How Not to be an Ally: KateGate’s Growing Horrors: From the B-52s’ Kate Pierson’s Unapologetic Alignment With Anti-Trans Activism to Her Transparently Empty Call for Dialogue

I’ve had numerous personal anthems and songs that got me through tough patches in life. Not one of them has been specifically trans themed.

But that’s neither here nor there, maybe more reflective of when I came out than anything or just my perspective on trans being something I was treated for rather than an identity.

But Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” failed to move me.  I haven’t bothered with checking You Tube for Kate Pierson’s “Mister Sister”.  The very title tells me it is probably offensive.

I’m tired of well meaning non-trans-folks blundering around with their studies and patronizing support.  Dealing with the well meaning, all knowing supporters is often more demeaning than dealing with hateful bigots.  With the bigots I just snarl and hit back, with the well meaning patronizing idiots I have to put up with hurt feelings followed with accusations of non-appreciation.

From Huffington Post:


Dear Kate,

It’s been over a week since the release of your new single, “Mister Sister,” and the publication of my open letter to you regarding the disappointment and pain that it caused me, a longtime fan, and many in the trans community. What initially began as a few sparks flying about your single has officially turned into a conflagration.

In your response to the criticism, you claimed that dialogue is important. Yet over the past several days, many comments posted to your Facebook page that have been critical of the message in your song (and nonthreatening, despite claims to the contrary) have been quickly and summarily removed. Moreover, how can I or anyone else who shares my concerns find meaning in dialogue when you didn’t respond specifically to any of the issues I raised, such as the inclusion of a documented transmisogynist in your video? What does dialogue actually mean to you, and how do we achieve it? Because we’re clearly not there now.

You responded, “By ‘trans’ I meant to be more universal and not presume to ‘represent’ any particular group. Huffington Post added the ‘(gender)’ to my quote….” The problem here is that I never once called your new single a “transgender anthem.” Starting with the headline, I clearly called it your “trans anthem,” just like you did, and as I did throughout my letter. In fact, I only used the word “transgender” once, and that was in reference to viciously transmisogynistic commentary by Alyson Palmer, one of your video’s two problematic guests.

Then you briefly talked about the “power of transformation,” “the joy of self acceptance,” “transcend[ing] gender boundaries,” and “promot[ing] greater understanding.” Finally, you closed by reminding me of your dedication to the fight for LGBTQ rights, and you acknowledged “how important dialogue such as this can be.” Dialogue, you say, is “just as important today than ever before.”

Since my open letter was published many other wonderful, important, and thoughtful responses to your single by members of the trans community have been published. They range from the personal and heartbreaking to the calmly diplomatic to the plainly frustrated to researched journalism to a succinctly in-your-face reality check to the brilliantly sincere, silly, and satirical. This while you tweet and cheer about a brutally cutting and wordy post by a “gendercrit” blogger who calls those of us who have issues with the single “anti-feminist trans activist league of SJ hashtag hobgoblins.” I’m a passionate intersectional feminist, by the way, as opposed to a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF). I’m anti-bigot and profoundly pro-feminist, despite the ongoing attempt by some to reclaim an exclusionary, marginalizing, tightly wound twisting of what “feminism” means. In snarky academic prose, this writer makes the poisonous case that trangender people are nothing more than a political movement. She even names Cathy Brennan, one of the most infamous anti-gender activists in circulation, as someone she aspires to call a friend. For goodness’ sake, Kate, this is dialogue to you? What planet are you on? Planet Claire?

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For Low-Wage Americans, The Holiday Season Is A Time To Work

From Huffington Post:

How Not to Be an Ally: White screaming drowns out black voices at protests

From SF Gate:

By Chip Johnson
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bay Area protests over the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and scores of others may assuage white liberal guilt and provide a righteous reason to rail against the machine, but it would be nice to actually hear from some black folks.

So far, it seems all I’ve seen and heard in three weeks of protest are some pretty vocal white folks screaming to have their way, or dismissing the actions of the wolves inside the flock as the ugly backside of democracy.

Assault, vandalism and looting are not protected forms of free speech.

In Oakland, black religious leaders who have traditionally stood front and center in every successful civil rights movement were not part of the revolution this time.

Their conspicuous absence has led to marches that, quite frankly, appear to be more about white rage than black empowerment. It’s more about what they want than it is about what African American communities truly need.

Black leadership whether from churches or community organizations would add credibility, foster communication and bridge the gap between demonstrators and middle-aged and older African Americans who’ve been down this road before.

“I’m waiting for someone to say all black lives matter, whether they are being killed by police officers or other young black men,” said Bishop Bob Jackson, the African American pastor at Acts Full Gospel Church, which has more than 12,000 congregants from across the Bay Area.

“I like the mantra, but if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right.”

The annual Martin Luther Day King March planned for Oakland will call on police officers as well as citizens who resolve disputes with violence to declare a moratorium on all killings of black men, Jackson said.

But in an era where Sunday church services take a backseat to weekend sales and football games, that influence and their message is waning.

“The clergy in Oakland have not really come together,” said Bishop Joseph Simmons, pastor at Greater St. Paul Church in West Oakland. “We’re still trying to figure out where we fit in in all of this. This generation doesn’t have respect for the church, and we don’t have the power we once had.”

All the same, the violence, vandalism and looting that have been part of the demonstrations in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco have disappointed some of the black community leaders.

“When you see protesters taking the opportunity to loot stores and burn stuff, it doesn’t help preserve the memories of young men like Brown and Garner,” Jackson said. “Using their deaths as an excuse to terrorize innocent citizens, loot, rob and destroy only hurts our cause.”

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US marine charged with killing Filipino transgender woman

From The Guardian UK:

Joseph Pemberton faces 20 years in jail if found guilty of murder of Jennifer Laude in case that has fanned anti-US sentiment

Prosecutors in the Philippines have filed murder charges against a US marine accused of killing a Filipino transgender woman in a case that has fanned anti-American sentiment.

Prosecutors found probable cause against Pte First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton and decided that he used “treachery, abuse of superior authority and cruelty” against his alleged victim, lead prosecutor Emilie Fe delos Santos told a televised briefing.

“You can see the kind of cruelty she endured, the injuries she sustained,” Delos Santos said. “We believe we have a strong case.” Pemberton will not be allowed to post bail, she said. Murder is punishable by up to 40 years in jail.

Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old transgender woman also known as Jeffrey, was found dead on 2 October in a hotel, in the port city of Olongapo. She was discovered half-naked in a bathroom with marks of strangulation on her neck, according to police. Laude died from asphyxia by drowning, according to a police autopsy.

“This is not an ordinary murder. This is heinous because she was beaten up,” the Laude family lawyer, Harry Roque, told reporters.

Pemberton, who had just finished taking part in US-Philippine military exercises near Olongapo, had checked into the hotel with Laude and was the last person seen with her. Police said Pemberton, aged 19 at the time of the death, had asked prosecutors to downgrade the murder charge to homicide, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

Laude’s death sparked street protests and the public outcry pressured the Philippine government to seek the transfer of Pemberton’s detention from a US warship to military headquarters in Manila.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Joni Mitchell


Turning the Page: Transgender issues — Moving on

I have been saying it for years:  For Transsexual folks who get SRS being part of the active Transgender Community can be a finite matter.  Being post-transsexual doesn’t require you to be a hateful asshole, it just means knowing the time has come to relinquish the activist role to others for whom issues are more immediate.

Better to back off than get angry and fight.  Better to admit apathy than go to war over words.

From The Montreal Gazette:

Jillian Page, Montreal Gazette
December 10, 2014

Well, apparently I was wrong. Some transgender people do feel Chelsea Manning is a spokesperson for them.

And at least one of them threatened to campaign against me for daring to speak my opinion in a previous post, which I have taken offline not because of the individual’s intimidation tactics, but simply because I have decided not to write about transgender issues any more.

It’s something I have been thinking about recently. I started writing about trans issues, at the urging of my paper, when I was gender transitioning. I received a fair bit of criticism back then — in 2008 and 2009 — from other gender-transitioned women, who told me I shouldn’t be advocating for “cross-dressers” who will never have sexual reassignment surgery. That was my first inkling there was a great divide in the so-called transgender community. Indeed, those women didn’t see themselves as “transgender” people; they view themselves simply as women and they do not see “part-time crossdressers” with male anatomy as women.

But I did continue to write about transgender people, as well as other members of the LGBTQ community.

Lately, though, I have been saddened by the armchair social media militancy of some in the trans community, by how they pounce on and bully anyone — journalist or not, trans or not — who expresses contrary views. And label people whether they like it or not: when I mentioned recently that some biological women don’t like to be referred to as “cisgender,” a trans activist wrote to me and said, in essence, “Too bad. She must be a radfem. I’ll call her what I want.” (For the record: they are not radfems; they support trans people.)

Sadly, while some transgender people cry out for respect and equal rights, they don’t extend the same to others.

Not all trans people are militant, of course. Most aren’t. But journalists who have been attacked by transgender “warriors” are often very wary of trans subjects afterward.

Like most bloggers, I don’t get paid for writing posts. It’s not part of my job; it has been a labour of love. I will continue to write about some LGB issues, because I am part of that group. But I will step back from transgender matters, as so many of my gender-transitioned peers urged me to do in 2008 and 2009 after I had SRS. Like them, I do not consider myself to be a transgender person: I am simply a woman, and my path to womanhood is irrelevant. I am happy to live in the gender binary.

I will always be in favour of equality for those who dwell between the gender binary, but I will leave the advocacy to people who live that experience — because it is not my experience.

For me, it’s time to move on from transgenderism.

Good luck to all transgender people.



Surviving Whole Foods

From Huffington Post:


Whole Foods is like Vegas. You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the newfound knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.

Unlike Vegas, Whole Foods’ clientele are all about mindfulness and compassion… until they get to the parking lot. Then it’s war. As I pull up this morning, I see a pregnant lady on the crosswalk holding a baby and groceries. This driver swerves around her and honks. As he speeds off I catch his bumper sticker, which says ‘NAMASTE’. Poor lady didn’t even hear him approaching because he was driving a Prius. He crept up on her like a panther.

As the great, sliding glass doors part I am immediately smacked in the face by a wall of cool, moist air that smells of strawberries and orchids. I leave behind the concrete jungle and enter a cornucopia of organic bliss; the land of hemp milk and honey. Seriously, think about Heaven and then think about Whole Foods; they’re basically the same.

The first thing I see is the great wall of kombucha — 42 different kinds of rotten tea. Fun fact: the word kombucha is Japanese for ‘I gizzed in your tea.’ Anyone who’s ever swallowed the glob of mucus at the end of the bottle knows exactly what I’m talking about. I believe this thing is called “The Mother,” which makes it that much creepier.

Next I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions. Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem. You know you’ve really made it in this world when you get Candida. My personal theory is that Candida is something you get from too much hot yoga. All I’m saying is if I were a yeast, I would want to live in your yoga pants.

Next I approach the beauty aisle. There is a scary looking machine there that you put your face inside of and it tells you exactly how ugly you are. They calculate your wrinkles, sun spots, the size of your pores, etc. and compare it to other women your age. I think of myself attractive but as it turns out, I am 78 percent ugly, meaning less pretty than 78 percent of women in the world. On the popular 1-10 hotness scale used by males the world over, that makes me a 3 (if you round up, which I hope you will.) A glance at the extremely close-up picture they took of my face, in which I somehow have a glorious, blond porn mustache, tells me that 3 is about right. Especially because the left side of my face is apparently 20 percent more aged than the right. Fantastic. After contemplating ending it all here and now, I decide instead to buy their product. One bottle of delicious smelling, silky feeling creme that is maybe going to raise me from a 3 to a 4 for only $108 which is a pretty good deal when you think about it.

I grab a handful of peanut butter pretzels on my way out of this stupid aisle. I don’t feel bad about pilfering these bites because of the umpteen times that I’ve overpaid at the salad bar and been tricked into buying $108 beauty creams. The pretzels are very fattening but I’m already in the seventieth percentile of ugly so who cares.

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