Pam had a diary yesterday (which you can find here linking to a lovely article in Go Magazine entitled “100 Women we Love 2008”. It was a fascinatingly educational article, and I very much encourage everyone to read it. These women are inspiring.
Now, it’s been pointed out that the article was rather sparse on transwomen. Kate Bornstein was there, and I respect her immensely, even if I don’t always agree with her. But she was by herself.
I’ll take this as a challenge and an opportunity. I’d like to start a list of 100 Transpeople We Love 2008. I can’t do it all by myself, so you’ll have to jump in and help. Here’s the first few, in no particular order:1) Kate Bornstein. Her article in the Go Magazine list is here. She’s been out, and proud, and has worked to reduce teen suicide.
2) Gwen Smith. Her creation and maintenance of the Remembering our Dead archives, her support over the years with that heartbreaking project, and her support of the Gwen Arujo family after her murder are only a few of the reasons she’s a woman I look up to.
*) Christine Jorgensen. She really started the dialog about transgender issues in the United States, and did so when there was NO support. She was the pioneer, and that takes bravery on a scale unimaginable to me. EDIT: While she was groundbreaking, this is the list for 2008. We should focus on those alive now.
3) Mara Keisling. She founded NCTE, the National Center for Transgender Equality. She spends her days trying to make the federal government understand transgender issues. That’s some amazing determination.
4) Wendy Carlos. She’s a pioneer of modern electronic music, and the “A Clockwork Orange” soundtrack in particular is a constant selection in my iPod.
5) Jamison Green. He’s been an educator and activist for many years, and along with Donna Rose helped try to encourage the Human Rights Campaign to work better with the transgendered community.
6) Margaret Stumpp. She’s a Senior VP at Prudential Financial. And a transwoman, who transitioned while in an executive position. Wow.
*) Ed Wood. The filmmaker brought attention to the world of gender issues in his own unique way. As campy as his work was, “Glen or Glenda” was amazing for it’s time (1953) and opened a lot of people’s eyes about the existence of gender issues. EDIT: While he was groundbreaking, this is the list for 2008. We should focus on those alive now.
7) Sandy Stone. The artist and author has been on the cutting edge of media and the arts for many years. She’s been very active and accepted in the women’s community, and was a particular target of Janis Raymond transphobia.
8) Mary Elizabeth Clark. Not only did she help pave the way for Californians to be able to change the gender designation on the their licenses, she became a nun in 1988 and has worked tirelessly against AIDS.
There’s 8. Can we as a community come up with 90 more living transgender heroes and people we look up to?