Welcome to my April Resource Roundup! This monthly feature includes a variety of articles, videos, infographics, books, etc. on LGBTQ+ topics that I’ve encountered during the month which were helpful for me or could be helpful for others. Some of them will be old things I encountered for the first time or rediscovered. Others will be new. But they will all be things that resonated with me during this month.
Articles & Websites
- Antisemitism Meets Transphobia [The Progressive]
This article provides a quick overview of the connection between antisemitism and anti-trans feminism. The major takeaway for me from this and other work I’ve seen on this topic is that we cannot eradicate anti-trans ideologies if we are not also working to eradicate antisemitism. I recommend this article for anyone unfamiliar with how these ideologies are interwoven and to those still in the early stages of learning about this interconnectedness.
- The Biphobic Nonsense of “Straight Presenting” and Excluding Bi People From LGBTQ+ Spaces [An Injustice]
This article briefly covers a recent incident in which a publisher asserted that a bisexual writer was not a part of the LGBTQ+ community based on her writing and their perusal of her online presence despite the writer telling them explicitly she was bisexual before their rejection email. I want to highlight this situation because I believe this story can be a teachable moment. For those who don’t understand what the concrete results of monosexism can look like, this is what it looks like. For those who are confused about the notion that bi+ people experience oppression and negativity that is unique to them versus simply experiencing heterosexism and homonegativity, this is an example of what that means. This situation highlights why when I teach about sexuality, I emphasize the difference between attraction, identity, and behavior and the fact that you cannot look at one of those categories and assume the other. I encourage monosexual folks to read about this snafu and consider the ways you may be unknowingly reinforcing monosexism in the same way this publisher did.
- Christians Counter the Rise of Anti-Trans Legislation [Sojourners]
I really appreciate this article because it highlights a subset of people that are often erased in conversations about Christians and the rise in anti-trans legislation: transgender Christians. Too often the message that trans Christians receive is that you can embrace your trans identity or your Christianity but not both and the rise in Christian-backed anti-trans legislation definitely reinforces that message. I offer this article as a rebuttal to that narrative and a charge to cisgender Christians who may feel pressure to choose between supporting the trans people in their life and their Christianity. Christianity does not have to be incompatible with trans affirmation. This article provides examples of people living out a Christianity that shows that.
- Doctors Agree: Gender-Affirming Care is Life-Saving Care [ACLU]
While most of the resources I’ve shared this year about anti-trans legislation have focused on school sports, sports exclusion isn’t the only way legislators are seeking to damage the lives of transgender youth. Several bills across the country, if passed, would ban access to gender-affirming care for trans youth under the guise of protecting the wellbeing of these young persons. In response, the ACLU has compiled this list of comments from medical doctors, leading medical associations, and related health and social service associations, which all say the same thing: gender-affirming care is essential to ensuring the wellbeing of these children. If you’ve not encountered what medical experts are saying about these bills or you’d like to share some expert opinions with someone in your life, this is a great place to start.
- I’m not Responsible for the Misconception That all Disabled People are Asexual [The Unwritten]
This article by a disabled, asexual person outlines then challenges the beliefs that often lead people to conflate disability and asexuality while also acknowledging the unique burdens this conflation puts on those who are disabled and asexual. Ableism and allosexism are both under-discussed in conversations about systemic oppression, so I highly recommend this article to anyone who is unfamiliar with the terms or unsure how these two systems interlock.
- In Real Life, Transgender Girls in Sports are a Non-Controversy: Retired High School Coach [USA Today]
In previous months, I’ve shared reports on trans students in school sports and recommendations for engaging with people who support these anti-trans sports bills. This month, I want to share a more subjective piece from a retired high school coach who provides real life anecdotes from his own experience and from the world of sports to underscore why trans girls participating in sports with cis girls should be a non-issue.
- Overwhelming Majority of Young Lesbians Have Felt Lonely and Isolated During the Pandemic [Pink News]
This article discusses findings from a research study of LGBTQ+ youth in the United Kingdom during the pandemic. These disheartening statistics about lesbian youth serve as a good reminder that it’s important to disaggregate data about the LGBTQ+ community and look for disparities among different identity groups in order to tailor support and services to the unique needs of each subcommunity under the LGBTQ+ rainbow. I hope that these statistics encourage folks to begin thinking more about what services specifically targeting young lesbians can look like both during this pandemic and once we are out of it.
- She Rushed to Come Out as Bisexual. Now, With Her Debut LP, Dodie Is Reexamining What Sexuality Means to Her [Pride Source]
I really enjoyed the discussion of bisexuality in this interview with Dodie because her description of her bisexuality highlights a trajectory of bisexual identity development that I’ve found to be very common among bisexual folks. When asked about her current label in a way that seemed slightly disconnected from the way most bisexual people perceive their sexualities, she also modeled really well how to maintain and affirm one’s own bisexual identity in that context. I would recommend other bi folks, particularly those seeking some validation in their journey, check out this interview. I would also recommend non-bi folks check it out to better understand what bisexual identity development and the experience of internalized biphobia can look like in bi people. For those who prefer to listen to interviews, there is also a video of her conversation at the link.
- There’s a Good Chance You’re Allosexual. So What Is Allosexuality? [Inside Hook]
For those unfamiliar with the concept of allosexuality, this article provides a solid introduction to the term. The author spends a lot of space also discussing why a term like allosexuality is important in the fight to normalize asexuality, which I especially appreciated.
- A Trans History of Conversion Therapy [Sad Brown Girl]
This article by Jules Gill-Peterson (author of Histories of the Transgender Child) is a little more academic than the articles I usually share, but I’m including it because it is the first article I’ve read that provides such a historically grounded rebuttal to the argument that gender-affirming care is equal to conversion therapy. It is, at times, a painful read, but I think it is a really important read for cisgender people, particularly those who educate other cisgender people about transgender experiences or who have only discussed conversion therapy in terms of sexual orientation change attempts.
- What Does It Mean to Be Biromantic? Here’s How Experts Explain It [Health]
As an educator, I’ve realized I don’t discuss the difference between romantic and sexual attraction as much as I could. Thus, I was happy to stumble upon this article this month which not only answers the question “what does it mean to be biromantic?” but also explains the difference between romantic and sexual orientation, why the term biromantic was created, and outlines ways to be supportive of biromantic people. If you’ve never been exposed to the term biromantic or to the idea romantic attraction and sexual attraction can exist separately from each other, this article is a good starting place.
- What People Always Get Wrong About the Trans Community, According to a Trans Sex Educator [Shape]
This article by my colleague Nat DiFrank challenges the monolithic narrative of the transgender community that even the most well-meaning cisgender people often perpetuate. They provide several examples of the differing experiences different subsets of the trans and non-binary community experience and suggest several concrete actions individuals can take to better support the trans community. I highly recommend this article for any cisgender person who interacts with people in any way, and while many trans people will know the information in this article, I would recommend skimming it for the trans-specific resources mentioned.
- Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen
Almost a year after its release, I finally sat down and watched this documentary and I truly believe this is one of the most important documentaries that has ever been made. The film provides an overview of trans and gender expansive representation in media through a thematic approach rooted in the personal and professional expertise of transgender commentators. It serves as a visceral reflection on past and present media narratives of trans people and how those narratives have trained people to internalize and replicate harmful ideologies about trans folks. While this was a hard documentary to watch even as a cis person, I believe every cis person should watch this documentary to truly understand the layer of disparaging messages in society that trans people must combat in order to love and accept themselves as exactly who they are. A huge content warning for any trans people interested in this media history as they not only discuss common narratives but also show what those narratives look like in shows and movies through a lot of clips, most of which promote harmful messages.
- “How should I refer to someone who now uses a different name and/or pronouns if I’m discussing their past?” [Teaching Outside the Binary]
This Instagram post by Ace Schwarz addresses one of the most common stumbling areas I see among cisgender people. The recommendations for how to refer to someone’s past once they’ve started using a different name and/or pronouns is concise and clear for anyone who may be wondering how to navigate this in their own life.
- “If a child is old enough to know they are cisgender, they are old enough to know they are transgender.” [pinkmantaray]
This Instagram post by Schuyler Bailar includes a call to action regarding one of the anti-trans bills up for vote across the country as well as some research-grounded responses to some of the common misconceptions about transgender youth.
- “If someone says they’re bisexual…” [Still Bisexual]
This tweet by Still Bisexual is a great reminder of the best way to approach the fact that people choose different labels to describe their experience of being attracted to more than one gender. After reading that Dodie interview where the interviewer seemed to suggest that there are better labels than bisexual, this tweet felt like the affirmation I and many other bi+ folks need to see.
- “The Lavender Scare: An LGBTQ History Lesson” [Alok V. Menon]
In this post about The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government by Dr. David K. Johnson, Alok Vaid-Menon highlights the beliefs undergirding the Lavender Scare and what understanding this history tells us about the way the U.S. government has historically used gender norms and roles against citizens. I have not yet read this book but based on this report, I am adding it to my to-read list and encourage you to consider doing so as well.
- “Ways to Respond When You Misgender Someone” [Teaching Outside the Binary]
Sharing this second post by Ace Schwarz because I find this is another one of the most common areas in which cisgender people struggle. This Instagram post provides recommendations both for when someone corrects you after you misgender someone and for when you want to correct yourself after misgendering someone.