Julia Serano's Blog

June 8, 2016

My most recent email update came out a couple weeks ago - you can read it here. (& to get future updates, please sign up for my email list.) In it, I discuss the recent release of some fiction that I have been working on under the name Kat Cataclysm!

Kat Cataclysm serves as a pen name (to create a little bit of separation between my fiction and non-fiction), but she is also a character in her own right: a bisexual absurdist short fiction writer, recovering slam poet, and failed linguist who has a somewhat silly and surreal take on the world.

And the first Kat Cataclysm book (a chapbook, really) is now available! It's called General Surgery & Surgeons General. This modest forty-some page collection offers a potpourri of Kat’s short stories, slam poems, and whimsical musings, which touch upon and/or outright tackle diverse topics such as YA dystopian fiction, photosynthesis, mountain climbing, temporal anomalies, ethical non-monogamy, Santa Claus, Prince’s song lyrics, malapropisms & paraprosdokians, and the trials and travails of the contemporary author. As if that were not enough, the book also premieres several excerpt chapters from the eventual Kat Cataclysm debut novel 99 Erics.

The book can be purchased at either:
CreateSpace, which offers the best royalties for the author.
Amazon.com (in both book & ebook formats), where you can “Look Inside” the book (aka, read excerpts) by clicking on the cover.

Also, while on tour with Sister Spit in March, I recorded live performances of four of the pieces in the chapbook - here are links to those recordings:
Smells Like Teen DystopiaThe Sex Which Is Not OneMr. PrincePoetry Slammed
I am also making great progress (almost two-thirds done!) on 99 Erics (Kat’s eventual first full-length book). It is a faux novel about the protagonist’s experiences writing a book about her supposed experiences dating ninety-nine different guys named Eric. It is more surreal than slutty. Not that there is anything wrong with slutty.

If you want a preview of 99 Erics, I encourage you to check out the chapters “Eric Number One” and “Poetry Slammed”[audio link] in the aforementioned General Surgery and Surgeons General collection. You can also watch me read an excerpt of the chapter “Posers”[video link] thanks to the kind folks at Radar Productions (the piece begins around 3:10 into the video).

If you are intrigued, you can learn more at KatCataclysm.com. And you can follow Kat on Twitter and WordPress.

Hope you enjoy! -j.
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Published on June 08, 2016 12:15 • 3 views

May 5, 2016

So this has been a big story on my social media feed today. For those not in the know, here is a summary of what happened:

1) The academic literary magazine The Antioch Review recently published an article called "The Sacred Androgen: The Transgender Debate," by Daniel Harris.

2) Trans people found it to be highly transphobic for a plethora of reasons, which are smartly and succinctly explained in this open letter from The Seattle Review of Books.

3) Antioch College (who publishes the journal) released a statement that, while not condoning the article and its sentiments, nevertheless expressed that they "have confidence in the Review’s editor and editorial process."

This is the story so far. But as a longtime trans activist, I'm pretty sure that I know where this is all eventually heading. So here are my predictions, in no particular order:

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Published on May 05, 2016 16:41 • 18 views
Earlier this week I published a new piece on Medium entitled Expanding Trans Media Representation: Why Transgender Actors Should Be Cast in Cisgender Roles.

In it, I share my thoughts on how we might broaden discussions of trans representation in the media beyond the now commonplace critiques regarding who is cast to play transgender roles (in those rare instances when a movie or TV show even bothers to include a trans character).

If you like the piece, be sure to recommend it (by clicking the "heart" logo at bottom left) - the more recommends it gets, the more likely it will appear in other Medium readers' feeds. Hope you enjoy!
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Published on May 05, 2016 07:29 • 6 views

April 25, 2016

As some of you may have heard, the Second Edition of my first book, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, was released last month! It is essentially the same book, but with a new cover (as you can see to your right), some wonderful new back cover blurbs (which you can read here), plus a new additional Preface to the Second Edition.

In the new Preface, I discuss some of the history (both personal, as well as within feminist, queer, and transgender activism) that led to me writing the book, and addressing the topics and subject matter in the manner that I did. I also share many of my thoughts about what has happened in the decade since the book was originally released in 2007: the many promising developments in trans awareness and activism, plus the countless aspects and areas where there is still vital need for improvement.

While I cannot reprint the entire Preface here, I did want to share this brief excerpt (specifically, the first three chapters) for those who may be interested:

Ten years ago, I was in the throes of writing the book that would eventually become Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. At the time, I believed that I had important and relatively novel things to say about a variety of issues that all seemed interconnected to me. My recent transition (from having others view and treat me as male, to being viewed and treated as female) provided me with numerous insights into gender and sexism that I wanted to share with the world. That experience, combined with my background as a biologist, led me to question both sides of the “nature versus nurture” debate as it applies to gender. I was also concerned by the ways in which movements that were vital to my existence—such as feminism and queer (i.e., LGBTIQ+) activism—would sometimes forward theories and policies that served to further marginalize other gender and sexual minorities. And I wanted to examine the many under-discussed issues and obstacles faced by those of us on the transgender spectrum, and the parallels that I saw between media, psychiatric, and academic stereotypes of trans people. Finally, I wanted to challenge how trans women and feminine gender expression—individually, but especially in combination—were routinely demeaned and derided in both the straight mainstream, as well as in feminist and queer settings.

I thought that the book would likely be appreciated within trans communities—especially among those on the trans female/feminine spectrum, for whom I was explicitly advocating—and with at least some non-transgender feminists and queer activists—especially those who identify as feminine or femme. But I had no idea that, in the years that would follow, it would eventually be considered to be an important book within feminism, that it would be used in gender and queer studies, sociology, psychology, and human sexuality courses in colleges across North America; that parts of it would be translated and published in other languages, that it would reach and resonate with many people outside of feminist, queer, and trans circles, or that the book (and some of the ideas contained therein) would often be cited and discussed in mainstream publications.

While the major themes that I forward in Whipping Girl remain just as vital and relevant today as they were when I was first writing the book, some of the specific descriptions and details will surely seem increasingly dated as time marches on. So in this preface to the second edition, I want to place the book in historical context, as it most certainly was a reaction to what was happening in society, and within activist and academic circles, during the early-to-mid aughts (or “the zeros,” as I prefer to call the first decade of this millennium). While a decade is not a huge amount of time in the grand scheme of things, it certainly feels like a lifetime ago when it comes to public understandings and discussions about transgender people. 

More info about the book, plus links to outlets where it can be purchased, can be found here.

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Published on April 25, 2016 12:00 • 8 views

March 24, 2016

Hey folks, starting tomorrow (aka, Friday) I will be on tour with the legendary spoken word troupe Sister Spit! Other artists include Jezebel Delilah, Juliana Delgado Lopera, Nikki Darling, Cassie J. Sneider, Maisha Z. Johnson, Cassie J. Sneider, and Virgie Tovar, plus occasional special guests!

Here are all the dates - links take you to Facebook invites for the show (please share!), which will have all the details:

March 25 -- at Salt Lick Collective, Oakland, CA, 7pm.March 26 -- at SF Oasis, San Francisco, CA, 6:30pm.March 27 -- at Peeves Public House, Fresno, CA, 6pm.March 28 -- at Last Projects, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, 7pm.March 29 -- at UC Riverside, panel 1-3pm, show 7-9pm.March 30 -- at Art Theatre Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 7pm.March 31 -- at Weird Sister in Los Angeles, CA, 6pm.

Unless/until they sell out, there will be copies of Whipping Girl 2nd edition for sale at the shows. Plus, I will also be reading from some of my new fiction project at many of the shows. Hope to see you there!
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Published on March 24, 2016 17:43 • 5 views

March 7, 2016

The second edition of my first book, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, is officially released this week (March 8th, to be precise).

A wonderful article about the second edition, plus many readers' personal experiences first engaging with the book, appeared in BuzzFeed this weekend.

While it's pretty much the same book on the inside (with a few small clarifying changes), it has a brand new Preface that discusses how the book originally came to be, plus my thoughts on various new developments in transgender communities and politics since the book was first released in 2007.

The book launch event takes place this Thursday (March 10th) in San Francisco, at the GLBT History Museum, 7pm- I will be reading from the new Preface, plus engaging in further discussion and Q&A about the book and its themes, plus the recent evolution of trans activism more generally. (More details here and here.)

The book is available now from Amazon, Portland's independent bookstore Powell's, the Philly-based LGBTQ bookstore Giovanni’s Room, and the Chicago feminist bookstore Women and Children First. You can also use Indie Bound to find brick-and-mortar independent bookstores near you that are or will be carrying the book.

Here are some of the new blurbs from the back cover:

“Julia Serano is the wise, acerbic brain at the center of the transgender movement. The original edition of Whipping Girl forever connected trans theory to feminism and queer studies; this new edition updates that work as well as providing a compelling new preface that reflects the movement’s enormous progress as well as the progress that remains to be made. Julia Serano is more than a brilliant writer and theorist; she’s also a tremendously compassionate, humane woman whose work has enlarged the lives of all her readers. Urgent, contentious, generous, and brilliant.”
--Jennifer Finney Boylan, Author of She’s Not There, and Writer in Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University

“It’s official: Whipping Girl is a 21st century feminist classic. It’s also a gift to a culture (still) struggling to face its own misogyny. Serano’s writing is clear, gracious, and incredibly illuminating.”
--Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Manifesta and Executive Director/Publisher at The Feminist Press at CUNY

“Julia Serano did not invent transfeminism, but she’s done more to promote its ideas and demonstrate its necessity than any other writer. Her analysis of the misogyny at the root of transphobia is vital. This book should be taught in every introduction to gender and women’s studies class in the country - read it, teach it, learn from it, and act on it.”
--Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History and Director, University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies

“Serano’s thinking continues to challenge and delight - Whipping Girl is a foundational text that will prove to be timeless.”
--Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism

“Having only just come out as Transgender, I was taken by a friend to a bookstore and told to buy Whipping Girl immediately. As I read, the revelation dawned on me that experiencing my gender could be full of self-empowerment and liberation as opposed to the fear and shame I had already spent a lifetime living with. Not only was this book a light in the dark for someone jumping head-first into transition, it also served as an essential tool to pass on to family and friends to help them to better understand what it means to be Trans. I’m forever thankful for this book and its author.”
--Laura Jane Grace, Against Me! and True Trans with Laura Jane Grace

More information about the book (including reviews, interviews, etc.) can be found on my Whipping Girl webpage.
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Published on March 07, 2016 07:30 • 7 views

February 25, 2016

So yesterday I sent out my latest email update. In it, I discuss:

1) Whipping Girl 2nd edition is here!
2) March 2016 tour dates (including Sister Spit)!
3) new writings and web updates!
4) two brand new books coming later this year!

You can read the update in all its glory here.

If you want future Julia updates emailed directly to you, please sign up for my email list.

enjoy! -j.
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Published on February 25, 2016 07:00 • 12 views

February 9, 2016

So an article by Jesse Singal called "How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired" recently appeared on NY Mag. I was interviewed for it, but none of what I said was included in the final piece. This is perfectly fine, of course - no one is obligated to use my quotes in their article. But I did feel that the most important point that I stressed (i.e., placing the current Zucker clinic debate in the historical context of the long history of gender reparative therapies) was not duly acknowledged in Singal's article.

Given this omission, I thought that it might be useful for me to share my responses to Jesse's interview questions below. I have removed Singal's actual questions (since I did not ask for permission to use them). But I did paraphrase them to give readers an idea of what I was responding to. So please, consider my responses, rather than speculating what Singal's questions actually were.

I will walk you through my understanding of the basics before answering your questions.

First, it is important to note at the onset (as you may already be aware of) that it is generally accepted that gender identity (identifying as a woman, man, and/or other alternatives) and gender expression (expressing feminine, masculine, and/or androgynous behaviors, affinities, and interests) are different things. They may line up in a given individual (e.g., feminine women, masculine men), but in some people they differ. There are people who strongly cross-gender-identify but who are not gender-conforming (with regards to gender expression) post-transition, and there are plenty of feminine men, masculine women, and androgynous people who have no desire whatsoever to transition. 

Second, we know that people who do strongly cross-gender-identify and eventually transition (i.e., transsexuals) may take different paths: Some are insistent that they are really a boy or girl from the earliest ages, while others may realize this later in life and/or are gender-questioning for many years before ultimately deciding to transition. It is also widely accepted (e.g., even by Zucker, as you mentioned) that people who do strongly cross-gender-identify (or in psychiatric terms, people who are highly gender dysphoric) are generally happier and healthier upon transitioning to their identified gender. 

Third, when people talk about gender-non-conforming or gender-variant children, these kids are typically categorized this way based on their atypical gender expression (i.e., assigned-boys with feminine affinities/behaviors, assigned-girls with masculine affinities/behaviors). We know that some of these kids will strongly and persistently cross-gender-identify. Others may occasionally or sporadically claim to be the other gender, but may not grow up to be cross-gender-identified. Still others who fall into (or who don't fall into) this class may never explicitly cross-gender-identify as children, but nevertheless eventually follow that path and transition later in their lives.

While this may seem messy, I personally know people who fall into each of the above categories, and I don't believe that anything that I have just said is controversial within trans communities or among knowledgable researchers/therapists. So given these (widely accepted) facts, let's move onto where we seemingly diverge on the issue at hand.

Historically, gender-reparative therapies (such a Zucker's, but they have been espoused/practiced by many practitioners others in the past) were designed to turn gender non-conforming children (via positive & negative reinforcement) into gender conforming children. (They also used to regularly involve electroshock therapy, but that's another story.) I encourage you to check out the books Gender Shock: Exploding the Myths of Male and Female (by Phyllis Burke) and The Last Time I Wore a Dress: A Memoir (by Dylan Scholinski) - while neither (as far as I recall) specifically discuss Zucker's practice, they both show that historically these practices were intended to steer kids toward gender conforming behaviors (regardless of identity). The diagnostic justification for these practices was the GID in Children diagnosis in the previous DSM (DSM-IV-TR), which was heavily critiqued by feminists, queer and trans activists at the time for broadly pathologizing gender non-conforming behavior (not specifically cross-gender-identification). 

Zucker's stance has always been the same: While not explicitly condemning trans or gender-non-conforming people, he has maintained that these children's lives will be easier if they can be grow up to be more gender-normative. But in the last decade or so, as LGBTQ acceptance has grown (with public recognition that many gay people are also gender non-conforming), and as the practice of allowing trans children the possibility of socially transitioning (with physical transitioning only coming if/when the child is old enough and desires it), Zucker and his supporters' arguments have shifted. Nowadays, gender reparative therapy is being sold as allowing these children the possibility of being gay rather than trans, or as not needlessly shuttling children into potentially unnecessary hormone regimes and surgeries. Indeed, this is the premise of that Dreger article that I critiqued.

The problem is, this argument is not only revisionist, but it creates a false dichotomy. Because no one is going around forcing gender non-conforming children into cross-gender-identifying or socially transitioning. The organizations advocating on behalf of gender-variant children and the non-gender-reparative clinics that work with these kids will tell you (if you ask them, and you most certainly should) that social transitioning (and puberty-delaying drugs, if they are older) is only being recommended for children who strongly and persistently cross-gender-identify. If a child is simply gender non-conforming or gender questioning, these people/organizations/clinics will encourage them to explore their genders (i.e., without socially transitioning), and try to provide support for them to do so without shame or stigma.

[question edited out, about gender non-conformity and identity]

So when you say "gender" here, you seem to mean gender expression. As I already mentioned, I (and most trans activists and advocates) recognize that gender identity and gender expression are different things, and reject the notion that some ways of being gendered are better than others. While you may find *some* trans people who disagree with me on this, what I am saying is consistent with what transgender activism has been advocating since the 1990s. We are striving for a world where all manifestations, identities, and expressions of gender can exist without value judgments.

In contrast, encouraging children to not behave in gender non-conforming ways, and claiming that a well-adjusted trans person is a worse outcome than a "gender-repaired" non-trans person (as Zucker's camp claims/insinuates) are definitive value judgments regarding gender. So your question seems better suited for them.

[question edited out, about "watchful waiting"]

As I said, this is precisely what those of us on the anti-gender-reparative-therapy side advocate, albeit without sending the child off to someone like Zucker, who will instruct the kid not to engage in any gender non-conforming behaviors - which you have to concede is hardly value-judgment neutral. Children are highly aware of the fact that when they are told not to do something, the implication is that this "something" is bad or wrong.

[question edited out, about children showing up at Zucker's clinic possibly not being really trans]

1) These kids are not magically showing up a Zucker's clinic. They are brought there by parents who are confused or disturbed about their child's gender non-conformity. And today, in the internet age (where parents can do their own preliminary investigation into gender variance and potential therapists), it's likely that many parents who chose Zucker over other alternatives were specifically seeking out reparative/conversion therapy. 2) These children are not necessarily brought in for "gender dysphoria" but for gender non-conformity. I've already conceded (as most trans activists & advocates would), many of these gender non-conforming kids will not grow up to be cross-gender-identified. 

But to turn your argument around: Why, if supposedly 80% (as you said, a statistic that is highly suspect, as explained here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/the-end-of-the-desistance_b_8903690.html ) of these children are merely non-conforming with respect to gender expression, why force them to endure reparative/reinforcement therapies designed to thwart their cross-gender-expresssion? It makes absolutely no sense! If you are totally fine with cross-gender-expression, but concerned about cross-gender-identity, why would you center your therapy (as Zucker has) on prohibiting cross-gender-expression?

The answer is (as I mentioned above), these reparative therapies were always intended to thwart/correct cross-gender-expression (as well as identities). Which leads me to this next statement/question of yours:

[question edited out, suggesting that Zucker used withholding/denying of preferred gender expression as a temporary measure to gauge the child's gender dysphoria]

Frankly, this is all revisionist history. Historically, gender reparative has involved shaming/withholding/restricting cross-gender-expression, not just for a short amount of time, or as a brief test, but as the foundational goal of this behavioral therapy. Over my many years of trans activism (since 2001), I have met a few people who were sent to Zucker as children, and what they shared with me was similar to what is reported in the books I cited above: That it was reparative therapy meant to attenuate or eliminate cross-gender-behavior and expression.

Here's what I don't know: Perhaps in the last few years, Zucker modified his approach, and used restriction of cross-gender-expression as a test (as you suggest) to "determine the persistence of a child's dysphoria." But even if this *were* the case (which I doubt), it would be an extremely inane test, as we already know that cross-gender-expression doesn't necessarily indicate or correlate with cross-gender-identity.

Alternatively, maybe Zucker believes that restricting cross-gender-expression would have the effect of "converting" kids who were cross-gender-identified. In which case, I refer you to WPATH's determination (as I cited in the previous email):

Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past without success (Gelder & Marks, 1969; Greenson, 1964), particularly in the long term (Cohen-Kettenis & Kuiper, 1984; Pauly, 1965). Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.

[question edited out, asking if "nudging" the child toward gender conformity might be okay if it is part of a program that respects the child's wishes and well being]

Wow, this seems convoluted to me. First, "nudge" is an especially euphemistic way of putting this. A "nudge" would be what a parent does if their kid proclaims that they will be a astronaut when they grow up, and the parent says "well, not everybody can be an astronaut." Gender non-conforming kids get lots of "nudging" from their parents and peers about their behaviors. They get sent to Zucker when the nudging doesn't work. For these kids, what you call "nudging" is a more blatant "withholding/restricting" of their expressions or identities. But then you ask (in the same sentence) if this withholding/restricting is OK if it's [my paraphrasing: part of a broader approach that respect's the child's well being & wishes]. How can telling a child not to play with girls, or play with girls' toys (if that's what they want to do, and which is why their parents brought them to Zucker's clinic in the first place) ever possibly be respectful of "the child's wishes and feelings"?

[question edited out, about what is the right approach for cross-gender-identified young children]

So I am not trained to make a decision like this. And if you asked the people who are trained in this (which you most certainly should do), I am sure that they will tell you that it's dependent on the individual's context and circumstances. 

But I do believe that most of us on the non-gender-reparative-therapy side of the debate would agree with this: The most important thing is for the child to grow up to be happy and well-adjusted - whether it's as a trans person, or as a non-trans person. And instructing/demanding a gender non-conforming child to *not* to play with girls or feminine toys (or boys and masculine toys) will ultimately foster shame and stigma, which is not in any way conducive to happy and well-adjusted outcomes. 

In those cases where children do socially transition at the age of five, they are still free to explore their genders, and decide to transition back to their birth-assigned gender if they wish to. How is this worse than exploring their genders in their birth-sex assigned? (Unless you assume that being/becoming trans is an inherently bad/inferior thing, in which case you're the one making a value judgment, not me).

I hope this answers your questions. And like I said, you should most definitely seek out the opinions of people who work with/for gender variant/non-conforming children, and people who have endured gender reparative practices, as they will be able to address the many issues that I haven't/cannot.

Postscript for those new to this subject: see also NPR's piece Two Families Grapple with Sons' Gender Identity, and Kelley Winter's piece The Gender Gulag: Voices of the Asylum.

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Published on February 09, 2016 00:30 • 10 views

January 7, 2016

So as the title plainly states, I plan to deactivate the comments section of my blog posts moving forward. (Previously posted comments will remain intact.) While I don’t feel obligated to offer an explanation—after all, it is my blog, and I am free to format it any way I choose—I thought that it might be worthwhile to share my reasoning as to why.
When I first started blogging in the mid-’00s (on LiveJournal, before moving things over to this site), there was a strong community element to blogging. Most of the people commenting on my posts had blogs of their own, often similarly focused on transgender, queer, feminist, and/or social justice matters. I would read their blogs, and they would read mine. Sometimes we’d cross-post each other’s pieces, or write posts about one another’s posts (linking to the original piece, plus adding our own thoughts on the subject). And sometimes, we’d continue the discussion in the comments section using our names/blogging-handles so that it was easy for everyone involved to follow who was saying what to whom. It was by no means an “internet utopia”—fierce disagreements and flame wars often broke out. But it did feel more like an actual conversation, perhaps because we all had “skin in the game” (i.e., as activists, as members of overlapping online communities).
I’m sure these sorts of internet conversations are still happening, but they seem to have migrated more to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other venues. And maybe they still exist in certain corners of the blogosphere. But they hardly ever occur on this blog these days, partly because of how the world has changed, and partly because of how I have changed. By which I mean, I am no longer just “Julia the blogosphere community member” anymore. People now tend to see me (for better or worse) as “Julia Serano the author,” and this, to some extent, affects how others react to things that I write here and elsewhere (once again, for better or worse).
As my public profile has grown, so has the public’s awareness of trans people. Which basically means that I am a far more visible and accessible target for people who detest trans people than I ever was in the past (i.e., back when the only people who read my blog were other activists). And people who don't like what I have to say on more mainstream platforms (e.g., Salon, Medium, The Guardian, to name a few recent ones) will sometimes seek me out here.
I recently joked with a friend that I only ever get five types of comments on my blog these days. They are (from most frequent to least frequent):
1) Angry/insulting/dismissive comments, which (nine times out of ten) are from “Anonymous.” These are most frequently (and vehemently) penned by TERFs, and to a lesser extent, religious/political conservatives who are ideologically opposed to trans people and activism. Other times, the angry/insulting/dismissive comments come from groups who are opposed to women or feminism (e.g., MRAs, GG-ers who dismiss me as a “SJW”), or from other activists who hold decidedly different views from me, and who try to “win the argument” via ad hominem attacks. I feel justified deleting all of these sorts of comments.
2) Spambots, who remark (if you’ll allow me to paraphrase): “I really found your post to be quite interesting! And by the way, here are a few unrelated links I’d like to embed in your comments section.” I feel justified marking these as spam.
3) ‘Thank you’s from actual people who enjoyed the post in question. I’m always grateful to receive (and approve) these comments.
4) Actual people who start with a “thank you” or “interesting piece” remark, but then spend a paragraph (or 2 or 3 or 5 or 9) talking about something tangential or barely related to my post. On the one hand, these are real comments by real people, so I usually approve them. But in the more extreme cases, it feels like the person in question is simply using my post as a platform to express their opinions about various things, even if they have nothing to do with the matters I am discussing.
5) Respectful (i.e., non-flaming) questions or disagreements directly related to my post. I generally approve these, and try to write follow up replies if/when I can, although frankly, sometimes I am too busy to do so. In a few instances, these exchanges have been enlightening or rewarding, whether we find common ground, or win one another over, or simply agree to disagree. But increasingly (as more transgender-unaware people stumble across my blog), the questions and disagreements tend to fall more into the “Trans 101” realm—which is fine, everybody has to start somewhere. It’s just that what I write about—the topics that interest and concern me the most—are more at a Trans 201 (or maybe 301?) level. And frankly, I’d rather be working on my next blog post or book chapter right now than spending my time explaining (for the umpteenth time) why the word cisgender is useful and not an insult.
Upon contemplating those five categories, it became obvious to me that the drawbacks of maintaining my comments section far outweigh the benefits. And the idea of *not* having to field through those 2 or 3 or 5 or 9 vitriolic and often outright transphobic/misogynistic comments that I’ve had to moderate (i.e., read and subsequently reject) each week or so—in and of itself—would be a much welcome respite.
A recent commenter (whose inflammatory comment I rejected) accused me of “not being able to handle dissent,” which I find laughable. I see dissent everywhere. People tag me on their Facebook exchanges, @-me on their Tweets, and sometimes send emails directly to me, telling me what they think of what I’ve written (sometimes grateful, sometimes dissenting, sometimes outright hateful). So this isn’t about me not tolerating dissent. It’s about dissenters needing to appreciate that, while they have the right to dislike what I write, they aren’t entitled to have their dissenting opinions appear on my own website.

If something I have written here inspires you, or doesn’t sit well with you, feel free to post your thoughts on Facebook, tweet about it Twitter, tumble about it on Tumblr, and so on. You can even start your own blog if you wish—Blogspot & WordPress are both free options. I wish you all the best with that!
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Published on January 07, 2016 18:37 • 26 views

December 10, 2015

So yesterday I sent out my latest email update. In it, I discuss:

1) Whipping Girl 2nd edition to be released in March 2016!
2) my 3rd book Outspoken to be released late winter/early spring 2016!
3) introducing Kat Cataclysm
4) Spring 2016 events
5) a few new(ish) essays

You can read the update in all its glory here.

If you want future julia updates emailed directly to you, please sign up for my email list.

enjoy! -j.
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Published on December 10, 2015 11:14 • 18 views