Janice Raymond, TERFs, & Insurance Policy

Views: 3696

Someone recently asked me to breakdown the link between the TERF opinion leader Janice Raymond and insurance policies that exclude trans care. Here’s the link to the original article. This article meticulously exposes a few less than truthful fact assertions Raymond has made, but it’s quite long.

So, here’s the TL;DR article excerpt version:


It was Raymond’s NCHCT report that allowed the OHTA report to assert that trans medical care was ethically “controversial”.

Therefore, exclusionary health policies which appeal to Raymond’s “controversial” claim constitute Raymond’s fingerprint. Consider the following:

1.) In 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Departmental Appeals Board reversed the HHS rule banning trans medical care. In the document, HHS reviewed the reason HHS had originally banned trans care:

HHS Appeals Board Decision, page 3

The HHS Appeals Board Decision continues (NOTE: “NCD” = National Coverage Determination):

The NCHCT’s May 6, 1981 memorandum, the 1981 NCHCT report, and the notes of the HCFA Physicians Panel meeting on May 11, 1982, are the materials in the NCD record containing analysis by HCFA or PHS of the issue of Medicare coverage of transsexual surgery. Although the NCD was not issued until 1989, it is clear that the NCD was based on the NCHCT report and memorandum from 1981. 

In other words, HHS has concluded that it was the 1981 report that HHS used to issue an NCD banning trans services.

2.) Recall that Raymond’s controversial claim is the very first sentence in HHS’ review of how and why trans services were banned from public health insurance policies. What follows is from a 2009 United Health policy banning trans services:

Note that the exclusionary language in this private insurance policy is the same word-for-word language as the exclusionary language from the HHS’ public insurance policy, as quoted by HHS:

This then, is the smoking gun. Here we have a private insurer quoting word-for-word a governmental policy which relied on Raymond for 1/3 of it’s findings; specifically, it’s finding that trans care is ethically controversial. Thus we can easily follow the timeline for Raymond’s part in the decimation of trans care in America:

From Raymond’s Transsexual Empire (1979)

1979: Raymond writes in her book, “I contend that the problem of transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence.”

1980: Raymond is contracted by the NCHCT to write a report on the ethics of trans medical care because the NCHCT must, by law, report on the ethical implications of medical technologies. In Raymond’s 1980 NCHCT report footnotes, her second citation reads, “See Thomas Szasz, review of THE TRANSSEXUAL EMPIRE: THE MAKING OF THE SHE-MALE by Janice G. Raymond, New York Times Book Review, June 10, 1979, p. 11.”

1981: Raymond’s NCHCT report and Raymond’s own citation are used to make the ethical case that trans medical care should be excluded from public insurance policies because it’s “controversial.” Thomas Szasz’s review of Raymond’s 1979 book (in which she calls for trans care to be morally mandated out of existence) is also cited.

1989: The National Coverage Determination (NCD) to exclude trans care from public insurance is published in the Federal Register.

1989 – 2013: Trans medical care is routinely excluded from both public and private health insurance plans.

2012: The State of California finds that barriers to trans health care “was a more reliable predictor of suicide than depression, history of alcohol/drug abuse treatment, physical victimization, or sexual assault.”

2013: HHS finds that the 1981 rational for excluding trans care is “no longer reasonable.”

2014: Private healthcare providers, citing HHS’s ruling, begin rolling back their trans healthcare exclusions. Janice Raymond sets up a webpage to publicly diminish her role in the revocation of trans health care (to which this fact checking article is a response). Raymond clarifies that when, in 1979 she wrote, “I contend that the problem of transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence,” she meant, “that I want to eliminate the medical and social systems that support transsexualism…”

Open letter to the media regarding the AG’s NC suit

Views: 5238

Dear news media:

Why is it that (almost) without exception, all news stories covering the US Attorney General’s suit against NC omits the rather significant fact that when NC took federal money tied to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Title IX, they signed a contract with the federal government explicitly agreeing to not discriminate against trans people?

Why is it that almost all news articles spin the story to make it seem as if the legal question in the DOJ’s suit is somehow ambiguous when, in fact, NC is contractually obliged to keep their side of the agreement they made with the federal government when they received  federal funding under VAWA and Title IX?

Why is it that instead of actually telling the truth about the legal issue at hand, you’re droning on about “dueling lawsuits” and focusing on the “transgender debate” trope?

At yesterday’s press conference, here’s what the AG told you :

  • “With respect to federal funding, the statutes we brought this lawsuit under do provide the opportunity to curtail federal funding under Title IX in the Violence Against Women Act.”
  • “The Violence Against Women Act specifically targets gender identity. The law and the case law around Title VII, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act clearly indicates HB2 is in violation of federal law.”

Here’s what Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice told you at yesterday’s press conference:

  • “We also bring a claim in the Violence Against Women Act, a more recent statute specifically designed to prevent discrimination against transgender people by entities that accept certain federal funds. As with Title IX, entities that accept federal funds under VALA, including UNS and the NCDPS, pledged that they would not discriminate against sex or gender identity. Our complaint seeks to enforce that pledge and hold those entities accountable for the kind of discrimination required by HB2.”

Since you can’t seem to bring yourself to talk about what the VAWA –an Act WITH LANGUAGE PASSED BY CONGRESS AND THE SENATE… you know, the very Act that NC received funds under– says, let me spell it out for you. Under Section 3 of VAWA, the Universal definitions and grant conditions, sub-section 18 reads:

The term underserved populations means populations who face barriers in accessing and using victim services, and includes populations underserved because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, underserved racial and ethnic populations, populations underserved because of special needs (such as language barriers, disabilities, alienage status, or age), and any other population determined to be underserved by the Attorney General or by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, as appropriate.

Under the Civil Rights section, the nondiscrimination subsection reads:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (title IV of Public Law 103–322 ; 108 Stat. 1902), the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (division B of Public Law 106–386; 114 Stat. 1491), the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (title IX of Public Law 109–162 ; 119 Stat. 3080), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 , and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Office on Violence Against Women.

Under Title I, subsection M(19), the VAWA states:

…developing, enlarging, or strengthening programs and projects to provide services and responses targeting male and female victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, whose ability to access traditional services and responses is affected by their sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in section 249(c) of title 18, United States Code; and

Congress PASSED THIS LANGUAGE in 2013, 286 to 138. The Senate PASSED THIS LANGUAGE 78 to 22.

Why then, are you paying lip service to NC’s demonstrably false talking point that Congress hasn’t taken up the issue of “gender identity”?

Why won’t you report that NC is being sued because they agreed to the terms of the VAWA, received money under the VAWA, and then just declared that they’ve decided to not honor their contract with the Federal government?

Why have you REFUSED to print what the DOJ explicitly told you? Here it is again:

“We also bring a claim in the Violence Against Women Act, a more recent statute specifically designed to prevent discrimination against transgender people by entities that accept certain federal funds. As with Title IX, entities that accept federal funds under VALA, including UNS and the NCDPS, pledged that they would not discriminate against sex or gender identity. Our complaint seeks to enforce that pledge and hold those entities accountable for the kind of discrimination required by HB2.” – Vanita Gupta

The reality is that under the VAWA and Title IX, NC is contractually obliged to not discriminate against anyone based on “gender identity”. NC demanded the special right to not have to honor their contractual word. Not only that, NC then demanded that the federal government continue to fund them under a contract NC has declared they refuse to honor.

Why do you refuse to point out this simple — yet absolutely central — contractual fact?

Trump scam artist gets me instead of my grandmother

Views: 4809

I was at my grandmother’s house today when the phone rang and I picked it up. A man with a thick accent informed me that I, [insert horrible mispronunciation of my grandmother’s name here] had won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes worth 2 million in cash and even a new BMW. I thought it would be fun to record my fucking with the scam artist until I figured out what they were after. After that, shit got real.

This is an edited version of two calls I had with this crook. During the call, he mentioned that he had paperwork on my grandmother’s home he wanted her to sign and he said that she would have to pay 50,000 in taxes before she would be able to collect her prize. The taped conversation in full is over an hour and a half long. The guy spent a lot of time trying to groom me (again, he thought I was my grandmother) into giving him access to bank accounts, pressuring me to sign some set of papers regarding my grandmother’s home to “protect” her from the IRS taking her house after winning the Sweepstakes.

What you here is me having fun just knowing that I’m wasting his time. Then you hear me working to get identifying information about his scam. He then gave me the name and address of his accomplice, which I will publish here. I’m publishing it here because my grandmother’s local cops refused to even take a report. They instead told me to call the FBI, who also wasn’t interested. The FBI gave me the number to the Federal Trade Commission where I guess they thought that reporting what was certainly as spoofed number would help. Anyway, when I called the FTC number the FBI gave me, the office was closed. So, I reported the accomplice to the sheriff local to the scam artist’s accomplice who did at least take a report.

It pisses me off beyond belief that there are people out there who’d be happy to scam my grandmother out of her money and even (apparently) her home. It’s even more frustrating that law enforcement seems to not really give a shit. I mean, I live in a country where people like me are being monstered on national news every minute of every day, but when have I ever heard of an investigative news sting into BS like this? Legislators are working hard to stop people like me from being able to simply function in society, but what laws are they passing to help elder folk like my grandmother who are obviously targeted specifically because of their age?

So, here’s the edited version of the scam call:

Here’s the information on this guy’s accomplice:

Deborah Beitler
407 North Locust
Whitewater, KS 67154

#ProTransProChoice: defending body autonomy

Views: 14777

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.

 

Christian terrorist captured near Houston: “biblical gender roles” part of their “Manifesto”

Views: 7864

In case you hadn’t heard, a Texas Christian fundie terrorist was just caught plotting to murder a lot of folks in my neck of the woods. While the group’s BS was taken down, I did find some of their stuff in corners of the interwebs:

Why do feminists, gays, liberals, anarchists, tyrants, atheists, socialists, and people with commitment issues run amok, and run the government? Why are immigrants let in constantly, when we call for border control? Why do these people make up almost the entire population? Why do we, the sensible, good, and godly people of this earth let this happen?

I have no problem with women. I am sexist, but I love women, I do not see them as mere sex objects at all… Strong-willed, hard working, traditional ladies that follow biblical gender roles are almost nonexistent anymore, especially in the younger generations. They simply do not exist, and anyone who thinks they should is seen by the those who run amok, and run the government as backwards, evil, ignorant, and otherwise unbearably foolish. But hereby I proclaim to you, these people are among the greatest order of fools.

We must fight. We must rebel. There is no other option now. Blood and bullets are the only two things that will change this world, short of divine action… Perhaps we’ll win, perhaps we wont. That is of no consequence. But we will fight, and we will destroy what is evil. We will take from the system, we will break the system. There aren’t many of us, but only a few are needed. We will not plea guilty, if we are detained, for we are only guilty of taking back what is ours. What was ours. – American Insurgent Movement “Manifesto,” March 26, 2014

I – and many of the people I know and love – would have qualified for being on this group’s hit-list many times over.

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“[We] want to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.”

According to reports, he was captured with explosives.

On being Cristan

Views: 7044

It’s been months since I’ve done an update, so here goes:

Most recently, I was included in the trans 100 list. It was kinda cool to get a personal congratulations from Fallon Fox:

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I got to see the final proof of the piece I’ll have in the Transgender Studies Quarterly journal and The Queer South gave me the final thumbs up on publishing one of my essays.

Last month, I was in Atlanta and in DC.

I’m on the steering committee for Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS). We were having a trilateral meeting between UCHAPS, NASTAD and the CDC leadership.

Me and the Director of HIV Prevention at the CDC, Rear Admiral Dr. Kenneth Castro
Me and the Director of HIV Prevention at the CDC, Rear Admiral Dr. Kenneth Castro

No sooner did I fly back to Houston than I flew out to DC for the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association convening. I thought the event was kinda of awesome. Generally, what I get out of meetings like this isn’t found in sessions; rather, it’s found in the one-on-one conversations that happen. In nonprofit-speak, what I find most valuable is the “Peer TA” (technical assistance). It’s those amazingly insightful and fortuitous conversations that  happen over coffee,  while we happen to be walking somewhere or in the hallways of the hotel. Over the course of one night, I made some amazing contacts and learned the sad truth behind not one, but two different TERF opinion leaders.

Me and Mason Davis at the White House.
Me and Mason Davis at the White House.
Me and Monica Roberts at the White House.
Me and Monica Roberts at the White House.
Me and Ellie Schafer, the highest ranking lesbian at the White House.
Me and Ellie Schafer, the highest ranking lesbian at the White House.

The right to body autonomy and being free from oppressive gender stereotypes is an issue that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve noticed that the same hubris people who stand in the way of trans people are generally the same people who are standing in the way of the right to safe and legal abortion services for many of the same reasons.

The Pacific Justice Institute, the very organization that hounded a trans kid to the brink of suicide, is also an anti-abortion group. The Salt & Light Council, the very organization that went on the news to falsely claim that trans children were scurrying up and and over bathroom stalls so they could watch cis people use the restroom, is also an anti-abortion group. Alliance Defending Freedom, the same organization that went to Fox News with lies about what happened at Evergreen College, is also an anti-abortion group.

Consider the gender stereotypes these folks appeal to as they take an anti-trans/anti-choice stance:

anti

In their anti-trans/anti-choice world, learning to be a good homemaker who pumps out as many kids as the males in her life wish is gender. People like me fuck with that world view.  I’ve also noticed they believe that they – not you – get to contextualize your life experience. They’re happy to tell me that I’m a man while shouting a clinic patients, “No matter what you do, you’ll still be a mother; you’ll just be a mother to a dead baby!” I’ve noticed that the people – be they TERFs or fundies – believe that gender only ever = males controlling females. I’ve also noticed that on top of that, both will smugly privilege themselves to define your experience for you.

I therefore spend my Saturdays defending clinic patients as they attempt to access an abortion clinic because a person’s right to hold agency over their body (and not the other way around) is also a trans issue. I do what I do because the enemies of choice are the enemies of my freedom.

I’m a Clinic Escort, or as the people who try to mob, intimidate and shame people entering the clinic call us, “Clinic Deathscorts.” (BTW, “Deathscort” would make an awesome metal band name!) I generally stand at the front gate and try to keep the anti-trans/anti-choice crew from mobbing cars as they enter the clinic:

I was happy to learn that the president of a state NOW chapter will be doing a TransAdvocate interview, echoing these sentiments. Additionally, I was happy to see Planned Parenthood and NARAL give voice to these intersections of oppression as well.

PPact

Speaking of TERFs, the last post I did was back in December 2013 and was about Cathy Brennan trying to bully my local queer community magazine into covering up the fact that she worked with an ex-gay group in targeting a trans kid who was pushed to the brink of suicide. I’m happy to say that she failed to bully the magazine and the article remains as it was when it was published because the evidence supporting my account of what happened is kinda irrefutable.

Oh, and the ex-gay group Brennan worked with? They were recently officially identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) due to the TransAdvocate’s investigative work:

This is really what caused us to take a hard look at them last year was the wild exaggerations about California schools and the claim that a trans kid was supposedly harassing other kids, the one you found out to be baloney. We look at groups that demonize minorities in our society in a way that makes them targets for real hatred and often violence and that’s what we’ve seen here. – Mark Potok, SPLC speaking with me

While the SPLC has not yet listed Brennan’s group as a hate group, once Potok learned that Brennan was bragging about sending SPLC donations, SPLC stated that they will no longer accept her donations. Additionally, the SPLC opened an investigation into TERF movement and its leadership:

We’d very much appreciate any information you or your allies could provide of the major players, websites, etc., in the anti-trans world. We would like to take a look at this for a possible investigative story for our magazine, Intelligence Report. I’m especially interested in links between the groups. Any help will be greatly appreciated. – SPLC

Brennan’s group responded by claiming that the SPLC has liberal bias and that it’s not adhering to its mission.

Also, over the past couple of months I spoke at the Texas Women’s University as well as the University of Texas, wrote a small grant for the Trans Center, and have been spending a lot more time with my 80+ year old grandmother who’s not in the best health. In-between, I’m still an active member of the City of Houston’s HIV Prevention Planning Group, I’m co-chairing our county’s Ryan White EIIHA committee and I’m on the Board of the Wellness Center – a newly minted FQHC trans inclusive low/no-cost health clinic.  Also, it looks like I’ll be designing the National HIV Testing site this year. Yay!

Cathy Brennan attempts to censor LGBT magazine

Views: 10142

OutSmart magazine asked me to write a piece on the TERF phenomena. My 2500+ word article featured just two sentences that mentioned Cathy Brennan’s behavior. Cathy Brennan – a Maryland attorney, activist, leader and a public face of TERFism – is demanding that my article be edited so that it remains silent about her behavior in the modern TERF movement.

Brennan asserted that she’s hired lawyers to successfully go after other media outlets for their coverage of her behavior in the past. Brennan wrote, “Neither I nor any organization I work with has any connection to right wing organisations. It’s simply false.” She then claimed that the article needed to be “corrected” to promote the fiction that she’s not worked with the Pacific Justice Institute in targeting a Colorado trans kid, Jane Doe.

Here are the 2 sentences with which Brennan takes issue:

Recently, Cathy Brennan, an attorney who heads a particularly hateful TERF group, outed a trans youth at school and even went so far as to work with the ex-gay group Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) in targeting a sixteen-year-old trans girl. Brennan’s group acted as PJI’s mouthpiece, joined them in misgendering her, and promoted PJI’s bullying.

Let’s fact check each claim made:

  • Cathy Brennan, an attorney
    This is a fact. She’s licensed in more than one state.
  • Brennan heads a particularly hateful TERF group
    This is a fact. She heads Gender Identity Watch among other demonstrably hateful groups. Several thousand people agree with this statement.
  • Brennan outed a trans youth at school
    This is a fact.
  • Brennan went so far as to work with the ex-gay group Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) in targeting a sixteen-year-old trans girl. Brennan’s group acted as PJI’s mouthpiece
    This is a demonstrable fact:

Note that I did not say that she worked for PJI, nor did I assert that she (as Brennan falsely implies that I did) is “connected” to a right wing organization. In fact, I asserted that she worked with PJI in targeting Jane Doe. Brennan undertook every action which targeted Jane Doe voluntarily; PJI didn’t pay her to do what she did. Presumably, nobody paid her to work with PJI in targeting Jane Doe, that was something she did because she freely chose to do it.

  • Brennan either voluntarily contacted PJI or she didn’t. Which is it?
  • PJI gave her a narrative that furthered their goal of targeting Jane Doe or they didn’t. Which is it?
  • Brennan either voluntarily published PJI’s narrative over her social media networks or she didn’t. Which is it?
  • Brennan either issued PJI’s statement to the TransAdvocate (me) or she didn’t. Which is it?

Gosh, if there was only a way to somehow prove that Brennan did, in fact, do each of the above things…

CB-contacts-PJI
Asserts the debunking of PJI’s claim against Jane Doe is “bullshit” & admits to contacting PJI
CB-delivers-PJI
Issues PJI’s statement to the TransAdvocate
PJI's statement
Promotes the narrative PJI provided Brennan on her social networks.

Did Brennan:

A.) Contact PJI in order to fact check PJI’s claim for an article she published; or,

B.) Simply claim that she believed that my debunking of PJI’s narrative was “bullshit,” acted to obtain a statement from PJI which supported PJI’s narrative about Jane Doe, and then voluntarily engaged in promoting that very narrative?

Which is it? A or B?

Let’s get back to fact checking my last assertion: Brennan, “joined them in misgendering [Jane Doe], and promoted PJI’s bullying.”

Either Brennan joined PJI in misgendering Jane Doe or she didn’t. Which is it?

TERF9

CB-GIW-outs-trans-kid

 

Either Brennan defended and promoted PJI’s debunked propaganda or she didn’t. Which is it?

TERF2

 

TERF12

CB-PJI-2

 

Brennan may truly believe that reasonable people should conclude that her behavior represents the opposite of my statement: Brennan, the leader of a particularly hateful TERF group, worked … “with the ex-gay group Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) in targeting a sixteen-year-old trans girl” and that Brennan’s group “acted as PJI’s mouthpiece, joined them in misgendering her, and promoted PJI’s bullying.” Maybe in Brennan’s reality this is what not working with an ex-gay group to target a trans kid looks like. Maybe for Brennan, having an ex-gay group issue you a statement which you then promote is what not being a mouthpiece looks like. Maybe for Brennan, promoting PJI’s ‘Jane-Doe-is-a-male’ narrative is how adults act to not misgender or harm trans kids. Maybe Brennan mistakenly thinks that PJI is a left wing organization instead of a right wing organization.

Regardless of how Brennan chooses to justify her demonstrable behavior, there are facts to be known about these two sentences:

Recently, Cathy Brennan, an attorney who heads a particularly hateful TERF group, outed a trans youth at school and even went so far as to work with the ex-gay group Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) in targeting a sixteen-year-old trans girl. Brennan’s group acted as PJI’s mouthpiece, joined them in misgendering her, and promoted PJI’s bullying.

Either my statements are verifiable or they are not… and if my statements are verifiable, what does that say about Brennan when she threatens a small LGBT magazine in an effort to make them promote the fiction that my statement isn’t verifiable?