As I’ve seen some other writers doing this — here is an archive of the stories I’ve published on Medium, which I will attempt to keep updated (newest on top). This list contains only stories I originated, with the exception of a few substantive replies to others. Prior to September 2017, many of my posts were imported from my blog, the funcrunch files. Most of my stories focus on social justice, particularly transgender issues.
This week I cast my ballot, as I have in every U.S. general election and nearly every mid-term since I first became eligible to vote in 1988. But for the first time, I did not vote for a presidential candidate. This was not a decision I took lightly.
Just read in the Medium blog:
Every unique home deserves a unique address. So every new profile comes with its own Medium URL. We’ll prompt you the next time you publish a story.
I was impatient to reserve my usual “funcrunch” handle and couldn’t find a setting to do so. Hence this brief not-story.
OK, to assuage my guilt here and answer an infrequently-asked question: Funcrunch is a play on Fenchurch, from the excellent Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by the late great Douglas Adams.
This is not the story I planned to write today.
I intended to write about the distress I experienced yesterday, when I was misgendered as female for the first time in years. This was likely due to wearing a mask that covered my beard and a patterned headwrap that covered my balding scalp. But however innocent the mistake, being addressed as “ma’am” still stung, especially as it happened on the sixth anniversary of my legal name and gender change.
Today, that distress increased tenfold when I read a graphic death threat on the Wikipedia talk page of Valentina Sampaio, who is in the news for being the first openly trans model featured in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. As a long-time Wikipedia editor who has given talks about trans representation and harassment on that platform, you’d think I’d be used to trans-antagonistic vandalism and hate speech by now. …
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought renewed attention to the harm animal agriculture inflicts not only on our fellow animals, but humans as well. From the origins of COVID-19 in a wet market, to the spread of infection in slaughterhouses, people have had plenty of good reasons to stop consuming the products of this deadly industry.
The decreased availability of animal flesh (“meat”) in grocery stores, along with stay-at-home orders that have greatly reduced communal food sharing, have added to the reasons why now is the perfect time for people to go vegan. Why vegan, rather than vegetarian or just cutting down on meat? Because the needless suffering and death of animals is not limited to those raised and killed for their flesh, nor to “factory” farms; the production of dairy and eggs, even on so-called humane and free-range farms, involves just as much carnage. …
On February 27 of this crazy, horrible year, I wrote the following on Facebook:
I’m calling it now: If we are headed toward a global pandemic that brings about the fall of human civilization, the culprit will be not the coronavirus itself, but fear and bigotry stemming from ignorance and lies.
My words were in response to an article about anti-Asian sentiment that had emptied San Francisco’s Chinatown of visitors, well before any stay-at-home orders or social distancing measures were put into place. Racism targeted at Chinese people has continued throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, but the nation’s focus has now shifted to anti-black racism in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and now Rayshard Brooks. …
Here we go again. Amid a global pandemic and worldwide protests in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, a straight White cisgender billionaire can still grab headlines with trans-antagonistic tweets, taking issue with the fact that people other than women menstruate.
I am one of those people. I was assigned female at birth, but I am agender. In 2014, I transitioned to male for legal and medical purposes and began testosterone therapy. After enduring decades of unwelcome menstruation from unwanted reproductive organs, I was glad to put an end to their function.
Unfortunately, I recently began menstruating again. As has happened to many trans people, my medical care was interrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before lockdown, I had been getting biweekly shots at my doctor’s office. In mid-March, among other social distancing measures, medical offices began deferring nonurgent appointments and “elective” procedures. …
On March 16, 2020, the San Francisco Department of Public Health issued their first stay-at-home order of the Coronavirus pandemic. That same day, I began telecommuting, an arrangement our San Francisco office staff had worked out the previous week. I did not realize at the time that I’d still be working from home two months later, but I have been managing reasonably well under the circumstances.
In many ways, my temperament was ideally suited for home isolation. I had become increasingly introverted and anxious being in public since beginning my gender transition in 2013, often not leaving home for days at a time. …
Since the Coronavirus pandemic has made Zoom the default meeting space for millions, reports have surged of assholes storming people’s living rooms with all manner of disgusting attacks. These home invasions have included profanity, racist slurs, Nazi propaganda, and non-consensual nudity, even in classrooms for children.
The usual responses I see to these incidents of “Zoombombing” are one or both of the following:
Neither of these responses is incorrect, per se, especially the first. Zoom’s CEO has acknowledged that their product’s existing security features are inadequate, and the company is working to enhance them. Especially given that Zoom stands to profit enormously from the greatly increased use of their product during the pandemic, the company has the resources and ethical obligation to improve their product’s security to the greatest possible extent. …
They say there are no atheists in foxholes. For those raised in a society where most people believe a deity created the Earth and maintains a special relationship with humans, this could be true. In times of crisis, even the most ardent disbeliever might, understandably, cast reason aside and cry out for help from beyond.
I was brought up in such a society: the USA. My upbringing was largely secular, however; my family celebrated Christmas and some Jewish holidays, but did not attend religious services. …