Monthly Archives: November 2013

Another MTF/FTM Couple Get Engaged after Both Undergo SRS

There have been several of these couples in the news over the last year, but not so many that it’s the start of any sort of trend. I think the roving eye of the news finds matches where both parties cross their gender roles are interesting, and thus highlights their stories.

Mark and Jessica seem very happy in the photos, and I wish them a Thanksgiving best. There are many photos at the link below, several of them as their former gender.

Florida couple get engaged after both undergoing sex change operations | Mail Online.

Rolling Stone – Coy Mathis’ Fight to Change Gender

Coy Mathis made the news quite a bit this summer, and then her story dropped out of the public attention. Rolling Stone magazine is bringing it back to the forefront via a comprehensive and well-done article which was forwarded to me by Attorney Madeline Johnson.

I do question this statistic which was reported:

If the trans movement is the LGBT’s final frontier, then transgender youth represents its farthest outpost. Kids are coming out as trans earlier than ever: A survey of the San Francisco school district found that 1.6 percent of high school students and, incredibly, one percent of middle-school students identified as transgender.

If true, that blows any other survey out of the water, as IIRC the highest percentage reported for transgender youth by any scientific study was about 0.3-0.5%.
The article does a good job of outlining the hatred of religious conservatives towards our existence.

However, any reasonable discussion on the subject has been drowned out by conservative Republicans, who have staked out a position that is reflexively anti-trans. “Is that not the craziest thing you’ve ever heard?” Mike Huckabee asked at October’s right-wing Values Voter Summit, speaking of California’s anti-discrimination-schools law; California Republicans have already targeted its repeal as a top priority. Earlier this year, House Republicans tried to strip the Violence Against Women Act of its protections for transgender women, and Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh introduced a bill that would have made it a crime for trans people to use their preferred bathrooms. Fox News commentators vehemently oppose any accommodation of trans kids in schools, something Bill O’Reilly calls “anarchy and madness.”

Perhaps no one is more outraged, however, than the religious right, of which Focus on the Family reigns as a dominant force. On Focus’ 81-acre Colorado Springs campus, some 600 employees put a chunk of their $90 million annual budget to work creating LGBT intolerance on every front, including fighting “safe-school” anti-bullying initiatives and pushing reparative therapy. Leading Focus’ charge to push people back into the closet is its “gender-issues analyst” Jeff Johnston, himself a proud “ex-gay” – now a married father of three boys – who blames what he calls the “sexual brokenness” of LGBT people on a combination of poor parenting, molestation and original sin. In his newsletters for Focus, Johnston treats trans people in particular with amused pity. “Male and female are categories of existence,” he wrote this year. “It is dehumanizing to categorize individuals by the ever-proliferating alphabet of identities based on sexual attractions or behavior or ‘gender identity’ – LGBBTTQQIAAFPPBDSM – however many letters are added. No. We stand with the truth.”

Don’t ever kid yourself that a large segment of America wouldn’t be quite happy to eliminate us.
It’s also telling reading how the principal of the school which discriminated against Coy just simply didn’t give a shit that he was breaking state law.

As attorney William Kelly Dude would write in the accompanying position paper, while perhaps it seemed acceptable for a harmless six-year-old like Coy to enter the girls’ room, he vividly described what a future infiltrator could look like: “a male high school student with a lower voice, chest hair and with more physically mature sex organs who claims to be transgender and demands to use the girls’ restroom” – a menacing portrait of an impostor that echoed the threat of Focus on the Family’s “Predator” ad. That hairy deviant would soon be Coy herself, as Dude would write the Mathises: “As Coy grows older and his male genitals develop . . . at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls’ restroom.” The decision had come down swiftly: For the protection of the district as a whole, Coy was to be banned from the girls’ restroom.

“You know this is against the law, right?” Kathryn demanded of Principal Crow in his office a couple of days after his phone call. This wasn’t just about finding Coy a toilet. It was about the larger message Coy would be forced to internalize every time she had to relieve herself: that she was abnormal, that there was something so grotesque or unsafe about her that her very presence in a place as delicate as a bathroom was intolerable. And Coy wouldn’t be the only one digesting that attitude; so, too, would her peers.

“There’s nothing I can do,” Crow, a tall, soft-spoken man with dark, slicked-back hair, told Kathryn. “My hands are tied.”

Well too bad, dude, you lost and civil rights won. Deal with it.

Coy Mathis’ Fight to Change Gender | Culture News | Rolling Stone.

The Face of Intolerance: Transgender Students Should be Castrated Before They Can Use the Proper Toilets

Katherine_SvensonThe title summarizes it well, but let me quote from the original article.

During the board’s October meeting, Katherine Svenson sounded the alarm over Massachusetts and California’s recently adapted policies that protect students who identify as a different gender than their biological one. “I just want to emphasize,” she said. “Not in this district. Not until the plumbing’s changed. There would have to be castration in order to pass something like that around here.”

I mean, just wow. People like her see us as less than human, dictating we be essentially neutered. Do you think she would stand for a minute if the tables were turned? And people elected her.

It was noted as well that she made NO comment whatsoever on whether transboys who would use the boy’s toilets would need a hysterectomy…and why should she? She’s another victim of Trans Toilet Terror, which all comes down to the “almighty” penis.

School Board Member: District Won’t Recognize Transgender Students Unless They’re Castrated | ThinkProgress.

Topical Follow-Up: High School Students Wear Skirts to Honor Transgender Teen Set on Fire

SashaSkirtA wonderful show of support for Sasha Fleischman from their fellow high school students – they set up a day to give them support by wearing skirts – boys and girls. Kudos to the school administrators for backing this, as sometimes they seem to be really stuck-in-the-mud “zero tolerance” with dress codes.

There is a video with sound at this link, which will automatically play. It’s worth a quick watch.

Note I’m using the gender-neutral “their” as Sasha prefers to be called “Agender.” Editorially speaking, being agender is still part of the transgender “umbrella.”

High School Students Wear Skirts to Honor “Agender” Teen, Sasha Fleischman, Burned on Bus | NBC Bay Area.

Una Evicierates Defender of the Kid Who Set a Gender Nonconforming Student on Fire in a Hate Crime

Jesus_facepalmI have to be fair, the Edge is trying to give the family and the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt. But I just find the whole thing transparent.

I posted a while ago about this case, where a transgender teen was critically injured when some little shit set fire to her clothing while she slept. As the case rolls on, we are hearing the same sorts of things from the parents and the perpetrator, desperately ducking and weaving like Cassius Clay in his prime to avoid being convicted.

Here’s some choice quotes from the article:

Outside court, Du Bois [attorney for the defense] said, “As far as I can tell,” the incident “was the result of a juvenile prank that went horribly wrong.”

Sure! Because when I was a kid, we set fire to people all the time! Why I remember setting a hobo on fire once; his gin-soaked rags really made a pretty fire…yeesh.

“Members of his family are gay,” said Du Bois. “He doesn’t have a homophobic bone in his body.”

Ah, the old “but…some of my best friends are black!” defense.

Du Bois said one of Thomas’s family members who has come to Thomas’s court hearings is gay. That person, along with Thomas’s mother and other family members, have declined to speak with reporters, although one said Friday, “Please pray.”

This is known as the “can’t we all just get along?” tactic, with a sprinkling of the “rally ’round Jesus” spin.

Du Bois said Thomas has written “sincere, heartfelt apologies” and expressed sympathy and empathy with Fleischman. Thomas “feels absolutely horrible about this,” said Du Bois, who added that Thomas’s family is “upset that he’d even consider this type of a prank.”

This one is hard to call, folks. It’s either the “boys will be boys” defense, or the “Why can’t you accept an apology?” tactic. Yeah…what it really sounds like to me is “I’m sorry I got caught.” Add to this the testimony that the family of the victim has not received any of these alleged written apologies…

He said he hasn’t seen the video of the incident, but Thomas used a lighter, thinking “it was just going to be a flame and he’d pat it out.” Du Bois said he didn’t know whether Thomas had tried to put out the fire.

Sure he was going to put it out. Then what? He was going to take his victim out on the town shopping for new clothes, maybe a makeover and mani-pedi? Pull the other one; it has bells on it.

’Gender Nonconforming’ Student, Burned in ’Prank,’ Receives Support :: EDGE Ft. Lauderdale.

Connecticut Transgender Police Officer Files Harassment Complaint Against Her Department

Another transgender employment tragedy? Mostly, but what is positive is that her department at least the Mayor has come right out with something positive to say.

Mayor Daniel Drew said he and Police Chief William McKenna have not stopped Quaranta from returning to work.

“Officer Quaranta is a good officer with a good record,” Drew said. “She is welcome to come back at any time.”

While it sounds at first like the dispute is over minor things, such as hair length and nail polish, later we learn:

Drew said the city has substantiated one of Quaranta’s claims of discrimination, and has suspended Sgt. Nicholas Baboolal for 10 days because of a comment he made in March. An internal affairs investigation substantiated a report that Baboolal referred to Quaranta as a “cave man.”

Baboolal received notification of his suspension on Friday. Quaranta said Baboolal has apologized to her many times, and although she was extremely upset by the comment at first, she has forgiven him.

“Cave man?” Now that’s a new one.

Transgender Police Officer Files Harassment Complaint Against Middletown Department –

Essay: Transmisogyny in the LGB Community

I’ll be blunt, this rant by Parker Marie Molloy is not the best way to express this. But I am calling it out to highlight a slowly growing split between the transgender community and the LGB community which I’ve been seeing over the last several year. But this is also focusing on another growing split – between those who call themselves transgender and those who call themselves transsexual.

The essay is interesting in calling out several cases in the entertainment and media circles where transgender persons have had the short end of the stick from the LGB community. Speaking from a personal level, I still to this day find it interesting that the ONLY cases where I’ve received hateful words from someone for being a transsexual woman were two cases where gay men made fun of me, and one where a lesbian woman did. I’ve still not yet received hate speech from a cisgender straight person in public (online is an entirely different matter, however).

Even if you accept that drag queens are in the transgender community (something very much in debate), and even if you accept that they unfortunately cling to the word “tranny” as part of their lingo, cisgender people can’t say it. It’s like how African Americans used to say several years back: “Chris Rock can call us ‘niggers’; you all can’t.” And they are half-right, IMO – the word shouldn’t be used in other than an academic or historical context, and outside of that it shouldn’t be used in any other context. When has “taking back a word” really worked all that well?

(And please, don’t anyone even think of getting after me for using the word nigger in an academic context. Calling it “the n-word” and treating it like “Voldemort” is silly and ignorant and actually insulting to African American people, as it implies that it’s a mysterious and terrifying thing which will cause African Americans to, I don’t know, burst into flame or something upon hearing it.)


Gay Dudes, Can You Just Not? | Park That Car.

The Straight Dope: Was Pink Originally the Color for Boys and Blue for Girls?

Yours truly helped do the research for this column for the Straight Dope – in fact I was the person who interviewed Professor Paoletti who is quoted in the column. I thought given the other article I posted tonight, this would be an interesting read. But before I direct you to it, let me tell you a story.

A very long time ago, I used only Equal, in the blue packet, to sweeten my drinks – coffee, tea, iced tea, etc. One day I was running really low on Equal, and decided to use up some old Sweet n’ Low which was in the cupboard. It tasted strange, and so I thought “what if I just mix the two together – use one Equal packet and one Sweet n’ Low packet? So I did, and found a very strange result – having the two packets mixed tasted better than either of them.

Fast forward a few years, and one day I was out with a client at dinner, and this client was addicted to iced tea, and he always used two Equal packets. I was having iced tea as well, and the client noted and asked why I always used “one pink and one blue packet.” After telling them it tasted better, he tentatively tried it in his iced tea, and he was stunned at the improvement in taste.

The next day we were out to dinner again, and I noticed he was back to his routine of two Equal packets and no Sweet n’ Low. So I asked him, “the taste didn’t work out for you?” He replied “no, it tastes better that way. It’s just…you know…if you start using the pink packets, then people will…you know…look at you funny.”

So I replied, intelligently, “Bwahuh?” And he said “I know it doesn’t matter, but people pay attention…you know…using the pink packets when you’re a guy just isn’t right.

So then I replied “well, I’ve always used the pink and blue packets, mixing them evenly. What does that say about me?”

And he looked at me and said simply “ummm…never mind.”

Anyhow, take a gander at the article below and note some of the strange history of pink and blue and gender.

The Straight Dope: Was pink originally the color for boys and blue for girls?.

Obsessing Over Cultural Gender Norms: What’s the Problem if Girls Act Masculine?

I like this article, which gives many concrete examples as well as expounding thoughtfully on “the gender trap” which most of Western civilization has bought into lock, stock, and barrel.

From the article:

Gendering kids starts immediately after birth, when we wrap a baby in a pink blanket or a blue one. Babies have no idea what they’re even wearing and just need to be kept warm. It’s parents who buy into the binary, and the rest of us who are thoroughly uncomfortable when they don’t. There’s the yellow aisle of gender-neutral toys and apparel, but show up to a baby shower with a pink onesie for a male baby and see what kind of looks you get…

While gender identity is a real thing, the trappings we put onto gender – the colors, the clothes, the assumed preferences – are all cultural, not natural. There are certainly behavioral patterns that are influenced by hormones and body chemistry, but we don’t know exactly what, or to what extent. We can take educated guesses, but we’ve never lived in a world without cultural constructs around gender, so pinpointing “X personality characteristic is male” becomes impossible.

(emphasis added)

Obsessing over cultural gender norms: What’s the problem if girls act masculine? | The Raw Story.

Carmen Carrera Update on Her Quest to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel

I posted a while ago about Carmen Carrera and her quest to be a Victoria;s Secret “Angel.” This recent update rehashes a lot of the old information, but also notes that she has garnered 42,000 supporters on a petition, and 200,000 Facebook likes. Still, I really think that Victoria’s Secret, which sells primarily to conservative white women from ages 30-50, may not feel that including our demographic is worth it to them.

Carmen Carrera Wants to Be First Trans “Angel” :: EDGE on the Net.

Touching Story – European Parliament Member Comes Out as Transgender, Rape Survivor

Nikki Sinclaire, who represents a region of the U.K. in the European Parliament, has just come out as transgender and also a rape survivor. She has an autobiography which will be published next Monday, and the U.K. tabloid The Sun carried an extensive interview with her.

This story was personally touching for me, in that there is a strong similarity to mine. Sinclaire identifies as lesbian, in a long-term relationship with a woman, after she was raped in 1999 (she also experimented sexually with women before the attack.) That’s really not too far off from how my own sexuality evolved, so I can’t wait to read her autobiography.

via European Parliament Member Comes Out as Transgender, Rape Survivor |

The Growing Importance of Trans Remembrance

In this editorial Dana Beyer talks about how Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) has rapidly gained popularity and acceptance across the nation. For example – would you have imagined, on this 15th TDOR, that the Secretary of State would make a statement supporting transgender persons?

Our TDOR event in Kansas City was larger this year than last, despite bitterly cold weather, and was very well-done, featuring live music from local musicians and a several well-done speeches. When I went to my first TDOR last year, I had barely dipped my toes in the community. I was only in transition for 4 months and only knew a few other transpersons. Even though I knew I was part of this new and vibrant community, I still felt like an outsider.

This time I knew half the crowd there, and knew the stories of many of the women – their triumphs and tragedies. I felt safe and like I belonged, like there was a connection, a thin net of silver cords connecting me to every person at the gathering, and it was a wonderful and sad feeling at the same time.

The Growing Importance of Trans Remembrance | Dana Beyer.

The Conservative Media’s Responsibility For Transphobic Violence

I have several very conservative friends and it pains me to keep calling out the failings of conservative politicians, media, and followers. But the facts are the majority of conservative pundits and news wonks would love to see transgender people put into internment camps, or worse.

This article from MediaMatters gives a few notable examples, but really I post about these things all the time, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. I will say something which some may find heretical, which is that Chelsea Manning certainly did not help transgender credibility in the media.

Thanks to Jennifer Aryn Wiggins for pointing me to this article.

The Conservative Media’s Responsibility For Transphobic Violence | Blog | Media Matters for America.

Why Transgender Inclusion Is Good for Business

My dear friend Madeline pointed me to this article, which is a nicely positive one about transgender inclusion. It includes two detailed case histories of successful transitions on the job, which are inspiring to me and should be to all of us. This is a little long, but if you want to feel good and read about some success stories, give it a try.

Why Transgender Inclusion Is Good for Business |

Editorial: CBS Program Mike and Molly Says ‘F*ck You’ to the LGBT Community

I must confess I disliked the show from the first few episodes which I saw, and pretty much had chalked it up to being just a generic “gotta fill in 30 minutes with something sitcom.” From the editorial which is linked below, by Sue Kerr, it appears that the show is not only using negative transgender humor, it’s rolling in it like a pig in muck.

One for the “boycott” list.

(Thanks to California correspondent Devin for the pointer).

CBS Program Mike and Molly Says ‘F*ck You’ to the LGBT Community | Sue Kerr.