The week HERO was voted down

Views: 181

It’s been a tough week. While El Paso, San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin and even HISD have trans inclusive non-discrimination policies, an argument popularized by Houston’s KKK swayed voters to vote down protections for vets, the differently abled, women, racial and ethnic classes and others because, as the Klan did in the 1980s, anti-equality activists told people that should equality happen, women and children would be endangered.

The KKK’s political message is equality will endanger children. The Klan sign reads, “Save Our Children Vote No.”

While it sucked to see the Klan’s argument embraced by so many, it sucked harder that so many were hesitant to talk about the reality that the anti-HERO argument was the Klan’s argument back in the 1980s. The Klan’s values were able to foment a diverse voting bloc united under transphobia to defeat the equality of practically every category the Klan hates. This week Houston embraced the KKK’s political values and it’s a sad day indeed. The Klan’s argument worked in the 1980s and it worked with voters in 2015.

How quickly people forget that one of the leaders of the anti-equality movement told a Jewish Houston city councilmember that it’s her Christian right to be able to discriminate against Jews. While the Klan-values vote bloc celebrated the apparent defeat of equality, HERO is not actually completely dead.

Mayor Parker made it clear that bringing a ERO to Houston is a major political goal. Maybe that will look like court battles. Maybe it will look like another prop vote but it will certainly look like taking the battle to those who support the Klan’s vision of Houston.

On a lighter note, I discovered a slowed down Blondie cover by Alvin and the Chipmunks. Because it’s a slowed down version, it comes off sounding a lot like what a Joy Division/Bauhaus (with a dash of the Smiths) cover of Blondie might have have sounded like. Enjoy:

RadFem Reboot

Views: 3132

I’m fairly happy with the response I’ve received from radical feminists of all ages who are trans inclusive and want their stories and voices heard. As it was with the so-call “TS Separatists” who sparked my interest in the etiology of “transgender,” the TERF crew sparked my interest in understanding how it was that “Radical Feminism” came to be regarded as an anti-trans movement. From learning where “TERF” actually came from to having the privilege of interviewing some really amazing RadFem people, I find myself paradoxically grateful to all the anti-trans people who caught my attention with their anti-trans animus wrapped up and sold as “radical feminism.” They are the ones who inspired me to fact check their historical claims.

Most of all, I feel incredibly honored and privileged to receive the history of elder radfems who put their own personal safety on the line to remain trans inclusive. When I think about all that has been done in their names, it’s fucking heartbreaking. Thank you (you know who you are) to the peer reviewed journal that’s publishing some of this history. Thank you to a certain radfem who opened my eyes to all of this rich, yet hidden history. Thank you to all of those who have agreed to be part of the book. But most of all, I’m just so sorry that I can’t publicly thank you without you being attacked for your truth, your history and your trans inclusion. I hate that I can’t thank you without an anti-trans mob harassing you in order to keep your herstory hidden. I’m just so damn sorry for those of you who declined to be part of this research project because you said you feared reprisals from TERFs.

My firm hope is that your compassion, exclusivity, and commitment to a world without sexism is, at some point, publicly recognized and honored.

BTW – if you’re a RadFem and you wish to share your history of trans inclusion, please contact me here. All of the interviews and oral histories I collect will be donated to the Trans Archive so that the truth of your feminism is preserved.

A trans feminist perspective on the NY Times piece

Views: 4436

While the first half of the article titled There Is No Reason to Deny Trans People Necessary Medical Care does a good job at deconstructing the fraudulent, entitled and obtuse assertions featured in a recient NY Times piece, it is the latter half of the article that, I felt, is useful as a compacted overview of trans feminist thought. From Katherine Cross’ piece on Reality Check:

This is to say nothing of the fact that not all trans people want or need reassignment surgery—it is no longer as definitional of transsexual existence as it once was, and new generations of trans people are finding countless new and interesting ways of having a trans body. It’s a flowering deftly ignored by articles like Friedman’s, except inasmuch as he briefly uses the existence of such people to suggest that perhaps those of us who need surgery don’t. To truly respect trans existence would mean not trying to use our diversity to pit us against one another.

What afflicts us is not surgery but a world under the oceanic pressure of norms and prejudices.

Even leaving aside the more dramatic cases of trans women being murdered, we live in a world where we are seen as strange at best: something to stare at, something to passively exclude, some thing, rather than an equal person. Our bodies seem to exist as amusement parks for the fantastic curiosities of others. We are the conversation piece in cisgender society’s living room.

Ask yourself how that would make you feel, regardless of what medications you took or what surgeries you had.

Gender dysphoria as a whole—bodily and mental—is something imposed on us from without as much as something that manifests from within; it certainly finds its origins in deeply felt, physical sensations of wrongness, but it is also wildly exacerbated by the way trans people’s bodies are talked about, publicly possessed, and seen as inherently violable. In its subtle way, the Times editorial feeds that sense of objectifying entitlement.

This wider issue forms the foundations of all violence against us.

Men can often get away with doing absolutely anything to trans women in particular, especially if we do sex work: that double stigma is a brand that says “no one will miss you” in invisible ink all over our bodies. Even as men lust after us, they want to destroy us as an extraverted act of revenge against all womankind. Because they can.

They say we’re not “real women” and yet do to us the things they wish they could do to other women: their wives, their mothers, female politicians, the ball-busting boss, the ice queen who won’t date them. We are, in fact, the canvas of so many cisgender men’s own deeply unresolved psychological crises, which themselves never make it to the front page of theTimes’ Sunday Review in the form of handwringing editorial piety.

You live with that knowledge and you learn to make peace with it, uneasy as it may be, and hope for the best.

Time and again, well-meaning cisgender people tell me and my sisters, brothers, and siblings, that we are so very “strong” and “courageous,” as if they intuitively sense how poisonous our world’s atmosphere is for us.

For my own part, I’m simply trying to fashion a liveable life, partially through these words, partially through the perambulations of my career, and in every case I find that the freshest air I breathe in this world is the result of work done, past and present, to help cisgender people see my existence as a way of being human.

But I needed medical transition in order to breathe in the first place.

Cross’ review contextualizes some of the same themes my pithy TransAdvocate response to the same NY Times article did. I too spend the first half of my article debunking the nonsense pushed by the Times, but it’s the second half that contextualizes – through a trans feminist perspective – the deeper problems that support the type of behavior featured by the Times and other terribly concerned cis people who only listen to that which reinforces their apriori conclusions; namely, that the memes cis people create to think about the trans experience actually represents the trans experience and that structurally, their critiques of trans people are intelligible only to others who insist on misusing trans feminist language. From my TransAdvocate piece:

Friedman [ed: the author of the NY Times piece both Cross and I critiqued] remarks on the way transsexual brains are different from cisgender brains and opines that maybe if there were more freedom around gender roles, trans people wouldn’t really need to physically transition:

Of course, people should have the freedom to assume whatever gender role makes them comfortable and refer to themselves with whatever pronoun they choose; we should encourage people to be who they really feel they are, not who or what society would like them to be. I wonder, if we were a more tolerant society that welcomed all types of gender identity, what the impact might be on gender dysphoria. How many transgender individuals would feel the need to physically change gender, if they truly felt accepted with whatever gender role they choose?

I know this is terribly difficult for some people to understand, so let me make it very clear: gender identity, expression and orientation IS NOT the same thing as gender hierarchy, stereotype or role. Trans discourse is at a significant disadvantage when terribly concerned cis people like Friedman speak on behalf of the trans experience. People like Friedman seem to rely upon equivocation, credulity and ignorance when presenting their trans critical points to (usually) non-trans people. (* cough * Janice Raymond * cough *) Not only does Friedman seem to conflate gender role, gender and gender identity, his assertion that biological factors may drive trans people into new gender roles is highly problematic since gender roles aren’t biological.

Trans “Brain Sex” Side Bar:

I have for years asserted that I am largely agnostic to the claim that trans people have neurological brain issues which cause us to experience our bodies in the way we do. While I don’t think this is out of the realm of probabilities, I do think that we need more research. I myself interviewed Dr. Diamond whose twin studies made him conclude that trans people have an intersex condition in our brain. I am, and continue to be, interested in these studies. I think that just dismissing them all as BS (or for that matter, uncritically accepting them all as gospel) is a sign of ideological bias.

Having said that, I also recognize that brain sex studies in general are not infrequently problematic; that the specter of gender roles often asserts an unacknowledged force on brain sex study outcomes. Cordelia Fine’s 2010 book, Delusions of Gender does a good job at exposing this problem. However, even Fine herself stumbles when even she habitually conflates gender role with gender identity in her description of what she observes. In this way, Fine’s work suffers from some of the same problems I review below.

Moreover, some cis researchers – especially those who’ve assumed a place of authority with regard to sex and gender issues – seem to never acknowledge a simple truth trans advocates have pointed to since the 1950s: sex essentialism is a cultural construct. Whether it’s two boxes (male and female) or three boxes (male, intersex and female) researchers seem to be largely incapable of understanding that those boxes were constructed by their culture’s hands .

For decades, trans advocates have struggled to describe sex and gender from a trans perspective. Back in 1958, Christine Jorgensen challenged the concept of a natural sex binary in her interview LP Christine Jorgensen Reveals. At the 23 second mark, the non-trans interviewer asks Jorgensen if she’s a woman. Jorgensen replied, “We seem to assume that every person is either a man or a woman. But we don’t take into account the scientific value that each person is actually both in varying degrees. Now, this sounds a little evasive and I don’t mean it to be in actuality. To that, my only answer is that I am more of a woman than I am a man.” Working from within the confines of a 1950s pop lexicon, Jorgensen challenged the non-trans interviewer’s presumption of a natural sex binary and instead proposed that sex might be conceptualized as more of a spectrum. Later in the interview she challenged the idea that clothing habits have anything to do with sex. “One isn’t born to wear clothes, actually. Clothes are a habit that one accumulates.” Throughout the entire LP, Jorgensen is continually bumping up against binary sex and gender presumptions as she struggles to frame her answers in a way that the cisgender interviewer might grasp.

To be clear, within trans discourse should I speak in terms of identity, I am speaking in terms of personal and expressive form; should I speak in terms of role, I am speaking in terms of cultural function. I as a trans person did not transition in order to choose a new gender role. Being placed into a role is something that culture forcibly does to people; nobody can choose to live in a gender role. Should society deem that one is a male, that person will be placed into a male role by culture; should society deem that one is female, that person will be placed into a female role by culture. A gender role isn’t chosen, it’s inflicted and much of trans discourse is situated around ways of challenging and undermining those roles.

When trans people speak of their gender identity, we are speaking about any 1 of 3 things:

A.)   One’s subjective experience of one’s own sexed body attributes;
B.)   One’s sexed identification within the context of a social grouping; or,
C.)   Both A and B

(ProTip: Some trans people will sometimes refer to Category A as one’s “gender orientation.”)

So no, even if we had a billion new gender roles, that wouldn’t address the need of trans people to medically transition, nor would it help to force a billion people into a billion new gender role boxes. The motivation to medically transition was not about me living within a gender role box; it was about my subjective embodied experience.

“A Woman Trapped in a Man’s Body”

Cis people came up with this sophomoric way of describing the trans experience to each other and it has, in a Foucauldian sense, stuck to descriptions of the trans experience ever since. The earliest known usage of a phrase like this comes from page 236 of Emily Grant Hutchings’ 1922 book, Indian Summer: “David is a woman. More than that, Sydney, Mrs Trench is a man — trapped in a woman’s body. When nature makes a blunder like that, there’s usually the devil to pay.” In his 1966 book, The Transsexual Phenomena, Harry Benjamin tried to make the trans experience intelligible to the cisgender population. On page 19 Benjamin wrote, “The transsexual feels himself to be a woman (“trapped in a man’s body”) and is attracted to men.” Consider the way this meme was used on page 265 of the 1967 book Sexual Deviance:

While, as suggested, few lesbians become committed to this totally masculine role as a near-permanent life style, many more lesbians may experiment with this kind of strategy for a short period, particularly during the identity crisis that occurs at the time of the first self-admission of a deviant sexual commitment or at entry into the culture of the homosexual community. During this early phase of career development, it is not unlikely that many lesbians overreact because they are still imbued with the essentially heterosexual language of their earlier socialization and think of themselves as an accident of nature: a man trapped in a woman’s body.

I find it interesting that some contemporary gender pontificators are putting forward new iterations of this very argument. Here we find that should a lesbian step out of her gender role (function) within the context of heteronormative culture, it may very-well make her think that she’s a “man trapped in a woman’s body.” Friedman essentially makes the same (il)logical leap in his article: since it must be gender roles that are driving trans people to transition, instead of medical care, a better solution might be the creation of even more gender roles. Friedman assures his readers that “gender” shouldn’t be binary, “it [doesn’t] mean that conventional gender roles always feel right; the sheer number of people who experience varying degrees of mismatch between their preferred gender and their body makes this very clear.” * every facepalm meme ever goes here *

If people like Friedman (or Raymond for that matter) actually cared about the well-being of trans people (as they inevitably claim they do) maybe they could start by being honest about the data, stop conflating trans terminology to muddy the discursive waters and start honestly engaging with trans people about what their body experience is like.*

*And no, being trans isn’t the same thing as wishing to be paralyzed or to have sections of one’s body removed (body dysmorphic disorder). This “analysis” is popular with smug cis people who think trans people want to “chop off” parts of their bodies. If you think that trans surgery is about chopping off body parts, you probably need to sit down, shut up and listen to trans people talk about their experience without assuming that you understand it better than they can.

Tumblr TERFs Fire Back!

Views: 6416

A couple of days ago I wrote about my feelings of disgust regarding the behavior of some Tumblr TERFs. While I was responding to an older Tumbr TERF post, they continued to fire back at trans people on Tumblr who were citing my work.

TERFs Fire Back: The 1999 TERF Death Threat didn’t happen in 2000

In 1999, a TERF mob forced a 16 year old trans kid to stand before them for hours while they systematically berated her, even going so far as to openly threaten her live with a knife. In refutation, they linked to an Off Our Backs article coauthored by MichFest organizer, Lisa Vogel and Karla Mantilla in which they discuss the 2000 MichFest. I invite you to reread the previous sentence. The incident in question took place in 1999 and the Tumblr TERFs’ “proof” that the events of 1999 never happened is an article that discusses the following year’s events as asserted by MichFest organizer Lisa Vogel. Do I really need to spell out why an article about an event that took place in the future – in 2000 – doesn’t constitute evidence refuting what happened to a 16 year old at MichFest in 1999?

TERFs Fire Back: Janice Raymond isn’t Culpable because THIS!!1!

To support the assertion that Janice Raymond had nothing to do with the 1981 study that precipitated the end to public and 3rd party trans care funding in the early 1980s was to selectively quote a 2013 HHS finding:

The author of the post I’m responding to,”radFem-mama” chose to quote that HHS’ decision was based on 2 primary findings, which she highlights in bold: rates of complications and the efficacy of a “transsexual” diagnosis. Unfortunately for radFem-mama, anyone who cares to read the original 1981 report will immediately note that this report concluded THREE findings and that the third finding drew upon Raymond’s research alone. Also, let’s be clear about something. The 2013 findings state:

The NCHCT forwarded its 1981 report to officials of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now called CMS, with a memorandum dated May 6, 1981 recommending “that transsexual surgery not be covered by Medicare at this time.” HCFA issued the NCD language as part of its Coverage Issues Manual of coverage instructions for Medicare contractors; CMS published the manual in the Federal Register on August 21, 1989. – Page 4

To be clear, the 1981 report was available to it’s targeted audience at that time. Who were the NCHCT/OHTA target audience?

Providers, generally; physicians; acute facility administrators; long-term care facility administrators; other care givers; health/medical professional associations; consumer associations; employers; unions and other employee organizations; third party payers; government regulators; biomedical researchers; public policy-makers, legislators; policy research organizations; Federal health programs. – National Academy of Sciences, National Center For Health Services Research and Health Care Technology Assessment Office of Health Technology Assessment, 1988

Consider the reach NCHCT/OHTA reports had:

With the creation of NCHCT and the development of a formal assessment process, these third-party payers began to request the results of evaluations. These insurance carriers included both those in the government (CHAMPUS and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program) and those in the private sector such as Mutual of Omaha, Nationwide, Travelers, Aetna Life and Casualty, Connecticut General Life, Equitable Life Assurance Society, John Hancock Mutual Life, Metropolitan Life, Prudential Life, and Lincoln National Life. – Seymour Perry, M.D., Health Affairs, 8/1982, p 124

Let’s return to the original 1981 NCHCT/OHTA (by 1981 the NCHCT was in the process of becoming the Office of Health Technology Assessment) findings. Raymond is the only researcher that the government agency thanks and that’s because NCHCT/OHTA “was directed to consider broadly the implications of new and existing medical technologies, including their legal, ethical and social aspects.” [1] Raymond’s research alone represented the whole of NCHCT/OHTA’s consideration regarding the “ethical and social aspects” of trans care.

The “Discussion” section of the NCHCT/OHTA report reviews three findings:

  1. One paragraph supporting the claim that trans care is “experimental”
  2. One paragraph supporting the claim that trans care is “controversial”
  3. Four paragraphs supporting the claim that trans care is “expensive.”

The NCHCT/OHTA report drew upon several sources to support these three claims. In determining that trans care was “experimental,” the NCHCT/OHTA report relied on the National Institute of Mental Health of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration’s research. To support the claim that trans care was “expensive,” the NCHCT/OHTA report relied upon research from Health Information Designs. To support the “controversial” claim, the NCHCT/OHTA report relied upon just two sources, one of which was Raymond. The following is the “Discussion” paragraph which supports the “controversial” claim:

“Over and above the medical and scientific issues, it would also appear that transsexual surgery is controversial in our society. For example, Thomas Szasz has asked whether an old person who desires to be young suffers from the “disease” of being a “transchronological” or does the poor person who wants to be rich suffer from the “disease” of being a “transeconomical?” (Szasz 1979). Some have held that it would be preferable to modify society’s sex role expectations of men and women than to modify either the body or the mind of individuals to fit those expectations. (Raymond 1980).”

At no point prior to this section does the report claim that trans care is “controversial.” “But Cristan,” you say, “didn’t you just say that Raymond’s research alone was used to support the ‘controversial’ claim?!? It cites somebody named Szasz. Obviously that means that Raymond’s research and somebody else’s research was used, right?!?”


The Szasz citation refers to a newspaper review of Raymond’s 1979 book, The Transsexual Empire: the making of the she-male. Raymond’s research alone informed 1/3 of NCHCT/OHTA’s findings. In fact, in the 1981 report’s Acknowledgement section, it states the following, the “National Center for Health Care Technology commissioned paper on the social and ethical aspects of transexual surgery by Janice G. Raymond, Ph.D., of Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts, were used in this assessment.”

RadFem-mamma then (ironically) cites a 2009 United Health insurance policy barring “transsexual surgery” as representing what “insurance companies” covered in 1981. The reason her citation is ironic is that she’s apparently oblivious to the fact that she just proved my fact claim Regarding Raymond’s capability in a way that I, until now, have been unable to do. Let’s review, shall we?

 A.) The 1981 report states, the “National Center for Health Care Technology commissioned paper on the social and ethical aspects of transexual surgery by Janice G. Raymond, Ph.D., of Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts, were used in this assessment.’

B.) Producing a “social and ethical” report finding was mandated and, in fact, Raymond’s research alone informs the report’s finding that transsexual surgery was “controversial.” Prior to citing Raymond’s book, The Transsexual Empire via Szasz, the 1981 report never mentions transsexual surgery being “controversial.” Let’s review the 1981 “controversial” claim once again. The first sentence shifts the report’s attention from the “medical and scientific issues” it discussed prior to the “controversial” section and turns to Raymond’s work:

Over and above the medical and scientific issues, it would also appear that transsexual surgery is controversial in our society. For example, Thomas Szasz has asked whether an old person who desires to be young suffers from the “disease” of being a “transchronological” or does the poor person who wants to be rich suffer from the “disease” of being a “transeconomical?” (Szasz 1979). Some have held that it would be preferable to modify society’s sex role expectations of men and women than to modify either the body or the mind of individuals to fit those expectations. (Raymond 1980).

C.) Let’s review the very first sentence of the section the 2013 HHS ruling considered:

Now, let’s review the very first sentence justifying the 2009 United Health policy barring “transsexual surgery” that radfem-mamma herself cited as proving her fact assertion that Raymond had nothing to do with the revocation of public and private coverage of trans health care:

Notice anything similar? Gosh, it seems as if the first line of the 2009 United Health policy barring “transsexual surgery” is a direct quote from the very 1981 NCHCT/OHTA “controversial” findings that Raymond’s research alone supported.

Thank you, radfem-mama for finding this smoking gun. Until you, in your fumbling attempt to disprove that Raymond had anything to do with the revocation of PRIVATE funding of trans care, I’d not been able to find an example this incontrovertible. You’ve just proved the conclusion of my research correct.  Thank you for finding this!

TERFs Fire Back: Cristan Williams is still Zoe Brain

Apparently in radfem-mama’s reality, I’m still Zoe Brain. Radfem-mama is worked up over an opinion piece Brain published on the TransAdvocate wherein Brain estimates the number of trans lives lost since 1981 due to the revocation of public and private funding of trans care:

Here’s a link to the first copy cached by the Wayback Machine. Note that then, like now, the author is Zoe Brain, not me and that it is, in fact, listed as an opinion piece. Apparently that doesn’t matter to Tumblr TERFs who are on a roll:

As far as “credibility,” my historical research on TERFs is being published in a peer reviewed journal you’ll be able to read and critique to your heart’s desire. Radfem-mama, please point me to where I can check out your peer reviewed work on trans people or radical feminism. I’d be interested in checking out your work.

TERFs Fire Back: Cristan Williams loves Paul McHugh

For the record, the TransAdvocate has a few well-cited article about MaHugh. Here’s two:

When critiquing ideologically driven TERF behavior, it’s usual to focus on TERF behavior. It would probably seem strange to readers if in the middle of a critique of ideologically-driven TERF violence the piece suddenly focuses on the behavior of anti-abortion activists who hate trans people.

TERFs Fire Back: Obviously TERFs were never violent in 1973

Obviously pioneering radical feminist activist Robin Tyler totally lied about being beaten by TERFs who rushed the stage, amirite? Maybe since radfem-mamma cares so much about the truth, she could contact Tyler and tell her why she thinks Tyler is lying.

I find it interesting that radfem”I care about the truth” mamma failed to quote the following part of Morgan’s speech…

“I charge [Elliott, the trans woman] as an opportunist, an infiltrator, and a destroyer—with the mentality of a rapist. And you women at this Conference know who he [sic] is. Now. You can let him [sic] into your workshops—or you can deal with him [sic].” [2]

… you know, the pertinent bit that precipitated TERFs beating radfems for protecting a trans women from a TERF bashing?

TERFs Fire Back: Rivera forgave O’Leary, therefore TERFs didn’t organize an attack on Rivera

Radfem-mamma is correct, right up until the last sentence. It says a lot that Rivera was able to forgive O’Leary and even regard her as a friend. Everything about Rivera’s behavior suggests the enormity of her heart’s capacity for compassion and love. Those truths in no way change the reality of what happened before or after Rivera was filmed on stage:

“Women in the GLF were uncomfortable referring to Rivera – who insisted in using women’s bathrooms, even in City hall – as ‘she.’ Pressure mounted. The year 1973 witnessed a clash that would take Rivera out of the movement for the next two decades… As they passed out flyers outlining their opposition to the ‘female impersonators,’ Rivera wrestled for the microphone held by emcee Vitto Russo, before getting hit with it herself. Rivera explained, ‘I had to battle my way up on stage, and literally get beaten up and punched around by people I thought were my comrades, to get to that microphone.” – Benjamin Shepard, That’s Revolting!, pp 126 – 127

Sylvia Rivera recounted the event: “Jean O’Leary, a founder of Radicalesbians, decided that drag queens were insulting to women… I had been told I was going to speak at the rally. And that’s when things just got out of hand. I’m very militant when it comes to certain things, and I didn’t appreciate what was going down with Jean O’Leary stating that we were insulting women… She told Vito Russo to kick my ass onstage… but I still got up and spoke my piece.” – Susan Glisson (Ed), The Human Tradition in the Civil Rights Movement, p 325

“[T]his incident precipitated yet another suicide attempt on her part… the events of that day in 1973 ultimately took something out of Sylvia Rivera. In the succeeding years, Sylvia Rivera’s participation in ‘the movement’ waned. Although she attended every Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade (with the exception of two) until her death, Sylvia’s formal participation in organizations like the GLF and the GAA came to a halt.” – ibid.

Critiquing videos that do not discuss the above realities because they deal with other issues isn’t evidence that supports the idea that Rivera lied about being beaten at a TERF’s behest.

TERFs Fire Back: Trans people are dangerous

A favorite trope off practically all hate groups is to focus on people who are part of the group they want to oppress and insinuate that those the group hate act criminally due due to being part of that oppressed group. The Klan loves to report on Black criminals to justify marginalizing Black folks and likewise, TERFs love to report on trans criminals to justify marginalizing trans folks. It’s called the fallacy of composition but since the Klan made it famous, I call it the Klan Fallacy:

Yes, and I can make a list of cis female criminals who murder, rape and violate women and children and the list would be on orders of magnitude larger than any list of trans criminals any TERF could put together. It’s amazing to me that TERFs seem to revel in this fallacy. Would it not be absurd for me to say that since a 2004 Department of Education study found that 42% of student molestations came from their (presumably cis) woman instructors –
– that we should conclude that cis women are an obvious, clear and known danger to school children? Of course not. Claiming or insinuating that trans people should be marginalized and/or feared because within the history of human crime, some minute percentage turn out to be trans, those making the such a claim should be roundly condemned and mocked by all rational people.



[1] OHTA, Health Care Technology And Its Assessment In Eight Countries, 1994, p 292

[2] Blasius, Mark. We Are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics. New York: Routledge, 1997. 429.

#ProTransProChoice: defending body autonomy

Views: 6443

For a while now, I’ve done abortion clinic defence. Here’s a dude that I followed around filming for about 20 mins. I found it interesting that he chose to use many of the same tactics sex essentialists (TERFs) do: gender baiting, equivocation about women’s rights, hubris assumptions, projection, frustration displacement and stubborn ignorance.

Here are a few #ProTransProChoice images:

What the Texas phrase “come and take it” means.


Ray Hill, the TransAdvocate and Feminism

Views: 5636


Last night I attended a roast of my friend, Ray Hill. If you’re queer — and especially if you’re a queer Southerner — and you don’t know who Ray Hill is, then you don’t know the first thing about Southern queers. Ray Hill is an iconic living legend of queer rights. Here are some of his achievements:

  • Cofounder and President of Promethean Society (Houston’s first gay/lesbian organization (1967-1969)
  • Cofounder (1968), former Board Member and former General Manager (198o~1981) of Pacifica Radio, KPFT-FM (where I first found other local trans people in the 1990s)
  • Cofounder, Executive Director Houston Human Rights League (1976-1986)
  • Cofounder (1975), Past President (1989) of Houston Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Political Caucus
  • Winner of landmark First Amendment US Supreme Court Case Houston v Hill lob S.Ct 2502, 1987)
  • Cofounder/organizer (1976), Past Chair (1984-1985) of Houston Lesbian Gay Pride Week
  • Cofounder Kaposi’s Sarcoma Foundation (198o, became KS/AIDS Foundation, is now AIDS Foundation Houston)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, the trans Unity Committee
  • Chair of Executive and Coordination Committees for the First March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 1979
  • Author of first “Safe Sex Pamphlet” in the country to help prevent the spread of HIV, published by Citizens for Human Equality CHE
  • Contributor to the first three International Conferences on Gender Law and Employment
  • Author of Model Transgender Policy for Jails and Prisons
  • Founder/producer/host of the Prison Show (the only show of its kind in the US) 198o to 2012
  • Convict (197o-1975) Texas Prison System


Ray is equal parts Mark Twain, Harvey Milk and Utah Phillips. Here are some photos from last night’s roast:

L to R: Jack Valinski, CW Sheila Jackson Lee and Ray Hill
1. Ray Hill & Mayor Annise Parker; 2. Judge Phyllis Frye; 3. Monica Roberts, Parker, Frye; 4. Frye, Parker; 5. Me, Roberts, Daniel Williams; 6. Me, Parker


I was asked to present at the University of Michigan’s New Articulations Feminist Conference. Here are a few slides from my presentation:

The conference was really interesting and I met numerous feminists from all over the nation and made some new contacts at the Feminist Times and Crunk Feminist Collective.

During the last several months I’ve made some amazing connections with several iconic Radical Feminist thinkers and it’s absolutely changed the way I’ve historically viewed Radical Feminism — which I’m really, really grateful for!


I have a couple of stories that are about to come out. There’s a really frank interview with [K], an intersex sex worker. They’re really honest about what it’s like and I really appreciated their views about the services that sex workers need.

I also have an upcoming interview with RadFem icon, Catharine MacKinnon that I’m really excited about. It will be interesting to see how some quotemine her to make it seem as if MacKinnon somehow doesn’t deride Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (whom I like to conceptualize as Sex Essentialist Feminists) ideology/morality but that she somehow really does believe that sex is a natural binary and that women’s liberation depends upon categorizing “women” in terms of a discrete biological group.

Moreover, other notable RadFems are collaborating on a significant piece that will be coming out in the coming months. It will represent a tangible and clear answer to the idea that SEFs represent their radical feminism. This should make it clear that  SEFs speak only for their own group when they pontificate about their “radical feminist,” “feminist,” or “lesbian” ideology.

Also, the TransAdvocate is contemplating starting its own press. Isn’t that cool?

Sheila Jeffreys’ source is now stalking trans kids

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A source Sheila Jeffreys used to construct her sex essentialist anti-trans book, Gender Hurts is currently stalking trans kids.

“I am grateful, too, to the new wave of radical feminism both online and offline. Radical feminist bloggers such as… Dirt from ‘Dirt from Dirt’, among others, have provided invaluable factual material, references and ideas on their blogs, without which it would have been harder to write this book. Indeed, over the period that this book has been incubating, radical feminist bloggers strengthened and clarified my analysis.” [1] – Sheila Jeffreys, Gender Hurts, Acknowledgements

The below conversation is between a trans advocate and the account run by a collective of TERF opinion leaders. The TERF account expressly endorses the harassment of children in the hopes that their adult gaze and assessment might make transition too difficult to undertake for other trans kids.


1.) To be clear, while these individuals may self-identify as “Radical Feminists,” they reject core RadFem analysis on the patriarchal nature of a belief in a natural sex binary or sex essentialism. These self-proclaimed “RadFems” very much believe in a natural sex binary and believe that there exist certain essences which, if present, authenticates a human body as either male or female.

Such dogma is only found in an ideological offshoot of Radical Feminism known as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism. Actual Radical Feminists such as Wittig, Dworkin, Stoltenberg and MacKinnon reject sex essentialism. Moreover, the Radical Feminist movement has a long and courageous history of supporting trans people.