Announcement: I’m going to delete hate speech

It’s incredible to me that I even have to say this, but: If you post a comment to my blog that contains hate speech, I’m going to delete that comment immediately. Wikipedia describes “hate speech” as follows:

In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual

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Kayden Clarke shot and killed by police

Here’s an article about a trans man, Kayden Clarke, who was shot and killed by police officers. I want to show you something interesting: The disconnect in how the information in this article refers to Clarke. The video and photo captions attached to the video refer to him as a woman and use his legal name. Several people quoted in the article itself–including his mother–do the same. Yet the reporter, Christopher Brennan, repeatedly and firmly refuses to go along with … Read more

Today a physician asked me which name I prefer…

…because on the intake form I had crossed off my legal name, Jenna, and written “Jacob” instead. And when the doctor checked in to confirm which name I preferred, I was moved almost to tears. That’s how low the bar is for us trans* folk–we can’t even expect our doctors to honor our names.

I was there because of shoulder pain, and the doctor looked at my shoulder and never asked me to explain my gender identity and I was … Read more

advice for newly minted PhDs on the academic job market

I’m on the academic job market. This is my third time on this particular merry-go-round, although the first two times around I didn’t quite feel ready for any sort of tenure-track position. This year, though. This year I felt ready. For the first time, I had a completed dissertation–a project that made me incredibly proud, and still does–and the PhD that goes along with a completed dissertation. I had two years as a post-doc at a well respected research university. … Read more

the trigger warning I’m putting in my syllabus

Lots of academics and teachers think trigger warnings in college classrooms signal the decline of deep, authentic inquiry into complex social issues. They believe trigger warnings are a symbol of the Dumbing Down of the American University.

I disagree, and I further believe that critiques of trigger warnings tend toward flagrant ableism and outright dismissal of experiences of trauma and of the experiences of people who are living their lives as part of historically oppressed groups. I … Read more

brb gender fatigue

Gender fatigue (n): A condition of exhaustion, occasioned by generally excessive or overwhelming experiences in which one’s gender is present as either an overt or an implicit focus of human activity. 

“I’m sorry I backed away from you when you reached out your hand for a high five and said, ‘what’s up, bro?’ I was suffering from gender fatigue.”

Today I filled out a form so I could get my Denver Public Library card. The form asked for the … Read more

Ten things I wish I could tell myself in advance of starting graduate school

1. They will want to indoctrinate you into the culture of busy, because for all the talk of how universities are liberal bastions, academia is as neoliberal a profession as they come. (See: Joern Fischer, academia’s obsession with quantity; PhD students and the cult of busy; Janet Choi, how to escape the cult of “busy”.) You’re going to love a lot of what you do in graduate school, and it’s ok to immerse yourself in your … Read more

Academia recruits privilege; privilege leads to arrogance; arrogance leads to entitlement: Some thoughts on the Michael LaCour fraud case

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.34.18 PMMaybe you’ve seen the headlines: Science magazine retracts same-sex marriage and gay canvassers study. (The story was broken on May 20 by the blog Retraction Watch, under the headline author retracts study of changing minds on same-sex marriage after colleague admits data were faked.)

This is bad, people. It turns out this isn’t a case of shoddy record-keeping or inappropriate labeling of images or truth claims that overreach the data. Michael LaCour, the lead researcher on the … Read more

trans* identities and “passing”: It’s complicated.

Here’s an op/ed about the notion of “passing” as it relates to transgender folks. The author, Aiden James Kosciesza, describes “passing” as follows:

The term “passing,” when applied to transgender people, means being perceived as cisgender while presenting as one’s authentic gender identity. There’s a lot of power in that. When people meet me and assume that I am a cisgender man, I am afforded the privilege of choosing whether I disclose my transgender identity, and when. Many trans* folks

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rationale for doing queer work in schools: dissertation excerpt

I wrote a lot over the last few years about doing queer work in schools. I wrote almost as much about doing trans* work in schools. (I typed the word ‘trans*’ so often that I put a sticker on my asterisk key so I could always find it easily.) All the writing ended with a dissertation, pieces of which I hope to use for articles and chapters that people might actually read. (Nobody reads dissertations. They just don’t.)

Until those Read more