Austin | San Antonio

Home Austin | San Antonio
Award-Winning News Coverage For Austin | San Antonio From About Magazine.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2017

A note from the editor-in-chief.

Today is 18th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). It is a day not only to be acknowledged by the world’s trans community, but by the world as a whole. This is because trans people should not be pigeonholed to just their community, or even just to the LGBTQIA community. Just like cisgender people, transgender people are just … people.

Trans Day of Remembrance has been annually recognized since 1999, when it was established by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith. Smith started the memorialization in response to the murder of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered the year before. In the years since its inception, TDoR has become a vigil not only for Hester, but for all the trans people who have lost their lives to violence in the years since.

Today, we can see that violence against the trans community has not changed much. In 2017, 25 trans people have been victim to a fatal crime, including Texas’s own Stephanie Montez, a 47-year-old trans woman from Robstown. The majority of those people were trans women of color; and those numbers are up by 2 from 2016, with still a month and a half of the year left to go before the beginning of 2018.

The names of the people lost in 2017 are as follows: Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow (28), Mesha Caldwell (41), Sean Hake (age unknown), Jojo Striker (23), Tiara Lashaytheboss Richmond (24), Jaquarrius Holland (18), Chyna Doll Dupree (31), Ciara McElveen (21), Alphonza Watson (38), Chayviss Reed (age unknown), Kenneth Bostick (59), Sherrell Faulkner (46), Kenne McFadden (26), Josie Berrios (28), Ava Le Ray Barrin (17), Ebony Morgan (28), Troy “Tee Tee” Dangerfield (32), Gwenyvere River Song (26), Kiwi Herring (30), Kashmire Redd (28), Derricka Banner (26), Ally Steinfeld (17), Stephanie Montez (47), and Candace Towns (30).

Sadly, the attitude toward the trans community around the country is not generally improving – especially so with a president in the Oval Office who perpetuates antiquated and ridiculous stereotypes about the trans community by trying to ban trans servicemen and women from the military. From there, it trickles down. It trickles down to his supporters, those who are unsure of him, but who still listen, and then to the children of all of those people. Children who, if I might add, we should be educating about equality, about not seeing gender identity or sexual orientation or color or religion or nationality.

That’s why here at About Magazine, I’m making it a personal mission to make About Magazine + About News just as inclusive of our trans community as it is of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, and pansexual community. We will also be more inclusive of the intersex and asexual communities, so that no one is left behind.

To do so, we will be launching in 2018 our first page on the website for trans-only content, aptly titled About Trans. Currently, we are looking for trans writers and editors to be a part of this initiative. Until then, I will oversee it. However, I am a cis person, and in order for this operation to be genuine and authentic, it is my earnest belief that this portion of our site should be trans-run. If you or anyone you know would like to be a part of About Trans, feel free to email me at anthony@about-online.com.

Going forward, let’s remember what today stands for, and remind ourselves and our trans friends, neighbors, and loved ones that they are just as important as anyone else, and that we’re there to aid them if they should ever need it in any way. Give them your love, and give them your support, because they are just as much a part of the LGBTQIA community as anyone else that falls into any of those other categories. And if you don’t believe this to be true, read a little bit of our content today so that you can understand why trans people are so important to the queer cause. Because as genderqueer activist and musician C.N. Lester said, “Even when we are confused about someone’s gender, and don’t have a greater awareness of what it means to be trans, we have a choice to respond with kindness rather than cruelty.”

Choose kindness.

Choose community.

Choose love.

 

Anthony Ramirez

Editor-in-Chief

 

For more information on Transgender Day of Remembrance, visit the GLADD website here. 

About Magazine Announces New Chief Editor

LGBT News Platform About Magazine Names Anthony Ramirez As Editor In Cheif

LGBT News Platform About Magazine Names Anthony Ramirez As Editor In Chief

(HOUSTON) — About Magazine + About News today announced that Anthony Ramirez has been appointed editor-in-chief of the About News platform. Ramirez succeeds Cade Michals, executive publisher, and founder since 2008, who is stepping aside for Ramirez to take lead. Michals will step back from his post as executive publisher of the LGBT news platform on November 7.

Michals will continue to play a pivotal role behind the scenes with the organization, and its multiple affiliates, but will no longer make editorial, or day-to-day management decisions. Michals, also the founder and director of the LGBT award show in Houston, The F.A.C.E. Awards, has been transitioning the award show to a non-profit over the past few months allowing the awards show to continue.

Ramirez is no stranger to writing. He is credited with three published novels (The Write Thing, Witches of the Deep South, and Where He Lay Down). Credits also include published work with the Advertising Specialty Institute, and a nationally published column ‘Less Than Butterflies,’ that Ramirez has transitioned to the About News platform.

DSC_0059-1024x686 About Magazine Announces New Chief Editor
Anthony Ramirez named new editor in chief of About Magazine

Anthony has served as the editor of fiction and the director of social media and marketing for ELJ Publications. Last year he hosted the event Yas Queen: Out of the Margins (a reading of LGBTQ, POC, and women writers) at the American Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Washington D.C. He recently completed coursework for his Bachelor of the Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Beyond writing and journalism, Ramirez is also a performer of the stage and screen. He is the host and executive producer of the web show ‘Wineding Down with Anthony.’ Ramirez currently produces and stars in the forthcoming sitcom ‘The Anthony Project.’

He also sings annually in the Kingwood Kabaret scholarship fundraising event for Lone Star College. Additionally, Ramirez serves as the volunteer committee chair for Pride Houston, Inc. His most recent novel, Where He Lay Down, was considered for an honor by the American Library Association’s ‘Over the Rainbow’ committee.

Starting with About News in June, Ramirez was an investigative reporter. With this transition, Ramirez plans to expand the brand into a multimedia platform that will include a boost in op-ed pieces, featuring short fiction and poetry from LGBTQ writers around the state. Also including video content, and spotlights on Texas-based LGBTQ civilians who impact the community in a positive way.

As a means of achieving these goals, Ramirez states he is actively seeking writers, videographers, editors, and SEO-literate people within the community to take the brand to a new level.

You can follow Ramirez on Twitter @MAnthony Ramirez or on Facebook at facebook.com/AnthonyRamirezAuthor

Intersex Awareness Day 2017

Intersex Awareness Day 2017
A graphic created by Anthony Ramirez for Intersex Awareness Day 2017.

Everything you need to know about what it means to be intersex on Intersex Awareness Day

(HOUSTON) — For many in the LGBTQ community, there’s a tendency to forget that the spectrum doesn’t stop at the Q. In fact, the acronym often includes a + at the end, to maintain inclusivity of all the people who aren’t abbreviated in the acronym. However it is seldom remembered that LGBTQ+ is actually LGBTQIA: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual.

Many of these terms have been imbedded into our memory by now. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual are the most simple to understand for people outside the community, with trans seeming new to straight, cis-gender people (it’s not new, by the way). Asexuality could be perceived as simple explain to anyone who has no grasp on the subject. But when the word ‘intersex’ is thrown around, most people (including many in the LGBTQIA community) don’t have a clear understanding of what being intersex means.

Today, October 26th is National Intersex Awareness Day. The date marks fourteen years since the Intersex Society of North America (which ceased operations last year in 2016) first commemorated of the event back in 2003. The significance of October 26th, however, comes from that very date back in 1996 when the first public demonstration of intersex awareness was made in Boston by the ISNA. Despite the dissolving of the ISNA, October 26th (as well as National Intersex Day of Solidarity on November 8th) are currently maintained and promoted by the the Intersex Day Project, headed by Morgan Carpenter and Laura Inter since 2015.

Still, the question remains for many people within and outside of the community: what exactly is it to be intersex? Many people (wrongly) associate being intersex with being trans. This is not the case. In fact, it’s completely different altogether. So, to help spread awareness and clear up these misconceptions about being intersex on Intersex Awareness Day, I’ve compiled a list of facts about being intersex that will hopefully serve to create a better understanding of the subject.

  1. What exactly does intersex mean?

The trouble with that question is that being intersex has several aspects. In fact, the term is an umbrella for many variations of similar body types. According to IntersexDay.org, “Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that don’t meet medical and social norms for female or male bodies.” This can many any number of things, with innumerable variations of genitals and reproductive organs that don’t correlate to binary standards.

  1. Is being intersex the same as being a hermaphrodite?

No. For years, hermaphrodite was used synonymously with intersex. This lasted until the mid-20th century, but modern medicine has since begun to segregate the two from one another. By definition, a hermaphrodite is a living organism with both male and female reproductive organs. However due the complexity and presentation of intersex genitalia, including the varieties in which the reproductive organs present, the two have become medically disassociated with one another.

  1. How common is intersexuality?

According to the website for for the Intersex Society of North America, calculating these numbers can be tricky and often controversial. To let them better explain, we have provided a link to their FAQ page where the topic can be summed up in more detail, which can be found here

  1. What happens when intersex is identified at birth?

When identified at birth, many parents make the decision to take medical action to assign their child one binary gender. However, due to the the medical complexities behind intersexuality, a child who is assigned a binary gender at birth may not grow up to identify with the gender they were assigned. Intersex pertains not only to the presentation of the person’s genitalia, but also to the hormones the body produces and the functions of the body—which often are neither male nor female, but instead sometimes somewhere in between. One intersex person—who identifies as female—said in an interview with Cosmo that while she identifies with female and presents with fully-functional female reproductive organs, her body does not produce natural estrogen. This is just one of many ways that intersex can present itself in the human body.

  1. How do intersex people identify in terms of sexual orientation?

Just like with all other people, gender and sexuality are mutually exclusive of one another and are fluid. Intersex people are just people! They’re sexually active and enjoy dating just like all other people. Just like all the other important members of the LGBTQIA spectrum, it’s important to recognize that no matter with which gender or orientation intersex people identify, they were born who they are.

It’s time for people on and off the LGBTQIA spectrum to start being more cognizant of intersex people and to be more inclusive of them. A great starting point is with Intersex Awareness Day, and Intersex Day of Solidarity on November 8th. Ignorance on the matter only leads to exclusivity, and just like all other people—straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans, cis, and asexual—intersex people should be recognized and celebrated.

After all, they’re only human. They just want to be treated as such and seen by the rest of the world.

So, today, celebrate an intersex person in your life. If you don’t know anyone who is intersex, celebrate the entire intersex community. Show your support and lift them up. Explain to someone who doesn’t know what it means to be intersex. Spread awareness so that intersex people don’t continue to be swept under the rug.

For more information on intersex awareness, visit IntersexDayProject.org or ISNA.org.

Willam Belli, Alaska Thunderfuck, Courtney Act Announce Texas Tour

Willam Belli, Alaska Thunderfuck, Courtney Act Announce Texas Tour

Willam Belli, Alaska Thunderfuck and Courtney Act are back as the AAA Girls this fall touring Texas.

(Houston)- RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Willam Belli, Alaska Thunderfuck and Courtney Act are teaming up once again as The AAA Girls this fall, bringing their fierce, comedic show to fourteen US cities including Dallas, Houston, and Austin.

The AAA Girls North American Tour follows this summer’s release of The AAA Girls debut album, “Access All Areas.”  Produced by Sam Sparro, the album’s lead single, “AAA Girls,” climbed to No. 2 on Billboard’s Comedy Album chart this summer.  It received rave reviews for the music video’s throwback to classic pop star aesthetic and its celebration of drag extravaganza. The latest single is “Heather“.

“Girl groups are compelling because they’re sexy and dynamic,”  Alaska explains to About Magazine. “At least, the AAA Girls are!  I feel very blessed for having made such fun music and content with two people I consider dear friends. These ladies work so hard, and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done together.”

“Come see us in Texas ‘cause you never know what’s going to happen when the AAA Girls hit the stage.” -Willam

Willam, Alaska, and Courtney are best known for their respective participation in  RuPaul’s Drag Race seasons 4, 5, and 6.  Since appearing on the series, Willam has starred in several television shows and currently hosts “Suck Less,” a weekly call-in talk show where she and special guests artfully throw shade and spill the tea.

Since her Drag Race debut, Alaska has released two full-length studio albums and won RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2.

Courtney has released an album, toured the world with her one woman show, and can be seen this fall on MTV’s new celebrity dating show, ”MTV Single AF”.  “I am literally busting at the seams to hit the stage with Willam and Alaska on this epic tour,” exclaims Courtney Act. “These queens have worked with Britney (Spears) and Katy (Perry) so, of course, their next logical career move was to travel the world with me as the AAA Girls.”

About-Magazine-Willam-Belli-Alaska-Thunderfuck-Courtney-Act-Announce-Texas-Tour-1024x768 Willam Belli, Alaska Thunderfuck, Courtney Act Announce Texas TourThey certainly have traveled the world.  The AAA Girls North American Tour follows sold-out European and Australian tours.  They will launch their Lone Star State run on Wednesday, 9/20 in Dallas at The Granada Theater.  Then they roll into the Bayou city performing at Fitzgeralds in Houston on Thursday, 9/21, followed by Empire Control Room in Austin on Friday, 9/22

The trio first hit the scene as The AAA Girls in 2014 to support fashion brand American Apparel’s  “Support  Artists,  Support  Ethical  Manufacturing”   campaign.   They later released the holiday single, “Dear Santa, Bring Me A Man”.

“Come see us in Texas ‘cause you never know what’s going to happen when the AAA Girls hit the stage,”  Willam advises About Magazine.

Presented by Fullscreen Live, general admission ticket prices are $39 but in true All-Access fashion, fans will have the opportunity to purchase packages that allow them to take photos with The AAA Girls, get autographs, and even join them on-stage!

Tickets for the Access All Areas North American tour are available now at www.aaagirls.net.