And We Wonder Why Everything – Not Just Trans But Gay As Well – Gets Boiled Down to Men in Dresses

Queerty: Keeping it classy…

and, of course, legally inaccurate given that the repeal of DADT (which, not to rub it in, actually has not happened yet; and you all said it was more important than ENDA….why?) will do nothing for a real-life counterpart to Maxwell Klinger, be that real-life counterpart a hetero man in a dress (which, whether the christianists like it or not, is what the Klinger character was), a homo man in a dress or a trans woman attempting to transition whilst in uniform.

10 Responses to And We Wonder Why Everything – Not Just Trans But Gay As Well – Gets Boiled Down to Men in Dresses

  1. SarasNavel says:

    But…but…that was the *point* of DADT. It was the bright, shiny object toward which all of the attention, effort and funding was purposefully directed. Otherwise, there was a chance that real progress could’ve been made. Progress that would have lessened the need for certain “equality” organizations. Progress that would’ve actually brought the lowly unclean masses up a bit closer to Joe and Company’s level. And that simply cannot be allowed to happen. Do you have any idea how hard it is to assimilate when you no longer stand out from the common gender variant folk? No, that distinction *must* remain and true equality, if it is ever to be attained, *must* be fought on the grounds of things like marriage, and armed forces enlistment.

  2. Danielle says:

    May I ask a good-faith question of Kat and any trans activists here? Why did trans activists not actively and aggressively insist on “full inclusion” of trans people in the DADT repeal? Why didn’t the arguments that you employed to defeat efforts for a gay-only ENDA apply to DADT?

    It seems contradictory to take an inclusive-or-nothing approach to ENDA, but on DADT allow for GLB-related reform, while leaving trans issues to some unspecified date in the future.

    • Probably because in a military setting, you can’t be closeted and trans, unless you’re non-transitioning, while you can be closeted and gay.

      And I agressively and actively insisted not only on trans inclusion on DADT but trans inclusion on DADT coverage! Rachel Maddow never mentioned this once.

      So I don’t know… probably because the grass roots didn’t really know about it, and because the policy is orders of magnitude less well known in the first place, so there’s no base of knowledge from which to get people fired up.

  3. SarasNavel says:

    Danielle, there may be different answers as well but as I recall there were national and state level ENDA and ENDA-like battles going on that kept us occupied during much of the ‘repeal DADT’ campaign. It was a tactic used to divide trans from the rest of the LGBT crowd based on personal priorities. There were strong media pushes being made at the time to throw all resources into repealing DADT despite many of us noticing that it only benefited a very small, select group. But the decision had already been made and all we could do was watch and do what little we could to keep some attention focused on anything regarding a more inclusive equality movement, such as ENDA and the like.

    • Danielle says:

      Well, which bill should get top priority is really a separate issue. Regardless of whether DADT came first or came second (after ENDA), the issue would remain as to whether to demand a “full inclusion or nothing” approach, or to allow gay-only reforms to pass. Apparently, trans activists demanded the all or nothing approach on ENDA, but took a different view on DADT. My hunch is that the disparity is not the result of any thought, and that trans activists make it up as they go along.

      • Look up. Look wayyyyyyy up.

        My principles for activism are, in order:

        Equality under the law: Example, which I will carry forward, Trans women should be entitled to the same medical treatment under the same standards as cis women.

        Incrementalism with a focus on maximizing utility and impact: Instead of focusing on funding SRS, I’ll first fight to earn everyone rapid access to the typical initial means of transition medicine, HRT, and then fight for more complex, expensive, and infrequent, treatments which are still beneficial.

        Draw on existing models: If it’s being used somewhere else, and the sky hasn’t fallen down, it’s normally best to advocate that instead of some other system. We have informed consent clinics in Chicago, and change of legal sex on demand without revision for five years in Uruguay or with a doctor’s note in New Mexico for the less radical ones. We also have a protocol that only counter-indicates for HRT for cis women if they have liver failure or certain cancers including breast cancer.

        Then the lefty stuff. I respond to the trans misogyny of the left more readily than the trans misogyny of the right, because, all things being equal, the left is supposed to be our natural political ally. They don’t get to call themselves better on an issue unless they earn it, and until they do, I will identify their failure to distinguish themselves from the competition, like, as you saw above, Rachel Maddow’s consistent failure to mention whether DADT was going to protect trans Americans.

        But yeah, you’re right. We all just make it up as we go along…

      • Further to the lefty stuff, I quit a trans organization’s board after some weeks of soul searching, after the president said he’d call the police on someone with visible facial hair entering a women’s restroom, because that is the restroom in which children are most frequently found. Another board member asserts that this was in reference to a cis male. My recollection of the evening in question was that it was the natural flow of their distaste at being asked to fight for someone who was dressing, in the process of transition, and had visible, often untrimmed, stubble, which, is undoubtedly unwise. But the fact remains, Yes, to all the acolytes of St. Barney, I’m fighting for the person with a beard and a dress. Anything less is unworthy of freedom of gender expression.

  4. SarasNavel says:

    Danielle, at the time many did not see it as a conscious choice of whether to fight for full inclusion in DADT or not; the question was moot. For many it was a matter of divide and conquer by those who were ostensibly fighting for everyone’s equality (ie the national orgs). Many trans people felt they had to put their effort into local and federal enda-type equality legislation since DADT was already quite clearly gay-only, by definition. DADT was written to specifically exclude gays from serving in the military. Whether it was repealed or not had no immediate effect on trans people. Two separate fights.

    Valerie, your principles seem pretty sound to me.

    Regarding the example of health care equality, cis women are not always treated equally either so why not make it cis people? There are times when we need health care that is equal to the aggregate of men and women, such as for cancer screening insurance coverage. Those diagnosed with IS are already handled in this manner. Funny how we dance around treating TS as a medical problem at times.

    Regarding incrementalism, there are times when non-incrementalism can accomplish in one stroke what would otherwise take decades of tiny steps to even approximate. One only need look at state level civil unions for a great example; they are mere deflections unless recognized federally as fully equal. But I have a feeling your sense of pragmatism would see those (rare) opportunities and not let them slip by? The flip side of course is that if too much effort is wasted Quijote-style on a single ill-targeted national target, locally, lives are left in ruin for a decade or more.

    Drawing from existing models is something that everyone needs to remember and ‘thank you’, for reminding me not to reinvent the wheel.

    And as an aside, perhaps someone should tell that board’s president that up to 15% of women have stubble who are not in any way considered trans or IS. And that’s just the ones who have it severe enough (& it bothers them enough) to be diagnosed as hirsutism. Someday that president will have to face the truth that there is no biological binary…

  5. Danielle says:

    Actually, if your principles were in order, you would take the position that no one should fight for rapid access to HRT or SRS unless and until there is universal access to health care for all Americans and undocumented immigrants under a single payer system. Then, if anyone should object that this approach is unrealistic and attempts to join very different issues, you should mouth platitudes like: “We’re all in this together” and “If one of us isn’t free, then none of us are free!” Also, be sure to call them names. If you follow the above approach, you will be perfectly aligned with the current approach to ENDA.

    “I quit a trans organization’s board . . . ”

    Gee, ain’t life grand. There are “trans organizations” that for some reason, remain trans organization and were exempt from the mandatory conversion to “LGBT” that applied to all gay organizations. So basically, it’s “what’s yours is ours, and what’s mine is mine”. What a great scam LGBT has proven to be.

    In any event, your account is confusing. If the bearded man wore dresses or was transitioning, or even if he simply felt like bathrooms should not be “gendered” spaces, then that would make him “transgendered”, no? I thought that trans included everyone who challenges the so-called “gender binary”. Or is that just a fiction that trans activists created to try to justify attaching themselves to the gay movement? Anyhoo, if this guy is transgendered, then it is odd that a trans group would take umbrage at his using any particular bathroom, especially since you all expect the US Congress to enact a law that would make his bathroom choice a federal right.

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