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Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, photographer, blogger. Pronouns: they/them/their.,
Pax Ahimsa Gethen | queer • black • trans • vegan • atheist | blogger • photographer | social justice • gender & animal liberation

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.

Edit, October 2020: I am adding an arbitrary amount of text to this story, to try to address an issue with Medium’s new layout.

I’m not…

Examining preferences and identity on Celebrate Bisexuality Day

Side by side bisexual and trans pride flags, overlapped with a question mark.

Today, September 23, is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Also known as Bi Visibility Day, this annual event marks the finale of Bisexual Awareness Week, a time to celebrate and learn about the bisexual community.

As a queer trans person who openly identified as bi for many years, I’ve written previously about the perceived differences between bisexuality and pansexuality, a subject of many arguments. I explored, from my own perspective, the evolution of the definition of bisexual from “attracted to men and women” to “attracted to people of more than one sex and/or gender”.

But what if, for some, bisexual still does…

I'm a nonbinary trans person and appreciate your allyship, but can't agree with this statement as phrased. Cis people with gender presentations that are more typical of the "opposite" sex are frequently misgendered, especially in conservative communities. This is especially true of "butch" Black women, who fall victim to gender policing alongside their trans sisters in restrooms, sports, and other areas.

In short, even if gender and sex were strictly binary and intersex people didn't exist either, you wouldn't be able to make an accurate assessment of someone without inspecting their genitals. …

Even Caitlyn Jenner.

Former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner recently announced her candidacy in the election to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom. Unsurprisingly given her Republican politics, she is now catering to the fearmongering about trans girls competing in school sports alongside their cisgender classmates.

Caitlyn Jenner is as representative of trans people as Ben Carson is of Black people or Milo Yiannopoulos is of gay people; i.e., not at all. She got her victories and medals in her youth, and is now throwing all trans girls who would also like to compete under the bus, misgendering them as “biological boys” in the process.

A marcher in the 2017 San Francisco Pride Parade holds a sign reading “Trans ♀ Are ♀” and “Trans Women Are My Sisters”. Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Side-by-side official portraits of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, desaturated and with the word NO in red text superimposed. Both original images are official works of the U.S. federal government and in the public domain.

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.

I’d long since abandoned the Democratic Party, and more recently left the Green Party as well to become an independent voter. …

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.

Self-portrait of the author, standing outside in the sun wearing a blue and white patterned headwrap, red and black eyeglasses with tinted lenses, purple cloth mask, purple hoodie, and blue T-shirt.

Today, that distress increased tenfold when I read a graphic death threat on the Wikipedia talk page of Valentina Sampaio, who…

If you love animals, why are you still eating them?

The author poses holding Ricky, a rooster, at PreetiRang Sanctuary. Pax is wearing a purple hoodie, tinted eyeglasses, and a faded black AIDS Walk San Francisco 2000 baseball cap. Photo by Ziggy, November 2016.

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…

Ending white supremacy will require radical action.

Black and white line drawings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two of many victims of anti-black racism and police violence in the United States. From the Justice For Our Lives portrait series by Oree Originol.

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…

Gender and sex cannot be reduced to reproductive organs

Photo: Grace Cary/Getty Images

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…

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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