Monthly Archives: October 2013

Christian Broadcasting Network Bears False Witness in Claim Trans Student Harassed Girls in the Restroom

falsewitnessI reported on this a few days ago, and called into question the veracity of the story. It turns out, thanks to fine detective work by Cristan Williams at The Transadvocate, it’s a fraud. One, single, parent complained about a transgender student’s mere presence in the school. Says Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti in the audio clip at the link below, “there has not been a situation…there’s not been an incident of harassment…” etc. She further reports that the vast majority of the students and parents support the trans student.

So who are the bad actors here? The Pacific Justice Institute, the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Examiner, etc. Not one of which has issued a retraction.

Trans Student Attacking Girls in School Restroom! Or, you know… not. | The Transadvocate.

Transgender Woman Sues After Being Denied Free Breast Cancer Screening

NIHMammogramA pretty nasty deal overall, and note that this is a post-op woman too. I’m a little surprised that they claim the CDC disallows anyone who is not genetically female from having a screening, and I’m a bit shocked that Planned Parenthood doesn’t consider transwomen to be women, at least when their health is at stake.

Transgender woman sues after being denied free breast cancer screening |

In Case You Were Wondering – About the Trans Student Harassing Girls in the News

RedHerringI have seen this pop up several places on the net, but each time I try to chase down details, they all lead back to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) website. No details have been made available about this story, and as I mentioned, all paths lead back to a single source which speaks of anonymous students and teachers, focused on an event with no details, no direct reports from “victims,” and no independent verification.

So if you see this pop up in the news, look hard at it, and see if it’s just a rehash of the CBN piece, like this linked piece here from the Daily Mail is. If someone can find a much more substantive piece which has independent verification, please send it to me.

Girls ‘harassed’ in school bathroom by transgender student told his rights trump their privacy | Mail Online.

‘April Ashley: Portrait Of A Lady’ Explores The Life Of Britain’s First Transgender Icon

April Ashley is one of the more interesting transsexual women of the old days. I wrote about her before in my review of her autobiography, but in this posting we focus on an ongoing exhibit in the Liverpool Museum. I wanted to visit there when I was at Manchester last week, but no luck since I was on a work trip.

This article linked below has little text but a lot of large photos of April, and a video of her life.

‘April Ashley: Portrait Of A Lady’ Explores The Life Of Britain’s First Transgender Icon.

‘Where Have All the Butches Gone?’ – Essay by Roey Thorpe

I think this essay helps to give a look into the life of women who love butch women, and also gives some insights into the divide between “modern” lesbians and the “old guard.” In effect, the writer posits that the primary reason there are fewer butch lesbians is because they are instead becoming transmen. And how this is not a betrayal of the lesbian community, as some believe it to be.

‘Where Have All the Butches Gone?’ | Roey Thorpe.

Students Rally Behind Transman Professor At Azusa Pacific University

I reported on this barely a month ago – in a nutshell, theology professor Heather Ann Clements of Azusa Pacific University, a private Christian institution, came out as a transman. Changing his name to H. Adam Ackley, he knew there would be trouble, and sure enough, the university was less than pleased and he was asked to resign his position. However, in this news, it turns out his students are fighting back, saying they want Professor Ackley to stay.

It’s a little interesting from a personal note – I am an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering myself, and I transitioned in mid-semester – just before the midterm, in fact. Several of my students made a point of coming to me privately and telling me how good of a professor I was, and how much they supported me, offering to give me their vote of confidence if my department had any problems. It turns out my department welcomed me with open arms, so it was all good…nonetheless, things could have gone like they are for Professor Ackley.

Students Rally Behind Transgender Professor At Azusa Pacific University (VIDEO).

Ex-Soldier Lucy Vallender, UK’s “First Transgender Muslim Woman”

I’m highlighting this story because it’s unusual. Lucy Vallender was a solider in the Territorial Army of the United Kingdom, and decided to both transition and become a Muslim at the same time. However, as I’ve posted before, being a transgender Muslim isn’t nearly as fun as one might think…

“They asked me questions about my bra cup size, asked about my Adam’s apple, about my period and asked to see my birth certificate,” she said, and so returned home to pray there instead. “I hope people will change their attitudes and other people like me will realize they are free to just be themselves.”

Hoping a major organized fundamentalist religious group of any denomination will suddenly slap their hands to their respective heads and say “of course! We should love transgender people now!” is a bit overly hopeful.

What bothers me about the article is this part of it:

She’s found love as well as self-acceptance since her drastic life changes, and is now married to a Muslim man, Murad, whom she met on an online dating site. Though he did not know that she was trans at the time of their wedding, she commented, “he must have suspected it as he’s seen my scars.” She’s only seen him twice since the wedding, but spoke warmly about him, commenting, “I love him, he’s kind and soft spoken.”

What, what, what? You married a Muslim man and didn’t tell him you were a transsexual woman until after the ceremony? Whoa.

Lucy Vallender, UK’s First Transgender Muslim Woman, Gets Married After Leaving Territorial Army (PHOTOS).

Pegasisters and Bronies Unite! Pat Robertson Likens Transgender People to Geldings

BroniesTransgender persons are clearly confusing to Pat Robertson. Several months ago, I posted a link to a video where Robertson said that being transgender is not a sin. OK, that sounded like forward progress at the time…however, in this latest video segment from the 700 Club, he states:

“Now, we talk about transgender. I have a former stallion who is now a gelding, because stallions get very aggressive,” Robertson said on a 700 Club segment Tuesday. “But he wasn’t trying to be a girl. We just made him into a less aggressive male.”

WATCH: Pat Robertson Likens Transgender People to Geldings |

Gulf Countries May Use Tests to Ban Transgender and LBG Persons from Entering

I’m disappointed, but I am absolutely unsurprised. The number of Muslim-led countries which have an ounce of compassion for transgender persons can be counted on one finger – or less. And don’t even tell me about Iran; the truth is still grim for transpersons in that country.

Note as well that the test are being proposed not just in Kuwait, but in all Gulf Cooperate Countries (GCC). From the article:

Yousouf Mindkar, director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, said that the routine clinical screenings will be given to expatriates coming into the Gulf Cooperate Countries, which will include tests to identify LGBT people. If they identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, they will be banned.

“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” Mindkar said, according to Gulf News. “However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states.”

The GCC is a political and economic union of Arab states, including countries Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Emirates, Oman and Bahrain.

Kuwait May Use ’Gaydar’ to Ban Gays From Country :: EDGE Provincetown.

California GOP Backs Repeal of Transgender Protections in Schools

Well, the sad thing is that this was not unexpected at all. Although the vote was split, the California Republican Party has formally chosen to support a repeal of the sweeping protections for transgender students in that state.

I posted earlier that I grow tired of seeing the word “Republican” followed immediately by some effort to discriminate against or remove protections for transgender persons. And yet, despite a steadily growing consensus throughout America to accept and welcome transgender persons, the “party of Lincoln” seemingly is doubling down on this issue.

Tea party hopes to energize California GOP » Redding Record Searchlight.

Concord Students Choose Transgender Student as Homecoming King

Although we hear more and more of stories such as this, the quotes in this article were especially touching.

Concord High in Concord, New Hampshire, elected Ray Ramsey, a transman, homecoming king. But this quote below is the most touching.

…after the cheers from the crowd and hugs from friends, he walked over to his dad. Standing there, his dad grabbed him by the shoulders, looked him in the eye and said, “I am so proud of you.”

“He’s just been through a lot, and he’s just a really strong person,” said Anna Robert, the homecoming queen and Ramsey’s good friend. “When I heard his name called, I was like, ‘I can’t even believe it,’ you know?”

Imagine a world where such open and complete acceptance was the norm, rather than the exception. Is it possible? Can we do it?

Concord students choose transgender student as homecoming king | Concord Monitor.

Science Study – Transgender Persons Were Important in Ancestral Societies

Ancient_TransA very interesting new science article about the importance of transgender persons in ancient societies. In this study, researchers compared 192 ancient societies and found that the ones which accepted transgender persons benefited. Not only did transgender persons help raise the children, they provided much-needed support for family structures and helped ensure the security and success of the tribes.

I downloaded the full technical paper and had a read through it – it’s behind a paywall, so a link to a summary is at the end of this post. Something interesting in the discussion section of the original article is a positing that transgender women who were attracted to men were more common than gay males in ancient times. In other words, gay males who remained male in dress, social and societal appearance were very uncommon until relatively recently in western civilization, and instead transgender women were much more common.

One critical thing to note is when the article speaks of “transgendered men”, they’re referring to those of us we would commonly call transwomen, or male to female transsexuals.

Transgendered males seen as an asset to some ancestral societies.

Gloria Steinem Apologizes; Is it Enough? Una Doesn’t Think So.

Background: Gloria Steinem was one of the pioneers of the 2nd-wave feminist movement, and unfortunately one of the most visible and important critics of transgender persons. She fully supported the vile hate-speech book The Transsexual Empire – the Making of the She-Male and it’s author, Janice Raymond. She is most notorious for her comment about transsexual women, deriding us for needing surgery, claiming we were delusional and self-mutilating, stating mockingly “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” She further mocked Renée Richards when she won her case in the New York Supreme Court, allowing her to play as a woman in the US Open, calling her a “manufactured woman.”

So now in a piece in the Advocate (linked below), Steinem, possibly finally waking up from her 1970’s haze and seeing which way the winds are blowing with 3rd-wave feminism since the late 1990’s, has decided that transgender women are OK in her book. Colour me underwhelmed – Steinem has been more and more lately trying to scramble to resolve her separatist and discriminatory views of the 1970’s with modern times, and in my opinion this is just another attempt by her to spin her legacy in a more positive light.

When she spoke out against my people in the 1970’s, she was one of the most popular and publicized celebrities of the political social movement. So her criticisms and even mockery of transgender people carried a lot of weight. Now she’s a C-grade has-been and her apology, even if sincere, certainly won’t be discussed on the nightly news – it will be echoed in a few blogs like this, and then quickly exit the stage. So paraphrasing former Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan, after having been falsely accused and acquitted, “Which office do (we) go to get (our) reputation back?”

Hey Gloria, I know I’m a nobody from nowhere, but if you want to ever gain a shred of cred among nearly 1 million transgender people you insulted, why don’t we see you out campaigning on our behalf? Why don’t we see you out at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, decrying their transgender discrimination? Why aren’t you in California backing up the recent transgender protections for K-12 students which are under attack by the religious right? Why aren’t you pushing for transgender protection in the workplace and the passage of ENDA?

Do the right thing, Gloria. Show some real penance and honor.

On Working Together Over Time.

Harvard Business School’s First Transgender Student Speaks Out

What’s almost as interesting as this testimonial is the fact that more and more, The Atlantic magazine has been presenting pro-transgender articles.

One thing I like about the article is this statement by Del, the transgender student:

When I met with Del in Cambridge on a crisp fall evening, I could not help but wonder why she has chosen to be open about being trans at all. She is a strikingly beautiful blonde whose history is imperceptible when you look at her. Del agrees that telling her story puts her at a disadvantage: “Even the mechanics of sharing my past are difficult. The only exposure the average person has to transgender issues is from overwhelmingly false media stereotypes. We haven’t had our Will & Grace moment yet, so coming out usually needs to be accompanied by a lot of education.”

That’s what I’m trying to do as well. Be out and open to educate, and help everyone who hasn’t reached the point of being out.

Harvard Business School’s First Transgender Student Speaks Out – Elizabeth Segran – The Atlantic.