Friday, November 6, 2015

Respect The "T" in the LGBT Community!

Five days later, and the anti trans petition is still up with over 1,500 signatures and growing. Since this petition was posted, response from three of  the five listed organizations and other developments have taken place:

- A Reddit page was started (named after the petition)

- This past Saturday the person behind Drop the T interviewed with the Federalist, and spoke under the name Clayton (one word to describe this man: DELUSIONAL):

"Federalist: How big a role did the Stonewall controversy and the appropriation of the Stonewall story by the trans movement play in your decision to start this petition?

Clayton: It was a very important role. I was a history buff as a child and eventually majored in history in college; when I hit puberty around 11 years old and realized I was gay, part of coming to understand myself was through reading as much history as I could find about gay men and women; naturally, the subject of the Stonewall riots loomed large.
When the brouhaha over the film ‘Stonewall’ first ignited, I was stunned to see the transgender crowd taking sole credit for it.

The majority of rioters were young, gay white men, with a handful of black and Latino men, some lesbians and a few drag queens. When the brouhaha over the film “Stonewall” first ignited, I was stunned to see the transgender crowd taking sole credit for it; even more frustrating was the fact that gay/lesbian media, such as The Advocate, Out, HuffPost Gay Voices, and their journalists who should know to check their facts (and these are easily verifiable facts), allowed this myth to flourish.

It was maddening and frustrating. The identity of the individual who threw the first brick isn’t (and probably won’t ever be) convincingly confirmed, though it is acknowledged that it quite possibly was Marsha P. Johnson, a transvestite, who, it should be noted, still identified as a gay male at the time; and it should also be pointed out that the handful of drag queens who were present at the riots were not transgender as we know them today—straight men who have transitioned to presenting as women. Statements I’ve seen such as “the gay rights movement owes its existence to transgenders” are completely false.

Federalist: I was at the Stonewall twenty-fifth anniversary march in 1994, and at that time we all thought we had a pretty good idea of what had happened at Stonewall. The Stonewall veterans— mostly gay, white men—were viewed as heroic. In the new version of events, the gay, white men at the riot are presented as weak followers, not primary actors. Why do you think so many established gay outlets have so easily accepted this narrative that echoes some of the worst stereotypes about gay men?

Clayton: I wasn’t able to go, but I remember the day clearly—I gathered with friends to watch it all day on C-Span and celebrate. It was wonderful. And, yes, we had a specific perception of Stonewall that has been massively altered by the media, although the historiography remains the same.
You can’t alter history to make you feel better.

It’s difficult for me to say why gay media has allowed this history to be re-written this way; we always acknowledged the role of the drag queens and the lesbian who called out for help for everybody else to fight back—but it seems as if this aspect has become the predominant theme, the story ends there and the fact that the white gay street kids DID start fighting back gets underplayed or thoroughly ignored.

I think there’s a general desire to find heroes in the past that aren’t the usual white guy, and I understand that completely, as a gay kid looking to find gay heroes in a heteronormative history myself. But you can’t alter history to make you feel better, and doing so by twisting a narrative so that heroic men become weak, dithering non-actors in an event is disrespectful to them and ultimately to yourself.

Federalist: Do you believe there are a significant number of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals who are uncomfortable with being associated with the trans movement, but who fear the social repercussions of saying so?

Clayton: Absolutely. Any attempt to rationally discuss issues that gays/lesbians/bisexuals are concerned about regarding the trans movement is met with unparalleled vitriol, harassment, death threats, and silencing—demanding that the person commenting contrary to the trans narrative be banned from forums, for example.

I know that lesbians have for several years been the object of attack from trans activists for their (rightful) desire to enjoy exclusively lesbian and women-only events such as the now shuttered Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, in the wake of the Stonewall brouhaha as well as the recent proliferation of stories about effeminate boys and masculine girls being directed by their parents and health professionals into the trans identity. So many gays and lesbians were “sissies” and “tomboys” as kids, I think they see themselves in these children and are concerned about them being directed down an inaccurate path.

Federalist: Do you then see a distinction between the gay rights movement, which has traditionally argued for acceptance of individuals as they are, and the trans rights movement which argues that hormones and surgery are often needed to fully transform a person into who they really are? Are these two basic arguments at odds with each other?

Clayton: I think this is an absolutely important distinction that has not been discussed at all. Gay/bisexual men and women just ARE—we don’t need medicine or surgery to help us become who we believe we are, which is the case with the trans community.
We don’t need medicine or surgery to help us become who we believe we are.

To take it further, the first is about sexual and affectional orientation, who we are sexually attracted to and who we choose to share our love with; the latter is about gender identity, and altering one’s body to fit what one’s mind believes it should resemble. They are two very, very different ideas, and the problem that develops when we are all under the same umbrella is that so many of our enemies see us as one and the same—that Caitlyn Jenner, for example, is a “homo,” when that is not the case.

This is why I think the two groups should separate and fight for our respective rights on the more sure footing of our own ideas rather than conflating two divergent concepts.

Federalist: What kind of feedback has the petition been getting? I saw the tweet in favor from Milo Yiannopoulos and several tweets in opposition. Have people flagged the petition as inappropriate?

Clayton: Based on comments I’ve seen at various forums around the net, I’m certain that it has been flagged, though I’ve not been notified of it. Articles about the petition have popped up on various gay blogs such as JoeMyGod and Gay Star News and, frustratingly, they are negative, although many of the comments are supportive.
The LGB movement has always been about expanding and re-defining concepts of gender.

A tweet by Milo Yiannopoulos (Nero) is probably what brought more attention to it, as he is a widely followed gay conservative columnist—which is ironic, since I’m not conservative in the least. I’m a socialist atheist gay man who is pro-choice, against the death penalty, and hoping we get real gun control.

To me, the LGB movement, with its celebration of all types of gay men and women, such as bears, leather daddies, drag queens, diesel dykes, lipstick lesbians, etc., has always been about expanding and re-defining concepts of gender; the trans movement, on the other hand, appears to be about re-asserting and codifying traditional concepts of gender.

Federalist: The gay rights movement made the great strides it did in no small part by emphasizing normalcy. The focus on marriage and adoption was a kind of “we want what you want” approach that was very successful. Do the more radical claims of trans advocates threaten that normalcy by placing everyone in boxes based on varying difference and levels of oppression?

Clayton: It’s quite ironic to me that a generation that allegedly objects so much to labels has turned around and created the most expansive collection of labels there are: transgender, bigender, pangender, agender, genderfluid, genderqueer, etc. And then these self-applied labels are used to create a competition of oppression, where one wrong word can lead to a spewing forth of vicious invectives by the so-called oppressed.
These self-applied labels are used to create a competition of oppression.

Gay men and women succeeded partly because we expressed the desire to be treated equally—so that we could serve in the military, so that we could marry the people we love, etc.—and because we came out to our friends and families as what we are, just regular people trying to get through this journey called life; however, we did occasionally get pretty radical, too: the “zaps” of the 70s transformed into the absolutely necessary actions of Queer Nation and ACT UP in response to the AIDS crisis of the 80s.

But the important factor there was that the activists were, again, simply demanding that we be treated equally and the hetero audience could, in the end, understand that. My concern is that trans activism, which does not align with that of the larger gay/lesbian/bisexual community, is so radical and alienating—the insistence on access to women’s private spaces, the transitioning of young children who likely are just gay/lesbian/bisexual kids—that it will harm the community as a whole.

I wish no harm to the transgender community; I wish them all the happiness that life can offer. But our communities, linked together in such a slender fashion, no longer have a common ground, if we ever did in the first place.

A counter petition was started and of course I signed it and it has close to 4,000 signatures!

"We, the undersigned, urge the organisations petitioned by ‘Drop the T’ to disregard their call to disassociate themselves from promoting the issues of trans people alongside the rest of the LGBTQ+ community.

We find the petition by ‘Drop the T’ to be insulting, inaccurate and transphobic and we want to make it clear that this narrow group of people do not speak for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.

There are many ways in which the views of 'Drop the T' display inaccuracy, bigotry and intolerance, but presented below are some of the main points:

- 'Drop the T' and their supporters argue that trans people are guilty of the ‘vilification and harassment of women and gay/lesbian individuals who openly express disagreement with trans ideology’, but present no evidence to support their claims. They clearly seek to silence trans voices and fail to appreciate the need for trans people and their allies to challenge the transphobia that still exists within our society. They are ignoring the fact that trans people also suffer from open intolerance and ignorance from some within the LGBTQ+ community, and are far more likely to be targets of verbal abuse and physical violence.

- 'Drop the T' also promote open disregard for the rights of trans people to obtain access to services and facilities as appropriate to their gender. They claim that women suffer from the ‘infringement’ of their rights to safe spaces such as bathrooms because of ‘men claiming to be transgender’. By this, 'Drop the T' are not only ignoring the right of trans people to have access to safe spaces, but they are openly insulting and dehumanising trans women through the use of the term ‘claiming to be transgender’, essentially suggesting that cis men are attempting to gain access to safe spaces through deception.

Further to this point, and despite the assertion of 'Drop the T' to the contrary, such notions are openly transphobic, not to mention completely ignorant. There is no evidence that cis men ‘pretend’ to be trans to access such safe areas. We do not wish the rest of the LGBTQ+ community to be associated with any group of people who seek to spread such intolerance and wilful ignorance. It is inaccurate and harmful and feeds into a dangerous rhetoric that seeks to perceive trans people as a ‘threat’. Such views encourage a corresponding increase in threats and violence towards trans people. We unequivocally object to this.

- We reject the notion that cis gay men have been written out of historical narratives by the recent depiction of the Stonewall riots, and we support the efforts of media outlets such as The Advocate Out and Huff Post Gay Voices (amongst others) in making sure that the role of the wider LGBTQ+ community in those events is known.

- We also object to the concerns expressed by 'Drop the T' regarding the support shown to trans children. It is beyond patronising to argue that the medical profession has been persuaded against its better judgement to support children who identify as trans from an early age. We applaud parents and health professionals who support trans children from an early age, thereby helping them get the emotional, psychological and physical support they need.

To suggest that trans children ‘in most cases, grow up to be well-adjusted gay men and women’ is a completely unfounded and unsupported nation. It also displays the hypocrisy of the people who have presented the ‘Drop the T’ petition. They are using arguments that have been used against cis homosexuals in the past - that they will ‘grow out’ of what they are. Not only is this wholly inaccurate and offensive, but we believe that they should know better than to promote such notions. Their arguments are no more developed than a ‘Will no one think of the children’ narrative and will directly contribute to the harming of children and young people who identify as trans.

In conclusion, we utterly reject the notion that the association of trans rights and issues under the LGBTQ+ umbrella is ‘regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men’. Further, we argue that the petition by ‘Drop the T’ is little more than thinly veiled transphobia which puts forward a whole range of misconceptions that will actively perpetuate discrimination against trans people.

Trans people do not infringe upon the rights of women, gay men and children. Neither do they seek to ‘re-assert and codify’ what 'Drop the T' refers to as ‘classic gender constructs’. Indeed, by seeking to deny trans people access to safe spaces, and by seeking to deny support for trans children, teenagers and others, 'Drop the T' is actually doing more to reinforce conventional constructs of masculinity and femininity.

We urge you reject their petition and continue to work the rest of the LGBT+ umbrella to promote the wellbeing of all those within our community.

'Drop the T' does not speak in our name.

It has come to my attention that Trans exclusionary members of the LGBT community have come together to form a petition, before I go any further here is a screen shot & full text:

"We are a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community; in essence, we ask that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices, etc., stop representing the transgender community as we feel their ideology is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.

There are several areas in which the ideology of the trans community is at odds with or actively hostile to that of women and gay men; among the most important are:

• The vilification and harassment of women and gay/lesbian individuals who openly express disagreement with the trans ideology; a simple disagreement over an issue can result in responses that range from insults (“transphobic bigot”) to threats of physical harm (often, in the case of women, rape) and even death; the harassment by the transgender community of prominent individuals ranging from iconic gay rights activist/drag queen RuPaul and legendary feminist Germaine Greer has been particularly loathsome.

• The infringement of the rights of individuals, particularly women, to perform normal everyday activities in traditional safe spaces based on sex; this is most pernicious in the case of men claiming to be transgender demanding access to bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and other such spaces reserved for women.

• The appropriation and re-writing of gay and lesbian history and culture, most notably attempting to re-cast the majority gay white men who participated in the Stonewall riots as transgender, specifically casting as “transgender” men who adopted feminine attire but still identified as men (they called themselves transvestites, which is not the same as the modern transgender identity); particularly frustrating was the fact that media outlets such as The Advocate, Out and Huff Post Gay Voices, who should have been the first to point out the fallacy of this notion, actually went along with the lie.

• Most troubling, by persuading parents and health professionals to diagnose children as young as four as transgender, despite considerable research that shows that more than 90% of children who express “gender dysphoria” at a young age grow out of it by adolescence and, in most cases, grow up to be well-adjusted gay men and women; ideologically, it runs counter to traditional LGB and feminist philosophy – whereas feminists and gay men/women advocate for expanding and re-defining gender concepts, the trans movement is regressive, insisting upon re-asserting and codifying classic gender concepts of what is masculine and what is feminine.

Please note that we are not advocating intolerance or prejudice against the transgender community: we recognize and respect the right of adults to determine their own path in life, including transitioning to the opposite gender if they so wish. However, that cannot occur by infringing upon the rights of women, gay men and children.

At the very least, a discussion must be opened up to these issues, which for too long are being suppressed and censored – they are genuine concerns that need to be aired. In the end, we feel that the transgender ideology is not compatible with the rights of women, gay men and children and ask that the organizations and media outlets mentioned above disassociate themselves from the transgender movement and return to representing their base support of gay men and lesbians.

This comes on the heels of our loss in the fight for Prop1/HERO, It is clear that there is a group people within the LGB community don't understand the T, nor do they want to. Just as I am a gay man who is on the front lines of Black Lives Matter in Texas dealing with racism in the LGBT, I see the Transphobia from LGB people and this looks worse than anything republican could have ever come up with! Drop The T, I don't know who you are, but you and the 600+ jerks that want to see our Trans fam dropped from the community that they single handedly jump started at Stonewall (and many other places). Jump started as, in their human rights activism started what is now known as the LGBT rights movement, the current LGBT freedoms you have are because of them and their sacrifices!

You are advocating intolerance & hatred against transgender people, with this petition and you need to learn the true history of what it means to be lgbT!

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