Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Second year of the Witness project by the Lexington Art League

Working with advocates from partnering agencies, artists have collaborated with women who have experienced violence and created original works of visual art reflective of the women’s stories, often untold. Through the exhibition of works in Witness, visual art is a tool to facilitate healing for survivors, build relationships between artists and survivors, and engage the community in a very powerful way to help end violence against women and girls.

Witness is developed and produced by LAL in partnership with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program, Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth, and Third Street Stuff. Sponsored by The University of Kentucky Center for Research on Violence Against Women.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lexington Reads Radically- THIS SUNDAY!

Hey all: We are having our first Lexington Reads Radically meeting this Sunday, September 19 at 4pm in my apartment. Please message me at mary dot lesch [at] gmail dot com if you would like directions. Feel free to bring snacks, but not alcohol because I live in a dry building.

We've been talking about it for a year. Now we're finally going to do it. We're going to have our first meeting of Lexington Reads Radically.

Here's how it's going to go:

1. Everyone brings a book/zine/journal article that they love.
...2. We're each going to share what we brought and why we like it.
3. Then we're going to swap w/ one another.
4. When we get together next month we'll discuss w/ each other what we read and what we liked/didn't like about it. Then we'll swap again.

Some general rules:

1. This group (along w/ the listserv) is called lexington reads RADICALLY. That means that we're going to be talking about things like gender identity, sexuality, oppression, class structure, stuff that challenges us, etc. Now that doesn't mean we won't sometimes be reading fluff (I happen to love a good fluffy read) but we're still going to analyze it.
2. You may bring both fiction and non-fiction to share
3. You MUST MUST MUST bring the books/zines/articles back.
4. People are free to come and go from the group.
5. Try to finish what you read, even if it's not something you'd typically go for. If you absolutely can't finish it, then swap it out for something else.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Am I Man Enough?" Great Article

So a cisgendered straight man decided to see what makes people understand masculine gender. He went to several places, a drag bar in washington, a therapist's couch and a psychiatrist's office. Check it out. Do you agree?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Call for Submissions : 'Dear Sister' and 'Occupied Bodies'

Hey all. Many posts to come. First, here are some opportunities for Lexington and KY voices to be heard.

Check this link for information about submitting your letters and stories of violence and more importantly how you have overcome them. They are also looking for stories specifically from people of color, so that is great. I love when people are intentional about diversity.

Another publication, 'Occupied Bodies' is looking for personal stories of perception from people of color. Very interesting.

I would encourage anyone that wants to submit but is afraid that they won't get in to do it anyway. I responded to an ad in Skirt! magazine a month ago and they interviewed me and put me in the July issue. Photo by Kelli Patrick. Get out Lexington.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Comic Con Meets the Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps.

Everybody should know about this, especially Kentuckians. See, great things are happening around the country. Let's get out and show people that Kentucky is great too! As the Lexingtonian Burley says, "Don't f***- with nerds."

The article about the protest that Comic Con is holding in response to Fred Phelps.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More from the AMC

Some of our thoughts about the Allied Media Conference. Sorry about the granyness.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Allied Media Conference

Sorry that this video is so shaky. I need to work on my camera skills.

Fatal Seduction: Book Based in Lexington about the Drag Community

I just heard about this book yesterday, "Fatal Seduction" by Rena Vicini.

Here is a review from Ebay:

The chilling true account of a vicious 1986 murder. Vicini takes readers on a shocking journey from the University of Kentucky to Lexington's sleaziest underground nightclubs as she tells of two women consumed by greed, sex, drugs and depraved violence--and of the innocent young man caught in their deadly web. 12 pages of photos.

The chilling true account of the vicious 1986 murder of Mike Turpin, who was killed by his beautiful, cocaine-addicted wife, her lesbian girlfriend, and a male accomplice--an innocent victim caught in a deadly web of drugs, lust, and greed. Original.

This should be part of the book club. I'm reading this as soon as I can find it.

It is supposedly about the Drag King community in Lexington in the 80's. No wonder the Drag King community is so young and small. They are all afraid that they may become murderers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Stickers!!!

Hey y'all!

I want to spread the word about how awesome this blog is so I made some promotional stickers!!

I'm going to start putting them around town when I go out. If you'd like some to put up then let me know and I'll make you some. Unfortunately they're not waterproof, so inside spaces only. Some good spots might be bathroom stalls, bar walls (where all of the bands that come through put their stickers), leaving them in coffee shops and news stands so that people can just pick them up, the library (both around the other literature and even inside books!) etc. If you can think of any other spots that would be awesome!

And feel free to help promote by making your own Gendered Lexington stickers! You can buy a sheet of white sticker paper from any art supply store - then you just fancy them up w/ markers or paint and tada!!

De Las

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jackson, De Las Ondas, Mervin Sue Present- "Bless Their Hearts: Media for Queer Organizing in the American South"

If you are a participant of the Allied Media Conference, THIS POST IS FOR YOU (and for anyone that wants to know about us).

First off, I started this blog two years ago to talk about gender issues in Lexington and Kentucky. I feel like there is a conversation in Kentucky around Sexual Orientation issues, which I have participated in, as well as other things but people rarely directly address gender issues in the public sphere. This blog has grown to encompass a southern twist on a lot of isms, but at the same time at the heart of it for me is gender based experience, expression and oppression. I think that it has done really well, especially with the help of some great friends who post when they can. It had become a sorta community project. I love that. I have high hopes for it.

About Mervin Sue:
I have worked on Trans, Queer and Education advocacy for almost 10 years now. I was one of three founders of the OutSource- the LGBTQQIA resource center at the University of Kentucky as well as a bunch of other Queer things that I am sure that I could talk to you about if you would like. Facebook page for the Outsource.

About Jackson: Jackson E. Cofer is a FTM, Queer, Independent Musician, Actor and Event Organizer. After leaving EKU in 2006, Jack settled in Lexington to pursue a music career. Once realizing his trans identity, he became intensely passionate about creating a safe space in his community for himself and folks like him. In less than one year, he has organized several fundraisers through his music contacts, raising hundreds of dollars for non-profits in his community. He has also given lectures in UK classrooms, written several posts for Gendered Lexington, and is currently the Vice Chair for Lexington's 3rd annual Pride Festival. Jackson is vegan. Jackson is unapologetically Queer and extremely approachable.
To keep up with Jack visit him online at www.jackcofer.com

About De Las Ondas:
De Las Ondas is a queer, latina, vegan, musician, artist and community organizer from Columbus OH. She currently resides in Lexington Kentucky where she works as a community organizer. When she's not organizing she's playing in her band Spooky Qs, hanging out w/ her partner and her dog, cooking delicious vegan food, and writing for Gendered Lexington. To keep up w/ her check out her website at www.ondinequinn.net

BREAKING NEWS from the Allied Media Conference-Personal post

Hey all. I am currently sitting in the Art Education building at Wayne State University (ART EDUCATION BUILDING- you heard it right). I am attending the Allied Media Conference and presenting later this afternoon at 4pm. Right now I am trying to take a break from the amazingness that is the conference because I am exhausted from working with coffee people and 4-6 year olds all week.

First, check out the Allied Media Conference

Now read about what I am thinking about.

Ageism. I am 27. I look like I am maybe a young adult. Like 19-21 on a good day. I am not particularly sure why because I look like I am me. I wouldn't be frustrated except that it affects my interactions. Lately coworkers, day camp kids and potentially future employers have been making comments. I have heard "I thought you were 19.", and "You should feel blessed because you look young." It wouldn't bother me, except people have been talking down to me and surprised that I am talented, etc. I am tired. I am a hard worker. I am broke. I am trying to find a job that can pay the incredible debt that I now have from the education that I have received. I am not belittling the process or the result of my degrees, but it is hard in this economy to feel helpful when I know many people are being let go and are hopeless. (BTW, 150,000 teaching positions are being cut this year across the country. That is very very wrong) It all leaves me emotionally, physically and soully exhausted. It is good that I went to a session this morning about education because it gave me some hope for the future and for education, something I desperately needed. IT's ok. People are more worse off than I am, but I still feel bad.

Also go check out - Da Town Researchers. They are awesome and doing really great things for education in California.

I'm gonna go nap. Thanks for listening internet and people all over.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Drag in Lexington

I think this article was written to be on our blog-

It's called, "Playing with Power". It's about the Imperial Court of Kentucky, and how they have been raising money for local and national charities for years. This year they have raised over $100,000 for charity.

A new show called "Passing" shows drag as both an art collection and show.

Check it out here.

This event is monumental, both for the Lexington Art League and the Queer community. It is great that something that has been vibrant in the queer community for years is now in a more mainstream venue, and that the art of doing drag has been validated by the Lexington Art League as a viable art form. It takes a lot of work to perform gender.

Believe me, I know.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Glee: From Hollywood to Columbus to Lexington

I love the show Glee.

I know that a lot of people do. They love that they perform popular songs and it is like a musical every week. My love for Glee goes deeper than that.

Probably the reason that I love Glee the most is for the connection that Sue Sylvester has with her Sister. Sue's sister has Down Syndrome. My brother has Down Syndrome. While Sue seems to be the biggest b, she is a complex character and that is why I love her. I can attest personally that having a sibling with a disability is difficult. It is one of the biggest parts of my life, but sometimes I feel like I never got to really have a childhood. This doesn't make me a victim, just tired. I can understand Sue's rashness because I too have been defensive, angry, sad, happy and overwhelmed with my relationship with my brother. I value the exposure that this show is giving to all identities, especially to the one that I have held (hidden) close to my heart for my whole life.

I also love that there are a lot of identities present in the series. Yes the main dude is a white guy. Yes the "other" actors are people of color and gay and people with disabilities. I love that there is a lot of variety on the show. I love that someone on the series regularly is playing a part of a student in a wheelchair. I love that someone with Down Syndrome has shown up in 3 episodes. Since the show "Life Goes On" from 1989-1993-

I haven't seen a show on primetime with an actor that has Down Syndrome. That may not mean a lot to you, but it does to me. I yearn for that kind of recognition, especially for a show that shows the sibling relationship that Sue has.

Glee makes fun of itself. It deals with heavy subjects (Gender, class, race, sexuality, teenagedom, education, etc.) while still making it fun. It isn't perfect, but it is the most right on show I have seen in a long time.

I student taught this past semester. I can tell you that teenagers are dealing with those issues as you read. They deal with teen pregnancy, popularity, discrimination, disability, invisibility and pop music. No other show that I have seen has addressed a more realistic view of High School currently, while still making the show enjoyable. I know that not everyone agrees with me, but that is what blogging and comments are for.

Thank you Glee.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

looking for submissions for a project about how we feel about Kentucky

I started the Kentucky Experience Project about a year ago and due to varying things (technical difficulties and a busy life) I had to put it down for a bit. I've got some of those kinks worked out now and I'm ready to start aggressively looking for submissions once again.

I got the idea for the project after I'd been living in the state for about four years and come to understand the diversity of its residents and landscapes. It seems like depending on where you live, how you personally identify, your race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or who you associate with, your perception of Kentucky will be radically different from someone elses. I've met folks who live here who think it is the friendliest and most beautiful place on earth (no joke!) and I've met people who for various reasons can't stand it here.

I thought it would be interesting to gather up people's stories and perceptions and compile them all together in the same place. In this case, as a website. I'm hoping that by doing so we can create a more intimate and honest dialogue about the wonderful resources that we have here, and where a lot of work needs to be done.

I'm currently looking for submissions. You can submit anything you'd like. Short stories, photographs, drawings, songs, poems, whatever. I am looking for original work. You can view the submission guidelines here. You don't have to a great artists or writer to submit either. I'm more interest in diversity of opinion rather than the quality of the work.

De Las

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beyond Beats and Rhymes meets Drake in Lexington

Watch this documentary. After talking with a friend last night about the Drake concert recently (where a bunch of people were arrested and fights broke out) I thought about this documentary. While I don't blame Drake or the people at the concert for what occurred completely, I do think we are part of a larger system that oppresses people through all of the isms and phobias. I love that this documentary asks really good gendered, sexual and race questions that come from a loving place. I love hip hop too, but I believe that if you aren't willing to make something better you better get out of the way.

Byron Hurt (the filmmaker) is a Q, played football and loves Hip Hop. This is a well done documentary that asks the right questions.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Distro to watch our for.

I just learned about Copy That! a great Kentucky based "one-grrrl show run by Cheyborg Neckmonster."

Taken from the site:

Most of the zines here have to do with sexuality, gender, self-acceptance, consent, and things of that ilk, but there are also a few random things thrown in for fun.
Check the other pages for more info, zine listings, etc.

Get in touch: neckmonster at gmail dot commmm

Check it out!

De Las.

Friday, May 14, 2010

One Transman's visit to the Vagina Doctor

Hey everyone,

I know it has been 2 months since my last post, but I like to wait for inspiration. So far coming out as transgendered and furthermore beginning testosterone, I have encountered many social barriers, ie public restrooms, pronouns in the workplace, the search for a doctor - the list goes on - and as I encounter these things, I will do my best to update the stories on this blog.

The latest issue I would like to discuss today is about me and my vagina. My vagina and I go way back and I intend to keep my vagina for the duration of my life. I know that depending on how far you would like for your transition to go, some transmen do not feel this way about what is naturally between their legs. Some transmen even refuse to refer to it as a "vagina". Words like "manhole" begin to seep into their vocabulary and that is perfectly all right and maybe that's a topic for a future blog
What I'm trying to get at is that no matter how you feel about your vagina before, after and during transition, it is absolutely imperative that you continue getting regular pap exams and other vagina related check ups ESPECIALLY if you are sexually active.

So, it had been two years since my last exam and in that time I had legally changed my name, had been going by male pronouns for quite sometime and had been far enough along on T that I had the first showings of chin air (and not the I'm-a-fifth generation-Italian-female-therefore-some-chin-hair-chin hair but like....scruffy)

So, me and my chin hair get worried because now I need to find a gynaecologist who won't only make me feel okay with a stranger poking around down there, but be okay with that fact that I am transgendered. Now, due to the fact that I live under the poverty level and have NO health insurance, I turn my attention to Planned Parenthood. If you have never been there, they are an excellent resource especially for women and trans people who need access to sex education and affordable health care. There is some light paperwork in order to get on the sliding scale for payment, but low and behold there is a PLACE ON THE FORM under "Gender" for trans persons. Holla!

In no time at all, they had me scheduled to come in the following week and were able to get me in at 40% of the full cost of a visit based on my gross income.

So, I go to PP the next week and once I get in the room, get out of my binder, put on the paper dress and all that jazz, the doctor comes in to ask some questions before the examination. During this discussion she realizes that I have never been sexually active with a man. To my horror, she explains to me that I DON'T NEED AN EXAM.

As an aside - when I was 17 this same thing happened to me and my mom was absolutely livid. This is false information. It doesn't matter what your sex-life is or what your gender happens to be. Just like any other part of your body - if you have one, get it checked out. Cancer doesn't discriminate.

Knowing this situation and having a sister who developed polyps as a teenager I asked "Well, what about toys?"

She says, "Are you monogomous?"

I said "yes."

She says, "Is your partner clean?"

I say "yes."

Then she tells me I have nothing to worry about. Floored, I go on to mention my sister and she tells me that in order to get Cancer I first need HPV which can ONLY be transmitted through sex with a MAN.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Regardless we proceed with the exam. When she is checking out my breasts she asks me if they have lessened in mass since I started testosterone. I tell her they hadn't since I had only been on it for 6 weeks. She then says flippantly, "Yea, I don't know anything about transgendered people." When all is said and done she tells me everything looks normal and she'll put through the tests "even though everything will most likely come back negative."


So, a few days later I run into a friend who works for PP and I tell her what happened. She was pissed. A day later I get a call from the manager there who was so pissed off about what happened, that it warmed my heart. Evidently the doctor I landed was much older (I could see that) and new nothing about trans people and had some old fashioned ideas about what it takes to get HPV.

I mentioned that I found it strange that I had noted to them upon filling out the form that I was trans and wanted to make sure I was in an accepting environment and somehow landed the one doctor who would make me feel embarrassed about coming there.

I am happy to say that the Lexington Planned Parenthood branch manager had apparently reached the state level of their organization about this issue and they have implemented a training specifically geared around education on trans people for current and future staff.

I suppose the point of this post is to make sure you all know where to go to get yourself looked at. Many trans people get all their physicals done through their endocrinologists, but for me and many others, we need to seek other avenues.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

allied media conference

Mervin, Jackson and I will be presenting a workshop on queer organizing at the upcoming 2010 allied media conference. We're really excited about it! For those of you who aren't familiar with the AMC, here's some info from their website:

The Allied Media Conference is the central project of the Allied Media Projects (AMP) network, which emerges out of ten years of organic relationship-building. Since the first conference (then the Midwest Zine Conference) in 1999, people have been compelled by the concept of do-it-yourself media. Later, as the Underground Publishing Conference, the emphasis was on building a movement of alternative media makers. With the shift towards Allied Media, the AMC has attracted more and more people who are interested in using participatory media as a strategy for social justice organizing.

During our workshop we'll be sharing out experiences with organizing the queer community in Lexington. We'll definitely be talking about some of the music events we've organized, UK's OUTsource center, and this blog. If you're free on the weekend on June17th-20th, you should totally come up and maybe even stick around for the U.S. social forum.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Powerful Images Edition 1.3

Voices Against Violence

Voices Against Violence is an amazing zine put together by Noemi Martinez from Hermana Resist. 

This is her third installment of the zine and I have the honor of having a piece featured within its pages. Check it out, as well as her other work.

You can read it online here, or download the PDF.


De Las.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

University of Kentucky Feminist Alliance in the house!!

This is an interview with Virginia Conn, member of the UK Feminist Alliance. Enjoy!!

1. What is the mission of the UK Feminist alliance?

First, I want to identify and thank some of the people who have been instrumental in working with the Feminist Alliance throughout the last year: Jaime Lazich, Jason Grant, David King, Brittany Moore, and Megan Moore. They have been the heart and soul of our organization, and don’t get nearly enough credit for their hard work both on and off campus.

That said, our official mission statement is: “The UK Feminist Alliance seeks to promote issues of equality across a broad range of social arenas. Focused on—but not limited to—concerns related to women and minorities, we work at the grassroots level to make UK a better place for everyone.” I think the most important aspect of our organization, however, is to show that feminism is an issue that affects each and every individual, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc. There’s a place within feminism for everyone!

2. How long has the alliance been on UK’s campus?

I’ve been personally involved with the Fem Alliance since 2005, but it’s been around for far longer than I have, and hopefully will continue on long after I leave.

3. What does feminism mean to you?

Why am I a feminist? I'm almost tempted to say that the answer should be obvious, but I hear so often—in my classes, in the media, from the mouths of my friends and family—that we live in a post-feminist society, that feminism has accomplished its goals and should now, like any good movement which has finished what it set out to do, lay down and die. And that's true, in some sense. Feminism has gained women the right to vote. Feminism has allowed women to work outside the home. Feminism has opened up venues to women that would have been unthinkable even in our mothers' time, let alone our grandmothers' or great-grandmothers'. But how can any movement rest when there's still so much left to do? How can feminism be swept into the dustbin of 'post'-feminism when women still make only ¾ of a man's salary; when shows like The Swan or America's Next Top Model exist to tell us, men and women, that women are only to be valued for their looks; when we have yet to own control of our own bodies in the form of fully-accessible birth control or the hpv vaccine or abortion; when America has yet to elect a woman to the most powerful position in the world? There's no post-feminism when feminism still has attainable goals, and to achieve true equality, there must be feminists who are willing to work for a day when their movement can finally, truly, become obsolete. That day is not today, but I hope it comes soon.

4. What are some of the challenges that feminists face at the university of Kentucky? What about in Kentucky in general?

Most of the challenges we face at UK are the same that any feminist faces in Kentucky or the nation in general: indifference. It’s so easy to think that because we’ve come so far, we’ve come all the way. We get comments on our FB wall pretty frequently calling us anachronistic (not exactly in those terms) for insisting on equality when “women and men are already equal, stupid!” And, of course, there’s always the name-calling and insults whenever we host events, but really, foul language is only secondary. Our biggest challenge by far is the feeling that no one is willing to act for the kind of world they want to live in, they just want it to be here already.

5. Some have critiqued feminism as being a movement that only serves the interests of white middle class women. How does the UK feminist alliance work to include both people of color and people from different class backgrounds?

Honestly, we’re at somewhat of a disadvantage in this area, just by virtue of being an organization centered at a university in Kentucky. The vast majority of our potential members are white and have the means (even if only through loans) to attend college in the first place. Our main method of recruitment is being out in the public eye and drawing attention to issues we care about, which we try to do in conjunction with other multicultural groups. If people in the community see us as a representation of feminism, however, and we’re all uniformly one color and class, then unfortunately we give the same impression as you mentioned in your question. It’s an issue we would like to overcome.

6. In your opinion, are young people eager to embrace feminism?

I don’t think young people are eager to embrace the word itself, because it has (unfortunately) acquired so many negative connotations: man-hater, extremist, etc. I also don’t believe that young people are eager to act to revolutionize ideas about gender. That said, I do think more and more young people are being raised to expect certain ideas about equality that are relatively new in the public consciousness, such as women in positions of power, males taking on stereotypically “feminine” attributes and jobs (I can think of three guys right off the top of my head who aim to be stay-at-home dads), equal partnerships, genderqueer identities, and so on. These individuals may not think of their way of life as a feminist one, but any action that puts men and women on equal footing is exactly that.

7. What would be a feminist perspective on gender? (there is no right or wrong answer of course!)

What a loaded question! This varies so much across the whole “feminist movement” that it’s impossible to say definitively what a “feminist perspective” would be without offensively simplifying the issue for some. I can tell you my own perspective, as a feminist, on the issue, and hope that that’ll be good enough. For me, since feminism itself is all about choice and equality (two nebulous words in and of themselves), gender necessarily both follows and informs those same choices. Unlike sex, with which (most) people are born as either one or the other, some people can consider themselves women, some people can consider themselves men, some are both, some are neither, and some change depending on the day and their mood and the weather. I don’t mean to make light of the topic by saying that; I feel that gender is an identity that is as much a performance of internal and external expectations as it is an integral part of the way you were born, and because your own and others’ expectations are always changing, it stands to reason that the way to enact your gender would do so, too.

8. Feminist movements are often described as being part of “waves.” Currently we are experiencing third wave feminism. What does that mean?

Third-wave feminism is the recognition that there are no all-encompassing feminist ideals that everyone can agree with. It’s a movement founded on diversity and dialogue, not strict rules, but is only possible because earlier waves were united in a push towards common goals that are now foundational. For example, the first wave fought for very basic issues, such as the right for women to vote, while the second wave worked for the right for women to have access/equal opportunity in the workforce, as well as ending of legal sex discrimination. Some of the most prominent issues of this wave are reproductive rights and media representation, but as I said, there is no single issue to unite all feminists contained within the movement.

9. What projects is the feminist alliance working on?

Since the Feminist Alliance is a student organization, we usually take the summer as an opportunity to stop and catch our breath before starting up again in the fall. We have an ongoing project of putting together a Gender Resource Center in the Center for Student Involvement, however, for which we are always accepting donations, and we just finished up curating an exhibit for Boxes & Walls, an interactive diversity museum. Some proposed activities for the fall are a feminist-themed art show as part of the gallery hop, a pay-equity bake sale (which we have done in the past with great success), and our always-ongoing work with the Gender Resource Center.

10. Do you ever work with other campus or community organizations?

We try to collaborate on projects as often as possible. I mentioned previously that we recently finished working with an interactive diversity museum, which was sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and with which we were paired with the VIP Center. In the past, we held a forum about the female orgasm that featured speakers from the UK Medical Center and a representative from Planned Parenthood, and one of our current members is also a member of the Bluegrass NOW, so we expect some overlap there. We have also worked with OUTsource, VOX, and the producers of the Vagina Monologues, and are generally excited to collaborate any time there’s some kind of intersection of interest between groups (which happens all the time!).

11. How can someone get involved with the UK feminist alliance? Do they need to be a student?

We’re always looking for new members! To hold an office or act in an official capacity, someone would need to be a student, but we have currently and have had in the past many people who unofficially belong to the organization. If you have an interest in working with supportive equal-rights activists, don’t hesitate to contact us in any number of ways: our FB fan page (UK Feminist Alliance), our FB group (Girl Club), by e-mail (ukfeministalliance@gmail.com) or on our Twitter account (UKFemAlliance). We’d love to hear from you!

De Las.

Monday, April 26, 2010

We're still here I promise!!!

Hey everyone! I know it's been over a month since we last posted, and I want to apologize all the way from the bottom of our genderedlex hearts! We've all been ridiculously busy, but things are beginning to slow down. I'm working on a couple of pieces for you all that I hope to get up in the next couple of weeks, including an interview with the UK Feminist Alliance and a review of a few of our local porn stores.

Also, I'm pretty excited about this. Mervin Sue, Jackson and I are presenting a workshop at the allied media conference called "Bless their hearts: Queer organizing in the South." It's gonna be great!!!


De Las

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Searching for Testosterone in Lexington....UNINSURED!

Hey folks!

Been a while since I have posted but this past week has reignited my need to be informative.

Last week I officially began my hormone therapy. Not without jumping through a few hoops, but that's a tale for another blog. What I want to talk about right now is where to go to get the best deal on Testosterone while being uninsured. On top of being uninsured, I'm also totally broke. Beginning hormones is only tightening by budget more, but I was dead-set on finding the cheapest way to obtain my T. Bear in mind, this is for 10ml Testosterone Cypionate and this does not include the syringes and needles which pretty much ran the same anyhow (under $10.00). Also "discount" refers to any program offered to uninsured persons. So, here's what I discovered:

$88.59 - for no discount program - a good deal!

$111.99 - also, no discount offered

$105.00 - no discount

$98.95 - no discount

Rite Aid:
$99.99 - They offer a discount program that doesn't cost anything to sign up for and gives %15 off your purchase and future purchases without ever needing a renewal. They also price-match, but they cannot price-match discounted totals. After some light math, Rite Aid was a close second....

....which brings me to our winner....

$89.99 - They have a discount card that costs $20.00. This card takes off $20.00 for every future purchase. It needs to be renewed once a year, but in the meantime you can walk out with your 'script filled for $69.99.

With syringes and needles included, I spent only $101.00 and will only have to spend around $80.00 from now on.

Price hunting for this kind of thing can be scary and I hope this list helps somebody. If you have any additional info please comment about it. Also it is important to note that there are online pharmacies where you can score even better deals if you're willing to do things through shipping.

Be well Lexington!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cross-Posted: Radical Masculinity

"I have studied butch. I was not born with swagger: I learned it. I earned it."

This is a fabulous article on redefining/ re-situating masculinity in these modern times. In addition to having fantastic quotables, this article was valuable to my genderqueer, often masculine-presenting, last bastion of chivalry self.

Read up. Then talk about it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book club has a listserv

For those of you interested in being a part of the radical feminist reading group, please sign up for our listserv by going here:



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being a Woman at odds with Femininity

While watching a Beyonce video tonight I was struck by Beyonce's emphasis of her femininity. On the one hand, I know that women in mainstream music have to work with their femininity because that is what sells. If Beyonce didn't shake her ass and wear bright red lipstick then she wouldn't be as popular. I guess I am surprised by how easily her femininity comes to her. If I wanted to look feminine I would need to try really hard at it. An old ex told me once that when I talked about wearing heels it was like I was "trying too hard".

I don't wear makeup and have not worn a skirt or carried a purse in a couple of years. My haircut is longer than it has been in awhile, but it is still really short and when I wore it longer it didn't seem to suit me or be extremely feminine. Now that I am teaching I have been trying to update my wardrobe because I am essentially performing for 40 hours a week now.

I don't feel comfortable with extreme femininity, it doesn't seem to fit. I feel like a football player wearing a tutu when I try to wear a face full of makeup and carry a purse. Dainty is not how I carry myself. I wish it were as simple as "being ok with the in between" but it isn't. There is a part of me that watches those Beyonce videos and is sad because I don't see a reflection of my type of woman.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Street Harrassment

This is a real problem, and it happens everywhere. I prefer the definition of street harassment provided by the amazing women at Incite

An interaction in a public space that:

makes you feel sexualized, intimidated,embarrassed,objectified, violated, attacked, or unsafe.

An interaction in a public space that:

restricts your movement or makes you modify your behavior in an attempt to avoid the possibility of being verbally and/or physically harassed.

Some of the of the behaviors that represent street harassment are:

Whistling, kissing noises, psssst noises
Comments like “Give me a smile!” and “Hey baby!”
Yelling from a distance
Blocking a woman’s path
Grabbing, groping, touching
Following (on foot, in a vehicle)

What are your experiences with street harassment in Lexington? Where were you when it happened? How did you respond?

Also, I've printed a ton of anti-street violence brocures from Incite's action page that I intend to distribute around town. They're AMAZING. They define street harassment, talk about why it's dangerous, and list things you can do if you're being harassed on the street, as well as things men can do to educate other men about street harassment (not that men are the only ones who harass people on the street).

If you'd like some brochures to give to friends, leave at your school, doctors office, grocery store, etc. you can download the PDF from the above link, or get in touch with me and I'll give you some. My email is laexigente@gmail.com



Monday, February 15, 2010

Does cleverness excuse racism?

Check out John Mayer's apology during one of his concerts. I'm not sure if his apology makes me feel better about what he said in his playboy interview. He called his penis a "white supremacist" and even dropped the N word.

Many blogs have already talked about this. I was wondering what gender has to do with his comments. He is a great guitar player. How does his privilege affect his trying to be "witty"?

EDIT: Jay Smooth puts it perfectly in this next clip. Let's focus on the bigger issues and systemic racism found in this country. Operation, ignore John Mayer.

Male strippers?

Do strippers who are men get less flack than female ones? What do you all think?

Check out this clip about Channing Tatum showing Ellen how he used to dance when he was a stripper. It is kinda funny.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

(Gender)Role Models

As I was skimming through some Sleater-Kinney music videos this evening, I was reminded of something I had almost forgotten about. Not that I ever really forgot the impact Carrie Brownstein had on me as a 15 year old girl with a mere 3 years of guitar playing under my belt, but I almost forgot that feeling that comes with admiration - the special kind - that we hold for folks who inspire us and point us down a path we hadn't come to see on our own.

I thought, "Wow...so that's how you hold an electric guitar."

Though it would be years before I fully appreciated riot grrrl in the capacity of womens' movements or even paid attention to the lyrics in Bikini Kill songs, I never forgot Carrie's swagger, or her infamous kick. I never forgot the serious look on her face that told me, "Look kid, it was a long hard road to get here, what the Fuck are you looking at? Now move out of the way, I'm about to solo." I'm sure this isn't what she means for her face to say, but that's the way it burned in my memory. She was the kind of sexy that I had been looking for and did not know existed. With the likes of the Spice Girls all over mainstream radio and my in depth familiarity of "alternative music" being saturated in Tori Amos, Bjork, and Natalie Merchant (and I still love these artist!), I was therefore only accustomed to the idea of having to wear crazy ass make-up and/or sashes and play acoustic guitar if I was going to really make it as a female musician.

So, tonight I got to thinking in terms of my new gender identity and could not help but wonder: Had I been born male, would I have looked up to Carrie Brownstein? Ever? Would I have settled for Jimmy Page instead? Would I have even picked up the guitar? Maybe I would have been pushed into sports and become enamoured with Dan Marino instead (I grew up in South Florida and he was all the rage back then).

Regardless, I was born with a vagina, took a liking to the guitar, was grounded a lot (hence a good deal of practice), and eventually felt like the locked up female I was and found some badass women to look up to.

Obviously, once I transition, my herstory is not going to change. Ten years from now I hope someone asks me, "So, who inspired you the most when you were young?" And in my burly man-voice I will say, "Carrie Brownstein. She taught me how to hold a guitar like a real woman."

Before I close this out - I'd like to hear who your first role model was and why!!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Art of Manliness Blog

Check out this blog. This post is about Hustling. I agree with the writer, having had someone on a softball team tell me that "What you lack in talent, Mervin, you make up in effort."

How do you Hustle? What are dreams you have been putting on the back burner? I would like to start a Vegan bakery. Maybe I should hustle it out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slamming Perspective

I've been doing more reading and learning than writing lately.

And so, I present to you: Miles. I found this video on genderkid while I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for genderfork to post my profile.

I have no words for how much this moved me. Actually, I have a plethora of words, but what do you think?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kentucky artist plug

I want to be sure to bring attention to artists, musicians, writers and activists in Kentucky who rock and who have something to say about gender and sexuality.

This month's awesome artist is Casie Lewis. A graduate from EKU in photography and printmaking, Casie now resides in Louisville where she's been cranking out amazing shit like nobody's business.

Here are some examples of her work:


To get in touch with her for purchasing, shows etc. email her at cassandra.lws@gmail.com. To see more of her work go here.

Please don't use any of these photos w/out her permission! (She's really nice. Just ASK)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Curves Ahead.

I will post more about this tomorrow or Friday, but check out V magazine's cover shoot with plus size models. These women are gorgeous and redefining the idea that thin equals sexy. What do you all think?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


 I promised that once the holidays were over, I'd get started organizing our feminist book club. Our first book will be The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. This is based on several of you indicating that you'd like to read this. You are free to purchase the book or borrow from a friend or the library. Here are some places online where you can get it for cheap.

Alibris $2.95

Amazon $2.25

We're going to get together to discuss the book on March 21st. (So make sure you've read it by then lol!) That's a Sunday afternoon. We'll meet at noon. I think it could be fun to meet at a coffee shop, but if we have too many people for that to make sense, we could meet at my house. Let's pick the location when we're closer to March 21st. At this meeting we'll discuss how we went to select future books. A couple of suggestions that have surfaced are that we could put book ideas in a hat and draw them out, or we could rotate and each take turns assigning a book. In the meantime, you should make a list of your favs.

I'm so excited!!

De Las.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Inferior Status of Women (The Dark Bible)

"The Dark Bible" as compiled by Jim Walker is something I stumbled upon this morning. I would like to say that the views on religion that are stated and/or implied by its author do not necessarily reflect those of Gendered Lexington authors and/or readers.

Mostly I was stricken by the segment on The Inferior Status of Women which I have linked below. The following is a statement found in the "about" section of the site:

The inspiration of the Dark Bible first stemmed from a combination of Ben Akerley's "The X-Rated Bible" and Steve Allen's, "Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion and Morality", for the purpose of finding relevant passages that dealt with the wrath, scatological, and dubious moral teachings of God in the Bible. The Bible has served as one of the instruments that has steered me away from this awful religion. Hopefully, the Dark Bible will do the same for others.

The Inferior Status of Women


Thursday, January 7, 2010


For the majority of my life I've had really long hair. I remember my mother would braid and style it before school for me. Sometimes she would make my pigtails so tight that I'd get a head ache halfway through the day, but that didn't matter to me because I thought my hair looked good.

When I hit adolescence I remember using half a bottle of rave hairspray to try and get my bangs to stand up just right. I was obsessed. I crimped, curled, ironed, feathered, layered, colored, and teased my hair. People complimented me quite often on how pretty my hair was. I could never conceive of cutting it all off.

My hair became intricately tied to my self esteem and my self worth. Like many young women, I based my worth on my ability to attract boys. I already felt like I couldn't measure up to other girls my age because I wasn't thin enough, or I was too poor to have the coolest clothes, or because I was too brown. My asset, became my hair.

I wish I could say that this changed for me once I left high school but unfortunately college was more of the same. I remember mentioning to my then boyfriend that I was considering cutting my hair and he threw a fit about it. That was all it took, and I left it alone.

My life changed a good deal after college, and I grew enough confidence to cut my hair to about chin length. Then for a number of years I kept it relatively short but always very feminine.

Over the last few years I've rediscovered (I'm sorry I lost you!!!) my feminist riot grrrl self and with that has come a great deal of personal reflection. Why do I care so much what other people think of me?  How can I unlearn all of this crap!I'm succesful, artistic, creative, and intelligent damnit. No matter what my hair looks like. I am beautiful no matter how I wear my hair.

So for new years, I got my first mohawk. I had to drink a glass of wine during the procedure, but I made it through and while I'm cold as hell (the high tomorrow is 17degrees F) I feel liberated.

So for your enjoyment, mohawk party pictures :)




Saturday, January 2, 2010

What Do You Mean You "Don't Like Female Fronted Bands"?

On our way home to Lexington from Louisville yesterday, Ondine and I were listening to 100.5 Gen X Radio. We were shouting predictions of who we thought the DJ would spin next.

"Stone Temple Pilots!"

"No, definitely Collective Soul."

Then we would "ah" to one another when C + C Music Factory would start in.

Inevitably this spurred a dialogue over nostalgia and what we deemed "classics" and what were simply "one-hit-wonders". It wasn't long however before the feminists within us began breaking down the Top 40 lists of the nineties and examined just how many of these bands were female fronted. We wanted to hear some Tracy Bonham, Hell we would have taken Edie Brickell but the station continued with its male dominant playlist and we continued breaking down this paradigm.

It is pretty clear to both of us that bands fronted by female vocalists are simply not approached or delivered in the same way that male dominant bands are. For instance, can you think of any Top 40 female artist that hasn't had to make her sexual prowess a part of her persona? Or at the very least (such as in the cases of Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus) had it attacked? This while bands like Cake and The Toadies get to just focus on being cool and not have to worry about their weight or thier wardrobes. Although I must note that part of this conversation was spurred while discussing Silverchair's frontman Daniel Johns who developed anorexia nervosa at the height of the band's career.

And so I was reminded of a conversation I had with my brother, Nick a long time ago when I was 19 and he was 17. Nick is a very gifted singer and a thoughtful mind - someone whose opinion I have always held in high regard. A late bloomer to the talents of Ani DiFranco, I became absolutely immersed in her discography upon my first year at college. Being blown away, I wanted to share her sound with Nick. We were in my car when I slipped in "Evolve" and to my surprise, Nick did not dig it. When I asked why, he said something that took me by surprise and mildly offended me: "You know, I just don't like girl music. I mean, I just don't like female fronted bands." I said, "What do you mean you 'don't like female fronted bands'?" He shrugged and said, "I dunno their music is always, I dunno, corny to me or something." I can't recall how the rest of that conversation went and I didn't hate my brother for what he said, because in the end I still do value his opinion and in remembering this dialogue and relaying it back to Ondine, I found that men in her life had expressed the same sentiment.

I think this phenomenon is worth analyzing - don't you? What is it exactly that makes men in our culture not take female dominant music seriously? I know this is a loaded question and I know most of us will have the same answers, but lets really dig on this guys. Share with us conversations you have had with men on this topic and tell us why you think this is so.

Also, to wrap this up, De Las Ondas had a great suggestion for me to list Lexington bands that are female fronted. Please feel free to add ones that I miss (past bands count also):

The Rough Customers
Spooky Qs
Emily Hagihara
Blind Corn Liquor Pickers
Coralee and the Townies
Saraya Brewer (DJ)
Eyes and Arms of Smoke
Beyond Dark Hills
City Mouse
Little Noodles
The Dialectics
Chrissy Foster
Miss Kitty and her Hotdogs
Little Miss Tammy Smith
Total Abuse
Tense Kids
Ford Theatre Reunion

I didn't provide links because my computer is acting real slow and it was taking me a while. Y'all know how to Google!