Meet the Transsexual Borg, not all that Different from the Transgender Borg

Borg like thinking is letting an ideology overcome reasoning.

Sort of like: “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.”

The Transgender Borg’s ideology of gender, gender, gender coupled with a tendency to all sound like they were reading their rants from a sheet that gave them something they had to repeat verbatim was what caused me to christen them the TG Borg in the first place.

They turned any effort at actual discourse into a space where they beat people over the head with their ideology without listening to others say things like, “That’s fine, I don’t have a problem with your thinking that way but I have different beliefs.”

I have never been amused by the Sisters of Transsexual purity with their games of “I’m real and you aren’t.”

Sorry that doesn’t wash with me.  You are just another transsexual, no better or worse than anyone else no matter what sort of airs you put on or claims you make.

I’m no more enthusiastic regarding the ideology of the Classic Transsexual/HBS Transsexual Borg than I am about the Transgender Borg.

Get the fuck over yourselves.

I’m tired of stunts like protesting GLAAD when GLAAD is providing lawyers to fight discrimination against TS/TG people.

I’m tired of Transsexual Borg homophobia.

I’m tired of the obsession with male brain/female brain when that is just another way of oppressing women.

Yeah this is innate. But brains are brains and boy brains aren’t blue and girl brains aren’t pink.

I think the Transsexual Borg with their HBS and Classic Transsexual crap are every bit as full of bullshit as the Transgender Borg who would die if they ever had an original thought or a concept of self that wasn’t part of their ideology.

I an atheist and a free thinker.  I don’t believe in magic invisible sky daddies and I don’t believe in the religions of  Borg like cults.

I honestly don’t give a fuck about knowing what caused me to be transsexual.  To paraphrase the Jefferson Airplane, “It doesn’t mean shit to a tree.”

I don’t care.  It’s completely irrelevant to my life, knowing a cause would change absolutely nothing for me.  I also seriously doubt it would change anything for anyone else either.

The APA and DSM isn’t about science.  It’s about politics and opening an avenue to exploit people as part of the SRS process.  Nothing more.

I don’t need a truck load of fucking dogma to tell me right from wrong or to treat others with respect.

Indeed I have over my lifetime noticed that the people who are most dogmatic and sure of their answers tend to be the least ethical and the least likely to treat others with respect.

One of the benefits of coming out many years ago was having to think for myself rather than simply embrace a pre-packaged ideology.

I was lucky to come out in an era when people were encouraged to walk their own paths.  Living in the Haight Ashbury and Berkeley during those years certainly gave me a space to discover who I was.

I was actually one of those pioneer activists and watched with dismay the rise of the reactionary right wing.

I was also part of the feminist revolution of that era and as such tend to reject sexist stereotyping whether it is dressed in the drag of gender or innate “brain sex.”

I see gender as more a culturally approved social dance than the TG Borg see it, a performance people perform in accord with a core sex identity that tells them the role they are expected to take in that dance.

As for the whole male brain/female brain matter… That sounds like something straight out of that right wing racist pig, Charles Murray’s book The Bell Curve.  Male brains good for math and ruling the world. Women’s brains good for serving men and carrying babies, including the babies of rapists

One does not have to be a radical feminist to see how either the ideology of the transgender Borg or the transsexual Borg might be harmful to women, all women.

But dogmatic people don’t really care about the harm they cause others because they are absolutely certain of the TRUTH.

I wish I had that certainty but at 65 including 40 years post-op I can’t say I have any belief in a TRUE CAUSE for why I felt the need to walk the path I have walked.

The path felt right for me and the alternatives seemed impossible.  Life is an act of self creation, of becoming, a self assertion of being in an existential void.

I have no vested interest in making you view life through the same free thinking  existential lenses I view life through.

The arguments of the Transsexual true believers and the Transgender true believers are like the Catholics vs Protestants in Ulster or the Israelis vs Palestinians.

I don’t want to take either side while still supporting the equality and dignity of all.

For what it is worth many LGBT activists and transgender activists such as Mara Keisling, Jennifer Boylan and Janet Mock as well as Kelli Busey a local friend come closer to that ideal than anyone engaged in  the dogmatic battles of the Transwars.

If you do not like my positions on human rights, labor, the environment, marriage equality and the equality of all then don’t read my blog.

If you think I’m too left wing or too unwilling to act as your conduit… Well that is your problem not mine…

I’ve noticed how vested some folks are in being right, how absolutely certain they are that they possess the truth.

As an old hippie I’ve learned that most people who think they possess the absolute truth usually are hit with a rude wake up call.

The American Psychiatric Association Issues Historic Position Statements on Trans Issues

From The GID Reform Weblog:  http://gidreform.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/the-american-psychiatric-association-issues-historic-position-statements-on-trans-issues/

By Kelley Winters
August 20, 2012

Reposted with author’s permission

Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
–Meat Loaf, 1977

On May 18, 2009, about 150 trans community members and allies gathered outside the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco to protest diagnostic policies that psychopathologize gender diversity. Bull horn in hand, I and others called upon the APA leadership to issue three public position statements in support of the dignity and health of trans and gender variant people:

  1. That gender identity and expression which differ from assigned birth sex do not, in themselves, constitute mental disorder or impairment in judgment or competence.
  2. That hormonal and/or surgical transition treatment, for those who need them, is medically necessary and should be covered by insurance and health care policies.
  3. That the APA opposes discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression and supports legal recognition of all people according to their gender identity and expression.

A month later, over 400 supporters endorsed a letter to APA President Alan Schatzberg and President-elect Carol Bernstein urging passage of these policy statements. The APA had, after all, issued numerous similar statements in support of other marginalized groups in past years but had never made a single position statement supporting civil justice and health care access for trans and gender variant people.

The response from APA officials was silence– three years of it.

Then last week, on August 16, the APA announced two of these position statements, authored by Drs. Jack Drescher and Ellen Haller and approved by votes of the Assembly and Board of Trustees. The first acknowledged the efficacy and medical necessity of hormonal and/or surgical transition treatment and the barriers to accessing this care faced by those who need it. Similar transition care policy statements were issued in 2008 by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Position Statement on Access to Care for Transgender and Gender Variant Individuals

Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association:

  1. Recognizes that appropriately evaluated transgender and gender variant individuals can benefit greatly from medical and surgical gender transition treatments.
  2. Advocates for removal of barriers to care and supports both public and private health insurance coverage for gender transition treatment.
  3. Opposes categorical exclusions of coverage for such medically necessary treatment when prescribed by a physician.

The second position statement acknowledges harassment and discrimination that trans and gender variant people face in employment, education, parental rights and civil justice. It notes that trans people are frequently victimized in violent hate crimes and inappropriately assigned in gender-segregated facilities . Similar nondiscrimination statements were issued by the National Association of Social Workers in 1999, the American Psychological Association in 2008, and WPATH in 2010.

Position Statement on Discrimination Against Transgender and Gender Variant Individuals

Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association:

  1. Supports laws that protect the civil rights of transgender and gender variant individuals
  2. Urges the repeal of laws and policies that discriminate against transgender and gender variant individuals.
  3. Opposes all public and private discrimination against transgender and gender variant individuals in such areas as health care, employment, housing, public accommodation, education, and licensing.
  4. Declares that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability shall be placed upon these individuals greater than that imposed on any other persons.

Although the American Psychiatric Association lags years behind other leading medical and mental health associations in speaking out, these position statements represent an unprecedented shift in acceptance of human gender diversity by the APA leadership and membership. The background text to the discrimination statement notes:

In contrast to its strong affirmation of lesbian and gay civil rights since the 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from the DSM, APA has not issued position statements in support of transgender civil rights… Other organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, have endorsed strong policy statements deploring the discrimination experienced by gender variant and transgender individuals and calling for laws to protect their civil rights .

The statement text reaffirms the role of advocacy in the APA mission: “ Speaking out firmly and professionally against discrimination and lack of equal civil rights is a critical advocacy role that the APA is uniquely positioned to take.”  Given the APA’s unique position in setting diagnostic policy that has been historically used to limit civil justice and transition care access for trans people, these position statements come far better late than never.

However, the APA statements fall short of debunking the false stereotype that gender difference is inherently pathological. The association’s ambivalence on the mental illness stereotype is reflected in the “Report of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder ,” published in June, 2012:

The Task Force could not reach a consensus regarding the question of whether or not persistent cross-gender identification sufficient to motivate an individual to seek sex reassignment, per se, is a form of psychopathology in the absence of clinically significant distress or impairment due to a self-perceived discrepancy between anatomical signifiers of sex and gender identity.

In other words, this APA Treatment Task Force (a separate group from the DSM-5 Task Force) declined to refute the false stereotype of “disordered” gender identity. This is troublesome, because the proposed diagnostic criteria for the Gender Dysphoria category in the pending Fifth Edition of the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) continue to mischaracterize gender identities and expressions that do not conform to birth-assigned gender stereotypes as symptomatic of mental illness. By describing social and medical transition itself, or the desire for transition, as pathological, the new Gender Dysphoria diagnosis, like its controversial predecessor Gender Identity Disorder (GID), contradicts rather than supports the medical necessity of transition care that is affirmed in the new APA position statement. Even worse, the Transvestic Disorder category in the DSM-5 ascribes nonconforming gender expression and medical transition for many transsexual women and men to a defamatory false stereotype of sexual deviance and paraphilia. Ironically, the medical care statement acknowledges these contradictions in the DSM–

…the presence of the GID diagnosis in the DSM has not served its intended purpose of creating greater access to care–one of the major arguments for diagnostic retention .

Thankfully, there is evidence of change in attitudes toward gender diversity at the American Psychiatric Association. In 2010, the DSM-5 Task Force proposed to rename the widely despised Gender Identity Disorder title (intended to imply “disordered” gender identity) to Gender Incongruence and a further change in 2011 to Gender Dysphoria (from a Greek root for distress). These revisions were explained as a paradigm shift from diagnosing difference to a focus on incongruence or discrepancy that causes distress or impairment.

we have proposed a change in conceptualization of the defining features by emphasizing the phenomenon of ‘gender incongruence’ in contrast to cross-gender identification per se.

The APA Position Statement on Discrimination contains the APA’s strongest statement to date that gender difference is not disease:

Being transgender gender or variant implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities;

The fourth bullet point of the APA Position repeats this key principle:

Declares that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability shall be placed upon these individuals greater than that imposed on any other persons.

This particular wording is historically significant; it is paraphrased from a 1973 quote by Dr. Robert Spitzer, chief editor of the DSM-III and DSM-III-R, arguing to depathologize same sex orientation:

In the past, homosexuals have been denied civil rights in many areas of life on the ground that because they suffer from a ‘mental illness’ the burden of proof is on them to demonstrate their competence, reliability, or mental stability.

Throughout his career, Spitzer has refused to apply this same reasoning to the plight of gender variant and especially transsexual people, who continue to bear a very similar burden.

Though long overdue, these position statements on Discrimination and Access to Care for Transgender and Gender Variant Individuals represent a historic step forward in reducing barriers to civil justice and transition care access. But they do not go far enough in deconstructing false stereotypes that equate gender diversity with mental sickness and sexual deviance. In the context of the proposed gender diagnoses in the DSM-5 and the recent treatment task force report, they represent a mixed message. In contrast, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health issued an unambiguous De-Psychopathologisation Statement in 2010 that provides a model for professional organizations that serve trans and gender diverse people:

The WPATH Board of Directors strongly urges the de-psychopathologisation of gender variance worldwide. The expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon which should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative. The psychopathologlisation [sic] of gender characteristics and identities reinforces or can prompt stigma, making prejudice and discrimination more likely, rendering transgender and transsexual people more vulnerable to social and legal marginalisation and exclusion, and increasing risks to mental and physical well-being.

Please join me in thanking Drs. Drescher and Haller and the American Psychiatric Association leadership for these policy statements that acknowledge the worth and dignity of trans and transsexual individuals. In addition, I urge the APA to issue a position statement that gender identity and expression which differ from assigned birth sex do not, in themselves, constitute mental disorder; to correct diagnostic criteria in the proposed Gender Dysphoria category that malign gender nonconforming expression and transition itself as pathological; and to delete the punitive and scientifically capricious Transvestic Disorder diagnosis from the DSM-5.

Copyright © 2012 Kelley Winters, Ph.D., GID Reform Advocates

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The American Psychiatric Association Issues Historic Position Statements on Trans Issues

Hugh Hefner, Playboy Founder, Calls Gay Marriage Struggle ‘A Fight For All Our Rights’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/hugh-hefner-playboy-founder-gay-marriage_n_1819258.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

08/21/2012

Add Hugh Hefner to the list of celebrities and other high-profile figures speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage.

The 86-year-old Playboy founder calls the struggle for marriage equality “a fight for all of our rights” in an editorial featured in the September issue of his magazine, according to Politico.

“Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom,” Hefner writes. “Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.”

After noting that conservatives “assault the right of gays, whether by denying them to right to marry or, as in Kansas, by attempting to empower landlords, business owners and employers to discriminate against gays on religious grounds,” Hefner adds, “This is a religious nation, but it is also a secular one. …No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed. This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/hugh-hefner-playboy-founder-gay-marriage_n_1819258.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Hugh Hefner, Playboy Founder, Calls Gay Marriage Struggle ‘A Fight For All Our Rights’

economics and #occupywallstreet

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on economics and #occupywallstreet

The Fanatical GOP

From Robert Reich:    http://robertreich.org/post/29931662278

Robert Reich
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We’re witnessing the capture by fanatics of what was once a great and important American political party.

The Republican Party platform committee now includes a provision calling for a constitutional amendment banning all abortions, without an exception for rape or incest. This is basically Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s position. (At least the GOP platform doesn’t assert that women’s bodies automatically reject “legitimate” rapists’ sperm.)

Paul Ryan, Romney’s selection for vice president, has co-sponsored 38 anti-abortion measures while in the House of Representatives, including several containing no exception for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

But the GOP’s fanaticism goes far beyond the its growing absolutism about abortion.

Ryan’s proposed budget, approved by almost all House Republicans, is also an exercise in fanaticism. It replaces Medicare with vouchers that won’t possibly keep up with rising healthcare costs — thereby shifting costs directly on to the elderly.

That budget also harms the poor and rewards the rich, but does little or nothing to reduce the federal budget deficit. Over 60 percent of its spending cuts come out of programs for lower-income Americans. Its tax cuts for the rich reduce revenues by $4.6 trillion over the decade while saving the typical millionaire hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/29931662278

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The Fanatical GOP

Anti-Abortion Crowd Blames Media, Tells Akin: Do Better PR.

From The Progressive:  http://www.progressive.org/anti-abortion-crowd-blames-media-tells-akin-do-better-pr

By Matthew Rothschild
August 21, 2012

The anti-abortion crowd, lying at the bottom of the moral heap after Todd Akin’s outrageous comments about rape, has tried to climb up in two ways. First, it’s been blaming the media, which is a favorite whipping post. And second, it’s been chiding Akin (and other anti-abortion politicians) to do better PR.

The first sentence of a press released by the National Right to Life Committee after the controversy broke consisted of a quote from the group’s president, Carol Tobias:

“The mainstream news media is once again demonstrating its eagerness to use any excuse to portray a Republican presidential ticket as out of the mainstream on abortion, while ignoring the truly extreme positions taken by the pro-abortion candidate — this year, President Obama.”

The press release continued: “The mainstream news media is again busy ginning up stories exploring the outer parameters of the abortion-related policy positions of pro-life Republican candidates.”

The “outer parameters”? It’s clear that the largest anti-abortion group in the country does not want to have a debate on whether a woman who has been raped has the right to an abortion. It’s whole press release extenuates on the subject, even trying to backpedal for Paul Ryan.

Continue reading at:  http://www.progressive.org/anti-abortion-crowd-blames-media-tells-akin-do-better-pr

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Anti-Abortion Crowd Blames Media, Tells Akin: Do Better PR.

Is Niall Ferguson’s Newsweek attack on Obama ’embarrassing’ and ‘unethical’?

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/shortcuts/2012/aug/21/niall-fergusons-newsweek-article-obama

Paul Krugman is among the intellectual heavyweights tearing apart the British historian for a ‘careless and unconvincing’ article

Posted by
Tuesday 21 August 2012

Having swapped Oxford for Harvard some years back, the neo-imperialist (his term) historian Niall Ferguson recently observed that he appreciates the US more than the UK because the “quality of intellectual life … is so much higher”. He is now finding out just how much the intellectual life of his chosen country appreciates him.

In a forthright cover story for Newsweek magazine entitled Hit the Road, Barack, Ferguson argues that Obama has broken almost all of his campaign promises of four years ago, and attacks the US president’s foreign policy, healthcare reforms and economic and fiscal policy.

To say that commentators in the US have criticised the piece would be an understatement. Nor is it Ferguson’s political views they object to (the Glasgow-born historian was an adviser to Obama’s 2008 Republican rival, John McCain). Rather, and somewhat embarrassingly, they dispute the accuracy of his facts and the logic of his argument.

“We are not talking about ideology or even economic analysis here,” writes the Nobel prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, with whom Ferguson has had several previous run-ins, “just a plain misrepresentation of the facts.” Krugman accuses Ferguson of “unethical commentary” and “deliberately misleading readers”, and suggests Newsweek should print an “abject correction” of one particularly “cheap shot” on healthcare reform.

Ferguson has since responded in a post for the Newsweek-owned Daily Beast website, with typical vim (“You know you have hit the target when Paul Krugman takes time out from his hiking holiday”). But Krugman is far from being the only leading US commentator to take issue with his broadside.

Among a raft of other “intellectual fouls”, US commentators accuse Ferguson of blaming Obama for job losses that happened before he even took office; citing unverifiable figures from undisclosed sources; confusing basic economic ratios such as debt-to-GDP and debt-to-revenue; getting both the facts and the economics wrong when referring to US banks’ capital adequacy and misrepresenting the budgetary implications of Obamacare.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/shortcuts/2012/aug/21/niall-fergusons-newsweek-article-obama

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Is Niall Ferguson’s Newsweek attack on Obama ’embarrassing’ and ‘unethical’?