Sunday Funday Is Playing Dead to Avoid Men and Voting Trans Women Into Congress

Hello, electric pencil sharpeners! It’s Sunday or so I’ve been told!

The tiny baby dino is finally of an age where leaving the house with her isn’t a whole production and/or we’re finally experienced enough as parents that leaving the house with the baby isn’t a whole production.

Either way, we took a walk to our local diner yesterday for brunch. Our table was near the door, which was ideal for our curious/rude baby to creep on everyone waiting for a table. This nice hipster-y dude with a sweet ‘stache asked if he could take a pic of her after she’d been staring at him for a full five minutes. This little person is such a trip!

Thanks, random guy with an endearing mustache!

I hope you had some lovely moments this weekend, too! Here’s some of that good, not-traumatizing stuff to spread out on the floor and roll around in before Monday comes barrelling in!


Playing at a Theater or Community Center Maybe Near You

When you think of an LGBTQ film fest, you likely think of the big name ones in L.A. or NYC or Toronto. However, smaller and often rural film fests are running, thriving, and queering movie theaters all across the U.S. (I was on the board of ImageOut, an upstate NY LGBT film fest for several years, actually.)

LGBTQ film fests in rural towns and cities create safe spaces for LGBTQ people to meet and be recognized in smaller communities where there may be limited places that are openly gay- and trans-friendly.

There’s no public infrastructure. There’s no tax base to build that—so when communities want to come together, there’s literally no space to gather. There’s no gay bar or corner queer bookstore. So it’s important that film festivals are using what infrastructure is available—an established shared public space—to bring a conversation to a community that otherwise would not have a venue.
– Mary L. Gray, associate professor at the Media School of Indiana University, on the role of rural LGBT film fests

You may be surprised at some of the places that organize LGBTQ film fests, including:


Badass Trans Women Running in Record Numbers

Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Danielle Pellett, Brianna Westbrook, Misty Plowright, Misty Snow

As many as 15 trans candidates are running for office right now, a record high in the U.S., though obviously a small number compared to cisgender candidates. More trans candidates, however, are running for congressional seats instead of the local and state elections most trans candidates have run for in the past.

The political climate is certainly a factor in the increase in openly trans candidates. In the U.S., we have a president who has been openly hostile to trans people by rolling back federal trans protections and appointing a transphobic army secretary. Then there’s the alarming number of transmisogynist bathroom bills and discriminatory bills in state legislatures across the country and the lack of protection for trans people in many states and at the federal level. Some trans people have decided running for office is the best way to change the course for trans people and for progressive American values.

Currently, most transgender candidates are women—nearly 90% across the U.S. and internationally—which puts them in the double-whammy position of running as openly trans and as a woman. As we all know all too well, women have a harder time getting political backing and FUNDING and institutional support from mainstream parties compared to male candidates. Additionally, the handful of election training and leadership programs for female candidates don’t openly recruit candidates who are trans.

All that said, it’s a step forward that more trans women are running and for higher, more influential offices! These trans women who are running for congressional office are aware it may be a long shot, but they hope to change the dialogue by running for office.

Brianna Westbrook, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona’s eighth district on the Democratic line, says she’s “just a normal person.”

I got sick and tired of waiting for change, waiting for a candidate that was going to stand up for the issues that were important for me and others. Why not run and take care of the issues that need to be taken care of?

Danielle Pellett of Texas is running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat against incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions (who denied the Pulse shooting was an attack on gay people). Pellet, a former Republican, is running on many issues including climate change, healthcare reform, and marriage equality. She is celebrating her third year of legal marriage to her wife and mentions her wife and three cats in her official candidate bio.

Misty Snow of Utah is running for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat after winning her state’s primary against conservative Democrat, Jonathan Swinton.

Misty Plowright of Colorado is running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat, also after winning her district primary against a moderate Democrat, veteran Donald Martinez.


America’s Got Laverne Cox!

via DFree / Shutterstock

Laverne Cox will be a guest judge on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent. Set your DVR!


We’re Flawless and Lawmakers Agree

For the very first time, Democrats have introduced a bill that would ban the practice of so-called gay conversion therapy across the U.S. The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 was introduced by Representative Ted Lieu (D-Ca.), Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa.), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) last Tuesday. If passed, it would consider conversion therapy treatments as fraud within the laws of the Federal Trade Commission, effectively ending anti-LGBTQ “therapy” treatments and programs across the nation.

The bill is very simple. It says it is fraud if you treat someone for a condition that doesn’t exist and there’s no medical condition known as being gay. LGBTQ people were born perfect; there is nothing to treat them for. And by calling this what it should be, which is fraud, it would effectively shut down most of the organizations. – Ted Lieu to the Washington Post.

Only seven states outlaw conversion therapy, called “ex-gay therapy” and “reparative therapy” by practitioners. It has been disproved to work over and over. The American Psychological Association doesn’t support the practice and states that conversion therapy harms people more than helping them.


It Me

Female dragonflies apparently fake their own death to avoid being harassed by a male dragonfly she just isn’t into. According to the research of Rassim Khelifa of the University of Zurich, when a certain type of female dragonfly is being pursued by a male she doesn’t want to mate with, she’ll suddenly plunge to the ground and fake her own death.

BEEN THERE, girl.


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KaeLyn is a 37-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 222 articles for us.

26 Comments

  1. Nothing like a little positive news fix to get me through the week :) Wish I could vote for one of those awesome ladies running for office, I wish them the best!!!

    Also, your little bean is ridiculously adorable <3

  2. Huzzah for more trans women in politics, Unfortunately, misty snow is a phenomenally weak candidate to be one of the figureheads. She hasn’t even gone to college and has little to no political experience. I’m embarrassed that she’s the face we’re presenting.

    • Yeah! A pity when people with no college experience get elected. Like that clown George Washington, then there was that loser Harry Truman, that no good Abraham Lincoln, and of course the others, but what do they matter? Embarrassments all!

      Something tells me she wouldn’t be embarrassed to represent you, even when you put her down.

        • Really? No one gives a shit if a cishet white dude has no experience. A trans woman doesn’t meet the same classist standards and it’s OK to call her an embarrassment? Because there’s not a transphobic hypocrisy at all? And fuck off with calling me dude.

          • It doesn’t matter how “lots of people” mean to use the word, it matters how the word is received, and it is received by MANY as gendered and should never be used without consent.

          • No. You’re arguing for people to have the right to offend others because they should be able to say whatever they want and mean words however they want. Reality doesn’t work that way, certainly it isn’t the case on Autostraddle.

      • I’m inclined to agree with Joanna here. SO MANY PEOPLE run for office with no formal education or political experience. Theoretically, our government is supposed to reflect the people of this country through representative democracy. Our government was literally set up with the intention that our country would not be subject to the tyranny of the wealthy and elite.

        I don’t think we should be anything but happy for any trans woman who decides to run, openly, for political office. Especially in this time when transmisogyny is at a raging boiling point and any trans woman who makes herself visible as a public figure is also putting a target on her own back. Let’s not let bullshit respectability politics decide who gets to represent trans people publicly.

  3. It’s easy to do the play dead thing online/via text (should know, done it myself). But someone should take it to dragonfly level & do it face to face. Hopefully the guy is smart like a dragonfly & not like a Victorian guy or a prince in a fairy tale so can figure out that dead/fainted/lying on the ground looking emotionless so he goes away means ‘off limits’.

  4. I’m not running for state level or anything, but am trying to get elected to my local school board. I think trans people are needed at all levels of government to create long-term change.

  5. And the female black widow spider eats her male mate after sex.

    I really think the subliminal male hating inherent in this post is one of the largest reasons I, and other trans les’s take a beating be hind closed doors,and can you blame them if they read stuff like this,the facts are many straights don’t hate us, THEY DON’T TRUST US because of just what you see here.

    we want to be accepted yet we show very little of it ourselves, I have a Virginia, if i go to a bar, men are gonna think i am there to meet men, I want to thank you all for making darn sure I am rejected for the rest of my life because of real concrete evidence like above. it tough as hell being a man, a woman, a trans, especially in America, were ignorance is spooned to all of us cradle to the grave, I thank god for my male and female straight friends who let me skip all this les back flack, STOP GIVING THEM REASON TO HATE US

    Femheart

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