Thursday, November 17, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

This is what I will be reading later tonight for a Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil at SUNY Albany. I don't know how much I will get to read, if it will be edited, or if I will even read it at all. But I want it to be somewhere. Therefore, I am putting it here and a few other places I know as my stomping grounds. Enjoi

Hi, if any of you didn't know, my name is Kristofer Tracey Stevens. Many of you, however know me by another name. Or, rather, have known me as a few other names. I'd prefer it if you all call me Amanda. I am a nerd. I play Magic the Gathering, read manga and comics, watch anime, and can recite lines from numerous Kevin Smith movies.

I have been pledging a fraternity for almost my entire academic career here at SUNY Albany. Or at the very least, that seems to be what I hear a lot. I didn't know or ever realized that trying to pass as best as I can as a normative female was part of the pledging process. I didn't know that I wasn't being hazed. I was convinced that I was just being me. But then again, I must be mistaken. After all, why else would anyone of male sex ever want to dress like a woman.

No one would willing go through the humiliation, the stares, the snickers, the pranks, and comments. I mean, who would want to walk know that walking from the mall to a friend's car can lead to people slowly driving behind you pointing and laughing and taking pictures? Or walk routes that have the least people on them so I don't feel their eyes? Is it assumed I enjoy feeling terrified every time I have to use the bathroom, which is frequent because I suffer from Ulcerative Colitis an inflammatory bowl disease.

In a lot of ways, the negatives outweigh the positives. The safety and security that just come from being male are greater than we ever notice. But, in the long term, I am certain that coming out as a male to female transsexual well give me a good pay out. Until then?

I will lean on the friends I have for support. I will take the small achievements of people using the proper pronouns as signs that times are either changing or I am passing. I will trudge through the ignorance and try to let it hurt a lil less each day. That is all. Good night and thanks for listening.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Footbol Fan's Dilema

No, I did not misspell footbol. And no, because I am in America doesn't mean I have to refer to the world's most popular sport as "soccer." Actually, that is a good place to start. Football, is an American sport that does not even require foot to ball action. Instead, it is what many of my British friends call "Rugby for Pansies."

But, that is pretty off topic. I guess as an American footbol fan, I have a lot of pent up aggression. Being American and a footbol is really frustrating. And this rage has been bubbling since I first started playing the sport at a very young age. But my first major realization was in high school that footbol is a second hand sport. Compared to my other school's sports always had fairly new uniforms. Our footbol team had old, ill fitting jerseys. Our socks were awful and barely fitted over our shin guards. We were one of the stronger teams in our division and one of the better teams at my school.

Here in America, we look down on the sport. Don't get a footbol player or fan started about how people tell them how low scoring the sport is or how boring it is. During this past World Cup, I was watching ESPN to get some game coverage.  ESPN 2 has a program called 1st and 10. The only thing I can gather is it is a round table discussion about sport headlines, spoken as if it was a bunch of fans mouthing off. I mean I hope they weren't being actual sports journalists. They said the goal box should be smaller, that way the goalie wouldn't be able to disrupt shooters. They continued to complain about game length. Not just stoppage time, which even the fans think can be ridiculous, but that 90 minutes is much too long. Because a 4 hour baseball game isn't.

This is really just a whole lot of the same noise that I've come to be used to. As I spoke to fans they all voiced the same issues. Follow that up with the fact that MLS is only shown on cable channels and most international games are shown on premium channels, and it's no wonder the sport hasn't picked up steam. The accessibility to the sport is low.

This is part of the circular fail that is American soccer. By letting ESPN and Fox Soccer Network buy up the game rights to most of footbol games, you make it harder for people to get into the sport. And with schools, like mine, not putting enough backing into their teams, you can't generate local talent.

I don't know where else to go with this. The evidence is there. Americans and Footbol, aren't the best of friends. And the fact that we keep underachieving in recognized big events like the World Cup, we never will get the sport to grow. End of story.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Coming Out: AJ Bryce

Coming Out: AJ Bryce from Amanda Stevens on Vimeo.

Adelaid Windsom aka Geppetta

This is Adelaid Windsome performing at the Women's Center in Albany, NY on Sunday September 19th. This performance was part of the 2010 Trans Fusions Tour which features an assortment of transgender performance artists. She performs under the name Geppetta, as her expertise is in being a puppeteer.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sassafras Lowrey @ Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Center Center

Sassafrass Lowery is the editor and contributing writer of the anthology Kicked Out. Kicked Out is anthology collecting the stories of homeless and formerly homeless LGBT people, with a focus on LGBT youth. She recently did a book reading at the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Albany. This is a recording of her sharing an exert from her contribution to Kicked Out.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Twitter Smitter Tweeter

Twitter. You may not know how it works, where the bloody hell it came from, or why it is so damn popular but there is one thing you can't ignore. It has invaded your news. We aren't even getting into the realm of entertainment news. That at least makes sense. Celebrities are all about narcissism, so why wouldn't they want you know to about every second of their day. I mean, I can't wait to hear about Paris Hilton going to Starbucks, can't you?

But no, I am talking about how it has leaked into my news. Maybe you have seen it. You go to turn on CNN and there, along side the ticker, is a reminder to follow CNN on Twitter. I mean, there is a real application to the use of Twitter. The spread of news is instantaneous and boiled down. Less room for spin. But, in exchange there is more room for dribble. I mean lets look at CNN's Twitter. They are all boiled down headlines with links to their home site.

That is cool I guess. Except for the whole fact that a lot of users operate their Twitter via cell phone and not everyone can go to that link. But I guess it works. I don't see the useful this that way. I'd prefer seeing some bylines to be honest. You can fit a good amount of information and it makes that 140 character limit.

There should be some acknowledgment that Twitter is in its baby stage as a news outlet. So, it is understandable that organizes aren't sure how to use it right. Or effective. Or maybe...not at all.