This week two e-mails arrived in the G-mail account I use for this Blog. They were both pretty much the same telling me that someone who spends a good deal of the space on her blog attacking me and others has a new job. The messages were sent though an anonymous mail service that makes tracking them impossible, but the implication was that I should use this information to go after this person who takes great glee in attacking me and others.
I used to join in attacking people back when I still drank. Over 10 years of sobriety has changed me a good deal. I’ve gone back to my roots.
One of my core ethical questions regarding my positions on many issues is from the Black Panther Party, “Are you part of the solution or part of the problem.”
One of the ways I act upon that is in refraining from name calling and bullying. Particularly of people who seem to have a lot of issues. Even if they are thoroughly unpleasant and not given to the personal insight that would lead them to seek counseling. And I am sure as hell not going to mess with their employment. They will manage to screw that one up on their own.
Over the years I’ve watched the trashing of various people, actual leaders and activists, who put themselves on the line.
Riki Wilchins, (Happy Birthday), the founder of Transsexual Menace and the author of honest and insightful columns that were collected in “Read My Lips“. I didn’t agree with everything she wrote but Read My Lips was/is still a better and more insightful book than anything ever written by any non-trans person including Dr Benjamin.
She got trashed when she say the problems of gender based discrimination go far beyond transsexual and transgender issues. One of the people at GenderPac, in a personal communication with me described trans-activism as an exercise in “herding cats”.
Sure enough Riki was trashed and condemned as a sell out for moving out of the transgender ghetto and dealing with issues of other forms of gender discrimination>
I’ve had to deal with tons of bullshit from both Transgender Inc and from the HBS/Classic Transsexual set. My big sin is refusing to embrace “Transgender” as my personal lord and savior….. Oops different group that I’ve alienated. My refusal to embrace Transgender and the ideology of transsexual being a subset of transgender has brought a lot of bullshit my way. But so too has my refusal to embrace the HBS/Classic Transsexual bullshit.
Transsexualism most impacted my life when I was a transkid and while I was in transition, and has had a lessening impact every year since my labiaplasty in 1973. The areas where it does impact my life are rarely if ever the focus of Transgender Inc.
Things like being the last of my circle of friends who went through the Stanford Clinic in the years between about 1970 and 75. It saddens me to know I can’t call someone up, with whom I shared that experience and reminisce about the old days.
Fortunately I have new friends that include sisters who are transgender as well as sisters who are also post-transsexual. Sobriety has increased my ability to feel empathy, rather than dwell on my own personal hurts.
Which brings me to trashing.
Trashing is a form of bullying.
I called out Autumn Sandeen when she engaged in a 4 part rant on Pam’s House Blend, trashing Ashley Love.
And now I am calling upon those who have decided to fair game Autumn to cut the shit.
That goes for the HBS/Classic Transsexual Mafia and others who have decided to hop on the band wagon.
It is ritual cannibalism, the forming of the circular firing squad that keeps people from actually engaging in activism.
I’m still incredibly pissed off with Autumn and I’m not seeing much in the way of mea culpas on her part. But nonetheless last year Autumn went to jail for the cause and that counts for a hell of a lot in my book.
The same goes for the trashing of Mara Keisling. WTF? This is how the so called community pays back activists who spend years putting forth effort to advance the cause in an extremely hostile environment. A community where half those taking pot shots hide behind aliases. Mara’s big crime was failure to gain advances in an environment dominated by whiny Republi-Nazis who begrudge all LGBT/T people even the basics of survival.
I loved Julia Serano’s book “Whipping Girl“, thought it one of the most insightful books I’ve read on transsexualism and transgenderism. Yet Julia Serano was attacked for not having her surgery and people who had no idea about Julia’s personal circumstances saw fit to tell her how she should run her life.
I blog about this and other stuff but other than Get Equal my activism is more left wing, anti-war, pro labor, pro feminist than trans-anything.
Why would anyone want to subject themselves to the whole vicious environment of getting trashed when there is so much more to life?
I’ve watched what is going on in Maryland. The operative word is watched, since I live in the D/FW area and I’m not about to go to Maryland for much of anything. I’ve thought maybe folks should have taken a partial victory instead of acting like getting something was worse than getting nothing. The frame of genderidentity/gender expression would have at least been in place and people could go from there.
Instead I’ve watched a whole kamikaze number with people lashing out at gays and lesbians for not dropping their struggle for marriage equality (Not all TS/TG people are straight so marriage equality impacts our lives as well. Further marriage equality means an end to people like Nikki getting her heterosexual marriage challenged as well) to focus on adding Trans to the Maryland anti-discrimination bill.
I’ve been called a separatist for insisting on being called transsexual instead of transgender. Yet I consider myself to fit under the “L” in the alphabet soup more than under the “T”. If people in Transgender Inc want to split from the L/G it is okay… But don’t expect me to come too.
Maybe if people would just stop calling names and trashing out activists more people would be willing to put their bodies on the line.
Cannibalism is a really sucky way to build a movement.