Shout out to the "Prancing Elites" gay dance troupe from Semmes, Ala

They are fabulous but not everyone enjoyed seeing them at this years Christmas parade in Semmes Ala. The man who invited them went as far to say that they 'tricked' him after some residents complained.

Being a trans person in the deep south I understand what being visible means and respect these individuals for living fearlessly, authentically and creatively.

Outrage over Ani DiFranco's #righteousretreat at Nottoway Plantation goes unanswered

A storm has engulfed a well know white feminist singer Ani DiFranco since she announced a "Righteous Retreat" in the iconic monument to slavery, the Nottoway Plantation. By all accounts DiFranco isn't listening even deleting threads critical of her on the events facebook page.

http://t.co/AqyisKZ72Y #righteousretreat

But hey, but maybe the plantation is doing good in the world now. Maybe the profits from this and other activites are being used for the good of humankind, or maybe not. PQ Monthly reports that

So why hold the Retreat at the Nottoway Plantation? In order to inform my outrage I wanted to know who benefits from the continued existence of the Nottoway Plantation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but is owned and operated privately by Nottoway Plantation Inc. Nottoway Plantation Inc., with annual revenue of $2.5 to 5 million is owned by the Paul Ramsay Group. The Paul Ramsay Group, interestingly enough, is the investment arm of Australia’s thirteenth richest billionaire Paul Ramsay, a healthcare mogul well known in Australia for donating half a million dollars to conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s election campaign. So who benefits from the continued existence of the plantation? The man who has given more than $1.8 million to the anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-immigrant Liberal party over the last 14 years.

Despite the outrage it appears that DiFranco has turned a deaf ear. She not replied to any of the tweets asking her to change the venue leading to many condeming her as a racist.

From the website righteous retreat.com:

Allow me to invite you down to Louisiana to learn and play with me and some of my friends, exploring these and a few more of our favorite things!
RBR042 Ani by Danny Clinch 2We will be shacked up at the historic Nottoway Plantation and Resort in White Castle, LA, for 3 days and 4 nights exchanging ideas, making music, and otherwise getting suntans in the light of each other’s company. During the day, myself, Toshi Reagon, Buddy Wakefield, Hamell on Trial and others will lead workshops and lessons that focus on developing one’s singular creativity. In the evenings we will perform for each other and enjoy great food in a captivating setting.
We will arrive on Wednesday afternoon and that evening there will be a cocktail reception and an intimate performance by yours truly. Thursday, Friday and Saturday there will be seminars and jams with a show each evening by one of our illustrious artists/faculty. We will also have a collective outing to New Orleans so I can introduce you to my new hometown and some of the extraordinary things I’ve found there.

Bring your guitar, your journal, your kazoo or just your curiosity and come join us for some mind expanding fun! We have room in the circle for everyone.

No DiFranco, more than likly you will be entertaining in the plantations "White Room" called such becuse it was painted white to highlight the white woman. Its the slaves of Nottoway who lived in shacks, each having two rooms with a family living in each room.

New TSA page. Transsexuality and the Airways

Stoic eyed, expressionless the agent demanded that I dump the contents of my duffle bag onto the floor, in full view of gawking future plane mates. Humiliated and red faced I asked the agent why I had been singled out. He replied 'because you paid for the ticket in cash'.

Singled out on a domestic flight originating from Cedar Rapids to a similarly innocuous destination? For paying in US Dollars?

That was a number of years ago but the memories remain fresh. I get anxious even now when I look at those expressionless TSA agents at the airport. It should not have to be like this. Hopefully the new TSA page will educate those agents who are a little less than understanding or knowledgeable about transsexualism and the airways.

Some of the information found on the new TSA Transgender page in bold print and of course, my obligatory commentary.

Making Reservations: Secure Flight requires airlines to collect a traveler’s full name, date of birth, gender and Redress Number (if applicable) to significantly decrease the likelihood of watch list misidentification. Travelers are encouraged to use the same name, gender, and birth date when making the reservation that match the name, gender, and birth date indicated on the government-issued ID that the traveler intends to use during travel.

Why using our authentic name would make us more likely to be placed on a watch list is beyond me, but there it is. If you don't want a hassle from the get go buy your ticket with your legal name. For those in the community who haven't or don't want to change their legal name and gender marker this could be more than a little daunting.

What if you gender presentation is so authentic you do not look like your 'government issued id'? Will that put you on a 'watch list'?

Case in study. The Denver Wrangler bar staff recently excused their transphobic denial of public accommodations to a drag queen because his id did not match (sic) his presentation.

New Advanced Imaging Technology Software: TSA has upgraded all millimeter wave advanced imaging technology units with new software called Automated Target Recognition to further enhance privacy protections by eliminating the image of an actual traveler and replacing it with a generic outline of a person.

In everyday language, your bits and pieces will not be (should not be) viewable.

In case you were wondering these items are a no
no according to the TSA Blog
On the lighter side the TSA.gov blog reported that "Officers found a can of soup in a Las Vegas passenger’s carry-on bag. When told that it couldn’t go through because of the liquids rule (it was more than 3.4 ounces), the passenger said they would put the soup in their checked baggage. But when the passenger returned to the checkpoint, officers saw that the passenger had tried to hide the soup in their pants.  No soup for them."  

"Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT): Screening with advanced imaging technology is voluntary and travelers may “opt out” at any time. Travelers who “opt out” of the AIT screening are required to undergo a thorough pat-down by an officer of the same gender as the traveler presents."

SexyTSA Costumes.
ready for your pat down?
Note that the officer conducting the pat down is of the same gender as you present, not necessarily what you ID indicates. The choice of whom pats you down, male or female is yours. Side note. Wondering why the TSA put "opt out" in parenthesis.

Now for what in all likelihood got me that special attention. I was really nervous.

Behavior Detection Program: 
Behavior Detection Officers screen travelers using non-intrusive behavior observation and analysis techniques to identify potentially high-risk passengers. Officers are designed to detect individuals exhibiting behaviors that indicate they may be a threat to aviation and/or transportation security. Individuals exhibiting specific observable behaviors may be referred for additional screening, which can include a pat-down and physical inspection of carry-on baggage.

TSA recognizes that exhibiting some of these behaviors does not automatically mean a person has terrorist or criminal intent. Referrals for additional screening are solely based on specific observed behaviors.

So I'm flying to DC this Febuary. My information is already in the NSA's hands as we will be inside the White House at some point. Here's to Hoping the agents you I come into contact do not see through cisgender lenses.
Happy Trails!