Archive | July 2015

Creative Commons Licensing

If you have an eye for detail, you may have noticed I have a new notice on the page:

cclicense

What exactly does it mean? Rather than send you to the Creative Commons web site to poke around until you find the explanation for yourself, I’ll tell you right here.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Means that under the terms of the license, you are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material

The licensor (that’s me) cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

And you can do this under the following terms:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Notices:

You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.

Want It In Plain English?

Anything you find on my blog or website is free for you to copy and use for non-commercial purposes, so long as you give me credit as the original author. If you decide to share it with anyone, either in the original format or as you have edited or modified it, you may do so provided you distribute it under the same terms of this license.

And if you have any questions or would like additional rights, such as the ability to use it for commercial purposes, then let’s talk about it, hmm? Just email me and we’ll work something out.

Why Did I Do This?

Because it occurred to me that a lot of what I post here is the result of a lot of research. Research that takes time and in some cases, money. And while I don’t mind sharing the results of my research with you, I realized that there may be a way for someone to commercialize (that is, make a profit) my work. And that’s simply not fair.

At the same time, I do want you to share my information and opinions with others. A standard copyright wouldn’t work, because it’s too restrictive. And if I put it into the public domain, then I couldn’t prevent someone from making a profit on it.

And why should someone else make a profit, when I’ve done all the work?

The Bottom Line

By all means, you’re free to use anything I post here, just so long as you give me credit for it. I think that’s a reasonable request, don’t you?

 

 

On The Emergence of Caitlyn Jenner

Once more, let me remind you that I speak only for myself. There is no such thing as an “official” trans community position on Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out—or anyone else’s, for that matter. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

That being said, I was a bit unhappy pissed off with the media furor surrounding Caitlyn Jenner’s announcement that she is a woman. At the same time newspapers and magazines—not to mention the Internet—were full of the sensationalization of MS. Jenner’s announcement, they continued to marginalize or ignore completely the fact that 9 trans women of color have ben murdered this year. And the count is now up to 11.

“White privilege,” I told myself. “So nice that a rich white woman can be so visible while far too many of us still suffer down here in the trenches.”

I admit that it took me a couple of weeks to overcome this attitude.

caitlyn

Yes, to overcome that attitude and to realize that celebrities have just as much to lose, and maybe even more, as the rest of us. And that they have the same reasons as the rest of us for choosing to do what many of us consider to be the most difficult thing we will ever do in our lives: become our authentic selves.

But just as important as realizing these things, I’ve also realized just what a tremendous service she is doing to our community: she is making us more visible, and doing so in a way that says, “Look at us; we’re normal. We’re no different from you.”

It takes courage to become your authentic self, no matter who you are, and no matter how famous or unsung you are. It costs, not just in terms of money but also in lost friends and family. In most states, we can be fired or refused employment and housing simply because of who we are. I myself have been denied medical care because I am transgender. I have experienced employment discrimination because of who I am.

So yes, I have changed my mind about Ms. Caitlyn Jenner. I was wrong, and now I say to her, “YOU GO, GIRLFRIEND!”

Haters Gonna Hate…Especially When They Lose

On The Twelfth Day of Equality
The haters gave to me…

“The Confederate flag isn’t a symbol of racism, it’s a banner of pride in our heritage.”

Maybe so, but what if Arnold Schwarzenegger, when he was governor of California, decided to fly the Nazi flag on the State Capitol grounds as a way of expressing pride in his heritage? After all, his father was a Nazi….

And these same “proud Southerners” have a problem with people in Texas flying the Mexican flag. But after all, Texas was a part of Mexico long before it became first an independent republic, then a Union state, a Confederate state, and a Union state once more. And besides, some of the families flying the Mexican flag have been in Texas far longer than most of the rest of the population of Texas.

Speaking of Texas, the latest revision of that state’s history—and which will be taught in their schools—makes no mention of slavery or the Ku Klux Klan.

Is There a Point to All This, or Am I Just Ranting?

There is most definitely a point and it is that we are in the midst of tremendous social change in the United States. And while social (or cultural, if you prefer that term) change is usually slow, there does come a time when certain forces come together and culminate in one, big explodey BOOM!

And isn’t that what’s been happening for the past couple of weeks in the United States? First, we had the decision—some would say the inevitable decisions—by the Supreme Court of the United States that same-sex marriages are, in fact, protected by the Constitution. Then we had the tremendous push-back against the display of the Confederate battle flag as a result of yet another white supremacist committing yet another murder (in this case, murders) in yet another African-American church in the South. And just yesterday I read that the City of New York was ordered to pay nearly $6 million to the family of yet another Black man killed by the police—this time because they used an illegal choke-hold to restrain him, despite him telling them that he couldn’t breathe. And this time, the coroner had no trouble ruling his death a homicide.

How many times have you heard—or even said yourself—that “we fear what we don’t understand”? Do you have even a basic understanding how hatred grows out of not only ignorance but fear? And make no mistake: I’m not using the word “ignorance” as an epithet or to dismiss people as being stupid. Far from it. There is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. As someone once told me, “Ignorance can be cured,  but stupid is forever.” My own view of the difference between them is that ignorance comes from a lack of education or experience, where as stupidity is deliberate and a conscious choice.

As an example, take the fact that there are still people who believe that the Earth is flat. This, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Compare that to the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon jungle who have had very limited contact with the outside world. If they don’t know that the Earth is round (and I’m not saying they don’t; after all, the ancient Greeks knew that fact), I would put that down to ignorance rather than stupidity.

So here we sit at the junction of progress and regress, of light and darkness, of knowledge and ignorance. Where we go from here, and how long it will take, is a combination of those of us who choose to take positive action as well as the dying off of older minds who still cling to the lies and hate.

As for me, I choose positive action.

Thanks for reading,

Robyn