I had intended to begin, "This will be my last post at Bilerico," for I had intended to resign. But a person I respect deeply here at Bilerico has urged me to reconsider.
More on the final straw pushing me toward resignation in a minute. First, though, I want to say that I am SO EFFING TIRED of the same old arguments on the pages of this site. I've watched "our community" fall out over the same issues for decades, often voiced in essentially the same terms on these pages as I used to hear in the early 1980's. Thing is, now while we make our repetitive arguments, homelessness, unemployment, hunger, violence, misery, extremism, and anti-scientific stupidity sweep America. Four of my friends, none of them LGB or T, have lost or are threatened with a layoff in a matter of days, while we argue ENDA. Polar ice caps are melting at a faster rate than any climate model ever predicted, while last year's Republican vice-presidential candidate argues on the pages of one of our nation's papers of record that humans have nothing to do with it. Congress plays bitch to wealthy-beyond-imagining bankers and corporate interests, while hardworking Americans who played by the rules all their lives find themselves sleeping under freeway overpasses.
Healthcare For All is more on my mind these days than marriage. Copenhagen's UN summit on Climate Change concerns me a hell of a lot more than trying to convince a woman who lived 40 years as a man that she actually IS different than women born female, or a white, gay male that the woman isn't a man who wanted to cut her dick off. Ending the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan strike me as much more vital that gaining the "right" to don a uniform and go kill people there.
Readers may have noticed my silence of late. I've never had the time I've wanted to write, due mostly to job demands both in Dublin, where I was forced out of a job after coming out as trans--and mind you, Ireland has anti-discrimination laws protecting trans folks stronger than any proposed in ENDA--and more recently in California where I've been working for the University of California at a time of heartrending upheavals, massive cutbacks, outrageous fee-hikes, and coldhearted layoffs.
In addition, however, I've avoided posting and commenting here due to the increasingly conservative and transphobic atmosphere, both among some posters and many of the regular commentors. Perhaps this reactionary bent reflects the interests of the American gay and lesbian community at large. After all, the American electorate has trended rightward for the past 40 years, to a point where fascist rhetoric now raises no eyebrows on mainstream news and in the chambers of Congress. So maybe it's no surprise that "our community's" leadership has become fixated on marriage, DODT, and, to a lesser degree, ENDA. Whatever the reasons, with few exceptions--posts by Yasmin, Paige, Serena, Alex, and Tobi come to mind--debates here have increasingly become reworkings of right-center arguments in favor of issues I consider distractions.
But the final straw pushing me toward resignation--and I'm sure this won't surprise many--was Bil's decision to publish Ronald Gold's December 10th post, and Bil's standing by its publication since. [A decision was made after I wrote this to remove Gold's piece: a decision that obviously bears on whether or not I continue to write here.]
Now, I'm against censorship, but this is in matter of journalistic standards. Gold's post is undeserving of publication anywhere, much less on an LGBT site, not because it's offensive but rather because it flies in the face of every scientific fact known about sex, gender, sexuality, and biology, and is a trite, uninspiring rehash of what has been said ad nauseam by (mostly) white, privileged, gay men for the past 30 years--and probably eons before that. John Aravosis argued the same points in Salon's pages two years ago in a much better written and articulate--albeit equally offensive and fact-detached--piece, kicking off the ENDA debate in which Congressman Barney Frank threw transgender folks under the rainbow-colored lesbian-and-gay bus.
That Bil published and stands by the piece, allegedly as an attempt to further dialog, I can only read as misguided, disingenuous, or a calculated move to throw trannies under the bus yet again in the interests of controversy and site hits. I argued against Aravosis in the pages of Salon: which is, after all, a straight site where many readers were unfamiliar with the issues. But here on the pages of Bilerico?! First, Gold's piece in its lack of substance doesn't even qualify as pre-requisite material to Trans-101 and doesn't warrant serious argument. I wonder, is this how African-American women feel up against white mainstream feminists? Why the hell should I spoon feed you knowledge when you don't even bother to hit a few keys over to Wikipedia to bone up on bare basics before you go espousing your opinionated claptrap?!
Moreover, to claim that Gold is unintentionally offensive merely because he's old?! Don't insult me further! My 89-year-old, straight, Catholic father has a more complex understanding of the issues because he's made the effort to educate himself about them.
There are legitimate ways to respectfully further debate, in the process actually introducing new ideas, adhering to scientific facts--remember those?--and without deliberately pushing yet again the same old ugly buttons that fuel memes and the internalized transphobia that every transgender person struggles against from the first moment we realized we were trans. But Gold couldn't be bothered to do that.
In short, his hackneyed piece contains not a single redeeming feature or new idea that could possibly excuse offending and hurting so many trans readers and contributors by publishing it here.
And to conclude: it is exhausting enough in these trying times to be queer, to be trans, and to fight for progressive causes against a straight world that seems hell-bent on destroying progressivism once and for all. To then have to turn around and fight members of your own so-called "community," those who should have your back, over issues vital to your very survival but over which they can't be bothered to lift a finger for themselves to find out about to the point of even writing sensitively and sensibly? And to do it over, and over, and over, again?!