Author

Joe Wenke

Joe Wenke has 10 articles published.

is a writer, social critic and LGBTQI rights activist. He is the founder and publisher of Trans Über, a publishing company with a focus on promoting LGBTQ rights, free thought and equality for all people. In addition to The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, Wenke is the author of Looking for Potholes, Poems, The Talk Show, A Novel, Free Air: Poems; Papal Bull: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church; You Got To Be Kidding! A Radical Satire of the Bible; and Mailer’s America.

Bathroom Bigotry and the Next Battle for Transgender Rights

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If you want to know what some people think about transgender people, consider their comments about the bathroom. Right, the bathroom—bathroom use to be specific. Here are a couple of examples: From former Arkansas Governor, former Fox News talk show host and soon-to-be-former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: “For those who do not think that we are under threat, simply recognize the fact that we are now in city after city watching ordinances that say that your 7-year-old daughter—if she goes into the restroom—cannot be offended and you can’t be offended if she’s greeted there by a 42-year-old man who feels more like a woman than he does a man.”  Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister (at least I think he’s…

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#LoveWins but the Struggle for Transgender Rights is Just Beginning

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The Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right is a great victory for the LGBTQI community and for everyone who believes in freedom and equality for all human beings. It is a defeat for the forces of bigotry and ignorance and particularly for people who believe that freedom of religion includes the freedom to discriminate. It does not. We are indeed making great progress. At the same time it is clear that there is so much more to do. As a result, I’m sure that while many of us have been celebrating, we have also spent a good deal of time assessing where we stand in the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality for all members of…

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Marriage equality the first step in the LGBTQI civil rights movement

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The Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right is a great victory for the LGBTQI community and for everyone who believes in freedom and equality for all human beings. It is a defeat for the forces of bigotry and ignorance and particularly for people who believe that freedom of religion includes the freedom to discriminate. It does not. Today is a day for joyous celebration! We are indeed making great progress. At the same time it is clear that there is so much more to do. I believe that we are at a stage in the struggle for LGBTQI rights that is analogous to where we were at in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. We…

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Pride Month: Joe Wenke Says LGBTQIA equality still a long ways off

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Well, it’s Gay Pride month and we’re also just a few weeks away from the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. I think it’s almost always a bad idea to anticipate outcomes because life is so unpredictable, but just about everyone, including every Republican candidate for president, thinks that SCOTUS will rule either that all Americans have a constitutional right to marry whomever they want regardless of gender or that all states must recognize legal marriages performed in other states. So it would seem that this is a particularly good time to step back and assess where we stand in the struggle for freedom and equality for all LGBTQIA people. What follows is what I think along with a number…

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Joe Wenke Interviews: Rita Mae Brown on being a Lambda Literary Pioneer

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This year’s recipient of the annual Lambda Literary Award’s Pioneer Award is bestselling author Rita Mae Brown. To celebrate her remarkable career, Bantam is reissuing her groundbreaking first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle. Recently, noted author and activist Joe Wenke (The Talk Show, The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) spoke to Brown about her writing, her latest accolade, and the future of the LGBT cause. JOE WENKE: Could you talk a little bit about what it was like for you to write Rubyfruit Jungle? In the introduction to Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser, you say that for you writing “was a gift.” Was that what the experience of writing Rubyfruit Jungle was like? Was it a…

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Bruce Jenner’s bravery inspires and enlightens

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Thank You, Bruce Jenner I love you. You are a beautiful and brave human being. You are an inspiration. You are doing the most radical thing any human being can do. You are standing up for freedom and equality, standing up for what it means to be human, simply by being yourself. Being yourself! It’s actually the most authentic form of activism. In fact, it’s the most radical thing that any of us can do. It often seems that almost everything in life militates against any human being who is true and authentic. The world crushes the good and the true. It crushes authenticity. It crushes humanity. We must all stand up against anyone and anything that would deny our…

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A primer on gender identity and transgender children

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Aidan Key is the founder and director of Gender Diversity Education and Support Services at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Joe Wenke is the author of THE HUMAN AGENDA: Conversations about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Aidan, Joe and transgender fashion model and activist Gisele Alicea will be at Seattle Town Hall on Friday, April 17, at 7:30 for a panel discussion of “Gender Identity in Seattle and Beyond.” Joe and Aidan got together for BookTrib to discuss some of the issues they will be addressing at the Seattle Town Hall event. What is the difference between gender identity and biological gender? AIDAN KEY: Biological sex is the gender you are assigned at birth. The doctor takes a quick look, says, boy, girl…

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What will it take to end discrimination against our 15,500 transgender service members?

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It was certainly cause for celebration when President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen certified congressional legislation to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) and the discriminatory policy was terminated on September 20, 2011. However, the termination of the policy applied only to gay, lesbian and bisexual service people. Transgender people and intersex people are still banned from serving in the Unites States military, not by law but by military policy. Both groups of people are deemed unfit for military service not for any demonstrable deficiency in their ability to serve but solely because of their respective gender identities, which are pathologized by the military as disorders. There…

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This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids should be on every family’s shelf

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Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo are innovators. In 2010 they founded EveryoneIsGay.com and turned a clichéd and moribund communications medium, the advice column, into something quite different—a multidimensional support resource that is fresh, funny and real. Then right after starting the site, they made a great decision to go out on the road and meet kids around the country, traveling to middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities. The experience was pivotal. It gave them the opportunity to connect personally with lots of kids in lots of different situations. I’m sure that establishing so many personal connections helped create an even greater sense of urgency about the value and importance of what they were doing. Since then, Everyone Is Gay…

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Andrew Solomon and Dr. Joe Wenke discuss how our differences define us

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Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture and psychology as well as an activist and philanthropist on behalf of LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. His latest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, has won many awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. His previous book, “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression,” won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction JOE WENKE: Far From the Tree addresses a profound question: Is difference the foundation of human identity, even if the difference-making element is a disability or is widely denigrated or pathologized? In your opening chapter, “Son,” you make an extraordinary connection between your experience growing…

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