Monday, May 30, 2011

Who is Little Orphan Trannie?

Author: Little Orphan Trannie

I've had people tell me that my stage name offends them. This is totally understandable; the word, "tranny" is derogative. Currently, there are many transgender people who are protesting the word and many transgender people who are reclaiming the word.

For me personally, the word "Tranny" is without a doubt offensive in the following ways:

-It's being used to "out" someone as transgender, as in "You can tell that person is a tranny"

-It's being used to fetishize a group, "We're going to the club to hunt for trannies"

-It's being said in a violent or hateful way "You are going to hell tranny"

These selected phrases (and more) have been directed towards me, therefore, I can use the name "Tranny" in reference to MYSELF if I so choose.

As far as non-offensive uses of the word, that all comes down to the context of the situation. However, unless you are a transgender-identified person, I would recommend leaving the word out of your vocabulary.

Even though I identify as transgender, I don't refer to anyone else as a tranny, for the reason that it is disrespectful and I believe it connotes internal transphobia and encourages external transphobia.

My personal motivation for including the word in my stage name is this, I don't want my audience to mistake me for a drag king/queen when I perform. I want my audience to immediately identify me as a transgender performer.

Interestingly enough, what I have encountered when using this name, is that people don't know if I am MTF or FTM. I don't tell them either. I have come up with numerous responses to avoid answering the question depending on the vibe I get from them and what mood I'm in. I've responded with phrases such as:

"Geez, at least buy me a drink before we talk about getting into my pants!"

"It depends... who's asking?"

"Have you always asked intrusive questions?"

"Let me write down a couple of websites and recommended reading materials for you."

"I'm a female to male to female to male...female...male?"

"Gosh, I don't even remember any more!"

"Are you the gender police?"

"I was just going to ask you the same thing!"

"Why don't we go back to your place and find out (Wink wink)"

Although my responses run the gamut from snarky to flirtatious, my goal is to make people question the purpose of needing to find out a person's gender.

Personally, when I have a conversation with someone, I don't need to know what kind of genitals they have/used to have/newly acquired ,etc. This information doesn't affect how I relate to them at all and it's really none of my damn business.

Ultimately, I believe that our society has enforced so many social constructs around gender, that people don’t know how to relate to someone who is ambiguous. I have enough compassion in my heart to understand this fact and am generally patient with people. However, I am still sadistic enough to want to make them sweat a little bit ;)

There is an assumption that transgender people hate their bodies. There is an assumption that transgender people who go into sex work have no other options.

I can’t speak for all transgender people. I can only speak for myself when I say that stripping is my method of activism, and I do sleep a little better at night knowing that people are questioning their gender, sexuality, or world view after having a good look at my sweet, sweet ass.


Little Orphan Trannie

Queering people one lapdance at a time

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Right On Time: A Safe Space Discussion

Has gender always been on your mind? When did you start thinking about and exploring your gender identity, and what prompted your questions? Do you feel like an early bird, a late bloomer, or somewhere in between? Join us for a safe space discussion this Wednesday--perhaps we'll discover that we're all right on time.

Wednesday, May 1st
The Gerber/Hart Library (1107 W. Granville)
7pm sharp until 8:15pm

Please Note: Genderqueer Chicago is open to everyone interested in talking/ thinking through personal gender issues. The group is strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. For inquiries, please email

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Short Shrifted: Clothing and Style Advice for "Short Men"

I've commiserated with many smaller-bodied folks about finding clothing in the men's department that actually fits. After a few years of scouring thrift stores and browsing the boys' section, I happily stumbled upon Short Shrifted, a clothing and style blog for "short men" that offers advice that's easily applicable to small-framed transfolks seeking masculine style.

The blog posts about finding smaller sizes in men's jeans are particularly useful!

--The Little Transboy

Monday, May 23, 2011

I AM trans. I just don’t try very hard.

do not re-post without attribution to the author, Andrew Coate.

At 5’2″ and 130 lbs it’s hard for me to look masculine. And some days it’s not worth it. Some days getting up and flattening and tucking and layering and angsting over what clothes will best hide my hips and chest loses out to getting up and putting on whatever is most comfortable, or frankly what looks best. Some days it’s a lot easier to get up, throw something on, accept that that outfit means I’ll be read more often as female, and just walk out the door.

A few months ago I made the decision to stop getting upset or annoyed when I was misgendered in public by, say, somebody at a store or in a restaurant. A couple months after that I stopped being annoyed with friends who “messed up” my pronouns. I get it, honestly. I really have stopped trying as hard as I had been for a couple of years. Sure I’d like a deeper voice, but I’m not as anxious for it as I had been. Sure I’d like a body that fits how I feel a little more, but I have more important, fun and exciting things to save my money for.

So yes, I am trans. But I don’t try very hard.

And yes, I am trans. But I don’t care that much.

Because I live in the middle ground of gender. While most of the world functions either on side A or Side B (that is to say in a binary system – male or female) I am that mysterious other. And I’m no longer telling myself that I am just passing through this middle ground on the way from one side to the other. My camp is no longer temporary. It’s no longer a camp. I’m building a house here on this middle ground, and I get that that confuses people.

Side A and Side B make sense to people. You are male. You are female. You live on Side A which means you do these things, you like these things, and you want to be these things. Some people live in the big cities, some live in the suburbs, and some even come and camp in the middle ground at times, either to later return to their own side, or to cross over to the other side. But most folks don’t live on the middle ground. Some live here intentionally, like me, and others live here because Side A threw them out but Side B won’t take them.

It’s kind of like living on a fault line where things are shifting and shaking and sometimes our house foundations crack because the building codes that work in Side A and Side B don’t really apply to The Middleground. But instead of helping us to develop better housing structures most of the people who live on Side A and Side B either pretend we aren’t here or they tell us that nobody is SUPPOSED to live in The Middleground so we deserve what we are getting anyway.

We have allies on both sides too, of course. Folks who come in with reinforcements to help us shore up our houses and build new ones. And more and more people are coming in to help us out every day, folks who have visited The Middleground and folks who haven’t.

Why on earth would we want to live here, then? It doesn’t sound like much fun. But for those of us who choose to live here it’s about authenticity, and realness, and loving and living who we are as fully as we can. It’s embracing what this great, big, glorious Universe has given us not as a burden or something to be dealt with but as just another part of life to dance around the stars with. And that dance can happen anywhere; side A, side B, the Middleground, or anywhere else you find yourself. Whether you’re visiting, renting, buying, or peeking in from afar, welcome to my life.

Need your name legally changed in Chicago? TJLP CAN HELP!

We are very excited to announce the MAY Name Change Mobilization event! During this event, attorneys and trained volunteers will help transgender and gender non-conforming folks file petitions tochange their names legally at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago. Volunteers will then provide follow-up support services to accompany folks to their court dates and help them navigate the subsequent name change processes at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Office, Department of Vital Records, etc. Our goal is simple: we want to help as many people as possible legally change their names as part of our long-term goal of gender self-determination for all, free of government limitation. Last month we had our largest turnout to date and filed more name change petitions that ever before! Keep up the fantastic work of spreading the word near and far! The more names changed, the better!

Here are the details for the May mobilization:

When: May 27th
Time: 9am - 3pm
Where: The Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, rm 1202 (12th Floor)

Do not fear! If you cannot attend this month's Mobilization, this is an ongoing project of TJLP and will reoccur on the last Friday of every month with the next mobilization on June 24th. We send many thanks to those with the financial means to donate to TJLP and help make this event possible!

If you have questions regarding the Name Change Mobilization or know of anyone that would like to participate by either getting their name legally changed or by volunteering to help folks change their names legally, please let us know! Our contact information for the event is, 773-272-1822 (phone/text).

Get excited for this Mobilization!!!

And as always: Fight to win!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Safe Space Meeting: Objects of the past

As we go through life we leave behind impressions of ourselves in various objects. These can be objects like photographs, writings, or an old pair of sneakers you keep because even though they might not fit you, they can still get you someplace you don't want to forget. These memories need not be happy ones, they might even may seem more distant then the time that separates, they might seem utterly alien to us now. We might look back and smile or just sigh contemplatively. Whatever the reason, many of us keep these object, many of us cherish these objects. Join us for a safer space discussion about the kinds of objects and memories you keep.

This Wednesday, May 25
Access Living (115 W. Chicago)
7pm sharp until 8:15pm

Please Note: Genderqueer Chicago is open to everyone interested in talking/ thinking through personal gender issues. The group is strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. For inquiries, please email

Raising Gender Rebels

Check out this article about a family raising "gender-free" children! What do you think?

And while you're at you know some gender warrior kids who need a little love? Here are a few gender-friendly children's books:

Be Who You Are by Jennifer Carr
10000 Dresses by Marcus Ewart
My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

And my childhood favorite...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Lighting a Candle for Trans Solidarity" Vigil: Tomorrow Night!

The DePaul LGBTQA community will hold a vigil to promote awareness of transphobic violence on DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus' Quad area on Fullerton Parkway and Seminary Ave. at 9:30 PM. According to the event organizers,

"This issue was brought to our attention after the recent attack to Chrissy Lee Polis. Polis deserves our gathering to show that we will not forget the injustice that plagued her, we will not let hate crimes go unnoticed and that we as a community support her and her fight for justice.

"We will gather together to send a message of love, hope, and support to all transgender individuals who have had to suffer at the hands of hate. Chrissy Lee Polis was the most recent attack victim but she is not the only one. However, with hope we can make her the last one."

Check out the Facebook event page here.!/event.php?eid=210647235624637

A few of GqC folks are planning on heading to the event after this week's safe space meeting at the Gerber-Hart Library. Travel buddies are more than welcome!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pronouns: a safer space discussion!

GqC is unique in that we go to great lengths to inquire about and respect others' preferred pronouns. What do pronouns mean to us? Why do we prefer or lack a preference for certain pronouns?

Consider the tweets below as conversation starters for this Wednesday.

My brother has started calling me his "sisbro". Every step he takes gives me hope.

I prefer "she" and "her" but also "Mister" and "Sir."

If I looked more like a girl, I wouldn't mind so much with the male pronouns.

I want to make changes to myself to feel more comfortable... But I think I will feel less comfortable with how people react.

Wednesday, May 18th
7-8:15pm (we start and end on time)
Gerber/Hart Library (1107 W. Granville)

Genderqueer Chicago is an inclusive community, and all folks interested in talking about gender are welcome. Researchers and reporters are forbidden from attending in their professional capacities but can e-mail organizers at

GqC Outing: Gender Conference May 20th & 21st

There are two events (a performance and a talk) at Northwestern coming up that GqC members will be attending and we’d love for you to join. We’ll be meeting up at Argo Tea in Evanston beforehand to mingle and walk over together. We will leave Argo Tea promptly at 7:15pm on Friday and 9:30am on Saturday.

Holly Hughes Performance: The Dog and Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony)

When: Friday, May 21, 2011, 8:00pm

Where: Wallis Theatre, Theatre & Interpretation Center, Northwestern Evanston Campus

Meet up: 6:45-7:15pm at Argo Tea on Sherman & Davis in Evanston, IL (One block east on Davis from the Davis Purple Line)

Resistance and Empowerment - Gender, Covert and Overt Politics

Moderator: Kristen Schilt, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago

When: Saturday, May 22, 2011, 10:00-11:45am

Where: Kresge 2-301, Northwestern Evanston Campus

Meet up: 9:00-9:30am at Argo Tea on Sherman & Davis in Evanston, IL (One block east on Davis from the Davis Purple Line)

See you there!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alt Q Music Festival Benefits T-Friendly Bathrooms TONIGHT!

Looking for Saturday night plans? Check out the 11th annual Alt Q Music Festival. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the T-Friendly Bathroom Initiative!

Saturday, May 14th
Old Town School for Folk Music
4544 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $20

You can reserve your tickets online here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

shape shifter

By: mr anon

I've been tackling space

fighting with silence

bleeding between worlds

lamp posts and cigarette butts

the woman upstairs is loud

and it doesn't sound good

he tells me I am safe here

but I'm scared

I worry often times my body -

becomes invisible

I play with words like my pronouns

don't matter

but they are intangible to my latest sexual partner

he retreats and corrects the way he's expected to treat me

so my body is seen in the ways he's respected

the pieces melt into blurry memories of

what's true

often times I get confused

how do I fit here

and then I remember

I do not fit easily into your visions for me

I do not scramble to fulfill your fantasy

I will not be humbled by your ignorance of me

I slip easily into word play

I shift quickly to avoid no boundary

but i will keep you here, way up here

and I won't hold you but remain


in the comfort of my own

missing, ambiguous, non conforming

boundless yet bound, changing identity

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Twenty Tickets Available for PONY!

Guess what?

About Face Theatre has offered Genderqueer Chicago 20 free tickets to see their latest stage production of PONY, a play that tackles shifting gender roles and the darker side of love.

Tickets are available for the upcoming performance on:

Saturday, March 14
9:30 PM
The Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division)

If you attend Genderqueer Chicago meetings and want to score a free ticket, it's first come, first serve! Please RSVP by emailing by Friday and we'll do our best to make sure you get a ticket.

Click here if you'd like to learn more about About Face Theatre.

The Chopin Mainstage Theatre is wheelchair accessible.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This Wednesday: Taking Up Space

How often do we try to take up space because our surroundings make us feel small? When is it okay to take up more space? When is necessary to step back? When does it feel necessary to take up space and when does it feel dangerous?

Join us for a safer space discussion about the moments that make us brave.

This Wednesday, May 11
Access Living (115 W. Chicago)
7pm sharp until 8:15pm

Please Note: Genderqueer Chicago is open to everyone interested in talking/ thinking through personal gender issues. The group is strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. For inquiries, please email

Thursday, May 5, 2011

TONIGHT: GqC Acoustic Open Mic!

Calling all performers (and all who aspire to be)! Genderqueer Chicago is hosting another open mic night and wants you to show your stuff! Music, comedy, poetry, storytelling, or any other performances welcome! Bring your friends and family, too! This event, like all Genderqueer Chicago events, is free and open to everyone!

Thursday, May 5th
Kitchen Sink Cafe
1107 W. Berwyn Ave. (Berwyn Red Line Stop)

Kitchen Sink Cafe is wheelchair accessible and family-friendly.

There will be a P.A. system!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boy or Girl?

by Fabrielle C. Schroeder:

Excuse me, do you have ovaries?


I really like you

But im not quite sure what parts you have

I like your hair

And I like the way you talk

And I’m sure I want to touch whatever is in your pants

But how do I ask

What exactly that is?

And you started to talk dirty to me

But when you asked what I wanted you to do to me, I didn’t know how to respond.

Because it all depends on whether you pee standing up or sitting down.


And with a name like Shannon or Chris, how am I supposed to know?

I try to wait and watch when you go to the bathroom

But you never go when we are out

The way your hair just barely falls into your green eyes

Make me swear it doesn’t matter

I will work whatever tools with which you are equipped


And I introduce you as my love interest

And you look over at me and stifle a laugh

And I hold your hand

And don’t tell you its because by date three I still haven’t figured it out.

Do you have ovaries?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Beginner's Luck?: Toilet Trouble Stories

by Maya

I was actually "out" for the first time on Friday at Lincoln Tap Room and used the ladies' room, as it seemed the most appropriate. Contrary to getting hassled, as I got a little tipsy and mistakenly weaved toward the men's room, a gentleman tugged my sleeve and pointed toward the ladies' room. None of the women in the restroom seemed to think it queer of me to be in there either. Maybe I was just among the right crowd? It was a burlesque show, after all.

Anyway, since then, I've seen the recent incidents at McDonald's and The Cosmopolitan and have been extremely grateful things went as well as they did! Here I thought just having to give the choice consideration was trying!.

Send us your stories about bathrooms! We'll post them here.
Email: (please include a title and a publishing name).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Assumptions: A Safer Space Discussion

"Never assume the obvious is true."

What kinds of assumptions do people make about you? When do you make assumptions about others, and what happens when you do?

Join us for a safer-space discussion on assumptions this Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 4th
7-8:15pm (we start and end on time)
Gerber/Hart Library (1107 W. Granville)

Genderqueer Chicago is an inclusive community, and all folks interested in talking about gender are welcome. Researchers and reporters are forbidden from attending in their professional capacities but can e-mail organizers at

Website graphics and design by Andre Perez