Bil Browning

READ THIS: This is NOT acceptable on Bilerico Project

Filed By Bil Browning | March 20, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: bad behavior, HRC, LGBT community, TOS violation, transgender

I hate having to write posts like this, but apparently I need to do it. A Projector left this comment on the guest post by Samir Luther on HRC's update to the Corporate Equality Index.

I want heads on a platter.

I want to see one dead HRC staffers head cut off, and put on a pike outside Rhode Island Avenue.

I want to see effigies of HRC staff burning bright in every town in America.

What I want most of all, is to outlive you all at the HRC, and piss on your grave.

PS, You should be glad I wrote this when I was in a good mood.
PPS, Can you guess if I am trans or not?

Advocating violence is never acceptable. I realize that many of us are angry with HRC over past issues, but this is completely out of line. Thankfully, most Projectors have the tact to express their anger constructively without resorting to this level. Bilerico Project is a spot for open discourse, not death threats.

The comment has been deleted, of course, but I want to specifically point something out... I don't give a shit how angry any of us are, commenting on a guest post and advocating killing them is extremely disturbing and disgusting - especially when the guest's work address is listed and the their headshot is on the post. While we keep Projector's information private, this would be a case where I would gladly hand over any identifying information to the authorities.


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I posted this.
I own it, and I also apologized.

Just so every one can see, and no rumors fly, I am apologising again. Owning my words and my mistakes. With no qualifications this time.
Just a sincere expression of regret at expressing my anger at an organization I believe, rightly or wrongly, has contributed to the loss of transgender lives.

One of trans folks biggest beefs with this organization is that they do not own their words and their mistakes.

I do not wish to repeat their mistake here. I try to be better than that.

If you feel the need to discuss this further, you can contact me at:

lyssak@cox.net

Lyssa,

Thanks for the apology and owning up to the momentary lapse of judgment. I know that normally you are a rather sensible Projector, but this just crossed the line.

I'll pass the apology on to Samir, who was, understandably, rather frightened. As you can imagine, any large organization that's taken an unpopular position becomes the target of many threats that have to be taken seriously.

Bil, you are aware that if the HRC feels that threatened, then that means something really needs to be addressed.
Just maybe people here and elsewhere are trying to tell you something.

And you keep going on about threatening violence.

What you really mean is, that you are willing to take an obviously non threatening person's momentary rage,
backed up by multiple apologies,
multiple invitations to talk about things with me personally,
with whom you have personally corresponded with,
talked at length with friends who know me,
threaten a brown woman of trans history with harassment by the cops,
place me at the mercy of an organization with a history of using State sanctioned violence against peaceably assembled trans people, and yet you crow about violence being unacceptable?

You are epitomizing the very system I am railing against!

The HRC has no qualms about jailing trans women.

and for us, jail can be a death sentence, even the 72 hours it would take to figure out that I represent no danger.

And the HRC brooks no dissent from trans women. They hate us, and will cheerfully hurt us to achieve their ends.

Think about that. You talk of a stance against imaginary violence, and back it up with a credible threat of deadly, State sanctioned force against a brown trans woman who has always expressed a willingness to talk.

Bil, who do you stand for? What kind of statement are you trying to make threatening women online with a credible threat to their life?

You need to talk to the HRC types, and make sure that they see me for who and what I am.

Otherwise, you are complicit with a system that kills trans women, brown and not.

Do you really want to stand for that?


christie c | March 21, 2009 1:50 AM

aLyssa Do you really think that YOU are to be taken seriously? OK now get off your soap box and go do the real work of lobbying, will you be with Mara and the rest of us in DC next month, will you knock on the doors of your RI Senators and talk to them? Its society government the system you should be angry with more than anything.

as stated before 'Get off your cross we need the wood'

My partner and I worked with Edith Aiello to get full trans equality passed in RI.

I got the state university restroom law to be honored and enforced by the police, so trans women can pee statewide.

You just mispelled my name. Does Not Even compare. Go home, lil troll.

Hi Bill,
I have to agree with you on this one. As a trans person I can understand being very upset with HRC, specially over the ENDA crap. BUT, I can't, will NEVER endorse the killing of anyone within that origination or any other origination for that matter. Talk like that will NEVER get us anywhere, if anything, it could actually make things worse for everyone in our community. We as a community have made some progress, although SLOW progress, but making statements like that will surely make any progress that we have made be reversed. So please tone down comments like that and lets get to work on making progress that counts. Thanks for your time.
Michelle

I'll go further, Bil. Not just Bilerico, this isn't acceptable ANYWHERE.

As one of HRC's most frequent and vocal critics, I attack where and when it's appropriate. I go after their behavior, their lack of fairness, truthfulness, and morality when it comes to what they've done to the fight for trans rights. I call them out as liars, as hypocrites, and as an organization with a leadership that doesn't see past it's own doorstep.

In my opinion, all of these things are valid targets, worthy of public exposure, ridicule, and disparagement. To advocate actual violence, however, crosses a line I have never and will never cross. Not only would such an action be immoral in the extreme, not only would it not only not help get us what we want but rather help to ensure the opposite, but it sends exactly the opposite of the message we need to be sending and have been sending for decades now: This is about people's lives, about our right to have the same access to the American Dream as anyone else.

Threats of physical violence against anyone at HRC or anyone period, regardless of whether or not we happen to be on the same side politically, are not only unacceptable just in general but such behavior would likely hurt us more as a community then anything HRC has done or might do in the future.

There's a way to fight for what's right, to disempower and discredit those who work against our political interests, but this is most certainly not it. If I were in a place to stop such an attack I would do so without a moment's hesitation, no matter who the target or how much I disagreed with them politically.

For me, when people's lives are threatened, politics takes a back seat no matter who it is. As much as I call out HRC for what they've done to us, no one should ever have to fear for their lives because of it. Such threats are a base betrayal of everything I and so many us fight for and believe in.

No matter how wrong HRC is on the issues, no matter how righteous our cause, there has to be a line which cannot be crossed no matter what. For me, this is it.

There's just no excuse for this, no matter how angry we might be. No excuse at all.

Yea, I get that the comment might not be furthering discourse on Bilerico. But come on! This is nothing but an expression of complete, exhausted frustration and rage -- it’s not a real threat of physical violence. Contacting the police in this instance, however, would be violent! That the response to lyssak’s comment would possibly involve the criminal “justice” system is more frightening than anything ze wrote.

I’m not going to come here and condemn lyssak for expressing feelings that my friends and I have shouted together a hundred times when we’re just so overwhelmed by the real violence that surrounds us and we feel like we can’t take it anymore. And in fact I’ll echo hir comments at least that I’d love to see effigies of HRC burned in every town as part of a massive local grassroots backlash against the gay non-profit industrial complex. I’ve always said Stonewall 2.0 is going to be the razing of HRC headquarters.

Right now I’m reading David Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives, and it’s fitting that I just read this passage:

[A]nd I wake up every morning in this killing machine called america and I'm carrying this rage like a blood filled egg and there's a thin line between the inside and the outside a thin line between thought and action and that line is simply made up of blood and muscle and bone and I'm waking up more and more from daydreams of tipping amazonian blowdarts in "infected blood" and spitting them at the exposed necklines of certain politicians or government healthcare officials […] I say there's certain politicians that had better increase their security forces and there's religious leaders and heathcare officials that had better get bigger dogs and higher fences and more complex security alarms for their homes and queer-bashers better start doing their work from inside howitzer tanks because the thin line between the inside and the outside is beginning to erode and at the moment I'm a thirty seven foot tall one thousand one hundred and seventy-two pound man inside this six foot frame and all I can feel is the pressure and the need for release.

I quote that not because I want to make a comparison between HRC and the AIDS crisis [please, please, please note that!], but because I want to talk about rage and frustration and the feeling that you’re on the brink and you just can’t fucking take it anymore. And I want to talk about how that rage can even be inspiring and energizing and comforting, like David’s writing and artwork. This may be hard for some GLBT folks to understand, but there are a lot of us who don’t just dislike HRC -- we view it as a player and a symbol in an entire system that’s corrupt and it’s crushing us and the people we love. And people need to realize that, even if they don’t agree.

So I go back now to the idea that this isn’t furthering our discourse, because I disagree. People need to see this pain and anger and fury exploded onto a keyboard so that maybe they’ll finally get that this shit is for real. We are fucking pissed off, and that’s what we should be talking about, not crucifying lyssak for a momentary lapse in composure.

Nick,

Advocating violence is never acceptable. All things can be handled without violence - or threats of violence.

Another point - think of all of the situations of workplace violence that have happened lately where people get killed. Think of the school shootings. Think of the church shootings. Anything is possible.

I don't want my blog to be evenly remotely involved in someone's death. Period. It's just better to put out a blanket statement that it is NOT allowed here. Advocating violence is never acceptable.

Giving the police state an opportunity to walk into a transperson's life is, in many places, as good as beating them up yourself, Bil. Or worse.

Advocating violence is never acceptable.

Why don't you just say that you don't appreciate someone threatening you and leave it at that? Are you honestly trying to tell me there isn't any situation, ever, in which you could feel that force was justifiable? Even if it were only an act of self-defense? Don't disarm people like that. Don't tell them to never hit. Sometimes you have to hit. Just because abusers make up reasons to hit when they don't have to, doesn't mean the rest of us can't stand up for ourselves.

And if you sit in an elitist ivory tower and pretend you're better than the hoi-polloi, don't be surprised when they blow their tops once in a while.

But seriously. Grow a pair.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 20, 2009 9:16 PM

Nick,

In all of your fury and rage at HRC you seem to forget that it is not HRC attacking trans people, firing them from them from their jobs and generally making their lives hell. Its the same anti-LGBT extremists who are attacking gay people, firing them from their jobs and generally making their lives hell.

Continue to pretend that your expressions of rage at HRC are doing anything to benefit trans people if you must. But, the reality is they are not. You may feel better afterwards, but what have you accomplished?

Untrue. The HRC is not shy about using violence against transfolk.

http://www.bilerico.com/2008/04/hrc_calls_hpd_to_stop_houston_dinner_pro.php

Let's all get back to what's important here, mkay?

We have a lotta work to do fightin the power.

A lotta LGBT lives depend on this.

The HRC has been considered part of the problem for some time now, so they have a history of violence towards transfolks.

As long as they choose not to repeat thta here, I'm good.

How about you?

Or are you so caught up in your indignation that forgiveness is beyond you?

Lyssa untrue. the cops were there for a moment and were there for the baseball games over the street and as for equating that with violence you are so wrong with rumor

The reports of women who were actually there do not agree with you, lil troll. Go home, and take your woman hatin ways with you.

No, Michael, HRC itself isn't firing transpeople from their jobs, it's just helping keep it legal for others to continue to do so. I don't see how that's any better, or any less worthy of condemnation.

As I said above, threatening physical violence is over the line, but publicly attacking HRC's atrocious self-serving behavior is certainly fair and appropriate.

And as far as our efforts benefiting transpeople, ask your friends at HRC if they're still getting the same level of membership and financial support as they did before they threw us under the bus and we started calling them out on it.

As far as I'm concerned, anything (short of violence) that cuts into HRC's power and influence as a spokesperson for LGBT's is a very good thing and needs to be fully supported to help clear the way for those who will act as true movement leaders, with all the responsibility that entails, instead of HRC's wealthy self-serving dilettantes who care little or nothing for anyone other than themselves.

What is being accomplished is making people aware that when someone says transgender, or inclusive, or LGBT, they had better freaking mean *us*, instead of just LGB.

Perhaps you do not realize just how pissed off people are at the HRC. Perhaps you think they actually have done some good for us.

So, real simple: what have they done, that *hasn't been canceled out by the simple rule of 10 good deeds for every bad one when they've done 3 Really freaking huge ones and a busload of small ones that are nothing but bad?

Are they trying now? Yeah. But they were *trying* the last two times the threw us under the bus.

In case ya hadn't noticed, the transfolk who work for them get crap from other transfolk. And we generally don't just crap on our brethren for the fun of it.

So come on, Michael: name it. What has HRC done for transfolk that's *really* good?

I'll wait.

Interesting to watch a posting implode before my very eyes, and I had nothing to do with it. And yet, some contributors probably think I'm the bad seed.

Fact: HRC has called the police on trans protesters in Houston and in other cities.

Fact: HRC had an older trans woman forcefully ejected from a dinner, bruising her arms in the process.

Fact: HRC almost had me arrested when handing out fliers at an L-Word event.

Fact: HRC almost had me and my ex-girlfriend arrested in front of their booth at Pride, then they were told we had permission from the Pride Committee to be there.

Fact: HRC chased Becky Juro at the NY Pride when she was handing out fliers.

Fact: HRC placed Gwen Araujo on a web site asking for donations for a hate crimes bill that didn't have "gender identity and expression" in the language. This showed support for continuing violence on trans people.

Fact: HRC has set their CEI bars for transgender health so low that companies can get their 100% without providing medically necessary procedures to their trans employees.

I'm sure there's more.

I do not ever condone violence or advocate it in any way shape or form. However, HRC has a history of not only advocating violence, but wanting to put trans people in harms way by having them arrested so the Bubbas in jail can take care of their problems. They also have put trans people in harms way by allowing companies a chance to get away with medical violence against their trans employees, and rewarding them with a 100% rating in the process.

I didn't like specifically what Lyssa said, but I can see that HRC has given her plenty of reasons to feel that way. It's given me plenty of reasons, too.

my how you lie - the woman that you mention in sanfran was not trans, leave our lesbians alone

I see. It's now okay for lesbians to also be beaten up by HRC? She was speaking out on our behalf and hers, so she is an ally. Violence is the issue. It shows that they will act violently towards others when give a chance. Besides, I'm also a lesbian.

violence is never ok. but no violence was directed to her, she was removed as she rushed the stage in an act of violent disobedience throwing items at people sitting at tables. if you look at the photos her skin is thin due to her age, my granma had the same problem, any bump or scrape would cause the bruise. get over it helms

So, you have to make excuses for their actions? She may not have been in the right, but they over reacted, and I suppose that you approve of their violence? I get the impression you do. I noticed you didn't comment about all the other things I said. You focused on one part only. Sad.

My history with them is too long to "get over it" and you are in no position to demand me to "get over it." I'll get over it when my 100% company is forced to keep their 100% and I can get proper medical care. I'll get over it when Obama's signature dries on a fully inclusive hate crimes bill and ENDA. I'll get over it when I'm in my grave. Don't tell me what to "get over." You know nothing about my history. Nothing.

Monica, he's a troll apologist.

And thanks for havin my back.

Sistahs are doin it 4 rselves.

She was a Lesbian ally of trans rights....so am I. Why? because of the fact that without gender identity and expression included in a rights bill, over half of our Lesbians sisters will have no protections.

I am there with the T's of all persuasions on this one, blake. And unless you are Lesbian activist, don't claim Lesbians as your own. We answer to and for ourselves.

I'm just going to throw out that the vast majority of time the comments are great here. I really like the community we built here.

Agreed. And I like Lyssa too. It's this simple for me: Advocating violence is never acceptable.

Everyday Transperson | March 20, 2009 8:09 PM

Mr. Browning,

I am hereby requesting that you and Mr. Blaze stop the retaliation and slandering of me on this blog both individually and collectively.

As I had said before, I am sorry if you and other authors can't accept literary criticism or a different point of view, but your constant harassment, scapegoating and bullying is as you say "not acceptable".

I hope you realize that targeted retaliatory comments like this only add fuel to the fire, are VERY unprofessional for an editor and truly don't make a sincere effort to come to a common ground.

I am respectfully submitting this request and I hope that it is returned with the same respect it was given.

Thank you for your time.

Everyday Transperson.

RWW
WAB
FCC

ET - Get off the cross. We need the wood.

This isn't about you. If you're not threatening violence, then why bother popping in to leave an off-topic comment?

Threatening to call the cops was fucked up. Way more fucked up than anything lyssa said.

I'm not threatening to call the cops, Robin. It's a lot easier than that.

If HRC called the cops to report a threat against one of their staffers (or God forbid, an actual act of violence), I would have two choices:

a) Turn over the information
b) Fight it and require a subpeona

Normally, we never release any identifying information about any Projector. In this situation, if the cops came a'calling I'd turn it over immediately.

Which means you are PRO-violence, as long as it is carried out by the state.

Bil is eagerly defending police violence against trans women. He has sated on many occasions here that he WILL cheerfully aid and abet trumping up charges against a trans woman who speaks as I do, and poses no threat.

Bil endorses violence as long as he gets to select the target.

Ditto ditto ditto.
Calling the police on a trans women for a comment, not a threat just a comment, made out of justified rage is loathsome.

Ok Lyssa probably crossed a line. But I don't think you can actually
get beheaded on the internet.


Lyssa-
Next time threaten to do something to their face. We know they've all
got a spare.

Advocating violence is never acceptable.

Actually get beheaded on the internet? No.

But how many times have you seen on the news where some psycho has been blogging/e-mailing/diarying their plans/thoughts/wishes? I don't know Lyssa other than her comments here; I have no idea about her state of mind. It's better to be safe than sorry.

(And I'm not trying to say Lyssa would do something - this is bigger than just one person or comment. Advocating violence is never acceptable. Period.)

(And I'm not trying to say Lyssa would do something - this is bigger than just one person or comment. Advocating violence is never acceptable. Period.)

Untrue.

You are trying to paint me as a violent risk because you can. This is why you chose to communicate in this manner, instead of a direct email.

Now, you not only have my email addy, you have a proven history and ability to email and question me on an incinedary post.

You have emailed me before to ask me about a post's content, but you chose to ignore what ability you had to defuse it, and chose instead a vindictive, State sanctioned violent way of handling things.

If you truly want to make amends, and show what kind of person you are, you have an obligation to defuse the remaining threat of violence that still lingers:
The HRC has a demonstrated track record of inappropriately punishing trans women and their allies with police involvement.

From your language, you have chosen to amplify this, and create a threat.

Now that you claim an understanding of me as non threatening, it is on you to pursue communicating that understanding with the same zeal that you painted me as a threat with the HRC.

Anything less is using police brutality to make a point.

I don't understand why trans* folks keep hanging around bilerico (I'm only here because I heard about this post). They thought it was a-okay to use the phrase "Chick With a..." as a post's title, support Homosexual [W]hite Champagne, let all sorts of transphobic comments through without comment, etc.
Despite being both queer and trans I rarely see a post worth reading--unless it was crossposted from a better blog like Transgriot.

Drakyn,

Drop me a line. lyssak al cox.net

and go read my first post, and say something, because, it is not safe here for twoc, as I learned.

http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/translatinas-have-been-doin-it-for-ourselves-for-some-time-now/

"I don't understand why trans* folks keep hanging around bilerico... "

Trans folk hang around at Bilerico because it is one of the most trans-inclusive and outreach-minded GLBT blogs, with diverse T content. It has thoughtful and astute commentary and news articles. And there are many T contributors of all stripes, and not just a single voice or point of view.

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion; and if you don't find it worthwhile to participate here, drakyn, I think you probably shouldn't be spending your time posting comments.

apparently you are missing the point that while *bil* and many of the projectors are *working* on that 'trans-inclusive and outreach-minded GLBT blogs, with diverse T content", it still has a ways to go.

having discussed such with Bil, myself, and knowing several of the contributors, I have no doubt it will reach that point, but it will only be when certain rather uncomfortable truths are accepted by the broader posting community.

Like the HRC has yet to do anything really positive for transfolk.

"You are trying to paint me as a violent risk because you can."

Yes, Bil can paint you as a violent risk because you THREATENED VIOLENCE. So you can feign being the victim, but since you compeletly brought this on yourself, I hope you aren't counting on too much sympathy.

"You have emailed me before to ask me about a post's content, but you chose to ignore what ability you had to defuse it,... "

You have what my sixth grade teacher called "consumate gall". You place and detonate a rhetorical bomb, but then blame the bomb squad for failing to defuse it. Bil has no obligation to save you from yourself. YOU wrote the missive; YOU made the threat; YOU posted it online and made it public. You claimed in your apology that you were taking responsibility for your words, but you're doing no such thing. You're blaming Bil for giving you the ability to write whatever you damned well pleased, and giving you a public forum to have your views be known. "Oh no, Bil! You allowed me to be seen as the true asshole that I am! How could you?!?!"

" ...and chose instead a vindictive, State sanctioned violent way of handling things."

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Stating categorically that advocating violence is NEVER ACCEPTABLE is not being vindictive, and is certainly not a violent threat.

"If you truly want to make amends,... "

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I don't know if you're delusional, manipulative, or perhaps English isn't your first language, but you don't seem to understand that YOU are the transgressor, and that YOU are the one who needs to make amends. Bil owes you nothing. You're lucky he hasn't banned you outright. You have abused Bil's hospitality and brought harm to other people, and you want him to make amends to you. What a piece of work you are.

"From your language, you have chosen to amplify this, and create a threat."

No, YOU created the threat. In any case, you apparently have no problem with threats, as long as they are directed somewhere else, since you have issued explicit ones.

"Now that you claim an understanding of me as non threatening, it is on you to pursue communicating that understanding with the same zeal that you painted me as a threat with the HRC."

On second thought, I'm going to go with delusional.

"Anything less is using police brutality to make a point."

So Bil, who has no police power, and no access to you, is guilty of police brutality, even though there has been no violence at his behest, and no police involvement. But it's okay for you to advocate violence, and he's the bad guy. Maybe it's not delusion. Maybe it's just stupidity.

Lyssa
Threatening violence over the internet is a crime. In the US this is considered a federal felony.

No matter how you dress up your excuse for doing this, you are still breaking the law. There is no excuse to incite or call for violence against an individual or an orgnization, as there are people that could take you literally and actually commit the crime.

You have now had your moment to vent. Congrats.
By the way you can't apologize for something and then say "but..."


Lyssa used imagery from the French Revolution, head on a pike(Madame Elizabeth's, if I remember my history correctly) outside of Marie Antionette's cell, the burning effigies, etc....

I suspect, though I would not arrogate to myself the certainty of an absolute pronouncement upon her intentions, that she wished to conjure up the image of an HRC leadership swept away by a popular uprising, correct me if I am wrong, Lyssa...

I think advocating violence is sometimes acceptable.

And its, you know, context-dependent. State-sanctioned violence is a HUGE escalation and advocating THAT is...well I don't know how to say this perfectly but it is disgusting, and it is especially disgusting to threaten a twoc with Lyssa's history with shit like that.

Actually disgusting, fucked up, doesn't even begin to describe it.

Robin, check out my reply to Lyssa's last comment. I think you're misunderstanding what I was saying. I didn't call the cops on Lyssa. I mean that if violence happened or the police contacted me over a credible threat, I would turn over contact info instead of forcing them to get a subpoena like I normally would for someone who's just not happy with something a Projector said about them. (Which happens a lot more often than you'd think.)

Bil, normally I'd agree with you.

And depending on the Jurisdiction, lyssa may very well be treated as would anyone else, GLB or no. There would be an investigation to see if there was a credible threat, and if so, evidence would be gathered in the usual manner of civilised legality. As happens every day, as is the norm, as is what we all expect and treat as being universal.

BUT... there's a very real possibility that if you did hand over the data, you would be condemning her to death. No trial. No hearing. No court appearance. Just Beating, Torture, and Rape/Murder.

You really don't realise, viscerally, what happens in some places to Trans people when in the hands of the law. Not everywhere, it's not even usual, but in some jurisdictions and with some Law Enforcement organisations. A few, not many.

I live in Australia, about as trans-friendly a country as you'll find on the planet. We have laws protecting us that you in the USA are still decades away from enacting. Here's what happened to someone "on remand", "assisting police with their inquiries". Not convicted. The equivalent of being arraigned by a Grand Jury who hadn't yet passed a "true bill".

December 1997. After an appearance in a Local Court, bail was refused and Ms M. was remanded in custody. Late on 22 December she was transported to a remand and reception centre where that night and into the morning of December 23 she underwent induction assessment. She was identified as transgender by the welfare officer and it was determined she should go into a “protection” wing. Having spent December 24 in court Ms M. spent December 25 and 26 in “strict protection”. During this time she was brutally raped at least twice during daylight hours. The attacks were so vicious that two other prisoners took the unusual step of reporting the incidents and giving sworn evidence. On December 27 Ms M. was found dead in her cell hanging by a shoelace.
It would never occur to you that by handing over this data, you could be literally sentencing her to death, no matter what the outcome of the investigations might be. That kind of thing only happens to Gays in 3rd world hellholes. But it happens, rarely, not often, but sometimes, to Trans people in the USA and every western country.

My reflexive reaction was just the same as yours. That threats have no place on Bilerico, and they need to be squashed, and squashed with utmost severity.

But I don't think you'd put a gun to her head, and pull the trigger, even if only one round was in the revolver. It would be unthinkable, ridiculous, insane. Except that if you don't check exactly who the Law Enforcement Organisation is who would hypothetically request the data, that is exactly, no exaggeration, no hyperbole, no rhetoric, what you would be doing.

The fact that you didn't realise that, that the thought would never occur to you, says a lot about the lack of knowledge in the GLB community about the problems Trans people genuinely face.

Even I only thought about it after some consideration. These happenings are comparatively rare, and it's easy to get hysterical over a tiny chance, only a few percent at most. But yes, they really do happen to us.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 20, 2009 9:07 PM

Samir Luther is an incredible young activist who does not deserve the violent rhetoric left as a "comment" on his guest post.

This kind of hatred, and yes that's what it is, shows that some are more committed to stewing in their anger than they are to achieving equality.

My hope is that Samir continues to do the amazing work that he is doing because he is having the kind of impact that is improving the lives of LGBT people.

Advocating violence isn't a good way to go.

However, Lyssa's commentary does not indicate she's more committed to stweing in her anger than to achieving equality.

Indeed, *you* just crossed a line, and so I'm going to call you on it: check your freaking privilege.

I too hope he continues -- I'd just prefer if it was something that wasn't going to take 3 years to go into effect when it was needed *at the outset* of the currently *deeply insulting* CEI.

So, again, check your privilege.

Bil can speak to this -- its his blog. Rebecca and ET can speak to this.

But until you've been told that one of the best places to work is a company that all but *refuses* to acknowledge your existence, don't start talking about having an imapct that is improving the lives of transfolk (and yes, you *did* include them when you used LGBT erroneously -- you should have just said LGB, becuase they have done nothing *yet* to truly and genuinely improve the lives of transfolk).

Sorry, I think ya know I like you Michael, but ya prolly also know when I bother to post, someone's done something stupid.

You're accusing a black, gay man of not understanding discrimination and using his "freaking privilege" because he condemned hatred? That makes a lot of sense.

Did you hear the phrase "checking your privilege" somewhere, and decide that using it makes you seem really cutting-edge and politically sophisticated? Not if you don't know what it means.

A black gay cis man is privileged in terms of trans status.

He is also privileged in terms of gender, too, compared to brown trans women.

But he does not want to hear about that. So, he is just a troll with a weed up his ass, and a desire to beat on trans women to make his gay friends look good.

So, he has his misogyny down, and transphobia to boot.

But we knew all this when he actively campaigned for an ENDA that dumped trans folks overboard, now didn't we?

"He is also privileged in terms of gender, too, compared to brown trans women."

Yeah that too.

No, I am accusing a black, gay man of being discriminatory and incorrectly condemning what is not hatred but rage.

I use the phrase correctly, although your own failure to check your privilege in this case and your lack of knowledge on the subject might just be contributory to your lack of understanding in this case.

sophistication isn't all that important to me, but as I noted, when people do something stupid (like, oh, say, accuse me of not understanding privilege) I tend to snark -- err, speak up.

Now, someone who was actually checking their privilege and didn't know what it was that was being privileged, as you obviously haven't figured out yet, would have stopped and *asked* what privilege, instead of leaping to all manner of conclusions and getting into it with someone.

As someone noted, this thread is the lulz now, and, given that, well, Rory, if'n you wanna dance, I'm quite willing to tango.

So you'd call in real transphobic violence to hold up your wannabe principle against "internet violence"?

And if you or HRC escalates this to racist, transmisogynist police violence against Lyssa then this will no longer be about threats. It will be war.

"It will be war."

THAT is a *threat*.

or a prophecy. depends on one's level of paranoia.

Rory, read it however you want. But calling it a threat is like someone threatening attack my friend and me letting them know there gonna lose some teeth if they do. And you coming along with "You said, 'there gonna lose some teeth.' That was a threat!"

Be cool, Lynn

This guy has no qualms about hurting twoc or other women of trans experience for his personal comfort and gain.

Did you see his defense of the Chick whit a -- post he made?
We are taking the discussion elsewhere...no need to give him rent money from sellin trans lives.

He like to use transppl for blog hits, and he truly does not give a damn if he gets us hurt.

He even brags about how easy it is.

You know, if you sounded even slightly coherent,lyssa, or were even nearby the zip code of the facts, I would take what you wrote very seriously as defamation and libel. But I just can't bring myself to take anything you say seriously. Fortunately for you, I'm confident that anyone with even a half a brain can't take you seriously, either.

You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. You're offensive. And you have zero facts.

And I don't have a blog.

Go away.

You are advocating violence.

You are advocating violence.

You are advocating violence.

I am against violence. But if I see someone trying to stab my friends, family, community in the back I will escalate to stop it. You will see me become violent.

That is not me advocating violence. The violence is already here. i will turn my cheek if it would end it but I will answer that violence back just as quick if thats what it takes.

Get a grip, Lyssa and the rest. Lyssa, you made an unnecessary mistake. You apologized. Rest of you, you have read the apology, if you have gotten this far down in the comments. Enough. Everyone - quit making the ad hominem comments, and focus on POLICY and ACTION.

Lyssa made a mistake in using a specific act of violence in rhetoric. What may pass as harmless in a FTF encounter, where body language, tone of voice, context of conversation, etc mediate the meaning of the words used, is unnecessarily alarming when presented without non-written cues. Writing and conversing are two different means of communication, and the informality of the internet tends to lull people into forgetting the difference.

Lyssa isn't the only person who has made this mistake - every person using the email, listserv, chatroom, and blogging/ commenting capacity of the internet has managed to write a statement which can be misconstrued as a serious threat, a falsehood with consequences, etc.

If in doubt, use the PREVIEW button and imagine that you are a stranger reading the post.

Nacy,

Much appreciated, thank you.

Unfortunately, there is a lingering criminal charge which Bil has encouraged the HRC against me.

So, Bil has sicced the police on me. And they have not been called off. At this point, Bil has openly committed to pursuing and aiding any criminal charges. He brags about how easy it is.

I am asking all involved to pledge nonviolence, and to back it up by withdrawing their guns. Here, Publicly.

Ask them openly, right here, right now to pledge that no response will be made beyond a reconciliation here on this thread.

Do the right thing, Bil. Call off the police. They have no place here. Insist that the HRC staff involved to do the same.

Mistakes were made, and it's time to start being adults again. There is much work to be done.

Lyssa,

I just want to clear something up here. I didn't call the cops. There's no one to "call off."

What I meant was this: If there's a threat made against someone, they can call the fuzz and file a report or if a threat was made and then violence actually happens to the person threatened the police will get involved.

The police will contact me and ask for the commenter's contact information. At that point I can either:
1) Refuse and require a subpoena
2) Give over the information

If violence is threatened and could be a credible threat - or if violence has already occurred (think church shooting, etc), I would choose option #2.

There's a big difference between someone writing in and saying, "I don't like what so-and-so wrote about me and I want their contact information." The answer is #1. We've been down that road many, many times before. (Think HBS vs trans debates, for example. Lots of folks throw around slurs or insults and people get po'd. No violence threatened tho so there's no divulging the information.)

Does this help? I've not "sicced the police" on you. I'm saying that if someone threatens violence or commits violence against someone and announced it on the site - I would turn over the contact info, IP address, etc to help the investigation.

Bilerico Project is meant as a forum for open discussion. I may not agree with everyone who comments, but as long as the basic rules at the bottom of every page are followed, everything gets published. That said, advocating violence is never acceptable.

That's why I accepted your apology - I know you're not a nutjob actually wanting to kill all HRC staffers. You just crossed the line - and I'll point out that I didn't name you as the culprit since pointing you out wasn't the goal. Everyone has to follow those rules - including me. :) And making sure we're all on the same page is the point.

I know you didn't name me, but I felt it important to own my words...even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones.

It's called integrity.

And, I understand. Violence against us is often a gay fear.

Violence has been my life. I have been beaten, shot at, and raped.

And dealing with so called "LGBT" allies gets frustrating at times.

Like when Aidan gave me the schoolboy lecture on the use of the word "gangbang," like he read it from some manual.

He did not realize that gangbang had other meanings beyond his sheltered white transboy experience. He started to lecture me on what has been brutally inscribed on my body. If I want to know what gang rape is, I just feel my chest.

My body is my testimony.

Nobody called him out on it. It was easier to whack a few errant transwomen. Because trans women make easy targets. Especially when we try to speak out.

Aidan owes me an apology for that BS. And a promise to get his head on straight about issues non privileged, non white, and non male transfolks go through.

He also needs to do that here, unless he believes supporting males lecturing rape survivors on language is appropriate.

So, I get violence real well. I even get to experience it here.

And yes, your reply helps. A very little. You really need to educate yourself on the effects of police violence on us.

the only lingering issue is the HRC staffer who you described as "afraid."
If he really is, get him on here to say that he will not involve police violence.

If you were just playin me for effect and bullshitting me about his involvement, admit it, and move on.

Nobody should be afraid, and that includes me.

You need to explain why you failed to contact me privately, as you have done before with me. That needs to happen here, now.

Right now, many eyes are watching. Do the right thing, and guarantee that there will be no violence by any group or person you have chosen to involve.

I don't think you can deflect criticism of or culpability for your unacceptable comment by striking out at other writers or by demanding public apologies or duels. You know the Bilerico terms of use, don't you?
You seem to be a victim of some uncontrollable anger. If I were you, I would step away from the computer for a few days. Maybe more.
The bad things that may have happened to you do not justify your words.

Aidan Tharp Aidan Tharp | March 21, 2009 2:53 AM

I don't owe you anything. I did not make personal attacks, though you seem "privileged" enough to personally attack me.

I used one example of the word to show how it was inappropriate to use in the situation of people disagreeing with you.

Don't make assumptions about my past, or my life living as male. Really I have tried to be constructive but I'm done. You don't know me, you don't know what I have been through. You lived as male for years, I grew up as female... so don't even try and start that shit, and fyi women aren't the only survivors of sexual violence.

I've got scars too. I'm over this bullshit.

Don't make assumptions about my past, or my life living as male. Really I have tried to be constructive but I'm done. You don't know me, you don't know what I have been through. You lived as male for years, I grew up as female... so don't even try and start that shit, and fyi women aren't the only survivors of sexual violence.

"Don't make assumptions about my past..."

"You lived as male for years..."

This is problematic. Shouldn't you avoid making assumptions about any trans woman's past on the basis of her sex assigned at birth?

Maybe I've seen too many trans men get misogynist toward trans women and preface it with "You were born a male" to be comfortable with the argument you're constructing there.

He is invoking that transmale privilege. He's female when it suits his needs, like needing to slap me down, and male otherwise.
And all too many loser transmen do that.

Because, they like slappin women around, and they have the perfect non trans gay and lesbian approved brickbat to do it with.

Man up, and learn to treat women right, and quit acting like a misogynist pig just because your genital history gives you that privilege!

"Right now, many eyes are watching. Do the right thing, and guarantee that there will be no violence by any group or person you have chosen to involve."

Unbelievable. You're threatening the man who called you out because you advocated violence. This is the classic behavior of a bully. It's fine when you incite violence; but when you're caught doing it, you turn tables and want your targets to guarantee your safety. That's rich.

You can't hide behind the mantle of "victim" when you're a bully. That dog won't hunt.

Rory, I am not the person coming over here to bash women because he such a big man.

Are you seriously saying that Bil is scared of some brown chcik, and you need to come over here and tool up and fight teh evul twoc menace cuz we don't keep to r place?

Because every post you make is backing that line of thinking up.
Go home, man up, and work it out. Your shit stirring has no place here when women are being threatened.

Bil, what multiple people have already told you is: YOU are advocating violence, by the state, for an action that is actually legal, if extremely repugnant. Unless there's a clear intent to follow through on a threat, then it's not illegal. And I think it's very clear that that was an idle threat. But, the deal is, even if the case got thrown out of court--which it would--you and HRC could still get her raped if she had to spend so much as one night in jail. And if the police/HRC were to try to get you to hand over her info without demanding a subpeona first, you'd be complicit in that.

Saying that shit's not ok. And the fact that lyssa apologized doesn't mean it the matter is closed, no futher accountability. The fact that it's idle doesn't make it not potentially traumatizing (I think I'd be really upset), and in point of fact the threat is itself violence. But, to threaten to cooperate with police involvement isn't about denouncing violence, it's about making it clear that you're the one with the bigger stick.

In other words, what Queen Emily said.

Bil is one of the (if not the most) most fair-minded and easy going sysops I've ever run into in over 20 years of experience with social networking (back in the 1200bps dial up days). I think quite a few have been taking advantage of his good nature.

Look, however extremely Lyssa's comments were, they were clearly rhetorical. Effigies? Every town in the USA? Does that sound like a credible threat to you?

To me, it doesn't. It sounds like an angry trans woman venting. There's no specificity there, just boundless rage. Of the sort that HRC, frankly, kinda deserves from trans people.

Now, "I'd have no hesitation in handing her details over to the authorities" sounds like a very real and specific threat to me, from Bil to Lyssa. What do police do to trans people, regardless of guilt? What do they do to people of color? What happens to trans people in jail?

Come on now. Delete the comment, break its inappropriateness down in a separate post, but tacking on a REAL threat (couched in the passive voice or not) is so out of line it's not funny.

I consider it a historica allusion to the French Revolution sweeping away a conservative aristocracy, but I am probably one of th few who recognised the head on a pike as referring to Madame Elisabeth......

Sweet Jesus!

I can't stand the actions of several of the individuals who run HRC. But threats of violence? C'mon now! Anyone who'd even threaten that is suffering from chronic cranial rectosis.

I want Joe Solmonese to be relieved of his job. I don't trust him the distance I could throw Refrigerator Perry. But I don't think any reasonably sane and stable person should want him to be the victim of an assault. Worse yet is how this will make T people look in the eyes of those who know of this matter. I bet those folks at Focus on the Family and the Traditional Values Coalition who monitor this list (and we all know they do) are laughing their fool heads off.

I think anyone who can read this thread and only recognize one threat of violence in it is the one with the "chronic cranial rectosis".

Bil chose to make it into a circus. He chose to threaten a twoc with police violence. Freely, and when he had other clear options.

Read my comments here on this post. You will see.

He could have handled it privately, but he chose to make it public, and start shit
He chose to threaten a trans woman with REAL violence in a public forum.

He has contacted me privately about comments before, and issues were always resolved quietly and privately.

By his own admission, I was never no danger. So no threat ever occurred, except his to me. And that threat has still not been defused.

Bil, you have written articles on trans women of color killed by cops.

You very nearly added another name to the TDOR list tonight. It could still happen. That threat to my life is still in flight, and could potentially land on me at any time.

Think about that, and tell us all why you chose to make this into a circus, instead of handle it quietly when you knew that was an option. Tell us where the HRC staffer is who is "afraid for his life." Tell us about what this staffer plans to do, and why.

Better, tell us all how you plan to make it better.
I have done my part, the rest is yours.

It's time to come to Jesus on this, Bil. We all have work to do, and this is not a productive use of our time.

"You very nearly added another name to the TDOR list tonight. It could still happen. That threat to my life is still in flight, and could potentially land on me at any time."

This kind of hyperbolic nonsense cheapens the memory of everyone who has been murdered for who they are. Bil hasn't harmed you in any way. He never even identified you as the perpetrator of the threat of violence. If you were genuinely concerned about your safety, you wouldn't have identified yourself and published your contact info for all to see. And oh yeah, if you don't want to be involved with violence, don't advocate it. That's known as proverbially living and dying by the sword.

Rory, the HRC advocates policies that kill trans women.

The HRC advocates leaving me and mine to die.

What you are saying is that violence against trans women is OK if done by committee, and any expression of rage deserves to be punished by rape and possibly death.

While you may be too blind to see what cops do to twoc, the other posters here aren't.

Man up, and stop bashing women. learn about cisprivilege, and learn about male privilege, and own your shit.

I owned mine, why do you refuse to own yours?

Are you some kinda priest or are you just called father cuz your a condescending prick who talks to people like children.

Lynn,
With that kind of comment, who is the child now?

I think that makes her the scolding Mamita disciplining an unruly child who has gotten too big for his britches.
Go home, troll.

We have to heal here, and you are not helping any by stirring shit.

Let it go, and stop bashing on women here, mkay?

What I want most of all, is to outlive you all at the HRC, and piss on your grave.
Bil, this is your site and you can set your standards - but this line, by itself, doesn't advocate violence (well, at least against the living, though I imagine that, literally, it probably would be a violation of some law or laws.)

Hey, I said "change it to 'tinkle' moments later, cuz it was unladylike to say 'piss.' So, full disclosure, here.

In fact, all white men truly fear the twoc tinkle. Why do you think they work so hard to stop us from using the correct restroom?

Bil was totally right in assuming that 'tinkle' is a credible threat, and that threatening another twoc with police bruitality is a reasonable response.

White male privilege says so...it's in the manual. twoc piss him off, he gets to slap us down by calling the cops and trumping up charges, and lying to you all by denying he did anything here.

Come to Jesus, Bil, or just admit you are an HRC toady.

'

Oh FCS.

The fact of the matter is that none of us ever knows who is on the other side of the keyboard. And there are some people out there who we REALLY don't fucking know. And may be prepared to do something we can't imagine, simply to shut us up. It is NOT unreasonable to treat something of this nature as serious.

It's because of crap like this that some of us have to wonder why we even give a shit about this so-called fucking "community."

And others of us know why we can't stop giving one.

Lyssa
Threatening violence over the internet is a crime. In the US this is considered a federal felony.

No matter how you dress up your excuse for doing this, you are still breaking the law. There is no excuse to incite or call for violence against an individual or an orgnization, as there are people that could take you literally and actually commit the crime.

You have now had your moment to vent. Congrats.
By the way you can't apologize for something and then say "but..."


Three things.

1) Anyone naive enough to believe EVERYTHING can be resolved without violence is a naive hippy. I'm sorry but that's the truth. I wish it wasn't but it is, and whether I like it or not, I'm a realist. And humanity in general is a violent species. And when someone ius beating the loving sh-t out of you for being different, you can't fix it by saying "Oh please, you should stop and analyze why you're behaving this way" while their fists are cracking your jaw. Wake the hell up. A group that intentionally sets out to oppress a group and willingly subjects them to the risk of violence isn't going to listen to flowery hippy peacemaking, but if the oppressed group fights back, they'll take notice.

2) Lyssa WAS in fact just blowing off steam Bill, and no, threatening violence on the internet is NOT YET legally a criminal offense, legislation for such things is still on the books, it isn't law yet. Lyssawas (to anyone whose head is NPOT up their @ss) clearly exaggerating to blow off steam because she was frustrated. You'd have to be an exceptional idiot to have taken it as a serious threat of action, which, combined with the excessive pompousness and arrogant presumptions you keep displaying here, says you're not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Calling the police on her (Your denials are hollow when put in context with everything else you've said), just further proves you to be petty, ignorant and smallminded.

3) Blake, stop being an elitist dick. We need the wood as much as you do. You want situations like this to stop? Tell your gay bros and lesbian sisters to stop turning around and treating transfolk the way straight folk treat you. ALL bigotry is wrong. Grow the hell up.

Bill, I'm sorry but by making Lyssa private bit of blowing off stea,m into a public debate, you've proven your complete lack of character, especially given that she apologised for it. Now it's your turn to apologise.

Bill, I'm sorry but by making Lyssa private bit of blowing off steam into a public debate, you've proven your complete lack of character, especially given that she apologised for it..
But Bil wasn't creating a public debate about Lyssa. This article was written without identifying the author of the comments, and most of us wouldn't have known who it was if Lyssa hadn't immediately posted a comment saying they were her words.

People seem to have missed Bil's earlier comment that a guest author, Samir Luther, was frightened by those words which Bil singled out. Does anyone think Bil shouldn't make this site a safe place for guests to post articles? Bil's article isn't about Lyssa. Its about setting a policy which forbids intimidation.

That presupposes that a credible threat existed. ppl who make credible threats do not apologise within moments of their indiscretion as I have done, nor do they come into the open, and admit their folly.

Bil knows me, and has successfully corresponded with me about incinedary comments of mine before.
He had all the tools, and there was no immediate danger.
He had a clear path that did not involve escalation.
He himself admits that there was no danger.

Yet he chose a police state response despite all of this. Worse, he is not owning up to involving the "scared HRC" staffer.

I am willing to bet that there is none, and that Samir just blew the whole thing off for what it was. But we won't know until Bil and samir come clean on this issue, will we?

If not, then a credible threat to my safety still exists.
In place of the original issue, we now have a gay man who has openly and unnecessarily endangered a twoc life by invoking the police state, and bragging about it.

Bil, do the right thing, and come clean about what you told this staffer, and what his plans are.

Just do it.


Penny,
Many Lesbian activists are firmly with the Trans people on rights....because if the T is excluded, so are many of the Lesbians......

I weas irritated when Blake took ownership of the Lesbians; he does not, we speak for ourselves.

Lyssa's comment is about as much of a death threat as "DIAF" is.
Aka, none; just obvious hyperbole and frustration.

HRC, Bilerico, Rory, Bill, etc. can all go DIAF.
Oooo, call the police on me for mah threatening internet acronymz!

This thread has turned into the lulz.

can has cluluss cis goggles pls?

can has cluluss cis goggles pls?

sure, after I go tinkle.

Can someone help me learn LOLcats before the gay guys here send me to the federal pokey for violatin their cisprivilege?

Trying to hand a few pairs out, but no one's taking...

One point that I haven't seen yet is about the political effect it has on our community to have someone identified as trans using the same kind of mob-mentality language that has traditionally been used to keep minorities in line.

When you say that you want heads cut off and placed on a pike, that's not merely wishing someone dead. That's designed to incite a mob to violence. That's an historical warning of an uprising.

For someone whose supposed to be a member of an oppressed minority to invoke the tactics of the oppressors is seriously disturbing. And it will make it harder for us to combat it when it's directed at us.

This is probably because said transperson made said statement regarding an organization that has had the political effect of making it permissible to continue violence and discrimination against her.

*d'oh!*

heads on a pike being called for was rarely a 8warning* of an uprising. It was the outcome of one. And usually for the purpose of quelling mob violence through intimidation and fear. You know, the sort of stuff that someone in power does to a subjugated minority.

the sort of stuff that privilege is based on, not that I know much about either per you, Rory.

at least i'm not alone, though -- I have you to keep me company in my ignorance of privilege.

Of course, the oppressed using the tactics of the oppressor would never be considered a usurpation of privilege, since, being in the minority, they will not have the power to achieve such -- except int he eyes of those who oppress them.

double *D'oh*.
-----------------------
Bil, you can message me and I'll stop, but you probably know now that I'm gearing up for a serious burn.

For someone whose supposed to be a member of an oppressed minority to invoke the tactics of the oppressors is seriously disturbing. And it will make it harder for us to combat it when it's directed at us.

You must have really loved Malcolm X and Robert T Williams! Or were they simply 'too disturbing' for you to take notice of, and benefit from?

Wow...when gay men talk trans, you truly can't write this shit.

"Stupid is as stupid does."

Using the tactics of the oppressor?
The hyperbolic hisorical reference is to the French Revolution, specifically, not one fo the great examples of using the tactics of the oppresor but one of a rage of a ground down people having to swallow one deprivation too many and then fired by the fear of the approach of the oppressor,

I am not denfending the unclarified use of the hsitorical allusion, but I do understand it. It is a long way from how you are construing it.

"The hyperbolic hisorical reference is to the French Revolution, specifically, not one fo the great examples of using the tactics of the oppresor but one of a rage of a ground down people having to swallow one deprivation too many and then fired by the fear of the approach of the oppressor,"

There are many examples from history where that tactic has been used, often by the crown to put down rebellions. English history is replete with examples, for one. You're assuming that the person who made the original threat was referencing the French Revolution. I have no evidence that she's even *heard* of the French Revolution.

Be that as it may, since the French Revolution is one of the worst examples of mob violence in history, I wouldn't cite it as a mitigating explanation to prove that what was written wasn't a threat. As a real event that actually took place, that would support the notion that the threat to put heads on pikes on Rhode Island Avenue is in fact a real and specific threat.

Given the world in which we live, it would be unwise to assume any threat is an idle one. After all, there's at least as many people who want GLB people dead as trans people; if not more.

Rory;
The head on the pike outside of a window is definitely from the French Revolution, specifically to the execution of Madame Elizabeth, a favourite of Marie Antionette, whose head was place on a pike outside of the Queen's window...

Bil, the violence Lyssa is talking about is real - the police historically treat trans women of color extremely harshly - and threats (implied or otherwise) of police involvement are a pretty standard way to invoke white privilege against people of color.

It's also something HRC has used to silence "dissent" from trans people on at least one occasion.

It's definitely a way to invoke fear in trans women and people of color both, as the law is typically favorable to cis people and white people and not very friendly to trans people or people of color.

Quoting her post while indicating that in her case, you would cooperate to the full extent the law would request does read as a threat in that sense, and triply so because of the previous paragraph. I think of the case of Duanna Johnson in particular.

Of course, you didn't threaten to call the police yourself, but you made it clear that you would cooperate with the police - make it easier for them to put Lyssa into that situation - even though she's not going to go out and kill anyone from HRC.

I'll also point out that when oppressed people find their voice, the first thing they express tends to be anger. A lot of trans people are finding our voices right now...and a lot of us are angry. Esp angry with HRC. Some are going to say some pretty harsh things about HRC, but I think, in general, harsh words - and more - are deserved. Not murder or any other criminal act, obviously. But I understand Lyssa's anger, because I feel it too.

And now I wonder just how safe it is to express that anger in certain places.

Bil, the violence Lyssa is talking about is real - the police historically treat trans women of color extremely harshly - and threats (implied or otherwise) of police involvement are a pretty standard way to invoke white privilege against people of color.
It's also something HRC has used to silence "dissent" from trans people on at least one occasion.
It's definitely a way to invoke fear in trans women and people of color both, as the law is typically favorable to cis people and white people and not very friendly to trans people or people of color.
Quoting her post while indicating that in her case, you would cooperate to the full extent the law would request does read as a threat in that sense, and triply so because of the previous paragraph. I think of the case of Duanna Johnson in particular.
Of course, you didn't threaten to call the police yourself, but you made it clear that you would cooperate with the police - make it easier for them to put Lyssa into that situation - even though she's not going to go out and kill anyone from HRC.
I'll also point out that when oppressed people find their voice, the first thing they express tends to be anger. A lot of trans people are finding our voices right now...and a lot of us are angry. Esp angry with HRC. Some are going to say some pretty harsh things about HRC, but I think, in general, harsh words - and more - are deserved. Not murder or any other criminal act, obviously. But I understand Lyssa's anger, because I feel it too.
And now I wonder just how safe it is to express that anger in certain places.

Quoted for truth.

The gauge of one's intent could be based on historical perspective...say, PHB.

A QT assault.

I understand there is anger in the trans community with the HRC's decision so long ago, but come on, they are still on the front lines for the entire LGBT community. I completely trust the HRC in their fight for equality.

Makes sense.

They ARE fighting for your rights at our expense.

And if there is one thing that the gay men lie yourself have taught me...

is that trans lives do not matter. Because you believe in gay special rights and not equality.

Go educate yourself. Your comment is so clueless and privileged as to beggar a salient response.

Kyle Flood Kyle Flood | March 21, 2009 6:03 PM

*sigh* Yes, I am really that stupid. Having you throw a tantrum will educate me. I forgot how the world works.

You are so clueless as to who I am, where I have come from, and who I associate with that your assumptions are shockingly sad.

I am not some sort of a "bigot" to the trans community but if you jump to that conclusion then that is your loss. You are pushing away allies and supporters.

Yes, I am really that stupid.

Quoted for truth.

You're a vile person

You are a disgusting and vile individual, Lyssa.

I completely trust the HRC in their fight for equality.

Hahaha. Oh my word...

I understand there is anger in the trans community with the HRC's decision so long ago, but come on, they are still on the front lines for the entire LGBT community. I completely trust the HRC in their fight for equality.

um, there is so much wrong with this set of interwoven lies that the sheer absurdity overwhelms even my sense of humor.

there is not merely anger. Understand that -- anger is what you feel when someone calls you faggot. This is rage.

Rage is far worse than anger. So that's one incorrect thing.

It wasn't that long ago (let me think, hmm, 2007, so really, not even 18 months, for the last big one, and in case you've missed the context, we're talking about a company that says its just not that important to push through a transinclusive requireent right now, its ok to wait a few years, and that's less than a month...).

So that's not only incorrect, but you lied, too.

Front lines? Hardly. They are on a single line, and that line is marriage, and in case you forgot, we transfolk are *losing* the right to marry as *we* stand at the front lines and work to aid LGB folks in getting married.

So that's one or two more incorrect things and yet another lie. they are not on the front lines for *all* of the LGBT. Merely the GLB, and then only in one small area.

I'd say the taskforce and equality orgs are far more closer to the front lines than anyone else.

And our common foes trust that god will protct them from iniquity.

Your faith is abot as misplaced...

i completely trust them to fight for you too Kyle.

saguaroson | March 22, 2009 2:00 AM

Whoa. Kyle, I don't mean to be rude, but have you been paying attention?

Name me one piece of federal legislation that HRC has actually gotten passed for our community. For that matter, name me any legislation ANYWHERE that HRC has actually gotten passed for us. And I mean it was really them, not one of the many instances where the state LGBT group did all the work and HRC put out a press release taking credit.

HRC are leaches that suck money and time out of the queer activist community and get nothing done. It's really like the junior league of the gay world: a bunch of privileged gays getting together for FABULOUS PARTIES and somehow thinking they've advanced gay rights.

That they're so ineffective AND dare to throw our trans brothers and sisters under the bus just adds insult to injury. And it's not "so long ago" as you suggest. They just did it with ENDA and continue to do it every time the opportunity presents itself.

Don't believe me? Do the research yourself. See how much money they've wasted and how little they've achieved. See how many times they've sold out transfolk. Then ask yourself: is THIS the organization I want to rely on to win equality?

I don't like violence either. Violence is a way to change the course of society but not in a personal way. People still will be bigots but in very subtle ways. Just look in recent history. The riots in the 60's. We still have bigotry but the rights were changed legally. It takes time to change peoples thoughts. One generation will not do, it may take several generations. We are on a good start though.

Wow, you all have just given the Right their talking points for the mid-term elections. All they have to do is print up this thread and stuff it in an envelope with a credit card slip.

You're giving your opposition all the ammunition they need, and you're turning off potential allies. Oh well, it's a free country and the choice is yours.

They already have it, Greg. The gays at the HRC and Barney Frank handed it to him.

They have been quoting Barney on why transppl deserve our fate on the Americans for Truth website for some time now.

So, pull your head outta ur azz. Learn the facts, and educate urself.

Gay rights activists have publicly denounced trasn rights, and trans right to basic life.

We are not talking about a tax break for same sex love here.

We are talking about a white gay man who thinks its okay to threaten a twoc who tried to fight the power with what she had with the full might of the police state.

His discomfort was worth risking another dead twoc on the deck.

Think about that before you go blamin us for your shit.

And more privilege in use.

amazing how you keep retreating...

Wow, you all have just given the Right their talking points for the mid-term elections.
Yeah, that was my first thought when I read Bil's article. But on the other hand, the comments have raised legitimate concerns regarding police violence against transwomen, particularly those of color. I think its good that we try to understand why some found Bil's article to be threatening.

You are of course free to interpret it that way. All I see is people circling the wagon and excoriating a good man in an effort to deflect attention away from bad behavior of one of their friends. There are plenty of responsible ways to illuminate police brutality, condoning threats of violence isn't one of them.

Everyday Transperson | March 21, 2009 1:50 PM

Yesterday, I posted a comment in good faith and sincerity to Mr. Browning (see above thread on this page) to end an obvious conflict that has been going on in which this whole mess originated, in the efforts to move forward. The comment is as follows:

"Mr. Browning,

I am hereby requesting that you and Mr. Blaze stop the retaliation and slandering of me on this blog both individually and collectively.

As I had said before, I am sorry if you and other authors can't accept literary criticism or a different point of view, but your constant harassment, scapegoating and bullying is as you say "not acceptable".

I hope you realize that targeted retaliatory comments like this only add fuel to the fire, are VERY unprofessional for an editor and truly don't make a sincere effort to come to a common ground.

I am respectfully submitting this request and I hope that it is returned with the same respect it was given.

Thank you for your time.

Everyday Transperson.

RWW
WAB
FCC"


Clearly by the following comment, Mr. Browning has refused to honor my request and therefore has himself violated his very own terms of use, thus possibly warranting further investigation. The comment is as follows:

"2 people in 2 years for repeatedly violating the Terms of Service. So, no. ET just has a persecution complex - check other threads to see more examples."

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/03/the_end_of_gay_affluence_lgb_people_more.php


I must say that I am SICKENED by this dialogue here !!! What was a simple misunderstanding of language and a bruising of egos between myself and the leaders of Bilerico and a fellow trans sister supporting my views has turned into a 3 ring circus of allegations, horrendous belittling and slander and most disheartening, a total lack of understanding of each other's diversity as GLBT folks............a practice which has caused an even greater divide in the community both here at Bilerico and in the blog circles.

Many here know me by my often times "unpopular" opinions and commentary and I would be the first to admit that I'm not the most diplomatic person in this world, however I am a realist and I respect everyone's right to disagree with each other and it certainly would be foolish to think that everyone would share my opinion on everything.

The point is, we ALL have experiences and something to bring to the table and by only limiting those experiences shared by a select few is in my opinion a poor example of diversity and community building..........

Mr. Browning, while I respect that this is your blog, I do not think you have been respectful of other people's diverse point of view, no matter how much it may have hurt or how you may disagree with the experiences that I have surfaced or the experiences that have be presented here (popular or not). Personally, I would have appreciated very much an open dialogue with you privately about your concerns rather than hearing your not so professional views in an open forum for all to snicker at............

And I remain open to such a dialogue because I feel that it touches upon a very important point here. However I can't, nor can others very well do that if there is going to be an ongoing grudge on your part and you wish to drag this into the mud for all time.

Additionally, it is unfortunate that my personal conflict with HRC has expanded to a conflict here and with obvious passionate supporters of the organization........I suppose I really did underestimate the power of powerful people in powerful organizations and their ability to organize....

Anyway, I realize that this comment is a sharp detour from the above discourse, but please let's ask ourselves, do we really wish to fight with each other or do we really wish for a cohesive community respectful of differences ????

I sincerely hope that the direction of this thread turns the corner soon and that the leaders of this blog will finally reach out to me (and others with passionate differing views) to achieve some sort of common ground and vision forward...

Thank you all for your time.

Well, I was thinking that it could be violative of any applicable laws against desecration of graves and/or public urination.

God, this is soooooo predictable. Having a history of being part of the editorial staff here, I know that Bil could have simply deleted the comment and warned the commenter. Instead he pulls that comment into another post and gets over 100 comments, causes division within the community, and humiliates a transgender person for an obvious mistake. But what the heck, it does drive people to the site and causes buzz. Enough that it brought me back here to comment. If you've responded to this post, consider yourself duped. Great for those google analytics statistics though! Touché Bil, touché!

A. J. Lopp | March 21, 2009 5:18 PM

Regarding the advocacy of violence:

It is common knowledge that MLK promoted non-violence (especially after a bit of tutoring from Bayard Rustin about the way Gandhi approached non-violence), but we are also familiar with the famous quote from Malcolm X that called for black social equality "by any means necessary." Malcolm X has never been roundly castigated for his remark, even though the 1960's movement, and after, has clearly, and thankfully, taken King's lead.

Jesus said (if anyone cares), "He who takes the sword shall perish with the sword." That sounds pretty clear: If you are the initiator of violence, you can expect to become its target, also.

But this is just a historical footnote for philosophers and theologians. When we are talking about Internet postings, it is appropriate to generalize that "Advocating violence is never acceptable. Period.

Talking practically, there are a host of legal reasons why a blog such as this one must establish this policy. For one thing, Bil and the other editors would like to stay out of court and jail if it were to happen that someone was targeted for violence on this blog, and then a similar violent attack took place in real life somehow.

Bil, I think most have had their say, and that nothing further is to be accomplished. I would suggest that you close this thread to further comments so that we will all just move on.

so that you are clear about my position in the following comment, i am a white queer dyke trans woman.

i am commenting strictly in support of lyssa, not because i have any hope in changing bil's mind. bil will continue to support the cis LGB community's continuing marginalizing of trans* female folks, no matter what i or lyssa or anybody else says.

an intemperate expression of sheer frustration and rage at being continually, every minute, colonized by cis LGB people, is not a death threat. neither lyssa nor i nor any other trans woman has that kind of power.

however, you, bil, do have the power to call down the power of the state upon us, and you know (even if you fail to acknowledge) how well police treat trans women of color.

lyssa is expressing her rage in a manner that may be frightening to your privilege, but is not a threat to you. you, however, are advocating using lyssa's oppressions - as a trans woman of color - against her, to carry out a very real act of harm against her.

delete her comment? ok. ban her? whatever. but to threaten state-sanctioned violence against her? that is not on, bil, that is reinforcing the societal hate against twoc, and you know it.

Various comments, unattributed:

"Ok Lyssa probably crossed a line. But I don't think you can actually get beheaded on the internet."

"Get a grip."

"Lyssa WAS in fact just blowing off steam Bill, and no, threatening violence on the internet is NOT YET legally a criminal offense"

"Look, however extremely Lyssa's comments were, they were clearly rhetorical. Effigies? Every town in the USA? Does that sound like a credible threat to you?"

"But come on! This is nothing but an expression of complete, exhausted frustration and rage"

etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

What part of "you never really completely know what people are capable of" do you people not understand? Maybe the literal threat seems unlikely, but you never know if a person is going to do something. Listen, I am right now afraid for myself, my partner, a boarder, our home and more, all because some moron decided that outing me to a violent group of white supremacists is an acceptable way of expressing her "complete, exhausted frustration and rage" over the fact that I identify myself as transsexual (thus insulting the way she identifies) and the fact that she feels I'm going to "wreck it" for transsexuals in this Province by being outspoken. There is a slight difference in that this person is known to me locally, but with the way information can spread around the Internet, this is not necessarily a differentiating factor. DON'T TELL ME IT DOESN'T FUCKING HAPPEN.

This did not start or take place on this blog, but Bil is aware of it, and it certainly may affect how he's looking at threats right now.

And I can tell you this: I have been stabbed in the back far more by the people I have advocated for and tried to help, whether transsexual, transgender, HBS, "trans"-only, CD, of transsexual history, genderqueer or whatever, than I have ever been by the likes of Bil. It was betrayals of this sort (though not magnitude) that sparked my first post, "Transbigotry," and clearly nothing has changed. If that means that I am persona non grata among the T for saying this then so be it. The emperor has no clothes. If I come back at all, it will be a far more bitter Mercedes that you will find. Deal with it.

Drakyn: "Calling the police on a trans women for a comment, not a threat just a comment, made out of justified rage is loathsome."

I don't know about in the U.S. but here, the authorities are only ever interested in investigating if something actually has happened as a consequence. (There are rare exceptions, usually involving money and the beleaguered human rights commissions that everyone here wants to abolish.) And Bil has already said that his comment about turning over information would only happen if an investigation actually took place. I do hope that none of you are suggesting that protecting a person in the event of a real threat having been carried out is tantamount over standing up for the injured party.

Re: HRC, I will never support top-down, condescending "leave it to us" advocacy. I also have rage for that sort of machine. But at the same time, I will not rage against individuals who are working within that system, some of whom want to change it -- either they will be betrayed as before, or they might affect real, gradual change. I am content to leave that to them, and focus on what is important elsewhere.

dyssonance: "And others of us know why we can't stop giving one."

Then you haven't been betrayed enough yet. Watch your back.

yeah, I have. I know it all too well, and each one gives me more reason to work to end such.

but then, I am sorta weird that way, lol. The sort where no matter how hard and how many times I get hit, I just keep getting back up...

... eventually I'll be dead. Until then, I can keep standing.

Mercedes, Bil is doing exactly what you fear to me.

This is why every body is so upset.

He had my contact info with the post
He knows me
He has already stated here that he does not percieve me as a threat.
He has a history of resolving these isuses with me privately, quietly, and successfully.
Get with the program, and understand American culture. You are an outsider to this in so many ways, and are probably not making much sense because you are triggered by your own personal experience.

Drop back and think twice before storming on here and defending police violence when you have no clue how this works for brown transwomen in the US.

And stay safe, and get some help. Sounds like ur having a rough time, and lashing out against one of your own online.

And I know you know how that works.

"Get with the program, and understand American culture. You are an outsider to this in so many ways, and are probably not making much sense because you are triggered by your own personal experience."

You have a lot of fucking nerve telling ANYONE that they don't belong here. Mercedes is one of the most thoughtful and knowledgable people on this blog. Hell, in the entire trans community. She is a hard-working advocate and leader. And the irony of an incoherent babbler telling an intelligent contributor that *she* doesn't make any sense is thicker than spoiled buttermilk.

Trust is a choice. Betrayal is a reality.

Because you've decided not to trust, there must be a justification. Do you wonder why that justification somehow exonerates the HRC's people, but leaves mismatched individuals out?

Let me help you. It's easier to excuse the acts of a powerful group than of powerless individuals.

It's not because they're righter for 'working within the system'. It's because they're bigger.

Schoolyard rules. Your rationalization is understandable, but don't pretend it's actual justification.

"FABULOUS PARTIES and somehow thinking they've advanced gay rights"

It is not just the HRC that holds fundraisers, just look at the advertisement on TBP from NCLTF asking for $250 tickets and sponsorships to attend a leadership award party = ALL ORGANIZATIONS RAISE MONEY FROM EVENTS

All organizations lobby for our rights before a governing body will advance in to law. And in case you were sleeping the last 8 years we had a government AGAINST ANY GLBT rights! Why dont you, ET, Alyssa and all those against HRC go start a 501(c)(4)to advance your rights and see how far you can get without money.

For all of you that are against HRC you sure seem to want to keep up the rhetoric about wanting them to change and support you. So what is it. Do you want them too or not?

I'm doing one better. I'm running for office.

I did start a 501 (c)3 organization in early 2003, and we have done more to advance the rights for our nitch of the population and accomplished more in the six years then HRC has done in 26 years . . . AND with a tiny fraction of the money they spend on Joe's salary in a year. HRC hasn't done squat with the millions they have taken in over they years. Nice building, however. (sarcasm)

All this negativity, name calling, and all out rudeness makes me LESS likely to want to understand and support the transgender community.

You attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

>>Insert rude reply from lyssa here

>>>All this negativity, name calling, and all out rudeness makes me LESS likely to want to understand and support the transgender community.

Uh what? I care about civil rights only if you're nice to me?

Right is right, wrong is wrong.

And now you are getting a slim idea of why the transpopulation gets so incensed when people try to make it seem like the HRC is actually doing something for us.

Most of us are aware they are *trying*. But after being lied to -- yes, LIED TO -- for 20 years, many of us are saying that we will believe it when they actually *do* get something done.

And the things they are saying they will do -- indeed, the thing that sparked this -- they are saying will take three years.

By which time, much to your possible releif, at least one of the people posting here is most likely going to have been assaulted or killed, most of whom are going to remain or return to unemployment and a few of whom will be evicted, strictly because they are transgender.

So they an go die in the street.

All that talk of Stonewall 2.0? HRC caused it for transfolk. And we will not let anyone forget it, and we will not let anyone deny it without facing them down.

So while you may not feel like we've done much, remember that its us who take the brunt of the crap dished towards you, and it is a transman who is fighting for your rights in california (and won a big one for you once already).

We're pissed. And if you really think that dumping us is going to benefit you, good luck with that illusion.

So basically, trans rights rly are not that important to you at all and you consider the T in GLBT pretty much optional when supporting the queer community.

Just making sure, cuz one would think if you rly did genuinely care and trans issues rly WERE important to you, ppl saying things you dun like on the internet wouldn't change your stance on supporting trans RIGHTS and trans ppl.

Are the ISSUES and the CAUSES important to you? Or do you just support them casually if like ppl are rly nice to you and make you feel good about yourself? As long as it's no skin off your back, why not right? But if some individual trans ppl are going to upset you, well then you're going to take your ball and go home and never support trans ppl or causes again. That's just how much you care about trans ppl!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 23, 2009 1:37 AM

What is amazing about the long thread of comments to this post is how invested some people seem more invested in hating HRC and getting everyone else to hate HRC than they are in advocating FOR trans inclusive legislation.

Now, I know that I am going to be accused of using my privilege as a Black gay man to oppress transgender people while fighting for the rich white gay agenda, but the level to which this thread has descended is a great example of what keeps a lot of people away from getting involved in LGBT issues.

Who needs the seemingly endless drama?

I have heard from too many people including Bilerico contributors who refuse to write or talk about issues where gender identity may come up because they fear having their words twisted and labeled as anti-trans.

Its really sad that it has come to this.

"I have heard from too many people including Bilerico contributors who refuse to write or talk about issues where gender identity may come up because they fear having their words twisted and labeled as anti-trans."

**BINGO!!!** This is the most important point. Most people have little to no experience with the trans community. If the bulk of their exposure is from this blog, they're going to run in the opposite direction from us. And who could blame them? All anyone gets for their interest is a serious tongue-lashing, at best. More often it escalates to character assasination.

Not only are non-GLB allies thoroughly turned off, but the rest of our community is dissuaded from including us because we're seen as a toxic threat.

I suppose if anyone is still reading this, that this post will be followed by comments from both GLB and T people who will each argue that they don't belong in the same community with the other. Nothing could be more self-defeating and further from the truth.

I've never failed to be amazed that no matter how small of a minority group is involved, that it's never too small to subdivide itself further. That's just friggin' brilliant.

Now, I know that I am going to be accused of using my privilege as a Black gay man to oppress transgender people while fighting for the rich white gay agenda LOL

Yes, this comment thread has had too much drama. It would have been more productive to avoid all the emotional accusations and just rationally talk about the issues. There are legitimate concerns, but I fear they got lost in all the angst.

I suspect you are right about people avoiding getting involved because of the infighting. But it would be very sad if it is true.

I agree that this thread has been a horrible shouting match, but that's hardly unique to the trans community. Almost all communities have some group online shouting at each other.

And as for (cis) people "who refuse to write or talk about issues where gender identity may come up because they fear having their words twisted and labeled as anti-trans." I've heard this several times here, and well, I've known a lot of white folks afraid to talk about race for fear of being seen as racist. I've known a lot of straight folks afraid of talking about queer issues for fear of being seen as homophobic. And so on.

In each case perhaps they had a run in with an activist filled with rightous anger who scared them, but the blame for such a circumstance falls sqaurly on those systems of oppression. We *need* to have dialog that is more constructive than this, but it is never appropriate to blame an oppressed group for the fact that their oppressors don't want to help them. No matter how friendly and appeasing we are, there will always be people who refuse to be allies. And anyone who is willing to be a ally to an oppressed group on the condition that members of that oppressed group behave "appropriately" is not a real ally at all.

Michael,

One of the biggest problems with all this, the one that I believe inspires a lot of the anger at HRC you see here at Bilerico and elsewhere, is that there's been no real public dialog between the trans community and HRC on ENDA nor has there ever been.

HRC has refused all invitations to participate in one, preferring instead to hide behind closed-door private meetings with a few selected representatives.

When Joe Solmonese was on the Michelangelo Signorile Show last year, Signorile, to his credit, challenged Solmonese to discuss ENDA and HRC's actions in '07. While I unfortunately don't have an exact quote handy, his response was, in essence, "We're HRC, we know best, and so we're going to do whatever we think is appropriate, period.".

That's as close to a public policy statement on ENDA as we've heard from Joe or anyone in the HRC leadership. Putting everything else to the side for a moment, with an attitude like this is it really any wonder why transpeople are furious with HRC and not shy about saying so?

The way for things to progress positively from this point between HRC and the trans community would require real public engagement and dialog. Thus far, HRC has flatly refused all attempts to begin one. So, there's really no place for the anger to go, no way to talk it out and work toward a positive solution.

In order to come to an understanding and perhaps quell some of the righteous anger of the trans community toward HRC, both sides would need to come to the table. There have been numerous attempts to do so coming from our side (I've invited Joe on my show three times so far), but HRC refuses to participate.

Given that, it's fair to conclude that HRC either doesn't want to or doesn't care about working constructively with the trans community. They want to do things their way, without question or complaint from any of us. Were I wrong about that, they'd at least make the attempt and be willing to enter into a constructive dialog.

In the absence of that dialog, transpeople and our allies can only go on what is publicly known and express our anger and our opinions of HRC to each other and to those we share public discussion spaces with.

I fully believe that if HRC were finally ready to really act as an advocate for transpeople, to sit down with us and figure out ways to work together for the benefit of all of us, it would have a positive impact. Probably not right away, and certainly not without a lot of work on both sides, but it would happen if both sides were committed to making it happen.

The most basic problem, the one that must be resolved before anything else can be accomplished, is that HRC must be willing to come to the table openly and honestly as an equal part of the team, not as a dictator which refuses to brook any questioning or complaint.

I can't promise anything would be solved, but I think I can confidently say that if a dialog were opened there are transpeople who would at least listen and participate.

Until HRC is ready to be a team player and act as a part of our movement, not like it owns it, this is how it will continue to be. As it has been for years, the next move is HRC's. If they do nothing, we will continue to consider them the enemy because that's how they have cast themselves. If they wish any of us to see the org in a different light, it is they who must take the next logical step toward that goal.

Those who cannot or will not understand why the trans community feels and acts as it does toward HRC are free to bow out of the discussions, but don't expect us to back down or shut up when we're fighting for our lives against those who would deny us equality to serve themselves. Not now, not ever.

Michael;
Overall I am very pro-trans inclusion but I've had that happen to me over on PHB courtesy of an individual who was ultimately trapdoored.....

...and 24 hours ago, was invited to give expert background material on an upcoming event that she is an expert in.

The person who "trapdoored" her is the one who solicited her as an expert, and has consistently found her comments informative.

Her words.

You may wish to personally verify this with her as well. Think twice before inflaming an already regrettable situation with slander, Maura.


Shall I post the letter to me informing me that someone had been trapdoored, Lyssa? I did not identify the person, by the way..

and Lys be fair. I've been going to bat on this thread for you.

and it was not slander lys;
It was accurate.

"Now, I know that I am going to be accused of using my privilege as a Black gay man to oppress transgender people while fighting for the rich white gay agenda, but the level to which this thread has descended is a great example of what keeps a lot of people away from getting involved in LGBT issues.

Who needs the seemingly endless drama?"

Wrong. You were not accused of such. Where you got that idea was your own head, when to deal with things properly you should have asked.

I'm a straight queer woman -- transwoman -- of multiple ethnic backgrounds. Including black. Which I haven't made a secret, but its amazing how other people decide my race for me based on how they feel about what I write.

They do that on my gender, my sex, my politics...

Your privilege that you are using is your cisprivilege -- and that's what's getting in the way here.

Its like me using my straight privs -- you won't see it until its pointed out anymore than I will see it (although since I get all the crap usually tossed at you for being gay, I get the idea).

Point blank, *we* need the drama. And will continue to need it until people realize that the HRC, when it comes to transfolk, has to do something for a change, other than lie to us and merely make false claims.

And the only that will happen is for them to do something all by themselves that is incredibly forward advancing.

Now.

Until they do that, they are, very much, an organization that claims to be working on our behalf but is enabling the killing, the unemployment, the assault, and the death of transfolk,

If a a gay rights organization were to go out and say they are fighting for marriage and then work to stop any bills going through, you'd call them freaking evil, and get pretty pissed off when people tried to tell you how they are really helping you.

So, all by yourself, you answered your question: *You* need the drama. Until you learn what inclusive means.

Some thoughts on all this.

HRC is, indeed, the enemy of transpeople of all types. Back in 98 the head of HRC lobby department threatened me via email for exposing what we had learned that led to the formation of NTAC. Having experienced that, I have little sympathy for some HRC staffer crying foul. That said, transpeople have a history of out of hand character assassination and carrying out threats to harm others, that I have also experienced first hand.

Maura's law is a good one, I am sick to death of cis this and cis that claiming victimhood, so much so I've already been calling it "playing the tranny card".

But the trans commenters have made good points too, Bilerico is very unfriendly towards the simple womanhood of transitioned women and has allowed articles with titles that bordered on hate speech.

That said, I consider myself cis at this point and will close with the observation that cis-sterhood is powerful :)

do you understand what people are pointing at when they point at you cisprivilege? are you listening?

if you can't, you should consider removing the "t" from your project title.

* * *

you know what it's like dealing with allies who are helping you as a queer.

you've got cisgendered privilege, and you're not helping transfolk by carelessly writing stuff like, "While we keep Projector's information private, this would be a case where I would gladly hand over any identifying information to the authorities." for something you know was rhetoric and not an actual threat.

* * *

i used to think this project was a good idea, but given the problems with other privileges people have here, i think there needs to be some real soul searching.

just as poc can be homophobic. and feminists can be homophobic. and all the other oppressed groups can be homophobic.

gays, lesbians, bis, and queers can be transphobic. thinking otherwise is a delusion.

Sadly, they do not understand cisprivilege, and this is one of the ongoing, consistent flaws with Bilerico -- and pretty much any of the other large blogs (in some cases, explicitly transphobic).

Yet all they have to do is ask. That however, requires a willingness, and they are using the sher virulent rage as an excuse to be afraid, to run away and have a nice easy time of it.

They forget that that vindictive side is the flipside of the Golden RUle:

"... as you would done unto you."

When they insult us, especially in this manner, they will get back what they give forth.

Not happy, and for a lot of transfolk, time's come that we are no longer going to be good quiet little stealth transfolk.

We are going to enforce people's own claims, and if someone says "LGBT", then they are including us, and we had damn well better be included with the same respect and understanding afforded the rest.

Which simply hasn't been happening here.

Yeah Cis-sterhood is powerful and you'll know it as soon as you step outa line and it comes down on you like a fully loaded mack truck of cis privilege.

It wasn't all that long ago when I heard this sort of rhetoric from the gay community. Funny how short memories can become once you are no longer the oppressed group.

HRC has flat out lied to us, used us for their own gain, and sold us down the river without a second thought. I would never expend my energy to track any of them down, but if I happen to stumble across Joe's grave I won't think twice about relieving myself on it just as he has on the trans community.

You can leave the T off of the LGB thank you very much.

Amanda in the South Bay | March 25, 2009 12:35 PM

The original comment may have been over the top, but I don't see how any reasonable, intelligent person could consider it an actual threat of imminent, credible proportions against HRC. I think it has to do with Bil wanting to seem 1) tough-guyish for standing up to it 2) Being a dick about liability in case something happened and 3) wanting to prove he's a tough guy owner of the blog (maybe inspired by residual 9/11 paranoia?) who takes even the most ridiculous of threats seriously.

Adding to the what-all...not sure why, except I've been reading this site for some time, value it, and needed to bark.

Civility of any kind on the internet is hard to enforce and I get why the big woofing/threats to out and so on. And after seeing how the dkos ENDA battles played out, the rhetoric you cite will just alienate folks anyway; might as well shut it down hard.

But...and admittedly, I'm one o'them transies, so my view is perhaps easily dismissible...I sure get that level of anger at the HRC. I contribute to and read sites which put Americablog front and center. There are no shortage of places where I can read that my civil rights are a matter that reasonable people, even or perhaps especially reasonable liberal queer activists, can disagree upon. That we must always, always make room for people who are simply bigots to be heard.

Do you honestly expect continued civility in the face of that? To the point of offering to out someone whose whole post amounted to "please die now" and who is -- without question -- very vulnerable to such outing?

I can't imagine how hard it is to enforce site rules -- or rather, having seen a site or two fail for over-the-topness, I can imagine it, and have great sympathy. But honestly...um...I truly see what HRC has done and continues to do as a form of violence, in the final analysis, and one we abet. Doesn't make the comment right, but I'm not, as a reader, real easy with your response, either.

You can ban anyone you want. It is your blog. I think it is a very sensitive area to get into regarding what can and cannot be said. But the poster can say whatever they want elsewhere if Bilerico does not permit it. Sometimes that may be to the bloggers gain and sometimes they may be the poorer for not hearing how others feel. This was obviously someone who was very frustrated and apologized for how she may have been perceived. I think that took a lot of courage and humility to do.

I believe a lot of GLBT people are frusterated with HRC. If you don't like their leadership or how they handle things, don't donate any money or time to them.

We're better off without them anyway, let them die off on their own. The only thing HRC is good for is continuing the idea that all gays are well-paid and living lavish lifestyles - when in fact, average GLBT people aren't welcome in the HRC elite circle - and it's time us average gays let them know they aren't welcomed in our average non-elite lives. Certainly not representing us, that's for sure!

I'm just as angry about HRC's bullshit doublespeak as anyone and I let it be known when the HRC fund raising people are on campus. However, we cannot stoop down to their level. We must always act better than the corporate sellouts they are. We must act better than management at HRC, Inc.