Monday, 7 April 2008

Girl Germs and Malice

I've commented on the Male pregnancy issue before.

This post is about comments from others, at the Oprah comments site. It illustrates some of the problems we face, and the darker side of human nature, my own included.

Comment 1,776:
I`m really shocked and amazed that you would taint your show with such a sham of a story. I am a gay man and found the content of this show so unworthy of air time. Who are these two lesbians trying to fool. Not me! I get so tied of women like these always pushing the envelope. Perhaps if I have my partner of 25 years put his sperm into a turkey baster and squirt it up my rectum, I could claim to be a pregnant too.

I'll just repeat what I wrote in reply:
"One of the supreme ironies that transsexual and intersexed people suffer from is being confused with Gays and Lesbians. Some of our greatest allies have been from the Gay and Lesbian community. They know what it's like to be persecuted too. Those who oppose our existence don't see much of a difference, no matter how we see ourselves.

But some of our most vitriolic opponents have been Gay or Lesbian too. Some Gay men in particular manage to mix misogyny, hatred of women, with heterophobia, hatred of straights, and transphobia. At a time when so many accuse us of being part of some "Homosexual Agenda", we get Gays successfully agitating for us to be excluded from Human Rights legislation such as the Employment Non Discrimination Act, because we're straight. Well, most of us.

Having a sense of humour is a survival skill for us, and when I see a post like this, I have to laugh. Some of those furthest from understanding are those who we get confused with. And the most Gay-hating homophobes and Straight-hating Gays are in total agreement on one thing - that our existence is wrong . You have to laugh, don't you?"
This next one is no laughing matter though. It's not just a matter of railing against "icky lesbians" with "girl germs", it's actual, unadulterated malice.

Comment 1,896:
Tracy/Thomas found a legal loophole to obtain recognition as a "male" and played that to their advantage to obtain a marriage license that is denied to every other gay couple in the United States. These people are benefitting from their status as a married couple when it comes to filing taxes and other government benefits they are eligible to receive as a married person. Gay individuals have been fighting for so long to have the right to marry and even though several states now recognize civil unions they still don't have the recognition of the federal government. I live in California and even though these two were "married" in Hawaii and now live in Oregon, I wrote to my state senators asking that they initiate an investigation into the legality of this union on a federal level and perhaps collect back taxes that are owed the same as they would in any other fraud situation.
The selfish, spiteful, envious Gay is a well-worn and tired cliche, demeaning and hurtful, and inaccurate. Well, usually inaccurate.

Not only is he on shaky legal ground, not only does he completely misrepresent and misunderstand the situation, his letter could only cause problems not just for all transsexual couples, but those gays who have managed to achieve same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. He and his partner haven't been granted what they want, so he's doing what he can to make sure everyone else will suffer too. Even if it damages his own cause. This is not just Transphobia, it's Rabid.

Then there's the God-Fearing Christian who appears to have lost the plot a bit, out of the best of intentions.
Comment 1,814:
Maybe The lord will take this child home to be with him before, they are born, I personally think that would be the best thing to happen.

I'm ashamed to say that my immediate response to that was
"After you.... Soon please."
Snappy comeback, Zoe. But how exactly does that make me any better than her? I wrote it out of anger, "Righteous Wrath", not out of a misguided sense of Charity, as she did. It was written out of malice. So that make me worse, not better. I'm just like the Fundies, the Concerned Women of America (whose spokesmen are men, naturally), MassResistance, the Family Values Coalition or whatever, I lose track of all these Pharisaic groups. All so convinced of their own sanctity and piety that no enormity is beyond them. It's an easy trap to fall into, and the Left is even more prone to it than Rightists like me. I should farnarckling well know better.

Ah spit. Christ knows (and that might be literally true, though I don't consider myself Christian), I'm no Saint. But maybe before I criticise specks in others' eyes, I might just do something about the whole darn lumberyard in my own. Now this went through my mind even as I was writing my snappy, witty, and ultimately vain retort. So I left it there, as a monument to my own fallibility, and wrote a sincere apology as an afterword.

Here is what I should be saying, when I'm not consumed with pride at my own "goodness". HA! I was asked why I ventured into the Lion's Den, so to speak, along with some kind compliments for me doing so.
There's no point preaching to the choir though, is there? We have to talk to those most entrenched in their views if we are to do any good.

At this time of the year, we remember another person who was criticised by those of goodwill for "stirring up the hornet's nest". Many wondered whether he was doing more harm than good. But Dr Martin Luther King Jr did not make his speeches in Berkeley, California. He did it in his opponents' - for he never had any enemies, he had too much love inside him for that - his opponents' heartland, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Now Dr Martin Luther King Jr holds a very special place in the hearts of all Black Americans, and I won't co-opt that. I'm neither Black, nor American. I have no right to. But he holds a place in the hearts of every human being on the planet too, yes, even in far-off Australia, as a great American, as a great Human Being. He is a model and an inspiration to all of us.

And it's not as if I face attack dogs and fire hoses, and we hardly ever get our places of worship bombed. The worse that can happen is for a Transgendered child to be assassinated at his schooldesk by two shots to the head, as happened a few weeks ago. And for days of remembrance for him to be boycotted by "Christian" groups who fanatically oppose the measures to ensure that this happens less often, even a day of silence to mark his passing.

Most of those so disgusted and revolted by my existence are actually pretty decent people. I have to have faith in that. I won't reach all of them. I probably won't reach most of them. But if I reach just one, that's enough. If I can get them to read the Bible, Isaiah 56:4-5, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Matthew 19:12, rather than having them dictate to God what he wants, that will suffice.

Besides which, we have no choice. We've been caught in the backlash against Gay Marriage. We used to do what you suggest, fly under the radar, not make waves, but we can't now. They won't let us. The only way now is forward.

And I have a Dream too.
I'm a million light years away from being in MLK's league, to state the bleedin' obvious, but everyone can share that Dream of his. It's equal-opportunity, not restricted to one race, colour, or creed, that's the whole point. We have to be Kind to one another. That's all there is to it. Simple, really.

For those without a copy of the Bible handy, these are the verses I referred to, from the KJV. What can I say, I'm a traditionalist, and of Anglican heritage.

Matthew 19
12 - For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb...

Isaiah 56
4 - For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
5 - Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

And my favourite, 1 Corinthians 13
1 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 - And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 - And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 - Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 - Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 - Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 - Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 - Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 - For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 - But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 - When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 - For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 - And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.


Stellewriter said...

The first comment pretty much encapsulates the gay view of the Transsexual phenomena. It is consistent within the GLBt Hierarchy, and promoted by a militant gay agenda. We are seeing it spread and by an organized plan moving to eliminate what ever ground was achieved in Transsexual protection, and towards eradication of Trans-anything. We are not understood or really a concern to be fathomed, instead we are being used by the gay hierarchy to distract the public from the social issues blocking acceptance of gays. No, I am not speaking of those in the gay community who do care, but rather those of power and influence. You can ask where is the money going, and whose hands are in control? HRC is an example, but by no means the center of a plan to smother out the transgender and slate away the Transsexual laws and protections. It has been the gay driven media and lobby who has created the “Tranny-Circus” in the public eye. And Oprah, her staff, and the media at large cannot be na├»ve to the game being played. On the other side of the media river there is a flood of disinformation being fed to the conservative public. It too is sourced from the gay media feeds, not to mention the insiders who are stealth and pushing the rant. This is classic socio-political war and it is a repeat of history and pending atrocity. The propaganda and rhetoric against Transsexuals is evident, and one should look to its sources. Then look to who is financing and has the resources to drive it. This is not simply a civil rights march, or a rainbow colored run through the park; it is survival and you can paint it in red. We were tossed into the GLBt bucket for good reason, and definition and identity is being twisted to serve those who do not have our interest or welfare in mind.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of MLK, I think it would be perfectly appropriate to examine his movement with a comparative perspective. Of note is the fact that the closer his movement came to acheiving its goals, the more intensely its opponents fought to stop it. I think this is typical of any civil rights movement.

Perhaps we should consider our opponent’s reaction as a measure of our success, as King did. He realized what was going on and it inpired him to fight even harder. We would do well not to dispair at any public backlash, because it’s only a sign of our success and a call to step up our efforts.

Anonymous said...

Hello Zoe,

Yes, one must be very, very careful in just whom they decide to place their trust. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Unfortunately, people are deceived all the time by those who claim they have their best interests at heart but oftentimes have a secret agenda. I myself have been around the block long enough to experience cruelty at the hands of GLBT "allies" from verbal abuse, to physical and sexual assault, to receiving "the cold shoulder" at some local lesbian clubs and establishments. None of this treatment from individuals can change the way I feel about the necessity for all people to be treated equally and have the same basic human rights and privileges.

I think it's particularly apropos that you brought this up now, just last night I was watching a documentary about Dr. King and I found myself moved to tears often. As my partner summarized it, "Both by how cruel people can be to each other, and by the wonder that it *can* be overcome and if they can do it, so can [we]!"

Looking back historically it all seems to become a slurry of chickens and eggs, the likes of which would create a chicken quiche of hitherto unimagined proportions. Has our political affiliation with Gays & Lesbians created the social idea that we are Gay/Lesbian or were we perceived that way first and then affiliated after the fact? Magnus Hirschfield grouped us with Gays/Lesbians in his Institute circa 1900, but he by no way "created" us. On the other hand his Institute was the first modern civil rights organization. In some ways it seems like in modern times, as long as Gay and Lesbian people have been fighting for equal rights, brain-intersexed people have had an on and off, hot and cold relationship with the GLB movement.

Now imagine if you will that you are in a crowded small cinema room and someone yells "FIRE!". Everyone runs for the door and pushes and shoves to get out at the same time, but because nobody is willing to let the other go through the door first nobody gets out. That theater is prejudice and the outdoors is freedom and an escape from persecution and inequality and not getting shot at your desk in school or getting dragged behind a pickup truck. Sexuality and gender are two completely different things. Just like being a woman does not mean you are automatically 100% attracted to men, or because you are a man you are 100% attracted to women. This is a similar bias I hear expressed in the phrase "regular Caucasian American" where someone is assuming a whole set of other qualities based on what they still think an American is ("white", "protestant", "land owning"). Because you're trans doesn't mean your "straight" or "gay" or "lesbian" or "bisexual". I think battle for true sexual liberation and equality for all sexual orientations is a very worthwhile and necessary process and it seems as if in many places people are becoming more open and less rigid about sexuality, so hopefully it's time has come! I hope OUR day will come soon too..

ENDA really disappointed me. It was frustrating to be included and then later excluded. I would have felt really differently about it if it had been a gay/lesbian only protection to begin with, but it was the thoughts that hurt (and counted.)

my two cents,