Saturday, 25 April 2009

Today's Battles

More like this week's - I've had a lot on.

There's the battle for Human Rights for TS people in Massachusetts - where Gays have had those rights for ages. And the same battle in New Hampshire - where again, Gays have had those rights for ages. A Battle for human rights for gays and the transgendered in Pennsylvania. It goes on and on.

Transgender bathroom bill: Disaster for schools :
As a former superintendent of the Greater Fall River Vocational School District and director of Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School and public high school principal in another state, I oppose House Bill 1728, a bill intended to protect transgender rights, because of its impact on public schools.
Of course he didn't bother checking with the school boards of any other school in areas already with such laws. Because the impact on them has been zero.

Still a long way to go to learn tolerance. A sympathetic article this time.
Recent news of Mike Costello's support for the so called "Bathroom bill" and the public outcry that followed shows just what a long way our community still has to go, to learn and practice tolerance. Our fear of anybody who doesn't fit what our culture determines as "normal" is the main cause of this public outcry. We can dress it up as "fear for the safety of our children in public bathrooms," but this is truly about our own fear of those who are different and whom we don't understand. I draw this conclusion not from being transgender, but from teaching gender studies and medical anthropology at the college level.
Yes, an article by someone who actually knows something about the issue. They exist. Then there are people who say things like this :
In this particular case, the announcement of the proposition of a new or redesigned law designed to serve a distinct few (less than 1.8 percent of the world population) is an attempt to 'right' nature’s laws and is in complete disregard to the religious and basic human societal beliefs of the voters of this particular region.
It's not often that explicit (if incoherent) calls are made for our extermination though as being "against natural law".
A small percentage of mishaps are recorded in the history of the world. Most do not survive in the wild and caring custodians end this condition at birth to avoid the inevitable process that we as “Christians” and who value the life of others no matter the pain and suffering that is caused by all involved are too cowardice to destroy such and clear the way for what you state is ‘normal’ when it is not.
Yes, we should be quietly killed at birth to stop others from having to endure the guilt from killing us later. Because he's a "Family Man" who "Values Life".

Moving right along...

To the Scanton Times-Tribune in Pennsylvania.
HB 300 would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to prevent discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender population in the workplace, and Mr. Murphy expresses adamant opposition to this change.

The arguments contained in the letter are antiquated, nonsensical, and even downright offensive. It claims the passage of the bill “would be opening a ‘“Pandora’s Box’ so to speak” with the eventual protection of “every group under the sun.” It’s the old slippery slope argument used countless times in the past to justify discrimination.

In other words, if we now protect homosexuals, what deviant and fringe groups will get protections next? This type of thinking is bigotry at its worst, especially considering the LGBT community positively contributes to every sector of the workforce.

The letter also proclaims such expansion of the Human Relations Act “presents potential dangers to the general public” with no further explanation. This is nothing more than the typical scare tactic of being overly dramatic yet very vague at the same time.

Nearly two dozen states have amended their state civil rights laws to protect against this type of discrimination. More than a dozen municipalities in Pennsylvania have already prohibited such discrimination. Does Mr. Murphy not know the city of Scranton, some of which he represents, is one of those municipalities?
We get a lot of that.

Defending Angie's good name at the Colorado Independent :
DREAMS1939
I DISARGREE WITH THAT VERDICT I THINK HE SHOULD GET RELEASED OR CHARGED WITH MAN SLAUGHTER BECAUSE ANGIE SHOULD OF TOLD ALLEN STRAIGHT OUT THAT SHE WAS A MAN. BECAUSE IN REALITY WHO IS GONNA WANT TO SLEEP WITH A GIRL WHO STILL HAS A PENNIS AND DOESNT LET NO ONE KNOW I THINK ITS REALLY WRONG.
The usual mis=spelled incoherent rantings, nothing worth spending much time on. I replied simply :
You didn't see the trial did you? Didn't follow it,
Angie WAS upfront. Andrade knew days before the death, possibly longer. The prosecution proved that.

Back to the Newburyport News, and Rights of women, children ignored:
So ... if the lawmakers have their way, their pandering to the alternative lifestyles will soon result in men in the ladies' restrooms across this state. After all, transgenders must have their rights!
...
This issue, and all other "alternative lifestyle" issues, are constantly being muddied by those who are deliberately trying to confuse us by comparing their "plight" with racial prejudice. Apples and oranges. A person's color is not sinful, but some lifestyle choices are....
In the comments, we have to convince someone that Intersex conditions exist. I really wish high schools would cover this, even superficially, as that would get rid of the ignorance that fuels so much of the discomfort and even hatred.

To the Andover Townsman and Support of 'Bathroom bill' for transgendered an outrage :
As a constituent of Sen. Susan Tucker, D-Andover, I am appalled at her passionate support of the "Transgender Bill" - otherwise known as the "Bathroom Bill." This bill is a travesty of our religious mores and an outrage against every decent man, woman and child in the Commonwealth.

Tucker's attempt to disguise the true intent of this bill as protection for the civil rights of the transgendered is not honest and is an insult to our intelligence...
...
In recent months, we constituents in the Commonwealth have been outraged by criminal behavior and custom-tailored pension patronage laws. Now it seems that we have a new indignation to bear from Sen. Tucker which in essence will result in the corruption of and predatory use of our children.
It never seems to end. The stupid, it burns!

Another defence of Angie at MyFox Dallas/Ft Worth:
If Mr. Zapata had been truthful about his sexual orientation and told Mr. Andrade he was a man -- he would still be alive today.

This blog is not about a heterosexual being punished for a hate crime.

It is about the lies and deceit which must come with transgenderism can very likelly cost that person their life.
My reply:
Actually, the prosecution proved that Angie was NOT deceitful. That she told everyone about her situation. It was proven the killer knew at least 36 hours before the murder, and possibly long before that.

For some, it's not enough that trans women be killed. They must be killed and then slandered after their death, for being "deceitful".

This is the first time in 30 years that a pre-meditated murder of a trans woman - and there have been nearly a thousand - has been deemed to be murder in the first degree. The last case before this, the victim was stabbed 24 times, and the body dumped in a river. The murderer confessed, and was found guilty of ATTEMPTED manslaughter, because his victim might not have been transgendered.

The last time a murderer of a trans woman was found guilty of Murder One was in 1977.
Once More into the breach...

The New Mexico Independant, and Hate, sexuality and gender shouldn’t mix so easily. But it seems that some think that "God is in the mix", so to speak :
Darksilverstreak
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Sadly the Bible does say to kill gay men...at least "gay" in the sense of a man sleeping with another man.
There was some rebuttal here, about "the things that you're liable, to read in the bible, they ain't necessarily so". And some counter-rebuttal.
new_mexican
So who gets to say what in the bible is ok? Who? The bible says what it says and Christians are bound to follow it. It is the word of GOD,,,,,,
My reply :
Hope you don't eat shellfish. That's an abomination. (Leviticus 11:9-12, Deuteronomy 14:9-10)
Oh yes, and so is wearing clothing made of blended fibres, like polyester-cotton. (Leviticus 19:9)
And if your kids have ever mouthed off at you, you must kill them, just like you do gays. (Leviticus 20:9)
More from the Fundies over at the Patriot-Ledger, Keep the laws in line with the word of God. This one's so good, I have to quote it in full.
As an anti-discrimination measure, those refusing to acknowledge their true gender, as God created them, hate God.

He said that those who are not for Him, are against Him.

Supporters of the bill distort facts.

They seek to identify those who oppose the bill as the ones committing hate crimes.

In their confusion, they confuse legislators into believing that their rights are being denied.

It’s not hateful to desire to keep the laws of this country in line with the word of God upon whom this country was established.

The Bible is still used by our judicial system for the swearing of truth because it contains absolute truth.

Unfortunately, truth is being exchanged for a lie when despicable laws are enacted.

Gay marriage, abortion and now the attempt for a transgender law result in dire consequences.

The choice is actually a spiritual one – deny God and follow the enemy of our soul and nation, or choose to keep God’s unchanging laws.

Politicians are either bowing to the pressure of those with a liberal agenda orchestrated by Satan, or bowing to God who created them, male or female, not either/or.

MARY GEYER
You know, it's at about here that I start feeling picked on. Just a subtle impression, mind you, nothing definite. My reply, also in full, and in terms these people might just possibly understand.
I'm a fervent supporter of free speech. The way to answer bad arguments is with better ones. The way to discover the extent of hatred, bigotry and malice is not to suppress such speech, but to allow it to be uttered unhindered, and then to answer pointing out what it is wrong with it.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. No-one is entitled to their own facts though. Case in point : 'Also, you cannot deny natural law. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. '

Yes, well, what about those born Intersexed? With bodies neither 100% male nor 100% female? What about those born looking like baby girls who then change later in life, and can even become fathers? There'd be close on 10,000 men in the USA who were 'born female' but have one or another unusual gene sequence that causes this. See: 'Gender change in 46,XY persons with 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency' by Cohen-Ketternis

The evidence we have is that transsexuals are Intersexed, with cross-gendered neurology - and often other parts of their anatomy too. They make look mostly male, but are actually biologically female, or the reverse.

See the forthcoming seminar at the American Psychiatric Association:
S10. The Neurobiological Evidence for Transgenderism
1. Brain Gender Identity Sidney W. Ecker, M.D.
2. Transsexuality as an Intersex Condition Milton Diamond, Ph.D

The Bible is not so good as a science textbook. Rain doesn't come when windows in the beaten metal sheld over the earth keeping the waters above open. There are no storehouses of snow and hail. But one thing they did get right. Every primitive nomadic herding culture knows about Intersex conditions, they see them in their herds of animals.

See Matthew 19:12 'For there are eunuchs born of their mothers womb..' - so in this case, 'eunuch' doesn't mean 'someone castrated after birth', but 'someone born Intersexed'.

Isaiah 56:4-5 promises Intersexed people a special reward in heaven for the problems the bigoted and ignorant, the spiteful and malicious give them here on Earth.

Mary Geyer is bearing false witness. That is, she has uttered a falsehood in a legal context with the intent of damaging someone. Not only do her words contradict the facts, they also contradict the Bible.
Does she hate God? No, I think she's actually trying to do her best. But she's been blinded by her fear of the strange, the different.

When I'm ever in doubt, I always go back to basics. There are 2 basic commandments that all the others hang off, and if you find yourself violating either of them, you're doing things wrong and misinterpreting what the rules mean.

The 2 basic commandments are: Love God; Be Kind.

See Matthew 22 etc etc
I'm having some problems thinking kind thoughts about some of these people though. Not Mary G, but the guy who wants to exterminate me and my son.

We don't always win these battles. Here's one where we've suffered a significant defeat. N.H. Senate panel rejects transgender bill. And some of the comments continue the line of calling for extermination.
Liz54 wrote:
These people are freaks of nature and shouldn't be given any special rights and privileges. Thank God someone has the sense to speak up. As the ex-wife of such a freak, I'd like to see these people banned from the gene pool also. God or a higher power made you what you were born as, now live with it or you'll have freaks like "Michelle Kosilek" try to get the taxpayers to pick up the tab for "her" sex change. At least we no longer have that freak Sharpe around in Mass.
My reply :
User Image
ZoeBrain wrote:
A previous commenter wrote:
"I'd like to see these people banned from the gene pool also."

Given such public calls for our extermination, it would be diffioult to argue that we don't have just a teeny little problem with Human Rights here. And that the law prohibiting the persecution of other groups that have had similar problems shouldn't be widened.

It's the many who argue that these "Freaks" shouldn't be give equal rights that are the best arguments for such legislative action.
I have to keep that in mind. "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." Doesn't stop it from hurting in the meantime though. Yes, the more they rant and rave, the more sane and sensible we appear. But the constant drip drip drip of spiteful malice can't help but take it's toll. There's just so farnarckling much of it.

To the New Hampshire Union Ledger, and an article that treats us as fully human : Discrimination against the transgendered is wrong. From the comments though, the vast majority disagree with that thesis.
I am a liberal Nader voter, but I don't mind drawing a line at, "transgendered" as not a type of person at all. This is just a twisted and mistaken leniency where some control and limitation would be more appropriate and healthy for all, including the person in question.

Surgery for the purpose of furthering "transgendered" living should be absolutely illegal as a serious felony.
So often it's not a matter of Left vs Right, just some people who think we're too discomforting to exist. So they try to make sure we don't. By legislation if they can, and by other means if they can't. We're not "people" at all to them.

But we can speak out. As here, Transgendered woman testifies on 'bathroom bill' :
The state's Commission for Human Rights cannot pursue cases on behalf of transgendered individuals because that group isn't included in discrimination laws, according to commission Executive Director Joni Esperian, who testified in support of the bill.

"We have no basis to offer them protection," she said.

Many transgendered individuals, like Sarah Blanchette, of Somersworth, testified they were ridiculed, and — as in Blanchette's case — fired when they revealed their status to their employers. The way the laws are written, some said they were unable to pursue lawsuits.
...
Fuller Clark blasted those who "frivolously" nicknamed HB 415 "the bathroom bill." Republican lawmakers have argued the bill would allow a person of either gender to use any bathroom they please and lead to unsafe scenarios, like a male sex offender standing in a women's bathroom as long as he pleases.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Fuller Clark testified.

She emphasized criminal laws like disorderly conduct are already in place to prosecute inappropriate bathroom behavior.

Lisa Mottet, a civil rights attorney who specializes in transgender issues, said illegal bathroom behavior "would remain illegal" if the bill is passed.

Fuller Clark said 13 states and about 100 municipalities have anti-discrimination transgender laws in place. She presented letters from human rights commissions in Colorado, Washington, and Iowa that said there have been no reported instances of bathroom misconduct in those states.

Pointing to those other states with transgender laws, Mottet said: "New Hampshire isn't breaking new ground here."

Testifying in opposition to the bill, Rep. Fran Wendelboe, D-New Hampton, said it would lead to "unintended consequences." Those with "mischief at heart" who use bathrooms and locker rooms inappropriately would get some "cover" if the bill is passed, she said.

Somersworth resident Muriel Ring, the mother of a transgendered daughter, called the focus on bathrooms "ridiculous."

"It's not about the bathroom. It's about finding a place to live," Ring testified.

Her daughter, born Ayshe, began living as a man after college. Now named Luke, he recently moved to San Francisco, Calif., because there is a more welcoming transgender community there, Ring said.

"I want our state to protect him as it does my other two children," she testified.

Blanchette, the second Somersworth resident who testified, said she was fired from her informational technology job in 2004 after she told management she would be living as a woman.

"I had been a good person. A good employee. But because I was different, they were allowed to get rid of me," said Blanchette, 57, who underwent a surgical procedure when she transitioned from a man to a woman.
Against the lies, the smears, the calls for our extermination, all we have is our personal testimonies. And our existence. Sometimes, as with the NH Senate committee, that's not enough. They don't listen. From the previous story on the rejection:
During the committee's deliberations, Senator Robert Letourneau, Republican of Derry, said the bill was too broad and could have unintended consequences.

Other committee members said the state's Human Rights Commission should be able to handle complaints filed by transgender individuals.
Well obviously they should, but they can't. The Commission's Executive Director said as much, explicitly. It just didn't register to the members of the committee that to many people, and to the law, we're not Human and are not entitled to Human Rights.

13 comments:

Julie Curtis said...

Jeeeesus Zoe,

How in heck do you keep up with this stuff?

And keep on keeping up?

I read half of this stuff and I wanna throw up (sometimes I want to go hide under the duvet)

whatever

However you manage it ... please ... please ... keep on doing what you do

Julie

Zoe Brain said...

Will do.

I allow myself the occasional breaking down into tears though. I'm not Supergirl, however much I try to be.

No-one can take this constant, unrelenting, drip-drip-drip of malice without being affected by it.

But a good, solid cry can rid me of the burden of their poisonous hatred, and give me the strength to sally forth once more.

Now I better get back to my PhD work.

Georgie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph said...

When making an argument, you should look around you. When you defend the existence of intersexed people, you are, from the point of view of a most conservatives, standing right next to people saying "Nuclear power killed my poodle." and not far away from people claiming that gun control can lessen crime or divorce is completely harmless. The more confident you sound, the more they think you're about to start marching in a demonstration.

Bad hair days said...

@Georgie
Your questionen is equally formulated to "when did you stop beating your wife?".
intersex condition do not always root in a different chromosomal setup.
You may read this statement from Curtis Hinkle from the Orginazation Intersexualite Internationale (OII)
http://www.intersexualite.org/Homochromosexuality.html

Nicole said...

Ditto to what Julie wrote Zoe!

I’m interested in what you’ve said about how you cope with responding to this drivel time and again. I’ve been going through a rather bad patch lately and I’m kind of blaming it on reading so much uninformed bigotry that it’s been making me depressed. But I’m glad I’ve kept reading and like Julie I’ve made it a fair way through the comment sections that you’ve linked to today.

I also think it’s helping. See Zoe, you are so articulate in the way you form your responses to these people, I know that like you I’m more intelligent in this area than they are, I may not be able to express myself quite as you do, nor know exactly where to find the references from which you prove your case, but we are all more intelligent than these people about this subject if not more.

But having to go about our lives in a world where these people’s attitudes are more common than we’d like does negatively affect us even though we know that we know the truth. It’s hard to keep our self-confidence up all the time by reminding ourselves that we know more about this than them.

Recently I’ve decided to take more of an interest in how these people form their arguments, why they hold the beliefs they do and where it all stems from and I believe that is why I was able to read so much today without losing the plot. Slowly but surely I’m piecing together how bigotry conservatism, religion and heteronormativity all work and are all intertwined and it’s helping me to get on top of my depression and social phobia.

It’s also really tough when your family is bigoted or just plain uninformed, they don’t want to think about things or question long-standing beliefs and they tell me they don’t want to, yet they still want me in their lives. That is the toughest thing in my opinion. But I guess those who’s families in total dumped them up front would say differently.

Ahhh bigotry . . .

Lloyd Flack said...

Zoe, what about the Brandon Teena case? One of the murderers was sentenced to death and I believe both were convicted of first degree murder.

Yes, they killed others as well but he appears to have been the primary intended victim.

When I posted the claim that this was the first first degree murder conviction of a transsexual this case was pointed out. Embarassing.

Lloyd Flack said...

I Checked a little further on the Brandon Teena case. The convictions for the other two murders were second degree murder. The first degree murder convictions were for Teena's murder.

Zoe Brain said...

The last time a murderer of a trans womanBrandon was a Trans man.

Lloyd Flack said...

But people will say that it doesn't matter. It was still the murder of a transsexual and similar prejudices are involved. And hence just looking at the crimes against one sex is misleading. This can and does undermine credibility.

L said...

Found your blog after reading a question by you on the CA forums. I'm glad I got to know your story, as I learned a lot and it definitely changed my views on things, so keep up the blogging! I may not have been one of those haters but I always thought "transexual" was just a confused person. I certainly didn't understand the reality of cases that go beyond the mere psychological issues of some.

If only people knew about this. Many people blame the Church for creating bigots but it's a shame that many of her followers don't understand things in the proper context and in their close-mindedness fear transexuals. In our attempts to get rid of the worlds evils, we forget about charity and commit sin ourselves through things like hatred or indifference.

With you, I see the potential for a strong witness and hopefully a chance to someday bring this knowledge to the Church to help protect people in these situations. Just like John Paul II called for respect for homosexuals to quell such hatred, perhaps your case and your knowledge could eventually lead to something similar.

God Bless you and your family as well as all people who are victims of hatred. You're in my prayers.

-L

Leah said...

Lloyd Flack what is to be gained by denying the horrendous treatment we recieve from society? Why do you seek to minimize our plight? Must be nice to be on the top of the mountain, being a white male that is. You are clueless as to what others experience.

Leah

Lloyd Flack said...

Help, help, I'm being savaged by by cliches and slogans. Not sorry, you deserve a little mockery.

I was explaining on another site why Zoe had left after an argument. I quoted some information from here. I misread it slightly as transsexuals rather than transwomen. As result what I said got shot down. Did I make a slip? Yes. I read what I expected to read. I did not expect Zoe to post a figure for transwomen rather than transsexuals as a whole. Did she make a mistake by doing that? Yes. It gives the appearance of cherry picking data even when it is not really misleading. You should not hand easy points to opponents in a dispute, it undermines your credibility. You can't afford this.