Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Not Sure About The Transgenders in ENDA; CBS pushes hate group message

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | April 16, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, HR 3017, Roll Call

An article appeared yesterday in Roll Call, a DC newspaper covering legislative news. collin peterson.jpg

In it, Rep. Collin Peterson, so-called "Democrat" of Minnesota, said he's not sure whether transgender people should be included in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that coming up before Congress.

And CBS News, after a long silence on ENDA, yesterday published an article naively devoted to the worst lies of a hate group on the Southern Poverty Law Center watch list, the Traditional Values Coalition. Entitled "Church Lobby Warns of Transgendered Teachers," the article calmly discusses TVC's position that children in every state will be trapped in classes taught by "men undergoing a so-called sex change to become women." This follows another incident involving CBS News in which the White House called it an "enabler of lies" for publishing right-wing rumors about Supreme Court nominee Kagan's sexual orientation.

I think both Brian Montopoli, the reporter for CBS News and Rep. Peterson need some education.

Rep. Peterson

Rep. Peterson, a member of the "Blue Dog Coalition," supported the bill in 2007, without transgender inclusion. In the Roll Call article, he said he is "not sure" about the inclusion of transgender language.

He thinks there should be some discussion about "exactly what" will be in the bill.

Rep. Peterson has told some of his constituents that he will vote for ENDA in the past, but he also voted NO on hate crimes. Who is this guy kidding? Why is he pretending to be our community's friend, and then sabotaging us? People from Rep. Peterson's district ought to call and tell him to support an inclusive ENDA or stop pretending to be an LGBT ally.

In fact, all of you should be calling your members of Congress to support ENDA at 202-224-3121. At this point, I wouldn't spend a lot of time calling Nancy Pelosi, or Barney Frank, or, for that matter, Rep. Peterson (unless you're from his district). We need you to call your Representative and tell them you're from their district and you support and inclusive ENDA, HR 3017.

Here's the full article from Roll Call.

CBS News - Political Hotsheet

The CBS News article appeared in its online blog, Political Hotsheet.

The report quotes the Traditional Values Coalition press release word for word. It does not mention that it is hate group on the Southern Poverty Law Center watch list. Rather, it refers to TVC as "the largest non-denominational, grassroots church lobby in America."

Because it protects against discrimination on the basis of gender identity, the bill will "force public schools to allow transgendered individuals to teach in the classroom," according to the Coalition, which says it speaks on behalf of more than 43,000 churches.

"Every state will be forced to recognize transgendered and transsexual individuals as part of a protected class," it said in a statement. "Schools will then be forbidden to reassign any teacher undergoing a so-called sex change because this would be considered 'discrimination.' Thus, children will be trapped in classes taught by men undergoing a so-called sex change to become women and will be taught that it's normal behavior."

The bill "protects what is listed in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a mental illness, Gender Identity Disorder (GID)," argues Andrea Lafferty, the coalition's Executive Director. "Teachers have a direct, daily influence on children and to employ such individuals while at the same time overriding the laws of 38 states is unacceptable and dangerous." (38 states do not have laws banning workplace discrimination based on gender identity.)

The article also published a reply from HRC, saying that these were scare tactics, and that children should learn about equality and the right to earn a living.

The reporter ignored the standard journalistic practices suggested by GLAAD and NLGJA that the term "transgender" be used, rather than the term "transgendered." Perhaps not the most major of points, but another items showing that the reporter is poorly educated on the issue on which he was reporting, and didn't do his homework.

The major impression that the article leaves, in my opinion, is that ENDA is about transgender teachers, which is completely inaccurate. It also gives readers no context or background about the process of gender transition, making it seem that male teachers will suddenly waltz in at the middle of the semester with a mustache and a dress.

So while the reporter may defend on the grounds that he simply reported the facts, the more significant failure is his failure to put ENDA in context. ENDA is not about teachers, transgender or otherwise. It is about all workplaces and the effects of discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity across a workforce of 130 million people. ENDA is not about men in dresses. It is about transgender people who go through years of soul-searching to determine that they wish to transition in the face of losing family and friends, and often -- their jobs and any means of livelihood.

CBS News might as well have published an article on transgender iron smelters. That would have been as relevant to ENDA as his naive blurb on transgender teachers taken from a hate group's website.

There are few transgender teachers across the country. I know of a handful over the past decade. As against the 20,000 or so school districts in the US, ENDA would affect a tiny minority of children. The idea that all school children across America would be scarred for life by ENDA is just ridiculous. The few cases that have I have seen were handled respectfully and largely to the satisfaction of those involved.

CBS News ought to apologize for this mess by publishing a series of articles on the levels of discrimination and harassment experienced by the LGBT community. It ought to explain the real meaning of "gender identity" and give some information from experts who understand what they are talking about. Giving news credibility to the trash from TVC was simply irresponsible.

Shame on you, CBS!

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What the hell is going on with CBS lately? Isn't, like, everyone up in Viacom LGBT? Why isn't someone sending a memo down?

Sadly, because they are not all LGBT, although there is a fairly sizable contingent of LGB folks.

Kids and bathroom...

There, it seems, is the level of our political discourse. God, if it werent so perversely serious, it would be cartoon material.

As someone who lives in supposedly the most progressive city in the US, was a teacher of elementary school-aged kids, transitioned and was pretty much given the boot because of it, I can honestly say this is a Holy Grail of the general population's discomfort with trans people.

And yes, CBS is no better than Fox.

Honestly, Gina, I had no idea that the opponents of job discrimination laws were on about this in any serious way. I had thought that the main opposition was going to be the bathroom issue and the religious freedom dodge. But I had my research assistant do some checking, and it appears that the big issue the right wingers are starting to ramp up is no the bathroom and not the religious freedom issue -- it's the big flood of transgender teachers waiting for our children.

Gosh, I'm magically transported in the way-back machine to the 1970s and Anita Bryant and the Briggs Initiative. Will Harvey Milk magically appear too?

The Briggs Initiative was the first failure in a conservative movement that started with the successful campaign headed by Anita Bryant and her organization Save Our Children in Dade County, Florida to repeal a local gay rights ordinance.

It's an old, tired dodge, and I honestly think it's not a winner issue. I thought the religious freedom thing was a doozy and a lot harder to beat. Of course, that's neutralized because the bill contains a specific exemption for religious corporations and schools. And the bathroom issue is a good one for the conservatives too, but that also is neutralized by the bill's language.

So I suppose it makes sense that they're back to the wide-eyed "they'll pervert our children!" scream (cue horror-film over-the-top shrieking).

But we've had openly gay teachers for decades now, and no one thinks really much one way or the other about that old BS. The only thing that the transgender teacher fear-mongering has going for it is that it's a new issue in most people's minds. And I think the "ENDA hurts kids" campaign started up too late for that to have much traction in the House.

It may be an issue when we get to the Senate, but my guess is that when we start duking that one out, the "new Briggs Initiative" is going to have as much success as the old one.

rapid butterfly | April 17, 2010 9:28 AM

Dr. Weiss - Please forgive my ignorance, but where can I find a full text draft of the ENDA language as it currently exists? I would like to read all of it, start to finish.

If anyone else has a link handy, I'd love to see it. thank you.

rapid butterfly | April 17, 2010 10:22 AM

and here's what I see when I look for language regarding restrooms, etc.

2 this Act shall be construed to establish an unlawful
3 employment practice based on actual or perceived
4 gender identity due to the denial of access to shared
5 shower or dressing facilities in which being seen
6 unclothed is unavoidable, provided that the employer
7 provides reasonable access to adequate facilities that
8 are not inconsistent with the employee’s gender iden9
tity as established with the employer at the time of
10 employment or upon notification to the employer
11 that the employee has undergone or is undergoing
12 gender transition, whichever is later."

Skeptical Cicada | April 16, 2010 10:16 AM

All of this was easily predictable. Because there has not been sufficient education on the transgender issues at the national level, moderate Democrats are uneasy, and the right is using the issues as a wedge. Not only was this easily predictable but it WAS predicted. The response was to shout down the prediction and dismiss anyone who utter it as an anti-trans bigot. Well, now, someone has to figure out how to deal with the political problem because when it comes to actually passing the bill, shouting down those pointing out the problem and labeling everyone a bigot won't cut it. It's reality time, folks.

SkepticalCidada | April 16, 2010 11:00 AM

Please ignore the above, duplicative post. See the subsequent one.

SkepticalCidada | April 16, 2010 10:30 AM

All of this was easily predictable from the lack of sufficient public education on transgender issues on the national level. Moderate Democrats are now uneasy because too many of their constituents don't have a very good understanding of the issues, and the right is able to use the issues as an effective wedge in blocking a bill that they hate from start to finish.

Not only was this predictable, but it WAS predicted three years ago. The response was to shout down and label as a bigot anyone who asked how exactly we were supposed to get around this real political problem. Another response was simple denial, claiming that adding the transgender language would have abolutely no effect on the bill. That was, at best, wishful thinking and, more likely, deliberate misrepresentation of what advocates themselves knew to be true.

But I had at least hoped that in the ensuing three years, advocates would have come up with a better political strategy than simply dismissing moderate Democrats as bigots. "You're a bigot if you vote 'no'" is not an effective lobbying message. Has anyone lined up the administration to put pressure on the Blue Dogs behind the scenes? Now that reality has finally hit, what are the real strategies for overcoming this very serious political obstacle? Shouting down and slurring may have worked in the intra-community debate, but it won't work on members of Congress.

FOr the last three years, Trans advocates have been doing the education piece.

Oddly enough, when they do the education, those they educate do not, in fact, "do their share" and step out to continue that education themselves.

Instead, what we end up with is a bunch of people who "avoid" threads that deal in education, accusations of education as "attacks, insults, and shouting down", and then get told that education did not occur.

On example of this is that I've written the above without rancor or anger or anything, and yet it is almost certainly going to be perceived as such.

The way around this very real political problem is for those people who think of trans inclusion as a negative to realize that it is not the case, that it is actually a benefit to the entire LGBT spectrum, since it is so closely interwoven (you cannot cover Trans folk without covering LGB folk, you cannot cover LGB folk without covering trans folk).

THe statements of the TVC are not merely picking on Trans people. THey are taking advantage of the very real and present stereotype -- often aided by the GLB community -- of "Homosexuals" as crossdressers.

Since "straight acting" (which is actually a dog whistle for gender normative) gays are "invisible", they are going after the group of people they perceive to have the greatest effect in public sentiment, in order to use it.

They use these same tactics against LGBT candidates running for office (printing flyers that talk about such and distributing them anonymously and in a manner against the law, as an example).

People like to say that we should not be defined by our opponents. We are not defined by them, however. We are attacked by them, and we are discriminated against by them, and all of it is on the basis of us all being the same damn thing.

So even though we are all different, the discrimination we face, the challenges and hurdles and difficulties we have to overcome, are all the same thing -- and unless we work together, all we will ever do is hip and peck at little tiny pieces, and never get to the heart of the problem itself.

SkepticalCidada | April 18, 2010 8:47 AM

Sorry if the people you shouted down and called bigots aren't volunteering to help you. Funny how that works.

Skeptical Cicada:

You bigot!

(ha ha j/k just kidding lol lol)

No, seriously, I think you're not analyzing this correctly. And now that I think about it, I wish I had written my post differently, but it's been crazy busy here lately. It always is at the end of the semester.

The important point about Roll Call's quoting Rep. Peterson as the voice of questioning transgender inclusion is that it's so very out of step with the House, where there are more than enough votes, and with Minnesota, which is one of the few states with a transgender-inclusive ENDA.

He's an isolated wack-job in the 111th Congress.

Peterson was the one who gained attention in 1998 by proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow the residents of Minnesota's Northwest Angle to vote on whether they wanted to secede from the United States and join the Canadian province of Manitoba.

He strongly opposes abortion and has been one of the few Democrats to vote against even stem cell research and the vast majority of gun control measures. He has voted to approve the flag desecration amendment. He also supports the federal marriage amendment. He voted against the economic stimulus, against health care reform, and he's against climate change legislation.

He once dated former Congresswoman Katherine Harris, who, as the Republican Secretary of State of Florida during the 2000 presidential election, certified George W. Bush as the election winner. Now that's a visual.

That's who questions transgender inclusion. And even he didn't outright oppose it. He just said he is "not sure."

High praise indeed, from Rep. Peterson.

SkepticalCidada | April 18, 2010 8:41 AM

Fuck you!

(ha ha just kidding)

Perhaps it would be good to add some language to negate these "public concerns". Let me suggest the following for discussion. Modify it, criticize it or even tell me it is ridiculous but it would appear to me that the opposition could be negated if some "safety valve" was proposed.

....It shall not be considered discriminatory for any employer to transfer a person to a different job which does not decrease the pay, benefits or advancement opportunities of the employee provided that the employer gives the employee advance notice and the opportunity to discuss and suggest alternatives.

I'm sure someone else can come up with better language but it would seem to me that something could be included that would make it a win/win and not an all or nothing proposition.

The problem there is that the "other sides" win situation, from which they are not willing to compromise, is the right to discriminate, period.

Among the problems with your proposal, Deena, to neutralize the teacher issue by allowing transfers, is that it means that gay people could be transferred from CEO to janitor as a means of inducing them to leave. Yes, I know you specified that the advancement opportunities must remain the same, but there would be no way of measuring that except on paper. Frankly, I think the teacher issue is a loser for the right-wing, and easier to beat than the religious freedom and bathroom issues, so I'm not sorry to see it in the pole position.

I like your logic Jillian. In a few days we will hear the screams from both sides of the aisle. Then we shall see who has the love to carry this baby to full term and who would rather have a Partial-Birth Abortion.

I guess they got tired of the restroom issue and decided to go for the biggest scary lie they could think of. I mean this has everything, harm to children, imposition of outside values on the precious young mind, the states taking away a parents rights, and the imposition of draconian laws to the poor states that know better than the rest of them.

How many times has a teacher tried to transition in class? I would be willing to say there are very few cases in actuality where this issue would come up. I guess in their way of thinking once would be too much, not mention their complete disregard for the pain and pressure transitioning entails.

You can tell they do not really know any transsexuals, or have them as friends.

I personally know of four teachers who transitioned on the job. One actually managed to keep that job.

It comes up far more often than is realized.

Also crossdresser pedophiles are sometimes caught sexually abusing girls in the ladies room. Again, I am personally aware of at least two of these cases from the last four months alone, one in jail awaiting trial as we speak. Denying the reality here will also eventually bite transactivist on the butt.

"Education" for the past ten plus years has been denial the existence of medical model classic transsexuals with all the focus on the transgendered never never ops.......what exactly did you expect the public reaction to be?

Transwomen, for crying out loud, stop talking about your penises!

Also crossdresser pedophiles are sometimes caught sexually abusing girls in the ladies room.

Do you have some documentation for this, at least for the two cases you say you know of personally? Thanks.

"medical model classic transsexuals"

Next time just put this at the beginning of your post so I know I can safely ignore your idiocy.

Please provide more information on those two cases, as, to date, no one has ever found any such thing.

Note that I am not saying you are incorrect. I am saying please provide the data so that it can be dealt with.

A search of local newspaper articles for your area turns up nothing -- and this is precisely the sort of thing they are talking about in the TVC libel.

Transwomen, for crying out loud, stop talking about your penises!

Oh, please. It's you and others like you who won't shut the hell up about others' genitals. Y'all are are obsessed with other women and what they choose to do with their bodies.

As for the rest of your comment, as they like to say on wikipedia, citation needed.

Still waiting.... because we need to know this data, and report it fully, with all details. If there's a problem, we need to know it.

The only case that I know - not "from the last 4 months alone" was one in Washington state, where a cisgendered sex offender was arrested while trying to don female attire in a ladies restroom.

That was in a state that had trans-friendly laws in place. He was convicted under the usual legislation, and didn't attempt to use a "trandgender defence" as he'd be laughed out of court.

However, I'm quite certain that your words will be reported by AFTAH and others, as "according to a Gay site, at least two such cases have happened in the last four months."

All of you will be waiting for Hell to freeze over before she will provides any verifiable facts. Her MO is to make statements without backing them with proof. But, I feel I'm preaching to the choir on this one.

True, true. She's been floating the spectre of "Transgender rape!" for at least a couple of years now with nothing to corroborate it, but always dropping it somewhere it could cause the most heat.

The Washington case was one I found on the internet in a two minute search..... The other is a repeat offender who is a republican with political influence who is in jail right now but working on yet another plea bargain....these things happen all the time along with almost monthly cases of crossdressed flashers whether you wish to keep your collective heads in the sand or not. This one I have directly from a medical professional treating this one in jail. If I can learn of them, the religious right will as well and when you deny it happens, you thus lose credibility. This is a similar situation to the LG movement and NAMBLA and it will bite you on the ass politically if you continue to pretend it isn't real.

As for the rape...nice one Lisa since you know I am one of those who have been raped by a "transgender" and I know personally (as in person, not online) at least three other women of history who also have been raped by transgenders. You think maybe that it's happened to me personally might have some influence on why I bring it up? Nah, we must never admit these things happen right?

You all are fond of pointing out the primary differences between sexual orientation and gender identity but never seem to grasp the essential differences between sexual deviance and neurological intersexuality (classic transsexuality). Bashing noted....I'll go back to lurking. TOS violations in responses I fully expect will be ignored since the ratio of editorial people with penises to those who don't have them is still more than 3 to 1. Bilerico is still safely a male blog.


I don't know whether you were raped or not. That's not the point. The point is that you constantly position transgender people as sexual predators, and you do so in discussions where you apparently hope to sabotage any dialogue, as you did on "Shut Up, Sit Down." You related that story specifically to generate ill will toward trans people.

Just as when you relate a trans person outing you at work and costing you your job, it's about villainizing trans people.

As for the stories, you should link those, since you're claiming there's such an epidemic. Or...this is just another attempt on your part to try to shoot down trans civil rights.

When I describe the numerous slurs, personal attacks, and libels that you've flung at multiple trans women, I don't say "a trans woman has said these horrible things about me and other women I respect." I say "Cathryn Platine has said these horrible things about me and other women I respect." I don't blame your transness for the shitty things you say and do, I blame you.

The Washington case was one I found on the internet in a two minute search.....
And what is it, four years ago when it happened? You said there were two in the last four months.
The other is a repeat offender who is a republican with political influence..
But no URL.

OK, so you're definitely been caught lying about the first case.

But Zoe, you didn't provide the URL either!!!!!


Carol :)

The links I had are all dead, and even the wayback machine hasn't helped. I'm still looking.

I... having read this and then some of your blog, I just don't know where to begin unpacking all the 'womoner than thou' kapoism.


I mean, the HBS types I expect it from, but... it just never ceases to amaze where people can find ways to other. I tend to think that the liklihood that my gender identity was formed by a fortuitous flush of extra oestrogen or an actual genetic quirk, to be much more likely that you being rescued from being 'male-bodied' by some diannic goddess type. And, no, I'm sorry, but there are men with vaginas and women with penises.

Even if you erased trans women who have not made themselves the Anne Lawrence to the 2nd wave's Michael Baily, you'll still have women with penises. Not really a big deal, sorry. Actually rather nice to have that variety there, in this trans lesbian's opinion.


Do you then consider a cross-dressing pedophile the same as a trans woman who has a penis? (and perhaps never intends to get rid of it?)

Do these pedophile consider themselves women?

Perhaps you mean that allowing trans women with penises in women's spaces means allowing pedophiles dressed as women in there? I could kinda see that point, I suppose, tho the harm of not allowing trans women in the restrooms seems to impact far more ppl negatively than the very small chance of a a pedophile taking advantage of it. (tho even one child harmed is one too many) This seems esp true since pedophiles seem to have plenty of access to children in many other ways, including men abusing boys in men's spaces, where they already can go.

Without more details on the cases you cite, it is hard to understand how they really relate to ENDA, at least to me.

Carol :)

Also crossdresser pedophiles are sometimes caught sexually abusing girls in the ladies room.
You have to wear a tinfoil hat to access the correct media; I suggest the "no penis/truetransssexual" brand tinfoil.

The pressure is mounting. I hate to be a cynic, but I see trans folk getting dropped from this legislation in the near future. That, or there's going to be a row as Frank tries to push us out, and the advocacy groups push right back.

In any case, I'm just _so_ glad that the mass media is peddling the "bathroom meme" again. Just pleased as punch. I wonder if it'd freak 'em out to know that we're already in their bathrooms, and their places of employment, and their neighborhoods?

I strongly dislike being a cynic. The necessary pessimism to perpetuate stuff is derived wholly from fear, and I do my best to face to my fears head on and with finger upraised.

Skepticism, however, is quite healthy, and allows for both a pessimistic view and an optimistic view.

I am skeptical about both passage and failure. Ultimately, although the Trans community has literally done more work than ever before in a more unified and cohesive manner than ever before, much of it will still rely on what is ultimately the willingness of those who ally with us to take what they've learned and use it responsibly alongside us.

The problem there is that I have become, over time, increasingly cynical about a particular segment of LGBT leadership doing so, as apparently they are generally unwilling to face certain realities about their own cultural attitudes and their particular privileges.

Hence my effort to tackle that particular problem directly.

Austen, I'm not sure what you mean by saying you're seeing the bathroom meme again. The point of my post was the transgender teacher meme.

My apologies; i meant "Teacher meme," but dashed off the comment too quickly. ;)

This is not surprising. These people were saying virtually the same exact things 14 years ago when I was in a college teaching program, doing well scholastically, but having to give up on it when I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I'd never be hired by any school district in the country once I transitioned, no matter how good my grades were.

On the other hand, that was '96. Things are a lot different now, though by no means different enough. Personally, I believe that they're doing this now because they already know they're going to lose.

Notice how they're not really going after the gayz anymore. They know they've already lost that battle, so now they're coming after transfolks.

They'll lose this one, too.

You know Radical Bitch the only transgender woman that I read about bringing up trans women's penises is you. How about if you do us a favour and follow your own advice? I think a more appropriate pseudonym for you would be 'Intransigent Nag' rather than 'Radical Bitch'.


Peterson is a fuckwit. ENDA wouldn't even change anything in the state of Minnesota, it's already one of the most trans-friendly places to be in the US. There's already housing protection, employment protection, and protections for presenting in public (including the dreaded bathroom bit). My ts girlfriend (would call her wife, but we can't get married) is currently in the process of changing her name, when we go to the courthouse it's actually possible to get her birth certificate amended from "male" to "female" without any surgery (not that it's very likely).

And, radical bitch, shut up, I wanna hear about women's penises. They're silly things.

Angela Brightfeather | April 16, 2010 3:36 PM

" Again, I am personally aware of at least two of these cases from the last four months alone, one in jail awaiting trial as we speak. "


Send me a reference to these two cases so that I can read them for myself, or stop spreading lies. Cases like these should be big and loud in the press. So either put up or shut up, please.

This is going to be an interesting thread...

On a mostly unrelated note, what's this about calling them "transgender teachers" and not "transgendered teachers?" Even apart from it being completely grammatically incorrect, a teacher is not "a transgender," he/she is "a person who is transgendered." Or am I missing something?

Hi Nick,

You are missing something.

Gramaatically speaking, the term "transgedered" is equivalent to saying "Gayed" or "lesbianed".

So the grammatically correct sentence would be "a person who is transgender."

Adverb versus adjective, in some schools of thought.

See, I thought it was by analogy with "gendered" - having the quality of gender. Then again, saying "having the quality of transgender" sounds strange.


I think yer getting it.

I call "Trans 101" the basics -- the simplest stuff. That's a Trans 101 point -- Transgender is not a gender, in and of itself, which is what would be required to work in the statement you describe.

Also, in the statement you describe, it would create a distinction that sets trans folks outside Gender as a whole, if it does not create an additional one -- thus we would have two competing structures.

After Trans 101 comes the advanced coursework, lol. Where you learn that Transgender really doesn't work as an umbrella term on a logical basis as a descriptive, and how Identity usage is actually more harmful to the movement than helpful. Plus that there are a whole crapload of different kinds of Trans people. Many of whom don't get along even a little bit, lol

Only in the USA. In the rest of the english speaking world people are not 'transgenders' they are 'transgendered'.

not being a part of the cultural milieu in other English speaking nations, I cannot comment to that point without doing some research I'm not really up for right now.

Nick, this is an ongoing point of contention, like many aspects of trans politics. I have seen (trans) people be offended by the term "transgendered" and (trans) people offended by the term "transgender". There simply isn't unanimity about many of the labels associated with the community. So for any one person to claim to answer that definitively is asking for trouble.

I agree that the grammatically correct term is "transgendered", as it is a descriptive modifier. An analogy would be talking about the "Jewish community", rather than the "Jew community". The latter is jarring to hear, and drips contempt. To my ears, calling someone "a transgender" sounds much the same way. I think it's more respectful to say "transgendered", as in "a transgendered person". But obviously not everybody agrees with me.

Personally, I'm just glad they're not using "tranny" or "shemale."

Yay for low standards.

The difference between "a trangender" and "a transgender person" is the same as that between "a gay" and "a gay person" or between "a black" and "a black person." Using transgender as a noun ("a transgender") is disrespectful because it gives no indication of the individual's humanness, their personhood. Using transgender as an adjective ("a transgender person," "a transgender woman," "transgender employees") is respectful because it emphasizes that the individual is a person while adding that they happen to be transgender.

Here we go again look for drop the T part 2 coming soon to a back room deal near you.

Politics is a contact sport with no rules!

I hear the bottom of buses are nice this time of year though rather be in them instead if possible.

My radar pings on Congress are showing signs that the language on ENDA that will soon be discussed in committee will be trans inclusive but ..... there will be added language not previously seen focused on the practical efforts an employer can rely on to avoid discrimination charges. That brings up the question of whether a unified GLBTQ scorched earth stance might surface. I think it will, of course, depend on the specific language. Perhaps my radar is malfunctioning but I smell something amiss.

Katherine Lewis | April 17, 2010 1:26 AM

A boycott of CBS should be started to spread the word about their games. This would also show CBS the impact of poor decisions like this.

I am engaged in a study of the effect of ENDA type laws on sexual violence against women and girls in public bathrooms. I have not come across any cases of transgender persons committing sexual assault in public bathrooms, or any discernible effect on the incidence of sexual violence against women and girls in general. According to government statistics, we have about 100,000 cases of rape and 250,000 cases of sexual assault each year. But there are simply no cases reported of transgender persons committing sexual assault in public bathrooms.

We now have 12 states and well over a hundred jurisdictions who have had these laws on the books, some as far back as the 1990s. 40% of the country's population is covered under these laws. Many of these laws are far stronger then ENDA will be. And yet, as you pointed out, there has never been ANY incident of these assaults happening. It seems that faced with these undeniable facts, it should make the bigot's rants moot.

(The rest is not directed at you, Jillian, but to the readers out there.)

The problem is, no one seems to have the guts to use these facts as a counter argument. Barney Frank never has. (In fact, he poo-poos the idea of using that when brought up.) Tammy Baldwin never has. Any supportive politician never has. The trans lobbyists never make a point in training people how to use these facts, or even telling people these facts exist. It seems that we are trying to get a bill passed in a vacuum.

As a former military person, I see our fight to get ENDA passed as nothing more than our Vietnam War. We are fighting this, but we are not committed to winning. We are not throwing everything - including the kitchen sink - to win this fight. We have no excuse just sitting back and allowing the hate groups and the bigot media to verbally rape us without putting up a fight. Arguing about it on a blog, no matter how popular a blog might be, isn't going to win this fight. We are constantly on the defense and any offense we have tried has been lame at best. Anyone have the intestinal fortitude to ramp up our offense a few more notches, or am I just pissing in the wind?

We are trying to get a piece legislation that will help people get a job long after we are all dead and forgotten. I am fighting for this for the LGBT people who haven't even been born yet. Whining about the whip count and calling or sending in E-mails are just not cutting it anymore. Who is the Dan Choi for the ENDA fight, or are we all just stuck in a Pollyanna mode going nowhere fast?

"It's time to win, or go home."
- The NBA Playoffs -

I keep wondering if ppl are talking about two different things here.

I'd be pretty surprised if a trans woman (and of course that is what everyone is talking about, non trans men), who lives as the opposite gender assigned at birth, and uses that restroom, has been involved in sexual assault in the restroom, tho prolly it has happened given that evil ppl are pretty well spread across all social groups.

On the other hand, I have no doubt that there are cases of non-trans ppl crossdressing for the sole purpose of gaining access to women's spaces for illicit purposes, including rape and/or murder of adult women or children. This is a totally different thing. However, those who are inclined to slander trans women conflate these groups to label trans women, who are just trying to live a bearable life, with sexual predators, esp pedophiles.

Tho off-topic of the thread I am replying to, I want to mention another impression I have around ppl talking about different things and arguing past each other.

It seems to me that the 'bathroom' restrictions are a very different thing from the 'dressing area' restrictions. I know this has been discussed before, but I would like to mention again, that using the restroom usually doesn't involve anyone seeing anyone else's 'parts,' at least in women's restrooms.

I think most of the restrictions are really focused on places where ppl likely are naked. In such cases, I have to agree that it would seem to be pretty disconcerting to see penises in a women's space. And as far as a vagina in a men's space, that could actually be dangerous for the trans man involved.


Carol :)

It really would help if ppl took the time to paste in URLs when they mention things they find in searches so we can all know what we are discussing. RB isn't the only one who talks about sites with no reference. Not to pick on Zoe, but she mentioned the Washington case, but didn't give the URL, which would have been very helpful for my post (no, I was lazy, didn't look it up before I wrote this, and am just going on *my* impressions, too!).

Zoe was only repeating what the other person said, and that person is the one we are asking for links on her statements.

Also, I had the opportunity to throw a question at Barney Frank one time that actually stumped him. I asked him how women would feel if a balding, bearded, hairy-flat-chested, trans man appeared in the dressing room. The fact that he doesn't have a penis would not matter to the women. He's an obvious guy. Barney said he never thought of that.

Monica, perhaps I misunderstood Zoe, but from her response it seemed she had found a link...if I was wrong, I am sorry.

Really, tho, I wasn't trying to attack Zoe or undercut her response (I feel the whole bathroom thing is a disingenuous attack based on general disgust with trans women, or in RB's case, on those who don't fit her narrow category of 'real' trans women). I just wish ppl would copy-and-paste the URL when they find something interesting to a discussion!

Carol :)

Monica, perhaps I misunderstood Zoe, but from her response it seemed she had found a link...if I was wrong, I am sorry.

Really, tho, I wasn't trying to attack Zoe or undercut her response (I feel the whole bathroom thing is a disingenuous attack based on general disgust with trans women, or in RB's case, on those who don't fit her narrow category of 'real' trans women). I just wish ppl would copy-and-paste the URL when they find something interesting to a discussion!

Carol :)

I want to note that a certain commenter who is touting this special knowledge COULD very well be telling the truth... however this follows a similar pattern we've seen before.

We've seen this commenter and similar commenters drop claims like this--with no links--sometimes claiming special insider knowledge and promising the story would be blowing up and being everywhere in short order. Then when asked for references this commenter feigns offense that we're making this person do all our work for it, gives a "I found the information easily on my own, do you own work!" answer and seems to think this works. Then someone DOES do the work and seems to find this commenter is not exactly being truthful, and this commenter claims lies and discrimination.

I saw "The Informant" last night and thought of this person...

I live awfully close to Missouri. I'll believe these stories when I can see them. Until then, a Google Search using the criteria given gives up nothing for me... and I'm a librarian-to-be, I'm not exactly a shitty searcher. I'm actually currently enrolled in a class called "searching online information systems." So.. I could be wrong... but...

You need to watch for her MO - Part 2. This is where she gets angry with people who are challenging her to prove her statements with verifiable facts, sometimes feigning that she is being attack. The Republicans did a similar thing by smoke screening their failures in 2004 by using gay people to turn people's attention away from them. The Vatican is doing the same thing, too. "Pay no attention to the Republican Pope behind the curtain!"

Then she provides a link to her own blog where she wrote an article with all the same unverifiable statements and uses that as her proof. It's called the "Circular Logic" gamut and expects people to fall for it. I'm sure some of you here have seen that. I have.

Note that I busted said person with the statements they made multiple times regarding the DSM revisions. Direct opposition.

Said commenter also lied in that mondo thread of yours (four times) about elements.

Self hatred has some interesting effects...

Wow! I must be one evil, skanky lying bitch!

Err, Those of us in the psych game (as opposed to the psycho game) have a word for all the comments just made about me.........projection.

Whine whine whine, moi moi moi, why wasn't I made contributing editor? I'm not as bad as Ron Gold! (now where have I heard that before?)

Not at all! You are just a lying radical bitch.

I seriously doubt you are skanky at all, and since you've already made it clear that I'm the evil one, I think it's fair to say that you aren't *nearly* as evil as I am.

Incidentally, no, it is not projection. You've been shown to be a liar multiple times by multiple people in multiple ways. Recall, I am in the Psych game, as you call it, and your saying that is, in fact, another lie.

And, to make this perfectly clear, I will state it clearly and directly.

Your claim that there are Trans folk who have raped and molested people in bathrooms is a falsehood and a fabrication, created by you for the purpose of making a point that supports your position that Trans people do not deserve access to their rights, and should continue to be stigmatized and discriminated against.

Let me repeat part of an above comment I made:

"You need to watch for her MO - Part 2. This is where she gets angry with people who are challenging her to prove her statements with verifiable facts, sometimes feigning that she is being attack. The Republicans did a similar thing by smoke screening their failures in 2004 by using gay people to turn people's attention away from them. The Vatican is doing the same thing, too. "Pay no attention to the Republican Pope behind the curtain!"

Just a predictable as the planets. Seems I nailed this one. Now we wait for her to provide a link to her blog as proof that what she is saying is true.

Why is any of this a surprise. Law makers have been educated on Trans inclusion by us, but it is the voter who will influence how they vote and the voters have been educated by The Corporate Media.

Transsexuals are the one group of people who are still fair game for the media. GLB folks are still a target but it has become such a taboo in polite company that the bigots have moved most of the hate and bashing to T’s. Even the progressive media uses us as a Jokes and whipping “boys” to attack the right. How many times have we heard Ann Coulter called Trans by supposedly GLBT friendly Radio Talk show hosts. Jerry Springer claims to be progressive, but is probably the biggest offender of stereo typing Trans Folk.

The only time we are seen on the news is when we are killed, or have the nerve to come out in our work environment from which most of us are fired or driven off.

With the exception of "Transamerica", and a few LGBT productions of transition stories. Most people’s exposure to Male to Female Transsexuals is still the absurd. We are portrayal as pathetic mental cases, sex workers, Drag Queens, Drug addicts, the fetish cross dresser who went to far, or the husband who ruined “His” wife and their kids life’s. Most people see all Trans people as men masquerading as women hanging out in bars, and working in Drag shows or Hooking on the corner in the wrong part of town, or the pervert trying to accost little girls in public restrooms. This image is constantly reinforced by the main stream media.

When Hollywood does use us in their productions, we end up as sick greedy silicon pumpers or Butcher Brown (Yeah I go back a few years) want-a-bees working in sleazy hotel rooms or storage units doing sex changes and other “Self Mutilations” and then abandoning people to bleed to death. At best we are portrayed as hookers, thieves and addicts.

Even in our own community the only transsexual women we are exposed to are close friends, or the uber-success stories. You do not see the thousands of Trans people who work hard every day to just live life as best that they can. That is unless they have a run in with the Law or Government and then they are usually portrayed as a freak by the media.

Many in the G+L community worked very hard to keep the “T” off the end of the GLB Logo and they are still at work now. Hell Barny Frank pops a vessel every time anyone questions his work to keep Ts out of Enda. He once said (and I paraphrase) "Transgenders are just men who want to go into the woman's restrooms".

Collin Peterson is only pandering to his base in Minnesota they also elected Michele Bachmann after all.

As for CBS remember that they arbitrarily changed their advertising policy to accept a Super Bowl advertisement from Focus on the Family.
Enda will pass but not before November, and not with Gender Identity in it.

A Cathy clone has surfaced. And, like the former, she, too, makes statements with no proof and are simply lies. The article is almost off the front page, so this is when the others traditionally start showing up. Let's see who's next.

There are a few trans-psychiatrists. I know one of them personally and I know of another, both in New York State

At this point at least half the comments on this thread are personal attacks on me calling me a liar by the usual gang of suspects (absent a single example). Not one was TOSed. Apparently if one doesn't accuse another of having sex with a goat in a public place, anything else of a personal assault nature is now OK here...

Monica, I'm not as bad as Ron Gold so why wasn't I made a contributor, Helms

Dyssonance, the self proclaimed sociopath who brags on her blog she lies all the time and that she engages in rage filled acts of vengeance. Has more mysterious advanced degrees than Carter has liver pills but still cannot get a job flipping burgers...

Lisa, everyone not trans is out to get me and my dog, Harney

and my personal fav....

Phil, only women with penises are real women, Reese. The less said about Dullfeather the better.

Crossdressing pedophiles? Look no further than all the stories about them in the Catholic Church. Crossdressing teachers?.....Catholic schools. Who is more gender queer than Catholic bishop in a frilly dress? Pass ENDA to protect Ratzinger!

And since I do not lie, no one has "caught me out" in a lie ever. Please note that those who demanded citations from me offered none about me and having engaged in total warfare of the ad hominen type, they then predicted I'd have the unmitigated gall to defend myself! No wonder the DSM revision classifies them as having mental disorders!

... and yet we continue to wonder where any evidence of your previous claims are...


You very well could be telling the truth. Noone will know until you share a link.

I think its pretty funny that any of us who have been around long enough can predict EXACTLY how this conversation was going to go, post it, and it has followed that same pattern. The cycle could have very well been BROKEN by just posting a link, but no... its just played out as usual.

I think we need to make a rule on the threads that anyone who makes a claim about a crime that has been perpetrated by this one or that one ought to have to post a link to a reputable news site backing that claim up. I don't have enough time in my life to chase down every little claim someone makes on these threads to see if they're telling the truth or not, and one person can search and find an article that the same search conducted across the country will not find. If you have already found these news stories, I implore you--to prove all of the rest of us wrong, if for no other reason--please post a link.

Real women don't have to have penises, RB, but my favorite girls are the ones that are proud of their battery operated hardware. Either way, I don't tell someone they can't be a woman--I don't have that right.

On the contrary, a lot of real women are stuck with penises, being unable to afford surgery or not having insurance that'll cover it. Or not wanting surgery in the first place.

It's not the genitalia that makes a man or woman, anyway. That's just a set of reductive definitions that serve only to harm an already marginalized population. Surgery isn't the confirmation point (although it is important for a lot of people, I will not deny), it's just the point most everywhere requires for legally changing the sex markers on your documentation.

So the women who cannot afford surgery are marginalized by the legal system with documentation that automatically outs them in a society that makes it difficult for trans people to get employment when their history is known, and then other people (like RadicalBitch) insist they can't really be women even though they're vulnerable to all the same things that other women are, in addition to vulnerability to transphobia (and the potential for violence that comes with that status), but supposedly the only cred that matters is whether or not what RB would insist is a penis is present.

Or I guess what you would consider to be a penis.

Even though odds are you can't see it.

Even though when it comes to sexual harassment, people don't quiz anyone about their surgical status first...and I've found that cis people who know a trans woman's surgical status tend to love the harassment even more.

It's really glib and wrong to place the definition of womanhood where you place it. You're not accounting for trans people at all.

As you can see, Phil, she is using excuses of being attacked and once again bringing up the TOS in hopes that people will get tired of asking her for the links and just stop talking. This allows her to go back to her blog to tell people she won another battle on Bilerico against the evil trans women wanna-bes with penises . . . even though she really doesn't know anyone's surgical status. I predicted this correctly so far, so there is no other reason it won't play out this way. Thank you, Phil.

Oh, and I should add that she does this stall tactic until the article is no longer on the front page and people forget about it.

I stopped watching CBS after the David Letterman "joke" about Amanda Simpson. Argued with and lost friends over my position about it. I still have not found much reason to watch programing. I have never been much on their News coverage anyway. However I make a point of not watching their crap now.

CBS News might as well have published an article on transgender iron smelters. That would have been as relevant to ENDA as his naive blurb on transgender teachers taken from a hate group's website.

As a transgender woman and metalsmith who often smelts iron, I totally disagree, and, I resent your implication of MY work as equal in any way to this shit.


Is this real?

Did this really just happen?

Did I wake up in the twilight zone this morning?

I definitely need another pot of coffee if THIS is how this day is heading...

The quote is from the OP, above, in the fourth paragraph from the bottom. I think an apology from Jillian to this "transgender iron smelter" would be completely appropriate. One of my ambitions is to get a metal smithing educational program on local TV here in Maine.

That said, Jillian, you are NOT making my life any easier by making such salacious comparisons! I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't crap on transgender women in the metal trades to make a point.

Again, equating transgender women who work with ferrous metals with yellow journalistic presentations of transgender women by right wingnuts is not okay.

In the meantime, for some truth serum about trans women and iron work, go here:


Dammit, Voz, ix-nay on the ans-tray elter-smay stuff. If the right-wing finds out that transpeople can smelt iron, the right-wing will go crazy. They'll start a scare campaign, arguing that ENDA will turn all iron smelters transgender. If US Steel opposes ENDA, we're done for.

OMG, someone told me gullible was written on my ceiling but I can't find it. I'm looking... looking... looking...

So, Voz, I thought that was serious indignation. Color me Barba--sheepish. I need another beer.

(sorry, I'm a gayreotype, I use "Color Me Barbara" in a sentence at least once a week, it comes out unconsciously.)

Phil Reese is the quintessential April Fool. Quote me.

Oh, it was, and is. I love the humor, but, truth be told, hateful clowns saying stupid shit about trans women =/= transgender women in nontraditional occupations. Really.

So I appreciate the levity, but there's a nugget of seriousness buried in all that. I think another analogy would be totally appropriate. So show a lil love for your local neighborhood trans woman in a nontraditional occupation or hobby, mkay?

That said, yes, I really smelt iron. I process all my ferrous metal waste onsite by rusting it, and smelting the oxide in a blast furnace to make pig iron and extract the more valuable goodies, like chromium, vanadium and the like. It also helps keep this stuff out of the environment, which is only a good thing.

Transgender: The new Metal Fume Fever. We're doomed, doomed I say!

Everyone knows transgender people shouldn't be iron smelters. It's in the Bible. Where? I don't know, somewhere in the middle, in one of those "Joseph begat so-and-so" parts.

I demand that transgender iron smelters be dropped from ENDA! There's no way my rights should have to wait for theirs!

But yeah, good points about CBS. Although if they're willing to quote the TVC I'm thinking that they don't much care what GLAAD or the NGLJA has to say about spelling.

Deuteronomy 4:20
But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.

The LORD took you out of the iron-smelting furnace, ye shall not smelt iron, nor copper, nor tin, lest ye be transgendered and cast from the earth.

Okay, Voz, next time I won't use iron smelters. Maybe....race car drivers. Are there a lot of transgender race car drivers?

yes..... hell, I learned to drive on a 1/4 dirt oval track back in the early sixties myself. Drove in some 300 buck claimer races in the late sixties.

I've also been a short order cook, dishwasher, VW auto mechanic, carny barker, cabinetmaker, furniture maker, psychiatric aide, instructor with the OSU free university, one of those sample ladies at Target and Walmart, bank secretary, nursing assistant, Priestess of the Goddess, historian, writer, fortune teller (trained by an actual gypsy one), bookkeeper, volunteer at a leper colony...and more. So please Jillian, those are all off limits too.

Maybe invoking trans women in any nontraditional occupations and hobbies as exemplars isn't the best way to express irrelevance to trans women's lives. There are other ways of expressing the foolishness of hateful, stereotyped programming without enforcing occupational norms on trans women.

That said, there aren't a lot of trans women in ANY occupation or avocation, but, we all deserve respect and relevance, yes? Even lawyers. ;-)

Oh, since you asked about transgender women as race car drivers? Ask Terri O'Connell what she thinks. You can read about her here.


We're everywhere, doing everything, and yes, we are all relevant, and all matter. No matter how we spend our days, and our nights. That's the fact that CBS does NOT want people to know, which is why they reduce us to hackneyed stereotypes that belie and obscure our lived truths. Please don't replicate their sin by elevating some of us at the expense of others.

Oh yeah, when my metalwork program does hit the airwaves, I will definitely give you a heads-up.

Gina Grahame | April 21, 2010 6:27 PM

I wish someone would educate me on transgender! The activists I've seen predominately just want a podium to tell their personal story and bask in the attention. I've asked people in the community, the HRC, and GLAAD, and the definition for transgender is as varied as the number of people asked.

And as seemingly rediculous as the issue of 'transgenders teaching kids' may seem, the activists better come up with a solid reply or this bill goes nowhere.

What we say: Everything.

What they hear: Crickets.

Why? Because it's convenient. Why spend the effort when you can just revise history at any time?

Gina Grahame | April 28, 2010 8:18 PM

Thanks Antonia,

I agree with your definition of 'trans' in the broadest sense, and with the fact the 'trans' community is incredibly diverse.

However, transsexuals who have actually had surgery don't seem to identify as 'trans' (for the most part), they identify as either men or women and go about their lives. It's the 'no genital surgery for me!' peeps that created and are propelling the transgender term that's now the default everywhere. Can't blame media for repeating what activists are saying.

Look at the article atop this thread - Dr. Weiss says "..It is about transgender people who go through years of soul-searching to determine that they wish to transition in the face of losing family and friends, and often -- their jobs."

But the fact is most people who identify as transgender NEVER transition! So who and what is ENDA really wanting to cover here?...

RB, times change, but people don't. Still making everything about you? That's soooo 2002. For someone that detests transgender people, you sure do hang with them a lot online!

The sad fact is that there are two paths for ENDA and neither include transgender people. One path is that it's never brought up for a vote. Honestly, if it's bordering on being too late, if not already, to pass this bill. This needs to be done now, or it won't happen at all. I fear we're already too close to election time. Next time around we'll be left out and it not being brought out of committee will be blamed on us.

The other path is that it's voted on in the House where it goes to the Senate and dies. Same result, next time we're removed and blamed.

Hey, but we'll come back for ya, right New York?
And visions of SONDA danced in their head....

Oh, and way to go on outing CBS! Glad Bilerico finally got on the bus I've been on for a while. I wrote about first in January 2009, then in November of 2009, and in February of 2010. (all links can be found here: http://www.transadvocate.com/the-new-home-for-transphobia-only-cbs.htm ) Way to be on the cutting edge...of 2009.

It'd be nice if maybe oh... GLAAD or some other media organization might catch on after a year and a half.

We'll see, I guess.