They Don’t Speak For Me


And I don’t speak for them.

Before I start, let me make it clear that this is my opinion.  It works for me.  Your mileage may vary.

In the past year, I have gotten an education watching the activities of members of the transgender community on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.  It was truly eye opening.  Shocking, really, because until last year, I was unaware of the existence of a transgender community, because was busy with other things, like living my life.  Having transitioned in an era where the protocol was to blend in with the rest of society  and go about one’s daily life, the same as everyone else.  That changed because I was beginning to hear reference to, “transgender”, on news casts, more frequently that ever in the past.  I started to look into what was behind this wave of publicity for it was something that was rarely mentioned in the past.

That’s when the real culture shock set in.  People like me, who lived their lives without revealing their, “trans”, status, had become a seeming minority.  It’s hard to tell, because you can’t count invisible people.  I found the concept of visibility appealing in certain ways and gave it a try, online.  I have to admit that being able to speak openly about who I am, is liberating.  Still, I saw warning signs that left my belief that such openness was dangerous, in real life.  Five blocks from where I live, a transgender woman was severely beaten and two miles away, one was murdered.  So, I drew the line on real life visibility.

With that, for background, I come to what has driven me to write this article.  Within any group, there is always a certain amount of intolerance for people whose views or actions run contrary to objectives or norms of behavior of the group.  That is unavoidable.  But, I have watched some occurrences in the past year that disturb me as much as the amount of transphobia that exists in the general public.

I’ve seen a trans woman subject to very harsh criticism and even name-calling, because she participated in a venture, that the political objectives of the community, opposed.  I’ve seen a trans woman subjected to similar harsh rhetoric and ridicule, because she expressed views that the community groupthink finds offensive.  I’ve seen members of the community lash out at a trans woman for a perceived wrong, but rather than seeking resolution, they sought retribution.  I’ve seen, “respected”, highly educated sources, suggesting that trans people need to change the language we use about ourselves to gain public acceptance.  In other words, we should not speak the truth, so our true selves will be accepted.  In that context, I’ve seen comments made by other, “respected”, and well educated persons that there was an intentional move to eradicate a word that best defines people such as me, just so the rest of the community would be more readily accepted.

Ordinarily, I would simply stop speaking my mind, so as not to incur the wrath of others, but I wonder if anything would have changed, had I but spoken out in the nineteen-nineties, when this version of modernity was being championed.

I’m not out to harm anyone.  I will speak out when things harm me.  But, I won’t do it on social media, where the results can be unpredictable and harmful.  I simply need to protect myself, especially in light of the increasingly toxic environment on social media.

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Favorite “Sex-change surgery requirements for transsexuals constitute torture” | South China Morning Post


I disagree with this article, but not for the reason you might think.

The right of people to marry should not be restricted for anatomical reasons, so let’s get that out of the way.

Had this article used the term transgender, rather than transsexual, I’d have had no problem with it. But when the title, “Sex-change surgery requirements for transsexuals constitute torture”, it is doing real harm to those who need SRS/GRS. What is the harm? In the mind of the general public, it makes such surgery seem less desirable and therefore reduces support for its inclusion in healthcare plans.

The problem exists for several reasons. The first is that the medical community has only designated an overly broad broad definition, gender dysphoria syndrome. The same definition is applied to those whose dysphoria produces a need to rectify their anatomical appearance and functionality, as well as those who don’t have such a need.

The second major reason is that as what had been strictly a medical issue, became, more and more, a social/political issue, the term transsexual was heard less and less and was supplanted by the broader umbrella term, transgender. Within that larger group, the proportion of those who need reassignment surgery, was reduced. Umbrella groups are notoriously poor multitaskers. They are, however great at prioritizing and the highest priorities always go to the needs of the largest segment of those under the umbrella.

Want examples? Why, under the LGBT umbrella, were no transgender issues (including healthcare) addressed until after marriage equality gained traction? Having the government officially recognize relationships that were already legal, was more important that potentially life saving transgender healthcare? Really? Under the transgender umbrella, issues of public accommodation and documentation have been aggressively pursued. Have you heard anyone voice the idea that exclusion of reassignment surgery from national healthcare plans is no more constitutional than refusing treatment for Sickle Cell or Tay-Sachs? No? I didn’t think so.

I realize that in all social/political movements, the objective is to satisfy the greatest number of those included in the group, so I am speaking out for those I most closely identify with and will continue to do so, anytime I see an article, that makes obtaining reassignment surgery more difficult for those who need it, by reducing its importance to those who need it, in the public’s mind.


The failure of the government last month to push the Marriage (Amendment) Bill through the Legislative Council hardly counts as a victory for those opposing it. After all, the bill is due to be tabled at the next legislative session. It is not clear that, when the votes are cast, it will be rejected.

Hong Kong could soon enact legislation requiring that transsexual persons wanting to marry their loved ones must first of all undergo sterilisation and genital reconstructive surgery.

Meanwhile, pending legislation, from last month the government has started allowing transsexual people who have undergone such surgery to marry in their chosen sex. This follows a Court of Final Appeal decision last year allowing “W”, who has undergone a sex-change operation, to marry her boyfriend.

For years transsexual people have had to undergo this surgery to get an identity card that matches their experienced gender. The new ID card safeguards their privacy, dignity and equal treatment in their daily affairs, whether they are applying for a job, opening a bank account, signing a lease, or even picking up a parcel from a post office.

The top court’s judgment has secured for transsexual people the right to marry. That is a step forward. But the same onerous surgical requirements are being imposed there too.

Driven by a conservative Christian lobby, the government continues to ignore expert evidence that surgery is medically unnecessary for some transsexual people, and medically inadvisable for others. Instead it continues to require that transsexual people (even those who simply seek a new ID card) to have their insides ripped out and their body parts rearranged, and that they show a medical certificate to prove it. We hear a lot nowadays about small government. But this is government so small it gets inside your underwear to check what you’ve got.

For transsexual men (those identifying as male) the surgical requirements imposed (and envisaged in the bill) are particularly onerous. The surgery demands several operations, and is beset with complications. The results are often unsatisfactory in appearance and/or function. Many people just can’t spare the time they will need for recovery and convalescence.

The government knows the problems, and, in a cynical effort at flexibility, says it is willing to accept anything counting as “some form of penis”.

Authoritative voices in health, including the American Psychological Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, have spoken out against requirements such as those currently imposed by the Hong Kong government, and which would become law if the bill is passed.

In June, as the bills committee was wrapping up its work, two of the world’s most influential health organisations spoke out too. The World Health Organisation (and six other United Nations agencies) issued a 28 page inter-agency statement rejecting the practice of forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilisation, including when perpetrated upon transsexual people.

The statement calls on all member states to “ensure that sterilisation, or procedures resulting in infertility, is not a prerequisite for legal recognition of preferred sex/gender”. It points out that such requirements “run counter to respect for bodily integrity, self-determination and human dignity, and can cause and perpetuate discrimination”.

The American Medical Association went even further, opposing the imposition of any kind of surgical requirements (not just sterilisation) as preconditions for gender recognition.

A system that withholds rights from people until they have undergone a medical treatment (one for which they may have no medical need, or for which they may be unsuited) is a system that is coercive. It makes the medical treatment involved coercive too.

In a system like that, it is nonsense to suggest people can consent freely to their medical treatment. As the UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez, recently said: “Medical treatments of an intrusive and irreversible nature, when lacking a therapeutic purpose, may constitute torture or ill-treatment when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.”

The Secretary for Security tells us his legal advisers have assured him that his marriage amendment bill does not violate the rights of transsexual people. Doubtless they are the same advisers who gave him a thumbs up on his refusal to allow “W” to marry. And we all know how that ended.

There is an urgent need for a judicial review of those practices. As for the bill due to revisit Legco in October, it could reasonably be named the Transsexual Torture Bill. Let’s hope Legco members see it for what it is.

Sam Winter is a member of the board of directors of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong

via Sex-change surgery requirements for transsexuals constitute torture | South China Morning Post.

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Favorite Trans Friendly States Are A Myth


California is supposed to be one of the most trans friendly states in the US.  So, imagine my surprise when the paperwork I submitted to the Superior Court, Los Angeles County for a change of name and gender was returned to me because of two deficiencies.  The first was a trivial matter regarding the way certain forms were filled out, which I could easily fix.

The second was a shocker.  I had included the affidavit of my surgeon that he had performed SRS and that my sex designation should be female.  Apparently, someone in the court clerk’s office decided this was insufficient and insisted I supply, “a recent declaration from the doctor stating the physical gender change.”

That show ignorance on multiple levels.  It, as has become fashionable, conflates sex and gender.  It’s a minor issue, but gives you an inkling of what is likely to come next.  It refers to a requirement that does not exist in California law.

103430. (a) The petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit of a
physician attesting that the person has undergone clinically
appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on
contemporary medical standards, and a certified copy of the court
order changing the applicant’s name, if applicable. The physician’s
affidavit shall be accepted as conclusive proof of gender change if
it contains substantially the following language: “I, (physician’s
full name), (physician’s medical license or certificate number), am a
licensed physician in (jurisdiction). I attest that (name of
petitioner) has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the
purpose of gender transition to (male or female). I declare that the
foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.”

Please note that the law says nothing about physical change.  It states,”clinically appropriate treatment.

So why am I going to go through the inconvenience, expense and indignity of submitting to the scrutiny of some doctor I’ll never see again in my lifetime?  Because I noted a “gotcha” in the way the law is written.  It requires the physician’s license or certificate number, which is not included in the affidavit from 1979.

Make no mistake, there is nothing trans friendly in this entire process.  It simply runs you through a series of obstacles that are designed to harass and humiliate, while taking your money.

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Favorite No Umbrellas


There has been an ongoing battle between members of the trans and drag communities over the use by the drag community and particularly RuPaul’s Drag Race, of  transphobic slurs.  It got to fever pitch, this weekend, when Carmen Carrera, a former contestant on that show, stated publicly that RuPaul’s  defense of such words was wrong.  The comments from the drag community were, at the very least demeaning, if not outright vile.  I expected that.

What I didn’t expect was this article on the site belonging to the Bilerico Project .  Yet another member of the entertainment/drag industry, Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, chastised the transgender community for reacting so vehemently to RuPaul’s defense of slurs.  Now, while the largest part of the battle is between trans women and RuPaul’s minions who are primarily gay men and served as the reason for the following comment I posted on the page.

QuoteI will be as brief as I possibly can. This is more than a gay vs. trans issue. It is a men vs. women issue in which men are telling women what is good for them and what they should or should not do. It is no different than whites telling non-whites what is in their best interest

Telling people who are more marginalized than you to simply suck it up and accept that you know what is best for them, is morally wrong.

There is a more narrow problem within the so-called trans community.  There is a fifth column that is working against their interest, or, more correctly, against segments of that.  While some who have supported RuPaul, such as Calpernia Sarah Addams because of her connections to the industry, she identifies as a woman which means she and I have something in common, though our social and political views are quite different. Mx.Bond does not identify as a woman, so beside the fact that we were both assigned male at birth and are thus cis non-normative, we have no commonality past those points.  I neither support nor oppose MX. Bond’s goals and from the content of the article, Mx. Bond clearly does not support mine.  That is why , though my comments mention men, they also apply to Mx. Bond  We are not of the same cloth and Mx. Bond has no more credibility telling me what is in my best interest, than I have of telling Mx. Bond the same

Clearly the LGBT umbrella is not serving my interests because it takes care of its most populous components, LGB and the T gets table scraps…sometimes. The transgender umbrella has been expanded so much that most of the time, it is of no help to me or others like me.  Umbrellas seem like a good idea, at first, until you realize that not everyone is equally protected by them and not everyone is in agreement about which direction the umbrella travels.

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Favorite Transgender And The Military


President Truman’s Executive Order 9981 began the desegregation of the US military.  The military did not collapse.  The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, allowed openly gay persons to serve.  The military did not collapse.  So what is the deal with the prohibition regarding transgender persons serving in the US military?

Officially, the Department of Defense (DOD) still uses the antiquated DSM III definitions that declare transgender persons have a mental disorder.  Two revisions of the DSM, later, but the DOD is still clinging to those old definitions.  This is the same DOD that prides itself on equipping our military with the most modern equipment, armament and munitions possible.  Surely, the DOD is aware that the number of transgender persons that have served honorably before they left or were forced to leave because they had no choice but to transition, is quite sizable.  They are also aware that transgender personnel have been permitted to transition in the military forces of other nations and those forces haven’t collapsed.

Let me go into a bit of history which will illustrate why the current policy is so ridiculous.  I was one of those transgender people who served in the US military.  My Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) was 97B40, which in simple terms means I was an intelligence agent  I was on the faculty of the US Army Intelligence School ( or as it was known officially, USAINTS (2107), Ft. Holabird, Maryland).  Part of my duties was to train and evaluate students in conducting background investigations to ensure that the wrong people weren’t placed in, “positions of trust and responsibility”, withing the Army.  Or more simply put, they didn’t want the wrong people getting security clearances.  Part of those who were considered wrong were those who might be subject to blackmail because they needed to hide something about themselves.  Well, heck.  Someone sure screwed up, because I got mine and I was certainly hiding something.  Not only that, but they must have thought I did my job well.  I was promoted every single time, as soon as I had met the minimum time in grade.  I was given wonderfully worded certificates of achievement.  I was even promised some lovely things if I would only stay in the Army.  I chose not to for two reasons.  Cracks in my facade were already appearing due to my internal anguish over my true gender.  Also, I had already suffered one gunshot wound in the line of duty requiring almost two months of hospitalization and I wasn’t looking to repeat that experience.

So what is the reason the US Military is resistant to the idea of transgender people openly serving?  They can’t argue that we’d be a threat to discipline and morale.  Racial integration and allowing gays to serve openly didn’t  destroy discipline and morale.  Surely, a small population of transgender personnel won’t do it.  If those things are not the reason, then I’ve got to speculate that it comes down to public image.  We don’t conform to the standards they have of what military personnel should look like.  I pray I’m wrong.  Because if those who run the military are so petty that they will throw away talented people because we don’t meet their norms for appearance, the country has a lot more problems than it knows.

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Favorite There Is No One Right Way


Until yesterday, I deliberately avoided getting involved the fiasco making its presence known on social media, regarding terms used on RuPaul’s Drag Race, that many consider transphobic.  So that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind, I am speaking of the terms, “tranny”, and “she-male”.  Supporters of the drag community, including a number of transgender women, upon hearing about the demands that the show cease and desist using such terms, pushed back.  They were offended by the thought that anyone wanted to police their speech.

Yesterday, I learned that one of the Contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race, had posted a video that was supposed to be a parody, but portrayed a transgender woman as a man with a full mustache wearing a cheap wig, who winds up, in the video, being shot in the head.  Worse, the parody was clearly aimed at someone I consider to be a friend, Parker Marie Molloy.  Worse, Huffington Post Gay Voices posted the video because one of its editors thought a video of a transgender woman being shot in the head was funny.  Though the video was removed from Huffington Post Gay Voices, it is still available elsewhere, so  I had to get involved at that point.  When you attack one of us, you attack all of us.

Before I go further, I would ask you to view this article on Huffington Post Gay Voices, written by Alexa Diaz.  It is well written and goes into more background than these old fingers of mine can type.


Now, I’d like to go to the broader issue I would like to address and it is the one the title of this article refers to.  There are two phrases that are a deterrent to any progress the transgender community wishes to make.  The first phrase is, “our’s is the right way”, and the second is, “they don’t represent us”.  These do nothing but divide people and slow progress.  These divides come in a number of forms.  Male vs. female, transsexual vs. transgender, binary vs. non-binary, young vs. old, trans vs. cis, etc.  Get the idea?  Good, now realize that most of us fall into more than one of the categories I just mentioned.  That kind of complexity is not easy to deal with and we haven’t been dealing with it terribly well. recently.

Older straight transsexual women vs. younger transgender lesbians.  Trans women who were once part of drag culture vs. trans women who cringe at the thought that the general public conflates drag and trans.  There are many such differences, but we cannot solve problems that affect all of us unless we talk to each other rather than shouting at each other.  The feeling that if someone else’s needs are addressed, your’s or mine are being dealt a setback, is very difficult to overcome.  I’m finding out just how difficult it is and I’m not always successful.  I’ve jumped all over people who I thought were trying to throw those most like me, under the bus and it didn’t solve anything, so I’m still working on how to approach things in a way that isn’t divisive.  And if this, “angry transsexual woman”, can make the attempt, maybe others can, as well.

Either we’ll succeed together, or fail separately. Fighting each other has to stop.


P.S.  In case anyone wants to know.  My opinion on the use of transphobic or transmisogynistc terms is quite simple.  If you use them and I tell you I find them offensive, but you continue to use them, I have neither the power or the right to compel you to do otherwise.  But, if you continue to use them, I’ll know you’re not the friend you claim to be.  Friends don’t treat friends that way.

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Favorite The #Trans Community’s Lack Of Support For This Is Appalling


I have been following the petition at for some time and have noticed how little progress it has made.  I am dismayed ant outraged that the transgender community has ignored this issue.

When Katie Couric made her invasive questions regarding genitalia and surgery. the transgender community rose up in one loud and persistent chorus decrying what she did, and it was right to do so. It gave its support to pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), to enact legislation to change gender markers on ID, to permit the use of public facilities appropriate to gender identity and to require the media to treat transgender people with respect.

But, when it comes to supporting the inclusion of reassignment surgery in national healthcare, the transgender community gives only lip service and barely lukewarm support.  Can it be that because the transgender “umbrella” includes so many disparate categories of people, that those who do not require reassignment surgery, simply don’t give a damn about the needs of those who do?  What would happen if we all did that?

I support ENDA, but why should I?  I’m retired.  I support being able to change gender markers on ID, including birth certificates, but why should I?  I got it changed on my drivers license, years ago and that was all I needed.  I support being able to use appropriate public facilities, but since I’ve had reassignment surgery, I can do so with no problem, so why should I?  I support having the media treat transgender people with respect, but I’m careful, so it’s unlikely they’re going to be discussing me, so why should I?

Why should I?  Because it is the right thing to do!  I wonder what excuse those who are failing to lend their support for the inclusion of reassignment surgery in national healthcare, are making.  Or, are they making any excuse, at all?

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Favorite TransGriot: “Drag Culture Is A Major Reason We Even HAVE A Trans Community”

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Drag Culture Is A Major Reason We Even HAVE A Trans Community

As I awakened from my slumber this morning I checked my Facebook page to see that I’d been tagged with a Bilerico Project article penned by Brynn Tannehill (who I have mad love and respect for)  asserting that drag culture hurts the trans community.While there are times the drag community has pissed me off, and I have had no problem sounding off  about it, I have to throw the penalty flag on this Tannehill post and bring a little historical context into this discussion.I wrote in this February 2013 post the obvious point that drag does not equal trans womanhood.   I have called out the Black cis community along with our allies for giving far more respect to Tyler Perry dressed as Madea than the average trans woman walking Black America’s streets.But as someone with a deep appreciation and love of history,  I also have to admit the following point as a long time trans activist.   Without the drag community and pissed off trans women together fighting the po-po’s fracking with them at the 1959 Cooper’s Donuts, Compton’s Cafeteria (1966), and Stonewall Rebellions (1969), the gender variant kids at Dewey’s Lunch Counter protesting their oppression in April-May 1965 with a combo sit-in and protest, I submit it would have taken us a lot longer get this trans rights movement party started.

Far too many trans women during that time period were in stealth because of the HBIGDA/WPATH transition standards in place at the time or in denial of their transness when they when questioned about it. The only visible ones were the illusionists, the trans women bold enough to openly live their lives and not care what people thought like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Christine JorgensenCoccinelle, or outed ones like April Ashley.

Remember it was a Black female illusionist in Lady Java who struck the initial blows against the LAPD’s odious Rule Number 9 that eventually caused the whole rotten thing to go away

There have been more than a few times female illusionists like Lady Java have been the ones who put their asses on the line and stepped forward to fight for the human rights laws that benefit our entire community.   While they were doing so, the stealth trans women who were hiding and refusing to participate in the trans community because ‘they are women now’, were grousing online in their not so quiet Internet chat rooms ranting about that ‘drag queen’ speaking in front of that governmental body their “I’m a woman now’ selves didn’t have the guts to speak in front of.

And let’s not forget it’s the drag community that peeps in the LGBT ranks call on when it’s time to raise some money for whatever SGL community cause needs to be fundraised for.

Yes, there are problematic peeps in the drag community, and many of them are the gay males who blanch at the thought of having a surgeon’s scalpel do GRS on their Almighty Phallus or have internalized hatred of femininity (and trans women by extension) for whatever reason.

And we are justified in calling their asses out.

But I submit it’s not the drag community that is harming the trans community by itself.  I’ve observed thisanti-drag argument far too often in white trans community ranks over the last decade and a half I’ve been a national trans activist of color.   Brynn’s post also has the problematic flavor of ‘respectability politics’ baked into it.

I’ve also had to call my white transsisters out for making the problematic conflation of drag = blackface.   No, it doesn’t.

It also ignores the fact it is cis societal hatred for trans people fueled by ignorance of the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity that causes the problems the trans community is forced to navigate.

The trans exterminationalist radical feminists (TERF’s) as a group have done far more damage to the trans human rights cause over the last four decades with their disco era transphobic hate they attempt to layer with the thin veneer of academic credibility than any drag performer.

Elements of the gay and lesbian community who repeatedly threw us under the legislative bus since the 1970’s to selfishly pass human rights legislation for themselves or misgendered us in their print outlets have done far more damage to the trans community than any drag performer.

Neither was it the drag community that coined the Religious Reich’s favorite anti-trans human rights talking point in terms of the ‘bathroom panic’ meme.  It was openly gay former Rep. Barney Frank talking about ‘penises in showers’ in a US House committee meeting.

One of the reasons I and other POC trans people have mixed emotions about the drag community is because we know firsthand that for us historically and as Drag Race contestant Monica Beverly Hillz emphatically demonstrated last year, it is one of our pathways to begin our transitions in communities that are far more socially conservative

I’ve seen more than a few examples of today’s femme queen walking a ballroom floor, standing on a pageant stage or performing at a gay club’s Talent Night emerging a few years later after having their gender epiphany and using that community to hone their feminine presentations to become a #girllikeus.

As Chanel Winn-Decarlo pointed out in the Facebook comment that was shared with me:

Drag is an artform and entertainment and actually something I enjoy.  I am often insulted and offended by drag queens but I don’t want to blame the ignorance of people on entertainment 
I think at this stage of the game even if you don’t know it all everyone, even a child can understand the difference between a transsexual (WOMAN) and a drag queen (ENTERTAINER)

And to piggyback on Chanel’s point, right wing haters are gonna hate.   We know they are going to throw the ‘bathroom bill’ and ‘drag queen’ shade in their zeal to do their funders bidding and stop trans human rights advances.   They know they don’t have any logic or reason based arguments to deny the implementation of much needed trans human rights laws, so ‘fear and smear’ is the only tactic they have left.

We must be ready as trans advocates to debunk and utterly destroy those talking points until the conservafools are ‘scurred’ to open their mouths and say them for fear of being called out as the transphobic bigots they are.

We trans folks can and should be able to accomplish that task without throwing the drag community under the bus, because without them being tired of the BS, we wouldn’t HAVE a trans community.
TransGriot Note:  Sahara Davenport is the lovely person in the color photo.

via TransGriot: Drag Culture Is A Major Reason We Even HAVE A Trans Community.

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Favorite Better Out In The Rain Than Under An Umbrella That’s Pissing On You!


The Human Rights Campaign is launching a direct attack on transsexuals who are in need of sex reassignment surgery and is being parroted by The Advocate.  By the clever manipulation of words and statistics, they attempt to relegate the importance of sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to inconsequential.

The statistics have been cherry-picked and presented in a fashion to make it appear that those who have no interest in SRS, constitute a majority.  They conveniently leave out the fact that the reason so few transsexuals have had SRS is they cannot afford it.

Instead of advocating the inclusion of SRS in national healthcare (ACA, VA, Medicare), they are taking an approach that makes it difficult for anyone to obtain SRS.

The Human Rights Campaign has never been an ally of mine and people like me, and by being its surrogate, The Advocate is now in that category, as well.  I think we’ll be far better off without the type of “help” your new campaign offers.

The Human Rights Campaign has launched a new series of online videos aptly titled “Debunking the Myths: Transgender Health & Well-Being”

The first video, “Myth #1: Surgery is a Top Priority for All Transgender People,” addresses the false notion that gender-confirming surgeries are essential to every transgender person’s identity. In reality, only 33 percent of transgender people have reported undergoing some form of gender-confirming surgery, with 14 percent of transgender women and 21 percent of transgender men not interested in ever having genital surgery.

“Not every trans woman or man wants to have surgery, but for some of us, it is vitally important,” Joanna Maria Cifredo, director of community engagement for Casa Ruby, says in the video. “It’s very expensive for a population plagued by unemployment. Often times, through health insurance is the only way that these individuals can access gender confirming surgeries.”

Kandice Fields, another individual featured in the video, speaks to the often-invasive questions trans people are expected to answer from well-meaning strangers — something that 41 percent of transgender individuals report being asked in professional settings.

“I know that many people may be curious, or coming from a good place and wanting to educate themselves and build relationships with people,” Fields says. “But reducing people to what surgeries they’ve had, and what their genital configuration is, is dehumanizing, objectifying, and impolite. It’s rude. Generally, you wouldn’t just walk up to someone that you don’t really know well and ask them about their genitals. That would be weird for anybody.”

HRC will be releasing additional videos throughout the month of March. Watch the first video from the series below:

via WATCH: Debunking the ‘Surgery Is a Top Priority For Trans People’ Myth |

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Favorite The Hashtags I Never Use


I’ve never used the hashtags girlslikeus or redefiningrealness.  (Notice I didn’t use the # so my record is intact.)

There are no girls like me.  I am my own person and while I may have things in common with others, I am unique and I do not need to define myself by by pointing to others.  I use the words transsexual and transgender because they describe aspects of me, but they are not the totality of me.

I redefine nothing.  I deal with reality.  I paint no rosy pictures.  I do not change the meanings of words for my own benefit.

I make no judgement of those who use these hashtags.  Each of us are free as to how we wish to portray ourselves.  It’s our right.  I firmly support that right.

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