Where Is The Love?

This morning like most other mornings, I went into my usual routine of checking my Pinterest and Tumblr and Facebook while getting ready for a day of action. Everywhere I looked, I saw beautiful expressions of love between all kinds of people. Virtual Valentine’s Day cards and assorted heart imagery peppered the internet. My single friends cringed. It was a beautiful thing (well, not the cringing of course). Unfortunately however, amidst all that beauty, there was a hideous display of cyberbullying in the form of a video interview with a transwoman I’m proud to call my friend. She appeared on a local news station, after being interviewed about some bit of traffic-related news. The video somehow found its way (possibly illegally) into the hands of one Daniel Tosh, appearing on his comedy show Tosh.0. Taken completely out of context, the video shows the original interview, but Bridgette’s (the woman in question) dialogue is accompanied by a laugh track. Here is the video for those of you who may not have seen it.

So often in the trans community, the more “passable” or “stealth” among us are left alone, while those who are visibly trans become targets...all based on appearance. This hypocrisy is disgusting and needs to give way to a universal acceptance in order for any progress to be made as a species. Because we are a collective of human beings and as such we need to have empathy for one another. An empathetic person would have reflected upon the fact that societal factors have “caged” in many trans people; not only in the wrong body, but also in the wrong financial bracket to afford the exorbitant costs of transition, making “stealth” a more difficult prospect to achieve. An empathetic person would stop and say, “To hell with ‘passing,’ you don’t need to fit some preconceived notion of ‘good enough’ for me to leave you alone, you just need to be you because you’re a human being with a soul and a mind. You’re like me and I love you.” Did Tosh and his cohorts stop and try to empathize with their victim’s circumstances? Not at all. Instead they glossed over her, judging her as not worthy of the decency they’d probably extend to a “less trans” person and they mocked her openly. And because hate begets hate and revels in itself, this set forth a spiral of scathing and moronic comments from his viewers. 

My initial reaction was one of sadness. Watching this unfold felt more like witnessing schoolyard bullying than a comedy show and being helpless to intercede. My second was one of anger. As a transwoman, I could not stand for one of our sisters to be humiliated for the sake of a few giggles. I also began to realize that I wasn’t helpless. In this day and age, you only have as much power as you’re willing to utilize via social media. It’s there, you just need to apply it correctly. So please get the word out about this deplorable act. Write to Daniel Tosh at Tosh.0@comedycentral.com. Spread the word to whatever LGBT and anti-defamation organizations you’re a part of or work with. This was a cut-and-dry case of cyberbullying. This was done without her consent. This was transphobia at its worst. This was not comedy, it was hate. Daniel Tosh needs to issue an apology to the trans community and to Bridgette. And we, as her family need to work towards ensuring that this never happens again.


The Real Meaning Of LGBT - A Short History

Graphic designer Mike Vasilev recently designed this delightful and informative infographic for us. Aside from its charmingly retro flair, it hits upon several integral factoids that many within our community may not be aware of. Sometimes in life we think it's not important to know something unless it directly affects us. Maybe we don't care to learn about "G" issues if we're "L," or "T" issues if we're "B." But we all exist underneath the LGBT umbrella and, as such, it's important we maintain the type of empathy that can only be derived from the comprehensive knowledge of what each facet of that "umbrella" has struggled through. Likewise, many LGBT youth may be so preoccupied with their very real struggles of the moment and fail to see the relevance of our shared history to their lives. It's important to see faces like ours, and to hear voices like ours from every place and time, deriving strength and inspiration from them, all the while, keeping in mind that much of the information provided in this infographic is not taught in schools. We must preserve our own history, embrace it and share the positive changes brought about by the trailblazing pioneers of yesterday because as the old adage states, "those who fail to learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it."


Say hello to your new resident blogger!

Well hello and welcome to the UDGLBT Center’s community blog! 

My name is Miranda and I’ll be using this space to share stories, articles and other findings of interest to the LGBT community. In addition, I'll be helping to manage our Facebook and Twitter pages as well. This is your blog too, so be sure to get involved and share your comments on any entries you find particularly exciting and if you’re interested in providing an article yourself or guest blogging, please use our contact info to e-mail us! 

For our very first entry, I thought it might be nice to let you know a little about myself. After all, we will be seeing a lot of each other, so you may as well know whose rants you’re reading. This is my story...but because I am by nature a “creative eccentric,” it is in narrative poem form. So, brew yourself some tea or shake yourself a cocktail and let’s get reading!


I’ve always believed in magic. The kind of magic that allowed a little Spanish woman from Honduras, my grandmother, to divorce her ogre of a husband and single-handedly raise two daughters on a seamstress’ income in the United States of the 1970’s, despite only knowing limited conversational English.

I believe in the magic of making something from nothing, just as my grandmother did when she stretched each dollar to ensure that her two princesses were always well-educated, impeccably groomed and treated to those mainstays of American culture…ice cream, movie outings and hamburgers, every once in awhile.

I believe in the magic of supplication. Of asking for help and summoning assistance…be it from God…or one’s family…or one’s own inner reservoirs of untapped fortitude in order to endure the otherwise unendurable. I believe in the magic of family that supports one another in those times of great need, like my grand-uncle helped his sister those many years ago.

I believe in the magic of time travel, for when my grandmother tells me of those days, the past comes alive and through the windows of her eyes I can see every tear, every fear…every unyielding hope that brought her from there to here. I make that journey with her and know that magic exists.

I believe in the magic of filling a grandchild’s Paterson-poor holidays with a treasure trove of toys bought through scrimping, saving and layaway plans. In the magic of multicolored lights, popcorn tins, a glazed ham in the oven and the symphonic strains of friends and family swirling throughout the living room of a tiny third story apartment, stretching it beyond its limits and, for that day, transforming it into the grandest of palaces.

I believe in the magic of inheritance. For that same woman’s magical strength of will has been passed down from mother to daughter to me. I believe in the magic of the undying dream, which resulted in a much sought-after home for my mother and a much sought-after son for my aunt. I believe in the magic of the seemingly impossible and the magic of transmutation, for I became what I ought to have been through the same magic that’s swelled through the veins of three generations of my family’s women.

I believe in the magic of recording this for posterity’s sake, so that this magic never disappears from the world. I believe in the magic of sharing and the way that sharing can make ideas flourish and spread like ivy…so I share this fable, born of magic but grounded in truth with any and all who will listen. I share this magic with you.