Why ‘LGB’ and ‘T’ Belong Together

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/why-lgb-and-t-belong-together_b_2746616.html


As an analyst, historical data is often important because it helps answer the question, “How did we get here?” However, this eventually becomes less important than determining “where are we going, and how do we get there?” This is exactly the mindset of most LGBT millennials when it comes to civil rights and advocacy.

Unfortunately, some transgender leaders keep trying to revive old grievances, like 18-year-old articles from The New York Times. However, people like Jim Fouratt haven’t been relevant in decades. Janice Raymond and her ilk are a poorly regarded footnote in the annals of second-wave lesbian feminism. Things cited as proof that LGB leadership has it in for the transgender community may or may not have actually been said. Barney Frank has retired. So has Joe Solmonese. The historical reasons typically cited for the division between the LGB and T have become just that: history.

While many pundits have piled onto the Republicans for failing to recognize the effects of a generational shift in attitudes, leadership in the LGB and T communities also need to recognize the same. Millennials will soon, if not already, constitute the majority of the people represented by LGBT organizations. To the younger folks these divisions look like a Monty Python sketch about the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea “bickering and arguing about who killed who.”

I certainly do not speak for everyone, but from the perspective of millennials who are educated, diverse, and looking for the “BLUF” (Bottom Line Up Front), LGB and T have more experiences, goals and obstacles in common than not.

  1. We all violate gender norms. LGB people break one of the most fundamental stereotypes and expectations of gender, namely women should fall in love with men, and vice versa. Transgender people violate other gender stereotypes, sometimes including who we are supposed to fall in love with and marry. At some point in their lives, many transgender people will either be seen as LGB by others, or see themselves as LGB.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/why-lgb-and-t-belong-together_b_2746616.html

10 Responses to “Why ‘LGB’ and ‘T’ Belong Together”

  1. Edith Pilkington Says:

    hup, two, three, four. left, right, left, right . . . get with the program. Sure, Monty Python, again. Yeah, sure. How’s the Judean People’s Liberation Front going to survive w/out troop cohesion? Damn malcontents threaten to ruin everything. When are the trans* uniforms due to arrive?

    • Suzan Says:

      Each to their own opinion on this one. I actually see trans as having a lot more in common with feminism than with L/G since trans is about gender oppression and sexism rather than sexuality. I also get irritated by the ignoring of the people actually built the early transmovement while carrying on about people who may or may not have been at Stonewall.

  2. Edith Pilkington Says:

    I almost regret my sarcasm. The military represents conformity, though, not to mention endless war. Some of the loudest voices in the LGBT seem to belong to those with military backgrounds. Conformity can have a stifling effect on critical analysis. I don’t think the LGBT is going to embrace me as a lesbian and then there is the “B” which is probably most applicable to me. My solidarity with the LGBT is not without limitations. Minorities within minorities don’t fare well. Yes, I am older and from a different generation. It’s been 45 years of dissent for me in a country that becomes more and more militarized on a daily basis. I never signed on to any of it. When I hear someone shouting orders at me, I obey when I must but I have conditioned my mind to question authority.

  3. tinagrrl Says:

    As I have said for many years, “There is no future being the T in LGBT”. At the same time LGB and T have many issues in common. We all fight for equality. Often the only organizations that have the money and power to support various “T” court cases are LGBT ones. The people who spring to support are gay men and women.

    It seems a lot of the more vocal “T” folks are either unable or unwilling to step forward. After all, they hold on to the fiction of “stealth” — and so can only attack and complain behind an internet alias.

    If and when we achieve equality for all Americans, perhaps the need for the LGBT combination will whither – sort of like the state (chuckle, chuckle — had to put that in so our right-wing comrades will not blow a gasket).

    What actually seems to happen is that we all go our own way as we mature and/or age.

    By the way — in case anyone wondered —- THERE IS NO “TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY!!”

  4. Edith Pilkington Says:

    @ Tina,

    Remember when the Democratic Party was the party of Will Rogers? That’s how I feel about “organization” and agreement.

    As far as the “stealthy” are concerned, I have mixed feelings. I will say, however, some of the meanest things I have heard said have been said by people who really don’t have a clue as to what they’re talking about when the subject moves beyond them to other people.

    By the way, I don’t know who’s responsible for putting up the Friday night videos but thanks for turning everyone on to Judy Henske. And . . . the reference to Christina Hoff Sommers. I listened to an interview with her on NPR about a week ago. I found Suzan’s reference to her interesting. I have too many thoughts on that to really say anything coherent except for the fact I thought it was interesting the way Suzan tied her into her thesis.

    • Suzan Says:

      I have rather eclectic musical tastes. I love folk and roots music, was in SF and Berkeley from 1967-1974 for the days of the Avalon Ballroom, Fillmore Auditorium, Bill Gramham’s Carousel Ballroom and Winterland. I’m also a jazz fan although Tina has a far deeper knowledge of jazz. Ken Burns series helped me gain greater understanding of the music and its role in America’s cultural history. From 1974-1980 I lived on Sunset near Fairfax in LA and saw the rise of punk rock.

      Tina and I still go to concerts here in Dallas, where there are some of the finest live music venues in the country at present. We’ve come to like a number of Texas performers including Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry and other.

      Christina Hoff Sommers might actually have some points about what is happening to boys, but her linking those things to feminism rather than the backlash and teaching boy that stupid is masculine seems pretty strange.

  5. Edith Pilkington Says:

    I don’t think I am a fan of Christina Hoff Sommers. What interested me about the interview, however, was what she had to say about recess time – the lack of it, and a couple of other things I can’t remember at the moment. I’ll have to get the Times article and have a closer look at what she’s about. I know she’s a conservative darling. She mentions Leonard Sax in that quote, though. In my opinion the guy is a preposterous monster. I can’t articulate all my thoughts here. There isn’t enough space but schools have become prisons. I am really disturbed about the rigidity, school uniforms, single sex education proposals, etc. I am a victim of Catholic education.

    Sorry to take this so far off topic. I am from R I. There has been an oddball Providence/Austin connection for quite some time. Roomful of Blues and the Thunderbirds were involved in trading musicians from either band back and forth in the eighties. Johnny Nicholas, who is involved in the Austin scene and has a restaurant there, recently took an old nightclub in Westerly, R I, where he originates from, and restored it. Then there is the long history of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals which has had a tremendous influence on everything around here. Also, the long history of the Cajun and Bluegrass Festival which turned into the Rhythm and Roots Festival has brought many players up from the South for years. We saw Alison Krauss do a little workshop in a grove at the Cajun festival back in the eighties when she was just 18 or 19, not to mention Dewey Balfa, Clifton Chenier, etc., etc., etc. Also, few people are aware of the close connections between Irish Music and performers like Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Nancy Griffith. I know a lot of Irish players. It’s an odd sub-culture, not quite what the average person would expect. I think the Carolina Chocolate Drops are more than aware of the connection to American music and Appalachian music, specifically. So, I relate very much to your(s) (and Tina’s?) musical selections.

    I don’t know much about what goes on in Dallas but, for years, there was a very close connection between the theatre here and there. Adrian Hall, a Dallas native, was artistic director at Trinity Square Repertory Theatre, here. He built it up from scratch to the point where it developed the nationally recognized reputation it has had for years. I believe he has been back in Dallas for some time but there is still collaboration between his company down there and Trinity.

    • Suzan Says:

      I’m pretty much sole proprietor, editor, writer for this blog, although Tina has posting privileges she has never posted here. Tina blogs at Another Old Woman heavy on jazz videos. But also economics issues.

      I modeled this blog after a combination of I.F. Stone’s Weekly and The Berkeley Barb as well as other 1960s underground newspapers.

      I mike check a lot of posts I read each day that I think others should go to and read as well.

  6. tinagrrl Says:

    I too am no fan of Hoff Sommers. For far too many years I’ve wondered why all the bright, curious, friendly, toddlers I once knew turned into nasty, shallow, dolts as they age and go through our system of “education”.

    For many years, I did not realize I too was a victim — fortunately, I began to wake up about the time I got sober.

    American society doesn’t seem to give a damn about children. We tolerate abuse of children — abuse of all kinds, not just pedophilia. We destroy curiosity with “religious training” (ALL “religious training”), enforce needless conformity, tolerate all sorts of bullying, and leave children in abusive households.

    Our “training methods” for our CHILDREN seem to be harsher than that we use for DOGS — then again, we seem to like our dogs more.

    Anyway, as Suzy said, the music scene here in Dallas is quite good, and varied. I see you have picked on some of our favs. — Steve Earle, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, etc. Of course there is a connection to Irish music — first we have the Scots-Irish in the USA, the huge Irish immigration of the 19th century, the marginalization of the Irish to their own communities (like every other immigrant group in the USA — none of whom were deemed capable of “assimilation” by various and sundry “nativists”).

    Texas also has a rich Jazz tradition, from the “Texas Tenors” (NOT the singers, but folks like Arnett Cobb, David “Fathead” Newman, Buddy Tate, Illinois Jacquet, etc.) to folks like Jack Teagarden.

    As I said before, there is NO “transgender community”, and there’s MUCH more to life than trans things. Why not work for the equality of ALL people.

  7. Edith Pilkington Says:


    This blog was a pleasant surprise. Suzan said she didn’t read Vogue for the articles. Actually, I found some pretty good articles there over the years. One about Jean Cocteau stands out in my mind. The news feed here was quite a revelation. Since I’ve been on Facebook I’ve linked to a lot of the news sources like Alternet, Common Dreams, Raw Story, Truthout, Truthdig, etc. Truthout is Henry Giroux’s site. He used to live here around the corner from where I live. I recall a very heated argument that blew up between him, his friend and the people I was with one night at his apartment. It was about politics. Actually, a fist fight broke out. It was such a weird thing to witness. I still don’t know what they were fighting about.

    The music and the newsfeed keeps me coming back to this blog. I can get very worked up about legal activism involving transsexual and transgender people but without the 90% of what’s presented here I doubt I’d keep coming back. It’s just refreshing to know I can be me and still be me.

    I wasn’t really around for much of the punk music scene. I know what I know vicariously through my partner’s brother and his partner who was from San Pedro. They both lived in San Francisco until my partner’s brother died of AIDS out there in 1992. They used to come back here all the time. His partner worked with me for a while when they were here. We spent a lot of time together. I still have trouble dealing with the thought of Henry Rollins smashing someone in the face but I had known Jimmy since he was twelve, saw all the changes that weren’t really changes but just him becoming himself, saw the joy of being liberated after moving out to San Jose then San Francisco and watched all the color fade once the impact and implications of the AIDs epidemic became known. He knew he was going to die way before he did. Somehow, his partner is still alive. It seemed like such a bleak, dark period. I was up a tree with very serious domestic responsibilities. I think there is a reasonable chance it saved me from disaster, though.

    I know Texas has a rich jazz tradition, so does Oklahoma – Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis . . . I know they’re all guitar players . . . then there is T-Bone Walker from Texas who was a huge inspiration for Duke Robillard, a local who’s done time down in Austin, as well. I didn’t know that Illinois Jacquet was from Texas, though. I’d always placed him in . . . well . . . Illinois. Interesting.

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