Antonia D'orsay

Making Trouble: Follow Ups - 2

Filed By Antonia D'orsay | March 04, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: homosexual agenda, LGBT, marriage, People wrong on the Internet, political parties, politics, Queer Agenda, Questions, Transawareness

And even more trouble! I'm learning a lot though.

In two earlier columns, I asked 10 simple questions. I laid down some basic rules, and while some folks chose not to follow those basic rules, I got some answers, and I'm still hoping for more.

Learning from people is not always a simple process. You can't just ask one question, you see. You ask one, and then you listen to the answer, and then you ask another question based on that answer. People are different -- as the answers have already shown -- and since I've set aside my own thoughts on this so far, I'm able to pay close attention.

So, now it's once again follow-up time. I'm still learning from you, the readers, and I'm interested in what you have to say. So here are some more questions for you, based on the answers that were given in the first one.

This is also the second of four follow-ups. There have been additional posts on the subject (all of them making trouble) as well. I will wrap it up with an overview of what you all have taught me and my own perspective on things -- both before, and after -- shortly.

I will stipulate a few rules to this process. I realize some people dislike that even as a merest suggestion, but I think it's important as people need to do it. I'm not changing the rules, either.

A. I'm not going to comment on the posting. I'm learning from you. One of the things some people have said is that I don't listen to others, that I don't give them a shot. Well, this is that chance.

B. Don't critique or criticize another poster's responses. That's going to be hard. In fact, that's going to be damn hard given the questions I'm going to ask.

C. Answer the questions. No vacillating, no talking about subjects that are germane but not part of the actual answer. No guessing about what I mean in asking them, and don't worry about what I might think or others might think about your answers. There's no sinister motive behind this, and if you think the questions are some kind of trap, well, as far as I'm concerned, you have some issues with paranoia.

D. This is just about the questions. Not me, not other commenters, not Bilerico, not some greater good or lesser evil, not about who did what to whom with that where and if they enjoyed it or not. Just the questions.

And now, the questions:

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT?

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts?

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group?

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"?

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man?

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"?

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population?

9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

10. What have you done today to change the world?

Lastly, my personal deep appreciation and gratitude to those who answered the last set. I'm hoping that many of you (and more people, as well) will have the patience to put up with me while I ask you more questions.

Thank you, for helping me to learn.


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Eric Payne | March 4, 2010 3:36 PM

Sigh...

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT?

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts?

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group?

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"?

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man?

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"?

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population?

9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

10. What have you done today to change the world?

1. Nope. It's going to happen - there's a lot of different viewpoints that are being squelched in the name of "harmony" and "safe places." The owners of those viewpoints are getting pissed off that their opinions are simply being banished by other persons who believe they are in control. I think the HRC is doing more to break apart the "community" then they've ever done in "unification of the community."

2. Yeah. Sure. Try it. As much as I dislike the "majority rules!" certain political parties are attempting to drape over Constitutional protections, the simple fact is gay men represent the largest number of private donors to the political party of Our Fierce Advocate from the "community." It's that bloc that to which any feeble attempts at legislative appeasement are directed.

3. Anyone who thinks dermal pigmentation is a barrier to being a "LGBT community member" has far more serious problems that need to be addressed before they need to worry about who is, or isn't, "in" that community.

4. Yes. No. It's not vacillation, it's entirely dependent on the circumstances of that experience. Does a fully transitioned woman have the same experiences at discrimination as an open gay man - if that woman has completely changed her life (including relocation), divorced herself from her previous life, and the persons in her life now are completely unaware of the circumstances of her life prior to her transition? Of course not, and she shouldn't try to equate the two. Ditto for any GLBs who've experienced absolutely no hardships in their life for being gay, lesbian or bisexual.

5. Privilege? Oh... how about creating words and then insisting others use those words to describe themselves because it suits the person(s)/group(s) who created those words?

Specifically, I refer to the use of the "term" of "cis." It is not a recognized definition of any sexuality/sexual orientation in any lexicon, outside of the trans community... where the term was simply created by a trans man because he felt it wasn't fair he could be forever labeled as "trans" but non-trans persons couldn't be labeled, apparently never realizing just how arrogant his posture is.

6. There's that "cis" again. Since the use of the word indicates, to me, an arrogant question, I'll respond in kind: of that "straight trans woman" attempts to hide behind "straight," there's a world of difference, though I wouldn't expect the arrogant to be aware of it.

7. They can attempt to not make their comments "all about them," while simultaneously screaming that all people - not just gays, lesbians and bisexuals - are "trans" because, at some point in their childhood, they probably played with toys that good marketers had convinced consumers were "gender specific." If Barbie has a Wonder Woman outfit, is she suddenly no longer a doll but, instead, an action figure? If Superman is wearing his Clark Kent outfit, is he now a doll meant for girls?

8. Homosexually oriented men (as opposed to men who engage in homosexual sex): 4 to 5%. Homosexually oriented women (as opposed to women who engage in homosexual sex): About the same percentage. Bisexually oriented persons (including those who engage in homosexual and heterosexual sex, either separately or simultaneously): Between 45 and 48%. Transvestites (those who wear clothing marketed to their opposite gender for reasons of enhancement of sexual pleasure, including persons identified as bisexually or homosexually oriented): 15 to 20%. Transsexuals who don't wish to transition (including persons self-identified as homosexually oriented)/Transsexuals who seek hormonal therapy (including persons self-identified as homosexually oriented)/Transsexuals who fully transition (including persons self-identified as homosexually oriented): Less than 2%.

9. Because "spokespeople" elevate themselves above everyone else via their soapbox; they then make absolutely ridiculous assertions, refusing to consider the possibility their assertions are completely ridiculous. To those persons, if they have a handful of other persons who agree with them - then they are "right" and those persons - however vast that number may be - are to be, simply, ignored and have their viewpoints ignored.

10. I don't have a responsibility to the world. I have a responsibility to me and to my spouse/husband/lover/domestic partner/longtime companion/really good roommate/really good friend/fuck buddy/etc.

So, to make my world better: I've shopped online for the lowest retail price I can find for a major appliance in our household that needs replacement; I've paid some bills; I've taken my life sustaining medication; I've laid out my dinner menu for this evening; I've spoken with a sister who just became a grandmother (again), and a cousin who was due to become a mother (again) yesterday, and has been having a difficult third trimester.

Antonia, I hope it wont skew things, but I want to address only two of the questions. You wrote:

"9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

10. What have you done today to change the world?"

No. 9: Because we are not a homogenous group. We are liberal and conservative and white and black and female and male and trans and young and old and just about any other distinction you can think of. And just like in larger society, we invariably split into sub groups of one kind or another because everyone else "just arent our kind of folk", as one of the GOProud people said in an interview shortly before CPAC. And sometimes, frankly, we bring those divisions onto ourselves, regardless of the consequences. For example (and I cite this only as a piece of our (in this case) gay and lesbian history, the genesis of the tradition that has Dykes on Bikes riding first in any Pride Parade.

In the very early 1970s (I think 1972, but I could be mistaken), when I was part of the small organizing committee that was putting together that year's NYC Pride Parade, it was suggested that the order of contingents be determined completely by lot. Every group got a number, and those numbers would in turn be drawn out of a real, honest-to-God hat. And the order drawn was to be the order of the parade...

... except for Dykes on Bikes who loudly declared they werent going along with it, and that if they didnt go first, they'd make sure no lesbian contingent appeared in the parade at all. The meeting came to a complete standstill, followed by several minutes of shouting amongst the various groups. In the end, the committee caved, and thus the "tradition" was born.

I'm sure someone somewhere can find a justification for that, but for the life of me, I cant. And it coloured my feelings about the lesbian community for years. I've gotten over it and moved on, but I have to admit a real twinge of disrepect when I see them still leading the parades. There was no need for it. It was a completely selfish move.

Another example, just so I can be an equal-opportunity reporter on this. Some years later, now the mid 80s, I worked on an all-volunteer GLBT newspaper in a large Canadian city. We turned out a good product, far superior to the bar rags, but the people in charge of collecting money from advertisers were doing a terrible job... until this straight guy stepped up, took charge of the books and the accounts, and got us virtually everything we were owed. Without him, the paper would have disappeared.

The response to this? A meeting of the entire staff *except for the straight guy*... in which it was discussed whether or not we should even have someone heterosexual working on the paper, to the point where someone brought in (I'm not kidding here) a large blackboard, drew a line down the middle, and proceeded to write the "pro" reasons on one side and the "nay" ones on the other. Ultimately, it was decided he could stay, but the man was so furious that he said "Screw this bullshit" and left.

The paper subsequently shut down... for the very reason he worked so hard to address.

But that seems to be how things get done sometimes. I've seen organizing committees for everything from dances to rodeos to AIDS committees fall apart because one sub-group thinks another sub-group is getting something they're not. And automatically any sense of community flies right out the window. We dont talk *to* each other. We talk *at* each other -- and frankly I'm sick of it, which is why I am very selective as to who I donate services to now. I dont need the bullshit.

So what have I done to change the world? Damn little, I suppose. My little cartoon, which isnt read much it seems, does its bit to point out some of the disconnects in our North American society, in the vain hope that maybe someone somewhere will see it and respond. But these days, I guess my world-changing comes from much smaller acts of anonymous kindness, something all of us can do if we just care enough. These days, that seems to be about the best any of us can do.

Chitown Kev | March 4, 2010 4:06 PM

Your answer to #9 reminded me of something.

As far as the solidarity, that's always been true of LGBT communities. Even Magnus Hirschfeld noticed in 1927 that gay communities seem to have a very difficult time in building coalitions for "basic rights." So that aspect that you note is nothing new at all.

The exact Hirschfeld quote is in one those gay history books; I think it's the one by Eric Marcus.

And Weimar Germany would seem as homogenous as you can get according to those categories that you cite, Sean.

I have wondered at times if that whole "knifing in the back" thing is attached to that gay gene.

Nah. The *human* gene. Gayness has no corner on that one.

Skeptical Cicada | March 4, 2010 3:54 PM

Drop the "I'm just learning b.s.." Your leading questions are your own commentary.

Take #2: Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

Wow, you can rephrase a standard trans-activist meme into a question and pretend to be genuinely interested in opinions. Whatever!

The short answer to this silly meme is that legislation protecting gay women but not gay men is unconstitutional. Government can't provide one set of legal rights for women and a different set for men anymore. But since that isn't relevant to your rhetorical point, that's non-responsive to your question isn't it?

So you are aware, there is no BS involved here, and as a point unrelated, yes, that is indeed an answer to the question.

Thank you. Could I bother you to answer the others?

Eric Payne | March 4, 2010 9:25 PM

Did someone not read her own rules concerning commentary, Toni?

And you wonder what the beef is some have with you....

I was asked a question, Eric. I did not make a commentary on the post.

Eric Payne | March 4, 2010 10:38 PM

Look again.

So you are aware, there is no BS involved here, and as a point unrelated, yes, that is indeed an answer to the question.

Thank you. Could I bother you to answer the others?

Not only did you not "just answer" a question, you managed to be snarky in your closing statement.

Whatever, though. You're simply proving adept at being a politician, I suppose.

There was no snark involved there, Eric.

That is not true. The Lesbian community has a number of housing, healthcare and childcare issues that many feel have been lost in an agenda largely determined by another group.

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT?

We all have free will

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

You are

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts?

No, because there is no table.

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group?

It already has, therefore the answer is yes.

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"?

I did not see this movie.

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man?

They would have different DNA.

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"?

By speaking intelligently

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population?

I don't need the census to find out

9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

I have never knifed anyone, maybe you did

10. What have you done today to change the world?

I answered your questions, and I said "Antonia, why does it feel like you don't have core beliefs?"

I don't know, Geena. I don't read minds or feelings via the internet.

Perhaps you could explain to me why you feel that way?

Part of doing this does involve you being able to ask me questions -- watch next week.

Just as a clarification for some people:

This is not BS. I am indeed learning. That you would assume otherwise is you making an assessment about me, as a person, without knowing me or my ways of being.

The questions are not leading. You are most welcome to see them that way, however, I ask the questions based on responses and things that I wonder about. Asking questions is critical in a situation where one wants to learn -- and even more critical in the effort to communicate with another person to avoid making errors.

As I noted in the rules -- this is not about me. This is about the answers, the community, the things that we have floating out there in the aether that should be asked openly, instead of whispered and avoided.

As I told a friend of mine recently, who was being a bit circumspect -- be direct. And avoid assumptions about other people and their motives.

Wolfgang E. B. Wolfgang E. B. | March 4, 2010 5:57 PM

"9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?"

I don't have a clue. Until a few years ago, I was living in denial of my transness and gayness, so, for most of my life I've been completely isolated from the rest of the queer (intended as the all-inclusive alternative term to the alphabet soup) community.

Being fresh out of the closet, and deep in the heart of small-town flyover territory, I don't have any scars from the inter-community rivalry, so my attitude about it might seem glib, or arrogant, or perhaps just ignorant. But I just don't understand why we queers can't just learn about each other, stop bickering and trying to exclude groups we don't quite understand, and finally--unite. As a fully united community, we could be so incredibly powerful. It sends chills up my spine just thinking about it.

Sorry I missed the other 2. Stuff.

1. No, we have choice. The opposition sees us as all the same.

2. Gay men have the most privilege and access to money. And at the same time gay male sex is what weirds people out. So, they have the power of the headline. Yes, it bothers me that women often aren't part of the story. But what's more important to me is that the letter of the law changes. And if that means spending more time arguing that gay men can be masculine and gay men aren't pedophiles, then so be it.

Put another way, I recognize that there are internal problems in the LGBT community. We're not all experiencing the same levels of privileges and disadvantages. But I don't think we have to think of each other as being in each other's way. I try not to. I try to remember that the biggest hurdle is not us against us, it is us against the rest of society.

3. Of course. LGBTs come in all colors, classes and everything. Or are you asking if they do in practice? I mean in theory they should, but I don't see it in practice.

4. Yes. I don't have much to add to that because it seems like a no-brainer.

5. I think it's really hard to measure privilege among LGBTs. I mean, you can get a general sense from one section of the community to another, but by individual there are many variables. Some of us pass, some of us don't. Some do intentionally, some can't pass if they tried. And sometimes geography makes a difference. My invisible knapsack can change from one moment to the next. And maybe a privilege I can't always count on isn't really a privilege at all.

6. To cis straight people? Probably not a lot. To each other? Probably everything.

7. Timing. I'm not talking about waiting. But I mean taking turns. Gay people get angry too. And sometimes I think we just get caught in each other's crosshairs. I can elaborate, but I'm trying to keep it short. Trying.

8. 6%-12%

9. Because we're constantly suspicious of each other's motives. The Dykes on Bikes go first because they're on motorcycles and it's harder to start and stop on a bike. Feet up, go, stop, feet down, hold bike up, repeat is what they'd have to if they were behind another group. Yet people are suspicious about why they go first. Sometimes it's just a matter of what's practical.

10. I dunno, lived to fight another day.

1 is supposed to be we have no choice. I guess I could proof read.

Dawn Dickinson | March 4, 2010 8:17 PM

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT?

Politic, politics. Splitting apart depends upon many factors playing out as we speak, er, write. But in particular, ENDA. How and where Trans people are or are not included will have a huge impact on at least the amount on association there will be in the future. Meaning, that some trans folk will still want to stay with the group, while a seemingly large number might bale. Then again this is dependent on how overly involved in the LGBT identification and association one is, in the first place. After this overly long diatribe my answer is, not necessarily, but, maybe.

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

Perhaps it goes to threat? Perhaps it's simply perception. Even though it would appear that there is more biological based evidence as to T origination vs. LG&B (and I do not state so, based upon any supremacy type of connotation), Transgender may still be perceived as somehow, not as credible. As a threat to the very fabric of the bi-gendered world. Whereas Gay men or Lesbian women tend to be perceived as a more accepted variation of the norm. Therefore if you're a Gay man, you'll still have a level of legitimacy as a person in need of recognition and rights (still doesn't imply that it's going to happen though).

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts?

Well, of course they do. Discrimination is discrimination, and it doesn't matter who's discriminating. It just matters the type. Bigot's should not be tolerated. Oh, wait, that's discriminating, isn't it? Well, we should allow for discriminating against bigotry.

People of color have just as much (and maybe more) at stake in ending the bias as anyone of us that are not of color.

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group?

You know, I read peoples responses to our comparison in our fight for rights and recognition for trans people (or LGBT) as to what women and people of color experienced in the last and prior centuries went through. It seems the majority of people would like to think and believe there is no similarity to be shown. They are flat out wrong. There is every similarity of what we experience in discrimination as to what LG&B's have experienced and what other sexual and ethnic minorities have experienced. Oppression discriminates no matter the group.

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"?

Freedom to obtain, live, enjoy and love with out fear, concern or consideration for who you are.

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man?

A gay man is still a man and always will be a man. A trans woman never was a man. Even though some people thought she was. That's a pretty huge difference. What else is there, hhmmm............maybe I better not go there.........

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"?

I think a little civil disobedience is a good thing! If that makes us angry or vitriolic maybe that should be defined by the level of such and the venue in which it is displayed. Out on a street corner, out side of the building in which the DSM is being debated would be a good place to show some vitriol. No one is going to take notice otherwise.

In a city council meeting, quite a different story and decorum is necessary. Everyone intrinsically knows what respect is. Both when they have it, when they're getting it and when they're giving it. When attending such functions, as much as we feel we should yell and scream, it only serves to make our opponents gleeful. So if you want to be seen as not being the angry trans******, having respect for others even when you are not receiving same is only to our benefit!

Having the facts.

Giving qualified examples.

Not speaking from sheer conjecture.

Being prepared for the exercise.

Having well mannered respect.

These are always the best ways to get the most positive effect from anyone that you have a disagreement with.

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population?

You know, until we are included in the U.S.Census, we're never really going to have an answer to that one. My personal opinion is that the real number is far greater than what is the current main stream estimate at anywhere from 1 to 3%. I'll take a wild guess and put it at 6 to 9%. Either way, your talking about significant numbers.

9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

Agenda's! With ego's as a driving factor. Plain and simple.

10. What have you done today to change the world?

Well, let's see. Today I answered your questions. Attended to my local Trans health council issues. Posted positive responses on Susan's. Brought my wife home safe, happy and healthy from the hospital. And, made some customers happy! Oh, and took my aging Brittany Spaniel for a ride! Not a bad day.

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT?

There is always a choice.

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

They control the gay media, hold a majority of positions of importance, and have greater access to money. They also complain so much it would be pointless to do so.

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts?

Yes.

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group?

In the same ways that "all oppression is the same" - so not really in anything but the most universal "discrimination is bad" kinda way

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"?

privilege is the assumption that what you feel/experience/understand is correct/right/normal/expected and anyong who does not share these is strange/wrong/making things up/over-sensitive/doesn't "get it"

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man?

Everything and nothing (ominous music)

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"?

By lying or minimizing the issues to placate cis people's feelings and tip-toeing around problems while stroking egos. Think NOW and HRC -

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population?

Are we including LUGs and DL guys?

9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

Easier targets, and we know where the soft spots are. Because society requires a "good" member of a group to act as a bull dog and attack the uppity ones.

10. What have you done today to change the world?

Lived authentically and without apology. Refused again to validate the homophobia of another man who was worried that wanting me made him gay.

GayHermit | March 4, 2010 9:03 PM

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT? Yes. We can make the decision not to and learn to work together and gain equality for all our tribe members.
2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation? There are. There are various members of the Trans* community that have suggested such. Here at Bilerco.
3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts? Yes. All of our tribe members deserve equality.
4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group? Yes. Any success that is achieved can be used as a model for the next group to achieve a similar success. Ideally success would be achieved for all tribe members, so that there is no need to go back and pick up a left behind group.
5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"? Not sure exactly what you mean by this (which might be an indication of my privilege level), but here it goes. Privilege is what some people use to make things easier for themselves and harder for those who do not have it. The use of privilege is not always a conscious thing, as you can't actively use something that you are not aware of having. (If I am not even in the ballpark with this one, it would be nice to know.)
6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man? It depends on where you are trying to place the two people. There could be a number of different answers based on how one chooses to categorize them.
7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"? I don't know. I am not sure whether it would be a good idea to even do so as you can only get most peoples attention by pushing them out of their comfort zones. Even after doing that, getting them to think proves to be an even bigger challenge.
8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population? I still use the idea of the 10% club. I haven't done any research to try and change that view at this time. (Although I will admit to hearing others give different numbers based on other information.)
9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back? We shouldn't be doing that, but we do for the following reasons. We are a very diverse and competitive tribe and the drive to win is programmed into a lot of us by society. We are doing to each other what the mainstream does to us and itself (more of following societies rules). Who else can we take our anger and frustration out on without hurting our chances to gain equality for the tribe?
10. What have you done today to change the world? Today I have not done anything to change the world. I have planned a few things, plotted out some future actions and thought of things that are different, but have produced no tangible things that I can show have changed the world. {Much to my personal irritation and disappointment. However I am aware that it is extremely challenging for one person to significantly change the world on a daily basis.} ;-)

Eric Payne | March 4, 2010 9:28 PM

Three times, Antonia, you've violated your own rules concerning commentary on postings - regardless of whether you were asked a question or not in a person's posting, you could have - and should have - adhered to your own rules, and answered that person's question in a subsequent posting.

And you wonder why someone said it seems you have no core beliefs; you can't even be bothered to believe/act as if you believed in a forum in which you created the rule.

There isn't a "Transgender Community". There are more communities than most people would think possible and gthe fighting between these communities makes anything Toni has said appear mild.

As a post-SRS female I'd like to cut loose from the whole idea of trans. I don't because I believe in human rights and equality in spite of having self appointed transgender spokes people steam roller over any attempts to just get the reality of multiple communities recognized.

Often times the agenda of non-op transgender folks is contradictory to the goals of post-SRS transsexual folks.

And I agree regarding the silliness of "cis" although I use it in writing.

I don't see any BS in this. However, I do see the constant flow of endless postings belaboring on the same subjects over and over and over as a way to position yourself as the new Bilerico "House Tranny," be it intentional or not. (An affectionate term in this case.) After all, they haven't had a trans person on the editorial staff in what seems to be decades.

Monica would make an excellent "House Tranny", she presents and knows what she believes in, then ties it to a political and legal action agenda, which she carries out with others or on her own in necessary.

1)Yes there is a choice.

2)Because it is the largest demographic that we have in the community especially from the perspective of hetero-normative society. When most non-LGBT people think of LGBT they think first of a young effeminate whit male.

3)Currently in many cases, no. It is like when I was a little boy and we would be told to set another place at the table or make room for someone at the table. We have to do that and set another place at the table. I think that people often fall into a zero sum view of this stuff and see it like a mythic round table with a limited number of places. If a place goes to a new person then an old person looses a place. It simply is not that like those mythic tables limited to 12 disciples or 12 knights. We should intentionally expand the table and our ideas of who sits at the table.

4)Yes, because heteronormative society groups us together in many ways. We are excluded from many of the same sets of privileges. Straight students at Earlham College did an UtK II in which they identified straight privileges and that list covers things that most of us have experienced. This gives us common experiences and common cause and because of it we can uses the experiences of one part of the group to help another part of the group.

5)It is like rowing in a river with the current and not realizing that the river is already going your way. A thousand little things through the day in the way that the world responds to you.

6)The obvious is that they have different genders and orientations. I would myself be more interested in the similarities.

7)That is going to need a two pronged approach. One prong is simple and something that we all have to remind ourselves to do and that is to speak calmly and reasonably. The other prong has to do with listening on the part of those being spoken too. I think that at least as much and most likely more than half of this issue is perception on the part of the listener and a willingness to project past experiences and stereotypes into the current situation. There is an idea of the 'angry trans person' and that idea colours the way many of us listen and to some extent the way in which some people speak.

8)I am not familiar with any solid figures with which I am comfortably positive are accurate.

9)Ideas of a zero sum game. So we growl at anyone who seems to be coming up to the bowl. And also because many of us have been oppressed and so we learned how to oppress and it allows is to find someone to be better than.

10)Finalized new policies for a Drum Corps of which I am a new director. These policies will insure that I can provide a safe accepting atmosphere where there will be a way to respond to bigotry of all types.

Chitown Kev | March 5, 2010 12:00 PM

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT? Yes.

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation? Well, if you drop the "T" from legislation, then I would assume that you are talking about trans gay men as well.

So I would assume that you are talking about cis gay men and they do have the most power and influence withing the communty for a variety of reasons.

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts? Of course.

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group? Not understanding this; are you saying to fight for the rights of another group within OR outside of the LGBT (i.e. racial/ethnic minorities, the disabled, etc.)

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"? Privilege is the societal definition of "normal."

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man? Let me come back to this one.

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"? At least in the initial "conversation", by understanding that not everyone who is "cis" understands where the trans community is coming from.

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population? 6-8%, though not all of them would identify as such when asked.


9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back? See Sean's Martin's answer.

10. What have you done today to change the world? Answered these questions for one, but I hope this isn't the last thing that I do today.

Angela Brightfeather | March 5, 2010 1:52 PM

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT?

I don't think so. I think it is counterproductive to even think that it could be done at this point. On most points and issues we fight together and have for some time. I just don't see any one peron or group succeeding in splitting it apart. They tried doing it with ENDA and got a hwole lot of United ENDA stuff socked at them. The general consensus is that we are better of fighting together than apart, even though we may not understand each other fully.

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

The question here is, for what purpose? I might expect someone of our tradtional enemies like FOF trying that just to create a wedge, but I don't think anyone in the GLBT community would take such a thing seriously. Slap-em around a bit when they get uppity, but generally, their are great bunch of guys.

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts?

Of course they do and we would probably find out that they not only have a place, but would also be ideal at doing more leading in this movement if they are given more of a chance instead of being disregarded as they ahve been. I do think that they have to get their collective issues together and get the CBC to stop listening to their ministers as much though.

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group?

I think that GLBT people of color is an excellent example of this. they ahve been fighting discrimination more openly than GLBT people have and for years longer. They know how to lock arms and march for a cause and make people listen to them.

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"?

This is far to far ranging a subject to write about here. To say that it is inherent in every group that thinks that they are "better than" is obvious. The amount that they press the issue and succeed in making others believe they are better than others is the measure of discrimination on others.

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man?

Besides the fact that this questions sounds like a knock-knock type joke....I'd have to ask if the straight Trans woman is pre or post op first in order to provide the right context for a comparison.

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"?

If people listened to them, they could do it more quietly, I guess. But to be more positive about this, they could be asked to speak out at more open forums and meetings, rather than have to stand outside and hold up signs and picket to be heard.

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population?

Until we get an accurate question on the census about this or we ask questions about it on exit polling, I doubt that we will know with any degree of certainty. But if I had to guess, I would say that 8 to 10% are gay, bisexual or lesbian, and about 5% are Transgender full or part time and 8% are gender diverse.

9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

I think it is because we are oppressed so badly that we can only find people inside the GLBT to climb on to make ourselves feel better about not being on the bottom of societies totem pole.

10. What have you done today to change the world?

Today I sent some emails out to the Trans groups I know in NC so they know about Bilerico's offer to help them lobby in DC. I just bought a new storm water re-use system being used as a pilot project for water conservation, that I have to install in the new Department of Energy and Natural Resources project here in downtown Raleigh, NC. Tonight I will be talking to a few chaplains in the military who are advising me on a project to help Trans people in the military services on active duty.

1. Do we have a choice about splitting apart the LGBT?

There is always a choice.

2. Why isn't anyone talking about dropping gay men from legislation?

Would there be any benefit to such a thing?

3. Do people of color have a place at the table in LGBT efforts?

I can't see why skin colour and/or culture should matter.

4. Can the experiences of one part of the LGBT be used to fight for the rights of a different group?

We all draw on previous experiences of fighting for rights.

5. What is privilege, in the sense of oppression and the "invisible knapsack"?

Sorry, I don't understand the question, and I haven't a clue with that "invisible knapsack" is.

6.What is the difference between a straight trans woman and a gay cis man?

A straight trans woman is a woman who finds men sexually attractive. A gay cis man is a man who finds men sexually attractive. So the difference would be that one is a woman and the other is a man.

7. How can trans people speak out on active oppression without seeming "angry" or "vitriolic"?

Don't be angry or vitriolic! If we stick to issues, and elucidate them calmly, then there's no room for anger or vitriol.

8. How many LGBT do you think there are as a percentage of the US population?

Since the census has never asked about sexual orientation or gender identity, any answer I give would be complete guesswork. And just as a reminder, some of us live outside the United States.

9. Why do we spend so much time knifing each other in the back?

Do we? I know I don't. I can't answer for others.

10. What have you done today to change the world?

Don't we all change the world in some way just by existing? As for the kind of change you're asking about, today I've been working, and my company produces products that help students with research and learning. It's not much, but it's what I do.

1. No, the split will not happen. As grrl stated, we are united by being hated as near equals

2. L and G are well within most of America's (include both North and South America) majority difference tolerance as being human. Why drop one of the two tolerated groups. The BT may be seen as deal breakers, because their additional strange appearances or behaviors approach or cross the limits of that tolerance. Separate differences add up in the public mind. The more differences, the less tolerance. Let a transsexual be homely, fat and blessed with a speech impediment and quite a few folk will not tolerate her or him as human and worthy of human rights.

3. Of course, but color is viewed as another difference.

4. If the experiences can be labeled as shared human experience, yes.

5. If I use my once male name and appearance, I can present new ideas all over the world in many forums. If I use my female name, my access is more limited, my ideas are challenged. If my trans status is noted then my access is severely restricted, and my ideas dismissed without review. I have a progressively smaller knapsack of privilege.

6. Less than one hundred thousandth of a percent. Yet, that small amount is culturally amplified to seem significant.

7. We can not. Our position as outliers or near outliers makes our smallest voices seem loud and threatening. Visible tears, a trembling but upright posture recall our shared human experience and make us more acceptable. I have learned to rely on the kindness of strangers.

8. About 30%

9. We have accepted the common lie that there is a limited amount of pie, that there are a limited number of niches in the business, social and physical world.

10. I gave blood.

Number 6 is a very good question for people in the GLBT to ponder. It's interesting that the only comments in this thread that start to make any sense on that topic come from gay men, and just about everything from the "trans" commenters is evasive if not outright confused.

Gay men have a large stake in knowing and demonstrating the difference, maybe that's behind it. They need to develop a body of knowledge on the subject to relate to the general public, thanks to the blending of transgender and gay by activists and other wannabe politicians. You can lay that at the feet of GLBT-style group identity politics. And that is one of the many reasons why GLBT will be replaced by something that actually works in the coming years. It is corrosive to the human condition to have your individuality destroyed for the convenience of those who play in the crony political system.

Yes, there are biological differences that are real and demonstrable. Perhaps the reason so many of the "trans"(-gender) oriented comments are less than forthcoming about the differences is that they themselves don't see them. This tells you a lot about who they are. If you are transsexual you know the difference, there is no confusion. Gay men, if they are forced to think about it, also know that they are not transsexual if they have been given an accurate description of what transsexual is. Of course when confronted with an insult, many gay men knee jerk react to being told they are part woman, and thus a lesser form of man. This connection of transsexual to gay is damning both groups.

This is part of the reason why transgender types make poor spokespeople for transsexual issues- and I think gay men are starting to understand a bit of what transsexual people have been going through not that some transgender types are claiming to speak for gays on the basis of "gender variance". Maybe now more people will understand how frustrating it is to have untuths spoken in your name, and then to be silenced by political correctness.

If this sort of thing was allowed to go on for long, though it won't with gays, eventually what you would see is a gradual erasure of your born human condition and its replacement by soft psuedo-philosophy. Then you would hear the public saying things like "why can't you just act straight and marry a woman since its totally a choice"?

To deconstruct transgender, you have to avoid the confusion caused by the common practice of using different meanings for transgender interchangeably (often in the same paragraph). You have to separate the two most common aspects that are purposefully mixed: Transgender is a political belief, and transgender is also a label taken by individuals to describe their own behavior. The two concepts usually exist in the same person, but keeping them in perspective is essential to understanding what is going on and how it impacts gay men and lesbian women and their struggle for equal rights.

Those who use transgender to replace other, more distasteful words for themselves often want to believe they were born transsexual, much as they want to believe they were born intersex. Society heaps a lot of shame on certain behaviors, and the pressure to escape that is . It's not right that society does this, but it's not going to change as long as escapist behavior meets crony politics as it does in the GLBT under the rubric of transgender.

As gays are now seeing, it is completely possible for transgender, queer, to replace your actual biological state in the public mind. That is why people don't know that there is such a thing as a transsexual biological condition, and that is also why so many transgender people don't understand the differences between themselves and transsexuals. Some do and seek to erase the truth, but most don't and are simply misinformed by certain people with an agenda. That's how transgender became a self-perpetuating phenomenon.

It's going to be a difficult task to overthrow this tyranny of mutant political correctness gone wrong. This version of PC is the single largest weapon in the TG's arsenal, and it's previous less-mutant form has been entrenched in GLBT culture. This is another distinction that needs to be understood- the difference between doing what is right and good by other people, and the outright silencing of unpopular speech. Funny (strange, not ha ha) how things run full circle and come back to bite you in the end. It's a bit insidious too, isn't it?