Mariette Pathy Allen Retrospective

I found out this morning that a retrospective of 40 years of the awesome Mariette Pathy Allen’s work is hanging at the Museum of Sex in NYC. It turns out a photo of us is in it as well as in the article on Dazed about it.

It’s called simply “Partners” and listed as 1995 but we didn’t meet until 1998.

So let me explain further, as I used to have these photos on the site and this is what I said about them:

The beautiful black and white photo of Helen Boyd & Rachel Crowl was taken by Mariette Pathy Allen during Fantasia Fair ’04. We were both honored and pleased to pose for Mariette – who is, after all, the official photographer of the transgender community.

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What Hormones Do

A recent meme was making the rounds about how you shouldn’t shame trans women who still have deep voices because estrogen/progresterone can’t undo what testosterone did, and that is entirely true. My friend Luna Rudd – the same person who designed that complicated layer cake of attraction I posted yesterday – then wrote this comprehensive guide.

The following things are irresverisble/unchangeable:

For People who are AMAB:

– Bone Structure (Including Height)

– Facial Hair Growth (Without Electrolysis or Laser Hair Removal)

– Deepness/Tone of Voice (Without training. Basically once vocal chords lossen, you need to train them to retighten.)

– Genital Configuration (Without Surgery) For People who are AFAB:

– Bone Structure (Including Height)

– Breast Size (Without Surgery)

– Genital Configuration (Without Surgery)

Things Hormones do change:

– Muscle Tone (Testosterone causes increased tone, Estrogen causes descreased tone)

– Body Fat Distribution (Testosterone results in a boxier figure, Estrogen results in a curvier figure.)

– Breast Growth (Estrogen Increases, Testosterone does not cause atrophy) – Facial Hair Growth (Testosterone will spark facial hair growth, Estrogen will not reverse it)

– Vocal Tone (Testosterone will deepen the voice, Estrogen will not cause it to become higher.) – Pheromones (Testosterone creates a muskier scent. Estrogen creates a sweeter scent.)

– Pore Size and Sweat Production (Testosterone makes people more prone to sweating and increases likelihood of acne. Estrogen tends to make skin clearer.)

– Body Hair Growth / Distribution (Testosterone causes thicker, coarser body hair; Estrogen causes thinner, more sparse body hair)

– Hair on your head (Estrogen can thicken hair slightly, testosterone can thin hair slightly.)

– Skin Thickenss and Texture (Estrogen makes skin soft, thin, and smooth. Testosterone makes skin thicker and rougher.)

– Sensory perception ( Sometimes in small ways, hormone levels can effect things like the curvature of your eye, olfactory senses, taste, etc.)

– Tear Duct Production (Estrogen causes you to produce more tears.)

– Emotional response (This one is harder to describe, but Estrogen makes emotions a bit more complex and deep. It’s easier to feel like sad, mad, angry, and horny all at the same time.Testosterone makes emotions more straight forward.)

-Sex Drive (Testosterone makes people horny, end of story there.)

Additional Fun Facts:

Although pills, patches, and injections exist for both Testosterone and Estrogen. The most common administration of Testosterone is a weekly shot, and often estrogen is given in pill form. As, a trans woman I’m totally biased, but I always say Estrogen is a flower and Testosterone is a weed. To create an Estrogen rich environment in a Testosterone dominant body, a secondary hormone called an Anti-Androgen needs to be used to block Testosterone’s effect on the body. (A.K.A. Weed killer) To create a Testosterone rich environment in an Estrogen dominant body, you usually just need to add Testosterone and let it go wild.

This has been my TED Talk. I hope you enjoyed yourselves. If you have any other further questions, I will take them now.

WSJ TERF BS: One Frustrated Response

I’m not going to glorify the article by linking to it, but there was a miserable piece of TERF bs in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. I attempted to start a point by point rebuttal but I got too frustrated, so here’s what I wound up with instead.

  1. So “safe spaces” aren’t okay for anyone except who this woman decides they’re needed for. Do we ask her permission? Is there a form to fill out? Will only people who deride safe spaces for others by putting the term in scare quotes be allowed to have their own?
  2. Shockingly enough, women and girls also have gender identities. Also, gender identity does not require scare quotes because it’s a thing, has been a thing, & will continue to be a thing. Get over it.
  3. “Biological males” does require scare quotes because this is definitely not a thing. From here on in this term will only apply to men who study biology.
  4. No woman or girl faces risk from a trans person (of any kind) in restrooms, locker rooms, etc.
  5. Trans women and trans girls are women and girls.
  6. Fuck you.
  7. Apparently, biology IS destiny.
  8. Also, fuck you.
  9. Behavior, and not identity, is the issue. Anyone who has been charged with / convicted of violence against women should not have access to women, whether that’s in prisons or homeless shelters or anywhere else. Maybe if this awful woman could get her shit together to, say, demand testing of rape kits and limitations on gun ownership for violent people, instead of demonizing an already well-demonized tiny population of vulnerable people, she might actually manage to reduce the harm women and girls experience.
  10. Writing crap like this – or publishing it – only further distracts people from paying attention to the issues that genuinely expose women and girls to violence: generous gun laws, the difficulty of acquiring a restraining order, good access to mental health care, and understanding of trauma, victim blaming, and the rest.
  11. I am a trans inclusive feminist precisely because I am worried about the violence women and girls experience, which is why it’s so insulting to have someone who knows nothing about either the violence women ACTUALLY face or about trans people write crap like this and publish it.
  12. Seriously, fuck you.

New Eve Trailer, Release Dates

This is the new trailer for the movie, And Then There Was Eve, that my wife co-stars in. It will do a week of screenings in LA from March 1-7th, and will be available March 12th on all VOD platforms and March 26th on DVD. So there you go. At long last, you’ll all finally be able to see it.

RIP Alison Laing

It doesn’t matter if you know it’s coming or not – the news of the death of someone you loved and respected is always hard to hear.

From Dallas Denny:

Alison played a huge role in the forming transgender community. She was a co-founder of Renaissance Education Association, author of a book on voice, and served as Executive Director of the International Foundation for Gender Education. Alison and spouse Dottie we long-time supporters of Fantasia Fair, and both served as Director for multiple years, and both earned the Fair’s highest awards.

There will be a memorial for Alison and Dottie in Provincetown, Massachusetts during Fantasia Fair week, October 20-27, conducted by their daughter Betsy.

I met Alison and her wife Dottie when I was first doing the research for My Husband Betty and in later days when I was doing readings and workshops at various trans conferences mostly in the NE. They were good, weird days, but those two were always a delight. Dottie passed a few years ago.

Here’s are some pieces of an interview Alison gave after Dottie’s death, about why she came out, how she thought about sexuality. (warning: that site is a hot mess of ads)

Here’s a cool photo essay The Advocate did of her early photos, from the 1960s and beyond.

What a beautiful, kind couple they were – such an inspiration to this young ballbuster. Alison was always one of the people who said: keep on saying what’s true.

I’ll miss you, friend. Thank you so much for your support during those early days.

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