Avoiding Being Part of the Transgender Community as a Survival Strategy

At this time of year, forty-three years ago I was working out the logistics of coming out.  Making doctor’s appointments, working with the welfare department and public health organizations to find exactly where I could go to get hormones and have a doctor who treated transsexualism.

One of the first places I went to was on Third and Mission in San Francisco, The Transsexual Counseling Service.

The sisters there imparted some very important words of wisdom.  Avoid prostitution, get job training, never live in the Tenderloin and avoid hanging out with drag queens because they will get you in trouble with the law.

Now these weren’t middle class sisters from suburbia.  They had lived in the Tenderloin, been part of what is now called the world of transgender, they had been prostitutes and were now in job training programs.

Fortunately I lived in Berkeley, didn’t know any TS or TG people and had a year and a half of college.  I had the support of assigned female at birth women when it came to learning how to conduct myself as a woman.  Friendships, advice and just people to talk with about the wall of sexism that I had been pretty oblivious to.  Male privilege bestowed based on the assumption of my being male permitted me to be blind to the level of crap women had to put up with on a daily basis.

I was lucky to come out in the world of left wing hippies with high levels of political consciousness that allowed me to analyze this sexism with a feminist perspective as that meant I saw it as the common life experience of all women and not as something specific to TS/TG women.

The next year I met and became friends with a queen who lived in Oakland and who did a safer form of sex work using ads placed in the Berkeley Barb. I wound up moving in with her and another sister.  I didn’t need an advanced degree in psychology to see the games or the self destructive life trajectories that Gina and Parrish were on.

I extricated myself from that living arrangement and picked up a boyfriend.  Love and lust were part of why I took up with him but there was also the reality that a woman alone in 1970 was prey.  Particularly if you were on the margins of society and didn’t have the protections of social structures such as family or school acting in loco parentis.

Later I went to work at that center where I first went for advice.  By then the culture of the place had changed and it was less Tenderloin and more in tune with the SF State Berkeley mindset.  I hit it off with Jan Maxwell, we became friends as well as co-workers.  But I was relatively selective as to who I became friends with from the people who went through the office as I could easily see there were quite a few seriously disturbed people with much more serious problems than I wanted in my life beyond the office.

It wasn’t the doctors who told us to get our surgery and assimilate into the non-transsexual world.  The whole point of getting a sex change operation was to be able to have an ordinary female life, experiencing the same sort of life that AFAB women experience.  That requires assimilation and letting go of the specialness of transgender.

One of the things radical feminists get wrong about post-transsexual women’s  cunts has to do with their short comings.  The short-comings i.e. infertility, menstruation are individual issues and society extrapolates from the general and not from the outlier.  If you have a vagina between your legs the rest of the world presumes that you have or will menstruate at some point in your life and they treat you accordingly unless you insist on going around proclaiming how you are transgender and proud.

When one gets hung up in transgender this transgender that or even obsesses on their transsexualism to the point where it is the only thing they ever think and talk about then they haven progressed much beyond transition.  It is like staying locked in a ghetto mindset.

The ghetto isn’t a healthy place to be.

Sex work isn’t healthy, either physically or emotionally.

Smoking weed is one thing.  It should be legal, like alcohol or even respected as a stress relieving medication.  The same can’t be said for all the prescription drugs so many sisters are strung out on.  Not the illegal drugs like speed, coke or smack.  A glass of wine with dinner is fine for those who don’t have problems with alcoholism, several drinks for breakfast not so much and maybe a warning sign.

Unfortunately it has been my experience that substance abuse issues are all to common in the Transgender Community and dealing with personal substance issues requires getting away from that community as part of the work of recovery.

Many in the Transgender Community gravitate to sex work including street prostitution and porn.  Street prostitution is the most kamikaze life choice one can make.  Every year the Day of Remembrance Lists are fill with the names of street prostitutes yet for all the political games there is little effort or even speaking out regarding street prostitution other than to condemn residents who complain about it going on in their neighborhoods as bigots.

Getting away from all that and getting away from other substance abusers and sex workers is a major step on the road to recovery.

Contrary to the guilt trips getting SRS does not obligate one to stay in a ghetto filled with self destructive people or to immerse oneself in a culture where such self destructive behavior is so common place.

I didn’t get sex reassignment surgery to be a post-op transgender person.  I got it to be a woman.

It is stressful and corrosive to spend the rest of my life listen to the Transgender Borg berate me as a separatist with an inverted penis.  The common verbal abuse dished out by the Borg towards any post-transsexual woman who is unwilling to remain in the snake pit of the Borg Collective destroys the emotional lives of post-transsexual women.

Avoiding being part of the Transgender Community isn’t an act of bigotry it is an act of self preservation.

Monsanto’s Bt GMO corn to be sold at Wal-Mart with no indication it is genetically modified

From Natural News:  http://www.naturalnews.com/035029_GM_corn_Walmart_Monsanto.html

Ethan A. Huff
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

(NaturalNews) Most of the genetically-modified (GM) corn products forced on American consumers today are hidden in processed foods in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn oil, corn starch, and various other corn-based additives. But soon to be available at a Walmart near you is Monsanto’s Bt sweet corn, the agri-giant’s first ever GM corn product made available to consumers as whole ears right on the cob in the produce section– and like with all other GMOs, neither Walmart nor Monsanto has any intention of labeling this new “Frankencorn.”

Monsanto first unveiled this new variety of GM sweet corn back in August, which rivals Syngenta’s GM sweet corn that has already been on the market in limited form for the past ten years, claiming that it would be available to farmers for planting during Fall 2011. Now, the corn appears set to make its debut in Walmart stores across the country as early as Summer 2012, unless massive public outcry is able to convince the multinational retailer to scrap the corn, or at least voluntarily label it.

This disturbing development comes courtesy of both Food & Water Watch and Sum Of Us, which recently drew attention to the issue by creating petitions against Walmart’s potential sale of the corn. Though Monsanto’s GM sweet corn contains three genetically-engineered (GE) traits that have never been used in food eaten directly by people, and that have never been properly tested, Walmart still intends to quietly stock its produce shelves with this phony corn in the very near future.

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Birth Control Hearing: Women Respond To All-Male Panel

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Why Right-Wingers’ Hatred of Modern Women Is Going to Cost Them the Birth Control Battle (and a Whole Lot of Votes)

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/154224/why_right-wingers%27_hatred_of_modern_women_is_going_to_cost_them_the_birth_control_battle_%28and_a_whole_lot_of_votes%29/

Conservatives are going wildly off-message when it comes to the fight over contraception.

By Joshua Holland
February 21, 2012

 For many pundits and politicians on the Right, the visceral impulse to shame women for being in control of their own sexuality is so overwhelming that they appear to be totally incapable of maintaining their usual message discipline. That’s going to cost them the fight over contraception.

The polling on the Obama administration’s recent “accommodation” with the Catholic bishops reveals an important trend. When the issue is framed as a battle over “religious liberty” for institutions associated with the church, Americans are deeply divided. When it’s about access to contraception, they’re not – overwhelming majorities are in favor of mandating that religiously affiliated employers provide their workers with insurance that covers birth control.

The numbers don’t lie. A Pew poll that offered little in the way of explanation of the new rule asked those who had heard about it (62 percent of respondents) whether “religiously affiliated institutions that object to the use of contraceptives should be given an exemption from the rule,” and found that a plurality sided with the bishops (by a margin of 48-44).

But a CBS/ New York Times Poll found that when some background was offered, and the question was worded a bit differently so that the emphasis was on contraception (“Should religious employers be required to cover contraception?”), the results were very different. Both self-identified Catholics and the larger public favored the rule by a healthy 2-1 margin.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/154224/why_right-wingers%27_hatred_of_modern_women_is_going_to_cost_them_the_birth_control_battle_%28and_a_whole_lot_of_votes%29/

Heartland Institute leak exposes strategies of climate attack machine

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/21/heartland-institute-leak-climate-attack

The documents show how groups play up controversy to undermine confidence in well-established scientific findings

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 February 2012

After the leak from the Chicago-based thinkthank the Heartland Institute, much attention is now being focused on the alleged deception used by the water scientist Peter Gleick to obtain the sensitive internal documents.

And while acts of deception cannot be condoned, it is also important to note that the documents obtained by Gleick provide an insight into how some of those groups that are fundamentally opposed to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases attempt to convey the impression that their arguments are founded on science rather than on ideology.

The Heartland Institute states on its website that its mission is “to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems”, and that the aim of its work on climate change is to promote “market-based, rather than government-based, solutions to environmental problems”. The Institute has been one of the most active lobbyists against policies in the United States to curb emissions, primarily by attempting to undermine confidence in the findings of scientific research that climate change is driven mainly by human activities.

One of the newly released documents shows very clearly how the institute intends to target teachers and schoolchildren with this strategy. It begins by claiming:

“Many people lament the absence of educational material suitable for K-12 [kindergarten to 12th grade] students on global warming that isn’t alarmist or overtly political. Heartland has tried to make material available to teachers, but has had only limited success. Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/21/heartland-institute-leak-climate-attack

The High Costs of Birth Control: A Major Barrier to Access

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/02/19/high-costs-birth-control

by Jessica Arons, Center for American Progress and Center for American Progress Action Fund
February 21, 2012

Many people seem to think birth control is affordable, but high costs are one of the primary barriers to contraceptive access. It is for this reason that the Obama administration recently followed the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine to ensure that birth control will be covered as a preventive service with no cost-sharing beginning August 1, 2012.

Although three-quarters of American women of childbearing age have private insurance, they still have had to pay a significant portion of contraceptive costs on their own.

  • A recent study shows that women with private insurance paid about 50 percent of the total costs for oral contraceptives, even though the typical out-of-pocket cost of noncontraceptive drugs is only 33 percent.
  • In some cases oral contraceptives approach 29 percent of out-of-pocket spending on health care for women with private insurance.
  • Women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health care costs than do men, in part because of contraceptive costs.

High costs have forced many women to stop or delay using their preferred method, while others have chosen to depend on less effective methods that are the most affordable.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/02/19/high-costs-birth-control

Dolphins deserve same rights as humans, say scientists

From BBC:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17116882

21 February 2012

Dolphins should be treated as non-human “persons”, with their rights to life and liberty respected, scientists meeting in Canada have been told.

Experts in philosophy, conservation and animal behaviour want support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans.

They believe dolphins and whales are sufficiently intelligent to justify the same ethical considerations as humans.

Recognising their rights would mean an end to whaling and their captivity, or their use in entertainment.

The move was made at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, Canada, the world’s biggest science conference.

It is based on years of research that has shown dolphins and whales have large, complex brains and a human-like level of self-awareness.

This has led the experts to conclude that although non-human, dolphins and whales are “people” in a philosophical sense, which has far-reaching implications.

Continue reading at:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17116882

The paradox of Rick Santorum’s conservative beliefs

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ana-marie-cox-blog/2012/feb/20/rick-santorum-conservative-beliefs-paradox

Santorum’s supporters denounce the government’s religious interference, but it’s their mantra that feels like oppression

Posted by
Monday 20 February

I can’t imagine that anyone on the Obama re-election team ever thought they’d be so lucky as to run against Rick Santorum; even now, one senses a kind of incredulous bemusement among when they are asked to respond to the former senator’s more strident remarks.

They can rise above Santorum’s social conservative mud-slinging without raising a sweat. Last Sunday, Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign adviser, used Santorum’s accusation that the president had a “phony theology” to plea for civility. We have to, Gibbs said, “get rid of this mindset in our politics that, if we disagree, we have to question character and faith,” an assertion that appeals to a conviction that most Americans cling to more strongly than any religious affiliation: the right to be left alone.

As I’ve written before, I think it’s Santorum’s comfort with judging (and interfering with) the private lives of others that raises the hackles of voters who don’t already agree with him. Social conservatives, Santorum chief among them, have tried to paint the administration’s support for mandatory coverage of birth control by insurance companies as an imposition of beliefs on its own. When Santorum claims that the policy means that Obama “has reached a new low in this country’s history of oppressing religious freedom that we have never seen before,” he’s relying on American’s long-held distrust of government to blind us to real-life workings of the policy he describes. In practice, it’s preventing people from using their insurance to cover birth control costs that feels like government interference, on the way to oppression.

The ability to control when and if we have children isn’t a luxury anymore, it’s a right as fundamental to our understanding of personal freedom that I’m not even sure most voters give it a second thought. Involving insurance companies, and employers, complicates the issue somewhat for some people – but not so much that it makes the president’s policy unpopular.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ana-marie-cox-blog/2012/feb/20/rick-santorum-conservative-beliefs-paradox

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God Fraud Scam Artist and Pseudo-Christian Franklin Graham Can’t Accept Barack Obama is Christian

Islamophobic son of anti-Semitic Religion Hustler Billy Graham engages in racist baiting of President Obama.

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Financial Fascism? ‘Greeks should revolt against debt slavery!

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Merit badges, cookies, and ‘the destruction of traditional American family values’

From The Maddow Blog:  http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/21/10465924-merit-badges-cookies-and-the-destruction-of-traditional-american-family-values

By Steve Benen
Tue Feb 21, 2012

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we talked about the right’s increasing animosity towards the Girl Scouts? As this story out of Indiana helps demonstrate, it’s apparently getting worse.

A Fort Wayne lawmaker has refused to sign on to a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, calling the group a “radicalized organization” that supports abortion and promotes the homosexual lifestyle.

Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, sent a letter to his fellow House Republicans on Saturday explaining why he would be the only member in the House not to endorse the nonbinding resolution.

He said he did some web-based research and found allegations that the Girl Scouts are a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood, allows transgender females to join and encourages sex.

Morris also said the fact that First Lady Michelle Obama is honorary president “should give each of us reason to pause before our individual and collective endorsement of the organization.”

Morris, a state representative, added that he believes the Girl Scouts have been “subverted in the name of liberal progressive politics and the destruction of traditional American family values.”

He wasn’t kidding.

Continue reading at:  http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/21/10465924-merit-badges-cookies-and-the-destruction-of-traditional-american-family-values

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Financial Times: “Greece is the eurozone’s first colony”

By Roar Mag:  http://roarmag.org/2012/02/financial-times-greece-is-the-eurozones-first-colony/

by Jerome Roos
February 22, 2012

When even the media paragon of free-market ideology argues that “Greece must default if it wants democracy,” you know something is profoundly wrong.

Here at ROAR, we usually don’t rely on the analyses brought forward by the mainstream media; in particular not those of the unreconstituted neoliberal intelligentsia at the Financial Times. But the latest article by financial analyst and EU expert Wolfgang Münchau deserves being disseminated widely. Arguing that “Greece must default if it wants democracy,” Münchau has just launched his most scathing critique of the EU’s approach to Greece yet:

When Wolfgang Schäuble proposed that Greece should postpone its elections as a condition for further help, I knew that the game would soon be up. We are at the point where success is no longer compatible with democracy. The German finance minister wants to prevent a “wrong” democratic choice. Similar to this is the suggestion to let the elections go ahead, but to have a grand coalition irrespective of the outcome. The eurozone wants to impose its choice of government on Greece – the eurozone’s first colony.

As a leading columnist, Münchau’s articles are widely read by policymakers in Brussels, Berlin and Paris. A friend of mine who used to work in the European Parliament once told me that his writings are extremely influential in informing the political debate among the Brussels eurocrats. What’s more, Münchau can hardly be considered a leftist or a radical. Indeed, most of his work has focused on how to save European capitalism from itself.

Continue reading at:   http://roarmag.org/2012/02/financial-times-greece-is-the-eurozones-first-colony/

Pelosi To Hold House Hearing On Contraception, GOP Plans To Interfere

From The New Civil Rights Movement: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/pelosi-to-hold-house-hearing-on-contraception-gop-plans-to-interfere/politics/2012/02/21/35098

by David Badash
February 21, 2012

Last week, Rep. Darrell Issa‘s all-male House hearing on contraception made headlines around the world for its tone-deafness and for simply reinforcing the fact that the GOP is waging war against women. Today, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats will hold a House hearing Thursday on the issue of contraception and women’s health, and the key witness will be the woman the Democrats tried to get on Issa’s panel to testify, but who was refused. However, for the first time, possibly ever, the Republicans are getting in the way of the public viewing the testimony of the witness whom they refused to allow to testify last week.

Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke’s testimony may not be recorded or televised because Republicans are refusing to allow the House recording studio to tape the proceedings.

“In a note to reporters on Thursday, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the House Administration Committee, chaired by Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., ‘has apparently reversed existing policy and denied a request from the Democratic leadership for the House Recording Studio to cover this event and provide video publicly so all Americans can finally hear Ms. Fluke’,” according to the National Journal:

Hammill said Lungren’s committee, while under Democratic control in July 2008, lifted restrictions on the use of the studio to accommodate requests made by leadership. If Lungren has reversed this policy, wrote Hammill, “he has done so in secret and not consulted with [committee] Democrats. This leaves us only to think that the House Republican leadership is acting out yet again to silence women on the topic of women’s health.”

Hammill added that since the beginning of 2011, the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee has held eight hearings on various topics and that the recording studio had always covered these hearings unless pre-booked for something else.

“This is the first time the Democratic leadership has been told that the [recording studio] cannot cover this hearing because it is a hearing of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee,” Hammill said.

A spokeswoman for Lungren and House Administration Committee Republicans had no immediate response.

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/pelosi-to-hold-house-hearing-on-contraception-gop-plans-to-interfere/politics/2012/02/21/35098

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Rick Santorum compares Obama to rise of Hitler, because Rick Santorum is nuts

But remember we’re not supposed to call Christo-Fascist, misogynists Nazis, because of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and the Dalai Lama…

Even when they advocate killing LGBT/T people.

From Daily Kos:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/21/1066753/-Rick-Santorum-compares-Obama-to-rise-of-Hitler-because-Rick-Santorum-is-nuts

By Hunter
Tue Feb 21, 2012

Did all the Republican candidates take a Stupid Pill this morning? If not, what the hell is going on? Now Rick My-Jesus-is-Better-Than-Yours Santorum is comparing Barack Obama to Hitler:

“Remember, the greatest generation for a year and a half, sat on the sidelines while Europe was under darkness, while our closest ally, Britain, was being bombed and leveled, while Japan was spreading its cancer all throughout Southeast Asia,” Santorum ominously told a packed, enthusiastic crowd at the First Redeemer Church in Cummings, Ga., Sunday, before traveling back to Ohio to campaign here today. [...]“We’re a hopeful people,” he continued. “We think, well, you know it’ll get better. After a while you find out some things about this guy over in Europe who’s not so good of a guy after all. … Sometimes, sometimes it’s not OK.”

So we’re already to the point in the campaign where the non-Republican guy is Hitler, now. Hell, I thought they’d be able to hold out at least until April or so, but no—that Hitler analogy was burning a hole in his pocket, it just had to come out.

While Santorum conceded that Obama’s policies were not quite as horrific as Hitler’s war in Europe, the rising GOP front-runner cautioned that the president is “fundamentally restructuring America.”

Other things that Republicans consider to be like Hitler: Birth control. Tax rates under Ronald Reagan. Newfangled light bulbs. It’s a very, very big list.

Apparently this isn’t a slip of the tongue on Santorum’s part, it’s an actual new campaign talking point. The geniuses of the Santorum campaign actually planned it out, and he’s used it in other recent speeches. Go vote for me, he says, because it’s just like fighting Hitler.

Continue reading at:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/21/1066753/-Rick-Santorum-compares-Obama-to-rise-of-Hitler-because-Rick-Santorum-is-nuts

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