Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maryland Senators Expose "Equality" Maryland Misrespresenting the Transsexual & Transgender Community!


Though Equality Maryland (and many other state and national LGB”t” organizations) have serious control freak issues when it comes to dominating the transsexual and transgender community’s narrative, political movement strategy, media guide suggestions, priority level in the LGB”t” agenda and how bills pertaining to TS/TG people are written or amended, it seems more and more straight allies and politicians are hearing the cries of the TS/TG community when they say:

“Gay Inc. doesn’t represent us accurately, we are tired of being thrown under the bus constantly and we will not accept a few crumbs here and there! We are taking back our voice.”

The Maryland HB 235 bill is losing ground, which is actually a blessing in disguise because the weak bill leaves out public accommodations protections, so it’s best to propose it next year in its full and original version. The bill has been sent to the Senate Rules Committee where it's expected to die.


Senator Frosh has decided not to be spoon fed what to say by Equality Maryland, and has honestly pointed out that many transsexual and transgender Marylanders disagree with Equality Maryland’s ’incremental strategy’. Yesterday, he was interviewed in the Washington Blade concerning the tainted bill:

In yet another development likely to trouble the bill’s supporters, Frosh said his office was “inundated” on Monday by calls from transgender activists opposed to the bill because it has been stripped of a provision banning discrimination against transgender persons in the area of public accommodations. They are livid that that was taken out and oppose the bill,” Frosh said of Trans Maryland members. So there’s a division within the transgender community apparently about whether or not it’s a good idea."

Times are changing. Our elected officials are finally realizing that there is a disconnect between LGB strategists and TS/TG advocates on many issues. Yep, the time has come to represent ourselves, and a lot of LGB groups, and their TG loyalists and apologists, aren’t too happy about it.


Maryland transgender resident, Dana Beyer, who unsuccessfully ran for Maryland House of Delegates three times, and used to be on the board of Equality Maryland, told the Washington Blade yesterday:

"We don't trust Frosh and this seems to be his way of killing it and leaving himself with clean hands," Beyer says. "Bills don't go to Rules Committee unless there's a problem with them. This is not the normal process. There really is no reason for it. I would say this doesn't look good, and there's no excuse for it."

However, many in the community disagree that "Frosh is to blame". In fact, many are grateful to Senator Frosh for acknowledging that the bill's compromised version "may not be a good idea", and that many leaders in the Maryland community, including members of Trans Maryland and Trans United, have been calling his office and telling him why the bill must either ammended to include public accomodations protections, or withdrawn.


Emelye Waldherr replied to Dana Beyer’s opinion,

"Maybe there IS a problem with the bill? A great number of people think there's a big problem with this bill. Could it be that Senator Frosh agrees with them?"

A commenter then called Waldherr “na├»ve and Pollyanna ” to suggest that Senators would actually reconsider the bill’s merit due to the large outcry and opposition from Maryland’s only two trans specific organizations, Trans Maryland and Trans United. TransGriot’s Monica Roberts’ rebuttal to that name calling was:
"No, what’s “naive and Pollyanna” is GL rights orgs pimping an 'incremental rights' trans legislative strategy that not only doesn't work, it is harmful to the people it allegedly is supposed to help."
Dana LaRocca, a noted transsexual journalist and member of Trans Maryland, comments on this development,
"Yusef [a political writer for Metro Weekly] writes whatever he is spoon fed by the Equality Maryland disinformation team. He has no idea what is going on around him. An article in the Washington Blade has an entirely different take on it. [Washington Blade’s] Lou Chibbaro was apparently aware that the transgender community had reached out to key players in the Senate.

It looks like we got to [Senator] Frosh. Even better it looks like Frosh got under EQMD's skin. Next year is different because we have backed them into a corner and they have seen what we can do. I'm not a Blade fan. But if they upset the EQMD folk it's OK with me

Now EQMD is whining that he [Frosh] doesn't play by the rules. Well guess what EQMD - ya'll don't make the rules."

Even Maryland Senator Rich Madaleno publicly commented on the how all the attention seems to only goes towards gay marriage, though anti-discriminations protections for transsexual and transgender people are more urgent and needed. In his statement he says:

Although much of the media attention this legislative session has centered on marriage equality, we cannot let that debate overshadow efforts to enact these essential protections. Protection against discrimination, including gender identity discrimination, is a basic human right.”

Many agree with Senator Madeleno. Let’s be real, marriage is a luxury when you can’t even get a job because you are discriminated against, or can’t use public accommodations because of your gender identity, or get denied hospital care or health care insurance because you are transsexual. But since the gay and lesbian elitists who dominate the priorities of the LGB (lets tack on T to be PC) movement have most privileges straight people do, all they are concerned about is marriage and tax breaks, and those who are more oppressed are demanded to follow what their desires are. Never mind that a large percentage of the TS/TG communities are unemployed or living in poverty level, are frequently victims of hate crimes and have less social acceptance and understanding then gays do from society.


I want to thank Senator Frosh and Senator Madelno for having the integrity to call a spade a spade, and for them compassionately acknowledging that the LGB movement does not always do right by the TS/TG community.


The tide is shifting......


Transsexual, transgender and intersex Americans have had enough. They are exiting the back of the LGB”t” bus and buying their own bus. It’s high time we stop allowing our community to be used as a political bargaining chip by the gay establishment. Many elected officials and media outlets are supporting us in doing so.


We own our voices.


WE own OUR voices!


WE OWN OUR VOICES!!!
Trans Maryland members and supporters rally at The Supreme Court to oppose HB 235

Monday, March 28, 2011

NYC's LGBT Film Festival, NewFest, Hosts Panel @ Dot429.com's Brunch

(L-R) Ashley Love, dot429 CEO Richard Klein (center) and do2429's Bryan Moore (right) w/ NewFest's Executive Director Lesli Klainberg w/ actor Wilson Cruz (My So Called Life) w/ dot429's National Event Director Jason Dorn (L-R)Anthony Grisafi,Charles T. Edwards, Dan Choi aka DADT spokesperson (L-R) Matt Brown, dot429's NY Brand Ambassador Ryan Young, Ashley, Michael Santo (L-R) Ashley, musician Tona Brown, Out Music ED Deidra Meredith, Qtalk's Frantz G Hall

I thoroughly enjoyed being one of the co-hosts at dot429’s festive brunch, which followed a presentation and panel by NewFest, the NY LGBT Film Festival. Being somewhat new in New York, it was great to meet new people in the community, and hang out with friends, eat a delicious meal, and have a glass of champagne, or two.. I became a fan of NewFest last year shortly after I moved here. When Tribeca Film Festival decided to program the transsexual-phobic, misogynistic and racist film, Ticked Off Tra**ies With Knives, we at MAGNET (Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual & Transgender People) initiated a national educational campaign, following a protest at Tribeca Cinemas, and weeks later an education rally outside the film premiere, all garnering national and international attention. As a result, the top US LGBT film festivals, including NewFest, rejected the dehumanizing film.


NewFest’s panel was moderated by transgender filmmaker, Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons). The part of the panel I liked is when the filmmakers discussed how LGBT filmmakers need to stop only making films where the catch is “gay, gay, gay”, or “transsexual, oh my!”, but actually tell a human story that anyone can relate to, and just have the LGB or T part be a second factor. I learned good news from NewFest Executive Director, Lesli Klainberg, which is that NewFest will be presented at New York City’s prestigious Lincoln Center, making them the first ever LGBT programming at the Lincoln Center. This is huge!


dot429 is a “networking organization for the LGBT community”, and have strongholds in LA, NYC, SF, Chicago and are expanding to DC, other US cities, and eventually abroad. I think what dot429(.com) is doing is good for our LGBTTI coalition because the stronger our collective coalition is, the better we can push equality forward. I asked my new friend Ryan Young, New York Brand Ambassador for dot429, to tell us about why they support NewFest, and to tell us more about dot429.


Ryan tells us:



"dot429 decided to support NewFest as our missions are very similar; to provide the LGBT and Ally community with the highest possible cultural and personal access to meaningful media. We at dot429 believe that the films that NewFest presents do just that, and encourage important discussion.


dot429 is a global network connecting LGBT and Ally professionals online and in person; regionally, nationally and internationally. Founded by 600 of the most successful and influential LGBTA entrepreneurs and entertainers, dot429 serves as a go-to destination for the LGBTA professional set to make important business connections. dot429 provides members with a fresh take on current issues: the queer professional perspective."


dot429 seeks to connect many different groups in the LGBT and Ally community rather than compete with them. Smaller professional networks best serve segments of our community and provide much needed services. Our idea is that if we can connect as many smaller groups and businesses as possible the multiplicative power of professional relationships will take out community to a greater level of power and equality."


Check out dot429.com!


NewFest's panel discussion before the brunch


w/ transsexual advocate and writer Marylin Pierce


(L-) Laura E. Williams, Ashley, Anne Thomas (also a co-host of the brunch)

w/ Gregory Warren Jr. (right)



(L-R) guest, Ashley, Nancy Caamano, Angela Mosley, Tom Callahan




Saturday, March 26, 2011

National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association's 'Headlines & Headliners'

Ashley Love, journalist Ann Curry


(L-R) Patrick Abner, Ashley, Thomas Roberts (event host, MNBC news anchor)



Yesterday evening was "Headlines & Headliners", the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s 16th Annual Benefit. NLGJA is dedicated to ensuring fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues, protecting LGBT media professionals in the work place and fostering their professional development.






It was a really lively and lovely event, held at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, a luxury furniture store in in Manhattan. The event was hosted by Thomas Roberts, an openly gay news anchor on MNBC. News media greats such as Ann Curry and Sam Champion attended, as well as Chris Wragge, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Matthew Taylor and Natalie Morales.






Country music star Chely Wright and her girlfriend came out to support the cause. Wright’s upcoming documentary, ‘Wish Me Away’, had a special screening the same night, at a different venue. Miss New York 2010, Claire Buffie, was there to support her friend Thomas Roberts. She is such a dedicated straight ally to the LGBT community, and I enjoy seeing her at numerous events for the community.






As a media professional, who also happens to be part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender and intersex coalition, it was really inspiring to me to be in the presence of so many people I look up to, such as Ann Curry who is such a smart woman and a longtime advocate, and Thomas Roberts who is brave enough to be out, when many in the industry are still closeted professionally. The event was bustling with so many folks who all believed in harnessing the media to enroll equality, understanding, acceptance and positive images for the community.






Mitchel Gold received a certificate from Christine Quinn, speaker of NY City Council, honoring his work. Michel Gold is not just a furniture entrepreneur; he is a civil rights advocate. His new book, Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America, is out now.






Times are so much better than they used to be as far as the media being more respectful and accurate concerning transsexual, transgender and intersex (TTI) representations and issues, and LGBT ones as well. But there is still so much work to be done, especially for the TTI communities. There is still a lot of mis-gendering, sensationalizing and dehumanizing of transsexual women in the media every day. With groups like NLGJA and openly LGBT media professionals, we can help inspire better media coverage.






To learn more about NLGJA, and to get more involved, visit: http://nlgja.org



w/ country star/LGBT advocate Chely Wright (L-R) Fox news anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, Ashley Love, Fox news anchor Jamie Colby w/ Jane Velez-Mitchell w/ NLGJA Executive Director Michael Tune Miss New York 2010 Claire Buffie Blogger Andy Towle w/ New York Time's Alan Flippen Micthel Gold's company being acknowledged from the city via Christine Quinn LAGLC's Jim Key (far left), Latina Magazine's Javier Morgado (2nd from left), journalist Derrick Shore (far right) (L-R) Ashley, Emma Margoline, guest, Lana Schupbach, guest w/ NCLR's Shannon Minter w/ Fred Karger

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trans Maryland's Education Rally at The Supreme Court Exposed the Gay & Lesbian Community Using the TS/TG Community as a Political Bargaining Chip

Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

Trans Maryland’s education rally Tuesday night was such an inspiring moment, as a crowd of human rights activists marched to The Supreme Court to show solidarity with their transsexual and transgender brothers and sisters in Maryland whose basic civil rights are being denied. Around 35 people attended, and members of Get Equal DC and the International Foundation for Gender Education showed up to support. Half of the attendees were not Marylanders, but since this dangerous bill could affect us all if passed, we stood in solidarity with them.


Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

The education rally was a huge success. I learned a lot when Trans Maryland’s Media Director, Jenna Fischetti spoke to the crowd about why HB235 needs to be purposed in its original format. Denise Leclaire, Executive Director of International Foundation for Gender Education also spoke.

Jenna Fischetti told SheWired.com after the rally:
Trans Maryland is overwhelmed by the support and solidarity shown by our local and national peers and allies this evening. We wish to thank them all. We marched up 1st Street, past The Cannon House Building, on our way to the Capitol Grounds across from the Supreme Court. The destination was 1st and Maryland. In exercising our 1st Amendment rights, We members of Maryland’s transsexual and transgender communities made a statement that We Own Our Voices, that House Bill 235 in the Maryland House of Delegates needs to be amended, and that going forward, it is OUR community’s responsibly, in conjunction with supportive allies when needed, to educate our legislators and the population as a whole.”

Trans Maryland hosted this education rally to draw attention to the butchered HB 235 bill which has had public accommodations protections deleted. As usual, the gay and lesbian media was silencing or misrepresenting many of Maryland’s TS/TG community’s points of view, and portraying this issue just how Equality Maryland would advise them to. Yet due to Trans Maryland’s education rally, the gay media was pressured to actually tell the other side of the coin, something one would think most responsible journalists and news sources would do, yet in the land of LGB”T” media, that’s hardly the case when it comes to TS/TG issues.

Transsexual and transgender people need these rights immensely, and the gay and lesbian leadership via Equality Maryland had no right to do a backroom deal that chopped away these lifesaving protections.

The butchered version of HB 235 is not only unconstitutional, but absurd. If the bill is passed in its compromised form, a transsexual woman may gain the protection to keep her job as a nurse at a Maryland hospital, but she could be denied emergency room care in the same hospital she is employed at if the staff were transphobic. For instance, Tyra Hunter was refused care for serious injuries by EMS worker Adrian Williams, and later by the physician. As a result, she died. Without public accommodations protections, this bill has no merit.

Jenna Fischetti emailed Trans Forming Media today and wrote:
"I felt honored to be in the presence of real voices, speaking out for themselves without the filter of privileged peers or shell organizations, cold and callus to our needs seeking to delete and censor us. It is our experience which must carry the message to potential allies and legislators. The responsibility is on us"


If you say "LGBT", then actually mean it. If you don't sincerely mean it, then do us all a favor and just say "LGB", this way, the TS/TG/IS can be represented accurately and fairly. We are not property of Gay Inc, nor political bargaining chips of state and national gay “equality” organizations. (Thanks to Robyn Webb of Maryland for making such a cool sign!)

Cathy Brennan, a former associate of Equality Maryland/Free State Justice, and who had a significant part a decade ago in preventing TS/TG Marylanders from anti-discrimination protections, was not too happy about Trans Maryland’s rally.

She posted in the comment section of my previous blog:
"...I've never seen a more hapless bunch of activists…"
I did not know why a simple education rally would provoke Cathy Brennan to engage in such immature and unprofessional behavior. I was also curious if she even knew what “hapless” meant.

I replied:
"FACT CHECKING: Hi Cathy, I’ve noticed you on numerous social networking sites or blogs engaging in your trademark name calling. It’s interesting to see you finally make your way to Trans Forming Media.

So, we are now “hapless” according to your latest rant?. Do you know what “hapless” even means?

Hapless: 1) pathetic 2) dependent 3) victim-like

1) PATHETIC:
If we were so pathetic, we would not have mobilized, stood up and marched to The Supreme Court and rally to be heard

2) DEPENDENT:
No, we are not “dependent”. In fact, it’s because we are choosing to be INDEPENDENT and not be treated as unwanted stepchildren and property of Gay Inc , and actually speak and represent ourselves, that has you, Equality Maryland and many who seek to keep us colonized in a fit (Just like how Equality Maryland cancelled their transgender working group)

3) VICTIM-LIKE:
If we were victims we would roll over and let this tainted bill go forward in its problematic form. If we had victim mentality we would believe we were only good enough for the crumbs you and your cohorts believe we deserve. So no, Trans Maryland standing up to discrimination means they are not victim-like, but that they are REFUSING to behave like victims

I hope you have appreciated English class today; it’s the first time I had to teach one on my blog. Don’t be late to class next week, where we will be discussing transphobia in the gay and lesbian community."

In the Aftermath of Trans Maryland's Education Rally, "Equality" Maryland Cancels "Transgender Working Group" Last Minute Tonight. More Censorship?


In the aftermath of Trans Maryland's education rally last night in front of The Supreme Court, Equality Maryland cancels 'transgender "colony" working group' last minute, which was scheduled for tonight. Censorship? Control issues? Worried that their colony may break free and speak for themselves? Does In-Equality Maryland want to wait until Maryland's legislative session is over before they talk to the Maryland TS/TG community, so they can dominate the message, and compromise HB235? Just Shameful

(L-R) Trans Maryland's Media Director Jenna Fischetti, IFGE's ED Denise Leclaire, Trans Maryland organizer Donna Plamodom all atttend Trans Maryland's education rally last night at The Supreme Court, oppossing HB235's tainted version


In an email today from Equality Maryland to transsexual woman Donna Plamondon, who is an opponent of HB235's tainted format:

Dear Donna,

Due to scheduling conflicts, the transgender issues working group meeting originally scheduled for tonight has been postponed.

Thank you for coming out to Baltimore these past few weeks, lending your time and your voices to the discussion.

We believe these meetings have been constructive. We are committed to continuing these conversations after the legislative session so we can best formulate a coordinated, long range educational and legislative agenda.

We look forward to continuing this important dialogue. The next meeting will be scheduled for Wednesday, April 13th at 7:30 PM in the Equality Maryland offices. At that time we hope to have a system in place that will allow folks to join via a conference call. We'll keep you posted as the date draws closer.



Isn’t that amazing! They rescheduled the next “transgender working group” at the same time that the legislative session ends! Gay Inc sure knows how to control their TS/TG colony!

In more news, Equality Maryland released a statement on their Facebook page trying to defend why they are censoring and banning opposition to their compromising behavior. They ‘unbanned’ many of the advocates they had banned, including me. I then simply posted Trans Maryland’s press release about their education rally on their page, and I was re-banned.

What’s the matter with posting an education event? Are they scared people will see the disservice they are doing to the TS/TG community?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Transsexual/Transgender Education Rally in Front of The Supreme Court For Public Accomadations Protections in HB 235


Press Release from Trans Maryland about their education rally in front of The Supreme Court to demand public accomadations protections for TS/TG people be put back into HB 235 & to express why TS/TG should represent themselves, not the gay and lesbian community.

Washington D.C., March 14th, 2011

Trans Maryland and Allies Organize March 15th Education Rally in Washington DC to Demand HB 235 Fully Protect Transsexual & Transgender Marylanders

WHAT: The Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB 235) proposal in Maryland is supposed to protect people from discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression; however, a compromise has been made to remove protections against discrimination in public accommodations for transsexual and transgender (TS/TG) Marylanders, and is about to be sent to the committee for a vote in its tainted format. Maryland State Senator Rich Madaleno has made a call to amend HB235 to put public accommodations protections back in, yet gay and lesbian leadership via Equality Maryland and elected officials, all who are not TS/TG, have decided to edit out lifesaving protections, outraging many TS/TG community members who are being misrepresented, censored, shut out of the decision making process and are unwilling to accept a bill that will create second class citizenship and legalize discrimination.

The education rally will appropriately be on Maryland Ave and 1st Street, right next to The Supreme Court

WHEN: March 15th 7:00pm-8:00pm

WHERE: On the North West corner of 1st Avenue & Maryland Ave, Washington D.C., DC 20002

Jenna Fischetti, Media Director for Trans Maryland, explains, “Trans Maryland originated in 2009 to educate the citizens of Maryland, legislative leaders and policy makers as to the needs of Maryland’s transsexual and transgender community. In the aftermath of HB 235 being compromised, collective members of our community have now joined together to oppose Equality Maryland’s misrepresentation of Maryland’s transsexual and transgender communities best interests. Transsexual and transgender people should represent themselves, not gay and lesbian organizations. We are taking back our voice.”

Ashley Love, a national TS/TG media advocate, explains why this is more than a Maryland state issue: “Though I live in New York, I will join the many people from around the country that will be at Trans Maryland’s education rally in Washington D.C. this Tuesday because the threat of this compromised bill passing without needed protections for transsexual and transgender people could set a dangerous precedent that other states could follow in denying basic human rights to oppressed minorities simply because they were born with a birth challenge or medical condition.”

Donna S Plamondon, a Trans Maryland organizer, recently testified at the Public Hearing on the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Bill in Annapolis on March 9th. Today she says, “Many of Maryland’s transgender, transsexual and intersex communities oppose any legislation being introduced without consulting the affected community. I hope to see HB235, as written, die in committee and a fully inclusive bill introduced in the near future. We need protections to which all citizens are entitled under the laws of the State of Maryland and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

For press inquiries or interviews, or to learn more about the education rally on Tuesday, please contact TruthfulPR@gmail.com

Friday, March 11, 2011

In-Equality Maryland Censors & Bans Numerous Advocates For Asking "May Transsexual & Transgender Americans Have Some Human Rights Too, Pretty Please?"


"‎"EQUALITY" Maryland wants to create the illusion of a unified front. They are silencing TS/TG/I voices as well as LGBQ people who dont agree with their tactics." writes LGBTTIQ advocate Christopher Leonard as he sums up Equality Maryland's muzzling of the transsexual and transgender people who oppose their compromising actions.

Today I joined the long list of many transsexual and transgender advocates who have either had their comments deleted on Equality Maryland's Facebook page, or who have actually been BANNED from commenting, for simply asking the gays and lesbians who dominate the LGB”T” movement in Maryland via Equality Maryland, "Excuse me sir, may us poor, 'bottom of the LGBT food chain' tra**ys have some human rights too, pretty please?"

The controversy in Maryland right now is that the state’s LGB “t” equality group, Equality Maryland, is supporting a bill, HB235, which is inaccurately being called an “anti-discrimination” bill; however, it actually allows the discrimination against transsexual and transgender people in public accommodations, whereas gays and lesbians already ensured their own protections in public accommodation a decade ago.

In a comment posted on Equality Maryland’s Facebook page, Zoe Ellen Brian explains why this compromise is appalling:
"HB235 specifically excludes trans people from the same protections that gays have had since 2001. It gives them a limited subset, while legitimizing discrimination against them in many areas – such as lunch counters, or being allowed to ride a bus, enter a restaurant, or be given medical care at a hospital. In other words, “public accommodations”.

It legitimizes inequality, in an attempt to give them at least some minimal rights in credit applications, employment, and housing. A “pragmatic compromise” that strengthens the rights of all other minorities regarding public accommodations, while denying trans people any protection whatsoever. Deliberate, legally sanctioned Inequality.
Because Zoe Ellen’s comment exposed the ugly truth behind Equality Maryland’s compromising behavior that has and will continue to negatively affect the TS/TG communities, it was promptly deleted by the moderator.

Here are the two comments I posted that had me censored, and then banned:


Today Maryland's marriage bill is sent back 2 committee 4 discussion. No vote until 2012 probably. To all the Maryland gays & lesbians: The way you are feeling right now is how the transsexual & transgender community felt when you didn’t protect them in Marylands discrimination bill this week. See how that works? Its called karma. Sorry to be frank, yet u should be sorry 4 abandoning the TS/TG part of the coalition!
The 2nd comment I made today was in response to Equality Maryland’s page saying “transgendered”, problematically adding the “ed” after transgender, which media advocacy groups educate against.
Excuse me, why is there an "ed" after transgender? Transgender people are not "adverbs". Are you serious? Please educate yourself before you proceed to (mis)represent transgender and transsexual people. Thanks
Though I was upset my voice was censored, in a way, I am honored to make the list of so many transsexual and transgender advocates who have also been banned or censored on Equality Maryland's page for simply asking "What about the 'T'?" I couldn't’t ask for a more honest group of transsexual, transgender (and/or intersex) people to be associated with! Thanks Equality Maryland, this acknowledgement means a lot to me, it means I refuse to be a token trans tom [aka Autumn Sandeen] and compromise! I will wear your rejection with pride! ;)

Another thing, if I hear Equality Maryland quote Martin Luther King one more time, I may scream! King would NEVER condone how Equality Maryland is sacrificing transsexual and transgender Americans, and using them as a political bargaining chip. King would never say "Let’s get light skinned blacks and biracial blacks their rights first, and then come back for the rest". How dare they misappropriate his cause!

Something ironic happened yesterday. The same exact day that the Maryland ‘Gay & Lesbian caucus’ sacrificed transsexual & transgender people in a discrimination bill hearing, the House decides to do the same thing to gay marriage via defending DOMA! Perhaps the moral is that gays shouldn't mimic our oppressors and abandon TS/TG folk? Karma is timely like that, & she will make us learn our lesson one way or another...

Patrick Peace Tree, who has also been censored on their page, disclosed,
I've been censored so many times over there, I've just given up. It makes me furious to watch them use MLK quotes and talk about inequality while they preach segregation with HB 235
Kat Rose, a popular legal historian of transsexual and transgender issues (who is an attorney) and is the author of the blog ‘ENDAblog.wordpress.com', elaborates on how Equality Maryland has done this many times before, like when they threw us under the bus in 2001:

"Trans people in Maryland today are dying because of what Liz Seaton, Cathy Brennan and Shannon Avery got away with a decade ago. Their form of fake history creation was simply doing their evil and slithering away into highly-paid jobs that no trans people (or, in Seaton’s case, no trans women) are ever considered for and letting the amnesia of the damned do their historical work for them. Don’t let it happen again. Challenge ‘Equality’ Maryland’s lying-by-sanitizing online

Technically, the dirty deed happened in 1999 when certain gay-primacy activists began pushing an empty theory that trans people were already covered under Maryland law - which gave legislators cover to delete trans people from that year's bill. Liz Seaton, then head of what is now 'Equality' Maryland but then called Free State Justice (more accurately referred to as 'Free State Just Us') and soon to move up to a position with the Human Rights Campaign, sat silent before legislators when asked if there was any problem with removing trans people from the bill.

This series of events gave license to the legislature to forever after move forward with gay-only bills - which was done again in 2001. Again, gays who wanted their gay-only bill without concern for the long-term harm to trans people - the most vocally obnoxious of whom was Cathy Brennan - pushed the theory that trans people were already covered under Maryland law so trans people had nothing to complain about. Moreover, Brennan openly declared that the gay people in Maryland who supported trans inclusion and, as such, opposed the gay-only bill, were "anti-gay."

Through all of this, the implication was that once Maryland gays got their gay-only statute, they would go back and make the trans protections explicit. Instead, of course, they discovered gay marriage, so there has never been any legitimate effort - including the insulting HB 235 of this year - by Maryland's gays to make good on their 'incremental progress' promises to trans people."

And it gets worse; Equality Maryland is using the mother of a trans child to support a bill that will actually allow discrimination against her child. Kelly Busy of Planetransgender.com wrote an open letter to the mother, Cathy Hyde, to explain why the community is upset with Equality Maryland’s anti-TS/TG behavior: http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2011/03/open-letter-to-catherine-hyde-pflag.html

Jenna Fischetti , a woman who lives in Maryland and TS/TG activist, wrote in a thread concerning this controversy,
“The difficult part of your proposition is the assertion that EQMD has the capacity to be good and thus through its sacrificing the TS/TG people, they were wrong. If its not in their nature to be for the full and immediate equality of TS/TG ...Marylanders, then they are NOT wrong in sacrificing them, they are only consistent.

To the deleting numerous comments please follow the link: [Wikipedia’s article on Stalinism]
http://goo.gl/rGdCA

Now, I will say that last bit was intended as tongue in cheek. However, whoever has administrator rights or control of their Facebook page or directed the control of the message on the page needs to seriously consider how ridiculous it made them look. They could have turned off comments completely so they could have controlled their message like Brezhnev."
Donna S. Plamondon, a woman of transsexual medical history, who lives in Maryland, went to the Public Hearing on the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Bill on March 9th, and testified against the problematic bill. Today she reflected back to me,
"I NEVER thought I would ever testify AGAINST a bill to (supposedly) give us protection. It sucked being the ONLY transsexual sitting with the likes of Peter Spriggs speaking in opposition to HB235 at the house committee hearing. EqMd is NOT happy with me telling the legislature "Thanks But No Thanks for HB235 as written".
Here is a part of Donna’s testimony from the hearing:
"I and many other members of Maryland’s transsexual and intersex communities feel slighted and offended by the omission of public accommodations to HB235. Not to be disrespectful to the efforts of our allies, our legislators, Equality Maryland, the NGLTF, the NCTE and transgender community, but no one seems to acknowledge that there is a difference between being transsexual/intersex and being transgender and no one seems to want it addressed.

TRANSGENDER persons in general IDENTIFY with their birth sex, neither sex, or both sexes. They typically EXPRESS their gender opposite their birth sex in an inconsistent manner for various reasons. Some are crossdressers, some are transvestites, and some are drag queens and kings. Some choose an androgynous EXPRESSION.

...TRANSEXUALS and INTERSEX persons typically IDENTIFY with the sex opposite their sex assigned at birth and EXPRESS that IDENTITY in a consistent manner every day of their lives

…TRANSEXUALS people are recognized as being a medical condition by both the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association as evidenced by their individual resolutions supporting the legal recognition of their IDENTIFIED and EXPRESSED gender

…. persons should be protected by a public accommodation amendment and recognized as to have taken the responsible approach of seeking help from psychiatric and medical professionals to resolve a medical condition. We deserve all the dignity, respect and protections, both civil and legal, to which a citizen is entitled under the laws of the State of Maryland, Title 7 of the Civil Rights act of 1964 and the United States of America."

Marti Abernathey of Transadvocate.com, warns us about the danger of a domino effect if this bill passes without full protections in her article 'Gay Media: Maryland Trans Community, Love The Crumbs We Give You' :
"If HB235 passes without public accommodations in Maryland, this will reverberate across the country. You only get one chance at this. It’s hard enough to “go back” for gender identity protections (New York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, etc.). But going back for public accommodations that cover gender identity will be next to impossible.

In light of HB285 ( a bill that gives legal teeth to public accommodations protections for those already covered), the genesis of this “half a loaf” becomes clear. Maryland’s “advocacy coalition” isn’t prepared to fight for full equality for the entire community. We’re supposed to be happy with their crumbs."


Marti also warns about the sneaky way the gay and lesbian media are (mis)reporting this, writing. "As much as trans people seem to want to believe it, gay (GayINC) media is not their friend/advocate/ally". She goes on to expose the unsatisfactory way Metro Weekly, Washington Blade and Pam's House Blend (via Autumn Sandeen) are reporting this story.

Perhaps I was provocative by saying it was “karma” in Maryland that postponed the marriage rights of the same gays and lesbians who are denying TS/TG people their full protections in the discrimination bill. But I am just one person who noticed an interesting parallel and commented on it. What I said is not anywhere as impactful or inappropriate as the gay and lesbian decision makers who work for, or who are on the board of, Equality Maryland, which has made the choice (repeatedly) to compromise the basic human rights of TS/TG people, the same rights that gays and lesbians in Maryland have already secured for themselves.

Equality Maryland has the right to ban people off their page, it’s their page, but is it the proper behavior for a “civil rights group”? The good news is that they can’t delete any of my comments off Blogspot.com. If Equality Maryland wants to continue to throw transsexual and transgender people under the bus, then their two options that make sense in my eyes are:

---1) Change their name to ‘Inequality’ Maryland

---2) Call themselves a LGB group instead of a LGB.”t” one

So which will it be Equality Maryland? Choice #1 or choice #2? Or, you could surprise us all and do choice number #3:

---3)
Demand that public accommodation protections for TS/TG people be put pack into the bill.

Dana LaRocca resides in Maryland, and is a woman of transsexual experience. She has been very vocal and uncompromising in her opposition to the bill, and against Equality Maryland for supporting it. So, of course, she had to be silenced and Equality Maryland's Facebook page banned her as well. Dana's response to being on the ever growing "banned list" is:[It's a] "Badge of honor"
Dana, many others, including myself, agree with you :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Does The 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day Means to Women Born Transsexual and/or Intersex?



Yesterday was the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. The human race has come a long way since organized sexism demoted women to 2nd class citizens and created a culture that has sought to degrade the divine feminine, casting this world into a fear based land of war, violence, materialism and falsehoods.

However, though this world is in a better place for women then in was in centuries past, in the beginning, times were even better in most cultures for women, as the divine feminine was worshiped as the almighty, and in many societies women were revered as sacred life bearers and spiritual keepers of Mother Earth.

Before the pre-feudalism and pre-patriarchy times something else was different then it is in 2011. Women of transsexual and/or intersex experience were not persecuted, vilified, objectified and marginalized like they are today. In fact, it was the exact opposite. They were revered as shamans, priestesses, spiritual directors, medicine practitioners, consultants to royalty and leaders, healers, inspirers and beloved of the balanced circle of life.

Unfortunately, when men created organized religion to control the masses, the decision was made to assault the status of women because they possessed feminine qualities that threatened the brutal regime of classism, land and human ownership, greed, and egocentric and addictive external desires. People who defied gender stereotypes or who were born transsexual and/or intersex were also a threat because they did not fit into a box, so their fate was sealed as outcasts.

Time has passed and the true history of women born transsexual and/or intersex has come to light by many, but most are still living in the dark ages. Personally, what hurts me more than men assaulting the light of TS/IS women is when non-TS/IS women do this. We saw this is the 70’s and since when lesbian radical feminists denied TS/IS their truth and legacy, casting them back into a hole they had just started to climb out of (see Janice Raymond). We also saw white transvestite male fetishists in the 70’s, 80’s, and even today, use their male privilege and transsexual-phobia try to rewrite, objectify and degrade the true narrative of TS/IS women (see Virginia Prince, Anne Lawrence, etc).

Its 2011, the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, and there is still so much more work to be done. But it’s not just an issue ‘between men and women’. Its also an issue between ‘women and women’. Some women are NOT created ‘more equal’ then other women, and yet many non-TS women would argue otherwise. The gay and lesbian community is doing a horrid job (mis)educating that transvestite males are pretty much the same things as women born TS/IS. This is an assault on women born TS/IS's reality, dignity and plight for understanding and social acceptance, and is responsible for much of the media and public's misgendering, confusion and fear of TS/IS issues.

What I would like to see as we move forward in this 100th year milestone is for all of us to give 100% of the women population the respect and protection they deserve, not just the ones who were lucky enough to have not been born with a birth challenge or medical condition such as women born transsexual and/or intersex.

I would like to see the transgender non-profits and Gay Inc stop censoring women born TS/IS from speaking their truth. I would like to see Transgender/Gender Queer/Cross Dresser Inc and Gay Inc stop co-opting, appropriating and glossing over the realities of human beings born transsexual and/or intersex. I would like education platforms to stop being lazy and actually discuss the diversity in the transsexual, transgender and intersex communities. They are all not one community; they are different communities who have been forced onto a reservation, or a ‘coalition’ at best. To reject and ignore the different needs of these sub-groups is dangerously problematic, unjust, sexist, transsexual-phobic and straight out fraud!

I wish I could rejoice in this 100th Anniversary. Sadly, I cannot. Not when I see my transsexual,transgender and intersex sisters being killed every month, or denied healthcare, or fired for being different, or ridiculed in the media or being segregated from society.

Women born different are still women, and if this day is to mean anything authentic, then all women need to be treated as equals to each other. Period.

Yesterday I asked some friends on Facebook who women are born transsexual and/or intersex to tell us what this anniversary means to them, here are some of their replies:

Cathryn Platine, author of “Riding The Second Wave”, and a leading transsexual feminist and resistance fighter against the co-opting of her community be transgender politics, writes:


“That the current war on women being waged in the US is MY fight. I had my feminist awakening when I was nine years old at the very beginnings of second wave feminism...we still do not have the ERA in this country despite it havingbeen re-introduced every single year since suffrage!”
Constance Macintosh-Mascherin, a Canadian woman who was not born transsexual, but is a committed ally and outspoken feminist, write:


“It SHOULD mean it's time for them to stand up and SCREAM "I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR" !!!!!!!”
Shelley Alexa, a woman born transsexual from California, writes,

“What it means is that the time to act is now...RIGHT NOW...the need has never been greater...it's high time, indeed way overdue, that TS/I women be acknowledged, accepted and appreciated as the WOMEN we truly are...in every possible sense of the word...and I for one wish to be counted...”

Teresa Ellen Reeves , a transsexual lesbian woman (and Seattle based activist)who has dealt with a lot of prejudice from the lesbian community in Seattle because she was born with a transsexual a medical condition, writes,

"Yesterday I went to a Seattle WHEEL (Women’s Housing Equality & Enhancement League) meeting and I found out that the Women of WHEEL were invited to a special International Women’s Day event tomorrow evening where an honor is going to be bestowed on one of our members, Anita Freeman, for her long service to the homeless community!...The invitation came from a lesbian event organizer, about 72 years old, who is a leader in two local Seattle lesbian groups, both whom have shunned and excluded me– telling me I was not regarded as a “real” woman or a “real” lesbian, and treating me like I was invisible or did not exist! They kept “losing” my phone number or Email address…I had been deliberately left off. No one in the Lesbian Separatist community ever wants to admit that a transsexual woman was included in an "all-woman" event., And if my name had been on the program... Lesbian Separatist Apartheid and for all transsexual women excluded….always hope for next year. Someday I will be included in the International Women's Day event. I will perform my songs of Sisterhood and belonging. And my name will be there in the program for all to see that I, Teresa, and all women are included!”

Alexandra Andrea Beninda writes,

“What it means to me is that I was born a woman, despite all of the ordeals that I have had to overcome, and therefore International Women's Day means the same to me as it does for all women."


Jenna Fischetti writes,

"That my struggle with body image was no different than any other woman's struggle with body image. That misogyny and transmisogyny are cultural and based on societally defined gender roles which have slowly been changing over the last two generations. That acceptance of self leads to acceptance from others.”

Danielle Megehee writes

“To be honest, it's a very sad day... That conditions for women are still poor today - after 100 years - tells us something. TS/IS women face the same discrimination, risk, etc. that other women - in addition to the ones brought on by their... medical condition. Perhaps one day, all people can celebrate a time when all people have equal chances to full and productive lives based on who they are and what they can do - not based on gender or skin color or religion or any other superficial factor.”

Lisa Salazar writes,

"We still hear of and see the incredible inequality that the majority of women experience around the world, where tribal, cultural, religious and patriarchal forces continue to suppress and demean women. It reminds me of a quote I read somewhere, from the head of a humanitarian NGO when he was asked if he celebrated their successes at reducing child mortality, to which he said, "As long as we are surrounded by dying children, it is impossible to really celebrate." It is a different context, but a very applicable sentiment to have on Women's day. As a TS woman, I am grateful and humbled to be among the few numbers of women in the world who have benefitted from the struggles and hard work of the feminists (which to me is not a negative term in the least).”

Monique Phillips writes,

“It means a lot , I feel that I am a Woman as seen as such so Woman’s Day is very important to all Women & the Strides they have faced are still facing”



Maggie Fiona Fox, a transsexual journalist (a lot of her work is featured on TS-Si.org) who resides in the UK, writes,
“It means I can applaud the Olympic definition of woman that requires having completed sex reassignment surgery, (vaginoplasty), being legally recognized as a member of the sex they wish to compete as, and having undergone two years of hormonal therapy (unless they transitioned before puberty).”


Thamra Leslie Crawford writes
“May the next 100 years be equal and full of pride.”