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FIERCE's Call to Action Against the New York Times Depiction of Trans Women


Thank you, Fierce, for publishing these letters. I, too, am upset that the Times has not issued an apology for this lacking-in-context piece and/or published any of these letters from others who are angered by the piece. 


On July 25, 2012, FIERCE organized a Call to Action asking supporters to submit letters to the New York Times demanding Dignity for Transwomen of Color and LGBTQ Youth in their reporting. The Call to Action was organized in response to a July 24th article: “For Money or Just to Strut, LIving Out Loud on a Transgender Stage.

The article, which relied on and fed into harmful, negative stereotypes of young transwomen of color, neglected to highlight or consider the root causes of why LGBTQ youth are disproportionately on the streets and finding it harder to maintain access and ownership over this historical safe space.

Over the weeks following the action, we received dozens of letters that were not only powerful, but also the acts of solidarity were incredibly moving for all of us here at FIERCE!  Seeing your words and feeling the support of so many allies, we saw the depth and strength of our struggle against transphobia, homophobia, gentrification, and criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color, especially transwomen of color.

As far as we know, theTimesdid not publish the letters. In an effort to empower LGBTQ youth and the communities that support LGBTQ youth-led organizing  in NYC and elsewhere, we wanted to share a small collection of these letters with you.

In love and struggle,


What this article taught me:

Trans-women are catty, trashy whores with big-hair… some of whom might be discriminated against…and oh, yeah - gay history. But trans people are whores.

Read this now: "What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?"


Every once in a while, the New York Times will put out a truly great piece about something relating to gender and sexuality. This is one of those pieces.

This is an incredibly long but really great story about gender nonconforming kids and how parents navigate the hurdles that sometimes come up as a result. When young kids are still coming into their identities, it can be challenging for families and teachers to talk to them and about them in a way that protects their self-esteem and individuality, but doesn’t lead to intolerable bullying. This seems to be especially true for boys who show interest in girly things. 

But as the article shows, plenty of parents and teachers have figured out how to do it right. 

Toward the end of the first week of kindergarten, Alex showed up in class wearing hot-pink socks — a mere inch of a forbidden color. A boy in his class taunted, “Are you a girl?” Alex told his parents his feelings were so hurt that he couldn’t even respond. In solidarity, his father bought a pair of pink Converse sneakers to wear when he dropped Alex off at school.

Alex’s teacher, Mrs. C., jumped in, too. During circle time, she mentioned male friends who wore nail polish and earrings. Mrs. C. told them that when she was younger, she liked wearing boys’ sneakers. Did that make her a boy? Did the children think she shouldn’t have been allowed to wear them? Did they think it would have been O.K. to laugh at her? They shook their heads no. Then she told them that long ago, girls weren’t allowed to wear pants, and a couple of the children went wide-eyed. “I said: ‘Can you imagine not being able to wear pants when you wanted to? If you really wanted to wear them and someone told you that you couldn’t do that just because you were a girl? That would be awful!’” After that, the comments in the classroom about Alex’s appearance pretty much stopped.

Read this article. I promise you it’s worth it. 

Don’t read the comments. It’s not worth the pain. Just bask in the fact that the New York Times Magazine published this.

Trans Workplace Rights Still Murky


BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

Nine out of 10 Americans mistakenly believe that there is a federal law that prohibits employers from firing someone because the individual is gay or transgender, according to The Atlantic. But no such law exists, and this type of discrimination is legal in the majority of states.

A new report in The Atlantic looks at the case of Vandy Beth Glenn, fired five years ago for being transgender, who won a historic legal case about trans employment rights, as well as the murky state of workplace rights for transgender Americans.


Glee introduces trans* character (SPOILERS)


Last night’s episode of Glee introduced The Glee Project’s Alex Newell as Wade/Unique, the first transgender character to appear on the show.

Wade approaches the group asking to perform onstage wearing a dress as the “alter ego” of Unique. Though it’s not made perfectly clear whether Wade/Unique is trans* or in drag, this summary from PopCrush seems to provide a pretty sound argument that Wade is trans*:

But even Kurt, it seems, has a lot to learn. When Kurt advises Wade not to become Unique on stage, it is evident that he doesn’t understand what trans people go through. “You identify as a man,” Wade tells him, and when Unique takes the stage, it’s obvious that this is who Wade is. Unique is the true identity, and Wade is the fiction. Unique, of course, brings the house down with her moves.

What did you think of Wade/Unique?

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