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"It's Not About Being Anti-Gay, Anti-Lesbian, Anti-Bisexual. It's About Letting Kids Enter Adulthood in Intact, Healthy Bodies, and Then They Can Make Their Own Decisions."

Conversation With a Veteran LGB Activist At The Do No Harm Rally in Anaheim, California

“People who oppose transgenderism and the medicalization of children have been mischaracterized as right wing homophobes, religious nuts, conservatives — and the truth is that almost all of us here are disaffected leftists, almost all of us are Democrats, almost all the women are feminists — these are the people who make up the Left. And for us to be painted with that brush is just another way for them to discredit us and the message we have, which is that kids need to enter adulthood in intact bodies and pretending to be the opposite sex has nothing to do with being gay, lesbian, or bisexual.”

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I have made a partial and spontaneous turn toward documentary video since being on the road with Billboard Chris. The idle thought I had some months ago about turning this story into a documentary instantly became more palpable as I saw how dynamic and visual the material turned out to be and as I experienced how exciting it can be to go on the road. I have no experience in this field and am therefore experiencing the first-time frisson that comes from parachuting into the conflict zones at the vanguard of the culture war with my iPhone and a one-man camera crew and letting these devices capture a reality too strange for fiction. I have captured dozens of hours of video and audio footage that I’ll be packaging into podcasts and videos of varying lengths as well as writing both long form narrative nonfiction and shorter profiles from this body of material. At some point this material may become part of a feature length documentary. In the meantime, paid subscribers will continue to accompany me on the road and have access to visual, audio, and prose diaries that will be the raw material from which the final product is created, with an emphasis on those speeches and conversations that have free-standing interest as exemplary documents of the bizarre time in which they were recorded, such as the conversation with a longtime LA- area LGB activist named Belissa Cohen presented in full above.

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Wesley Yang