Clowns and Bathrooms (with talented eye-candy)

clownfish Pictures, Images and PhotosAs per usual, I spent some time wandering around the Interweb, looking for stories that might need elucidation…or at least response.  Sometimes I find some good stuff, like the recent good news out of Nevada.  More often than not, I find depressing stuff, like the transwoman who was beaten by four people in Fredericksburg, Virginia just for being trans…and apparently for chastising a young man because his dog was a loud barker.  One of the assailants is thought to be a relative of that young man.    

On the plus side this week is Steven Petrow’s essay at Aol Healthy Living, Straight Talk: when a Daughter Changes Her Gender, Does She Become a Son?

And he is indeed her son — no need for quotation marks around the word. One of the basic concepts of gender identity is that you are the gender you think and say you are. The external genitalia that make a doctor proclaim, “It’s a girl!” in the delivery room are not the sum total of that individual’s gender identity.

Like he said.  For some reason, people have this fixation that gender is determined by one’s chromosomes and so sex should be inelastic.  I guess they’ve never met a clownfish.

(Cue Nemo).  

The cute little guys all are born male in a strict dominance hierarchy.  The largest and most aggressive female is at the top.  Only two clownfish, one male and one female, out of any one group reproduce, through external fertilization (female lays eggs and male applies sperm to them).  As the males mature, they become females.  If a female clownfish is removed from the group, the largest or most dominant male becomes a female…and everyone below him moves up a notch.  It is the job of the males to protect the fertilized eggs.

This news was extremely distressful to the folks at the Pacific Justice Institute who are apparently trying to find some Oakland parents to sue to end this knowledge from being disbursed because it might mean transfolk might gain a modicum of acceptance in this world.

On the downside was this letter, written to the Kennebec Journal, by Thomas Heyns of Chelsea, ME, in which he called the Maine State Legislature cowardly because it wouldn’t pass a law designating appropriate restroom usage for everyone…but especially us transfolk.

We’ve got a person who has twice been caught hiding in pit toilets to look up at people using outhouses in national forests, a college professor caught smuggling a camera into a girl’s bathroom, and other peeping tom incidents too numerous to list.

All of which were the actions of non-transgender people.  But that is apparently beside the point.  The public demands bogeypeople!

More from Thomas:

Transgenders can wear jeans and a T-shirt, and blend in when using gender-appropriate public facilities.

Oh, really?

I can’t lay claim for the following rant.  That would belong to TransInsight Canada (Heather Scott).

Thomas, Thomas, Thomas.  If you had a daughter, would you want her to use a restroom with one of this group of people:

Kayo Satoh

Kayo is a gamer and a fashion model. Using the name Kayo Police, is one of Japan’s most talented Street Fighter players.  After rumors started circulating that she was “really a man”, she came out to her magazine editors recently (last September).  She was born male.  For years, none of her employers or coworkers were aware of that fact.  She has written a book due out in June entitled Re-born published by Kodansha.

Janet Mock

Janet is an online editor at  She was also born male, as she disclosed just a couple of weeks ago.

Joanne Cassar

Joanne has been fighting for her right to marry in Malta.  In September of 2006 she and per partner filed for marriage banns.  The Marriage Registrar refused them, even though Joanne had legally changed her gender on her birth certificate after surgery.  In February of 2007 she won a civil case and the court ordered the Registrar to issue the banns. But she lost an appeal of that decision in May of 2008.

The court ruled Ms Cassar would never be considered to be a “woman” according to the Marriage Act and declared the change in her birth certificate, allowing a change of name and gender, was only intended to protect the right to privacy and to avoid embarrassment.

Not for, you know, actual real purposes.

Last month she claimed a breach of her human rights with the First Hall of the Civil Court (learn more about the Maltese Judiciary here), which ruled in her favor.  An appeal was filed by the Attorney General, which was granted last Monday.

Joanne vows to fight on.

One may note that in the comments at the bottom of the link, there are people objecting to the fact that the article refers to her as “she”.


Tona Brown

Tona Brown is a violinist, a mezzo-soprano…oh, and an out transwoman.

Tona is also very pleased to announce her new music studio where she works with instrumental and vocal students of all ages and levels of proficiency in an effort to nurture them to aspire for careers in music.

Or should Thomas’s hypothetical daughter rather share a restroom with one of these guys:

Tom Leger and Riley McLeod

(I don’t know which is which)

Tom and Riley are writers and publishers.

Buck Angel

Buck’s business address

Buck is a porn star.

Loren Cameron

Loren is a professional photographer.  That’s a self-image.

After all, these guys were born with vaginas and I believe still have them.  We wonder, like Heather said in the video up top, if sharing a bathroom with these transmen won’t make it easier to male pedophiles or rapists to get into the same space.

Some people, myself included, will likely say, “That’s not really fair.”  Not all transmen are buff like Loren and Buck.  And not all transwomen are beautiful.  Some transwomen, myself included, have lived long lives and the weathering shows.  Some transwomen do look not too much unlike they did when they were living as men.  I’ll agree to that.

But then I will wonder how fair is life that one’s equal rights are based on looks.

We already know that the extra bennies of life are based on looks, but legal equality as well?


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    • Robyn on May 28, 2011 at 12:01 am


    Joel Baum, director of education and training for Gender Spectrum, taught the classes. In the kindergarten class he asked the 5- and 6-year-olds to identify if a toy was a “girl toy” or a “boy toy” or both. He also asked which students liked the color pink, prompting many to raise their hands, to which he responded that that boys can like pink, too.

    In the fourth-grade class, Baum focused on specific animal species, like sea horses, where the males can have or take care of the children. He suggested that even if someone was born with male “private parts” but identified more with being a girl, that was something to be “accepted” and “respected.”

    Students in the class were given cards, which included information on all-girl geckos and transgender clownfish, to illustrate the variations in nature that occur in humans, too.

    Also understandably, parents were upset. Kevin Snider of the Pacific Justice Institute said such a program obviously does not comport with the beliefs of most parents.

    But, you know, we hear from no such parents.

    • TMC on May 28, 2011 at 2:52 am

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