Tag: transgender 101

Disposable People

Rachael Gieschen’s family founded Hanover Seaside Club in Wrightsville Beach, NC, in 1898.  When she lived as a man, she took her children there during those hot summer days.  But the 69-year-old Air Force veteran transitioned a few years ago and that made other club members uncomfortable, so the board of directors decided to cancel her membership.

Essentially, the club decided she was disposable.  One shouldn’t expect the club members, some of whom are her children, to be forced to consort with a tranny, after all, no matter how long they have known her.

Friday Philosophy: Trans News Update

Usually I have a longer break between summaries of news of interest to the trans community and perhaps to our allies.  But I have only had a couple of days since I returned from the desert to gather my wits together and try to develop a topic and an essay…and one of those was consumed by a medical test.

Additionally, there have been several items of interest that have transpired while I was gone.  I doubt many of them were covered by anyone else.  A few of them were touched on in previous trans news diaries…so consider this to be a set of updates, if you wish.

Without further ado, here is the introduction to the first story:

Vandy Beth Glenn was a legislative editor in Georgia who came out to her boss about beginning to transition at her workplace.  She was fired by Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby  because he believed her transition would make her colleagues feel uncomfortable and be viewed as immoral by Georgia legislators.  

Friday Philosophy: Trans News, Summer 2010

Every once in a while, I try to share news of interest to the trans community with people from outside our community, in the hopes that people will get a better idea about what goes on in our lives.  It’s all part of that teaching effort that we have been told we must do before we can ever hope to be accorded equal rights.

Recently there has been some good to go along with the usual stories of misuse and abuse.

Inside are stories from Houston and Dallas, San Francisco, Ireland, England, New York and the state department.

I’d rather have been a mother

Some days come with more pain than others.

Like Father’s Day.

On another Father’s Day, several years ago, I wrote about being The Unfather.

Throughout my post-transition life, I have met situations in which I have had to defend the fact that I wasn’t born female.   I have been told that I cannot ever really understand what it is to be a women because I didn’t grow up being a girl.  And, if the person I’m having the “discussion” with really wants to pour salt in the wound, I’ll be told about the experiences I can never have.

Friday Philosophy: Standing on the Shoulders of Others

Most of you know that June is designated as LGBT Pride month because of the Stonewall Riots, which began on June 28, 1969.

At Wikipedia, one can find the following statement:

They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

The only problem with the words above is that they are not quite true.  Almost three years before, there had been a blow struck for freedom on the other side of the country.

Friday Philosophy: Setting some ground rules

Off the top, let me acknowledge that there is disagreement between various factions on the importance of civility.  I hope that I have conveyed that I am in favor of it.  One of the purposes of this diary is to promote some civility, in a philosophical vein.

It may be that in my writing travels, travails, and educational efforts, I may have ignited or sparked the desire of someone else to write about trans issues.  If that has indeed happened, then part of my purpose in life has been served.

But I would be less than observant of the duties that purpose imposes if I did not include the caveats.

Friday Philosophy: Pride and Prejudice

Every year about this time, I feel the need to write something about pride.  Or maybe I should capitalize that to Pride.  The first is more personally and the second describes the month, sort of officially.  But is there really any difference?

Isn’t…or shouldn’t it be that…Pride month is when we get a chance to review and proclaim the personal pride we have in who we are?

Over the years I have, of course, encountered different voices, with different views on pride…and Pride.

When I first transitioned, I encountered quite a few transpeople who believed that it made no sense to express pride in who we are…just like it makes no sense for people who are not trans to express pride in not being trans.

I disagree with that sentiment.  I have always been and shall constantly strive to remain proud of who I am and what I have accomplished.

Friday Philosophy: Let My People Pee

Quite a few transwomen, if not all, have encountered the fear of other women when they transitioned.  Women-born women don’t feel safe with us using their restroom facilities.  At least the fear that is voiced is that somehow we are rapists or pedophiles, hunting victims in women’s bathrooms.

The reality is that nobody has ever provided an example of that ever happening.  And the reality is more along these lines:

On April 15, Colle Carpenter, a female-to-male transman, post chest-reconstruction surgery, who also happens to be a person with a disability and a graduate student at Cal State Long Beach, chose to use a men’s restroom at the university and encountered someone transphobic, who pulled Colle’s tshirt over his head and carved the word “IT” on Colle’s chest with an X-Acto knife.

Friday Philosophy: An Unsustainable Life

Twelve days ago, I encountered the following comment by a well-known member of Daily Kos.

What exactly is the medical condition that is treated by transgender surgery? Is it vanity? Something is not right about drastic alteration of a healthy body. I feel the same way about plastic surgery, by the way.

Transgender is an acquired condition, a choice, unlike homosexuality, and I don’t think it deserves the same protections.

I’ve let it steep and marinate, trying to come up with a way to address the comment.  And during that time, I’ve wondered how many people of like mind inhabit DK.  Given the number of anti-trans bigots that respond to general news story blogs in regards to stories about people who are trans, I’m willing to bet the commenter who made that comment is not flying solo.

So how should I approach it?  I decided that a trip back in time might fit the bill.

Friday Philosophy: Protections we don’t have

Have you ever worried that you might be fired if you gave any inclination that you might be straight?  You can be…with impunity…in any state which does not give equal employment protection based on sexual orientation.

It’s true that it rarely happens that someone would be fired for being straight, but it has happened.

To my knowledge, nobody has every been fired for being cisgender (i.e non-transgender).  But there is no reason, in most states, why it couldn’t happen.

The examples of people being fired for being transgender are too numerous to include.

That’s the thing about laws protecting gender-identity or sexual orientation.  They are for the protection of everybody, not just GLBT people.

Friday Philosophy: Why? How?

What causes transsexuality?  How do people know they are transsexual?  These are two very different questions…and quite difficult to answer, but I am willing to take them on today.

We humans seem to want either a scientific or religious answer to everything.  Especially when it comes to anything involving sex or gender-related behavior, if their is no known scientific cause, then there must be something morally wrong.

Why is that?  Scientific curiosity I can understand.  But it certainly should be disentangled from moral essentialism.

Do people really think that if there is no known scientific cause to a phenomenon, then it must be the work of…or evidence of…dark forces?

Friday Philosophy: Back to Basics

I’ve been observing some of the commentary, not just in the blogs, but also in the world at large, and have been debating with myself about whether it is time to start over, with a brand new education campaign, rather than just continuing the old one.

Some people just aren’t up to speed…like the right-wingers who keep referring to us transpeople as being “gender confused”.  Nobody here is confused, except the people who can’t grasp the concept of the separation between sex and gender…or the fact that DNA is not a life sentence, but rather a suggestion.

The thing is that we transpeople have done the deep digging into who we are and have come up with an answer that some people don’t like.  And those people think we deserve to be punished for acting on what we discovered about ourselves.

Sprinkled amongst the words in my essay is music supplied by some talented transfolk.  I apologize in advance for finding nothing actually by Wendy Carlos at Youtube (but a lot of stuff “in the style of”).

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