Category Archives: Transgender

Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit Still Accepting Proposals

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Do you have something to say about the intersection of sexual freedom and social justice? If so, then please consider submitting a proposal for a panel or workshop at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit scheduled for Washington DC August 3 – 6, 2017. Proposals are due by Monday February 6. For more information click here

 

http://eepurl.com/cx6Jsv

 

 

 

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Filed under Advocacy, BDSM, bisexual, Conference, consensual nonmonogamy, continuing education, dating, diversity, Families, Gender, Health, human rights, jealousy, love, marriage, non-monogamy, open relationships, Polyamory, race, Race and Ethnicity, racism, relationships, Research, sex, sex education, sexuality, social equality, social justice, Transgender, Uncategorized, White Privilege

Guest Post on Polyamory: Sexual Orientation or Lifestyle?

Susannah Summer’s guest post muses about polyamory as a sexual orientation and/or a lifestyle.

 

Born this way- Polyamorous as an orientation vs. life-style choice

About a year ago, after months of anguish and fighting every time my partner brought up the prospect of another female, I came to the realization that I needed to ask him to close our relationship.  I have been under a tremendous amount of stress for about 3 years now.  Last year around this time, a particularly bad crisis hit my business that required I muscle every ounce of my emotional, spiritual and physical strength to fight it.  I began working 12 hour days– every day.  I went 7 months this past year without a day off.  It was hard.

Lucky for me, my wonderful partner understood and could perceive that I was correct in my assessment that I currently do not  have the emotional depth and fortitude to actively practice polyamory and he agreed to the closure.  For how long?  Good question.  We do not know.  YIKES!  DOES THIS MEAN WE ARE NOT REALLY POLY??

We have had several discussions lately about why being poly is harder for me– I’m much older and lived in a monogamous marriage for 18 years, whereas he’s been practicing polyamory since the age of 14 and has NEVER been monogamous; I grew up in a very strict, conservative home where I was told that sex is a sin outside of marriage whereas he was handed pornographic novels at age 13 by his liberal thinking mother–” Here son, read this!” A number of factors have led us to very different places on the poly spectrum.

 

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I recently had an epiphany moment when having a conversation with a transgender friend about whether or not being trans is a “choice” or if transgender people are just born that way. We were discussing my friend’s daughter, who has been exhibiting signs of being trans since she was only 2 years old.  Now as a 9 year-old, she looks, acts and dresses like a boy. She/he has been my most convincing piece of evidence that being transgender IS NOT A CHOICE for some people. It is who they are. I realize I may be stepping on the line of not being PC here, folks….please have mercy on me if I’m using words that are offensive to you. This conversation about my friend’s daughter led me to say, “Oh, my God….J was born this way!”.

 

My friend laughed at the way my face lit up as the thought of polyamory being an orientation struck me.  It made me consider my own ideas about poly?  Is this my orientation or is this more of a lifestyle choice for me following the stifling experience I had in a long-term marriage?

 

I know that I was NOT born poly. I had never heard that word before I was 41.  I knew as a college student that I liked men– a lot– and I often had more than one partner, all of whom knew of one another and a couple were even friends. But, I thought I was a slut. I thought this because I had been told that this is what girls who slept around were. When I left my marriage about 4 years ago, I told my first partner (who happened to be J) that I would not be monogamous with him. But, it was a lifestyle choice for me. J could never be happy in a long-term monogamous marriage like the one I had for so long. However, that is not true for me, even now. I could just as easily be happy in a monogamous marriage/long-term relationship if that situation were presented to me and I decided to go for it.

 

So, where does this leave us?  

I think with more questions than answers at this point:

 

*If one member of a poly couple/triad or more has a poly orientation but the other(s) do not, what will this mean for their relationship? What challenges will they face? How will they deal with them? Is their relationship destined to fail?

 

*How can the orientation poly person help the life-style poly person better navigate the poly world? Is the orientation poly person inherently more capable of higher functioning in a poly relationship- i.e. less jealousy, more open to the benefits of being polyamorous?

 

For now, J has agreed to our closure. But, I feel guilty about it. I struggle with my feelings around this almost every day. I want to be okay with him experiencing meaningful relationships with others. I want to trust him enough to let him make his own decisions and not have them be hindered by what I feel I can or cannot handle emotionally. I want to be happy for him when he expresses interest in someone else he’s met.

 

So, what do I do? For myself? For my own understanding and growth?

 

What does he do? Just wait? Help me find ways to de-stress and find more balance in my life so I can become more emotionally stable?

 

DOES THIS MEAN WE ARE NOT POLY?

 

I believe the answer to that is no.

 

We want this for our lives and we hope that someday soon we can re-open our relationship. But, for now, we need to keep each of us healthy and that requires this sacrifice. For this time. For this place. And that’s just how it is.

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Filed under consensual nonmonogamy, Guest Post, love, marriage, non-monogamy, open relationships, Polyamory, relationships, romance, sex, sexuality, Transgender, Uncategorized

Sexuality and Relationship Related Conventions in Atlanta

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As home of a thriving film industry, the Black Glitterati, and the largest gay population between Miami and Washington DC, Atlanta is a city of rich cultural diversity. One of the elements of that diversity shows up in the incredible range of relationship and sexuality related cons to which the lovely city of Atlanta plays host. Listed in chronological order below, these conventions add a smart and sexy strand to the vibrancy of Atlanta.

 

All of these cons have online registration, meet in large hotels, have social and learning components with panel presentations and gaming rooms, and include vendors rooms with merchants selling everything from jewelry, books, and crafts to corsets, kilts, and sex toys. While the cons usually have blocks of rooms reserved for reduced rates, it can be cheaper to stay in smaller or more modest hotels nearby.

 

InfinityCon – February

imgres.jpgFresh from its first excellent year, InfintyCon specializes in the kinky side of polyamory. Touting itself as an educational conference with flair, InfinityCon aims to deliver a wide variety of information on polyamory and other forms of ethical non-monogamy. It is a sister con to Atlanta Poly Weekend with a more adult focus to contrast to APW’s family-friendly goals. In addition to their educational tracks, InfinityCon hosts a fun track designed to help folks connect with like-minded people with social time, dancing, and relaxation. InfinityCon is scheduled for February 9 – 12 in 2017.

 

Frolicon – April

imgres-1.jpgKnown among locals as DragonCon’s slutty little sister, Frolicon is a chance to “join all your favorite deviants for a fun filled weekend of debauchery and decadence.” A kink and think con for the “naughty side of paradise,” Frolicon features fun for thinkers, artists, and kinksters. Think tracks include those for writers, LGBT+, costuming, and polyamory, The kink track has classes on techniques, theories, and relationships, and the sync track helps frolickers make connections through meetups, speed dating, and mingles. For the kinksters, there is an incredibly well-equipped dungeon (configured by Sadistic Engineering) that fills the hotel’s largest ballroom and hosts open play as well as theme parties. Partiers will enjoy the Saturday night Party Battles in which groups of people try to outdo each other with making their party the most fun. Frolicon happens in the spring, when it is time to frolic, and is scheduled for April 13-16 in 2017.

 

Atlanta Poly Weekend – June

images-2.jpgHaving just completed its sixth year, Atlanta Poly Weekend is the only child-friendly con that features a kid track and pg-13 programming during the day, with the NC-17 programming scheduled after 9pm. Established by the Relationship Equality Foundation, APW offers polyamorous or poly curious folks the opportunity to meet and mingle, learn new skills, get advice, make family connections with other polys with kids (or without kids :), and learn about the wide world of communication, negotiation, and honesty among multiple partners. Atlanta Poly Weekend is scheduled for June 2 – 4 in 2017.

 

South East Leather Fest SELF – June

Iimgres-2.jpgn addition to lots of classes and opportunities to learn everything from An Introduction to Biting or Conflict Resolution Within a Master/slave Framework to Erotic Shaving or BDSM and the Law, SELF also hosts a range of competitions. Titles include Master/slave, Ms. SELF, SELF Boy/Boi, Mr. SELF, Southeast Bootblack and Southeast Person of Leather. SELF also hosts a huge dungeon with some very sophisticated scenes – dedicated to a much more serious version of kink than Frolicon, which also has a giant dungeon but is focused more on play and less on protocol. This next SELF is scheduled for June 22-25 2017.

 

DragonCon – September

images.jpgWhile not officially a sexualities-related convention, DragonCon is the kind of sci fi geek paradise that appeals to the kinksters, queers, polys, and cosplayers. Founded in 1987 and now in its 30th year, DragonCon touts itself as the largest muilti-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe. It hosts one of the most impressive parades I have ever seen and brings media figures from Sarah Gellar to William Shatner who speak to adoring throngs. The many fan tracks focus on everything from alternate history, animation, and armory to paranormal, puppetry, and robotics or urban fantasy, video gaming, and young adult literature. My personal favorites are the science and skeptic tracks. The mingling of thousands of imaginative people in sexy cosplay (with a decent dose of alcohol) leads to sexual exploration and fantasy play. DragonCon is a great place to get your geek on, and your freak on. It is scheduled for September 1-4 in 2017.

 

Sex Down South – October

images.jpgOrganized by a cadre of smart young queers, Sex Down South focuses on the intersections of sexuality, race, class, gender, ability, religion, social justice, and pleasure. In 2015, the first year of this excellent con dedicated to diversity and sexual liberation for everyone, speakers included psychologist Dr. Rachel Kieran, writer Fiona Zedde, sexy disability activist Robin Wilson Beattie, Velvet Lips founder and sex educator extraordinaire Marla Stewart, performance artist Ignacio Rivera (aka Papi Coxxx), minister Aldalphie Johnson, and author, podcaster, and cliterati Tristian Taormino. Sex Down South is scheduled for October 13 – 15 in 2016 and includes an impressive line-up including Tyomi Morgan, Sinclair Sexsmith, Orpheus Black, Ken Melvoin-Berg, Sunny Megatron, and yours truly (Elisabeth Sheff). SDS is coming right up — October 13-15 2016 at the Hilton in downtown Atlanta.

 

Do you know of any relationship or sexuality cons in Atlanta that did not make the list? Let me know by emailing me at drelisheff@gmail.com and I will be sure to add them.

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Filed under BDSM, bisexual, Conference, consensual nonmonogamy, continuing education, dating, diversity, DragonCon, Families, Gender, Health, human rights, jealousy, love, marriage, non-monogamy, open relationships, Polyamory, race, relationships, Research, romance, Science Fiction, sex, sex education, sexuality, social equality, Transgender, Uncategorized

Dr. Eli Sheff Trains Fulton County CASAs on Sex & Gender Minority Families 9/20/16

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September 13, 2016 · 11:42 pm09

Apply and/or Donate to Transgender Studies Scholarships and Fellowships?

 

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Exciting news from The Chair in Transgender Studies!

We are establishing a set of brand new scholarships and fellowships to be awarded in 2017. Undergraduate and graduate students, and visiting community- and university-based scholars and professionals, both trans and cis (non-trans) will be able to benefit from these awards.

 
Scholarships & Fellowships will be for:

·   3rd or 4th year undergraduates doing a trans studies project in any field.

·   Trans and non-binary Master’s and Doctoral students working in any field.

·   Cis Master’s and Doctoral students working on trans studies.

·   Community- and university-based scholars and professionals working to benefit trans people.

·   Those in financial need will be prioritized!

   
We need your help to get these awards out to as many people as possible. Please consider how you can help to expand access to these scholarships. Your donation now will have an impact!
 DONATE HERE 
Please dig deep to help make these scholarships and fellowships have the maximum reach possible. Your contribution will help young trans and non-binary people to build successful lives. If you donate now, your donation of $250 will be doubled and will support an undergraduate student scholarship; a donation now of $500 will be doubled and will support a Master’s student or two undergraduate students. Your support will improve the lives of trans and gender nonconforming people. Your investment will make a brighter future.
 
Your donation now will make a difference!
Donate by August 31st to maximize your impact.

All donations will be matched dollar for dollar by
Tawani Foundation.

 

DONATE HERE 

Aaron H Devor, PhD, FSSS, FSTLHE

Chair in Transgender Studies

Founder and Academic Director, The Transgender Archives

Professor, Sociology Department

University of Victoria

P.O. Box 3025

Victoria, BC V8W 3P2

Canada

 

Phone:     +1-250-721-7577

Fax:          +1-250-721-6217

EMail:       ahdevor@uvic.ca

Web:        http://transgenderarchives.uvic.ca

Web:        http://web.uvic.ca/~ahdevor

Web:        http://uvic.ca/transchair

 

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Participate in Research About Trans/Gender-Nonconforming College Students?

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A colleague I know and admire, Abbie Goldberg from the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Massachusetts, is conducting research with trans/gender-nonconforming college students. Check out the details below:

 

Trans/Gender-Nonconforming College Students Project

Abbie Goldberg, a Professor of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester MA, is conducting a survey of trans/gender-nonconforming college students (including recent graduates) regarding their perspectives and experiences on a range of topics, including trans advocacy and needed supports/services on college campuses. Students with non-binary gender identities are particularly encouraged to participate, as their experiences are rarely represented in research. Students may participate if they identify as trans, gender-nonconforming, gender questioning, genderqueer, agender, or anywhere on the gender-nonconforming spectrum. The survey, which was informed by focus groups and consultation with trans/gender nonconforming college students, takes about 25-30 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous.Individuals can elect to be entered in a lottery for one of 10 $50.00 Amazon gift cards; individuals’ names and email addresses will not be connected to or traceable to the data that they provide.

 

Please contact the principal investigator of the study, Abbie Goldberg, with any questions or feedback, or to request to be informed of study findings: agoldberg@clarku.edu. Feel free to learn more about her researchon sexuality, gender, and families. Or visit the project Facebook page: www.facebook.com/transgnc.

 

This study has been approved by the Clark Committee for the Rights of Human Participants in Research and Training Programs (IRB).  Any questions about human rights issues should be directed to the IRB Chair, Dr. James P. Elliott: (508) 793-7152 or by e-mail (humansubjects@clarku.edu).

 

To participate, please follow the link:

 

https://clarku.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1ZbVuLudzxQyWdn

 

 

Abbie E. Goldberg, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Director of Clinical Training

Department of Psychology

Clark University

Worcester MA 01610

Fax: (509) 7973-7265

agoldberg@clarku.edu

www.clarku.edu/faculty/goldberg

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Filed under diversity, Research, social equality, Transgender, Uncategorized

Alternative Relationship Education Workshop Event

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The Alternative Relationship Education Workshop Event — AREWE — is scheduled for March 12, 2016 at the Philip Rush Center in Atlanta. I will be teaming with other local professionals to provide an CEU Workshop on sexual, gender and relational diversity – Alternative Relationships! If you’ve ever had to refer a client away because you weren’t familiar or were uncomfortable with their relationship style, join us March 12th. 6 CEUs available for counselors, psychologists, and social workers.  https://relationshipequalityfoundation.org/workshop-registration/

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Filed under BDSM, bisexual, consensual nonmonogamy, continuing education, diversity, Families, Gender, Health, love, marriage, non-monogamy, open relationships, Polyamory, race, racism, relationships, Research, romance, sex, sex education, sexuality, social equality, Transgender, White Privilege