Thursday, 5 November 2009

Today's Battles

Again, more like this week's.

At the Belfast Post, quite a piece of work by one Aaron Tinney:
Meet the TRANSSEXUAL rape counsellor who saw vulnerable victims while wearing HIGH HEELS, LEGGINGS and LIPSTICK. Burly Keira McCormack, 47 — who used to be a quantity surveyor known as Kevin — was employed at the Nexus Institute in Belfast from 2005 to May this year.
The CAPITALS!!! are his.

My comment didn't make it through moderation. Others did though. Almost universally condemning the article.
This is the most scurrilous and disgraceful piece of transphobic reporting I have read in a long while. It totally breaches the PCC Code of practice when referring to transsexual people.
Keira is actually an extremely good counsillor, and really helped me after my rape experience, her manner and approach were always very professional.
This is an awesomely bigoted piece of writing. Really, really staggering. Ill informed, prejudiced, prurient, insulting, really jaw dropping. What century are you living in? What planet are you livingon that you think it is OK to write with such ignorant hate?
You know nothing of the history of this person, their qualifications, their abilities, who they have helped, why they were employed. Your vile assumptions are truly breathtaking.
Such comments would have been the exception, rather than the norm, just a few years ago. We're making progress.

From 365gay:
With Lindsay Lohan and Ellen and Rosie it’s starting to feel like becoming a lesbian isn’t quite as weird and rare as it used to be. But for an entirely different part of the LGBT community, the struggle is still in its early stages.

When I started dating women, it was far less controversial and scary to come out. The older lesbians I meet share their war stories and the histories I read make it clear to me how difficult the process could be, but it wasn’t part of my experience. Not to say things are perfect, but younger gay women in large cities – especially on the east coast – have to admit, things are a lot easier.

But, my generation also has seen a new visibility for the transgendered community. And that process – gaining access to hormone treatments, deciding on surgery or more than one surgery, coming out to parents and friends, navigating relationships when genders change – is one that is still very controversial and scary.

And there sure aren’t a lot of role models out there.
That's at least partly because like Lynette Nusbacher, if they're in a high-profile Television job, narrating military history, should they transition then their services areb "no longer required".

From my comment, when some homophobic trans individual berated the GLB(t) cause for being distinctly unhelpful, in the main, to trans people:
I’m homophobic too, just not to the same extent. I had no connection with the GLBT community until I transitioned, and have had precious little since then. I’m straight, and cisgendered. Boringly binary and conventional in everything but my body.

Three differences from her view – the first is that while it’s unfortunate that neither my partner nor I are lesbian, she didn’t abandon me, nor I her. Neither of us are attracted to each other, nor other women, we’re both straight. But love each other just as much as the day we married. Otherwise I’m one of the right-wing “secondaries” she despises.

The second difference is that having been dragooned into a “GLBT” camp against my will, I consider this a blessing, despite my homophobia. I’ve met so many good, courageous people who I never would have met otherwise. Yes, there’s the transphobic gays and lesbians like Julie Bindel, but there’s just as much homophobia in trans circles too, as exemplified by MelissaG. Just as some gays get riled by people who assume they’re “breeders”, so she gets riled by people who assume she’s gay, when she’s a straight female. Given HRC’s betrayal of trans people last year over ENDA, I can’t blame her overmuch, despite disagreeing strongly. The fact is, that as seen in New Hampshire recently, where Trans people were denied the rights that gays have had for a decade on the same day that the senate approved gay marriage, we’re often expended to further a gay-only agenda. Traded off for the greater good.

The third difference is that I see my homophobia as a personal failing to be overcome, not embraced.

You know, my partner and I pretend to be a standard lesbian couple in public? We’re closeted in that regard. Think of what that implies when it comes to how trans people are treated.

Ironically, technically I’m not even trans, but intersexed. I used to look male. I now look female. But I’m a protandrous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodite, one of the few humans who get a “natural sex change”. Not that it’s complete in most cases, some degree of medical intervention is usually required to clean up the ambiguous mess that can result.

If you think that trans people are marginalised, othered, and rendered invisible, just see how IS people are treated
Talking about Julie Bindel, her article in Standpoint is a monument to vitriolic transophobia. Some higlights :
Last year, I was nominated for the Stonewall Journalist of the Year award. This seemed fair enough since I write prolifically about sexuality and sexual identity. But I guessed that Stonewall would not dare give me the prize, because a powerful lobby affiliated with the lesbian and gay communities had been hounding me for five years. Six weeks later I, along with a police escort, walked past a huge demonstration of transsexuals and their supporters, shouting "Bindel the Bigot". Despite campaigning against gender discrimination, rape, child abuse and domestic violence for 30 years, I have been labelled a bigot because of a column I wrote in 2004 that questioned whether a sex change would make someone a woman or simply a man without a penis. Subsequently, I was "no platformed" by the National Union of Students Women's Campaign, a privilege previously afforded to fascist groups such as the BNP.
Hmmm... I wonder why that could be?
As a leading feminist writer, I now find that a number of organisations are too frightened to ask me to speak at public events for fear of protests by transsexual lobbyists.
Oh I see, it's because we're such a powerful and violent group, everyone's afraid of us. Gotcha.
Transsexualism, by its nature, promotes the idea that it is "natural" for boys to play with guns and girls to play with Barbie dolls. The idea that gender roles are biologically determined rather than socially constructed is the antithesis of feminism.

I wrote: "Those who ‘transition' seem to become stereotypical in their appearance — f**k-me shoes and birds' nest hair for the boys; beards, muscles and tattoos for the girls. Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease."
Nothing denigrating there is there? That's just halfway in page 1 of a 5 page rant.
Recently, an 18-month-old baby in Denmark was diagnosed as suffering from GD.
A trans-sexual "woman" will always be a biological male.
There is a handful of radicals in the world today who have dared to challenge the diagnosis of transsexualism. Those who do are called "transphobic" and treated with staggering vitriol.
Just as there is a handful of radicals in the world today who have dared to challenge the "lie of the Holocaust". Those who do are called "anti-semitic" and treated with staggering vitriol. Because, you know, that's what they are.
I had some support, some from those who had also experienced a transsexual-led witchhunt. I heard from post-operative trans-sexuals who had been railroaded into surgery and now regretted it. "Do not publish my name," said one, "but if anyone questions the validity of sex-change treatment you are sent to Coventry by the ‘community' elders."

A police officer who, during the course of his duty, was unfairly accused by transsexuals of "transphobia" was driven to a breakdown by their vicious campaign. An eminent medical ethicist who had dared to defend a fellow professional who had questioned the diagnosis of GD from a scientific point of view almost lost his career and reputation. And several women from feminist organisations have been bullied and vilified for challenging the "right" of male-to-female transsexuals to work in women-only organisations.
No names of course. Just like the "18 month old baby diagnosed with GD".
In a world where equality between men and women was reality, transsexualism would not exist.
Sex-change surgery is unnecessary mutilation. Using human rights laws to normalise trans-sexualism has resulted in a backward step in the feminist campaign for gender equality.

It's not only lesbian feminists with regular columns in national newspapers, and thus quite considerable powers that dislike icky trans people. Though I think she has to be the only one who's so paranoid about their power.

From politico:
The federal government would be banned from funding sex change operations and other services for transgender individuals if social conservative activists get their way.

There’s no sponsor yet for an amendment to the health care overhaul – and it may remain in the dustbin of unrealized wedge issues – but culture warriors are shopping the proposal to Republican senators.

The language is written: “None of the funds authorized or appropriated under this act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be used to cover any part or portion of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of” any sex or gender reassignment procedure, surgery related to such a sex change, hormone therapy for a sex change or pre- and post-operation treatments for a sex change.

A senior aide to a Republican senator said that a public insurance plan could easily end up covering sex-change procedures if that’s not specifically banned in the bill.
And that would be truly terrible, right? If someone gets complications from the surgery, and has a haemorrhage, then obviously they should be allowed to bleed out. Seves 'em right.

Fortunately, even here the comments are largely supportive of trans people. Larded with facts and education rather than appeals to emotion, too.

Finally, to the New York Times Magazine, and the article Gender Identity in Kids, which deals with the knotty issues of providing guidelines for children. "Where is the line between pushing your child and following his or her lead? Not just when it comes to gender, but to any preference in their life?"


My comment:
It doesn’t matter if you raise a child in the wrong gender. You can’t affect things significantly.

If they’re boys, they’ll know it. If they’re girls, they’ll know it. Sometimes at 3, usually by 7, always by 10 no matter what you do or how you treat them. Just let them mix with other kids, and it will be obvious to them which group they belong to.

And don’t be misled by play that doesn’t conform to traditional stereotypes. Yes, if a child likes to climb trees, play with toy guns etc then it’s very likely they will end up being attracted to girls. And if a child prefers playing with dolls and make-believe house, it’s likely they’ll end up being attracted to boys.

There’s no evidence that discouraging these play patterns, or forbidding them, has any effect. These things are set neurologically, before birth. What is important is not what the child is allowed or encouraged to do, but what comes naturally to them.

Usually, children with feminine bodies will end up being women. Some who are more than just Tomboys will end up being lesbian instead. And a few are actually boys who just look like girls, neurologically they’re male. Even if they were dressed in pink bunny suits when young, as Chaz Bono was.

This isn’t just trendy PC philosophising or ideology.

See seminar s10 at the APA’s annual meeting:
S10. The Neurobiological Evidence for Transgenderism
1. Brain Gender Identity Prof. Sidney W. Ecker, M.D.
2. Transsexuality as an Intersex Condition Prof Milton Diamond, Ph.D.

This doesn’t come from some “Gender Studies” or “Feminist” or “Leftist” group with a political agenda, but from fMRI scans and autopsies of neuro-anatomy.

So parents can take comfort - even if you get it wrong, you can do no great harm. Just as long as you don’t use extreme measures to fit a square peg in to a round hole when it becomes obvious that your initial assumptions were wrong. Just love your children, guide, but don’t stunt..
Some of the other comments were even better. It's not just that I'm no longer alone in fighting these battles, others are more skilled and more talented than I.

Maybe I can take a rest for a while. Goodness knows I could do with one.

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