Thursday, March 16, 2017

Outspoken is a Lambda Literary Award finalist!

Earlier this week I learned that my latest book, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism, is a Lambda Literary Award finalist in the category of Transgender Nonfiction! It is the first time one of my books has become a Lambda finalist, so I am excited by this news, and extend my congrats to all the other finalists!

For those who haven't seen the book yet, Outspoken compiles 48 of my trans-themed pieces from over the last decade-plus, including many of my early slam poems, essays and manifestos written contemporaneously with Whipping Girl and Excluded (including chapters originally intended for those books), articles challenging DSM diagnoses and the psychopathologization of trans people & gender variance, plus some of my recent writings addressing differences within trans communities and approaches to activism.

Outspoken is available (in paperback & e-book) at Amazon & other online outlets (a complete list can be found here), and bookstores & libraries can purchase it through Ingram. If you belong to, or write for, a media outlet (print, webzine, blog, etc.) and you are interested in reviewing or publishing excerpts from the book, please contact me and I can provide you copies.

In the coming months, I plan to publish blogposts covering each section of the book (including sneak-peaks & excerpts). But in the meantime, here are some Outspoken-related pages you can explore:

Finally, if you have read Outspoken and enjoyed it, please consider leaving a review of it on Amazon, Goodreads, and other sites (this really helps with garnering attention for the book).

Thanks for listening! -j.

Monday, February 20, 2017

on Milo, the limits of free speech, and who gets thrown under the bus

I recently published an essay on Medium called Free Speech and the Paradox of Tolerance. In that piece, as well as in a follow up essay I published yesterday morning, I touched upon recent debates regarding whether Milo Yiannopoulos should be granted a platform to speak at universities and other high profile venues. I argued that Yiannopoulos has a long history of inciting hatred and harassment campaigns toward women, people of color, trans folks, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. I invoked Karl Popper's "Paradox of Tolerance" to make the case that we should not tolerate people (such as Yiannopoulos) who attempt to use their "free speech" in order to suppress and silence others.

While many people (especially those who have witnessed the real harm Yiannopoulos has caused over the last several years) agree with this position, others have taken a free speech absolutist stance that can be paraphrased as follows: "Yiannopoulos may say horrible things that I don't agree with, but I support colleges and others who offer him a platform to speak (and you should too!) because FREE SPEECH." (or something like that.)

But today, we learned the true hypocrisy of the "let Milo speak because FREE SPEECH" crowd. Yesterday, audio/video clips surfaced wherein Yiannopoulos suggests that teenage boys are old enough to consent to sex with older men. In the wake of that revelation, the American Conservative Union, who had previously invited Yiannopoulos to speak at their upcoming CPAC conference, rescinded that invitation. Simon & Schuster, who had been vigorously defending its decision to sign Yiannopoulos to a huge $250,000 book deal, announced that it was canceling that deal. Even employees at the alt-right/white nationalist news outlet Breitbart (where Yiannopoulos is a senior editor) have threatened to quit if he is not fired.

In other words, the same people who were arguing for, or even championing, Yiannopoulos's FREE SPEECH a few days ago, are now disassociating themselves from him. They are, in effect, "no platforming" him.

Friday, January 27, 2017

my San Francisco Women's March Speech

This last weekend, I had the honor of speaking at the San Francisco Women's March. It was an amazing event with an unbelievable turnout, estimated to be between 100K - 150K people. I have never seen a crowd that big before.

The speech I gave was called Empathy Politics - you can read it via the link. It's on Medium, so the more "hearts" it gets (icon at bottom of the page), the more likely it will appear on other people's Medium feeds.

Part of the speech explains why we can defeat Trumpism, because we are the majority in this country. The second half counters recent debates about "Identity Politics" (which I re-frame as "Empathy Politics"), which I believe should be an important part of social justice activism moving forward.

You can listen to a live recording of me giving the speech, which I have made available on my Patreon site - it is a public link (not all of them are). If you like it, please consider supporting me there!

Finally, The Bay Area Reporter interviewed me and other March speakers about our participation in the event.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

first Outspoken review! (and future excerpts, reviews, and interviews)

As you may (or may not) know, at the end of 2016, I released my third book, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism. It's a collection of forty-eight chapters spanning the last decade-plus, including my early slam poems and spoken word, essays and manifestos written contemporaneously with my previous books Whipping Girl and Excluded, plus my recent writings addressing differences within trans communities and activism.

I self-published Outspoken (on my own imprint Switch Hitter Press) and (for personal reasons) I haven't been able to do much promotion for the book until now. In the coming weeks, I plan to publish numerous excerpts from the book, and I've already started uploading YouTube videos for some of the slam poems that appear in the book! (More will be released later this week...)

If you are a writer and/or run some sort of zine, podcast, website, etc., and are interested in potentially reviewing the book and/or interviewing me about it, feel free contact me and I can try to get you a copy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blaming Identity Politics & Political Correctness for Trump's Election

I just wrote an essay called: Prejudice, “Political Correctness,” and the Normalization of Donald Trump. It is my response to all the political center & left pundits who think we should abandon identity politics, "political correctness," and social justice activism in the wake of the latest U.S. election.

If you like it, please share widely! Also, it's on Medium, so the more "hearts" it gets (icon at bottom), the more likely it will appear on other people's Medium feeds. So please "heart" it if you like it too!

Finally, this essay was made possible by my Patreon supporters — if you liked this piece and want to see more like it, please consider supporting me there.

Enjoy! -j.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Julia November update: my new book Outspoken is out, plus other stuff!

A few days ago, I sent out my latest email update. The big news in it is that my third book, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism has just been released! It collects forty-eight of my previously unpublished or difficult to access trans-themed writings, including my early slam poems and spoken word, essays and manifestos written contemporaneously with my previous books Whipping Girl & Excluded, plus my recent work addressing differences within trans communities and activism.

Check out the Outspoken webpage to view the book’s Table of Contents, read part of the Introduction & other book excerpts, and explore the online trans/gender glossary that accompanies the book. At the moment, paperback books can be purchased at Amazon, and it will be available at other retailers & for bookstore/library purchasing (through Ingram) very soon (so stay tuned!). E-books can be purchased at/for Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble/Nook, iTunes Books, Kobo, Smashwords, and other outlets.

Another item of interest in the email update is the official release of the Whipping Girl 2nd edition audiobook! It is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, and other outlets.

The update also includes tidbits on my various other projects, plus helpful post-election resources for trans people.

You can read the update in all its glory here.

If you want future Julia updates emailed directly to you, please sign up for my email list.

enjoy! -j.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

three interviews, an audiobook, and a big Outspoken sneak-peak!

Hello, this is my first post here in a bit, as I've been in the throes of finally completing & releasing my third book, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism. It will be available for purchase on Amazon no later than Wednesday, November 9th, with e-book formats and bookstore/library purchasing (through Ingram) up and running shortly thereafter.

If you are interested in "sneak-peaks" of the book, I encourage you to follow me on Patreon, a crowdfunding platform where (for pledges as low as $1 a month) you can get behind-the-scenes updates on what I am working on, access to many of my in-progress & unpublished writings, plus other goodies -- all the details are explained here.

There are currently two Outspoken excerpts exclusively available on my Patreon site:
1) A long-lost chapter originally intended for Whipping Girl
2) Sneak-peak: the last essay of Outspoken and online glossary

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Julia update: new writings, upcoming events, & Patreon!

So yesterday I sent out my latest email update. In it, I discuss:

1) new articles
2) Patreon
3) upcoming events
4) consider bringing me to your college campus!
5) past & future books
6) new additions to my website

You can read the update in all its glory here.

If you want future Julia updates emailed directly to you, please sign up for my email list.

enjoy! -j.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Detransition, Desistance, and Disinformation (a follow up)

If you aren't aware of it already, last week I published an essay called Detransition, Desistance, and Disinformation: A Guide for Understanding Transgender Children Debates on Medium. It is a long-read, and my thorough response to recent mainstream op-eds and think-pieces coming out either for gender-reparative therapies and/or against gender-affirming approaches to transgender and gender non-conforming children. If you like the piece, be sure to recommend it (by clicking the "heart" logo at the bottom-left of the article) - the more recommends it gets, the more likely it will appear in other Medium readers' feeds!

In addition, German Lopez of interviewed me about my Medium piece - you can read that in the article: The debate about transgender children and “detransitioning” is really about transphobia. (note: if you take issue with that title, I didn't write it - see Twitter thread at bottom of this post.)

I received a lot of positive feedback about the piece. And I can tell that it made some waves outside of the trans/LGBTQ+/activism bubble by the numerous vitriolic & blatantly anti-trans responses I have received - sadly, this is par for the course. However, there are two categories of responses I received that addressed aspects of the article that I perhaps could have explained better, so I want to reply to those here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Activism, Language, and Differences of Opinion (a compilation of essays)

Activists of various stripes will often disagree with one another (as well as with the mainstream public) regarding what ideas and strategies are useful and productive, versus which may be self-defeating or destructive. Notably, many of these debates tend to be centered on language—for instance, is the word or phrase in question liberating, or acceptable, or anachronistic, or problematic, or downright derogatory.

While most people who participate in these debates champion a specific cause (e.g., being “for” or “against” a specific activist tactic or terminology), I have become increasingly interested in understanding the underlying standpoints and reasoning that lead people to adopt these disparate positions, and chronicling how rigid one-size-fits-all stances on these matters may erase or exclude the voices of many people who have a stake in the issue.

I have written extensively about this subject in my 2013 book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive (the linked-to page includes excerpts from the book). Here, I will compile some of my subsequent essays related to this topic (with links when available). They are organized into the following sections: