New Age Fraud and Self Important Titles

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of people who present extremely sketchy thinking and claims are presenting themselves as having very impressive titles.

All I can think of when I see these titles in front of people’s names is a paraphrase of the t-shirts that say “My Parents Went to _____ and All I Got was this Lousy T-shirt”.  Perhaps, “I went on line and bought this very fancy looking degree from this extremely obscure diploma mill.”

Why anyone would claim to be a Rev. these days considering how that title just screams “fraud” and “con-artist” of dubious character is beyond me.

As for Doctors of alternative medicine…  The house we lived in before we moved to Texas had one of those running a “clinic” in his basement before Tina bought the house.

People with badges and legal papers came looking for him months after he disappeared.

As for many of the alternative medicine degrees in things like Reiki… Give me a freaking break, no touch massage of someones “aura” is a hoax, pure and simple.  At least the outlaw masseuses and masseurs give sexual satisfaction.

At best the jury is still out on a few elements of alternative medicine.  Much of it has been studied thoroughly and found to be quackery, pure and simple.

The fact that people like Oprah Winfrey and PBS audiences seem to fall for it doesn’t validate it.  It merely causes me to question the wisdom of those who suspend analytical thinking and accept bullshit.

I read so much bullshit on so many of the trans-forums that I wonder why my key board doesn’t smell like a cow barn on a hot rainy July day.

People telling me about their strange and contradictory forms of intersex when they are really garden variety trannies who fathered children prior to coming out.

Well when presenting bullshit it helps to stick a title in front of your name to give the fraud credibility.

Stony Brook University and the “Feminine Boy Project

Reposted with permission

[2010-03-30 SBPress]

Feminine Boy Project

Posted on 30 March 2010.

By Cynthya BrianKate

Though Stony Brook denies it, this campus was involved in a government-funded brainwashing project to keep children from “acting queer” for two decades. Some people involved still work on campus, and the Feminine Boy Project laid groundwork for current psychiatric abuses against transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

This project was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) from 1972 to1986. The original stated goal on the grants was “treatment of pre-homosexuality”–the, idea that if children were kept from stepping outside gender stereotypes, they wouldn’t turn out gay. When being gay was taken out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, the goal was changed to “treatment of pretranssexuality,” conflating gender identity and sexuality as the same, based in biased assumptions that anything other than stereotypical gender identities and heterosexuality were wrong. Children were declared “pathological” for behavior like boys playing with dolls, wearing dresses or helping in the kitchen, or girls climbing trees, playing with boys’ toys or wearing boy clothes.

This was collaboration between anti-LGBT/TI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgender, Intersex) members of the psychiatric establishment and the “religious right.”

Richard Green is a colleague of John Money. Money instituted the “Money protocols” for non consensual surgeries on intersex children after forcing David Reimer to live as a girl (until Reimer changed back to male before killing himself). During the “experiment” Green co-wrote the book Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment. Green has made a career of pathologizing LGBTTI people. This has included making inflammatory comments like his 1995 Dateline remark “plays with Barbies at five, sleeps with men at twenty-five.” While head of the now closed Human Sexuality branch of Stony Brook’s Psychology Department he got NIMH to approve nearly $1 million for the project.

George Rekers belongs to several anti-gay fundamentalist groups, published his essay “Gender Identity Disorder” through the notoriously anti-gay Family Research Council and is “scientific advisor” to National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which claims to “cure” gays despite the American Psychiatric Association (APA) condemning “reparative therapy.”

They worked with doctors like Susan Coates, behaviorists like O. Ivor Lovaas and David Barlow, and had the staff of several institutions at their disposal.

Several institutions were used to justify funding this dubious research and brainwashing children. Fuller Theological Seminary is a Christian fundamentalist college with anti-gay alumni including Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Rekers. Logos Research Institute is a “religious-right” think-tank promoting fundamentalist “science,” currently funding the edited edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species from actor Kirk Cameron and his colleague Ray Comfort (known as YouTube’s “Banana Guy” for claiming bananas disprove evolution). Green used Stony Brook to get most of the NIMH grants and to do most of the clerical, statistical and administrative work of this “study.” Most of the brainwashing went on at UCLA, though such other efforts happened at New York City’s Luke’s Research Hospital’s Childhood Gender Identity Unit (allegedly)* (funded through the Roosevelt Institute).

Green and Rekers required patients through mental health practitioners who knew of prepubescent children who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes–mainly feminine boys, though there were some masculine girls. Some were referred by school authorities for gender nonconformity, some brought in by parents.

Children were diagnosed using pseudo scientific “gender tests” including the “Barlow Gender-Specific Motor Test,” using stereotypes to “measure” gender identity by whether children sit/stand/move like men or women “should.” Diagnosed with “pathological gender development,” they would be recommended for invasive behavior modification, including placement in special playrooms where they would be repeatedly coached to choose gender-stereotypical toys with staff spying through mirrors. Behaviorists like Shasta Mead directly interacted with children, slowly gaining trust to reinforce stereotypical behavior, repeatedly suggesting they would rather wear or play with the “right” items. Children were made to wear wrist counters to monitor whenever they thought about playing with the “wrong” toys. Rewards and demerits were issued for “right” and “wrong” choices. Patients were enlisted to police children’s choices, throw out toys, force boys out of the kitchen and “steer” children more toward stereotypical choices at home as well as in the facility. This would go on until the child was declared “cured.”

This project was declared “successful,” though it succeeded only in traumatizing children. “Becky,” for example, was declared “successfully cured,” because the eight-year-old saw a male orderly old enough to be her father as her “boyfriend.” The “poster child,” called Kraig by Rekers and Kyle by Green, attempted suicide. This didn’t stop expansion of “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) and “Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood” (GIDc) diagnoses of pathologized/transgender/gender-nonconforming people, no matter how emotionally healthy. The DSM-IV guidelines even specify boy playing with Barbie as a “symptom.”

Stony Brook’s administration denies Green ever taught there, despite the NIMH grants archived in Phyllis Burke’s book Gender Shock, kept in the campus library, and Green thanking his Stony Brook staff in his book The Sissy Boy Syndrome, with several still working there today.

In 1980 Dylan Scholinski, a young transgender man then named Daphne, was incarcerated in psychiatric institutions for four years for “Gender Identity Disorder.” His memoir The Last Time I Wore A Dress shows his school reported him to psychiatrists and he was diagnosed using the Barlow Gender Motor Test and treatment including forced makeovers. In 2000, a six-year-old child was taken away from loving parents for “exacerbating a mental disorder.” The “disorder?” Aurora Lipscomb told her parents she was not a boy but was a girl, and her parents supported her decision to live as a girl. Because her parents “exacerbated” her “gender identity disorder” the court took Aurora from loving parents and put her in a household where for four years she was forced to live as a Christian boy rather than a Jewish girl.

Currently, there’s a push to rewrite the DSM to make it even more pathological toward transsexual/transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people.

These changes were proposed by Ken Zucker and Ray Blanchard. Zucker’s been pathologizing LGBTTI people for many years, has run the Clarke Gender Institute (whose handling of transsexual/transgender and intersex populations have so angered both communities that some activists call it “Jurassic Clarke”) and, as an expert in the Lipscomb case, recommended the court take Aurora Lipscomb from her family. Blanchard mentored J. Michael Bailey, author of a racist, LGBTTI-phobic book called The Man Who Would Be Queen, and advocate for selective abortion of “gay babies.” Blanchard helped write the discredited gender theories Bailey based his book on, and both and belong to eugenicist think-tank the Human Biodiversity Institute, whose membership include people from the anti-immigrant group VDARE and the author of The Bell Curve, which claimed African-Americans were intellectually inferior.

The proposed changes include renaming GID “Gender Incongruity Disorder,” putting anyone who, in any way, steps outside gender stereotypes at risk for being declared a sufferer of a mental disorder, not only transgender people but also possibly gay, lesbian and bisexual people, as well as feminine men and masculine women. These proposals also include adding intersex to the list of gender disorders. This makes no sense as intersex is a physical variation (being biologically in between male and female) having nothing to do with mental health.

The APA has opened the revision of DSM-V for public comment until April 20. 2010. I urge everyone to contact the APA at and tell them not to add these anti-trans/anti-intersex changes to the DSM, and keep pressure on the APA even after that date.

Sources, Additional Information and Proof:

1) Aurora Lipscomb archive,
2) Burke, Phyllis, Gender Shock: Exploding Myths of Male and Female, Anchor Books
3) Colapinto, John, with Reimer, David, As Nature Made: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, Harper Book, 2000
4) Conover, Pat, Transgender Good News, New Wineskins Press 2002
5) DSD Fact Sheet, Organisation Intersex International, found at
6) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision) American Psychiatric Association
7) DSM-V Committee feedback link,
8 ) Exposing Junk Science About Same-Sex Behavior, found at
9) Green, Richard, The Sissy Boy Syndrome and the formation of Adult Homosexuality, Yale University Press 1987
10) Green, Richard, and Money, John, Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, Johns Hopkins Press 1969
11) J. Michael Bailey’s statements about wanting to abort “gay babies, found at
12) Kirk Cameron’s ‘Origin Of Species’ Plan: Ex-Actor To Distribute 50,000 Altered Darwin Books,”
13) NARTH Scientific Advisory Board,
14) Petition, “Objection to DSM-V Committee Members on Gender Identity Disorders.”
15) Proposed DSM-V Revisions,
16) “Queer Science,” Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report,
17) Rekers, George, “Gender identity disorders,” Family Research Council of America 1985
18) Scholinski, Daphne, The Last Time I Wore A Dress, Riverhead Trade 1998
19) Serano, Julia, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Seal Press 2007
20) TG Crossroads article archive of Ken Zucker’s pathologizing LGBTI people,
21) TS Roadmap archive on Ray Blanchard,

22) TS Roadmap archive of transgender criticism of J. Michael Bailey,
23) Wilkinson, Stephanie, “Drop the Barbie!: If You Bend Gender Far Enough, Does It Break?”, Brain, Child 2001,

© 2010 The Stony Brook Press

* The allegation regarding the Roosevelt Foundation funding this has been disputed by someone from the institute.

Tuesday Afternoon Interlude with Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu with her beautiful jazzy singing style is from right here in Dallas.

The Video “Window Seat” was shot here in Dallas on March 13 using guerrilla film techniques of set the shoot up before hand and do it in one take before anyone can react.  And without permits of official permission

Erykah,  You so rock.  Her new album New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh was released today.

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Anti-Gay ‘Dr. Shock’ Busted on Sex Charges

Used grisly methods to ‘cure’ gay soldiers, abused male patient

By Jane Yager| Posted Mar 29, 10 4:00 AM CDT

Newser) – A psychiatrist known as Dr. Shock for his notorious attempts to “cure” gay military recruits through electroshock therapy has been charged with sexually assaulting a male patient. Dr. Aubrey Levin, who was arrested in Calgary, Alberta, after he was secretly filmed sexually abusing a male patient, had previously been accused of gross human rights abuses for his treatment of gay soldiers and conscientious objectors in apartheid-era South Africa.

As a top military psychiatrist for the South African apartheid regime, Levin is believed to have not only given gay patients electroshock therapy but also chemically castrated one gay soldier and driven one patient to suicide. After emigrating to Canada in 1995 he kept his past abuses out of the media by threatening lawsuits, the Guardian reports. Since Levin’s recent arrest Canadian police have begun investigating similar allegations by at least 30 other previous patients of his in Canada.

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Fighting for a hate-free union

By Christine Darosa

From Socialist Worker

Christine Darosa reports on the fight of a transgender union activist in Service Employees International Union Local 1021 to remove a union supervisor from his position because of his reported prejudice.

March 30, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO–On the heels of the reform slate “Change 1021” victory in Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021’s first elections [2] comes another victory: a supervisor in the union’s San Francisco office has been fired for what activists say is his prejudice.

Andre Spearman, one of the staff supervisors in the Union’s San Francisco office, had reportedly created a hostile work environment through a heavy-handed, top-down approach to working with both staff and rank-and-file membership, combined with blatant disrespect of the membership and staff.

Gabriel Haaland, Local 1021’s political coordinator for San Francisco, and a target of what he calls Spearman’s harassment, described Spearman as having “a very anti-membership-participation perspective” in a progressive local where the membership has historically been very engaged. In fact, Haaland feels that Spearman’s presence and conduct were part of a systematic effort to tamp down rank-and-file activity and involvement in advance of the election.

Over time, Haaland says that an obvious pattern of dismissiveness and derision emerged, though it was difficult to challenge due to Spearman’s abusive management style. As workers in the office began to share their experiences, it became clear that Haaland in particular seemed to receive an extra share of abuse due to his identity as a transgender man.

For example, when Haaland was not in the room, Spearman would refer to Gabriel as “he” in a sneering, belittling way–treatment Spearman also reserved for a transgender woman in the rank and file who crossed his path.

In November, Haaland filed a grievance on behalf of the unionized staff with SEIU management. When the grievance was ignored, he filed a complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION is still all-too-common for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. A 2006 San Francisco study by the Transgender Law Center (TLC) and Bay Guardian newspaper found that 57 percent of transgender people surveyed had experienced employment discrimination in some form, despite the city having had transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws since 1994. Further, only 12 percent of those surveyed had filed a formal complaint.

Haaland, a longtime local progressive figure, has been involved in drafting protections and raising visibility around the harassment of transgender workers, and was part of the group of people who worked to get the TLC/Bay Guardian study underway.

Still, it took Haaland some time to make the decision to file the complaint against Spearman. This was due in part, he explained, to not wanting to give ammunition to union-bashers and his belief that, surely, the union could do better–but also in part to the personal difficulty of taking this step.

If deciding to file a complaint was so challenging for Haaland, it is clear how much harder it would be for people in more precarious situations or those who are isolated in their communities. With the threat of repercussions–such as job loss in a population where unemployment is as high as 75 percent–it is easy to understand why so few people might come forward.

Haaland said that when he found out that the Change 1021 slate had won 26 out of the 28 contested union positions, he knew immediately that the new leadership would be responsive to the issues raised in the grievance. He “knew and respected” the people who won, having worked alongside them in the union for years, he explained.

As Larry Bradshaw, the new third vice president of Local 1021, commented recently:

[M]ost of us that were elected to office on the reform slate knew that there were many internal problems with staff and staff management, but we had no idea that there was this sort of harassment occurring. The first we heard about it was when we read about it in the local press a couple days before we took office, and our new rank-and-file chief elected officer moved within a couple days to remove Mr. Spearman from his position in the union.

Haaland feels that Local 1021 is now returning to the “long tradition of progressive, democratic unionism” that he had signed on to when he took his job with SEIU. He also feels that Change 1021’s win is connected to the actions happening elsewhere at the grassroots–from labor to the LGBT movement to the March 4 Day of Action against the budget cuts in California.

“Things are different now in a number of different contexts. Old ways of doing things are shutting down,” he said. “It excites me…We’re winning a lot–in transformative ways, not in traditional ways.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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The Lie That Hate Crimes Laws Restrict “Religious Freedom”

One of the more highly touted of recent Christo-fascist lies is the one about how equal rights for LGBT/T people means restricting “religious freedom”.

Since when did homophobia become a core religious belief share by both Christo-fascists and their brothers the Islamo-fascists?

Maybe the real answer is that misogyny, racism and bigotry *are* the core values of religion as is submission to irrationality on the part of religious “leaders”.

More and more we are learning that Catholicism seems to be about providing those so call voices of moral authority with children they can have sex with.

Now comes the ultra bizarre form of religious victimology that equates protecting LGBT/T people from violence and discrimination by adding them to the same sort of catagorical list of protected classes that include religion as well as race some how denies religious freedom.

Perhaps if your religion is that of the KKK, Aryan Nation or Nazism.

But then hatred in the name of some imaginary bully in the sky is what religion is all about as evidenced by the long history of religion based wars fought with both sides proclaiming divine support.

Mostly though religion is anti-human rights and anti-humanity given to placing irrational demands upon people and preaching hatred.

Can there be any more profoundly disturbing form of hatred preached in the name of an imaginary being in the sky than one that tells families to disown their own children or abuse them because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or transgender?

Perhaps this form of “religious freedom” deserves censure?

Too often I see bumper stickers that get it wrong when they say “Hate is not a religious value”, when hate really is not only a religious value but is really what religion is all about.

No God, No Masters!

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CALL TO ACTION: Demand That Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives Be Pulled from Tribeca Film Festival Line-up


GLAAD Contacts:
Taj Paxton, Director of Entertainment Media, (323) 634-2028,
Rich Ferraro, Director of Public Relations, (646) 871-8011,

GLAAD was recently alerted by community members and allies to a film called Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives that will be screened at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.

GLAAD has since seen the film in its entirety and can report that the title is far from the only problem with this film. The film, its title and its marketing misrepresent the lives of transgender women and use grotesque, exploitative depictions of violence against transgender women in ways that make light of the horrific brutality they all too often face.

Misrepresenting the Lives of Transgender Women
Writer/director Israel Luna based his film on the “exploitation films” of the 1970s such as I Spit On Your Grave, about a woman who was raped and sought revenge on her attackers. The five lead characters in Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives are brutally attacked by a group of men; two do not survive the attack, but the surviving three seek gruesome revenge on their attackers. The film is a pastiche of graphic violence and horror movie clichés, with a few scenes of campy humor.

By marketing Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives as a “transploitation” film, by using the word “trannies” (a pejorative term for transgender people) in the title of the film, by casting transgender women in some roles, and by citing the murders of Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado in the trailer, Israel Luna has attempted to place his film squarely within a transgender narrative.

However, while some of the actors in the film identify as transgender, the characters are written as drag queens, “performing” femininity in a way that is completely artificial. The very names of these over-the-top female caricatures (Emma Grashun, Rachel Slurr, et al.) drive this point home.

Because of its positioning as a transgender film, viewers unfamiliar with the lives of transgender women will likely leave this film with the impression that transgender women are ridiculous caricatures of “real women.” It demeans actual transgender women who struggle for acceptance and respect in their day-to-day lives and to be valued for their contributions to our society.

Exploiting and Sensationalizing Anti-Transgender Violence
Transgender people are a marginalized and vulnerable minority in our culture, subjected to horrific hate crimes and pervasive discrimination. Relatively few media images of transgender people exist, so every media image becomes essential in educating audiences about transgender lives and working to eliminate the discrimination and violence they face.

In this context, it is irresponsible and insulting to make a film that serves up graphic anti-transgender violence as a “hook” for an homage to B-movies of the 1970s. Anti-LGBT hate crimes are serious issues that do not translate into an exploitation film. The very nature of exploitation films is to shock and titillate audiences with extreme, sensationalized violence.

Films like Boys Don’t Cry and A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story have graphically portrayed the murders of transgender people. In a serious dramatic context, such depictions convey the tragic reality of the violence that many transgender people face. But in this film, repeated shots of a baseball bat covered in clumps of hair and blood are grotesque – and serve only as horror movie-like gore. Depictions of violence and brutality are immediately followed by ridiculous scenes that make light of the horrific crimes that have been committed. There is nothing funny about the murders of the countless LGBT people who have fallen victim to hate-motivated violence.

Furthermore, the filmmakers have chosen to market Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives using a crass trailer that opens with references to the recent murders of Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado, putting their brutal murders on par with the outlandish violence in this film.


GLAAD finds it troubling that the respected Tribeca Film Festival would give a film that sensationalizes anti-transgender violence and misrepresents the lives of transgender women, a platform that affords such great exposure. The Tribeca Film Festival has a history of screening powerful LGBT films, such as the GLAAD Media Award-nominated Quentin Crispbiopic An Englishman in New York, and the GLAAD Media Award-winning film Transamerica, about a transgender woman reconnecting with her son. Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives does not meet, and in fact devalues, the standard of excellence established by the festival.

GLAAD has reached out to writer/director Israel Luna, the film’s producer and the Tribeca Film Festival, and both have refused to take responsibility for the problematic content and offensive marketing of this film.  We urge you to contact the Tribeca Film Festival and call on them to pull Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives from their schedule.

Tammie Rosen
Vice-President of Communications – Tribeca Film Festival
(212) 941-2003

David Kwok
Director of Programming – Tribeca Film Festival
(212) 941-2420

Kimberly Kress       
Senior VP, Rubenstein Communications
(212) 843-9394

Film & Programming
(212) 941-2305

To send an email with suggested text to the Tribeca Film Festival contacts above, go to

Concerned community members have developed a Facebook group called “Boycott ‘Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives’ at the Tribeca Film Festival” that you can join at

Latest on the Call to Action

updated March 26, 2010

GLAAD’s Call to Action asks that Tribeca not give a platform to a film that sensationalizes anti-transgender violence and misrepresents the lives of transgender women. When Tribeca announced its film selections, almost immediately GLAAD received numerous emails from upset transgender advocates asking GLAAD to speak out.

In just one day, over 800 community members and straight allies have sent e-mails to the Tribeca Film Festival voicing their concerns about the film and opposition to its selection for this year’s festival.

Last month, GLAAD was asked to meet with the director and cast members prior to seeing the movie to educate them about transgender terminology and issues facing the transgender community. During that meeting, GLAAD was not shown the film and voiced strong concerns about the title and the use of the word “tranny.”  While the word is used by some, it is largely an insult that is offensive to many transgender people. The filmmaker has elected to keep it, despite its potential offense.

At the time of the meeting, the film didn’t have a distributor or any major platform. Every year countless independent films are made and most remain unreleased. Showing at the Tribeca Film Festival offers the film a national space to spread its inaccurate message to thousands. It is because of this platform and the recognition it provides that we are standing with many in the community and raising our voices.

When GLAAD watched the film screener and trailer, we were immediately concerned about not just the title, but the film’s content and its exploitation of transgender victims Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado in its trailer.

In a recent interview the filmmaker admits, “I agree that the baseball bat and the clumps of hair on the baseball bat are very disturbing…” This sort of violence is played for cheap laughs in the film.

Filmmakers have the right to pursue his or her vision. However, film festivals and other media distributors have the responsibility to consider the consequences of advancing that vision.

GLAAD hopes that an institution as respected as the Tribeca Film Festival would be concerned about how this film trivializes violence against transgender people, concerns that the filmmaker has repeatedly shrugged off.

In the wake of this outcry, GLAAD and many other transgender advocates ask that Tribeca rescind its selection of “Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives.”

“Negative and stereotyped media portrayals of transgender people hurt the community because Americans still need more education on transgender issues,” said Kim Person, Executive Director of TransYouth Family Allies. “The images in this film make a mockery of their lives. I want more for my child and all transgender people.”

Go to GLAAD’s site to sign the petition

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Building A Culture Instead of Letting Others Portray Us

Many years ago, about the time I got my surgery I bought a camera.  It was a fixed lens rangefinder Yashica with aperture priority, 35mm.  It was the first decent camera I owned that was capable of easy accurate focus and the sort of operation that permitted me to start doing documentary photography.

I was a documentary photographer, photographing the culture of my friends.  Yet it was hard for many to take seriously what I was doing.

When a transsexual or transgender person produces art that reflects the reality that they live many of our sisters castigate us for being “professional trannies”.

Many of our biographies even if they have our name as author are actually ghost written.  Although not all are and even those ghost written are a telling of our stories.

I have a book case full of biographies ranging from the barely literate to some that are wonderfully written by sisters and brothers who have put the effort into learning the craft of writing.

I was inspired by both Lynn Conway and Andrea James’ web sites when I put up this blog.  I try to have it reflect my thinking but I also try to vary the topics as well because there are many things that impact our lives.

I’m bothered by this film “Ticked off…”.  But rather than censoring it or putting all this energy into protesting it I would rather see our energy poured into supporting our own and their art.

We actually have sisters who are musical artists.  We probably have enough to put on a festival of our own.

We have poets…  I think half of us have the souls of poets, filling note books and thinking, “Who would possibly want to hear us read our poetry?”

Who would want to hear our music or see our art.  And if we show it and explain the impact of growing up with transsexualism or transgenderism then is it about our art or about what we grew up with?

That is the dilemma of any artist who is not part of the straight white male dominant culture.  In effect we are minority artists and our art if it has integrity is the art of our life experiences.

I have heard sisters and some brothers too speak dismissively of art produced by us that shows us or reflects our lives.  As though the only way we can be successful is if we are so integrated into the dominant culture our own birth history vanishes.

Rather than just protest I think we need to take a different approach.  I remember the Gay Liberation Front picketing “Boys in the Band”, the Daughters of Bilitis , I think, picketed “The Killing of Sister George”.  And all the other films that garnered more publicity from the protests and became must see films due to the controversy.  It just caused more people to go.

We have a highly praised documentary, “Prodigal Sons” playing the same festival circuit.  Perhaps we should spend at least as much effort pointing out the positive as the negative.  Holding “Prodigal Sons” up as example of something for us and by us that shows the reality of our lives.

We also need to start putting our money where our mouths are.  Buy the CDs of artists like Namoli Brennet and Baby Dee.  We could buy the documentaries and write letters to Sundance Channel, Logo, IFC and Current TV thanking them when they put on a positive show.  Or even one that amuses us because sometimes the trashy and comedic entertain us by and not the straights simply by invoking those in group jokes.

We could actually buy the books of sisters and brothers.  I realize expecting y’all to be supportive of each other instead of trashing each other is asking a lot…  But if all we do is trash talk each other why are we surprised when the dominant culture trash talks us?

Instead of just protesting the negative, even though it needs to be done, perhaps we should put the same amount of energy into supporting the positive.

Exploitation Without a Balancing Representation

I do not like censorship.  This leaves me with ambivalent feelings regarding the latest brouhaha over what is probably a campy low budget exploitation movie, “Ticked Off Trannies With Knives”.

There are an awful lot of really stupid waste of time and money films out there.  Most seem filmed on another planet I call, “The World Without Women”.  Much of movie land is Guyville where the stupid and the violent reigns supreme.

Because I haven’t seen the film being discussed I have no real way of knowing if it falls in the campy queer cinema of say John Waters and Andy Warhol or in the dumb and violent arena of Guyville.

On a positive note I have heard the film defended as having actual sisters in the roles of the “Ticked off Trannies” .  This would generally cause me to rank it several steps higher than the most well intentioned  trans themed films that use a cis-sexual/gender actor or actress in drag face to play the role of the transsexual or transgender person.

I loved the film “The Crying Game” precisely because they cast Jaye Davidson as female lead.  I gave TransAmerica a lower mark because for all its sensitivity and its including sisters in the supporting cast it had a cis-sexual/gender actress as the lead.  One who played us in mildly offensive stereotypes.

So often it seems that the only places where transsexual and transgender people actually appear as real people in the world of film and video are in documentaries where we get to simply be ourselves.

Candis Cayne has been in several films and regularly appears on television.  Yet I rarely hear her work spoken of.  Then there are the queens like Hedda Lettuce who have appeared in shows on Logo.  While I know that the respectable transgender communities often seem composed of  straight CDs who sometimess look down upon the drag queens.  Drag queens are nonetheless one of the transcommunities and as such they should also be represented fairly.

There has been an effort on the part of some to compare “Ticked off Trannies….” with the Blacksploitation films of the 1970s yet those films were balanced with serious works with major Black actors such as Sidney Poitier.  Where is the equivalency with serious non documentary films with transsexual/transgender roles filled by actors and actresses who are actually transsexual or transgender?

Time and context become important.  If this film were simply a stupid and violent film that was balanced out it would be one thing…  But it isn’t.

However I am of the opinion that rather than going for censorship that we use it as an opportunity to educate.

When “Different For Girls” showed at the LA Gay and Lesbian Film Festival a number of years ago I went’ and stayed for the question and answer session with the director.  I asked the important question of, “Why did you have a straight male actor in drag face playing the part of a transsexual woman?  Don’t you see that doing this is as offensive to us as having a white actor play in blackface or having a white actor in yellowface playing the role of an Asian?

Film festivals are filled with film people as well as those who write about film.  It might be better to attend the film than protest from outside.  Then stick around and ask hard questions.

Posted in Film. 6 Comments »

Please distribute this email about the protest next Tuesday, and join the “Protest Transphobia In Media” Facebook page:

Please distribute this email about the protest next Tuesday, and join
the “Protest Transphobia In Media” Facebook page:

Tuesday March 30th 6:30 – 8pm in front of Tribeca Cinemas. Please bring candles
to honor Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado
Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
(at Laight Street, one block below Canal Street)

Protest Info page:

Info about movie:


Namoli Brennet

Every Friday evening I share a video of one of the musical artists that I have liked over the years.  Most are women, which does not mean that I only listen to and like female artists but rather reflects something of my feminist feelings that women in music are rather under represented.  In truth there are so many wonderful women performers out there I could feature a different artist several times a week.

I tend to shun those who are wildly famous unless they are so iconoclastic as to be too special to ignore like Lady Gaga

This weekend’s choice of a featured artist is Namoli Brennet.  I had never heard of her prior to seeing her singing over the closing credits on a LGBT/T show regarding the pain of coming out that appeared on Current TV.

My first reaction was gee she sounds like she would have recorded on Olivia records had she been around in the 1970s.  Her singing gave me the same warm and fuzzy feeling inside I get from Chris Williamson or Holly Near.  Shawn Colvin and Catie Curtis also come to mind.

Imagine my surprise when I learned she is a sister, one of us who like us has had her life touched by a trans prefixed word.

Her web site is at:

I like buying hard copies of CDs because I do not own an iPod or equivalent although I rip my CDs to a hard drive, put the original disk in a changer and burn disks for the car, which sits in the parking lot at work where summer temperatures soar.  Her CDs are sort of difficult to find.  Like Ani Di Franco and many folkies who have small time marketing collectives I assume she produces her own and does limited runs to sell at shows.  But MP3 downloads are available on her site.

As I listened to one of her albums  (Chrysanthemum) on the way to work today I was filled with sadness over the irony of how she is so in line with so many of the women who perform at the MWMF and yet that venue is closed to her because of her having a trans history.

I admire her courage in not hiding her past, her honesty and integrity. There are many of us who are talented and yet we find our art stifled because we are afraid of showing that part of our history rather than to integrate it into our art.  An old adage is that to be an artist is to stand naked.  But there is something else.  I took some classes at the New York Art Students League.  One day I attended a lecture on Titian.  The lecture told us how Titian had taught people to see things a different way and how it was our job as artist to teach people to see.

By being both out and not being just about being trans while singing and creating music that is in the vernacular shared by feminist folk singers Naomli teaches  feminist women, who might buy her music since it is of the genre popular among women who share a common aesthetic sense, to see how we can be women too, albeit with a slightly different history.

I really hope that you will go and buy some of this lady’s music.  The genre she performs in means she can use all the support she can get.  And in the process you will be touched by the music of a wonderfully sensitive artist.

Posted in Music. 3 Comments »


Please sign the Petition at:

Sponsored by: Henry Hall, FreeGRS.ORG


In the belief that transsexualism is not mental illness, we ask that an express statement of that exact sentiment, no more, no less, is to be included in the forthcoming DSM-5 manual from the APA (American Psychiatrists Association). We acknowledge that certain conditions which are not mental disorders, mental illnesses, psychopathologies or abnormalities may be of clinical interest to psychiatrists; in this regard (only) transsexualism is similar to bereavement.

Text of letter to be sent:
To: The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup of the DSM-5 Development Task Force of the APA (American Psychiatric Association), the APA Board of Trustees, officers and membership in regards to the next version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders):

We, the undersigned,
ARE NOT MENTAL ILLNESS, and therefore we call for decisive action:

We recommend that to the diagnosis/criteria pages of provisional DSM-5 diagnostic categories:

302.85–“Gender Incongruence (in Adolescents or Adults)” and
302.6 –“Gender Incongruence (in Children)”

the statement shown below shall be added:

Gender incongruence, regardless of its etiology or how it is experienced by any person, shall in no way be considered a psychopathology, mental illness or mental disorder. Gender incongruence may, however, be the focus of significant clinical interest and attention.

We further request that the APA Board of Trustees endorse the above within an official policy statement, at least on an interim basis pending DSM-5 publication.

We ask this in order to explicitly and unambiguously call for medical treatment of trans-people to be on a basis of an overarching aim of promoting health though assessment and treatment on a somatic basis.  We believe that somatic treatments of gender incongruent people, with informed consent, have an excellent track record of success and patient satisfaction whereas psycho-therapeutic treatments (alone) do not.

In support of these requests we note that:-

1. Current and former gender variant persons, their families and friends, and health care providers worldwide increasingly and publicly call for the depathologization of transsexualism and gender variance as mental illnesses.

2. Recently, the APA Sexual and Gender Identity Work Group ” … clearly indicated their rejection of the Gender Identity Disorder term because, in their view, [such pathologization] contributes to the stigmatization …”.

3. The presently proposed revisions to DSM-5 do not nearly go far enough in removing the stigma unjustly associated with gender variance.

Friday Night Fun and Culture

Trans Student Kicked Out Of Constance McMillen’s Mississippi School

Reposted with permission from Joe. My. God.

Dan Savage reports that the same Mississippi high school that canceled Constance McMillen’s prom also kicked out a trans student on his first day.

Juin Baize was a student at Itawamba Agricultural—for a grand total of four hours. Baize, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Fulton, Mississippi, from New Harmony, Indiana, to live with Baize’s grandmother at the beginning of the year. (For now Baize says he prefers to use male pronouns.) Baize, age sixteen, enrolled at Itwamba Agricultural High School, where Constance McMillen was also a student. McMilllen clearly recalled Baize’s first—and only—day at Itawamba Agricultural. “People were talking about him all day, trying to get a look at him,” said McMillen. “It was insane, it was ridiculous, it made me so mad. They said he was causing a distraction with what he was wearing but it was a half day of school and people didn’t have time to get used to him.” The other students wouldn’t be given a chance to get used to him: the next time Baize came to school, according Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi, Baize was given a suspension notice and sent home. When Juin returned to school after his first suspension, he was suspended again.

After a story about the suspensions made the local newspaper, Baize’s grandmother ordered the entire family out of her home. And they’ve now been asked to leave the home of the friends who took them in. Head over to Dan Savage’s post for information on how to help. The ACLU will not be pursuing action against the school because the family no longer lives in the district.

Activism Inc

Serendipitous convergence might be the best way to describe stumbling on to two seemingly unrelated sources both talking about something that has been bothering me for some time.

I’ve been thinking about something for the last few years.  I describe myself as an anarchist because so much of my activism and so many of my political positions are outside of a structured activist organization.  My activism is also spread widely across many issues which makes it hard for me to feel at home in identity based politics.

Back in the 1980s I was a disgruntled professional nerd working in Silicon Gulch and I answered an ad in one of the Bay Area Newspapers looking for people who were passionate about environmentalism and progressive politics. It offered an opportunity to work as paid activists on a campaign headed by Tom Hayden,  a California State Representatives and former SDS leader.

Much to my disappointment I discovered that ads for activists that one finds in papers and on sites like Craig’s List are not looking for people to organize or do the other things I associate with activism.  Instead they are ads for people who beg for money either on the phones or going door to door, all in the name of a good cause or causes but demeaning and disillusioning nonetheless.

This was not something I particularly considered activism.

Shit happens or serendipitous convergence. Just as I am thinking about this several things come up that help me illustrate and further define my discomfort with this new form of “activism”.

Documentaries about the slaughter of whales and the decimation of the seas with drift nets that stretch for miles and are the equivalent of clear cutting forests in their environmental destruction caused me to get a couple of books about Earth First and David Foreman.  David Foreman and the people of Earth First attacked Greenpeace as corporate accommodationists more interested in professional activism, fund raising and lobbying than direct action.  As an alternative to Greenpeace Foreman suggested supporting Sea Shepard, which actually spends much of its energy going out and attacking whalers and the fishing fleets that are strip mining the oceans in an effort to leave no fish behind.

In the 1960s I was part of SDS, an extremely nebulous organization at best, particularly so after about 1966.  If you said you were a member then you were a member.  Earth First had the same organizational pattern.

I was around for the early days of Gay Liberation, Lesbian Liberation, Second Wave Feminism and yes one of the first real grassroots Transsexual Liberation and Support groups.

By 1975 so much of that was withering away, being replaced by “professionals” with degrees and careers, organizations that had big plans with bright shiny offices with prestigious addresses.  Organizations with large budgets.  Enter the new role for those at the grassroots, professional beggar.  But major organizations with prestigious headquarters do not survive on nickel and dime donations, they require the support of major donors.

At one point AIDS Project LA had a fund raising dinner for major donors and honoring Elizabeth Taylor that was reputed to have cost somewhere in the realm of a half million dollars.  It cost more than it raised and needless to say none of the out reach workers who passed out condoms to LGBT/T sex workers doing survival sex on the corners of Santa Monica Blvd were invited.

I’m not going to go into my thoughts regarding “transactivism” except to say it too seems to have strayed from its roots in various bad neighborhoods to a point that much of what we hear about seems out of touch with lumpen prole trannies.  The ones doing sex work to survive, or working in  underpaid often part-time menial jobs that have come to be the mainstay for many working class people. Transactivism with its calls to go to Washington to lobby your Representatives, come to conferences to discuss and calls to Camp Out outside the MWMF seems to assume a level of affluence beyond that of many trannies, especially those who are part of the trans under classes.

Over the last few days I have been watching the struggle going on over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It is crystal clear that HRC has become an irrelevant organization that is pretty useless when it comes to doing much of anything other than insuring that Joe Solmonese, is the most fashionably well dressed “activist” among the lobbyist set.

Are we really sending our hard earned dollars to HRC to buy Joe Solmonese expensive designer clothes and attend expensive events?  It all seems so corporate. Speaking of which.  as much as I love Kathy Griffith as a comedian, what the fuck does she have to do with LGBT/T activism other than perhaps entertain us?

From Newsweek:

Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and fluent Arabist being discharged from the Army for being openly gay, was arrested last week along with former Army captain Jim Pietrangelo II, after handcuffing themselves to the White House gate in protest of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. They were handcuffed with the help of Robin McGehee, a former PTA president turned activist who last week cofounded GetEQUAL, an LGBT activism group inspired by civil-rights organizations and gains made through civil disobedience.

Lt. Choi basically reamed out Solmonese and HRC for their “executive” demonstration at Freedom Plaza and their failure to support him and others who actually took their protests to the the White House fence where they handcuffed themselves to the fence and allowed themselves to be arrested.  They languished in jail overnight. Lt. Choi said that HRC failed to give either legal support or bail.

HRC was already on the shit list of many transsexual and transgender people for its willingness to support a non-trans inclusive ENDA.  Perhaps we are too lumpen and not fashionable enough for Joe.

Back in the 1990s one of the exciting things about trans-activism was the Transsexual Menace and how it had a lot in common with Act Up and the Lesbian Avengers.  Membership and participation could be had for the cost of a t-shirt and the guts to wear it.  I sometimes think that what ruined trans-activism was when privileged white late emergers became the face of it and started with all the post-modern theoretical crap.

They were divorced from the reality of prostitution, criminalization, AIDS, addiction and all the murders that were part of the lives of those transsexual and transgender people found in the under classes.

On the other hand a local grass roots organization here in Dallas managed to get numerous demonstrators together to go to a DART meeting and protest the mistreatment of a transsexual DART worker who had some bureaucratic piece of shit in Human Resources decide that they didn’t have to accept that she had SRS as well as jumping through all the hoops to legally change her sex to female.  This person decided that she had been born male and should be forever considered male.

The slogan of the IWW, an anarchist labor union back in the early 20th century was “Direct action gets the goods”.

Perhaps instead of all this high level activism that seems to get very little in results from the efforts of the well paid professional activists lobbying in Washington we should at least divide the money and devote more of it to the development of local grass roots activism and less to supporting those who aspire to live the life of the corporate shills of K Street.

Diocese penalizes homeless aid group

[Because nothing says Christian like homophobic bigotry.]

From The Portland Press Herald

By Tom Bell
Staff Writer

PORTLAND – A social service agency’s support for same-sex marriage has cost it local and national funding from the Catholic Church’s anti-poverty program.

Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program has lost $17,400 this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year.

Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine’s “No on 1” campaign last fall.

No on 1 opposed a ballot proposal to overturn the new state law legalizing gay marriage. Voters approved Question 1 on Nov. 3.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Diocese penalizes homeless aid group

Tell Congress: Take a stand for women’s rights and safety

United Nations Foundation:

It is the world’s most pervasive human rights violation.  One of every three women in the world faces violence, coercion, or abuse as part of her everyday life — and more than 70% of women will experience violence in their lifetime.

Such a complex problem requires a broad-based, comprehensive solution. Tell your representatives in Washington today that ending violence against women needs to be a real priority.

Sign the petition at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Tell Congress: Take a stand for women’s rights and safety

Behind the Shady World of Marketing Junk Food to Children

From Alternet

By Jill Richardson, AlterNet
Posted on March 23, 2010, Printed on March 23, 2010

Seven-year-old Marley loves Happy Meals from McDonald’s. She used to get Chicken McNuggets, but now she chooses a cheeseburger to go with her fries and Sprite. Her father, Patrick, is a chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America, but Marley prefers McDonald’s to his cooking. After a trip to McDonald’s, Marley eagerly surfs onto, where she can enter a code from her meal to get a “behind-the-scenes look at iCarly,” a kids’ TV show (boys can use their code for a Star Wars promotion).

Continue reading at:

Get them hooked young.

Have Fat Acceptance Activists attack Michelle Obama because of her concerns regarding childhood obesity.

The selling is a constant barrage of advertising of food so out of touch with real food that it shouldn’t even be considered food but rather a product composed of sugars, fats and salt aimed at tickling the compulsive eating centers in the brain and addicting us.

Tina and I watched the Tony Bourdain Show last night.  It was in Provence, where good food is an obsession.  Food that is real food and not the product of a laboratory filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup.

As a virtual slave in the new servant economy I am a whore who peddles the junk food and am responsible for a whole crew of people that I send out to do the same.  What is worst is that we read the ingredients and know what nutritional nightmares we are foisting off on people.  Although too often when we get a good product, one that is organic and without a lot of unpronounceable chemicals in the ingredients, reduced sodium and low in sugars and fats the junk food junkies loudly proclaim, “Healthy…  Then it can’t possibly taste any good.”

These companies are like smack pushers peddling narcotics getting people hooked on crap when infants.

So hooked that they turn up their noses at some of the best food in the world, reject it for a 1200 calorie burger, 750 calorie fries topped off with a 1000 calorie shake.  Then they wonder why they are fat.

Changing habits starts with admitting you have a problem.  Unlike booze and drugs we all still have to eat so going cold turkey will at best work for a month or so and then you die.  We have to continue to eat and in the process wean ourselves from the junk food.  First to go is the huge servings of meat.  A deck of playing cards is a portion size.  If I’m going to eat that small a portion I can afford to look for organic grass fed rather than BGH fueled and corn fed.

More vegetarian meals even though lacto-ova can be tricky and just as full of fats as a meat based meal.

Posted in Food, Health Care, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Behind the Shady World of Marketing Junk Food to Children

Condoms = Arrest?

From Ms Magazine

Police policies often discourage sex workers from carrying protection


“First [the police officer] asked me what I was doing with all these condoms. Then he took the bag and threw it in the garbage. Then he arrested me.” —A transgender woman in New York City, from a 2009 Sex Workers Project survey.

Sienna Baskin, staff attorney at the Sex Workers Project in New York City, says there’s a question she’s always asked at the “Know Your Rights” workshops she leads for prostitutes and other sex workers: “How many condoms are we legally allowed to carry?”

There is no law in any state in the U.S. restricting condom possession, but if you’re a sex worker, you might have reason to believe there is a legal limit. Law enforcement officers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area routinely confiscate condoms from suspected suspected sex workers, sometimes filing them as evidence of prostitution. Almost everyone interviewed for a recent Sex Workers Project survey, Baskin says, “mentioned a certain number of condoms over which they
felt more concerned about increased harassment.” Cyndee Clay, executive director of D.C.-based Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, says, “It’s a common enough practice that everyone knows about it.”

Keeping a few condoms tucked in your handbag probably won’t land you behind bars—unless police profile you as a possible sex worker. Are you in an area known for street prostitution? Are you a transgender woman? Are you a woman of color? Do you have a prior record? If you answer yes to any of these questions, the number of condoms you’re carrying could suddenly become grounds for suspicion, even if you are not engaging in illegal activity.

Continue reading at:

There have also been cases of AIDS Prevention Workers doing outreach work passing out condoms to sex workers in the streets being harassed and arrested by cops who think it is their duty to enforce some sort of faith based morality and that AIDS is divine retribution on sex workers, especially if those sex workers are trans or gay.

Separate but Equal is Never Equal Only Separate

Evangeline argues the heterosexist position that L/G folks should accept civil unions instead of demanding marriage equality.

Not “Gay Marriage”.  Gay marriage betrays a line of thinking that comes straight from Christo-fascism and right wing bigots.  It is a framing aimed at making marriage equality appear as some sort of demanding of special privileges rather than equality.

When it is in fact the heterosexists who are demanding that their relationship be privileged over and above those of L/G people.

I have a modest proposal.

Civil unions for all.  Get government and the whole matter of law out of the “marriage business”.

Give marriage to the those who make a ritual out of it.  Make marriage without having signed the civil union contract into simply a ritual.  Turn the issuing of the license into the actual civil contract that bestows the rights and privileges.

It is in fact the traditional way with the contracts signed before magistrates, dowries exchanged and finally a ceremony.

Or allow heterosexuals to opt for these proposed civil unions too cutting the religious institutions out of the role just as many poor and secular people do now when they marry at the court house in front of a government official.