Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Threats of Violence By Trans Advocates Must Be Condemned

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | August 09, 2011 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: incivility, threats, trans community, transgender community, violence

In every movement for civil rights, there are people who go overboard, over the top and/or over the edge. It's understandable that people who are being denied civil rights will be angry, even very angry, and understandably edgy with those within the movement who are trying to "be reasonable." "Being reasonable" is seen as a call for collaborating with "the enemy." When people are being discriminated against in education, jobs, housing, public services, public accommodations and a million other less definable ways, there is little patience with "compromise," which seems to mean "we'll get to you eventually, so be quiet."

Thus it is that we see outpourings of passionate, angry, and even rageful commentary seen on this and other blogs whenever questions about transgender and transsexual civil rights are raised.

As an associate editor of this blog, it is my responsibility to delete comments that include elements of personal attack on authors and commenters, or calls for violence. It's surprising how much time this takes. In no area other than trans issues do we see so many comments, and so many comments that include ad hominem attacks. And yet, it is not surprising that trans civil rights, which lag far, far behind gay rights in the U.S., should invoke such passion. I am proud to be part of the transgender and transsexual community and the fight for social justice.

But when threats of violence against our opponents are made, we have a duty to condemn them. It doesn't lessen our movement to make such condemnation, nor does it mean we agree with people of opposing views. It means we are advocates of social justice, regardless of who has been targeted.


When I read stories like this
, about a well-known transgender person, an official of an LGBT rights organization, who allegedly writes in a comment that he would like to kill someone with a baseball bat and a car and an axe because he doesn't like their position on trans rights, it makes me angry. (I say allegedly, because, although the comment seemed to come from his Facebook account, it has not yet been confirmed.) Such comments also validate the idea that our community is crazy and violent, rather than impassioned for civil rights. It makes me agree with some of the criticisms of our movement.

Frankly, some of the angry, irrational, unreasoned comments I find on The Bilerico Project, though they rarely threaten violence, make me angry as well. I don't have the time, nor would it be productive, to respond to every over-the-edge comment. I delete the personal attacks and the threats. (And of course, get the emails arguing why their personal attack was justified.) But there are too many other over-the-edge comments to keep up with.

Honestly, people? Do you think you can found a movement for social justice on social injustice? If your argument for trans civil rights involves demeaning others, then it is not only wrong, but counterproductive. Look, there are many times that I want to say something angry and irrational in response to what I perceive as a bigoted statement. I'm human, too. I'm not saying I'm above all that. No one is, when they think the microphone is off. But we're not going to get anywhere if that is our standard operating procedure. Yes, there are bigots, and people who just say dumb things about trans people. Yes, we need to speak up about it. But PUTTING YOUR ANGER IN ALL CAPS AND PRESSING SEND YOU GOSH-DARNED SO-AND-SO!!! is not the answer.

You may feel that your angry comment is just a drop in the bucket, and totally justified, and it's not going to hurt anyone, and anyway "those" people totally deserve it. But there are hundreds and thousands of drops, and they add up. You think that the public doesn't see this? You think that the people we need to persuade in public office of the justice of our cause aren't seeing this? And when the rest of us tolerate these over-the-edge type comments and don't note our disapproval of personal attacks, we perpetuate it. When comments include threats of any kind, whether of violence or of seeking to invade a person's privacy, we must not be silent.

I stand with those who condemn the comments allegedly made threatening violence. Threats of violence against a person is wrong and it's criminal as well. I'm sorry that the woman who was the subject of those threats has to endure this, and I stand with her in condemning those comments. When our community has people in its midst who do not understand the limits of public discourse, and who make personal threats against others, we must speak up and condemn them.

Please let me know if you agree with my position or not. I need to know whether I'm the only one who feels this way.

UPDATE: According to the Kentucky Courier-Journal, the political action committee of the Fairness Campaign accepted the resignation of its treasurer on Tuesday, two days after writing a Facebook post that used violent, threatening language against a lesbian activist.

The former treasurer, Anthony Casebeer of Louisville, also apologized for the posting, according to a Tuesday blog post attributed to him.


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Sadly, this comes from both sides. Threats of violence, like violence itself, rarely achives the desired results. It's okay to be angry, but it's wrong to act on those feelings. In a time when we are trying to stop LGBT bullying and harassment, we need to be careful we don't become what weare trying to prevent.

It is not wrong to act on anger. It is just a matter of how one acts on it. The people who treat a pie in someones face the same as a pipebomb have problems, and there are plenty of vitriolic ways to denounce someone that don't involve wishing physical harm on them and shouldn't be overlooked.

Without question, I agree. I have seen postings on Facebook in which instructions are presented in the making of weapons where the intent is to injure, maim or kill. It is unacceptable for our Community to resort to the same violence we are trying to stop.

BTW, Julian. I am the one that took the screenshot and confirmed it with the reporter. Also, Casebeer has offered his resignation.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20110809/NEWS01/308090050/1001/Fairness-Campaign-PAC-treasurer-offers-resign-over-violent-Facebook-post?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CHome%7Cp

I was shocked when I came across that posting. Violence makes me sick to my stomach. But with all the hate pushed out of the transgriot blog (Nazi references about me and others) does it surprise anyone? I wish the violent rhetoric would stop. I don't feel safe anymore.

Thanks for the info, Dana. I have put it on the original post as an update.

I agree. You see these kinds of comments being made everywhere. Even with the Lawrence King murder trial or the recent case about the white kids who intentionally sought out and murdered a random black man for kicks, you see comments suggesting that a life of prison rape or even vicious assault is justifiable punishment. It comes from a place of justifiable anger, but what does it suggest abut ourselves? That we have the right to be angry when violence is committed against us and in an uproar when violent rhetoric is used against us, but it is perfectly fine for us to use the same against our enemies.

Who are we convincing, then, that violence against LGBT people is abhorrent when we call for it, seriously or even in a flash of anger, against our enemies? How can we decry rape and then chortle when a trans-basher or queer-basher gets sent to "a lifetime of servicing black and white dicks"?

Everyone feels those flashes of anger, but sometimes the difference between what we say and what someone else actually did--be it to a trans individual, a gay classmate, a random black man, a girlfriend, or just the person the dinged your car--is the laptop being in your lap or the bat being in your hand.

BTW, Thank you so much for writing this article! Hugs!

Om Kalthoum | August 9, 2011 4:35 PM

People may be wondering what this article refers to since I don't see the hateful speech in question reproduced anywhere on this page.

In a Facebook posting, Monica Roberts references one of her racist Transgriot articles entitled, “Kat Pimps [sic] Slaps Transphobic Radical Lesbian Feminists.” Part of the conversation follows:

Anthony G. Casebeer: ....Pimp slap is not enough here: a nice home run swing to the head with a 38-oz Louisville Slugger is more in order. There’s no brains in her head to destroy to start with. It’s personal, and if I ever saw her in my windshield, I’ll be wiping blood off my white Buick. But I won’t be using the brakes.

Roberts: and add a silver stake through the heart for good measure?

Casebeer: Now that you mention it, I have a nice sharp double-bitted axe in the toolshed......

According to the GenderTrender article referenced by Dr. Weiss, Anthony Casebeer used to identify as a transgender woman named Ann Casebeer, but has reverted back to a man's identity. In either identity, this creep wouldn't be someone I'd want to share any facilities alone with. YMMV.

I purposely did not reproduce the violent language, Om, because I did not want to perpetuate the villagers-and-torches atmosphere that preceded it. I described that language, which was enough to understand what the controversy was about, and figured that people who want to know more can click on the links.

This comment, Om, about a silver stake, is disturbing, bringing to mind stories about Dracula and vampires. I also received an email from Cathy Brennan with a screenshot of these comments, and found a link to Monica Roberts' blog apologizing.

I did not write this post to ratchet up the tensions, and I would think that any reasonable person would want to stand things down from the violent comments previously made. Monica has apologized for her part in the commentary. Whether that apology is accepted is up to the person against whom the comments were directed.

Bilerico does not ban commenters because of comments made elsewhere.

Since Monica has already commented on this post, I would ask her to speak for herself.

Well done, Jillian. It needed to be said on a national platform.

We won't be taken seriously if we don't act civilly and with integrity.

Well done, Jillian. It needed to be said on a national platform.

We won't be taken seriously if we don't act civilly and with integrity.

I have made several comments on facebook, and elsewhere, deploring violent acts, threats of real violence, and even threats of violence that one might read as not being realistically intended, particularly in relation to those comments that related to white buicks, and stakes. All of these violate the principles of non-violent resistance to oppression, serve to allow the treatment of the oppressor as less than human.

We cannot lower ourselves to the level of the oppressors who dehumanize us. Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi, Hypatia of Alexandria, and Yeshua ben Miriam all provide examples of non-violent resistance. We may not win against oppression within our lifetime. We may lose our lives in the struggle - but an oppressed minority does not win violent struggles. Our best strategy is to convince the oppressor to recognize out humanity, and in order to do that, we have to recognize the humanity of the oppressor.

It is easy to dehumanize a perceived enemy or oppressor. This is how nations prepare their people for war. We have many examples from the wars of the 20th century and the current century - the insulting nickknames, the cartoonish characterizations, the painting of the opponent as evil incarnate - all designed so that soldiers do not hesitate to kill, and civilians support the war effort.

Similar tactics are used by oppresors - whether the oppressors be the Christianist right wing, social conservatives, TEA partiers, Patriarchists, RadFems, TS Separatists, TG Separatists, etc., and depending on the parties involved, one oppressed party might well be an oppressor in another context. THere are also situations where oppressors themselves claim to be the oppressed - as we are seeing on the American National stage with TEA party activists complaining of oppression by LGBT people!

In that last example, the oppressor, claiming to be oppressed by the oppressed, uses threats of violence coming from the oppressed as evidence of the oppression.

What that conversation about white buicks, stakes, and Cathy Brennan did, was provide a similar pretext - in which it is possible for the oppressor to "turn the tables" and claim to be oppressed by the oppressed.

It was a monumental error on the part of the parties who participated in that conversation.

However, this morning,I noted on Facebook a misstep by a friend of mine, in the pushback against the threat:

Teresa Ellen Reeves
Transsexual Independence, Secession & Liberation from Transgender Assimilation & Dictatorship. I know Monica Roberts will play the victim. "Pimpslapping" a White Lesbian is an assault on all Women by a Racist Black male stereotype. Anyone who supports racism, threats of murder & her attacks on me will be deleted.

My response:

Joann Prinzivalli
The institutionalized racism ought to be visible. Don't you realize that there are two basic racist stereotypes imposed on black men? One is the buffoon, the other is that of the violent rapist lusting after white women. Regardless of how you feel about Monica's conversation about buicks and stakes, you are going about this in the worst possible way. I do not condone violence, threats of violence, or even idle threats of violence. But this IS not how to address that.

Theresa's response:

Teresa Ellen Reeves

My issue with Monica is personal.

A betrayal which went from 0 to Hate overnight.

Throughout 2010 I made a tremendous effort in building a network of advocates and allies promoting a moderate progressive position of transsexual, intersex, tra...nsgender and LGBT unity.

I had from the day I came on to Facebook supported the right to individual self-identification of those living full time. But also from day one I wanted to stop the erasure of the word transsexual and the recognition of the distinctive differences between those who are transsexual, transgender and intersex. A 2 'T' & I advocacy..

I was able to build this incredible alliance of 35 advocates and I was recruited by Arianna Davis, an African American post transsexual woman to her co-founded international trans advocacy organization, Gender Identity Empowerment Coalition (GIEC), where I would eventually rise to become the Vice President, then President.

I was proud of the diversity of that alliance and was honored to have among my friends all these African American transsexual and transgender women including Arianna Davis, Ashley Love, Tracy Bumpus & Monica Roberts.

GIEC suffered a crisis of credibility and of financial and structural integrity and in December 2010, I sought advice and counsel from the five women I trusted the most including Ashley Love & Monica Roberts. Monica had enough respect and regard for me to publish my essay on the "Inside Story" of GIEC on her award winning blog.
My best supporter and ally during the GIEC crisis when I was trying to righten the ship in stormy seas was Tracy Bumpus whom I would have named as my Vice President.

But in January 2011, all hell broke loose.

Pam's House Blend, a blog by an African American lesbian launched a four part attack on Ashley Love by Autumn Sandeen, a transgender woman.

I wrote an essay in defense of Ashley that emphasized the distinction between transsexual and transgender and I came under fire by another African American transgender blogger, Antonia "Dysonnance" D'orsay, who slammed me as transphobic, hompohobic, ethnocentric and essentialist, calling me a "fucking asswipe" and accused me of causing transgender people to be murdered just for expressing my opinion.

My essay is then reposted by Sharon Gaughan on TSSi where I am mauled by three transsexual essentialist pit bulls who accuse me in my moderate position of being a "tranny dupe and shill " with my head shoved into the toilet serving my transgender "masters".

Monica Roberts then declares war on Ashley Love calling her a Nazi and a fascist, a tool of WWBTs, "White Women Born Transsexual" espousing the idea that transsexuals are nothing but White separatist elitists, the only ones who can afford sex reassignment surgery who bought their "vanilla scented" "neo-coochies" for $10,000.

Then she declares that there are no real transsexual Persons of Color and she White Paints, White Baits, & White Bashes anyone who disagrees-- including me, a person of Native American and Scots Irish heritage and she even refers to me as one of the Nazi "Ubermensch" and as one of Ashley's WWBT "Uber Alles".

And then Tracy Bumpus attacks, calling herself a "transwoman" who doesn't want to be female and who states that "being a woman is just a state of mind", that she wants to keep and use her "d**k and that she is just the same -as much a woman and and man as I am, although she didn't have her penis "altered" or folded.

So yes, Joann, please, let us condemn and denounce all institutionalized racism for the evil that it is. But Black racism and the hatred and bashing of transsexual women by transgender women is perfectly excusable. As are joking remarks about "pimpslapping" of women, using a Louisville Slugger and a vehicle to kill someone. and being "Monica The Vampire Slayer" are all in good fun.

If you approve of her hateful remarks and her attacks on me I will be glad to delete you. But like the Capital One commercial she mentions, she may have to pay for her hate with "what's in her wallet"!

Well, I don't approve of the attacks. None of them.

I don't approve of threats of violence, regardless of whether they are seriously inended. Whenever I do a TDOR service, it is terribly, terribly draining - and last time I had a minister and a ministerial intern to share the burden. Violence breeds violence.

Thanks to Godwin's Law, I personally *try* to avoid characterizing oppressors or political opponents as Nazis. I did photoshop a picture of Adolph Hitler reviewing the troops, replacing his head with that of G.W. Bush, and included Dick Cheney and Bush's first Attorney General. Haviong done the job, I admired it, but never circulated it. The title of the work was "Amerika Uber Alles" and it was intended as satire - still, I thought it inflammatory.

I will and do make appropriate references to Orwellian Newspeak, because so much of the oppressor-level rhetoric twists the truth into lies. (I know of someone who refers to these things as "partiocipating in "Opposite Day.") But that is in reference to the actual positions that are taken by the oppressor du jour.

Periodically, I have to remind myself that we must "love our enemies." I am well aware that "love" in this context is not agape. And it isn't philia. What it is in this context is respecting people on the other side as human beings.

I will cut some slack to African-Americans who slip on occasion. While I do not condone violent actions or words, I am painfully aware that institutionalized racism is still pervasive in the United States, and that African-Americans are still an oppressed people. LGBT African Americans all have multiple strikes against them when it comes to oppression.

I get pushback from the impoverished minority trans community on the issue of GENDA, because their intellectual leaders with a mArxist background see the part of GENDA that provides for a level playing field under the state hate crimes law as being perpetuative of the prison-industrial complex and is likely to be disproportionately uised against persons of color. I don't agree with that assessment, but I understand where their fear is rooted. I think their position is rooted in the well-grounded fear that *all* criminal laws are more vigorously enforced against African-Americans - and "driving while black" is still seemingly a justification for a police investigation. Studies show that there are more white people who smoke marijuana or take drugs, and way more black people who end up incarcerated for drug offenses. Studies show that even for first time juvenile offenders, a white kid will get a wrist slap while a black kid will end up with a year in juvi, for virtually the same offense. (I know a lawyer who had back-to-back cases like this in Mount Vernon, New York, the other year.)

So, I can forgive but I cannot condone. I would like to see a stronger apology than the one I did see.

I do not condone playing the racist race card in response. That is an escalation, and is unwarranted.

I have friends who are radfems, I have friends who are TS separatists. I even have friends who are Republicans. The better we get to know the oppressors, and the better they get to know us, the more likely it is that we will be treated as human beings. But we (or anyone else who is in the position of being oppressed) have to make the first move in that regard.

The situation in which oppressions are perceived in both directions are such that it becomes very difficult to unravel things. For example, there is a lot in radical feminist ideology that makes sense, especialy once I translate it. (I may use "partiarchy" sometimes, but I usually refer to it as "society." I have to remember that in many cases women participate and encourage our own oppression, and that men are also victims of this oppression, and not the sole perpetrators.)

I have rambled on enough. I have to express some sympathy to Teresa Ellen Reeves, who, according to her FB response to my suggestion that she not "go there" in the use of traditional racist rhetoric, seems to herself have been, or self-perceives herself to have been victimized by people in all parts of the LGBT spectrum.

My last thought - it's a good time to take a deep breath. With my local RL radfem group, I have recently engaged in in-person dialog. (They split off from our local LGBT Center a few years back, primarily over an issue involving an SM Discussion Group that met there, but also over the issue of transinclusion.) We may not be *there* there, but we've actually gotten past the bathroom issue. They know that I would like them to at least spell "women" differently (womyn, or wimmen) for their weekly (non-inclusive) women's rap group, or to call it a cis women's rap group. I'm actually okay with them having cis space that excludes trans women (though I am a minority of one, locally, on that point, but no one ever challenges my right to have trans space that excludes cis people!) - what I strenuously object to is the erasure and misclassification of trans women that is attendant to their use of "women" without either the "cis" or one of the radfem-associated differential spellings. At this point, they have something to think about. My point is that if I didn't recognize them as human, too, all we would be doing would be trading volleys of increasingly vituperative correspondence, rather than dealing with actual or perceived issues.

Still grinding that ax, huh Dana Lane Taylor?

BTW racism equals prejudice plus systemic power, not what a pissed off white person calls an African American she doesn't like who has a mind and opinions she doesn't agree with. Should have retained that from Sociology 101.

Om Kalthoum | August 9, 2011 6:04 PM

This comment has been deleted for violation of the Terms of Service.


While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.
The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising.

Monica, Om, I don't understand either of your comments, but they both seem rather angry. That underscores the point I was making about angry comments.

Om Kalthoum | August 9, 2011 9:02 PM

Huh? I honestly have no idea why you deleted my comment. It's very absence makes it appear, well, that I did something wrong. Or said something awful. Which I have not.

I understand that your unpaid position takes up a lot of time. And really, you can censor whatever you want for no reason at all. Your home, your rules. But I didn't break any rules. This feels like craziness! Oops, I didn't mean YOU are crazy, okay? Whassup? Have we all fallen down the rabbit hole? Help!

That is most likely my fault. See my replies to your comment.

It's not personal, Om. References to other commenters' personal characteristics can be tricky. I was asked to make a decision and I did.

Om Kalthoum | August 9, 2011 10:49 PM

I referred to Monica Robert's actual words about "White Woman Born Transsexual." She invariably plays the race card when someone disagrees with her. That's the very essence of racism (the definition of which she first broached in this thread): to speak to the amount of melanin, not the argument.

Oh well. Thanks for the reply.

Om, first, I want to say that I am in no way supporting the exchange that took place on Monica Roberts' site. The screen capture I saw on Dana's or someone's site, with not just that disgusting dialogue, which Roberts obviously encouraged, but the whole 'pimp slap' and WWBT stuff, was beyond shocking.

But your comment--do you really think racism is just calling ppl bad names when you are angry with them? I find that either extremely naive at best, or denial of racism at worst. It seems that trans ppl aren't the only ppl you think are asking for too many rights?

Actually, I *did* just report this to Jill, one of the mods. This is my first time ever doing that on Bilerico, and apparently you can't explain the reason you find it abusive, so Jill, pls see my first reply to Om's comment.

Monica, what does that have to do with Nazi references? And yes, I most certainly do have an axe to grind as you continue to publish hate-filled dangerous rhetoric on your blog. The kind of rhetoric that makes someone like Anthony think you would be okay with him talking about bashing Cathy Brennan's head in with a baseball bat. And that you fully knew what he said and added a "stake through the heart". You say you don't tolerate hate on your blog, prove it. I don't hate the transgender community but I look at them as an oppressor. However, I never condone any violence, whatsoever..."Pimp slapping" an violent images on your site, do.

OK, so I'll agree that condemning threats or even things that could be perceived as threats is an important thing to do. I'll get right on it the second non-trans LGB people police LGB commentary WRT trans issues/people as appears to be expected of trans people (actually, only women it seems - the guys get ignored again). So LGB, I'll call go out of my way to call out trans people using violent wording and imagery the exact same second you all start trolling Queerty, AmericaBlog, JMG, etc. etc and call out YOUR peers. I'm seriously sick of having the LGB held to NO standards and expecting every other segment of the population treat them like they are made of glass.

LaughrioTgirl, while I sympathize with your understandable anger about negative comments made against trans people in the blogosphere, you seem to argue that those comments justify violent words in return, or at least justify winking at violent words. A social justice movement cannot be effectively founded on violent words.

Actually Jill, I'm simply stating that I think it is just as important for trans people police each other as it is for cis LGBs to do so. Until I see a concerted effort from the LGB to hold their populations accountable, I don't see why trans people should be expected to.

Think about what happened here recently - someone called Anne Coulter "he" in comments - who pointed that out? who moderated the comments that got moderated? What happens on any LGB(t) site when segments of the LG start slamming tans people and trans issues? Who runs in and tries to explain/ mitigate the damage? It sure isn't out LG "allies" now is it?

So, we have violent commentary used about a lesbian with a history of working against trans people as a group and specific individual trans women as people. Were the comments in poor taste? yes. Had I been around to see them, I would have said something. Since it has made an article here on Bilerico, it is obviously a deal. Where then, is the article from a cis gay man talking about gay male transphobia and citing specific recent examples of it? Why is THIS issue worthy of an article by a trans woman calling out other trans women when the same level of community policing from gay men hasn't ever been addressed beyond vague nebulous placating commentary?

I was hesitant to speak up on this subject, but since anti-trans rhetoric by glb has been brought up I feel I can speak. I think your counsel applies across our communities. While I try to adopt a sticks and stones attitude about speech directed at me, I recognize that words do hurt, and not just the ones threatening or alluding violence.

OK, so I'll agree that condemning threats or even things that could be perceived as threats is an important thing to do. I'll get right on it the second non-trans LGB people police LGB commentary WRT trans issues/people as appears to be expected of trans people (actually, only women it seems - the guys get ignored again). So LGB, I'll call go out of my way to call out trans people using violent wording and imagery the exact same second you all start trolling Queerty, AmericaBlog, JMG, etc. etc and call out YOUR peers. I'm seriously sick of having the LGB held to NO standards and expecting every other segment of the population treat them like they are made of glass.

Violent behavior from trans people is very hurtful to the cause as a whole. Our enemies already assume we are smaller in number than we are, and so they will overestimate the percentage of people perpetuating this kind of language when they read something like that. They also like to assume we're somehow gross or immoral, and talking about murdering people perpetuates THAT as well. This guy(?) and others like them harm our attempts at bringing about understanding considerably. Because as much as i hate to say it, if I cannot convince even the harshest opponents to use the right pronouns, then I'm definitely not going to escape the Dysphoria, regardless of how much protective legislation is or isn't in place. We cannot position ourselves that far against our opponents, or they will take the same stance with us, and we will need to be able to fight their bigotry in the long run, not just the laws, if we truly want the world to be more comfortable for us.

Kathy Padilla | August 9, 2011 5:55 PM

All such threats of violence should be condemned - and were when this came to light a few days ago. There is no excuse.

However, difficult as it must be to deal with comments you dislike that aren't threats of violence - spending more of your article on that burden than on the actual threats of violence in an attempt to link the two is itself bordering on an ad hominen tactic that you should reconsider. It also attenuated your criticism of such actual threats. People who make comments that make you feel you need to clutch the pearls are not threatening violence.

Good point, Kathy. It's true that angry, irrational, and unreasoned comments don't equal violent words; the two simply aren't the same. However, those comments fuel a vitriolic environment, in which it's easier to slip into violent words without thinking. I can tell you that a steady diet of reading those comments, day in and day out, as I do, is definitely difficult. It is disheartening, and gives me great concern about our movement.

Kathy Padilla | August 9, 2011 9:11 PM

Perhaps we should consider the effect of the almost total vacuum surrounding the publication of the transphobic paper that sought to disenfranchise many people.

That vacuum could have been filled by other comments. By those reasonable voices you prefer. But they - and let's not forget several orgs that should have spoken up besides those reasonable people - chose silence. How many of those reasonable people wrote publicly on the issue? Why? Were they afraid of being painted as unreasonable trans people as we see so often? Were they afraid they might have to admit that they assessed the author incorrectly and gave her some veneer of respectability on the issue they now regret?

There's more than enough blame to go around. But - it should also be acknowledged that some people who are disfavored due to the manner of how they post objections were right, and were the only ones who spoke up. Other voices could have also filled that vacuum.

It isn't at all unreasonable to think they should have.

"Perhaps we should consider the effect of the almost total vacuum surrounding the publication of the transphobic paper that sought to disenfranchise many people."

Personally, I feel that was the best response. Why give it publicity and engage with the community that supports that kind of thing? To me, it lends some kind of credibility to their argument.

And "enough blame to go around"? Really? Brennan and whoever the other person was (she seems to be totally left out of this, somehow) wrote some complicated, self-contradictory letter to a powerless bureaucratic entity, who, if you read their call for submissions, has previously addressed concrete and wide-spread abuses of women, not some theoretical whinging by some fringe group. Yes, it certainly advocated policing some ppl on a small scale, and that isn't good, but overall they supported the rights of TG and TS women on the wider societal scale, and DID NOT make any kind of personal threats to anyone. I don't think they even advocated violence toward men in women's private spaces, just opposed the laws that they feel allow the men easier access.

That exchange on Roberts's site was self-satisfied musing on brutal ways to kill a particular person. How is that on the same level?

I don't know Cathy Brennan's history, and certainly don't have favorable opinion of her based on her paper and on her comments in various exchanges about it, but to me a lot of this seems to be payback. The other author seems to have escaped the wrath of the TG community, while Brennan is being virtually murdered in effigy.

I just don't get how ppl can be okay with that, or justify it.

Kathy Padilla | August 9, 2011 10:07 PM

You seem to be going off in directions I didn't make any statement on. On the one comment where you did respond to what I said - it's a matter if record that some people and orgs called one of the authors their right hand on working on trans rights in that state. They called her am ally. The authors call out several civil rights orgs for harming women by supporting trans civil rights.

Yeah - they had a responsibility to address those statements given the increasing amount of public comment on the article.

"There's more than enough blame to go around."

Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by this. I interpreted this to mean that the violent statements were on the same level as the submission to the UN. If I was wrong, I am sorry, and I apologize.

Kathy Padilla | August 9, 2011 10:27 PM

Apology accepted.

Thanks, I truly am sorry that I jumped to conclusions about what you were saying. :)

Kudos to you, Carol, for being willing to apologize for making a mistake. I wish more of us were willing to note our mistakes when we (including me, many times) jump on someone in error. That would go a long way to raising the level of the debate a great deal. Thank you, Carol.

We need to do what is right regardless of what anyone or other groups do. Should I wait on others to have the right attitude before I exhibit love and compassion with my social justice? Nope!
Thank you Jullian, for pointing us in the right way on this.

Virginia, I couldn't agree more. I will let this stand as a response to those who are attempting to justify not speaking up about violent words.

Who is justifying that Jill? Since I'm the only person here even vaguely questioning this public act of community contrition, I guess you mean me? All, I'm doing is setting the exact same level of expectation for the cis gay men who write for Bilerico, can't wait for that article to happen.

Angela Brightfeather | August 9, 2011 8:06 PM

Here is a statment that might surprise a lot of you. Knowing the history of Mr. Cassabeer to some degree and having walked into congressional offices with him on a number of occasions and stood side by side with him while arguing for Trans people regarding hate crimes, ENDA and any number of maddening and unfair practices, I will state catagorically that I only wish that he might be by my side if I am attacked because I would enter the gates of Hell with him and feel confident that someone had my back.

I understand how all of your comments as written are correct and I agree with all of you about the use of violence as a last resort to any problem. I also do not relegate that to matters concerning just our Trans Community, but in all human interactions.

I also understand that testosterone does not rule in our community and estrogen does, and many, many times in our history that has proven to be a bitter pill to swallow when our people are killed and buried in shallow graves, or bludgeoned to death with fire extinguishers. And Mr. Cassabeer has seen that and more in his time standing up for our rights. I don't excuse the words he used, but when I read the recent post about what Ms. Brennan had written and sent to the UN, I also felt the "the big T" welling up inside of me.

What I do not understand about our community is how "every time" we need to take organized action against someone like Brennan, we still turn the other cheek and then get mad at those of us that get mad also. When was the last demonstration to defend this community? When was the last time our community raised it's voice and embraced outright activism?

Instead, I read about some in this community planning to "attack" anyone with a different idea or an old idea that they feel "they" need to change. Where were the voices from our community when the "attack" word was sounded a number of times last week in posts on Bilerico? Attack comes in many forms and ways. But it seems that the results always hurt the other person or group being attacked. I see some difference between someone who threatens to "plan against this community and attack it every chance they have" and verbal threats of physical abuse, but not that much.

There is always a line in our minds that is drawn when we hear about physical types of threats being made. That line differs in people's minds and it often moves in one direction or another when we are attacked by others. The severity of our own defense is often set by what the "proper" thing to do is and far to often favors statements like "I'm very sorry, but I don't do in your face activism" or "violence never solves anything", both, which I find far to general and limiting to be held to 100% of the time in moments of fear and angst.

Generally, responses that amount to physical threats do indicate that someone has stepped over the line, but other times it is justified in the defense of loved ones and family. In this case regarding the statements of Mr. Cassabeer, I would not have said what he did because my line is in a differnt place and after being "attacked" on occassions by people inside the Trans Community, I have learned not to cross that line. But I also understand why he feels that the Trans Community is most certainly his family. I have seen him defend it peacefully and appropriately to many times and I am willing to cut him some slack this time.

Transsexualims is rare. Cross-dressing males is not rare. My guess would be that there is way more testosterone in the transgender community than estrogen.

"I agree with all of you about the use of violence as a last resort to any problem." I didn't see anyone agree to this.

And you ended up defending his violent talk of murdering cathy. *pouty face*

"'"I agree with all of you about the use of violence as a last resort to any problem.' I didn't see anyone agree to this."

Well, *I* agree with this. If violence is the answer (or even violent trash-talk that you don't intend to act on), then you are asking the wrong question. I totally feel that violence is only acceptable in direct defense of self of others, and should be a last resort, NOT an answer to words, no matter how hurtful and despicable you find them.

That exchange made me sick to my stomach. And the rest of that site seems to be pretty much in the same vein.

And I find Angela's defense of this guy pretty disgusting too.

"The most-cited estimates of the prevalence of transsexualism are based on counts of gender reassignments in European clinics many years ago. Observing that reassignments have been in a start-up transient , we extend those results by recalculating prevalence from the accumulating incidence data, taking into account birth, reassignment and death rates and then, based on age-distributions of reassignment data, we determine the inherent number of persons who at some point in life will undergo reassignment. From this reanalysis of those early reports, we determine lower-bounds on the prevalence of the underlying condition of transsexualism to be between 1:1000 and 1:2000, using those reports own data. We then present more recent incidence data and alternative methods for estimating the prevalence of transsexualism, all of which
indicate that the lower bound on the prevalence of transsexualism is at least 1:500, and possibly higher."

http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Prevalence/Reports/Prevalence%20of%20Transsexualism.pdf

IOW, transsexuality isn't as rare as people would like to believe it is.

Om Kalthoum | August 9, 2011 8:53 PM

Surely you understand that there's a big honkin' difference between the bazillion bits of trash deposited on the internet by anonymous people who seem to spend their lives calling all trans women "men in dresses" or all lesbians "angry, smelly, hairy dykes" - there's a difference between that dreariness and having known individuals (one, an officer in a state organization) speaking quite graphically about how they'd like to kill another specific, named individual.

Actually, rather than with anger, I tend to look at it a bit differently. It never fails to amaze me what people will do in the way of unzipping and exposing themselves in public. Are they so stupid that they don't realize how many people are watching?

Renee Thomas | August 9, 2011 9:33 PM

That's quite enough . . .

The defense of one's person is one thing but the use of violent, transphobic, homophobic and racist rhetoric to counter the same is never justified no matter the real or perceived insult. There truly is no greater abomination than that the oppressed take up the very weapons of the oppressor.

"My activism did not spring from being black...The racial injustice that was present in this country during my youth was a challenge to my belief in the oneness of the human family." - Bayard Rustin

When I was a kid, about age of 11 or 12, I lived in Germany because my father was stationed there in the Air Force. We lived in the base housing and the baseball fields nearby were a fun place to hang out during Little League season. I always hung out there to watch the games, or to play in them.

One season, I remember another boy who would bully and harass me constantly, calling me names and making snide comments. One day, I couldn’t take it any longer, so I made a fist and punched him in the nose. He stopped bothering me from that point on.

Fast forward 48 years. At this point, I have been Monica for over 14 years, been an activist for 13 years and involved nationally for 12 years. For that last 12 years, one person has been a bully and has harassed me on a constant basis. I am a regular punching bag on her blog and the blogs of her followers, calling me “Mr. Helms” all the time. She has harassed me here as well.

I bring this up to show how a person can wish violence on someone when they see this for so many years. Our enemies outside the community can be no less hateful. We had a State Rep here in GA, by the name of Bobby Franklin, who equated LGBT people to drugs dealers and perverts, verbalizing it on the House floor. There are two lesbians in the House. He died of a heart attack a few weeks ago, at the age of 57. I wanted him out of office, but not that way. I did pray for his family.

Do I want beat some of the bullies who attack me to a bloody pulp? The short genetic distance between me and cave women can rear its ugly head occasionally. However, as a 60 year-old, 21st Century, modern woman, I am fully aware that if I were to do, or even say I want to do to them what I did to that boy in Germany, I would become Bubba’s new girlfriend in a prison. I couldn’t handle that.

Many trans activists have had targets on their backs for years by local politicians, ministers, national hate groups, gays and lesbians, and even other trans people. Basic human nature cannot always be controlled. However, we have to do whatever it takes to control those feelings, otherwise we will end up like several people who used to comment here . . . banned.

Gee, or perhaps treating others like humans beings, is the right thing to do, even if they are making bad speech about you? Instead of confirming that you are the low-life they say you are?

Is the only reason to not be like the ppl who disgust you is that you feel they have the power, and will use it to punish you? That seems to run counter to what King, Gandhi, and Thoreau did. I don't know about you, but personally that isn't the kind of person I want to be...

I would consider it arrogant to place myself anywhere near King, Gandhi or Thoreau. I live in a world where at age 11, I punched a bully in the nose, at age 22, I helped save a submarine from flooding, at age 46, I had to tell my 15 and 13 year-old sons I would no longer be a man, had to kicked two trans people out of my house for being bums and had been harassed by trans bullies for over a decade. When you get harassed by bullies for that long, then come back and tell me how you responded like King and Gandhi to them all those years. Walk a mile in my shoes, if you dare.

You sure toot a big horn. How much does that thing weigh anyway Monica?

The person who made the original comments has issued an apology, for those who haven't seen it yet.

Mhmmm... Casebeer's reads to me like one of those "I regret getting caught" apologies. He certainly was very imaginative and eloquent in conceiving ways to brutally murder someone. You certainly don't have to look far or hard to prove the anti-TGs claim that TGs are deranged.

And Roberts essentially said she shouldn't have to apologize, it was all a racist attack by white ppl who want to oppress her. And, "Or, I may be, but you are worse, Brennan!"

Agreed, the fallout likely would have been different if a white blogger had that exchange. It still doesn't make what she has on her site less violent and less stereotyping of all white ppl who may disagree with her. She seems proud of her in-your-face-approach, but I find it off-putting. If that makes me a racist WWBT in her opinion, she is free to express that, I really don't care personally. I am way past what anyone im the trans or lesbian communities thinks of me as a person, but I just can't all this anti-social crap that gets posted by them all.

Stating one is going to use deadly force (as a baseball bat certainly has been used for in the past and thus considered to be a deadly weapon)..and retracting this statement by describing it as "less than elegant"...makes me just want to throw up. How often people forget that a threat is a threat is a threat whether orally or in print....I have a feeling that soon looking "bad" on Facebook will be the least of someone's concerns.

I have been a violent person. I have been a racist. I have been many other things I am not proud of too. There is still some violence within me that I keep inside and there are prejudices that I keep inside of me. It is pent up anger, but I don't allow myself to be these things to others. I am not guilty of all evil things that pass through my mind, but I am guilty of the things that allow myself to do. I don't want to harm people. But I pray that I can walk away. I have walked away, from people that have said horrible things to me in public, but still within in me I wanted to do them harm. I'm not saying I won't ever be violent again but I pray not, because I hated myself after some things that I did and wished I had had the intelligence, the fortitude to resist myself. It is I that I must fight the most, not my enemies. But if one should choose to be in the public eye, they represent others and it is those others and it is those you represent you should keep in mind first, before you speak, before you act. How many more little black children would have been murdered if Dr. King had resorted to violence? How many more innocents would have been murdered if the majority of blacks had resorted to violence? I thank Dr. Kings God that they walked after the way peace and it was through non violence that they succeeded, and that saved thousands of lives. It is so easy to say things behind a screen and protected within your home. But ask anyone who has ever been in the throes of mass violence and they will tell you they would beg any power that exists to stop it and like a raging sea, it would not. Exhorting violence is wrong. I can also understand Ms. Brightfeather's willingness to forgive. He did not do violence to anyone but he did make a mistake, by proclaiming violence publicly, and unfortunately he should lose his position for what he said.

"I would consider it arrogant to place myself anywhere near King, Gandhi or Thoreau."

True that, at least for KIng and Gandhi, what you dealt with would have been all in a day for them. I don't say you are wrong to feel anger, I feel a lot of anger too, at a lot of ppl. I am just saying that holding on to that anger and justifying it, and replying in like to the ppl who wronged you doesn't accomplish anything except to escalate things, and to make you like the ppl you are fighting. Justice and speaking the truth to wrong is different from revenge.

Carol, I'm not looking for revenge any longer, but I will not turn the other cheek. That was the point I was trying to make. Like what happened to State Rep Bobby Franklin, karma can be a bitch. I have seen karma turn on people on a dime and it never surprises me. The trash talk that Bobby Franklin spouted came back on him much quicker and in a way none of us expected. Sometimes, karma takes its sweet time, and those who have trashed talked me in the past are just building up more bad karma. I don't have to seek revenge, because time is the great equalizer in justice. Just don't expect me to not break a smile when karma swings back at them.

Monica, I'd like to call your attention to the fact that the word "bitch" in this context is considered derogatory. Please don't use it here.

Sorry, Jill, but I have to disagree with you on this. I used the word in the context that it is come to be used. I wasn't referring to anyone, but to a nebulous idea. Should I use "bastard" next time? Just wondering.

It's times like this where Bilerico had some indication on which posts are the new ones. It used to be able to do that. Are the Bilerico techies not able to figure this one out?

Rachel Bellum | August 10, 2011 2:55 AM

I was wondering about that myself the last couple of days. It did make following posts with large numbers of comments easier to follow.

Rachel, you notice no one in Bilerico is responding to the.

Let's look at the comments that those who are most vehemently criticising Mr Casebeer, and reporting his words to newspapers, approve of and applaud. For context.

“oh my god, Margaret and Fab — I can just imagine their gloating if they can get female body parts and reproduce (not to mention how reproduction is destroying the earth and the likelihood of birth defects and bad health from babies coming from such a place.) There are no words to describe them. There are tiny parasitic wasps who paralyse small animals (spiders, caterpillars, etc.) and lay their eggs on them, so the animal is alive while being slowing eaten by the growing baby. But the wasps aren’t deliberately cruel. These men remind me of a deliberately female-hating version of that. They’ve prove what I’ve been saying for decades — they are more female-hating than even many het men. The character in Silence of the Lambs who skinned women to wear really seems more accurate all the time.”
http://wewillnot.wordpress?.com/2010/11/30/wtf-is-wit?h-the-intersex-comments/#c?omment-1022


I knew those fuckers were disgusting, but really, they’re worse than I thought in how they don’t even pretend to care about females. To blame us for them being killed by other men? Their arrogance and oppressiveness is amazing. It is funny though that they are so used to Feminists immediately bowing before them that they don’t know how to deal with that we don’t care what happens to them. They expect we’ll be shocked to see statistics about them being killed, and don’t realize, some of us wish they would ALL be dead.”
http://wewillnot.wordpress?.com/2010/11/30/wtf-is-wit?h-the-intersex-comments/#c?omment-1020

“Pseudo, you’re right — they’re the ones who kept taking about violence and murder. But really, they should be careful about giving some angry women those ideas. I can’t imagine that every one of them hasn’t raped or molested a female at some point. ”
http://wewillnot.wordpress?.com/2010/11/30/wtf-is-wit?h-the-intersex-comments/#c?omment-995

they should be very careful about giving some angry women those ideas... the Threat Direct. Stop talking about the violence against you, or it will get worse.

Britney Austin | August 10, 2011 12:16 AM

I'll offer some thoughts and opinions in response to this article and some of the comments. First, it is usually wiser to respond to problems logically and not emotionally. When people respond emotionally (as we have already seen) they say stupid stuff that ends up getting them in trouble. At the time they say those things it seems logical to them because they are extremely angry but then they are responding with adrenaline and not under the influence of normal processes.

I had already stated both on Facebook as well as on Mercedes Allen's article on this website that there were a number of problems with Cathy Brennan's and Elizabeth Hungerford's letter and the way that they went about the project. But let's take a step back and think logically here. What Ms. Brennan and Ms. Hungerford did was protected free speech. Unpleasant speech to many, yes, but protected free speech nonetheless. I find it disturbing that people would openly call for the murder of someone over something as petty as a disagreement.

Violence as far as I'm concerned only really has its proper place for self defense or defense of others when life or limb is in danger. A disagreement is not grounds for violence or threat of violence. It is my understanding that the United Nations was soliciting opinions and their letter was simply one of many opinions sent to them. It isn't like Cathy Brennan is leading an army of UN troops into the United States to start tearing down people's doors and incarcerating transsexual or transgender people. Furthermore, the U.S. is a soverign nation. The UN could want us all sent to the gas chambers if they want but they have no authority here. So people have blown this whole thing way out of proportion.

We all need to look at the bigger picture. I want TS and TG rights but I also want the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. If I or someone else cannot speak freely or disagree on a topic without the fear of getting our heads blown off then we aren't in a free country anymore. This kind of behavior severely endangers freedom. Threats of violence or actual violence as a result of someone's speech or potential future speech is denying them their civil rights to speak freely. And sadly I don't think this is an isolated incident. While it is happening in the LGBTTI community it is also happening throughout our entire American society. We are losing our freedoms over fears. It must stop.

I also want to address the topic of racism. Monica Roberts and some others define racism as "prejudice plus systemic power" and then refer me to "Sociology 101." I'm going to say also that free speech is not to be quashed in the name of expert speech or in the name of political correctness (i.e. popular speech). Just because I've taken a variety of college courses myself does not require me to agree with everything the professor had to say. Just because someone has a degree doesn't mean they know everything. They likely have much more extensive knowledge in total on the subject(s) they studied but that doesn't necessarily mean they are correct on everything either. A team of Ph.D. scientists could all get together and form a conclusion that the earth is flat. It doesn't mean that the earth is flat just because they say so. I don't have to agree that transsexualism should be referred to as "gender identity disorder" just because a team of doctors on the WPATH board say so. We certainly need experts in our society because they usually are mostly correct and more knowledgable than the general public on those subjects but we need to stop blindly accepting whatever the experts have to say without question. I don't need to have a Ph.D. in common sense to have common sense.

And back to the point, I personally define racism as prejudice on the basis or race and I have read dictionary definitions similar to this view. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race for instance. Using that definition it protects both African Americans and Caucasian Americans from discrimination. I routinely see comments on here and elsewhere complaining about "white transsexuals" or "white women born transsexual" and other things criticizing white people and then don't see a shred of evidence to back it up. I do consider it racist as a result.

I appreciate Dr. Jillian Weiss for posting this article and speaking out on this subject. I personally think we need to hold our own leaders to high standards. Threats of violence such as these should not be tolerated. Societal acceptance does work both ways. I believe that respect is something that is earned, it is not automatic. We as a community also need to get our own house in order. I actually see what I consider to be quite a bit of prejudice against the mainstream public by members of our own community. It is pretty routine to see the typical "straight white Republican cissexual male" complaints or bashing. But it works both ways. There are S.W.R.C.M.'s who actually do respect and support LGBTTI issues. Why alienate the ones who do? Alienating the heteronormative public at the same time we are asking for acceptance by them is not going to work. In-fighting is not going to work either. The in-fighting can be solved in such a simple manner as I've stated before: that each letter of the LGBTTI acronym be able to represent itself. Lesbians should be the primary spokespeople on lesbian issues. Medical transsexuals should be the primary spokespeople on transsexual medical conditions. Same with the rest of the letters. Anything less is co-opting and re-branding. It needs to stop.

Rachel Bellum | August 10, 2011 2:53 AM

I remember once seeing a lenghty comments section discussion on 365gay following Prop 8 and another incident advocating rioting and physical personal attacks. I'm prepared to ignore a few trolls or to try to understand when people who feel hurt make emotional statements, but I found that behavior embarassing and potentially harmful. On other days depending on what the article there was about you could easily predict the ugly, hateful and violent comments that would be posted. I remember James Withers spending a lot of time calling out people he referred to as "keyboard radicals" and many commenters were not happy with him for doing it. I don't read the comments there as much as I did formerly, but I think the comments section has changed.

As tragic as the incident with Larry King was, I remember being proud that some local LGBT organizations (I don't recall now which) came out asking that Brandon be treated as rationally as possible. At the time, online comments regarding the case and Brandon were frequently violent themselves, and I recall many people turning on those advocacy groups with additional violent statements.

I am a martial artist. I taught for years, including self-defense classes. I am prepared to accept violence as the answer under certain conditions. I would rather that no one ever experiences those conditions and I would rather be part of a community that actively seeks to hold itself to high standards including the absence of violence or violent speech. Or even just hateful speech.

I'm not trying to suggest I am always capable of living up to that, but when I fail it's nice to have others around who can help get me back on track.

This was a very important and necessary article, Dr. Weiss, and I'm deeply grateful to you for having published it. Violence is never the answer.

That being said, my impression is that many of the radical feminists bait and provoke transgender people for the express purpose of eliciting an intemperate response, which can then be exploited for further gain. Worse, even plain and direct statements against violence are deliberately mischaracterized as having the opposite meaning: Mercedes' article had an unequivocal statement against violence ("I want to be clear that I'm not advocating violence..." she wrote), yet one of the radical feminists blogs portrayed her as saying precisely the opposite. This isn't a group of people that believes in principles. This is a group of people whose sole desire is to win. And they're playing us like a violin.

Ms. Brennan didn't lose her temper on Facebook. She did something superficially more mature and less blameworthy, but in substance far more insidious and farther reaching in its consequences for transsexual people. She advocated legally for the dismantling of the meager few statutes designed to shield us from the world's hatred (while making meaningless blanket statements against "irrational discrimination" against transgender people). The personal consequences of this for individual transsexual and transgender people are immeasurably bad.

Don't ever engage in violence. Don't ever engage in threats. But please, don't refrain from calling evil by its name. Cooperation with evil is not the way to a more just world, either.

I agree with your point about manipulation by certain "radical" feminists on the internet, Eva. Their vitriolic denunciations of the entire trans community, as I witnessed on some of their websites during the past week, is very wrong. And yet, tempted as I was to argue, I also realized that these are angry people who want a fight, who are looking to bait people into fiery flame wars of no consequence by their bigoted statements. There's no sense engaging with them, as they have little power to influence policy because of their rabid, over-the-top style. I'm glad Mercedes wrote her article, and made a reasoned policy response. I'm glad she said she opposes violence. The fact that this was turned upside down and made to seem the opposite on some blog that very few people read is to be ignored entirely.

More to the point to me than their lack of relevance is that they are extreme and entreched. Like some of the commenters we had here a while back, such ppl are not interested in seeing any common ground or even listening and considering anything you tell them. IMO, engaging with such ppl is a complete waste of time. Really, contradicting them just makes them feel even more sure of their hostile opinions (and I am not just talking about the radical feminists).

As far as relevance and material impact on the larger culture of the sites Mercedes linked to, though: I had never heard of this latest batch of radical feminist sites before Mercedes' post. As usual, I went and explored the sites she linked, then spread out to the sites of the commenters and to the links the original sites listed. I laughed my butt off at most of what I read, it was so over-the-top and out there. For one thing, for ppl who seemingly spend most of their waking time thinking about trans women, they sure don't know much (my fave was that 'men' who have had SRS get internal erections when they get aroused--I guess they can fuck themselves? that'd be a neat trick, I think--I have to use toys).

And the one who is really exercised about 'PIV' (took some reading to find out that was 'penis-in-vagina'), who seems to feel that is the most destructive force in the world? Well, she is str8 and has a BF. I guess she doesn't let him near her with 'that thing'? Funniest to me about this, though, is I know a lot of str8 women who prolly really *would* attack her if she tried to keep them from having a penis in them (I dunno, maybe they have been indoctrinated by the patriarchy to enjoy being fucked?).

As part of the LGB community I agree. Cathy and I have had many arguments on both transgender and GLB issues and I have called her out numerous times. She has actually threatened to sue me and has blocked me on Facebook. I think more LGB people need to but unfortunately I think many back out when bullied and threatened by things like being sued.
As for the violence called for it is disgusting to say the least. Anger should never bring someone to make these type of threats period.

One thing almost everyone here has in common. Feeling of oppression. One group hates the other group and that group hates another group and it is a big circle. However, all of these people are generally good people. All are concerned about their rights and it usually doesn't align with the other groups. I have tried to have rational discussions with the transgender community before and found it pretty much impossible. I don't see we will all ever agree on everything but just because we don't agree doesn't mean the other person is bad.

Really? You have a site whose title is automatically confrontational to TG ppl, and you regularly demonize them, and invalidate them, and you are surprised you can't have rational discussions with them? I mean, seriously, what do you consider a rational discussion? That they agree they are oppressing TS women, and that they are a blight on the world?

Do you ever have discussions with religious fundamentalists, or other right-wingers who feel TS women are sickos, and should not exist? If so, how well do those discussions go?

Carol, I was on the fence at one time with transsexual vs transgender. I actually was. However, I had feelings that I didn't belong there. Something didn't feel right, to say the least. I tried to discuss my feelings with some transgender leaders as well as in some support sites and was viciously attacked. I SERIOUSLY wanted to talk to them. Which side of the fence did I end up on? We all know that answer. And the more vicious attacks the further from the fence I get. This isn't brain surgery.

Dana, if you are serious and genuine about wanting to talk with a trans activist, I am willing to do so. I do not know you. I have never read your blog and I am supposedly a leader in the community. Since I am a distant third party, I can look at things in a fresh light. You care to talk? Drop me an E-mail at monicahelms@earthlink.net.

Monica, that time has come and gone long ago, unfortunately. Thanks for reaching out, however.

There is always time, especially since you and I haven't communicated before. I have made friends with a person who transitioned in the 70s and started Women Born Transsexuals. She was strongly against transgender people and was an icon in her part of the community. Now, we are good friends and respect each other greatly. She preceded you by decades, yet she took the time. If you are afraid, you shouldn't be. Life is to short to carry around concerns without facing them. I'm here.

There is a factor here that has to be considered and that is not being paid attention to.

Stuff like the paper that Ms. Brennan and Ms Hungerford wrote kills trans people.

At the level that it is at, it usually takes a few months to trickle down into the community, but often it is something like that that provides the proverbial last straw, and cracks open the darkness that leads to suicide.

When most advocates and activists get exceptionally angry and threats come out of their mouth (and I mean actual threats, not the pretend threats that are often trumped up into actual ones based on specious misrepresentation), what is going on at the back of their minds is usually that little thing.

We don't have a TDOR for those who are killed by this kind of unkindness, this sort of emotional and spiritual violence that has, on its surface, so much seeming pleasantry. We likely cannot -- the number of trans suicides is so great it would take a much longer period of time.

This may not be the same as using some slur, but the potential impact on hope, on possibility, is tremendous, and that has to be accounted for in the process of such -- and while describing driving over someone and then triumphantly displaying their blood is not all that great an idea, and we should condemn such. So the question is when do we raise that point.

And that should be raised when we condemn this sort of writing. This is not a case of "one wrong" done against Ms Brennan, this is a case of two wrongs, and no rights.

It is not a case of Ms Brennan deserving it, either -- she doesn't. But the community of which Mr. Casebeer is a part also doesn't deserve what she did to it.

To note that she didn't deserve such means that one must also recognize that the trans community did not deserve such -- and the statistical likelihood of a trans person giving up hope and passing beyond this veil on reading such drivel is much greater than Ms Brennan actually being hit by the car and individual in question.

And, for that matter, the column itself doesn't merely mention the wrongness of the threat, it then proceeds to walk into the territory of a tone argument.

The justness of the anger on any side is measured in terms not of the individual, but of the class conflict involved. This is a conflict primarily twixt cis women and trans women. All are women, all are equally oppressed as women, but outside the intersection of womanhood, there is the issue of the cis/trans oppressive structure.

It is in that space -- a space which Ms Brennan and others of similar mindset give no recognition to, as it would reveal the underlying privileges inherent there -- that one sees the impact of this tone argument.

The anger on the part of trans people, who are, in the end, fighting the same entrenched institutionalized aspects of sexism as Ms Brennan and Ms Hungerford, is very real, and very strong.

What they do with that anger is the problem, not the anger itself.

As transgender persons, violence too often visits us in the dark of night. It reaches inside our homes, our bedrooms, on public sidewalks, in fast food restaurants and other public venues for the simple act of trying to access a restroom. Here in the U.S., compared to other parts of the world, we are more fortunate, unless violence comes to visit us. Anyone who makes or implies a threat in any medium, has already broken criminal law, particulary in today's climate.

If I understand it correctly, Mr. "had a Case(of)Beer" is a male and living as a cis-male. Although he might have begun transition, certainly he never completed it so I don't understand how he is "one of us"---that is a trans person. Making criminal threats on the Internet are also more than just threats---the interstate medium we know as the Internet means that interstate boundaries have been crossed. Guess what this means? Online threats/communications fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI. So, a word to the unwise is in order....under no circumstances is violence justified EXCEPT in self-defense. Allow me to produce credibility..as a trans female with law enforcement history, I submit this to be true.

As far as the letter to the U.N.----I don't quite get all the fuss. From my non-political perspective, the U.N. relative to the U.S. is impotent.

I find your changing of Casebeer's last name as disrespectful. You may not like what AC said, but this is not an acceptable response. It underlines the whole reason this article was written in the first place. He apologized. Now it's your turn.

Well, I haven't read any comments on this thread as of yet but after reading your Post here on Bilerico I completely agree with you. Your not alone.