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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Heads Up, Trans Activists

Posted by on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Maybe it's time to turn your attentions away from policing the speech of drag queens with reality shows, drag queens with club nights, and retired drag queens with advice columns... and focus your attentions, your tweets, and your rage on the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention?

John Shore:

Today delegates to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant body in American, with around 16 million members) approved a resolution concerning transgender people. The points they affirmed about transgender people are below, each followed by the supporting text from their affirmed resolution. Following these points is the whole of the resolution from which this support is derived.

Transgender people are crazy. (“[Transgender people experience] a ‘perceived’ conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity.”)

Transgender people are delusional. (“Gender identity should be determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception.”)

...

Transgender people should not be protected by law. (“We call upon all judges and public officials to resist and oppose the efforts to treat gender identity as a protected class.” “We commit ourselves to pray for and support legislative and legal efforts to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other legislation like it that would give gender identity the same legal protections as sex and race.”)

No law should ever in any way validate transgender people. (“We continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any court or state legislature to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy.”)

The SBC's transgender resolution goes on to urge their members to... pray away the trans. That shit didn't work for the gays, of course, and it won't work for the trans. But just as aggressive pray-away-the-gay efforts drove countless gay kids to suicide, aggressive pray-away-the-trans efforts will drive countless trans kids to suicide. And trans kids are already at much greater risk for suicide than gay kids—and that's before they're monstered by preachers and parents who believe that trans people are crazy and deluded sinners who don't deserve validation or legal protections.

There are trans kids out there being raised by Southern Baptists, Southern Baptists are enormously powerful in Bible Belt states, and Southern Baptists hold enormous sway over our national political leaders. The actions of the Southern Baptist Convention represent a bigger threat to the health and safety of trans people in this country—by any measure—than a hundred thousand "You've Got SheMail" segments. Trans activists complain they're unfairly accused of only being interested in policing the speech of drag queens and blowing up at cis allies who mess up transgender/transgendered in otherwise supportive blog posts. It seems to me that trans activists could begin to correct that misimpression by making some noise about the Southern Baptist Convention's dangerous anti-trans resolution—as much or more noise than they've made about RuPaul and Trannyshack. But the resolution was approved yesterday and so far the only person who seems to be making any noise about it online is the straight, cis, Christian writer John Shore.

And John, who has been so important in the fight against "faith-based" anti-gay bigotry, told me in an email this morning that he often hesitates to write about transgender issues because "whenever I do Twitter trans activists come at me with like crazed hornets—so generally I've learned to avoid the issue."

Too much trans activism right now seems to be about losing friends and alienating allies.

UPDATE: Hännah Ettinger writes at Patheos:

The SBC went on to say that transgender people should “trust in Christ and… experience renewal in the Gospel.” They also condemned sex-reassignment surgery and hormone treatment for gender dysphoria. The group’s annual meeting this week handed down this unsurprising, but interesting, ruling for the denomination (which has just under 16 million members in the U.S.). Albert Mohler (President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), in his weekly podcast, reacted to the Laverne Cox cover article, repeatedly calling the issue of transgender identity “insanity" ... And now we have the SBC’s response en masse. The thing is, I don’t think they realize how dehumanizing and cruel this ruling is for the transgender individuals they’d like to reach out to. They may not formally reduce it to merely cross-dressing, but that’s essentially how it’s treated in practice.

 

Comments (55) RSS

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2
It popped up on DailyKos yesterday as well. I don't remember if it made front page, but the most prominent transgendered person on the site (rseven) had a recommended diary on the subject.
Posted by nanoboy on June 11, 2014 at 8:36 AM · Report this
5
It's time for the Trans community to grow up. Dan is not the Enemy.
Posted by kwodell on June 11, 2014 at 9:23 AM · Report this
6
Hey @4, you should register and post that.

As for Dan, you act like trans activists don't care about bigger issues, but we do. We defended a teen trans girl in Colorado who was bullied by right wingers so badly that she was put on suicide watch, and fought for the trans girl who was locked up in prison without being charged with anything because she fought back when abused, and lobbied for a law in California to protect trans students. And for such an outspoken activist against bullying of kids, one who will openly fight for gay kids to bring their partners to prom, your silence on those issues speaks volumes. So drop your indignation you self righteous asshole.
Posted by Just The Same on June 11, 2014 at 9:44 AM · Report this
raku 7
Obviously you know that people can focus on multiple areas of activism at once, so quit the "focus on something else more important instead", or else we should give up on gay marriage until Syria and northern Nigeria are peaceful.

A lot of trans kids grow up in a lot of terrible, nightmarish situations whether they have southern baptist parents, atheist parents, muslim parents, etc. It's a huge issue and one that's not easy to solve, but trans people are working hard on and making progress -- see Laverne Cox and Janet Mock.

The issue with criticism of the LGBTQ community is that it's supposed to be the one safe space right now, not 20 years from now when we make significant progress with overall society. You tell gay kids in an unsafe environment to move to San Francisco or somewhere safe when they're old enough, because those are safe places.

But when trans kids move to those places, and they're called slurs that were just used to abuse them, reject them as children, physically and sexually assault them, and overall ostracize them -- that is not much of an "it gets better".

The LGBTQ community should be easier to fix than overall religious American society. All you have to do is listen and show some respect. It should not be hard and you should know better than to fight back for the right to use words that people are telling you are hurtful.
Posted by raku on June 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 8
Respect is a two way street, raku, and you CANNOT focus on multiple issues if you hope to be effective. You MUST set aside differences with your allies as long as your common enemy is powerful and in control.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM · Report this
9
But the Baptist resolution didn't use the t-slur so obviously it isn't as harmful.
Posted by bassplayerguy on June 11, 2014 at 9:56 AM · Report this
raku 11
8: Almost every activist would choose to have one safe place right now (the LGBTQ community), as opposed to safe spaces everywhere in the undetermined distant future. What do you think Stonewall was about, or the initial pride parades? It was about having a small safe space in the local community, not about changing churches and parents across the country. Changing overall society is an end goal, but it first depends on having a safe space right now. Those who do feel safe are working on the overall social issues, those who don't are working to make a safe space for themselves.
Posted by raku on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
12
"... you CANNOT focus on multiple issues if you hope to be effective." Bullshit! You can and must be able to focus on multiple issues or else oppressive assholes will just pit minorities against each other.
Posted by Just The Same on June 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 13
I think Matt's bigger point is that until parts of the LGBTQ community stop attacking each other over word use and perceived status, it is going to be very difficult to assail actual enemies.

In other words, instead of hammering Dan Savage, one of the biggest "normalizer" of LGBTQ people/relationships ever, the focus should be on groups that are actually oppressing people, not individuals who use certain words that other individuals would prefer they did not.

Believe me, actual oppressive groups howl with laughter when they see the LGBTQ movement and its circular firing squads. You are doing them a favor. Know who your enemies actually are.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM · Report this
raku 14
13: No churches or abusive parents are "howling with laughter" at criticisms within the LGBTQ community, and nobody should be given a free pass to be hurtful because of other things they've done.

Example-- there has been a much longer-running and more angry infighting in the feminist community because of "TERFs" (trans-exclusive radical feminists) who try to discredit and exclude trans people from their communities and events, and use slurs against them. And yes, inclusive feminists and trans people are making great progress at becoming safer in feminist communities from the sustained criticism.

I bet very few cis gay men and people here are aware of this at all, because it's criticism within the feminist community. It doesn't get out much beyond that -- and if it did, that would be wonderful, because acknowledging those communities is the first part to acceptance in overall society.
Posted by raku on June 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM · Report this
15
Oh, Raklueless. Welcome back. You've been missed.

I know that people can focus on more than one issue/asshole at a time. That's why I didn't suggest trans activists refrain from making noise about the three Horsewomen of the Gaypocalypse. I only urged trans activists to make more noise about the SBC.
Posted by Dan Savage on June 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM · Report this
16
I love you, raku. You're on point 100% of the time. Seriously, thank you.
Posted by go read the whole thing on June 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 17
Raku, activism is, by it's very nature, unsafe. It involves taking a public stand against the norm, which many find so threatening as to react loudly and violently. You're doomed if you have more concern for safety than for fighting the oppressor.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 11, 2014 at 11:42 AM · Report this
18
12

Because attacking Dan is not dividing the LGBTs against themselves? Please direct me to the blogs where Trans folks are directing more attention on the Southern Baptists than they are ranting against Dan Savage. I would love to read that shit. Dan Savage knows he's in for a rash of shit every time he mentions Trans issues. Every. Fucking. Time. Yet he still mentions them. He is not the Enemy.
Posted by kwodell on June 11, 2014 at 11:46 AM · Report this
19
As a trans activist in your own city Dan, I've seen plenty of noise made about the SBC. The difference is that when trans people make an ask of the gay community (specifically to refrain from using the T word in media and marketing) we expect them to listen out of empathy. As another local activist recently put it "Trans people do not have the power to "police language." Telling someone you don't like the word they use to refer to a group of people you belong to and why you want them to use a different word is *not* policing language, it is expressing your opinion. Nor is boycotting an entity or event because of the language they use policing language; it is using our collective power as citizens and potential consumers to attempt to exert influence on the people who own and operate said entity or event. Influence is not policing. To claim otherwise is not just untrue, it is anti-democratic." And for the record, as we have spent our time creating trans pride events, working to remove state and federal insurance exclusions, creating safe spaces for trans people, and also striving to help the greater LGBT community grow in it's inclusivity (among many other things), we have learned to multitask quite well.
Posted by Voxpop on June 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 20
@ 19, I'm interested in knowing whether you think the University of Chicago student who wanted to be called "it" went too far or not.

The trans community has power - power enough to harm its allies, divide people and create situations which experienced enemies such as the powerful and influential SBC can exploit. Make sure your priorities are straight and don't be afraid to discipline members of your community who offer distraction and division instead of effective action.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM · Report this
21
Maybe it's time for Mr. Savage to stop opining on subjects he knows nothing about. Someone like Mr. Savage who identifies as a cisgender gay man has zero standing to tell trans women what we should or shouldn't be doing. In point of fact, the vast majority of transpeople I know oppose BOTH the SBC and RuPaul and his RuPologists for the same reason--both groups, in word and deed, support the dehumanization of transwomen. It's time for the "focus on more important things" trope to be recognized for what it is--a rhetorical device used by persons with privilege (usually, but not exclusively in my experience, cis or transmen) to shut up commentary from those without it (usually cis and trans women). #WeWillNotBeSilent #GirlsLikeUs
Posted by Christina A. DiEdoardo, Esq., on June 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
22
I don't have any problem with anyone's personal identity and I have no interest in telling them they can or cannot use certain words to self identify. The t word debate is about major outlets, public events, and non-trans (don't want to get in trouble for using cisgender) entertainers using a word that is widely considered a pejorative among trans people (by many, though not all of us, again self identity is a valid use).

"The trans community has power" this is actually laughable, if we did have power I guarantee you we wouldn't have to work so hard to scrape up the barest of rights and protections.

If anyone is dividing the community, it is the people who refuse to acknowledge the harm done by publicly validating the usage of hate words so often aimed at the trans community (as evidenced by the trans comedian assaulted at pride just this last week, and the trans women stripped publicly in Atlanta last month, all while having the t word yelled at them).

Self Identity is not the issue at hand. Freedom to self identify is the very core of the struggle that trans activism engages in.

Posted by Voxpop on June 11, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
raku 23
Thanks Dan. <3 I don't think you're the enemy and I think you're great at listening, and I've defended you in my tumblr/feminist/superqueer spaces against people who demonize you. But you are obviously very influential in LGBTQ spaces and general society so what you say affects culture more than a thousand jerks.

I think it's wonderful that you're bringing attention to SBC, but if you did so without qualification, like you do with gay issues, we could point at it and say you're an awesome ally and help rally. Imagine if almost every time you brought up gay issues like Santorum, you did so in the context that it's way more important than gay exclusion in sports, or more important than kids using "gay" to mean "stupid"? Obviously your supporters' attention would go to that.

And there is a lot of trans activism out there in society. But trans voices aren't very powerful in society yet, hardly anyone outside listens. You can google blogs and tumblr and find it all over the place, usually a few pages down because very few people in major media link to them. Example: http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/tra…
Posted by raku on June 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM · Report this
24
Dear everyone,

How about we ALL move past this idiotic infighting? Let's take Laverne Cox's recent "teachable moment" with Katie Couric to heart on both sides, please. It takes a little bit of patience, and the ability to give some respect to people you disagree with. Let's try that with the people on our side, for a change.

Love,
A self-identified tranny
Posted by PsychoLinguist on June 11, 2014 at 12:20 PM · Report this
26
@21:

"Candis Cayne Will Keep On Saying 'Tranny,' Whether You Like It Or Not"

http://www.queerty.com/candis-cayne-will…
So, again, "tranny" is not a word I use. But it seems the entire trans community is not on the same page about the word, hating RuPaul, etc.

And to dictate to others while insisting that you can't be dictated to... when that's not what I'm doing... is rich. Idiotically rich.
Posted by Dan Savage on June 11, 2014 at 2:41 PM · Report this
27
So they think trans people are crazy. Well here's a question. Let's say someone has a diagnosis that does not interfere with his or her ability to perform his or her job (you can have dyslexia and still be a dancer; you can have social anxiety and still be a proofreader). Do they think that that person should be fired for the sole reason that the employer gets squicked out by that particular mental diagnosis? Because that's all that employment non-discrimination acts do.
Posted by DRF on June 11, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
venomlash 28
In fairness, being trans IS associated with a psychological illness: Gender Identity Disorder, of which the primary symptom is gender dysphoria. Also in fairness, they oppose the medically-recognized treatment of that illness, which is gender transition via hormone replacement and/or sexual reassignment surgery.
So which is it, SBC? Is it or is it not an illness that by definition should be treated?
Posted by venomlash on June 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM · Report this
31
Stop bullying, Dan. Only rich people are allowed to use the word "rich".
Posted by Chase on June 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM · Report this
33
@23 you hit the nail on the head. If this article had simply been about the SBC and not about how Dan dislikes trans activists because they criticize him, I wouldn't have needed to comment. Couching it in that is certainly bordering on concern trolling.

@24 Having a critique of people who claim to be allies isn't infighting. Allyship is an active process, not a badge you earn. Also I'm glad you feel confident in reclaiming that word for personal use, more power to you!

@28 GID is no longer in the DSM. It's not considered a mental illness any longer.

@29 Hahahah You're so original /s

@30 You should just call us what we identify as, just as we would do for you. If it's Katooey for someone you know, then by all means use that.

Posted by Voxpop on June 11, 2014 at 4:10 PM · Report this
34
@33 Well said. Holding someone accountable is not the same as attacking.
Posted by Just The Same on June 11, 2014 at 4:20 PM · Report this
35
Dan. You complain that you are unfairly described as transphobic. You could begin to correct this by not publishing whiny, reactionary articles telling trans people what to do.
Posted by ronan_j on June 11, 2014 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 37
@Voxpop you might have missed how I described the power of the trans community - that you have the power to hinder your progress and delay your liberation. I was cautioning you (not you personally, but the individual in Chicago who feels it more productive to tear down influential allies than fight the enemy, and the other individuals who spend more energy on creating verbal eggshells and making everyone walk upon them when powerful enemies are gearing up to set you back even further).
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 11, 2014 at 6:28 PM · Report this
39
wait.... you want to call yourself an ally when you can't even address me with respect? you have got to be joking me. seriously. being an ally is more than wearing a sticker at an f'ing PFLAG meeting, it's taking on my battles as seriously as your own. for DECADES the LGB community has been treating trans folk like the read headed step child, throwing us under the bus as a negotiating tactic whenever there is non-discrimination legislation to be passed. remaining silent on our issues, when we need a larger voice.

sorry. you don't get to call yourself an ally unless you earn it. otherwise you're just BSing, and if you can't even do something as not use a word because it is hurtful? BAD NEWS: you are not an ally. you aren't even being asked to put skin in the game. you are not being asked to attend a funeral, you are not being asked to go to a protest, you are NOT EVEN ASKED TO GO TO JAIL..... just refrain from using a word..... and y'all can't even do that. "alienating allies" my ass. with friends like you, who needs enemies?
Posted by diabolik on June 11, 2014 at 6:45 PM · Report this
40
Matt you have a very different read on the situation than trans people. What (at least I see) is happening is there are people who say "I support you as long as you let me treat you the way I want to treat you. If any one of you asserts yourself (whether right or wrong), I will antagonize all of you."

Stop blaming people for standing up for themselves.
Posted by Just The Same on June 11, 2014 at 6:50 PM · Report this
venomlash 41
@33: It's listed under "gender dysphoria" in the DSM-V.
Posted by venomlash on June 11, 2014 at 6:55 PM · Report this
42
Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention. As a transwoman that was raised in NC in a Southern Baptist Church, I know how devastating to be young and transgender. My conservative father literary try to beat the femininity out of me. My mother didn't judge, but was following my father, but when alone with me she let me be me. Fortunately for me, my parents divorced when I was 15 (my father couldn't keep it in his pants and such a hypocrite) and married my step-father (although Catholic was very open minded and we moved the the NYC/NJ area. Still it took me years to overcome the damage the SBC's mentality created. Both my mother and step father have been there for me and have supported my transitioning the Christian way, with love, acceptance, support and understanding.
Posted by Sydney_NYC on June 11, 2014 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 43
@ 39, if that was addressed to me, then I demand that you show where I ever used the word that offends you.

If that was addressed to Dan, well, actions speak louder than words. Y'all are going to have to learn that if you want to make any progress.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 11, 2014 at 8:44 PM · Report this
Mara G 44
Dan, I won't speak for anyone but me. I am a transgender woman. I Started my transition 3 years ago. I knew about the hateful and the ignorant. I was fearful of facing them in my new life. What I wasn't prepared for was people who think they're accepting or allies who don't really seem like they are at all. Yes, of course the Southern Baptist Convention is much worse than RuPaul. That doesn't make RuPaul MY friend. I don't buy the notion that RuPaul has done a lot for trans people. I pretty passionately feel that RuPaul is hurting trans people lately. Not as much as the religious bigots by any means, but hurting us nevertheless.
Posted by Mara G on June 11, 2014 at 9:53 PM · Report this
45
I hear the SBC isn't too fond of cis gay people either, maybe you too should focus on them instead of sniping at trans activists. Or maybe you'd like to acknowledge it's possible for people (even trans people!) to focus on more than one thing. Maybe you'd like to acknowledge that we can recognize hatred from outside groups and at the same time ask for some respect from our own community.
Posted by Sophia Blue on June 11, 2014 at 11:18 PM · Report this
46
I want to clear up a misconception. Tragedies in and of themselves don't do the trick. If they did, Guantanamo Bay would be closed and the war in Afghanistan would be over. We have this myth in this country that if you just tweak people's emotions and come up with a cute buzzword it's enough to make social change.

We need to reach out to the people who think of themselves as loving fathers, or open-minded liberals (like you), but have ignorant responses in a few areas. That's what the "policing" is about - making the base of the movement educated and stronger.

What you're proposing isn't much more than this: a good old-fashioned Marxist circlejerk: we wait for things to get really bad (hopefully a Civil War!) and then push for revolution. This turns the issue into one of angels and demons, don't you see? Dan this is sad recycled dogma and it's not how social change happens. Don't you think progress on gay rights happened by educating the mushy middle, the people on the fence. Then once the issue becomes hot enough it becomes election-worthy, and THEN the tragic stories can have an effect-- to shore up the emotional "framing."
Posted by LewisT on June 12, 2014 at 12:03 AM · Report this
48
WTF you guys/ you're on the same side; pretty much.
Divide and conquer.. So stop the ego centred bullshit, relax about a few words/ and face the fucking enemy united.
Who the hell do these morons think they are? Mind your own fucking business. You Baptist weirdos..
Posted by LavaGirl on June 12, 2014 at 2:47 AM · Report this
49
And Dan, as someone who, I assume supported the Iraq invasion, projection there on you shoutout to Raku..
You the Klueless one/ and think you used the Tranny word in your post/ so saying you never use that word is sorta doing my head in...
Posted by LavaGirl on June 12, 2014 at 3:35 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 51
@50: Yep, Dan is a dinosaur. Hell, I'm a lot older than he is, so I don't even know what that makes me. But Dan is still a hell of a lot more relevant than you'll ever manage to be in your entire life, so you might as well just learn how to deal with it.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on June 12, 2014 at 7:29 AM · Report this
53
I think people in this thread who are supporting Dan's critique of trans activism, specifically that done by trans women (those that receive the most harm and violence accompanied by the use of words like the T word and sh***le) should note comment #38. This is the kind of person that agrees with you. If you don't think you are supporting those that would misgender us, those that would call our requests for basic rights "special privileges", and those that would attempt to convince others of the perceived spuriousness of our identities, please know that you are absolutely working in collusion. This is not the first thread that has attracted transphobia on the side of Dans/Ru Pauls/Our Lady J/Calpernia Adams/Andrea James particular argument, far from it, but I find it telling that this blatant transphobia is not being called out by those that so vociferously claim to be our allies. The very essence of privilege is deciding something is not a problem, because it's not a problem for you.
Posted by Voxpop on June 12, 2014 at 10:34 AM · Report this
54
From another local trans activist "It has become clear from reading the arguments of the ”free speech” side of the debate over the use of the word tranny that analysis of power has been so effectively removed from our thinking that the distinction between satire—a rhetorical tool of the oppressed that uses mockery to lambast the oppressor—and cruelty has been lost on most people. I’m so tired of hearing cruelty be defended as “edgy” and “punk.” I’m tired of hearing those with cultural status and power whine about the infringement on their right to call people with less cultural status and power whatever they want WITHOUT CRITICISM. Because lets face it, we’re not talking about preventing people from using slurs under the penalty of imprisonment, torture or death; we’re merely using our free speech to express and explain our disapproval at being referred to by words that have historically been wielded against us as weapons."
Posted by Voxpop on June 12, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
55
@matt I am so beyond tired of hearing that asking our own LGBT community for respect is creating "eggshells" for people to walk on and exercising a "power to alienate powerful allies". This couldn't be more controlling of trans people and their expression if it was outright demanding we just shut up. Allies aren't allies when they write shit like this. We have plenty of allies that understand completely where we are coming from, they are willing to stand in solidarity with us instead of shitting on our (almost always unpaid/dangerous/incredibly difficult) work from their bully pulpits. Again, it's fine if an individual want's to identify in any way they choose, but Dan can't even get on board with Heklina's own statement regarding why he chose to change the name of his event to T-shack (Heklina is pretty clear on all this, I've spoken to him personally on the matter), and instead opts to jab and prod because we continue to ask that the media and marketing aspects of our community to not popularize words that are derogatory and hurtful to thousands and thousands of trans women, and trans people in general. Beyond all that, Dans choice of phrasing, his couching of an issue in what trans activists are doing wrong in his eyes, "Heads Up" ?? AYFKM? How patronizing is that? As though we aren't already aware of the SBC's stance on the issue? As though we weren't aware even before their official announcement. It's no shock to us that conservative christian organizations are largely transphobic and ignorant. It is however a shock that Dan thinks this kind of sentiment is appropriate and warranted after all the discussions we as a community have had to have with him over the years (there have been many). I would like to retroactively title all of my comments on this thread "Heads Up Dan Savage, You're being an insensitive dickhead... again."
More...
Posted by Voxpop on June 12, 2014 at 11:03 AM · Report this
venomlash 56
@50: I AM JUST ANGRILY WRITING THIS TO SPEAK ABOUT DINOSAURS.

DINOSAURS HAVE NOT BEEN FOUND IN TAR PITS. TAR PIT DEPOSITS DATE FROM THE QUATERNARY AND TEND TO CONTAIN LARGE MAMMALS, SUCH AS MAMMOTHS, MASTODONS, DIRE WOLVES, CAVE BEARS, AND SABER-TOOTHED CATS.
ADDITIONALLY, DINOSAURS ARE BY NO MEANS FALLEN BY THE WAYSIDE WITH REGARD TO ECOLOGICAL DOMINANCE. WHILE THEY NO LONGER CAN CLAIM THE LARGEST TERRESTRIAL ANIMALS AMONG THEIR MEMBERSHIP, THERE ARE ROUGHLY TWICE AS MANY KINDS OF DINOSAURS ALIVE TODAY AS THERE ARE MAMMALS. AGE OF MAMMALS? MORE LIKE AGE OF BIRDS.

THIS HAS BEEN AN ANGRY SHOUTING MESSAGE FROM A GUY WITH A BACKGROUND IN PALEONTOLOGY. YOU MAY GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS NOW.
Posted by venomlash on June 12, 2014 at 1:05 PM · Report this
57
I love you dinosaur man.
Posted by Voxpop on June 12, 2014 at 3:17 PM · Report this
58
Ok. As a woman who has had pretty much zero interaction with trans people, I'm open to being educated.
If, during that education, I say some dumb things maybe some confronting things- well, that's how dialogue goes.. How being educated goes. I didn't know until this last month , reading Dans site- that the T word had become an issue. Now, I know.. So , if someone can direct me to sites where I can be educated , please do..
Posted by LavaGirl on June 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM · Report this
59
Dan, the reason that people think you're transphobic is that you WON'T LET IT GO.

Look, there are plenty of silly gay people who think that every little thing is homophobia, There are people who think that the guys from Teen Wolf not getting together is homophobia. They are stupid and wrong. But on the other hand, if you have a straight person who has a reputation for dismissing gay issues as frivolous -- including gay issues that many reasonable gay people you know seem to care about -- then you're going to be less likely to take them seriously when they insist that they're absolutely not homophobic and everyone should know that they're a friend of the gays! Especially if at the same time, they also tell gay people what issues to care about, act as if only the gay people who don't have anything critical to say about them are reasonable gay people, and won't fucking shut up about how the bad gays unreasonably hate them.

Just... stop. If you want to talk about trans issues, do it without mentioning how awesome you are as an ally and how the bad trans people are stupid and wrong for being critical of you. Stop telling them that X issue deserves their attention and Y issue doesn't, as if all the trans people in the world can only pay attention to one issue at a time. Try to think about other people's perspectives -- if it was a gay/straight issue instead of a trans/cis issue, how would you want other people to be allies to you? Would you want to divide the entire world of gay people into "gay people who are cool with this straight guy and therefore are acceptable human beings" and "stupid, wrong children from the internet"?

(for the record, I'm also cis & gay.)
Posted by strangecreatures on June 12, 2014 at 10:19 PM · Report this
Chloe Sagal 61
Maybe try learning our perspective before you consider telling us how much of a waste of time stopping transmisogyny where ever it comes up is? Read these and maybe learn something about our experience. These are things I have personally been through and many other trans women share the same experience.

http://imgur.com/gallery/ldgrdZZ

http://imgur.com/gallery/xqOdQ63

http://imgur.com/gallery/N5L10RR

http://imgur.com/gallery/vp03NVp

If you're an "ally" that pushes your own fucking allies to suicide, you have ceased to be an ally and you are now an enemy. I don't care what contributions you've made or how great your friends and family think you are NO ONE who hurts me is my friend.
Posted by Chloe Sagal on June 13, 2014 at 7:52 AM · Report this
62
In what has become typical "trans" activist fashion, eastsidekate over at Shakesville inexplicably defeats her own arguments by using rhetorical shenanigans to try to demonize Savage without actually dealing with the incident he's talking about but rather attacking him as an "A+ level troll."

First, a catch 22: "I can only assume that you're not naming names because you either don't care enough about trans people to know the names of folks involved, or you (correctly) realize that calling out individual trans activists would make you look like a colossal bully."

See what eastsidekate does there? Savage is damned by addressing "trans activists" and damned for being a bully if he does name individuals. No way to win, the "trans" activist tool of choice.

Then eastsidekate dives into hypocrisy. On her own website "acuntofonesown.org" this person states this:

"I’m trans because other people police identities. A lot of my struggles are rooted in other people’s need to decide who is who and what behaviors are appropriate for which people."

eastsidekate then proceeds to decide who Savage is and what behaviors are appropriate for HIM. Of course. Because privilege. Or hypocrisy?

eastsidekate says this about Savage: "You're making a judgement about the relative merits of the topic at hand. It's a powerful way to prod people into discussing the very thing you're ostensibly asking them to push to the back burner. To that I say:
Fuck you, Dan Savage."

Well, no. He's asking why you are attacking an ally or at least a potential ally, (I know YOU get to define ally and what's acceptable for them to do and not do, right? That hypocrisy thing again but . . .) instead of a known enemy that made a major anti-trans move this week. A group that ranks as one of the largest religious denominations in the country and that wields considerable power in states where trans people are routinely harassed, beaten, and killed.
Savage didn't say you can't talk about other things but eastsidekate ignores that fact and manufactures straw man arguments for Savage. Nice.

Then eastsidekate reads Savage's mind and declares his thought process, his intentions, and his general awfulness, in effect disappearing him (which, if you are a woman or trans is an unforgivable sin but they themselves are allowed to do so because white cis privilege. Or something) with her statement: "You don't care about that, Dan Savage. You're interested in getting us to keep up the infighting for your own amusement. Fuck off-- most of us are better than that, asshole."

See, the only time Savage is allowed to talk about trans anything is with eastsidekate's approval (or some other such watchdog, I guess) and Savage's sin is that he won't submit to the trans bullying and be dominated by their rules, which change from activist to activist, blog post to blog post, and hour to hour.

There is no winning this game. There is no room for forgiveness in the "trans" world. No place for growth of awareness or change from the "cisgendered." Everything you say, everything you do, everything you think will always condemn you because you are "cis" and they are not.

This is a constant theme on Shakesville and other "feminist", "trans", and "safe space" places.

No one is ever to be forgiven, trusted, listened to, given work, acknowledged in public, granted a worthwhile opinion, or worked with if they had the bad fortune of offending one of them. Ever. There is never a chance for parole, no way to prove yourself enlightened or changed without sitting meekly and silently alone somewhere and never venturing forth without a trigger warning and a reminding condemnation of your past sins.

And that makes me sad because I have learned things about privilege and feminism and fat shaming and being trans and racism and other issues from reading Shakesville. There is no room to be human there though and that is very troublesome.

There is no dialog. Only by silently listening to them and following their rules and never forgetting that you are less than them because you trigger them and you are bad, bad, bad, and always will be. When you meekly submit to their control then maybe you will be allowed a crumb from the table but otherwise butt out, go away, and shut up and know that will never be accepted under any circumstance as having something worthwhile to say and you will be attacked and driven away if you don't know that.

eastsidekate hurt her cause more than was necessary by treating Savage in the very way as she constantly reminds us is hurtful to "trans" persons but will argue that it's OK because oppression and privilege. Too bad.
More...
Posted by Been Around A Long Time on June 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM · Report this
63
In what has become typical "trans" activist fashion, eastsidekate over at Shakesville inexplicably defeats her own arguments by using rhetorical shenanigans to try to demonize Savage without actually dealing with the incident he's talking about but rather attacking him as an "A+ level troll."

First, a catch 22: "I can only assume that you're not naming names because you either don't care enough about trans people to know the names of folks involved, or you (correctly) realize that calling out individual trans activists would make you look like a colossal bully."

See what eastsidekate does there? Savage is damned by addressing "trans activists" and damned for being a bully if he does name individuals. No way to win, the "trans" activist tool of choice.

Then eastsidekate dives into hypocrisy. On her own website "acuntofonesown.org" this person states this:

"I’m trans because other people police identities. A lot of my struggles are rooted in other people’s need to decide who is who and what behaviors are appropriate for which people."

eastsidekate then proceeds to decide who Savage is and what behaviors are appropriate for HIM. Of course. Because privilege. Or hypocrisy?

eastsidekate says this about Savage: "You're making a judgement about the relative merits of the topic at hand. It's a powerful way to prod people into discussing the very thing you're ostensibly asking them to push to the back burner. To that I say:
Fuck you, Dan Savage."

Well, no. He's asking why you are attacking an ally or at least a potential ally, (I know YOU get to define ally and what's acceptable for them to do and not do, right? That hypocrisy thing again but . . .) instead of a known enemy that made a major anti-trans move this week. A group that ranks as one of the largest religious denominations in the country and that wields considerable power in states where trans people are routinely harassed, beaten, and killed.
Savage didn't say you can't talk about other things but eastsidekate ignores that fact and manufactures straw man arguments for Savage. Nice.

Then eastsidekate reads Savage's mind and declares his thought process, his intentions, and his general awfulness, in effect disappearing him (which, if you are a woman or trans is an unforgivable sin but they themselves are allowed to do so because white cis privilege. Or something) with her statement: "You don't care about that, Dan Savage. You're interested in getting us to keep up the infighting for your own amusement. Fuck off-- most of us are better than that, asshole."

See, the only time Savage is allowed to talk about trans anything is with eastsidekate's approval (or some other such watchdog, I guess) and Savage's sin is that he won't submit to the trans bullying and be dominated by their rules, which change from activist to activist, blog post to blog post, and hour to hour.

There is no winning this game. There is no room for forgiveness in the "trans" world. No place for growth of awareness or change from the "cisgendered." Everything you say, everything you do, everything you think will always condemn you because you are "cis" and they are not.

This is a constant theme on Shakesville and other "feminist", "trans", and "safe space" places.

No one is ever to be forgiven, trusted, listened to, given work, acknowledged in public, granted a worthwhile opinion, or worked with if they had the bad fortune of offending one of them. Ever. There is never a chance for parole, no way to prove yourself enlightened or changed without sitting meekly and silently alone somewhere and never venturing forth without a trigger warning and a reminding condemnation of your past sins.

And that makes me sad because I have learned things about privilege and feminism and fat shaming and being "trans" and racism and other issues from reading Shakesville. There is no room to be human there though and that is very troublesome.

There is no dialog. Only by silently listening to them and following their rules and never forgetting that you are less than them because you trigger them and you are bad, bad, bad, and always will be. When you meekly submit to their control then maybe you will be allowed a crumb from the table but otherwise butt out, go away, and shut up and know that will never be accepted under any circumstance as having something worthwhile to say and you will be attacked and driven away if you don't know that.

eastsidekate hurt her cause more than was necessary by treating Savage in the very way as she constantly reminds us is hurtful to "trans" persons but will argue that it's OK because oppression and privilege. Too bad but typical of what Savage talks about here.
More...
Posted by Been Around A Long Time on June 13, 2014 at 8:55 AM · Report this
Ian Awesome 65
You are no ally, Dan, so I don't know why you feel entitled to comment on anything having to do with trans issues.
Posted by Ian Awesome http://oneangryqueer.blogspot.com on June 13, 2014 at 2:54 PM · Report this
68
@64, it saddens me to hear of the hurt you have suffered.
Posted by LavaGirl on June 14, 2014 at 6:23 PM · Report this
69
Thanks for sites mentioned here.. @62, it is frustrating not to be allowed to comment/ give opinions.
My take on the trans phenomena , those feeling uncomfortable with the bodies they are born with, I'm guessing way past uncomfortable.. Is, complex. I've always " felt" masculine/ the third daughter/ I think my father just projected some masculine energy onto me. I look at pictures of some trans women and wish I could have looked half as glamorous in my life.. I've had babies, so that part of my woman ness,
Has defined a certain self image. But if I'm really honest with myself, male culture has always seemed more exciting to me. But after 62 yrs, I'm just being who I am now. My body is a woman's body but my mind is fluid and free..
If you're looking for clear " male" rationality in some of the trans dialogue- maybe there is the problem. It's not necessarily needed. To hammer out the logic and consistency in arguments. If people never forgive or grant parole/ their loss.. But given the wild cultural rejection of trans people, some hysteria is pretty understandable..
For those of us who wish to stand beside trans people, as allies.. Accepting their choices and feeling love for fellow life travellers- whether or not trans people can, forgive- shouldn't be the issue. We just continue to stand , next to them..
Posted by LavaGirl on June 14, 2014 at 6:54 PM · Report this
70
Dan: To not realize the pettiness of this argument, especially considering the enormous amount of good YOU could do simply by writing or talking about the SBC instead of lecturing us mean trans people on the evils of "policing language", is shameful.

This is a paranoid and childish post. It does nothing to help the trans community. Sorry you got your feelings hurt. But seriously. Pull your head out of your ass.

Posted by fringe_girl on June 15, 2014 at 1:31 AM · Report this
71
Dan: To not realize the pettiness of this argument, especially considering the enormous amount of good YOU could do simply by writing or talking about the SBC instead of lecturing us mean trans people on the evils of "policing language", is shameful.

This is a paranoid and childish post. It does nothing to help the trans community. Sorry you got your feelings hurt. But seriously. Pull your head out of your ass.
Posted by fringe_girl on June 15, 2014 at 1:34 AM · Report this

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