Guest Blogger

Stuck in Binary

Filed By Guest Blogger | April 14, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: binaries, bisexuality, ex-gay, gender, gender expression, gender identity, homophobic behavior, intolerance, LGBT, Monica Helms, sexual orientation, transgender, transphobia

Editors' note: Monica Helms is the president of the Transgender American Veterans Association. This is the second part of her "Stuck in..." series.

Think of how dull the world would be if everything came in just twos. We would only have two different colors, two different smells, two different tastes and two different sounds. People would appear in just two different varieties for each sex, and only thinking in just two different ways. From our diverse perspective, it would be a boring existence, except that in that world, boredom would only come in two forms as well.

Being a science fiction fan and writer, I can easily imagine how a world of true binaries would look. I'm envisioning a novel coming from that right now. We should consider ourselves lucky that Mother Nature can think beyond binaries. Unfortunately, even with all the evidence in front of us, Human Nature cannot think beyond binaries.

I should clarify that last sentence. When it comes to all that exists around us, we easily bask in the beauty of a world that goes way beyond binaries. We see flowers of all colors and varieties. Our pets come in all shapes, sizes, species and temperament. One could take a decade sampling all the varieties of food the world has to offer. Yes, we don't live in a binary world, yet in some forms, binary thinking exists in people.

If Mother Nature can think beyond binaries in every form of creation, then it stands to reason that sex, gender and sexual orientation also go beyond binaries. Try telling that to most of humanity, including some gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight people. Yes, even some transgender people cannot think beyond binaries, which has caused some rather heated discussions on blogs and lists at times.

Noticed I didn't include intersex people on that list. Overall, I have found that because an intersex person can have so many different issues that would make them intersex, their life situations force them to think beyond binaries. I have learned a lot from my intersex friends, and they still have more to teach me.

So, where does a lot of this binary thinking come from? Easy. "The Bible says that God only created man and woman. The Bible says that men cannot lie with men and women cannot lie with women. The Bible says that men cannot wear the clothes of women and women cannot wear the clothes of men." How often have we heard these examples from the Bible used as weapons to beat us over the head with? Yet, we hear nothing about stoning our children if they disobey, nothing about not eating pork and shell fish, nothing about not divorcing and remarrying, and nothing about not wearing clothes made with different materials. Seems those get swept under the evangelistic rug for convenience sake. Welcome to the "pick and choose" religious world.

Because binary viewpoints on sex, gender and sexual orientation exists with a majority of humans, we get amendments to state constitutions that say men can only marry women, and visa versa. Yet, in all of those state constitutions, you will not see a definition for what constitutes a man and what constitutes a woman. If you try to pinpoint a definition for them, you will find many exceptions to whatever one you pick, leaving out some of those fine, upstanding evangelist citizens in the process.

Why? Because Mother Nature (God) never follows a binary model when creating humans. Scientists have even identified over 600 species of plants and animals that can change sex based on the needs of the species, further blurring the binary lines. If binaries don't exist in nature, then why have so many states based laws and amendments on vague and undefined terms such as "man" and "woman"? Who allowed them to get away with it?

Let's also look at God for a moment. If you were God and could create anything, anything, then that means you would have no limits. You are not stuck with binary thinking and can mix and match all sorts of features when creating humans. Yet, a misguided portion of society wants to put limits on God's abilities when it comes to the sex, gender and sexual orientation of people. How arrogant are those people? On top of that, if you don't choose the right one of the two - such as sexual orientation - then you're not following God's plan, as if they had absolute proof of how God thinks.

There are five known sexual orientations - heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality and pansexuality. For those who don't know, pansexuality, or omnisexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual desire for people, regardless of their gender identity or biological sex. Pansexuality has been described as a "means to skip the binaries and essentialism of bisexuality." I personally see an overlapping of the two.

When the Ex-Gay Movement comes up in conversation, people's binary views of sexual orientation frustrate me to no end. You have straight people saying they can cure a person from being gay and gay people saying that a person will always be gay. Neither side cares to even acknowledge the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the person isn't gay or straight, but somewhere in between.

The AMA recognizes twelve to fourteen various chromosome patterns to designate a person's sex. If XX designates female and XY designates male, then what sex are the others? The AMA, in order to bend to the pressures of the Religious Right, has designated some of the other patterns male and the others as female. But are they right? I refuse to believe they can be so positive on the person's sex if they do not have either XX or XY.

And, Mother Nature, in all of its non-binary wisdom, has even created male-bodied people with XX chromosomes and female-bodied people with XY chromosomes. I have a female-bodied friend who has XY chromosomes. This proves that using chromosomes to justify a binary model for sex just cannot be done.

Failing the medical determination, we can go with a person's gender, specifically their gender identity. What their mind says has to be the strongest deciding factor when medical evidence becomes too vague. Even there, no binary exist, otherwise Leslie Feinberg wouldn't have embraced gender-neutral pronouns. Some people feel they have a neutral, an undefined, or fluid gender, thus shattering binaries in gender as well.

Binaries for sex, gender and sexual orientation are nothing more than creations by people who will not accept a variety of possibilities, or want to make it easy to place people in neat little boxes. Nature has no concept of boxes. The lines between everything in nature become blurred and undefined when studying them carefully. Too bad some people ignore solid evidence in order to push their brand of intolerance, but that has been happening for thousands of years. The more we push aside binary thinking and embrace the wide diversity of nature, the harder it will be for the bigots to thrive. Don't expect that to happen anytime soon.


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A. J. Lopp | April 14, 2009 1:19 PM

"Stuck in Binary" is a good way to communicate the mentality that people must fit into Pigeonhole A or Pigeonhole B.

But to characterize today's world, you must include the final part: "People must fit in Pigeonhole A or Pigeonhole B, and if they don't, then something is wrong with them.

That is the unfortunate mentality that too much of our world is stuck in: that if your chromosomes are something other than XX or XY, then "something went wrong" or "something broke" of "something needs to be fixed" ... there is very little thought given to the very possible framing of the situation as "this person is as this person is, and unless the person feels that there is something wrong, then possibly there isn't."

It is surprising, but my conclusion is that a lot of people cannot make the leap between "A or B" thinking and "this person is what this person is" thinking.

I have read that some species of bacteria inter-mingle their chromosomes in patterns much more complicated than the sex chromosome patterns found in humans, so that effectively the species has over 25,000 different "sexes". Now, if you aren't a decent scientist, and envision the sexes in terms of their social roles, then that is bound to blow a few minds!

Mostly, these binary generalizations got so firmly established because people "needed" them to socialize their tribes in an "orderly" way. But society changes and develops, and it is now necessary for humanity to get familiar with a more complex, and more realistic, mode of thinking.

Thanks, Monica.

XXOO

Nerissa Belcher | April 15, 2009 9:10 AM

Nice post, Monica! As often the case with your postings I agree with your theme (diversity = good) but wish to play devil's advocate by pointing out additional issues.

Consider the individual who is gender queer, pansexual, Wiccan, vegan, yada yada ... with purple Mohawk hair and loads of tattoos and assorted piercings. They are a poster child for diversity. However, are their various identities a sign of fundamental issues with them as opposed to an extreme need for attention?

My impression is if such a person were to be teleported to a world where many people were like them they'd almost immediately decide they were straight, conservative mono-gender Christians or some other extreme identity for that world.

Sticking with the trans crowd my impression is the T*s who have the health and resources to transition surgically and who do so are expressing something of fundamental importance to them. I.E. that they really desire to be female. OTOH for the T*s who are in a similar situation and who don't transition surgically I see more of a need for attention. Having said this I do admit there must be the rare individual who at a very fundamental level always wanted to be a SheMale but I've never actually met such a person.

Nerissa, you have hit the nail on the head. Many who identify as "transgender" do seem to have an obsessive need to be "different." As to sex, it is clearly binary. While there may be variations in the pattern, science simply sees the presence or absence of a Y chromosome as the determinant of chromosonal sex. Trying to claim that someone who has a variation like X, XXY, XYY, XXYY, XXX, etc. is neither male nor female is scientifically inaccurate. There are extremely rare cases where a person who is XY is born with CAIS and has a female body, but chromosonally they are still "male." The definition of sex may be a bit more complex than simply looking between the legs, but ultimately those who reject the binary are basing their views strictly on a social and political basis, not on science, and certainly on nothing that can remotely be claimed as objective. As you point out, they are basically just seeking attention.

Thank you for proving my point that even some trans people can't think beyond binary.

Nerissa,
The article is about the lack of binaries in nature, as having to do with the biological aspects of sex, gender and sexual orientation. What you have described here has to do with a person's gender identity and expression, which is not part of the article. I couldn't write an article called "Stuck In Gender Identity and Expression," because for the most part, a person would not be "stuck in" something they fully embrace.

Sorry to break it to you, but I am not "trans." And, you might also consider that people do have a right to disagree with you as regards this.

You certainly have a right to your views, but that is all that they are...your views. There is certainly no rule that says that others, including those who might identify as trans, have to agree with you.

Absurdity and nonsense yet again ..

...and this is from an activist that claims to represent you .. lord help us

Hey Monica .. where is that list I challenged you for ? you know the one listing the TG activism accomplisments for transfolk (not the GLBT) in the past 10-15 years ?

Apparently you and Suzanne don't understand the TOS on this web site.

"The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising."

Please stay on topic for this article.

Disagreeing is now considered a slur?

They have this new thing now that can help you find anything on "The Internet." It's called "Google." You need research done, do it yourself, unless you plan on paying me to do it. I have a real life to live.

Good point. Binary isn't set up in nature - what we see in sex is an organic system set up to be as productive towards the end of reproduction. In instances where a binary doesn't work (like lots of species of animals), it just isn't there. And since the systems that produce what appears to us to be a binary aren't going to be perfect since they weren't created to be "perfect," then we should open our minds up to diversity a bit.

But I do think it's deeply engrained in us to try to simplify the world down into neat categories even when they don't exist, like the incredibly false binary between "black" and "white."

Yeah well... I googled it up ... Transgender Accomplishments, all I could find was glbt centers listing accomplishments for gays and lesbians as a whole, nothing really specific that would actually make the lives of transsexuals any better. Therefore I thought you might want to enlighten us all, being that your a trans activist.

Still, I do understand compleatly that you have a life to live and simply cannot waste you're valuable time writing things that might be of value for transsexuals considering that you advocate for them.

On the negative side I did find lots of "tranny" sex sites, one that even pays google to advertise ! Yep thats progress.. Also came across lots of sites that pretty much linked transsexuals with everything gay (more progress) then there were the redneck types that pretty much wanted to ...well, you know...

Speaking of binary there are pretty much 2 types of people in this world, those that lead and those that pay the price of following.

Monica, this was a very good post. I still believe in the binary but I do believe that we are blended.Just like the colors are blended in the rainbow. You say that Mother Nature didn't make everything in two's. I have to disagree with that. We do have Animal and Plant. Two different types of life and without one we wouldn't have the other. Most mammals do have two of everything, two lungs, two kidneys etc. There are things that do happen to make this not true just as in Gender. We do have the X's and the Y's and they come in different varieties but they are still X and Y. I always say that we are the same but different. This is only my thoughts. I do know that others think of the third gender or the fourth that is fine with me. But my thoughts are the blending of genders.

I can agree with "blending." The problem we face is that the Judao-Christian-Islamic cultures can't control people if they can't put people in neat little boxes. There are cultures in the world and in our past where they believe in multiple sexes. Out of respect for those cultures, I will not be saying I'm right and they are wrong, because God doesn't talk to me like He is suppose to with others. To say they are wrong is playing into the fears of the Western Society's religions.

Angela Brightfeather | April 16, 2009 9:25 PM

"Yeah well... I googled it up ... Transgender Accomplishments, all I could find was glbt centers listing accomplishments for gays and lesbians as a whole, nothing really specific that would actually make the lives of transsexuals any better. Therefore I thought you might want to enlighten us all, being that your a trans activist."

Once again Leigh, you prove that while some people may aspire to a different sexual expression, others aspire to being simply as ignorant as they can possibly be. Not stupid mind you, just ignorant, or at least to stubborn to admit the obvious.

Asking someone to list the accomplishments of Trans activists over the last 40 years is like asking someone to list the number of ridiculous arguments put out there by ungrateful and ingracious TS's, who over that time had more interst in helping themselves than in helping others like themselves. It's like making up a list of "how many pain in the butts have you met in your life", and I don't know many people who would want to waste the time.

But for you Leigh, I'll make an exception, only in an attempt to inform you. Here is accomplaishment #1 by Trans activists.

If not for Trans activists, there would be no GLBT community. It would be the GLB community and you would be sitting in your home right now and wondering why you can't get your drivers license changed, why you have to put up with tons of discrimination against you in your everyday life from people like your phamacist to the guy who picks up your garbage, why your not protected in many states by hate crimes and your job is more at risk.

It always amazes me, the length that some TS's will go, just to justify their existence and claim their independence, when in fact they don't have to justify their existence and their independence is at least in part, founded on the sacrifices of more tolerant and humble people than themselves who they are so anxious to denigrate in a public forum.

On the top of your list Leigh, you might start with airing your dirty laundry in another neighborhood.

Now you can sit and deny all that or you can suck it up and admit that your life is better due to the fact that others cared more about you than you care about them.

Wow, I think someone hit a nerve here...

Actually, the ability to change one's driver's license, where it is available, largely predates the "transgender activists."

And to be honest, I don't think Leigh is particularly interested in being a part of the LGBT community.

And quite frankly, in a lot of states there are no protections for anyone. In others, there are protections for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals but not "transgender." So, I think Leigh's question remains unanswered and her point remains. And I believe your remarks about transsexuals actually adds to her point.

15 states now protect employment for transgender people, which comes to 40% of the population. 47 states allow you to change the sex on your birth certificate. 24 states allow you to change the sex marker on the driver's license BEFORE surgery. 18 states have hate crimes laws that include transgender people. California has health care reform that says you cannot discriminate against trans people and they have an anti panic defense law. Over 100 major corporations cover extensive health care for trans people.

None of these things came about out of the supposed goodness of the straight or gay people's hearts. Trans activists have been around for 40 years getting all of these things that make the lives of transsexuals far easier then they have been even 10 years ago. If you don't believe that trans activists have been around for that long, look up Silvia Rivera, Melissa Cheryl Lynn, Arieana Cane, Julie Johnson, Nancy Nangeroni, just to name a few.

It's interesting that some people spend so much time complaining about the work of others who made their lives better that hey cannot see the need to help others themselves. My father taught me something when I was little. He pointed out that you don't go through life with a, "Hurray for me and to hell with everyone else" attitude. When I did, I paid dearly for it, and I learned. It is obvious that this attitude is strong and prevalent with some transsexuals.

Now, prove to me what YOU have done to help others. Come on. Show me YOUR list. I'm sure the silence will be deafening.

So, 35 states offer no protection for "transgender people," and in 26 you can't change your driver's license before surgery. Granted, most of the state laws on birth certificates are long standing, and the few that are not were changed because they adopted a uniform law.

And I am curious, how many of those 100 companies actually cover sex reassignment surgery? I know many of them provide mental health care, and maybe hormones.

Now, actually, the laws in California exist because of Mark Leno, a gay state assemblyman from San Francisco.

As to what I have done, that is beside the point. I am not claiming to be an activist. But since you bring it up, which of the above changes do you personally claim credit for?

Oh, and that was an interesting list of names. I believe most of them are associated with IFGE, which started out as a club for crossdressers.

I don't think God talks to anyone. Of course there are scholars to prove me wrong, just read the Bible. I believe that in your inside voice speaking to you or your conscience or call it what you want. Your ability to reason. I do believe in God but I don't give Him the credit that we as people should get. Trying to put all this into your blog is that we were created with the ability to reason and learn from our lives. Each of us has a very different genitic code and so we learn differently. We also keep what we have consumed differetly. Some will forget things that others will just remember better. This is why we have diversity, which doesn't mean the color of our skin. We are all different on the outside and we are all different on the inside. We think differently and what we have between our legs is different that what we have in our heads. So this is why I believe in blending.

Sheila,
You have a great handle on all of this. Thank you for commenting. It's comments like yours that help me expand my knowledge.

Angela Brightfeather | April 17, 2009 12:49 PM

"Wow, I think someone hit a nerve here..."

You bet hon!!! It isn't every day in this community that I have to read such foolishness. As a matter of fact, it's darn rare.

"Actually, the ability to change one's driver's license, where it is available, largely predates the "transgender activists."

Actually Suzanne, your wrong about that and the fight for that right is still being fought here in NC and other states by Transgender
activists who are not necessarily TS or Transgender. And if your records on changing gender markers on dirver's licenses goes back before 1967, please let me know, because that is when I first came out and started working as an activist and I don't remember anyth8ing like that being brought up for at least 25 to 30 years after that date. I could be worng about that however because most of us just couldn't be everywhere back then.

"And to be honest, I don't think Leigh is particularly interested in being a part of the LGBT community."

Well Suzanne, it is very nice that you can speak on Leigh's behalf. I'd be interested to find out if there is a reason for that.


"And quite frankly, in a lot of states there are no protections for anyone. In others, there are protections for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals but not "transgender." So, I think Leigh's question remains unanswered and her point remains. And I believe your remarks about transsexuals actually adds to her point."

Quite frankly Suzanne, exactly who do you think did get those rights in the states that they do exist in? Leigh really has no point to begin with, if the fact that states do exist with freedoms for Transgender people that were hard fought for by Trans activists, and Leigh does not put them at the top of any list. Frankly Suzanne, Leigh is only a one voice in the wilderness who seems to count the things that Leigh thinks are important, and ignores the facts and the achievements of others, don't you think?

I specifically note that Leigh and your own problems with activists in the Transgender movement are not limited to the just that movement. I have met many GLB people who claim that GLB activists don't do much either except seek attention. Of course the one thing that they seem to have in common is that they do not seek any attention at all. In fact they prefer to be invisible to their state and national legislators and would never write a letter to one of them defending the rights of others. Many think that it's far better to just let nature take it course and work on a one on one basis to create changes.

The other thing that they have in common is that they seem to act and look so straight that a person's "gaydar" would never be alerted by them.

Of course there are people like Leigh and others on the fringes of every civil rights movement. The only thing I question is, if they don't think that activists do anything, then why are they reading Bilerico and why don't they grab a good book like Moby Dick and crawl up under a nice tree and assume the fetal position?

I wonder if Leigh would have asked Martin Luther King for a list of what activists in that movement had done for 40 years also?

First off, I am not going to engage in swapping insults with you. I find it interesting that you feel that abuse is necessary to make a point.

Now, since there were not "transgender activists" in 1967 (the term had not even been made up back then) I think my point stands. Now, as Helms pointed out, most states still will not change a birth certificate. It is almost an even break, but the majority, by one, still don't.

As to speaking on Leigh's behalf, I simply understand where she is coming from.

But to go back to the original point, I don't see where transgender activists have done much to actually help anyone. And quite frankly, I do not believe they do anything for transsexuals.

And I do find it curious that you speak of a transsexual being spotted by someone's "gaydar." Surely you would not be suggesting that transsexuals are remotely "gay."

Suzanne,
Read my fingertips. 47 out of 50 states DO (that means they WILL) change a transsexual's birth certificate, as opposed to only three states who WILL NOT. Do the math. That comes to 94% of the states will change a birth certificate. Will change. Will change. Will change. 47 states. Is that clear enough for you? And, who got that for you? The birth certificate fairy? Keep in mind they started making those changes in the 1970s, when trans people stopped hiding under rocks and came out to speak their minds. And, YOU benefited. You should kiss the ground they walk on, otherwise you would still have "MALE" on all of your documentation. These rights just didn't materialized out of thin air. I have never seen someone so ungrateful for the things you have that didn't even exist ten years ago in some cases and some states.

Well, first off, you seem to agree with what I said. In 35 states there are no job protections for transgender people. In 32 there are no hate crime protections. Now, most of the birth certificate laws have been around for a long time. And all of those job protections and hate crime laws are basically extensions of laws protecting gays and lesbians. I don't know too many who are transsexual who appreciate being labeled as just a form of gay or lesbian. The obvious exception being those who actually identify as being gay or lesbian in their correct sex.

And actually, the California laws are largely the doing of Mark Leno, an openly gay state assemblyman. And a lot of the work that actually led to those laws was done by transsexuals, working quietly, without a lot of fanfare.

Now, I make no claims of being an activist, so I am not going to take your bait. But, I will ask, which, if any, of these accomplishments do you claim personal credit for?

"If not for Trans activists, there would be no GLBT community. It would be the GLB community and you would be sitting in your home right now and wondering why you can't get your drivers license changed"

Excuse me? .. you cannot be serious! I changed the marker on my drivers licence in california in 1979. It was a virtually painless process. One just went to the DMV managers office, showed them your doctors letter and it was done. No muss no fuss, and I have to say they were VERY understanding and wished me well.

In case you missed it thats 1979! That predates the rise of the transgender/glbt by at least 10 years. Since then, several states have now tightened the requirements, some have even gone so far as to prohibit it for those that are not surgical tracked.

"why you have to put up with tons of discrimination against you in your everyday life from people like your phamacist to the guy who picks up your garbage"

Actually .. you're wrong about that too. Personally I don't get tons of discrimination pointed at me in my everyday life, but I will say that what discrimination there is for others has increased 10 fold in the past 10 years.

You see dear, back in the days before the transgender loudmouth's came screaming out of the GLB closet, we transsexual types just went quietly about our business, working within the system and living fairly normal lives. Mostly back then, DQ's and gay men were quite happy to not consider themselves transsexuals. They knew we were out there but by and large they also knew there was a difference between surgically tracked transsexuals and your average DQ and sissy boy gays.

That all changed with the GLBT coalition which sought to "help" us out without any regard to whether or not we wanted their help. The GLBT decided that anyone could be a transsexual, all they had to do was claim the title. They did this because they saw that many states had passed laws that viewed post operative transsexuals as members of their target gender and allowed them, once post op, to marry men(MtF).

Well this didn't sit well with the gays. They saw all transsexuals, and particularily surgical tracked transsexuals as nothing more than gay men that had either gone over the top, or who had not come out of the closet. So, by taking the newly formed alphabet of GLBT, they in one fell swoop leveled the playing field, mixed in their brand of gender queers, crossdressers and drag queens and called it all transgender. Was I asked if I wanted to be part of this new mix? NO! I and many thousends more of us were simply absorbed into the GLBT.

Ok, so what has been the upside of this for TRANSSEXUALS? Well, it does seem that you have managed to include us in hate crime laws in several states. I am sure all the names on the TDOR are very greatful for this. I will be sure to donate my puss to anyone of you that need it should I also end up on your list. I really feel safer now that we have a hate crimes law. On the other hand, before the transgender activists came along we never needed one because most of mainstream society didn't see us as primarily gay. Today thats the FIRST association they make. Now don't go telling me that you were always considered gay during transition because quite frankly if you were, you probably are. One thing I will credit the gays and lesbian GAYDAR for is their ability to tell who is and who isnt gay. Strangely enough I have never been hit on by a gay man, even while in a gay bar. They just seem to inherently know who is and who isn't.

"15 states now protect employment for transgender people, which comes to 40% of the population"

Oh really! Then how come transgender people have one of the highest per capita for their group unemployment and underemployment rate? HUH? Perhaps they just dont happen to live in those states. In contrast, many of us transsexual women prior to the GLB had very little problem with employment, in fact many of us funded transition through being employed.

47 states allow you to change the sex on your birth certificate. 24 states allow you to change the sex marker on the driver's license BEFORE surgery.

Only after surgery on the BC and many of those already had that in place before the GLBT came along so dont try to claim that. Same goes for DL markers, in fact there were more prior to than after. We, the silent ones did more to effect that by working quitly within the system than all you guys have collectivly.

"18 states have hate crimes laws that include transgender people"

Yes, and lord knows they need it since transgenders are now public enemy number one. Again, we can thank ya'll for that. All your media grabbing attention antics mixed in with the gays and lesbians have successfully made all of us the most outlandish, outragous group of people even more loathed than gays themself.

"California has health care reform that says you cannot discriminate against trans people and they have an anti panic defense law. Over 100 major corporations cover extensive health care for trans people."

You can say whatever you like, you can legislate till yur blue in the face but eventually it comes down to people and people will always find ways to discriminate if that be their way. And thank god for the 100 big corporations. How come all these poor gals are working on the street? Could they not get a job at IBM sweeping floors ?

"Now, prove to me what YOU have done to help others. Come on. Show me YOUR list. I'm sure the silence will be deafening."

You're missing the point.. here it is ..

If you need someone else's help support and encouragement to transition you are NOT transsexual. I did help one girl through transition, in fact I was instrumental in getting her employer to allow her to transition on the job. I have always wondered if I did the right thing. For the most part, those that are truly transsexual will find a way, just as water will find its own level. I have no intention of ever again helping anyone to transition because I firmly believe that if you need someone else's help to do it then you're just not committed enough. Other than help from professionals, a few pointers and tips, and perhaps a shoulder to cry on, most transsexuals require very little else. We are a hardy bunch.

Now to get to the meat of what the activists have done to drag transsexuals through the mud.

You have created a violent opinion among mainstream that all transsexuals are primarily gay men, acting out as women. You have done this to satisfy your own ends in the marriage debate, none of which helps transsexuals that are transitioning to BE one with their target gender.

You have created a view amongst mainstream that we are not and never will be anything more than our assigned birth gender. You scare the living daylights out of mainstream by pushing for laws that force your will upon those that do not agree with you. You shout and scream discrimination while in turn you create the discrimination that you are trying to stop.

You have a view about genitals that simply does not and never will be palatable by 85% of the population. A penis is NOT a neoclit. Never was and never will be, except in the GLBT circles. You have osteracised transsexuals that have a genuine medical birth defect, from ever becoming one with their target gender, and you have created a violent backlash from mainstream.

I am leigh, a woman of operative history with 30 years full time and 24 years post op experience. I run and have created several businesses, have managed employees, and have lived in several US States. I came to the USA in 1978, penniless and dragged myself up despite being full time and pre-op for several years, then paid for SRS in 1985. I am now married to wonderful man that raised several kids with his former wife of 18 years

.. and I approve this message.

I may have had some differences to some of the activists but I would not want to trade places. I'm happy they like to do what they are doing. I tried to be an activist and I really screwed up. I'm not but I think that all of them are doing a wonderful job. In the last 10 years the Trans community has by far surpassed anything that the GLB has done in over 40 years or more. Being a transexual I have been out for everyone to see. I really didn't have to out myself as they could only see, that is something that the GLB can hide. Someone has to out them or they will out themselves. We in the trans community can never hide. It is impossible, if someone want to know you. I have to thank all for the little and big things that I have got to do with little trouble I might add.

I don't recall denying that most states change birth certificates, so there is no need to suggest that I did.

But, again, most of those laws have been changed over a number of years. The earliest appears to be from 1961 as best I can tell, though I have read of a Federal law dealing with this from 1949 which was passed because it was seen as simply a medical issue.

But, what has changed because of transgender activists is that transsexuals have had their marriages to members of the opposite sex increasingly challenged.

And as to my not being grateful, I will again point out that I am not trans, so I have no reason to be grateful to trans activists. But, given what Leigh has pointed out so well, I can't see where anyone who is transsexual would anyway.

Now, as I said earlier, I am neither trans, or an activist...but when I do something for someone, and I do quite a bit for those less fortunate, I never demand that they show "gratitude" or attack them for not doing so. But then, I do things because I believe them to be right, not for my own grandeur. Just something to think about.

Good Grief Helms .. BC changes have been around long before the GLBT. Where do you get the idea that gays and lesbians were instrumental in any of that? Show me the proof, cite the bill numbers.

Once again the GLBT claim things they do not own just as they claimed the transsexuals, the bi-sexuals, and if they have their way there is now talk of inducting the intersex into the collective. I never actually met a bisexual that admitted to being primarily gay or lesbian, in fact quite the opposite is true.

Helms, the mere application of the term "sex" somewhere in a word does not give the GLBT the right to assimilate those that it applies to into their alphabet soup. Being a bisexual, a transsexual or an intersexed person does NOT mean those persons are primarily homosexual or lesbian. It does not give the GLBT the right to include said groups in their activism and we would very much like to see it stopped.

I will be quite blunt with you. To me, the term transgender is just a new name for the sissy boy flamers and drag queens that pervaded the gay scene in the 70's and 80's. The emporer simply has a new set of clothes. That the GLBT has managed to pass these primarily homosexual people off as transsexuals, is a media coup based on the limited understanding of transsexualism in the media and the general public. That the GLBT has managed to convince many transsexuals to wear the transgender badge is a mis-information campaign perpetuated by the media and the GLBT activists who are themselves primarily homosexual.

If you and the other homosexuals want to be activists, do so on your own platform, as gays and lesbians, but do not do it under the guise of helping the transsexuals because frankly you do us all a disservice. If I should ever become a statistic, the last thing I would want at the trial of my assailant, is a bunch of obvious looking transgender men trying to be women, sitting across from a jury as a reminder to them of everything I am not!

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Thank you Suzanne .. even though I don't know you I am glad to have you at my back.

Incoming at 4-o-clock .. watch out for the dagger in the left hand :)

Greatful? .. how dare you!

You should be greatful to me and to others that pioneered the way. I was one of the dinosaur transsexuals that made it possible for you to sit there and spew out this garbage! You activists came along and undid all we accomplished, then try to claim that you are getting things done that we already had before you showed up.

What unmittigated gaul you have!

If someone needs the GLB to be who they say they are, well, they probably arn't.

Leigh, you are most welcome. Otherwise, there is really nothing that I can add to your two excellent posts.