By Julie Bolcer
The Maine senate voted, 20-15, moments ago to pass a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage.
By Julie Bolcer
The Maine senate voted, 20-15, moments ago to pass a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage.
Ariablue has a new blog with a super post on the transgendering of Angie Zapata. Check it out!
April 30, 2009
Just a few comments about the transgender thing. The coverage of the Angie Zapata story shows how the transgender machine has managed (temporarily) to convince the media that the polite term for transsexual is “transgender”. I wouldn’t be so proud if I was one of these activists, however, because they will soon discover how much use the media has for its sideshow attractions once the 15 minutes are up.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an LGBT-inclusive federal hate-crimes bill on Wednesday afternoon with a 249-175 vote. Democratic representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, applauded the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act.
“The law routinely looks to the motivation behind a criminal act and treats the more heinous of them differently,” Nadler said on the House floor. “Manslaughter is different from premeditated murder, which is different from a contract killing. We also punish crimes differently if they are terrorist acts, defined as violent acts that ‘appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.’”
Republican representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina said that the idea of Matthew Shepard’s murder being called a hate crime is “a hoax” while his mother, Judy Shepard, looked on to the House floor from the gallery. Speaking of the slain college student, whose parents have since become ardent voices for the legislation, Foxx said, “we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This — the bill was named for him, [the] hate-crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.”
A Senate version of the bill was introduced Tuesday. Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, anticipated the Senate would vote on the legislation, now called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, by the end of the year.
“We’re confident that we’ll make progress in the Senate as well,” Solmonese said. “We’re in conversations with Senator [Harry] Reid and other leaders in the Senate to try to determine the most expeditious way to move the bill and one that keeps that bill intact and gets it to the president’s desk.”
President Obama issued a statement Tuesday, putting his full weight behind the measure: “I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance — legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action.”
The bipartisan Senate bill is being carried by Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine. Other cosponsors include Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Republican Susan Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who switched his affiliation Tuesday from Republican to Democrat.
Civil rights and faith groups held a press conference call urging swift passage of the bill with leaders from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, American Association of People With Disabilities, American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Council of La Raza, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Caroline Frederickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office, said that discussion on the House floor Wednesday was sure to include warnings that the bill would impinge on freedom of speech and religious practices. She countered that since 2005 the bill has included specific provisions to protect basic First Amendment rights.
“The bill specifically blocks evidence of speech and associations that is not specifically related to the crimes,” she said, adding, “This bill will have the strongest protection against the misuse of a person’s free speech that Congress has enacted in the federal criminal code.”
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act enhances federal involvement to combat hate crimes and authorizes the U.S. Justice Department to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence against a person based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
(Washington) A federal judge has ruled that the Library of Congress illegally discriminated against a Special Forces veteran when she was denied a job after announcing her intention to transition from male to female.
Diane Schroer of Alexandria, Virginia was awarded nearly $500,000 in damages.
In what is seen as a groundbreaking decision, U.S. District Judge James Robinson ruled that discriminating against someone for changing genders is sex discrimination under federal law.
After retiring from the military, Schroer, who had been hand-picked to head up a classified national security operation while serving as a Special Forces officer, applied for a position with the Library of Congress as the senior terrorism research analyst.
A short time later she was offered the job, which she accepted immediately.
Prior to starting work, Schroer took her future boss to lunch to explain that she was in the process of transitioning and thought it would be easier for everyone if she simply started work presenting as female.
The following day, Schroer received a call from her future boss rescinding the offer, telling her that she wasn’t a “good fit” for the Library of Congress.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit against the Library of Congress on June 2, 2005.
The lawsuit charged that the Library of Congress unlawfully refused to hire Schroer in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects against sex discrimination in the workplace.
The Library of Congress moved to dismiss the case several times, claiming that transgender people are not covered under the 1964 law.
In his ruling, Robinson ordered the government to pay Schroer 491,190 in back pay and damages.
The suit was fought during the Bush administration. It is considered unlikely the Obama administration will appeal.
(Concord, New Hampshire) The New Hampshire Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that would make the state the fifth in the nation to grant marriage equality.
The 13-11 vote came despite a recommendation last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee that it be rejected.
The chair of the committee, Sen. Deborah Reynolds (D) was one of those who recommended voting against the bill, but on Wednesday she voted for it, saying since the committee meeting she had heard from a large number of constituents who favored the bill.
Republicans voted in a block against the measure, along with one Democrat.
The bill was amended prior to the vote to draw a distinction between civil and religious weddings – allowing churches which do not approve of gay relationships to refuse to conduct ceremonies.
Last month the bill passed the House on a 186-179 vote, but the House will need to vote on this bill again, since it was amended by the Senate.
If it passes the House a second time, it will head to the desk of Gov. Gov. John Lynch who has said he believes the current civil union law works fine, but has not said if he would veto the bill.
Earlier on Wednesday a new poll was released showing most residents of New Hampshire support same-sex marriage.
The University of New Hampshire Survey Center Poll found that 55 percent of New Hampshire residents support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 39 percent oppose it.
The poll was sponsored by the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition.
Same-sex marriage already is legal in three New England states – Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. A Maine Senate committee also voted on gay marriage today. Rhode Island is the only New England state where same-sex marriage legislation has not advanced.
Elsewhere, same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa. New York Gov David Paterson (D) has unveiled legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in the Empire State and in California, the Supreme Court is expected to rule this spring on the legality of Prop 8 the voter approved measure banning gay marriage in that state.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Trans DSM-V rally/protest in San Francisco May 18
Please spread the word about the upcoming protest and rally
at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Location: Moscone Center 747 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Email: protestgenderdx@ gmail.com
The APA appointed Kenneth Zucker and Ray Blanchard to determine how trans people will be categorized in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Metal Disorder (DSM-V). On the 18th, transcommunity leaders will be speaking on a panel:
“In or Out?”: A Discussion About Gender Identity Diagnoses and the DSM
1. The DSM-V Revision Process: Principles and Progress William E. Narrow, M.D.
2. Beyond Conundrum: Strategies for Diagnostic Harm Reduction Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
3. Aligning Bodies With Minds: The Case for Medical and Surgical Treatment of Gender Dysphoria Rebecca Allison, M.D.
4. The Role of Medical and Psychological Discourse in Legal and Policy Advocacy for Transgender Persons in the U.S. Shannon P. Minter, J.D.
We need to stand up and be heard! This DSM-V revision will affect an entire generation of trans people and will be a historically significant factor in how our legal status is determined during the next 15 to 20 years.
Please join this Facebook event to help us plan the event. Questions?
Contact Lore M. Dickey at the contact information above.
Posted by Andrea James on 04/28 at 10:10 AM
©1996-2007 Transsexual Road Map. All rights reserved.
For Information Contact: For Immediate Release: Eve Herold, 703-907-8640
April 28, 2009
firstname.lastname@example.org Release No. 09-22
Jaime Valora, 703-907-8562
ARLINGTON, Va. (April 28, 2009) — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees has established a task force on the treatment of Gender Identity Disorders (GID) to address concerns about the relative lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines and to determine if guidelines should be developed. The task force was created on a recommendation by the APA Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues.
The board asked the task force to review the literature on the treatment of Gender Identity Disorder at different ages and to report back with “an opinion as to whether or not there is sufficient credible literature to take the next step and develop treatment recommendations.”
The board asked the task force to communicate with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) work group on Gender Identity Disorder, which can serve as a resource on diagnostic issues during the term of the task force.
After the May 2008 announcement of DSM-V work group membership, the APA received many inquiries regarding the Gender Identity Disorders work group on treatment. These inquiries most often dealt with treatment controversies for GID in children, rather than issues related specifically to the DSM text and diagnostic criteria.
While the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders are inextricably linked, separation of the diagnostic mission of the DSM work groups from the evaluation of treatment issues is especially important.
Gender Identity Disorders Task Force on Treatment members have been identified and appointedby APA President Nada L. Stotland, M.D., M.P.H. They include APA members William M. Byne, M.D., Ph.D.; A. Evan Eyler, M.D., M.P.H.; Edgardo Jorge Menvielle, M.D., M.S.H.S.; Richard Randall Pleak, M.D.; and David A. Tompkins, M.D. Advisors include Susan Bradley,M.D.; Eli Coleman, Ph.D.; Richard Green, M.D., J.D., and Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg, Dr., rer. nat.
About the American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the nation’s leading medical specialty society whose more than 38,000 physician members specialize in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at http://www.psych.org and http://www.HealthyMinds.org.
(Washington) The US House is scheduled to vote today on legislation to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of categories covered under federal hate crime law.
A parallel bill was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday.
Gay rights groups have been fighting to have the legislation passed for over a decade.
Because there is no federal law mandating states and municipalities to report hate crimes, they are often under-reported. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s own statistics, based on voluntary reporting, show that since 1991 over 100,000 hate crime offenses have been reported to the FBI, with 7,624 reported in 2007, the FBI’s most recent reporting period.
Violent crimes based on sexual orientation constituted 16.6 percent of all hate crimes in 2007, with 1,265 reported for the year. In addition, while not captured in the federal statistics, transgender Americans too often live in fear of violence.
The legislation gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
It provides the Justice Department with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable, by taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of violent crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury that were motivated by bias.
It also makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers, or to assist in state and local investigations and prosecutions of bias motivated crimes.
President Obama has said that if the bill is passed he would sign it.
The legislation passed the House in 2007, but President Bush threatened to veto it if it passed in the Senate.
In an effort to get around a veto the Senate version was tied to the 2008 defense authorization bill. It passed but then went to conference where it was stripped out.
A wide coalition of national organizations has called for the passage of the legislation. Some of those organizations supporting this legislation include the National Sheriffs Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, 26 state Attorneys General and the National District Attorneys Association.
“After more than a decade of delay and tens of thousands of additional victims, now is the time for this critical piece of legislation to be signed into law,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
This time last year, women in the United States were earning 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and we were urging Congress to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
What a difference a year makes. President Barack Obama has signed the Ledbetter bill into law, and we’re light years ahead of where we were in 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was passed.
Back then, women earned a mere 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. Three months ago, as I stood in the White House with Ledbetter as Obama signed the law that bears her name, part of the thrill we experienced undoubtedly came from the knowledge of how far we’ve come over the past decades.
But the wage gap persists: Women still make only 78 cents for each dollar paid to men. And today, April 28, 2009, marks Equal Pay Day. That means that it is only as of this point that the average woman’s wages have finally caught up with what the average man earned in 2008. And that’s decidedly un-thrilling.
These statistics look at the wages paid to the average woman in comparison to those paid to the average man, but the situation is even more disturbing when you consider the impact of race and gender combined. White women earn 81 cents for every dollar paid to men. That’s bad enough. But African American women earn only 69 cents, and Hispanic women only 59 cents, for every dollar paid to men. Our state-by-state comparison found that in some states, the average pay for all women is as low as 63 cents on the dollar.
Particularly in this period of economic distress this is plainly unacceptable. Congress must act to make sure that women can truly realize the decades-old promise of equal pay for equal work.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a crucial step forward in this battle. The law reinstates the right of workers to go to court to hold their employers accountable for pay discrimination — a right that the Supreme Court stole from us in its 2007 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. But now it’s time for step two. To close the wage gap and to move closer to making equal pay for equal work a reality, we need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would give new teeth to equal-pay laws and provide incentives for businesses to follow the law. It would deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal-pay violations, closing loopholes that courts have opened in the four decades that the Equal Pay Act has been the law, and prohibiting retaliation against workers who ask about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages. In short, the bill gives women critical ammunition to fight pay discrimination in the 21st century.
There’s clearly a lot of work ahead of us. In addition to passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, we must pass the Fair Pay Act, which recognizes that far too many occupations in the United States remain dominated by one gender — with those dominated by men typically providing better wages and benefits. Moreover, we must address the glass ceiling — women comprise less than 2.5 percent of chief executives of Fortune 500 companies. And we must take steps to support women-owned small businesses, which receive only about 3 percent of the billions of dollars in federal contracts that are awarded every year.
With the Ledbetter law in place, it might be tempting to sit back and say that our work is done — that the struggle for pay equity has come to a close. But the numbers don’t lie — we’re simply not finished. It’s likely to be a tough fight. Already we’re facing backlash from corporate interests that are resisting giving their employees the ability to effectively assert their rights under the federal anti-discrimination laws.
But we’ll keep at it. On this Equal Pay Day, let’s move toward a world where it doesn’t take until the end of April for women in this country to catch up with what men earned the year before. Here’s to hoping that someday, my daughters will be celebrating Equal Pay Day on Dec. 31 — or, indeed, that “Equal Pay Day” will be marked only in the history books.
Jocelyn Samuels is vice president for education and employment at the National Women’s Law Center, where she focuses on barriers to the advancement of women and girls at school and in the workplace. Visit the National Women’s Law Center Web site to see who else is writing about workplace fairness for women on this Equal Pay Day.
I personally never got the charm of the MWMF.
When I lived in California going would have been outrageously expensive plus I’ve never been all that big on sleeping bags on the ground unless hot springs or Yosemite or Lassen was involved.
In the 1970s I saw most of the Olivia artist and photographed them at various concerts.. But now the Olivia cruises would be more my speed.
The idea of dealing with the whole hassle caused me to say 10 years ago, This year I am continuing my boycott of the MWMF.
I actually think going is a rite of passage for some sisters but I won’t get judgmental on that one.
On the other hand I just got the latest Ms. Magazine and saw in the coming event an announcement for the 34th National Women’s Music Festival held in Middleton Wisc.
Web site @ http://wiaonline.org
I went and looked and they didn’t proclaim a bigoted position regarding women who have some how had their lives touched with a trans prefixed word.
Perhaps they would be an alternative that would demonstrate positive support for inclusion rather than dealing with a bunch of negative energy.
April 27, 2009
“The jury is in, the studies are done, and the conclusions are consistent: the gender pay gap is alive and well,” said NOW President Kim Gandy. “The disparity between what women and men are paid stubbornly persists, even after controlling for years of education, work experience and type of occupation.”
For full-time, year-round workers, women are paid on average only 78 percent of what men are paid, and the gap is significantly wider for women of color. These wage gaps remain despite the passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act and a variety of legislation prohibiting employment discrimination.
In 1963, full-time working women were paid 59 cents on average for every dollar paid to men. This means it took more than 40 years for the wage gap to close just 19 cents — a rate of less than half a penny a year. This snails-pace narrowing of the gap has slowed down even more during the last six years, with women gaining a mere two cents since 2001.
What are some of the ugly truths lurking behind the wage gap? A large percentage of women are segregated into occupations that pay less than most male-dominated professions. A far greater proportion of women cut back or interrupt time in the paid workforce to deal with family responsibilities, which directly impacts their earning potential. And women’s pay is affected by stereotypical attitudes about the sexes that range from the blatantly outrageous to those so embedded in our society we barely notice them.
Guaranteeing that women receive equal pay for equal work will help struggling families, stimulate the economy, and ensure self-sufficiency for women. In light of the economic crisis facing our nation, it is more important than ever to close the wage gap and ensure that victims of wage discrimination have access to fair compensation.
“Clearly some employers will keep discriminating if they can get away with it, and it’s Congress’ job to pass more effective laws — like the Paycheck Fairness Act — so they can’t,” said Gandy. “NOW members are contacting their senators right now, urging them to sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act. The passage of this bill is essential to ensuring women’s economic security during these uncertain times.”
Read NOW’s fact sheet on equal pay.
Do you know who Julissa Brisman was? She was the victim in the Craig’s List murder/robberies.
She was allegedly a sex worker although the news stories give her alleged murderer the benefit of “alleged” and tend to deny her that same room for doubt.
Sex worker, prostitute, trannie, stripper, drag show performer, women who fall outside the pure Madonna stereotype become what Andrew Vachss (novelist and advocate for children’s rights) calls “non-citizens” in his Burke novels.
Zoe @ A.E. Brain, Australia wrote
Thursday, 23 April 2009
In the trial of Angie Zapata, she has been found Not Guilty of the charge of being less than human.
Her killer, Allen Ray Andrade, on the other hand, has been found guilty of murder in the first degree, and with a bias crime enhancement. When he said
“It’s not like I just went up to a school teacher and shot her in the head, you know what I mean? It’s not like I went up to a law-abiding straight citizen.”
Just as I view transphobia as an extension of the same misogyny that oppresses women in general I have long seen the common trait shared by women born female and women born transsexual when both are murdered.
That commonality is found in the defense of every dick who has ever murdered or beaten a woman, “The bitch (whore) deserved it or was asking for it.”
Instead of taking responsibility and admitting his guilt he blames the woman he murdered or harmed. All the way back to Adam the excuse has always been, “The bitch made me do it.”
Men think they can get away with murdering women who do not meet some patriarchal standard of purity. After all she was only a whore. She was a trannie and deceived me even though I met her in a drag bar or court where she went before a judge under her male name.
I lived on Sunset Boulevard near Fairfax when the LA Stranglers were picking women from my neighborhood to murder and rape. I leafletted passing out the names of Hollywood homocide detectives who promised not to arrest sex workers who brought them information.
But they were only street walkers and even though California reinstituted the death penalty the two scum suckers who murdered all those women escaped with only life in prison because their victims were hookers. “It wasn’t like they were school teachers or something.
Now they are carrying on about how the alleged murderer of Julissa Brisman is a medical student and a good boy who just owed gambling debts. In short it isn’t his fault. “The whore made him do it”
It is time to treat these misogynistic excuses as confessions of guilt and not extenuating explanations demanding exculpation.’
On Transtheory in response to what I was saying about misogyny Joann opined, “And what it does to those of us who got the wrong-color blanket at birth, or who actually have a noticeable different-than-majority sexual orientation, is worse than oppressive.”
This rather missed the whole point.
I think there are two different kinds of gender. I say this as one who shares her abode not only with her partner but with our thundering herd of feline friends. While our feline friends do occasionally share watching television with us, mostly Nova and the Nature channels I seriously doubt their gendered behavior or as scientists tend to call it sex linked behavior is a product of socialization.
This is to say I am a bit of an essentialist when it comes to believing there is such a thing as natural gender. I don’t believe this natural gender is the stark binary made so popular by gender theorists, cultural feminists and right wing religious freaks.
The form of gender differences that bother me most are the harsh misogynistic patriarchal defined ones that ingrain in to little girls and boys the “proper” behavior expected of people born with a certain set of sex parts between their legs. This form of gender shall henceforth be referred socialized gender or SG.
Perhaps the idea that one simply got the wrong blanket and should have received pink instead of blue or vice versa is a case of trans-myopia, a narrowing of focus until one sees everything through the focus of transgender.
This has been a serious shortcoming of the identity politics of transgender where dissent is often labeled as bigotry or transphobia.
Perhaps the problem isn’t the wrong blanket but rather more deeply structural. Misogyny requires there to be major differences between men and women. These differences must be god ordained, therefore sacred and immutable.
This leads to the vehement statement when those who believe in rigid boundaries between the sexes encounter intersex, transgender, transsexual, or lesbian and gay people, “God does not make mistakes!”
Of course, this can cause people who are different to be faced with the alternative reading of that statement, that then god must be malevolent or non-existent.
What is interesting is that back in the 1970s in the early days of feminist and alternative (hippie) culture there was an advocacy of recognizing that men and women, boys and girls were really not all that glaringly different if one took away some of the socialized gender bullshit.
Marlo Thomas and others put out books and a film called “Free to be, You and Me”. There was an effort put into making it okay for little girls to play sports, to be rough and tumble as well as for little boys to be shy and gentle. The thinking was that it might just be a far more equitable and less misogynistic world if we recognized that the differences between the sexes were not all that extreme and that there were people who fell some where between. That there were even people who sometimes were deeply unhappy with their birth assigned and later pursued surgical sex reassignment.
Now this came at the end of the war in Vietnam where America’s best and brightest refused to fight. Not only did they refuse to fight when drafted but worse yet they saw the humanity of the so called enemy and that often times the leaders ordering them to fight were the same racists at home who enforced Jim Crow laws. So what was a bright young man to do? The answer was to say, “Fuck the army?” Grow his hair long, smoke dope and give peace a chance.
Now as the 1970s wore on the right wing got their panties all in a twist over what Spiro Agnew called the “freaking fag” revolution. The rise of ultra right wing conservatism required rigid sex (gender) roles.
To make their nationalistic shift towards right wing fascism a reality they required the idealization of the ultra-macho hard man not the intellectual, cultured man. Thinkers make piss poor soldiers who like the dissenters in Vietnam simply refuse to go out and murder for their country.
In the business world the hard macho values of winner/loser are needed to create the great gap between the upper management and the workers who actual create, transport and sell the products. Further, the business world became more abstract and modeled on gambling rather than making and selling products.
Yet the creation of hard men by the rigid patterns of socialization in the post-1970s rise of the right wing that went hand in hand with the rise of ultra bizarre religious extremism also required the need for women to be rigidly defined by gender.
This meant denial of access to abortion and to a lesser extent effective birth control. Rigidly defined gender demands “purity” on the part of good girls/women and denies protections to women who live outside their standards of purity that pretty much include all independent women no matter their social class.
Man is defined as dominant and women as submissive. The quiver full movement of the religious right is a prime example of the biology is destiny argument for the rigid gender role movement. It is important to remember that the anti-feminist backlash started not in 1980 but with the founding of the Suffrage Movement in the mid 19th century.
One of the core arguments of the anti-feminist movement is that feminists are not womanly, that they are mannish for wanting equality. It is the yin to the yang of cultured men who function above the level of oppressive brutish thugs are effeminate.
Over the years, I have been dismayed with the tendency of TGRAs (Transgender Rights Activist) to place such emphasis on “gender” as validating their claims for justice and equality. It seems at times as though these TGRAs are supporting these rigid gender roles and are using adherence to them to stake a claim of womanhood or manhood based on their skill at demonstrating their performance of these stereotypes.
Considering the reactionary nature of this rigidly defined “gender” it seems to me that placing one’s validity on the legitimacy of these socially constructed and manipulated roles is in and of itself a reactionary nature.
People with transsexualism who get sex reassignment surgery and base their claims of membership in the sex they have been reassigned to have a more legitimate claim. They are basing membership in that class based not on behavior but rather on a common shared physical trait (admittedly the most obvious but in fact only one of numerous physical traits defining one as male or female), the standard physical aspect and method of declaring an infant male or female at birth.
The term transgender is actually fruit from a poisoned seed. First coined by the misogynistic Virginia Prince in the early 1970s it became the term of choice for those involved in cross dressing/heterosexual transvestite groups such as Tri-Ess and the group descended from the days of Transvestia. Those who went full time some going on to get SRS and others to simply live full time created the organization IFGE as well as its publication Tapestry that furthered the ideas behind and usage of the term transgender as an umbrella.
In the mid 1970s, the feminist movement started to fracture into different factions. Alice Echols in Daring to be Bad describes one group as the activists and the other group the “cultural feminists”.
Cultural feminists are drawn towards gender essentialism and a biological determinism for that. One of the seminal documents of this was Jane Alpert’s renunciation of the radical left, Mother Right. Mary Daly and others like Dworkin and MacKinnon were closer to the right wing and had more of a tendency to find common ground with the religious right on issues such as pornography.
Cultural feminism spawned Gender Studies.
All of this seems so reactionary and enforcing of sexual inequality based on trained modes of behavior starting with pink blankets and blue blankets with positive reinforcement for gender appropriate behavior and punishment for gender inappropriate behavior.
All aimed at making us into rigidly defined and unequal different genders. Remember we must not say sexes because sexual equality has been rendered a mute point with the promotion of gender as a replacement. Even though gender has a neo-Victorian euphemistic feeling of sounding like it means the same thing it actually means something different.
What the ascendancy of gender means is that masculinity is conflated with male and femininity with female. Woe unto those who do not conform as they face the risk of being un-sexed.
When the religious right says that same sex marriage will undermine traditional marriage what they are talking about is how same sex marriage has the potential to be a model of marriage as a relationship of equals, partner instead of the dominant husband and submissive wife. When they say same sex marriage undermines society, the society they are referencing is a society based on hierarchical structures of dominance, winners over losers.
What the “Free to Be” movement promoted was a society of equals where girls could be strong and leaders and boys could be passive and follow… If they wanted to be that way rather than being belittled and bullied for not living up to their expected gender roles.
For the last 40 years in the US, we have been in backlash mode fighting against all that was wonderful and positive about the 1960s and 70s. Squashing out the flowers of freedom and equality that blossomed for a few short years.
Leaving those of us who once believed so strongly in sexual equality along with all the other equalities and freedoms lost and confused.
Earth Day was last week. The planet is in crisis and not just from global warming but from unsustainable traditional values of which one of the most enduring is misogyny based on there being a hard core difference between the sexes/genders.
Perhaps it is time to do away with pink blanket/blue blanket and replace them both with a green blanket (environmentally sound, hopefully) as well as returning to the free to be ideals of children being able to grow up to be themselves even when those kids grow up to be feminine men, masculine women or transsexual/transgender people.
(Hartford, Conn.) A decade-long battle for same-sex marriage in Connecticut has ended with the governor’s signature on a bill updating the state’s laws.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the legislation Thursday, one day after the state House and Senate both approved it.
The bill removes gender references from state marriage laws. It also transforms existing same-sex civil unions into legally recognized marriages as of Oct. 1, 2010.
The law comes after last fall’s state Supreme Court ruling that gay couples have the right to wed in Connecticut. Even if the bill hadn’t passed, same-sex marriage would still be legal because of the ruling.
Three other states — Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa — also allow gay marriage.
A message of acceptance, tolerance and love came through Thursday night, as the mother of a murdered transgendered teenager talked to a crowd in Heath Recital Hall in Beach Music Hall at Emporia State University.
The presentation by Sylvia Guerrero of Tracy, Calif., was moved from the Kanza Room in the Memorial Union to the larger Heath venue. The event was organized by People Representing Individuality and Diversity in Education (PRIDE) on campus.
Guerrero’s 17-year-old child, Gwen Amber Rose Araujo, was beaten to death at a party on Oct. 3, 2003, after it was discovered that Gwen was physically a man.
Gwen’s story was told in a Lifetime network movie, “A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story,” which won the 2007 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Movie for Television.
The assault on Gwen apparently erupted because two of the attackers had been sexually intimate with her, not realizing Gwen was transgendered — a person who has the physical attributes of one gender, but emotionally feels he or she is the opposite gender.
Gwen was planning to undergo treatments to allow her to become a female, but did not live long enough to begin the process.
“At my daughter’s funeral, I promised her I would be her voice, until people stop dying for who they are,” Guerrero said during an interview before her presentation.
Guerrero said she believes that people are transgendered as they are developing in the womb. Being transgender is not a choice, she said.
After conception, some babies develop the physical attributes of one gender, while possessing the brain of the other, she said. And, while outwardly Eddie carried the evidence of being male, inside, he always considered himself female.
“You know what, this is not genetic,” Guerrero said. “This happens one in so many births. They’re literally born in the wrong body. … It’s not that she just woke up one day and decided to complicate her life” by being transgender.
From childhood, Eddie had exhibited femininity and sensitivity, his mother said, and those traits caused him to be bullied and called names from elementary school into high school. At the age of 14, Eddie told his mother that he was transgendered. He grew his hair long, wore makeup and began dressing as a female. Eddie became Gwen, a name chosen because Eddie was a fan of Gwen Stefani. The bullying and taunting escalated.
Guerrero said that such treatment by peers eventually made attending school so painful that Gwen dropped out of school.
The ostracism was something Guerrero said Gwen should not have had to bear, and she asked that instead of taunting transgendered people, audience members smile at them instead and respect them as fellow human beings.
“That little friendly gesture. it costs you nothing, but it means so much to that person,” Guerrero said. “… Who are we to play God and say ‘This is wrong and this is right?’”
Guerrero described Gwen as a vivacious drama queen, who had sat down with her mother and made plans to go to cosmetology school, then on to Hollywood in hopes of establishing a career in her field. When the hormone therapies and surgeries were completed, she planned to have her birth certificiate revised to legally become Gwen Araujo.
“She had goals and dreams just like the rest of us,” she said.
Anger and hate over Gwen’s being transgender — different — led to the brutal attack that killed her, Guerrero said.
“Her body wasn’t found until 2 weeks later,” Guerrero said. “They buried her.”
The four men had beaten Gwen with a soup can and an iron skillet, then strangled and hung her.
“They busted her head open, kneed her,” she said.
“Those men decided to play God that night. They took her life,” Guerrero said with anger rising in her voice. “How dare they do that!”
Guerrero said the right side of Gwen’s forehead had been crushed and her brain exposed and flattened.
The men loaded Gwen’s body into a pickup truck and drove about three hours to a national forest in the Sierra Mountains, where they buried her and covered her grave with boulders to prevent animals digging up her remains.
After the men disposed of the body, they drove into Placerville and ate breakfast, Guerrero said; they thought that because Gwen was transsexual, no one would care that she was missing. Many transsexuals become homeless or lose touch with their families after being rejected for being transsexuals, Guerreero said.
“That was not the case with Gwen. She was very loved. … It’s a love that’s unconditional.”
Guerrero drew some comfort from being able to see her child again after one of the men took a plea bargain and revealed where they had buried Gwen’s remains — 7.4 miles up a mountainside, near a logging trail, where the cold weather prevented the disintegration that would have occurred in a warmer area.
As a result, Gwen’s body could be dressed in the feminine clothing she preferred and be on view in an open casket for the funeral service.
The images of her daughter still haunt Guerrero, who saw more than 300 photographs of Gwen, after she was unearthed and before and after the autopsy and at the funeral.
“Those horrific pictures, I will never in my life forget,” Guerrero said. “And I also believe that those images drive me to do what I do now because I don’t ever want another parent to ever endure what I endured and am enduring.”
The missing-person case, which police originally had not taken seriously because Gwen was transgender, had developed into a murder that drew considerable media attention, as well as widespread support of Gwen and her family. Each time “A Girl Like Me” airs on Lifetime, Guerrero is deluged with phone calls and e-mails of support, she said.
She has managed to forgive the men who killed her daughter.
“I forgave all four of them for her death, and I didn’t do it in a day,” she said. “I did it in a year and a half. … It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.”
She reached forgiveness after the first trial ended in a mistrial.
“It was actually very powerful to forgive them,” she said, explaining that it allowed her the strength to go through the second trial, which ended in a conviction.
“I was not raised to hate and I believe it was hate that killed Gwen. And I believe that hate is taught at home,” she said.
Guerrero’s parents, too, were able to forgive. Guerrero’s three other children and most of her 13 siblings and their families have not.
Gwen’s permanent absence from the family is something none of them have been able to reconcile.
Guerrero said not a day goes by that she doesn’t miss her child.
“That’s what I miss the most is her physical being, touching and hugging her,” Guerrero said. “…This is my baby that I carried in my womb. I loved her since I conceived her. …My baby was killed. Not my ‘transgender teenager.’”
She has not yet been able to bury the urn that holds the remains of Gwen’s body, which was cremated.
“I have her urn in my room,” she said before the presentation. “She has her own little shrine.”
Guerrero has grown accustomed to calling Gwen her daughter now; sometimes, before the murder, she had lapsed and called Gwen “Eddie” out of habit.
Guerrero petitioned a court in California to have Eddie’s name legally changed to Gwen Amber Rose Araujo — “Gwen” for the name Eddie had chosen and “Amber Rose” for Guerrero, who had chosen that name as an alternative to Eddie, in case the baby was a girl.
Jake Kornegay reports on the homophobia and bullying that drove an 11-year-old to commit suicide this month.
April 24, 2009
ON APRIL 6, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, distraught from being called “fag,” “girlie,” “gay” and similar names on a daily basis in school, took his own life. He hung himself with an extension cord in his family’s Springfield, Mass., home, where he was discovered by his mother, Sirdeaner Walker.
Carl was 11 years old. He was a football and basketball player in school, a Boy Scout and was active in his church and in putting together a Black history program.
But despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school Carl attended, New Leadership Charter School, administrators did nothing to stop the taunting. Sirdeaner found Carl dead just minutes before she was going to confront school authorities again.
Unfortunately, Carl’s case isn’t unique. William and Janis Mohat’s 17-year-old son Eric was bullied to death at Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio. On March 29, 2007, Mohat shot himself after relentless harassment and intimidation, which included being pushed, shoved and hit–not to mention being humiliated by being called a “fag,” a “queer” and a “homo.” Like Carl, Eric had never shown any interest in homosexuality at all.
In the lawsuit Eric’s parents filed in federal court in March, they said that “a young man told Eric, ‘Why don’t you go home and shoot yourself? No one would miss you.’ And that’s what he did.”
“When you lose a child like this, it destroys you in ways you can’t even describe,” William Mohat told ABC News. Bully-induced suicides are on the rise, and that trend coincides with an increase over the last five years in the level of viciousness in taunting–among boys and girls, Summit County Domestic Relations Court community outreach director Sue Tucker told Fox News.
In a 2005 survey by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Harris Interactive, “From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America,” students said that most of their peers were bullied because of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression, which is the second most common reason for bulling behind appearance.
Students said that teachers rarely interfered in cases of gay-related bullying, because they were embarrassed or don’t know what to do, the report showed. “The truly unfortunate thing is because of the societal atmosphere surrounding gay and lesbian life in the U.S., administrators are reluctant to act or fail to act,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard, who attended Carl’s memorial service.
Gay students report that they are often scared to go to school because of the homophobic culture. According to the 2005 National School Climate Survey by the GLSEN, nearly one-fifth of LGBT students reported being physically assaulted at school the previous school year because of their sexual orientation, and over one-tenth because of their gender expression.
Suicide is the third leading causes of death among teenagers in general, behind accidents and homicide for ages 15-24, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Even more disturbing, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14.
Gay teen suicide is shockingly common. According to a 1999 CDC/Massachusetts Department of Education Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 33 percent of gay youth will attempt suicide. Many of these kids’ sexuality is unknown, including Carl’s, but no matter. The pervasiveness of homophobic taunts, the fear that kids–gay or not–face in school every day and bullying are inseparable. And, as they say, it’s easier to kick down than up.
WHEN KIDS bully others because of their sexuality, they are repeating a message that pervades society at large. What kind of signal, for example, does it send to kids when the government says it’s wrong for two women or two men to get married, or when there is little or no protection for LGBT people in the workplace, in housing and in adoption?
Some groups such as GLSEN promote LGBT issues by asking school kids not to speak for a day, or as their public service messages say, “Think Before You Speak” to reduce use of the slur “That’s so gay,” which kids understand as derogatory. Efforts like these may help, but what we really need is more speech against bigotry, more discussion of LGBT issues and more education on why it’s okay to be who you are.
Conrad Honicker of Knoxville, Tenn., who came out as gay just before his freshman year in high school, told ABC News, “Naturally, I got a lot of teasing, mostly verbal, but it got threatening at one point. Someone threw a large rock at me. They missed, but it landed in front of me.” He survived the verbal abuse that he described as “very graphic” and “like you would treat a woman in a bad, sexualized gratuitous way.” Bullies also physically attacked him, “squeezing me and kissing my neck.”
Honicker’ responded by forming West High School’s first gay-straight alliance, as well as eight other groups around the school district. He believes that if these groups are a visible presence in schools, they can thwart the bullying and encourage teachers to act.
Gay-straight alliances are widespread and growing, and see themselves as an army of youth combating anti-gay bigotry. For example, over 300 high school students are attending LGBT Equality and Justice Day in New York State. The goal of this day of action is to pressure politicians to give us not only marriage equality, but other demands like transgendered rights bills.
It will also take more action on the national level–like the passage of Employment Non-Discrimination Act, an end to the military’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and federal gay marriage equality–before the message sinks in that bigotry divides and must be stopped.
“I am determined for the rest of my life to advocate on behalf of students who are voiceless and silent,” Sirdeaner told ABC News. She has been homeless and a victim of domestic abuse, and is a breast cancer survivor, but, she said, “The one thing we couldn’t get through was public school.”
It’s hard to imagine what kind of thoughts go through an 11-year-old child’s head seconds before hanging himself to death. We can’t bring Carl back, but we can honor him and others like him by joining his mom in fighting for the “voiceless and silent”–by helping those voices come together, grow stronger, loud and proud.
I am an atheist. I consider all religions to be superstition based and most so totally misogynistic as to be absurd for anyone who isn’t a straight male to believe in.
The three desert monotheisms are the worst. From burning at the stake to tipping walls over on us. At their core is the idea that women are inferior to men.
As Upton Sinclair, the noted 19th and early 20th century muck raker pointed out in his book “The Profits of Religion” they are in it for the money. Hate sells because other than pie in the sky when you die schemes religion has little else to offer.
Therefore anything written by the freak, Tony Perkins (not the actor) is suspect.
Novel idea? This shit for brains seems to forget motive is the difference between manslaughter and murder.
As to the dangers posed to the Taliban Christians, as the saying goes. “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”
Now Tony manages to lie numerous times in the following and white wash the fact that his organization is a Hate Group no less vile than Aryan Nation or the KKK, they just dress nicer and have better language skills that they use to gloss their hate with euphemisms.
The following bullshit is by him.
Christian Post, USA
Why Congress Should Reject Federal ‘Hate Crimes’ Bill
All violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted – but this novel legal approach violates several core principles and holds a number of dangers.
By Tony Perkins
Christian Post Guest Contributor
Tue, Apr. 21, 2009 Posted: 04:39 PM EDT
The House Judiciary Committee will on Wednesday consider a proposed federal “hate crimes” bill, H.R. 1913. It would, for the first time, allow the federal government to step in and prosecute any violent crime anywhere in the country that “is motivated by prejudice” against a number of protected characteristics, including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (that is, cross-dressing and sex changes).
All violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted – but this novel legal approach violates several core principles and holds a number of dangers.
1) It violates the “equal protection of the laws” by protecting some victims more than others. This is a principle which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and is even carved above the entrance to the Supreme Court (“Equal Justice Under Law”). Do we somehow care less about a victim who is violently assaulted because of a robbery or personal dispute than we do about a victim who is assaulted because they belong in a federally protected category?
2) It punishes thoughts and not just actions. Advocates of the bill deny this because it only authorizes prosecution of someone who “willfully causes bodily injury” or “attempts to cause bodily injury.” But such acts are already crimes under state law. What converts the acts targeted by this bill into a federal offense are the thoughts or opinions of the perpetrator alone. Since every violent crime manifests some sort of “hate,” it makes more sense to think of this as a “thought crimes” law.
3) It constitutes a major federal power grab from states and localities. A version of this bill in an earlier Congress was dubbed the “Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act.” It might better be known as the “Local Law Enforcement Usurpation Act.” In fact, it would even allow prosecution of an individual who had already been prosecuted and
acquitted for the same act at the state level-which violates the constitutional protection against double jeopardy.
4) It shows contempt for the moral and religious views of millions of Americans by including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected categories. By distinguishing between an ordinary crime and a so-called “hate crime” solely on the basis of the perpetrator’s disapproval of homosexual conduct or sex changes, the bill sends a message that such disapproval alone-even if expressed peacefully and lovingly-constitutes a form of “hate” that is equivalent to racial bigotry. This is an insult to many compassionate individuals who
sincerely object to such conduct, not only based on religious and moral boundaries that are thousands of years old, but also based on well-founded concerns about the serious health risks of such conduct.
5) It sets us on a slippery slope toward serious infringements of the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In some jurisdictions that have adopted these laws, “hate crimes” have been defined to include not just violent physical acts, but merely verbal activity as well, using terms like “hate speech,” “intimidation,” and even verbal “assault.” By ratifying the “thought crimes” mentality, this bill paves the way for future expansions of its scope. Indeed, Christians have already been prosecuted under thought crime laws for peacefully
expressing disapproval of homosexual behavior in Sweden, England, Canada, and even in Philadelphia. Even under current federal law, the 1990 “Hate Crime Statistics Act” defines “hate crimes” much more broadly as “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice,” and the statistics collected under that law include even non-violent offenses such as “intimidation.” It would be a very simple matter for a future Congress to change the definition of a “hate crime” subject to federal prosecution to match the more sweeping definition of “hate crimes” on which the federal government already gathers statistics.
There is simply no evidence that state and local law enforcement officials are unable or unwilling to adequately investigate and prosecute violent “hate crimes” under existing criminal laws, or that they are failing to do so. Because of that, a federal “hate crimes” law is unnecessary, and for the reasons noted above, it is unacceptable. To treat all victims equally, and to punish actions and not thoughts, Congress should reject H.R. 1913.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.
(Des Moines, Iowa) The Iowa Department of Public Health, which registers marriages in the state, has begun sending county clerks new gender neutral marriage license application forms.
Same-sex couples can begin issuing the forms on Monday, the date imposed by the Iowa Supreme Court when it struck down the state ban on gay marriage on April 3.
The old forms had spaces for the “Groom” and “Bride” to fill in. The new forms refer only to “Party A” and Party B”.
But the forms will also provide an option for traditional opposite-sex couples – allowing them to tick off a box identifying them as bride and groom.
Last week the Department of Public Health issued a directive to clerks reminding them that under the court ruling they are obligated to “issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in the same manner as licenses issued to opposite gender applicants.”
The Attorney General’s office also said it would monitor compliance.
On April 3 in a unanimous ruling the Iowa Supreme Court said that the state law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional – upholding a lower court ruling.
“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in the 69 page ruling.
The court also discounted civil unions as an alternative to marriage.
“A new distinction based on sexual orientation would be equally suspect and difficult to square with the fundamental principles of equal protection embodied in our constitution,” the ruling said.
Attempts by Republicans to advance a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would bar same-sex marriage have failed in the Legislature.
Gay marriage opponents are now counting on a Constitutional Convention top overturn the ruling.
Once every decade Iowa voters can decide whether to hold a convention. The question is scheduled to go on the ballot in November 2010 and needs only a simple majority.
Conservatives believe that if a Constitutional Convention is approved they can convince delegates to vote for an amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.
If voters approve holding a convention, and if enough delegates can be convinced to amend the constitution the question could be put to voters in a special election, possibly in 2011.
All we ask is that the murder of transsexual and transgender women be treated seriously. Just as seriously as that of the virgin white christian cheerleader in a private school.
In this case this scum sucker committed first degree murder, a hate crime as well as grand theft.
Bury him in prison forever. Let him never have sex with a woman from this day forth.
Allen Andrade is guilty of murdering 18-year-old transgendered woman Angie Zapata, a Colorado jury decided. Andrade is also guilty of the additional hate crime charge.
The Weld County jury deliberated for two hours.
On Tuesday, the jurors heard a tape of a call made to Andrade’s girlfriend Felicia Mendoza, in which he said “gay things need to die.”
In the call, he joked about his “celebrity” status, saying he he would sell his story for the right price.
“Give me money and I’ll sell my story – for $50,000 I would,” he was recorded telling her.
During cross-examination by Andrade’s attorneys, Mendoza said it was the first time she heard Andrade say anything derogatory about gays.
The defense maintained that Andrade “snapped” after finding out the teen was biologically male. But prosecutors argued that Andrade knew Angie Zapata’s secret for at least 36 hours before the slaying – and killed her not in a sudden rage but because he disliked gays and transgenders.
It is the first case in which the state’s hate crime law has been applied in a case involving a transgendered person.
Colorado added gender identity to its hate crime law in 2005. It is one of only 11 states across the country that include transgender protections in their hate crime laws.