Gender and Sexuality

Whether looking at emerging debates surrounding sexual identities or the intersections of gender and militarization in places like Ciudad Juarez, our bloggers spotlight the ways in which gender and sexuality are implicated in a variety of social structures, struggles, and discourses.

Derrotando Vergüenza: Mi historia de Trans-Atracción

Este artículo fue traducido de su versión original en Inglés por Jennicet Eva Gutiérrez. Jennicet es una activista con mucha pasión por la igualdad y justicia social. Miembro del grupo Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement.

When I Fall in Love... Again

853 Looking back years ago when I was still figuring out my identity, I had never had luck in men. I remembered guys I had a feeling for in my teenage always turned me away. I thought to myself I would never find any boyfriend and shouldn’t think too hard about having one because I am a transgender woman. No men would be attracted to me because I am not a “real” woman.  

Palabras para los Padres y Parejas de la Gente Trans después de la Muerte de Leelah

Este artículo fue traducido de su versión original en Inglés por Jennicet Eva Gutiérrez. Jennicet es una activista con mucha pasión por la igualdad y justicia social. Miembro del grupo Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement.


Words for Parents and Partners of Trans People after Leelah's Death


After the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl from Ohio, I have some words for parents and partners of trans people.  Those two groups— the people that raise trans people and the people that date them—should be on the front lines, hand-in -hand with trans folk in their liberation movement.  Unfortunately, no other group of people have failed or hurt trans people more. 

Sarah Silverman’s “Sex Change” Joke and Cisgender Privilege

Due to our patriarchal society there is a large wage gap between men and women.  Sarah Silverman, writer and comedian, came up with a seemingly logical solution to this problem: get a sex change.  While obviously a well-meaning joke meant to draw attention to a serious issue, her proposed solution is riddled with

Defeating Shame: My Story of Trans-Attraction

As a man, I never thought I would have to come out about being attracted to women.  It is simultaneously funny and sad to me that I have to come out about being heterosexual.  I do not see anything different about my sexual orientation, but most people do.  About four years ago, I was an exchange student in Thailand, a country known for its large, open transgender population.  While most men seemed to treat trans-women as if they were people to avoid, I saw no difference between them and cisgender

Queer Glossary

Gender and sexuality are extremely complicated.  The terms are constantly changing as people think of better ways to describe certain identities.  I may update this glossary in the future as I am still learning queer vocabulary myself.  If I have defined anything incorrectly or if anything is unclear, please ask questions and make comments in the comment section below.


Bisexual – attracted to both men and women of the gender binary.  They do not have to be attracted to those two genders equally.

Case Studies of Feminicide

Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Cotton Fields Sentence

As part of the Clinic's work, and with the help of Dr. Martha Chew-Sanchez, we were privileged enough to be able to speak with a variety of people in, and around Juarez.

Feminicide in Ciudad Juarez

In our clinic, we have been focusing on feminicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico as a case study of the effects of globalization on human rights. In order to understand a complex situation such as the one on the ground in Juarez, it is crucial to be familiar with some background information. 

About Ciudad Juarez:

  • Cd. Juarez is located across the border from El Paso, Texas.
  • The city has a population of around 1.5 million people.
  • There are over 300 maquiladoras in Cd. Juarez. Maquiladoras are assembly plants or foreign factories mainly owned by U.S. based multinational corporations. These factories have policies of cheap labor, long hours and efficient mass production of goods, mostly which are exported to the U.S.
  • President Felipe Calderon states that 90% of the deaths in Cd. Juarez are related to drug organizations, however, there is no evidence to back this statement. In fact, most of the 25,000+ dead are ordinary citizens (Charles Bowden, "Who is Behind 25,000 Deaths?" ).

Bringing 'Violencia Machista' Into the Light

42 Earlier this week, on November 25, the world observed the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  Originally declared in 1999 by the UN General Assembly, the day serves as an annual reminder of the need to confront the endemic problem of gender violence across the world.  A fact sheet provided by UNIFEM makes the extent of the problem abundantly clear, from the local ("In Sao Paolo, Brazil, a woman is assaulted every 15 seconds") to the global (as many as 70 percent of women "experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime - the majority from husbands, intimate partners or someone they know")  Despite the growing global awareness represented by the UN's efforts, there are vast differences, from one society to another, in terms of the extent to which gender violence is actually treated as a public issue.  There is no question that Spain is one place where critical public scrutiny of the issue has been desperately needed for a long time.  Happily, however, there is also evidence that sustained efforts by the government and civil society to educate the population are beginning to make a difference, thanks in part to the involvement of the news media in refusing to let the issue remain in the dark.