* Kelsey Wallace at Bitch: Does OKCupid separate the hots and the nots?
* The New Gay is looking for some more “lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer women to contribute” to the blog.
* Via The Curvature, The State Department has relaxed passport rules for transgender travelers. Writes Cara Kulwicki: “the U.S. State Department has decided that surgery is no longer a requirement for trans individuals to change their gender markers on their passports.” Here’s why that’s important:
This is great news for several reasons. First of all, it can be incredibly emotionally distressing and even traumatic to be forced to carry and present identification that does not actually match your identity — especially when you face a culture that is regularly and hugely hostile to the very idea of your identity, already.
That alone — basic humanity and decency — should, of course, be more than enough reason for such a change to go into effect. But in addition to the emotional damage of not being able to have your passport accurately reflect your gender, the old rules also presented a very real risk of harassment and physical harm.
* Marisa Meltzer reviews former fashion editor and model Avis Cardella‘s memoir of her shopping addiction, Spent:
She’s very skilled at accepting the blame for her habits, but only barely hints at the underlying reasons we—women, typically, but men as well—are encouraged to buy things as comfort or to show status. Overall, she misses an opportunity to place her spending in a larger cultural context. She only briefly talks about the way credit-card companies prey on spenders, the ways glossy magazines manufacture desire, and the fad for luxury goods, instead pondering her own reasons for spending money. “Was it low self-esteem? Was it unresolved grief? Was it a lack of something that resided in me all that time?” she asks.
* I am obsessed with Jezebel‘s efforts to decode Elizabeth Kaye‘s blind item in Elle about the movie star she had sex with while on assignment to interview him many years ago. Their best guess: Kris Kristofferson. Nice.
Photo via theLibrary of Congress.