Trans Brilliance: CN Lester on Music, Psychology, Gender, and Activism

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TransEthics: I’ve interviewed a couple of non-binary people in the past. How do you define “non-binary”?

CN Lester: I would probably say that I don’t define it — I think the very appeal is that there is no fixed definition — or, rather, than everyone has their own, and we respect individual interiority — that’s the whole point. I don’t personally used the term non-binary (unless repeating someone else’s choice to use it) for a number of reasons.

The main reason being that gender is not a binary. Sex is not a binary. It never has been, it never will be, and I object to having to define myself, and the whole complex web of humanity, in reference to a lie which has caused untold damage. As ever, that’s not to say that men and women aren’t men and women — just that there have always been more descriptors than just those two, that those descriptors need not be fixed to specific entry requirements, and that every person (man, woman, neither, both, either, more options) will have their own take on what gender and sex mean.

TE: What does gender mean to you? Continue reading

Trans Experience: Sophia Banks on Privilege, Cyber-bullying, and Trans Liberation

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Editor’s note: Trigger warning for violence as a first-hand account of violence against Ms. Banks is discussed. 

TransEthics: There are many who would consider you a leader in the trans community. How does that make you feel?

Sophia Banks: Uncomfortable, to be honest. I don’t think of myself as a leader. I am not really into the concept of leaders. I am glad and honoured I inspire some folks and have a platform to educate people. But being seen as leader makes me uncomfortable. Rising to a sort of level where I am seen as an authority has always been weird for me. I started out just speaking my truth as a trans woman pissed off about shit and things kinda blew up. One thing I hate about being seen as a leader is how I am expected to act strong all the time, never feel weak or insecure. It all happened so fast as I was going through my own transition and the struggles that come with that. Continue reading

Trans Reality: Jen Richards on Trans Activism, Community, and Sex Work

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TransEthics: What inspired you to come up with the Trans 100?

Jen Richards: The seed of the original idea began with co-founder Toni D’Orsay. She had wondered aloud on her Facebook who would be in a Forbes style top 100 trans people. She asked for people to suggest names in the comments. I put in a few, then tried to go to sleep. But as is my issue, my brain did not comply, and I began thinking about all the possibilities of a list of 100 trans people. I got back up and called Toni (we had met through We Happy Trans, my earlier project) and we began discussing ideas.  Continue reading

Trans Artisan: Courtney Trouble on Gender, The Effects of Transphobia, and Art

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TransEthics: What did you do before you got into sex work?

Courtney Trouble: I started doing phone sex as a job a few months after my eighteenth birthday because between college, my personal projects, and trying to be a freelance writer, I didn’t have the time or interest to stay at an entry-level retail or food job. I just didn’t have it in me. I was initially attracted to sex work because I wanted to work on my art (which at that time, were photography, zines, websites, and music) instead of work at someone’s store. I’ve been doing some sort of internet-based sex work since 2002. So what did I do before sex work? Be a teen, I guess. A nerdy, super creative, artistic, baby riot grrrrl who didn’t want a corporate job.

TE: When did you decide to move beyond working the phones? Continue reading

Transcending Binary: Miss Erika Rose on Being Non-Binary, Trans Identity, and Camming

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Trans Ethics: How long have you been camming?

Miss Erika Rose: Privately or publicly? (laughs) I’ve done private shows for a better part of four years and started doing it for private groups a bit over a year an a half ago. I’ve been camming publicly for about seven months now.

TE: Why did you get into sexwork? Continue reading