“Mainstream” and “Traditional”: Meaningless Code words Used to Attack TS/TG People along with Women and Gay/Lesbian People

What the fuck is “Mainstream Society”?

Seriously…

HBS assholes throw this one around and use it as a club to beat on other TS/TG people, but just what is “mainstream society”?

I’m Polish-American, second generation.  On my father’s side, my grandmother barely spoke English and was illiterate.

In the small Towns of upstate New York the children and grand children of Eastern and Southern European ancestry were consider not quite white. Just as the Irish immigrants and their children a century before them.

Antisemitism was still a factor.

What does this have to do with the concept of “mainstream”?

At a time when WASPs were the standard for “mainstream” all those groups were defined as “outside the mainstream”.

Who was “Mainstream” in those post-World War II days?

Well there was an emerging middle class and there were families on TV like Father Know Best and Leave It To Beaver.  The only problem with those families is they were fictional.

Disney became one of the worst generators of this garbage.

“Mainstream” was sort of an advertising slogan, a propaganda buzz word that demanded a sort of Orwellian level of conformity and obedience to artificial standards most blue collar people could never meet.

The censuring of non-conformity or worse yet holding that level of conformity in disdain was persecution. The persecution could range from teasing and ridiculing to black listing and subjecting certain minority groups to  random police abuse and capricious arrests.

While the 1950s were generally prosperous and did have pockets of freedom like Greenwich Village, Berkeley and North Beach it pretty much sucked to be obviously different.

It especially sucked for transsexual and transgender people.

Medical assistance in the US was virtually non-existent outside of those aforementioned places.

But it also sucked to be a woman who dreamed of having a career or enjoying any sort of self fulfillment.Those wonderful days of yore with supposedly traditional mainstream families excluded well over half the people in this country.

See Stephanie Coontz:  The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap

The idea that straight, upper class White Anglo Saxon Protestants are the “mainstream” is the wet dream of right wing conservative thinking as it manages to exclude all those people of color, working class whites, immigrants and let’s not forget the Jews.

America has never been a melting pot, where all immigrants become part of a white bread homogenized  Pat Boone version of culture.  It has always been more of a stew where every immigrant and minority group that is part of America has added their own unique element.

While cultural purists decry the ripping off of other people’s culture most Americans including creative people just keep on trucking stealing an influence here, putting it together with something from some where else. Culture gets intermarried the same way people do and along the line there has been a synthesis that has formed American culture.

When people expound on tradition, I am forced to ask: Whose tradition?

You see the majority of American people do not belong to that minority culture that touts itself as “mainstream.”

“Mainstream” is a fiction an advertising wet dream, a psy-op aimed at the soft underbelly of our collective insecurities, our fear of not belonging unless we buy this particular product.

More over it is one of those words that is used as a weapon of choice by all sorts of bigots.

Recently one of my readers pointed me to a blog titled “Purple Speaks.”  This reader was justifiably horrified at the hatred and bigotry poured forth by the HBS “True Transsexual” who runs it.

Like so many transphobic trans-blogs this one reeks of contempt and hatred for any transsexual who doesn’t share this person’s hatred and bigotry of transsexual and transgender people.

Since only one person out of 100 to 200 people who had SRS is considered a real transsexual and since one has to be a right wing bigot and Taliban Christian fembot to be a true transsexual, I guess I’m one of the 99% who “aren’t real transsexuals.”

Funny thing is Dr. Benjamin told me I was one of the purest cases of transsexualism he had met.

I whizzed right through all the screening in spite of being a hippie, bisexual feminist.

It was like fitting in with my peers, the young hippie activists of Berkeley impressed them  a whole lot.  I was also working as a counselor, helping my sisters find their way through the various programs that helped people transition.

What I’ve found odd about many of the HBS assholes is how many live really marginal lives while I live in suburbia, where I’m a member of the local community center/health and fitness center. My partner and I are a pair of slightly bohemian Democratic Party stalwarts who voted for Obama.

In spite of the attempts of HBSers to paint us as “radical leftists” our politics are pretty “mainstream” after all our candidate won the election by a landslide.

Turns out some 20-25% of people in this country are atheists or agnostics like us.  That’s about the same as the number of born again Xians.

We are among the 65 or so percent of people who want the Republicans to keep their filthy hands off Social Security and Medicare.

We don’t believe in ghosts, angels or UFOs.  We do believe in evolution, which puts among the Brights.

My partner and I are post-transsexual, many years past all the struggles of transition.  But we aren’t self hating heartless assholes who want to make life harder for those who are still in or even facing transition in the future.  For that matter we support equality and protections for all transsexual and transgender people just as we support those rights for all sorts of other minority groups.

We may think a lot of transgender ideology is stupid but we also think a lot of transsexual ideology is equally stupid.

That’s what being a secular humanist is all about, respect for the rights of others, the same respect one expects for oneself.

I’m not going to concern troll and say I feel sorry for HBS assholes, because I don’t.

The hatred they project towards others is reflective of a self hatred they feel.

How can one believe one is the only pure one out of one or two hundred other people who got the same operation you got? Doesn’t it seem odd that all but one percent of people getting this surgery deceived their doctors or aren’t really transsexual?

But the HBS assholes are blessed with an utter lack of self examination.  They are so consumed with hatred that it never ever dawns on them that maybe they are the ones who aren’t really transsexual but rather deceived themselves into believing they were.

I mean the 99% of the post-transsexual communities are made up of some really amazing people who have overcome so much and who have accomplished far more along the way than most of the HBS assholes seem to have accomplished. Most of us tend to support equality for all the people of the the queer alphabet soup.  And even for straight post-transsexuals too.

And they have often had to overcome a great deal of adversity to do so.

That by itself should demonstrate their having a better grasp on reality than the bigots and haters.

In the meantime I think I’d rather be part of the 99% of transsexuals who have more productive things to do with their lives than stew in a kettle of hatred and bigotry.

Dashad ‘Sage’ Smith Missing: Virginia Police Searching For Transgender Teen

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/dashad-smith-missing_n_2205836.html

11/28/2012

Police in Virginia are searching for a transgender teen who has been missing for more than a week.

Dashad Smith, 19, also known as Sage, Sagey and Unique, was last seen Nov. 20, in the 500 block of West Main Street in Charlottesville. Smith was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark-gray sweatpants, a black scarf and gray boots, police said.

Smith was supposed to meeting a man for a date on the evening she disappeared, her father, Dean Smith, told The Huffington Post.

“I had talked to my son on Nov. 20. I talked to him about 5:00 or 5:30 p.m.,” Dean Smith said. “After that he did not answer his phone. His roommate said he was going to meet a guy … I guess they were going on date or whatever. That’s all they have right now. It looks like it’s an abduction.”

Dashad Smith, who dresses as both a man and a woman, has not contacted her family since she disappeared. She also missed a planned Thanksgiving dinner with her mother, Latasha Grooms.

“He was supposed to come with me, and when I called him the day before Thanksgiving, there was no answer,” Grooms told HuffPost. “I kept calling and texting and found out from his roommate that he had not been seen since the previous day.”

Grooms added, “He had been excited to come to my new house. He had bragged to his grandmother, father and friends. He could not wait to spend time with me because I have some health issues. He had also not seen his sister for a little while, so he could not wait to come spend Thanksgiving with us.”

Charlottesville Police Lt. Ronnie Roberts said his agency has been investigating Dashad Smith’s disappearance since Nov. 22, the day she was reported missing.

“Our detectives have been working daily on the case trying to locate Mr. Smith and assist the family,” Roberts told HuffPost.

Roberts declined to discuss whether police have questioned the man whom Smith was supposed to meet the day she went missing.

“The detectives have done some interviews, but as to the content of those interviews, it would not be appropriate” to discuss them, he said.

Roberts also said detectives have found no evidence of foul play, which limits the tools at their disposal.

“It’s not a criminal case. We have nothing at this point in time that indicates it being a criminal case, which makes it difficult to get warrants and things of that sort, because you have to have a criminal case to go in that direction. There’s no evidence that points us in that direction right now,” he said.

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Dean Smith claims that police are keeping him in the dark about the investigation.

“When the case first started, me and the detective got off on the wrong foot,” Smith explained. “I had said some things but that was out of fear, fear of the unknown. So he does not reach out to me like he does the mother.”

According to Grooms, it is out of character for Dashad Smith to be out of contact with her family. She has been struggling to find her place, she said.

“He was in the process of deciding what he wanted to do. He was in the stage where he was still trying to find himself,” Grooms said. “How he chooses to dress — a lot of people don’t care to hire people that dress like he did, so he struggled with getting and keeping jobs.”

Grooms said her family refers to Dashad Smith as a “he” but said her child identifies with both genders.

“His gay community says ‘she’ but his family still says ‘he.’ It does not bother him,” she said.

Roberts said detectives are hoping to hear from members of the public who have seen or had any recent communication with Smith.

“Hopefully we can locate him and reunite him with his family. That’s what we’d like to do,” he said.

Grooms is also trying to stay positive.

“It’s really hard, but I’m trying my best,” she said. “It’s the only way I get up every morning.”

Smith is 5 feet 8 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She has a piercing in her left eyebrow.

The Black And Missing But Not Forgotten organization has been helping raise awareness about Smith’s disappearance. A Facebook page has also been created to help raise awareness.

Anyone who has seen or heard from Smith is asked to call the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-977-9041 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.

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Harvey Milk, George Moscone Remembered At San Francisco Memorial, 34 Years After Assassinations

Photo by Suzan Cooke

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/harvey-milk-george-moscone_n_2206107.html?ir=Gay+Voices

By
Posted: 11/28/2012

November 27 is a sensitive day for San Francisco.

Anyone who lived in this city in 1978 remembers that morning, four days after Thanksgiving, when Supervisor Dan White walked through City Hall with a revolver and shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the city’s first openly gay supervisor.

So on Tuesday, 34 years after the tragic incident, city officials, the Milk and Moscone families, LGBT supporters and much of the San Francisco community gathered on the steps of City Hall in memory.

“Let’s get this straight: George and Harvey did not die heroically. It was a senseless act,” said Jonathan Moscone, George’s youngest son, according to SF Appeal. Jonathan was a 14-year-old freshman at St. Ignatius High School when his father was killed.

White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder, a decision that led to the violent White Night riots at City Hall. The conviction was widely viewed as too lenient, and made famous the “Twinkie defense” that helped White in court.

Don’t think I didn’t smile when I heard Hostess was going under,” Jonathan said to the crowd on Tuesday.

Jonathan called on crowd members to live their lives like Milk and his father, both considered champions for equality and civil rights.

“We’re all agents of change like George and Harvey were,” he said. All of us have a voice.”

Other speakers expressed the same sentiment.

“Harvey Milk was a visionary whose life and death had a profound effect on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community,” said Anne Kronenberg, Milk’s former aide, per SF Weekly. “He is remembered for his passion and his perseverance in his quest for equality for all people.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/harvey-milk-george-moscone_n_2206107.html?ir=Gay+Voices

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Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends

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NOM Now Warning Against Young People Having Gay Friends

From Think Progresshttp://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/11/26/1233911/nom-now-warning-against-young-people-having-gay-friends/

By Zack Ford
on Nov 26, 2012

The National Organization for Marriage has sunk to a new low of intolerance. In a “Thanksgiving Message” from Jennifer Roback Morse of NOM’s Ruth Institute, she warns that young people are being “pressured” to support LGBT equality because they have gay friends and peers. Morse relates a story of a Catholic resident assistant (RA) at a college who didn’t want to participate in the “drag party” being organized by her gay supervisor. The supervisor was supposedly “really leaning on her” and trying to “make her feel bad, make her look bad,” an example of a pro-LGBT strategy that Morse feels is a much more significant threat than the media:

MORSE: I think a lot of our students are encountering this type of situation in their dorms and on their college campuses… What I want to say to you, is that the other side has RAs in the dorm where your young people are going to school. There’s no TV message that is going to do the job of countering that type of influence. Somebody’s got to be there talking to young people one at a time in the places where they’re hanging out and doing the things that they’re doing. There’s no mass media strategy by itself that will solve this problem. […]

And this holiday season, when your young people come home from college, ask them about this. Ask them if they have a gay RA in their dorms… So please, talk to your young people about this and see what kind of pressure they may be under that maybe even they don’t realize how much it’s having an impact upon them.

Complete article at:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/11/26/1233911/nom-now-warning-against-young-people-having-gay-friends/By Zack Ford

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Abortion in Ireland: The Injustice and Day-to-Day Terror Faced by Countless Women

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/11/28/abortion-in-ireland-savita-halappanavar%E2%80%99s-death-and-day-to-day-terror-women

by Sarah Fisher, Abortion Support Network
November 28, 2012

As an organization that hears first-hand from the women who bear the burden of Ireland’s archaic abortion laws, the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar was shocking and sickening.

And yet not as surprising as you’d think.

Given that abortion laws in Ireland are among the strictest in the world, a tragedy of this kind wasn’t so much a matter of if, but when. The circumstances in which Savita died are truly abhorrent. Admitted to hospital experiencing a miscarriage at 17 weeks, despite being told that the fetus “wasn’t viable” she was made to suffer for days, left begging for an abortion that she was refused as long as there was a foetal heart beat.

Haunted by the harrowing details of Savita’s death we’re left to wonder how many more women in Ireland may have lost their lives as a result of being denied a life-saving abortion.

If Savita’s family hadn’t bravely made the decision to go public, would her senseless death have come to light? Have the lives of more women been sacrificed because a fetus was deemed more important? Even when it was known that the fetus would not survive? When, technically in Ireland an abortion is permitted if there is a “real and substantial risk to the life of the mother?” These are questions that we cannot ignore and questions that demand answers.

Savita’s death is the worst illustration of what happens when abortion is highly restricted, and the worst way for the ‘pro-life’ lobby to be proved wrong. How often do we hear that abortion is never necessary to save the life of a woman? A protester at a vigil for Savita hit the nail on the head with a placard stating ‘Pro-Life beliefs killed Savita Halappanavar – Ireland needs abortion rights.’  So did Kartha Pollit in her compelling reflection on the case When ‘Pro-Life’ kills.

But what has been absent from the mainstream media coverage of Savita’s death has been the mass, day-in day-out misery and discrimination experienced by women as a result of the near-total ban on abortion in Ireland.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/11/28/abortion-in-ireland-savita-halappanavar%E2%80%99s-death-and-day-to-day-terror-women

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300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds – Please read video comment!

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BP suspended from new US federal contracts over Deepwater disaster

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/28/epa-suspends-bp-oil-spill

Environmental Protection Agency accuses oil giant of a ‘lack of business integrity’ over its behaviour following 2010 Gulf spill

, US environment correspondent, and
The Guardian, Wednesday 28 November 2012

BP has been blocked from seeking new contracts with the US government because of the oil company’s “lack of business integrity” during the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.

The temporary order bans BP from competing for new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico – such as the auction of 20m acres taking place on Wednesday – or from bidding on new contracts to supply the Pentagon or other government agencies with fuel.

While the ban does not affect existing business, it raises wider questions about the company’s future in a crucial market.

The type of suspension imposed by the EPA typically does not last more than 18 months. But an official said that in this case the ban could be extended because of the ongoing legal proceedings. That could mean BP, the largest oil producer in the Gulf of Mexico, would remain under an extended moratorium until all criminal charges and law suits are resolved.

BP was clearly taken by surprise and struggled to explain the impact on its business. Its shares fell nearly 2% in London as investors reacted with dismay to the news which puts a major dent in the company’s already battered reputation.

The finance director of the London-based oil group warned investors at a recent presentation that any outright ban could “affect BP’s investment thesis in the US”.

The order was handed down just two weeks after BP agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter and other charges arising from the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, as well as pay a record $4.5bn in fines.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/28/epa-suspends-bp-oil-spill

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Change Is Coming: Factory Farms’ Days May Be Numbered

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/28-0

Animal welfare advocates, rejoice

by Ocean Robbins
Published on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by Common Dreams

In one of history’s most stunning victories for humane farming, Australia’s largest supermarket chain, Coles, will as of January 1 stop selling company branded pork and eggs from animals kept in factory farms. As an immediate result, 34,000 mother pigs will no longer be kept in stalls for long periods of their lives, and 350,000 hens will be freed from cages.

Not to be outdone, the nation’s other dominant supermarket chain, Woolworths, has already begun phasing out factory farmed animal products. In fact all of Woolworth’s house brand eggs are now cage-free, and by mid-2013 all of their pork will come from farmers who operate stall-free farms.

Coles and Woolworths together account for a dominant 80 percent of all supermarket sales in Australia.

The move to open up the cages was fueled by “consumer sentiment,” and it has been synchronous with a major campaign against factory farming of animals led by Animals Australia. The campaign features a TV ad, titled “When Pigs Fly,” in which an adorable piglet tells the story of animals sentenced to life in cramped cages, and then flies to freedom.

Meanwhile, in the United States, egg factory farms cram more than 90 percent of the country’s 280 million egg-laying hens into barren cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings. Each bird spends her entire life given less space than a sheet of paper. And in a reality that does not please fans of Wilber or Babe, between 60 to 70 percent of the more than five million breeding pigs in the United States are kept in crates too small for them to so much as turn around.

There are laws against cruelty to animals in the United States, but most states specifically exempt animals destined for human consumption. The result is that the animal agriculture industry routinely does things to animals that, if you did them to a dog or a cat, would get you put in jail.

Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary, explains: “Most of the anti-cruelty laws exempt farm animals as long as the practices are considered to be normal by the agriculture industry. What has happened is that bad has become normal, and no matter how cruel it is, normal is legal.”

Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/28-0

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