On being Cristan

Views: 7146

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:

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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!

San Antonio: not as mature as their children

Views: 1351
adult-derp
San Antonio adults standing up for their right to discriminate.

For the past month, the adults of San Antonio have been wringing their collective hands in very public displays of “concern” over a city ordinance that would extend equality to *gasp* trans citizens. While the notion of trans/cis equality has set the adult’s tongues awaggin, their children already extend this equality to trans children.

San Antonio ISD has, for some time now, had a trans-inclusive policy in place and you know what’s happened? Nothing. Not a damn thing… other than trans and cis children living side-by-side (and yes, even using the hygiene facilities) as equal citizens. Apparently being as mature as their children is asking way too much from some San Antonio adults. In response to the bigoted hyperbole pushed by the radical right, policymakers have recently added a provision to the proposed “equality” ordinance that will preserve the right of cisgender people to have transgender people jailed for using a restroom.

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I feel for the council member’s (CM) aid as she tries to defend the CM’s “compromise” on San Antonio’s LGB(t) equality bill. Acting as a secret shopper, I pose as a well informed Texas-style bigot trying to make sure that the CM doesn’t violate my “right” as a cisgender person to have transgender people arrested for emptying their bladders.

The purpose in my role as a secrete shopper was to reveal the bigotry and cisprivilege inherent in the CM’s “compromise.”

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I guess this is what passes for “equality” for some San Antonio adults. While San Antonio kids have no issues with trans/cis equality, the adults are ready to take to the streets if it means an end to trans/cis segregation. I know it’s strange to think that you don’t get to lock your trans neighbors in a cage when they pee, but the folks at GetEquel want you to support the idea that adults need to be at least as mature and rational as their children. I know… The concept is totally wackadoodle, but there you go.

“If you look up the Texas vs Littleton case that might give you the information that you’re looking for… To, um, have gender specific bathrooms that are permanent” – Council member’s aid

The same San Antonio councilwoman who was secretly taped plotting against gay people, was – as it turns out – thinking about how best to use trans people and equivocation to fear monger:

Jeff: You get the most political points by standing up for traditional values with this one. It’s not an economic argument. This isn’t a small government argument. This is a social, cultural argument right here and this is how you… And you’re going to score the biggest points by taking that stand.

James: I agree with that but to play devil’s advocate, you could try to swing the conservative gay vote, who are, they’re conservative in their beliefs but…

CW Chan: No, I don’t think that’s…

James: It would be way fewer points though.

Roger: But if she’s, if you’re in a Republican primary against anyone that you could conceivably be against, they’re also going to be opposed to gay marriage. So that means that anyone who is gay, that’s their only issue.

CW Chan: You know, I voted no when that was put on the Constitution about a marriage should be between a man and woman.

Roger: Yeah.

CW Chan: Okay? And I’m telling you, that’s how… That’s okay if you want… This is my philosophy, guys. Whatever you want to do in your bedroom, that’s none of my business, but do not impose your view on other people, especially become a policy. And I’m, that’s all. Because personally, I think it’s just disgusting just to even think about. All the… definitions…

Jeff: But, but if you are, but if we are going to write something, I suggest it, to score the most points, it be, you know, a pro… It doesn’t have to be anti-gay, but pro-traditional values.

CW Chan: okay, I’m for that, but I don’t want to go against, necessarily… I don’t want to beat up anybody.

Jeff: No, you’re not going to beat up… That’s what I’m saying. It’s not anti-gay, it’s profamily.

Roger: And then the other thing I think you should do..

CW Chan: Maybe what we can do, can we maybe throw some questionable confusions like okay, this transgender… Because this definition is so broad, we don’t want to go into detail, but if you, I look up, I had a… Maybe I say I was not educated on what transgender is about. I look up the, the Wikipedia, whatever, and I’m very surprised how broad the definition can be and it can cause a lot of troubles. What is the, would that, in other words start to have a lot of questions. Would we be discriminating someone if a person go to uhh, uhh, go to a female bathroom?

Roger: Yup.

CW Chan: Because the person that I am…

Jeff: I feel like I’m a woman.

CW Chan: … I feel myself that I’m a woman…

James: That gets down to, umm, what’s on the driver’s license. In some states, you can get, if you have…

Jeff: In the state of Texas, identifies you with what you were born as.

James: By chromosome, right?

Jeff: It’s about what you were born as. By the equipment you have at birth…

CW Chan: Exactly!

And it seems that her plan is going off without a hitch.

San Antonio isn’t the only Texas town with cis/trans equality policies that kids have no problems with. Here in Houston, our trans youth have full access to everything that their cisgender counterparts have access to. Yes, that means restrooms, sports, and changing facilities… And you know what? It’s been that way for years and if you haven’t noticed yet, the doom and gloom the radical right is forever forecasting hasn’t materialized.

No chicken little, the sky isn’t going to fall.

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Texas Attorney General wrote to San Antonio mayor urging him to crush equality or risk everyone’s right to religion.

Apparently San Antonio children are far more capable of dealing with trans people than their parents and by gowd, many adults seem to like it that way.

The Gay Agenda: It’s Real

Views: 21723

I’m sure you’ve heard about this thing called, The Gay Agenda. Right wingers have been talking about it for quite some time now. Have you ever read it?

I bet you didn’t know that there is a very real Gay Agenda. You see, it all started back in 1978 when the Houston queer community came together to thoughtfully and explicitly create a unified trans-inclusive community.

In 1977 the State Bar of Texas held its annual convention in Houston and invited Anita Bryant, the orange juice queen who was fighting gays in Florida and using her fame to spread hate, to do a show. Surprising everyone, except Ray Hill,thousands of local gay folks came out to protest and rally. The community began to gel. – The Gay Agenda

Phyllis marching and speaking for GLBT rightsTrans activist Phyllis Frye, now Judge Frye, marching and speaking for GLBT rights

In the hope of building institutions to sustain the community of determined people that returned from the Anita Bryant demonstration, Ray Hill called for a Town Meeting which was held on June 25, 1978 in the Astro Arena. The purpose was to determine our community needs and begin to organize for our community needs. As a result of that day’s proceedings, we became an organized gay and lesbian community with transgender citizens seeking inclusion, and many organizations were launched, such as, but not limited to The Montrose Clinic (now Legacy Community Services), The Montrose Counseling Center, The Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, The Montrose Sports Association and others. Gay medical professionals and professionals and others groups of interest also formed. – The Gay Agenda

From speech at "Town Hall Meeting I"
From speech at “Town Hall Meeting I”

First it was gay and lesbian, then it was gay, lesbian and bisexual. Then someone threw transgender in the mix. Somewhere along the line, it became OK to refer to gays as queers and now, they’ve decided it’s LGBTQIA. That’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and allies. The “gay community” today includes everyone who doesn’t fit into the conventionally straight category, making for a “community” that isn’t a community at all but rather a dumping ground of people deemed deviant by society. – Nikki Dowling

There are those who claim that there’s no such thing as a gay community, a LGBT community or even a trans community. Someone I know was at a conference presenting on the Houston trans community and was confronted by a douchey academic-type who pronounced that there’s no such thing as a trans community; that either my friend was oblivious to this fact or all of us in Houston were oblivious to this fact. I really hate it when academics who are married to a narrative they’ve crafted about one region of the US and apply that same narrative to ALL regions of the US. Quoting David Valentine’s study of one trans population from the 1990s does not mean that his ethnographic work should be applied to ALL populations past, current and future.  Anyway, I digress…

Since the 1970s, Houston has taken on the multi-generational effort of building a queer community and we did it together.

About a decade ago, the Houston queer community undertook the same process that we went through in the 1970s. What came out of that was the official Gay Agenda for Houston:

Note that Houston – especially the Houston trans community – has held to the aims and goals of this document.

We’ve worked hard – in a very intentional way – to seek unity, not uniformity and to deliberately work for our common purpose.

We must all take pride in our collective efforts and move forward for our FULL CIVIL RIGHTS! – The Gay Agenda

Unfortunately, this spirit isn’t found in other regions nor has it been the historical norm.  Additionally, this value has been historically missing in numerous national organizations. Though, when Houston was involved, we made sure this value was our guiding principle.

Since I’ve never before seen another actual Gay Agenda, I thought I’d put this one out there so that right wingers have no excuse for not knowing exactly what the The Gay Agenda is all about.

Interview With an Actual Stonewall Riot Veteran: The Ciswashing of Stonewall Must End!

Views: 4600

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The POTUS noted Stonewall in his 2013 inaugural address:

We the people declare today that the most evident of truth that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth…

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.

Numerous media outlets recounted how the noble gays and lesbians fought that night – never mentioning trans folk… carrying on that long and painful tradition of ciswashing queer history – especially Stonewall history. I wrote about this phenomena over at TransAdvocate after NPR ran a piece recounting how middle-class white gay men were the real heroes of Stonewall. Kat has documented the ciswashing of Stonewall (and the equality movement which followed) well:

Not surprisingly, the white, gay, Mattachine Society member and author of Homosexuality: A Research Guide and the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality had the following to say about the role trans folk played at Stonewall:

A strange new myth has arisen about the origins of the gay movement. This myth, fervently endorsed by some trans activists, holds that the gay and lesbian movement was, essentially and pivotally, the work of their group, the transgender people. The transgender folk were in the vanguard, gay men and lesbians followed meekly after. This bizarre claim in the opposite of the truth.

Let us then be honest. If we are to speak of a “transgender” contribution we must restrict ourselves to drag queens. They were the only transgender folks around in those days. None of them in fact made a major contribution to the movement.

Wayne Dynes, 12/16/2009

Too often, the story of Stonewall is told by folks like Dynes (who was, incidentally, off touring Europe at the time of Stonewall). What follows is an interview given by an actual Stonewall veteran.

I Survived Stonewall

By Roy McCarthy
Interview by Vanessa Edwards Foster for the Texas Association for Transsexual Support (TATS)
July, 1999

To think that it has been 30 years since that night in June that all this has happened… We’ve made a lot of progress. but there’s a lot more to be made. The fight continues on — and I’m right out there!

Opening Night

I had a most unusual beginning — an initiation to the riots. I was asleep! I was across the street… my childhood sweetheart was fixing to start his first year at Columbia University — he was a psych major. I was spending the summer with him, and I was upstairs in his apartment – sound asleep; and his apartment was right across the street from Stonewall Inn. He comes running upstairs saying “Roy! Roy! The queens are rioting across the street! The queens are rioting!”

So I go running down, following him…. By the time we got down there, the paddy wagon had just pulled up. The queens were just starting to come out and someone had just thrown a high heel. There may have been coins or whatever, but I was there within a couple minutes after the festivities started. I did see high heels flying! The queens — the transgenders or the crossdressers — were yelling something from across the street by the paddy wagon; they were yelling at the cops. We were cheering on the transgenders — the crossdressers — it just sort of snowballed from there.

Setting the Stage…

You gotta understand… where everybody’s head politically was at at that time. We’re talking late 60s — 1969. We’re talking about a period of time when it was not only okay, but fashionable to riot against authority thanks to the Vietnam War, and… to the Civil Rights riots a year before. [and when] Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated — we had rioting in the streets. We were rioting and protesting the Vietnam War all along, and we had Moratorium Day every October in the 60s — I think it was around October 17, somewhere around the middle of October. We would have the anti-Vietnam War Moratorium march, which almost always turned into rioting. Later on in the summer of ’69 we also had Woodstock.

In the gay community — now when I talk about the gay community, people have to understand I’m not talking about male homosexuals. I am old school: and when I talk about gay community, the transgenders were a part of it. We never ever considered them not! Bisexuals, crossdressers, were never ever not considered a art of it! We were all gay! I’m kind of sad that all this division and fracturization is come about.

Back then in the gay community we were kinda pissed off that everyone else was getting their civil rights and we weren’t. We were tired of the police busting in and dragging us out just because we were out there to have a good time.

And even the crossdressers were pissed off because by law they had to have at least three articles of clothing on them that were according to their birth gender. That all these things set up to… guarantee that we would have a record. They would tell us to go across the street, and we would follow the police orders; and there would be another cop across the street waiting to give us a ticket for jaywalking. We were tired of gay people being locked up in psychiatric hospitals and getting tortured! We had our own Auschwitzes and Dachaus! And we were just pissed off about all of that! And it had to end!

It was obvious with the paddy wagon there they were just doing another one of their Saturday night raids. It was hot and it was humid that night, and none of us were really in the best of moods that night. We had just buried Judy Garland that day in Forest Lawn out in Hollywood — our icon! We were kinda pissed off.

The First Acts

At first the cops cleared out Stonewall Inn. Those that weren’t gonna get loaded up in the paddy wagons, the cops were telling them to go home. We started taunting the cops, and… they saw the crowd that was starting to gather. The crowd this time was getting bigger and bigger and we started pressing in on the police, and they got scared. They took refuge inside the Stonewall Inn, and barricaded themselves inside. It was after that that somebody had pulled up a parking meter outside there from Christopher Street and smashed in a window.

I got by one of the police cars — the NYPD patrol cars — and I was at the back and I start shaking up and down on the back. Then we started rocking it from side to side, up and down from the front and back, see-sawing the front and back and rocking it from side to side. Next thing… we ended up turning it over on its roof. We crushed its little `bubble-gum machine’ it had on top. By now there was a huge crowd, and somebody somewhere had tossed a Molotov cocktail, and I helped set the cop car on fire. By this time it was only 20 minutes from the time I first arrived down there… And there was a huge crowd!

The Emotion

Back then I wasn’t as big as I am now — I was 5′-7″, about 130 lbs. I was a 19 year old male prostitute. In ’69, I was a prostitute; because I’d been kicked out of home and I was living on the streets and I had to survive. The Stonewall Inn was made up of the dregs of the community. Transgenders and transsexuals were not allowed in many of the gay clubs. And the Stonewall Inn was mostly prostitutes and drug addicts, and drag queens and transgenders. It was not your respectable gay club.

But it was those of us who had nothing to lose, and stood up, and everybody joined in afterwards. We were all very tight knit very tight knit. It wasn’t like we were giving verbal support to the queens who were getting locked up in the paddy wagon. It wasn’t just some sort of spectator thing like at a football came — this was something from our heart, deep down inside.

The Climactic Scene

By this time we could here cop cars coming like crazy from every which direction, and riot police were showing up. I was looking around for my boyfriend, my lover. I saw there was this leather-jacketed, NYPD motorcycle cop who had my boyfriend in a headlock. Now my boyfriend was wearing these John Lennon granny glasses which was very popular at the time. And [the cop] had him in a headlock with his baton hitting him in the face with the bottom end of the baton, and blood was coming from my boyfriend’s face. He was my first love, puppy love, fierce love.

I lost my mental capacity for reason. I jumped on the back of that cop and I took the baton from that cop and – with some strength from somewhere – the adrenaline got me going where I was able to take the baton out of the cop’s hand and I was beating cop. I know I got about three or four hits on the guy and the next thing I knew – bang, I’m seeing stars I’m on the ground! Then there’s blood coming all down my face, on the left side! A cop on horseback came up behind me and whacked me in the head with his nightstick. That was one of the TPF – Tactical Patrol Force. This was before there was such thing as a SWAT unit. They used Tactical Patrol, and they were on horseback, and they used those police to disperse riots and…that’s what they did on me, and I was really bloodied. A piece of my skull got chipped off and wound up on Christopher Street. To this day I’ve got a place in my head where a piece of my skull is missing – a little chip off the old block!

Salvation During Battle

It was four transgendered people who saved my butt! At the time they were called crossdressers as opposed to drag queens. Drag Queen was a regular guy – gay or straight – who dressed up as a woman to perform a show. Crossdressers – or transgenders as now – were 24 hrs. Transvestite would dress up to go out to a club, be they were not necessarily performers…they would just dress up to go out to a club,

There was like one on each arm. my arms and my legs, and then they carried me down to a basement place where they helped patch me up. There was some tear gas that had been shot at us, and in fact one of the canisters…I do remember the canister going off not five, six feet in front of me when I was out on the street. I got a full face, full throttle…. I told the transgendered person “get a bucket of water… and just dump it on top of me.” That’s the best first aid [for tear gas]: a bucket of water.

The rioting went on for about three days. I never was able to find my boyfriend until after…later on the next week I found out that a piece of glass from his eyeglasses… got punctured in thought the eye and lodged in the brain. He is now in a psychiatric hospital up in Maine. [He’s] beyond repair. His parents refused to bring charges against the police at the time because they said ‘this was God’s judgment upon us.’

In fact no charges were ever brought against any of the demonstrators. We were all originally arrested and charged with drunk, and rioting, and disorderly conduct and all that. But Mayor John Lindsay… stepped in and ordered that charges not be brought against any of us, and we were all released. When I say ‘we,’ I mean the other people – I was never in jail myself.

Antagonists Within

To this day I have no affection for Harry Hay and the Mattachine Society. To have us arrested, and to tell us to “Quiet down! Don’t rock the boat!” I’m sorry! I try to be inclusive, and I know there are other issues that people care about. But basic fundamental of the right to be, and the right to love who I feel attracted to is basic and most important and overriding of everything else. The Mattachine Society was afraid that if we rioted, we were going to throw the clock back 20 years – if that was possible!

The The Mattachine Society is equivalent to our modem-day Log Cabiners. The Mattachine Society was a group of self-hating, self-loathing gay folks who felt that we were all emotionally underdeveloped or something – sub-human in some way. These were a bunch of yellow-bellied cowards who were frightened in little comers, who didn’t want us to upset the apple cart. Who thought at that time that if we didn’t create any kind of a mess… if we just did things quietly and applied for disability – let the psychiatric people say we did not develop emotionally enough or psychologically, that there was something wrong with us mentally or emotionally because we loved people of the same sex or the same gender… or because someone who was a male and always identified as a female wanted to really pursue that. Obviously that person was wacked-out. And it was just as strong with transsexual, transgender people.

Sexual [Reassignment] Surgery was started in the 50s or something, it was not new by the time the riot came around. However, there was a lot of kids who were sexually trying to [reassign] themselves in back rooms and hallways because of fear… and because there was just nowhere else for them to go. However, thanks to the Mattachine Society telling everybody we’re sick, we’re mentally ill – that was hard enough for gay people… but for transgendered and transsexuals, where could they turn to? Avenues of positive help were not open, even though they did exist. And guys who wanted to be female had nowhere to turn. They felt so disgusted with them selves, they tried to sexually [assign] themselves with a razor blade. and clean towels and a needle and thread. It just did not work! This was the same period of time when abortions were still illegal, and many women were getting it in back alleys and the butcher shops. A lot of guys hemorrhaged to death in their bathrooms. and died in back alleys…

And the Mattachine Society wanted us to stay that way. I think it’s also important to understand that most of the people in the Mattachine Society were middle-class, and upper-middle and upper class people economically. So they had a lot to lose, and they saw us as a threat. The Log Cabin is in essence, the modem day Mattachines. The Mattachine Society did not speak for the gay community. Just like the Log Cabin does not speak for the transgender community. They never have, and they never will.

The Closing Act

For the next two nights there was rioting going on. Yeah. I was there! I was out there. bandaged-up head and all… just screaming along with everyone else. We were just a big mob in the street… and there was this park – I think it was Washington Park… right there at the end of Christopher Street – right there at the end of three days was born the Gay Liberation Front. Of course everything back in those days was called the Liberation Front! You know, we were all Liberation Fronts. And so, before there was a Gay Political Caucus there was a Gay Liberation Front.

And in those early days – I shouldn’t just say transgender inclusive because nobody was excluded – the whole thing of Gay Pride Parade and every thing… of that night… was started by, was all about the transgenders! Gay people – gay males – we joined in. But it was started by transgenders. Now even though we joined in within five or ten minutes. it was still five or ten minutes later! We joined in… it’s important for people to understand. To join in means somebody else was already there. And that was the transgenders. Somebody said it was a brick – I say it was a high heeled shoe, who knows if it was a pump or a brick…or a pumped-up brick? It was called “The Hairpin Drop Heard ‘Round The World.'” That’s how CBS News covered it, and ABC News covered it, and it was in Time Magazine… “The Hairpin Drop Heard ‘Round The World'”: I guess that was the first Gay Pride slogan!

Final Memories

My favorite memory is the moment I first went out the door, and I saw the queens and the transgenders being loaded up in the paddy wagon and somebody – finally – threw a high heel! It was that moment – it was such a liberating moment inside, it was so freeing! It felt so good – finally, we’re not taking this shit no more! Pardon my french! We weren’t going to take it any more! No more! Over! This is it! No Más!

I have heard. that people went around to a bunch of different gay clubs… saying “Out of the clubs, into the streets!” Or “Out of the bars, into the streets!” I think that’s what somebody told me was being said. I mean. I don’t know because I was already in the street! That was the defining moment.

It feels special in some ways, and in other ways it feels like an accident of history. Thirty years later, I am so saddened by knowing where the community is at now; in which transgenders and transsexuals – in many cities – are excluded from the Pride Parade. Many transgendered and many gay people do not know the role that transgenders [played]; how important…. We would not have Gay Pride Parade if it was not for the transgenders. We would not have Gay Pride Week! We probably wouldn’t have this show (After Hours Radio, 90.1 KPFT). Everything had its birth with transgenders and transsexuals finally standing up!

Some people call Harry Hay (founder of the Mattachine Society) one of the ‘great founders.’ He was the founder of nothing! If anything he held us back! And to tell us “Don’t make waves…!” Well just remember this: if you don’t make waves, you ain’t going nowhere! And we had to go somewhere, because this could not continue. The hypocrisy of it all was really astounding. Which is why, for thirty years, I have always been there for the transgendered people because quite literally, you saved my butt! And helped patch me up!


NOTE: This interview comes from the Transgender Archives in Houston, Texas.

Federal Updates: New VA Trans Directive & ENDA via Executive Order?

Views: 24530

EO ENDA

ENDA via Executive Order

On social policy, Obama is reconsidering whether to issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. When he decided not to issue such an order last year, the White House said it would prefer to pass a law applying to gays and lesbians in the workplace.

But if Congress seems unlikely to act on the broader legislation — called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — officials have signaled to people working on the issue outside the administration that the president would likely consider issuing an executive order, which can only affect government contractors.

Read more here…

Obama Criticism: Too Many Executive Orders

Obama is taking criticism for issuing too many Executive Orders. Here’s a reality check:

  • Roosevelt: 3,522 EOs
  • Truman: 907 EOs
  • Eisenhower: 484 EOs
  • Kennedy 214 EOs
  • Johnson 325 EOs
  • Nixon: 346 EOs
  • Ford: 169 EOs
  • Carter: 320 EOs
  • Reagan: 381 EOs
  • Bush I: 166 EOs
  • Clinton: 364 EOs
  • Bush II: 291 EOs
  • Obama: 147 EOs

You have to go all the way back to the 2nd presidency of Grover Cleveland to find a president who issued less… Which is sort of a technicality since he was elected twice. He was both the 22th (1883 – 1885) and 24th (1893 – 1897) POTUS.  During his 22nd presidency, he issued 113 EOs and during his 24th presidency, he issued 140. Taken together, he issued 253 EOs – far more than Obama.

Obama Criticism: Too Govt Contractors/It’s SOCIALISM!!!11

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“BCA Research produced this fascinating chart in its latest research note which showed the growth in public sector employment in the first four years of recent Presidencies. As you can see, it has contracted under Barack Obama, as it did under Ronald Reagan; the real “big government” types were the two Bushes.”

Even so, should Obama issue an ENDA executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, it will be huge – changing the nondiscrimination policy of a huge swath of America’s business sector (for instance… and this is just the top 200). For instance, Exxon is a government contractor who refuse to protect LGBT employees. Should Obama issue an ENDA EO, even companies like Exxon who believe it’s their American right to be able to fire you or treat you badly just because you happen to be LGBT will have to step into the 21st century.

VA Issues New Trans Guidance

The VA just issued new guidance on how trans/intersex folks will be medically treated. You can read the directive here. The good news is, nothing changed. The bad news is, nothing changed. Trans surgical interventions are still deemed inappropriate despite practically every professional medical/psychological organization (from the APA to the AMA) asserting its medical necessity. However, all other psychological, medical and post-surgical care is still covered.

Keep in mind, even if you have to pay for your surgery yourself, the costs you incur due to your transition is tax deductible!

 

Cristan’s 2012 Year in Review

Views: 35588

My 2012 highlights:

January

Schadenfreude Anyone? – It turns out that the lawyer trying to do away with trans marriage racked up YET ANOTHER ethics violation!

Equality = Bathroom Bills = Rape: Reality Check –RadFems take up the exact same blood-drenched tactics used against them to take aim at trans folk.

Nikki Araguz, Jewel Thief Extraordinaire – Nikki goes to jail for stealing a watch… or so the story goes.

February

More History on Trans Terms – Supposedly the term “transsexual” was “coined” in 1949 or, if you like, a German version was coined in 1923. I discover that the word was being used in the English language as early as 1907.

Objectively Measuring Our Community – I begin a survey of American trans folk, measuring (for the first time) our “sense of community.”

March

Tracking Transgender – A fairly comprehensive review of how we actually got the language we use and the false narrative that became dogma for many.

April

I’m Calling It: The Death of the TS Separatist Movement – A pithy (of course!) review of why the trans wars are over.

May

Ashley “I’m Colonized” Love – My research “hogwash” and its existence constitutes mental violence. I should prepare for the “backlash.”

Critiquing Academic “Coinage” Myths: The Virginia Prince Fountainhead Myth – The need to tell a simple story about how personal and group identity occurs has poisoned the trans community.

June

Rewriting Trans History With 3 Simple Points – I discover that transgender was in use in 1965 (and the person using it wasn’t Virginia Prince), that “transgenderist” was in use before Prince ever used it and that multiple umbrella uses of trans terms existed in the early 1970s.

GenderReality Fails: Cristan Williams is Subhuman, Needs to be Dealt With – Those tied to the Virginia Prince Fountainhead Myth try to un-rewrite history. Could this be the dreaded “backlash” Ashley Love foretold?

RadFems Are Attacked At Dyke Gathering! – Or not. And here’s why.

July

Dun Goofed: TS Separatist Threatens “Legal Action” – Another adherent to the Prince Fountainhead Myth threatens to come after me when she backs out of our scheduled trans history debate.

Ashley Love, Quit Colonizing Isis King – Isis King, Janet Mock and I demand that Love quit using Isis to support her bogus narrative.

Gender Orientation, Identity and Expression – Gender is made up of all three (though RadFems like to pretend otherwise) and this is why.

August

Transgender Timeline – A simple timeline concisely reviewing how the trans+gender lexical compound has been used since 1965.

The American Psychiatric Association, RadFems and Fundies – It sucks to be a RafFem or Fundie right now and here’s why.

September

… was an uneventful month. Yay!

October

Thank You OutSmart Magazine! – I’m voted best female blogger.

A Grateful Life – I never thought my life would turn out like this.

Jan 2, 2013: Republicans, Transgender People, HIV & Death – Republicans are about to unleash a 1980s-era AIDS epidemic on the trans community and here’s the proof.

November

Bigots Unite! Deploying the Klan Fallacy in 3… 2… 1… – Destroying the RadFem/Fundie talking points.

Chronicling 2012 Republican Voter Fraud – The Republican party engaged in an unprecedented amount of voter fraud and here’s the proof.

HIV in the Trans Community: A Reality Check – Correcting misinformation that’s being propagated by the “Transgender Awareness Week” campaign.

December

The Virginia Prince Fountainhead Myth Must Die! – How the myth poisoned all things trans and why it must be killed.

A Look Back at the T in the 1979 “Gay March” on Washington – Yeah, we were there, loud and proud (though that fact was erased/forgotten by the authors of queer history)!

Dismissed Trans Heroes: Lee Brewster – Reintroducing the trans person who helped organize and fund the queer community’s civil rights effort and how they were wiped from the history books by RadFems and their gay ideological supporters.


For a really amazing (very comprehensive yet concise) review of all things trans in 2012, Zagria (an awesome trans historian) is almost done with her annual review. CHECK IT OUT!

A Look Back at the T in the 1979 “Gay March” on Washington

Views: 30922

Official Souvenir Program of the 1979 National March on Washington, Page 40

It should be noted that the organizer of the 1st MOW was Ray Hill from Houston, Texas.

Trans Leader from Houston, Phyllis Frye (center, holding American flag)

Phyllis Frye, leading the Texas contingent

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Official Souvenir Program of the 1979 National March on Washington, Page 1

“Gay is Good”

This slogan came out of the 1968 North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO). This meeting was largely funded by transperson, Lee Brewster (a forgotten trans badass who also funded the Mattachine Society, founded the Queens Liberation Front, funded and coordinated the NY anti-GLBT legal challenges that overturned NY anti-gay laws, published most of the early national trans magazines and newspapers, and fought early anti-trans RadFems like Jean O’Leary and Jill Johnston who wanted to erase trans folk from the queer rights movement). The meeting was attended by Houston activist, Ray Hill (who planned the March with Harvey Milk… Hill was the lead organizer of the March on Washington) along with several other transpeople – including Transgender Foundation of America’s Vice President, Alexis Melvin.

(I can’t help but snicker at – yet again – Houston’s fingers being all over queer history. BTW, that term “transpeople”… That was from Phyllis – who was using it before Prince, BTW.)

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In 1967, NACHO wrote:

Official Souvenir Program of the 1979 National March on Washington, Pages 10 – 11

Official Souvenir Program of the 1979 National March on Washington, Page 3