(New York City) Help Shape HUD’s Study on LGBT Housing Discrimination

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, NY, USA


Please join us and a host of other organizations and elected officials at a first-of-its-kind town hall meeting with officials from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to discuss HUD’s ground-breaking national study <http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/press/blog/blog2010-02-22> of housing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and families in the rental and sales markets.

The purpose of the meeting this Friday, February 26th will be to discuss the nature of HUD’s study and to receive comments from interested groups and individuals. It is essential that members of the transgender community attend to provide input into this important process. We hope to see you on Friday.

Date: Friday, February 26th, 2010

Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community
Center, 208 West 13th Street, Room 301, Manhattan (map
<http://bit.ly/9hIecK> )

Please RSVP to Jasmin Varjavand at Jasmin.Varjavand@hud.gov if you
plan to attend.

This event is hosted by HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael W. Bostic <http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/about/principal_staff/assistant_secretary_bostic>
with the offices of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, along with Council Member Erik Martin-Dilan, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Council Member Danny Dromm, and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

Additional town hall meetings will be held in the near future in San Francisco and Chicago.

Weather-related information – Any weather-related contingencies or cancellations will be sent to you by email if you RSVP to the email address listed above. We will also post any updates on our web site and on our Twitter <http://www.twitter.com/tldef> feed. In order to keep email traffic to a minimum, we will not be sending out any additional messages about the event. Thank you for your understanding.

Copyright © 2010 Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. |
151 West 19th Street, Suite 1103, New York, NY 10011 Tel:
646.862.9396 Fax: 914.920.4057


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Paul McHugh still fighting against rights for sex and gender minorities

By Andrea James

Reposted with permission from: Transsexual Road Map Notes, USA


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paul McHugh still fighting against rights for sex and gender minorities

Paul McHugh <http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/paul-mchugh.html> is a busy guy.

– In 1979 he shut down the gender identity clinic at Johns Hopkins.

– In 2007 he was ordered by Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison to stop making public statements about physician George Tiller’s work. McHugh disapproved of Tiller’s work providing abortion services. Tiller was later murdered by a fanatic who was influenced by public statements made about Tiller.

– He promotes the concept of “autogynephilia,” a sex-fueled mental illness created by Ray Blanchard.

– He defends Catholic priests against sex abuse charges.

– Now he’s fighting to stop gay marriage.

Katrina Rose points us to Filing # 379 in Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al.:


McHugh’s reason for opposing gay marriage cites the work of J. Michael Bailey.

McHugh lays out his views on homosexuality in this pithy quotation:

It really is amazing … I mean, 50 years ago [homosexual behavior] was a crime, and now we’re talking about [same-sex marriage]. Anyone who wants to stick with the tradition is accused of being a biblical literalist or a homophobic racist, because, in part, of the more fundamental change in our society towards permissiveness, that is, easy divorce, cohabitation and concubinage, abortion, pornography … and euthanasia. The issue of the homosexual is not separate … it’s all part and parcel of the pandemonium that the permissive movement has brought. We have just licensed all kinds of behavior.”

Source: Virtue Online

Further reading:
Paul McHugh on transsexualism

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.

Posted by Andrea James on 02/24 at 04:26 PM

©1996-2007 Transsexual Road Map. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Paul McHugh still fighting against rights for sex and gender minorities

The Last Real Woman Syndrome

We get hammered about who we are our entire lives, from the bullies who made our lives a hell in primary through high school period of life to the right wing religious fanatics who want to deny us equality in the eyes of the law.  Some of us were thrown out by our families  as pervert children and left to make our lives on the streets under the care and tutelage of older and wiser wolves.  Others lost the families they tried to build much later in life, the results of divorce and denial of parental rights.  All because of having been born transsexual.

Religions consider us to be an abomination. The police all too often consider us to be criminal even where laws are meant to protect us rather than laws criminalizing us. Real actual violent crimes committed against us go uninvestigated or (in the absence of specific hate crimes law) in the case of the arrest of the offender are under prosecuted with acceptance of the all too common trans-panic defense.

Since 1980 transsexual and transgender people have had psychiatry stigmatize them with every thing from GID to AP/AGP.

Is it any wonder that we have low self esteem and feel shitty about ourselves?

Is it any wonder that people try to repress and deny being transsexual, going so far as to marry and become parents hoping that will cure them, only coming out when life becomes so unbearable that suicide looks like the only alternative?  Often  those who come out young do so not because of some superior level of consciousness or real difference, but rather because their physical appearance is such that it makes living without constant abuse virtually impossible.

Beaten down from birth, told we are inferior because we are too feminine or too masculine, as the case may be, it is hard to not internalize that sense of inferiority.

People talk about internalized transphobia but few really describe it, more often it is used as a label that fails to help us understand the dynamics.

I think part of it comes from a place of: “When I was a child, I was the only one.” Being the only one with little information one of the first conclusions many of us form is that we are somewhere in-between.  Of course since we are the only one, when we grow up and hear that there are others, lots of others,  that felt the same thing, many of us go into a form of denial.

That is the, “Oh no! You too could not have possibly felt the same thing or at least not to the same intensity that I did” reaction. That reaction is pretty freaking immature given how many of us have actually had an operation as treatment for transsexualism.

But we live in this Ayn Rand, John Galt admiring society that totally individualizes transsexualism to the point that many of us have a hard time with the realization that we as a large number of individuals actually constitute a class.  A different class from people with transgenderism because our need for sex change surgery, but a class nonetheless. One defined by the simple (or not so simple) act of having had SRS.

To paraphrase the queen in Paris is Burning, you can’t really point a finger at another WBT and say, “You, you sex change, you!”  Well you can but you look pretty stupid in the process.

So we look for ways of dealing with that internalized self hatred that has been fed by every mean statement, every vicious slur, every beating we have ever experienced for being the queer little freak.  Fear of being the queer little freak.  Because the translation of phobia from its Greek root isn’t hatred but rather fear.

One way is to disassociate ourselves from others who have gone through the same process as we have, to denigrate the very idea of close friendships with other WBTs as “remaining in ghetto”. Then there is a denigration of those who work for political goals such as equal rights for both transgender and transsexual people, or for something as positive as removing the mental illness stigma of GID from the DSM.  Since these WBTs are willing to work with transgendered people on mutually beneficial goals they can’t possibly be real transsexuals and must be “transgender identified”.

Too often “The Last Real Woman Syndrome” seems to be class related as well as heterosexist. The only real women are transsexuals who are heterosexual after their sex reassignment operations.  But even that is tricky because lumpen prole sisters who are sex workers and get their operations with the money earned by tricking are regularly denied legitimacy.  Indeed a big part of the motivation to use Harry Benjamin Syndrome instead of transsexualism is based on disassociating those in the upper class from the lumpen “trannie hookers” who use “transsexual” as a descriptor in their sex ads.

But even eliminating the lower classes, the sex workers, still leaves all those other trannies that are of the same basic socio-economic class. How can one who has gone from being the only one in the world to being a member of a class made up of millions of people world wide maintain that cherished Ayn Randian sense of rugged individualism?

One way is through denial. All those claims of obscure and often contradictory forms of intersex are a way of disassociating oneself from the class of people who all had one variation or another on the same sex change operation you had. “I’m not like you. I’m not some trannie freak, I’m intersex.” As though someone who is intersex and decides to change the sex they were assigned at birth is not transsexual.

I realize that some of the doctors set up this artificial distinction. Yet, too many who have embraced it are garden variety WBTs who want to be special and not trannie freaks like the rest of those people in the class comprised of women who were born with transsexualism.

“Classic Transsexualism” is an even more elite club.  One has to consider themselves stealth even when they are all over blogs and mailing lists hiding behind aliases.  Too often the people embracing this label seem to think that one must be heterosexual after SRS and gays and lesbians are sort of icky as well as undeserving of the same rights as heterosexuals.

There is that embrace of exceptionalism, a sense of privilege that says, “Because I am accepted in an environment rift with hatred of transsexual people as well as transgender, lesbian and gay folks then I am not like those icky people.  If I have to join the gang of bigots in denying equality to LGBT/T folks in order to maintain my exceptionalism and privilege then becoming one with the bigots is a small price to pay.”

The problem with exceptionalism based on stealth is that no matter how much one believes oneself to be different from all those icky people one is still vulnerable to the transbashing that is all too commonly accepted as legitimate.  After all transsexual and transgender people are mentally ill.

Another major problem for those loudly proclaiming their “Classic Transsexualism” and stealth existence is that they do it loudly and proudly on line. One might be able to maintain stealth if one were totally off the grid as being transsexual or transgender.  Posting and proclaiming makes your location available to anyone with the knowledge of how ISP addresses work.

At best anyone who goes on line and discusses their having been transsexual or for that matter “HBS” is basically out.  Perhaps one depends on the disinterest of the straight people as a method of information control, a risky concept at best in an age of not only high end information collection but a proliferation of non-governmental data collection and investigative services, not to mention Google.

In the end all the name calling and claiming of special status turns into reading each other in a scene straight from Paris is Burning.

It is pretty much a waste of time and energy that does little to improve the status of anyone including the person claiming the special position.  The common denominator is that if you have an operation to change your sex that you sought out then you are transsexual.  The richest and whitest heterosexual after surgery shares that common denominator of having been transsexual with the sex working lesbian woman of color who had the same operation.

One is no less “real” than the other.  Realness is a matter of personal authenticity not some imagined and loudly proclaimed status.

I’m Getting tired of IS Hijacking Transsexualism

Face it.

The whole thing with people claiming obscure intersex conditions but insisting on hanging out on transsexual lists.  Why are you here?  Really?  Why aren’t you confining yourselves to Intersex lists?

When it comes to getting transsexualism removed from the DSM we do not need a bunch of IS people who all too often come off as disordered narcissists hijacking the debate by standing around proclaiming how special and different they are from ordinary transsexuals.  Folks who come off as neurotic if not flat out psychotic.

I’m starting to think that Intersex is another variation on “classic transsexual”.  An argument for special exceptionalism, a way of assuaging internalized transphobia.

I am looking at the world and seeing that when it comes to getting our legal rights protected the physical cause argument is a total waste of time.  A form of wanking that may feel good but does nothing to end discrimination in employment, marriage, housing etc.  The world wide patterns of  discrimination against people of color where the darker one’s skin the more vicious the discrimination shoots that one full of holes.

I also have serious doubts regarding the supposed huge numbers of infant sex reassignment surgery.  I am starting to have the feeling this may have been something done as an experiment back in the 1940-50s rather than any sort of common practice.  That the idea of this being wide spread is contradicted by the specialized nature of such surgery.  It would be expensive and would require a major medical center.  Perhaps nations with a National Health System, but there would be a major paper trail.  Here in the US where private plans are the only plans other than out of pocket, Health Insurance Programs regularly deny even life saving procedures and avoid the controversial.

But here transkids are in major conflict with the so called Intersex activists.  While intersex activists seem to be anti-childhood sex reassignment people with transsexualism and transgenderism are pushing for the rights of children to transition at a younger and younger age with their rights to a safe education in schools with non-discriminatory policies.

As some one who had my ability to seek medical assistance in changing sex put off until 21 as that was the legal age of majority back in the 1960s I know how having to delay transition damaged my access to an education.

It really doesn’t matter much if some 25% of us show various non-specified (by Benjamin) physical indications.  we aren’t special.  We aren’t unicorns forced to live in a world of ordinary horses.  We are just another transsexual and considering how we are more like one in a thousand rather than the much earlier statistics of one in one hundred thousand we are pretty common, something that surely comes as a blow to the egos of narcissists.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is somewhat common among people with transsexualism.  It grows out of being the only one as a child and can be seen in those who run around in our circles with all sorts of reasons as to why they are better than the rest of the trannies whom they often describe in a manner one can only describe as condescending.

So I cheerfully wave bye-bye to all the intersex people with rare and often contradictory bizarre conditions.  This blog isn’t about you this blog is about people with transsexualism and their rights.

Standard Narratives

A few years ago I read a book by Jay Prosser titled Second Skins .

While frauds like Bailey and Blanchard disguise their bigotry in pseudo scientific jargon Prosser points out how we have archetypal narratives. This is a variation on what a lesbian writing instructor taught me way back in the 1970s when she said, “All coming out stories are the same story, only the details are different.” Prosser’s thesis is that we need to trust our narratives.

Bailey and Blanchard’s position is that all transsexuals lie. On the other hand I doubt if an honest word has ever passed from the lips or pen of either Bailey or Blanchard.

While they accuse us of making stuff up because all our stories sound alike,  they ignore the idea that they all sound alike because they are of an archetype that has a good deal of similarity to the gay or lesbian coming out story.

Common elements include awareness of both being different and feeling trapped in the wrong body dating from our earliest memories.

We share early memories of struggling to resolve this sense of difference by repression or by early exploration.

A coming of awareness that no matter what one does or accomplishes the feeling of being trapped in a body of the wrong sex will not go a way and that life isn’t worth living if one has to live that life in a way that is so empty and meaningless.

While the perverted Bailey and Blanchard look for perversion in others it is fairly easy to find non perversified reasons why one group comes out young and one waits until middle age.

If you like men you do not have a heterosexist society laying the whole number regarding your proper place in society upon you.  You are already queer, in the words of Kris Kristofferson, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to loose.”

Granted it may not come down to just that, gay or hetero.  Fear of loosing your family like so many transkids do is enough to scare many from coming out young. Then there is the justifiable fear of winding up a trannie sex worker because coming out has a high potential for trashing out the career your education has prepared you for. All these things are non-pathological, reasonable impediments to coming out when one is just entering adulthood.

There is something else that gets overlooked in the Bailey, Blanchard rush to pathologize.

Yes there are two statistical clusters regarding age of coming out.  One group comes out upon entry into an adulthood and the other comes out in middle age.  Perhaps if transsexuals were the only the only group re-evaluating their lives and making dramatic changes in their lives at that mid-life point then there might be grounds for looking for a zebra in the herd of horses.  But mid-life is a common pivotal point where many people make life changing alterations in their paths.

Interestingly enough when one actually listens to the early life narratives one find the same sort of elements one finds in the narratives of those who come out young.  Every coming out story is the same story only the details are different.  Which may sound very Joseph Campbell,”The Hero with a Thousand Faces” , but the archetypal elements are there nonetheless.

Rather than mocking the moment of childhood satori that is present in the biographies of most transsexuals we should ask ourselves went we first had that moment of awakening to self knowledge.

Rather than suspect the narratives with common easily recognized elements and considering those narratives false, perhaps the narratives that should bear the most questioning are those that lack those elements.  The narratives with a sudden awareness that happens only in middle age when one who has “never felt this before” suddenly awakens to this whether due to trauma or some other on the road to Damascus moment.

Particularly since these people so often embrace some of the most transphobic theories one can possibly find.  Theories posited by pseudo-scientific right wing frauds with connections to NARTH and Opus Dei.  Theories put forth by Bailey, Blanchard, Lawrence,  Zucker, Recker, McHugh, Dreger, Cameron and Socarides.

Of course internalized transphobia coupled with a narcissistic personality could keep such people in deep denial of having anything in common with other women born transsexual.  But one finds common elements among this group.  Among others embracing BBZL etc have been Tirea, Laurent, Lisanne Anderson, Sue Ann Robbins and Willow, who is being allowed to speak but is moderated.

For these people everything is a pathology.

If post-ops commit suicide or engage in substance abuse it is due to a pathology on their part not to how hellishly hard society, especially the right wing Christo-Fascist bigots make it for people with transsexualism to survive with dignity.  Must be pathology and not a life time of abuse.

That is internalized transphobia in action.

But as for me I trust ordinary WBTs with standard narratives not those with strange bizarre ones.

South Dakota Equality Summit 2010

By: Tamara Jeanne Urban
New Media News Correspondent
Trans-Ponder Media, Int.

The South Dakota Equality Summit 2010 was held on Wednesday Feb 17th at the state capitol Pierre. This was the 2nd annual summit on LGBT equality to be held here in SD. The summit had 35 to 40 LGBT people and allies in attendance and was about double of number that was at the 2009 summit. It started at 12 noon and ran until 7:45 pm. Speakers included representatives from nine organizations and groups: the ACLU, Equality South Dakota, The Centers for Equality, The Black Hills Center for Equality, PFLAG, EQSD PAC, The 10% Society and The Dakota T-Girls.

At last years summit a four year plan was developed to update South Dakota’s 40 year old non-discrimination law, which had not been changed since 1972. One of the results from last years summit was the introduction of HB 1144, a bill that would have amended the states non-discrimination law to include: gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, military status and age to the existing law. Other goals that were accomplished were: the hiring of a full time professional lobbyist and conducting a study of how the majority of South Dakotan’s feel about equal rights for LGBT people in the work place. The study was conducted by a well respected company and the results showed the there is a strong majority of the population which supports work place equality.

Sadly the day before the summit, HB 1144 was killed in committee. During the testimony on the bill, the opponents used all of the same old tactics, lies and distortions in their arguments against equality that we’ve come to expect. They of course placed almost all of their emphasis on gender identity and the bathroom issue. They quoted out of context from the Transgender Law Center’s booklet “Peeing in Peace” as part of their arguments against the bill. During their testimony, the level of ignorance about gender identity issues was glaringly obvious by the number of times that they kept confusing the terminology, repeatedly referring to gender identity as “sexual gender” as well as confusing and misusing other terms. You can listen to the testimony from the hearting on HB 1144 here: Hhe21 or download it by right clicking on the link and choosing ‘Save as’. The hearing starts at 1:14:19 and the opposition’s testimony starts at 1:39:50 on the
time line.

The main focus of this year’s summit was to refine the four year equality plan, to develop new strategies, to determine areas to focus on for the next year based on the lessons learned from the past year and to set goals for the next year. Goals set for this year are: much need fund raising, channeling those funds to support pro equality legislators and new candidates, to campaign against those legislators who votes against HB 1144 in the fall elections and to educate incumbent legislators on LGBT issues.

The idea of dropping gender identity and adopting an incremental approach (like the 2007 ENDA) were briefly discussed and quickly put aside after a clear explanation that without including the “T”, gender identity, a sexual orientation only bill would only protect straight passing LGB’s and would provide little if any to protection for effeminate gay men, butch lesbians or straight people who are perceived as not fitting into perceived gender norms.

The final 2 hours of the summit were for a dinner and reception for 40 to 45 members of the state’s legislators and included 2 candidates for governor in the up coming fall elections.

Who knows Why?

By Tina

I am one of those “changelings”, MtF post-op transsexual, to be exact.

I had spent most of my life both denying and avoiding  —  no, no, no, that’s not REALLY me, THAT’S NOT ME!  —  NO!

As the defenses slowly fell.  As I found myself ready to repeat my dysfunctional relationship dance once again  —  it struck me  —  I was the only constant.  I was the one part of all the relationships that was the same.  It wasn’t the fault of any of my wives or girlfriends  —  it was me.

At that point I decided to end the dance, to sit out a tune or two (or three).

Soon afterward, all those repressed feelings began to surface  —  again.  Time after time, I’d attempted to hide  —  from myself, from others, from the world.

This idea I was born, somehow, wrong.  Born a mistake.  As a child I was sure I would grow up to be just like my girl cousins  —  they told me, again and again, I would not.  All the adults told me I was a boy.

Etc., etc., etc., etc.

When I finally began to accept myself  —  I looked for a reason.  There had to be a reason.  It just wasn’t logical, it didn’t make sense.

I looked for physical clues  —  how my body was formed, how I grew.  Clues from my youth  —  there just HAD to be a reason.  I’d never liked boys.  Though told I was sterile by Doctor after Doctor, I ended up having two kids.

I thought that odd.

Anyway, is spite of all that  —  I came out, transitioned, had SRS, and am over the need for a “rational” reason.

I think an awful lot of late transitioners end up looking for a REASON.  They want to know WHY?  WHY?  They were adult males who gave in to this need, this overwhelming drive  —  it often becomes “change or die”.

I think it takes time to reach a point where “why” no longer matters.  A point where it just IS.  A point where I’m actually happy to just be happy, to just be me.

If there is a reason  —  I leave that to others.  Let them agonize, do analysis, do their various tests.  I’m just happy that I’m at peace.  I’m happy my mind and body are in “synch”.

That’s enough.