Having learned that the mainstream publication The Atlantic has paid professional anti-trans concern troll Jesse Singal to write about trans issues, I want to address his well-worn arguments before he can make them. To do so, I will assert and then substantiate a few things: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV Gender Identity Disorder (GID) diagnosis is critically flawed and has harmed people. A DSM-5 Gender Dysphoria (GD) diagnosis is very different from the DSM-IV concept… Read more.
Be a Trans Advocate
Tag: gender identity
Having observed numerous conversations predicated on fundamental misunderstandings concerning trans advocacy, I put together this TransAdvocate 101 to compliment our Trans 101. If cis and trans advocate communities wish to better communicate, we need a foundation from which informed conversations may take place. Therefore, I will succinctly: Describe the three fundamentals informing our approach to trans advocacy; Describe the differences between the cis and trans experience as it relates to “gender identity;” Describe the difference between Gender Dysphoria and Gender Identity… Read more.
While we've seen it before, we sometimes don't see the political forest for the trees. The TransAdvocate crew reviews both local and national news and Dr. Gillian Frank helps us recognize the political tactics that are being used against the trans community by noticing that the exact same tactics were used against numerous other groups. Also, get a trans scholarship or get help recovering from a disaster. Subscribe to the TransAdvocate Podcasts and Audio Essays here: … Read more.
It turns out that basically everyone running the anti-trans campaign against Houston's equal right's ordinance is a sexual harasser, pedophile, or sex abuse apologist. Also, we answer your questions in our 2017 year-end special! On the Pod: Cristan Williams, Robin Mack, and Alexis Melvin Subscribe to the TransAdvocate Podcasts and Audio Essays here: [su_column size="1/5"] [su_button url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/transadvocate/id770213655" target="blank" style="flat" background="#020201" size="5" center="yes" icon="icon: apple"]iTunes [su_column size="1/5"] [su_button url="https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Ibp6nzo3pqgvih4gvoyzfohu5pe?t%3DTransAdvocate" target="blank" style="flat" background="#17c9f5" size="5" center="yes" icon="icon:… Read more.
Today’s show focuses on self-care as a form of Resistance, plus the local and national news and Gwen Smith's Gender Nation. On the Pod: Cristan Williams, Robin Mack, and Alexis Melvin. Music: Whole Cloth by Daniel Birch & Ben Pegley & The End by The Doors Parade Subscribe to the TransAdvocate Podcasts and Audio Essays here: [su_column size="1/5"] [su_button url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/transadvocate/id770213655" target="blank" style="flat" background="#020201" size="5" center="yes" icon="icon: apple"]iTunes [su_column size="1/5"] [su_button url="https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Ibp6nzo3pqgvih4gvoyzfohu5pe?t%3DTransAdvocate" target="blank" style="flat" background="#17c9f5" size="5"… Read more.
December 9, 2017 · Cristan Williams
The podcast crew reviews national and local politics and discusses some of the nuances of community, transition, and detransition. Also featured: the first installment of Gwen Smith’s Gender Nation and bonus material. On the Pod: Cristan Williams, Robin Mack, and Alexis Melvin. Subscribe to the TransAdvocate Podcasts and Audio Essays here: [su_column size="1/5"] [su_button url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/transadvocate/id770213655" target="blank" style="flat" background="#020201" size="5" center="yes" icon="icon: apple"]iTunes [su_column size="1/5"] [su_button url="https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Ibp6nzo3pqgvih4gvoyzfohu5pe?t%3DTransAdvocate" target="blank" style="flat" background="#17c9f5" size="5" center="yes" icon="icon: google"]Google Play … Read more.
[su_button url="http://www.new.transadvocate.com/part-viii-interview-the-author-of-the-last-time-i-wore-a-dress-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19904.htm" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-reply" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Pt. 8: Committed for GID By Cristan Williams Installment Preface Welcome to the ninth and last installment in this series on the rise and fall of Disco Sexology. In the previous installment, I interviewed the author of the classic, The Last Time I Wore a Dress, Dylan Scholinski. Scholinski was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder and confined to a mental institution… Read more.
February 21, 2017 · Cristan Williams
[su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.new.transadvocate.com/part-vi-interview-with-gender-infinity-co-founder-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19773.htm" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-reply" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Pt. 7: Affirmative Therapy [su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.new.transadvocate.com/part-ix-the-circular-logic-of-disco-sexology-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19923.htm" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-forward" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Pt. 9: Conclusion By Cristan Williams Upon completion of this series, this work will be released, in its entirety, as both an audio and ebook. Installment Preface Welcome to the eighth installment in this series on… Read more.
February 15, 2017 · Cristan Williams
[su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.new.transadvocate.com/part-vi-interview-with-gender-infinity-co-founder-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19773.htm" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-reply" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Part Six: Gender Infinity [su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.new.transadvocate.com/part-viii-interview-the-author-of-the-last-time-i-wore-a-dress-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19904.htm" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-forward" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Pt. 8: Committed for GID By Cristan Williams Upon completion of this series, this work will be released, in its entirety, as both an audio and ebook.… Read more.
[su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.new.transadvocate.com/part-ii-the-history-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19630.htm" target="blank" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-reply" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Part Two: The History [su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.new.transadvocate.com/part-iv-interview-with-the-camh-medical-director-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19703.htm" target="blank" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-forward" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Part Four: CAMH Director By Cristan Williams Upon completion of this series, this work will be released, in its entirety, as both an audio and ebook. Installment Preface Welcome to the third installment… Read more.
[su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.transadvocate.com/part-i-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19556.htm" target="blank" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-reply" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Part One: Introduction [su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.transadvocate.com/part-iii-the-report-controversy-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19672.htm" target="blank" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-forward" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Part Three: Controversy By Cristan Williams Upon completion of this series, this work will be released, in its entirety, as both an audio and ebook. Installment Preface Welcome to the second installment in… Read more.
January 18, 2017 · Cristan Williams
[su_column size="1/2"] [su_column size="1/2"] [su_button url="http://www.transadvocate.com/part-ii-the-history-the-rise-and-fall-of-discosexology-dr-zucker-camh-conversion-therapy_n_19630.htm" target="blank" style="flat" background="#333333" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" radius="0" icon="icon: mail-forward" icon_color="#ffffff"]Disco Sexology, Part Two: The History By Cristan Williams Foreword With the recent enthusiastic promotion of disco-era ideas about trans people and gender identity in general, the TransAdvocate felt that it would be important to release a comprehensive review of these ideas. In this series that will feature the tag #DiscoSexology, the TransAdvocate… Read more.
By Kelly Winters, PhD Jesse Singal, the Senior Editor at nymag.com, has enlisted his New York Magazine blog to promote the widely publicized presumption that painful distress with birth-assigned sex and gender are just a phase for the great majority of children who suffer it: While the actual percentages vary from study to study, overall, it appears that about 80 percent of kids with gender dysphoria end up feeling okay, in the long… Read more.
May 10, 2016 · Cristan Williams
On Monday, May 9th, the United States Attorney General, Loretta Lynch came out swinging against North Carolina's commitment to discriminating against trans people. The speech that AG Lynch gave is incredibly striking and stands as a singular moment in the history of trans advocacy. While numerous sites will pair soundbites with their own commentary and others will inevitably misrepresent her words, we at the TransAdvocate wish to simply let the AG's words… Read more.
October 17, 2015 · Cristan Williams
A recent study found that the gender identity of trans children is as implicit as the gender identity of cis children. A study with 32 transgender children, ages 5 to 12, indicates that the gender identity of these children is deeply held and is not the result of confusion about gender identity or pretense. The study, led by psychological scientist Kristina Olson of the University of Washington, is one of the… Read more.
On August 22, 2015, the NY Times ran an article by Richard A. Friedman titled, "How Changeable Is Gender?" One might be excused for mistaking the piece as an earnest call to the medical community for better interventions for the trans community. Alarmingly, Friedman warns readers that science has found that post-operative transsexuals are at significant risk of suicide and moreover, maybe medical treatment isn't actually the right approach after all, especially for trans kids. Friedman gravely recounts a scientific study that… Read more.
I'm not sure why the Hillary Clinton campaign is sending me their LGBT related emails (I've never solicited this), but it seems as if I've been put on her press list. Today I received this: It's an email from the Clinton campaign, reminding us that Clinton is the candidate best suited to tackle "LGBT" rights. In case the campaign needs a lesson on what the LGBT acronym means: L is for lesbian G is for gay B is for bisexual… Read more.
Why TERF ideology is child abuse and how the media supports it. By Natacha This article discusses the clash of ideology and lived experience as exemplified by a recent BBC radio program in the UK. This article uses the term Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) to distinguish between the trans-supportive Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, The Olivia Collective or the West Coast Lesbian Conference and sex essentialist anti-trans feminism of Janice Raymond, Sheila Jeffreys and/or the… Read more.
April 7, 2015 · Cristan Williams
Catharine A. MacKinnon is a lawyer, teacher, writer, theorist, and activist. She is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (long-term). She holds a B.A. from Smith College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale. Professor MacKinnon specializes in sex equality issues in political theory and under international and domestic (including comparative and constitutional) law.… Read more.
November 20, 2014 · Guest
A personal reflection on the abuse of weaponization of Facebook’s “Real Name” Policy By Emmagene Cronin I woke up Monday morning, the first day of Trans Awareness Week, as I do everyday before I’m off to classes. I get myself out of bed after hitting the alarm a few times, and then I trot downstairs to make myself some coffee and read a news story or two while I try to wake up from the lack of sleep I know I just… Read more.
It has long been asserted that the iconic TERF opinion leader, Janice Raymond, played a part in bringing an end to the public and private coverage of transgender medical care, resulting in measurable death and suffering within the trans community. Unsurprisingly, Raymond rejects any assertion that she has blood on her hands. Over on TheTERFs.com, Raymond objects to the following assertion: “It was only after the NCHCT published Raymond’s bigotry in 1980 that… Read more.
Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings recently published a book for trans kids titled, I Am Jazz. The beautifully illustrated story is based on the real-life experiences of Jazz. Laverne Cox said that the book is an “essential tool for parents and teachers” and that “I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions.” Cover: I Am Jazz I had an opportunity to both review the… Read more.
In what has to be one of the most facepalm-inducing interviews I've ever watched, Canadian school board trustee, Sam Sotiropoulos attempted to explain why he's not a bigot for promoting bigotry. The above interview occurred after Sotiropoulos posted a few transphobic tweets. Psychiatry expert: ‘scientifically there is no such thing as transgender’ http://t.co/huWbDpd6bl Where's Bill C-279? http://t.co/4JRejJhuW6 — Sam Sotiropoulos (@TrusteeSam) August 30, 2014 The article Sotiropoulos promoted states, "Dr. Joseph Berger has issued a statement saying that from a medical… Read more.
August 13, 2014 · Cristan Williams
Part III of the 'Sexing the Body is Gender' Series: Debunking TERF Essentialism In Part II, what gender is and is not was discussed and the ways in which we contextualize our bodies were reviewed. In this section, essentialism arguments regularly asserted as being self-evidently true are reviewed and deconstructed. When appealing to a substance – say, genetics, chromosomes, etc. – as being a sexed essence which defines how we collectively regard the… Read more.
By Debi Jackson Although I have been part of the LGBT community for the last three years since my daughter transitioned from male to female, I still seem to learn something new every day. Take, for example, my recent discovery of a group that some call TERFs, or Trans-Excluding Radical Feminists. Within the last few weeks, I’ve become a target of hate from some who watched a video of me giving a speech about my daughter’s transition. Most of that… Read more.
By Lisa Kalayji Do you remember the 1990s MTV cartoon Daria? If you're old enough and young enough, you probably do. For those who missed it or are enjoying the memory slippages which apparently start at a lot earlier age than our parents told us they would, Daria was a cartoon series about a highly intelligent, cynical, and socially outcast teenaged girl, and she has something to teach us about the logic which gives rise to trans-exclusive radical feminism. In… Read more.
August 12, 2014 · Cristan Williams
Part II of the 'Sexing the Body is Gender' Series: Contextualizing the Body If one is talking about something that has chemistry and mass, one is not talking about the thoughts in one’s head. In this series, I will make this simple distinction knowing that there is robust and nuanced discussion around whether there is a biological predisposition that causes trans people to experience our bodies in the way we do. For the purpose of this post, I will make a distinction between that which we take to be… Read more.
What it is #TERFweek is a week of education, raising awareness and openly talking about the abuse our communities have endured at the hands of the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist movement. From Monday, August 11 to the 17, we invite everyone to share their experience with the TERF movement using the #TERFweek tag. We hope that all our diverse communities will take this opportunity to speak with one voice, united in standing in opposition to the hate and very real harm this group has caused. Why… Read more.
At first, I wasn’t going to write a response piece to Caroline Criado-Perez (CCP) article concerning the term “cis”, because many of her ideas were similar to those in Sarah Ditum’s post I recently responded to. Then I realized those similarities should be pointed out. There are patterns emerging where otherwise respected feminists are injecting thinly veiled transmisogynist bigotry within self-congratulatory “bravery” narratives, as well as, patronizing pro-trans-sounding platitudes. So, when trans activists respond to their seemingly conciliatory knives-in-the-back… Read more.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman announced that the effort to overturn equality failed to collect enough valid petition signatures to put minority rights up for a popular vote in the upcoming November election. Even though the Houston Area Pastor's Council (HAPC) has threatened to sue, due to time constraints, there is no possible way that the equality ordinance will be on the November 2014 ballot. From lgbtqnation.com It was widely reported that the HAPC was able… Read more.
Engaging in fraud in order to overturn LGBT and especially trans equality in cities throughout the nation is nothing new for anti-equality bigots. In the past anti-equality efforts, election fraud was limited to purposefully deceiving voters about trans equality or intimidating voters. Recently, the TransAdvocate documented an anti-equality activist using county property to attempt to circumvent a Texas election law. The Houston Area Pastor's Council (AKA, the Texas Pastor's Council, AKA, the US Pastor's Council) is the Texas-based anti-queer group that is heading up… Read more.
June 12, 2014 · Cristan Williams
The past president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ed Young and current pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston recently joined Pastor Kendall Baker and David Welch in denouncing Houston's recent Equal Rights Ordinance. Young claimed equality in Houston was a "staggering moral issue" because equality, according to Young, Baker and Welch, discriminates against cisgender heterosexual Southern Baptists like himself. At a rally for ending equality, Young proclaimed, "The verbiage of the proposed ordinance is couched in non-discrimination language but, without question, discriminates… Read more.
June 5, 2014 · Cristan Williams
On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, the Houston City Council approved a sweeping non-discrimination ordinance barring discrimination against 15 protected classes, including an explicit protection against discrimination due to one's religion. The city's right-wing community immediately claimed to be oppressed, threatened to recall everyone who voted for the ordinance and pledged to put their own religious protections up for a popular vote in the November election. More worrisome, the Mayor of Houston… Read more.
Judith Butler is a preeminent gender theorist and has played an extraordinarily influential role in shaping modern feminism. She's written extensively on gender and her concept of gender performativity is a central theme of both modern feminism and gender theory. Butler's essays and books include Performative Acts and Gender Constitution (1988), Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (1993) and Undoing Gender (2004). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo7o2LYATDc However, the concept of gender performativity… Read more.
The right to body autonomy and being free from oppressive gender stereotypes is an issue that's near and dear to my heart. I've noticed that the same hubris people who stand in the way of trans people are generally the same people who are standing in the way of the right to safe and legal abortion services for many of the same reasons. The Pacific Justice Institute, the very organization that hounded a trans kid to the brink of… Read more.
We need storytellers who are not cisgender men: why David Marcus’ views are misguided and misinformed
April 7, 2014 · Mari
In his latest piece for TheFederalist, arts writer David Marcus takes on what he believes to be a great injustice: the inclusion of trans people in a list of playwrights developed to demonstrate that perspectives beyond those of men actually do exist and are readily accessible. The list, a public google document titled “We Exist,” was developed in response to a recent comment by a director at a gathering of professional DC theater folks that there are too few… Read more.
March 10, 2014 · mkailey
A reader writes: “I recently started college, and I quickly came to the realization that I am transgender. I have been transitioning every way but physically (mentally, socially, etc.), and the process has been enlightening for me. The problem has mainly been with my friends and classmates. “All of my friends have been as supportive and understanding as they know how. Some friends that I have known for years simply accepted my trans identity as if I came out… Read more.
February 26, 2014 · Cristan Williams
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136808690" params="color=ff2c00&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Hey there folks this is Cristan Williams with another TransAdvocate podcast. Today I have a few topics I want to touch on. We'll talk about the Arizona "right to discriminate" bill. Specifically we'll hear the office of the bill's sponsor, Senator Yarbrough, say that his bill will protect the right of the Ku Klux Klan to institute racial segregation based on "religious belief." We'll talk about why a recent… Read more.
By Matt Kailey A reader writes: “I am a gay man and have no doubts really about that. I was late in coming out after being married and having children. However, 15 months ago I started a relationship with a guy who I had met several years earlier and who also was previously married with children. “After we had been dating for six or seven months, he started to talk about how he really liked dressing as a girl and… Read more.
November 29, 2013 · Cristan Williams
Recently, an equality effort in Florida was defeated by appealing to the 'trans people = rape' meme. As it turned out, appealing to this meme was deliberate and is, in fact, part of a curriculum currently being taught to anti-LGBT activists. The TransAdvocate obtained audio from one of the training sessions given by the Christian Family Association (CFC) on October 5th, shortly after their successful defeat of a Florida equality measure that included trans people. The curriculum taught at this training… Read more.
November 7, 2013 · Cristan Williams
The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is the ex-gay organization that stirred up the right-wing word when it claimed that a trans kid (who I will refer to as Jane Doe, for reasons of safety) in Colorado was harassing cisgender girls in the restrooms. Right wing media outlets jumped at the story without fact checking PJI's claims, prompting members of the right wing community to call for the death of the trans kid. As a result of PJI's bullying Jane Doe was placed on a suicide watch. Even… Read more.
October 26, 2013 · Cristan Williams
The following is the argument against YOUR transitioned status being recognized, currently sitting in the Texas 13th District Court of Appeals, and soon to be making its way to the US Supreme Court. This Texas case may very well define how US courts views the transitioned status of trans people. For the uninitiated, here’s how we got here and why this case will likely affect YOU. Keep a close eye on this case. The TransAdvocate obtained an audio recording of the September… Read more.
October 21, 2013 · Cristan Williams
I wanted to go ahead and get this interview out there ASAP. I'll make a more in-depth post soon - including how PJI responds to Jane Doe's mother and what they think about ex-gay and ex-transgender conversion therapy (clue: they think it's worth fighting for). Here's the interview: [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/116441769" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] UPDATE: An amazing Reddit user has transcribed this entire interview! Tip this TransAdvocate! Writers for the TransAdvocate work hard to… Read more.
October 14, 2013 · mkailey
A reader writes: “I’ve been thinking about gender roles and how most of them are created and imposed by society. I believe our behaviour could be ‘genderless’ if we didn’t have these external influences telling us how men and women should act, dress, etc. “Now, if this were to hold true and one day we are all genderless and there are no gender roles or gender-specific expectations by society, people would be able to behave however they feel like and… Read more.
While there are many who feel that morality must be built into law, I believe that the elimination of transsexualism is not best achieved by legislation prohibiting transsexual treatment and surgery but rather by legislation that limits it and by other legislation that lessens the support given to sex-role stereotyping, which generated the problem to begin with. Any legislation should be aimed at the social conditions that initiate and promote the surgery as well as the growth of the medical-institutional… Read more.
I've noticed that there seems to be some confusion about what a Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) is so, here's a quick guide to help you figure out if you're someone who pushes TERF ideology, which is to say, someone who's a TERF. Chances are that you're a TERF if you believe that you're a feminist when you... 1.) Claim that trans women are cis men, that trans men are cis women and purposefully misgender trans people. 2.) Out trans… Read more.
So last week, my new book, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, was reviewed in Publisher's Weekly - you can read the review here. It is generally positive and I am pretty happy with it! However, there is one line in the review that I feel misconstrues what I was trying to say in the book. Namely, the reviewer describes my supposed ‘denial of the existence of a “gender system”’ and how it ‘flies in the face of much social… Read more.
September 16, 2013 · Cristan Williams
This very important case has been dragging on for a couple of years now and here's the recap: 1.) It all started April, 19 2010 with this: Back in 2010, an intersex person wanted to marry a woman and the El Paso clerk didn't know if it was legal to issue a marriage license because this person had initially been sexed male, but had genital reconstructive surgery and had proof of her intersex status. So, the El Paso clerk wrote… Read more.
San Antonio adults standing up for their right to discriminate. For the past month, the adults of San Antonio have been wringing their collective hands in very public displays of "concern" over a city ordinance that would extend equality to *gasp* trans citizens. While the notion of trans/cis equality has set the adult's tongues awaggin, their children already extend this equality to trans children. San Antonio ISD has, for some time now, had a trans-inclusive policy… Read more.
Supposedly, as the RadRight narrative goes, the California bill protecting trans kids in school is anarchy and madness. Unsurprisingly, TERFs and H-BSers jumped on that narrative: You know what? BS. Here in TEXAS - yes, conservative TEXAS - we've had these California-style policies in effect for YEARS. And you know what's happened? Nothing... Except trans kids got to go to school without having to face institutionalized bigotry. Yup, from kindergarten to high school, here in Texas towns like Houston, trans kids… Read more.
When I learned Routledge Press was planning to publish a book about "transgenderism" by Australian academician Sheila Jeffreys, I was astonished. Why was I astonished? Because Jeffreys considers transsexual surgery a human rights violation, has called medical intervention with transgendered children eugenics and McCarthyism, and refuses to use appropriate pronouns when referring to us, cynically claiming she is seeking “clarity.” I identity FTMs and MTFs by the pronouns that demonstrate their sex class of origin for the sake of clarity. –FTM Transsexualism… Read more.
March 11, 2013 · Cristan Williams
This is part of a lecture given on May 5, 2010 by Prof. Robert Sapolsky at Stanford University. Prof. Sapolsky reviews studies he feels make a compelling case for those who assert that transsexualism is actually a type of intersex condition. More on gender orientation Those interested in gender roles and the brain should read Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender. Fine does an excellent job at debunking pernicious myths while chronicling the history of the way neurology has been used… Read more.
February 18, 2013 · mkailey
A reader writes: “I have questions, but have never had the strength or will to voice them and ask. I am, of course, a genetically born male, and most of the time I’m fine with that. But more often, in recent months, I’ve felt that it’s not right. I feel like there is a feminine side of me that is screaming to get out, like it’s trapped.” “But it’s not just a matter of acting more feminine. I don’t want… Read more.
I've witnessed many arguments and misunderstandings explode over the conflation of these THREE dimensions of what we in trans discourse collectively refer to as gender: Gender Orientation: One’s subjective experience of one’s body, including its sexed attributes. Gender Identity: Identity labels used when socially constructing sexed personas within the context of social groupings. Gender Expression: One's situational expression of cultural cues which communicate gender identity. Note that gender identity and expression are absolutely culturally influenced. However, even if you stick me on a deserted island, I am… Read more.
April 2, 2012 · mkailey
“Is the Happy Meal for a boy or a girl?” I had no idea that McDonald’s Happy Meals were gendered, but then I’ve never ordered one before this week. I’ve been suffering from a nasty bronchial thing, which I thought was improving but which then circled back on me. I still had to run some errands, though, and I was hungry, so I pulled into McD’s. I decided that, since I couldn’t taste anything anyway, a Happy Meal would be… Read more.
After finally hearing Dr. Zucker’s comments on the CBC Radio show I participated in that aired this past Monday, I had to sit and reflect. Dr. Zucker referred to us (parents of gender diverse children and the children themselves) as a “social experiment”. That doesn’t feel right, at all. He also called us a social movement, and a culture that meets for conferences and such, but that didn’t grate on me the same way his reference to a “social experiment” does,… Read more.
My Brownie uniform “True, all-girl experience,” those were the words of the teen named Taylor who is part of a group trying to get people to boycott Girl Scout cookies because the Girl Scouts allowed a transgender child to belong to a troop as reported by CNN Living, on January 13, 2012. There’s so many things that I find bewildering… where to start? First, I think it’s bizarre that we have to segregate boys and girls in groups. I was… Read more.
as if you needed to read any more... THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR OF THE SERIAL RAPIST From 1984 to 1986, FBI Special Agents assigned to theNationalCenterfor the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) interviewed 41 men who were responsible for raping 837 victims. Previous issues of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin provided an introduction to this research (1) and the characteristics of the rapists and their victims. (2) This article, however, describes the behavior of these serial rapists during and… Read more.
January 19, 2012 · mkailey
Last year, I wrote a guest post for the excellent blog Womanist Musings called “Leave the Kids Out of It,” about a brouhaha over gendered Halloween costumes. Now we’ve got another situation where kids are being dragged into adult morality wars. The Girl Scout Cookie boycott, organized to protest the admission of a trans girl to a Colorado troop, was allegedly conceived by a fourteen-year-old girl, but my guess is that she’s getting her faulty information from somewhere above (and… Read more.
Yawwwwn. As you might have noticed I took a tiny writing hiatus for the holidays so that I could mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally step back and just observe. I’d love to share some revelations with you. Some epiphanies are big and need a little explaining. Some are silly. All of them sunk into my psyche in a deep, meaningful way during my vacation and without judging, I had a way of being with this awareness in a completely new… Read more.
Since we are a few months from the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games, thought I do a few posts about the gender controversies that have cropped up in past ones. I talked about the 1936 Berlin Games in which there was gender drama on two fronts. Nazi Germany passed off Hermann Ratjen as Dora Ratjen in order to boost their medal count and the 'That's a Man' shade that Stella Walsh threw at Helen Stephens after she beat… Read more.
I've said this multiple times on this blog and will continue to say it until you peeps embed this point in your brain cells. You need to focus on what's between a transperson's ears, not their legs. I'm tired of repeating this obvious point ad nauseum, but if that's what it takes for you recalcitrant gay and straight cis people and elements of the trans community to get it, so be it. It's none of your business what's between mine… Read more.
Please note at writing, the planned dedication service for the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial has been postponed. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.… Read more.
I have awoken multiple times from a nightmare hearing this phrase screamed at me over and over again. Whether awake or asleep, it echoes over and over and over again through my brain. It is like machine-gun fire, ricocheting through my body with unbelievable velocity. It is a question that will probably follow me throughout my entire life. Yesterday, I was walking out of the mall to go and catch the bus. A group of people apparently had quite a… Read more.
August 8, 2011 · Jenna
I dread writing this post. Not because it is laborious, or texting on my personal resources, but because my sensibilities are afflicted by the subject matter. It is neither my desire nor intent to further inflame an already hot topic. There are plenty willing and so capable of stoking that fire. It is my only desire to offer a consideration, a course of action which may or may not resolve the matter, but it will define us as a community… Read more.
On January 28th, 2011, if you were told that the Trans community would be more organized than the LGB community moving forward in the next legislative session, that Marriage and the Gender Identity anti-discrimination bills would both come razor close to passage yet fail and the Equality Maryland (EQMD) would for all intents and purposes, cease to exist, you'd laugh until you dropped. I don't hear any laughter today. On January 28th, 2011, Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk introduce in the Maryland… Read more.
As much as trans people seem to want to believe it, gay (GayINC) media is not their friend/advocate/ally. Tom Lang, of Know Thy Neighbor said: It seems that the hard work of transgender and transsexual activists inside and outside of Maryland are getting some movement regarding the discriminatory Maryland Bill HB235. But how are our friends over at the "lgbtq community news source", the Washington Blade, covering the story? They posted ‘Political reality’ forces changes to Md. trans bill. They… Read more.
December 23, 2009 · Marti Abernathey
Sass Rogando Sasot speaks to United Nations on December 10th, 2009 - A panel discussion organized by the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden on the occasion of the International Day of Human Rights. Theme: Opposing grave Human Rights Violations on the basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Read more.
Coming up on the two year anniversary of the Human Right Campaign's (HRC) support of Barney Frank dropping gender identity from the 2007 Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA), the irony of HRC's current position on DOMA couldn't be scripted any thicker. HRC defended their defection with Frank in 2007 this way: "Our community can work with the people who want to help us, or we can walk out on them," Solmonese wrote. "In a community facing such fierce opposition from the… Read more.
September 16, 2009 · Marti Abernathey
The intersection of internet wars sometimes brings interesting observations to mind, and today one such intersection really spoke to me. Recently Jasper over at Jasper's wardrobe has made some pretty controversial things about gender and transwomen. From "just your average straight white guy with a cunt": "I do not recognize any claims to the truth of a gender. All genders are constructed. From this standpoint I see hormones and SRS as body modifications. That is great. Tattoos piercings and hormones.… Read more.
April 25, 2008 · Marti Abernathey
I really can't believe all the ridiculously negative things I've been hearing about the 2nd grade student that is transitioning at school. Here are a few examples: Public schools have been involved in a sick propaganda campaign that encourages and collaborates with the advancement of mental illness in children. - Stop The ACLU.com It is a basic fact of biology, sex is immutable. If you are born a male, you will die a male. There is absolutely nothing any mortal can do about that. Yet for some strange reason, we seem to think that are sex is like a pair of socks, which can be changed on a whim. Putting a dress on a boy, having him the girl’s room and calling him a female name, can not and will not make this John Doe into Jane Doe. It has can’t be done and it has never been done. School systems should be in the businss of teaching life and not pandering to delusions. Putting a dress on a young man and calling him by a girl’s name will not make him into a female. It will only make him into a boy with a dress.We are what we are, and we can not change what we are by wearing or not wearing a dress. Stop pandering to utter foolishness. - Bits Blog It makes one wonder what is happening to our culture when a 2nd grade boy decides he has to dress up as a girl and his public school chooses to accommodate his feelings. - Dallas Blog The original purpose of the public schools was to indoctrinate children in being “Good Americans.” At the time, this meant Protestant patriots who worked for work’s sake. Now, public schools are still indoctrinating little “Good Americans,” but this time it means supporting the idea that man is first, last, and all-importantly a sexual animal whose desires, no mater how perverse, need to be sated without consequence or guilt. First, it was Sex Ed. Then condoms and abortion referrals. Then, GLBT clubs and gay proms. Now, this satanic doctrine is manifesting itself in the policy of a public school in Colorado allowing a sexually confused second grade boy to come to school dressed, and addressed, as a girl. - Fish In A Barrel Read more.
“This is a story of the lives and loves, and hopes and dreams, of young Batswana in the context of the changing cultural norms and values of modern times. Each of the dancers are shaped and challenged by the forces upon them: love, power, money, lust, and authority. They must choose their destiny by making difficult choices and search for what they truly believe in.” — plot summary for the documentary, Re Bina Mmogo (2004) It’s been a really blue funky week and a half for me. Seeing John Edwards drop out of the race just over a week ago, I’m left with nothing but second choices for the upcoming presidential election. I feel as if I’m wakening from a really bad hangover. My personal preference was for a presidential candidate who would address the rampant inequities, to eliminate poverty and end the disenfranchisement and disparity in this entitlement-oriented society. The last thing I wanted was a choice of gatekeepers for the corporate power stranglehold status quo. With my last best hope for that out of the campaign at virtually the same time my job ended, it’s been consideration time over the two primary candidates who are left. Read more.
Don't you just love that phrase, "used to be a man?" GARRICK Jacobson was in custody at Sydney's Surry Hills police station when he apparently discovered his girlfriend used to be a man. Within hours of being released on bail, he went to her apartment and started "belting the hell" out of her, Downing Centre Local Court heard yesterday. Read more.
(As I'd mentioned, it's time to move on from the previous discussion. I admit, I probably wouldn't have reacted as badly if the debate hadn't touched on something that was freshly raw for me personally, but as it is still a raw nerve, we'll leave the HBS thing be. I thought I'd go with something far less controversial. Politics is being overdone right now, what with all the stuff on the primaries, so I thought I'd take on Religion. -- Mercedes) Modern churches do an excellent job of creating an equation between the questioning of fallible teachers, preachers, copyists and translators, and the questioning of God Himself. You can do one without necessarily doing another. But "all scripture is given by inspiration of God..." (2 Timothy 3:16) is usually used to rebuff any inquiries about the many interpretations of those scriptures. Assuming that all scripture was given by inspiration of God, it should also be kept in mind that all scripture was also interpreted and worded by a myriad of authors, then recopied by hand for thousands of generations, passing through different translators and copyists, each with differing biases. All New Testament scripture was additionally collected at the Council of Nicaea, where it was decided which books (and which specific versions of them) to keep and which ones to ignore or destroy. This was done under the guidance of an appointee (Eusebius Pamphilus) of the first actual Pope (although they later retroscribed themselves back to the apostle Peter), the Emperor Constantine I, who wished to forge a new religion that was a synthesis of Mithraism, fledgling Christianity, and Constantine's own worship of the sun god, Sol. He also intended to set himself up to be portrayed as the returned Christ (although it did not quite end up working out that way), which was understood at that time to mean an earthly King-level saviour. And in addition to the hands that scripture passed through being imperfect, so too are those of the preachers who deliver it on Sunday. Religious leaders have repeatedly abused and misused scripture for their own ends, right into modern times -- sometimes innocently but other times specifically for the acquisition of money, political power and fiercely loyal masses. 150 years ago, the church used scripture to justify slavery, alleging among other things that Black people had no souls. 100 years ago, scripture was used to resist emancipation, re-establishing womens' role as a subservient one and portraying them as not worthy or intelligent enough to be able to vote. Even today, scripture is twisted to assert the subordinance of women. Can we question the church's teaching while relying on our heart to sort the truth from the centuries of spin-mongering that has tainted it? I'd think we'd have to. Read more.
“So I get on my knees and pray … we won’t get fooled again!” — the Who Fresh on the heels of Southern Comfort Conference (SCC), many of the transgender community reveled in what seemed a penultimate victory: HRC – yes, the Human Rights Campaign – was actually appearing to take the transgender community as equals. (Obviously the ultimate victory would be equal rights for us all, jobs and all.) All of the years of HRC’s historic missteps seemed to magically disappear. We’re now a welcome, if amnesiac community for the Equal Sign people. During the speeches there was much congratulation and self-congratulation, and plenty of high spirits about the impending bills in Congress awaiting votes: Hate Crimes (already passed inclusively in the House) currently awaiting Senate approval, and the all-important Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) approaching the House vote. All seemed right with the world in Trans America’s focus point that weekend at SCC in Atlanta. All seemed eerily right to some of us long-timers with memories intact as well. Eerily too right. After the speech, everyone clapped, ate, enjoyed the rest of SCC and went home. Most of us waited with baited anticipation. Myself, I couldn’t get over how this reminded me of 2002. At the SCC in 2002, HRC came down and made the big presentation again, and ushered in the coming out of a brand new national activist on the scene, Mara Keisling formerly of then-disbanded WGTE – the group name under which a study in concert with HRC was conducted. She was planning to open shop with an org of her own. No more WGTE, now NATE or NOTE was the names she was hashing over at the time (later settling on NCTE). HRC was not going to deal with the existing trans orgs -- NTAC nor IFGE, while GenderPAC left the trans fold to focus on "gender." So Mara’s sudden emergence fit them to a T, literally, and was welcomed in the HRC fold. However, it wasn’t just HRC’s king or queen-making within the trans community that was the draw of this presentation. This was more about the study findings, ballyhooed as changing the minds of HRC about trans inclusion in legislation. Word went out, there at that conference, that HRC was behind transgender inclusion and would begin such a push immediately. The question from the skeptical among us was posed as to what would happen if this ran up the HRC flagpole, and they instead decided “Nah!” and let Mara twist in the wind. Mara responded that they wouldn’t dare try, “and if they did, rip them a new asshole for publicly trashing her political credibility.” I’ll never forget the look on David Smith’s face at her answer … curious. Read more.
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it And the reaction will be passionate Give 'em the old hocus pocus …. Give 'em the old three ring circus” — Richard Gere as Billy Flynn in the song "Razzle Dazzle" from the movie “Chicago” What the hell is up with being trans? Seriously, why is it such a heinous scandal to have someone attached to anything hinting of crossdressing or transsexualism? One would think that in 2007 we’ve progressed beyond that stage, but clearly that’s not so. A couple of items jumped out at me this week prompting this rant. One was a tabloid (Star or Enquirer, can’t remember which) with a blaring headline replete with photos showing a sad looking Cher, and an alternate photo of daughter Chastity Bono in what appears to be a man’s suit. The headline was: Cher’s Heartbreak Over Chastity’s Sex Change Decision. The other item concerns photos released of Oscar DeLaHoya and trumpeted as lead story on Entertainment Tonight for multiple nights in a row, even bleeding over into the nightly six o’clock local news at one point. The photos have what appears to be the boxing champ in a fishnet bodysuit, spike-heeled pumps and even wearing a wig with a jaunty fedora in one photo. Read more.
During the HRC/LOGO Presidential Forum John Edwards was asked: MR. SOLOMONESE: Susan Stanton is in our audience tonight. She was, for 17 years, the city manager in Largo , Florida . She did her job well; she was respected and admired. And when it was revealed that she was transgender, she was fired. So my question for you is if a member of your staff came to you and told you that they were transgender and that they were thinking… Read more.
Typically, when reading about radical feminists on various blogs, it's an "us verses them" type of debate. I've been thinking a lot about that, as witnessed by my last post, Michfest Music Melodrama I've been thinking a lot about the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival lately. So much anger and divisiveness occurs between radical feminist and transgender bloggers, it really turns my stomach. Very few posts on either side attempt to understand each other. so much so, it ends up being… Read more.
Chris Crain has repeatedly suggested 1, 2, 3, 4 that transgender people don't need to be included in the Employee Non-Discrimination Act because "existing federal civil rights laws have already been interpreted by some judges to protect trans workers." A recent EEOC informal discussion letter would suggest otherwise. Historically, courts and the EEOC have held that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination against an individual because of transgendered status. See, e.g., Ulane v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., 742 F.2d 1081… Read more.
I've been over at Feministing all day, writing responses to "You learn something new every day." The post is a response to The BBC's recent coverage of a debate with Julie Bindel. Julie believes that sex reassignment surgery is a "mutilation." The debate over there is one of the best I've ever encountered. There's a whole lot of cross talk and listening, and very few personal attacks. This is the first time I've ever posted about this in a forum where I didn't feel like I was talking to a wall. I've included some of the comments, and my responses, under the cut. Read more.
I've been home a little over a week from my vacation on the R Family Vacation summer cruise to the Bahamas. I've had a week to sit back and reflect on the trip. For those that don't know, R Family Vacations is the brainchild of Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli O’Donnell. It's billed as a cruise for GLBT families. From the R Family Vacation website: R Family Vacations is truly the most inclusive GLBT vacation offered. All of our vacations are… Read more.
It was striking seeing a blurb by a spokesperson in the Iowa Republican Party responding to the prospect of former-President Bill Clinton lobbying for his wife Hillary’s presidential campaign: “After Bill Clinton tarnished the name of the president of the United States, the Republican Party restored hope, respect and morality within the Oval Office by bringing positive ideas and conservative values back to the White House.” Reading this caused me to respond with one of those GEICO© caveman moments: “Yeah,… Read more.
Pride Party this year was fun, and probably left most of us a little fuzzy-minded. Like all parties where we partake a bit too much, there’s always the obligatory hangover. This year I made good on a promise and attended a friend’s Pride party at THE Pride Parade in New York City. Yes, my hometown Houston’s Pride Parade is unique in that it’s at night, with lit up floats – the only night Pride Parade in the northern hemisphere. Even… Read more.
With the ongoing battles between radical feminists and transgender bloggers, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be transgender. Radical feminists, in the vein of Andrea Dworkin's dream of an "androgynous society," hope to demolish gender roles. Recently i read an article written by Susan Cole of Now magazine. She discussed her gender fluidity and how she's beginning to enjoy it. "Does this mean I've lost my feminist edge? I know I still believe that… Read more.
"I know some of my transgender sisters question my commitment to their equality, but let me be the first (I think) to point out where the top-three Democrats on in inclusion of gender identiy in federal hate crimes legislation (where I support it) and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (where I support in principle adding it at some later date, but oppose its inclusion now)." - Chris Crain First of all, it's not just the sisters that question you "commitment" to… Read more.
Until someone puts actual empirical data along side radical feminist doctrine, I refuse to call it a theory. It isn't a theory, it's a religion. And it's about as believable as there being a man named Jesus Christ that rose from the dead after three days. If your wondering, THIS is the genesis of my reason to post. Now, let us pray. Read more.
When I hear "This is my friend _____ , she's transgendered", I cringe. It may seem innocuous, but using the word "transgendered" indicates that being transgender is something you have done to you. Imagine someone saying "this is my friend Andy, he's gayed" or "this is my best friend Betty, she's lesbianed." Like being gay and lesbian, being transgender isn't something that you have done to you, it's part of who you are. I'm proud to be of Irish, Scot,… Read more.
It's coming up on two years ago that I wrote an "Open Letter to Cheryl Jacques." A month after I posted my open letter, Jacques greeted transgender protesters outside of Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) offices with the news that HRC would not support any version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that didn't include transgender protections. She later wrote: "passing ENDA without gender identity and expression is like passing a copyright law that covers books and television shows but doesn't cover… Read more.
Like a herpes sore, certain arguments pop up continually in the transcommunity and never seem to go away. Recently Gwen Smith wrote the editorial "What's In a Name?" that discussed the term "women born transsexual (WBT)" or "Harry Benjamin Syndrome." Suzanne Cooke responded to Gwen's editorial with "Good-Bye to Transgender and All That." In it she announcing her "divorce" from the community. She claims that Gwen Smith "castigates post-sex reassignment women who identify with the term "WBT" or 'women born… Read more.
So we've got a trans-inclusive ENDA, time to celebrate! Or so I thought, till I actually looked at the language. Section 8(a)(3) CERTAIN SHARED FACILITIES- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to establish an unlawful employment practice based on actual or perceived gender identity due to the denial of access to shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen fully unclothed is unavoidable, provided that the employer provides reasonable access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with… Read more.
In my recent post, Rose Colored Glasses, I had quite a few people respond here and on livejournal. Anyone familiar with the history of the trans-community and HRC (Human Rights Campaign) will know how contentious that relationship has been over the years. In March of 2001 the board of directors changed their mission statement to include transgender people. In the six years since our inclusion it's been an uphill battle to get HRC to actually include transgender people in their… Read more.
In the past I've written posts supporting the "All My Children" transgender character Zoey/Zarf (here and here). Recently, Zoey (the soap character) took part in a support group with real transgender people. Simply amazing. I'm so glad to see this. There's a good representation of sex and race in the scene. Typically in the media you only hear or see white m2f trangender people. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/ziWZQXqfhns" width="425" height="350"/] Read more.
The Journal of Lesbian Studies is calling for submissions to the upcoming "Lesbians and Body Image" issue. One of the questions really caught my eye: " What differentiates body image situations where it is seen as desirable to change your attitude (i.e., "accept your body") vs. where it is seen as desirable to change your body (i.e., transsexual surgery)? What determines whether someone identifies as a butch lesbian or a FTM transsexual?" Is it possible to ever "accept your body?"… Read more.
I'm not sure why I've been thinking about gender roles so much lately. Maybe it's because I listened to Radio Open Source show on Hillary Clinton. Maybe it's because of this: "Sometimes, I think feminism and some feminists expect everyone to march to the same drummer, and Kim really seems to dance to her own tune, despite herself sometimes. Her writing is both personal and political, and she has adorable cats. Kim really comes across as human, strenghts, faults, questions,… Read more.