A new post of note:
Why the T in GLBT?
From The John? A re-post of his warm-n-fuzzy (in the cold-cuts-left-inside-a-refrigerator-that’s-been-unplugged-for-two-years-sense) 2007 screed?
How did the T get in LGBT?
It would be an easy assumption to make. Still…no!
Then who? Right-wing psycho-talker Dennis Prager, shilling in the christianism-pandering National Review (all while, of course, wearing his Jewishness as an amulet, apparently expecting such to prevent criticism from those who live in reality), that’s who!
A lot of gays have been scratching their heads for 10 years trying to figure out what they have in common with transsexuals….
Hah! Fooled ya!
Or maybe not.
That quote was actually from The John. Now, this is from Prager:
Interestingly, few people ever ask about the “T.” What do the transgendered have to do with gays?
Not cut-n-paste by the letter – but certainly in spirit.
And why should anyone be surprised?
Well, perhaps one should be surprised upon looking closer:
I fully recognize there have always been individuals who are no more capable of sexual attraction to the opposite sex than men like me are capable of being sexually aroused by the same sex. They should not be ridiculed, let alone persecuted, for their sexual orientation.
And few people, conservative or liberal, have any trouble accepting a transsexual, i.e., someone who has surgically changed his or her sex.
But what does any of this have to do with the transgendered, i.e., people who do not psychologically identify with their biological sex, who act as if they were a member of the opposite sex, and who have not changed their biology? Why does the Left include the transgendered in its activism on behalf of gays?
Or Ticked-off HBS-ers With Blogs?
Like most anti-T christanists (But he’s Jewish! Well, remember, christianists believe that Jews can be ‘completed’ – and there will be as much room in America under a Palin Administration for Jews as there will be for Muslims, Wiccans, and gays and lesbians: none) Prager comes off as little more than a well-professed heterosexual male who, decades ago, masturbated to photos of Chrysis and has been Fergus-ing himself ever since after finding out that her measurements were, as someone in the documentary Split remarked, 36-24-9.
Or, being Jewish, maybe he gets off to Dana International and can’t handle that she once had a…you know. Who knows? Who cares?
Well, he pecks in the National Review – you know, the publication that allowed professional homophobe John Derbyshire to give a handjob to his own publisher in the form of a allegedly-principled glorification of the fraudulent ‘science’ of J. Michael Bailey.
Bailey cared enough about policing the sexes to get the Joseph Henry Press to discredit itself by publishing a book claiming to be ‘science’ while being as devoid of science as a Sarah Palin wink.
Derbyshire cared enough about policing the sexes to give JHP that literary handjob.
NR cared enough about policing the sexes to let Derbyshire do it.
And NR cares enough about policing the sexes to let Prager…
Well, you judge for yourself what Prager is doing with the T.
Prager seems to ‘get’ transsexuals.
But that’s part of the scam. Its difficult now to find anyone on the christianist right – well, anyone who is allowed to speak in proper media – who will claim that government has any business telling gays and lesbians what they should be able to do in their bedrooms, yet how many of them ever lifted a finger to legislatively get rid of sodomy laws?
Yes, Prager seems to be okay with gays and lesbians per se.
Yes, Prager seems to be okay with transsexuals per se.
But he also seems to be a typical right-wing nut:
For those of us who believe that the male-female distinction is vital to civilization….
How? Its damn sure vital to what the Taliban wants world civilization be, but to actual, reality-based civilization? Where reality – not religion – matters?
Not so much.
For those of us who believe that the male-female distinction is vital to civilization….
Now we’re back to Lewis Black’s analysis of the anti-gay-marriage charade under the Bush junta.
How is gay marriage a threat to…
anything? At least, to anything other than the dwindling contents of the Republican corporatists’ bag-of-scary-tricks-to-get-the-working-class-to-vote-against-their-economic-interests? Little Ricky Santorum could never articulate a rational reason why it was a threat. Neither could Newt ‘Three Marriages For Me, But DOMA For Thee’ Gingrich.
And neither can Prager (or anyone else.)
But forget about marriage – for the moment.
How is the male-female distinction (at least as defined by Dennis Prager; again remember: he seems to ‘get’ transsexualism – so, will that, if not his Jewishness, get him onto Robert Knight‘s shit list?) more vital to civilization than the ability to earn a living? Or to stop the Gulf of Mexico from becoming the backdrop if the Matt Smith-era Doctor Who wants to do an updated version of “Inferno“?
Stahlman’s gas? Oil? What’s the distinction?
Well – for forty years the distinction was that one was a fictional plot device in the final episode of Jon Pertwee’s first season as The Doctor and one was, well, oil.
You see, there’s that problem again – the problem of the publication that is giving Prager the platform from which to peck, a publication that, if it ever gave a damn about the ability of working-class people to earn a living (for argument’s sake, I’ll presume that it actually did at some point during William F. Buckley’s ownership of it), long ago ceased doing so with its promotion of economic treasonists and the party that they control.
There’s a distinction between officeholders/seekers who respect this nation, its citizens and their ability to exist – and officeholders/seekers who eagerly destroy all three by shipping America’s economy to Central America and the Indian subcontinent, all in the name of stock dividends.
That’s a distinction.
Now…as between males and females?
There are males and females (and, not surprisingly absent from the Prager prance through the tulip patch of nonsense, intersexuality) and there are differences – but they are internal and interpersonal differences that neither the law nor any of its pimps-of-convenience such as Prager (any calls from Prager for impeaching any of the Bush junta for any of its patently illegal activity? any calls from Prager for using the law to wipe BP out of existence and to use its assets to make the true small businesses of the Gulf Coast whole? I didn’t think so) have any more business taking note of than they ever had the moral right to regarding race and religion.
No legitimate government has the right to tell people of different races that they can’t be together (or have to be together; ever been fired or not promoted because you were single?) any more than it has the right to tell people of the same sex that they can’t be together or any more than it has the right to tell any individual that he or she cannot engage in certain activity solely because proscriptions against said activity happen to appear in certain tracts of mythology.
No legitimate government has any right to stand in the way when a sovereign, autonomous human being says that said sovereign, autonomous human being’s brain has always caused said sovereign, autonomous human being to feel different than people like Prager society expect said sovereign, autonomous human being based on what said sovereign, autonomous human being’s genitals look like.
And no right-wing peckster who whines about distinctions between males and females without acknowledging the undeniable biological reality of intersexuality and the increasing likelihood that (depending on what intra-T political position you want to take) transsexuality is part of that or otherwise biologically based is legitimate.
Transsexualism? Biologically-based? (Yes, Virginia, er…, Robert Knight, there is ‘science’ other than the fraud being peddled by the Family Research Council and Coral Ridge Ministries):
There is a likely genetic component to transsexualism, and genes involved in sex steroidogenesis are good candidates. We explored the specific hypothesis that male-to-female transsexualism is associated with gene variants responsible for undermasculinization and/or feminization. Specifically, we assessed the role of disease-associated repeat length polymorphisms in the androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor β (ERβ), and aromatase (CYP19) genes.
A significant association was identified between transsexualism and the AR allele, with transsexuals having longer AR repeat lengths than non-transsexual male control subjects (p = .04).
What is the male-female distinction vital to for me? Well, somone decided to stick an ‘M’ on my birth certificate without ever asking me for my thoughts on the matter. I never felt like an ‘M’. I never wanted to be an ‘M’. And, thanks to people like Prager – and his predecessors in bully-interest – there’s archipelago of legal bullshit and medico-psucho-pharmacological that someone who gets stuck with an ‘M’ against her will has to go through to get an ‘F’ and live as an ‘F’ generally unbothered….
Until, of course, someone with a Prageristic sense of entitlement to know that their personally-defined distinctions (well, if he can be taken at his word about being okay with us transsexuals, then his personal distinctions are vastly different than Coral Ridge con man Robert Knight’s) are being enforced against the masses decides to inquire about my ‘F’ and then subsequently enforce their personally-defined distinctions.
The last time it happened to me was in an interview for a law professorship – when an overly-entitled professor decided to distinguish me from herself and the other female professor conducting the interview by linguistically equating me biologically to the male professor interviewer by referring to me using male pronouns.
Was that professor straight or lesbian? I don’t know – but I do have my suspicions.
Did that professor’s need for ‘distinction’ emanate from reading Janice Raymond? Or Norah Vincent? Or J. Michael Bailey?
Or Dennis Prager?
Does it matter?
Would one more than the other have changed the end result of the legal academy remaining trans woman-free?
They converge at the horizon line of insanity.
What is the male-female distinction actually vital to in the Pragerist sense? The internal manhood of well-professed heterosexual males like Prager and Tim Pawlenty and Nahm Coleman and J. Michael Bailey? The internal manhood of well-professed homosexual males like Barney Frank and John Aravosis and Chris Crain? The ‘how dare you say we’re claiming biology is destiny even though, wink wink, that is what we’re saying’ patent claim to womanhood-determination of well-professed lesbians like Janice Raymond and Alix Dobkin and Lisa Vogel and Norah Vincent?
Aren’t ya mixing things up a bit there, Kat?
And certainly not any more so than the mixing-up done by reasonable-because-they-say-they’re-reasonable-even-though-they’re-no-different-than-Fred-Phelps right, the gay transphobes and the people who get apoplectic over the conflation of TG and TS, get angry at the notion of anyone with a penis even thinking about asserting any claim to womanhood and who get even angrier when a lawyer (someone who looks, acts and writes a lot like me perhaps?) asks how anyone is ever supposed to approach the attaining of post-op nirvana while shackled with an ‘M’ on her driver’s license and a legal (and apparently a post-op-mindset-superiority) mandate to never go anywhere near a women’s public restroom until after SRS.
And there we have the Aravosisistic rub.
To read Prager’s pecking, you’d believe that he was fine-n-dandy with civil rights stuff – such as ENDA perhaps? – that was LGBT if only that nasty T stood only for transsexual and not transgender.
To read Aravosis’s ahistorical nonsense, you’d never believe that transsexuals or trans-anyone had ever been part of the gay rights movement prior to 2007 (much less prior to the combo platter of purges in 1973: we were too freaky for the assimilationist gay males and too assimilationist – allegedly – for the lesbian separatists who worshipped androgynousness yet nevertheless wanted to police who could and cound not claim to be a woman.)
To read much of the HBS histrionics, you’d think that its possible to put the ‘umbrella term’ aspect of ‘T’ back into the bottle.
To read much of the ‘post-op MTFs are no longer transsexuals, we’re women’ denialism, you’ll still never find much, or anything, about how pre-ops are actually supposed to navigate the legal dichotomy of life up until the scalpel hits the phallus.
To read HRC’s website, you’d believe that it actually gives a damn about whether trans people live or die.
In the trans history class that I teach, my students get to peruse plenty of the transphobic hatred that has been unleashed by gays and lesbians over the years. One thing that I always send my students away with – particularly in the spring semester – is that there is something in life that is certain other than death and taxes. Its a certainty that every year, as Pride time approaches, some gay publication somewhere will unleash an op-ed either lamenting the ‘good old days’ of a trans-free gay rights movement or, as Norah Vincent was allowed to do a decade ago in the Shamvocate, double down on Janice Raymond-ism and stop just microns short of calling for the actual extermination of trans people.
We pretty much have gotten to the point where we can presume (even under an English libel law standard) any – and I mean any – ‘family values’-oid Republican to be a closeted homosexual (the ‘pretty much’ has to be tossed in because there are a few that are ‘just’ heterosexual adulterers and prostitute-mongers.)
Can we then declare Dennis Prager’s National Review whinefest, “Why the T in GLBT?,” to be this year’s model? After all, it was a gay paper’s good job of dissecting him that alerted me to the article’s existence.
No – its only June 2nd.
We’re barely into Pride month.
There are still plenty of Michigan Transphobia Festival-defenders and Luna-ticks out there – and, of course, there’s the re-animated Queer Channel Media.
Plus, there is the substantive timebomb of ENDA.
Rememer the aforementioned ‘rub’?
Is Prager’s piece just another – albeit more cleverly disguised – embodiment of the typical anonymous (wink, wink) Jonathan Capehart editoral attack on an inclusive ENDA?
Is Prager’s peckfest a sign that the Aravosisism endgame is at hand? Creation of more gay-pure ‘reality’ that makes the Frankrainvosists’ real goal – a trans-free ENDA – seem more and more and more reasonable?
We’re already dealing with the fake reality of the 2009-10 ENDA’s political petri dish, a fake reality constantly defended by our Chosen-Ones-who-were-chosen-for-us-by-people-whose-interests-are-much-more-aligned-with-the-Aravosisists-than-with-real-trans-people – a fake reality in which a fake compromise which, even if yields an actual erasure of DADT, puts the career-specific desires of an infinitessimal percentage of the LGBT community above the desperate need for meaningful equality by the LGBT community as a whole and is going to be sold to that sold-out community as a victory…
Incremental progress it will be called (though, unless the drunk gay millionaires are already dancing on the posh tables by then, another, more marketable phrase will be substituted.)
Who’s doing the selling out and who’s doing the defending?
Frank or Aravosis? Aravosis Prager? Prager or Capehart? Capehart or Tyler? Tyler or Solmonese? Solmonese or Keisling? Keisling or Luna? Luna or Frank? Frick or frack? Life or death?
Win or lose, progress or regress, incrementalism or reality – they all collect their paychecks and live happily and comfortably while those of us in the real world wonder who will actually be the first up against the wall: the transgender people who Prager seems to hate or the transsexual people who openly gay men (as well as well-professed heterosexuals) have constructed the freedom to demonize?