The Transsexual Counseling Service and National Transsexual Counseling Unit’s Purpose

We weren’t  political advocacy organizations.

We couldn’t legally take political positions.

The Transsexual Counseling Service ran under the aegis of and was funded with War on Poverty funds from the EEOC.

The National Transsexual Counseling Unit which Jan and I ran was an extension of Reed Erickson’s non-profit Erickson Educational Foundation.

We were service organizations, smaller in scope than what be came the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center, but a service center nonetheless.

I had been a radical, for a period of time I described myself as a revolutionary. I was following the dictum issued by Huey P. Newton, when he told us we needed to serve the people of our communities and affect non-violent change through the political process.

Jan was a Sociology major at San Francisco State, who viewed the office as both a place to do field research and to help other sisters.

The roots of our organization were in COG, which had grown out of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots.  Some said COG stood for “Conversion, Our Goal”, others said it meant “Change, Our Goal.”

Either way the main mission of our organization was to help ourselves and our peers get through the process of changing sex. We served young T to F people almost exclusively, due to that being the demographic that originally developed from the Compton’s riots.  While the people we were seeing  were still mainly young and of a similar age demographic they tended to be more middle class and better educated than the people who had rioted in 1966.

We were well aware our organization wasn’t representative of the spectrum of people who were getting SRS from the Stanford Program.  We went to the group sessions and met the older sisters who had established careers and were often married to women and parents.

Some us envied those sisters because they had careers and stable lives in suburbia, whereas many of us had our educations abruptly terminated and wound up struggling for survival after being told to get out by our parents.

In many ways Jan and I took our cues from organizations that had helped runaways in the Haight Ashbury during 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

When people wrote to us telling us of their plans to come to SF we told them what they needed to bring.

We taught them how to get ID, who to see to get hormones.  We told them where to get their applications for the Stanford Program, when to call and who to ask for.

We acted as a mail drop for a few.

We found people, someone who would let them crash at their place until they could get a place of their own.

We told people how to dress and act when they saw a Doctor.

Some people were very ready to be angrily confrontational with Doctors who were as progressive as they came and who were eager to help.

We didn’t give people a script.  We told them to tell the truth to the doctors.  That the doctors were willing to help.

We encountered a few seriously mentally ill people.  One was very threatening and seemed on the edge of losing it, others were suicidal or had serious psychiatric problems.  We tried to talk those people into going to see actual professionals.

We helped people connect with sensitive people in both the welfare and employment offices.

We had lawyers and friendly bail bonds offices we could refer people to.

Mostly though we listened and offered our own experiences.  Shared what we knew and learned from what others had to offer.

And after our time of doing it was up we passed it on to the most competent of our friends who was crazy enough to take over the responsibility.

By the time the office closed in 1974 Dr. Brown and a bunch of vultures had come to town.  Reed Erickson had moved on and grants were drying up.  I was living in Los Angeles by then and my successor Leslie had her SRS.

Times had changed and so had the sisters coming to San Francisco, our office with its particular services had become some what of an anachronism.

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The Newsroom – Tea Party is the American Taliban

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GOP Platform: Abortion Ban Approved By Republicans In Tampa

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/platform-abortion_n_1837571.html

By Philip Elliot and Alan Fram
08/28/12

TAMPA, Fla. — Republicans emphatically approved a toughly worded party platform at their national convention Tuesday that would ban all abortions and gay marriages, reshape Medicare into a voucher-like program and cut taxes to energize the economy and create jobs.

The document opens by warning that while the American Dream has long been of equal opportunity for everyone, “Today that American Dream is at risk.” It pledges that the GOP will “begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes and regulates.”

Both parties routinely approve platforms at their conventions every four years, meant to encapsulate their principles and goals. Much of their details are customarily ignored when it comes to actually governing.

Even so, a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found more people interested in the GOP platform than in the upcoming acceptance speeches by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan. The survey found that 52 percent said they were interested in learning about the Republican platform, compared to 44 percent interested in Romney’s speech and 46 percent interested in Ryan’s.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/platform-abortion_n_1837571.html

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The 99% Take on the Republican National Convention

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/99-take-republican-national-convention

Despite mixed feelings about Obama, protesters fight Mitt Romney, the ‘King of the 1%’

By Arun Gupta
August 28, 2012

Politics is an elaborate chess match, and in St, Petersburg one small strike was staged against the Republican National convention on Aug. 26 that revealed the thrust of President Obama’s 2012 re-election strategy.

As panicky Republicans cancelled the first day of the convention on Monday because of Tropical Storm Isaac, the focus on Sunday was the “RNC Welcome Event” at Tropicana Field. These days no major convention event is complete without a counter-protest, and in downtown St. Petersburg nearly 500 people gathered Sunday to march to the sports stadium and voice their displeasure at what they derided as “the world’s largest  cocktail party .”

Given the spitting rain and gusts, the turnout was better than expected. And given the months of  police and press hype that a mob of mayhem-wreaking anarchists would crash the RNC, the protest rally around Mirror Lake seemed more like a festive Sunday in the park.

A couple of hundred people milled about as Dave Rovics belted out crowd pleasers like “ I’m a Better Anarchist than You .” A handful of buses pulled up and disgorged more protesters who came from far away as Miami, New York city and Wisconsin. The rally and protest was organized by the  Florida Consumer Action Network , a local grassroots organization focused on public policy issues.

Few anarchists were in evidence, apart from a scrum of fidgety black-clad youth who melted into the rally after drawing stares. It felt like an Occupy-related event with a giant puppet of Romney tagged with a “King of the 1%,” and chants of “We are the 99%.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/99-take-republican-national-convention

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Your Boss Can Tell You To Campaign for Todd Akin – or You’re Fired!

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Newt Gingrich at the RNC: The wealthy are more ‘noble’

“Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Denis Diderot

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/28/newt-gingrich-at-the-rnc-the-wealthy-are-more-noble/

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) might not have the role he initially wanted at the Republican National Convention — that of nominee — but he’s nonetheless using his time wisely. With the help of the RNC, he’s launching Newt U, an apparently ongoing effort in partnership with the Washington Post Company’s for-profit education arm, Kaplan. At the end of the second session of Newt U on August 28, 2012, he explained more about the thinking behind the his and Kaplan’s efforts.

“There are three key intellectual arguments that we have to get much better at making, and this is part of the reason that we are creating the whole concept of a Newt University and developing our site at newtuniversity.com, because we think these kind of arguments our own activists, our own volunteers, and next generation need, because the schools are so far to the left we have to create online capability to sort of counter the false information, the false ideologies,” he told the crowd.

Among the “false information” and “false ideologies” Newt U intends to arm its students to counter is the supposed idea that public service is noble and the personal acquisition of money is not.

“We need to reassert,” he said, “the nobility of creating jobs and wealth.” Though it was Gingrich whose supporters, during the primary campaign, released a long-form ad attacking current nominee Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) method of wealth creation later defended by Gingrich, he told today’s crowd: “If you listen to people like Obama, there’s this contempt that sort of says you know, ‘If you go into public service and you end up as a good bureaucrat, that’s really noble,’ but if you’re to take the same skill level and go out here and just create wealth, it’s ‘That’s really not noble, that’s somehow beneath us.’”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/28/newt-gingrich-at-the-rnc-the-wealthy-are-more-noble/

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The Natural Use of a Woman? Making Babies for God’s Army No Matter the Risk

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/27/natural-use-woman-jim-bob-duggar-says-its-fun-trying-baby-20

by Vyckie Garrison, No Longer Qivering
August 28, 2012

During a recent interview on the Today Show, Jim Bob Duggar blurted out, “It’s fun trying!” when asked if he and Michelle were actively seeking to have another baby.  Today’s host, Savannah Guthrie responded to the mega-dad’s salacious remark with, “Jim Bob – you sly dog!”

Viewers may have come away with the impression that TLC’s “19 & Counting” celebrity parents, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar hold very casual, perhaps even avant-garde attitudes regarding sex and sexuality.

But a quick look beneath the surface reveals that America’s most celebrated Quiverfull couple believe and espouse decidedly unhealthy ideas when it comes to sex and babymaking.

Although Jim Bob makes frequent displays of romantic affection toward his prolific wife, Michelle, which would suggest that the couple might enjoy sex for non-procreative purposes, the “biblical family values” advocates– whose “literal” interpretations of scripture inspire the Duggars to receive each and every pregnancy as an unmitigated blessing from God–also teach that the primary purpose of woman is to conceive and bear sons, i.e., “arrows” for God’s army.

Consider Romans 1:27: “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Quiverfull movement leader, Mary Pride, in her seminal book, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism and Back to Reality, offers the following interpretation of “the natural use of the woman” …

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/27/natural-use-woman-jim-bob-duggar-says-its-fun-trying-baby-20

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