Our Shameful Cotton Ceiling: Lesbian TS/TG Women Rejecting Other TS/TG Women as Partners

I’ll confess something that many consider to be something icky.  I have always been kiki.

That is to say I have always been sexually attracted to other TS/TG women. While I am at it I confess to being attracted to quite a few brothers too.

Over the years I’ve watched a number of my sisters deny any element of attraction to other sister yet they have formed their closest and most intimate bonds with one another.

Why do so many of us have such a hard time to admitting this?

Tina and I are rather open about loving each other.  Yet we have known other sisters who have lived together, including the same bed for years, yet they deny being lovers.

Why do we act as though a loving relationship with another TS/TG person is somehow a second class relationship? An inauthentic version of a lesbian relationship…

I was pre-op when I had my first relationship with a sister.  She identified more as a queen than as transsexual. She taught me how to negotiate my way through sexual relations as a pre-op, how to say what I was or wasn’t okay with doing.

Shortly after my SRS I fell in love with another sister, also a pre-op. She was very strung out on downers and kept over dosing. She was also incredibly wild and I was fortunate enough to be able to photograph her and document part of her tragic life. When she died her parents buried her as a boy.

I realized I didn’t fall in love with people’s genitals, that indeed their genitals rarely played a part in why I was attracted to them.

I like quirkiness, wit, intelligence and a lust for life.

I found myself looking for those traits in others.  I was also attracted to people who were physically like myself in some way.

My sisters found this weird.

But sex is sex… only delusional people believe they have discovered a new or novel way of doing it.

Affection, love… Now that is a much deeper topic.

I’ve had relationships with cis-sex/gender people.  I hate the routine of having to explain.  I hate having to feel defensive of my authenticity, as though my realness can be canceled at any moment.

I believe it is only ethical to realize other TS/TG people have the same sorts of feelings I have, therefore I shouldn’t go around playing HBS Troll games of “I’m real and you are not.”

One thing I learned over the years is that self-esteem comes from within.  So does authenticity.  It isn’t gained by challenging the authenticity of others.

I also learned there are homogender relationships that some might consider heterosexual due to the genitals involved.  As well as heterogender relationships that might be considered homosexual for the same reason.

So what is it that makes lesbian TS/TG women uncomfortable about partnering with another sister?

Why do we feel more valid partnering with a cis-person than another trans-person?

What does that say about us?

Further if we see other trans-people as somehow undesirable or unattractive how can we expect others to find us attractive?

Vancouver Rape Relief invited Janice Raymond to speak at the Vancouver Public Library Nov. 30, 2013

This is from a Facebook post.  More Info will follow

Natalie Reed
11/19/2013

So… VANCOUVER TRANS PEEPS (and allies)… as many of you know Vancouver Rape Relief has invited Janice Raymond to speak at the Vancouver Public Library (presumably the downtown location) on November 30th, as an event memorializing the massacre at L’Ecole Polytechnique. Given VRR’s trans-exclusionist policies, history of trans-misogyny, ongoing support of transphobic feminism, dismissal of Kimberly Nixon, subsequent legal defense, and role in setting legal precedent that permits anti-trans discrimination in Canada, and Janice Raymond’s own history of extraordinary trans-misogyny and central role in the development of transphobia within feminism, we can’t really consider this coincidental or benign, nor can we assume the talk will simply be about L’Ecole Polytechnique, misogynistic violence or women in STEM fields.

In all likelihood, it will almost certainly be an openly cissexist, trans-misogynistic talk, probably based around arguing for trans-exclusionist policy to “protect” the “safety” of “womyn-born-womyn”.

Many folks are trying to prevent VPL from hosting the event, especially given that VPL’s own policies insist upon events being inclusive and respectful towards marginalized groups and identities (and IIRC, gender identity is specifically mentioned). *Hopefully* the talk being prevented from taking place at VPL is what will happen, or at least VPL inviting members of the trans community to respond / debate. BUT IF THE VRR / JANICE RAYMOND TALK PROCEEDS AS PLANNED… I would very much like if we could organize a counter-event to take place at VPL the same day (with or without explicit approval from VPL… library square’s status as public space should permit us to gather there regardless of prior approval- at least long enough to stage the response event- as long as we aren’t being destructive or harassing anyone or anything).

I was thinking of organizing speakers to talk on four topics that would serve as a useful counter-point to the trans-misogyny of Vancouver Rape Relief and Janice Raymond:

1) The consequences of trans-exclusionist policy, and/or trans people being unable to safely access services like rape/abuse/DV support services, homeless and emergency shelters, sexual health services, police services, medical care, etc. …with a definite focus on the rape/abuse/DV stuff (I could take this up as a topic myself, if needed, based on my experiences as a trans rape survivor and my ongoing inability to find any suitable support or resources).

2) The consequences of transphobic, cissexist and trans-misogynistic feminism, as exemplified by writers like Janice Raymond, Sheila Jeffries, Mary Daly, etc., and the consequences of exclusion of or unwelcoming attitudes towards trans women in women’s spaces, organizations, communities, etc. (perhaps tilted towards trans women’s exclusion from feminist space and queer women’s space).

3) Trans-misogynistic violence (which can tie into TDoR and recent events).

4) How trans women are impacted by misogyny and misogynistic violence, like that of the L’Ecole Polytechnique shooting, and how trans-misogyny, transphobia, cissexism, etc interrelates with misogyny, patriarchy, etc.

I think these topics will make a compelling point (ideally to ppl who are there for the Raymond talk, or who have uncritically supported VRR in the past, or who are associated w/ VPL, or who are simply unaware of these issues)… particularly if our event manages to round up better attendance than the Raymond talk itself.

If interested in helping organize this event, or interested in speaking, or interested in helping out in any way at all, please please comment or message me or e-mail me at sincerelynataliereed@gmail.com Also, even just expressing interest in ATTENDING could help give a good idea of whether this works as an idea.

Hopefully none of this will be necessary, but given that it’s less than two weeks away, we should start organizing ASAP.

(also my FB is being slow so I can’t tag everyone… so help me get the word out?)

London to pay tribute to murdered trans victims

From Gay Star News UK:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/london-pay-tribute-murdered-trans-victims191113

To mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, Paris Lees will speak at an event with musicians, poets and mourners

By Joe Morgan
19 November 2013

Trans activist, journalist and broadcaster Paris Lees, who topped The Independent’s Pink List, will be delivering the key note address.

While the first half will be a period to mourn, as the attendees remember the 238 trans people murdered in 2013, the second half will be a celebration of trans lives.

Trans musicians, poets and others will be entertaining the crowd, including Yui Karlberg and Naechané Valantino.

Natacha Kennedy, trans activist, told Gay Star News: ‘The reason we do this is because no one else does, and no one will remember their lives.

‘It’s about drawing the attention of the authorities and other organizations to this…

‘If we can start putting pressure on the governments like we are with Russia and the Sochi Olympics, then maybe we can stop them turning a blind eye to it.’

Kennedy will be speaking at the event, alongside Roz Kaveney and Jon Gierson.

This year, Brazil once again had the most murders with 95 trans people losing their lives.

Other countries include Mexico, with 40 deaths, United States, with 16, Venezuala with 15 and Colombia, with 12.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/london-pay-tribute-murdered-trans-victims191113

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What the National Organization for Marriage’s Shift to Trans-Bashing Means

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/national-organization-for-marriage-trans-bashing_b_4255536.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


11/12/2013

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the leading force behind the now-failed effort to stop marriage equality, announced in September that it will be joining the ugly fight against a law passed in California to protect transgender children in schools from bullying and discrimination. The move is completely outside NOM’s claimed mission to “defend” marriage as an institution of “one man and one woman.” But it’s not a shocker. We’ve seen it all before among radical right groups hellbent on enforcing a religious agenda.

During the ’80s and early ’90s, amid the darkest years of the AIDS epidemic and well before the reality of marriage equality, conservative religious groups that were focused on battling against abortion rights would sometimes meet with limited success. The groups often shifted into gay-bashing campaigns (augmenting the work of lesser-known, diehard anti-gay activists) as a way to raise lots of money to re-energize their anti-abortion crusades. The Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA), for example, got an initiative on the ballot in that state in 1990 to require parental notification for abortions by minors. It failed, and the OCA came back in 1992 with Measure 9, which would have had the Oregon Constitution deem “homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse.”

That failed too, but not until after a long, brutal campaign punctuated by hate and violence in which the OCA and other groups raised a lot of money. The issue of gay and lesbian rights was always a cash cow, because there was much fear and misunderstanding about gays, a tiny and often invisible minority at the time. AIDS only exacerbated that, as the right exploited a panic over the epidemic and further stigmatized gays as diseased, dirty and disgusting. Radical right groups promoted fear and ignorance, putting money in their coffers for the larger ideological battles they were waging against women’s right to choose, secular society, free speech and what they saw as widespread sexual immorality — battles that have re-energized them over the years and which they are still waging, sometimes with alarming success (as evidenced by recent anti-abortion legislation in the states), using the Republican Party to do it.

Today, with Hawaii on the verge of becoming the 16th state to pass marriage equality, and with gays much more visible, conservative ideologues are having a harder time on the issue, including trying to raise money around it. But it doesn’t mean they’re any less ferociously focused on taking away the rights of gays — or women, or Muslims, or atheists or any other group that doesn’t fit their Christian theocratic worldview.

Enter transgender rights, the newest potential cash cow for the extremist right. NOM has joined the fight against a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this year that allows trans students to define their genders themselves, choose which restroom they want to use and decide whether to play on girls’ sports teams or boys’ sports teams, in accordance with their gender identity. And this week, the California group attempting to repeal the law announced that it has enough signatures to bring the issue to the California ballot next year (though it’s not clear whether they actually have enough signatures), setting up a similar battle to that of Prop 8, which NOM helped pass. Frank Schubert, the strategist who exploited voters’ ignorance and irrational fears about gays and children to pass Prop 8 (and who crumbled under questioning when I interviewed him), is leading the effort.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/national-organization-for-marriage-trans-bashing_b_4255536.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Family Research Council relying on an outdated, flawed study to smear lgbt couples

From Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:  http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2013/11/family-research-council-relying-on.html#.UoxGHOJ1Epn

Alvin McEwen
Monday, November 18, 2013

Reposted with Permission

It’s bizarre how certain things happen.

I was just looking on the Family Research Council webpage and I found the following statement:

Trending

Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples

“Married and Gay Couples Not All that Different,” … (more)

 
So apparently on the FRC webpage, this study seems to be popular and that’s not necessarily a good thing because it is flawed on so many levels. The headline should give you an indication of one flaw, i.e. the comparison of  homosexual couples to married heterosexual couples.The study ignores the simple fact that lgbts can now marry in 15 states.   
 

Allow me to do a recap. Amongst the errors, Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples contains:

– A citation of the book Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women by Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg as a correct generalization of lgbt sexual habits despite the fact that it was published in 1978 and was not meant by the authors to be a correct assessment of the lgbt community in general.  A passage from Homosexualities clearly says:

“. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

– A citation of the book The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop by David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison despite the fact that the book was written 1984 and was not meant to be a correct assessment of the lgbt community in general.  A passage from The Male Couple says:

“We always have been very careful to explain that the very nature of our research sample, its size (156 couples), its narrow geographic location, and the natural selectiveness of the participants prevents the findings from being applicable and generalizable to the entire gay
male community.”

In addition to outdated work, the study also distorts the work of researchers Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey to make the case against children being raised in lgbt homes.

Claims regarding the numbers of children being raised in homosexual and lesbian households vary widely and are often unsubstantiated. According to a study on homosexual parenting in the American Sociological Review, researchers have given figures “of uncertain origin, depicting a range of…6 to 14 million children of gay or lesbian parents in the United States.” According to the study’s authors, Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, the higher estimates are based upon “classifying as a lesbigay [sic] parent anyone who reports that even the idea of homoerotic sex is appealing.” Instead, the authors favor a figure of about one million, which “derives from the narrower…definition of a lesbigay parent as one who self-identifies as such.”

However, FRC and Dailey conveniently fails to mention that Stacey and Biblarz’s study found:

. . . that lesbian and gay parents were as competent as heterosexual parents. The article did note some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but was careful to emphasize that these were differences, not deficits. Many of those opposing parenting rights for lesbian and gay people seized on these differences, using them to assert that gay and lesbian parents were not as effective as heterosexual parents.

Furthermore, during an interview with the organization Soulforce, Stacey complained about the distortion of her work:

“Significant, reliable social scientific evidence indicates that lesbian and gay parents are as fit, effective, and successful as heterosexual parents. The research also shows that children of same-sex couples are as emotionally healthy and socially adjusted and at least as educationally and socially successful as children raised by heterosexual parents.” Later in the interview she commented: “There is not a single, respectable social scientist conducting and publishing research in this area today who claims that gay and lesbian parents harm children.” She explained that the research does find some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but emphasized that they are differences, not deficits. For example, daughters of lesbian moms tend to be somewhat more career-oriented than other daughters. That anti-gay activists had cited these differences as evidence supporting their efforts to deny partnership and parenting rights to lesbians and gays was for Stacey “a serious misreading and abuse of our work.”


To give an exact impression of badly Dailey manipulates credible research in the study, one could take the examples he lists showing the so-called promiscuity of lgbt relationships as opposed to heterosexual marriages and compare them side by side.

 
Dailey claims that lgbt relationships are more promiscuous than heterosexual marriages. 
 
Dailey’s examples of married heterosexual couples:
 
 – A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in the Journal of Sex Research in 1997 
 
 – Another 1997 national survey appearing in the Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. 
 
  – A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States published in 1994.
 
 All of the couples listed in the above examples were married. 
 
The following are the examples Dailey used for lgbt couples:
 
  – A Dutch study of partnered gay men in the Netherlands that collected data between the years of 1984-2000 (same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001).
 
  Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, a study of gay men in the city of San Francisco in the early 1970s. 
 
 – A study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research published in 1997. The study included homosexual men in other countries. More than three quarters of men were born in Australia or New Zealand (78.1%), a high number of the men were from United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe (19.5%) and a small percentage of men surveyed were from other countries (Asia, Africa, Oceania, North, Central or South America—2.3%). 
 
 – A survey conducted by the gay magazine Genre. Dailey received the results from a web page with an anti-gay bias.(The Lambda Report was a publication founded by anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera in 1993.)
 
None of the gay couples were married and lesbian couples were omitted from every example.
I was surprised to see this study take such a prominent place on FRC’s webpage. It was my understanding that the organization had kept it shoddy research in the background in lieu of portraying itself and other groups like it as so-called victims of an “aggressive gay agenda.”
But with this flawed study taking a prominent place, it gives the lgbt community an opportunity to show what we and the Southern Poverty Law Center have been talking about when we describe FRC as a hate group.
FRC’s crap study is pseudo-scientific work not unlike the work which claims that African-Americans or women are inferior. I guess the difference is that neither racists nor misogynists have a Bible to hide their true motives behind.
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Oh, noes!!! Transgender teachers!

From Daily Kos:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/05/1253257/-Oh-noes-Transgender-teachers

rserven
Tue Nov 05, 2013

The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack couldn’t resist.  In the face of the Senate’s immanent passage of the Employment NonDiscrimination Act, McCormack stated the real concern:  ENDA Would Grant Transgender Rights to Elementary School Teachers…by which I believe he is concerned with the fact that transgender people might…just might…become elementary school teachers.

John, John, John, oh, John.  That boat left the dock decades ago.  Teaching is one of the foremost occupations that transgender people gravitate to in their lives before transitioning.

McCormack bemoans the numbers claimed by the Human Rights Campaign…that 88% of Fortune 500 companies have formal employment policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  McCormack even brings up the fact that Rick Santorum has a gay friend and confidante.

It’s hard to imagine that in the year 2013 that any business in the country could fire someone simply because he is gay without facing a major backlash and boycotts.

Transgender, on the other hand, is a different matter.

ENDA contains no exceptions for schools at any age level (though the law does contain a modest religious liberty provision).

Horrors!  Transgender teachers!  Run!

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GOP’s newest demented crusade: War on mothers

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2013/11/11/gops_newest_demented_crusade_war_on_mothers/

A Bush and Romney economic adviser compares having a baby with buying a Porsche. They can’t be this dumb, can they?


Monday, Nov 11, 2013

Conservatives continue to be outraged by the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that basic insurance policies cover maternity and newborn care. When Rep. Renee Ellmers, the chairwoman of the House GOP Women’s Policy Committee, asked Kathleen Sebelius “Has a man ever delivered a baby?” she was introducing her party’s best new argument against Obamacare. Forget “death panels”; now we have “birth panels,” which force Americans to pay for the continuation of the human species whether they want to or not.

You would think the supposedly “pro-life” party would be happy to put the power of the government behind keeping pregnant women and unborn babies safe and healthy. We should never let her lack of access to prenatal and newborn care make a woman decide abortion is a better choice, right?

Wrong. In fact, the right’s campaign against maternity coverage has only gotten more strident. Just Monday morning, Harvard economist and George W. Bush Council of Economic Advisors chair Greg Mankiw argued against such coverage with the worst analogy yet:

But having children is more a choice than a random act of nature. People who drive a new Porsche pay more for car insurance than those who drive an old Chevy. We consider that fair because which car you drive is a choice.  Why isn’t having children viewed in the same way?

Oh boy. Maybe Mankiw needs to read E. J. Dionne’s latest column, “What’s the Matter With Motherhood?” Dionne is a Catholic liberal with a long history of advocating that pro-choice liberals should try to find common ground with antiabortion folks on issues like maternal and child care, women, infants and children nutrition programs and other supports to make sure women are never forced to have an abortion for economic reasons. But in the last decade liberals can’t find conservatives in Congress to collaborate with on those issues.

Indeed, Dionne found that conservatives are tying themselves in knots arguing against the ACA’s maternity-coverage provisions. In the National Review, Deroy Murdoch takes a novel gay-rights approach. “How about lesbians who do not want kids, and are highly unlikely to become pregnant accidentally?” Is the National Review now going to champion the rights of lesbians? Don’t hold your breath.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2013/11/11/gops_newest_demented_crusade_war_on_mothers/

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