I get some forty or so reports regarding transsexual and or transgender people each day as I am subscribed to several trans-newsfeeds.
I’m also Facebook friends with a lot of sisters and brothers..
While this Blog is titled Women Born Transsexual, its overall world view is more progressive , human right modern hippie.
This is because we live in a bigger world rather than just a “Trans-Community” or even trans-communities. For that matter we live in a bigger world than that which is encompassed by the collective communities of the queer alphabet.
For example: Wars, climate change, destruction of the food chain, misogyny, and the class war that has been waged by the rich upon the working classes and the poverty classes affects all of us. Those issues don’t impact just trans-folks or even just the people of the queer alphabet.
We get dumped on quite a bit by people in the gay and lesbian communities. We have a lot in common with bisexual folks who are also misunderstood and often dumped upon by gay and lesbian folks.
Since I have been on Facebook I have been elated to learn that many if not most trans-activists have lives and interests beyond trans-activism.
People are relating to each other better on Facebook than we did on Usenet or mailing lists. Seeing pictures of each other and knowing people have lives beyond black on white words typed in the form of posts has helped humanize us and has cut down on the gratuitous cruelty.
We tend to be nicer when we see pictures of each other and know something about each other.
I’ve also come to realize the HBS bullies are more of a small circle of social misfits who are lashing out at the rest of us due to their own fucked up lives and personalities. They tend to be sick people who hide behind aliases. They may be right when they think their lives would be ruined if people knew who they really were. But not because they are speaking truth to power but the exact opposite because they are nasty sociopaths who spread hatred and bigotry, sort of the same way the KKK does.
One thing that has been missing from much of what we think of as Trans-activism has been mutual support.
Our communities, the people in our communities have needs that won’t be met simply by passing laws.
Many of us have substance issues. (I am in my twelfth year of sobriety. I have been drug free for over twenty years.) When I was getting sober I had a hard time finding an AA group where I could be open about certain issues.
Tina stepped up for me and became my long distance support.
This helped me in a way that I needed. Now I find myself being asked on occasion to pass the help and support on, even if I am unsure of how to help someone else. So I talk about the Big Book and the slogans.
Once a year we get together to remember those who have been murdered.
Most are sex workers, many are throwaway kids, some are homeless. Many have multiple layers of issues and few of us know how to pare away even one or two of those issues.
I’m not suggesting we all become social workers. That is a talent, a calling and many have neither the gift nor the calling. I’m merely suggesting that amidst our activism we make a place for support of TS/TG people that is oriented towards helping deal with those issues rather than solely focused on transition.
Too often we have this Pollyanna POV that transition or SRS will solve everything. That is rarely the case as the same issues remain and still need to be dealt with after SRS as were there before.
I often worry about those who say, “After SRS, I am going completely stealth. No one will know of my past.”
It gets very lonely with no one to talk to or friends to share with. No matter how flawless you are you still have that history and to some extent no matter how assimilated you become you are still an outsider, the immigrant who may speak the language perfectly but still has the immigrant history.
I have friends I have known for over forty years, some I reconnected with on Facebook.
People I can talk with on the phone and share a joke with.
At the same time many of my friends have died. Substance issues led to health issues. Many of us dread seeing doctors because of negative experiences and put off seeing one until health issues become life threatening.
As a child we were the only one and so we learned to be strong. We need to unlearn the idea that we are the only one. We need to learn sharing and compassion towards each other.
We need to become circles of support and advice for each other. If someone is going through substance abuse issues and you are clean and sober be their support if they ask you to be. What will it cost you to talk on the phone with someone?
Rather than guarding the name of a Doctor who is understanding ask if it is okay to give out his or her name and then if some one needs a doctor you have a name you can share.
If someone needs a job and you hear of an opening, share the information.
One reason post-transsexuals get bored with whole thing and leave is that transition is the constant reinventing of the wheel. There is more to life than just transition.
There is nothing new about what I have written today. We talked about these same things forty years ago, but starting in about 1980 it was as though we forgot all the things we had learned in the 1960s and instead of continuing to build on the idea of real communities we all became involved in the idea of “self-reliance.” It is as though we forgot about real communities and created these re-imaged communities and identity-activism.
We need circles of support, real communities, along side of these communities based on identity.
Good luck on that one. The bigots don’t believe in evolution or global warming and think the universe was created in one week about 6-8000 years ago. I doubt scientific arguments are going to work on them cuz they got Jazzus and their Bible.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
After my year-long research study on social determinants of transgender health, a leading conclusion was that we need to pass policies to protect our trans youth — but now a hate group is threatening the lives of youth by drowning the science in inflammatory rhetoric.
Earlier this week the East Aurora, Ill., school district passed a policy that would provide key supports to their trans youth. Soon thereafter a confirmed hate group, the Illinois Family Institute, published an outraged letter and urged people to complain about the policy. Today the East Aurora school district might very well rescind that protective policy.
There is absolutely no scientific debate about the health risks of growing up trans. There is no scientific debate about the stigma trans youth endure, or about the extremely high number of trans youth who attempt suicide. And there is absolutely no scientific evidence that supporting trans youth in any way compromises the experience of non-trans youth.
After life-history interviews with dozens of trans people, I was struck by the fact that every single one of them had had their education interrupted by stigma. Two of the young girls I interviewed literally walked away from their schools and their homes because the stigma was too intolerable — at the tender age of 12. This reaction illustrates the pressure of stigma on these youth.
The Trevor Project reports that 80 percent of trans youth admit to feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression. This fear appears justified. In the National Transgender Discrimination Survey trans and gender-nonconforming students reported alarmingly high rates of school harassment (78 percent), physical assault (35 percent) and sexual violence (12 percent). Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.
Scientists know that early life factors have a magnified impact on one’s life course. The years when school and family provide guiding wisdom are key to developing strong, healthy, productive members of society. The two 12-year-olds I interviewed were just the youngest of the subjects who had to interrupt their education to cope with the stigma they endured. Others dropped out of high school, then college. A rare few were able to restart their education and get degrees. But too many tried to commit suicide multiple times, and all were extremely scarred. I walked out of the interview with one 19-year-old trans woman knowing that she had no place to sleep that night and that she was making no plans for the future, because violence had claimed so many living like her.
From The Dallas Voice: http://www.dallasvoice.com/anti-gay-hoax-ut-10129236.html
By Scott Rose
19 Oct 2012
Reposted with Permission
A notorious, scientifically unsound University of Texas study on gay parenting funded by national anti-gay-rights moneybags is being wielded as a political weapon against LGBT victims in U.S. courts and elections, as well as abroad. Any decent human being will be horrified, disgusted and outraged that this commissioned hate speech was produced on the grounds of a public university in the 21st century.
With UT’s Mark Regnerus as lead investigator, the project — called the New Family Structures Study — was funded chiefly by the Witherspoon Institute, which is joined at the hip to the National Organization for Marriage. It must not be ignored that in letters to the Texas attorney general, UT has described itself as a co-investor in Regnerus’ study. That is to say, UT has conflicts of interest in making any inquiry or investigation into, and/or public statements about the scientifically invalid genesis of this blatant hoax.
Regnerus and his funders are fraudulently alleging that no funding agency representative was consulted on study design, which documentably is booby-trapped against gays. The intent of their lie is to mislead the public into believing that Regnerus carried out his project independently of the cash-rich political anti-gay-rights figures who commissioned it from him.
Here is how we know that Regnerus and his funders are lying:
Witherspoon’s 2010 IRS forms describe the study as “an achievement” of the Witherspoon Program for Marriage, Family and Democracy. In 2010, the director of that program was W. Bradford Wilcox. Wilcox recruited Regnerus to do the study, and then Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 planning grant. Wilcox, in his capacity as Witherspoon program director, subsequently collaborated with Regnerus on the study design. After Witherspoon approved the study design for full funding, Regnerus received a known total of $785,000.
Wilcox additionally is documented as having worked with Regnerus on data collection, data analysis and interpretation. Moreover, he is on the editorial board of the journal that published the study, Elsevier’s Social Science Research. And, Wilcox is a longtime crony to Regnerus and the journal’s editor, James Wright.
Make no mistake about it: For Regnerus to have published first that his funders were not “at all” involved in his study design and for him then to publish that “no funding agency representatives were consulted about research design” — when in reality they were — is a serious infraction against science publishing ethics.
As University of Arkansas sociologist Lori Holyfield said: “It is especially unacceptable that the conflicts of interests were hidden, and that there is an ongoing attempt to deceive the public about them. It adds insult to that injury, that what was produced was a methodologically invalid study that perpetuates negative social stereotypes. This is a very malevolent situation; something must be done about it.”
No qualified professional without a conflict of interest in evaluating the Regnerus study considers it scientifically valid. Erik Olin Wright, president of the American Sociological Association, is among more than 200 researchers who signed a letter calling Regnerus’ study groupings “absurd.” A court brief filed by eight major organizations including the American Medical Association analyzes Regnerus’ methodology as scientifically fallacious. Andrew Perrin, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, has said: “I think the study is so thoroughly flawed, in particular with respect to its categorization of ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian,’ that no conclusions can be drawn with sufficient confidence to report, publicize or use them.”
Holyfield does not mince words about UT’s culpability in the Regnerus scandal. She said: “Politically-motivated groups bend facts all the time. The difference here is that this took place at a research university, which absolutely should have measures in place to ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen. It sounds like there was some social networking going on, and that the $55,000 planning grant from The Witherspoon Institute got talked about, and then the work with the full $785,000 in funding followed. Somewhere along the way, though, the relationships that allowed this unacceptable thing to happen in a research university got obscured.”
Michael Schwartz, chair of the department of sociology at Stony Brook University, is calling for the Regnerus study to be retracted from publication and for Wright, the journal editor, to be replaced “with a new editor who will not violate the norms and values of scholarly publication.”
It nonetheless remains evident that some levels of UT administration are actively shielding Regnerus from academic accountability for his dishonesty in reporting his research. Presented with Freedom of Information Act requests related to the study, UT engages in obstructionism, asking the state attorney general for exceptions.
In late August, UT concluded a sham misconduct inquiry into Regnerus and the study, without making public the fact that Regnerus’ funding agency representative collaborated with him on the booby-trapped study design. A foul, dark shadow of disgrace is looming over the university. The push to get the Regnerus study retracted, and editor Wright fired, will continue. If UT is not more forthcoming with documentation related to the Regnerus hoax, it is likely that advocacy groups soon will join the effort to get the documentation released. Whereas the school now should be cleaning out and disinfecting from the Regnerus excrement, it is instead ludicrously kicking its hind legs backwards over the carpet, as though nobody could see the stinking mess lying there.
Anybody at UT who believes that this gay-bashing assault on scientific integrity has not very significantly cheapened the school’s reputation is severely deluding themselves.
Scott Rose is a New York City-based novelist, investigative reporter and freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com
From The Advocate: http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2012/10/19/op-ed-bullying-crisis
A question on Spirit Day: How can we, as a community, put an end to bullying?
BY Herndon Graddick and Lee Hirsch
October 19 2012
Thirteen million young Americans will be bullied in school this year alone. Three million kids will skip school, each and every month, because they feel unsafe.
Our communities are filled with young people whose dreams and futures are being crushed by the devastating impact of emotional and physical torment.
Bullying. A national crisis that demands fierce and urgent action.
In response, we all must work together to reach those young people who are victims of this crisis, and those who can stand up and make a positive difference in their lives.
October marks both National Bullying Prevention and LGBT History months; a time when we are all called to action to speak out against bullying and show support foryoung people.
Perceived difference often triggers bullying incidents, and thus the bullying crisis powerfully impacts LGBT young people. Eight out of 10 LGBT young people experience harassment while at school, according to GLSEN; with nearly 65% of those kids also reporting that they feel unsafe there. And often, even for kids who aren’t LGBT, gay slurs are the first line of attack. Many of these kids are too embarrassed or ashamed to report the harassment they undergo.
The struggle of gay youth in America is an important part of the film Bully. Since premiering at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, Bully has sparked a national conversation about bullying, and whole communities have come together to engage in meaningful dialogue about solutions. The Bully Project, the social movement inspired by the film, launched the “1 Million Kids” campaign, which has engaged and empowered more then 200,000 students and 7,500 educators in 122 American cities through screenings of Bully within an educational framework.
Continue reading at: http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2012/10/19/op-ed-bullying-crisis