Monthly Archives: January 2014

Against Me! Lead Laura Jane Grace Talks ‘Honest’ Transgender Stance

AgainstMeThe punk rock group “Against Me!” is fortunate enough to feature a lead singer, Laura Jane Grace, who happens to be a transgender woman in transition. Formerly known as Tom Gabel, Laura and the band have recently released Transgender Dysphoria Blues, with 10 new songs which capture the early-mid 80’s punk feel, sometimes heading into the 90’s.

The link below contains a very short interview with Ms. Grace, where she gives this message which I think is important:

Grace says it’s important for her to show a trans perspective to fans as well as the media, and hopes that by being visible and transparent, she can help erase the taboos so often associated with the transgender community. Her newfound self-assurance helped her to confront head-on variously themes within her songwriting, such as identity conflict and past feelings of shame.

I’ve listened to their entire new album, and probably the best songs on it are “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” “True Trans Soul Rebel,” “Two Coffins,” and I’m almost ashamed to say the title, “Osama bin Laden as the Crucified Christ.” Hey, it is a punk album after all… I think “True Trans Soul Rebel” is more than a little poignant.

You can hear the entire album at this link, although I’m quite certain it’s not going to last too long since it appears to be a blatant copyright violation.

Against Me! Lead Laura Jane Grace Talks ‘Honest’ Transgender Stance.

Another Transgender Political Candidate – Meet Dana Beyer, Democrat for the Maryland Senate

DanaBeyerI reported a while back on Paula Overby, running to represent Minnesota in the US House or Representatives. In fact, I recall I made a stupid comment about Ms. Overby not smiling in her photos, wanting her to show she was happy, and she called me on the carpet just a little – and rightfully so.

I was just informed of another transgender candidate, Dana Beyer, who is running for the Maryland State Senate. She had her work cut out for her, running against incumbent Senator Richard Madaleno, an openly gay politician who already draws a lot of support from the LGBT community and its allies.

Dana Beyer, Democrat for Maryland Senate.

Petition Started: Classify “Gender Identity Watch” as a Hate Group

terfbingoIn case you’re not familiar with them, Gender Identity Watch (GIW) is a group founded by Maryland attorney Cathy Brennan, who is a spiritual leader in the Trans-exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) movement. In case you’re not familiar with them, they are a fringe hate group which believes transgender women are insane male interlopers who are so desperate to infiltrate the world of women that we practice self-mutilation to do it. Once we infiltrate the world of women, naturally our primary focus turns to peeking under bathroom stalls, stealing jobs from women, and molesting and raping them. Actually, I’ll let Brennan, via Edge, speak for herself:

According to, Brennan claims that no transgender people were killed during the Holocaust because the word didn’t exist at the time. The site also claims that Brennan contacted a transwoman’s personal physician and further reports that Brennan has networked Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative Christian organization, in the Institute’s now debunked claim that a transgender teen was harassing other students at a girl’s restroom in a Colorado school. Pacific Justice Institute’s home page states its goals as “defending religious freedoms, parental rights, and other civil liberties.”

Scrolling through GIW’s homepage reveals posts in which transwomen are referred to as “men pretending to be women.” Lesbian identified transwomen are referred to as “pretendbians.”

Brennan’s issue with the trans community is vague at best. She claims that transwomen are “erasing female identity and histories.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a very fine organization which actively fights discrimination on a variety of fronts, including the courtroom. The article implies they are considering the classification, but there is no actual fact, mainly speculation. I’ll keep an eye on this issue.

Petition Started to Encourage Southern Poverty Law Center to Label ’Gender Identity Watch’ as Hate Group :: EDGE Boston.

Utah Lawmaker Succumbs to Transsexual Toilet Terror; Can the Children Be Saved???

Utah, a state which is not really known for its LGBT acceptance, has numerous schemes to attempt to “double down” on its intolerance. An intolerance which is quite hypocritical, given that a large segment of the population of the other 49 states views Utah as being subjected to a mysterious state cult, featuring a Native American Jesus and magic underwear.

In this case Republican State Representative Mike Kennedy has introduced a bill to force students to only participate in sports and use toilets congruent with the gender marker on their birth certificates. The bill even includes provisions for forcing a child who wishes to participate in sports or use the proper toilet, and who does not have a gender marker on their birth certificate, to endure a physical examination of their genitals.

Uh huh.

Thankfully, it’s possible that the bill will be paused, pending the decision on the invalidation of the state’s anti-SSM amendment.

Utah lawmaker introduces bill to define students’ gender for restroom use – LGBTQ Nation.

Maine’s Highest Court Rules: Transgender Girl Can Use the Girls’ Toilets

Nicole_Maines_from_API first reported that this case was going to court back last June, and a victorious ruling has been handed down!

Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued her school district when they refused to allow Nicole to use the girls’ toilets, instead forcing her to use a teachers’ toilets instead. The court found in her favor, and according to the article it is the first time in the United States that a state supreme court has ruled in favor of a transgender person on a toilet issue.

Great news!

Maine court rules in favor of transgender pupil – ABC5 News Des Moines, IA.

Haters, this is who you hurt – a 92-year-old transgender widow fights for survivor benefits.

Anyone out there who comes across this column and doesn’t like transgender persons, thinks we’re weird, icky, threatening, destroying the fabric of the nation – or worse?

This is who you hurt.

Robina Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman who lost her husband, companion, and love, is being denied survivor benefits by the Social Security Administration. Her marriage was invalidated, and thus this great nation of ours is doing the “right thing” by denying her $500 extra in benefits. Wait, what?

Flying solo: 92-year-old transgender widow fights for survivor benefits – LGBTQ Nation.

January, 2014 -Beyond the Looking Glass with Same-Sex Marriage

First off, a brief apology to my conservative friends who are pro-trans, or even trans themselves. But there’s no better way to summarize the movement and the folks who are behind a continued cavalcade of shenanigans direct squarely at LGB and especially transgender persons. In this case we are on the subject of same-sex marriage (SSM), which impacts nearly all transgender persons, more so since in many states it can be very difficult to determine exactly if one is or isn’t married (for example, in Kansas trans lesbians and trans gays can legally marry cisgender women and men, respectively.) But let’s not talk further about that, and take a cannonball into the crazy end of the pool.

First we have Utah, where the conservative anti-SSM contingent is acting as if all hell had broken loose. I mean what’s next, men taking multiple marital sex slaves wives and keeping blacks out of church? The dear folks of Utah are so traumatized by the recent court ruling that their anti-SSM is discriminatory that the Republican Federal House of Representatives has decided that the dear folk of Utah must be protected from the 1,340 same-sex marriages which were performed in the state before said marriages were halted. The bill has absolutely no chance of being made a law, so it’s somewhat a waste of time.

Next we have Nevada, being sued in court over its anti-SSM laws, which has a Solicitor General making statements such as:

The state’s brief argued that the Nevada law defining marriage as between a man and woman “is legitimate, whether measured under equal protection or due process standards.”

“The interest of the state in defining marriage in this manner is motivated by the state’s desire to protect and perpetuate traditional marriage,” wrote Solicitor General C. Wayne Howle, who also argued that Nevada’s marriage laws are rooted in history predating statehood.

“Even before statehood, the 1861 territorial laws defined marriage as existing between ‘a male and a female,’” the document said. “The same limitation on marriage was codified in 1867 … and is substantially the same today.”

He added, “Nevada’s statutes evince a strong encouragement of marriage in its traditional form. These laws are not based on policy whimsy; they are grounded in policy as deeply rooted as any that exists in Nevada law.

“They define Nevada society.”

That being said, the Nevada Attorney General has serious concerns about the viability of their law, after another recent landmark decision where the 9th US Circuit Court rules that gays and lesbians could not be excluded from jury selection based their sexual orientation. So Nevada at least may be getting ready to “grin and bear” SSM coming to their state.

Now we start to step beyond the looking glass, as an Oklahoma Republican lawmaker seriously proposes ending ALL marriages to avoid allowing SSM in their state. Can you all give me a big “WTF?” From the article:

Turner says it’s an attempt to keep same-sex marriage illegal in Oklahoma while satisfying the U.S. Constitution. Critics are calling it a political stunt while supporters say it’s what Oklahomans want.

While this is crazy, it’s also a political tactic which is called “scorched earth outrage”, and it goes like this.

  1. Something happens you don’t like, such as SSM.
  2. You respond by banning ALL marriages, using misdirection and religious arguments to claim that you’re being forced into this by the evil liberals and Emperor Obama.
  3. The populace will rise up in protest over Emperor Obama’s forcing the goode folke of the Faire Lande of Oklahoma to throw away all their marriages. This outraged populace will hold a Constitutional Convention, overthrow the government, and bring back the hardline Christian theocracy/Taliban state which George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson *really* wanted.

Finally, we move from beyond the looking glass to right here in Kansas, which risks becoming crazy cuckoo land. A proposed bill, which has the tentative support of the Governor, would allow both private businesses AND government workers to REFUSE to provide service to people based on their religious beliefs. From the article:

The measure allows government employees to invoke the rule’s protections in providing a lawful service, though it says the agency must “promptly” provide another worker to do so “if it can be done without undue hardship on the employer.”

It really is just that crazy – you could wait in line at the DMV for an hour, get to the front of the line, and have the desk jockey say “sorry, Jesus says we need to kill the trannies, so I’m not serving you. In fact, this is a Christian DMV, so you can’t be served here. I think there’s someone in Garden City who might help you…it’s just 5 short hours away.”

What’s scary is I really can’t say how it would go. Knowing my fellow Kansans, if this measure was put to a public ballot I could see it easily gathering 60% or more of the popular vote. A somewhat large portion of Kansas is either rich people hiding from all the scary masses behind the walls of their gated communities in self-imposed apartheid – or else small-town folks brainwashed by their religious leaders into believing in an interpretation of the New Testament which is so surreal it belongs in a Fellini film.

Exclusive to Transas City – Part 3 of Our Series on Transgender and Intersex Persons in Sport

Mianne Bagger
Part 3 of my research article on transgender and intersex persons in sports has been posted on Transas City. Covering the post-Richards era to the Stockholm Consensus, this installment covers the treatment of transgender and intersex persons in sport from the 1980’s to 2004. The stories of the athletes and the discrimination they faced should touch us all, and perhaps their perseverance will give us hope at the same time.

Zimbabwe: use the correct toilet, get ‘arrested’ by youth activists and sent to jail.

Ricky NathansonThere’s bit of recreational outrage here in this story from the happy little country of Zimbabwe. Apparently a separatist socialist political party called ZANU PF, most notably known for setting people on fire and torturing them with burning plastic, metal whips, and cricket bats, has apparently decided that LGBT persons threaten the moral fabric of African society. The reason for this is simple – their fanatical devotion to Robert Mugabe, who holds a hardline stance against LGBT persons. As a result, they have as of last year started harassing the marginalized gender and sexual minorities of the country.

In this case a transgender activist, Ricky Natahanson, was in a Bulawayo city hotel when she went to use the toilet. She was spotted and held against her will by a youth leader of the ZANU-PF. According to news reports he not only physically and sexually assaulted her (groping her breasts and genitals), but swore out a complaint to the police.

Ms. Nathanson spent the night in jail before being released in the morning, but later she was forced to flee her home after threats from ZANU-PF members, who were upset at her story making it into international media.

Just a reminder…any time you think people whispering about you at the Olive Garden is the end of the world…consider your sisters and brothers across the world.

ZANU PF youth leader ‘arrests’ transgender activist | SW Radio Africa.

Transphobia, Sloppy Reporting, or Both? The Life and Death of Dr. V

Hopper_BrooklynAn enormous controversy has blown up in the last few days over a story written by Caleb Hannan on a website called Grantland, titled Dr. V’s Magical Putter. The story claims to be a fact-finding hayride into the claims behind a “magical” golf putter and the personal life of its inventor, Essay Anne Vanderbilt (a/k/a “Dr. V.”). Ms. Vanderbilt was a transsexual woman, and of course once Mr. Hannan uncovered that fact, an article which is along the lines of one I would have written for the paper suddenly took a left turn at Albuquerque, and turned into a “poke and laugh at the tranny” piece. For example, from the story:

He was clearly trying to tell me something, which is why he began emphasizing certain words. Every time he said “she” or “her” I could practically see him making air quotes. Finally it hit me. Cliché or not, a chill actually ran up my spine.

“Are you trying to tell me that Essay Anne Vanderbilt was once a man?”

A chill “actually ran up (his) spine.” It makes me wonder what sort of person, deep down, Mr. Hannan is to be so titillated over the discovery that someone he is investigating might be a transsexual woman. They’re his words, I’m certain heavily reviewed and accepted, and they imply either a sexual frisson of being a repressed chaser, or else the sick thrill a blogging sociopath feels when he has an easy target in his sights.

The story is made all the more tragic by the clear desperation and breakdown of Ms. Vanderbilt as she is being harassed by Mr. Hannan, reported almost breathlessly in blow-by-blow exchanges. When we read that Ms. Vanderbilt took her life weeks after being harassed by Mr. Hannan, it’s a sad testimony to the transgender experience that we probably were not surprised at the outcome. Is Mr. Hannan responsible? Or did he merely contribute to the tragedy?

Being in the publishing business, I’ve written more than 500 published articles for actual money, and read 100 times that many. Mr. Hannan’s investigative piece had a chance to be a good article on the pseudoscience of golf fanatics and those who cater to them. In fact, I have had a piece published by the paper on that very subject. But Mr. Hannan’s article wasn’t that – it was character assassination with a science backdrop. Mr. Hannan doesn’t even have the God damned common decency to use the proper gender for pronouns, summing up his story with the following:

What began as a story about a brilliant woman with a new invention had turned into the tale of a troubled man who had invented a new life for himself. Yet the biggest question remained unanswered: Had Dr. V created a great golf club or merely a great story?

Mr. Hannan’s editor Bill Simmons published a pseudo-apology, throwing himself and his editorial staff on the sword in a somewhat disproportionate effort to try to absolve Mr. Hannan. He amusingly refers to the piece as “a well-written feature,” thus setting the stage for what follows. He makes one factual error which indicates he is scrambling to “circle the wagons.”

In the moment, we believed you couldn’t “out” someone who was already dead, especially if she was a public figure.

BZZZZT, sorry, the inventor of a golf club and owner of a tiny golf club company is not a “public figure.” A politician or political candidate is a public figure. Media stars are public figures. Here’s a clue, genius – a public figure is by definition someone who actively courts public attention via exposure through their artistic or critical work, by nature of their employment, or by public service. Ms. Vanderbilt was none of those.

The pseudo-apology is a somewhat rambling piece which I’ve seen before from editors. It’s the equivalent of an “oh shit, let’s write a wall of text to throw people off, and admit we let the writer down, but at the same time stick to our guns for our awesome fact-finding!” The problem is, the transphobia of Mr. Hannan cannot be apologized for by a third party. In fact, this part of his pseudo-apology really tells us what we need to know about Grantland.

To my infinite regret, we never asked anyone knowledgeable enough about transgender issues to help us either (a) improve the piece, or (b) realize that we shouldn’t run it. That’s our mistake — and really, my mistake, since it’s my site. So I want to apologize. I failed.

More importantly, I realized over the weekend that I didn’t know nearly enough about the transgender community – and neither does my staff.

Not sophisticated enough to know about gender policies for transgender persons? Never once thought to run it past a transgender person? There are something like 700,000 of us, and he couldn’t find a single person to ask? He seemingly wasn’t even aware that there was an “out” transsexual woman writing for Grantland? Huh?

The lesson here is to remember that what happened to Ms. Vanderbilt could happen to any transsexual woman. All it takes in today’s media is a hack blogger who hides behind the title “reporter,” an editorial staff asleep at the switch, and a website.

Trans Woman Dares Bible-Quoting Councilman to Stone Her to Death

I admire her courage for standing up and confronting this dingus. It never ceases to stun me how ignorant Christians can be about their own Bible. And how so hypocritical even literalists can be, openly violated the Bible while they dare to try to judge others. Once I had a short conversation with a Biblical literalist, which went like this:

Them: “…and what’s the most disgusting of all is we have these homosexuals spreading Satan’s teachings in our schools! You know the Bible says we should stone them to death, and maybe it’s about time we realized we’re a Christian nation and need to follow Christ’s teachings!”

Me: “Jesus said you were supposed to murder homosexuals?”

Them: “It’s not murder if you’re doing God’s will.”

Me: “OK, two questions. First, are you saying Jesus said you are supposed to kill your fellow humans if they’re gay, and second, why does the most powerful being in the Universe, who created the Universe and everything in it, need to have you as their personal hit man? Are you saying God is so helpless they can’t punish these evildoers themselves?”

Them: “Jesus loves us and wants us to obey his teachings. That’s all you need to know.”

Me: “You haven’t broken any Commandments or teachings in the Bible? How about the ones about never shaving and wearing tassels on your clothing? How about not stealing, something I know you’ve broken?”

Them: “We’re all sinners.”

Me: “So should I punish you? Can I put you to death for violating God’s will?”

Them: “No, because you don’t believe.”

Me: “But I do believe. You’ve just borne false witness. That’s another Commandment.”

Them: “Leave me alone or I’ll kick your ass.”

Me: “Did God just tell you to do that? Otherwise you’ve just threatened to break another Commandment.”

Sobering thought of the day: people like that are allowed to vote.

Trans Woman Dares Bible-Quoting Councilman to Stone Her to Death |

School Board President Wants Charges Against Transgender Teen Dropped

To catch you up on this story: a transgender teen was being bullied by three cisgender girls and fought back against her bullies, resulting in a brawl which was partially captured on a cell phone and went around the net. However, as a result of the fracas, she was the only one who was charged with a crime – misdemeanor battery.

The police claim they have evidence to back up charging only the transgender student, who all admit was being bullied – but not the other students. The school board president, to his credit, says all of the students have made up and there is no reason to charge anyone with a crime. The police, however, seem to feel differently. It’s really difficult not to be biased and second-guess things here without all the evidence.

School Board President Wants Charges Against Transgender Teen Dropped « CBS San Francisco.

Transgender Woman’s Death from Silicone Injections Becomes a Homicide

SyringeThe victim, Brenisha Hall, was one of two who were injected with silicone for cosmetic purposes by the defendant, Larry Bernard. Brenisha. a transgender beauty contestant, went into respiratory failure and entered a coma, dying on New Year’s Day.

So many desperate women have been made ill with chronic disorders, immune reactions, disfiguring and crippling injuries, and even later died as a result of “pumping parties.” And despite more legal access to transgender hormone therapy and surgery, the high cost of these still drives some to the dangerous and lethal practice.

After transgender woman’s death, probe into black-market silicone injections becomes homicide case |

Scandal-Ridden NJ Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Transgender People to Get New Birth Certificates

Republican governor Chris Christie, is apparently shameless even after his aides orchestrated a bridge-closing as a dirty-tricks political payback which resulted in the death of a 91 year old woman, and not even week later it’s alleged he used disaster funds intended for Hurricane Sandy victims to make campaign ads featuring him and his family. So he has apparently decided to double-down on the stupidity.

Christie’s stated reason for denying transgender persons in his state an easier way to get congruent birth certificates was the massive, sweeping identity fraud committed by transpeople – almost of a Biblical nature. And I mean Old Testament here. Christie’s reasons are absolute bullshit of course, and he’s doing no more than following the recent religious conservative line of “transpeople are icky and as soon as it’s convenient, we’re going to do something about them.”


Chris Christie vetoes bill allowing transgender people to get new birth certificates |

New Virginia Governor Signs First Executive Order of his Term, Prohibiting Discrimination Against LGBT State Workers

I’m impressed that Governor McAuliffe made protecting LGB, and especially T state workers his first Executive Order of his term. It’s a much welcomed change from that of his Democratic predecessor, who claimed there was not enough discrimination against LGBT persons to warrant something as drastic as a law. Right…

McAuliffe signs executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBT state workers – LGBTQ Nation.