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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

When should a transgender person disclose?

Also some threeway calculations.

Photo: Illustration by Lee DeVito., License: N/A

Illustration by Lee DeVito.


Q: My boyfriend of three months, “Marcus,” told me last week that he is a trans man. He has performed oral sex on me and fingered me, but he never let me reciprocate and told me he didn’t want to have penis-in-vagina sex yet because to him that was a large commitment. We go to college in a conservative part of the country, and almost no one here knows. He worried that if I found out, I would expose him to our friends and peers and perhaps even press charges (because we had sex when I did not know he was trans). Truthfully, had I known, I don’t think I would have had sex with Marcus. Before I found out he was trans, I was deeply attracted to him and was falling for him. Now, I no longer feel either of those things and do not know if I can continue dating him. I feel like a small-minded bigot that my romantic feelings about Marcus are based on something as randomly distributed as a penis. Marcus wants to continue to date and to have sex to see if my feelings can change. I don’t think they will. But I’ve never been in this position before, and I don’t know anyone who has, so maybe this is a growing experience? Am I being a bigot? I feel very alone because I can’t talk to any of my friends about Marcus being trans. Do you have any advice? —No Clever Acronym

A: “NCA is clearly struggling,” says M. Dru Levasseur, a trans activist, attorney, and cofounder of the Jim Collins Foundation, an organization that funds gender-confirming surgeries for trans people. “She met a guy, she’s deeply attracted to him and is falling for him, and then she finds out something she didn’t expect. He’s trans.”

Before you dump Marcus — if you dump Marcus — Levasseur recommends exploring your feelings.

“Does NCA not see Marcus as a man now? Is she sure he doesn’t have a penis? Trans guys have amazing dicks that are different from cis guys’ dicks (surgery or no surgery) — how does she know she won’t like it or even prefer it? Is she afraid of social rejection if people were to find out she was dating a trans person? If she really wants to explore this, she could talk to a therapist, read some books, or join a support group online (where she won’t risk outing Marcus). Who knows, Marcus could be the best sex and biggest love of her life.”

My two cents: You’re also struggling with the fact that you had sex — oral and fingering count — with someone you might not have had sex with if you had known this particular detail in advance of the oral and fingering. I believe that Marcus should have told you he was trans before you hooked up, NCA, and disclosing was in his own self-interest. But messing around with someone you wouldn’t have if you had known [insert relevant detail here] is a pretty common experience, NCA, and one most people bounce back from. And there are far worse forms of nondisclosure. While trans, poly, kinky and poz folks are all pressured to disclose, the world would be a much happier place if abusers, users, assholes, and Fox News “personalities” were the ones who had to disclose before sex.

“There is absolutely no legal duty to disclose trans status,” adds Levasseur. “A person’s trans status is ‘excruciatingly private’ and constitutionally protected information. There are lots of reasons why trans people might be stealth (or not out) like Marcus — for example, the terrifying rate of violence against trans people or the overwhelming statistics of discrimination. But I think disclosure is a good idea early on because it allows people to love you for who you are. Why not know that the person you are getting close to wants you? All of you. Don’t you want to find that out pretty early on? There are many people out there who think trans men are the ideal guys. Don’t waste your time on anyone else.”

OK, NCA, let’s say you’ve explored your feelings and you’ve decided that you don’t want to keep seeing Marcus. Does that make you a bigot?

“It’s OK to have a preference — no judgment there,” says Levasseur. “If trans guys are not her thing, no harm done. I would just hope she is kind when she lets Marcus go. From what she says, it sounds like he wants to convince her to want him or love him, and no one should be in the business of doing that. Everyone deserves to be loved because, not although.

Levasseur wanted to close with a message to any trans men reading this:

“To the Marcuses of the world who will read NCA’s letter and think, ‘Oh, no! Who will love me? Who will want me?’ and see it as just another message of rejection to add to a daily list of transphobia, body shame, and internalized self-loathing that fuels the staggering trans suicide attempt rate: Don’t go there. Trans men are hot and deserve to be loved for the amazing men they are. They did not have their masculinity handed to them. They earned it — often through journeys that take unbelievable resilience and courage. An intentional man. The full package. And we deserve not to settle for someone who doesn’t appreciate our bodies or our histories. Find someone who wants the full you.”

Follow M. Dru Levasseur on Twitter @DruLawyer. Learn more about the Jim Collins Foundation at jimcollinsfoundation.org.

Q: I’m a longtime reader, but this is my first time posing a dilemma to you. I’m a 32-year-old pansexual woman. I date a lot of people (mostly guys these days) and have recently started seeing a 22-year-old het male. The thing is, he’s in a serious (but open) relationship with a 26-year-old woman. He’s asked me if I’m into playing around with both of them in the near future. I’m into it on principle alone (who wouldn’t want to fuck a girl and a guy at the same time?!?), but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. I haven’t met the girl yet, but she sounds cool from what I’ve heard. I’d like to do it, but I don’t want to deal with the awkwardness around it, let alone have their relationship suffer (and mine with the guy) as a result of playing together. What do you suggest? —Toronto Poly Virgin

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