“Let Us Not be a Community Who Says, ‘We got ours so fuck you.'”

Gregory Gadow gave me his kind permission to repost his very incisive Facebook post here. This is so important.

A friend of mine made a very good point. Thanks, Calvin Hipps!

Dan White murdered San Francisco mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978. Charged with two counts of first degree murder, he was eventually convicted on two counts of “voluntary manslaughter,” the lightest possible sentence given the evidence. It was later shown that the jury gave him that sentence because A) White had been a SF police officer, and thus jurors presumed that he was acting against evil-doers, and B) because Supervisor Milk was an openly gay man.

When the verdict was handed down on the afternoon of May 21, 1979, the gay community went ballistic. San Francisco’s gay community had long been a target of SFPD’s bigotry, and many saw this verdict as police literally getting away with murdering community members. What originally started as an angry but peaceful protest quickly changed when the police tried to stop the demonstration. Police were attacked, and damage was done to SF government buildings. After several hours, the rioting subsided.

Black and white image shows a ghostly building with high windows and balconies in the background. There is a line of skinny trees whose trunks end in a puff of branches. Below the trees is a line of silhouetted figures standing in a line. The scene is lit by a streetlamp whose light seems to be diffused by smoke or mist.
Rioters outside San Francisco City Hall the evening of May 21, 1979, reacting to the voluntary manslaughter verdict for Dan White, that ensured White would serve only five years for the double murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. Image and caption courtesy Daniel Nicoletta (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Then the police staged a massive round of retaliatory raids in the Castro District. Cops in riot gear swarmed into gay bars and assaulted patrons, without even a pretext of claiming the mantle of law.

Sound like anything in recent events? Continue reading ““Let Us Not be a Community Who Says, ‘We got ours so fuck you.’””

“Let Us Not be a Community Who Says, ‘We got ours so fuck you.'”

Islam’s Homophobic Teachings Cannot Be Ignored as a Factor in the Orlando Mass Shooting

Hiba Krisht posted a series on Facebook asking us not to ignore the part Islamic teachings on homosexuality played in the horrific shooting at the Pulse. LGBTQIA Muslims and ex-Muslims all too often get erased, their struggles ignored, as we try to counter Islamophobic bigotry. It’s important that we recognize the dangers and challenges they face, even as we rightly point out that Muslims at large shouldn’t be attacked for the actions of a few.

This is not impossible. We manage not to target Christians for bigotry even as we argue against toxic ideas and teachings within Christianity. Finding the way to thread this needle starts with listening to the voices of LGBTQIA Muslims and ex-Muslims.

Hiba has given me permssion to collect and post her series here. Please add her blog to your regular rotation. Continue reading “Islam’s Homophobic Teachings Cannot Be Ignored as a Factor in the Orlando Mass Shooting”

Islam’s Homophobic Teachings Cannot Be Ignored as a Factor in the Orlando Mass Shooting

The Orlando Shooting: How You Can Help

A single man with an assault rifle and a handgun walked into a queer nightclub in Orlando, FL and killed at least 50 people and wounded at least 53 more. He deliberately targeted people for their sexuality: the fact that he struck on a night celebrating Latinx queerness means his victims were overwhelmingly people of color.

My Facebook feed is filled with pain and fear and sorrow and despair. But it’s also filled with wisdom. If you’re a hetero cis person, there are things you and I should be doing right now. Continue reading “The Orlando Shooting: How You Can Help”

The Orlando Shooting: How You Can Help

“One Official Document”

This article on transitioning and surgery. Go read it. If you haven’t got time to read it just now, read this paragraph (CN: Mention of suicide):

The latest research shows that it’s discrimination and stigma, not surgery itself, that causes the high suicide and attempted suicide rates. A study published in Ontario in 2015 revealed that those who have a supportive social environment (the most important social support being parents) were far less likely to seriously consider suicide. Other factors, like having one official document properly identifying your sex, also correlated with lower suicide attempts and rates. [emphasis added]

We have such a long way to go in making the world a better plans for trans people. And it kills me that it’s just simple things that can mean the difference between life and death. One document. Just one. Why can’t we manage just one? Continue reading ““One Official Document””

“One Official Document”

South Dakota Blazes a Trail of Bigotry

America’s despicable right wing, having failed to prevent same sex couples from getting hitched, has now opened a new front in the culture wars. Their newest campaign is focused on denying transgender folk the right to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender. We’re seeing legislation spring up everywhere trying to force people to pee in the bathroom corresponding to their genitals or their chromosomes rather than their actual gender. It’s fucking ridiculous, and dangerous, and a horrible waste of taxpayer time and money on top of being horrifically bigoted.

South Dakota has the dubious distinction of being the first state to actually pass one of these noxious bills.

Washington isn’t the only place where conservative legislators are figuratively burning transgender people at the stake during an election year. South Dakota has become the first state to pass a terrifying new anti-transgender discrimination law out of its state legislature.

From Stranger alum Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed:

House Bill 1008 states that “every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school that is designated for student use and is accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for and used only by students of the same biological sex.”

The bill defines “biological sex” as “the physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth.”

So how the hell would schools and gyms check that people using restrooms and lockers have—in their minds—the correct genitalia? What about intersex people? HB 1008 sounds very, very similar to Washington State’s SB 6548, a bill that trans rights activists have dubbed the “Genital Check” bill for the same reasons. SB 6548 would allow businesses, gyms, individuals, whomever, to adopt the same policy. In South Dakota, however, it’s specifically for kids.

So yeah, it’s not bad enough that it targets transgender folk, it has to go after trans kids in particular. Kids who aren’t harming a single soul by being themselves. The only danger is in the poisonous minds of the people who have decided that genitalia is the only thing a person has that matters, and if your naughty bits happen to be the type generally assigned to the gender opposite yours, too bad. I can’t even understand this obsession.

The bill hasn’t been signed yet, so please do add your name to the petition asking Governor Daugaard to veto the damned thing. And while you’re at it, let him know he needs to get acquainted with a few trans folk. Ignorance is literally getting people killed. We can’t accept this.

Gear up, my darlings. It’s going to be a long, hard fight for equality.

Image shows the capitol building in Olympia, Washington. A trans flag flies with the Washington State and US flags. The trans flag colors have been transposed across the entire image.
We’re going to be fighting for trans rights in state capitols all over the country. Let’s not stop until every state in the union allows trans people to live their lives free from oppression. Image courtesy Daisy Western.


South Dakota Blazes a Trail of Bigotry

Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat

Trans people in Washington State are staring down the barrel of a bill that will strip vital protections from them.

A bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity passed out of a Senate committee 4-3 Wednesday.

Our Republican menaces are using the same exhausted arguments as those in other states, pretending they care about the safety of women, while ignoring the fact that literally no transgender person has ever attacked a woman in a restroom. On the other hand, plenty of trans folks have been assaulted just trying to pee. They need laws that allow them to pee in peace.

So first thing: we need to shut this shit down. You can send this letter to Washington state legislators for a start.

If you can make it to the hearing in Olympia on Monday at 1:30, please do go. If you are in the Seattle area and need a ride, I can take up to three people. I would only need you to chip in for gas. Let me know by end of day today if you want to carpool with me.

If you live in Washington state, you can comment on the bill here.

And, also importantly: we need to vote these bigoted fuckers out. Here is the list of spons0rs: Continue reading “Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat”

Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat

If Your Feminism Requires a Vagina, It Is Bullshit

I’ve been seeing some supposed feminists engage in an awful lot of transmisogyny for people who claim to give a shit about trans people. And I’ve seen entirely too many feminists claim or act like they’re intersectional, then go off the rails when it comes to trans women. Ophelia Benson is the prime example of late, but there have been others. Far too many others. And I am bloody tired of it. So we’re going to have some real talk today.

This is not how you go about intersectional feminism. And it makes me really fucking uncomfortable when someone claims to give a shit about women and does a little public posturing about how much they care for trans people, too – and then goes off on a trans woman. In one recent episode, I saw a self-righteous feminist argue with a trans woman (who is also a biologist) about the trans-misogynist term “female-bodied.” When you run roughshod over another woman because she does not have the same genitals you do, you are fucking up badly. When you argue that there is such a thing as biologically female with a biologist who is telling you it’s more complicated than that, you are fucking up spectacularly. And there are far too many cis women who are doing shit like this.

So, as a cis woman, I’d like to say this to all y’all who think that being “biologically female” or “female-bodied” – meaning having a vagina and a uterus – is crucial to the experience of being a woman: Continue reading “If Your Feminism Requires a Vagina, It Is Bullshit”

If Your Feminism Requires a Vagina, It Is Bullshit

Lies the Medical Establishment Tells About Trans Kids

I just got done reading a jaw-dropping, rage-inducing article on the lies some people in medicine tell about trans kids. This is one to keep around in case you run in to some jackass claiming that the majority of trans kids change their minds. Newsflash: they don’t.

The studies that say overwhelming numbers of trans kids change their minds about being trans? Horribly flawed. I mean, super mega flawed. Such as: Continue reading “Lies the Medical Establishment Tells About Trans Kids”

Lies the Medical Establishment Tells About Trans Kids

Say Their Names: Murders of Trans People Skyrocket in 2015

Most of them are trans women of color. Most are young: almost all are under 40. They’ve been shot, stabbed, beaten, and run over. They’ve been killed because society treats them like trash, and their killers get the message that they’re disposable.

This is why I have no patience left for so-called “good” people who won’t acknowledge that trans women are women, who buddy up with the people who vilify them, deny their womanhood, and work to get legislation passed that discriminates against them. It’s why I won’t tolerate slurs and derogatory jokes about trans people in my presence. Every bit of bigotry, no matter how small it may seem, adds to the danger and prejudice they face. And I am not willing for my trans siblings to suffer anymore. They have as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as my white cis self does. Every single one of them was a beautiful, valuable human being. Every single one of them should have had a long, rich, and fulfilling life.

That, my cis friends, is why we must use our privilege to do all we can to end the social and legal violence done to them. And when you find it hard to do that work, there will be a list of names that should shore up your resolve.

Say their names: Continue reading “Say Their Names: Murders of Trans People Skyrocket in 2015”

Say Their Names: Murders of Trans People Skyrocket in 2015

A Perfect Example of the Necessity of Inclusive Language in Reproductive Rights Activism

A couple of weeks ago, Ophelia Benson hounded an abortion doctor into blocking her because she insisted that using the term “pregnant people” somehow erased women. In the process, Ophelia gleefully erased non binary AFAB folk and trans men. When called on her bullshit, she tried to invoke Black Lives Matter, which went about as well as you would expect.

I doubt Ophelia is reachable, but some of the folks on the fence or not too far into this ridiculous camp may be, and for them, I wish to bring their attention to the following, which illustrates exactly why we include AFAB trans people when we fight for reproductive rights. Content note for rape and anti-trans violence. Continue reading “A Perfect Example of the Necessity of Inclusive Language in Reproductive Rights Activism”

A Perfect Example of the Necessity of Inclusive Language in Reproductive Rights Activism