I'm not usually a follower of celebrity news. I don't belong to Twitter, don't watch Entertainment Tonight except by accident, and would rather eat worms than read a National Enquirer or People Magazine.
In recent weeks, Stephen Ira Beatty has caught the attention of the international press.
Stephen Ira has a blog, called Supermattachine.
His most recent post is “I’m sorry, I just can’t get your pronouns right!” Yes, you can. You just won’t.
I once had a long conversation with a highly educated cis man about pronouns. I know him to be absolutely brilliant. He was an official at a school. He told me that I had to understand, that the cis people (everyone else) at my school couldn’t get my pronouns right because I wasn’t “masculine” enough for them to associate male pronouns with me. As I do now, I dressed like a cute gay boy. As I do now, I gesticulated often and acknowledged the fact that I was capable of bending my wrists and hips. I talked openly about my interests in dance, poetry, and cute boys.
He acknowledged that this was fucked as hell, albeit in nicer language, because he was at least gender-positive enough to believe that men shouldn’t have to like football and beer and women shouldn’t have to like pink dresses and fluffy bunnies. But instead of attempting to educate these people–which he could have done, as he was in a position of extremely high authority–he asked me to accept their sexist, homophobic, and cissexist perspective on gender. I was the one who needed to change, not them, although he openly acknowledged that they were wrong. During this conversation, I was in tears, because I was having regular panic attacks during the school day. They were happening because of persistent and unapologetic mispronouning. (Keep in mind, I was a sixteen-year-old kid. Sixteen-year-olds are not known for their emotional maturity, and we shouldn’t ask them to be as mature as or more mature than adults.)
Anyhoo, Stephen Ira has been in the news the past few days.
Stephen Ira has revealed that he has a boyfriend.
On December 22, Stephen Ira (@supermattachine on Twitter) tweeted:
@SmartAssJen Oh! Haha, yeah, I'm trans and I'm gay. Double the fun!
And a transguy with a boyfriend is gay and that doesn't fit with the image that the majority of people have with transpeople, who prefer to believe that we go through gender reassignment in order to heterosexualize our relationships.
Generally speaking those are the same people who think that transgender is a "sexual orientation".
That's just not true. Many of us have no idea when we start transition how that transition will affect our sexual attraction. Being a transsexual lesbian myself (meaning that I have a female partner), most of the transwomen I personally know are also lesbians (or bisexual) and most of the transmen I know happen to be gay.
It has been estimated that, in fact, 1/4 of transpeople identify as gay or lesbian after transition, 1/4 identify as straight, 1/4 identify as bisexual, and the remainder identify as Other (asexual, polysexual or pansexual). Personally, I don't get polysexuality or pansexuality, and some people consider me therefore to be a sexual binarist. I'll cop to that.
Now his boyfriend has made him a pair of socks as a gift for his birthday.
'So yeah. Queer Christmas: stressful, especially if people are trying to take your picture because they are interested in the confluence of your gender identity and your parentage.'
Stephen is one of four children the Oscar winning sex symbol [Warren Beatty] has with his wife of the last 19-years [Annette Benning].
They have another two daughters, Isabel and Ella, and a son Ben.
Firebrand Stephen was recently embroiled in a war of words with Chaz Bono, who he branded a 'mysogonist' after he claimed being transgender as effectively having a 'mismatched' brain and body, akin to a 'birth defect like a cleft palate'.
Warren's son said in his blog: '[Chaz] has appointed himself as the representative of a group of people who are not all like him.
'He has said misogynistic... things about gender. I take particular issue with his comments on trans embodiment and on women.'
Use of the word "another" above, was, of course, totally inappropriate. Beatty and Benning have two sons and two daughters. Disavowing that ought to cause The Daily Mail to lose their license to print "news".
Of course, it won't.
"I do not have a birth defect. If you feel like you have a birth defect, fine. That’s how you feel. Go feel that,” Stephen wrote.
“Do not put it onto me. Do not define me that way, and do not define other trans people that way unless they claim that label.
"It’s beyond that, though. Chaz is a misogynist. He is a trans man who seems to believe that his female-assignedness and his female socialization makes him immune from being a misogynist, and he is manifestly wrong."
He continued, "This man doesn’t represent our community... The next time you hear Chaz’s name brought up in a conversation about trans issues, point out the things he’s said about surgery, ‘birth defects,’ and women.
Recently the Beatty family celebrated Stephen's bravery.
Personal emotion: "Bravery" in this context makes me cringe. Is it really bravery to grow into oneself? Is it really brave to choose to live rather than die?
But that's probably just me.