Beyond Judy Blume: Q&A with Polkadot Author Talcott Broadhead

Perhaps you caught sight of Polkadot, Talcott Broadhead’s forthcoming gender non-binary children’s book series, when the project reached its Kickstarter goal in April. Bitch is so excited to have Broadhead participate in our upcoming Beyond Judy Blume community forum in Portland on November 8th, dedicated to exploring identity and sexuality in YA lit (more info on our events page). If you aren’t able to attend the forum, you’re still in luck, because we asked Broadhead a few questions for the blog. In this Q&A, Broadhead talks about how Polkadot will differ from other children’s books in which gender identity is central to the story, why celebrating trans* and non-binary identities in children’s lit is so important, and dishes on their favorite children’s and YA books.

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Via Bitch Magazine

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White Privilege & Racism Education Resource

Reblogging this from The Black Feminist Manifesto, mostly for my own sake so that I can have this extensive list of links in a handy place. Also, they’re all really good links and people should read them.

This is a resource post for all the Good White Persons out there. You know, the ones who say things like “It’s not my fault I’m white! Don’t generalize white people!”, or “I’m appreciating your culture! You should be proud!”, or “Why do you hate all white people, look I’m a special snowflake who’s not racist give me an award for meeting the minimum requirements for being a decent human being”.

Well, if you are actually interested in understanding racism and how it ties into cultural appropriation, please read instead of endlessly badgering PoCs on tumblr with your cliched, unoriginal arguments and repeating the same questions over and over.

On White Privilege
aka don’t blame me just because I’m white:

On Reverse Racism
aka you are being racist against white people:

On Cultural Appropriation
aka I’m just appreciating your culture:

Assorted Vials of White Tears and Miscellaneous Antidotes
aka I can’t change that I’m white/not all whites are racist/we are all humans:

Okay. I agree. I’ve been socially conditioned not to notice racism and recognize my privilege. What can I do?

I don’t care about this bullshit; you’re making a big deal out of nothing, go home and delete your blog:

Trans* Narratives in Mainstream Dialogue

I am trying to appreciate trans* stories being included in mainstream dialogue, but what will it take to show people that saying a trans person was born as a woman (for example) but then ‘becomes’ a man after op is invalid and cold. It’s such a shallow analysis. I struggle with my gender identity, wanting to be open as identifying as a trans man but not wanting surgery. So by these peoples ideas I will never be what I know I am. That is even more difficult because some days I would more readily identify as agender. It just pains me that I am required to prove my gender via genitals.

A friend of mine posted this to their blog and it reminded me of something my partner and I were talking about a while ago. They’re just beginning to transition and do not see themselves as someone who was “born in the wrong body” or who is moving FROM one gender TO another or “becoming” the gender they “always wanted to be”.

The mainstream narrative of trans*ness depicts a person moving from one binary gender to another and centers around transition, necessitating GRS/SRS to validate the person’s gender as “real” or “true”. This narrative in outdated and inapplicable to a lot of trans* people, but it is still used by the mainstream to describe trans* people and explain trans*ness in a simple, digestible way. This is problematic for a variety of reasons, among them the fact that it is an oversimplification, it erases non-binary trans* people and folks who choose not to transition, and it encourages the idea that trans* people’s bodies have to conform to cis people’s body essentialist ideas about gender in order to “really” be their genders.

Being trans* is not that simple, and we need to advance the narrative that is being used to tell our stories so that it reflects the full complexity of our lived experiences. We need to change the way people talk about trans*ness and what it means to transition (in part, in full or not at all).  Right now, we’re telling our stories through their (cis-centric, binarist) lenses to make ourselves more palatable. fuck that. If we have to water-down our stories and erase our complexity in the hope that they’ll “understand” us, then they’re never fucking going to understand us.

all of the above is why I really appreciate this post by Mx. Punk and why I love Asher Bauer’s Trans 101

NOTE: I’ll ask my partner to write a post about how they DO feel about their transition, but I can’t make any promises that it’ll ever happen.

a post by Mx. Punk doing a great job advancing the narrative of how we define a trans* person.

rainbowgenderpunk

lotsa people define “a trans* person” as someone whose sex and gender (or their body and mind/soul) don’t match.  i see where this comes from.  if we say THESE genitals are male and THOSE genitals are female and if  we realize that we aren’t defined by our genitals, it stands to reason that gender (our internal selves) and bodies (mainly our genitals/sex) are two different things that may or may not coincide.

i declare shenanigans on this notion.  yes, it’s true for lotsa trans* people; if you tell me your gender and your body don’t match up (whether or not you want/need them to match up)—i believe you.  you are the ONLY authority on your gender and your body and i totally respect that.  but when you define trans*-ness as a misalignment between gender and body, you erase people like me.

and how am i?  i’ve said it before all…

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“What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?” New York Times Magazine

The night before Susan and Rob allowed their son to go to preschool in a dress, they sent an e-mail to parents of his classmates. Alex, they wrote, “has been gender-fluid for as long as we can remember, and at the moment he is equally passionate about and identified with soccer players and princesses, superheroes and ballerinas (not to mention lava and unicorns, dinosaurs and glitter rainbows).” They explained that Alex had recently become inconsolable about his parents’ ban on wearing dresses beyond dress-up time. After consulting their pediatrician, a psychologist and parents of other gender-nonconforming children, they concluded that “the important thing was to teach him not to be ashamed of who he feels he is.” Thus, the purple-pink-and-yellow-striped dress he would be wearing that next morning. For good measure, their e-mail included a link to information on gender-variant children.

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A Map of Gender-Diverse Cultures

Two Spirits | A Map of Gender-Diverse Cultures | Independent Lens | PBS.

Click the link above, it’s really cool. Its a google map with dots on it marking the approximate geographic locations of “gender-diverse cultures” around the world, and if you click on the dots you can read a little blurb about what gender(s)/gender expression(s) they recognize other than male and female. It’s really neat!