Browsing posts tagged with trans
Apr
2

Your Gender is Awesome: A Class for Trans Youth

Sunday, July 2nd — 7:30 p.m. — $10

Wyatt & SidPlease note: This class is for people UNDER 18 years old. You must have a parent or guardian accompany you to this class to sign a consent form. They do not have to stay throughout the entire class, but may do so. Please leave a note with your order if a parent or guardian will be joining you for class so we can make sure to provide enough chairs. (They do not need to purchase an additional spot.)

Are you under 18, trans*, gender variant, genderqueer or questioning? If so, this class is for you! She Bop’s very own Sid Need and Wyatt Riot will go over just about everything you need to express your most confident and authentic self: STPs, packers, breast forms, prosthetics, pack & plays, gaffs, binders, books, and community support. Sid and Wyatt will pull from their own personal experiences, as well as their experiences as sex educators, to answer any questions you might have. No worries if you are feeling shy; notecards will be provided so you can ask your questions anonymously. We will also have an allotted amount of time to assist you in trying things on if you so wish.

Wyatt is a manager and assistant buyer at She Bop and has been working there for over 5 years. This tenderheart has been out as queer and trans for over half his life (that’s roughly 16+ years). They enjoy taking naps, talking about feelings, introverting, and eating all the delicious things.

Sid identifies as a queer trans man and uses the pronouns he/him/his. He has been with She Bop for three years and has volunteered with SMYRC in the past. He is a certified sex coach, sex educator, musician, and has a minor in gender studies.

If you are interested in an 18+ over class, please let us know by sending us an e-mail at info@sheboptheshop.com.

Limited space available — sign up online!

Aug
1

Guide to STP (stand-to-pee) devices

PstylesSummer is here and during such an outdoorsy season, stand-to-pee devices (STPs) are more sought after than ever! STPs make it possible for any person with a vulva to pee standing up — no more hovering awkwardly over porta potties at concerts or leaving your butt bug-vulnerable when camping. STPs can also be essential to a trans person wanting to use a urinal discreetly and comfortably. Thinking about where and when you are going to be using your STP can help steer you toward the perfect one for your needs.

We carry quite a few STP devices and prosthetics, all of which are non-porous and therefore easy to clean. The pStyle, for example, is an inexpensive option and relatively simple to use. When placed under the urethra, it serves as a funnel for the urinary stream. Because the pStyle is made of rigid plastic, many people find it easier to use than softer silicone STPs — however, it cannot be folded up for transport. The pStyle comes in a variety of different colors, and we have several super cute carrying cases to choose from!

Fenis and Mr. Fenis

Want a softer STP? The Fenis and Mr. Fenis are fairly inexpensive silicone options. Mr. Fenis comes in flesh-like tones and has a realistic head at the end of the shaft. (Although Mr. Fenis looks more realistic, it is not meant for packing.) Both the Fenis and Mr. Fenis are very pliable, making them foldable and portable, but you want to be sure the base is cupped securely against the body to prevent any dribble.

Model DIf you’re looking for something more realistic that can double as a packer, the Model D and Model D Sport are good options. They are essentially the same product, but the Model D has slightly larger balls. These products are made of silicone, come in several skin tone colors, and don’t require any attachments to be used as STPs. For packing, the Model D and Model D Sport can fold down to create a natural-looking bulge. The Slingshot Harness is specifically designed to hold these models securely in place. However, packing undies like the Spareparts Pete (or even just snug-fitting briefs or boxer briefs with a pouch) can work fine; you might just want to take extra precaution that everything is properly adjusted. As with any packer, pick a size that works best for your body and think about how much of a bulge you want making an appearance.

Sam the STPSam the STP by New York Toy Collective is the newest addition to our STP collection and can serve as both a packer and STP. It’s made of medical grade silicone, yet softer than the Model D and Model D Sport, and therefore easier to fold up if you don’t want to be packing. Sam has a wide open base that extends down to the balls, making this STP fairly straightforward to use. Since the base of Sam needs to connect with the body, any sort of packing underwear or harness that is open at the back would work fine with this model.

Before using any STP in public, we recommend trying it out in the shower to get a feel for how it works. Some STPs take a little practice to gauge how much urinary flow control you’re going to need to prevent any spills or dribbles. As always, we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about any of our products. If you’re local, pop into the shop so you can see them for yourself!

Jun
27

Re-learning orgasm

hitachi-magic-wand-she-bop

Headlines are funny sometimes. “A Trans Woman Learns To Masturbate” is the title the piece was given on Eros Media, yet such a statement ignores the unique, languid writing style of author Jetta Rae. It also simplifies the myriad issues Rae explores — beyond just masturbation, beyond just being trans.

Rae begins by addressing the societal assumptions surrounding masturbation. Masturbation is a safe, healthy time for personal exploration and fantasy — in fact, a time that can be transformative — yet the act is often derided and misrepresented in ways small and large. For instance, the word “masturbatory” is used when someone is acting self-absorbed, relying on the (incorrect) belief that masturbation comes easily for everyone.

The disparagement of masturbation as a simple, mindless game you always win trickles down from the office to the bedroom, and not everyone is able to get off from jerking off. Some of us aren’t able to find “spank material” that treats our sexual and gender identities with respect. Others still are struggling with the idea of being sexual–when we prop up, with our language, this notion of masturbating as foolproof, we risk eclipsing people who could heal the most from self-love in anxiety, fear, and resentment at their own bodies for not being able to “keep up” with those of us able to jokebrag about taking the day off from work to lay in bed and touch ourselves.

After years of hormone replacement therapy, Rae’s cock responded differently to stimulation — it took her longer to become erect, and orgasm began slipping further and further out of reach. Despite happy relationships and sexual forays, the lack of genital response was disheartening. She struggled with anxiety over orgasm.

Having an orgasm in front of another person is a special sort of experience, one that takes us out of our masturbatory comfort zones. Rae wanted it to be easier, and, having seen many partners respond to vibrators, set out to re-train her body to do the same. She bought a Hitachi Magic Wand.

God, I remember those first few nights with my new toy. I swore I could literally taste the electricity in the back of my throat as I tearfully buckled in my bed . . . The ceaseless mechanical quivering sent pulses, both overwhelming and liberating, through my body. I could feel it, not just in my tits, but somehow through my tits, like steam escaping from the sewers to the street.

Yet orgasm remained difficult. Rae often found herself at the edge, overly stimulated, unable to come without experiencing discomfort. What happened next was a happy accident: one night, she gave up her usual routine with the wand and instead rested it at the base of her cock, over her prostate.

It was just the shift in stimulation and thinking that her body and brain needed. Without orgasm as the primary goal, without trying to stick to the same old motions, she was able to relax and get off — in a new way.

All her life, Rae writes, “society had instructed people born with bodies like mine that there is a singular ‘right way’ to masturbate.” Society had also placed a premium on orgasm. Letting go of these assumptions, it turns out, was everything she needed.

Read the whole piece at Eros Media.

Jan
29

Renaming Desire: Trans/Non-Trans Sex Revisited

Yoseñio V. Lewis

Thursday, April 23rd — 7:30 pm — $20

Even in 2015 the notion of sex between trans and non-trans people strikes fear and curiosity in many queer people. For trans people, how to come out and express one’s desire and physical/mental make up to a non-trans person remains a monumental hurdle. For non-trans people, how to acknowledge, accept and engage in a mutual sexual attraction with a trans person and risk rejection from various communities remains a hurdle. Within those concerns lie the issues of exoticization, race, class, and plain old sexual mechanics!

Our goals in this workshop are to provide an open atmosphere for people to address these issues, as well as to look at the state of sex-positivity in the queer movement. We encourage people to attend, learn, and go away from the workshop having gained insight into how to have responsible, meaningful and FUN sex!

Yoseñio V. Lewis is a Latino of African Descent female to male transsexual who has been a social justice activist since he was 13 years old. A health educator, speaker, writer, performer, trainer, facilitator and spiritual hugger, Yoseñio has been a panelist and keynote speaker at numerous universities and sexuality conferences. He was one of the inaugural honorees of The Trans 100 list.

Yoseñio is a co-founder of Big Boys’ Ink™ Productions, a theatrical writing and performing company, and he has been featured in several documentaries about gender identity and the trans* experience.

Yoseñio believes that there can be no art without activism and no activism without art.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

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May
27

Watching Trans Grrrls, her armor melts away

Chelsea Poe and Maxine Holloway in Trans GrrrlsAmy Dentata is a writer, game designer, and performer who touches on topics including trauma recovery, mental illness, sexuality, and transgender issues on her website and elsewhere. Recently she wrote something amazing on PinkLabel.tv: “Fumbling Towards Humanity: How Trans Grrrls Helped Me Open Up to My Partner.”

We knew Courtney Trouble’s Trans Grrrls was a very special porn film, but Dentata’s piece illuminates just how transformative it can be to see someone like yourself in erotic imagery.

As a trans woman, Dentata encounters many difficulties when it comes to not just dating, but simply existing in the world. When dating, she has to worry about a lack of chemistry, the challenges of physical intimacy, and her personal safety. Sex, even masturbation, is a minefield — Dentata can feel uncomfortable, anxious, detached from her body. It doesn’t help that in both mainstream media and mainstream porn, trans people are made to be punchlines, victims of violence, or taboo sex objects. Genuine, compassionate representation is almost impossible to find.

When Dentata started dating a cisgender woman named Kate, she found a partner who was willing to take the time to learn how to pleasure her. Still, during their first couple of sexual encounters, Dentata couldn’t orgasm. One night ended in tears when Dentata was overcome by body dysphoria and upsetting anti-trans thoughts.

But the third time was different. That night, they popped in Trans Grrrls and began touching each other while watching the first scene, featuring Chelsea Poe and Maxine Holloway. Dentata writes:

. . . the scene cut to an apartment, and Chelsea and Maxine tore off each other’s clothes. There on the screen was someone like me, having sex with someone like Kate. They were both happy, enthusiastic, and into each other. No “surprise reveal”, no horrified reaction shots, no cis gaze ruminating on how a trans partner might affect a cis person’s feelings about their sexual orientation. Just two women fucking.

It made me feel human. And naked, even though my clothes were already off. A layer of psychic armor hardened by slurs, stereotypes, and violence melted off my body. It felt like the universe said to me, “We have a place for you. You belong here.”

I said to Kate, “In a little bit you’re going to find out something I love about Maxine.” Maxine laughs when she comes, and it is so adorable. Kate agreed. Sometime after the second scene of the film, I had an amazing orgasm, all thanks to Kate. The isolation I felt during our previous encounters washed away. That orgasm was a revelation, a moment of healing, and I laughed like Maxine through the intense torrent of emotions. That was the first time I’ve ever laughed while coming instead of crying.

That was the night Amy Dentata felt like she belonged. Like there was a place in the world for her body, her identity, her sexuality. Her partner confirmed it — along with the performers in Trans Grrrls — and she was able to experience the pleasure everyone deserves.

Read the whole piece at PinkLabel.tv.

Jun
27

Local victories: gender-neutral bathrooms, more accessible birth certificates

The biggest news of the month, that the Supreme Court has overturned DOMA and dismissed Prop 8, has certainly been reason to celebrate. And hopefully it will pave the way for marriage equality in Oregon come 2014 (fingers seriously crossed!). But there have been a couple smaller, more local victories recently that we appreciated.

gender-neutral-signs

Multnomah County board Chairman Jeff Cogen signed an executive order making Multnomah County one of the first in the country to require single-occupancy gender-neutral bathrooms in new construction projects for the county. Additionally, personnel will survey the county’s 120 existing buildings and implement gender-neutral bathrooms wherever possible.

This executive order follows in the footsteps of Grant High School, which earlier this year designated six of their single-occupancy bathrooms as unisex.

Our friends at the Q Center were present for the signing. Addie Jones, a staff member at SMYRC (the Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Resource Center, the youth and young adult program of Q Center), even gave a statement, which you can read in full here.

The other great bit of news is this: Governor Kitzhaber signed House Bill 2093, which, as of January 1, 2014, removes the surgery requirement imposed on transgender Oregonians seeking an accurate birth certificate. Only a few other states have lifted this requirement.

Folks will still have to prove they have undergone gender transition treatment (as determined by a health care provider on an individual basis), but surgery — which can be too expensive or simply undesired — will no longer be a requirement of that treatment. Basic Rights Oregon explains why this is so important:

Birth certificates are more than a piece of paper: they are a gateway to access Social Security benefits, to obtain professional certification, to register for schools and colleges, and in countless other situations. Having inconsistent documents can impose serious barriers to finding meaningful employment or housing, and creates barriers for parents of transgender children and youth seeking accurate school records. Removing the surgery requirement is an important step forward to removing those challenges.

Progress comes in little steps — we followed the addition of a third gender category to Pakistani identity cards in 2011, and trans rights victories in Ontario and Argentina in 2012 — but it is still progress. And we are thankful for it.

Aug
5

Kickstart Tobi Hill-Meyer’s next project

Tobi Hill-Meyer, winner of the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the 2010 Feminist Porn Awards and director of Doing It Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project, now has an even bigger project in her sights: an epic two-volume follow-up movie called Doing it Again: In Depth.

Doing it Again: In Depth will be partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign that ends on Wednesday morning. The campaign has already hit its initial goal, as well as two extra goals that will pay for original music and subtitles, but Hill-Meyer is hoping to raise more in order to make the result even better.

Doing it Again: In Depth will be an erotic documentary from Handbasket Productions that includes interviews with trans women and their partners, plus explicit sex scenes. The importance of a movie like this is clear. As Hill-Meyer explains,

Stereotypes and prejudices around trans women’s sexuality influence public policy, access to healthcare, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, “trans-panic” defenses in murder trials, and so much more . . . The goal of this project is to create depictions of real humanity and allow trans women to take control over how their sexuality is portrayed.

Tempting rewards for Kickstarter backers include signed DVDs, handwritten thank you notes, behind the scenes access, exclusive footage, and even a tea date with Tobi herself! Plus, if you pledge $25 or more, you can get a free ticket to Seattle burlesque show Debauchery!

The Kickstarter campagin ends this Wednesday, August 8th at 9 a.m. EDT, so don’t delay if you want to contribute!

Handbasket Productions is also looking for folks to participate in the film, especially straight trans women, trans women with male partners, trans women of color, people of color of any gender and trans status, and people over 40. If possible, it’s best to apply as a pair. Handbasket Productions is based in Seattle, so Portlanders probably have a greater chance of being cast. Apply today if you are interested! We can’t wait to see the final product.

May
25

Trans rights victories in Ontario and Argentina

Rest of the world, take note. Both Ontario and Argentina have recently taken some big leaps forward for trans rights, allowing for gender self-determination on birth certificates without proof of medical, judicial, or psychiatric procedures first.

Ontario’s change came in the form of an April decision that struck down a previous rule in the Vital Statistics Act, which required a person to undergo what it called “transsexual surgery” before being able to legally change the gender listed on their birth certificate. Deeming the stipulation discriminatory, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ordered the provincial government to remove it.

The overarching nature of birth certificates could mean that this change will extend to passports as well. It could also influence legislation in other provinces and territories.

Argentina has gone even further, introducing a new bill that grants citizens the freedom to change their legal gender without jumping through any hoops first. The bill won congressional approval this month with a resounding 55-0 Senate vote. Some are calling it a game changer, noting that it is far beyond what most countries have on the books. Katrina Karkazis, a Stanford University bioethicist who has studied the legal and medical barriers for trans folks in the U.S., said:

This law is saying that we’re not going to require you to live as a man or a woman, or to change your anatomy in some way. They’re saying that what you say you are is what you are. And that’s extraordinary. Rather than our more sedimented ideas about what it is to be male or female, this sort of throws all of that up in the air in a really exciting way.

Two years ago, Argentina was the first Latin American nation to legalize gay marriage.

In the U.S. and Europe, changing one’s gender marker on a birth certificate usually requires proof of gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, and/or psychological evaluation — exhausting requirements that can often be emotionally, physically, and financially stressful.

Mar
8

Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival starts tonight

Tonight marks the beginning of the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POWFest), which runs through Sunday. POWFest is a fantastic showcase for the work of female directors. This year’s festival includes an array of documentaries, animated and experimental shorts, international shorts, shorts with mature themes, classic films, and even a special screening of short films made by female youth.

One film we’re particularly excited about is called Austin Unbound. Here’s the synopsis and trailer:

The first of its kind, Austin Unbound offers an intimate glimpse into the story of a deaf transsexual man. Austin always knew that his female anatomy did not match his sense of mind, heart, or spirit. The film documents his personal reflections at a pivotal time in his gender transition: preparing for a double mastectomy and the recovery afterward. Austin’s journey is an inspiration to many, his self awareness, humor, and personality long recognized and honored throughout his community. Austin Unbound is different because it is a happy movie, whereas other films portray people who are trans or deaf as somehow pathological or in need of repair. The directors use specific cinematography, subtitles, and sound design which reflect Austin’s experience in full cinematic effect.

As a part of POWFest, a double-screening of Austin Unbound and Married in Spandex is happening on Sunday, March 11th at The Hollywood Theatre. Tickets are $10 and include a reception before the screening and a Q&A with Austin, the filmmakers, and community leaders afterward. Married In Spandex and the panel will be interpreted in sign language.  This screening is a benefit for Basic Rights Oregon.

Check out the rest of the POWFest schedule for more amazing films. Festival passes are available for $60.

Jan
20

Pushing back against the transphobic Girl Scout cookie boycott

Last fall, Girl Scouts of Colorado issued a statement formally accepting transgender youth into their troops. “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl,” the statement read, “Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

Now that Girl Scout cookie season is on the horizon, a 14-year-old former Girl Scout named Taylor has issued a response in the form of a transphobic call to boycott Girl Scout cookies. Her video, which went viral last week, consists of transphobic language that does not bear repeating. Taylor’s fundamental misunderstanding and misconstruing of trans issues has rightfully offended a great many people, including us.

A national Girl Scouts spokeswoman responded to the controversy in an email to The Washington Post, writing that the organization “prided itself on being an inclusive organization serving girls from all walks of life.” Meanwhile, trans activist and porn star Buck Angel has released a video about his experience in a Girl Scout troop when he was younger. The video is a brief but effective reminder of what Girl Scouts stand for.

Transcript:

Hi, my name’s Buck. And when I was growing up, I was a Girl Scout. I was born as a girl but I always knew I was a guy, and all my family and friends — and even the Girl Scouts — knew I was a little boy. And they accepted me into the Girl Scout troop, and everyone was loving and giving, and it was never an issue. And I just wanted to give a shout-out to Girl Scouts for accepting transgender girls into the Girl Scout troops. ‘Cause Girl Scouts was actually a very big part of me growing up. It really helped me learn lots of things and respect, friends, how to get along with people — and most importantly, how to sell those Girl Scout cookies. So support Girl Scouts, they’re amazing. Thin Mints [are] my favorite cookie. So please, buy as many cookies as you can and help them to really get the message across that it’s not about anything other than showing love and respect and learning how to be a good person. That’s what Girl Scouts is about.

Thank you, Buck, for speaking your mind. We completely agree! And we are quite fond of Thin Mints ourselves.

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington have begun taking cookie orders for the year. Booths will be set up from February 17 through March 11; there’s even a cookie locator app to help you find one. Read about all the cookies here to get your mouth watering. Hopefully this controversy will lead to more cookie sales, not less.

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