A Grieving Widow Fights Back

The homophobia within Transgender Inc and the Transgender Borg is a major reason for my breaking with both.

That so many in Transgender Inc have started pushing the idea that gay and lesbian people should drop the campaign for marriage equality even though marriage equality would mean an end to the challenging of the marriages of both transsexual and transgender people is another.

The idea that Transgender Folks get to not only colonize post-transsexual folks but demand that gay and lesbian people follow the agenda of Transgender Inc rather than work for something they were working toward before the political identity of transgender came into existence in the mid-1990s is both absurd and very straight as well as  androcentric.

Perhaps it is time to drop the “T” from Gay and Lesbian.  The Transgenders have brought nothing to the table but demands.

I may have had an operation to change my sex a long time ago but that was then and this is now.  I am a lesbian and I don’t need a “T” to be part of Gay and Lesbian.  Just as straight post-transsexual women and men don’t necessarily want to be included in with gays and lesbians.

Marriage equality is front and center with me because I am old and I have been with Tina for the last ten years.  We are concerned about being able to care for each other in the final years of our lives.  We are concerned about what happens to the other when one of us dies first.  Too often the remaining partner loses everything, which is devastating enough when one is young but is lethal when one is elderly.

This is why not only access to marriage, even if one has to travel is important along with the federal government recognizing that marriage and that marriage being given the same full faith and credence that say mixed race marriages are required to be given.

From The National Center for Lesbian Rights: http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=blog_katesBlog082311

By Kate
08.23.11

I cannot imagine the searing pain of losing a partner. I hope, of course, that I live my whole life never knowing such loss. In our work at NCLR, we have represented a number of men and women living through that almost unbearable tragedy, and in every case, their loss is compounded and the injury magnified by the fact that others or the government treat the couple as legal strangers.

In our 2001 case on behalf of Sharon Smith, the horror was unmatched. Sharon’s partner of seven years, Diane Alexis Whipple, was killed by massive dogs while trying to unlock the door of her San Francisco apartment. Her mauling, the grace and legal vulnerability of Sharon, and the stunning callousness of the dog owners captured headlines around the world, and illustrated a fact unknown to most people: couples in same-sex relationships routinely have our relationships ignored and disregarded by the law.

While Sharon was in the midst of unimaginable grieving, the State of California told her that because she and Alexis were not married, she had no right to hold the dog owners responsible for Alexis’s death. Insult compounded terrifying injury. NCLR represented Sharon in her wrongful death action, and the court ruled that she must be treated as a surviving spouse—a historic victory. But no victory, however historic, could erase either the loss or the added pain of having to fight so hard simply to be recognized as a loving, grieving partner.

Now, 10 years later, we represent Jennifer Tobits. Last September, Jennifer’s wife, Sarah Ellyn Farley, an accomplished and beloved lawyer and friend, died of a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Just four years earlier, the couple had married in Canada. Like Sharon, Jennifer now finds herself having to both grieve the loss of her loving spouse and fight to have their marriage respected and recognized. In this case, however, the insult of invisibility and denial is perpetuated not by the state, but by Ellyn’s own parents.

Ellyn’s parents never accepted their daughter for who she was, and her relationship with them had many ups and downs. They refused to attend Ellyn and Jennifer’s wedding celebration, instructing Ellyn to keep the celebration secret from other family members as well. As an adult, Ellyn’s body still bore visible scars from her father’s beatings of her with a belt—those beatings happened in Ellyn’s adolescence, a time when she was just beginning to express her identity. After she left for college, Ellyn built her life halfway across the country. Although she maintained contact with her parents, she kept them at arms’ length even while she was struggling with cancer. And as her illness grew worse, Ellyn began to fear that her parents would make things hard for Jennifer after she died. In an attempt to pacify her parents, and to protect Jennifer from the bullying Ellyn knew to expect, Ellyn made her parents the beneficiaries of her life insurance policy, worth almost half a million dollars. It turns out Ellyn was correct that her parents would make things difficult, and sadly wrong that they would be mollified by the insurance proceeds.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=blog_katesBlog082311

2 Responses to “A Grieving Widow Fights Back”

  1. Teagan Says:

    Thank God. I thought this was going to be about Nikki Araguz when I saw the post title.

    • Suzan Says:

      Ya know there is much to be said for leaving the Planet Transgender behind after becoming post-transsexual and one is not living in a world where everything is about transgender subject matter or even transsexual. One can integrate that history into one’s being without it being the only thing about them.

      That should be a goal and that goal shouldn’t be sneered at the way the Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc sneer at it.

      I’m an old hippie dyke in a life vowed/promised relationship made before Tina’s mother on her death bed. through thick and thin, hard times and good times. Marriage and recognition of that marriage is far more important to me than the agenda of Transgender Inc and their ENDA which won’t do squat for me since I’m really not out in the 3D world but I am an obvious dyke.

      In case you haven’t noticed I’m seriously concerned about the environment on a level of being in a car that is headed over a cliff.


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