Stepping down from Heartland Trans* Wellness Group; New adventures await!

Friends, it is with joy and pride that I announce that I am stepping down from my post as the Director of Heartland Trans Wellness Group. Seven years ago, I stumbled into the “real world” of community organizing with a dream to address a lack of trans resources. Soon, I was teaching a workshop outside of Cincinnati for the first time. Afterwards, a nervous young person approached me with tears in their eyes and said, “This is the first time I have ever been in the same room as someone like me.” Looking at this person, I could see myself. I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to building resources that empower trans people to help ourselves find each other, support each other, access health and wellness care, and obtain the rights and recognition we deserve.

In all honesty, I had no idea if I could do it; many days I still wonder at how the project has come so far. Looking back, specific things stick out in my memory: the first time I pressed “publish” for the website; hosting support group meetings in my shabby living room; the first time a stranger asked me for help; the first phone call the organization ever received; the first faces coming to meetings; the first moments I truly felt I could help someone. I remember the desperation I felt when there were so few options to provide. I remember the first time I could say, “Yes, I have a resource for that.” The first time I could say, “Yes, I have a place where you can go.” I remember being angry at things not changing fast enough; I remember unadulterated gratitude for the little victories of a smile or a thank you. I remember the first time someone said, “I want to work with you,” and that person was Jonah Yokoyama. It doesn’t feel like it’s only bee two years since I went from being a staff of one, to that of two. I still laugh at the strange, but delightful novelty of going to start a task only to find that Jonah had already done it. Jonah, thank you for helping me grow my dream into an full organization that serves our people. I always knew I would not want to be a non-profit director forever, but I can’t imagine being able to hand my ‘baby’ over to anyone but you. Thank you for taking Heartland into its next chapter in life. I am grateful. I am happy. I know with your leadership, it will continue to help people in ways I always dreamed it would.

The work I have done at Heartland has provided me with the most fulfilling moments of my life. Thank you to every person who has supported me; the ones who assured me I could do this; who listened to me vent and cry on the bad days and celebrated and hugged me on the good ones. Most of all, I am eternally grateful to every trans person who has ever trusted me to lend a hand; and to every partner, every parent, every friend. My life has been greatly defined by the gifts you have given me. For the last seven years, you have empowered me with purpose. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you, and our people. I will still be helping out with CTCG in the coming months, and no matter what, I will always do my best to be there for you whenever you may need me. I am looking ahead to the many amazing activist adventures we will have together in the future. I am sure they will be just as amazing as the last seven years have been at Heartland Trans* Wellness Group. Yay *Little Flags*

Midwest GenderQueer, JAC Stringer, Booking Spring 2013 Tour!

Here we are again! Winter is on it’s way out, and I’m getting ready to SPRING into action with activisty presentations, performances, workshops, and more. Spots are already filling up, so don’t wait! Visit the Booking Page for more info or reference the ad below. Maybe this year, you and I can tip-toe through the trans* tulips together!

JAC teaching 2012

What leading trans* activists and performers are saying about Midwest GenderQueer:

 “I’ve had the great good fortune to attend several of JAC’s workshops and lectures. He is a skilled, knowledgeable, and talented teacher who gets complex ideas across to a broad audience with warmth and a terrific sense of humor. Please do yourself a great big favor and bring this high-fashion genderqueer wonder to you as soon as you possibly can.” Kate Bornstein

Midwest GenderQueer should be known as Super GenderQueer because he’s everywhere, doing just about everything… His work weaves activism, boas, art, glitter, humanity, make-up and the biggest smile that just melts your heart.” – Ignacio Rivera aka Papí_Coxxx

 “JAC Stringer is a charming hurricane of glitter and big ideas, so cute you can’t help listen to the smart things he says (and so smart that you can’t help think about them). A brilliantly accessorized example of how flexible the ways of gender can be, and how tender.” – S. Bear Bergman

 Offering Presentations and Workshops Including…

* Trans* & GenderQueer Allyship for students and/or faculty & staff
* Trans-Focused Activism, including policy, bathrooms, all gendered spaces, and pronouns
* Organizing Tools for students, including mediation, campaigning, and project development
* Trans* & GenderQueer 101
* Community Building and Allyship
* Gender Performance and Drag
* Gender Identity Focused Health and Wellness
* Advanced Trans* and Gender Theory
* Make Your Own!

Offering Performance Art such as…

Dance, spoken word, music, and drag, each a poetic romp through Midwest memories and musings of a genderbending femme boy. JAC uses poofy skirts and duct-tape to create adventures through bodies, ability, androgyny, and beyond. His performances have been described as “hilarious,” “mystifying,” and “sparkling.”

Check out the Booking Page today to bring me to your school or organization!

Blog Hop! Midwest GenderQueer, AKA A Naughty Blogger

Well, the holiday seasons are approaching, and I have been a very naughty blogger. Grad school + interning at a labor union + running two organizations + managing a drag troupe/performing + national organizing boards + touring + cats + swing time + taking down the man + looking cute + sleep = one very busy genderfucking femme boy. I’ve needed to officially apologize for my sporadic blogging for months now, but I didn’t want to be one of THOSE bloggers who never updated because their life was too busy. Time for me to pony up, and seeing that I look very much like a My Little Pony, I’m going to pay my dues in a very fabulous way. Last night at drag practice, my twin, who also happens to be my very dear friend and fellow genderqueer performance artist/educator Ignacio Rivera, called me up and said, in so many words, “Hey, I’m doing this Blog Hop thing. You’re gonna do it too.” I aim to please, so here is the closest thing to a blog I’ve been able to write in the past several months (though I do promise I have about 6 drafts waiting to be released upon the world at any given moment). “The Blog Hop,” is a little survey of questions where writers can talk about their work, without having to actually do a lot of work via writing a full blog post. (You’re welcome for my minimal effort which, knowing me, will still be hella long and so not that minimal. So for reals, you’re welcome for this excuse to waste time and avoid your own work).  And for all us folks who are old enough to remember the 90s, this will be very reminiscent of those AOL chain letter surveys that we LOVED because it gave us the opportunity to really express ourselves through listing our current favorite songs and the name of our latest crush. Well, we loved them until they got old… which for me took about a month….


What is the working title of your next book?

Oh, there are several. The big one is something similar to the title of my blog: Midwest GenderQueer, Genderfucked in the Midwest, OR Musings of a Genderfucked Midwesterner (or something like that). I also have two collections of short stories which are usually what I read from when I perform; “Glamboyant” and “Bar Stories.” I also have a partnering adventures collection called “What the Fuck Are You, and Who Are You Doing?”

I have a children’s book series in perpetual draft form that follows a species of critter called the Tradupsi. Their adventures represent the experiences of oppressed trans* communities and their solutions can be aligned to methods of social justice organizing and community building.  The first book is called, “The Tradupsi Went Down the Mountain.”

I also have a couple fiction novels and short stories that I once upon a time started, and sometimes like to revisit for fun. The longest, most extensive one is called “White Horse Dogs.” These book projects are mostly for me, and will likely never be printed or read by anyone.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The Midwest GenderQueer book, and related collected essays, are coming about because I can’t really avoid it. I have always been big on writing about my experiences and as the passages collect, I figure I’ll need to do something with them.

The Tradupsi series came out of a particularly rough dealing with colleague organizers where the T was not only silent, but completely and outwardly rejected. I wrote the first book as a positive method of venting out the pain and isolation I was feeling as a trans person and how, as an organizer, I felt frustrated and completely unsupported. There is a reason this is a book series… :P<

White Horse Dogs is the combination of several different books which I had been writing since I was about thirteen. When I was nineteen I started to compile the various story lines together into one, organized story. It has no specific inspiration other than bored daydreams. However, it is the book I was writing when I came out, which was not a coincidence. The main characters are two boys, and as the story progressed, the more the lives of these characters blurred into my own sense of self. Working on the book was integral in my process of finding myself.

What genre does your book fall under?

Uh…. genderfuck? What else?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The Tradupsi series is illustrated in clay, so it would be a claymation movie.  And…yeah, I think that my book would need to be an anime, cause I already look like an anime character and that’d be the most awesome thing ever. Hayao Miyazaki is standing by. OR Christian Bale OMG. How fucking baller would that be? He already knows how to rock out eye make up and a boa.

And maybe this is me being egotistical, but Christian Bale could totally look like the most handsome, sexy version of me ever. Here’s what I would look like after the sweaty, martial arts scene of my movie. Or perhaps I was just in some sort of explosion and the blast blew all my clothes off.

Right??????????????????????????? Now that sounds like a good movie. And if not Christian Bale, we could just hire Ignacio Rivera, cause again, we are twins (seen here with the fab Johnny Blazes while on our GenderQueeries Tour).

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Furious activist JAC; angsty genderqueer Midwesterner against the world. Now with more candy! – Too dramatic? Well, the one sentence description of my blog is “Queery musings of a genderfucking femme boy” and I think that sums it up pretty well.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Who knows!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your man­u­script?

Well it isn’t finished yet, and with my rate of creative productivity, possibly a billion years. The dino-space martians of the future are gonna love my historical document.

What other books would you compare this to within your genre?

Writing style-wise, it depends on if I am writing something with an activist bent, or something more like prose. Prose stuff, I think, is a little similar to Richard Brautigan “In Watermelon Sugar” meets Camus meets George Elliot… Or at least, I dare to dream, right? Similar themed works (but not really comparable cause duh, these authors are awesome)  would probably be Kate Bornstein‘s “Gender Outlaw”, Scott Turner Schofield‘s “Two Truths and a Lie”, mixed with bitey activist attitudes like what you find in S. Bear Bergman and Mattilda Sycamore Bernstein‘s works.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Like I said, I can’t not write about what I’m experiencing, so the inspiration is in my life. Sometimes it is awesome, sometimes it sucks, but for whatever reason I find it is worth writing about. All in all, I would like to give some visibility to an experience I have found that many, many people have: being non-gender normative and trans in a conservative environment with minimal resources and community. It is a lot of people’s story. This particular one just happens to be mine.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I have really, really awesome hair. Maybe you think that has nothing to do with the book, but you’re wrong. My hair has to do with everything.

Here are the writers whose work you can check out next:

Well, I have given several shout outs of some favorites already (see above). And while I am able to write, I am not equally skilled at reading. So, the people I’m listing are necessarily “writers,” as they are artists who may also write, but they may do other things too!  I can’t list every activist artist I like, so a short cut is to check out folks on Trans-Genre. Trans Genre is an awesome network of all kinds of artists, activists, musicians, and more who connect their performance to their trans* experience.  It is a “showcase” of amazing folks, founded and run by AJ Bryce.

GenderCast is like an online radio station, talking specifically about gender related news and topics. For all you not-so-good-readers out there, it is a must!

 Kit Yan is a great person, performer, and advocate (especially for youth). He’s recently blown up on the trans* performance radar, which is very exciting. His spoken word ranges from moving, to comical, to down right randy. Definitely a must when exploring trans artistry and activism.

The Lady Miss Vagina Jenkins: a fierce femme activist and burlesque performer. She is savvy, smart, sexy, and everything else that is wonderful. She and I have been friends, and worked together, for years now and she is always in the front when thinking about intersectional work, especially surrounding queer women, femmes, and race issues.

Gina De Vries Femme Dandy GQ activist, writer, and femme extraordinaire. Gina has been published in several queer anthologies and erotica, and has written for some well known queer blogs like the Bilerico Project. She also is a great sex work activist and co-runs a fabulous program series called Girl Talk where trans women and non-trans women get together for spoken word and community.

TransGriot blog, written by trans activist Monica Roberts. Monica Roberts is just as, if not more, no-bullshit about trans stuff in the media than I am. So, obviously, I LOVE everything she writes. She discusses a lot of intersectional topics relevant to our community, often without any sugar coating. She also talks about sports sometimes, a topic I know almost nothing about…

F to eMbodyAthens Boys Choir (Harvey Katz) and Rocco Katastophe‘s collaborative project of music, poetry, and trans* experience. Both Rocco and Katz are awesome folks and very dedicated to supporting the community. Ok, Jay Smooth isn’t queer to my knowledge. He’s the kind of activist who doesn’t feel the need to talk about it, but I’m pretty sure he is not. Despite this major fail, he is fucking awesome at analyzing cultural and political events with real humor, and real honesty.

Well, there you have it folks. Probably more than you ever needed, or wanted to know about my writing processes and progresses. BUT it is nice to be blogging again! See you in another couple months…. JK! (maybe)


Midwest GenderQueer Booking for 2012-2013 Tour!

It’s that time of year again! Summer is over and I’m getting ready to bounce out into the world with lots of activisty presentations, performances, workshops, and more. Maybe this year, I’ll bounce over to you! Visit the Booking Page for more info or reference the ad below. Hope to see you this year!

“Midwest GenderQueer, commonly known as JAC Stringer, is a trans genderqueer activist organizer, writer, and performance artist and he is booking for his 2012-13 tour. Bring him to your school this year!

JAC has lectured and performed across theUSAandCanadawith his work focusing trans, genderqueer, and queer education, social justice, (dis)ability, and trans/queer artistry. JAC is the founding director of The Midwest Trans and Queer Wellness Initiative, is a leading activist in the gender identity disorder removal movement, and is a strong advocate for health care reform, sexual assault awareness, and comprehensive sex education. JAC has founded several projects, is an Advocates for Youth Alum, and is member of several organizing boards including TransOhio, The Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, The Greater Cincinnati Youth Summit, The International Femme Conference, and The International Drag King Community Extravaganza. As a performer, JAC has done genderbending dance, music, drag, and spoken word as a solo performer, as co-manager of The Black Mondays Drag Troupe, he is a national gender performance showcase producer, and is the founder of the Gender Queeries Tour. JAC is a life-long dancer, poet, musician, and rabble-rouser whose work’s purpose is to generate unity, action, and empowerment and achieve rights and recognition for trans and queer communities through education, art, and other various forms of revolution.

What leading trans activists and performers are saying about Midwest GenderQueer:

 “I’ve had the great good fortune to attend several of JAC’s workshops and lectures. He is a skilled, knowledgeable, and talented teacher who gets complex ideas across to a broad audience with warmth and a terrific sense of humor. Please do yourself a great big favor and bring this high-fashion genderqueer wonder to you as soon as you possibly can.” Kate Bornstein

“JAC Stringer is a charming hurricane of glitter and big ideas, so cute you can’t help listen to the smart things he says (and so smart that you can’t help think about them). A brilliantly accessorized example of how flexible the ways of gender can be, and how tender.” – S. Bear Bergman

Midwest GenderQueer should be known as Super GenderQueer because he’s everywhere, doing just about everything… His work weaves activism, boas, art, glitter, humanity, make-up and the biggest smile that just melts your heart.” – Ignacio Rivera aka Papí_Coxxx

Offering Trainings and Workshops Including:
* Trans & GenderQueer Allyship for students and/or faculty & staff
* Trans-Focused Activism – Policy, Bathrooms, All Gendered Spaces, & Pronouns
* Gender Performance and Drag
* Make Your Own!

Offering Presentations Including:

* Trans & GenderQueer 101
* “You look like a Freak…” Gender and Societal Recognition
* Bending Desire: Sexual Attraction and GenderQueer Identities
* Disorder or Defiance?; Gender Identity “Disorder” and Pathologizing Difference

Offering Performance Art such as:

Spoken word, music, films, dance, and drag – each a poetic romp through Midwest memories, musical flashbacks, body visions, and musings of a genderfucking femme boy.”


First TransPride in Pittsburgh!

Hey Pennsylvania! Tonight, for the first time ever, Pittsburgh is kicking off Pride with a special night just for the Trans and Gender Variant Community; Transpride. Transpride will include Trans and Gender Variant performer/artists from Pittsburgh and surrounding areas like, ahem, OHIO via Midwest GenderQueer. Come see us!

Doors at 8pm, Cattivo Bar 146 44th Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Queerly Yours Burlesque Tour Invades Cincinnati!

Cincy will never be the same. Don’t miss out when the amazing Queerly Yours tour makes its stop in downtown Cincy tonight!!

Starring: MS Fever Blister from Los Angeles, CA, Miss Kitty Victorian from D.C, Miss Viva Valezz! From Columbus, OH, Ms Vagina Jenkins from Atlanta, GA, Miss Crystal Swarovski from Detroit, MI, and special guest, me, Midwest GenderQueer!

Below Zero Lounge
7pm – Doors
8pm – Show
$5 Cover

“The “Queerly Yours” Burlesque Tour is a sinfully sassy, titillatingly tawdry, and utterly uncivilized cabaret collective of illicitly incredible performers oozing sharp wit and sex appeal!!”

This weekend: Philly Trans Health Conference & Blender Trans Showcase!

East coast folks! This weekend is the annual Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, the largest event of its kind! I have had an awesomely intense time on the organizing board this year, and I’m proud to be part of the wave of folks working to make the best, inclusive programming for our whole community! There will be tons of workshops by amazing folks like Miss Major, Ignacio Rivera, Jamison Green, Maureen Osborne, S. Bear Bergman, plus me! (I’m doing 6!) Plus community spaces, youth and teen programs, health screenings, merch, and more!

And come out Saturday for Blender: Trans Performance Showcase! This is the first year that the Philly Trans Health Conference’s after-party has been an all out trans performance showcase, and it is going to be awesome! I am excited for the debut! Its been a long work in progress and I’m looking forward to directing the show! I’ll be performing too with super cool folks like Kit Yan, UnderRated, Ashley Love, GenderEdge, and yours truly, Midwest GenderQueer! Come check us out!