Bil Browning

Introducing Ronald Gold

Filed By Bil Browning | December 10, 2009 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: Bangledesh, Gay Activists Alliance, GLAAD, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Ronald Gold

Please join me in welcoming new contributor Ronald Gold.

ronaldgold-bio.jpgRonald was the media director for the Gay Activists Alliance in the early l970's and is one of the five original founders and first media director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. He spearheaded the final successful movement effort to remove homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association's list of disorders and initiated the earliest movement contacts with major newspapers, magazines, broadcast networks, wire services, film and television associations & guilds. Ronald wrote the first media guide for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Ronald is in a relationship with a Bangledashi man and divides his time between New York City and Bangledesh.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 10, 2009 8:56 AM

Three cheers and welcome Ronald!

I am honored to be writing next to Ronald Gold as a Bilerico colleague. What a powerhouse! Talk about out and proud - we need more like you, Mr. Gold. I loved reading your personal story, and I agree with you on so many issues. I am looking forward eagerly to reading your thoughts.

Hey, Dr. Weiss... are you still honored to be writing next to Ronald Gold, even though his "pride" involves your own erasure?

Erasure, now that sound ominous. What do you mean, Val?

Does his inaugural post ( not bear even the whiff of negation to you?

I'm not honored any more. I was honored by the idea of working with someone who fought for our rights years ago. I am not honored by the idea of working with someone who seeks to divide our community or disparage transgender people. I haven't yet had a change to read the whole post yet, but I am appalled by what I see so far. I will have more to say later.

I am reposting here the comment I made at Mr. Gold's inaugural post.

I do not defend Mr. Gold's position, as it is based on false premises. More than 60 people have stepped forward to refute his claims, making my additional rejection unnecessary.

I think we also need to have some compassion for Mr. Gold.

I would note that Mr. Gold grew up during a time when psychiatrists deemed gay men and lesbian women abnormal, treating them with electroshock and lobotomies to enforce gender stereotypes. All of us are appalled by people such as J. Michael Bailey, but imagine him with a cattle prod and a icepick, and a medical license to use it on you in 1950. Remember that there was a time in this country, within some of our lifetimes, when to be branded as gay meant being an outcast with no job and no home and no family.

The hatred of some of our LGBT rights pioneers for psychiatry has its roots in terrible abuses that were routine, and continue, though in diminished form, to this day. I reference Dylan Scholanski's excellent book, "The Last Time I Wore A Dress" for more recent manifestations. Psychiatry today is generally (though not always) a more benign profession. But I have compassion (though not agreement) for older people like Mr. Gold who remember when psychiatrists pushed some young people into sex reassignment surgery when it was not appropriate just to avoid the stigma, punishment and violence attendant on being gay. There are young people in places like Iran in similar positions even today. In Iran, I would like to set Mr. Gold free with a machine gun to free these prisoners of medical abusers.

I completely disagree with Mr. Gold's position. I question his place in this blog. I doubt his relevance to today's LGBT community. But I have compassion for him, and I hope and pray that he will use this experience to stop and think, and to learn something, about how the world has changed.

Like the Japanese soldiers who hid in the caves of Guam for decades after WWII was over, afraid to come out, Mr. Gold persists in living in a world that no longer exists. At one time it was brave and challenging to the status quo to say that men have the right to be feminine without needing surgery, and that psychiatrists abuse gay men and lesbian women by forcing sex reassignment on them. That time is long past, vanquished in part by Mr. Gold's brave efforts. That is part of what makes deriding Mr. Gold's post so bittersweet. The hero who could not stop saving people, even against their own will.

Come out, come out, wherever you are, Mr. Gold

Those horrific things happened a long time ago and I imagine that has nothing to do with his current thinking. He basically told me (being transgender) it is all in your head. I am delusional. How on earth can a person like this be writing for such a pro LGB(T) blog? I think his words are indefensible.

Wow, guilt by association. You are no better than Gold.

Ronald, welcome to being part of Bilerico. I enjoyed your earlier guest articles and look forward to reading more from you.

Your first regular article is meeting with a good deal of disagreement. I hope you won't be put off by that. Some of the value of Bilerico comes from reasoned discussion of controversial positions. If you have the time to respond to criticisms of what your write, I think it will be helpful to many readers.

Yes, and while we're at it, let's dig up and re-debate some hoary old arguments about the legitimacy of gay identity, since requiring each other to submit to endless theoretical interrogation and justification for the sake of "controversy" (I see little reason in effect here) is just so productive.

rapid butterfly | December 11, 2009 7:05 AM

yes, Mr. Gold, there has been a "good deal of disagreement" from those whose identities you've erased and the validity of whose experiences you deny, a priori ; and from those who care about us. Imagine that!

I must have missed the "reasoned discussion" of that negation. I guess it was hidden in there with the unfalsifiable assertions, the flagrant misgendering of a trans person (and, by extension, of all trans persons), and references to your "pecker."

Mr.Gold no more becomes a contributing editor to Bilerico and what does he do with his privileg but spew worthless transphobic invective like this editorial. Gee, I wonder how long this one's been kicking around in his head, just waiting to see the light of day. Been reading up on your Janice Raymond lately, Ronald? Trying to set Trans/gay relations back twenty years? I won't even waste the blood sugar I would otherwise have expended to write a more dignified response on this curmudgeonly trash as long as Mr.Gold chooses to martial the same polemic used by the self-righteous far right, like referring to GRS as "mutilation" and transsexuals as "deluded."