Q: Is your name Stephen Ira Beatty or just Stephen Ira?

A: Just Stephen Ira.

Q: What does “cisgender” mean?

A: Here, let me google that for you.  A cisgender person is someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Q: Can I contact you about an interview or other opportunity to appear in the mainstream media?

A: Not right now, sorry!  I’m just not at a place in my life where I want more mainstream exposure.

Q: I’m not a member of the mainstream media per se–do you think I could interview you or feature you in some way?

A: Maybe!  Depends on what your publication or other forum is and what you want me to talk about in said forum.  If I am likely to have heard of your publication outside of the queer blog/indie publishing universe, the answer is probably no.  Contact me with information and I’ll let you know.  But I don’t want to waste your time, so you may as well know: If you want to talk about anything to do with Hollywood, my personal life, celebrity culture, etc., I’m going to say no.

Q: A loved one of mine just came out as queer and I want to know how to help/I’m queer and having a hard time and I need someone to talk to.  Can I email you?

A: You are absolutely welcome to and I will help however I can.

Q: Why didn’t you post my comment?

A: I have a policy against oppressive language in comments, so that’s probably why yours isn’t there.  Look it over again and try to examine whether you’ve used any sexist, racist, cissexist, heterosexist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist language, plus whether or not you checked your privilege before making that comment.  I don’t ban people unless they’re absolutely egregious, so feel free to try again, unless I explicitly ask you not to.

Q: God, you’re only twenty.  Will you please put down the gender studies books and go out into the real world?

A: You are making an awful lot of assumptions about what those twenty years have been like for me!  Also, I don’t accept the premise that gender studies and the real world are mutually exclusive categories!

Q: When did you come out as male?

A: I was fourteen.

Q: When did you come out as gay?

A: I was seventeen.

Q: Are you on hormones?  What dose?  Have you had surgery?  What kind?  Are you done with your medical transition?  What else do you have planned?

A: Why do you think you have the right to this information about my body?

7 Responses to “FAQ”

  1. 1 EJP December 1, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Awesome, especially that last one. I nearly lost my head when I saw that people were saying things like that to you, in defense of someone older who should know better!

  2. 2 Mark Your Make December 10, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I’m behind what you are doing but don’t think this comment you said is true:

    Because most white people aren’t actively trying to do anti-racist work.

    There are many, many white activists out there. Many white social workers, non-profit workers, white agents of change. You are overstating and that serves to polarize not harmonize. You don’t need to say white anti-racist, just anti-racist. Stating your race seems like you’re feeling superior and that I’m sure is the opposite of what you are trying to express.

    • 3 Stephen December 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      While I agree that there are many white activists, I stand by the statement that most white people aren’t trying to do anti-racist work. If they were, we’d live in a very different world.

      I don’t think polarization is always a bad thing. I state my race as a part of my acknowledgment of the privilege my whiteness carries in a white supremacist society.

      • 4 mwgeraci November 21, 2012 at 2:43 am

        Having worked with children with severe disabilities as a white teacher in a milieu where I was the cultural minority, your statement has a great deal of truth in it Stephen. My whiteness and my social standing combined had always guaranteed me access to education and social opportunities that was not available to colleagues of various ethnic backgrounds that I was working with in an Eastern City. We were united in working to further the lives of the children we were teaching. However, at the very top of the elitist ladder of the administrative structure, where I eventually landed, it was quite different. While I was still in the ethnic minority, and our backgrounds quite dissimilar, we were not united in working to further the lives of the children–it was very political. I had a very short tenure, and I returned to teaching elsewhere.

    • 5 Gigi Star January 13, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      @MarkYourMake As a black person, I have to take issue with the underlying assumption in your post. You give white social workers and non-profit workers as the first examples of anti-racists. While most people in those professions do very good work, your statement is predicated on the assumption that anti-racist work equals working with poor/disadvantaged people. Most black people are not poor/disadvantaged. We are *disproportionately* poor/disadvantaged, but that doesn’t mean that *most* of us are in that situation. I am an over 40 year old woman who is educated and earns a six figure income. Fortunately, my family has never had to use the services of a social worker or non-profit agencies.

      With that being said, I am still subjected to racism and I appreciate friends and others who actively work to combat racism in our society. Being anti-racist is not just about helping less fortunate people. Especially, since the majority (by numbers) of less fortunate people in this country are not minorities.

      In the current election cycle, I have heard several politicians talk about how they want to “help” black people get off welfare and earn a paycheck. These statements are predicated on the assumption that most black people are on welfare and don’t want to work. These assumptions are factually wrong and (to me) offensive.

  3. 7 Dee Dee Russell December 15, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I’m deeply impressed with your stance.

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