Bil Browning

Upon further reflection and deliberation

Filed By Bil Browning | December 11, 2009 8:50 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: Ronald Gold

The Bilerico Project editorial team has unanimously decided to remove Ronald Gold's contributor status and have taken down his previous post from the site. We regret that his words have caused so much hurt to so many in our community.

We appreciate all of the heartfelt responses and shared concerns about the post. This is only the third time a post has been removed from the site since the Bilerico blog started over five years ago; it is not something we take lightly.

We are very proud of our record of trans inclusion and participation and would never intentionally seek to harm anyone. We let you down this time and it won't happen again.


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Thank you for that Bil. I'm sure that took a lot of internal struggle to come to that decision. You made the right choice.

It was intended to spark controversy and generate traffic count.

You overreached with it and it bit you in the ass.

At least admit the painfully obvious.

Bil, I respect your decision, and your concern for trans people; no surprise to a long-time follower of your blog.
Honestly, I thought the piece was useful, if only to show that entrenched ignorance and sweeping myth-based generalizations aren't just tools of the Religious Wrong.
The reactions to the piece also showed that there are some shrill and cynical voices among the trans "community"(I'm agnostic on the existence of such a thing)that wouldn't know what context was if it bit them on their ass.
I'm not saying there isn't a place for frank, even heated debate with the forces of ignorance;I'd love to see some eloquent trans argument that burns with passion.That said, I think the attacks on you are stupid; there are some trans voices that grate on me the same way some gay voices undoubtedly grate on you.
Hey, and isn't swell we have a place to express it? Thanks again, Bil.

i'm not Bil.

If you've got something to say to me, then grow some courage and address it directly.

Then again, the chickenshit passive-aggressive route works even better when you want to sling insults without consequence, doesn't it?

i stand 'enlightened'.

No, it wasn't. What you wrote there is incorrect.

But thanks for proving, once again, that when someone says something is "obvious" as their only proof of a statement, it usually isn't true.

Such as, 'it's obvious this site is neutral, and the moderators don't attack people out of hand'?

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/12/heroes_star_greg_grunberg_tweets_transphobia.php

Your lack of response there said everything.

As for your response to me here, 'no it wasn't'?

Thanks for demonstrating how the angry concerns of people can be waved away and 'disproven' simply by having the offending larger power deny it.

Um, excuse me but I wrote that post, and I am a former, not current, Bilerico editor. Don't blame Alex and the edteam for stuff they're not responsible for. If you've got a problem with that piece, take it up with me.

The comments. Read the comments.

Christ. Does everything needed that spelled out?

And as a follow up you have announced that you are including a Trans person on your editorial team?

Perhaps one of your long time contributors?

I am still incensed by this outrage, which I doubt will be forgotten anytime soon, but applaud your decision to remove the offending post.

My hope is that you are all able to reflect on this experience and implement systemic changes at Bilerico to prevent similar incidents.

They do have a Transgenderd person writeing for them, Austen Crowder.

This coment, posted by a Transgenderd person.

Good.

What's next? Gold's post was a spectacular failure - not only Offensive but downright Dehumanizing, but the greater tragedy was the editorial policy that enabled and promoted it. How is that going to change?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 11, 2009 9:15 PM

The first comment to Gold's piece was from the managing editor of Bilerico. He could have sent the piece back as a TOS violation. He could have also sent the piece back to the author with notes requiring accuracy, sensitivity and an attitude adjustment.

Editors must be gatekeepers of the standards and purpose of a publication. That is not my opinion, it is from Webster's dictionary.

Robert, we all know your motivations here. You personally don't like me and want to find some way to make this about the fact that, when you were a contributor here, you once got a comment from someone who didn't agree with you and you consider it my fault because I didn't warn you before it published exactly where that person would disagree with you. You reacted by escalating that fight with insults and then taking your ball and going home.

No, if I sent back every post that had something I disagreed with in it, only mine would go up. If I sent back every post that I found incorrect, there would be maybe one or two others a day to go up with mine. If I sent back every post I found destructive and offensive, we'd have missed out on some of the most educational (in its own way) content we've had here on the site.

This specific post, on the other hand....

We try to keep the gatekeeper role to a minimum. We're not your parents. We're not the V-chip. You're adults. There is a time when you're supposed to deal with harsh reality instead of staying gated up with your own community, and there's a time when that's not productive. The discussion here is about where the line is exactly, not if we're going to start protecting everyone's sensibilities 100% of the time, like if they read a post about California's marriage amendment that doesn't mention Arizona.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 5:52 AM

I don't personally feel about you one way or another. I thought we were having an intellectual discussion here. You go ahead and debate with Webster's dictionary.

And anyone who reads my next to last posting on Bilerico will know that it was derailed from topic by election season political correctness by people who had not read the posting beyond the title. Visit archives and imagine how I felt when discussing my partner with dementia. Thanks for that walk down memory lane Alex.

Thanks for chiming in Alex, though I'd like to clarify that I'm asking about changes to the Editorial Policy for actual posts on the site.

The moderation policy & process for comments could use some work too (perhaps a "report this comment" button), but that's a distraction from the question at hand.

Your reply succinctly summarizes exactly my point: "This specific post, on the other hand...." ... apparently left the managing editor speechless.

What I'd like to see is a change to your documented policies that actually does provide a safe space for this community, and wouldn't leave you or us speechless next time. The existing TOS is a massive, outdated blob of legalese, perhaps necessary in today's publishing space, but as helpful as reading the clickthrough licenses on software. Perhaps you need a different, clear document alongside the TOS that sets some Community Standards. I particularly like Diversity Statements like Dreamhost's http://www.dreamwidth.org/legal/diversity.bml and discussion policies like Border House http://borderhouseblog.com/?page_id=65 as possible suggestions.

I'll also echo other comments I see here encouraging some further diversity in the core editorial team. There's lots of opportunity for growth and positive change from this. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

Bless you for doing the right thing!

At times like this you must wonder whatever made you become a mod/editor.

I would have argued to keep the post up as a monument, but no matter.

Thanks for your efforts in the past, and the future. My sympathies too.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 11, 2009 9:20 PM

Zoe, I agree, it is a learning piece. A learning piece all around of what can happen. Like building anything "measure twice and cut once."

Judas Peckerwood | December 12, 2009 2:30 AM

I agree.

Taking this post down will serve no other purpose than sweeping the raging anti-trans bigotry in the LGB community under the rug. We NEED to shine a spotlight of shame on this shit or we will never be rid of it. Making the post go away won't make the hate and willful ignorance go away. Face it and change it. Ignore it and it will fester.

Dominic Spanglebramble | December 12, 2009 12:48 PM

No, I think this was an appropriate amount of damage control. Removing the post entirely prevents any further possibility of transphobic political groups and persons getting a hold of the article and using it to demonstrate that they should not be expected to accept the Trans(community) if allies can't even accept us.

Bil,

Thank you. I think taking the post down was the right decision. Dehumanizing material that further marginalizes any group of people doesn't belong on a site like this.

Mara

The Bilerico Project editorial team has unanimously decided to remove Ronald Gold's contributor status and have taken down his previous post from the site.

AFTER the same editorial team found it acceptable to post. IOW, they changed their mind, and prior to this found that hate completely acceptable and worthy of promotion.

We regret that his words have caused so much hurt to so many in our community.

You regret getting caught, as evidenced by your original commitment to publishing this hate screed, and deeming it a worthy commentary on trans lives. Actions, not words. See above.

We appreciate all of the heartfelt responses and shared concerns about the post.

Actually, you were pretty dismissive and defensive to the commentors here. Again, your prior behavior is telling, before you posted this lil suck up and make up piece

This is only the third time a post has been removed from the site since the Bilerico blog started over five years ago; it is not something we take lightly.

You removed it only under prolonged duress and public pressure, and judging by the flippant and dismissive nature of your comments, and Father Tony's, another Projector, you demonstrably take it not only lightly, but in a virulently dismissive fashion.

We are very proud of our record of trans inclusion and participation and would never intentionally seek to harm anyone.

Your intentions are absolutely worthless, and do not in any way add to this discussion. Only the effects matter. Your raising "intentions" is a classic defense of privilege, and negates any apology. Go read http://derailingfordummies.com to learn why.

Also, your pride is misplaced, and reflects a very deep and grossly privileged misunderstanding of how this place treats and sees trans people.

We let you down this time and it won't happen again.

Bullshit. Put up or shut up. You need to make major structural changes here, not some mealy mouthed retraction. You are not even close to done, since you still harbor hateful individuals under your umbrella.

Once again, you are shirking your basic duty as a self declared LGBT ally. This in no way surprises me.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 12:56 AM

I think it is a gross unfair exaggeration to say Bil, or any of the editors are "hateful" people.

when someone empowers hate and give it a voice, "hateful" is both a precise and accurate label.

actions, not words, and the fact that Bil and his editorial staff endorsed such baldly hateful language in a public forum is proof beyond any opinions and wishful thinking you might have.

The facts surrounding Bil's empowerment of open hatred are a matter of public record. All you have are unsubstantiated opinions.

Game. set. match.

Where did she say "hateful" refers specifically to Bil or other editors? Not sure why you read it that way. Regular contributors could also fall under the site's umbrella. I'm curious about why you did that.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 11:03 PM

I think her entire first paragraph makes this clear, but it certainly could include contributors as well. I am sure you have read Brynn's posting up right now.

"After the same editorial team..."

And also Llyssa in her response went further down this path. Note the response to me ending in:

"Game, set, match."

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 11:12 PM

I think her entire first paragraph makes this clear, but it certainly could include contributors as well. I am sure you have read Brynn's posting up right now.

"After the same editorial team..."

And also Llyssa in her response went further down this path. Note the response to me ending in:

"Game, set, match."

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 10:33 PM

This comment posted four hours before Mr. Blaze addressed me above.

This is the sort of problem that occurs when you merge crossdressing concerns with real issues.

Crossdressing related shame requires taking a personal inventory and moving beyond it. It doesn't need to be worked out in a political movement where other people's lives are at stake. You can no more legislate acceptance for a purely sexual behavior like crossdressing than you can legislate a particular morality. To force crossdressing into everyone's lives is a selfish, destructive act.

Ron Gold was right about one thing; transgender isn't really a disease. It is an invented term used to cover the old one, which is of course transvestitism. Gays and Lesbians need to wake up to that fact or their movement will suffer the same fate as "transsexuals". The truth will be suppressed for the convenience of people who don't want to face their own. Gay will be turned into an entirely transgender issue, because the gender paradigm requires it.

How long will gays and lesbians take to understand the mistake that was made by indulging the fantasies of full-time crossdressers? It is already too late, the damage has been done. Yet the movement still fails to wake from its sleepwalking. It's an interesting, if sad, spectacle.

Did you just not learn anything at all from that flame war? Transvestism, (crossdressing for pleasure), is NOT transsexualism, they are not even related, except that they both start with "trans". You might as well state that all transylvanians and transsiberians are transvestite transsexuals.. Stop getting your information from FOX News and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Transvestites are very much a part of "transgender", for good or for ill. This is a problem that those who consider themselves truly transgender need to address.

READ what I wrote: Transvestism is not the same thing as transsexualism. I didn't use the larger, umbrella term "transgendered". Though transvestites and transsexuals can be loosely placed under the term transgendered, it is not the same phenomenon. How. Many. Times. Do. We. Have. To. F*#@!&g. Go. Through. This?

There's your problem right there. How does anyone know the difference when they are all "transgendered"?

Trying to explain to someone who is obstinately determined to be obtuse is like trying to explain color to a blind person. I am trying to point out the difference between the two phenomena and you are coming back at me with semantics. It's a fool's errand and I'm not going to waste anymore time on it. If you are truly interested in learning something new, I recommend What is Trans* by Antonia D'Orsey, just a few threads down on the main page of this very blog. Goodnight to you.

apparently forever.

or until some people figure out that transsexualism *isnt about the clothes*

ariablue: ron? is that you?

Exactly. I'm transsexual but at the moment, I'm dressed in a tee shirt, old sweat pants and my Cartman slippers. Pretty vogue, eh? Can't wait to masturbate in my sexy get up.

Transvestites are a "problem"? Since when? Did a gang of rampaging transvestites kill your dad or something?

Crossdressing related shame requires taking a personal inventory and moving beyond it.

Um, ok. I would imagine gay related shame requires the same thing. Are we just supposed to guess what your point is?

Gays and Lesbians need to wake up to that fact or their movement will suffer the same fate as "transsexuals".

We'll be screwed over by Barney Frank and HRC?

Oh yeah, I forgot. Try Americablog. The owner is as big a misinformed bigot as yourself.

"You can no more legislate acceptance for a purely sexual behavior"

so - you're arguing against nondiscrimination legislation covering gays & lesbians?

Judas Peckerwood | December 12, 2009 2:37 AM

Ariablue, as my late, sainted grandmother used to say, "Christ, what an asshole."

GO AWAY!!! AND TAKE YOUR HATE WITH YOU!!

"Transgender" is not a term to replace "transvestite." Yes, part-time crossdressers are often but not always trans-identified, or bigendered, and sometimes opposite-gendered. (Some are transsexual and holding off on transition, too, because of marriages and families and the like.)

There is a lot of controversy over what transgender means and who is included.

Transsexual separatists do not like the term transgender (and they don't like being called "separatists" since they don;t see themselves in that way)- it associates them with the aforementioned crossdressers. Many transsexual separatists consider themselves post-transsexual (having transitioned, they see themselves as complete members of their reassigned sex - which, BTW, is fine with me.)

I usually use transgender as an umbrella term for anyone who does not identify with their birth-assigned sex. Obviously, that includes transsexual people like me, who are a subgroup that identifies with the opposite of birth-assigned sex.

Essentially, Ron Gold's now-dropped post got it completely wrong. The truth is that transgender and transsexual people are *physiologically* different from people who are properly assigned the original sex. The physiology is in the brain itself. We've known that since 1995 already. And in 2008, two separate studies found genetic predispositions for WBT and MBT people.

Intersex does not always include transsexual. But transsexual can be seen as a sort of intersex anatomical difference - it's not in the gross shape of the 23rd chromosome pair, but it is in the genes. It's not a variant mullerian or wolffian duct development, it's brain anatomy that turns out different.

Ron Gold's position regarding trans people is *exactly* like calling "gay" a choice that is made by people who are really all heterosexual as made by God, Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and all that other bologna that we all know is not true.

So why doesn't Ron understand that, even now? And why doesn't Ariablue seem to "get it" either? Or am I missing something.

It is practically the definition of an ideologue that they somehow manage to make every issue about their only issue.

That some trans people see fit to inject The Great Trans War into every LGBT topic, no matter how irrelevant, is partly why we are seen as so ridiculous by others.

We will not win respect - we will continue to see Gold's attitudes reinforced - until we cease, as a group, to regularly and reflexively such infantile behaviors.

It is practically the definition of an ideologue that they somehow manage to make every issue about their only issue.

That some trans people see fit to inject The Great Trans War into every LGBT topic, no matter how irrelevant, is partly why we are seen as so ridiculous by others.

We will not win respect - we will continue to see Gold's attitudes reinforced - until we cease, as a group, to regularly and reflexively exhibit such infantile behaviors.

Rrrrrriiiight; it's completely preposterous for trans people to make a post about trans people...about...trans...people.

WTF?

Bil,

I can appreciate your taking responsibility here and your apology. My issue at this point is that Mr Gold can now bask in his "martyrdom", complain about "censorship and silencing, and use this to further prop his ego.

I'd actually like to have Mr Gold read and respond to all of the comments his post generated. You know, actual responses, not another "I never tried to ban DQs from Pride" (Odd that was the only thing he actually addressed).

Thank-you for getting rid of old thinking.

Here's hoping this applies to other matters, as well.

If you're talking about enlightened queer views on marriage, then you're barking up the wrong tree. Enough already.

I was pointed to the offending blog, as several friends were rightfully outraged.

Denouncing our peers, als we all simply do not conform to the expected hetrosexual binary gender norm, is outright wrong!
We should all stand together and show the world that is not accepting and respecting us, that we can be! Mr. Gold's denouncing transsexuality is nothing different from denouncing homosexuality, the same thing Mr. Gold himself fought against...
We might not all understand each other and each others needs, but at least we can accept and respect each other and make sure we stand firm against discrimination as one community.

You did the right thing, Bil. Thank you. Let's use this experience to best effect, to make our family stronger as a result. I'll have a post on this topic ready for tomorrow.

california panda | December 11, 2009 9:48 PM

Thank you for taking down the post and removing all the hurtful, vile, and wrongheaded sentiments expressed therein. Now, can you please try to remove the hurt and feelings of betrayal caused by that posting? You have a lot -- a very lot -- of damage control to do before you regain my trust. I won't speak for the others.

Valerie

Since the post was removed, I'm still wondering what Mr. Gold thought of all the passionate well-reasoned responses. Did ANY of them count? Did any of them make a difference? As far as I could see, I never saw a follow up comment by Mr. Gold anywhere. I would have loved to hear his response. Perhaps he's just keeping his mouth shut this time.

Or perhaps he is as smugly sure of his bigoted opinions and as unwilling to learn anything new as some other commentators apparently are.

Watching someone lecture a post-operative woman that there is a difference between transvestites and transsexuals is the most bizaare thing i've seen in a while.

But then, this is Bilerico.

I'm a post operative woman and ariablue clearly has some unresolved issues.

i'm a pre-operative woman and clearly you have some unresolved issues.

See how this game works? Just don't play.

I see that you're just as determined to be obtuse and as unpleasant. Fair enough, I won't play.

Well I'm not here to play. And that fight is for another day, perhaps on PHB? *snicker*

I STILL wonder what the hell Mr. Gold thought of all this.

There was one reply that I saw from Gold in the original comments section, and he stood by his post. So, no; he didn't learn anything from the comments.

Bil -

When the rubber met the road, you did the right thing by removing Gold as a contributor and thus repudiating him.

I'm of two minds about removing the original post for a variety of reasons, but I'll support your decision to do that.

These actions should help the healing begin. I hope.

Lori, Although Mr. Gold's article has been removed, the comments have not and, judging by the emails I've been getting, that thread is still pretty active.

Anyway, I believe that this is the only comment Mr. Gold made in response to the criticism of his post: http://www.bilerico.com/2009/12/transgender_a_disease_that_doesnt_exist.php#comment-202263. Reading the responses to his comment will give you a pretty good idea of what I think of it, although none of them are mine.

Better late than never, I suppose. How are you going to make sure this doesn't happen again?

Meghan Fenner | December 11, 2009 10:35 PM

Bil- I'm gladdened that you have responded to the community outrage in a spirit of good will. However, I am not so happy that you chose to discard the blog. I share the discontent of others, but I don't think silencing the offender is the answer.

Mr. Gold made inflammatory and outrageous remarks and assertions, based entirely on his ignorance and, no doubt, deeply held philosophical convictions. This started to be and should be, an opportunity to educate Mr. Gold and others that hold these same beliefs.

I only saw a single follow up comment from him, in defense of his original posting, including the offensive language.

I would have preferred the post remain, not as a monument, but as a testament to the work that remains unfinished. I doubt that Mr. Gold will ever proffer an appropriate Mia Culpa, but perhaps others with similar misguided thoughts and beliefs could learn from the conversation.

In a discussion w/people in foster care, particularly as it relates to LGBTQ children, one woman, I believe she had her MSW and works in the system stated, "we need to make sure we keep the kids away from anyone toxic, or who say toxic things." I think that this is in some ways almost too obvious to need stating. But on the other hand, the world is full of people who say & do toxic things. Ultimately, we can't protect our children, or ourselves from encountering the toxicity. The question is, how do we respond? (As opposed to react?) Perhaps it would have been better had the editorial board not allowed the comment to be posted to begin with.
So my thoughts on that are:
a)seems like a truly unintended mistake. They happen. When they saw that it was truly offensive to most who read it, they apologized and took it down.
b) However, I think it's good to know the other views that are out there - as distasteful as they may be. And upon realizing there are those who believe what they are saying, then we know where they stand and how much work there is left to be done.
c) I remember when I was offended in a therapeutic situation, involving sex abuse, the staff showed, "The Color Purple." I was blown away - I didn't want to watch it, I didn't want to hear it and I thought it was the most insensitive thing they could have done. But I realized, I didn't have to watch or let it get to me and I couldn't expect the world to stop functioning because I had an issue.
What I'm saying here is that while it may have been a poor choice, I don't think that Bil or the editorial staff have committed a cardinal sin so, I hope that this site does not lose readers who are upset by the one post.

Dear Bil,

I was referred to this article only moments before it was taken down. I had a chance to read it and was really blown away by how absurd and offensive it was. I also had a chance to read the initial editorial apology. I was involved in a similar controversy when I worked for Outfest, an LGBT film festival, and the festival chose to show a blatantly transphobic film the Gendercator. The reasoning in the initial apology felt very familiar to me from my discussions at Outfest -- the same rationalizations of "we can't all always agree and have to air differing opinions", "we need to be open to being challenged", "this person is from an older generation and is informed by those experiences", "censorship is wrong", etc. The cold reality is that all of these ideas come from a very serious place of privilege - put in a similar place as trans-people, no gay or lesbian person would tolerate these rationalizations if such hateful things were being said about them. Heck, as a movement, one of our largest organizations, GLAAD, is solely devoted to calling out homophobic media, soliciting apologies, and censoring when possible. What is really heartening about this situation is you did the challenging work to move yourselves beyond that position of privilege, and realize that the right thing to do is the right thing you would ask people to do for you in the same position-- remove the offensive piece. I was never successful in getting Outfest to do this, but I am really happy you did, and I know trans-people will appreciate you for this.

As someone who is trying to learn more about transgendered perspectives (I have a hard time wrapping my head around some concepts but I'm learning), my biggest problem with Ronald Gold's post is that to me it lacked editorial context.

I think if it was packaged and promoted as part series of posts about trans issues and perspectives introduced by the editors before every piece, it wouldn't have seem so random and out of place for this blog, as well as the other trans themed posts that came up after (some of them had a "Post up a trans positive piece quick!!!" feel to them).

Negative and misinformed ideas about trans people DO exist in the gay and lesbian community - and we shouldn't pretend they don't. More dialogue needs to happen and I would like to see the Bilerico editors facilitate that somehow.

George -- Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

There has been scads of resources out there since the 1960s, and with the advent of the Internet, the resources expanded exponentially.

There are blogs and web sites and support groups galore out there.

Just remember this bit of history: if it were for the queens like Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, there wouldn't have been a Stonewall Riot.

The gay establishment shoved them and the lesbians aside in the initial fight for acceptance and legal rights, but the dykes stood up and fought for inclusion.

One final thought -- transfolk ARE a part of the community as a whole, and I for one am getting damn sick and tired of being thought of as the red-headed bastard stepchild who get the hand-me-downs, and Wal-Mart crap while my lesbian sisters and gay brothers get first-rate goods.

Thank you for removing the post. I encourage Bilerico's editorial team to do more than apologize, but actively review the thoughtful postings from the many transgender folks who have added their well-reasoned and passionate views, and bring them on to your editorial board.


Angela Brightfeather | December 11, 2009 11:05 PM

Bil,
Thank you for doing that, but as I noted the problem continues on Michaelangelo's show next week. This isn't going away any time soon I think and there is still going to be a lot of discussion about it.

Perhaps you could be on that show to explain how this has affected Bilerico. It might be a really good opportunity.

Really? Signorile actually knows we exist? Oh yeah I guess because now the story has hit the media frequented by gay male elitists.

Maybe this time he'll finally learn how to properly pronounce "Bilerico" on the air without sounding like a clueless idiot.

What is Signorile doing on his show next week? I've not heard.

I don't like the original post being removed. All the people who spent time composing eloquent comments wasted their time, nobody is going to be able to refer to the wealth of information in them since they have been disappeared.

Judas Peckerwood | December 12, 2009 2:45 AM

Yes. Sweeping the ugly, hateful problem under the rug is the opposite of dealing with it. It's called denial.

Anthony, the comment thread is still there and still active, so nothing the commenters had to say has been lost, including Mr. Gold's sole response in which he defends his right to call trans people like me deluded and mutilated, because, after all, that's what he thinks: http://www.bilerico.com/2009/12/transgender_a_disease_that_doesnt_exist.php#comment-202263.

Hi Bil should have been stopped yesterday just after it was posted but better late then never. but it seems we still have lots to do to educate folks on just what it is to be T.For better or worse the CD folks are part of the T for your information there Margaretpoa.All of us in the T have to deal with each other but when folks like Ronnie pop up we need to be united in seting them stright on the facts.

Love ya
Caty

In trying to be decent, you managed to be thoroughly indecent.

Mr Gold's piece was poor, vile and offensive. But he's entitled to his opinion, and you did publish it. While you probably shouldn't have published it in the first place, you did.

The only way to counter such hate-filled speech is to shine a light on the hate that informs it! Mr Gold's piece was an excellent example of the hatred, prejudice and willful misunderstanding transgendered individuals have to contend with every day. It was hurtful to many, but that doesn't mean it should have been taken down. Shining a strong light on prejudice is always the best thing to do; it loves, and lives in, the shadows. By deleting the article, you've pushed Mr Gold and his transphobia into those shadows. It also allows others to claim that you do censor the unpopular speech - and you can't deny it because you just proved you do!

You should have left it up, along with the comments, but with a strongly worded refutation leading it. That would have been the decent thing to do.

Carolyn Ann

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 1:34 AM

Interestingly from here I can still read all the comments so I presume those remain at least for anyone to read. Perhaps an EDITED VERSION could replace the previous posting focusing on his meaning from his perspective with indications that any demeaning speech is a TOS violation.

"{And they are (TOS violation)" "And I still have my (TOS violation)"

No, I think that would be censorship of the worst kind. Reinstate the post in full or delete the _whole_ thread including comments..

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 3:53 AM

Cathi,

Censorship is when an idea cannot be discussed at all. An abridged version of something considered controversial (when adults know the full meaning) has a long precedent in publications. How do you think I first read the Nixon Tapes?

Love,

Robert, unless the piece remains intact then the subject can not be discussed. Without having read the original article and it having been removed I can't discuss it. With the article being placed back with editing removing anything that may be considered offensive, as you suggest, is censorship because I can not then discuss the original intent or meaning.

Just as an aside, I have gone through a lot of the comments that were posted, although not all, and quite frankly I ashamed to call myself a TS woman with some of the comments having been posted by some TS people (with or without the provocation of the original article)...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 4:43 AM

Cathii, I still think a good editor could get it done. The comments beneath it would convey the outrage with the ideas expressed wouldn't they?

Ok now having read the original article at Pam's (thank you for pointing that out to me), I can understand some of the outrage. However I am still not impressed with the level of hysteria that some trans people vented. The article is after all just another person confusing clothes, sex and gender roles. Trans people should be used to that by now for god's sake... and it is about time there was some sort of proforma response other than the usual crap that some trans people chose to throw out there... In my opinion whilst being deeply offensive to me personally, it is no more offensive to me than some things I have written about followers of the Catholic faith....

Cathii -- The outrage is that it's been *50+ years* since Christine Jorgensen's famous coming out, and yet there are still those who refuse to educate themselves about it!

There's this white gay male elite who have this delusion that the world still revolves around them and their members, and the rest of us can go to hell, due to the fact they believe they've arrived with their wealth, rank, and self-deluded privilege.

This internecine fighting amongst ourselves benefits the religious reicht, because we're doing their work for them.

When we see crap spewed by Mr. Gold and his elite, they need to have a little attitude adjustment, and force them to remember their history.

Marlene, that is the type of hysterical response I am talking about....

and yet there are still those who refuse to educate themselves about it!
Educate themselves??? Girl, its your job to educate them, it isn't their jobg to find out.... wake up, get into the real world...
There's this white gay male elite

No. There is a willing underclass of trans people waiting to be exploited by people like Mr Gold.... Toughen up princess...

"Marlene, that is the type of hysterical response I am talking about...."

http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#sensitive

"Educate themselves??? Girl, its your job to educate them, it isn't their jobg to find out.... wake up, get into the real world"

Uh, NO! http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#educate

Nice derail attempts, but they won't be allowed to stand. You are speaking from a position of cisprivilege and you are shoving that privilege in our faces. Exactly what Ronald was doing.

It's your job to educate yourself, not ours to educate you. It's your job to find out why we're getting "hysterical" (and incidentally, using language like that at us is not going to win you any favours), not ours to hold your hand and gently point it out to you. Join the real world you say? We're already there. Now it's your turn.

Nice derail attempts, but they won't be allowed to stand. You are speaking from a position of cisprivilege

Cisprivilege??? Hmmm I'm cured, I'm cured... LOL... Post-op transwoman here...

It's your job to educate yourself, not ours to educate you.

....and so you allow the ignorance to continue... stop dodging your responsibilities and start helping people understand. Or is it that you prefer your self righteous indignation?

Cured? Then why, I wonder, are you speaking against the outrage? And why are you dodging the derailing? And why are you insisting on playing up to the derailing? It is not our responsibility to educate ignorant people who insist on trying to erase our identities. It is their responsibility to educate themselves about the issues they speak to.

It is not our responsibility to educate ignorant people who insist on trying to erase our identities.

Fine. Their ignorance is only reflected in yours.

You just keep on thinking that. Keep on playing Uncle Tom to the gay men who believe you're deluded and mutilated. Meanwhile out here in the real world we know how it really works.

Gay White male here, educated, financially comfortable, FWIW.

In the LGBT community, gay white (insert other dominant identities here) men have the most privilege. We end up having disproportionate money and influence because of it, tend to care most about the issues that affect gay White men, and relax once we've got ours. Any group with privilege tends to do this. Not every member of the group, but on average.

But the way to a more just society is not "Every man for himself!" It's concerning ourselves with each others' issues in addition to our own. And I believe we're all obligated to pursue a more just society for all. So I appreciate the criticism that a White gay etc man who's ignorant and influential is part of a much larger problem, and should get educated of his own volition - particularly if his ignorance is ever brought to his attention, and particularly if he's in a position where his grasp of trans issues matters, such as a regular contributor to a trans-inclusive website who decides to address trans identity.

I could nitpick how she said it, but the thrust of her critique is spot on.

Judas Peckerwood | December 12, 2009 2:47 AM

Yes, exactly. Thank you.

Translation: The Bilerico team doesn't give a rats ass, but we got caught and we'd like to pretend this never happened even tho we really don't know what we did wrong. But those trannies sure are uppity. Gosh gee willickers.

PS please don't contact our advertisers telling them we're a hate site.

Fair enough.
Two suggestions. That there is NO major flood of trans posts and that whatever points there were thought to be worth exploring through the original post do get addressed.
So as not to provide aid and comfort for disuniters.

I thought publishing the article was dumb, but i'm glad i read it if only to be reminded how stupid some members of my (gay, male) demographic are.

in truth, though, i can't think of another blog run by gay men that has been as trans-inclusive and focused in calling out transphobia in other gay bloggers as bilerico.

Thank you for doing the right thing in removing Mr. Gold's post. I know it took courage, but Bilerico is the better for it.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 4:15 AM

Jason, think carefully, are we better for silencing others out of hand? Has anyone ever attempted to silence you out of hand? I have already let numerous ageist comments slip by me about Mr. Gold because I know folks are upset and I have faith that we are bigger people than that. Why is Bilerco a better site through censoring exactly?

Because we don't like their ideas?

Because we think we are more evolved than they?

Because we are intrinsically better than them?

Because we are smarter, younger, quicker?

Because we do not like how male and/or Caucasian they are?

Welcome to book burning night! Here is your lighter fluid, may I take your coat?

The man needed to be edited, severely. I am sure Bil likely never saw it before it posted, but he has the integrity to take personal responsibility. That is commendable. When posting myself I once asked for pre release feedback on a posting I had done. The response was: "Yeah Whoo Hoo" which I still do not know how to interpret! Was it that boring or that good? I don't know.

Actually I think taking down the post and yet leaving the comments publicly accessible is irresponsible. Either put the post back in its rightful place, or remove everything... including this thread and comments... My own thought is that removing the post is censorship, and censorship is not what the trans community should be fighting for...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 12, 2009 4:28 AM

Kudos Cathii!

Don't compromise a basic principle of free speech. The whole post is up right now at Pam's anyway! It just does not compute! it is as though it is our little dirty family secret that everyone else knows about.

It makes me wonder too what the other two things removed were?

But, I trust Bil's good intentions. I wonder, who was it that commented first on Gold's piece? Would that have been an "editor?" Someone who could have removed it immediately for TOS violations but still chose to comment first and dump on it? Did that person read it first? I don't know. Has anyone asked WHO READ IT?

Rod Gold was kind enough to initiate a discussion with me. I think this deserves its own post, but here is what he wrote. I'll give my replies in comments below.

Thank you for your informative and respectful comment. It's a refreshing change. I'm struck by the fact that you yourself say that, despite all the references you offer, just a tiny portion of gender behaviors (I presume you mean genetic anomalies and biological androgynes) are biologically caused. This is my view exactly.

As for all the research you refer to, forgive me if I tell you I haven't the stomach to plod through it. I can only tell you that the studies I plowed through years ago, like those of John Money and Simon Levey, that attempted to find genetic/biological causes for sexual preferences and behaviors seemed to me totally flawed in their methods, and the conclusions drawn from the research unjustified by the research itself.

What do you mean you are intersexed? From most of the stuff I've read "intersex" seems to be entirely about women with enlarged clitorises who have sometimes been misidentified as males, and sometimes forced to undergo clitorectomies. At any rate I'm happy that you're happy now. As for those who've undergone the sort of surgery I've referred to as mutilation, I'm glad that some of them are happy too (though I worry about those who aren't).

I'd be pleased to continue our discussion.

(I sent this as an email reply, but would like it to appear on the site. Would it be possible for you to help out an old ditz, and try to do that for me?)

Now it's been said that Trans people don't owe others explanations. That there is a reasonable expectation that people should do their own darned research.

I agree.

I also think that sometimes... you shouldn't be precious about standing on principle. Sometimes you should go out of your way, beyond the call of duty. Life's too short to make a habit of it, but sometimes you have to be unreasonably kind.

From what I gather, the GLBT movement owes Mr Gold for past services rendered. So I'll try to explain, Trans 101 etc one more time. It might help lurkers too.

Zoe- I always admire your persistence, but Mr. Gold is not going to learn anything until he decides to check his privilege.

Thank you for your informative and respectful comment. It's a refreshing change.

Mr. Gold can be as nasty and insulting as he wants, and yet he still believes he's owed respect but doesn't have to show any. He dropped a big, stinking turd in the middle of the room, but God forbid a transperson should have the temerity to fart.

It's impossible to get anywhere with people who refuse to acknowledge that respect is a two way street, and that once you piss away all civility, you have no right to expect it in return.

He dropped a big, stinking turd in the middle of the room, but God forbid a transperson should have the temerity to fart.
I'm far too ladylike to admit to chuckling at your pithy, earthy and oh-so-accurate turn of phrase.
It's impossible to get anywhere with people who refuse to acknowledge that respect is a two way street
You forget, I'm Trans. (OK technically IS, let's not quibble). If we gave up just because something was impossible, we'd be long dead.

Ronald Gold wrote:
Thank you for your informative and respectful comment. It's a refreshing change. I'm struck by the fact that you yourself say that, despite all the references you offer, just a tiny portion of gender behaviors (I presume you mean genetic anomalies and biological androgynes) are biologically caused. This is my view exactly.

Not quite - I'm actually closer to your position in some ways, further away in others. What we typically think of as "gendered behaviours" include women being more empathic, men less skilled with languages, "pink is for girls, blue is for boys", women being in arts, men in engineering etc.

Most such "gendered behaviours" are purely social constructs. They vary with geographical location, and over time. There is no "gene" or "neural complex" that dictates that girls prefer pink, and in fact, in the 19th century, pink was viewed as a "masculine" colour.

And yet, certain gendered behaviours appear invariant throughout the world, the same in Patagonia, Papua and Pittsburgh, Samoa, Sumatra, Swaziland and Southwark. Observations of young children, even ones brought up in the most politically correct "gender neutral" surroundings, show boys tending to gravitate towards trucks, girls towards dolls. Give a girl nothing but trucks and cars to play with, and she'll tend to take one to bed, saying "goodnight truckie" and make up stories about the big trucks and their children, the cars.

Interestingly.. children who show gender-atypical behaviour at an early age are not usually transsexual. 2/3 of the time, they're gay or lesbian instead. And most gays, and lesbians show no sign of cross-gendered behaviour when young.

Intersexed girls with certain conditions (but not others), and those who are twins of boys (so have hormonal anomalies in the womb) tend to have a more typically masculine behaviour pattern. While *almost all* of the sexist mysogynistic essentialist nonsense so anathema to feminists like myself is rubbish, not all is. Not quite. Some gendered behaviour is due to hard-wired tendencies, and the brain is far more sexually differentiated than we ever dreamed even 15 years ago. Men and women differ in the senses of smell and hearing, for example, and this has effects on more complex behaviour patterns.

As for all the research you refer to, forgive me if I tell you I haven't the stomach to plod through it.

I don't blame you. The over-simplified sound byte is that women have "female" brains, men have "male" brains. Which is about as accurate as saying that women are short, men are tall. Or that men are larger than women.

I can only tell you that the studies I plowed through years ago, like those of John Money and Simon Levey, that attempted to find genetic/biological causes for sexual preferences and behaviors seemed to me totally flawed in their methods, and the conclusions drawn from the research unjustified by the research itself.

John Money... are you familar with the David Reimer tragedy, otherwise known as the "John/Joan" case? John Money's theory was that everyone was psychosexually neutral at birth, that our sense of being male or female was totally the result of environment. Those assigned male were expected to have certain masculine gendered behaviour, so were forced into that by social pressure, and that is what made them "male". His great proof of this was when one of two twin boys had his genitalia severly mutilated in a botched circumcision. So this baby was castrated, and brought up as female, as he no longer had a manhood. And all was well, Joan (no longer John) was a happy, well-adjusted girl.

Except Money faked all the data, and this child never accepted the assignment, even though no-one revealed "her": past until teenagerhood. And they only did that because "she" insisted that "she" was male, dammit!

Now we know why - sexually-differentiated neurology exists at birth, and while no-one is born knowing they're male or female, the biasses, the hard-wired tendencies mean that as soon as they're exposed to other adults and children, it becomes obvious to them which group they belong to. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, depending upon how strongly they conform to either "typically male" or "typically female" stereotypes in their lymbic system (part of the brain).

What do you mean you are intersexed? From most of the stuff I've read "intersex" seems to be entirely about women with enlarged clitorises who have sometimes been misidentified as males, and sometimes forced to undergo clitorectomies.

Oh Gosh. There are over a hundred relatively common Intersex conditions, and almost as many definitions of the word "Intersex". The most useful one is "having a body neither stereotypically male nor stereotypically female". While 1 in 60 people are technically Intersexed, most are asymtomatic, and never know. About 1 in 1000 have symptoms so obvious they're readily apparent. And Mother Nature provides a wide variety of conditions - 1 in 500 people who look apparently male don't have the usual 46xy chromosomes, but 47xxy. Perhaps 1 in 100,000 people who look apparently female are also 47xxy. Then there are some men and women who are mosaics, a mix of 46xy/47xxy, or 46xy/46xx, or 47xxy/46xx, or 45x/46xy or.... you get the idea. There's people with non-genetic intersex conditions, such as persistent mullerian duct syndrome, who have partial male and partial female reproductive systems. There's Swyer syndrome females, who have the 46xy chromosomes usually only found in men, and Turner Syndrome females, Kennedy Syndrome males, De La Chapelle syndrome males etc etc.

Those with 5ARD or 17BHDD syndromes look female(mostly, partly, or completely) at birth, but masculinise to look (mostly, partly, or completely) male later in life. The change varies a lot from a very masculine girl getting slightly more masculinised, to a complete "natural sex change". 17BHDD and 5ARD are each about 1 in 100,000 in the general population, so there's several thousand men in the USA who were born looking like little girls.

My own syndrome is one of the rare ones. One in 10 million perhaps. I was born looking (mostly) male, but changed to looking (mostly) female later.

You can imagine what a fertile ground we are for research on gender. We're "Nature's experiments". It would be evil, Mengele-esque to treat foetusses, babies and adult humans with hormones and surgery without consent to change their bodies, and see what happens to their minds, but Nature does that to some of us.

At any rate I'm happy that you're happy now. As for those who've undergone the sort of surgery I've referred to as mutilation, I'm glad that some of them are happy too (though I worry about those who aren't).

Transsexual regret - the minimum amount is 0.2%, but where care and diagnosis is poor, 5%. Often due to botched surgery that can leave the patient with a permanent colostomy, unable to walk, or (distressingly) by design, completely insensate. As one UK surgeon so infamously said "why would a nice girl like you want to have a clitoris?".

I'd be pleased to continue our discussion.

Me too - this reply is terribly condensed, over-simplified to the verge of being misleading, and there's so much more to say.

All the best -
Zoe

Would someone please hire a calligrapher to write up a Sane Transwoman of the Year certificate for Zoe?

Ronald Gold wrote:
...before I write anything about what I've learned from this experience, I'd ;like to ask you a couple of questions: What, in your view, does the research you've referred me to establish? Does it suggest that there's actually such a thing as a man trapped in a woman's body, or vice versa? Does it indicate that people have such feelings about themselves due to hormones or whatever?

My reply:
Does it suggest that there's actually such a thing as a man trapped in a woman's body?

The simplistic answer is yes.

The more accurate answer - yes-ish. The brain is a really complex thing, more like a set of organs than a single one. And the concept of "male" and "female" is fuzzy, it's not a strict binary. Someone can be stereotypically female in most respects, yet some respects can be more neutral, or even closer to a typical male than a female norm. That's in both a psychological and anatomical sense.

The research shows *conclusively* that transsexual women - those with female gender identities but masculinised bodies - have stereotypically female-pattern brains in some areas. Not in others. In some areas, they're closer to the male stereotype, and in a few, they correspond to neither male nor female norms. Many other parts haven't been examined.

The areas where they are stereotypically feminine are mainly areas to do with the "hindbrain", the area that governs instinct, emotional response, hard-wired body language, sense of smell and a few other things. The higher brain areas may be equally feminised, but may not. And in a few areas, the left frontal gyrus IIRC, they are "hyper-male", likely to have Aspergers syndrome. Analogous patterns are found in experimental animals treated with cross-gendered hormones in foetu.

The drug DES was given to pregnant women throughout the 40s, 50s, 60s and into the early 70s to prevent miscarriages. 1 in 5 46xy(usually male)-gened people exposed to this drug, a female hormone, in the first trimester end up transsexual women rather than being men. That's a similar proportion to those affected by Thalidomide, which leads to phocomelia, "flipper limbs" in those with a genetic pre-disposition to it. DES increased the rate of transsexuality by a factor of 500.

Similar experimental results have been found in transsexual men. Their lymbic systems are highly masculinised. They smell, hear, feel, as other men do. Their hard-wired instincts are male. Their internal body map, the thing that tells you that you should have 2 legs and not say 7, is set up for external genitalia. The discomfort that is hard-wired in because of their somatic form at birth is the same as if you, a "standard factory model" man, had been castrated and had had breast augmentation surgery. It feels terribly, horribly *wrong*. Many amputees have the same problem - it's not just the inconvenience of missing a limb, it's the violation of the body map that insists that you must have 2 arms and 2 legs.

As regards hormones - the difference in neurology is visible at the cellular level. Women have 8 times the chance that men do of being subject to clinical depression, mostly due to the stereotypically female distribution of neurotransmitter receptors in their neural cell membranes.And partly due to sexism, the "glass ceiling" and other persecutions women suffer in western society. If this inequality did not exist, it might only be 6 times. We're not sure.

Having the wrong hormonal mix for the neuroanatomy - too much or too little, or of the wrong proportions - causes dysfunction. This can range from post-partum psychosis (the levels and instability in hormones immediately after giving birth are extreme), through to (relatively) mild symptoms at menstruation, andropause and menopause. Symptoms are visible in men treated with anti-androgens for prostate cancer, and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) who have excess testosterone.

What this means is that hormones can be used as both a diagnostic tool and a therapeutic one. Someone who has female neuroanatomy who takes estrogen will get an immediate increase in neurological function. The concurrent impotence can result in euphoria (if the body map is affected). In some cases, where the patient is asexual pre-treatment, and the hard-wired sexual reflexes strongly female, estrogen can actually give a libido, and the usual impotence doesn't happen, though the genitalia will atrophy.

Someone with a male neuro-anatomy will essentially suffer the symptoms of transsexuality if given estrogen in a high enough dose. Suicide is a real danger, as with Alan Turing. Gay men are men, not wannabe-women! Lesser doses - not enough to lead to permanent physical change - are a good diagnostic tool, and used as such by some clinicians. It is possible for a gay boy in his teens to be misled into thinking he's a girl, based on the gender-role stuff you espoused - but a few weeks on estrogen, and he'll be in extreme discomfort, and won't like being impotent at all, either.

In some cases where body-map is not greatly affected, hormone treatment may be the only therapy required to ameliorate the dysfunctionality sufficiently. Because it's all about biology, which is fuzzy and messy, there are significant differences in degree of severity.

Hormones only dictate what gender you are during gestation. Long before the time of birth, the pattern is set. Again, the study of Intersexed people is most illuminating. Only 10% of 46xx people with masculinising Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia identify as male, regardless of how well endowed they may be. All the rest merely show "tomboyish" behaviour when young. Conversely, it appears that 100% of 46xy people with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome identify as female, and in fact *cannot* be transsexual. Their cells are immune to the testosterone their (internal) testes produce, so their neurology is very strongly feminised indeed - as are the rest of their bodies, internal testes or no. Those with the rarer Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (in various grades) may be TS though.

So the data indicates that people have such feelings - of being male or female - entirely due to neuro-anatomy. Hormones play no part outside the womb. One cannot make a man into a woman by any amount of surgery or hormonal manipulation. One *can* however give a woman with a masculinised body a normal endocrine (Hormone) level, and a relatively normal, feminised body too. That's handy if she wants a sex life, regardless of whether she's straight, or lesbian, as many are.

Sorry about the length. If only you knew how much I'm simplifying and leaving out....

Zoe

p.s.
A correction - I over-simplified a bit too much.... hormones *do* cause neurological changes - just not in the areas under discussion regarding gender identity. Call it icing in the cake, but the cake has to exist first.

As for all the research you refer to, forgive me if I tell you I haven't the stomach to plod through it.

To me, this line from Mr Gold says a lot about the problem. He doesn't "have the stomach" (does anyone else wonder exactly what he means by that?) to do a little research. With two or three hours online reading abstracts from academic research and first-person perspectives from real live trans people, he would have been vastly more informed than he was and, apparently, is.

The problem was not simply Mr Gold's opinions, it's that a) he was spouting off without having read any research on psychology and biology of gender identity, effects of cross-sex hormones, etc., b) he showed not a trace of having discussed gender identity with any trans people to get a perspective on their personal experience, and c) the uninformed opinions he was spouting were exactly the same things that have been used for decades to insult and harass trans people and to deny them equal rights.

Sorry Zoe but I think you're being far too generous with him. He'd much rather continue on as he has been and protect his delicate stomach than put any effort into learning something about a topic he writes on.

I think for the most part the responses to his post were reasonable, and could be informative to anyone with more time and a stronger stomach than Mr Gold. It's worth leaving them up, though I think there's an argument for leaving up his original post along with a disclaimer, as suggested in another post.

Thank you for removing the post and removing Ron as a contributor. This whole incident hurt me in ways that others may never understand. I doubt you will ever respond to me in a personal E-mail on that hurt.

What amazed me most was that through another blog (Peterson Toscano - from a link from Helen Boyd), is that the credentials of Mr Gold include being that of a founding member of The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. That is incredible in itself that a person of such stature would stoop to such a post, knowing in fact he was fully aware of it's transphobic message.

I would like to say that it has been 'of educational value' (but hardly so in reflection of what was said) in that this is exactly why we are out there as activists and advocates for the Trans. In my own network, most of those who I 'educate' are either gay or lesbian with of course my following of those who are Trans and allies. These are the folks that need such education, because they read such uninformed and deliberately transphobic material and accept it with little question.

But far easier, it is simply far best to not post such material and to eliminate those contributers that promote transphobia. I really do appreciate the posting being taken down and Mr. Gold being removed as a contributer.

Robyn Carolyn Montague
TransHaven Missouri

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 12, 2009 8:31 AM

Bil, Alex, et al, my friends:

As a "right now not very often" contributor to this site, I have to respectfully disagree with your decision to pull down Mr. Gold's post after one deciding to put it up. I feel less strongly about your decision to drop him as a regular contributor after his single very controversial post.

Of course, the First Amendment doesn't apply to what's purely a privatly owned website, and so you were perfectly within your rights here. However, I think the same kinds of principles concerning the marketplace of ideas that most of us "First Amendment freaks" subscribe to still apply.

But now, among other things, you've created a situation where folks like me, who read part of Mr. Gold's post, skipped to the growing number of mostly negative reactions, then said to himself" "When I have a little more time I ought to go back and read the entire thing carefuly."

I can't do that now.

If this were a hardcopy newspaper at least the text would still be there despite the equivalent retraction/disowning of it.

I think it would have been better had you preserved it somewhere, perhaps by a link, and/or prefacing it with a clear statement that it had been found offensive by many, etc.

As it is, there we be a lingering suspicion that something has been supressed and buried so that nobody can examine the contents and make up their own minds concerning its worthiness.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 12, 2009 4:49 PM

Don, the First Amendment does NOT protect an individual's right to be published. It protects the press' right, with limitations, to publish without prior restraint from the government. Editors and publishers censor on a daily basis--trust me, I know, I worked at a newspaper.

Moreover, while I am against censoring accurate, legitimate, respectful, and evidence-based opinions, I think (as I said elsewhere in a post) that no publication should have published a piece as inaccurate and deliberately hurtful as Gold's, especially given that it introduced not a SINGLE new idea to the ongoing debate in the LGBT community regarding transgender. You MIGHT be able to defend an error-ridden, hate-filled, insulting piece if it said something new worth saying; Gold's piece did not.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 12, 2009 8:33 AM

Bil, Alex, et al, my friends:

As a "right now not very often" contributor to this site, I have to respectfully disagree with your decision to pull down Mr. Gold's post after one deciding to put it up. I feel less strongly about your decision to drop him as a regular contributor after his single very controversial post.

Of course, the First Amendment doesn't apply to what's purely a privatly owned website, and so you were perfectly within your rights here. However, I think the same kinds of principles concerning the marketplace of ideas that most of us "First Amendment freaks" subscribe to still apply.

But now, among other things, you've created a situation where folks like me, who read part of Mr. Gold's post, skipped to the growing number of mostly negative reactions, then said to himself" "When I have a little more time I ought to go back and read the entire thing carefuly."

I can't do that now.

If this were a hardcopy newspaper at least the text would still be there despite the equivalent retraction/disowning of it.

I think it would have been better had you preserved it somewhere, perhaps by a link, and/or prefacing it with a clear statement that it had been found offensive by many, etc.

As it is, there we be a lingering suspicion that something has been supressed and buried so that nobody can examine the contents and make up their own minds concerning its worthiness.

Definitely a good decision to remove it, for reasons which I enumerated io my reply to Bil in his apology thread.

Also, Mr Gold took the time to reply to me personally without my having to ask him to. His response was not the sort of thing that improves the unity of the movement

Kathy Padilla | December 12, 2009 10:38 AM

Exactly. This piece didn't meet the standards required by Billerico for eithercommenters or posters.

Bilerico had to demonstrate that their committment to demanding nonstigmatising language from media included themselves, if they ever wanted credibility when criticizing homophobes.

It's not like the post disappeared - it's reposted many placed @ we'll all be blessed with having it quoted to us by our political adversaries going forwardgoWns nothing stops Gold from getting a free blog account and post whatever he wants. But it is a strong statement of what this site supports and what it doesn't support.

My article on trans history in PA wasn't published here as an editorial choice that it didn't quite fit the sites focus. That wasn't censorship.

I posted it in my diary at Pam's House Blend. I was happy it got front paged - but there was no duty for them to publish something merely because someone submits it. Unless people want to give Maggie Gallagher space too.

A decade ago, Stonewall veteran Jim Fouratt came out with similar sentiments to those expressed in Mr. Gold's column - decreeing that trans women should stop denying that we are "just gay men in denial."

When Pauline Park brought me over to talk to him to show him a trans woman who identifies as a lesbian, it didn't convince Mr. Fouratt that maybe there was something about my straight trans sisters that he did not understand. He answered that I must just be a straight man in denial (denial of what?) - or maybe he thought I was just pulling his leg.

There is an awful lot of "projection" that goes on. People tend to see other people through the lens of their own experiences. It is easy for a Jim Fouratt or a Ron Gold to project their own experience onto trans women in a way that in their own minds invaldates trans experience.

While I am in the "there really is a physiological basis" camp, I do not discount the psychological aspects. (Though I do reject the bologna that comes from the Blanchard/Bailey/Lawrence camp while understanding that there are some differences between typical early and late transitioners, and I am horrified that the committee amending the DSM provisions that relate to trans people is headed by notorious reparative therapist Zucker from the Clarke Institute.)

"Gender as performance" is mostly Judith Butler claptrap, if that is all one sees it as. "Performance" works for, say, a RuPaul, who identifies as a gay man but does a wonderful job as a female illusionist.

It works for people like my boss (the best boss in the world, BTW), who looks a lot like Eddie Izzard, and can even do a decent drag performance.

But RuPaul, and my boss, are both gay men, even if they might do "gender as performance." They do not identify as women. If they were to project their experiences onto me, they'd just think I was a sad, delusional, confused man who just "thinks" I am a woman.

There is an extent of "gender as performance" that is a part of society - if there wasn't, therer wouldn't be a cosmetics or fashion industry, and everyone, male and female, would be wearing something neutral like Mao suits.

But identity is real. My brain developed on a female pattern, even if my genital tract development turned out to be wolffian and not mullerian. I don't know how to explain people who are bigendered in their identities, or "genderfluid" in their identities, but I am sure that they represent a natural diversity.

There are those who think that gender is a social construct - and in some ways it is. But the assignment of sex solely in a binary is also a social construct. Both gender identity and sex assignment have roots in biology, but cissexual/cisgender people do not necessarily "get it" when their own sex and gender are consistent. Trans folk are evolving the language to be able to think the thoughts we have to think to be able to describe ourselves to others, and express those thoughts to others and teach them the language.

We live at a time when understanding of the diversity of the human condition is evolving. There are people like Ron Gold, Jim Fouratt, the late Virginia Prince, and all those Christianist Dominionists out there, the first three of whom were once at the cutting edge of understanding at the beginning, but whose views, sadly, now have fallen behind the gradually-developing understanding of the diversity.

Many transsexual folks feel tied to the binary, and some even defend it against an imaginary "transgender menace" that they feel might drag them into a "third sex" classification. I am personally tied to the binary (I do not identify as genderfluid, for example, and I do identify as a woman) - but I know that the diversity of nature allows for people to be different from me, and differnet from what I may expect on the basis of my own personal experience and education.

I would hope that Ron Gold has an opportunity to further develop and change his views, and an open enough mind to be receptive to that.

FurryCatHerder | December 12, 2009 1:34 PM

"Gender is performative" cannot legitimately be interpreted to mean that Judith Butler thinks we're all doing RuPaul or Capt. James T. Kirk. It means that the things that typically symbolize "gender" have no basis in physical, objective reality -- like giving birth.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 12, 2009 8:28 PM

Thanks. I was going to make the same point. (Butler is brilliant!)

I will admit, I did not read the piece. Too much hateful stuff being said lately in the movement in general.

But as a contributor, I will say I believe Bil and the ed team are thoughtful, and the most trans inclusive site I've ever seen.

Trans inclusion is a learning curve for the movement. Having watched the utter apathy of the community around the trans rights bill in MA, I understand the rage.

Unfortunately, I don't think it motivated the right people. And made some want to hang bil out to dry which is a horrible mistake.

It's not about Bil.

It's about people like Gold.

I'm still a proud contributor to this site.

I'm going to have to agree with much of what Sara says here.

While Ronald Gold's piece crossed the line and hurt many, I am disheartened by how many readers (as demonstrated by the various comments in a few different threads) are willing to dump Bilerico (stating they will never read the site again) and throw Bil and the editorial team under the bus for one mistake--a mistake that has been apologized for, passionately and sincerely, and that has been corrected to the extent that it can be corrected, given the medium. Must we really throw out the baby with the bathwater?

Could we just take a moment please to acknowledge all the good that The Bilerico Project does do? Can we acknowledge the many thoughtful decisions that go into running this site? Can we acknowledge that it's one of the most racially diverse sites (counter to what a commenter said in another thread) and most trans-inclusive sites on the Internet?

Lest I be misinterpreted, I am in no way apologizing for Ronald Gold and his piece and I would never presume to apologize for Bil and the editorial team, but does one bad move really put you on the black list for life?

If that's the case, then we're all fucked.

Sara, it IS about Bil. The post wouldn't have been on if Bil hadn't okayed it. Gold wouldn't have been here is Bil hadn't wanted him to be. Bil evidently either chose to know nothing about Gold's bigoted attitudes about trans people (shared by many in the Queer community) or, knew about them and basically allowed a fox in a hen house. He claims Bilerico isn't a 'safe space' yet, in fact, for cis gay men like him, it IS a safe space. What he means is, trans people, don't expect a safe space for yourselves.

As I've stated elsewhere, there is nothing unique about Gold and his attitudes towards trans people. Many GLB people and, especially Queer-identified people share those views. And considering how little Bil listened to the trans people who warned him at the start of the thread about the offensiveness of this post and weren't listened to, it has to be seriously asked what Bil's issues with trans people are.

Enough with the ass-kissing and smoothing over and telling us who we should or shouldn't be angry at and I'll try and grant you the same respect when your identity is totally dismissed by a supposed 'ally'.

FurryCatHerder | December 12, 2009 6:07 PM

I call "Real Life isn't as fast as the Internet!".

Sorry, I was impressed by how fast Bil =did= respond and how few rounds of "Oops" / "Sorry" / "Let me rephrase that" / "Oh, fuck it" were required.

I'd never heard of this blog before getting pointed here. And I must say, that of all the LGBT-oriented blogs I've seen, and based on a dozen or so posts I've read, this one is one of the better ones.

What I =am= profoundly disappointed in is that Ronald Gold hasn't appeared and profoundly, massively, falling-all-over-himself apologized for being a monster. Because he is. And he needs to get that, and it needs to sink in, and he needs to recognize his complicity in all of the crap that happens to trans people.

Bil,

I want to thank you for the time and energy you spent working on the backlash of Gold's piece.

I find the outcry rather interesting. I read the piece and while there was some outright offensive content, there was also some thoughts about the binary that were with the wrong intent but still intriguing to read.

I think it is also an important post as it shows the spectrum of the LGB community when it comes to the T and I would also argue the Q.

Thanks

And Aiden, I think your post is a good example how many (if not most) Queer-identified transman have a VERY different perspective than most transwomen do (who were more directly attacked by Gold's article and by those who agree with him). Many transmen were raised on what's taught in Gender Studies departments around this country. Many men who identify as transmen are not really so much transsexual as transgender and aren't interested in living in non-Queer social groups when it comes down to it. Many transmen aren't as stigmatized in Queer spaces as transwomen are.

This is a very big split within the trans community and in coming years, I hate to say there are going to be a lot of deep rifts exposed over these issues. It does the trans community no good to ignore some of the complex differences between highly Queer-identified transgender people and non-Queer identified trans people who are more interested in living within the larger society.

OK, so we now have a split between people who think the original post should have remained in place and people who think removing it was a good idea. Certainly, there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.

What matters most to me is that Bil and the Bilerico staff listened to the criticism that they received and took a definitive action, one of which included removing the person who posted the prejudiced words from their list of contributors. Some might like these actions and some might not, but the point remains that at least Bil & Co. listened to people's criticism and then acted.

Now, the fact that action took place was a good sign. However, to bring up the question that was asked in Bil's previous post, what must be done to prevent this in the future? My question to Bil is: what is your next plan of action? Putting up Ronald Gold's post was a bloody huge blunder. What are you going to do to avoid this situation in the future? How are you modifying your editorial policies and your editorial staff to ensure that the removal of a prejudiced piece of writing and a prejudiced author is more than a symbolic gesture? Will you include trans people on the editorial staff? Will you have set guidelines that addresses prejudiced language in featured articles? Will a better system of vetting future articles be established?

What is the next step?

Trans contributors and projectors. Please stay.

Well, as just one happy little egg in this hand basket I have been thinking about this recent bit of business with trans issues, as have many of us. Now, I have some questions for the trans people here about these issues. I'm feeling that I may not understand many of them as much as I thought that I did and not as much as I would like to.

My interest is not just academic since I work with lots of teens and tweens teaching music. Mostly private lessons but I do teach marching band and drum corps. Not to play into a stereotype but there are a lot of LGBTQ kids who join band. And around here they talk to me and their families sometimes come to me for help. I only fit under one letter but still the gay kids and trans kids will turn to me and their families come to me because I’m not straight and I don’t always stick within the standard gender rules and they equate that all as one big thing.

So I've got a few kids that blur gender lines and to be honest I've got one that is in a real hand basket to hell because his father and older brother are determined to "make a man out of him" one way or another. I don't want to go to this kid’s funeral someday.

So I'm trying to read the trans related posts and gather some info. I'm glad that the info is being presented here and I'm glad that Bilerico has allowed a considerable amount of trans related stuff because that is my weak area.

Please all trans projectors and contributors stay! Just stay. Mr. Gold is gone. Bil admitted that this was effed up. People need to learn and Bil is learning from this.

But I need to hear from you because this kid and a few other kids like him need for me to hear from you. Like the 6th grader who came in today wearing holiday pins that he made for a fundraiser but he made some rainbow pins in the mix and was wearing three of them and made a point of asking for a rainbow sticker from the little book of "inspirational stickers" to put in his piano book, because subtlety for a little boy works like that.

So right now I am wondering about things but I’m not even sure what all of my questions should be. But I know that I’ve got kids who are going to ask me questions and I hope like hell I have answers because I’ve had a nine year old tell me that he wanted to die and he was serious and that was a spooky thing.

I’m sorry that anyone was hurt by this and I’m sorry that the comments sections have gotten heated. Your presence here is important to others because it may help some of these kids to not go through some of the horrors that some of you have gone through. It will help some of these kids survive things that that some of our compatriots did not survive or chose not to survive.

There are most likely kids on here right now quietly watching and afraid to say anything but they need to be here. And you might say the thing that helps save the life of that kid in Altoona.

Please stay.

Rob, this probably isn't the best place to try to understand the issues of LGBTQ youth. Try The Trevor Project, and Trans Youth Family Allies.

Thank you Dr. Weiss I had not heard of Trans Youth Family Allies. My goal with my comment was not really asking for help with youth so much as outline a reason why I as one person involved in TBP value the input of the trans people here.
I would like to say that I work with quite a few LGBTQ youth and have for a long time and I find a lot of the information here very valuable in that because people do often talk about things related to their own youth and experiences and they do it in a less guarded and sanitized way.
I find that the relating of these experiences is often of greater practical value than a lot of the info out there designed specifically for youth and youth related subjects. I've taken lots of the educational, theoretical classes for my pastoral counseling requirements and worked in a therapy program years ago.
I just find the practical aspect seen here to be of great value. When I was a residential supervisor for a therapeutic program for teens they would occasionally ask me questions that are very real. When a kid asks me if I know anyone like them or who has been through something like this I can answer yes from a very realistic stand point.
I have my experiences as a queer youth, but by being here I can see the experiences of others at that time of life and that helps inform me more about the variety of experiences. This awareness helps me as a parent and as a teacher and spiritual leader.

Rob,

I respect your ability and willingness to learn about experiences that aren't yours. But, in all honesty, please be aware that, first, trans people's experiences are not meant to be learning templates for non-trans people. I don't think you mean to be deliberately condescending here, but please be aware that there's something discomfiting about the general tone of your remarks. It's not hostile, it's not trans-phobic, and I think you mean to be inclusive.

But reading your comment raises my hackles in the same way as someone who walks up to me and insists that they're delighted to meet me because they've always wanted to know about Indian culture, and, oh, by the way, they're about to take a trip to India and what would be the best places to visit and could I suggest an itinerary? Your words, "I just find the practical aspect seen here to be of great value" are similarly discordant.

Please spend some time reflecting on the consequences of your utterly well-meaning but rather problematically stated intention to learn about trans people's experiences in order to enrich your own.

I won't presume to speak for Jillian here, but I think her gentle suggestion that you look at organisations like Trevor's Project can be expanded thus: This is a blog. A blog and its comments section is never the right place to understand people's experiences or politics and here's the first reason why: A lot of commenters may not even be who they claim to be. A lot of experiences presented here may not be real. It speaks to our inability to form communities in real time that so many people, particularly trans folk who may be isolated in their states, their towns, their workplaces, need to turn to the internet for support. But that does not mean that the internet is the place to go for verifiable means of community-building. Or that people's experiences as recorded here should automatically stand in for the texts that we generate in real time organising and, yes, healing.

But that being said, I think the issue of Ronald Gold's post has raised a plethora of issues, not the least of which is the question of hurt and harm. I have mixed feelings, which I'm going to try and express in this thread and perhaps my own blog post, but for now I'd caution you and many others here on mistaking a blog for the kind of communities we need to build.

My intention was not to bother anyone and I appreciate that you are feeling that and apologize that my post would engender that in you or anyone.
I always thought of Bilerico as a place where we could all learn about and from one another. As for the learning, I learn by reading posts written by people who are presenting information. As far as I can tell when they are presenting information it is because they either need to express that and have it acknowledged or they want others to know some information and so they are presenting it. If a person from any of our 'letters' presents information to be learned I don't see how my admission of a desire to read and learn from that information is condescending.
I am confused about the statement "But, in all honesty, please be aware that, first, trans people's experiences are not meant to be learning templates for non-trans people" in the context of this blog. My assumption was that when information is being voluntarily presented here it was often being presented as a learning tool. I know that I have presented information here with the intention of it being a learning tool. Again, I'm not prying into the life of anyone, I am simply accepting what is presented willingly.
I don't think that the comparison about being an impolite tourist relates since I'm not asking questions or prying or anything like that. I am simply reading and assessing information being presented and using that information to address my own ignorance. I don't see that as condescending, I see it as respectful. I didn't pick and choose what I want to be told I am simply reading what others wish to tell and I am noting that it has had great value for me because I have learned from it.
I know what it is like when somebody asks very personal questions that they would never dream of asking a straight person. But I didn't ask a question like that. What I asked was for people to not leave because I value what they are presenting and who they are.
I feel that if any group of us starts leaving then they will be underrepresented here and that will endanger the learning and exchange process. And then that divisive circle turns and bites tis own tail again leaving us once again without comminication.
As for the community that we should be building, I'm not mistaking the internet communities for the face to face communities but I do see internet contact as capable of developing communities and supporting other communities.
I live in a relatively small town, we don't have an LGBT community center or a specific place to go. We do not have a large community. What we have is one another and it is a mixed bag of not that many people, so we don't have any trans specialists to work with trans youth. But we do have parents who will call me and say "Rob my 15 year old has been looking at gay and straight porn" and I am the only person they know to call and then they find out from me about the LGBT youth group in the next town over and the PFLAG meetings two towns away.
I also get put in a similar position re lesbian and trans issues just because the people around here know that I might know more about it than they do or might know where they can go for help and because of my religious affiliation and position there I get asked also. This week a question was put to a group of us about where we stand on trans people relative to our traditions and beliefs. The person said that she had been avoiding the subject for quite some time and I'm not sure if it has to do with herself or her child.
That is a local community but it supported and helped a lot by the internet community. And it is not as rich as the urban LGBT communities in population and we do not have many of the same human resources that more urban places have. But we have to help one another because we live on the same streets.
Again, I apologize to you personally Yasmin and to those who were discomfited at my post.

"Bil admitted that this was effed up"

I'd really disagree with that. He admitted that he was getting effed up. But I never saw any real taking of responsibility.

It's just being covered up.

jolynn weaster | December 12, 2009 10:10 AM

WHAT...you want to remove the toilet cause it overflowed?
clean up the shit and leave the toilet in place!
the damage has already been done.
this has become a joke within the total community
i cant believe that the editor's didnt have a clue as to what this would cause (by posting mr gold's opinion).
just goes to show what we have to overcome STILL
both from within the GLBT community and outside
signed
red-headed step child

I do not know Mr. Gold; I've (as far as I know) never read any of Mr. Gold's musings in the past, nor am I likely to personally search for any of Mr. Gold's future writings.

However, I feel Bilerico has made the incorrect decision in dropping Mr. Gold as a contributor.

There are many homosexually oriented persons, myself among them, who do not believe our "community" ultimately benefits when said community takes up the fight of bisexuals and transgendered.

Before anyone hits the "reply" button to post some tirade, let me further explain.

Our first line of defense in battling those who seek to "cure" us of our homosexual orientation is that we make no conscious choice in our sexual orientation, and that no medical therapy can "repair" our sexual orientation.

The hardest part of our fight is against the overwhelming numbers of the heterosexually oriented who cannot, seemingly, make the separation between emotional attraction and sexual behavior.

The inclusion of the bisexually oriented and the transgendered only further complicates that struggle, as we then present a face of our "community" that helps to cement the belief we do make some type of conscious "choice" in our orientation - after all, aren't bisexuals people who choose to have sex with either men or women? - or that there is a medical "treatment" for our orientation - so, if the genitals are just switched out, then they'd be straight, huh?

To assist the bisexually oriented and the transgendered in obtaining their full human rights is one thing; to lead the charge is something else.

I believe Bilerico should reverse their decision concerning Mr. Gold's contributor status, if only to show there are diverse voices in the "community;" that we're not all in lock-step with the HRC, GLAAD, or any other organization which claims to be - or is believed to be - a "voice of the gay community."

Thank you,

Eric Payne
Lawrenceville, GA

Eric - I agree with you, that there's nothing in it for Gays. That having Ts and Bs for that matter just confuses the issue.

But now that you've embraced pragmatism, and jettisoned all that impractical "equality for all" and "justice" stuff...

Why on Earth should straights care about Gays?

Zoe,

The majority of straights don't.

But if, as a philosopher once said, "the past is prologue," then let's take a look at the past.

In their fight for equality, did African-Americans put forth, as part of their struggle, that the indigenous people of America must also be granted their full civil rights? Or Latin Americans?

No, they didn't. They didn't, for lack of a better term, muddy the waters with anything but the clear-cut message: We want our rights. Now.

In the past year, we've gained very small victories in our fight for equal marriage rights, but have also suffered devastating defeats. By all accounts, those defeats have come because the "other side" have been able to prey on the fears of the average American voter - and make those fears ones of a completely sexual nature.

With the inclusion, in our "community", of two groups who are more easily portrayed as being sexually deviant - and, please, again realize that I am NOT labeling either group as deviant, I'm simply stating they can be more easily portrayed as "deviant" - we do absolutely nothing to help our cause, and are actually starting the fight on an uneven footing.

The "Great White They" out there, as I stated, cannot believe that all people are not, automatically, emotionally drawn to persons of the opposite gender, period; even our staunchest allies will profess difficulty at understanding that one, relatively simply, concept - it's, simply, that alien a concept to them. We have to, first, overcome that one prejudice.

Though I dislike, and completely disrespect, Barney Frank, I did agree with his reasoning for stripping "transgendered" from ENDA-legislation submitted to the previous president. He realized that the inclusion of TG would simply not get a bill out of committee and into legislation.

Is the thinking wrong? Yes. We should be a nation that is, automatically, all-inclusive.

But the only only group that has benefited from "all inclusive" since the founding of this country, and is going to continue to benefit from "all inclusive" despite the election of the current president, is "white, heterosexual."

Should we assist in educating lawmakers that being bisexual or transgendered doesn't make a person a freak and a deviant? Yes, of course we should, without a moment's hesitation.

Should we hitch obtaining full civil rights to the wagon of the "Bs" and the "Ts" getting theirs, too?

Hell no.

No, they didn't. They didn't, for lack of a better term, muddy the waters with anything but the clear-cut message: We want our rights. Now.

Oh, you really have no idea, do you?

"Muddy the waters." Does the term "intersection" mean anything to you? Here, I'll help with a hint: Bayard Rustin.

Let me guess, you didn't want to muddy the waters with feminism either, amirite? Lesbians, well, we can be gay, or we can be women, but heaven forfend we try to address both at the same time: that's just confusing. Never even mind if you have anything else going on...

because, everyone who gets the shit end of an Oppression Stick divides up nicely into neat little categories.

Especially the ones who only fit into -one- neat little Oppression category. Still a pain, but-compared to people who have to pick and choose because most people can't be bothered to see how it might be -complicated---relatively convenient, at least.

Say, that wouldn't be you by any chance, would it?

Please, Belledame, enroll in some "reading for comprehension" classes, would you?

Sometimes, a duck IS just a duck, and a statement can be taken at face value.

Sure, Eric, I'll get right on that.

So, you basically just responded to everything I said with "a duck is just a duck."

O.K.! That contributes so much! Thank god that's all cleared up now.

Quack, baby.

Eric,
I'm going to have to disagree with you about black civil rights movement not being inclusive of others. That is simply not the case. Numerous civil rights leaders of earlier times spoke about rights for everyone. Many of the ones who are leaders now and who were young then are currently speaking to these issues.
Please read some of the speeches and quotes by various leaders on these issues before you make a statement about what they said and did. A false statement is not going to support a conclusion.

I'd be happy to trundle away from the GL. First, the G and L need to stop using the B and T as your props for historical validity (No Joan of Arc, No Alexander the Great, can't say "In some cultures gay men were healers and respected for the ability to move between the worlds", etc) and padding for your hate crimes and jobless statistics, and The Compton and Stonewall riots returned to their proper historic perspective. The idea that the B and T are using or "tacked onto" the G and L is some of the biggest pink-washing in progressive political history.

With all respect, I think you mistake what's at issue here.

The real question raised by the community's reaction is not about how controversial someone can get here, or how much heat people can take in the kitchen. It's about the power dynamics between cis and trans people - what it means for a cis-dominated trans-inclusive publication to give a platform to a trans-basher - and why y'all didn't see it coming as cis leaders of an LGBT community space. This should be a learning opportunity about what it means to be an ally to an oppressed population. I hope you'll examine it in that light! You'll be better allies for it.

I appreciate the speed of the editorial board's response, because I'm guessing that reflects your commitment to maintaining a trans-inclusive community space.

You are spot on Mara. When I mentioned in my post about the time to stand up with "our own leaders" and take responsibility I was referring to you, Donna and the countless others that have put a private life behind for the better of the T community. Although we have rode the coattails of the Gay Lesbian movement it has not been uncommon to run into folks from their community who would like nothing better to bash T folk. I see nothing but more attempts at putting us back in the closet and removing our dignity as humans. Keep up the good fight and thanx for pulling the post down Bil. Infighting is something our opponents want us to do because it fulfills the hatred of us and ignorance is then justified. Jenna

Bil, you and the editorial team need to ask yourselves one little question: If this was aimed at me, would I find it offensive? This one little question could have avoided this whole mess and prevented the stain you gave your reputation.

Wow! Brothers and Sisters, I would encourage us all to slow down and ponder.
I recall a post some months ago in which Bil openly put it out there that he didn't know all that there was to know about we trans-folk and our lives and issues . He further avowed his desire to learn. (Bill, careful what you ask for. I suspect that you have just learned more than you wished). I honor your work and the work of all of the board and that of our contributors and commenters.
I truly have concern for the pain of many of my trans brothers and sisters when sentiments such as Mr. Gold expressed hit but I would remind us all of two points. One this is simply a not uncommon, albeit unlearned set of thoughts and attitudes he expressed and secondly that most of our distress over anything and at any time is caused not by that thing but rather by our own thoughts and/or interpretation of it.
Obviously, Mr.Gold finds the trans reality and trans experience some what "weird" as do many of our fello crew on this "Spaceship Earth". To those folk I can only respond. "If you think this looks weird from the outside, you should have been in here with me." A really strange and wonderful/terrible life journey.
Finally, I would thank all of our commentors for openly sharing thoughts, pain, outrage and thoughtfulness, much heat,we need passion and humanity and some true wisdom, we need thought and reflection. Thank you, Rob. You sometimes piss me off but you always make me think. Zoe, you intellect humbles me in one so young. Cathi, Becky and many others, I cherish your passion for it fuels our own. And I can't wait to read Toni's thoughts.
With Love and Respect,
Joani

Thanks for pointing this out. I didn't know you could comment on something that wasn't there.

Removing Ronald Gold's post from this sight is a supreme act of cowardice. Granted, many people were offended by the piece, and they told you about it. On the other hand, the post did it's job, it enabled a conversation. And that is a good thing.

Mr. Gold's piece represents a viewpoint held by a segment of the LBGTQ community. The only way to confront these ideas, is to engage. Not to vilify, or shout down, or HIDE.

Removing words that a community dislikes is an act of oppression.

Opinions like Mr Gold's are everywhere, on the Christian Right. Ms Brain attempted to educate Mr Gold, but he "can't stomach" the scientific data on the subject.

We do not have to provide a platform for hate simply because it is a viewpoint. The Right will be quoting Gold as soon as ENDA hits the floor.

I think you are missing the point of my comment. I make the assertion that many people have these ideas, and the best way to challenge and confront these patterns of thought is to let them be heard, and then to discuss and debate, not vilify and censor.

You and I differ as to whether or not this is hate speech. By your comment, I will assume that you believe Mr. Gold's post to be hate speech. I do not.
Mis-informed? Yes.
Lazy thinking? Yes.
Wrong Headed? Yes.
Hate Speech? No.

Editors, I appreciate your efforts, but I don't appreciate the post being taken down. Education can't happen in a vacuum without information. I don't know what the post said and therefore can't inform myself about the particular issues raised and the disagreements, good or bad, present in our community. How can I obtain a copy of the post so that I can be fully informed about the dialogue ongoing on this topic?

Thanks!

kpdarwin@yahoo.com

Copy mirrored here as a PDF, and no doubt in many other places too.

It's mostly captured at Pam's House Blend (fisking)

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/14451/

I agree that the post should've been left up to avoid revisionist history.

I don't know if anyone's actually made it all the way down but for what it's worth:

First, I have mixed feelings about the Ron Gold issue, which I'm still sorting out. Overall, I'm with Aidan Tharp above, and I also see and understand the level of hurt expressed here.

I think the publication of Gold's post and the resulting backlash against it says a lot about where we are or, rather, perhaps, where we are not in terms of a wider engagement with these issues. But I also have to wonder if perhaps all of us are not making too much of what goes in the blogosphere as opposed to the kinds of organising that are going on, or should be going on, in our communities.

I'll be the first to say that as someone who lives in Chicago in a wonderfully queer and very genderqueer and genderfucking world, I have the privilege of not remembering too much of the intense isolation I remember in Indiana. But it strikes me that perhaps there is altogether too much energy being spent making a blog like Bilerico - which remains unique for many reasons, not the least being its discussion of trans issues - seem like it ought to be *the* safe space for many people. Or that it ought, every time it presents something on trans issues, to have a pitch-perfect piece which somehow, magically, manages to hit the chord with every. single. reader.

That's never going to happen. Every piece written by a trans-identified contributor here incites intense discussion, and a great deal of it is, frankly, quite vitriolic. We could speculate all day long on why that is, but I'll hazard a guess that it's at least partly due to the fact that there is no one ideology, no one theory, no one person who can represent the trans community.

Obviously, Gold's piece is rather different, coming as it does from a gay man whose language echoes a throwback to another era. But in reading the responses there and here, I'm struck less by the disagreements with him, than by the dominant idea presented here that Bilerico is supposed to function as something, not clearly defined, but as something that should *mean* something, not as clearly defined either. I have to wonder: Should we perhaps turn our attention to not only what we think of the ideology presented in Gold's piece but also the expectation of community some of us seem to bring to this blog?

Which is another way of saying: This is a blog. It's not a safe space, it's not a community-building space, it's a blog. That does not mean that blogs and words are meaningless, or that actual harm or good may not come from blogs or words - but perhaps we ought to take a deep breath and remember: This is a blog. Perhaps the bigger question for us is: How do we take this conversation, this set of feelings and emotions and political views BACK to the real time communities we inhabit and make sense of it all?

Lastly, in terms of the editorial team: I don't have the inside scoop on what went on, but, and this is related to the point above: It's a blog. It's put together by people who do the work for practically nothing, who have to oversee a group of, how many now, over 65 contributors who are paid nothing for their work. But the result, even coming from a hardened leftie like me, is one of the more genuine attempts to build a blog that draws upon the multiple perspectives out there in this thing we call the "community." It's up and running on a daily basis and it runs like clockwork. There's a reason for that, and Bil and Alex and Jerame and the others can take the credit for that.

It's a blog. It's run by human beings who are frequently overloaded by multiple demands and their own day jobs and who have to make decisions that may not always be popular. And maybe, sometimes, something goes awry. Sometimes stuff happens. Sometimes that stuff has effects we may not like. But rather than affix so much primacy to a blog, perhaps we could all take a deep breath and remember that there are real events and real people, trans and otherwise, who need our attention as we write here.

And Yasmin did say.... "How do we take this conversation, this set of feelings and emotions and political views BACK to the real time communities we inhabit and make sense of it all?"
This where I would like to go with this too. I see that there are numerous new posts being made that are inspired by this approach.
So It seems like the mess is being cleaned at if not yet cleaned up.
I think that I am going to take some of the responses that I see here and edit them over into a document so that I can read them all together and come back to them later. Mostly the stuff from Zoe with a few others thrown in.
In my real time community I'm going to try and not throttle a dad and an older brother and try to see to it that the kid concerned continues to see this place as a safe supportive place with no questions asked.

Rob - I'm at your disposal if I can help this kid. I've been called in by professors to give talks to med and psych students about the issue, which might give my words some street cred.

Thank you. Your input around here is a great help to those of us trying to understand and those of us trying to be understood.
When you are so clear and able to articulate things others of us get to see how we can more clearly communicate our ideas. You posts work on those two fronts of exploring the issue at hand and demonstrating how to address issues in general.
This little guy right now just wants to come to play guitar and if he has on eyeliner and lots of jewelry he appreciates that he doesn't catch any grief for it.

Thank you Bil for taking that horrendous article down but to be honest, it should have never been posted in the first place. Maybe this won't happen again in the future.

what, specifically, will be done to prevent this from happening again in the future?

I am having a hard time understanding the hysterical section of the trans community that refuse to accept that it is their responsibility to educate the ignorant. This is an opportunity to educate people about the issues and yet so many are using it as an opportunity to reinforce the hysterical self absorbed trannie stereotype... Meh...

Are you listening to the portion of the community that is trying to inform by discussing this? I think right now they are very present and easily found and listened to if we will listen.

They are far too few... the hysterical section are way too big in numbers and too stupid to understand that their whining just reinforces the stereotypes.

and when the ignorant dont wish to be educated, then what?

when the ignorant have spent *how* many years in the lgbt community and still dont get it, its only because they dont want to.

its a conscious choice.

do you honestly think that the responses to gold's post was the first time he ever heard it?

riiiiight.

there comes a limit to the cost effectiveness of educating the unwilling. some people have proven that they just dont want to learn, and i dont think we should continue to squander our time and energy on them in the hope that maybe, with just a bit more information, they will see the light.

bah.

you cant teach a pig to sing. it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

No, it might not be the first time he has heard it, but it might be the first time he understands it.... It is the trans communities responsibility to educate... not whinge like a little that doesn't get their own way...

if not standing for being called "deluded" and "mutilated" is "getting our own way" then i'm all for it.

there is a difference between whining and begging for simple decency and respect; and demanding it.
...and it is about time that we started demanding it.

if people are unwilling to learn and be educated, fine. that is their choice. but the days of being able to spout such ridiculous claptrap without challenge are gone.

Don't you think that maybe Ron the author should at least do some basic research on the subject before posting simple hate speech? He had no idea what the transgender umbrella is.

He could have said what he wanted to say without being hateful and offensive to the trans community. He had a clear agenda and it was to show his hate and disgust for us.

I still think he had a larger agenda which may include creating a war between the GLB and T community in hopes of getting the T removed from GLBT. This would make it much easier for ENDA to pass. This may sound a bit far fetched but after Bil read this article and understood what was said and posted it anyway it makes me really wonder what is going on here. Bil knew this was hate speech and knew it would be incredibly offensive to the trans community and knew it would cause divisiveness.

I honestly have to say that I'm rather disappointed that Ronald's post was removed. I think it showed disrespect to him as an author, and disrespect to the dialogue that people were trying to engage in. It should have been hidden behind "Warning: Triggery and controversial" or whatever. But it should have been left out for everyone to continue arguing in.

I think the whole way this thing has been handled has been disrespectful to everyone involved, most especially the transgender folks like myself, but also Ronald and other LGBT individuals on this site. Frankly, I was really hoping to see Ronald respond to some of our comments on there.

Although you are clearly trying to do some damage control, it continues to be insufficient for me. I'm honestly not sure what more I could have wanted. Perhaps some honesty and acknowledgement of a learning process. Instead I just see bureaucratic actions that seem to want to "make the whining stop" or something. I see no evidence that anyone at Bilerico has learned anything from these events, except how to cover their own asses and piss a lot of people off.

*shrugs* Whatever. For my part, I'm done reading this site on a regular basis and will only be popping in when linked by friends in the future. Good day to you folks. I hope you figure this stuff out.

Seems I've missed all the fuss with Gold's post. With respect, it seems to me freedom of speech is a curious thing in that we like it when it suites us. I appreciate lines have been crossed in many opinions I've read, but I tend to believe the post should be kept up if at least to show its ignorance and to better inform other readers of the issues concerned.

much has been said in the comments of the many different posts about Ron Gold's diatribe about "allies"-- specifically, non-trans LGB (or straight) people who do the right thing by supporting trans people and trans rights, challenging cissexism and transphobia, and educating themselves wherever possible.

I hear some self-identified allies saying that in the case of Ron Gold's post, the trans people are responding with too much anger. can't the trans blog readers cut the editorial team some slack? aren't they worried they'll scare off their noble allies. or worse, turn the allies against trans rights?

I see words like "vitriol" and "hate" used not to describe Ron Gold's words.. but the replies that his words provoked.

how bizarre. there should never be reason to fear that an ally will choose to stop being an ally. what is the purpose of being an ally in the first place?

if the purpose is to earn congratulations when you do the right thing... if the purpose is to have lots of trans people respect you and be nice to you... if the purpose is to maintain the appearance of inclusiveness and progressiveness... if the purpose is self-centered aggrandizement, then yes, I suppose trans people should be afraid to lose their allies. an ally-ego that fragile would be easy to bruise!

but I thought the meaning of being an ally was something quite different. I thought being an ally meant that you acknowledge the myriad oppressions that impact trans people specifically and disproportionately (both among straight and lgb populations). I thought being an ally meant understanding your responsibility to do what's right, regarding trans people. I thought being an ally meant having the humility and strength of character to educate yourself, take responsibility when you hurt trans people, and make change to prevent it from happening again.

in truth I thought there was no such thing as "being" an ally- it's kind of awkward as a noun. I thought being an ally was really about what you DO. specifically, what you do when you've become caught up in cis privilege enough to hurt trans people.

do you retreat, huddle with your non-trans buds, and commiserate about how irate and unreasonable all those comments from trans people are?

or do you acknowledge the severity of your offense, apologize, and change the system to prevent future breach of trust?

is it about you personally... or is it about the community?

Bil;
Thank you to you and th team for reconsidering. It was generous and grand of you and the team to listen to a viewpoint based upon an unfamiliar experience.
Many Thanks;
Maura

Dennis Hambridge | December 13, 2009 1:32 PM

Gay Activists Alliance intl:--
Released 13th December
open to distribution

REF: Article filed by Ronald Gold--The Bilerico Project--10th December 2009

"No" to the notion of transgender

I refer to the article that had been submitted by Ronald Gold, as stated above--Ronald Gold in the past carried out media work for the Gay Activists Alliance in the early 1970s-

Amongst trying to decypher this article and its intentions of creating a discussion --my opinion on this article is that Ronald Gold as delved in to a subject that appears way beyound his scope and qualification

The article mentioned is infactual, in the least to say,an un-informable article with out-dated and un-educated veiws

To even liken Transsexuals or Transgender and other Gender Varient people in contrast to, or of that to people who are Drag Queens and Kings shows how out of date Ronald Golds article and veiws are, Drag Queens and Kings as we know can be people of any gender or sexualality and from all walks of life

Whislt not specifcally stating, Ronald Golds article appears to bring in the subject of Gender Dysphoria, without stating what Gender Dysphoria is or how it relates against that of a young person, boy or girl, that may just be experimenting and enjoying at the time dressing up or playing with the opposite genders clothing or toys (a phase in life)

The article suggests that parents should not seek the help of phychiatrists in the medical proffesion, ---it must be emphasised that this could set a dangerous presidence for any mother, father or carer to follow if they are duly concerned about the well-being of the young person or child

The wording in the final paragraph to that Trans people are "deluded" is uttelry repulsive and a slur on Trans and Gender Varient people who still battle throughout the world for the equality and human rights they so richly deserve and are entitled to, the same as anybody else

The Gay Activists Alliance International (GAAI) is a fully diverse international equality and human rights campaign group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersexual (LGBTI) and other Gender Variant people,we also campaign and hi-light womens rights and the Worlds AIDS Campaign, the GAAI pride themselves on working towards a global non discriminant community.

The GAAI are proud to have singed up to the Global campaign for Trans, Intersexual and Gender Variant peoples equality and human rights

Ronald Golds article expresses views that are clearly outdated--and quite rightly should be whole heartedly condemned, "the veiws in this article borderlines on transphobia"

The GAAI strongly express that the veiws and content of this article are not the veiws of the GAAI

The Bilerico Project quite rightly have sinced removed this article and issued an opoligy, the GAAI would like to suggest for the future, that articles are vetted to ensure that they fit the purpose of what is, to create discussion, however, articles must be based on evidential facts, and fit to their goal "to foster those conversations in order to strengthen us "----and not to divide us

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/12/upon_further_reflection_and_deliberation.php

Quite rightly, Ronald Gold is credited with his work to have Homosexualality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of disorders, however, will loose all creditability writing hogwash articles

for and on-behalf of the GAAI

Dennis Hambridge:-

Dennis Hambridge is co-founder of the Gay Activists Alliance intl, and supports the Transgender Europes (TGEU) campaign " Stop Trans Pathologization goal 2012"

This statement can be viewed on the GAAI website link:-

http://www.gayactivistsalliance.org/articles/34-articles/151-statement-on-ronald-gold-q-noq-to-the-notion-of-transgender.html


MitchInOakland MitchInOakland | December 13, 2009 7:44 PM

There's an elephant in the room! It's the fact that transsexuals (in particular) insist that their bodies (as born) were incorrect: in effect, they insist that they were born with a deformity.

Gay people have been fighting for at least two generations for acceptance of the realization that being gay is NOT a disability -- that it's not in any way a semblance of deformity or dysfunction!

For that matter, I happen to believe (based on my own unique experience) that it would be far wiser to recognize being gay as a choice. As one who abhors hypocrisy, I never lived in the closet, and I started to realize I was gay during a (far better and saner) time when experimentation with sexuality and drugs was accepted and gender boundaries were in the process of dissolving.

I simply realized I was not interested in girls; acceptance of this was a subset of being a hippie, not of feminism. (Given that background, consider my perception of the internalized homophobia implicit in someone who now runs an "m4t" personal ad that says, "Must be passable"! Today's gay trade, tomorrow's trans competition! Talk about hurtful!)

In any event, my experience (however unique, as, incidentally, is everyone's) is that being gay was a choice -- one that I made as a result of experimentation -- one that I'm proud to have made -- as it's a choice any person can and should be proud to make!

Nonetheless, it's a choice that involves the rather fragile notion of accepting one's feelings as consistent with one's body -- society and gender be damned! Yes, calling myself "she" (as anything beyond silliness), on account of my having "deeply feminine" feelings, threatens that fragile identity -- and throwing the neologism "transmisogyny" at me doesn't change that. As trans folk should realize, "sticks and stones can hurt my bones, but names..."

Just don't call me sick or crazy, as trans people have actually done (oblivious to the bitter irony implicit in their doing so)! We live in a crazy world, where I'd be considered sane if I told my mother I'm a girl, but crazy if I denied the notion that time is money. As for science? That, too, is notoriously political, a matter of what questions one asks and of how one defines terms. Trans folk should also know better than to rely on "science."

In any event, enough of "I can't help it, I was born this way." There's nothing trivial about choosing one's identity. Suffice it to say, I believe that's a major factor in how we've reached this impasse.

More relevant here is that -- from issues of "nondisclosure" (i.e., relegitimization of the closet) to those of self-acceptance of a unitary mind/body self -- gay and trans identities are implicitly somewhat opposing viewpoints.

One can be a gay person who's supportive of rights for trans people on human rights or disability grounds, but we're only a single community in the eyes of our enemies.

As for terms like "mutilation" or "delusion," that's obviously someone's perception, and they (as much as those who take issue -- both, incidentally, by way of experience) have a right to express themselves accordingly. Considering someone deluded is not tantamount to being complicit in murder or maiming, and implying that this is the case is nothing short of a smear!

There's an old statement attributed to Voltaire and beloved by civil libertarians: "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

The attempt to stifle certain forms of expression is hurtful, too. Who decided that one should be silenced because expressing a particular view is "hurtful"? Life (from birth trauma onward) can be hurtful, and it's not necessarily because of malice; sometimes it's the result of a genuine difference in lived realities. One such genuine difference involves whether one accepts the reality of a mind/body duality itself -- which is pivotal in accepting the very notion of transsexuality or transitioning.

Deal with it. There is no real "LGBT community." That's life.

Sorry, Bil, but I';m coming to believe that's just how it is. You may someday need to decide which community is yours.

Maybe if they posted something from guest writers like Rick Warren, people might be willing to believe it's all about being a good ally. After all, one can be supportive of gay rights without actually supporting gay rights. And the opinion of the various Christian churches that homosexuality is an abomination is a valid one, though we may disagree with it.

Considering that one is gay and deluded isn't tantamount to being complicit in murder and maiming, is it?

By the way, it isn't the "transsexuals" who want to be part of your GLB party, it's those transgenders. If you want to get rid of us awful transsexuals, you need to get rid of those TG's. Plenty of us will help.

Actually, I am a transsexual that does that.

So much for your statement.

Dennis Hambridge | December 14, 2009 10:36 AM

Trans, Intersexual and Gender Variant freinds

I have read several mails on here that the "T " should be dropped from LGBT (GLBT)

I ask you please to stick with the rest of the best that support your cause in the LGBQ worldwide community--Whilst we Gays in the West are moveing on pretty well with our rights there is so much still to do---, there are just as many in East Europe, Africa,Asia and parts of the Americas who are as far away within there rights as yourselfs

Articles such as this was-- should not divide us in our quest for Global rights for LGBT and other Gender Variant people, and of course womans rights which are so much interlinked with the campaign

May i draw to your attention that the most prolific campaigners for Gay Rights were Trans Activists Sylvia Rae Rivera, Marsha P Johnson along with Bisexual Brenda Johnson along with others at Stonewall 69, The GLF,the GAAI and Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR)

Trans rights are at least 20 years behind the rights of Gays in the West alone--in other continants both Gays and Trans have no rights such as we all where before stonewall 69

Yes many Gays in the West now, seem to adequately forget this and have the "me me me only counts scenario"--but brothers and sisters, thankfully there,s very many more of us who don't think this way, and we together, as did our predecessors, can and will bring that Equality and Human Rights for all--by campaigning together in force


In Solidarity
Dennis Hambridge
Gay Activists Alliance intl
(GAAI)

Karin Fresnel | December 14, 2009 11:54 AM

It would be nice to see Mr. Gold apologize for offending so many trans people and our allies through his misinformed writings. Or is that asking too much?

For that matter an actual sincere apology from Bil seems to me to be in order for not only allowing Mr. Gold's article to be posted in the first place(in violation of his own site's TOS), but also for defending it being posted after the fact.

The above statement By Bil only expresses sorrow for the fact that Mr. Gold's words caused harm but takes no responsibility for enabling those words to be published on this site in in the first place - with the approval and support of the editorial staff and then subsequently defending them until after realizing how genuinely unpopular a move it was.

So what the Bilerico editorial board is saying is that we should celebrate diversity along multiple axioms (you know, that whole rainbow flag that LGBTs love to wave and trade commerce with?), but as long as thoughts behind them are politically correct?

Though Mr. Gold's opinions may not be popular, it's disturbing to see the 80's and 90's fad of silencing, diminishing, and censoring unpopular opinion by GLBT "leaders" that might serve as a catalyst for learning and discussion within the community at large.

Pulling Mr. Gold's piece certainly isn't going to silence him, nor is it likely to change his opinions. The piece has already been screencapped and redistributed to multiple sites. Pretending it didn't happen isn't going to work.

Though we like to pretend that we, as a community, are open and accepting, I've seen as many ugly -isms in my 19 years of being out as I saw when I was closeted--sexism, racism, classism, ageism, body fascism. To sweep people who cling to these isms under the rug does nothing to start needed discussions that we need to have as a community if we're to grow beyond our own inner phobias and hatreds. How can we call the heterosexual community out on its dirty laundry, when our own clothes reek of the colognes we use to hide the smell of our own unlaundered clothes?

Shame, Bilerico, shame...

GrouchyTheGrouch | December 14, 2009 4:54 PM

Thank you for this. I commend you for doing the right thing in the end.

Joanna Tipple | December 14, 2009 6:53 PM

You know, as I read through all the comments, it occurs to me that the point about educating the rest of the world is going to be quite the challenge given the differences of belief, opinions & awareness among the trans community as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and any other gender related identities.
I find the notion as expressed by people who self-identify according to any given criteria somewhat disconcerting that one segment of the LGBTQ community has more validity than any other. (At least this is how some of the posts sound.) If one is oppressed, all are. And even the oppressor suffers from his/her position, although it's not always evident.
Having just attended a conference which addresses the issues that LGBT people face within the church & specifically in the Reformed Church In America, one of the things that most of the presenters and speakers noted was the need to be inclusive. It was pointed out several times that it was an error to just refer to L & G issues w/out also including those faced by B & T & Q people. Just saying.
Further info on that movement can be found at: www.roomforall.org

Dennis Hambridge | December 14, 2009 7:09 PM

Dear Bigbear,i would like to think that the article was pulled because it was infactual and giving out fateful advice.

Most of all against the policy of creating discussion for LGBT tomove forward with their rights and not sideways or backwards

Shame on Ronald Gold for this hogwash of an article

What would have our prolific activists from the GAA thought of it Sylvia Rae Rivera,Marsha P Johnson and Brenda Howard and others would have Zapped him well and good

The reaction to Ronald Gold is as bad as what he wrote.
There was a time when we would sit down with the unenlightened and talk to them, educate them and open their minds in a loving way.
Dr. King, Ghandi, Harvey Milk, Eleanor Roosevelt & Helen Keller were beautiful examples of this.

Now, as per the community's current overall mentality, Ms. Sandeen has formed a lynch mob against Mr. Gold, instead of trying to open his mind.
With each passing day, the lynch mob becomes more vindictive, which only serves to keep Mr. Gold where he is.

I'm seeing this everywhere, in all situations.
For about a year I wrote for Wayne Besen's Truth wins Out site, until Michael Airhart banned me from the site because I spoke out against the rampant fueding and back stabbing that's become our social norm.
At the time this happened, I had interviews with Molly Mc Kay (Marriage Equality USA) and Judy Shepard (Matt's Mom) ready for posting.
Both women talked about healing, reconcilliation and forgiveness, a message that Airhart, and others in the LGBT movement, have no use for.

We have become a mean spirited people. We are so filled with bitterness and hate, so incapable of working together, we can't see that we're keeping ourselves stuck in our third class status.

Thank you for removing Gold's unbelievably privileged and hateful article, but the apology is too little too late. How about next time DON'T publish an article that Others an entire segment of our community in the first place. This cissexual dyke will never read this blog again thanks to Bilerico enabling Ron Gold's bigotry and then offering an "I'm sorry if I offended you" non-apology. Please try to actually live up to your trans-inclusive claims.

Now, as per the community's current overall mentality, Ms. Sandeen has formed a lynch mob against Mr. Gold, instead of trying to open his mind.
With each passing day, the lynch mob becomes more vindictive, which only serves to keep Mr. Gold where he is.

OMFG. It is not the responsibility of the oppressed to educate the oppressor.

Perhaps it is not the responsibility of the oppressed but it may be a good idea to try to educate the oppressor because educating him or her may very well be a large factor in reducing or ending oppression.

Regarding a comment posted above by David Alex Nahmod:

Nahmod was discontinued as a writer for Truth Wins Out due to his inabiity to abide by a reasonable code of conduct:

http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2010/04/8480/

Any more comments about David Nahmod or Truth Wins Out or any of it will now be deleted. It's completely off topic and there's no one reading these but those of you dedicated to arguing the same shit over and over and over again. Enough. Take it elsewhere.