Archive | LGBT History RSS feed for this section

UNAPOLOGETIC, By Anne Tagonist, Volume Three, 08/02, Trans Activist Zine From My Collection

30 Jun

I mentioned on my detransition post on this blog that I had met trans activist Anne Tagonist. She was a regular at a queer punk get together (Queerwad) at Monkeywrench Books (a staunchly anti-TERF venue) that I attended with my boyfriend at the time during the Fall of 2002.

unapologetic01A bunch of early-00s trans activists just gasped at this

Well, she wound up giving me this zine in particular, which I scanned a while back for a post in an online trans group, but figure I should go ahead and put it out there for a wider audience. It covers a lot of discussions still going on now with the trans community despite being written 13 years ago. It’s pretty amazing stuff, and a valuable piece of our history. Enjoy.

unapologetic1unapologetic2unapologetic3unapologetic4unapologetic5unapologetic6unapologetic7unapologetic8unapologetic9unapologetic10unapologetic11unapologetic12unapologetic13unapologetic14unapologetic15unapologetic16unapologetic17unapologetic18unapologetic19unapologetic20

Advertisements

COGIATI Is The Worst Classic Text Adventure Game #Retrogaming #90snostalgia

19 Jul

cogiati1

So I know it’s been ages since I’ve done a video game review on here, despite promising I would be more proactive in that regard. So today’s game is a classic from the mid 1990s.  It appears to be some sort of text adventure created by the same designer that made the classic Apogee game BOPPIN.

cogiati2

The game is called COGIATI (which is probably one of those nonsense magic words like XYZZY or PLUGH). It promises the acquisition of a “transsexual gender inventory” which honestly doesn’t sound very epic, but I’m not too good to grind for unusual and rare items.

cogiati3

The game opens up with an admonition to “answer truthfully” to some questions that will follow, which I thought was cool because it reminds me of that fortune teller from the Avatar trilogy of Ultima games.

cogiati5

It’s kinda dated, but I do get a kick out of the non-traditional methods of character generation. Some of the questions seemed to lead to certain classes, even though they were kinda sexist:

cogiati4.jpg

And others that seemed to be pointing towards special super powers your eventual character may possess-

cogiati6cogiati7cogiati8

The thing is tho, the questions never seem to stop coming. No recognizable character development or progress is shown, and some questions seem irrelevant or morbid-

cogiati9

So then I finally get to the end of the questions, and instead of presenting a well-rounded character and a world to explore, I was presented with an ending screen:

cogiati24

What a ripoff, right? I go through all that and I get is a psych recommendation. I mean, it’s better than the endings of River City Ransom or Ultima Exodus on the NES, but still. It’s almost as disappointing than the ending of NARC where it tells you to become a cop-

cogiati25

So seriously, even if you’re somewhat of a completist when it comes to classic text-adventure games, you may want to pass this one up. There’s no plot to be seen, just endless grilling about your identity forever. Real life provides way more than that to spare.

The Effeminist Manifesto Is A Forty Year Old Pile Of WTF.

24 Jan

In preparation for my cross-country move from Austin to Portland during the summer of 2013, I found myself begrudgingly paring down what was previously my impressive (if I must say so myself) personal library of counter-cultural literature and publications. Part of that daunting task included rooting through the stuff that was not worth salvaging or selling (usually because of damage sustained from previous moves) and tearing out articles of interest to revisit.

While digging through an old Whole Earth Catalog (I think) from the early 70s I noticed this gay culture manifesto that included the word “f*ggot” like 50 times.

What the shit is this? I thought to myself. A quick scan showed it to be a call to arms for effeminate men to reject the masculinism in gay culture. “Fuck. Yes” I thought to myself and put it in the keep pile. I chatted up this discovery with my partner at the time, another trans woman who I’d met on a fetish site, without having any idea of the irony. No joke, I even think we were going out to a drag show that night.

What I’d stumbled across was the fierce anti-trans, anti-BDSM, anti-androgeny, anti camp and gay culture Effeminist Manifesto.

Founded by Steven F Dansky, John Knoebel, and Kenneth Pitchford (husband of old-school proto-TERF Robin Morgan), The Effeminist Movement was a short lived, tightly-knit and controversial group mostly centered around their publication project Double F. The movement, in their own words, “did not seek to the legalization of f*ggotry, quotas or civil rights for f*ggots” but instead spent the majority of their time declaring members of the Gay Liberation movement and other counter-cultural movements “enemies of feminism” and seeking to discredit and slander them. Anyone familiar with a certain branch of radical feminism would immediately recognize these tactics.

Looking over this document, I find myself torn because when I read things like:

F*ggots and all effeminate men are oppressed by the patriarchy’s systematic enforcement of masculinist standards , whether these standards are expressed as physical, mental, emotional or sexual stereotypes of what is desirable in a man.

…This means rejecting of objectification of people based on such things as [physical or facial features], genitals, ethnicity or race, physical or mental handicap or lifestyle…

…Even as we learn to affirm in ourselves the cooperative impulse and to admire in each other what is tender and gentle, what is aesthetic, considerate, affectionate, lyrical, sweet…

I’m like “this is awesome, these are things that really need to be put out there; wish the other 85% of this thing wasn’t crap”. The rest being this campaigning of a sort of compulsory celibacy akin to political lesbianism, but for gay dudes, rejection and dismantling of gay culture altogether, and this realization of the innateness of maleness and femaleness that is “outside of gender”. I have to admit I find myself scratching my head over that last one.

It’s a pretty common argument in that branch of radical feminism, this whole baffling idea that gender is wrong but people should still be categorized by estimated reproductive role and viability. I say tomato, you say transgender identity is a form of cultural appropriation. *shrug*

I really wish there was a situation where all possibility of open, frank discussion of the navigation of gender by people with a lifetime of gender-non-conforming history hadn’t already been hijacked rhetorically by strict binary narratives we have to repack our lives into in order to express ourselves in order to be understood.

Really tho, it’s not too far off from the complications of explaining the social navigation of monogamous bisexuality, something else I’m all too familiar with.

I will say this tho, I kinda wanna reclaim Eonism, which is the term they use in this when talking about trans folks. Even though I’m well aware of the etymology, it still also sounds cybernetic. So any anti-trans jerks reading this should feel free to call me that all you like.

Schematic Of An Electronic Gay Aversion Therapy Device, 1971.

2 May

gayshocktherapyschematic

I can’t really find much background for this specific image (that I found in this Buzzfeed article), but I found it interesting. If it’s hard to make out the labels, it appears to be a control unit running a pair of slide projectors (one full of images of naked men, the other full of images of naked women) and what looks like a randomizing engine to decide if electric shocks would be applied to either the left or right leg (presumably to keep the subject unprepared). It’s kinda eerie.

BONUS:

gayconversionweek

This is an letter sent by notoriously homophobic LAPD chief Edward Davis in response to being invited to Gay Pride Week in 1975, where he responds that he’d rather advocate for “Gay Conversion Week”.

via Letters Of Note.

Them Lavender Mafia Conspiracy Blues: The Threat Of “Homintern” Infiltration. Giggity.

29 Apr

So, in-between endlessly laughing about preachy nimrods wringing their hands about the threat of “cultural marxism”* regarding LGBT rights, I came across a term I hadn’t seen before: Homintern.

A play on words similar to the abbreviation Comintern, it was a reference to an imagined elite class of gay artists that exerted control and influence over popular culture, and something something communism because why not. It was a term used frequently in the National Review all through the 1950s and 1960s because of course it was. William F Buckley warned against their machinations on his television show Firing Line.

Behind it all is this conflation of queerness, cultural marginalization, and artistic credibility which is already hard enough to deconstruct anyway if it wasn’t used so patronizingly. And yeah, I’m aware that it likely started as a campy joke in the first place, but it’s not like it’s the first or even last time jokes made by a marginalized culture regarding their interaction with the privileged culture were turned against them.

*PROTIP: If you use the phrase “cutural marxism” unironically, I automatically lump you in on an intellectual level with the people that think Onion articles are real. Same with the term “misandry”.