A Penis and a Dress: Why the Gender Binary Needs to Go Away

This is the sort of normborn bullshit that really sets me off.  How people who aren’t transsexual think it would be worth while to totally change society and everyone in the world just to possibly end transsexuals and make it so we wouldn’t feel the gender driven need to change our bodies.

How fucking clueless is this person?

I had a sex change operation.  I’m a lot more feminine than butch. But I queer femininity by not buying into a lot of stereotypes, simply by being a sort of hippie, who thinks competence isn’t a gender specific trait.  Also my friend Ruth taught me the most important question to ask when told about getting a handi-“man” to fix something.  “Okay how is the penis involved in doing that?”

Now lifting heavy shit I totally get. But building a computer…  All that takes is a screw driver and the ability to follow instructions.

I think part of why I was labeled a sissy as a kid was I didn’t get the idea that doing stuff had a gender.

Ponder this.  I didn’t get a sex change operation because of gender.  If it were just about gender I could have stayed transgender like a number of my friends did.  I had a sex change operation to feel comfortable in my own skin, to feel at one with my body.

But this piece is just plain insulting.  Follow the links and read the comments.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-hope/gender-binary_b_1531490.html


If your genitalia don’t match the gender you most identify with, the American Psychiatric Association slaps you with the weighted label “gender identity disorder.” There’s current dialogue around changing the label to “gender incongruence,” but it still boils down to the same ignorance: Society is placing judgment on you because you don’t play by the rules.

What kind of message are we continuing to send to pregnant people everywhere? We live in such a deeply gendered society that our kids have no fighting chance when it comes to freedom of gender expression. Mainstream voices continue to use the wrong dialogue to talk about those who transcend gender norms; the recent Washington Post piece “Transgender at five” is a perfect example. By using language like “gender identity problems” and “condition” to describe a child who doesn’t want to dress, act, or play like a girl just because this child was born with a vagina, the piece reinforces the existing model rather than poking holes in it. Our tunnel-visioned, outmoded landscape needs a fresh, fundamental critique. We’re looking at biological sex and gender in all the wrong ways.

The solution? We need to raze the binary gender system entirely.

A lofty, pie-in-the-sky goal, perhaps, but one that we’re entirely capable of achieving. What purpose does aligning biological sex with societal ideas of gender norms serve, anyway? Why should someone with a penis be outfitted in blue and get toy trucks while someone with a vagina gets shuffled off to ballet class and squeezed into frilly dresses? Monitoring someone’s psychosexual development might be important for health reasons, but policing their gender certainly is not. How do our constructs of “maleness” and “femaleness” contribute to a better world? They don’t.

Medical treatment, such as hormone therapy and surgery to more closely match bodies with an authentic sense of self, is currently the right decision for some people, but our existing, binary gender system makes it impossible to determine whether any of those people might feel more at home in the bodies in which they were born if only we backed away from trying to assign labels and behaviors to match our genitals. It’s likely that some people would not want physical alterations if we taught everyone from birth that the body you were given doesn’t dictate what childhood and adult expressions and activities you can engage in. In fact, not only would life get infinitely more accepting for transgender folks, but doing away with gender labels would solve millennia-old problems like misogyny, for one. Listen closely: Can you hear the glass ceiling shattering?

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-hope/gender-binary_b_1531490.html

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Die Cis Scum

Sometimes I just love Punk Gender Queer folks.

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Sometimes I just Fucking Hate NormBorns aka Cis-Sexual/Cis-Gender People

I’m not all that fond of the words “cis-gender” and “cis-sexual”.

They lack the sarcastic, ironic edge to voice the anger I feel towards the privileged normborns.

A friend, Sophie Seidlberg, coined the term “normborn” and I prefer that because it has the same feel as the contemptuous word I used for straights back in the 1970s.

Back then, when the Christo-Fascists and right wing was coming into power I used to call straight people, “Breeders”

That term lost its edge years ago when LGBT/T people started having little LGBT/T kids.

Being or having been transsexual or being transgender means having to deal with a massive amount of bullshit normborns never have to deal with.

People wonder why most of us who can pass do so.  It is because passing allows us a modicum of ordinary life.

Like most privileged people normborns are totally unaware of their enormous amount of privilege.

This is particularly true of radical feminist academics.  Especially those that went to elite universities.

They prattle on about transsexual/transgender male privilege, while blissfully oblivious to the abuse visible transkids endure from the cradle.

Transkids are aliens born into families whose treatment of them ranges from supportive to murderously abusive.

When I meet a sister, who managed to get an education and establish a career, I’m proud of her.  I didn’t.  I had my education destroyed by endless bullying.  The education I’ve gained in the years since has been hard won.

I had friends who were driven from high school, with perhaps a GED.

I’ve seen so many of my sisters driven into sex work because that is the niche normborns have decided to allow those sisters they deprived of an education.

Repeat after me:   “Normborn sex workers are victims of trafficking and abuse, while trans-sex workers are doing it to degrade women and because they get their kicks that way.”

Gaia, I hate normborn presumptuousness and and snotty sense of privileged superiority.

I hate your fucking piss-assed platitudes about how if we didn’t have some imaginary gender binary then there wouldn’t be transsexual,s who would feel the need to have sex change operations, and people wouldn’t be transgender.

You are ignorant pigs who don’t have a fucking clue what it is like to grow up feeling an alien within your own skin.

I just love the radical feminists who want to enslave me as part of an army of transsexual/transgender warriors in their campaign to dismantle gender.

Fuck you I was born with a gift that allowed me to avoid being enslaved to murder people in southeast Asia.

You don’t fucking get to decide what battles I fight.

I am a full human being, with all the agency normborns presume to have exclusive ownership of.

I’m sick and fucking tired of your lies about us.  Your twisting everything we say or do.

You are like anti-Semites quoting from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, only with  a different book of blood libels,  “The Transsexual Empire.”

Yeah sometimes when I read about some normborn prick getting away with cold bloodedly murdering one of my sisters  I am so beside myself with rage I nearly explode.

Or when I read of a sister defending herself from a swastika tattooed thug and his gang which was attacking her going to prison instead of the other members of the thugs gang being the ones charged I want to explode in rage.

The one thing in life that keeps me from exploding with rage at normborns is the knowledge that the vast majority of non-trans folks are good decent people who don’t want to hurt us, and while they may not understand us don’t bear us a great deal of animosity.

Usually the obvious bigots fall into the same camp as the religious-fascists, the ultra right wing and the so called radical feminists.

Wow I feel so much better now that I blurted that out.

Christian Warrior Defends Anti-Gay Pastor

Newark man found not guilty in killing of Maplewood transsexual woman

From The New Jersey Star Ledger:  http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/05/newark_man_found_not_guilty_in.html

By Alexi Friedman
Friday, May 25, 2012

NEWARK — In the end, it came down to the accused killer’s word against that of his former co-defendant.

Alrashim Chambers was charged with fatally shooting a transsexual woman in Maplewood after discovering her sexual identity. His one-time accomplice, who has since taken a plea deal, pointed the finger at Chambers. But Chambers pointed it right back.

An Essex County jury made its decision today when it acquitted Chambers on all counts in the Sept. 12, 2010, slaying of 28-year-old Victoria Carmen White.

The jury found Chambers, of Newark, not guilty of murder, bias intimidation and two weapons offenses. Chambers, 25, who maintained his innocence from the beginning and took the stand in his own defense, had faced up to life in prison if convicted of murder.

Chambers was charged with shooting White three times in her cousin’s studio apartment in the early morning hours, infuriated after suspecting she had been a man, prosecutors said. White, whom Chambers had met at an Irvington nightclub earlier that evening, was a lingerie model who had sex reassignment surgery a decade earlier in Thailand and had legally changed her name from ***** ******.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/05/newark_man_found_not_guilty_in.html

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7 THINGS – a trans man to the cisgender world

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Gay S. Texas senior allowed to cross-dress at graduation

From The Dallas Voice:  http://www.dallasvoice.com/gay-s-texas-senior-allowed-wear-cross-dress-graduation-10115581.html

24 May 2012

South Texas high school administrators have agreed to allow a gay senior to wear female clothing at his graduation on June 2.

Brandon Navarro originally planned to skip graduation before a talk with his principal brought permission for him to dress as he felt comfortable, KHOU News reports.

“I honestly consider myself more of a cross dresser,” said Navarro. “There are kids at my school and they are gay, but they keep it under wraps,” he told KHOU.

Navarro attends Waller High School in Waller, Texas, a city about 30 miles northwest of Houston. After skipping prom to avoid problems, Navarro said he dropped his plans to wear a dress and high heels with his long hair after a teacher reminded him of the graduation dress code. The rules require senior males to wear slacks and shirts with their hair above the collar.

Navarro’s mother then got involved and he met with the principal. While he’ll have to leave the earrings and high heels in his wardrobe, he’ll be able to wear a dress under his gown.

To view Video go to: http://www.dallasvoice.com/gay-s-texas-senior-allowed-wear-cross-dress-graduation-10115581.html

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3 Reasons ‘Feminism’ Is Not A Dirty Word

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-zeilinger/3-reasons-feminism-is-not_b_1522088.html

Posted: 05/17/2012

I was not born a feminist. There was not a moment when the clouds parted and the ghosts of feminists past traveled to earth on a stream of ethereal light to welcome me into the club (I can’t decide if that would be awesome or absolutely terrifying). Feminism was something I knew little about until I came across it at the end of my middle school career after doing research for a school project. Feminism clearly embodied all of the qualities I already valued — it only made sense to me that I should embrace the label. And I’m glad I did. Being a part of the feminist community has totally transformed my life for the better.

Which is why I was so surprised to find that many people think of “feminism” as a dirty word. How could people oppose a movement that simply wants to make the world a better place? I wondered. Of course there’s the pervasive negative stereotype (feminists as angry, hairy battleaxes, anyone?), the general lack of familiarity most teens (and, sadly, adults) have with the term… The list goes on. But none of those reasons were good enough. After a couple of years of writing for my blog, The FBomb, and reading and editing the submissions from young feminists from all over the world about their feminist beliefs, it became clear to me that I had to do something to show the world that feminism really is a beautiful thing that helps countless people every day. So, I wrote a book about it.

Here are a few reasons why I believe feminism is not a dirty word. For more reasons (and more random musings on the next generation of feminism) see my book, A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not a Dirty Word.

1) Feminism Is About Making The World A Better Place
Feminism is about equality. At its core, feminism is a movement based on the belief that all people — no matter their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.–are equal, and deserve to live their lives free from discrimination. And yet so many times when I tell people this they look at me with the same level of doubt and disbelief as if I’d just stated that The Hunger Games is loosely based on my own life (despite the fact that should I somehow become the figurehead of a rebel movement in a post-apocalyptic society, I’d probably hide in a corner crying and hoarding chocolate rather than run the world, Katniss and I totally have a lot in common–but I digress). It’s always been confusing to me how so many people can vilify a movement that really does have noble and positive goals. There may be feminist extremists, just as there are extremists in most organized groups, but the heart of this movement is the goal of allowing people to realize their full potential. How could anybody argue with that?

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-zeilinger/3-reasons-feminism-is-not_b_1522088.html

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Can Children Know, At Age 2, They Were Born The ‘Wrong Sex’?

From NPR:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/24/153285061/can-children-know-at-age-2-they-were-born-the-wrong-sex

by Barbara J King
May 24, 2012

Kathryn’s Dad thought she was going through a tomboy phase. Kathryn’s Mom suspected it might be something more. From the age of two onwards, Kathryn herself was utterly certain: “I am a boy,” the child insisted.

Kathryn’s story was told on the front page of The Washington Post last Sunday, and I found it a gripping tale. It explores Kathryn’s sense, expressed consistently through her toddler years, that she is a boy, and her parents’ “upheaval” in trying to do the right thing by their child. When Kathryn was four, after seeking professional counseling, the parents decided to let her live as a boy.

Tyler (the pseudonym chosen by the Post for Kathryn’s new name) now dresses as a boy and attends preschool as a boy. Is Tyler a transgender child, with a natal sex (female) that does not match his gender identity (male)? Can children so young really know their own gender identity? How can families best support these children?

In a course I teach at William and Mary, Evolutionary Perspectives on Gender, my students and I grapple with questions of this nature. One of our primary texts is Sexing the Body by Anne Fausto-Sterling, a biologist and gender-studies expert at Brown University. Three days ago, I spoke with Fausto-Sterling by telephone about some of these issues.

Fausto-Sterling takes a dynamic systems approach to gender identity, one where a number of influences work together as a system to affect a child’s experience of gender. She is interested in what happens as the child begins, especially in the second year of life, to move more fully into symbolic thinking, as expressed through verbal language and symbolic play.

Continue reading at:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/05/24/153285061/can-children-know-at-age-2-they-were-born-the-wrong-sex

Has the FBI Launched a War of Entrapment Against the Occupy Movement?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/rights/155581/has_the_fbi_launched_a_war_of_entrapment_against_the_occupy_movement/

Is the government unleashing the same methods of entrapment against OWS that it has used against left movements and Muslim-Americans?

By Arun Gupta
May 24, 2012

With the high-profile arrest of activists on terrorism charges in Cleveland on May Day and in Chicago during the NATO summit there, evidence is mounting that the FBI is unleashing the same methods of entrapment against the Occupy Wall Street movement that it has used against left movements and Muslim-Americans for the last decade.

In Cleveland the FBI announced on May 1 that “five self-proclaimed anarchists conspired to develop multiple terror plots designed to negatively impact the greater Cleveland metropolitan area.” The FBI claimed the five were nabbed as they attempted to blow up a bridge the night before using “inoperable” explosives supplied to them by an undercover FBI employee.

Then on May 19, the day before thousands marched peacefully in Chicago to protest NATO-led wars, the Illinois State Attorney hit three men with charges of terrorism for allegedly plotting to use “destructive devices” against targets ranging from Chicago police stations to the home of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Defense attorneys for the Chicago activists claim their clients, like the Cleveland activists, were provided with supplies for making Molotov cocktails by undercover agents in an operation that included the participation of the FBI and Secret Service. This was followed up on May 20 by the arrest of two other men on terrorism charges in Chicago for statements they made, which critics say amount to thought crimes. The Chicago cases are also reportedly the first time the state of Illinois is charging individuals under its post-September 11 terrorism law.

To hear FBI officials describe it, “Law enforcement took swift, collaborative action…to eliminate the risk of violence and protect the public.” To many observers, however, the government itself is the overarching threat, systematically repressing peaceful dissent.

Will Potter, who analyzes FBI entrapment plots in his book Green is the New Red, says the two incidents are “a reflection of an ongoing pattern of behavior from the FBI of singling out political activists and having a direct influence in creating so-called terrorist plots for the purpose of proclaiming a victory in the war on terrorism.” Potter claims, “There have been many other cases like these in which the FBI had a role in manufacturing the plot itself. We’ve seen this time and again with animal rights activists, environmental activists and the anarchist movement.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/rights/155581/has_the_fbi_launched_a_war_of_entrapment_against_the_occupy_movement/

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Why Joe Biden needs to blurt out a defense of pot!

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Doma ruled unconstitutional for denying benefits to same-sex couples

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/25/doma-ruled-unconstitutional-denying-benefits

District court judge in California is third federal judge to issue a similar ruling over 1996 Defence of Marriage Act

in Los Angeles
guardian.co.uk, Friday 25 May 2012

A federal judge has boosted the campaign for gay marriage by overturning a law which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples.

Claudia Wilken, a district court judge for the northern district of California, ruled on Thursday that congress acted unconstitutionally in discriminating against gay couples in the 1996 Defence of Marriage Act (Doma).

Wilken became the first judge to rule against the controversial legislation since President Barack Obama threw his weight behind gay marriage earlier this month.

Gay rights campaigners welcomed the ruling. “This adds to the momentum for overturning this radical and discriminatory law,” said Evan Wolfson, of Freedom to Marry, an advocacy group.

Wilken, a Clinton-era appointee based in Oakland, a liberal bastion, was the third federal judge to find Doma unconstitutional following a ruling by judge Joseph Tauro in Massachusetts in 2010 and one by judge Jeffrey White in California earlier this year. That ruling is under appeal and is due to go before a circuit court of appeals in September. Thursday’s ruling is also expected to be appealed.

Doma, which was championed by opponents of gay marriage, defines marriage as “a legal union of a one man and one woman as husband and wife”. It withholds multiple federal benefits, including joint tax filing and immigration sponsorship, from gay couples legally married under state law.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/25/doma-ruled-unconstitutional-denying-benefits

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Is Big Pharma the biggest criminal fraudster in America?

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Praying for Health Care Sanity

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/25-6

by Donna Smith
Published on Friday, May 25, 2012 by Common Dreams

I admit it.  I pray.  I know there are intellectuals who are above such frivolity and for whom the showing of any belief in a power greater than one’s self and one’s intellect is the ultimate sign of weakness and inferiority.  I don’t care.  I am not weak, and just because I am not in the economic or intellectual class as some have identified that class does not mean my brain is inferior to anyone else’s.

I think a lot about cruelty and the power that the profit-making gods have over people in America today.  And I work every day to support efforts to make the healthcare system less profit-driven and more humane.  To do the work I do, I educated myself and have worked at least as hard intellectually and professionally as any of the elite class who hold so much power over the rest of us – not because they have earned that power, but because they have purchased it with cash, with cruelty and with blind ambition to control the lives of others.

Today, I pray.  And for many American patients, prayer is one of the ways we try to steal ourselves against the traumas of an inhumane healthcare system run by the same profit-driven forces that control nearly every aspect of our lives every day.  My insurance company has made my most recent cancer journey hell for me.  For the past two months, the diagnostic efforts and now my treatment options have been second-guessed and delayed.  But nothing else in life is delayed.  So I pray.  I pray my doctors have the wisdom and skill to work around Aetna’s demands (I am sure you could easily substitute your own insurance company’s name here), and I pray I can dance fast enough around all the other issues in life to keep everything steady through this process.

A few weeks ago I wrote that if this cancer ends up requiring some long, expensive fight for care and I will likely not be OK anyway, I will not spend the rest of my life fighting with an insurance company and begging for mercy.  That has not changed.  But I am not even yet to the point where I can make that decision – the insurance company has questioned every single test and every procedure though I have faithfully used their “preferred providers.”

I pray today, as many Americans patients do, that I wake up this afternoon and hear a good result, but that I won’t be left with hundreds or thousands in bills somehow.  I pray, as many American patients do, that I won’t be seen in the wider world as damaged goods and unable to fulfill my other responsibilities.  I pray, as many American patients do, not that I won’t hurt or die but that I won’t make others suffer because I couldn’t navigate the cruel system well enough even as I felt ill and needed help but didn’t dare ask for it.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/25-6

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