Tag Archives: washington

Dear YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties – We’re Not Predators

Separate but EqualTo: YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, 4717 S. 19th Street, #201, Tacoma, WA 98405

From: Una Nowling, P.E. M.Sc.

Re: Your conflation of transgender rights with enabling sexual predators

To whom it may concern:

Upon hearing of your sudden change in policy to prohibit transgender members of your organization from using the locker rooms and showers congruent with their gender identity, I was at first just disappointed. As a transgender woman and political activist, I’m somewhat used to ignorance, prejudice, and fear walking hand-in-hand to marginalize my people and deny us dignity and rights. But upon reading that your spokeswoman Michelle LaRue said “The concern was that a non-transgender individual might pose as a transgender to gain access to our locker rooms and expose themselves to children and cause harm to children,” I became both disappointed AND cross.

Your managers report that you are responding to a “flood of phone calls, e-mails, and social media posting by members who are concerned about or opposed to allowing transgender people in transition to use public locker rooms.” However, at the same time you admit that your entire reaction is “It is fear-based. We’ve not had any complaints filed about inappropriate use of our locker rooms from transgender members.”

I must say, you certainly have a shiny pair of brass ones, don’t you?

Admitting on one hand that there are no actual problems, and you’re only reacting out of an irrational fear expressed by what appears to be a well-organized social media manipulation campaign – and yet, cracking down on the rights of transgender members anyhow, is just sad.

And somehow you feel it’s acceptable to do this, even under the extant Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60, q.v.) banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. You need to understand that segregating innocent transgender people at your facilities is no different than other ethnic and racial fear-based segregation which is part of this nation’s civil rights history.

Furthermore, your excuse for doing this attempts to “weaponize” transgender persons as the proverbial Trojan Horse which will allow child sexual predators to somehow have unfettered access to your locker rooms and bathrooms. You seem to be completely unaware that nothing whatsoever stops a child sexual predator from – wait for it – ignoring your rules and trying to gain entrance anyhow? The fact that you feel discrimination against transgender persons will somehow magically create a barrier against real sexual predators is both silly and ignorant.

And destructive to the self-esteem and dignity of your transgender members and the transgender community in general.

Please take some time to consider just how discriminatory your actions are, and consider that being on the wrong side of history is not a place most would wish to have for their life legacy.

Una Nowling

For Transas City

Sources: YMCA Backtracks on Policy About Transgender Locker Room Use

Pierce, Kitsap YMCA Transgender Policy sets off a Storm

Police Blotter – 31 July, 2014

Three cases of crimes against transgender persons suddenly jumped to the surface of my news feed. We try here at Transas City not to focus too much on single crimes, for two reasons. First and foremost, many in the community have “tragedy fatigue,” in that they already fully know and have experienced hatred against themselves and our people, and they don’t need to keep seeing news reports of another dead transperson. Secondly, early news reports also carry with them a high level of speculation, “he-said-she-said,” and uncertainty. And outside of opinion pieces, we deal in as much hard fact as possible here at Transas City.

In our first story of this police blotter, WDSU News reports that a New Orleans transgender woman was attacked and robbed, and manages to misgender her as well during the reporting. However, the primary topic of the article is not about anti-transgender hate crimes (even though the police say the crime was due to “sexual orientation[sic]”), but about the growing Hispanic community and its relations with the African-American community in New Orleans. My reaction?

Our next story involves a 15 year-old transgender girl whose crime against humanity was that she was trying to ride on the subway in Washington, D.C. Having ridden on the Green Line myself, I can say it’s not really that seedy of a place to be, especially at 4:30pm. The story thus far:

Metro Police have arrested and charged 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber with bias-motivated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the stabbing. They apprehended Klaiber at the Fort Totten station as he was attempting to flee the scene. Officers also recovered a 3.5-inch folding knife.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessell says the girl was stabbed once in the back and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses told Transit Police detectives that the suspect made bias-motivated remarks about the victim’s transgender status immediately prior to the assault. The charges against Klaiber include the possibility of enhanced penalties for hate/bias motivation.

I mean good grief, why? You just have to seriously, seriously question the utility of keeping a person in society who just walks up, taunts a transgender girl, then stabs her – in public, in front of multiple witnesses, in a heavily policed area. That’s stupid, evil, AND crazy.
The final news item we have for you is one we will hear about in this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Specifically, an arrest has been made in the Fort Meyers, Florida murder of transgender woman Eddie James Owens. Owens was apparently murdered, and then her body was burned to attempt to prevent identification. Apparently the victim knew her accused killer, and there was bad blood between them. The problem is, when you’re transgender having “bad blood” between you and someone else may very well result in your blood which is spilled.

Negative Publicity: Transgender Woman Says Her Male Persona Is the Serial Killer

This news item has been bumped around local news in the American Northwest, and it’s also appeared recently on several conservative blogs as “proof” that all transpeople, everywhere, are nutrageously nutty.

Transwoman Donna Perry, who is accused of being a serial killer of prostitutes, claims that she is not responsible for anything that Douglas, her “male persona,” may or may not have done. The unfortunate side effect of her outrageous claim is that she is attempting to throw the trans community under the metaphorical bus in order to make a gamble to avoid sentencing for three brutal murders.


Transgender Woman Says Her Male Persona Is the Serial Killer – ABC News.

Good News! D.C. Mayor Expands Trans Health Care to Cover SRS!

More and more lately, Washington D.C. seems to be cleaning up its image and its actions. In this latest news, by executive order of the Mayor of Washington D.C., all health insurance companies serving those who live and work in the District must offer coverage for transgender-related health services, including surgery!

One would assume that standard deductibles and co-pays still exist as they would for any surgery, and the insurance company can steer you towards specific surgeons who they feel are “economical.” Moreover, this executive order does not take effect until the next renewal period for all policies, giving time for Congress to interfere, should it choose to do so.  However, for many transgender folks too poor to have their much-needed SRS, which has been proven to be beneficial to their quality of life, this is a hopeful godsend.

D.C. Mayor Makes Major Move Expanding Trans Health Care | Advocate.com.

Transgender at 6: For Tyler and His Parents, No Second Thoughts

Thanks to Prof. Kerewsky for pointing me to this article. This part is inspirational.

At 6, Tyler is on the younger side of the transgender community. But that’s not because he is unusual. Most transgender adults say they knew from a very young age that they felt miscast in their bodies. And doctors agree that gender identity usually manifests between 3 and 6 years of age.

What’s different is that Tyler’s parents — both schoolteachers and coaches — decided to listen to their child. They ignored the family members who expressed shock and disbelief. They ignored the teasing from a neighborhood bully. They ignored the gossip among some co-workers.

Instead, Jean and Stephen let Tyler pick his name, his clothes and his toys. Instantly a happier, healthier child emerged from the surly preschooler who was always fighting over dresses and leotards and the word “she.”

Transgender at 6: For Tyler and his parents, no second thoughts – The Washington Post.

Overshadowed by the LGB, the T is Fighting for Acceptance

This is…sadly, going to be a source of friction within the community. The debate continues every day, with the LGB community asking themselves “why are we hanging out with these freaks?” and the T community asking themselves “we are dealing with more serious issues, medical ones, which can’t be hidden…why aren’t we standing on our own?”

Every reader will have their own answer. My answer is that there is so much overlap between the two communities, that we need to stick together. The politics and realities of gender and sex are too closely intertwined to be easily separated, and justice for one is justice for all. In short, the old quote “we must hang together, or we shall surely hang separately” applies.

Overshadowed by gay and lesbian compatriots, the transgender community is fighting for acceptance – Las Vegas Sun News.