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Sense8 Finale is coming back to Netflix After Cancellation

Lana Wachowski has confirmed the return of the show for a 2-hour special finale

After getting canceled by Netflix, shortly after the release of its second season, Sense8 is now getting a last-minute stay of execution in the form of a two-hour special. It will air in 2018, as by its creator Lana Wachowski on the show’s Facebook page:

The facebook post received hundreds of thousands of likes and reactions as well as shares

It is believed that, despite the overwhelming amount of viewers that the TV show had received, the production cost was amongst one of the highest in the world, estimated at $9 million dollars per episode, which may have contributed to the cancelation.

However, at this point, and paraphrasing Lana, it seems like nothing’s been said and there’s a big chance we might see more sense8 in the future.

 

By Ellie Van Leeuwen for Girl Things (@elliehopeauthor on Twitter & Facebook)

Are Trans Lesbians Real Lesbians?

I came across a meme on the internet that read: “Trans lesbians are lesbians, get over it.” 

Copyright (C) 2017 / Pixabay

Are trans lesbians real lesbians? Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

What is a real lesbian anyway?

Without falling into a game of semantics, we can all agree that a lesbian is a woman who is exclusively attracted to other women. Right?

There is no easy way to approach this topic, but as a transsexual lesbian, this is what I think, and I welcome everybody to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Gender identity, just like sexuality, doesn’t develop overnight. It’s a lengthy process for the most part so, naturally, there will be people who know they are women inside, who are legitimately attracted to other women, independently of the way they look, and this is basically what being a lesbian means.

It doesn’t mean that other lesbians will perceive you socially as a lesbian, it only means that you believe that you ARE one.

The disagreement stems from the socially-perceived image of what a woman should be and, the most discriminatory one: How a woman should look like. 

The most radical lesbians have some high standards for what makes a woman a real woman, and therefore a lesbian woman, a real lesbian woman.

There are lots and lots of discriminatory standards, but the most common ones are:

  1. Real lesbians should have XX chromosomes
  2. Transgender lesbians should be passable if they want to be taken seriously
  3. Transgender lesbians should do a “full transition” (which is strictly referring to performing a vaginoplasty)

The problem with these three statements is that they don’t stand to logic, or any rational thinking, for that matter.

Now, to debunk some myths:

The chromosome excuse always struck me as some kind of half-bothered attempt at trying to exclude transsexual women from womanhood in a rather uninformed and childish way. As a neurobiology student, I can confirm (with tangible evidence) that the gender of humans is determined by a small region in the nervous system, which has nothing to do with whatever set of chromosomes you were born with.

Some people heard about the myth that all women are XX and all men are XY without knowing very well what a chromosome pair is and what does it do. I, in turn, know what a nervous system is and how it works.

The passing excuse is a bit far fetched and discriminatory on itself. Every time I hear this argument I think to myself: Who sets the standard?

 

When it comes to anatomy, I know a lot of cisgender women who are much taller, wider and masculine-looking than myself. Would you say that, for example, a super pretty woman like Taylor Swift is trans just because she’s taller than me? Probably not.

Would you say that Ellen Degeneres is trans because her voice pitch is lower than mine? or that Hope Solo is trans because she’s bigger and stronger than me?

So who sets the standard?

 

The surgical reconstruction of genitals is not ideal. This reconstruction is known, in the transgender world, as GRS or SRS, which stand for Gender Reassignment Surgery or Sex Reassignment Surgery, respectively.

These procedures do not convert masculine genitals into female genitals. These procedures eliminate the testicles, reduces the size of the urethra and converts the penis gland into some kind of clitoris, where in most cases, for all intents and purposes, works like a working vagina.

But transsexual women who perform any of these surgical procedures on themselves are not getting working female genitals. Science still has to come a long way until some major breakthrough in these procedures provides transsexual individuals with a working uterus and ovaries. Transsexual women who perform an SRS/GRS still need to shoot themselves with estradiol shots since their main organ for producing a sex hormone is gone, and they have no ovaries to produce oestrogen naturally in large quantities.

My advice, as a psychologist, and as a somewhat-experienced transexual woman, would be to simply wait. Upon doubt, just wait. We don’t know if, within five or ten years time, a fully working reproductive system will be a reality. Don’t settle for something you may not absolutely need when you can wait for better options. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you are incomplete because you don’t want or cannot get surgery in your private areas.

So if no vaginoplasty is required to obtain your woman card, no anatomy can determine what your gender is, and chromosomes are proven to determine sex but not gender, then who can tell, apart from yourself, what a real lesbian is?

If you consider yourself a woman, independently of your biology, and you are sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women, independently of their biology, then you are probably a lesbian, but then again, the decision is exclusively yours.

 

By Ellie Hope (@elliehopeauthor on Facebook/Twitter

 

 

Husband Asks Restaurant Why Was His Wife Fired and the Internet Got His Back

The post on Cracker Barrel’s official facebook page has been removed, but thousands of internet users are commenting on every post about it with the hashtags #BradsWife #JusticeForBradsWife and #CrackerBarrel, among others.

Indiana, United States — An American southern-themed restaurant recently fired a woman that had worked for them for 11 years for an unknown reason. And she was fired on her husband’s birthday.

Bradley Byrd, known on the internet as “Brad”, went to their Facebook page to ask why but, unfortunately, didn’t get an answer.

Now, thousands of Internet users are seeking justice for Brad’s wife by trolling Cracker Barrel’s Facebook page.

People are asking why Brad’s wife was fired and making jokes wherever they have the chance – which means on every single post! Hopefully, Brad and his wife will get an answer soon.

A search for hashtags #CrackerBarrel and #BradsWife brings up a lot of comments. Some of them super funny.

However, this is a serious matter for this humble family from Indiana, who are seeking for answers.

Bradley Byrd, the husband in question, posted yesterday on facebook the following statement:

Meanwhile, another themed restaurant in the area has publicly offered to hire Brad’s wife. Well played folks. Well played.

 

Semantics and Half: How to Come Out?

The power of the choice of words, and some things to consider

Coming out is hard. On that, we all agree.

Everybody that has struggled with their sexuality or their gender orientation knows about it. Families, relatives and friends of LGBTQ people, on the other hand, also struggle with the subject, to whether confirm or disprove their suspicions.

While I cannot tell people what to do, I can try to show people how to see for themselves what their options are, and most importantly, how to take the right decision.

Before I start dabbling into this riddle of semantics, let me quickly explain the basics of sociology: Everyday life.

We are social people.

We live in a world that we share with other people. We connect and interact with them daily. The world was time and space before we even existed, and it will continue to be present after we die.

This unquestionable truth is what we call reality.

In our daily lives, we synchronise our internal sense of time with the that of reality. We can tell, for example, when something is taking longer or faster than usual based on our ability to contrast experiences with the new data that we receive as we go about our business.

This is when the other unquestionable truth comes to mind: Things take time.

Coming out of the closet is no different. From the first time we questioned aspects of our identity or sexuality to the moment that we finally came out of the closet, there had been several steps in between or there should have been. In short: It did not happen simultaneously.

The problem to some people begins when they have accumulated lots of information about LGBTQ issues during their journey, and they want to compress years of thoughts, research and experience, into a small family conversation. It is impossible to do. If you manage to, though, let me know how.

I am not going to say that by following a sensible approach you will succeed because there are families and friends who will refuse to listen regardless. You can, however, pave the way and prepare them to listen.

Just think for a moment about the disparity in knowledge between you and someone who knows nothing about LGBTQ issues. Think about the amount of knowledge that you would have to impart on them before you even discuss coming out.

Some peers and relatives —rare, wonderful creatures— have so much empathy and selfless love that they care without needing to research or understand. If that is your case, consider yourself very lucky.

However, testing the waters and imparting a bit of knowledge in the form of raising awareness on LGBTQ issues, a little at a time, won’t hurt anybody.

To recap:

  • Remember that it took you a while to learn about LGBTQ issues.
  • Remember how your thought processing used to be before you became an advocate.
  • Speak to your peers and friends in a language that they can understand.

I know a lot of people who were openly homophobic before they came out. In fact, there are some studies about that, which suggest that homophobes are potential closet homosexuals themselves.

Let’s not get into that just now, though. Let us just remember that our parents and friends might have the best intentions, but they lack the background information, and will naturally not be in touch with what you’re saying. That doesn’t make them bad people. They are just human.

 

By Ellie Hope (@elliehopeauthor on facebook/twitter)  

 

The Concept of “dead-naming” is No Bueno

In my almost 5 years of transition, I have seen and heard the term “deadname” quite frequently, and honestly, it makes me wonder what are they really trying to say.

I remember, during my first years in the school of Philosophy, in University, how we talked about who we really are and What Are We. It sounded confusing at first, but it all made sense as classes went on.

Basically, our lecturer was saying that we are subject to many changes, but they can be divided into two categories: Accidental Changes and Substantial Changes.

Basically, when we talk about Accidental changes –assuming we apply this concept to humankind– we are talking about the changes a person goes through, from the moment they are born, until the moment that they die. For instance, I went from child to teen, from short to long hair, from short to tall, etcetera. You get the point. These changes, even including changing your socially-perceived gender, are not substantial changes but accidental changes instead.

Substantial changes are a bit simpler to understand since they only happen twice in a lifetime. First Substantial change occurs at the moment you were born. The second one; when you die. You either exist, in whichever form you want, or you don’t exist as a human being anymore.

What is “Deadnaming” and why “old name” is a much better term

To those who are not familiar with the term deadnaming, often used by many transgender people (whether they are non-binary, genderfluid, male-to-female or female-to-male transgender people) it basically means the name they had prior to their transition, the name assigned by their parents, guardians or tutors when they were born.

The term doesn’t make much sense, since these people are still pretty much alive, and they’re the same person they were before their transition.

Ok, some might argue that transition brings a lot of behavioural (psychological) and physical changes and they feel like a whole new person. Poetry aside, however, they are still the same person.

Why? Because most transgender people who transitioned have one thing in common: They struggled with gender identity issues most part of their lives. Living under their old socially-perceived gender was not their true gender to begin with!

Most people who transitioned as adults waited for social conditions in their community to be somewhat apropriate. That was their window, and they came out of the closet. When the conditions were right, they did it. Whether they think they should have waited or not later on, they did what they thought was right with the knowledge and the tools that they had at the time.

In a nutshell: Their old social gender was their cover, and their new gender is their true identity.

So these people had been on a lifetime journey to discovering their true identities but this in no way means that they were born again, or died.

The problem with terms like deadnaming is that the word itself, compound noun (in the case of deadname), contains the word death, and people would naturally turn it into a much bigger deal than it really is. Don’t get me wrong. It is really nice when people get the names and the pronouns right, but accidents and stubbornness will happen.

So instead of saying “Please stop deadnaming me.” saying “please stop using my old name.” Will cause more of a positive impact in the lives of people, most of whom would be more likely to respect and understand what you are going through.

There is a blurry boundary between expression and identity, and terms, that strike people outside community as exaggerated or dramatic, might cause some confusion.

In a world where we are trying to build bridges between the LGBTQ community and the rest of our societies, these terms may be causing more harm than good.

 

By Ellen Hope Crowe (@elliehopeauthor) 
ellie@girlthings.net

 

 

Kentucky Teen Couple Given Probation Because They Left Newborn in Rubbish Bin

The couple, who dumped their baby in a rubbish bin in July 2015, has been sentenced to probation for leaving their newborn girl in a rubbish bin.

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A judge has sentenced two teen parents to probation for leaving their newborn girl in a trash bin in western Kentucky.

According to media reports, McCracken Circuit Judge Craig Clymer said during the sentencing hearing Thursday that he had to follow the juvenile code because a jury convicted the pair of wanton endangerment, criminal abuse and tampering with physical evidence. They were acquitted of attempted murder.

Clymer said both have already served more time in a juvenile facility than he could impose, so he sentenced them to 12 months’ probation. He also ordered them to complete a moral therapy program.

The crying infant was found in a dumpster in July 2015 with its umbilical cord still attached. The baby was hospitalized and later released into state custody.

Source: AP

Historic: First Norweigan Gay Couple Tied The Knot in Church Wedding

Pastor Bettina Eckbo  led the historic ceremony in the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Local Norway

In the very second that the clock struck midnight and the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church’s new liturgy allowing gay couples to marry in church weddings came into force, Kjell Frølich Benjaminsen and Erik Skjelnæs tied the knot in Eidskog Church.

A church synod voted on Monday to approve the new liturgy, or service, allowing same-sex couples to get married in the church.
“It was great fun and really cosy to be a part of,” Eckbo told NTB.
The newlyweds have lived together for 36 years – longer than Eckbo has been alive.
“They already represent the values that marriage is about – faithfulness and supporting one another on good days and bad,” she said.
The ceremony marks a new milestone for gays and lesbians in Norway, which like its Nordic neighbours is at the forefront of gay rights in Europe. Civil marriage and adoption have been open to gays since 2009 and the Church also authorises the ordination of homosexuals.

Georgia Transgender Men Win Right To Legally Change Their Names

Court of Appeals of Georgia reverses Columbia County decisions on transgender name changes

Thegavoice.com

The decision came as a complete shock for attorney Beth Littrell and plaintiffs Rowan Feldhaus and Andrew Baumert, who were supposed to present oral arguments to an appellate panel on Feb. 9.

“The court decided it didn’t even need to hear from us,” Littrell said. “The arguments we already presented on paper persuaded it to direct the lower court to grant the name changes.”

Judge David J. Roper denied the men’s requests for name changes in separate 2015 and 2016 decisions, citing the name changes would “confuse and mislead” the public, and demanded the names be gender-neutral enough before granting approval, according to the appellate decision. The Court of Appeals reversed Roper’s decision and directed the lower court to “remand to enter an order” changing their names as requested.

“I was completely off-guard and surprised and I was like, is this a joke? This is too surreal,” Feldhaus, a resident of Grovetown, Georgia, said. “I’m more than happy with what I heard today. I just felt a since of ease come over me and it’s just done. There’s a precedence for this.”

“This request is not unusual and is in line with standard-of-care for treating gender dysphoria, and in line with First Amendment rights,” Littrell said. “The only remarkable think about these cases was the judge denied the request. The judge did so in both cases based on the court’s own ‘policy’ of refusing to approve [of transgender name changes] unless he approved of the name requested.”

The names requested were “too male” for Roper, who decided both of the cases months apart.

“The decisions were almost verbatim the same,” Littrell said.“Name changes are one of the ways in which transgender people live their truth and live authentically. To have the government step in and deny transgender persons the right to live their truth is outrageous, unconstitutional and we wanted to ensure it didn’t happen to another transgender Georgian.”
Source: Georgia Voice