Adults Beating Up on Transkid Girls and Sissy Boys

Ever since the late 1960s I’ve listened to feminists make the claim that little girls who fail to conform to rigid gender roles are the most oppressed kids around.

The idea that little boys have it all.

While that makes sense as a generalization the making of that generalization requires turning a blind eye to the sissy boys.

As a group sissy boys are assigned male at birth kids who are feminine, either in appearance or mannerism.  They may be transkids or feminine gay boys.

For all the 1970s talk about raising strong independent non-gender stereotyped girls few people followed through on the idea that less rigid gender programing  could be a two way street.

But let’s forgo even the thought of encouraging the non-gender specific socialization of all boys.

Maybe there is something essentialist about gender or for that matter sexuality.

More than ten years ago Tina and I coined the phrase, “women born transsexual” we did so in the midst of a bunch of arguments about psychiatric theories that perversified transsexuality. We coined as a way of say fuck your sick theories, we were born transsexual.  Sort of the way gay people have been saying for a long time (lesbians not so much as many are wedded to the idea of lesbianism as a political statement).

A couple of years ago Lady Gaga wrote an anthem to that very idea. (Born This Way)

Over the last few years I’ve been elated by stories of parents who have allowed their transkids to be their true selves.

I grew up being abused for being an obvious transkid and a sissy.  I spent my teen years under the threat of being institutionalized or a throw away kid.

My life was seriously damaged with the abuse I endured as a kid.  Even now in old age the scars are still painful.

I think those parents who make a safe place for their transkids, especially their sissy boy are very special people.

Kids assigned male at birth who know inside they are girls have to be very strong just to endure.  Too many of us commit suicide as kids because of all the bullying.

Too many of us as adults commit suicide on the installment plan with our substance abuse and self-hating/self-destructive behavior.

Parents who give their sissy boys and transkid girls a safe space to be themselves and who seek out appropriate medical treatment that will allow their transkid girls to grow up as ordinary girls are special indeed.

They don’t buy into the Spartan crap about the value of tough manly boys or beating the girl out of their transkid girls and sissy boys.

Conservatives expect the parents of transkid girls and sissy boys to force them to man up.  They expect parents to put these kids in reparative therapy with the likes of  Green and Zucker who will repair something that isn’t broken.

You see transkid girls and sissy boys are perfect just as they are.

If we celebrate diversity and freedom then letting transsexual, transgender, gay and lesbian kids grow up to be who they are should be the normal way of thinking.

Protecting them with appropriate medical care and a safe environment to grow and learn in should be the norm.

Articles like My son, the pink boy, which appeared about a year and a half ago shouldn’t be looked upon as something strange.

Nor should a teenage transkids getting sex reassignment surgery  merit front page stories on scummy tabloids.

Last night I ran a teaser for The New York Times Magazine story: What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?

I read a bunch of the comments and wasn’t the least bit surprised to find many that were hateful and bigoted, condemning parents for offering a place for gender different kids to play and act out things they more commonly have to hide to do.

So many right wing conservatives and radical feminists expect transkids and adults to live lives full of shame and misery.

They look at  transkid girls and sissy boys as failed boys not as perfectly normal transkid girls or sissy boys.

We must be perverted because we are different.  They can’t wrap their minds around a different kind of normal.  One that just is because that’s how some people are born.

An ultra right wing writer employed by the Media Research Center chimed in with the following piece which appears on the right wing News Busters:  http://newsbusters.org/blogs/paul-wilson/2012/08/12/ny-times-magazine-asks-what-s-so-bad-about-boy-who-wants-wear-dress

Predictably the author, Paul Wilson, slides in a comment referring to a passage in the Times piece that call his own organization prejudiced.

The one quote that Padawer did cite opposed to this madness was from a Culture and Media Institute article about a transgender-promoting J. Crew ad. The quote was exactly eight words long: “behind the facade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.” Padawer did not even bother to reference the author of the quote, merely citing “one commentator.”

The author, so hell-bent on tolerance, could perhaps have entertained the idea of quoting experts who might object to boys wearing girl’s clothing. But the one thing the proponents of radical redefinitions of gender cannot tolerate is a view contrary to their own.

Wilson employs the now standard ultra right wing ploy of describing anti-bigotry as being the same as bigotry.

Of defining hatred and abuse of transkid girls and sissy boys as normal while claiming treating these kids with decency and humanity is radical.

This is the same bigoted mindset that defines describes equal rights for LGBT/T people as well as for other minority groups as being special rights.

But Paul Wilson is not alone in his dislike of this article, he is joined by a presumed radfem over on Reel Girl:  http://margotmagowan.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/gender-fluid-piece-in-nyt-insulting-to-girls-and-women/

Margot Magowan also finds fault with this article, because these kids express their femininity or gender fluidity in the exact manner which society socializes them to express it.  This is the old radfem argument that TS/TG people perpetuate gender stereotype by having their gender be a product of the same socialization that shapes assign female at birth women and girl’s ideas of gender.
But mostly Margot seems upset this article isn’t about tomboy girls or women’s struggle against gender.
Sometimes it isn’t all about you, Margot.  For years in feminist publications I read about the struggles of girls against the gender norms.  Over those very same years I’ve noticed a crucial difference between those stories and the stories of transkid girls and sissy boys.  One group gets celebrated for their breaking down gender barriers, if not by the right wingers at least by feminist women and progressive men.  On the other hand those transkid girls and sissy boys are regularly bullied and beaten and damned few people ever have a positive word for them.
Indeed self proclaimed radfems tend to rip these kids to pieces just as they do adult TS and TG people.
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What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?

From The New York Times Magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/magazine/whats-so-bad-about-a-boy-who-wants-to-wear-a-dress.html

By RUTH PADAWER
Published: August 8, 2012

The night before Susan and Rob allowed their son to go to preschool in a dress, they sent an e-mail to parents of his classmates. Alex, they wrote, “has been gender-fluid for as long as we can remember, and at the moment he is equally passionate about and identified with soccer players and princesses, superheroes and ballerinas (not to mention lava and unicorns, dinosaurs and glitter rainbows).” They explained that Alex had recently become inconsolable about his parents’ ban on wearing dresses beyond dress-up time. After consulting their pediatrician, a psychologist and parents of other gender-nonconforming children, they concluded that “the important thing was to teach him not to be ashamed of who he feels he is.” Thus, the purple-pink-and-yellow-striped dress he would be wearing that next morning. For good measure, their e-mail included a link to information on gender-variant children.

When Alex was 4, he pronounced himself “a boy and a girl,” but in the two years since, he has been fairly clear that he is simply a boy who sometimes likes to dress and play in conventionally feminine ways. Some days at home he wears dresses, paints his fingernails and plays with dolls; other days, he roughhouses, rams his toys together or pretends to be Spider-Man. Even his movements ricochet between parodies of gender: on days he puts on a dress, he is graceful, almost dancer like, and his sentences rise in pitch at the end. On days he opts for only “boy” wear, he heads off with a little swagger. Of course, had Alex been a girl who sometimes dressed or played in boyish ways, no e-mail to parents would have been necessary; no one would raise an eyebrow at a girl who likes throwing a football or wearing a Spider-Man T-shirt.

There have always been people who defy gender norms. Late-19th-century medical literature described female “inverts” as appallingly straightforward, with a “dislike and sometimes incapacity for needlework” and “an inclination and taste for the sciences”; male inverts were “entirely averse to outdoor games.” By the mid-20th century, doctors were trying “corrective therapy” to extinguish atypical gender behaviors. The goal was preventing children from becoming gay or transgender, a term for those who feel they were born in the wrong body.

Many parents and clinicians now reject corrective therapy, making this the first generation to allow boys to openly play and dress (to varying degrees) in ways previously restricted to girls — to exist in what one psychologist called “that middle space” between traditional boyhood and traditional girlhood. These parents have drawn courage from a burgeoning Internet community of like-minded folk whose sons identify as boys but wear tiaras and tote unicorn backpacks. Even transgender people preserve the traditional binary gender division: born in one and belonging in the other. But the parents of boys in that middle space argue that gender is a spectrum rather than two opposing categories, neither of which any real man or woman precisely fits.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/magazine/whats-so-bad-about-a-boy-who-wants-to-wear-a-dress.html

Mara Keisling And Cecilia Chung Discuss How The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Affects LGBT People

From Huffington Post:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/11/mara-keisling-cecilia-chung-prea_n_1749269.html?1344692334&utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

08/11/2012

Since launching our Voice to Voice conversation series in January, we’ve tackled lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender literature, Black History Month, bullying, Pride and more.

Today we bring you a chat between Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Cecilia Chung, a member of the San Francisco Department of Public Health Commission and a board member at Just Detention International.

Below Keisling and Chung discuss the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which was passed in 2003 and for which, now, after nearly a decade of study and review, the U.S. Department of Justice has recently issued final regulations to implement.

After you read the Voice to Voice conversation, be sure to check out the National Center for Transgender Equality’s “Know Your Rights” resource regarding the PREA standards and how they relate to LGBT people.

Cecilia Chung: The PREA standards are definitely a watershed moment for this country. It’s has taken more than ten years of hard work by Just Detention International and the community to get these adopted. I can’t tell you how excited we all are at JDI.

Mara Keisling: We’re really very excited at NCTE too. We had been working with JDI and others for five, six, seven years, so, we were very relieved to see them published. Over the last six or eight months, our big focus has been to try to get the administration to make sure the PREA standards covered immigration detention. We believe that everyone who is detained should be free of sexual abuse and were disappointed that these standards don’t immediately apply to immigration detention facilities.

Cecilia Chung: We share that disappointment. We’re also glad that NCTE and other LGBT organizations worked so hard with us on getting strong standards. Not everyone sees the connection as clearly as our organizations do.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/11/mara-keisling-cecilia-chung-prea_n_1749269.html?1344692334&utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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The Pussy Riot Scandal

From The New Yorker:   http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/08/the-pussy-riot-scandal.html

by
August 11, 2012

My colleague Masha Lipman has been doing a brilliant job of covering the terrifying and absurdist drama in Moscow known as the Pussy Riot trial. Masha reminds us that this is not Stalin or Brezhnev’s Moscow—the trial has been covered in a way that never would have happened in the heart of the Soviet era—but there is no minimizing what a distinctly representative moment this is for Vladimir Putin. Beginning at the end of last year, Putin stonily endured the spectacle of mass demonstrations protesting his regime and his imminent return as President. Much of the pre-election discussion was about whether Putin would crack down on the demonstrators after the balloting, whether he would erase the last traces of semi-liberal rhetoric and practice during the marionette years of Dmitry Medvedev. (Not that Medvedev was ever truly liberal; he just acted that way, from time to time, as if in a dumb show for foreign consumption.) Would political enemies come under attack? Would there be searches, arrests, or show trials? The answer has been obvious for months: Putin’s most vocal critics have every reason to fear.

What should also be heard and read is the direct address of the dissenters themselves to the court. A punk-feminist collective, Pussy Riot is a band of political rebel-artists who, faced with years in a Russian prison, turn out to be courageous, self-possessed, and historically aware. And in their testimony they have shown themselves to be defiantly intelligent, worthy of the long tradition of Andrei Sinyavsky, Larisa Bogoraz, Joseph Brodsky, and so many other dissidents who stood in the dock and spoke for themselves and the cause of freedom.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/08/the-pussy-riot-scandal.html

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Better put a Condom on it! Gonorrhea Nears Complete Drug Resistance

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/gonorrhea_nears_complete_drug_resistance_20120811/

Posted on Aug 11, 2012

Gonorrhea is showing resistance to all but one antibiotic drug used against it, U.S. health officials announced this week.

“We’re trying to sound the alarm to prevent untreatable gonorrhea from becoming a reality,” said Gail Bolan, director of the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We’re very concerned.”

An estimated 700,000 cases of gonorrhea occur in the United States each year, with fewer than half of them being reported. It is one of the most common STDs. Rates are highest among African-Americans and sexually active teenagers and young adults.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly. Follow him on Twitter: @areedkelly.

The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog:

Since 2007, the CDC had recommended treatment with one class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins, because ever-adaptable gonorrhea had outsmarted all other treatments used against it. That class of drugs includes an oral antibiotic, marketed under the brand name Suprax (cefixime) and an injectable antibiotic marketed under the brand name Rocephin (ceftriaxone). The CDC’s new recommendation means that only the injectable drug is now recommended for regular use, so patients need to get a shot rather than taking pills.

… The new guidelines could be tough for many doctors to follow, given that they don’t regularly stock the injectable drug (it is stocked generally in STD clinics). Many patients prefer pills to shots. And the guidelines also call on clinicians to monitor closely for possible resistance to the shot and make sure patients are cured — meaning they have to return to the doctor’s office.

Read more

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Former DHS Analyst Daryl Johnson on How He Was Silenced for Warning of Far-Right Militants

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Erasing W

From Robert Reichhttp://robertreich.org/post/29139429043

By Robert Reich
Friday, August 10, 2012

As Bill Clinton is resurrected by the Democrats, George W. Bush is being erased by the GOP — as if an entire eight years of American history hadn’t happened.

While Bill Clinton stumps for Obama, Romney has gone out of his way not to mention the name of the president who came after Clinton and before Obama.

Clinton will have a starring role at the Democratic National Convention. George W. Bush won’t even be at the Republican one – the first time a national party has not given the stage at its convention to its most recent occupant of the Oval Office who successfully ran for reelection.

The GOP is counting on America’s notoriously short-term memory to blot out the last time the nation put a Republican into the Oval Office, on the reasonable assumption that such a memory might cause voters to avoid making the same mistake twice. As whoever-it-was once said, “fool me once …” (and then mangled the rest).

Republicans want to obliterate any trace of the administration that told America there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and led us into a devastating war; turned a $5 trillion projected budget surplus into a $6 trillion deficit; gave the largest tax cut in a generation to the richest Americans in history; handed out a mountain of corporate welfare to the oil and gas industry, pharmaceutical companies, and military contractors like Halliburton (uniquely benefiting the vice president); whose officials turned a blind eye to Wall Street shenanigans that led to the worst financial calamity since the Great Crash of 1929 and then persuaded Congress to bail out the Street with the largest taxpayer-funded giveaway of all time.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/29139429043

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