Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-05
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Brynn Tannehill: Trans activist calls for action in new book
by Frank Pizzoli

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Many readers remember Dr. David Ruben's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex ( But Were Afraid to Ask )—a 1969 best-selling book and then a 1972 Woody Allen movie.

Published the same year as The Stonewall Riots, the book crested at 30 million copies in print worldwide, plus later reissues. Hailed as humorous and up-to-the-minute, that was not the case for LGBT readers, especially transgender individuals. One description lists gay readers with "infidelity, plastic surgery for the genitalia."

Brynn Tannehill's Everything You Wanted to Know about Trans ( But Were Afraid to Ask ) is a refreshing walk through, well, all those questions you may be timid about vocalizing. In a highly-charged PC environment in which every word counts, or can mean something different to two folks in a conversation, Tannehill's book is a good guide.

Windy City Times: You wrote your book because…

Brynn Tannehill: People like stories. ... A confidant once told me not to think about writing the great trans book that would change everything; the market was already flooded.

WCT: What motivates you to write?

BT: What motivates me in life is when someone on the internet is wrong. ... I realized I had been writing pieces of what could easily be a book. I was a columnist writing on health, trans health, religion, politics, economics, allies, academia—all with a trans slant—all of which could be assembled into a book. No one seemed to be writing about the trans experience "holistically" so I put together my book.

WCT: Your book will help people to…

BT: You could give your Mom or sibling my book. Use it in a classroom. We need to cut through the chatter, which is so much PC and it gets exaggerated. I advise following the classic Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

WCT: From your perspective, what's the state of affairs for transgender people these days?

BT: We are in scary times right now. The Trump administration, and its religious allies, want to legislate and regulate transgender, all of us on the LGBTQ continuum, out of existence. They claim there is only "sex" and no "gender." Our opponents have us on their list—Muslims, immigrants and transgender people. For example, the party platform of the Texas GOP is about one-third anti-LGBT screed.

WCT: We celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Riots next year. Like in 1969, are trans people again at the forefront of the movement?

BT: We are quickly losing our rights as the 50th anniversary of Stonewall arrives. The movement and its players—allies, all of us—will have to take more direct actions, much like resisters did before the digital age, at Stonewall, like ACT UP.

WCT: What's different from 50 years ago?

BT: What is different now is that public opinion has fundamentally changed in our favor. It gets better and better. I've always said, "Population is the ocean in which insurgents swim." We need to swim out to our allies, band together with other oppressed groups, not only our own community.

WCT: Are they at the forefront because marriage and military service have been accomplished, although the status of trans individuals in the military is in flux.

BT: The situation is more severe right now. Gerrymandering by the GOP and their attempts at voter suppression, religious exemptions to LGBT civil rights in public spaces, the marketplace, and the workplace, all pose serious threats to our well-being. Even in states with basic protections, religious groups are hoping to carve out their exemptions. It's even scarier than the AIDS Crisis and the plaque years.

WCT: Are queer folks the pariah again, as in the AIDS years?

BT: While our expressions of sex, sexuality, sexual identity expand, as individuals identify as pansexual, polyamorous our reigning political structures want to return to a male/female dichotomy. There's lots of power in regulating our sex lives.

WCT: Can the marketplace play in relaxing oppression? Trump captured a lot of cisgender, white, gay votes.

BT: Let the market fix it is an approach might work in select circumstances. But we're only 3.5 percent of the population. African-Americans are 12.3 percent and we all know, if we read history and follow current events, what they went through and continue to go through.

WCT: Martin Duberman's latest book, Has the gay movement failed?, posits that heteronormative issues—namely marriage and military service—have headlined the movement to the detriment of trans and bisexual people, i.e., most non-cisgender people of color. Thoughts?

BT: I'm going to give you the Washington, D.C., answer: Everything is "transactional." That means we need to be strategic, focused and understand how it all works. We need to be politically pragmatic.

WCT: How can we summarize what might be a good political posture of our community?

BT: My Uncle Rocky, who fought and died in Iraq in 2003, told me his two rules of life. One: The truth has changed again and, two: I can be convinced. Those are good fundamentals in times like these.

Frank Pizzoli's work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Windy City Times, and POZ. He is founding editor and publisher of The Central Voice, chosen Newspaper of the Year ( 2018 ) by the PA NewsMedia Association.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

High court punts on Lambda case of Oregon baker refusing cake to lesbian couple 2019-06-17 - On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide if an Oregon baker can refuse on religious grounds to design a cake ...

Gay News

Debate has Warren separate from Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg and Biden 2019-06-15 - After a random draw in New York City with party and candidate officials in attendance, the June 26-27 Democratic presidential candidate debates will ...

Gay News

Nursing student writes the book on trans healthcare 2019-06-15 - A nursing student who graduated this year from Resurrection University wrote a manual on healthcare delivery for transgender and gender non-conforming persons during ...

Gay News

Ecuador approves same-sex marriage 2019-06-13 - By a vote of five to four, Ecuador's highest court approved same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling in the small and traditionally Catholic ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs Reproductive Health Act into Law, Planned Parenthood responds 2019-06-12 - CHICAGO - Today, June 12, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law the Reproductive Health Act ( RHA ), establishing reproductive health care as ...

Gay News

Progressive Reform Caucus announces new leaders 2019-06-12 - The Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus elected new leadership. The caucus now has 17 members. The new officers are 10th Ward Ald. ...

Gay News

Iran defends killing of gay people 2019-06-12 - The United States accused Iran of violating fundamental human rights after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif endorsed the execution of gay people, ...

Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot signs Pride proclamation 2019-06-12 - OFFICE OF THE MAYOR, City of Chicago Lori E. Lightfoot, Mayor PROCLAMATION "WHEREAS, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer ( LGBTQ ...

Gay News

New report reviews laws, policies affecting LGBTs in U.S. territories 2019-06-11 - ( Boulder, CO ) June 11, 2019—Progress towards full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) people in the United ...

Gay News

Author of new book on assisted reproduction hopes to empower soon-to-be LGBTQ parents 2019-06-11 - Kim Bergman has helped bring more than 1,700 babies into the world throughout her 30 years working in the assisted reproduction field. She ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.