Also. Also. Also: Canadian Trans Woman Wins Breast Implant Contest on the Radio

+ 90.3 AMP Radio in Canada held a contest this summer called “Breast Summer Ever,” which seems inherently problematic in a few ways but also it’s radio and maybe it’s just kinda silly and fun. The radio station received hundreds of applicants vying for the prize ($10,000 in breast augmentation surgery) and narrowed it down to ten finalists, who posted videos on the radio’s website, where over 30,000 listeners cast a vote for who they thought deserved the prize.

The finalists included a burn victim and a woman with a disease that once paralyzed her from the waist down, required a complicated blood cell cleaning process and prevented her from developing breasts at all. Of the remaining finalists, five had just lost a lot of weight and were unhappy with their breasts now, one felt her right breast was way bigger than her left and one just wanted bigger breasts ’cause she thought they’d look good and make her confident.

Then there’s the winner! Avery is a trans woman who can’t afford the surgery she needs to complete her transition, which she points out is not covered under health insurance in Canada. Avery won by a landslide with 76% of the votes and she’ll be getting $10,000 worth of breast augmentation surgery. You should watch her video. Here’s the winner being announced, followed by a brief interview, it made me tear up a little:

The Tea Party is very much OK with Marcus Bachmann calling gays “barbarians” because conservatives “have been called much worse and usually in much more obscene terms, for being a conservative.”

+ A straight but allegedly “effeminate” man was rejected from giving blood because he seemed gay.

+ A symbolic Jewish wedding ceremony celebrated New York’s brand new marriage equality. Mazal tov!

+ Ms. magazine on #actlikealady – “But what Rep. West was likely getting at was that Rep. Wasserman Schultz should be acting more “lady-like,” i.e. following the standards of behavior for fine and proper high-class women of the 19th century. According to West, unless she “shuts the heck up,” as many ladies of old undoubtedly had to, a modern woman does not deserve a man’s respect.”

+ Researchers discovered that Google is making you forget things because you don’t have to remember anything if you can just search for it later.

+ Dorothy Snarker interviews the creator of Rizzoli & Isles at AfterEllen.

photo via afterellen.com

+ Alaska refused to allow a trans* woman to change her driver’s license listing to “female” unless she provided proof of a sex change operation. The American Civil Liberties Union is calling bullshit by suing the state.

Queer South African photographer is more interested in capturing genuine emotion than plastic smiles for the camera. “Some people think that to be beautiful you have to smile. I always try to explain that these are not party photos. These are historical documents. They are taken at a rough period in our lives. Lesbians are being killed here. There’s no reason to smile.”

+ Even in San Francisco, it takes time to establish an LGBT youth center.

+ Most horrifying headline of the week: “Gay man dumped half-naked after lay-by robbery near Coventry”

London Pride is a small but glorious thing.

The Impossibility of Saying “No”:”I live in a world where I can not say no for no more reason than the genes I was born with. I’m not even sure men are aware that often they ask women to do things without considering that no is a possible answer. It seems to me, women are expected to say yes. All the time.

The Dutch version of “Sesame Street,” which is called “Sesamstraat,” is entering its 35th season. The cast includes a purple rendition of Big Bird. It’s kind of awesome.

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48 Comments

  1. Omg I saw a ton about the contest on tumblr from people reblogging it asking everyone to vote for her! I’m really happy she won.

    • I voted for her!!! I totally think the contest is weird, but if someone is gonna get a new rack, it sure as hell is going to be Avery. I can’t think of a better winner!! Huzzah.

    • And me! I agree, it’s a strange contest. I’m so incredibly happy that Avery won; she truly deserves it. Then again, the two women who had legit reasons instead of just not liking their bodies also did. I guess the huge percentage of queer people on tumblr factored in ;)

  2. ‘The Tea Party is very much OK with Marcus Bachmann calling gays “barbarians” because conservatives “have been called much worse and usually in much more obscene terms, for being a conservative.”’
    Seriously? When I read bullshit like this, I can’t even think of an appropriate response. How far does your head have to be up your ass to even think that is comparable?!

  3. re: + Alaska refused to allow a trans* woman to change her driver’s license listing to “female” unless she provided proof of a sex change operation. The American Civil Liberties Union is calling bullshit by suing the state.

    Many states have laws requiring documentation of a certain degree of “sex change.”

    Last I checked, Maine, Florida, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Mississippi and a boat load of other states had this requirement. Most of them don’t even legally define “sex change” either so it is unclear if they mean hormone therapy, or a specific surgery. I have heard anecdotally that chest surgery is often enough for trans men in states where trans women are required genital reconstruction surgery. Which is just another scoop of absurd to throw on this crap sundae.

    Just an FYI about how far behind we are as a country

    • Hopefully they can take this as far as the Supreme Court and get those laws overturned across the country!

      I’m probably being too optimistic, though.

    • There is no state where breast augmentation for trans women is acceptable for either 1) changing a DL where surgery is required; 2) changing a birth certificate. Vermont has recently become the first state where trans women don’t need to have SRS to change their birth certificate, but I understand you need to have been born in Vermont… so, a very small number of people are impacted. And yes, trans men can change their DL (in states which require surgery) after top surgery and in quite a number of states change their birth certificate after top surgery (as Chaz Bono just did in CA). Trans women cannot change their birth certificates after having FFS, orchiectomy or breast augmentation, although there are a number of lawsuits recently filed (in NY and IL) which are trying to change that.

      • Let’s hope the lawsuits start taking these down.

        The good news is there are some states where trans men and trans women can change their gender marker on their Driver’s License alone (like I’ve done) with a signed letter from a physician or therapist stating that the person is transitioning or has transitioned and is living “full time” in their “new” gender.

        • The UK Gender Recognition Act (2004) allows legal gender change without proof of SRS or any other medical intervention. As long as you prove you identify solely with the opposite sex and intend to live as a man/woman for the rest of your life (whatever the hell that means) you can change your gender.

          Unfortunately you can’t be married though. As we have civil partnerships for same-sex couples, it means married trans people who want to change legal gender must get divorced and then get a civil partnership once their gender is legally changed.

          Obviously this is crap and it could mean temporary loss of rights, I think lawmakers are working on making that part more seamless (or they could just, y’know, make same-sex marriage legal and no one would have to do any of this stuff, i dunno…)

          • also not sure London Pride can be described as ‘small’ – usually around 1 million people go and the parade route is down regent street, past picadilly circus and ends with a party in Trafalgar Square and Soho – i dunno sounds big to me.

  4. i hate it when men take “no” as an offense. i even tried to tell this guy a couple of weeks that i didn’t want to go on a date with him because i was gay. he stood up and yelled “if you don’t want to go out with me just say it! you don’t have to lie! wasting my time!” and stormed off.
    well at least i don’t have to make small talk about his totally awesome itunes library (it is kinda cool he has like over 1,000 albums) and how he almost died twice and how i should be all “omg you’re like superman, you have no kryptonite, swoon”. no means no asshat

    • LV, I don’t know how many albums there are here but have over 53 GBs worth of music. You can come by and play it anytime, no swooning required.

    • The worst is when guys who thinks a “no” means you’re “playing hard to get,” i.e. the Mr. Collins approach:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWx7AF8B0R8 (relevant part at about 2:30)

      They’re the guys who stalk lesbians on OKCupid because they think girls are only gay because they “haven’t met the right dick.”

      • blechhh what a 19th century creep! i guess Elizabeth Bennet isn’t a proper lady in allen west’s eyes either.

      • YES! oh, wow, can’t believe you went Jane Austen on us, but it is soooo true. that made my day….

  5. Am I supposed to think the breast implant story is a good thing? How fucking weird.

    I’m surprised you didn’t post the video of the glittering on Bachmann’s place of work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCUX5rDPlis I still think the whole gliterring GOP candidates thing is stupid and makes us look bad.

    • It’s weird that a trans woman is able to have a surgery that allows her to be more comfortable in her own body?

    • It’s weird that giving away boob jobs as part of contests is a thing. That’s great that they tried to class it up by picking someone transitioning to female rather than a stripped who wants a glorious rack, but still very weird.

        • There are a lot of different reasons for women wanting breast augmentation. My mother, for example, is a cancer survivor and had a mastectomy.

          And I gotta admit that yr use of a stripper as an obviously derogatory example makes me really uncomfortable. Let’s not hate on dancers and sex-workers in this nice queer space. (Also let’s not forget that for someone in the sex industry, breast augmentation can mean higher income/tips which might make the difference in making rent or caring for a family member… we’re all humans with real life needs.)

          • Spot on. Sex workers are people, too!
            Breast augmentation knows all kinds, and one reason is just as valid as the next, you’ve just gotta know the situation.

          • What I find sort of ridiculous is that somehow because this a gay-targeted website, that means I should celebrate strippers and, as you say, “sex workers.” I love, love, LOVED being lectured by people on this website that “This is a queer site, so don’t disparage X,” when X has nothing to do with being queer. Yeah, I was being derogatory toward both strippers and the douchey radio hosts giving them fake boobs. I think it’s all incredibly sad. I obviously was NOT insulting breast cancer survivors. If there was a charity that paid for resconstructive surgery for them, that’d be awesome. That is not what shock jock fake boob contests are. The P.C. police strikes again!

          • The reason that I brought up it being a “nice queer” space is because I think of queer people and queer communities as being more likely to accept non-mainstream people and lives and more likely to think more critically about condemnations.

            I’m not saying queer spaces have to include that or are by definition that way, I just have found that by the nature of being a group of people who are often seen as outside of the mainstream and who often have to deal with ignorant condemnations, we are more attuned to them elsewhere.

            And I don’t think it is PC of me to suggest that we rethink the way we are talking about these women or breast augmentation on here.

            And of course I didn’t think you were insulting cancer survivors, and I really don’t like shock jock radio shows either, but this contest (by including the trans woman and a wide variety of women with different reasons for seeking the surgery) sounds different than a “shock jock fake boob contest” and seems like an okay thing to celebrate to me.

          • That’s cool, but like, you don’t need to disagree with me with a lecturing tone and a hint of “You’re a bad queer and this website is for good queers.” I’m not the kind of lesbian who is down with “sex workers,” polyamory, tattoos, whatever. But for fuck’s sake, I am still a lesbian and I still have opinions and I wish some people here would get that. My opinions may be unpopular, but they are always (I think, I hope) aimed at topics and articles and ideas, but not other users. I’m fine with debates and disagreements, but I’m really sick of being told by people that I’m not the kind of lesbian this site is for or opinions of a certain viewpoint aren’t welcome. This is a queer space, an open-minded space, and to me that means there should be a lot of diverse opinions and viewpoints to promote a big exchange of ideas. I’ll debate and discuss anything, but I can’t when I’m being told my ideas aren’t welcome or don’t fit a specific mold.

          • magiclovemuffin I think you are right. I think I did have a lecturing tone and I’m sorry for that. We obviously disagree on some issues but I do not at all want to suggest that you or yr perspectives don’t belong here (hell I’m pretty brand new and not exactly the typical “member” myself)

          • Sebastian, I agree 100% with everything in your comment– but I think that my discomfort (at least) with the contest is that I’m reluctant to believe that the radio station decided to do the “Breast Summer Ever” contest (originally) as an altruistic gesture. I’m glad, though, that *if* female objectification for the purpose of male voyeurism was the original intention (which could be a totally off-base assumption on my part), it appears to have been queered in a really awesome direction.

  6. I’ve seen people giving away breast implants more than once but I’ve never seen a breast reduction contest. I would totally sign up for that.

  7. i know, i thought it was really weird, but that just made me want to vote for her even more.

  8. I had to stop watching “Rizzoli and Isles” because there’s only so many times you can exasperatedly yell the word “gay” at your television.

    • OH MY GOSH this!! I haven’t tired of shouting at my tv just yet though :3

      Rizzoli and Isles is queertastic :D

      • they’re sooooo gay.
        Rizzles totally reminds me of the good old days of Xena subtext.

  9. I could be wrong, but isn’t the photographer a South African not a Kiwi?

    I hope our sisters across the ditch aren’t been killed, maybe the Aussiestraddlers will have to start a rescue operation…

    • Yes, I thought she was South African too. Her photos are amazing.

      As far as I know, lesbians aren’t being killed here in NZ but it’s nice to know there would be an Aussie rescue operation should we need one.

  10. The symbolic wedding ceremony at B’nai Jeshurun is so cool– and it’s funny, I was actually at that synagogue this past Saturday and I didn’t know about that at all.

    I’m so glad Avery won that otherwise-questionable radio contest. In my naïvité, I would not have expected a Canadian radio station to do anything potentially misogynistic. Like, isn’t it utopia up there?

    • To be fair, most of the other candidates had very valid medical reasons for needing breast implants, so it’s not like they were looking for the next Hooter’s girl.

  11. Pino isn’t a purple *rendition* of Big Bird. He’s a purple *relative* of Big Bird’s.

  12. It seems to me that more and more people now do not make breasts, but on the contrary get rid of implants. Someone in the name of health, and someone just wants to return to naturalness. In any case, it is important to simply choose a good professional, like these https://www.enblocsurgeons.com/region/newport-beach/ , so that there are no consequences

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