in—you're typically lucky to make even a dollar on an old comic.
Space Adventures #7 has nothing to do with superheroes, or non-superhero movie adaptations. But it's still coveted, probably because it contains a pre-Comics Code story called "Transformation" that was illustrated by Dick Giordano, who went on to become the Executive Editor at DC Comics, and written by a curiously uncredited author.
What's more interesting about the comic, however, is that it deals unexpectedly with transgender issues.
Here's a basic synopsis of the 8-page story from Comic Book Plus:
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Anticipating nuclear war that would leave Earth barren of life, Lars Kranston convinces his colleagues to go to Mars. His paramour Betty Stone insists that she go as well. The ship crashes on Mars. Everyone but Lars and Betty are killed, but Lars thinks she died too. Betty wakes up suffering total amnesia. Lars decides to use the supplies that survived the wreck. He manages a complete sex change. The tumultuous situation on Earth dies down. The predicted war never occurs. Betty remembers the journey.
Number of days since the Trump administration has done something performatively homophobic or transphobic? Zero. Read the rest
Kickstarter has a lengthy piece on Medium discussing frequent BB contributor Andrea James's Transphobia project (previously). and the broader issues surrounding transgender reporting, the bias within it, and the lack of transgender representation (and outright exclusion) from reporters on the subject.
James has three foundational goals for The Transphobia Project: “More trans journalists employed full-time at media outlets; coverage of trans issues to include input from trans editors and fact-checkers; and more non-trans journalists to be aware of how to avoid bias in trans coverage. I hope my project will help editors and publishers identify those with a history of fair and accurate coverage on trans topics, [and] those who don’t have that history. Finally, I hope it will help media consumers see when trans coverage contains bias, both pro- and anti-trans.”
At a time when LGBTQ+ tolerance is actually decreasing among youth, holding media to account for both how, and by whom the public receives unbiased reporting on these topics may be even more important than in the past, to stave off what USA Today reports as a "looming social crisis in discrimination."
I'm a supporter of her project on Kickstarter, and I hope you will be, too. Read the rest
New data visualization project to reveal bias in media coverage on transgender topics could use your support.
Theresa Thorn (co-host of the excellent parenting podcast One Bad Mother and Jesse Thorn (proprietor of the excellent Maximum Fun podcasting network) have a transgender daughter; Theresa has written a beautiful, sweet picture book about gender identity based on her experiences with her trans kid: It Feels Good to Be Yourself.
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In a letter published online today, 56 of America's largest corporations tell Donald Trump not roll back legal protections for transgender people, as he is threatening to do with the midterm U.S. elections one week away. What he appears to be trying to do, of course, is far more than that. Donald Trump says he wants to be the one who determines your gender. Read the rest
Brown University researcher Lisa Littman has become the latest cause célèbre for academic freedom grifters after publishing an irresponsible article promoting "rapid-onset gender dysphoria," yet another disease model of gender identity and expression. Imagine a disease called "rapid-onset homosexuality" to understand the problem with "ROGD." Now all the usual suspects are defending her biased garbage. Read the rest
Two new laws that allow California residents to officially change their gender identification went into effect this past Labor Day weekend. Read the rest
When news that Scarlett Johansson was planning to play trans man Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in the biopic Rub & Tug, her rep's tone-deaf response launched the casting controversy into overdrive. She's now announced she exited the project. Read the rest
The slow eroding of autonomy for trans youth continues apace in Ohio, where a judge denied a legal name change to a trans teen who has taken all available social and medical steps required to do so. Read the rest
Donna Minkowitz wrote one of the most important pieces about the murder of Brandon Teena, the transgender man depicted in the film Boys Don't Cry. A quarter century later, she does what few journalists have the courage to do: she acknowledged the botched the story with biased reporting. Read the rest
How did Twitter addict Jesse Singal become the anti-transgender spokesgoblin of his generation? When a Child Says She's Trans continues his creepy fixation on gender-nonconforming minors. The "ex-trans" movement, similar to the discredited "ex-gay" movement, can always count on axe-grinding coverage that vastly over-represents their numbers and POV. Read the rest
Natalie Wynn, creator of the Contrapoints YouTube channel, is a lapsed academic well-versed in the lingo of both 4chan and Tumblr, making her the perfect person to construct an entertaining takedown of Jordan Peterson. Read the rest
Transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf hosts the new Channel 4 documentary What Makes a Woman? Science and society are grappling with the complex and contentious topics of sex, sexuality, and gender. New research and evidence demonstrate that simplistic binaries are more complicated than previously believed. Read the rest
Hey, remember few weeks back when The Trump Administration, with its dickery engines revved up to 126%, declared that transgendered personnel would no longer be in welcome in the United States military? One of their bullshit excuses for why this should be the case was that, apparently, transgendered individuals were bad for unit cohesion and terrible for morale. Well, the heads of all four branches of the American military have all gone out of their way, on the record, to say that this simply is not the case.
From the Military Times:
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as she had with the top military leaders of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps when they appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for their budget hearings, used the opportunity to question Goldfein as to whether he was aware of any “issues of unit cohesion, disciplinary problems or issues of morale resulting from open transgender service.”
“In the last two weeks Gen. [Mark] Milley, Gen. [Robert] Neller, and Adm. [John] Richardson have told me that they have seen zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale as a result of open transgender service in their respective service branches,” Gillibrand said, referring to the chiefs of staff of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy, respectively.
The Military Times goes on to say that on Tuesday, the Air Force's top officer, Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein, told Congress that he hadn't heard any reports of issues in the ranks surrounding transgender personnel and, of those he spoke with, he noted a “commitment to serve by each of them.” Read the rest
Reactionaries of every stripe have latched onto "academic freedom" for self-promotion as speakers on college campuses, but Wellesley College's Koch-funded Freedom Project came under scrutiny thanks to student activists and journalists. Now the program's head is taking a year off to teach "elsewhere." Read the rest