Names have a lot of magic in them. In folklore, the idea of knowing someone or somethingโ€™s true name is a powerful one, and someone sharing it with you is them at their most vulnerable. Many Catholic parents, mine included, name their children after saints of people from the Bible. Our obsession with names doesnโ€™t end there: next, a Catholic will go through the sacrament of Confirmation, becoming a full member of the church, at which point we chose another saint we want to emulate and we take their name. Names are bigger than the letters that make them up. They fit an entire personality inside them, an entire history, they fit an entire soul.

The journey to finding and deciding on my real name, Melinda Valdivia Rude, took about four years.

About the new Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860

Trans Lifeline is a non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. We run a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have.

This is a FREE helpline run by volunteers and supported by the community.

Who is this line for?

This line is primarily for transgender people experiencing a crisis. This includes people who may be struggling with their gender identity and are not sure that they are transgender. While our goal is to prevent self harm, we welcome the call of any transgender person in need. We will do our very best to connect them with services that can help them meet that need. If you are not sure whether you should call or not, then please call.

Who will answer when I call?

Our hotline is staffed by the true experts on transgender experience, transgender people themselves. Our volunteers are all trans identified and educated in the range of difficulties transgender people experience. Our volunteers are dedicated to improving the lives of transgender people. Full line up of operators.

When can I call?

Call whenever you need help.

Who made this?

Greta Martela created this hotline to help you. It’s powered byPocket Hotline, a system that provides personalized hotlines for communities.

I’m not in a crisis, but I’d like to talk to someone about Trans Lifeline.

If you are a member of the press, represent other LGBT orgranizations or are otherwise looking for more information about our work, please call Greta Martela at (415) 483-5361.

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Fridays

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This morning I woke up to a TIME cover story about the trans movement being at a tipping point and seeing my dear friend and sister Laverne Cox on the cover. Such a major media moment for a trans woman of color to be visible and vocal in this way, helping spark multiple conversations about identity, about the intersection of race, class, gender and so much more. 

The cover story is not available online (you must purchase the magazine or get a digital subscription) but a behind-the-scenes video and Q&A with Laverne is.

Badass Trans Women You Should Know: Cecilia Chung.

Cecilia Chung is a senior advisor to the Transgender Law Center, a San Francisco City Health Commissioner, and a member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. She was honored last night by the California State Assembly as one of its Women of the Year for her tireless advocacy for trans women’s health access.

Congrats Cecilia!

Incomplete list of books by black trans women:

Sharon Davis, A Finer Specimen Of Womanhood (1986) [Out of print]

The Lady Chablis, Hiding My Candy (1997)

Toni Newman, I, Rise (2011)

Ceyenne Doroshow, Cooking in Heels (2012)

Janet Mock, Redefining Realness (2014)

Tenika Watson and Jennifer Daelyn, My Life is No Accident: A memoir by Tenika Watson (2014)

Dane Figueroa Edidi, Yemaya’s Daughters (2014)

Garland Guidry, Memoirs of a GayShe (2014)

So this is Piers Morgan’s response to Janet Mock’s critical reaction to the way he framed his interview with her. Several other tweets are at the end of this buzzfeed article about Janet Mock.

So what we have here is a cisgender white man showing his true colors when a trans woman of color (actually two trans women of color, since Laverne Cox was with Janet when the interview aired) objects to the way the interview was framed, by saying Janet “used to be a man” and that she “was a boy until she turned 18,” and obsessing over her relationships and disclosures to the men she’s dated and her anatomy and when she’s had surgery and not talking about the trans women of color’s lived realities. 

So tomorrow night (or rather, later tonight since it’s after midnight for me) we’ll get to see a cisgender white man with a rather far reaching media platform have a go at a black trans woman because she didn’t show the proper amount of deference and gratitude about the way the interview was framed.

Toni D'orsay has a better post on this, but that tweet above has been pissing me off since I saw it. The sheer arrogance of this man. It’s not about him being treated in a “disgraceful manner.” It’s about who dared to challenge him.