Antonia D'orsay

Making Trouble: Trust, part one

Filed By Antonia D'orsay | March 15, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Creating Change conference, employment non-discrimination, ENDA, feminism, Lobby Day, Mattachine Society, NGLTF, trans, trans agenda, trans awareness, transgender, transsexual

This is part of the Making Trouble series, although it takes a different tack as I get ready to end it this week. This time, I talk about differences between now and several months ago.

Trust.

It's been just shy of 16 months since I last tackled this concept in depth here at Bilerico, when a comment of mine was turned into an experimental posting.

It was 14 months after what is likely the single greatest error ever made by a major LGBT organization, and the Trans community was still very much on edge, still very much feeling the sting of it. And in that comment, I talked about some stuff related to trans people in the LGBT movement in a manner that I've not spoken of lately.

I'm feeling fairly reflective of late, so I figured I'd take a look back and see what all has changed in those 16 months.

The video that the HRC made for the Transgender Day of Remembrance is still a cool video. It's still outstanding. It's the sort of thing in many ways that trans folk are waiting to see on television shows and in movies.  It is also still the outside looking in, and it is still made by the HRC.

The HRC is still seen as an opponent by many trans people -- they are still an enemy.

They are a useful enemy, but they still have a long way to go to regain even the little bit of trust they had back then, that they hurled out the window in a few short weeks. The anger and fury has subdued a bit -- but that's because the HRC is far more subdued and has avoided overtly pissing off the trans community.

That was the wrong thing to do.

They have still been working towards things which are positive -- the HRC Corporate Equality Index is a big deal, in most ways, really, and trans folk are encouraged to see stuff like the changes they are making happen.  We are impatient, yes, but we've waited 40 years for things to come back full circle, and we aren't really pleased with delays.

Most transfolk do still believe that the HRC sits around and thinks "What can we do to co-opt the Trans community for HRC's benefit?". We are, however, aware of Allyson Robinson, and those of us who have met her have had some of that edge taken off of that anger that's still there.  She's an awesome woman that way.

But these days we also think the HRC is very much aware of how much damage they did, and so we also add a caveat to that thought above: "And how can we do it without creating even more problems?".  There is great suspicion, in other words, an outcome of the sense of betrayal of trust and hope that roared through the trans community following the ENDA debacle.

In the time sense then, the trans community has indeed done what was asked of us by Rep. Frank -- in spades.  We have educated. We have spoken out. We have made ourselves visible. We have engaged to a level above and beyond the expectations of many.

And in the process of doing that education, of speaking out, of being visible, we have encountered people telling us we are "too angry".  Usually with a flippant dismissal or a harsh statement, always forgetting that we have a very real reason to be angry that comes from 12 years of being a bargaining chip, and when we even whisper something unusual or different or we stand up and say we are to be included, we are told all manner of things that always boil down to a simple "get back in your place and be quiet".

Right now, many on the Trans community are talking about changes to ENDA -- rumors and questions are flying about, and people aren't sharing sources or speaking openly of how they know these things. And one of the things you generally won't see asked in very public places is the question that Gives an opportunity for HRC to begin repairing the broken relationship it has: What's HRC doing?

What are they doing about ENDA?  Are they staying away from it?  Are they supporting changes to stuff dealing in trans people?  Are they opposing changes to the Trans language?

We want to know, and I'll tell ya, right now, the answers in the Trans community are never positive when it comes to them.  They could do a great deal by stating the oppose changes to ENDA, and that it needs to be inclusive -- even though, when they say it, people will immediately suspect they are lying and there will be a lot of stuff said as people begin to expect the worse.

Now, if HRC doesn't lie and does those things -- publicly, and using a mouthpiece other than the one that most trans folk will never have a positive word about -- then they can start to rebuild their image in the trans community.

And that's important to do, as the fight over ENDA is absolutely going to be about Trans issues.  The hold up is over trans stuff.  Our opponents are already gearing up for the attack against trans folk. The rumors are all about bathrooms and erasure and they are not pleasant ones and they are indeed pissing us off.

Yes, we have our own internal fighting going on -- subtle under the table accusation about X person doing Y because of Z made by person A and enthusiastically agreed to by person B. We are not immune to issues of one person disliking another person -- put a large number of trans activists in a room together and there will be some pretty nasty fights over different things.

But keep this in mind:  trans folk overwhelmingly support ENDA.  Even the crippled version that's currently under discussion.

They just really, really dislike the idea that they will be used, once more, as a bargaining chip.  And make no mistake, if there are limitations on the basis of genital configuration, then Trans lives are being used that way, and there will be a nastier repeat of what happened before.

Yes, it's that kind of thing.

Among other changes, Trans folk are not so much an afterthought, these days.  It still happens with great frequency, but it's better than it was. We still aren't equal -- at the LGBT CIR session, trans lives were recognized but buried by broader issues. But we are getting there.  There was a palpable presence felt at Creating Change, and I suspect next year it will be even greater.

NGLTF has become more popular among trans folk.   The Task Force has made a concerted effort to bring trans issues in, and works closely with NCTE -- which, no matter how some trans folk feel about it and the people involved, is still there, still doing it, and in no small part thanks to the dedication of the staff there.

So we are not an afterthought any long, but we are still secondary, still less than.

And we are still very tired of it.  But many of us are seeing what's happening.  The explosion of trans stuff within the LGBT community online has reached not only the LGB ears, but also the ears of our opponents, and they have seen the reactions by cis folk within the LGBT  community and they have decided to use the wedge of trans involvement against us.

Something that allows them to bypass the very issues that were raised in the Prop 8 trial, which even they acknowledge was a screw up on their part, though only privately. And they know that enough LGB folks are unprepared for this and will, in fact, fall for the attacks themselves.

We still don't play well in Peoria.  But we *are* playing. Which is better than it has been in the past.

What we still want is action. Concrete, visible, purposeful, intense action.

We still want them to give our single greatest need the same amount of effort they give to marriage. Because we dying faster than the GLB community is, and there's a hell of a lot fewer of us.

Think for a moment.

When was the last time that you, personally, felt a physical threat to your existence, not just your body, in an encounter with another person? I mean murder, not a beating.

When was the lat time someone called you faggot and then threw a bottle at you?

When was the last time you heard or saw one of our opponents use the term "tranny"?  They still use "faggot" against us. We are still part of an amorphous blob of "gender confused" people which they are already starting to apply to gay people -- because that's what heteronormative halfwits do.

We are hearing those words we long to hear: "We want an inclusive ENDA now!"  Not from HRC, mind you, but from the grassroots and many of the big orgs.

It still takes 10 good things to make up for each bad one.

But trans folk are not coming up hat in hand anymore.  We are, however, still waiting for others to come to us that way.

And we are seeing they are going to have to, sooner than they realized.  They aren't seeing that yet, though, those bodies and groups that we are still waiting for.

And now, as ENDA gets ready to either die for the next few years or face a trial by fire once more, we are doing something we have been doing the whole time.

We are raging against the Mattachine.  We are fighting a battle with Assimilation, which an essentialist idea -- something that strips from us our names, our identities, and hurls back at us false ones.

We are still fighting hold outs from the old guard, still ferreting out little bits of it here and there, individuals who say things like there are sound public policy reasons for not passing ENDA with trans stuff.

There are still people willing to sacrifice trans people so that they can get theirs -- people who believe that rights are negotiable, and that there are too many degrees of separation between them and the Other they create out of trans people.

We know better. And we are watching.

To see if we can afford to trust other people once more.


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Eric Payne | March 15, 2010 1:09 PM

On the issue of trust...

Much more recently, the HRC asked us to "trust" them on the matters of DOMA, DADTDP and ENDA, as they were working behind the scenes with Our Fierce Advocate, but they were going to need more of our dollars to wrap things up.

Much more recently, we opened the taps on our purse-strings and helped fill the coffers of both a political party and a single, supposed "fierce advocate", aiding in that party's and that candidate's rise to national power. We were hosed, yet allowed ourselves to be snookered, again, a year later when more money was needed, and Our Fierce Advocate issued an Administrative Order giving same-sex spouses of government workers the same benefits as opposite-sex spouses.

Of course, the difference between an Administrative Order and an Executive Order is the AO doesn't stay in place, even if the president who issued that order is re-elected. Upon completion of the term, it expires. Oh, and the AO can't supercede law, so DOMA completely negated that AO; that AO was never initiated.

And, much more recently, an opinion columnist at a popular on-line "community" blog stated as fact homosexuality is still in the DSM, in actuality the syndrome that columnist was citing as proof was actually a syndrome defining a mental disorder of those who cannot accept their homosexual orientation, creating an inner conflict.

Trust. In my experience, "trust" is something that persons with an "agenda" feed upon.

You do realize that your last line is exactly the same thing trans folk are saying about the LGB, don't you?

Boy, are you going to be upset with part two.

Eric Payne | March 15, 2010 6:47 PM

Since I'm no longer a registered voter in Maricopa County, Toni, absolutely nothing you say - or write - can possibly upset me. Here, I'll simply continue to say exactly what I feel regarding anything you might say, though my commentary will now, always, be tinctured with a statement concerning your dishonesty concerning "homosexuality is still in the DSM.

As far as I'm concerned, the moment you posted that comment, knowing full well it was false - or, even worse, attempting, when called out for your intellectual dishonesty, to hide behind (to paraphrase) "The word is still in there; I didn't say they meant anything about being homosexual" - you completely stripped yourself of any vestige of credibility.

And yet, Eric, it's your insistence that it was false, when it wasn't (and still isn't -- it is still in there, which is what I said), that makes me realize that you have no interest in actually going to the merit of the discourse, but rather that you just want to attack me, personally, as you *do* care, which is obvious since you take the time to respond.

You responded to this to get a jab in. Just like the only reason you posted below was to get a jab in.

Neither you nor Seth contributed to this. Indeed, in both cases, you are trolling. I'm just feeding ya.

And the reason you are trolling is that you do care -- both of you want me to stop writing. If you didn't care, you wouldn't comment.

So, here we have you, posting here something that you feel is about something I said that was false and making a false statement yourself.

Whereas what I said is still factually true, and all you have to do is look it up.

What was that you said below with Seth? Oh yeah...

Pot. Kettle.

Whatever you say, Toni.

You've shown, especially with your "series" of "ten questions," that your vision is skewed. That, in and of itself, is not abnormal - everyone with a viewpoint built around a "cause" tends to see the everything else in the world through the flawed prism of that cause. You've demonstrated, repeatedly, your inability to parse anything outside of your cause(s).

Please understand, I am not stating having such a viewpoint is flawed.

I'm saying your continued attempt to beat the dead horse in the room, all the while trying to paint the stench of that animal's decaying carcass as the perfume of the calla lily after a cool spring rain, is getting a bit redundant.

Yes, there is discrimination going on against trans persons. Yes, that is wrong. Yes, there are homosexually oriented persons - such as myself - who believe the discrimination directed toward trans persons is wrong, simply because it is discrimination. Those homosexually oriented persons - such as myself - hope we're helping in the work to end all discrimination, because discrimination, in and of itself, is wrong.

Yes, there are homosexually oriented persons - such as myself - who believe the fight for "trans issues," though is completely the provenance of trans persons.

I'd go so far as to make a guess the majority of homosexually oriented persons, both male and female, over the age of 40 feel as I do, but that homosexually oriented men are much more likely to voice that opinion.

This is about where you respond with some variation of "we're all trans persons, though," if history is any indicator, and you continually make that statement based on your belief in "gender identity" based on good marketing skills - toys and clothing that have, over centuries, taken on a gender-specific societal role... yet you've also stated, often, that if someone were to receive psychological counseling from anyone who begins giving credence to the theory of Gender Identity Disorder (or variance), that person should cease counseling with that therapist, immediately.

You continuously want it both ways, Toni.

Unless you're a Bill Gates, or a Sheriff Joe - someone with enough money to ignore the world, or someone with their own personal fiefdom who's savvy enough to insulate themselves behind other people - you can't have it both ways.

"We're all trans because of Gender Identity Disorder... but if a therapist talks about Gender Identity Disorder, fire them, immediately."

"Homosexuality is still in the DSM, because there's a syndrome named ego-dystonic homosexuality, even though that syndrome refers to someone who simply refuses to accept their homosexual orientation as being a normal sexual orientation."

Yet, you never seem to see you're attempting to connect two diametrically opposed "facts," while, simultaneously, trying to paint those who have seen what you're doing as being, somehow and by some context, "incorrect" in their statements.

If this is how you're presenting yourself in your political campaign, Toni, I'll go on record, right now: You're going to lose, and by such a margin, it would be a waste of time for those votes to have even been counted.

And yet, Eric, so long as people say they are "supportive" and yet are not actually so -- such as yourself -- the horse is not dead, and you, personally, are an example of how it's not only alive and kicking, but bucking and fighting.

As for my campaign...

You know, that's possible. I'm a single trans woman who is going to be running in a city and district that is heavily skewed towards the idea the there is no difference between someone like you and someone like me and that people like that should not be allowed to run for office.

So yeah, Eric, that may be an outcome -- hell, I may not even make it through the primary.

Nevertheless, run I shall. And on a platform that will make the tea partiers go nuts. And I will run to win, and I will make tremendous effort to achieve that office.

And you've forgotten, Eric, one of the things about why I'm running. Probably the most important thing.

Too bad.

You made a lot of assumptions about me, Eric. And most of them are false. And despite each time I point it out to you that your assumptions are, in fact, false, you continue to believe otherwise, and act as if I never pointed out they were false.

As you did above.

Please, keep at it. Each time you do, I know my aim on that horse is true.

And, what's *really* interesting, is that I noted something specific about your style and construction here.

Which will have to be the subject of a later post.

10 more questions coming up soon, Eric.

Eric Payne | March 16, 2010 2:31 AM
"And, what's *really* interesting, is that I noted something specific about your style and construction here."

Don't bother; I'll save you the trouble.

My writing style is heavily influenced by one Mr. Herb Caen, arguably the longest-running daily columnist in the San Francisco Bay Area and, quite likely, in the country.

Caen once said - and here, I paraphrase - a person should "write like you think. If, while writing, you suddenly are struck by another thought that is, seemingly, separate from what you're writing... include it. Just drop it in. Separate it, somehow, but drop it in, then tie it together."

That's how Caen wrote; his column was peppered with ellipses (ellipsi?).

My style mimics his, somewhat. I also use an ellipsis when I'm suddenly struck with a tangential thought. While getting down that thought, I might be struck by another, and I'll use a dash to separate that out. Of course, every so often, I'll find it necessary to bracket a phrase with parenthesis.

I've striven to emulate Mr. Caen while also refining that emulation into my own style as well.

But, by all means, Toni, you're more than welcome to critique my style and structure.

Please keep in mind the Terms of Service of Bilerico and keep your critique just that - an evaluation - and not devolve into acrimony.

Eric Payne | March 16, 2010 2:52 AM

Amazing what a little research can do.

I had been stating for some time now that there may have been some sort of "call to action" to trans persons concerning Ron Gold's opinion posting.

Guess what.

There was.

"A new friend, Abby from Arizona, an intelligent lawyer with a delicious wit, first brought Ron's Bilerico piece to my attention through a tweet she made to the site.

@bilerico I'm so angry about this, I counldn't read it all. | New on TBP: "No" to the notion of transgender http://bit.ly/6JNyeM #lgbt"

Hmmm... "Abby" from Arizona, huh? And a lawyer, no less. What an amazing coincidence, don't you think, Ab... er... Antonia?

LOL

Hmm. So I'm actually "abby from arizona"? Is that what you are suggesting, Eric?

Do you have any evidence of this? Or is this just more of your typical hogwash regarding me.

Ok, no, I can't do that. That was just too unfair of me.

No Eric, I am not Arizona_Abby. Even though it is interesting how we can be at the same place at the same time.

I can say, though, that you really do flatter her, and once she gets over the potential insult of being mistaken for me, she might even thank you for thinking that she somehow has the ability ability to marshal the entire trans community.

I mean, it certainly couldn't possibly be anything more than him saying stuff that was so horrible that the *regular trans readers here* actually read it and might have tweeted their personal anger. I mean, Bilerico at the time was one of the top two sites for info on trans folk.

Or are you sharing Seth's mindset that somehow I had something to do with his being kicked out despite the fact that I actually said "wait a sec, let's see what the guy says". And that I'm somehow dismissive of marriage equality on a consistent basis when I've been fighting for it for nearly four years?

Or does it really and truly all come down to the fact that you just don't believe that the heterosexual haters out there really and truly do think that your having sex with another man makes you less of one, and more like a girl, and, therefore, creating a situational membership for you in that group of people your own words continue to show you strongly dislike?

Cause I can do research too, Eric. It's my primary task when it comes to me doing what I do best, which is tell people just how it is that that thing there can affect the price of tea in china.

Seriously -- that's my work in a nutshell.

And I'm right about 85% of the time, Eric. Good odds.

For example, you are a white male, likely between the ages of 48 and 53, live on likely not more than whatever your spouse bring in plus your most likely sub-800 a month disability checks for probably the 36K to 45K bracket, are medically overweight, enjoy decent food with flavor but not too spicy, have lost one or both of your parents, are frustrated with some aspect of your life that is seriously "cramping your style", likely rent, and probably have some form of mobility issues.

All of which I can find out by reading your posts here. Yes, just your posts here. I don't have to go trolling twitter feeds, lol. You tell me everything I need to know all by yourself, Eric.

And I'm sure that some of the above is wrong as well -- I am perfect only so far as I am perfect in being myself. But I am good at what I do, and I'm pretty sure a substantial portion of the above demographic breakdown is correct. None of which is exactly rocket science. It's just putting two and two together.

Now, all of that said, you certainly have the prerogative of continuing to believe that I am Arizona Abby.

Or you could actually do some real research and note that I have a blog I update roughly two to three times each day, and that she has a blog, and that the two of us know each other and even *gasp* have people who know both of us separately, well, go right ahead :D

Far be it from me to deprive you of the small joys in your life with the same flippant disregard you show for the greater miseries in those of the LGBT community.

Hell, Seth probably thinks I write ENDAblog, lol, given some of the lies he's said about me -- why should you be any different?

Eric Payne | March 16, 2010 5:17 AM

All I said was "amazing coincidence, Ab... er... Antonia." It was meant purely for its humorous value, and nothing else. If you were operating under a nom de plume, Antonia, I have no doubt you'd not be able to keep it secret.

You claim an 85% accuracy rate, so let's see how you did...

"For example, you are a white male, likely between the ages of 48 and 53, live on likely not more than whatever your spouse bring in plus your most likely sub-800 a month disability checks for probably the 36K to 45K bracket, are medically overweight, enjoy decent food with flavor but not too spicy, have lost one or both of your parents, are frustrated with some aspect of your life that is seriously "cramping your style", likely rent, and probably have some form of mobility issues."

Yes, I am a 50 year old white male; I've made no secret of that. So far, you're two for two.

No, we don't live on "not more than whatever (my) spouse brings home plus (my) most likely sub-800 a month disability checks.." Without revealing figures, we have more saved at the end of each month than we've spent. Enough that, on the spur of the moment, we've made 3 and 4 day trips to NYC or DC, simply to go. As for my disability checks, I don't receive any disability. That's a pending court case between the IRS, the Social Security Administration, myself and my former agent. For now, as I've stated before, my income is limited to the ever decreasing - both in frequency and amount - residuals I receive for ghosting a couple of NYT bestsellers. I'm contractually prohibited from naming them, but I'll bet you've got at least one (and possibly both) on your own bookshelf, Toni.

So, now, you're two for four.

Medically overweight? Yep, by about 10 pounds. But, if I had a neck, I would be spot-on the "healthy" weight of that height; since the rest of my body has the measurements of a person that height (it's just those five to six inches are missing between my sternum and my chin), I'll give you one-half point for that.

You're at two-and-a-half out of five.

I love spicy food. When I make my chili, I'll use jalapenos if I have to, but I prefer Scotch Bonnets. I eat banana pepper rings on everything from clam dip to tossed salads.

You're now two-and-a-half out of six.

My mother passed away in February, 2009; on Friday, my father underwent biopsies on ten tumors that sprang out of nowhere after having been declared "cancer free" a year ago. The biopsies are due back March 31. His docs won't offer any prognosis until after the biopsy results.

You're at three-and-a-half out of seven... though I've spoken of my mother's death in postings here. I really just want to give you half a point, but I won't... unless I come across another "guess" of yours that was no guess, but instead, simply remembering things about me that I, myself, freely divulged. You're now at three "guesses" (age, race, deceased parent) that were facts freely given by me in public postings. If I slash those points by half, your percentage is going to plummet.

There's no issue "cramping my style." My heart's giving out, but I've lived my entire life knowing I was living under a death watch, and the failure began 35 years after I was supposed to be dead. I have absolutely no qualms about dying - hell, I've been being told "2 years" for the last ten. At this rate, I'll outlive my grand-nieces and nephews.

We don't "rent." We own... and put 25% down, have a mortgage rate we can handle even if our only income was Bill on a minimum wage job; our home is a 3000 square foot two story colonial (with full attic, not included in sq. ft.), two-car garage, three baths, four bedrooms, including a master suite and huge master bath, including separate tub (spa tub) and shower, sitting on a 1/4 acre wooded lot.

Now you're 3 1/2 for 9, Toni.

Yes, I have mobility issues connected to the heart failure, Toni... but, damn, I've spoken about my use of my Segway as a mobility device. So all you've done is remembered... not made a guess. So half a point. And those other three points get slashed, as well.

So, you're two out of ten. Hell, that's an easy percentage to calculate.

20%.

So I guess you don't know me nearly as well as you think you do.

I stated it was based entirely on what you'd written here.

There are no half points, either -- so let's look at the overalls again more accurately, shall we?

White + 1
male +1
48 - 53 +1
medically overweight +1
sub-800 +1
disability check -1
36 - 45K bracket (unverified)
Enjoy good food +1
dislike spicy -1
one or both parents +1
Heart diesaese cramping style +1
rent -1
mobility issues +1

13 factors, 3 misses, one unverified

so 75 to 69% accurate is a better reading, depending on income verification -- if wrong, it's a bit more than 69%, if right, it's higher.

Not bad given I *didn't* do research beyond just what you'd written here on Bilerico.

Eric Payne | March 16, 2010 6:54 AM

Wow. So now you want to determine what scores are for your statements concerning my life, because you don't like the scores I've given you. What incredible gall.

White + 1 male +1 48 - 53 +1 medically overweight +1 sub-800 +1 disability check -1 36 - 45K bracket (unverified) Enjoy good food +1 dislike spicy -1 one or both parents +1 Heart diesaese cramping style +1 rent -1 mobility issues +1

13 factors, 3 misses, one unverified

White, male, age, deceased parent and mobility issues are all information I've freely disclosed in commentary on this site. Sorry, but you made the guesses; I decide the scoring. one-half point each.

Our income more than exceeds the parameters you've established; it more than exceeds those parameters, doubled.

My heart disease is not cramping my style; I do what I want, when I want... and if I drop while doing it, then I drop. BFD. It's one of the things Bill gets most pissed off about - he's a "take it easy" kind of person, I'm a "I want to go on the Drop Zone, so I'm frigging going on the Drop Zone, you can just wait for me here" kinda guy. So no points.

So, as I said, you're 2 out of 10.

20%.

Had this been an actual test, you would have failed. Had this been an actual text, even using the score you'd like to award yourself, you still would have failed.

Now, since your comment of "I can do research, too," could, potentially, be seen as some sort of threat... go ahead. Do your research.

You'll find I was a daily, falling down drunk who took advantage of friends and close relationships, including employers, for over two decades. You'll also find my actions "behind my drinking," - as they say in AA - led to three incarcerations in San Jose, CA. Two at the county level (under 1 year of sentence) and one at the state level where, because of half-time, I actually served less time, imprisoned, than I would have served had I been sentenced to a shorter period of time that would have bound me to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections. You'll also find one of those actions made me the pariah of San Jose's gay and lesbian community, and rightly so.

If you do further research, you'll find where I openly shared, in a UseNET forum, the details of my continued molestation by a neighbor in Shiremanstown, PA, beginning when I was 8, and ending at the age of 11, when I arranged to have my father find out about it. All of that was shared when a NAMBLA freak posted a request to hear from men who had had "sexual relations" with men while they were boys so that he code collect data on those "loving relationships." In that same posting, you'll discover how the reaction of my parents to that molestation was slightly... off.

You'll also find, in alt.history.ocean-liners.titanic a posting from someone purporting to be my sister, sharing the news of my death with that group. That obituary was posted while I was in a cardiac care unit in Thunderbird Banner hospital, Toni. Since my involvement in that group had become acrimonious as the group devolved into a "Oh, I loved that movie!" group, I never refuted that posting... but I also never went silent on the web. Anyone who can Google knows the obituary to be the continued work of a prankster who had taken to making posts in my name.

You'll find I've been dis-invited to contribute to the two major online Segway sites. Those disinvitations came about when I took on two homophobic posters - one of whom talked of people "suffering" from homosexuality, the other who openly complained his insurance rates had gone up (he lived in Massachusetts) since same-gender marriage went into effect... turns out his sister is homosexually oriented and had married her partner, but he admitted that should the question be put on the ballot, he'd gladly vote to revoke the civil rights of one of his family members, just because (somehow) his insurance rates had gone up.

You'll find, with anyone I've ever met in my life, they either hate my guts or love me to death; there's no middle ground. These are all the badges of my life; I wear them with pride and humility. I like the person who's arisen from the totality of these experiences. I'd kill to keep the persons I love safe and secure; as for the rest of the world... most of the time, I really don't give a damn.

I have two mottos in life:

Defecation occurs; existence continues, and;

If life were meant to be taken seriously, Ronald Reagan would never have been elected to public office.

So... go ahead... research.

And you keep talking as if I'm saying that I didn't include those things you reveal about yourself, when, ultimately, everything was based on something you've revealed about yourself in your posts, and only those here on Bilerico.

Ok, so I was wrong about the income. It's still a 69% accuracy rate.

You even admit in your statement that it cramps your style -- and don't see it.

Please, keep it coming -- this is most interesting to see you dance.

You're barking up the wrong tree, Eric. I know both Toni and Abby well enough that I can assure you that they are not the same person. Abby isn't nearly as annoying as Toni... lol.

Eric Payne | March 16, 2010 5:25 AM

I never believed they were the same person. Unfortunately, sarcasm doesn't have an html tag.

oh horsehsit, Eric. If I'd left the tease you'd have gone after it.

Sheesh.

Eric Payne | March 16, 2010 7:03 AM

Wow. Karnak lives.

You're not always right, Toni - but that's already been evidenced, right here in this thread, with your guesses concerning my life.

It just struck me - outside of those things I had already shared about my life, you had everything wrong except my being overweight... but being overweight would be a logical extrapolation of what I've shared concerning my medical condition and lack of physical activity/mobility.

So that means you got everything wrong.

Guess I won't be asking you for any PowerBall numbers, Karn.

Seth Emmler | March 16, 2010 3:29 PM

""A new friend, Abby from Arizona, an intelligent lawyer with a delicious wit, first brought Ron's Bilerico piece to my attention through a tweet she made to the site.

@bilerico I'm so angry about this, I counldn't read it all. | New on TBP: "No" to the notion of transgender http://bit.ly/6JNyeM #lgbt""

LOL! Eric, this is so rich. It really made my day. The "intelligent" lawyer who takes the time to tweet about a piece that she hasn't fully read, whose reaction is entirely emotional, and which comes complete with requisite typo. A better encapsulation of the trans-thug-activist mindset I could not conceive. The trans activists have much in common with the Freepers and wingnuts that gay people oppose.

Anyway, I don't think that "Antonia" is Abbey, since Antonia has stated here that she is not a lawyer. For some reason, she was selected to serve as some sort of low-level judge in Arizona.

I can only imagine that she presided over her court like a modern-day Solomon, if Solomon were a narrow-minded, high-handed, imperious pedant. (How this one is still single is beyond me!) No doubt, in keeping with her signature writing style, she issued 100-page written opinions in minor traffic violation cases.

You'd have been amazed, I tell you.

Solomon, btw, was a pedantic, imperious, high anded ruler.

Lastly, I'm not single. So it really is beyond you.

Just so you know, I spell my nickname without the "e," which means it's "Abby", not "Abbey" like the place where monks live.

Just to clear up any confusion, I, Abigail Jensen, am the infamous "Arizona_Abby" who sent that tweet alerting others to the incredibly offensive post by Ron Gold. I don't quite understand the comments here implying that, by stating that I was upset by Gold's post, I did something nefarious or improper. In fact, I simply did what many people do on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and email everyday - I alerted people to the existence of that post and stated my reaction. Did I hope that others would read Gold's post and take action? Of course, I did, just like others do regularly when they happen on a homophobic or transphobic post or news article elsewhere. I am flattered, however, that you think I am so powerful that, by dint of a single tweet (if you'll look, you'll see I didn't even comment on Gold's post), I caused the firestorm that arose here and elsewhere from Bilerico's ill-considered decision to post Gold's rant.

P.S. If you'd like to know more about me, you can read a couple of guest posts I did here on Bilerico last year (http://www.bilerico.com/2009/04/angie_zapatas_murderer_is_about_to_cook.php and http://www.bilerico.com/2009/04/why_the_jury_had_no_trouble_convicting_a.php), or my blog, which is linked through my user name below.

Thank you for posting this Toni!!! It was something that is needing to be discussed and thought about, not just by the LGB communities but also by the various trans communities!!! Kori

Seth Emmler | March 15, 2010 3:39 PM

Another overly long and tiresome piece. I thought you were taking time off. Please do so.

"In the time sense then, the trans community has indeed done what was asked of us by Rep. Frank -- in spades. We have educated. We have spoken out. We have made ourselves visible. We have engaged to a level above and beyond the expectations of many."

Yeah, and the more people see you and become familiar with you and your agenda, the less they like it. I offer myself as evidence. I had no objection initially to the trans-mogrification of the gay community into the "LGBT" community. Why object? The more the merrier. It was only after listening to trans activists, observing their thuggery, and seeing their pathos on display that it became clear that "LGBT" was a colossal moral, logical and political error.

Oh, and as you are a supposed former judge, please learn how to proofread and how to use the word "since".

I'm curious as to what the trans community has said that gays and lesbians haven't in the past.

And please explain our "thuggery" and "pathos".

I concur with kori mika. This definitely needed to be said, and it needs to continue being said.

Do you really think the gay community is being "trans-mogrified"? And if you do, please provide examples as I am unsure of what you mean by this word. Thanks.

Oh, look -- a collection of paragraphs purposely structured to provide maximum personal insults, yet contributing absolutely nothing to the effective discussion of the article!

How original!

Not.

Eric Payne | March 15, 2010 6:50 PM

Of course it's not original...

Oh, wait... you're talking about someone's response to your commentary, and not your commentary, itself.

Pot. Kettle.

Seth Emmler | March 15, 2010 7:42 PM

Although you felt free to call other TPB readers "half-wits" - without any consequence for your violation of the TOS - it seems that it is you who is slow on the uptake.

While you may not like the way I structure my paragraphs, I did add to the discussion on ENDA. To wit, if you wish to increase the chances of passing ENDA, trans activists should do the opposite of what they have been doing.

You say: "We have educated. We have spoken out. We have made ourselves visible."

Yet ENDA is in a more precarious position than ever. That is no accident.

The more you purport to educate and lecture people, the less support there will be. No one on the Hill could possibly believe that trans activists are in a position to dictate moral terms to others. And the more you speak, the more obvious that becomes. The best thing that ENDA opponents could do for themselves is to compile all of your columns here and circulate them to every member of Congress. Hopefully, they won't.

How is ENDA in a more precarious position than ever? (By "ever" I'm assuming you mean since 1994 until now.)

Seth Emmler | March 16, 2010 1:43 PM

Because it is faltering on the Hill and is likely to fail, even though the Dems control both houses, even thought they control the Senate with a near super-majority, even though the good Representative from San Francisco is Speaker of the House, and even though we have a supposedly fierce advocate in the White House.

I meant to refer to the period since January 2009, when it first had a realistic chance of enactment. But I suppose you could say than it is in a more precarious position now than ever, since in the period 1994-2008, support levels were never really tested, as it never had any prospect of passage. Now they have been tested and the whole of Congress takes note that they are lacking. Support lags in part b/c Congress is reluctant to create a slew of federal discrimination lawsuits based on an amorphously defined "gender identity".

Well, if nothing else, the responses from some will be effective at demonstrating just what it is that trans people are so pissed off about.

And, oddly enough, they are coming from "gay men".

hmmmm.

Yep, part two is going to be interesting to watch reactions too...

The problem is that people like Eric and Seth don't care if we're pissed off or not.

While I have plenty of gay friends who are also allies, there are just as many people that I know who couldn't care less what happens to us.

It is what it is.

Eric Payne | March 16, 2010 5:36 AM
The problem is that people like Eric and Seth don't care if we're pissed off or not.

You're right; I don't. You being pissed off is entirely your concern.

Even though I'm no longer part of the work force, I still want to see an ENDA bill passed an implemented. Even though I'm nearing the end of my life (according to my doctors), I'd still like to see a repeal of DOMA, nationwide; I still want to be legally married to Bill. I love him, now, as much as I did 15 years ago; hell, I actually love him more. If it weren't for him simply being in my life, I would not have undergone the heart surgeries, I would never have submitted myself to the extensive medical testing Arizona requires to be placed on the heart transplant list (three solid days of nothing but every conceivable medical test, both passive and surgically invasive). I would not be swallowing two handfuls of pills each day, simply to keep the heart beating. In 1999, when I entered failure, I would have done absolutely nothing, and just let nature take its course - a decision I made back in my early teen years.

Now, though, I'm selfish. I want every day I can get... as long as Bill's there, with me.

I want these things - ENDA and the repeal of DOMA - to be inclusive for the homosexually oriented, the bisexually oriented, and the trans.

But if the only way I can have those things is to have the trans stripped from the final legislation...

Oh, well. Bye-bye.

March 15th, 2010
Washington DC
9:45PM

Dear Ms D'orsay,

As a journalist, I have found that the fascinating aspect to covering Transgendered stories is that everyone single one is singularly unique.
There are those in the LGB community who for whatever reason, are afflicted with this odd need to classify and put in a separate compartment where 'everything ought to fit' and they cannot do this with Trans folk. In fact, I have watched them get just as Transphobic as the 'heteronormals' on numerous occasions.
I have to wonder why even bother with the 'T' in the acronym if you're unwilling to advocate and be inclusive.
ENDA is a prime example of this. The other flipside is the acrimonious relations I have observed between the LGB and the T activist communitites.
I have to wonder what an equitable and workable solution is. On a personal basis, and as a Gay man, I am disgusted with some of the Transphobic attitudes I see, read, and hear. There's no excuse whatsoever for that behaviour, none.
I look forward to your part 2 as I appreciated what you stated in part 1 & respect your views.

Sincerely,


Brody Levesque

Mr. Levesque,

That's the reason I write much of what I write about -- to highlight the reasons for taking up each others' causes.

Thanks for your comment :D

I want to ask you to consider noting that some of the LGB people are also pissed at HRC. It is not just trans people who mistrust or are angry over trans issues and the treatment of them by Gay INC.
Yes, there are LGB people opposed to the inclusion of trans people but there are also a hell of a lot of us who are not opposed. What about the LGB people refused to donate to HRC after they turned on trans people? I am one of those who told their nice young caller that I would not be donating because of the treatment of trans folk and the idea that bi people and more radical queer people need to keep quiet and fit in.
Toni, I have found your work interesting and informative, and I have tried to contribute in the discussions. But I am starting to feel a bit put off by it because if I am going to be seen as the problem or the enemy just because I am cis gendered and bi then there is nothing that I can do. Not all of us are the enemy. Yes there are some vocal nasty gay guys on here, here is a hint they are the same types that have called me nasty names too. I have tried to make and effort to at least be educated because I work with some kids who are trans as their teacher. But I am getting a bit tired of being categorized negatively just because of who I am. You know how that feels.
Try saying things like the reactions of some cis folk, or of some of the GLB people. Try acknowledging that some of the cos folk and GLB people are trying. It might help you case.

Rob, I do that tomorrow. Part two deals in some of the more broad range issues.

Yes, LGB folks are pissed off at the HRC. Indeed, I daresay a sizeable chunk of them, and, for many, for reasons that include the ones I talk about from the trans side.

What's odd is that this post actually was derived originally from the post coming out to morrow, and *that* one came from the answers I've been getting in the making trouble series.

You have contributed, Rob. Indeed, I look froward to your comments because they are thoughtful, and you put effort into them.

You, personally, are not the problem. You, like I, face an uphill journey, though -- first to be heard and taken seriously, and then to be recognized for validity, and then to be seen as an important part of the whole.

And we aren't. As T and B for me and as B for you, we are ignored by the wider mass -- not on a personal, concrete level, but on the abstract conceptual one.

And by Sunday, I think you'll note feel as put on by my overall stuff, as you see what I've learned from all of this.

And, with luck, the trolls I've collected along the way will find that they are just that.

Then I will look forward to it. Just remember that you and transpeople in general are not in this alone. Even if some people would like you to feel that way.

Rob, you are Bi correct? If so, you are in the same boat as trans people. You are only useful to the greater G&L as padding for numbers, historic context (Think Sappho, Alexander the Great, Hijra, Two-Spirit) and the ever popular victims for hate crime legislation. Your (our) specific issues take a back seat after our histories and dead have served their purpose at the hands of our homo betters.

While I absolutely adore the gay men and lesbians who are my friends, I find myself being less and less invested in acting as allies to marriage and DADT. Mostly due to the above mentioned colonization of trans and bi peoples and the John Arivosis, Alix Dobkins, Elizabeth Birch, and Barney Franks of the movement - So many vocal gay people are really turning this active, involved, vocal supporter into an apathetic bystander.

Oh yes, I acknowledge that I have often found myself in that boat. But I was directly pointing to the use of LGB in the post. This was grouping the B in with the LG and presenting us all as a problem.
But as an activist I continue to educate people and to inform people as often as I can. Sometimes the people that I am informing are straight sometimes gay/lesbian and sometimes other bi people and even trans people. But I also try to listen and become informed by them also.

california panda | March 16, 2010 3:16 AM

I can tell from the comments made by Seth and Eric that you are right on point, Antonia. This needs to be said and said repeadedly. In any group there are going to be separatists like Eric and Seth and their poison can infect an entire community if not challenged. You go for it, lady!. Trust isn't given, it is earned.

Brody said in his post "I have to wonder what an equitable and workable solution is. On a personal basis, and as a Gay man, I am disgusted with some of the Transphobic attitudes I see, read, and hear. There's no excuse whatsoever for that behaviour, none."

There is a solution and the homophobes have found it. They consider us all the same and attack, injure, and kill us all equally regardless of what divisions we create among ourselves or where in the world we are. Considering that, the solution becomes obvious. Making people realize that we are all the same in the eyes of our enemies. Nothing succeeds like a united force in the face of a common enemy.

I will trust those who show me I have reason to.


Seth Emmler | March 16, 2010 5:02 AM

I am not a "separatist" because T was never an organic part of LBG. If citizens of Canada say that they are not citizens of the US, that is not separatism and no civil war would or should result. Nor would it reflect any "phobia" on the part of Canadians to simply say that they are Canadian and not American.

Gender identity and sexual orientation are 2 different things. It is a lie to create a concept of "LGBT" to imply otherwise and then to attack anyone who objects as a "transphobe".

"They consider us all the same and attack, injure, and kill us all equally regardless of what divisions we create among ourselves or where in the world we are."

- This is demonstrably overbroad and untrue, but even assuming for the sake of argument that it is completely accurate, it wouldn't matter. Homophobes, let alone homophobic murderers, should not be the people defining us or crafting the contours of our movement. If homophobes think that gay=trans, that is just one more delusion about gay people that they harbor. The gay movement is supposed to challenge homophobes' misconceptions, not embrace them.

"never an organic part".

Wow. Don't know your own history very well, do you?

Yes, they are two separate concepts, but both are present in all people, even you.

And it is not merely Gender Identity that is concerned here -- that's merely how you want others to see you. There is also gender expression and gender role involved -- and those are integral parts of sexual orientation.

Because unless you are just attracted to disembodied penises, as a gay man odds are pretty damn good you aren't attracted to a preoperative transsexual woman, but are attracted to a man.

Man as in all the aspects of being such -- role, expression, and identity inclusive.

And there's a fourth element involved, as well -- sex identity.

So while they may be two separate things, your very identity as a gay man is predicated on the same things that found the identity of trans folk.

And that *does* make you a separatist, and it does mean that even if you were even remotely aware of your history you'd know they are organic parts.

It's an oversimplification, absolutely, but yes, for the most part, as far as our mutual opponents are concerned, there is no difference in the US to them.

This is why they call trans people faggots. This is why they say things like the recent quote from the CNN website I used on my review of the Stanton story on my blog that basically said that they felt sorry for homosexuals who have to marry someone to fit in (referring to a trans person).

Lastly, if you want to challenge those preconceptions, go right ahead. So far you've established that you actually *oppose* challenging such, and stated as much, saying that doing so makes it worse. You'll do a bang up job on overcoming that bathroom bill attack that will be leveled at *you* for being gay, which has already been done and will be done again.

Because our opponents know that people don't see a difference. As far as they are concerned we are in the same boat we were in in 1970, when it was all just a bunch of gay people.

I can't wait to see the horseshit you spout on tomorrow's post.

Seth Emmler | March 16, 2010 2:06 PM

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Seth,

The TOS doesn't apply to Toni, or to other trans persons, because, you know, not letting Toni simply lie, and be abusive (both flagrantly and subliminally) to persons who expose her... ummm... "misstatements of fact" would mean that Bilerico wasn't a "safe place" for trans persons anymore.

Hell, if even the suggestion a poster who was pro- "we're all trans! We are! We are!" were to be even mildly rebuked by a Bilerico editor, I'm sure there'd be another tweet.

Funny how words like "overbroad and untrue" get tossed about in here.
But I guess only we transfolk are stereotypers and liars.

Sheesh.

Eric, the TOS statement is there because in that post, Seth violated it.

You've accused me of lying, and yet, I didn't -- GID in childhood -- which includes homosexuality -- is still in the DSM.

I'd really love to see you attempt to substantiate a claim of subliminal abuse. Seriously. Subtextual, perhaps, but not subliminal. Subliminal is visual -- are you noting some sort of pattern in the capital letters or arrangements of vowels?

Allow me to point out that if Bilerico was a "safe space", as opposed to one where they have an equal say in things, then you, sir, would not be posting here, right now. so, given that little bit of fact, if you don't like being here at Bilerico, why don't you leave, as many trans folk have done?

This is an LGBTQ site, after all -- says so right up at the top. That's a sign that here, all of those letters are included. That they are not to be left behind. That they are all part of one group.

If you aren't part of the LGBTQ, Eric, then why are you here?

That people say trans people are "too angry" is too general. I've told specific people to back off for a specific reason and then they generalized it as me saying trans folk are angry.

I'm angry and I get told so by gay men and lesbians alike. I also have been told "STFU" as well as "sit down and STFU." I think this is the result people being frustrated about different things at the same time.

Focusing our frustration is a way of coping with generalized frustration and a general feeling of powerlessness. The reality is there is not just one thing affecting us, it isn't just these handful of issues or legislation. It's a swarm of little indirect things like polling data, backhanded comments from politicians and celebrities, a couple of kids getting kicked out of school 'cause their parents are gay, a canceled prom, and a thousand little things we can't fight individually. It's the chaos we can't fight because it's like punching a swarm of bees.

So everyone just picks a demon, one or more things that are defeatable, something solid, and pours all their frustrations into that. It's a way of coping with a general sense of powerlessness.

Several problems arise from this. One is when we decide that the thing we can defeat is each other. Another is fighting over which thing, as a group, we should be focused on to defeat.

Individually if someone has set their sights on a particular issue that's close to their heart and someone approaches them and says "I want you to broaden your focus to include this other issue, my issue." that's reintroducing chaos. You don't know what other stuff they're dealing with. The reaction to that will likely be along the lines of STFU.

I think the vast majority of gays are aware that trans people get discriminated against. We need a plan to support, a campaign, a strategy. And really the only people who could come up with one are the people directly affected by it. Otherwise it's just adding more issues we don't have a plan for.

Legislation gets watered down because of our lack of power. Gender identity isn't a trans only issue. And if more gays weren't misinformed about it being a trans only issue maybe it wouldn't be so susceptible to getting watered down. But that's not a guarantee. Gays have bargained away some rights--in fact have agreed to codified legal segregation of same-sex partners and their children in education and accommodation.

That's got to be the best explanation of how intra-community conflict works that I've ever read!

35 comments and most are a running bitch session between Eric and Toni, with Seth thrown in there. One doesn't learn much from comments like these, except for the fact that Eric and Seth seem to represent the worst attitudes from gay men . . . some of it worse then what straight people say about us. They make Toni's statements more true.

"We still don't play well in Peoria." Peoria, AZ for sure, but we are probably more accepted in Peoria, IL.

Which, admittedly, is why I keep playing with the two of them.

Nothing like living examples in the very space you are referring to them in.

As for Peoria, AZ -- oh hell no. Of course, not much plays well there unless it's been approved of by Peoria's neighbor.

I say Trust is like a fuse not a circuit breaker. When a fuse blows it is seldom reconstructed from the parts but typically replaced. Circuit breakers on the other hand can be easily reset. In the case of ENDA I have yet to see an unequivocal statement by the HRC leadership that Joe was wrong to pledge only an inclusive ENDA and then do the opposite for presumed political expediency. Maybe I missed it because after a few months I quit looking. I was impressed though by the national support that was voiced by hundreds of other organizations that did recognize a non inclusive ENDA is farcical and would be properly re-titled to GLENDA.

Mr. Emmler,

Just wow.

Hmm, apparently you weren't up on Florida last year, and obviously the only articles at Bilerico you read are mine, so you've missed that, I see.

Thank you, though, for your contribution. It's nice to have a homophobic and transphobic person such as yourself posting here on my stuff.

You are the proof of the problem, and now that everyone can see it, we'll be able to move forward.

As for the definition being "my" definition, well -- good luck with that lie. I realize that lies are all you have to back up your incredibly uninformed and prejudice based position, so I'm going to let you alone now, and go over to the next one, where you get to learn that there are more people involved in trans than just crossdressers and Transsexuals.

have a really painful and misery filled day now, y'hear :D

Wow, about the only comment I feel safe to make is, don't any of you sleep? I mean I thought I spent a lot of time here reading stuff but I can see compared to many I am a real lightweight.

LOL I usually sleep from about 7am to 1pm and a nap from 9pm to 11pm on my current schedule, which changes without warning.