Anti-Trans UN Letter: A MUST Read!

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imgresIf you read my blog, you will already know that I’ve condemned the Brennan-Hungerford anti-trans UN letter in, what is for me, the strongest way possible. I noted how closely their claims match the well-worn unsupported anti-trans claims made by hate groups and right-wing zealots. I also had some things to say about transsexuals who supported, endorsed and disseminated (!) the unsupported assertions of “fact” Brennan-Hungerford made about the danger transgender people pose to women.

A far better mind than mine just penned a beautiful response to the anti-trans UN Brennan-Hungerford letter. This properly cited response is timely since the anti-trans UN Brennan-Hungerford has now been picked up by a news aggregator based in Italy, IPS-Inter Press Service, which provides articles to news agencies in Europe, Africa, the Asia-Pacific and Latin America – places where anti-trans violence runs rampant. 

Honorable Commissioners:

I write in regard to the CSW Communications Procedure submission of 1 August by Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford alleging that gender identity anti-discrimination statutes in the United States threaten to violate women’s rights. Specifically, I write in response and rebuttal to those allegations.

Ms. Brennan and Ms. Hungerford’s submission is not an adequate submission. It does not at all comply with the Communications Procedure Guidelines for identification and documentation of actual incidents of human rights violations, and should be rejected on those grounds alone.

Moreover, the Brennan-Hungerford submission is inaccurate and misleading, and an abuse of both national judicial procedure and global procedures for effective petition for redress of actual rights viola­tions. To wit:

  1. Ms. Brennan and Ms. Hungerford are not reporting actual harm, but requesting global action based on a mere hypothesis: that male-bodied people claiming to be women on the basis of self-perceived gender identity could pose physical and emotional threats to women in sex-segregated public facilities such as bathhouses and restroom. They neglect to acknowledge that there means in place to prevent and/or punish this.
  2. With regards to bathhouses and other venues in which public nudity is usual and expected, remedies are already available at the local and state level: judicial interpretation of the statutes cited in the submission, "under color of" criminal sentencing enhancements of the kind designed as a deterrent measure, and (already existing) common-sense accommodations to legitimate sensibilities.
    1. With regards to restrooms, Brennan and Hungerford have failed to avail themselves and the potential victims for whom they claim to advocate of the generous U.S. judicial remedies for "hostile environment sexual har­ass­ment." The hypothetical harm from failure to police restroom users for body-socially presented gender congruence likely does not rise to the level of actionable hostile environment sexual harassment.
    2. By claiming the potential harm is related to women’s "reproductive vulner­ability," Brennan and Hungerford carve out an artificial and politically defined subgroup of potential victims from the larger population of actual potential victims. Specifically, they limit the potential human rights victims to that class of women who are cissexual women of reproductive age with healthy reproductive tracts, and state the potential harm is pregnancy resulting from rape when it might be as likely to be forced oral copulation or other non-reproductive sexual assault.
  3. Brennan and Hungerford cite no case law that interprets the state statutes they wish preempted by supranational means, and present hypothetical controversies that are not ripe for U.S. appellate review, much less international review. Thus, they present no demonstrable failures to protect human rights which might be appropriate for investigation by a global body.

For these reasons, upon which I shall expand below, I respectfully request that Ms. Brennan and Ms. Hungerford’s submission be rejected for insufficiency as a communication to the Commission, and for failure to state an actual controversy or to give credible evidence of actual or likely human rights violations related to the statutes of which they complain.

My qualifications for addressing the Commission for the Status of Women on this matter are as follows:

Daughters of Bilitis (the first lesbian rights organization, founded in 1955) ("DOB"), Vice President, San Francisco Chapter, 1971-72. Representing DOB (at the request of co-founder Del Martin), founding member of the Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club, the first gay/ lesbian political party club in the U.S.; represented Alice at the California Council of Democratic Clubs 1973 convention, Fresno, California. Alternate delegate for Representative Shirley Chisholm, California Democratic Party presidential primary election, June 1972. Community-elected member of the Board of Directors of the California Committee for Sexual Law reform, 1972-75 (successfully lobbied for repeal of California state statutes outlawing most forms of sexual behavior between consenting adults). Successful arbitration determining that sex-reassignment surgery ("SRS") was a physically necessary, non-cosmetic treatment for gender dysphoria syndrome, over the objections of a health insurer, from the Santa Clara County (California) Medical Society, with repre­sentation by attorney Sarita Waite, 1975. Workshop presentation on actual versus propagandized experience with HIV transmission among Women who have Sex with Women, National Organization for Women annual convention, San Francisco, California 1990. Author, Mirrors – Portrait of a Lesbian Transsexual (as myself and as the pseudonymous Geri Nettick), 1995 (Spectrum Press), 1996 (Rhinoceros Books), and 2011 edition with new material (CreateSpace, with distribution through CreateSpace and Amazon). Numerous publication credits with gay, lesbian and transsexual rights-oriented publications, including a weekly column for the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter from 1995-98.

The above is only an excerpt of the entire piece. Beth Elliott decimates the anti-trans BS being pushed by lesbian separatists, transsexual separatists, hate groups and far right-wing (nut) fundi groups.

Give it a read HERE.

Also, to hit home the type of intellectual hucksterism  Brennan-Hungerford likes to sell, Kat recently posted the following:

Quotes to Consider When Thinking About the Brennan-Hungerford Exterminationism Manifesto:

Not a lot of reading to digest on a Friday night – just three tiny little quotes.



The bill violates the privacy rights of every Maryland citizen


Behavior that would normally be considered criminal will now be protected as a civil right


The definition of “gender identity” trivializes the significance of biological sex.

Think about them.

And part 2 from Kat:

Okay, now think back to the three tiny little quotes I asked you to peruse on Friday regarding the Brennan-Hungerford exterminationism manifesto.

  1. The bill violates the privacy rights of every Maryland citizen.
  2. Behavior that would normally be considered criminal will now be protected as a civil right.
  3. The definition of “gender identity” trivializes the significance of biological sex.

I promised you some analysis of them, but first a little piece of information I forgot to provide you yesterday: They’re not from Brennan and/or Hungerford.

These, however, are:

  1. Public policy, therefore, rationally permits sex segregation in certain settings where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.
  2. These definitions would allow all males – including registered sex offenders or males subject to a domestic violence order of protection – to assert “gender identity” as a means to invade female-only space.
  3. [I]t is absolutely critical that the law not confuse “feminine expression” with female reproductive capacity or female genital presentation.

So who are the first three from?

Peter Sprigg – of the so-called Family Research Council (a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group) – from his testimony to the Maryland House Health and Government Operations Committee on Feb. 25, 2009, against the public accommodations-inclusive trans bill H.B. 474.

Allow me to reiterate: Beth Elliott decimates the anti-trans BS being pushed by lesbian separatists, transsexual separatists, hate groups (see above) and far right-wing (nut) fundi groups.

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Cristan Williams is a trans historian and activist. She started one of the first trans homeless shelters and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice site, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group, is the jurisdictional representative to the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS), serves on the national steering body for UCHAPS and is the Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation of America.