Tag Archives: gender identity

‘Hamilton the Podcast’ Queers Theatre One Hilarious Episode at a Time

With powerhouse shows like Fun Home and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Broadway has become a place to express queer sexuality and explore gender identity.

Instead of analyzing a queer show like Rent, lesbian comedian Brittani Nichols and her friend Khahlehla Rixon have applied their queer female lens to a different show. They’ve created Hamilton: The Podcast, which is about – three guesses – the groundbreaking hip-hop musical Hamilton.

Even if you haven’t seen Hamilton (and who has? tickets are sold out for the next couple of years) you’ll enjoy these ladies’ track-by-track rundown of the musical. For each song, they discuss the historical context behind it, the musical arrangement, the lyrics and the story as a whole. Except they’re hilarious. And gay. And will have you laughing in your chair about things you’ve never thought about before, like the 19th century US Treasury.

Even if you hate musicals with a fiery passion, there’s a high chance you’ll fall in love with their analysis of Hamilton. Especially since they also haven’t seen Hamilton, and mostly just guess what it’s like.

Their analysis will also have you reflecting on queer questions you’ve never thought about before. Which Schuyler sister was the most attractive? Did Aaron and Burr have sexual tension? How likely was it that Alexander Hamilton had a crush on John Laurens? Was Lafeyette as queer as his name sounds?

They just finished going through the whole musical, so you have 50+ hours of podcast material to catch up on; it’s perfect for long trips or study sessions.

What’s next for the duo? One can only hope that they interview Hamilton’s queer cast members, such as Ariana DeBose, who played the most important role in the show: the bullet.

When you’re done, check out Words with Girls, Brittani’s gay web series-turned-fully-produced show:

Ruby Rose Talks Gender Identity Struggles In Latest Interview

Speaking to The Edit, Ruby Rose says she considered gender reassignment surgery when she was younger.

All I wanted was a boy’s name growing up — Charlie, Billy, Max, Frankie. You just know my mum wanted a girly-girl princess!… Everyone had Barbies; I had Ninja Turtles and Superman… I was crazy about Archie comics. I played [football] with the boys.”

Adding that she may have regretted undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

I’m a woman… I want to have babies one day, so I’m glad I didn’t make changes earlier in my life.”

Of her fairly newfound fame, she adds:

It’s only when I slow down that I realise. I have pinch-me moments, like, ‘Is this my life?’ Because I’ve got four films coming out in 2017, and 18 months ago, I hadn’t even made one.”

Since her big breakout, Rose has been schooling us on gender fluidity. Even before Orange Is the New Black, she starred in a music video called Break Free that explores the division between genders.

Talking Refinery29 last summer, Rose said;

I think if I had a choice to be remembered for just one thing it would be ‘Break Free.’ I wrote it, I produced it, I starred in it — it’s my life story,”

Rose is continuing to educate us now. The actress gave a brief explainer to The EDIT about the proper language for the queer community. The term LGBTQ is constantly changing to be more inclusive — it’s fluid, just like gender.

Actually, it’s LGBTQI 2 Spirits +,” she said. “The I is for intersex and the 2 Spirits is for native people who believe that androgynous people have two spirits, male and female.”

Even Rose admits that the proper terms can get difficult.

It can be confusing.” Confusing, but not impossible. She added: “Just learn it — it’s not that hard.”

Preach. Here’s to even more Ruby Rose in 2017.

Actress Sara Ramirez Comes Out As Bisexual And Queer In Powerful Speech

Sara Ramirez – who is best known for playing the proud bisexual character Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy – came out as bisexual while giving a speech at the 40 to None Summit in Los Angeles, this weekend.

So many of our youth experiencing homelessness are youth whose lives touch on many intersections—whether they be gender identity, gender expression, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship status.”

She continued

And, because of the intersections that exist in my own life: Woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American, immigrant, and raised by families heavily rooted in Catholicism on both my Mexican and Irish sides. I am deeply invested in projects that allow our youth’s voices to be heard, and that support our youth in owning their own complex narratives so that we can show up for them in the ways they need us to.”


Ramirez, who has been married to husband Ryan DeBolt since 2011, is a member of the True Colors Fund board of directors and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.


Ramirez, 41, previously played the role of Dr. Callie Thorne, who also identified as bisexual, on the medical drama. On the series, she initially played the love interest and eventual wife to George O’Malley (T.R. Knight).

The actress left the hit ABC medical drama after 10 years this past May.

Watch her full remarks below.

Actress Sara Ramirez Comes Out As Bisexual And Queer In Powerful Speech



Lena Dunham’s Sister Talks About Struggle With Gender Identity (Video)

Lena Dunham’s sister Grace is opening up about a personal battle with body image, self-acceptance and gender identity.

The 24-year-old writer is one of the nine people who appear in Fullscreen’s special season of StyleLikeU docu-series – The What’s Underneath Project.


For the project subjects get real about their own insecurities and how they found comfort in their own skin while simultaneously (and symbolically) removing layers of their clothes.

For Grace – who originally came out as a lesbian at the age of 17 – the struggle is about understanding which gender to identify with – if any.

I think at this phase in my life, there’s a particular weight on gender and trying to adequately communicate [that] I’m not a woman, but I’m not a man.


Grace was inspired to go down the path that defies categorization by friend and trans-activist Reina Gossett – who opened Grace up to the possibilities after struggling to fit into the box of perfect femme lesbian.

I think I was really confused. I was like – but I am having sex with women? I’m out. Everyone knows I’m a lesbian. What is this feeling I am having? Why am I still feeling a lot of shame? Why do I still hate my body?”


Grace now understands that there are more than two gender identities to choose from – and embracing the unknown is powerful enough.

Maybe just accepting I don’t have a name for myself and accepting that uncertainty is a more accurate reflection and a more freeing reflection of who I want to be then trying to figure out which box is best. I think self acceptance and self love is a process that might not ever come to an end. My body – like, it’s mine. It’s me. It’s who I am.”

Grace isn’t the only star featured in the episode of – Christina Perri, Lina Esco, Lauren Wasser, Crystal Valentine, Jessie Kahnweiler and Gaby Dunn is also feature


New York City Leads The Charger On Single-Sex Facilities To Stop Bathroom Discrimination

New York City has enacted a regulation that ensures people visiting city facilities can use restrooms or locker rooms aligned with their gender identity.

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order this week that guarantees people access to single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity at city facilities, including offices, pools and recreation centers, without the need to show identification or any other proof of gender.

The move comes amid a continuing national debate over anti-discrimination laws.

De Blasio said.

Access to bathrooms and other single-sex facilities is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted or denied to any individual. “Every New Yorker should feel safe in our city — and this starts with our city’s buildings.”

Bianey Garcia, a transgender woman and organizer for Make the Road New York, said she was once prohibited from using the women’s restroom at a restaurant by its owner.

That day I felt humiliated, but like so many others I didn’t think of making a complaint or telling anyone because of fear, frustration and disbelief. Access to the ladies bathroom is my right as a transgender woman, as a human being.”

The new regulations apply to all city-owned buildings, including city offices, public parks, playgrounds, pools, recreation centers and certain museums.

It doesn’t require agencies to build new single-stall restroom or locker room facilities, but instead enforces that all individuals, including those who are transgender or gender non-conforming, are free to use single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity, city officials said.

The order does not apply to the city’s public schools because there already is a policy that students must be allowed to use locker rooms or restrooms consistent with their gender identity. A bill currently pending before the City Council would require publicly available, single-occupancy restrooms in both public and private buildings to be designated as gender-neutral.

An estimated 25,000 transgender or gender non-conforming people live in New York City, officials said. De Blasio’s executive order went into effect immediately after it was signed on Monday.

“New York City is the birthplace of the fight for LGBT rights, and we continue to lead in that fight so every New Yorker can live with dignity,” de Blasio said.

Nearly all of the nation’s 20 largest cities, including New York City, have local or state nondiscrimination laws that allow transgender people to use whatever bathroom they identify with, though a debate has raged around the topic nationwide.

Houston voters defeated an ordinance in the fall that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people. Last week, South Dakota’s governor vetoed a bill that would have made the state the first in the U.S. to approve a law requiring transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.

Rowan Blanchard Discusses The Negative Responses She Received For Coming Out

At the beginning of the year, the Disney Channel star Rowan Blanchard opened up about her sexuality on social media, saying she identified as “queer.”

In my life—only ever liked boys. However I personally don’t wanna label myself as straight, gay or whateva so I am not gonna give myself labels to stick with—just existing;)”

In a new interview with Wonderland magazine, she explained that she received several false comments about her tweets, while other responses were borderline homophobic.


I’m okay with it now, but I still realize that I was allowing people to comment on something that’s very personal. The first day I tweeted about it, it was definitely scary to see people commenting about things that literally have nothing to do with them.”

But many responses were positive. After her first remarks about her sexuality, some called her inspiring and a role model for her generation.A fan also tweeted, “BisexualRileyMatthews2k16,” citing the name of her character.

It’s vvv important to me, being queer, that there is representation on our show/ Being queer to me just means not putting a label on sexuality- just existing.”


Rowan has more than 360,000 followers on Twitter and more than 3.6 million on Instagram. She told Wonderland that her mother started posting on her behalf when she was about 9 and then she began to share posts herself at age 12.

The downside to social media is it’s another place for girls to be made fun of and another way for girls to be degraded,” she told Wonderland. “The upside is that it’s also a way for girls—especially girls of color, for example to speak out and to take back some control.”

Shop Fined For Selling ‘Chest-Binder’ To Minor

A Canadian shop has been slapped with a $260 fine under a city bylaw after a teen purchased a “chest binder” – a sleeveless elastic under vest used to flatten the chest.

There’s nothing illegal about the binder. The problem is the premises. Under city bylaws, Venus Envy is licensed as an adult store and can’t serve people under 18.

Even though there is a demand for products that help transgender youth affirm their gender identity, teens can’t enter the store to buy the products. It’s even unclear if those under 18 can enter the store and make a purchase if a parent or guardian is present.

Venus Envy owner Shelley Taylor says a bylaw officer told her the complainant was a parent.

It’s so upsetting cause Venus Envy is the only place in town to buy binders. And we do see a lot of young people because that’s who can’t order online and who often need info as well as products. We’re officially an adult shop, there’s no alternate to that license at the moment. So a guardian has to be here if someone is under 18.”

Taylor says she has already spoken to city hall, and isn’t optimistic the bylaw will change anytime soon. Ideally, these products would be available to teens in a non-sexual environment, she says.

Do you need to have fake ID to buy something that affirms your gender? That’s good for your emotional and mental health? Our goal is to make people comfortable and offer good service.”

Taylor believes a lot of young people come to the store because few teens have credit cards and can order online, or fear having something mailed to their home.

Other teens come with their parents.

We serve so many youth — mostly with their parents. They come from all over because we’re a trans-affirming kind of place. For us, it’s an emotional thing when we see a queer or trans kid with their parents, because they have the support that most kids don’t.”

Appearance is important to all teens, but those who are undergoing a social transition experience even more difficulties, says Laurie Rector, the director of community programs at Family Services Ottawa, which offers programs for gender creative and gender independent youth and their families.

It’s a highly affirming part of the transition to be able to express your gender. It’s so important for youth to have access to binders.”

When Taylor posted the news that Venus Envy had been fined on Facebook, there was an outpouring of support for the youth whose parent made the complaint.

Taylor has reluctantly placed a sign on the front door of the store saying customers under the age of 18 aren’t permitted in the store. She has spoken to staff at city hall, and isn’t optimistic the bylaw will change anytime soon.

Ideally, these products would be available to teens in a non-sexual environment, she says. There are some solutions to this, including running a pop-up store at another location. Kind, which already runs a “freecycle” clothing swap, is considering whether it can offer temporary space.

Why Ruby Rose’s Story on Gender Identity is the Right Conversation to Have With the Press

Ruby Rose has been very outspoken about her gender fluidity, noting that she doesn’t fully identify with one gender (male or female).


The last couple of weeks, this story that has flooded mainstream media outlets, with many news outlets running with the headline of how she once wanted to be a boy.

Also read: 13 Women Who Dare To Challenge Gender Stereotypes in the Media

The model-DJ-actress went on to Access Hollywood to explain what it actually means to question your gender. Something many of us can identify with through those tough coming out years.

When I was younger, for sure I [thought about transitioning]. I had this jar that I would collect dollars, in fact, we were so poor, it would have been cents, so I probably had 19 cents to go towards this surgery that I really didn’t know a lot about. I think I’d seen like a daytime documentary, probably something on ‘Oprah,’ and I was like, ‘That’s what I’m going to do.’ So I started saving from probably the age of five. When I got to 15, [it was] when I kind of decided to get more into my body. I shaved my head and my mom was like, ‘I don’t know what’s going on right now, but if you are happy, then do it.'”

Rose said that shaving her head, altering her appearance, and changing the way she spoke made her see she didn’t actually want to transition.

I realised I didn’t want to transition, I just wanted to be more comfortable in my own skin.”

Which is actually something a lot of queer women struggle with – feeling comfortable in the way we look. We grow up seeing the ideals of a hetero-normative lifestyle, which we don’t truly fit into.

We haven’t grown up with many positive role models. Female gender and sexuality is perceived to be one way – the Disney princess, the Kim Kardashian.

What Rose is doing is saying actually there is something alternative out there and its ok. And she is doing it in a big way, and without fear.


It took her years to conquer Hollywood, and 24 hours to become a massive success once season 3 of Orange is The New Black hit our screens.

Rose, who is launching a gender-fluid brand, goes on to say that gender is sometimes complicated.


Gender fluidity is not really feeling like you’re at one end of the spectrum or the other. For the most part, I definitely don’t identify as any gender. I’m not a guy; I don’t really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, which — in my perfect imagination — is like having the best of both sexes. I have a lot of characteristics that would normally be

Watch Rose on Access Hollywood below:


Salesperson Shames Mother For Allowing Daughter To Wear Boy Clothes

A Texas mother says a shop assistant accused her of child abuse when she tried to buy a suit for her daughter.

Rachel Giordano took her five year old daughter Maddie to Martha’s Miniatures in Denison, Texas to buy a new outfit for Easter. She was unsurprised when Maddie made a beeline for the boy’s suits.

Speaking to DFW, Giordano said

Maddie she just gets a suit every year.  She looks forward to it. That’s how she…She’s kind of different. She just wants to wear a suit and tie, and Easter’s the perfect time for it because there’s always cute stuff out.”

Rachel Giordano

Giordano claims that when the shop assistant realised the suit was for a little girl, Ms Giordano says she reacted extremely negatively.

The woman’s face was just a face of disgust. She told me that I was promoting wrong behaviour. That parent’s should not let their children choose the way that they dress if it’s cross-gendered. She just approached it in a very hostile manner and tells me that’s wrong, I should not be encouraging this behavior, that it sounds like it’s more of an issue on mom’s part, my part, than my daughter’s.”

Rachel Giordano

She says Maddie started to cry, so they left the shop. After encouraging friends to complain about the shop, the shop assistant apparently posted a statement on the shop’s Facebook page.

This is child abuse for the mother. I am sorry, I did not say anything to the children, just to the mom. She is wrong to encourage this.”

That Facebook page has since been taken down and no one from the store has responded to several calls from CBS 11.

Meanwhile, Giordano says Maddie will be wearing a suit this Easter Sunday.

She’s a tom boy. She’s preferred to dress in boys clothes since she was about three-years-old. She just gets a suit every year.  She looks forward to it. She just wants to wear a suit and tie, and Easter’s the perfect time for it because there’s always cute stuff out.”

Rachel Giordano

Ms Giordano eventually bought a suit in another shop, and says: “People don’t need to pick on little kids for what they’re wearing.”

Rethinking Female Beauty – ‘I Heart Girl’ is a Breathtaking Exploration of Women’s Femininity

Take a look at the new portfolio of work by New York photographer Jessica Yatrofsky – I Heart Girl, which is a breathtaking exploration of women’s femininity.

“I’ve always been drawn to depicting the body. I think it’s very important to make images that represent a facet that reflects the current cultural landscape, which is why both [‘I Heart Boy’ and ‘I Heart Girl’] highlight gender identification.”

Jessica Yatrofsky

Talking to i-D, Yatrofsky  said that while some of her subjects are unclothed, all of them project a vulnerability that is important to understanding how they present their gender and sexual identities.

“It’s an impossible task to de-sexualize women. I think sexual identity is important for the self and I care about celebrating and honouring what resonates with how each subject chooses to express herself.”

Jessica Yatrofsky

The I Heart Girl monograph, a follow-up to Yatrofsky’s successful 2011 book I Heart Boy, will be released this summer. The book of portraits shows the huge breadth of people that identify as feminine, urging the viewer to rethink female beauty.

Jessica-Yatrofsky-02 Jessica-Yatrofsky-06 Jessica-Yatrofsky-0110 Jessica-Yatrofsky-11 Jessica-Yatrofsky-08 Jessica-Yatrofsky-05 Jessica-Yatrofsky-03 Jessica-Yatrofsky-07 Jessica-Yatrofsky-12 Jessica-Yatrofsky-04 Jessica-Yatrofsky-09 Jessica-Yatrofsky-01 Jessica-Yatrofsky-13

The Art of Androgyny – Androgynous Models Turning Gender Expectations Inside Out

Sexual ambiguity is in, and to celebrate we’ve listed out the hottest models to take into consideration for rocking gender identity.

Here 10 androgynous models turning gender expectations inside out

1. Ari Fitz (@itsarifitz)

It’s like an unspoken trust – that i will give them something powerful, unique, and new … every time i create.”

Ari Fitz

2. Jana Knauer (@janaknauer)

When you start your career as a fashion model, you usually know what the industry likes about you most. It is either your agent who tells you right away, or you will learn on jobs… for me: eyebrows.”

Jana Knauer

3. Elliott Sailors (@Elliottsailors)

It was a natural transition earlier on in my career, I would get frustrated because I thought I looked too masculine. I have a strong jaw, wide forehead, huge eyebrows. I thought I looked like a man wearing make-up… One of my favorite things, actually, about working in menswear is that people are much more direct about what they want.”

Elliott Sailors

4. Beck Holladay (@mickeypancake)

…dressing like a boy and having the biggest hair”

Beck Holladay

5. Erika Linder (@richiephoenix)

The fashion world always changes. You can’t keep up and it’s not something I keep up with to be honest. I think it’s hard for androgynous models to really get known or get a good gig. This world in general is hard to get into and do well I reckon. It all depends on how far you wanna go. I just imagine that I wanna be the best that I can be…”

Erika Linder

6. Courtney McCullough (@courtneymccullough6)

I find utter enjoyment in travel planning and researching rather than leaving it up to a travel agent. In another life, I’d be THE perfect travel agent; just give me a budget and what you’re looking for and I’ll create the perfect trip for you.”

Courtney McCullough

7. Agathe Mougin (@agathemougin)

8. Agyness Deyn (@agynessdeyn)

When I started modeling, I didn’t have a fucking clue what I was doing. Actually, I still don’t know what I’m doing while modeling. But at the beginning, it was like, “Oh, god, is this right? Is it not?” So I’m kind of going through that again, but I think it’s a discovery, which is fun.”

Agyness Deyn

Watch The Debate: Gender Privileges Between Butch and Femmes

Take a look at HuffPost Live debate on Butches and Femmes, with guests Aja Aguirre (Fit for a Femme), Anita Dolce Vita (dapperQ), Mary Going (Saint Harridan) and Morgan Willis (Bklyn BoiHood) all participating. The reason for the discussion was to explore different challenges lesbians face because of their gender identities and why is there infighting over who has less privileges between the butch and femmes.

Interesting viewing, so watch the video


Casey Legler | The Male Role Model

Casey Legler, is a woman model currently earning her keep working as a male model. Although androgyny has often been celebrated by the fashion world; with women playing male roles, and men playing female; there are not many making their living exclusively from such an act.

Yet, recently the trend has shifted. We have Andrej Pejic, a young male model, making a splash with his femininity, and now Legler who two years-ago signed a contract with Ford Models.

This new play on gender identity is one that is being embraced by both females and males across the global. However, Legler doesn’t want to be the poster boy for “gender identity” and “gender expression”. She labels her look an expression of ‘freedom’.

“I understand signifiers. We’re social creatures and we have a physical language of communicating with each other…”

Casey Legler

Standing 6’2, Legler clear defines her self as a female, but her close-cropped hair, neck tattoos and lanky frame give her just enough of a masculine look to model suits and baggy jeans as convincingly as the next male model.

“… it would be a really beautiful thing if we could all just wear what we wanted, without it meaning something.”

Casey Legler