Monday, October 28, 2013
The Trans Day of Remembrance Is Alarmingly Becoming More Co-opted and Misrepresented. What Are Transsexual and Transgender Americans Going To Do About This?
There’s an alarming and increasingly growing pattern of the International Trans Day of Remembrance ceremony being co-opted, disrespectfully misrepresented and shamelessly misused as a fundraising tool. The last few years have reached a boiling point here in the U.S. as numerous noted transsexual and transgender advocates, including the founder of TdoR herself, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, have openly voiced their disdain for this appropriation, while national LGB non-profits have become less subtle in their consuming of this most sacred day to our Trans* coalition.
Those concerned have publically cited components of classism, whitewashing, racism, sexism, ill-willed politics, financial greed and blatant transphobia all contributing to the rising misappropriation of TDoR.
Some have further criticized those within our own coalition as distorting the annual event such as insensitivity towards transsexual women and trans-feminine victims by trans-masculine folks, privileged portions devaluing women of color’s lives, who are the largest demographic of those slain and trans non-profits collecting money on their websites in the name of our dead.
Lastly, some local and national artists, community centers and political non-profits have inappropriately associated TDoR with alcohol and parties. Our dead’s graves are not a dance floor nor are they an opportunity to raise money for gay and lesbian marriage.
For the memory of our fallen and for the integrity of this annual vigil our Trans* coalition must put our differences aside and come together to preserve the authenticity of TDoR and not allow Non-Profit, Inc. to absorb, taint and dilute this important day.
We want to hear from those in the different transsexual, transgender, gender non-conforming and/or intersex communities (and allies) about what your experience with TDoR has been concerning the issue raised above or others. Please sound off in the comment section, or if you would like to email me privately Ashley.Equality@gmail.com
Posted by Ashley Love at 3:01 PM
Friday, October 25, 2013
Transsexual Woman is Victim of Russian President Putin’s Propaganda Law: 22 Year-Old Dasha Shtern Commits Suicide After Being Fired, Disowned by Family, Thrown Out of Home, Abandoned by Society & Dehumanized by Government Following New Pro-Hate Decree
|22 year-old Dasha Shtern (pictured) took her life after Russia's pro-hate law took everything from her|
A successful 22 year-old young woman Dasha Shtern had a promising future. She had a great job working for a central Russian municipality, had just been approved for a mortgage and car loan. She has an accepting family.And then everything began to change. President Vladmir Putin decreed an “anti-propaganda” law which persecutes those perceived to LGBT or different.
Since this hatred inciting law passed Dasha’s life went from hopefulness and security to destitution and desperation
Her once accepting family disowned her following lawThey then threw her out of her home
She was also fired from her job because her supervisors feared they may be in violation of Putin’s ‘anti-be-yourself-law’
Since she was then unemployed she was unable to pay home mortgage and car loan
With a bigoted government that had provoked all she held dear to vanish such as her family and career, as well as the means to have a roof over her head, this woman fell into a state of hopelessness that too many of my sisters know too often. Tragically, Dasha felt the only way out was suicide.
On October 19th,the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization, Russian activists remembered Dasha in Moscow’s Red Square
The action was held on Red Square in Moscow 19 October 2013: the activists gathered on the square in memory of transgender girl Dasha Shtern, who had committed suicide in Ekaterinburg, The organizers said, that originally the event was planned outside the building of the Plenipotentiary representative of the Sverdlovsk region in Moscow, but the character and scale of the tragedy led them to the walls of the Kremlin. The activists lit the candles and laid the flowers to the portrait of Dasha Stern near Kremlin.As top-lawyer and human rights defender Masha Bast said, Dasha Stern is the first victim of Vladimir Putin’s “Anti-gay Law”: as Dasha Shtern’s friends reported, she lost work as a municipal employee after signing of the law, she lost the opportunity to repay the hypothecation, the relatives abandoned her.
As Masha Bast stressed, Vladimir Putin had created the system where there is no place for transgender, there is no place for dissidents. Masha Bast considers, that Dasha Shtern is the victim of the indifference of the Russian society.
Advocate.com’s Sunnivie Brydym reported this week:“This summer, Russian president Putin signed into law a pair of draconian anti-LGBT laws — the so-called gay propaganda ban and another law that forbids openly gay people from adopting Russian children, while also forbidding single people from nations with marriage equality from adopting one of Russia's estimated 600,000 parentless kids.
The Russian parliament is also set to consider a bill that would remove children from their gay and lesbian parents, claiming that homosexuality is tantamount to child abuse, alcoholism, and drug use. The conservative deputy who proposed that law has withdrawn it for the moment but promised he will reintroduce the legislation after some revisions to the bill's language.”
Why the United States SHOULD BOYCOTT the SOCHI OLPMPICS:
Richard Vieira wrote on Alligator.com:"The International Olympic Committee scheduled the 2014 Olympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi, yet there is much controversy surrounding these events after the emergence of [anti-LGBT laws]…Such fanatical actions require external pressure, and there are many actors involved in this international drama. Aside from the host country, the IOC and participating countries all possess political leverage in regards to the Olympic Games. Perhaps the IOC can persuade Russian lawmakers to retract their homophobic laws in order to foster a fair, competitive and equal environment? …Because the Russian legislature seems incapable of producing thoughts that conflict with its sinister KGB shepherd, the responsibility rests on individual nations. The United States should set an example and boycott the 2014 Olympics and encourage other countries and the IOC to put a moratorium on all Olympic sporting events scheduled in Russia…For instance, the 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin, Germany, which was then under Nazi leadership. Hitler, who wanted to persuade the international community that Germany was an ideal host — sounds familiar — lightened the anti-Semitic rhetoric and had any anti-Semitic propaganda hidden, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website. According to the same source, many Jews were banned from sporting clubs and many Roma were rounded up and arrested in preparation for the games. The sporting events were, at the time, widely viewed as a success for the Nazi propaganda machine. Likewise, American participation in the Russian Olympics would only heighten Russia’s publicity and give an unofficial stamp of approval to its policies. The same can be said of large American multinational corporations — such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s — who will, in essence, be sponsoring an anti-LGBT environment. If the Obama administration wants to take on an idealistic world view and project liberal democratic principles onto others, then it must lead by example and not send Americans into a hostile environment in exchange for gold medals."
WE MUST BOYCOTT All Russian Products, including Russian vodka(which includes Stoli)
Actor Harvey Fierstein explains why we must place financial pressure on Russia:
“There’s only one way to change somebody like Putin and that’s in the pocketbook. You can’t get him with angry words. He feeds on that and his followers feed on that. You make the West angry, they’re thrilled. You can’t get them that way. You can’t get them through a U.N. sanction: ‘Oh boy, the U.S. is mad at me. I’m shaking all the f–k over.’ There’s only one way and that’s in the pocketbook. You hurt them in the pocketbook, they shut the f–k up and back the f–k down. … [A]ny country that puts money into Russia, and that’s what doing the Olympics is, [is guilty].” (Fierstein told The Hollywood Reporter)
“Mr. Putin’s campaign…is one of distraction, a strategy of demonizing a minority for political gain taken straight from the Nazi playbook. Can we allow this war against human rights to go unanswered? …In May a young gay man was murdered…beaten, his body violated with beer bottles, his clothing set on fire, his head crushed with a rock. This is most likely just the beginning. In 1936 the world attended the Olympics in Germany. Few participants said a word about Hitler’s campaign against the Jews. Supporters of that decision point proudly to the triumph of Jesse Owens, while I point with dread to the Holocaust and world war. There is a price for tolerating intolerance.” (Fierstein told New York Times)
Monday, October 21, 2013
Disgruntled Former 'Gay Liberation Front' Members Defame The Stonewall Inn Rebellion's Legacy In An Attempt To Seize Proposed Stonewall Plaque For The GLF Brotherhood. It's 2013, NOT 1970 - 1990: Trans-Erasure, Sexism, Classism & Whitewashing History is Unacceptable
Veteran journalist Andy Humm of Gay City News has recently reported that a few gay white men who refer to themselves as "Stonewall Veterans" (though they weren't actually inside the Inn when the riots erupted like Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major and other trans* people and POC were) are heavily campaigning against The Stonewall Inn receiving an honorary plaque - but for the notoriously transphobic, sexist and anti-lesbian group called 'Gay Liberation Front' (GLF) to receive the proposed plaque instead. Unbelievable!
A - GLF gutted protections for trans* people from a proposed 1971 New York LGBT rights anti-discrimination bill, saying it was "too extreme".
B - GLF kicked Sylvia Rivera and other trans people out of the group
C - "In the heyday of the Gay Liberation Front, in the early 70s, the majority of lesbians walked out in protest at the sexism of some of the gay men who took a pivotal role." - The Guardian
D - GLF member Jim Fouratt in 2000 referred to women born with transsexualism as "misguided gay men who'd undergone surgical mutilations" - (reported by Lynn Conway in 2006)
E - Recently these former GLF members have been quoted in Gay City News as hurling degrading adjectives at The Stonewall Inn such as “dirty, seedy” and “horrendous” (Um, sorry boys that many trans women of color in those days couldn’t afford to hang out in luxury piano bars such as most of the GLF gay sorority brothers could – but just because they were impoverished and found support and community in a small dive bar not to your liking doesn't mean these trans people were not extremely rich in spirit – a spirit so rich in fact that it launched a revolution! A revolution that many of these assimilationists profited from, and then discarded us when we no longer suited their self-serving, classist and transphobic agenda)
To many people the current bizarre behavior of these self-proclaimed “Stonewall veterans” (who are in my opinion just disgruntled former GLF members) who are now all of a sudden trying to defame the Stonewall Inn Riot’s legacy and block the plaque honoring our history and instead have GLF receive the recognition is a sinister (yet transparent to the third eye) attempt to disempower the transsexual and transgender communities and glorify the non-deserving Gay Liberation Front. It's about their egos. It's about whitewashing history. It's about trans-erasure. It's about not discussing why so many lesbians felt compelled to abandon GLF due to the sexism of its male leaders (and let's not forget the double standards and transphobia of many of those same lesbians who hypocritically called out GLF’s classism, yet who turned around and denigrated us even more so). It's about trying to do damage control concerning GLF's tarnished legacy. It's attempted history revisionism which speaks to an ongoing cycle of oppression that has lasted decades.
I wish Gay City News would publish more balanced articles on this Stonewall plaque issue. They only interview gay white men. What about women, whether they be transsexual or not? What about transgender people? What about cisgender lesbians? What about people of color?
What about diversity? Accuracy? Inclusion? Real feminism?
What is really going on here? We cannot allow this crafty campaign to cancel the proposed Stonewall plaque succeed. Get involved. Please join Stonewalling Accurate & Inclusive Depictions - S.A.I.D.. on our Facebook Page. We've lost too many of our sisters due the oppression which provoked those riots. Let's keep their memory alive and commemorate the Revolution of 1969.
"We S.A.I.D. enough is enough!"
For more information of the proposed Stonewall plaque controversy go to S.A.I.D.'s website:
From S.A.I.D.'s Website:
Sexual Orientation (gay) is not the same thing as a transgender gender identity or a transsexual medical condition. Words really do matter.
S.A.I.D. organizer Miss Major, currently the Executive Director of T.G.I Justice Project and a Stonewall veteran who was actually inside the Inn when the riots started, has deep concerns about the proposed plaque’s wording and the overall misrepresentation of Stonewall’s legacy. She states,“We started S.A.I.D.’s campaign to honor all those at the Stonewall Inn the night the riots erupted and, though you wouldn’t know it by viewing the inaccurate ‘Stonewall Uprising’ film or a string of other (mis)depictions, that most definitely and primarily included trans women and people of color.
The whitewashing of this history is an abuse of power which we will no longer tolerate.
The plaque should not use “gay” as an umbrella term as it marginalizes and erases the many trans people there. I’m not gay. Many transsexual and transgender people are also not gay.
History revisionism and trans-erasure have no place in this memorial. Let’s truly honor all the people who stood up for their human rights and yours by writing language on the p laque that’s honest.”
S.A.I.D. organizer Ashley Love, a journalist and transsexual & intersex advocate who volunteers with the anti-defamation group Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual & Transgender People (MAGNET), finds the plaque’s inaccurate draft speaks to larger issues, writing;
“It’s well documented that Sylvia Rivera, a Puerto Rican woman of trans experience, “threw the first heel” that started the riot, with Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major and many other trans* people and people of color also kicking things off. Then after the affluent white gay male political establishment was done using Rivera to fundraise she was quickly discarded. I’m sure the fact that she rightfully called out classism and transphobia also led to her being blacklisted.If this commemoration is to have any integrity then the pattern of certain privileged communities within the LGBTTIQQ coalition making Stonewall's legacy all about them must be challenged. It’s not just about “gay” people as the proposed text repeatedly misrepresents, it’s also about transsexual and transgender people. Let’s pay a genuine homage to the people who sacrificed so much for all of us by using more affirming text on the plaque.”
Stonewalling Accurate & Inclusive Depictions, or S.A.I.D., is an educational project drawing attention to the ongoing pattern of trans-erasure, whitewashing, misgendering and problematic messaging spread in numerous media portrayals, political establishments and educational institutions regarding the history and multi-movement building surrounding The Stonewall Riots of 1969. This campaign aims to encourage filmmakers, historians, educators, students, journalists and activists to responsibly affirm the colorful diversity which ignited the global revolution which the Stonewall Rebellion inspired.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Out with the Old
In with the New
Out with the Mold
In with the True
Won’t do as we’re Told
We’ll do as *WE* Do
It’s time to Unfold
Progress Is Due
Our souls aren’t Sold
Lies should be Sued
You have been Told
We’re in with the New
Reject Club’ de Old
Heal butterfly Blues
Our wings Unfold
Release our Rue
We fly out Bold
Out with your Old
In with our New
Clean out their Mold
Stand for what’s True
Today I come out as a free thinker and fact finder, not a follower of the mob or an apologist for those who misgender, misrepresent and mock my sisters and myself. Today we come out as pro-independence and self-determined advocates and no longer as property of those who deny my sister's and I's valid medical condition. Today we come out as speakers of truth and not as retained cheerleaders for hogwash. Today I am outing your disservice to our community and we vow to put transsexual and intersex needs on equal par with other movements instead on under the bus where Gay, Inc. and it's "Transgender Umbrella" Subsidiary have worked so hard to keep us. Today we say we are not a “sub-community”, but our own community. We come out as those who refuse to be systematically misgendered by your bogus media (mis)guides and othered by LGB and non-trans* straight people in the media and in miseducation pamphlets. Today we take OUT the trash and take IN authenticity and affirmation.