Generation Diva: How our obsession with beauty is changing our kids.

[Along with the growth of “gender” as a replacement for sex, something that can be determined by a quick glance between the legs. I have noticed a corpotate exploitation boom in marketing aimed at gender insecurity.  We are raising a generation of spoiled insufferable brats who all think they are special.  The boys have to be he-men super atheletes and future masters of the universe.  The girls are all spoiled princesses an4 year old wannabee Hannah Montanas.

Only social failures, i.e. nerds actually want to know things or have ambitions to be something other than rich consumers.]

Jessica Bennett


There’s a scene in “Toddlers & Tiaras,” the TLC reality series, where 2-year-old Marleigh is perched in front of a mirror, smothering her face with blush and lipstick. She giggles as her mother attempts to hold the squealing toddler still, lathering her legs with self-tanner. “Marleigh loves to get tan,” her mom says, as the girl presses her face against the mirror.

Marleigh is one of many pageant girls on the show, egged on by obsessive mothers who train their tots to strut and swagger, flip their hair and pout their lips. I watch, mesmerized by the freakishness of it all, but wonder how different Marleigh is from average girls all across America. On a recent Sunday in Brooklyn, I stumble into a spa that brands itself for the 0 to 12 set, full of tweens getting facialed and glossed, hands and feet outstretched for manis and pedis. “The girls just love it,” says Daria Einhorn, the 21-year-old spa owner, who was inspired by watching her 5-year-old niece play with toy beauty kits.

Sounds extreme? Maybe. But this, my friends, is the new normal: a generation that primps and dyes and pulls and shapes, younger and with more vigor. Girls today are salon vets before they enter elementary school. Forget having mom trim your bangs, fourth graders are in the market for lush $50 haircuts; by the time they hit high school, $150 highlights are standard. Five-year-olds have spa days and pedicure parties. And instead of shaving their legs the old-fashioned way—with a 99-cent drugstore razor—teens get laser hair removal, the most common cosmetic procedure of that age group. If these trends continue, by the time your tween hits the Botox years, she’ll have spent thousands on the beauty treatments once reserved for the “Beverly Hills, 90210” set, not junior highs in Madison, Wis.

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Caroline Cossy’s “My Story”

My I’m glad I don’t live in Great Britain with its vicious tabloid press.  Even though we let the total scumbag Rupert Murdoch own US media outlets even at their most vicious they can not hold a candle to the Brit. Rags.

That said. We always face the dilemma of risking being outed if we do anything that might gain public attention.  Granted there are areas of small fame laboring in relative obscurity where we might not face the harsh glare of being exposed to having the most private details of our lives used as tabloid fodder.

But even then it takes only one malicious person from our past to expose us.

I would have thought by now that there would be so many of us that we would hardly be considered noteworthy.  But thirty years of ultra right wing corporate conservatism has formed a partnership with the patriarchal religions to force sex back into the closet again.

It isn’t only us although yeaterday I pointed out how unisex/trannies in the restroom has been used as a multipurpose scare tactic for as long as I can remember.

Female sexuality is considered dangerous and something to be controlled.  It is controlled by denial of abortion access and birth control.  It is legal to use female sexuality to sell every product under the sun but if the woman wishes to free lance and sell her actual acting out of the sex act then both the law and the morality police come down on her.

I don’t have a brain tumor but I joke about having one when certain things just make my head want to explode from their absurdity.  One such story was that of teenage girls who teased their boy friends by sending them racy cell phone pictures of themselves.  They were actually going to try these girls on charges of trafficking in child pornography.

We are a very sex phobic society.  It seems to me that we use gender instead of sex way too often when we are talking about matters more properly defined as sex.  For example, “I had a sex change operation, sex reassignment surgery.  They used the tissue from my male parts to create my female parts.  All matters of why aside, this is pretty much how many intersex matters are dealt with, the major difference being that I had the agency of being old enough and well educated enough to give informed consent to the changing of my sex.

One of the main issues of discrimination we face is that while others, “normborns’  (Thanks Sophia Siedlberg) are diagnosed as either male or female based on a quick glance at their genitals we are subjected to parsing of our sex until they find a difference that disqualifies us as female.

Chromosomes, ability to reproduce etc. etc.  And it is the same old same old.  I sometime think what threatens those enforcers of distinctions so much is that the patriarchy might crumble if people started thinking that both men and women were from Earth and neither were from Mars or Venus.

So we are stuck arguing the reality of our being with those who cite as their authority all powerful sky beings who never make mistakes, are all loving yet act with great malevolence.

Ahhh the arguments of the normborns especially when enforcing the whims of the patriarchy.

How unfortunate for her to get involved with an ineffectual little prick who played mind games on her and then dumped her.

For what it is worth the “Gender Recognition” thingie sucks almost as bad as the non-recognition.

I would say no change of birth certificate or formal recognition without actual genital sex reassignment surgery.

Will the California Supreme Court strike down Prop 8, or “willy-nilly disregard” its duty?

, Freedom to Marry

If the March 5 oral argument before the California Supreme Court was any guide (which oral argument isn’t always), Chief Justice Ronald George may be on the verge of making a terrible, heartbreaking mistake.

The Court is due to rule soon on a set of challenges to Proposition 8, the November ballot-measure that stripped the freedom to marry away from committed same-sex couples. The challenges are supported by preeminent African-American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific civil rights organizations; cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles; teachers and child-welfare professionals; religious leaders; businesses and labor unions; and advocates for same-sex couples and their families. All of them have asked the Court to uphold the bedrock principle of American constitutional government that a simple majority may not selectively vote away a fundamental right from a minority targeted for invidious, suspect reasons.

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West Virginia rejects anti-gay amendment

(Charleston, West Virginia) A bid to advance an amendment to West Virginia’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage has failed.

Republicans and social conservatives had pushed the amendment, but it languished in a House committee.

Monday, Republican delegates attempted to drive the bill directly to the floor for a vote.  The bid failed 67-30 along party lines.

Amending the West Virginia constitution requires approval of the legislature and a vote by the electorate.

Earlier this month, the conservative Family Policy Council began a telemarketing campaign accusing two lawmakers – Delegates Carrie Webster and Barbara Fleischauer – of blocking a vote on the measure.

Webster and Fleischauer called the move “intimidation.” The bill was tied up in the House Committee on Constitutional Revision, which Fleischauer heads. If approved there, it would have gone to the House Judiciary committee headed by Webster..

Last year, the Family Policy Council unsuccessfully attempted to pressure Gov. Joe Manchin to recall the legislature to pass the proposed amendment. The measure was added to the legislature’s agenda this session.

West Virginia has had marriage law since 2000. But amendment supporters say it doesn’t go far enough and could be challenged in court.

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Christian Fundamentalist Group Preaches Patriarchy and Women’s Fertility as Weapons for Spiritual Warfare

By Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash
Posted on March 30, 2009, Printed on March 30, 2009

When Americans think of patriarchal societies, female submission, or extreme gender inequality based on religious teachings, visions of Muslim women in burkas or Hindus in poorly arranged marriages may come to mind. The reality, though, is that a growing number of American Christian fundamentalists also have rejected feminism and egalitarianism, embracing instead male dominance and what they call the “Quiverfull” belief system. Picture the Massachusetts Bay Colonies before Hester Prynne‘s day. The women in such communities live within a stringently enforced doctrine of wifely submission and male “headship,” including a selfless acceptance of possibly constant pregnancies and as many children under foot as God might bring. They reject not only “reproductive rights” of any kind, but also higher education and workforce participation for women.

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New Hampshire House Rejects Bill to Protect Transgender People from Discrimination

Fear mongering ultra right wing Republicans whipped out their tired argument that protecting transgender people from discrimination would lead to women being raped in the restroom.

Opponents, led by the Republican Party, used the same tactic that they used to successfully defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the late 1970s changing their framing from the fear of “Unisex Restrooms” which have become a reality on airplanes and in homes across America, with the argument  it would open all bathrooms to men and women.

Supporters argued transgender individuals are using the bathrooms now and needed the job protections the bill would provide.

The House voted 181-149 to kill the bill.

Thirteen states, the District of Columbia and 93 cities and counties have laws banning discrimination on transgender status according to the Transgender Law Policy Institute.

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Male Identified/Straight Identified

I am kind of stunned when I read the writings of women born transsexual who blame the victim in murder cases involving pre-op transsexuals by taking the side of the murderer who claims that the sister deceived him.  That is to me male identified behavior on the order of a male judge who blames the victim of rape for how she was dressed.

I have heard WBTs make just that statement regarding the case of both Gwen Araujo and Angie Zapata.  “They were asking for it!” “What did they expect, tricking men?”

As though murder or even hitting is a proper response.  It is not. Getting up and leaving is the proper response.

I would never ever vote to acquit some one using the “Transpanic” or “Gay panic” defense as I see that defense as being the equivalent of a guilty plea.

Never mind the stolen credit cards and car.

But then I am woman identified and I find male excuses for rape and the abuse of women to be inexcusable.  She did not make you hit her.  You hit her.  The way she was dress or the fact she was out did not make you rape her.  You are a rapist.  That is why you did that and if I had my way you would never ever be capable of committing that act again.

Being woman identified means putting women first and if we consider ourselves women that means including even our sisters who are still in the process of getting their SRS among those people we put first.

Now I am not straight iddentified either because to be straight identified is to believe the rules of the patriarchy which make men superior to women in every thing.  To be straight identified is to believe that what men say goes and that women are inferior to men rather than equal to men.

To be straight identified means obedience to authority and I have spent my life questioning authority.

Had I not questioned authority I would have tried a hundred different cures before accepting the reality of what I was born.

Not being straight identified I have not obeyed authority nor have I tried to live up to the stereo-typifying expectations of the doctors who tended in the early 1970s to look upon us as experiments.  Instead I have followed my own muse.  Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse as there are no guarantees when it comes to charting your own particular life course.

Therefore I take a rather dim view of those who say there is correct way to deal with the pre-conditions I was given regarding life.  Those pre-conditions for me included not only being born transsexual but being born poor and working class.  For others pre-conditions might include matters of race or culture.

I tend to view male identification when it appears in women as stemming from a sense of inferiority and representative of an unwillingness to stand up for their sisters.

It is a fool’s bargain because taking those positions merely makes one a tool of the male authority and not an equal.

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A Non-Inclusive ENDA

I’ve watched the attacks on HRC by the transgender activist community with a certain level of detachment.

The last couple of years Tina and I have gone to the “True Colors” HRC benefit concerts put on by Cyndi Lauper when the tour has come to our area.

In the past I’ve paid my dues with HRC and probably still would if the economy were better.  My biggest issues with them have more to do with my class consciousness and viewing them as more elitist and less conscious of working class and minority gay and lesbian people than either Lambda Legal or the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Last night I mentioned to Tina that I started hormones some 40 years ago this month.  I was in Berkeley and I was part of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).  People’s Park and the police shooting at us during the demonstrations was almost 2 months away.

After People’s Park and before Stonewall I would start living as a woman.  While Stonewall was important I was more caught up in SDS and the break that resulted in Weatherman.

But I started attending Gay/Lesbian Conferences that year.  I felt more like a mascot than a participant.

Transsexual never felt like a part of L/G but being feminist made me feel closer to the lesbians than to the gay men.

After SRS I became more and more radical feminist and because feminism was the theory and lesbianism was the practice my being bisexual slid more and more into lesbianism.

As some have agrued regarding the issue of same sex marriage and how priority should be place on protecting post-SRS women’s heterosexual marriage rather than extending the right to marry to all couples by removing the matter of the sex of the two getting married from the equation I too have a different take on ENDA and other employment non-discrimination.

You see I remember when employment want ads were divided between “help wanted-men” and “help wanted-women”. Over the years I have faced a good deal of employment discrimination simply for being a woman.  The Equal Rights Amendment might have helped me on these issues far more than a transinclusive ENDA.

Then too I have faced more employment discrimination and sexual harassment for being a lesbian than I ever did for my medical history. A non-inclusive ENDA that protected me because of my being lesbian and partnered with a woman would be of great benefit.

So while others put their being trans first when looking to laws that offer non-discrimination protections, I put being a woman and wanting protections for that first and then protections from discrimination for being an out lesbian.  Now my medical history isn’t part of that thinking.  Perhaps it should be with Total Information Awareness (TIA) and computerized records but I’ve been female so long and dealt with life as a woman for so long and been part of the feminist and lesbian movements for so many years transgender issues do not take the priority in my thinking that they take with people either just entering into the process or in many case with people who have gone through the process since 1995 and the emergence of Transgender as umbrella and the addition of T to LGB.  Hell I never included a B with L/G until some 15 years ago.

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Post Transsexual Ordinariness

Rather than “normalness”,  something that strikes me as mandated social construct, a chmera that exists  as a little conformed to ideal what happened to me after SRS was a gradual growth into ordinariness.

When Tina and I started the WBT post-op list we made it for post-SRS women because we didn’t want to continually relive the process of change.

It is exciting and driven for people going through it.  Indeed some people feel a let down after it is all over with.  People in process expect those who went through it to have words of wisdom and guidance to offer them in their struggles with the process.  And we might if we choose to make being a guide or a counselor our life’s work or even our volunteer work.  But for most of us time and distance from that period of transition means that about all we really have to offer goes something like this, “You too can do this just as others have. After SRS you will continue to grow until one day you discover you really aren’t much different from all the women who were born female that are part of your enviroment.”

There was a time when having had the operation made on special because there weren’t very many of us.  Now it is rather common and we have to rely on talents or abilities to be special.

So many of our concerns are the same concerns  everyone else has.  Global warming, the economy, corporate  domination of our lives.  Aging, relationships.

Many of us are alienated from our families, some of us are happy, some of us suffer depression.

Some of us are in recovery, others have substance issues.  None of these things are particular to us because of our medical histories but the social stigmatization due to that medical history tends to make our lives more problem filled than the lives of those who were not born with TS.

Yet More on Normal

Cathrine sez:  ““Normal” in New York City is going to be different than normal in the heavily Mormon parts of Utah, in Western Africa, or in Thailand. Dig a little and I think no one will stand up to a “normal” litmus test.”

This is a really good observation.  Because normal is something defined by conformity to the culture one is raised in.  For me the idea that someone would willingly wear a burqa or chaddor in public is bizarre beyond all reason yet women do it to conform to standards of normal within their culture.

My friend from high school was thought to be weird also and was sent off to pshrinks because she didn’t conform to expectations of normal and she too escaped the hometown for a better life.

If one lives in an insane culture or a culture viewed as insane by others, say Mormonism or fundie Xianity is it normal to embrace that culture or is it normal to reject it?

What about bohemian culture.  If one is artistic and creative and lives in a place with other creative artistic people, where differentness is common and eccentricity expected what is normal.  I met Bill Burroughs, author of  Naked Lunch, next to Allen Ginsburg he looked like a small town business man and yet he was down right weird by almost any standard.

The Japanese have a saying, “The peg that sticks up gets hammered down.”

Yet where ever we look, unless people are utterly bland and boring there are people who are pegs who stick up a little bit and refuse to be hammered down.  Who defy being hammered down even if only sticking an Obama bumper sticker on their car in an area where McCain is considered left wing and not a “real conservative”.

Some More Thoughts on Normal

Some years back I used to have a fantasy I called my Ikea fantasy.  It involved having a secure income, a nice loft in the Brewery (an old Brewery converted to lofts for artists in LA.) and having a compact car that had less than 100K miles on it and looked decent.

Well now I live in a nice house in suburbia with a life partner a whole bunch of cats and just got a promotion at work.  I supervise the crew of associates when the main supervisor is off.

That’s about as normal as it gets.  Yes, I perfer museums to religion.  Would rather read political non-fiction to almost any sort of romance or popular books.  I’m probably further left than most Democrats.

I look at the people who shop the store.  Most do not fit anyone’s stereotype and if they do on the surface that is often a projection onto them.

Those that work at the store are just as varied.

When people throw out the term normal without a definition how is anyone to define the parameters?

Your mileage will definately vary on this one.

A Normal Life

In Clit Notes Holly Hughes tells about her parents taking her to doctors because she liked looking at her father’s Playboy magazines.  They examined her thouroughly, she says and told her parents that even though she was not normal she could still have a normal life if she chose to.

I was born in a small town, a toxic waste site, really. Eventually we moved to an even smaller town that I fondly remember as Buttfuck, Nowhereville.  People tended to stay there not because gravity or inertia held them there but because the place sucked so bad it sucked the lives out of people.

I was born different, I dreamed and read.  I had an imagination… along with being a transkid… I was an angry little rebel and told people how their conventional thinking sucked.

When I was about 10 I started hearing about poets and beatniks and I thought…  Well for want of a better word..”Groovy”, “Cool”

By the time I was 15 I wanted to run off to Paris and work in a drag bar and get my surgery.  But I also wanted to wear black clothes and write poetry and live in the Village.

When I read Betty Friedan I discovered that her idea of breaking out of the Feminine Mystique which was a really suck trap for middle class women of my mother’s generation didn’t involve living in the Village.

But I persevered and when I went to college I discover SDS and pot.  Rebellion… well that went from protest to resistance as I turned on, tuned in and dropped out.

Some where along the line I got further and further from the stereotypical idea of a “normal life”.  Of course being born different had something to do with that. But I made existential choices too and each one moved me further away from the possibility of ….  Not that I really wanted…

I remember having philosophical discussions about children and listening to sister tell me how bad they wanted to have kids and how they would pay anything if there was a surgery that would make that possible.  Me?  I got my fill of taking care of kids, baby sitting my brother for some 8 years.  The idea of being responsable for a kid.  Not a chance.  I would have paid extra to not have them if the ability went with the operation.

I’ve had boyfriends.  I even busted one out of a Navy Hospital, very Sutherland & Fonda in “Steelyard Blues”.  We even got a license but never followed through.

I am bisexual…  I didn’t have to be a lesbian..  I chose to be lesbian because men really don’t respect women, most don’t even much like them.  Most like their buddies better.

If they really respected and liked women rape and prostitution wouldn’t exist, nor would employment discrimination or wage inequality.

Very few of the sisters I’ve know over the years live truly conventional lives, but then neither do most people I know.

I’m not even sure I know what normal is.  I look around and so many people are all freaky in their own special ways.  Maybe normal is something sold to us as a desirable commodity, a gray conformity of enslavement that means the machine runs smoothly with out anyone protesting being nothing more than a cog in a machine.

HRC Board ENDA Policy

It’s the policy of HRC that the organization will only support an inclusive ENDA. In 2007 House leadership informed us that there were insufficient votes to pass an inclusive bill, so they decided to vote on a sexual orientation only bill. We made a one time exception to our policy in 2007 because we strongly believed that supporting this vote would do more to advance inclusive legislation. We will not support such a strategy again. We look forward to Congress sending President Obama a fully inclusive ENDA for his signature.

Civil Unions vs Marriage

Lately some sisters have been telling lesbian sisters they should settle forr civil unions that give the same rights.  These sisters have been proclaiming how they hold traditional values because they are straight.

Well I’ll forgo quoting Audre Lourde about how the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.  I’ll also forgo citing Paul Robeson Jr.’s treatise regarding the difference between field slaves and house slaves.

I am a stone atheist so don’t bother citing religion to me.  We don’t live in freaking Saudi Arabia or any other theocracy and we threw the Republi-Nazis out.

You want marriage to be a religious matter.  Fine.  Everyone gets civil unions at the court house and marriage from their church with marriage in and of itself having no legal standing and only civil unions being legal.

You see I don’t believe in certain groups having special privileges.  I believe in equality.  From what I’ve seen there isn’t a single aspect of the straight community that makes them one single iota better than the LGBT/T communities.  Nothing that makes them entitled to greater privilege.

I do not belive straights should be rewarded simply for being heterosexual.  That they can vote to deny non-straight people their rights is un-American and is the sort of lynch mob rule that is oppressive in the extreme.

Gainesville voters reject repeal of LGBT civil rights

[I’ve been following this story with great interest.  You see transsexual and transgender people have become the new scary people with the transvestite rapist being the leading red herring.  Anyone familiar with  the history of discrimination and scapegoating knows the shadowy monster threatening innocent women motif.  The one used to justify the torture, mutilation and murder of Emmett Till way back in the 1950s when I was a kid and Southern Trees Still bore Strange Fruit.
Now it is the transvestite/transgender/transsexual being used to stoke the flame of know nothing bigotry but the people are catching on.  People are realizing that the same bastards who are using these scare tactics are the same people ripping them off.
To be a real American is to believe in equality.  If you believe in discrimination and treating some people as second or even third class citizens then you are a travesty of what this country’s ideals represent.  Go read the damned Constitution. ]

(Gainesville, Florida) Voters on Tuesday turned down a measure that could have stripped Gainesville government’s anti-discrimination protections for LGBT residents.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, the vote was 58 percent against changing the law.

“Gainesville is a place that will not allow discrimination,” said Craig Lowe, a city commissioner who led the group known as Equality is Gainesville’s Business to defeat the charter amendment. “Gainesville has shown itself to be a welcoming place.”

The fight began after the city commission last year revised Gainesville’s anti-discrimination ordinance to protect transgender people – those who are born one sex but identify with the other. That allows the city’s approximately 100 transgender residents to use the public restroom of their choosing, along with protecting them from job and housing discrimination.

The charter amendment would have voided the city’s ordinances barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The vote was 11,717 or 58.32 percent against changing the law compared with 8,375 or 41.6 percent in favor.

Jim Gilbert, a spokesman for Citizens for Good Public Policy, had said the message of those supporting repeal has remained consistent: “Keep men out of women’s restrooms!”

The group said it regrets the outcome of the referendum.

Its chairman Mark Minck said in a news release that the group also regrets that “out-of-town money and influence played such a major role in diverting attention away from the real issue of public safety, to highly implausible scenarios of discrimination, which, in fact, pose little threat in a city long known for openness.”

On the other side was Equality is Gainesville’s Business, which argued the city ordinance does not need amending and that the transgender argument is really a screen for a larger attack on sexual minorities. Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is generally considered a gay-friendly city surrounded by conservative north Florida.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which supported the Equality effort, applauded the decision.

“Protecting Gainesville’s anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is a significant achievement. I congratulate everyone who worked so hard to help bring about today’s victory,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

The measure also would have prohibited the city from enforcing anti-discrimination laws that protect other categories of people not specified by the Florida Civil Rights Act, which recognizes race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, martial and familial status.

A steady line of students cast ballots at the Reitz Student Union.

Jeanette Paulino, 20, a political science major from Miami, voted to keep the city’s policy in place.

“I don’t think we should discriminate against anyone,” she said.

Alex Harper, 21, a public relations major from West Palm Beach, said he also voted to retain the city’s protections and viewed it as a free speech issue.

Harper said he viewed the restroom issue as “conservative propaganda.”

University of Florida President Bernie Machen and his wife, Chris, said they both opposed changing the law.

“It’s not needed,” said Machen, who added that one of the things his family likes about Gainesville is its diversity.

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Gender Equality Coalition Urges Blue Cross to Reconsider Policy Changes

The Michigan Coalition for Gender Equality expressed deep disappointment today regarding changes to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) policies that will eliminate reimbursements for gender reassignment surgeries for new customers. This change was approved by Michigan’s Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation without any opportunity for public comment or input.

The Michigan Coalition for Gender Equality (MCGE) includes Affirmations, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, Michigan Equality, Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy, Transgender Detroit, Triangle Foundation, the Rainbow Law Center Michigan Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers’ Michigan Chapter.

“We are concerned that BCBSM underestimates the profound impact of these medically necessary procedures,” said Andre Wilson of MCGE. “Gender reassignment surgeries can be a critical part of the transition process and these new exclusions will place many transgender individuals and their families at real risk.”

The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, and World Professional Association for Transgender Health have called for coverage by public and private insurers of all medically necessary procedures for the treatment of gender dysphoria or transsexualism, including gender reassignment surgeries. Treatment delays or denials for such services often lead to more serious and expensive health problems, states the AMA, which has also called exclusions of transgender-related services discriminatory. WPATH affirms that gender reassignment surgeries are “cost-effective, not cost-prohibitive” and can be “essential to achieving well-being for the transsexual patient.”

“Many people are unaware of the distress accompanying gender dysphoria and of the damage caused by insurance exclusions,” said Maxine Thome Executive Director of NASW Michigan. “Research shows the effectiveness of treatment, and Social Workers see the difference firsthand. Access to services brings dramatic improvements in health status, as well as increased employability and social acceptance.”

MCGE members learned of the BCBSM changes from the Detroit Free Press which reported, “The changes do not affect 170,000 customers already in individual Blue Cross plans or with Blue Cross insurance through their employer. But they will affect thousands losing insurance as employers drop coverage or lay off staff.”

“Excluding medically necessary gender reassignment surgeries endangers patients’ health which strains the entire health care system, driving costs up for everyone,” said Jay Kaplan of the ACLU of Michigan. “We urge both BCBSM and the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation to reconsider this benefit change.

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Third Class Citizens

Andrew Vachss, a militant defender of children in matters of abuse and sexual exploitation has written a series of books about a character named Burke and his family of outlaws.  Burke, who was raised by wolves and spent his childhood in institutions and his family of outcast, which include a sister go out and kill baby rapers.

Burke describes the straights of the world as citizens and by implication those who are not part of the system are non-citizens.

I was an obvious transkid in the late 1950s and 1960s at a time when I could be arrested for existing.  I was arrested several times on what we referred to as “mopery with intent to gawk” bullshit charges.  Mostly because of pigs exercising their bigotry.

I was a militant and politically aware with an outlaw mentality and the chant “No justice, no peace” carved in my soul.

Forty years later I am still angry.  Angry that we are labeled mentally ill for being born different.  Angry that transkids are still abused in school.  Angry that they are still subjected to reparative therapy.

I am saddened that people who have been outstanding employees lose their jobs when they transition or for that matter if their past comes out.  Where is the justice?

I am angry that people claiming their invisible bully in the sky tells them we should be treated like third class or non-citizens actually have their bullshit treated as credible.  I am angry that some iman in Britain can call for our stoning but that if I suggested he be kicked out of Britain, then I am a bigot.

I listen to horror stories from WBT sisters and yes my 24/7 Transgender sisters too and even some from TV cousins and I sometime wonder how people bear the lives of suffering bigotry and prejudice. Forty years have taught me that we drink, we drug, we self destruct.  Some of us suicide.  We try to assimilate or we stand up and fight.

We adopt all the survival skills of any other despised minority group.

I’ve had some straight WBTs tell me I should support their marriages before supporting same sex marriage.  But same sex marriage isn’t really same sex marriage.  What it does is make marriage available to any two adults no matter what their sex and by doing so automatically protects the marriage of a WBT to a man.

As a feminist I look at the murders of transkids and the vile accusation that they decieved the poor murderer and therefore were asking for it the same way I look at the all too common practice of justifying rape and murder of women by claiming they were asking for it through their way of dress or their being out or that they trusted the wrong man.  Wrong!  The criminal is the one who committed the crime. The victim is the victim no matter if the victim is the virgin daughter of a multi-millionaire Taliban Christian minister or a strung out on drugs street walking trannie sex worker.

I get sick of the accusations of the all knowing academics who attribute to me things I know to be false. Who then call me a liar if I dare to say, “Hey, that’s bullshit.  You pulled your so called “information” out of your ass.”  I’m sick of studies that I can tell are being taken solely to “prove” a foregone conclusion.

I am sick of being told that I want special privileges when I simply wish to be treated the same as the citizens. Anatole France said, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor, to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread” .  It is all well and good when our needs are the same but in order for me to be treated the same as all other citizens I need some considerations of the special needs presented to me by accident of birth.

The reason I don’t just shut the fuck up and go off and live quietly is injustice and the knowledge that what evil really needs most to triumph is for people like me to stop protesting injustice.

Stupid Trannie Tricks

Is it just me or do others find the latest “stupid trannie trick”, the one being pulled by transmen as having fully used up its 15 minutes in the spotlight and then some?

You know the one I’m talking about…

Man to give birth to twins.

As Bill Maher would say, “New Rules!”

If you take male hormones, grow a beard, have a mastectomy then go off hormones and get pregnant you aren’t a man.  The first one who did it, Patrick Claifia’s lover…  Okay..  That was a cool party trick and good for a front page on the Advocate.

Maybe even the second one.  But at this point doing the  “pregnant man” trick seems to be becoming a F to M status symbol.

Enough already.  There are already about 3 billion too many people on the planet and your DNA isn’t that special.  In fact considering what you did to get the beard you may well have increased the odds of having a kid with some sort of serious birth defect.  Doing stuff that risks having kids with serious birth defects just isn’t cool.

Besides which you make transsexuals look mentally ill at a time when we are trying to get rid of the stigma of GID.

Maybe it is time for Janice Raymond to write a sequel regarding F to Ms.

So the new rule is this.  If you are an F to M and want to be a mommie and carry a baby do it before transition.

Venezuela: Same-sex partnerships on fast track to being legally recognized, says legislator

Romelia Matute, a member of Venezuela’s National Assembly and Deputy of the Assembly’s Family Commission, has announced that the Venezuelan legislature is well on its way to approving a bill that would grant same-sex couples legal recognition, including shared patrimony and inheritance rights.

As reported on Friday in Spain’s ABC, Matute stated that “the report on the ‘Organic Bill for Gender Equality’ is almost ready for a second – and final – [legislative] debate,” adding that it would include language allowing “the union between two people of the same gender” in the form of something she called “co-inhabiting associations”.

Matute said that members of the National Assembly, a majority of whom belong to President Hugo Chávez‘ party, had met “several times” with gay rights organizations and said that it was those organizations who requested that the “co-inhabiting association” term be used.

She said that the government would recognize “the joint-living associations formed by two persons of the same gender, on mutual accord and free agreement, with the full legal and patrimonial effect”.

Matute also said that the bill would address transgender issues: “Whoever changes their gender through surgical means, or any other means, exercising their freedom, has the right to their identity, and to drafting or changing all documents associated with their identification”.

In a statement distributed today by Radio Reflejos of Venezuela – which operates an online LGBT news radio show – they call it a collective achievement for the LGBT Venezuelan movement and single out a few individuals who, they say, have attended meetings with those drafted the bill: Transgender rights activist Rummie Quintero from Transfemenina, who is said to be the first transgender person to be ever called for consultation by the National Assembly; Elena Hernaíz from the Reflejos Foundation; transgender attorney Tamara Adrian, from Diverlex (pictured right); and organizations such as Union Afirmativa, the Lesbian Feminist Collective, and others.

Interestingly, they do not mention the United Socialist Bloc for Homosexual Liberation or their leader Heisler Vaamonde, who has aligned himself with the Chávez government over the years despite few advances in LGBT rights during his decade-old rule.

The activists do urge people to contact the Deputies of the Family Commission to offer support for this initiative as it reaches the parliamentary floor for a vote. They include:

  • Marelys Pérez Marcano:
  • Flor Ríos florrios: @
  • Carmen Rodríguez Rauseo: carmenrodriguez @
  • Juan José Molina: juanmolina @
  • Diluvina Cabello: diluvinacabello @
  • Alberto Castellar: albertocastelar @

There are no specific details on when the bill might reach the floor for a vote.


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My New Moderation

If I have moderated my position all that much it is mainly to say, “Alright… Let’s treat 24/7/365 transgenders who take hormones, have FFS, mammoplasty or mastectomies, grow beards or have beards eradicated and adhere to the same behavior as expected of pre-ops in the same way we expect pre-ops to be treated.

Or allow M to Fs the same lee way as allowed F to Ms.  Not necessarily on matters such birth certificates but in matters such as driver’s licenses.  The same goes for matters like ENDA and Hate Crimes bills although I’m far more liberal on the hate crimes protections.

Working on ad hoc issues is not the same as philosophical discussion, a point I have stressed on numerous occasions.

Protecting people doesn’t mean not punishing deviant behavior.  The person who waves their dick around in the women’s room violates the basic idea behind protecting the rights of those who don’t.  You punish that person.  Think of it this way…  I was verbally abused on pretty much a constant basis by a bunch of bullies who used the phrase, “It’s a free country and I can say what I want.”  Except in doing so they were denying me my rights.

Now I received a post on TransgenderNews

It is from something called TeamTrans:
Owen just got off the phone from a conference call about the bill that’s going before the House and Senate about Gender Anti-Discrimination. (insert) The group decided in order to pass the bill for employment and housing to remove the part about Public Access
– which means that:

Transfolks can be refused entrance to their preferred restroom.

Transfolks can be refused rooms at hotels.

Transfolks can be refused the use of a changing room at a clothing store.

Transfolks can be excluded from changing/locker rooms.

Transfolks can be refused service at bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! This is a violation of basic civil rights!!! What about those folks who don’t take hormones? Who decide for whatever reason to not have surgery? Those who don’t ‘pass’? Those who do take hormones or have/had surgery and STILL don’t ‘pass’? Those who don’t identify as anything in the gender binary? What voice do they have?

You want to know where I make the dividing line?  Well here I is.  It will be a cold day in hell before I push for these folks position.

Not that they do not have the right to push for it themselves.

As for those who don’t identify with the gender binary… Life is going to be hard.  I know, I was a left wing commie hippie teen age transkid in the North Country of New York when I decided life would be better for me in either Greenwich Village or the Haight Ashbury.

They called us flower children, we called ourselves freaks and embraced being different.  Now I’m an aging old left wing woman and when I go to concerts featuring the artists of my youth the audiences are filled with people with the same history who look as middle class as I do.

Being a young outlaw is easy getting old mainstreams us in many ways.  Others who cling to that outsider status die young because it is a hard life.

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