Why There Can Be No Compromise On Inclusion of Trans People in ENDA: Gay Men [UPDATED]

And I won’t mention Joe Fudgepacker Dan Savage by name, specfically

Really, I won’t.

For me the most distressing thing—for me personally—about Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna joining with the attorneys general of states like Virginia (!) and Mississippi (!) in suing to block health care reform is this: Rob McKenna doesn’t make a big deal about it, but he is the only prominent Republican LGBT elected official in the country. And yet Rob is attempting to ingratiate himself with openly homophobic teabaggers and Washington state Republican primary voters by blocking the implementation of a health care reform law that, according to critics on the right, will one day pay for “gruesome ‘sex change’ operations“—indeed some transsexuals are already getting government-funded sex-change operations. It’s staggering that Rob McKenna, a female-to-male transsexual, is making it harder for other FTMs (and MTFs) to access the life savng sex-reassignment surgery that allowed Rob to become the man he is today. Rob had the resources to finance his own sex-reassigment surgery—presumably—but that doesn’t excuse Rob’s cruel disregard for his low-income transgendered brothers and sisters or his making common cause with anti-trans bigots in states like Virginia and Mississippi.For shame, Rob.

UPDATE: I’m getting some very angry emails about this post. What can I say? I’m so sorry. I wrote the post in a hurry but that’s really no excuse. But I promise that in all future posts about Rob McKenna I will not fail to include a link to the Facebook page “Washington Tax Payers OPT OUT of Rob McKenna’s Lawsuit.”

Now, we all know that the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool of Solmonesian Style digs up trans people from out of nowhere to create insta-trans-employees – but, HRC has a clear, albeit unstated (and, in fact, repeatedly denied), goal: total destruction of trans political viability.

(Yes, we do all know that; whether one is capable of admitting it is a different matter.)

But Dan Savage is a different creature.

He’s not a self-important, Wal-Mart-esque corporation. 

He’s an individual – albeit one with a platform.  And, I can’t say that don’t find a lot of his stuff interesting, funny, etc.

Of course, on a point of similarity with HRC, I can’t say I have the impression that he particularly gives a damn about whether trans people live or die.  Honestly, I don’t know if he’s actually transphobic or not – or that he actually works to actively undermine trans rights.

However, the above-quoted piece from SLOG, would legitimize any opinion that anyone might form of him in that direction.


Well, it certainly appears that the person he’s referring to is NOT and FTM.


Now, by “appears,” I’m not talking about visually.  Might someone be forgiven for, on one’s own mind, making an assumption that McKenna is FTM? 


A gay man?

Also perhaps.

But, Savage pulled the FTM card.

And if you read the comments to the SLOG piece, that ‘revelation’ seems pretty damn surprising to just about everyone.

Dan Savage, stop it with the FTM shit. You’re doing it wrong. First of all, he’s not transgendered. Second of all, you’re insulting transgendered people by making something like this up out of nowhere. I’m ashamed of you for this. Really, if you would stop stuff like this, you’d be okay.


C’mon Dan, can you give us more? Google searches all point back to you. What’s your source?

Well, someone at some point did point to a source – from 2004:

Attorney General

Deborah SennDeborah Senn served two terms as state insurance commissioner. She is on the left of the political spectrum, a populist who built a strong reputation as a crusading consumer advocate, which won her the enduring enmity of the state’s business establishment.

Unfortunately, Senn gave conservatives ammunition by crusading a bit too hard as insurance commissioner. But it is time for Democrats to unite behind her. A main role of the AG’s office is consumer protection, and we expect Senn will excel at that task. Senn talks (with credibility) about the AG as “the people’s lawyer,” and advocates investigating rising gas prices, going after identity theft, and policing predatory lending–music to our ears.

Compare that to her Republican opponent, King County Council member Rob McKenna, who adheres to the Republican mantra that government is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. McKenna, a female-to-male transsexual, is the FTM community’s own Mary Cheney. When will McKenna address the needs of the FTM community? We expect more from one of our own, “Robin.” There’s also a Green and a Libertarian in this race, but forget about them. Polls show Senn leading by only a narrow margin over McKenna. Vote Senn.

The source?

The 2004 election endorsement (“The Stranger Department of Homeland Security Endorsements”) page of The Stranger – the parent of SLOG.

In case you’re thinking I’m reaching on this, try:

 The Stranger Department of Homeland Security does not make endorsements in uncontested races. The Dept. is Erica C. Barnett, Josh Feit, Amy Jenniges, Sandeep Kaushik, Tim Keck, Dan Savage, Annie Wagner, and Mason Bryant.


What a wonderful tool…

of right-wing nutcases (yes, I self-referenced on the Joe Fudgepacker thing, but its still a reference back to Bill Maher.)

What is this post if it’s not an example of the worst the Teabaggers would offer?

A good question.

As is this one: Is McKenna actually FTM?  Now, the guy does indeed also appear to be cut from the worst breed of political vermin out there.  I have no use for him, FTM or not.

But gay male Dan Savage has made a factual assertion about him – at least once, and probably twice.*

IF Savage has accurate info about him, then I’d be hard-pressed to find fault with what he’s written; McKenna being an FTM would only prove him to be even lower on the evolitionary scale than he would be otherwise.

However, Savage does not come to this dispute with an unblemished reputation – hence the title of this post.  (Seriously – would any trans person trust Dan Savage to evaluate him/her fairly?  Or trust any gay man?  Sorry if that’s offensive – but, even though I know several personally who I would trust, when taken in the abstract, the answer is no.  Sorry, but you have HRC, John Aravosis, Chris Crain and their adherents and financiers to thank for that now-permanently-jaundiced view.)  [SEE UPDATE BELOW]


AGO Header Image

That’s another image of him.  Honestly, he doesn’t look like an FTM there – just another weasely member of the new breed of devoid-of-masculinity men (including one that I have, and will again, assert is homosexual; sorry, but I don’t believe that any rational human being can come to any other conclusion about Eric Cantor) that, for some bizarre reason, Larry-the-Cable-Guy-esque men have no problem with their heterosexual-or-else sons following politically.


Think about it…

A right-wing Republican lunatic in his second term as a state attorney general…

is a trans man…

and no one – even the corporate, supplicant media – has ever said anything about it?

Savage not only does not come to this dispute with an unblemished reputation – he lacks a credible scenario.

And, as of right now, he should lack a job.

Enough is enough.

No more gay men making a living off of trans-anything.

Its time for a double ultimatum:

(1) Dan Savage should lay everything on the table regarding how he comes to justify USING trans existence (namely: PROVE what he’s said about McKenna) or he should be fired.

(2) Every LGB(T) rights organization that wants to be taken seriously as having anything credible to say about trans-anything (this means you, GLAAD; HRC?  don’t even bother) must get behind the first prong of this ultimatum.

If Savage makes his case – that McKenna actually is a self-loathing FTM who is working to undermine trans people’s (and LGBs) ability to exist – I’ll be the first to apologize to him and I’ll hop on Savage’s anti-McKenna, fudgepackin’ train.

If Savage doesn’t?

He must go.


Re: employment based concerns?  Try this comment to the SLOG piece:

You know, I just remembered the reasons I avoided Dan and wasn’t out as Trans when I used to work at the Stranger. Ouch, Dan. This REALLY SUCKS.

For some reason, I think there may be more of this to come.

6 Responses to Why There Can Be No Compromise On Inclusion of Trans People in ENDA: Gay Men [UPDATED]

  1. Kathy says:

    But some of his best friends are transphobic.

    Savage does have a history on this issue – and – if the commenter is to be believed – his unaknowlegded prejudices caused a hostile work environment. Something the company should consider addressing.

  2. […] Legit, full trans-inclusion in ENDA, or no ENDA. […]

  3. puck says:

    i was with you (joe fudgepacker aside) until “Honestly, he doesn’t look like an FTM there” at which point the tactics being used here began to look eerily similar to the ones being used by savage…

    • translegalhistorian says:

      Why? People make assumptions / judgments about people. The bases for those assumptions / judgments are critique-worthy as well.

      There’s a visual reason that people make certain assumptions / judgments about Ann Coulter. The fact that they’re probably wrong is distinguishable from the visual basis for making certain assumptions / judgments about her or anyone else.

      In the one pic, McKenna has a look that might set off my T-dar. In the other (and most others) I’ve seen, he doesn’t.

      P.S. No apologies will be forthcoming about ‘Joe Fudgepacker.’ When Bill Maher dropped that one him he was clearly not pleased; he needs to be reminded of that.

  4. […] version of ENDA. The United ENDA Coalition won’t consider a transgender-less bill. The ENDA Blog refuses to compromise. The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations won’t […]

  5. […] who would have ever thunk that she’d be an ally of Joe Fudgepacker? …and her essay, “Lavish Dwarf Entertainment,” was chosen for Norton’s […]

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