If you sit down and have dinner with me, it would appear as if I know a lot, and always have something to say. Chances are I’ve got the latest (or not so latest) scoop on LGBT news, am armed with a relevant tidbit or two regarding identity, readily offer links to resources, and can usually elaborate on insightful comments about any discussion at hand. But this is not because I actually know everything. (“I just pretend to know everything” is my life’s motto.)
Most of the time I’m not writing – granted I’m thinking about writing, most likely writing in my head – yet (sadly) not actually taking it out of my head. Most of the time I’m reading. Absorbing. Taking in information. Learning. Digesting. I read so much that I’m bound to have the right information about the right topic at the right time, which always happens to be This and Now. If you think about it, that’s a lot of reading.
So where exactly do I gain this inexorable wealth of knowledge? Blogs!
Some blogs I read consistently every time there is a new post, and I’ve been reading them for months or even years. Others I rotate every few weeks, once I see that content gets stale or is no longer relevant to me. And I’m always looking out for new ones to add to my list. Then I try to sum up the most interesting stuff, posting the LGBT and transgender-related ones to my Tumblr. But it’s hard to share everything that’s out there, so here’s a taste of what my electronic library looks like today.
Matt Kailey’s Tranifesto
Matt is a professional speaker and educator. His posts on Tranifesto.com are well thought out commentaries on recent transgender news, or Asks from the community that get answered with a mix of good ol’ fashion advice, reader comments, and critical thinking. I probably comment on 80% of the posts, so that gives you an idea on the quality and engagement. For over a year now I’ve looked forward to every Monday and Thursday, when there’s a fresh new post.
I always seem to be in the loop, and reading GLAAD and Mombian is how. Consider it my cheat sheet. Hint: I don’t actually read all the articles, mostly the headlines, occasionally delving into the more interesting ones. (Plus, how else am I going to find out that a totally hot actor is gay, and then totally have a crush on him forever and ever and ever?) These are also interspersed with articles from Huffington Post and other sources, curated by a reliable network of queerly-interested friends.
A Butch Blog
Butch Wonders is run by Butch Wonders, affectionaly known as BW, previously married to a man, affectionately known as DXH (Dear Ex Husband), with a girlfriend, affectionately known as DGF (Dear Girlfriend). There’s lots of affection streaming from this anonymous yet dapper butch lesbian, who decided there was not enough content out there for butches like her. The posts I most look forward to are the monthly round-up of search terms; these never fail to make me laugh, loudly.
Raising My Rainbow stars CJ, a gender creative 5 year old, and his very supportive mom, the author of the blog. Hop along for the journey, as there are some lessons to be learned, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always real.
Lee Wind, Malinda Lo, and The Lesbrary are my go-to Book Blogs. Each blog has its own slant covering a small diversity of related topics; for instance, Lee links to thought-provoking articles on bullying, and Malinda delves into Queer YA. If you’re an avid reader, you need to follow at least one book blog, and these are solid choices.
Art of Transliness, GenderqueerID, A Fine Line, Ryan Sallans’ blog are all great for my dose of general trans* news, transmasculine / non-binary / genderqueer specific content, advice, questions, commentary, identity exploration, personal connection, transition information, tips and tricks, and know-how on just living the life we’re living as transpeople out in the real world.
Tips for Transmen is a relatively new blog, with several contributors (myself included!). I picked up on reading this regularly because the content, which ranges from personal stories detailing the process of a legal gender change to practical advice on testosterone gel, is very engaging and comes from a variety of perspectives. For me it’s a more appropriate outlet than my personal exploration blog to put out “informational/tips” type articles. Check out my first post: Intro to Testosterone HRT.
American Trans Man and TransFusion / Intersex Roadshow cover a sparse posting schedule, but you can count on the articles to be densely packed with information. I always refer back to these posts as complicated topics are clearly explained and laid out, such as the connection between hormones and bone health (an answer several doctors were unable to concretely supply me with), or educated statistical speculation on the prevalence of intersex births.
Self Made Man by Thomas McBee is a series on The Rumpus. After reading an article by Thomas (which, if you read anything today, let it be this article), I quickly became a fan of his writing. Captured not only by content, the style that spoke to me at a level so beyond anything I could ever dream to articulate. Therefore I’m currently on a mission to back-read most of his stuff, which ranges from articles in the New York Times, other reputable publications, and humble pedestrian blogs. Someday we will meet in person and I’ll get his autograph and move on.
On any given day I’m regularly reading something from one of these blogs. So that’s what’s in my list.