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United Nations Reports: Reparative “Therapy” is Torture

Major Points: Every  reputable mental health or medical association in the US denounces conversion or reparative “therapy” as harmful to its victims.

  • The United Nations defines reparative “therapy” of transgener people as torture.
  • The UN calls for national laws prohibiting conversion and reparative “therapy” and calls for prosecution of those who violate those laws.
  • Americans, particularly “Christian counselors” continue to engage in this practice, even though it is based on pseudoscience and  its practice denounced by every reputable medical organization.
  • “Leelah’s Law” is being proposed to stop reparative “therapy” in the US on a national level, both in the interest of stopping the torture of children and in helping prevent more needless suicides.

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I’d like to thank Lexie Cannes for bringing the UN report to my attention.


NOTE:  This post was written for Leelah’s Law: Support the Ban on Conversion Therapy and is reprinted here. This post may be reproduced only if it is reproduced in its entirety, including copyright notices.
© Jody Ann Malsbury & The Transgender Human Rights Institute.

 

There is nothing therapeutic about so-called reparative “therapy.” The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), in its 2012 “Position Statement on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression” stated:

Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to “convert,” “repair,” change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damage in internalized attitudes [emphasis added].

 

In fact, all other reputable medical and mental health professional associations in the US have denounced this practice: The American Psychiatric Association (APA), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), just to name a few.

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We Americans pride ourselves in being technologically innovative, socially advanced and somehow superior to the rest of the world. Despite the recent revelations about GW and the Torture Report revealing war crimes committed during his reign of terror, we Americans don’t generally view ourselves as barbaric people who torture children. Well, not so, according to the United Nations.

In a “Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” made to the Human Rights Council of the UN, it was noted that:

…“members of sexual minorities are disproportionately subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment because they fail to conform to socially constructed gender expectations. Indeed, discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity may often contribute to the process of the dehumanization of the victim, which is often a necessary condition for torture and ill-treatment to take place.” [emphasis added] (page 19)

 

Discriminating against, denying or trying to change someone’s gender identity or gender expression is clearly dehumanizing, as it seeks to malign or erase a core part of someone’s concept of who they are.  Among recommendations in the report were for all nations:

… to repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery, involuntary sterilization, unethical experimentation, medical display, reparative therapies” or “conversion therapies”, when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned. [emphasis added] (page 23)

 

Without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.”  Why would someone consent to what the UN itself has defined as torture? In any case, a minor child is legally unable to provide informed consent, therefore, any parent who subjects their child to so-called reparative or conversion “therapy”—clearly defined as torture by the UN—is violating at least 3 of the UN’s recommendations:

  1. Torture (child abuse, really) in the form of reparative “therapy”
  2. Lack of informed consent
  3. Lack of consent by the person concerned.

 

Finally, the UN report also calls for all nations to:

Promote accountability for torture and ill-treatment in health-care settings by identifying laws, policies and practices that lead to abuse; and enable national preventive mechanisms to systematically monitor, receive complaints and initiate prosecutions….  [emphasis added] (page 21)

 

I guess we’ll have to wait  and see when Leelah’s Law is enacted to see what the likelihood of anyone actually being prosecuted will be.

 

Jody Ann Malsbury, MSW
LCSW, Retired; license no longer active
Clinical Social Worker & Psychotherapist

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The Transgender Human Rights Institute is the first 501(c)3 transgender international human rights organization specifically organized for transgender rights worldwide.


© Jody Ann Malsbury & The Transgender Human Rights Institute.  This post may be reproduced only if it is reproduced in its entirety, including copyright notices.

 

 

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Enact “Leelah’s Law” to Ban Transgender Conversion Therapy for Children and Teens

Leelah's Law Whitehouse Petition

Petitions on whitehouse.gov must obtain 100,000 signatures within 30 days in order for the White House to be required to respond. Clicking on the picture will open a new tab and enable you to add your name to the petition.

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Jennifer & Marc: A Real-Life Love Story

Marc Süselbeck with the woman he loved – his fiancée Jennifer Laude   (before her savage and senseless murder by a US Marine)

An open letter to the bashers/detractors of murdered transgender Jennifer Laude, from her fiancé Marc Süselbeck

Following is a compilation of messages from Marc Süselbeck received by one Jennifer’s friends. Apparently Marc does not have a Facebook account but wanted to respond to some of the vile comments that he’s heard since Jennifer’s death. An update about Marc’s status and some final comments follow.

Posted on Facebook on October 8, 2014

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As if things couldn’t get any worse, Marc will not be able to return to the Philippines to visit Jennifer’s grave or to see her family:

 

Halloween deportation for Sueselbeck

Posted at 10/31/2014 2:56 PM | Updated as of 10/31/2014 3:40 PM

MANILA – The German fiance of slain transgender Jennifer Laude will leave the country tomorrow after his request for voluntary deportation was granted by the Bureau of Immigration.

Marc Sueselbeck will leave the country for Frankfurt, Germany.

His lawyer, Harry Roque, said Sueselbeck will hold a press conference prior to his departure.

Because of his voluntary deportation, Sueselback will be blacklisted and will no longer be allowed to return to the Philippines.

Sueselbeck was prevented from leaving the country last Sunday to face deportation proceedings for being an undesirable alien.

Last week, Sueselbeck and Laude’s sister Marilou climbed a perimeter fence inside Camp Aguinaldo in their search for US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, the suspect in Laude’s killing.

Sueselbeck later apologized for his actions and said he is not a threat to the Philippines.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/10/31/14/halloween-deportation-sueselbeck

 

To report an incident of violence anywhere in the world, contact the Trans Violence Tracking Portal here.

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Besides the horrible violence of this case, which tends, unfortunately, to be the case for many murders committed against transgender persons worldwide, there are 2 things that have struck me about Jennifer and Marc:

  1. I cannot help but be in awe of Jennifer’s beauty. There is something about her pictures that makes it very difficult for me to tear my eyes away.  It’s more than about what Jennifer looked like – it’s something about her. After reading the above comments from Marc and seeing the picture of Jennifer and Marc together, I think I know what it is…blank for blog
  2.  Marc loved Jennifer.  Just how much he loved her is reflected in his writing, the way he looked at her and the radiance in her face in the photographs of her.  Not everyone gets the opportunity to experience that kind of love, and it often doesn’t come around more than once in a lifetime.  It seems pretty clear that Marc felt lucky to have met and loved Jennifer; I wonder whether anyone has ever or will ever tell Marc how lucky Jennifer was to have had his love – not because she was trans — but because he seems to be a genuinely loving and caring man and any (non-lesbian) woman would be lucky to have him.

 

 

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Letter to US Marine Pemberton

Jennifer Laude. INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON\

 Jennifer Laude was a transgender woman murdered by a US Marine in the Philippines on October 11, 2014.  If you are not familiar with the case, you might want to refer to the following:

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This is a Facebook post addressed to 19 year old Pemberton.  I couldn’t have said it better. 

This was posted to Facebook on October, 19, 2014.

 

To PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton:

Why???

Why did you think you had the right to take her life? An American solders [sic] job is to stand up for human rights. You failed your job! You have changed peoples lives and not for the good.

Do you know what you have taken from us? Do you know who you have taken from us? You have taken someone’s son, someone’s brother, and yes I guess you have to say someone’s sister, someone’s niece, aunty [sic]. You took away someone’s lover, someone’s fiance [sic], someone’s friend. You took the family breadwinner, her brother’s education. You took away a lover of animals and one of the kindest and most honest people you could ever hope to meet. You took away a beautiful, sweet, vivacious, living, breathing, caring human being. You took away someone who brought joy comfort to those around her. You took away someone we all loved!!!

You did more than that. You betrayed your uniform, your regiment and your country. What about your family? What have you done to them? So again I ask you why? Why did you kill her? Were you so disgusted to find out you just had sex with a transsexual that you felt your only option was to kill her? WHY??? To keep anyone from finding out??? Obviously that didn’t work to [sic] well. No, you didn’t kill her to keep it quiet, you killed her because you enjoyed it! You enjoyed the time you had with her! It was the best you ever had and that scared the crap out of you because you thought it might mean you were gay! It might mean you were gay and you felt guilty for enjoying it. So by God YOU were going to ease your conscience and send a statement to the world : PFC JOESPH SCOTT PEMBERTON WAS NOT GAY!!! Wouldn’t it have been better to just tuck tail and run? Jennifer wasn’t going to tell anyone about you! Just because you enjoyed the sex you killed her? You must have liked it, they found two used condoms. Probably the best sex you ever had, unless maybe one of them was hers???? Oh shit dude!!! And now the whole world knows!!

Well guess what? It doesn’t matter!!! Don’t you get it? As long as it is between two consenting adults and hurts no one, it okay!! Even the Pope says its okay. A real man understands that! You sir are not a real man! You are a selfish homophobic bastard. May God forgive you, I sir can not! Jennifer will though, she will be the first to forgive you. Oh wait…YOU KILLED HER!! She can’t forgive you….she is gone! I know its not good to harbor bitterness and resentment towards someone and that I too need to forgive you, and I will. But not today…and sorry tomorrow doesn’t look good either. Ah hell… who am I fooling? I’ll just have to take the hit. I’m gonna hate you until the day I die. Can someone else here please forgive him? I can’t! I will pray for her family and yes dude I will even pray for yours. I will pray for all of us that are hurting because of your selfish cowardly act.

Everyone is fighting to get you tried and convicted in the Philippines. I don’t care where it happens or who does it. I just want you tried, convicted and sentenced to the most maximum punishment available irregardless of which country does it. No matter what your punishment it will never be enough. I can only hope there is a part of you that realizes how horribly wrong you were and that you are tormented forever by guilt and regret for your selfish actions.

REST IN PEACE JENNIFER

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The thing is, there isn’t any evidence that they “had sex” – if there was any sexual contact at all, evidence points towards her having been raped, which makes the story all the more tragic. This woman was not only murdered, but has been slandered by the press, being blamed for her own murder.  Transmisogyny at its finest.

 

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Süselbeck

Trans advocate Allison Woolbert takes on trans violence through technology

allison woolbertFrom LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS

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HOME TRANSGENDER, TRANSSEXUAL, TRANS DEATHS, MURDER TRANS ADVOCATE ALLISON WOOLBERT TAKES ON TRANS VIOLENCE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

allison woolbert
LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANSViolence is a major part of the lives of most transgender people in the United States and elsewhere. But being able to point to evidence supporting it is something else entirely. In most cases, trans violence incidents either fly under the radar due to misgendering, confusion, ignorance or simply not reported at all.

Transwoman and advocate Allison Woolbert of Princeton, New Jersey, a professional computer software developer, wants to change that by using computer technology to track trans violence.

Regular readers of this space are familiar with the difficulty of confirming acts of violence — incorrect names, misgendering and weak or unverifiable sources hamper the recording and reporting of trans violence. Without reliable data, reversing these conditions for trans people has been a difficult road. These issues also make it difficult for the transgender organizations that track trans murders, primarily for observation of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).

Woolbert’s Transgender Violence Tracking Portal software generates a way of capturing a verifiable and searchable database. In addition, the tracking of transgender suicide will be possible — strengthening the case for further administrative, legal and legislative changes.

The success of Allison Woolbert’s site is dependent on the trans community and allies’ commitment to reporting all suspected acts of trans violence — if you see or hear of such a case, report it, so it can be investigated and confirmed.

Report an incident: http://data.transviolencetracker.com/Inc_Reporting

_______________________________________

Transgender Violence Tracking Portal: http://www.transviolencetracker.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TransMSVTracker

More on Allison Woolbert: http://allisonwoolbert.blogspot.com/2014/10/allison-woollberts-transgender-violence.html

Watch LEXIE CANNES right now: http://www.amazon.com/Lexie-Cannes-CourtneyODonnell/dp/B00KEYH3LQ

Or get the DVD:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963781332 

LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/

Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcnuPLqfadcdonnell/

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Trailer to the feature film “Lexie Cannes”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcnuPLqfadc

 

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Trans American

Strength

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Picture courtesy of Transgender Graphics’ Facebook Page:

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Pronouns: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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This post may piss some people off.  If it pisses you off, please click on “About”, choose “This Blog” and read that page, particularly the last part about the purpose of this blog being my documenting my journey in understanding transgender and intersex issues and attempting to normalize the experiences of cisgender people to encourage them to take a similar journey.

I am being open and honest about my experiences and feelings, as ugly as some of them may seem to some of you.  I’m a 55  year old cisgender  woman who was socialized at a time when transgender people essentially did not exist:  I have biases that I am trying to unlearn and am working to own my cisgender privilege.  But I’m only human and 55 years of no information and misinformation is a lot to unlearn and it takes time; any cisgender person reading this needs to know that their feelings — their uncomfortable feelings of confusion, embarrassment, tentativeness about asking questions at the risk of offending anyone, etc. — are normal.  It is difficult knowing someone as one gender, learning they are another and then adjusting to their transition, using the correct name, pronouns, etc., and transgender people need to realize that when we screw up it’s not always due to malice.

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I have a transgender friend I met online 2 years ago before she came out publicly as trans.  So I knew her by her birth name (I will use the name “Ron” —  not her actual birth name) and her picture on Facebook was of a middle-aged, balding, male-bodied person.

I was involved in conversations when she chose her new name (I will call her “Carrie” — not her real name), and in private all of our friends called her by her new real name.  But in public I could not do that, and her name still showed up as “Ron” and her pic was still of that same middle-aged guy.

Obviously, I would never out anyone, but I felt very uncomfortable calling my friend “Ron” and I knew that doing so would also make it even more difficult for me to see her as a woman as she transitioned, so I started calling her by her last name. This may sound weird to some, but seeing the name “Ron” accompanied by a male-bodied picture made it very difficult for me to see Carrie as a woman.   I had to see my friend Carrie as a woman and I had to do everything I could to force my mind to ignore or forget information that might make me not see her as the woman she is.

I was “there” when Carrie came out publicly and it was a relief to be able to call her by her real name all the time.  She changed her Facebook profile pic to a female picture, but it was a cartoon character, not a picture of her.  So I have not been able to get that male-bodied pic of a middle-aged balding “man” out of my head, and with the name “Ron” associated with that pic in my head, it has been an onerous task getting the pronouns right when I talk to people about Carrie (without using her name, of course) and her transition.  I would never deliberately misgender someone, but as a visual person, that picture has been stuck in my brain for 2 years and I have not been able to get it out.

Well today I finally saw that Carrie has posted pictures of herself on Facebook (and WordPress). Hallelujah!   I realize that this is my issue and not Carrie’s or any other trans person’s but my difficulty with getting pronouns and gender straight in my head with conflicting visual cues is a valid experience and it gives credence to families’ and friends’ struggles with “getting it right” when someone they’ve known for many years comes out as trans.  It is difficult for us cis people to “transition” with your transitioning for very real and understandable reasons that have nothing to do with transphobia, so please be patient with us.

Seeing what Carrie really looks like now makes me pretty confident that “Ron” and the image of “Ron” will quickly fade and I will no longer have any difficulties with pronouns when it comes to Carrie (and she looks great!)  Carrie, if you see this:  I wish I could express how confused, conflicted and guilty I have felt about my difficulties seeing you as a woman… all because of that stupid picture.  ♥ 

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Another Hateful Bigoted Moron ~ sigh ~

Richard Land wanted poster

 

Christo-Nazi Moron Richard Land Says “The Ultimate Rebellion Against God’s Creation Is Transgenderism”

Reblogged from Women Born Transsexual

Snake oil peddler and professional bigot for Jazzus makes yet another  statement aimed at conning money from the sheeple who hang on his every stupid word.

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For a good overview of transgender children and the media’s bigoted refusal to acknowledge their gender identities, see the following article in TheGuardian:   “Transgender children know their identity. Bigots in the media don’t

 

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“Cisphobia” Is Like Santa Claus…

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*TRIGGER WARNING:  Contains descriptions of violence.

… in that it is a concept.

 Santa Claus symbolizes the spirit of giving, generosity and all that is good and lives in the hearts of people.  So too, does “cisphobia” live in the hearts of people… in the form of hate by the very people who claim to be oppressed by those they actively oppress.

The false construct of “cisphobia” (“cisgender” +  “phobia” = the irrational fear of cisgender people, presumably by people who are not cisgender) runs parallel to the false construct of “reverse racism,” which was created by white bigots (the oppressors) to put the onus of oppression back onto people of color  (the oppressed.)  The entire concept is ridiculous:  The only “reverse” of racism is a lack of racism.   But what’s one to expect from hateful bigots?   Blaming the victim is part of their repertoire.

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING irrational about transgender or other non-cisgender people being afraid of cisgender people, as many cisgender people seem threatened by the very existence of transgender people (it seems that trying to explain non-binary gender, agender, gender fluidity, etc.  would be like an exercise in futility), and appear to believe that their ignorance and incomprehension gives them tacit permission to commit unspeakable acts of violence against anyone who is not cisgender, white and male, which puts transgender women of color at the highest risk for being raped, tortured, murdered and mutilated by these  pre-Neanderthal animals.

“Cisphobia” is not real.

And until cisgender people are preyed upon by transgender or other non-cisgender people due to an irrational fear of cisgender people by non-cisgender people, it will never be real.  I find that highly unlikely, at least in my lifetime.

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Katie Couric Blows

…her interview with Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox.

Photo courtesy of ThinkProgress

…and learns nothing from her own so-called “teachable moment.”

When Will Non-Transgender People Wake Up to Themselves?

Reprinted from the Huffington Post
Posted: 01/14/2014 1:19 pm

Fiona Dawson


Producer and host, ‘TransMilitary’;
member of the Board of Directors,
National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association

 
What Katie Couric’s “teachable moment” missed.

Katie Couric totally missed what she referred to as the “teachable moment” in her interview with Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox. Sadly, what she did do is reinforce the reality that society as a whole has a long way to go in coming to understand who they know themselves to be.

Couric’s questions said more about her — and her audience’s — ignorance of what is it to be human than it did about their lack of knowledge of being transgender.

At the crux of the situation is that sex does not equal gender. When we’re born we are assigned a sex based on what genitalia is seen between our legs. The error occurs when we make assumptions on someone’s gender based on that sex assignment label.

Assigning someone as female at birth does not mean their gender is female. Assigning someone as a male at birth does not mean their gender is male.

Gender can been seen with three different elements: 1) Who you know yourself to be, 2) how you express yourself to the world, and 3) how the world sees you.  

Sex organs do not define gender. Regardless of what we have beneath our clothes our gender is defined in ways beyond our body. Further, the gender we know ourselves to be is a deeply personal experience — if we have the courage to explore it.

No one would ever ask, “Katie, what does your vagina look like today? You’ve given birth twice, right? Has it lost any elasticity?” So why should she ask Carrera what status her genitalia is currently in? How is that Couric’s or her audience’s right to know? And how is that relevant to the gender Carrera knows or expresses?

Asking about sex organs is a) inappropriate and b) shortsighted to understanding the experience of being transgender.

If Couric was more aware of her own gender she would never dare view Carrera as a person who should have to describe the anatomy between her legs. While it may be very personally pertinent to how Carrera feels as a human being, it is no one’s prerogative to use her genitalia or state of transition to make a judgment on her gender. It’s simply not relevant to how we should see Carrera.

With class and compassion Carrera and Cox seized upon the “teachable moment” themselves, highlighting the horrific violence, oppression and discrimination transgender people face. But what doubled the disappointment was that Couric did not listen. She had a list of questions in her head and could not lead the dialogue appropriately. She hadn’t even bothered to learn correct vocabulary, making her use of “transgenders” majorly cringe worthy.

Nonetheless, whether we are transgender or not, why should anyone care what anyone else’s genitals look like? We are all born with what we have and the only reason someone may assert that our body is ‘wrong’ is if that body doesn’t meet the expectation placed upon it. Remove the expectation and allow that human being to just be. Only we know what it’s like to experience being ourselves. Neither Carrera’s nor Couric’s genitalia define the “correctness” of their bodies.

People who are not transgender, who do indeed identify with their sex assigned at birth, are known as cisgender. I would make a guess that Couric is cisgender.

The cisgender obsession with transgender people’s sex organs indicates that cisgender people don’t really know enough about what defines their own state of being. Quite frankly, if as Couric says, “it’s still a mystery to some people,” then go read a biology book or Google it. Stop and think about what defines your own gender. Does Couric really think that it’s her own vagina that makes her a woman? If you’re curious as to the pain level of gender reassignment surgery (GRS) imagine the pain level of any other surgery. Or ask about the fearful pain of isolation due to cisgender lack of self-awareness and awareness of others.

If Couric wants to give a platform to raise awareness and understanding of what it is to be transgender, then she should help her audience come to understand gender dysphoria. Help them understand what it is like for the world to tell you that you’re somebody who you know deep down inside that you’re not. She should ask what it is like to find the courage to realize this. Then ask how you find the incredible bravery to share those thoughts and feeling with another person. Finally, in spite of transgender people facing massively higher rates of murder, rape, unemployment, homelessness, and many other terrors, ask how they find the valor to be who they authentically know they are.

After all of this, Couric’s response to the outcry was this is a “teachable moment.” Yeah, thanks to Carrera and Cox who made the lemonade! Okay, Couric’s train wreck did get people talking, which is always a good thing. But there was no apology. And how much did she, her employer, or her audience learn when today there’s a link on her website to “Meet the Children Who Feel They Were Born in the Wrong Body”? Really? If anything had been taught this should read, “Meet the Children Who Do Not Identify With Their Sex Assigned At Birth.” And again, there was no apology.

To understand more about being transgender we need to talk more about being human. We’re all assigned a sex at birth, but we don’t all agree with the gender that is associated with that original label. Some courageous people actually have the wherewithal to speak up, do something about it and live their life authentically, which is a lot more than many cisgender people do in the world.

Follow Fiona Dawson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fionajdawson

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Being Transgender Is Not About Surgery

I am not my genitals

Star Laverne Cox responds perfectly to Katie Couric’s preoccupation with genitals.

First, for anyone who considers my posting of this article to be “appropriation” of transgender issues:

FUCK YOU.

Get off your ass and quit your damned whining.  I’m your fucking ally and at least I’m doing something instead of sitting around bashing cis people.  I am posting the words and deeds of a transgender person.  If one cis person learns something from my blog, then I’ve made a difference.  If one trans person is not raped, tortured, murdered and her body mutilated because I happen to say the right thing to someone… or someone who’s read something I’ve written says something to someone, or someone who’s read something I’ve written says something to someone who says something to someone… then I’ve made a difference.  WTF kind of positive impact do you think you’re having on the world when you sit around with your head up your ass spewing “die cis scum” when people are trying to be helpful?

My sincerest apologies for this brief digression to the 99.9% of trans people I have encountered who have bent over backwards to be nice to me.   ♥  I offer no apologies to cis people because many are, in fact, “cis scum.” 

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Reprinted from Salon 
TUESDAY, JAN 7, 2014 04:11 PM EST

Laverne Cox flawlessly shuts down Katie Couric’s invasive questions about transgender people

“The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people,” the actress explained to Couric

Laverne Cox flawlessly shuts down Katie Couric's invasive questions about transgender peopleLaverne Cox

Transgender model Carmen Carrera and “Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox sat down on Monday with Katie Couric to discuss their careers, upcoming projects, and their experiences as high-profile transgender women using their platforms to bring issues of trans justice to national attention.

But Couric, it seems, was mostly interested in talking to both women about their genitalia, in order to “educate” others who may not be “familiar with transgenders.”

After her clueless deployment of “transgenders” as a noun, Couric referred to an earlier segment during which Carrera had (rightly) deflected her invasive questions about surgery and trans bodies (“I don’t want to talk about it, it’s really personal,” Carrera said in reply), then pushed the issue again to Cox, whose response was absolutely perfect:

I do feel there is a preoccupation with that. The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people. And then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans peoples’ lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average. The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don’t actually get to talk about those things.

Cox then turned her attention to the recent murder of Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old trans woman, and the staggering rate of violence against trans people in the United States. “By focusing on bodies we don’t focus on the lived realities of that oppression and that discrimination,” she concluded.

Click here for the link to Salon‘s article and to see the video.

Catherine Brennan, aka “bugbrennan”: REMOVE ALL SITES COMPLETELY.

Catherine Brennan, aka "bugbrennan": REMOVE ALL SITES COMPLETELY.

Petition by:

Ada dei Aiutrix

 Ada dei Aiutrix
Asheville, NC
 

This petition is reprinted  below in its entirety as it appeared on 12-30-13.  Links to the petition are highlighted in red.  Clicking one of these links will open a new tab and take you directly to the petition.

Stop Cathy Brennan -Cyberbullying, Sexual Harassment, and Exploitation of Minors

(see other complaint methods below)

Previously and perhaps still an attorney in Maryland, Catherine Brennan, also known as bugbrennan, has repeatedly made several post on her web sites releasing personal info about specific individuals without consent including transgender teens, which is the exploitation of minors.  If you have info on and or have been harassed by this woman as a minor, please contact the Baltimore Police Department:  http://www.baltimorepolice.org/ The next step after getting the sites down will be pressing charges and prosecution for exploitation of minors and sexual harassment.You may also make child exploitation reports at The National Center for Missing and Exploited Childrenhttps://report.cybertip.org/

Click here to sign the petition on change.org

Please See The History Of Cathy Brennan’s Abuse: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Cathy Brennan

Please help stop Cathy Brennan from cyber bullying and harassing transgendered male-to-female individuals as well as other groups of people, including transgender teens. She has repeated used names, images, and screenshots of individual’s user accounts and messages from Facebook, Twitter,and other social networking sites. She does so with intent to deface, derail, and openly discriminate against trans-women or anyone for that matter that she does not like. This behavior has been going on for years and her persistence is tactful with intentionally provoking individuals to get angry with her and then use this messages to claim that the individual is a woman hater. Her insanity and belligerence is disgraceful to anyone whom identifies within and or supports the LGBTQ communities as well as women’s rights. It is believed she uses her previous experience as an attorney to tactfully get away with her actions, claiming freedom of speech by posting people’s personal online information without consent. Freedom of speech is one matter, abuse of this freedom is another. The main sites in question where she post personal info derailing trans-women:

http://pretendbian.wordpress.com/ and
http://bugbrennan.com/ and
http://privilegedenyingtranny.wordpress.com

there is also other accounts that I am collecting at the moment, and will add them as I find them.  She provokes individuals using her facebook account https://www.facebook.com/iambugbrennan and her twitter account https://twitter.com/bugbrennan and post without consent on these sites as well. She screen-shots the conversions as they are happening. How to contact the domain name server for all wordpress sites including:  bugbrennan.com in which also has discrimination and cyber bullying. By contacting the domain name servers directly, a possible chance of removing the sites faster could be initiated. Both seemed to be owned by wordpress. Her previous tumbler account that contained similar abuse was shut down through another petition.

Click here to sign the petition on change.org

Domain Name: BUGBRENNAN.COM
 Created on: 13-Dec-11
 Expires on: 13-Dec-12
 Last Updated on: 13-Dec-11
Private, Registration  BUGBRENNAN.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
 Domains By Proxy, LLC
 DomainsByProxy.com
 14747 N Northsight Blvd Suite 111, PMB 309
 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
 United States
 (480) 624-2599      Fax -- (480) 624-2598
Domain servers in listed order:
 NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
 NS2.WORDPRESS.COM

The Following Site Should Also be Informed of Her Actions: this could be her next attempt to repeat the abuse again though this site currently says under construction:

Registrant:
Domain Name: RECESSIONFATIGUE.COM
Record expires on 25-Feb-2014.
 Record created on 25-Feb-2009.
 Database last updated on 23-Oct-2012 22:08:59 EDT.
Domain servers in listed order:
 NS25.WORLDNIC.COM            205.178.190.13
 NS26.WORLDNIC.COM            206.188.198.13

Other places to make reports of abuse:  Although the following abuse pages are for situations regarding this, Cathy repeatedly counter acts all complaints by saying you harassed her. Also be aware that both facebook and twitter could care less about any threat to children or minors and will usually avoid any investigation into the matter, however repeated reports may help remove her social networking accounts as well.

Click here to sign the petition on change.org

Her pretendbian site is on wordpress, you can use the wordpress complaint page to issues a complaint: http://en.wordpress.com/complaints/

Facebook Abuse Violations Page:  http://www.facebook.com/help/263149623790594/

Twitter Abuse Violations Page: http://support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-abuse-or-policy-violations#


To:
Domains By Proxy, LLC – DomainsByProxy.com, (480) 624-2599 Fax – (480) 624-2598
Remove all sites completely.
Catherine Brennan, aka “bugbrennan” has posted personal information, names, and photos as well as messages of trans-women with the intent to cyberbully, sexually harass, derail, discriminate, and cyber bully transgendered male-to-female individuals including transgender teens and other groups of people. Complaints have been made repeatedly and she is still at it, making post, and placing peoples personal info on her wordpress sites including other domains. Please help stop Cathy Brennan from cyber bullying and harassing transgendered male-to-female individuals as well as other groups of people, including transgender teens. She has repeated used names, images, and screenshots of individual’s user accounts and messages from Facebook, Twitter,and other social networking sites. She does so with intent to deface, derail, and openly discriminate against transgendered individuals or anyone for that matter that she does not like. This behavior has been going on for years and her persistence is tactful with intentionally provoking individuals to get angry with her and then use this messages to claim that the individual is a woman hater. Her insanity and belligerence is disgraceful to anyone whom identifies within and or supports the LGBTQ communities as well as women’s rights. It is believed she uses her previous experience as an attorney to tactfully get away with her actions, claiming freedom of speech by posting people’s personal online information without consent. Freedom of speech is one matter, abuse of this freedom is another. Please shut down all her sites permanently before her actions lead to another teen suicide from cyberbullying and sexual harassment.
Petition against wordpress sites:  
Against Social Networking Sites:

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Sayonara

I haven’t posted in some time.  I have a number of posts almost ready to publish, but it seems that something always comes up and they don’t get posted.   And now it looks as though I won’t be posting for a while. 😦

I’ve been called “cis scum.”  That hurts.  I’ve been that told I have no clue and could never possibly understand what it means or feels like to be trans.  And while that’s true, I do know what it’s like to be unhappy with and uncomfortable in one’s own body,  I do know what it’s like not to conform to society’s gender expectations and face the social consequences for acting accordingly,  I do know what it’s like to be “on the outside, looking in” and never fitting in, and yes, I’ve done the “imagine-one-day-waking-up-and-discovering-you-had-a-penis” exercise and FFS, I’d cut the f’ing thing off.   But today I was accused of trans appropriation and because of that, I am taking a break from writing this blog.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of some specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation.  From a social justice standpoint, the word appropriation is used to describe “instances where a dominant and/or majority group takes up some tangible or intangible aspect of a marginalized and/or minority community,” and is discussed at length in  “Considering Trans and Queer Appropriation” in the TransAdvocate. Infact, the TransAdvocate is an overall excellent source of information regarding trans issues.   They’re also on Facebook.

I do  not exploit people.  I have no ulterior motives or sinister intentions in writing this blog.  I am disabled, have almost no energy and most of what little energy I have goes into advocating for LGBT people on Facebook with an emphasis on the “T.”  I have absolutely nothing to gain from advocating for people, except for maybe a small feeling of usefulness to the world, once every now and then (I have felt like a pathetic, useless waste of DNA since I became disabled and unable to work 7+ years ago.)   Most cis people do not go to trans “places” online.  I do.   So  I take what I learn to cis people.   Cis people have read my blog.  Trans people have thanked me for writing it.  Cis people have thanked me too—for clarifying and answering questions that they did not want to ask for fear of offending.

The Onus of Creating Trans* Acceptance Does Not Lie on Trans* People.   That is a statement,  the title of a blog entry in Genderwork and a link to that blog entry.   Read it.  What the statement means is that it is not the responsibility of trans people to fight for acceptance of trans people:   It is the responsibility of cisgender people to accept trans people.   I accept trans people but not all cis people do.  I consider it my responsibility to do whatever I can to change this.   I acknowledge my cis privilege and I am trying to use that privilege for good—not for evil.  I fail to see how this can possibly be perceived as a bad thing.

All I did was to ask for permission from the members in a Facebook group to use quotes—anonymous quotes—so that I would not be appropriating trans experience by describing it, but would be using the words of actual trans people to tell cis people how their ignorant and/or insensitive comments and questions are experienced by trans individuals. After having my motives questioned, even after I stated that I would absolutely not quote anything said by the one person who was creating all the fuss, I was essentially scolded by the group administrator—the cis group administratorwho informed me in a rather condescending manner that I need to get better at listening to trans people vis-à-vis the type of advocacy that helps.  I guess I’m supposed to feel grateful that I wasn’t called “cis scum.”  I don’t.

So, I’m done.  At least for now.  You don’t want my voice?  I’m gone.   Have a wonderful day.

More About Pronouns

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In 2009, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that more than 97% of transgender individuals had experienced some form of harassment or discrimination at work [and] 47% had been fired, denied a promotion, or refused a position because of their gender identity [number formats edited.]  http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/fact_sheets/transsurvey_prelim_findings.pdf

This post, about the transition of Risa Bear while a librarian at the University of Oregon, is a followup to my post “The Power of Pronouns.”blank line for blog

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The Pronoun Problem

By: Nov 5, 2010
Photography:   •  Illustration: ,

http://www.fluxstories.com/2010/11/the-pronoun-problem/blank line for blog

Tucked back at the edge of the University of Oregon Library’s main floor was Risa Bear’s territory when she worked at the University of Oregon Knight Library for twelve years.

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“It started with a bathroom,” says Risa Bear, retired University of Oregon librarian.

When her bosses learned that she had begun her gender transition, they assigned her a key to the locked, unisex, management bathroom for nearly eight months. They did this to avoid any questions or stares that would make co-workers feel uncomfortable. However, after months of sprinting the 0.8 miles across the library to the management bathroom, Bear decided that it was her time to visit the ladies’ room.

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Lauren Jow

Illustrations by Lauren Jow

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Sitting in a faded green rocking chair one year into retirement, Bear smiles and sips her tea, always aware of where the closest bathroom is. In 2006, at the age of fifty-seven, Richard Bear became Risa after undergoing genital surgery. Despite the tilted heads, cocked eyebrows, and questioning voices, Bear acknowledges that she was among the lucky few to keep their jobs while transitioning.

Dr. Jillian Weiss, a professor at Ramapo College who transitioned at the age of thirty-seven, explains that being fired is the biggest fear when an individual decides to transition.

“We spend so much time at work that this business environment transforms into a social organization,” says Weiss. “Even in a great work environment, it typically takes at least a month for people to adjust to the notion of their co-worker taking on a new identity.”

Bear emphasizes that it was because of the support of those around her that her transition was so smooth. She explains that many of the negative comments she could have heard from students or visitors of the library were deflected by a close group of friends and co-workers who continuously looked out for her.

“I had 300 friends before I transitioned, and 300 friends after I transitioned,” says Bear.

She kept her friends by being someone that other people wanted to know. No matter her gender, Bear was a friend to those around her.

In 2009, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that more than ninety-seven percent of transgender individuals had experienced some form of harassment or discrimination at work. Forty-seven percent had been fired, denied a promotion, or refused a position because of their gender identity.

However, Weiss explains that in the last decade, these trends have begun to shift. Since 1982, gender identity protection laws have begun sprouting in states in order to protect individuals from being fired because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“It’s not right for someone to be fired because of their gender identity,” says Weiss. “If you think about it, everyone is a little transgender. A woman who works on cars and a man who likes to cook, they are both transitioning across the lines of [stereotypical] gender roles.”

Nevertheless, discrimination because of gender continues. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that Special Forces veteran Diane Schroer be compensated with $491,190 in back pay and benefits, emotional pain and suffering, and out of pocket expenses for the discrimination she faced for being a transgender person. This ruling penalized the Library of Congress for refusing Schroer a job when she announced that she was transitioning from male to female.

From the media to the government, Bear explains that transgender individuals are given the lowest amount of civil rights. In fact, “We’re no longer people, we’re objects,” she says. “If you want to make people feel like they have no rights, like they don’t even belong in society and have no right to ask to be treated like equals, start by telling them that they are less than human.”

According to Bear, the vast majority of people are accepting of transgender people. Once they have the opportunity to meet and work with a transgender individual, their stereotypes disappear. However, until that time, they often know very little and assume that whatever stereotypes presented by the media and other outlets are true.

“People tend to not have an opinion,” says Bear. “The opinions they do have are generated from shows like Cops.” Bear explains that the comical representation of transgender people, large men stumbling in low-cut dresses, paints a very harmful picture.

While people are beginning to take the situation seriously, Bear emphasizes that right now, transgender individuals need “media outlets that will present people for who they are and what they do rather than what they are.”

However, without the necessary steps, transgender people still face fierce discrimination in and out of the workplace. In Illinois, the discrimination of transgender people proceeds far beyond the cubical. Victoria Kirk and Karissa Rothkopf sued Illinois for not changing their gender on their birth certificates. Still, the state explained that this was difficult because both women had their surgeries performed by doctors outside of the United States.

Whether navigating the impressions of others or lessening evidence of physical differences for the workplace, Bear explains that there is always a barrier to be broken.

Bear began her career at the University of Oregon while still Richard. However, when she decided to transition, she began leaving her co-workers subtle signs of femininity—a pair of earrings or a barrette in her hair. Bear recalls the evening of August 7, 2003. It was after a day of dressing up and taking pictures that Bear ordered her first set of pills. When she began to take estrogen, she also began to transition.

In 2006, Bear proceeded with her Real Life Test, a psychological examination to ensure that one is ready to change genders and fit into a new role. In Homecomings, Bear’s blog, she recalls a difficult segment of the transition process—changing psychologists three times to find one sympathetic to her experience.

“He inquired into my childhood. He listened to my vocabulary, enunciation and phrasing,” she writes of one psychologist. “He watched my body language. I had a feeling I was not feminine enough for him.”

After completing the required number of sessions, Bear requested a surgery. She flew to Miami where there was a surgeon who was competent, yet affordable. Post-surgery, Bear grew her hair longer and began wearing dresses that covered most of her still slightly masculine figure. Bear explains that she knew that she would never be a “beautiful woman,” but would rather settle for an “old lady.” However, she began to allow herself to wear makeup and jewelry outside of the house, in order to make her new persona more apparent to the public eye.

“I realize this makes me sound a little shallow,” Bear says. “But, I was always afraid of being seen as grotesque.”

Upon returning to work, Bear found that her colleagues were very supportive. Rarely did she encounter conflicts. The “pronoun problem,” as Bear refers to it, is one of the most hurtful mistakes that people make when working with a transgender person. This is often a slip of the tongue, when someone uses “he” instead of “she,” or vice versa.

“It’s the kind of mistake that crushes you and leaves your confidence on the floor for weeks,” Bear says as she chokes back a tear.

Weiss, however, takes a more moderate position to this issue. She explains that transgender individuals need to understand that it’s a transition for their peers as well. It takes time for the mind to adjust to new names and pronouns.

Bear suggests approaching a transgender co-worker in a gentle way with a simple variation of the question: “What pronoun would you like me to use?” She adds that this practice is done throughout the University of Oregon’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) groups and is very successful.

As a transitioning counselor, Weiss is often asked to assist companies when an employee is transitioning. When doing so, she breaks the process into three main steps.

First, she pulls all company records and policies to ensure that they are transgender friendly.

“There are so many sensitive issues that need to be changed,” explains Weiss. “And it’s not the transgender employee’s responsibility to educate their employer on the issues.”

Instead, Weiss looks at bathroom policies, paychecks, changing names on payroll, emails and much more to ensure a smooth transition.

Next, Weiss holds an intensive training for management. She talks to them about what it means to be transgender and how the transition will affect their employees. Weiss prepares management to be supportive while not changing the working environment.  An ideal employer, according to Weiss, is one who seeks outside resources to aid in the transition. Hiring a human resources consultant to work specifically with the transition, or doing research that takes pressure away from the transgender individual helps show support.

Finally, a similar training is held for co-workers.

“This session is more casual, allowing everyone to ask questions and understand that the transition won’t affect their work environment.”

Weiss explains that often colleagues ask questions in good faith, but enter very personal territory that the transitioning individual may not be comfortable answering. These questions include asking what sort of surgery or medications they are using. Rather, it is appropriate to be inquisitive about how this will change their relationship with the transgender individual, not about the details of the transition itself.

“People are usually curious about what they should do if a client calls for Mr. Smith, but Mr. Smith is now Ms. Smith,” Weiss says.

These are issues that Weiss helps associates navigate and practice. She stresses that within the first month, most kinks are worked out and by the end of the year, pronoun and name changes are hardly even a conscious effort.

“It wouldn’t be the end of the world if you asked the transgender individual ‘why’ he or she is transitioning, but remember that when someone’s at work, he or she is just trying to do the job—regardless of gender,” she says.

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At age 57 in 2006, Risa Bear decided to undergo a transformation so that her outside appearance matched what she felt inside of her.

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Lonnie Sexton, a colleague and friend of Bear’s, says that as Bear gained confidence in her new identity, she became a role model to others. Sexton explains that Bear is an individual who is even tempered and has always been a joy to be around. She also speaks of Bear as a role model for students. “Those [students] grappling with transgender identity could look to [Bear] as a model of a smooth transformation. She has confidently integrated her transformation with other aspects of her life—work, friendships, and family.”

Throughout this process, Bear says that her peers were aware and supportive of her decisions.

“Risa, keep your knees closed,” repeats Bear in recollection of the best advice an associate ever gave her.

“I knew and liked Richard Bear as a co-worker,” says Sexton in reference to the transformation. “However, I was not very close with him. I was interested in his poetry, and we exchanged pleasantries, but that was the extent of our relationship. On the other hand, I have become very friendly with Risa Bear. It’s interesting that she is the same person, but I definitely relate better to her as a woman. This says more about me than her.”

“There are a lot of rules about transitioning—I broke them all,” Bear says with a chuckle. However, she advises everyone about to delve into their own transition to invest in a nice set of thank you cards and Hershey’s Kisses. “Express your gratitude and show appreciation when people are nice to you,” says Bear. She explains that her own gratitude paid off greatly when people would stop by to give her a hug or when a woman would pause and whisper “welcome” to her.

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End of pos

RatFem Riddle

What is the real reason the head COCKroach in charge doesn’t want trans women at RatFest?

Click here for answer

End of pos

The Power of Pronouns

I have been criticized by several straight cisgender white males in my life for being “too politically correct” when it comes to language (I gave up on correcting their grammatical errors and incorrect use of words a long time ago. ) I have had the words “feminist,” “liberal” and “atheist” (I’m agnostic—they couldn’t even get it right!) hurled at me in anger… yeah, as though those are insults!  rofl  These were instances of men with privilege not recognizing their privilege and then using that privilege not only to malign others, but also to attempt to intimidate me into shutting up.  It didn’t work.  My father prides himself in not being a bigot (and he really isn’t when it comes to people of color or people with physical disabilities) yet he has the most rigid attitudes of anyone I know and refuses to admit that some of his “opinions” may not be based on factual information.

The importance of language should not be underestimated.  Our lives center largely around various types of relationships.  The success of relationships depends on communication, and much of our communication is accomplished through language and how we use language.   As someone who has been addressed by an incorrect name on a regular basis and has her surname mispronounced more frequently than it has been pronounced correctly, I can attest to how invalidated it can make one feel.  And when someone doesn’t spell my name correctly when it is right in front of them (e.g., on Facebook) it sends me the message that their communication with me is not (or I am not) important enough to them for them to make the effort.  When I was a manager responsible for hiring, any resumés with letters on which my name was spelled incorrectly automatically went into the “probably not” pile:  If a prospective employee does not make the effort to spell their possible future supervisor’s name correctly, what can one expect in terms of the quality of their work?

Names, descriptive labels and pronouns… they are all important because they refer to who we are.  When people use incorrect names, descriptions, pronouns, etc., it strikes to the very core of our identities as human beings.

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Or, more accurately, they are symptomatic of the issue.

The issue that underlies all the rest of the stuff, the issue that creates the fundamental problems.

The use of the proper pronouns, the use of the right name, the remembering to say that a woman is a woman instead of calling her a man — these things are all symptomatic of the issue, and they are the most important things.

Because the issue is this: if you want to say that trans women are not women or trans men are not men, especially when you hate them, then you are the problem, not the solution.

That’s what underlies the bullshit around the MWMF.  That’s why it hasn’t gone away, and only gets worse.

That’s what underlies the calls for things like laws that decide which bathroom you can use based on your birth certificate.

That’s what underlies laws that require sterilization just to change some paperwork.

That’s what makes that paperwork so damned important.

Some might speculate that it is men who kill trans women of color.  IT is a reasonable speculation — the majority of the attacks that are known are done by men.  But many of the attack that are done are also done by women.

The call for the moral extermination of trans people was put forth by a woman, though.  A woman who also helped to ensure that medical coverage for trans needs was labeled as “experimental” decades ago, when it already had decades behind it.

THat, by itself, meant that a lot of trans people died, and they all died for the same core reasn: people did not see them as the women they are, and even though they might, occasionally, say something like “well, they are women, but they aren’t female?, that sort of bullshit is nothing more than a backhanded furtherance of the very same problem.

That is the problem.  IT is the chief problem, the first problem, the most important problem.  It is more important for trans people than domestic violence, than rape, than homelessness, than pretty much all of those social ills because it is what lies at the very heart of it.

Other people do not get to police how one person’s existence is genuine or not. You do not get to decide if I am enough of a woman, or if I have “female energy”, or if I am the right sort or the proper kind.

That is, in the end, the core of it.  The heart of it. Because that lies at the heart of all those other things, and is the root cause, the root source, and those who continue to do it are complicit in the very acts thereby.

BEcause no matter what the statistical prevalence of other things might say (and here I am thinking of someone who uses a statistical model in a commentary on this, not realizing the incredibly racist manner of her usage, while dismissing as unreliable a study that is far, far more reliable than her piss poor assemblage of disparate data), it is not poverty alone that creates situations like this.

It is the persistent, ongoing, extremely hostile statements of the sort that go on to say that Trans people are not allowed to be afraid of Cis people.

And until people recognize the basic, core, heartfelt sense of self in people who are men, women, both, and neither, then there will continue to be an overriding need to recognize that pronouns are indeed incredibly important.

Because that is what lies at the root.  That is the first step.  That trans women be seen as women.  That trans men be seen as men.  That trans people of color be seen as just as much a part of the trans community as all the rest.

That’s not merely pandering, either.

The single most overwhelming predictor of success in a diversionary program — be it substance abuse, prostitution, or just getting out of a cycle of self destructive behavior — for a trans person is that they be treated consistently, enduringly, and readily as the man, woman, or person they are.

And I have data going back seven years that supports that. That shows that respecting someone is the first step to saving their life.

That’s the impact on 3200 trans people. Not counting the ones in the last year.

SO yes, the right to be called the right pronouns, the right name, is the most important thing to do.

So let’s name the problem, shall we?

The problem is people not thinking that trans people are what they really are.  The problem is people policing trans people’s lives. The problem is fucking assholes who call trans women men and male, and trans men women and female.

IF you know someone who does that — no matter what their justifications are for it — you know someone who is actively contributing to the problem, who is part of it, and who is fighting against the solution.

The solution is simple.

Tell them to stop treating other people as if their lives were their personal property.

I can think of one person, we’ll call her Cockroach, who does this frequently. She runs around the internet acting like a dick and then scrambling away every time the light is turned on. Seems fitting.

It would be pretty incredible if people just went to all her twitter accounts, to all her “friends”, to all her Facebook pages and all her blogs and simply left the comment above.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Just this:

Stop treating other people as if their lives are your personal property.  Stop using the wrong pronouns. Stop using the wrong names. Stop being the problem.

A real simple comment.  It doesn’t say the hard things we all want to say the way we would like to say them.  But it still says what needs to be said, and it does it well.

Then leave it alone. They have been “educated”. After that, its up to them, and it is time to move on to greener pastures.  They will be left behind, consigned to the dustbin of history, footnotes on how not to be human beings in the not too distant future.

Just as the person who called for that moral extermination, that genocide, is now a footnote, consigned to the dustbin of history, an example of how not to be a human being.

There are bigger fish in the sea.

End of pos

Pride & The “T” in “LGBT”

(Original photo was posted on Equality Florida’s Facebook page.)

The St. Petersburg Pride Parade, the largest Pride celebration in the State of Florida and the 4th largest in the Southeastern US will take place on this Saturday, June 29, 2013.  More than 100,000 people from all over Florida (and from all over the country!) are expected to attend.  The Pride festival is the largest single-day event in the City of St. Petersburg.

I’ve marched in the parade the past 3 years, with 3 different groups.  Based on the depressing experience I had last year (see my blog entry “Where is the Pride?” for a blow-by-blow description of that fiasco), I have been procrastinating on finding a group to march with this year.  Last year I marched with a trans* group and while I would like more than anything to show my support for my trans* friends in the same way again this year, I felt like such an outsider last year that I don’t think I’m going to do that again.  I identified a new group to march with, but my daughter is marching with that group and I don’t think the wannabe independent adolescent wants her Mom there….

Anyway, I’ll figure it out.  In the meantime, I saw this article on Kira Moore’s blog Kira Moore’s Closet and thought it both timely and replete with facts and challenges faced by transgender people:

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The Seattle Times

Transgender people say they’re ready for the spotlight

Transgender activists have planned a march and festival during Seattle’s Pride celebrations to increase visibility of a little-understood segment of the LGBT community.

By Lornet Turnbull

Seattle Times staff reporter

Originally published June 23, 2013 at 9:03 PM | Page modified June 23, 2013 at 10:49 PM

They are the “T” in LGBT and arguably the most maligned segment of that community.

Many transgender men and women face hardships in routine areas of daily life. They are twice as likely as the general population to be unemployed or homeless and four times as likely to live in poverty.

Some 90 percent said in a 2011 national survey that they had encountered discrimination at work, and more than one in three attempt suicide at some point in their lives. 

Such dire statistics are part of what inspired Danielle Askini, a 30-year-old transgender activist, and a group of volunteers, to organize Trans Pride in Seattle during the week set aside at the end of June each year to mark the historical launch of the nation’s gay-rights movement.

Executive director of a Seattle organization called the Gender Justice League, Askini said the goal is to help promote visibility of a population often in the shadows of its higher-profile gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

“For us there are some very distinct political and sociological justice struggles that the LGBT community has not always been the best in addressing,” said Askini, who lives in Kirkland and is program manager for QLaw, the state’s LGBT bar association.

“Some of us are calling this our coming-out party.”

The Williams Institute, a national think tank that does public-policy research on sexual orientation and gender identity, estimates there are 700,000 transgender people in the U.S. — people whose birth-assigned sex does not match the gender to which they feel they belong.

Trans Pride celebrations are planned for a number of U.S. cities this year.

In Seattle, one is scheduled for Friday, beginning with a 6 p.m. march from Seattle Central Community College on Capitol Hill to Cal Anderson Park, followed by a festival at the park.

Starting to gain visibility

It’s been 44 years since the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York launched the gay-rights movement.

And in cities across the country, the LGBT community marks the anniversary with colorful pageantry — including a parade down Fourth Avenue in Seattle followed by a festival at Seattle Center and smaller celebrations throughout the month.

In the 1990s, transgender people began participating in Seattle Pride for the first time — one of the first cities where that occurred — and in 1997 hosted their own Trans Pride Rally, which drew about 150 people onto Broadway on Capitol Hill.

In recent years, as the broader LGBT community has built strong alliances and gained broad acceptance, the particular needs of transgender people have been getting more attention, too.

The Social Security Administration recently announced it would no longer require proof of surgery to alter the gender ID of individuals in its records; other federal agencies also have relaxed requirements for documents such as passports and visas.

Transgender men and women also have gained protection against discrimination in areas such as housing and employment in Washington, 15 other states and the District of Columbia, and more than half of all Fortune 500 companies now have nondiscrimination policies in place.

During the first August weekend each year, thousands from across the world attend the Gender Odyssey conference in Seattle, an international event focusing on the needs of transgender and gender-variant individuals.

And a growing number of employers nationwide, including Microsoft, have expanded their insurance coverage to meet the needs of transgender workers — a major area of concern for the community.

Creating energy

Still, transgender people — who can be either gay or straight — have not gained the kind of visibility that the gay community has.

Nor have they experienced the kind of broad successes the gay community has won in recent years, with same-sex marriage now legal in 12 states, including Washington, and the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which banned openly gay military service. The U.S. military still prohibits transgender people from serving openly.

Marsha Boxter is co-founder and chair of the Ingersoll Gender Center, a Seattle-based organization that works with transgender people and has become one of their best known advocates on a local and national level.

She said “like any group, there’s a period of survival, early organizing, then a stage where the community widens and matures, and at some point there’s the public identification of the community.”

The transgender community has now arrived at that point, she said.

Trans Pride, in which Ingersoll will participate, should help “increase visibility for the community; and if it brings more energy at all — and it will — that’s always welcome and wonderful,” she said.

Boxter said the findings of the national poll, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, are mirrored in Washington state, where concerns over joblessness and underemployment are among the reasons the Ingersoll center began an employment project.

Advocates believe transgender people face discrimination in large part because of how they may look — a male-to-female transgender person might be much taller than the average woman or have a deeper voice, or a trans male might still have hips and female breasts.

Some employers might find that unsettling, out of sync with their view of gender as being immutable.

Health-care concerns

Access to health care, particularly health-insurance coverage, is another primary concern for transgender men and women.

Most employer-based health-insurance plans exclude coverage for transition-related treatment and other care on the grounds they’re cosmetic or elective in nature — claims that have been challenged by medical professionals.

Fred Swanson, executive director of the Gay City Health Project, Trans Pride’s fiscal sponsor, said an added community concern is the high rate of HIV.

Part of the problem, Swanson said, is that transgender people are not accessing health care at the same level as the general population, in part because of the challenge in finding culturally competent medical providers they feel they can trust.

“For gays and lesbians, that’s a challenge,” he said. “For transgender and gender variant individuals, it’s very difficult.”

He points to Centers for Disease Control statistics that show male-to-female transgender people have an HIV rate of 28 percent. Gay City will make the first mass distribution of home HIV test kits in King County during Trans Pride and other Pride events that weekend.

Askini, 30, who was raised by foster parents from around age 15 when she began transitioning to female, represents a new generation of activists. Like many young people throughout the LGBT movement, she is eager for change.

But she and other transgender people recognize the limitations of the law in addressing many of the challenges they face.

Laws alone, she points out, won’t stop negative media portrayals or prevent transgender people from taking their own lives. “The law can’t force your neighbor to like you,” Askini said.

She believes society is growing more familiar with those in her community as transgender people come out publicly.

Chaz Bono, the only child of celebrities Cher and Sonny Bono, announced his transition from female to male about four years ago, and President Obama three years ago became the first U.S. president to appoint a transgender person to his administration.

Askini believes the next step is for transgender people to gain more acceptance through visibility, by allowing others to get to know them as neighbors, co-workers and friends — much as the larger gay and lesbian community has done.

“That cultural shift has started to happen,” she said. “The reason we started Trans Pride is to highlight that, to increase visibility, while creating something where we in the community can see one another and celebrate ourselves.”

Lornet Turnbull: 206-464-2420 or lturnbull@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @turnbullL.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021257244_transpridexml.html

blank line for blog

End of pos

A Penis? Uh… NO, thanks… No Penis for Me!

Gender Identity DisorderGender dysphoria?  What is all of that about?

sex (def. 1); see also gender identity and gender role.
gender identity disorder
a disturbance of gender identification in which the affected person has an overwhelming desire to change their anatomic sex or insists that they are of the opposite sex, with persistent discomfort about their assigned sex or about filling its usual gender role; the disorder may become apparent in childhood or not appear until adolescence or adulthood. Individuals may attempt to live as members of the opposite sex and may seek hormonal and surgical treatment to bring their anatomy into conformity with their belief (see transsexualism). It is not the same as transvestism
gender dysphoria  gender dysphoria   [jen´der] [dis-for´e-ah] (Gr.) unhappiness with one’s biological sex or its usual gender role, with the desire for the body and role of the opposite sex.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.  http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/gender+dysphoria
Gender identity disorder (GID), simply put, is the current psychiatric diagnosis that is assigned to someone who wants to live and be accepted as a member of the sex opposite  to that they were assigned at birth.  The American Psychiatric Association  apparently plans to change the GID diagnosis to Gender Dysphoria in the new version of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), due to come out in May, 2013, despite TG/TS people, allies and clinicians’ pressure to remove this “disorder” completely, as transgenderism/transsexuality is not a mental disorder.

Imagine waking up in the morning and discovering that you had a penis… and testicles.  How would that make you feel?”  That is how I typically describe gender dysphoria to a cisgender woman who doesn’t seem to “get it”  in any other way.  Similarly, “Imagine waking up in the morning and discovering that your penis is gone,” is how I generally describe it to clueless cisgender men.  Granted, this is an over-simplified explanation of gender dysphoria and not strictly accurate, but it comes close and is better understood by cisgender people who don’t seem to “get it” any other way.  I really don’t like reducing people to genitals—it just  adds to incorrect stereotypes that already abound about TG/TS people, but it’s a good place to start.  Furthermore, describing the experience of being a woman  as “lacking” a penis is quite sexist, not only in its androcentrism but in its phallocentrism.   But, again, for people lacking in the ability to think abstractly, it works.

In case you’ve noticed, my blog is biased somewhat in favor of trans women. I try to give equal time to trans men, as I know that trans men, having  often been mistaken for  “butch” lesbians have historically been “invisible,” hence the erroneous almost universal belief that that most trans* people are MTF (male to female).  Most of my interaction and experience has been with trans women and to be honest, I don’t really “get” some trans men.  For the most part, my interactions with trans people have been “up close and personal:”  The very experience of being TG/TS is very emotional and personal… the way women tend to interact with each other.  Trans men are, well…  men…  and their communication style (in my thus far limited experience) seems to mirror the patterns of (most) cisgender men, and while I get along with a lot of cis men on a certain level, I find  that many of them are quite limited in their  communication skills, particularly surrounding emotional issues.  I am not claiming to know for a fact whether this is nature or nurture, but I suspect that it is a combination of both, with emphasis on  nurture.  When you think about it, trans men having communication styles mirroring that of cisgender men is pretty amazing, considering that they were socialized as girls.

Then there is the issue of male privilege.  I don’t know how they manage it, having been socialized as girls, but some of the trans men I’ve run into have mastered the arrogance  and condescending derision towards women (unconscious though it may be)  that goes along with male privilege.  Some act as though they are the authority on every subject, interrupting and talking over women.  Granted, they may have always acted this way, but that air of “male superiority” that most women recognize when they encounter it is part of some trans men’s behavior and I don’t like being around men like that, whether trans or cis.

As a clinical social worker and a longtime observer of people, it would be fascinating for me to watch a group of cis and trans women and cis and trans men interact, both with and without everyone knowing the gender status (i.e., cisgender or trans*) of the other participants.  I wonder whether male privilege is so engrained that the trans men, having spent years socialized as girls, would defer to the cis men.  I do believe that the trans men would dominate the cis (and trans) women, but this might depend upon whether or not everyone is aware of each other’s gender status.  Of course, no absolute conclusions could be drawn from a single observational study and it would be unlikely that adequate sample sizes could be obtained to replicate the results to determine reliability, but it certainly would be fun to watch!

One instance of the arrogance of male privilege came up on a TV documentary series about trans people.  There was a trans man who applied to, was accepted and admitted to Smith College, a small, private liberal arts college for women and one of the Seven Sisters while he was living as a girl and had not yet come out.  During his time at Smith, he came out and began his transition.  Having graduated from Bryn Mawr College, also a small, private liberal arts college for women and another of the Seven Sisters, I felt resentful that this person—a man—had the arrogance and audacity to believe that he should be permitted to remain at Smith despite his identity as a man (Smith did let him stay, perhaps fearful of a lawsuit.)  I know that if this happened at Bryn Mawr, I would be outraged, while I would fight for the right of a trans woman to attend and would adamantly protest against anyone who challenged her right to use the bathrooms (after all, men were permitted to use bathrooms, even in the women-only dormitories.)  A woman’s college is a woman’s college–why should a man have the right to attend?  Women’s colleges exist for a reason–to provide education for women.  I think that a trans man expecting the right to attend a woman’s college smacks of male entitlement and constitutes the expectation of  “special rights.”—NOT transphobia.  Any thoughts on this?

I get it when trans women talk about boobs—breasts seem to symbolize womanhood in our culture and talking about them is a normal part of adolescence, which is what hormone therapy essentially creates in trans women.  Vaginas, labia, clitorises… I “get” them.  But getting excited about hair growing on the face and other weird places on the body, guidelines for choosing a binder (a garment worn under a shirt, used to “bind” the breasts tightly to the chest in order to conceal them, and the benefits of various types of  packers (prosthetic penises and testicles worn inside the underwear to create a bulge in the pants; different types have, uh… additional functions—functions that are accomplished by a penis in a cisgender man… oh, FFS, use your imagination or google it, I am NOT going to draw you a picture!) are things I just cannot relate to, no matter how hard I try.  And I certainly cannot relate to the desire for a real penis!

Ratfem COCKroach

ROFLMAO!  Apparently the RATfem fauxminists didn’t like my posts about them, their transphobia and their general misogyny.  Oh, boo flucking hoo.  How do I know that?  Well RATmouth herself, Cathy “COCKroach” bug Brennan was lurking on my blog—this blog—and posted a comment apparently attempting to intimidate me.  Lawyers!  In my experience lawyers use intimidation when they have NOTHING to say in response—when the other party has made a valid argument, they have been pushed into a corner and have no other option but to resort to lawyer games.  Well COCKroach, hun, there’s no jury here to play to and intimidation doesn’t work on me, so you’re shit out of luck!  Save your drama for the courtroom because I’m not impressed.

Following is an example of how COCKroach Cathy distorts reality to fit her own agenda, straight from the horse’s ass’ mouth.  In short, Cathy COCKroach Brennan hates trans women and justifies this by refusing to acknowledge that they are, in fact “real” women, and she deliberately misgenders them, calling them “men,” both privately and in public.   Immediately preceding the video, which was made at this year’s Dyke March in New York City,  you will see the text that COCKroach posted under the video; that will give you the opportunity to read the text first and specifically look for the accusations she makes and remain aware of how she attempts to manipulate emotions with the use of violent and  emotionally-laden words and expressions:

A message from the woman who kindly taped this, who prefers to remain anonymous:

“I have uploaded the edited video in a zip file, here is the URL…

…..

Also, it seems important to acknowledge that we began filming when they started getting more heated up and it seemed as if they could possibly escalate into something physical. It seemed that when they approached some of the people they approached with were video taping. There were other people recording throughout. Given that one of the women involved prominently had no shirt on, we did not feel comfortable passing on the video with her body exposed on the internet. She might be ok with it. But we feel women should be able to have their shirts off without being filmed and placed on the internet even when they are being jerks. As blacking out parts of someone’s body in video is not easy when you are not a professional, the blocking out is shoddy, but well intended.

Also, while they mention your posse, we just met and if we are correct, the other people you just ran into when you ran into us. So a few minutes earlier or later and you would have been on your own with no one to witness whatever happened. That is a scary thought.”

A note from Cathy Brennan: The only person I was at the Dyke March with was a very good friend of mine. I just met all of the Dykes who stood by me when Ida Hammer and her gang accosted me. The idea that I had a posse is ridiculous. Ida and her gang were looking for a fight. I think they were frustrated when I didn’tsubmit.” As a survivor of rape and assault,  I understand what tactics I need to employ to navigate/survive certain situations. Walking away was not an option for me, because it was clear to me they were out for blood. I am embarrassed for the NYC Dyke March that a Dyke would be attacked at the Dyke March. I am sad for what has happened to the Dyke community.

Also, I have not watched this video, nor will I, as I am still dealing with the anxiety from being attacked by Ida Hammer and her gang.

More:    [and then she lists more than 20 links; emphasis added]

Note the  emotionally-laden words that I have highlighted in red.  Many of  these words are violent and suggest violence on the part of the women who verbally confronted the COCKroach on her transphobia, but, as you will see in the video, there was no violence and none was threatened.  COCKroach Cathy is a lawyer and lawyers make money by manipulation, particularly by manipulating words.  Brennan herself admits that she hasn’t even watched the video!  COCKroach Cathy is full of crap.

Click on the picture or the link below to watch the video.  A new tab or window will open. You will need to start the video yourself (it is about 20 minutes long.)  When you are finished, close the tab and you should be returned here to read the remainder of this post.

a walk in the park

by Wednesday, June  27, 2012 7:13 a.m.

 

I saw ZERO violence or threats of violence on the part of the trans* or pro-trans* people in this video.  I saw the pro-trans* people assert themselves verbally, but I saw no aggression.  In fact, the COCKroach was not “accosted” or “attacked”  and the pro-trans* people obviously were not “out for blood”  or “looking for a fight,” as the COCKroach was clearly outnumbered and it would have been no challenge for someone to squash her under their foot as one normally does with a cockroach—a filthy, disease-carrying nuisance insect that serves no useful purpose on this earth.  Oh, and the “gang” the COCKroach refers to looked as though they belonged at a Pride parade or celebration and were hardly intimidating.  If I wasn’t intimidated at 5’4,” 120 pounds and in my 50s, I’m sure the COCKroach didn’t give her safety a second thought… EXCEPT in terms of spinning her stupid little fairy tale about being attacked by trans* supporters.  “Dealing with anxiety” my ass!   I’ve seen corpses that are more anxious then the COCKroach is in that video.  The only anxiety the COCKroach experienced was in deciding how she was going to spin her story to make herself look like a victim… and she did a pretty shitty job of even doing that!

Lawyers!   When they know they’re wrong or have no valid argument they SPIN the facts to meet their purpose… or they LIE.  The COCKroach might as well give up now; she really shouldn’t bother messing with somebody who’s smarter than she is because that misogynous, hate-filled, control-freak, transphobic bitch does not scare me.

RIP Seçil Anne

reprinted from: GAYSTARNEWS
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/another-trans-woman-murdered-turkey130712

Another trans woman murdered in Turkey

Violence against trans women in Turkey continues as Seçil Anne is stabbed to death in Antalya

13 July 2012 | By Anna Leach
Secil Anne, trans woman murdered in Antalya, Turkey, this week

The onslaught of violence against trans women in Turkey has shown no sign of abating with the tragic news that another was murdered this week.

Seçil Anne, a trans sex worker, was murdered where she lived in Antalya on the southwe

stern coast of Turkey on Tuesday night (10 July). She was found dead at her home at 11pm by police after her friends alerted them when they couldn’t reach her. Her throat had been slit and face slashed.

Turkish trans activist Kemal Ordek said that dozens of trans people gathered outside Seçil Anne’s apartment after hearing of her murder.

The local police said they had started an investigation and were checking CCTV cameras near Secil Anne’s home and interviewing her ex-boyfriend and close friends.

In June around 100 residents gathered in Altındağ in Antalya to protest the presence of transgender sex workers in their neighborhood. They warned that they would get violent if the police did not resolve the problem. It is not know if Seçil Anne, born Neşe Dilşeker in 1966, lived in this area.

The circumstances of Seçil Anne’s murder are almost identical to that of Derya Y, a transgender women who was stabbed to death in Altındağ in February 2010.

The Trans Murder Monitoring project shows that Turkey has by far the most reported murders of trans people in Europe, with 23 reported from January 2008 until December 2011.

An anonymous blog post on the alarming situation in Turkey said this week that the murders are ‘only the tip of the iceberg’. The post published on the Birds of Paradox blog said:

‘While this violence is to be condemned in the strongest possible terms… As well as the reported murders, many other hate crimes against transgender people (transphobic crimes) go unreported, ranging from verbal abuse in the street and the workplace through muggings, beatings and rape.

‘Perhaps worst of all is the attitude of many government agencies, many of which seem unconcerned at the extent of transphobic crimes. This has the result of enabling the rates of these crimes to escalate, because they send the message to the general population that it’s acceptable to display such prejudices – even against members of the authorities themselves.’

In April transgender woman Michelle Demishevich was attacked in an incident that she believes was to intimidate her into not testifying at a trial over an earlier attack.

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