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Posts Tagged ‘Chaz Bono’

WordPress just sent me a “Your 2011 Year in Blogging” report that provides a year-end summary of the most viewed and most commented on posts for the year. Although I can always see my stats, it’s nice to have all that information in an organized little bundle.

So to welcome in 2012, I’m going to link to the most popular posts of 2011. Read them again or for the first time (or, if you hate reruns, I will see you back here on Thursday).

I hope 2012 turns out to be great for all of you, and thanks for making Tranifesto so successful. Without my readers, I would be writing for myself, and it’s bad enough that I talk to myself!

The Top Five Posts in 2011

The most popular (most viewed) post in 2011 was actually a post I wrote in 2010 – Testosterone and Sex Drive: My Second Adolescence.

The second most popular post in 2011 was written in 2009 – Gay Men Kissing Kicked Out of Restaurant: Why It Matters to Trans People. (Note for SEO buffs: “gay men kissing” seems to be a very popular search engine term, even if it’s not happening much at my house.)

Number three was What Does Being a Man Mean to You?, number four was Chaz Bono on TV: Explaining Heterosexual Dancing to the Children, and rounding out the top five was Meet the New Gender Police – Same as the Old Gender Police.

My most commented post in 2011 was Ask Matt: Coming Home to One’s True Nature, with 52 comments.

And thank you, CaptLex, for being my most active commenter in 2011, followed by Anon, Ethan, Maddox, and Sean.

The majority of my readers were from the United States, with Canada second and the UK third, but I have readers all over the world, including Singapore, the Philippines, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Brazil, Venezuela, and Peru. The reach of the Internet continues to amaze me (remember, I grew up when color TV was an innovation).

Again, thanks to all my readers and commenters for a fantastic year. Please stick around for 2012!

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We interrupt our regular blog programming to bring you this exclusive interview with Chaz Bono just before his debut on Dancing With The Stars – tonight, Monday, September 19, at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

I was lucky enough to get to talk to Chaz by phone this weekend to find out about the big show, his book, and what he’s going to do next. (And in a shameless display of self-promotion, I left in the nice things he had to say about my book, so be warned.)

Read on, and remember to watch Chaz tonight and vote early and often to keep him on the show. Now, without further ado, heeeeere’s Chaz!

Matt Kailey: What made you decide to go on Dancing With The Stars in the first place?
Chaz Bono: I just thought it would something that was fun and that would allow me to do something that was physically challenging with my body now that I’m finally feeling comfortable in it. And I thought it would allow me to reach an audience that I really haven’t been able to reach yet.

MK: Did they teach you the dance moves?
CB: Yeah, there’s been three weeks of rehearsal, and then you go!

MK: How do you feel like you’re doing with your dancing?
CB: I think I’m doing okay. It’s really kind of hard to tell.

MK: Do you think you’re going to be nervous?
CB: Oh, yeah. It’s nerve-wracking. I’m actually at the set right now, and it’s the first time I’ve danced on the stage.

MK: Obviously, you’re aware of all the grief that’s going on about this appearance. You’ve had to hear and read some really awful things. Even in the face of all you’ve had to put up with, was it worth doing it?
CB: Yeah. I really don’t pay much attention to all that stuff. I haven’t really read anything, and the only time I have to hear stuff is a couple of interviews where people have said stuff to me. And I’ve actually even put a stop to that, because I just don’t want it in my head. So it’s pretty easy for me. I do have a fairly thick skin, so it’s pretty easy for me to drown it out and not go out and seek stuff.

MK: A lot of people, both trans men and trans women, have to put up with the stuff on a lesser scale in their private lives. What would you say to them?
CB: I think it would be much harder to have to go through it in a smaller way, honestly. For me, it’s kind of easy. I’ve been an activist in the community – not specifically in the trans community, but in the LGBT community – since ’95, so I’ve dealt with a lot of this kind of stuff. Not to this magnitude, but I’ve had debates and dealt with Jerry Falwell and Fred Phelps and people like that in the past, so at this point, I have a fairly thick skin. But I’m really grateful that in my life and my world, I don’t have to deal with any of that. I think it would be a lot harder to have to go to a job every day where you’re facing discrimination from your coworkers or your boss than it is to have idiots on the Internet saying crap about you. (more…)

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DancingThe uproar hasn’t stopped since it was announced that Chaz Bono will be one of the cast on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which premieres on September 19.

While there are many people who are supportive of Chaz and his appearance, plenty more crawled out from under their rocks to be shocked, appalled, and offended in the comments section of the DWTS website.

Of course, there are the usual yawners harping about chromosomes and destiny,  but in addition, a whole new group has materialized – parents who aren’t going to watch the show because they don’t know how to explain a man dancing with a woman to their children.

The Dancing with the Stars website is littered with these concerned comments – How am I going to explain this to my five-year-old? What will I tell the children? We’re not going to be watching this season, because I don’t want my children to see this!

I understand. It is concerning when children are exposed to heterosexual dancing. At best, a man dancing with a woman seems just a tad bit edgy – and worst-case scenario, it’s just plain immoral. After all, you know what dancing leads to! I believe they covered that a long time ago in the movie Footloose (when today’s concerned parents were kids).

So I want to offer the following tips to those parents who are worried that their children will lose their innocence by watching this season’s DWTS:

> Before the show starts, sit down and explain to the kiddies that sometimes boys and girls see each other across a crowded gymnasium at prom, and while the senior high band plays their special rendition of “Back to Black,” they are all simply compelled to get up and dance – with each other! Tell the kids that someday they will understand – the dancing and the words to “Back to Black.” (more…)

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TRANSform Me TeamDidn’t think I could be brief, did you? I don’t know if I can, but let’s give it a try and take a look at some recent transworthy news:

Chaz Bono gets legal paperwork changed: People.com says, “A year after undergoing a sex change, Chaz Bono is now legally a man.” Perhaps they meant “a year after beginning his transition” or “a year after announcing his transition,” because I have no idea what they mean by “a year after undergoing a sex change.” Legal paper work is part of a “sex change” or transition.

Aside from the fact that “sex change” is considered an inappropriate term by many in the trans community, this once again reinforces the myth that there is some “sex change hospital” where people enter on Friday as one sex and walk out on Monday as another. Nevertheless, a legal name change and the ability to change the gender marker on legal paperwork, which is one piece of a transition, is a momentous occasion and an utter relief for anyone who is transitioning.

While there is speculation all over the Internet about the surgeries that Bono has or has not undergone, the bottom line (no pun intended) is that Bono’s legal paperwork now matches the gender he has always known himself to be, and while he might have “legally” become a man on May 6, trans people know that he has always been one. (more…)

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2010Personally, 2009 has been just so-so, and I’m looking forward to starting a “new year,” even though the “starting over” thing is purely psychological. But for the community as a whole, 2009 has provided some successes, some setbacks, and some downright sleepers. Here are just a few of each, in my opinion:

The Best:

Chaz Bono comes out: A major boost for trans recognition and acceptance, particularly for the “invisible” female-to-male set, Bono’s public transition (he has no other choice) has allowed non-trans people to see that anyone can be trans, and that gender issues are not confined to some specific oddball set of the population that they can ignore, sweep under the carpet, or therapize into submission. It has also forced non-trans people to recognize trans men — “Wow, you mean there are guys out there, too?”

Hate crimes verdict in the Angie Zapata case: While acknowledging that there are two sides to the hate crimes issue, and I haven’t yet decided which side I’m on, I still like this verdict — the first in the country to recognize trans status as a hate-crimes motivator in a murder. It has allowed non-trans people to see that trans people cannot be ignored, swept under the carpet, therapized into submission — or brutally murdered — without some ramifications. (more…)

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Me as hippieWhen Chaz Bono came out yesterday, I thought I was going to have to change today’s post, which was supposed to be a continuation of yesterday’s, and that was gonna screw everything up! Celebrities and their timing — hah!

But then I realized that it actually fit perfectly with what I wanted to write about. When a high-profile figure like Bono comes out as trans, it provides a huge boost in visibility to the trans community, and, in Chaz Bono’s case, to the FTM community, which tends to be less visible overall.

On one side of the trans coin, as I wrote yesterday, are those people who don’t want this visibility. They would prefer that even local activists be more discreet. And even though Bono has stated, through his publicist, that he is not interested in doing interviews at this time, and it appears that he will manage his transition as privately as possible, he’s not going to escape the prying eyes of today’s press.

But there is another side to the trans coin — those people who welcome this kind of visibility and attention and feel that it can only help our cause. And that’s the group I am talking about today. (more…)

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