Joe Mirabella

What Should Gays and Lesbians Do to Help Trans People?

Filed By Joe Mirabella | February 09, 2011 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Creating Change conference, Injustice at Every Turn, The Task Force, transgender studies

While I was at Creating Change I had the honor of interviewing Jabriel Walthour for SameSexSunday. Jabriel made the brave and bold step into the public eye to speak about her life as an African American transgender person. NTDS_cover.jpgShe helped put a face and a life behind startling statistics that were released by the Task Force in a study called, Injustice At Every Turn.

The study revealed the horrifying truth that life for Transgender people is indisputably difficult in this country:

  • 78% of Transgender people report being harassed during their K-12 Education
  • One Fifth report being discriminated against by a government agency
  • 29% reported police harassment
  • 41% attempted suicide
  • 60% attempted suicide who worked in underground economies

These statistics are just a small sample that overwhelmingly prove our country has a serious problem, but now that we have the hard data, what next? What can gays and lesbians do to help their transgender loved ones live in a more just society?

I have several suggestions, but I want to hear from transgender people. I want you to tell me what I and others can do today, tomorrow, and over the next year to help create a more just society with you.

Here are my suggestions that were inspired by the data:

  1. Be a friend. Be there for your transgender friends. 57% of respondents report some form of family rejection. Why not open your home and hearts?
  2. Work with your employer to establish policies that protect transgender people from harassment such as creating gender neutral bathrooms, benefits that help pay for transitioning, and management development opportunities.
  3. If you own your own business, hire a qualified transgender person this week.
  4. Work with local police departments to do sensitivity training about transgender people.
  5. Calling all lawyers! Volunteer at local prisons. Identify transgender people and donate your time to advocate for them.

Let this small list get the ball rolling. I want to hear from you. What can we do to help you change the world?

Visit to download the full report.

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Kathy Padilla | February 9, 2011 3:04 PM

5. Put marriage on hold in states were gays enjoy employment protections, but trans people don't. I mean - if your serious about change that will really matter.

6. Trans people need to do trainings on our community - we can be part of a larger lgbt training (police or otherwise) - but - we should speak for ourselves.

7. LGBT orgs should hire more trans people. The Task Force has no employees, HRC has one. With 130 or so employees - HRC should have at least 10 trans employees. Why should other employers hire people lgbt orgs won't?

8. Include trans specific issues in your candidate endorsement questionnaires & have trans people on your endorsement committees speak directly to candidates for your org.

A Dionne Stallworth | February 10, 2011 2:15 PM

I couldn't have said it better myself if I wrote every word.

Your 7th point is especially important for me and needs more community awareness. I am in my third year of unemployment and rejected job applications, and I think the most blatant anti-trans discrimination that I've faced is from cis-G/L nonprofit organizations that claim to be GLBT inclusive-- both national and regional. I encourage everyone to speak up and ask the nonprofits that you support, how many transpeople are included in their paid staff and executive leadership?

Kathy Padilla | February 11, 2011 11:47 AM

Wow - when someone who has made the contributions and is as talented as Ms. Winters is snapped up by one of the larger orgs - it speaks volumes.

That she experienced such outright discrimination....someone needs to answer for that.

Kathy Padilla | February 11, 2011 1:44 PM

that was "isn't snapped up", of course


But gay organizations don't discriminate against trans people. They say so - so it must be true!

And, even at that, that discrimination that 'doesn't happen' - wink, wink - is justified when it happens to trans women. Mara Keisling said so ( ).

Kathy Padilla | February 15, 2011 9:36 AM


In speaking to a Task Force employee, I've been informed that they now have 3 full time trans employees.

"Rodrigo Lehtinen

Causten Wollerman

Trystan Reece

All have the title “Field Organizer” - all are trans men."

Convert Kathy's No. 7 and No. 5 into No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

We Gays and Lesbians could start by not excluding Trans people from our cause.

Call out anti-trans sentiment within the community and support trans people when they bring up these issues.

Understand that there are many justified reasons for trans people not to trust the motivations of cis people, even cis GLB people and groups.

Don't speak for trans people or assume that your experience as a GLB person informs you about living as a trans person (there are parallels, but some significant differences).

When anti-glbt activists in your community use anti-trans epithets (we all know what they are) to attack any pro-equality policy, explain what they are doing: They are trying to carve off the part of our community that they believe is least well understood, and therefore can be lied about with impunity. They are doing this because they no longer believe that they can lie with impunity about gay and lesbian people; in other words, they are exposing their weakness. Point it out. Educate. Don't let them get away with it, and we all win.

ShipofFools | February 9, 2011 4:04 PM

Your activist ideas are highly important and should be the focus of this thread as so many basic discriminations exist.

Here's one more internal point:

Challenge your own internalized trans phobic feelings and beliefs. Don't think that because you're LGB, you are automatically free from that.

Make an efford to see trans women as women and trans men as men (and non-binary people as non-binary). Don't think they are some sort of advanced drag kings and drag queens. Don't think they are inherently "genderqueer" or "cool". Only if you manage to do that, you start to understand and respect the reality of trans lives.

I know plenty of transpeople who could stand to look at their own transphobia.


How about: Exposing trans-minimizing sockpuppetry

That would be great Kat, but even after you have identified the sockpuppet, she is too connected with sites like this to even get a reaction...

I pretty much agree with laughrioTgirl. The biggest thing I would like to see from the cis-GLBs is to not be part of the problem.

Asdie from Gay, Inc., which is a given as trans-opposed or at least trans-don't care, honestly, I personally see less acceptance of trans women among the lesbians I know (and know of, for instance the radical lesbians like those at TMP and Michigan, and the clueless ones who post about trans issues without even bothering to understand what they are talking about) than I do among str8 women; I don't see as much of a litmus test kinda of thing with the str8 women.

Really, I find that bi women are the best, which if no surprise, though they still mostly see trans women differently from cis women. They seem accepting of us a s ppl, and willing to let us hang out with them, but when it comes right down to it, still see us as men.

I am not purposely leaving tran men out, just don't have much personal experience with that, and seem to not hear as many horror stories from and about them.

The very first thing is get rid of the umbrella term transgender it is very offensive to many TS women!
Take some of your time to research why the term is offensive to transseuals it will show you really care.I have been in the T community a pretty long time and Mara's research on whether transgender is an accepted term is questionable and runs counter to what I've experienced.
Recognize not all T people are the same and listen to everyones voice not just the ones you as lgb people want to hear.
Understand that not all T women identify as being L-G or B some consider themselve heterosexual most support your community so you should support them and their rights to live as heterosexuals.
Massachusetts can't get anymore gay friendly but lags seriously behind on T rights fix it.
We support your victories like the repeal of don't ask don't tell but we're still excluded and many T people are honorably discharged Veterans and some of us have been discharged for being T.
While some T people may prefer not to get surgery be careful not to alienate those who do or say stupid things like you don't have to have surgery because that invalidates transsexual women.

Patricia Harlow Patricia Harlow | February 9, 2011 5:34 PM

I would disregard the above statement. While it is true that some feel this way, it is not standard across the trans spectrums. As a result, focusing on renaming the 'T' does not serve everybody. I'd like to add that as this is a source of major infighting in the Trans community I'd like to see a resolution eventually; but I do not think this is something LGB allies can help the Trans community out by doing; it's something we need to do for ourselves - remove the transphobia from within the Trans community.

For the record (and example):
* I am a transsexual; I am not offended by the term Transgender.

* While some T people may prefer to get surgery, be careful not to alienate those who do not or say stupid things like 'you have to have surgery' because that too invalidates transsexual women.

As far as things to help support Trans peeps:

1. ENDA > Marriage Equality. Everyone needs a job and Trans people overwhelmingly have a more difficult time landing and keeping jobs based on no more than our appearance and/or perceived characteristics. ENDA also helps out the LGBs as well since LGBs are subject to the same bologna, albeit in fewer states, that we are. Marriage Equality is important as well, but I would put it in second place as there are plenty of Trans peep married in 'same-sex' marriages through 'loopholes' (states vary on how to treat our sex). Same-Sex Marriage would allow us to marry anybody, sure, but underneath it all there are still going to be many who just do not understand us.

And above are very good points from just about everybody. :)

In my experience, the most transphobia I have ever experienced has always come from the LGB community. Im not sure what can be done about this other than me just being me, out and public, to serve as an example.

Anyway, great article. Keep em coming! :)

You did exactly what I said is a problem invalidated my feelings about the word transgender.Do you know why most Transseual identified women oppose the use of the term? Mara's survey while she can boast it's size is a very small representation of the greater community.One can also question as to where the survey was posted as to how the respondents would feel about the term transgender vs transsexual.Again I said most transsexual identified women not all.

Patricia Harlow Patricia Harlow | February 9, 2011 6:11 PM

If presenting an opposing viewpoint is considered invalidating your feelings, then consider me guilty.

I know nothing of this survey to which you refer. But I do know of how I feel and how those around me, aka my peers, feel. And yeah, I've got the gist of why you, and some others, feel the way you do. I just disagree and find the stance pretty transphobic. After all, your stance is to separate the Transsexuals from the 'nasty' cross-dressers, non-ops, and gendernauts, I got it.

I would also say that you saying 'most transsexual identified' women would feel the way you do is universalizing the issue and is an overreach.

Of course, these are my opinions, but the fact that I have voiced an opposition to yours would indicate that your viewpoint is not the end-all-be-all stance to represent the 'T' in LGBT, which is pretty much what I stated already.


Well I hate to hurt your feelings and tell you that you really don't know why I oppose the word transgender.I oppose the word transgender for multiple reason's none of which you listed. First to be transgender I would have to change my mental gender not my physical gender therefore the term is inaccurate when applied to Transsexuals.Secondly I meet every week with Crossdressers, Transgendered Identified people and Transsexuals.Plus I do volunteer work within the greater LGBT community.That said the person who pushed the term transgender purposefully excluded Transsexuals from the term transgendered and felt we had a mental illness and should be denied surgery and locked away.So I'm sorry but for all those reasons I will never accept the term transgendered aand I will let every LGB person I know just how offensive it is.

It wasn't you having a different opinion then mine that caused me to respond to your post it was your statement that mine should be disregarded. That is not expressing an opposing view that is invalidating mine.

Patricia Harlow Patricia Harlow | February 10, 2011 2:57 PM

Ahhh, gotcha. Well, if I could type it all again I would remove the first sentence. I can see how someone might read that as an invalidation. The reason I wrote it as such was to let it be known right off the bat that your viewpoint did not represent me whatsoever. I still stand by the rest of what I wrote. :)

"While some T people may prefer to get surgery, be careful not to alienate those who do not or say stupid things like 'you have to have surgery'..."

You're right, only transsexuals have to have surgery...most T people don't.

One more valid reason to remove Transsexuals from under the Transgender Umbrella it leads to confusion about having surgical needs or not.The very word transgender implies that one has a choice about their mental gender identity and that they chose to change it. It is the equivalent of saying LGB's choose to be LGB's instead of acknowledging they are born that way.

Even this is much too broad a statement; many transsexuals do not seek surgical reassignment because they cannot afford to do so, and a significant minority feel that non-surgical transition adequately addresses their physical and psychological needs.

Your right desiree also that statement and others like it revolving around surgical needs helps to contribute to the high suicide rates. Sometimes it's those that claim to be the greatest allies that are the biggest problem.

"...many transsexuals do not seek surgical reassignment because they cannot afford to do so, and a significant minority feel that non-surgical transition adequately addresses their physical and psychological needs."

Transsexuals desire surgery and will do whatever is necessary to obtain GRS. The name for not surgical transition is full time crossdressing. Sorry, but enough of the political correct revisionism.

This is a violation of the site's TOS.

So, if someone was born transsexual (biologically male), when they are going through their required one year living as a woman you are saying they are men? That is absurd. No 'man' is going to change his penis into a vagina. However, a woman who was born with one would do so.

That's absolute rubbish. I have a friend who has been treated for prostate cancer. Her apparatus below the waist is so damaged she has been told she cannot have genital surgery. Another looks after her wife who is seriously ill. She can't afford the time or the energy for genital surgery. I cannot have a phalloplasty because of the risks associated with my disability.
Yet all of us live legally as the sex which we feel ourselves to be. Why? Because we live in England and we don't waste time here arguing the toss about what's between each other's legs. We get out and do stuff and change the law so no-one gets left behind.
HBS women need to get their ignorant heads out of the frigging sand and think about what they would do in the osition of myself and my friends. We respect you and we'd like some of the same back, thank you.

and then there are the trans folks who don't have between 20-50,000 to spend on surgery...
those who need to eat and keep a roof over their heads...who are under or unemployed...
and those who feel as many trans men do...that the surgery is not advanced enough yet...
and then there are still those who have to come to a sort of peace with the bodies they were born into...
And those whose health is prohibitive of surgery...and sometimes even HRT...these folks are all trans folks too!
I would hate to see only the wealthiest trans folks counted as "REAL" trans persons...simply because they are lucky enough to have money for surgery and other procedures.


well, if we had that feature here! :)

Here is the question. Do you 'want' to keep your male genitalia? If you do, and you were born biologically male then you aren't transsexual.

*Disregard* the above statement? How arrogant! I was born transsexual and transitioned. I am now female. I don't *identify* as female. I just am. Even before, "transgender" did not describe me. It certainly doesn't now.

You may, of course, speak for yourself, but don't presume to speak for anyone else, let alone say their opinions should be disregarded.

So, amy, I am very curiuous, what do you suggest? Using the terms transgender and transsexual both? Or what?

Carol the first thing I would recomend is for everyone to take a step back and cool off.Pointing fingers and making accusations won't solve the rift.I believe I have pointed out in a non confrontational way why the word Transgender is highly offensive to me and should be to other TS identified women.Personally I would love to see the word transgender disappear and at the very least not applied to transsexual women.I also think the short use of the word trans is highly offensive to TS women when it is used to imply both TS and TG.Before anything we are all human beings( Thanks Sean) and I believe labels belong on cans (Thanks Beth LOL.) If we are to wear labels why can't we wear the labels that were allready in existance for the sprectrum for whatever part of the sprectrum we're on proudly and without shame. If your CD more power to you,If Your TV make a Transylvanian movie and rock on, and if your TS never let fear hold you back.We should all be able to reach across the aisle and help each other without being stuck under an umbrella that just creates confusion.Quit bashing each other accept who you are and be happy.Seriously it's that simple and we can still support each other but we must respect our differences and support our similar needs.

I see, so anyone who hasn't had surgery would be a crossdresser or a transvestite. So, what distinguishes those for you?


"I see, so anyone who hasn't had surgery would be a crossdresser or a transvestite. So, what distinguishes those for you?"

I didn't see her say that in the post you responded to. I tell you what, can you tell us why you think transsexuals should stay in the same group as CD, TV and other Gender Variants?

Honestly, her reply was so convoluted and rambling I wasn't really sure *what* she meant, just took a guess based on this:

"If your CD more power to you,If Your TV make a Transylvanian movie and rock on, and if your TS never let fear hold you back."

I was hoping for a direct answer, and didn't get it. Could be becuase she hates all labels, so won't answer with another set of labels, but somehow I don't think that's it.

The reason I feel that transsexuals fall in the transgender umbrella (which to me is ppl who live fulltime as something other than the binary sex they were assigned at birth, not ppl who do it for a time-bounded reason, such as for a drag show, or to have sex, or whatever) is that most ppl, esp str8 cis ppl, see us all the same, and we all need pretty much the same rights.

You can consider yourself no long trans whatever (though then I wonder why you care *what* term is used? if you are just a women, and completely taken that way in all contexts, what difference does any of this make for you?), but in my experience, most ppl consider you just the same as someone who lives as a woman and has only breast implants and FFS (there was recently an article in Harvard Business Review about a high-level Microsoft 'transsexual', who apparently had FFS and breast implants and consdiered herself done.

If you live in certain states, it doesn't matter what you've done or if you consider yourself neurologically female from birth, if you marry a man and it suits someone's purpose to have you declared a man legally, they will.

And of course there is transitioning. It seems to me that many of the WBTs/HBRers want to close the door behind them after they transition. You have to 'live in the role' a year, as you pointed out. Also, many ppl can't afford surgery, or can't have it for health reasons. What about them? Are they still 'crossdressers' or 'men in dresses'? While we are transitioning, I think that anyone who isn't transsexual or really up on the whole thing has a pretty hard time distinguishing between the ppl who don't intend to have SRS and those who do, we are still all 'penises in women's spaces'.

And though Rad B has said she is accepted and welcomed by the hard-core radical lesbians, all the writings I have seen by them don't distinguish in the least between 'true transsexuals' and anyone else. If you were born with a penis, you are a man, period, and are 'raping' women by living as one.

So, I answered your question, but unless you did it while I wrote this reply, I don't think you answered mine (as seems to be the norm for ppl who hate the term 'transgender'). What would you like to see in place of use of 'transgender' as an umbrella term? Transgender and transsexual both? What?

No, they do not see us all the same, Carol. That is a straight up myth.

My opinion here is not based on brainwashing from the 'Transgender activists', it's based on what I see and hear. Yes, ppl who are accepting and willing to educate themselves understand the difference, but that isn't very many ppl, in my experience.

The ppl who really, really hate trans anything and who are actively working to oppress us (the relgious fundamentalists, biological essentialists, and such) group us all together. In that Huffington post link, the IVC (or whatever it was, can't find that post now) specifically called out transsexuals. To me, we are all in this together.

And as for the 'few post-ops are included' meme, part of that is b/c there aren't many post-ops. Adding up all the surgeries ever done I think only comes to a few thousand ppl, while all the other ppl who don't identify/live as their birth-assigned sex number milliions.

My own feelings on this? Either you are transsexual or you are not transsexual. There is not part transsexual. Transsexuals were born with incorrect genitalia. If someone was born with male genitalia and they want to keep those genitals (for whatever reason) I just cant see how they could be transsexual. How are you supposed to fit in completely in a female world if you have a penis? Going to the gym, showers, etc.

I do understand that there are some who can't get surgery for one reason or another but that is different than wanting to keep a penis between your legs (well, one that is attached there that is) :)

Oh, you still aren't going to answer my question? I don't understand ppl who go around attacking how things are, but won't way what they want. In my experience, it is often b/c what they want is for the ppl who are inconvencing them to just all drop dead, but know they can't say that outright, so they just leave that to be inferred.

" In my experience, it is often b/c what they want is for the ppl who are inconvencing them to just all drop dead"

This is where I have to roll my eyes.

I have told you my thoughts. I am just not giving you the answer you desire but that is too bad. I am highly suspect of how you come about your facts. In a previous comment your statistics on the number of transsexuals vs. ones that have surgery was pulled out of the air (perhaps marijuana smoke filled air?) That was just a fun jab at you with the pot thingy.

Well, you lot complain on and on and on about the GLAAD definitions, all that, but never say what you think they *should* say, and I find that very frustrating. All I can figure out is that you want them to use transsexual, and nothing else, to call everyone else who currently sees themselves as 'trans' or 'transgender' as crossdresseres or transvestites or trannies or some such.

And no, I don't really much believe many of the polls, and don't cite them. I feel there is prolly a huge selction bias in the response. I more base things on anectodal evidence, which I admit can be biased, too. The number of 'post-ops' comes from the actual number of ppl performing surgery and high end guesses at how many surgeries they ahve performed; it can't be more than a few thousand, though I'd be willing to consider some other number if the basis seems realistic.

Ooooo, and I finally got my answer by following your link to your website. Thanks so much! :)

Just wanted to let you know, Dana, that it really is possible to be trans and to want to keep your original parts.

I'm a transguy and have a beard- no one could accuse me of not being "trans enough." However, I am completely thrilled about my female genitalia. So is my gay male boyfriend, and my former gay male lovers have been pretty thrilled with it as well.

It's pretty weird for someone to tell someone else that they can't be trans if they don't want surgery. I have always viewed my anatomy as a gift... it works fine, has never caused me pain, and gives pleasure to myself and my intimate partners.

Of course not every trans person has the same attitude about their bodies, and that's their experience. It is completely valid... just as my experience is.

If they don't want or desire GRS, then yes.

Carol and so what is your problem with cd's and tranvestites. Seriously do those labels offend you? Why? There are people that stay at certain points along the sprectrum.If you truly believe that surgery doesn't have to be an option then why wouldn't you acknowledge that some people are CD and some people are transvestites?Or if someone really is a transvestite why should they have to feel such shame for it they have to choose to use another more better label which is what Transsexual and to some point what transgender is becoming.Not respecting people that reside in those subgroups is what is driving people to wrongly have GRS.No group along the sprectrum is better or worse than the other they just are what they are.Keeping those groups safe and feeling welcome would allow for assistance to be targetted to their specific needs and where needs overlap all groups help each other.

Those labels do offend me, yes, as the WBTs and HBSers use them. The ppl you are referring to see themselves as women, not men. You are misgendering them just the same as you accuse them of doing to you, and really, the vast majority aren't even out actively doing that, just mostly a bunch of self-serving loudmouths (who I don't much like either, esp when they are deconstructing gender as a means of attack).

In my experience, most of the ppl you lot refer to as 'permanent cross dressers' and 'trannies' are just living their lives as women in a sincere way, the best they can. It just seems to me that there is room enough for everyone.

You keep saying "not applied to transsexual women"--what about transsexual men? And what is the alternative option for "transgendered," because as far as I'm aware, it is what you have previously stated: a mental identification rather than a physical identification, although it can include physical identification as well.

I just learned something. Thank you for sharing this information with me. I had no idea that transgender was offensive. I knew transgendered was offensive, but thank you for the lesson. Can you recommend something specific for me to read so I can learn more?

Joe here is the Merriam Webster definition of Trans;: so or such as to change or transfer

Very funny. You wrote:

The very first thing is get rid of the umbrella term transgender it is very offensive to many TS women! Take some of your time to research why the term is offensive to transseuals [sic] it will show you really care.I have been in the T community a pretty long time and Mara's research on whether transgender is an accepted term is questionable and runs counter to what I've experienced.

I see now that "transseuals" was a typo for "transsexual." I thought you were presenting a new term that I had never heard of. Nevertheless, my question stands. You referred to Mara's research. Can you point me in the right direction?

Don't tell anyone I'm an honors student LOL. Joe part of my post went wherever lost parts go.If you take the first part Trans and add gender it implies that we are changing our Brain sex or gender.That can't be changed it's fixed that is why we have surgery thus Transsexual meaning changing physical sex. There is a short history for the term transgender starting around the early 1950's.The term Transsexual has been around since the early 1920's. If you follow this link to yahoo answers I think both Diane and Nikki do an excellent job of explaining The differences between the different groups.

Joe I would also recomend you go and read some of what Lynn Conway has posted. In 2001 she did a study on prevalance of Transsexuality in America and she estimated the number of post-op transsexual women in America at that time at between 30,000 and 40,000.Now add to that all the pre-op TS women,Post-op and pre-op transmen, Tg and Cd identifed people and you'll realize that Mara's Report probably reflects what between 1 to 3% of our population experiences. Also I'd like to point out that because the survey fails to meet academic standards it creates problems with how it is used. I wouldn't go to a State Capitol or to the Federal Goverment and try lobbying with a non academic approved Study.I say non academic because can the people who were surveyed be identified and verified as TS/TG/CD.That said I have heard that the three authors are very trustworthy and proffessional people but that still doesn't overcome the hurdles of presenting a non verifiable study. Here is a link to Lynn Conways Page

Very interesting. The study is several hundred pages long, so I'm still working my way through it. These are great questions that I will pose to someone who helped assemble the study materials. I will be back with an answer when I have one. Also, thank you for helping me better understand.

Joe I have one other question that I think is of great importance.Where was all the references pointing out the existance of this study and links to it posted. Those points would indicate if there is a potential bias towards a certain perspective leading towards a skewed result.For those of you who might be upset by my postings please consider this if the study can't withstand an in community scrutiny how can it withstand outside scrutiny? I am for everyones rights even those who disagree with me.

This is an explanation of the methodology directly from the report:

Our Respondents

At the outset, we had to determine if the population we sought for the survey was transgender people only, or transgender and gender non-conforming people. We ultimately chose to include both.
Both of our organizations define “transgender” broadly to include those who transition from one gender to another (transsexuals), and those who may not, including genderqueer people, cross-dressers, the androgynous, and those whose gender non-conformity is a part of their identity. Because the term “transgender” is understood in various ways that may or may not include these groups of people, we chose to use broader gender non-conforming language to ensure broad participation in the survey.
Furthermore, gender non-conforming people, especially those who are also lesbian, gay or bisexual, found themselves at the heart of the debate over the inclusion of transgender people and “gender identity” in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007. Information about their experiences of discrimination could better shape debates like these and shed light on the relationship between gender identity/expression and discrimination.
Consequently, we decided to invite the broader range of people to respond to the survey, and then, during cleaning, eliminate those who were neither transgender nor gender non-conforming; this process is described further in the “Cleaning the Data” section.
In the Portrait chapter, and in our discussion of Questions 3 and 4 in Appendix B, we describe more about the results of the choice to survey both transgender and gender non-conforming people (75% of our sample fell into the transgender category), as well as how we developed the categories of “transgender” and “gender non-conforming.” Throughout this report, we attempted to give both transgender and gender non-conforming results separately so that those who are interested in one of the groups could use more specific data.

Be very cautious Joe. Bear in mind that I have never responded to a survey of that type and never will. I am not alone in viewing such surveys as irrelevant to my life.

Joe thank you for being an allie and trying to learn more.Since your an Iowan I would assume you might know some of the same great people I do.If your ever in Des Moines I would be pleased to meet with you and if you don't know them already introduce you to some of the great LGBT Iowans I know.Again thanks
"knowledge Is Power, Power is Freedom"

"I had no idea that transgender was offensive. I knew transgendered was offensive, but thank you for the lesson."

Joe -

You cannot take anything written in these comments as gospel. You're going to find different groups of people here who are each going to you that all of these terms are offensive. Just because a commenter claims that "transgender" is offensive, doesn't mean that a majority of trans people believe that. That also goes for people who make the same claim about "transgendered" and "transsexual". I've heard all of these claims.

So the only lesson you're going to learn from these commenters is that only if you drive yourself batshit will you please all them all.

FWIW, the vast majority of the community prefers "transgender", doesn't think there's much difference between that and "transgendered", and doesn't especially mind "transsexual" unless it doesn't apply to them. Of course having said you shouldn't take any of these comments on face value, I realize this applies to me as well. But as trans person who has served the community in several capacities over many years, I am not a disinterested party. Plus we've actually met in person. ;-)

Rory I would also like to inform you that I have been around and served this community for many years.I can also assure you that the crap is going to hit the fan because both NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Placed Transsexuals under the Transgender umbrella. While I respect that for Transmen the surgery option is less than appealing For Transsexual women surgery is a standard.Placing Transsexual women under the Transgender Umbrella is very disrespectful to them and it also causes confusion about the surgery and gives people the wrong idea that surgery is a choice for transsexual women it is not.Just like Transmen we need all our health needs covered by insurance. There are many non transsexual people claiming falsely that they are transsexual women that is helping to cause this confusion.I realize that most Transmen identify as transgender I would ask them to reconsider their position on this.If Transmen assume a TS identity instead of a transgender one it would greatly help their TS sisters. Rory please take the time to research whats going on in the entire T community not just the parts your comfortable with.

Try this link Joe

It is a discussion of why GLAAD is the problem, not the solution for women of transexed history. We are women, calling us "transgender" demeans and denies that by yanking us out of the binary into a third gender category. That is fine for those who identify that way, it is extremely disrespectful of those who paid, often huge prices, to just be women or men.

You cannot "trans" gender (the internal sense of being male, female or other) that is set neurologically as part of pre-natal development.

Transsexuality is a neurological intersexed pre-natal medical condition. Transgender is a political construct that revolves around deconstruction of binary gender/sex roles. They could not be more different. You want to help?, stop ignoring us when we tell you this and only listening to the TGs.

Joe. The term transgender is most offensive, to women of operative history, IE transsexuals. My question is WHY that term is offensive to people like "carol", who not only advocates for its use and prefers to apply it to themselves while at the same time decrying its use.

Does this reek of political correctness as a weapon of choice to control the narrative?

From what I have read on these blogs over the past several months, it is apparent to me that there are a large number of people who have, for whatever reasons, undergone SRS in some vain quest for "womanhood". These "transition failures" are what the WPATH and HIBIGDA Standards of Care, were designed to prevent.

Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, the politicization of these SOC's has resulted in a progressively liberal interpretation and application of these standards and ended up with a large number of people who can not easily assimilate into the binary defined mainstream.

It is my opiniion that it is these neither male nor female that that attempted "transition" for the wrong reasons or with unrealistic expectations that constitute very large portion of the TG population. I am guessing that an equally large portion are made up of the so called, "non-ops", who do not want srs or claim that they cannot afforded it or that it is not a priorty "AT THIS TIME".

So Sam, what is the deal with referring to me as "'carol'", with the lower case c, and the scare quotes?

How about remembering that it is gender non-conformity that most LGBTphobes lash out against, and that trans-positive policies and practices enhance the lives of all LGBT people. After all, is it not true that many people are victimized simply because they are "too effeminate" or "too masculine" whether they are LGBT or not. Even non-LGBT people are victimized because of this: if they are effeminate men or masculine women they are assumed to be LGB. Trans-positive actions help everyone!

1. Support and push for trans-inclusive rights legislation. The first need is free and fair access to work, housing, medical and public services, and while rights legislation doesn't necessarily always assure that, it's step one.

2. The most urgent need is found at intersections of prejudice: poverty, racial discrimination, sex work and such. In order for peoples' lot to be improved, they must be empowered to speak and empowered to direct their own lives (and not parentally "guided").

3. Enable trans voices, within both LGBT spaces and public dialogue. Real and lasting change comes from changing hearts and minds, and that change comes from trans narratives being voiced in more and more public spheres.

4. Health care access and coverage (not just GRS), even in the correctional system. And even if it's unpopular.

"Understand that there are many justified reasons for trans people not to trust the motivations of cis people..."

Really? Could you name a few?

The book "Gay American History" - which uses non-binary gendered First Nations people (Two-Spirit) as examples of "gay men".

The SONDA in NYS that used unemployed trans women as examples to gain employment protections that very specifically excludes trans people.

Ru Paul, Michael Musto, Michelangelo Signorelli (sp?) and others assuring gay men that "tranny' is a perfectly neutral term.

HRC's infamous speech in 2007 regarding ENDA.

Pretty much every text on "gay history" uses trans people as historic examples of gays and lesbians.

PFC Barry Winchell used to shed light on "anti-gay" violence in the military - and calling his girl friend Calpernia Adams a "gay man".

HRC's ability to give businesses that routinely fire trans people a 90-100% rating.

Cis people generally feeling that trans folks need to fit their personal theories about sex and gender and forcing us into definitions and narratives that that simply don't fit in order to receive treatment.

This is just from the GLB - we can go into Feminists from the 70's to the early 2000's. The trend of violence against trans women at the hands of cis men.

Well, I apologize for not making myself clear by simply ending your quote at cis...but it was actually the non-gay "cis" I was inquiring about. Issuing a statement that concludes anyone who is "cis" should be suspected of not being trustworthy seems to limit oneself to a very small populace in the big scheme of things. I don't feel that way and was just wondering why you do.

I wasn't as clear as I should have been. Given the context, I was thinking specifically about cis GLBs. Outside of the GLB, we have "experts" like Zucker and Blanchard tying our sense of self to our sexuality, using their own pet theories to determine who is and is not *really transsexual*.

The state of Illinois requiring that SRS be performed within the US to have sex markers changed. Along with the states that allow a change in sex markers, but do so in a way that leaves the original marker intact.

The "chasers" who exotify trans bodies and tend to do quite a bit of harm to trans women on individual levels which compounds on a larger societal level.

When I came out as gay, I didn't much trust straight people as a group. Individuals, sure, but safety required that I keep my guard up until a level of trust was formed. As a woman, I'm not inclined to blindly trust the motivations of men, and I do trust that when I'm the only woman in a room I often have two choices: be ignored or assert myself and be a bitch.

Asking a group that is marginalized why they don't trust the people doing the marginalization seems a little strange. Given your history, I'm curious why you asked.

I asked because I fail to understand. I realize that many have no obvious desire to merge with the mainstream but just as many, if not more, do and have. And, I would venture to say that most in that group do not feel any more overt marginalization than any other women might. amym440 gave the statistics that indisputably say the recent survey that is so touted includes but a small percentage of post op transsexuals...and that is the group I allude to. The silent majority that the transgender generally never see or here about. Even HRC recognizes this group and shortly after the ENDA debacle of a few years ago even issued directions on how to recruit them to their cause, quite right in admitting it would be difficult if not impossible but worth a try to do so. If one has no desire to merge with the mainstream, then the question I asked is moot. If one does, it would seem most difficult to accomplish that if they are generally not trustful of the majority they wish to be a part of.

"I asked because I fail to understand. I realize that many have no obvious desire to merge with the mainstream but just as many, if not more, do and have. And, I would venture to say that most in that group do not feel any more overt marginalization than any other women might."

Well, I'm a woman who has merged with the mainstream as much as my quirky personality, political and religious beliefs, and interests allow. Based on the great lengths so many go to just to erase connections to their past, one could say that there is an element of distrust with mainstream cis people involved in that.

Here is her website; go see what she wrote about you. I guess I have my answer now about what she would like to see in place of 'transgender'...

Thanks Carol. And here I was going to write a bit about how the word "transgender" has a history and use that is understandably insulting to many transsexual women and women of history. That its very meaning is pretty meaningless to me and loads of other women.

The flip side is, as much as the HBS/WBT crowd cries about being maligned and wronged by the "TG", they jump right into the dismissive and the personal. So much for having a cordial conversation.

Trying to stir things up are you Carol? Attempting to make a name for yourself?

Now, exactly what did I "say about" laughriotgirl on my blog that I did not say right here in this thread?

I'll tell you exactly what I said there and didn't say here and save you the time:

"Laughriotgirl’s comment is quite revealing. On her web page, she describes herself as “just another opinionated, geeky, comic reading, video game playing tranny” when in reality she’s “just another opinionated, geeky, comic reading, video game playing tranny who somehow thinks anyone who is not transgender gives a damn about who or what she is. One day maybe, hopefully, she will realize that her lot in life will depend entirely on one-on-one rapport she forms with those she meets…everybody else could care less. Her approach, like many transgender is most GLBcentric…great for the ghetto, not so much in the real world."

I stand by that statement. Was saying that the crime you think I have committed. And, even though I used a description she has on her own blog, I was only trying to make the point that the mainstream does not dismiss people out of hand simply because they are TS/TG. One's success, regardless of their presentation is based on how they relate to the person standing in front of them...nobody gives a damn that you or me is post op or not. What they care about is whether the person in front of them is a likable, stable, decent human being. I'm an engineer whose career has taken me literally all over the United States. I've worked in the most cosmopolitan to the absolute most redneck places in America and I know what I'm talking about. To listen to some involved in the gender debate, what with all of the "marginalization", "discrimination", victimization, isms, ists crap they sling night and day, one would think the second they walk out the door a set of crosshairs trains on them just because...and that is simply BS. If one wants to walk around setting themselves up to be a nail then the entire planet becomes their hammer.

More than one person has commented at Bilerico that the most discrimination they have ever sustained has come from the GLB. Kelly Winters says above:

"I think the most blatant anti-trans discrimination that I've faced is from cis-G/L nonprofit organizations that claim to be GLBT inclusive-- both national and regional."

Ms. Winters is not the only person to say something in that same vein. Oh, granted there are some real jerks out there, but do you actually think that the transgender are the only ones who have to put up with them? You have harped here about "demonization"...isn't that exactly what you are trying to do by that piss ant comment linking to my blog? I didn't say a damn thing about laughriotgirl on my blog that I wouldn't say here or to her face.

Get a friggin life Carol.

Well, you *didn't* say it here or to her face. It seemed pretty obvious to me that she thought you were having a sincere discussion with her, and I wanted her to know the truth, that you weren't interested in her opinion or going to seriously consider it, were just going to use that as fodder back in your little echo chamber.

So, you're telepathic, Carol, knowing what both she and I are thinking?

For the record, I was sincere in my comments to her here. But that aside, nothing I said on my blog was meant to be, nor was it, derogatory regarding laughriotgirl...and only an idiot would think that I'm somehow obligated to go to each person I mention on my blog and tell them I did so.

I've had enough of your petty, crap disturbing, juvenile BS!

Does that mean you are going to stop replying to me?

I'm crushed!

sniff, sniff...

Or are you going to do an expose on me on your blog? I look forward to reading what you have to say about me, make it juicy, okes? And let me know when you post it, so I won't miss it! ;)

Oh, and if you need any 'cliches' from me to sneer at, please feel free to ask me some leading questions!

Wow, your site is awesome, highly entertaining! You ppl can't even seem to get along with each other...for someone less rigid, there might be a lessen in there somewhere...

Tell Rupaul to shut his trap with the 'tranny' stuff. Like he is authorized to endorse the term.

Tell GLAAD to remove transsexual/intersex from the Transgender Umbrella

I have the same question for you as amy: What would you suggest instead? Using transgender, transsexual and intersex all three? Or what?

Very simple. If you are part of an LGBT community, then you have no right to care about, represent, fight for, nor discuss TSs and IS at all. Discuss only TG and use TG to only mean gender-variant people not those with a physical variance. TS and IS are medical conditions, and most have mainstream values. TG is a choice, and TGs have queer values.

There is no need to discuss TS/IS with TGs at all, so you don't have to use all 3, only care about TGs. Only discuss TGs in TG and LGBT spaces and do not discuss anyone who has or needs surgery, and insure that the definition of TG as used in the LGBT media guide and TG spaces does not include TS/IS people. Allow the medically-motivated TSs and assimilationist ISs to have their own community. Realize that trans is only short for transgender, and T-girl is short for transgender girl. If an abbreviation is ambiguous, always assume it refers to non-op TG and never to IS nor true-TS. Please allow TSs to have their own spaces and to fight for their issues (which are mostly incompatible with TG issues) alone and to be the soul leaders of their own organizations.

And on IS, remember that there are 2 types of IS. Some are gender-variant (TG & queer identified) and other are gender conformists (TS & mainstream identified). Include the TG-identified, but not IS folks who simply want to fix their bodies and conform to only 1 gender.

As a transsexual who probably knows more transsexuals than many, if not all, of the people who have posted regarding the removal of the "transgender umbrella", and who has, as her job, the mission and task of working on behalf of trans people constantly, I will say the following:

It is a minority of primarily white, middle class background trans folk who say "take us out of the umbrella".

The arguments for doing so are typically sexist, racist, classist and privileged, and function on an assimilationist level. Which I shouldn't need to explain to many cis people who are also subject to various cultural oppressions since they see it all the time from closested and shame filled members of their own classes.

All of the one's I've heard thus far follow that path. Without exception. When someone comes up with one I haven't heard before that doesn't fall into those models, I'll correct that statement.

SO, among the things that cis folk (GLB or straight) can do is to realize that the trans community is very diverse, and that due to a huge degree of stigma and the divisions that happen, that there are, indeed, a great many trans people -- in particular binary transsexuals who harbor deep and abiding issues with the above isms, et al, and typically have additional personal issues which feed into this -- who will speak out on saying such stuff.

Remember the goal is to work for the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people without getting caught in derails and other problems that are common among a group as heavily and braodly oppressed as trans folk.

Another thing that can be done is to remember that ther is a difference between Trans LGB people and cis LGB people -- and that cis LGB people are just as much a part of the problem as any religious right nutcase is, unless they take the time to make themselves not be such.

That means learning about trans lives -- otherwise, ignorance will simply result in repeating the mistakes of the past and sounding like some of the commenters here thus far.

Learn about the ways in which cis people actively and passively discriminate against Trans folk -- and then avoid doing them.

Oh, yeah, and read "derailing for dummies" and ask questions about what you don't understand.

So, "The arguments for doing so are typically sexist, racist, classist and privileged, and function on an assimilationist level"

Are you saying this about the L(esbian)G(ay)B(isexual) people who have their own group? Why are they separate, Antonia?

No, I am not.

They are not because they didn't rely on arguments of the sorts I noted -- it's also why the T is there, as well.

And thus far, as I noted, all of the rationales I've seen by anyone for it are essentially based in oppressive ideals. You want to change my mind, come up with one that isn't.

Come up with one that isn't based in such, and I'll probably use it myself.

Flat out -- I'm transsexual. I say its not ok to do so on the grounds I've seen time and time again. SA-ET's elitism, Love's homophobic ranting, Gaugan's surgery supremacy -- all of it is hollow and false.

People can jump up and down and say I'm not, but the best they can do is say I'm not -- and they literally have no import or value in doing so since they are basically talking out their unqualified and uninformed hind ends.

At *best*, you can say that you and several others would like to see a separation within the trans community.

You cannot accurately say a majority, you cannot accurately say a lot.

You want to come up with one that I haven't seen before that isn't doing those things, I'm all ears.

Otherwise, I stand by my comment.

I find it telling that you use the TVC's website as an example. And yet you pretend like they don't mean transsexuals when if you go and ask the very same people, they will say that you are one of those men in dresses they are talking about -- surgery changes nothing as far as they are concerned.

So your "concern" revelas two things: one, that you don't understand what the TVC is saying, and two that you have a prejudice against what you personally deem to be men in dresses, which is one of the reasons that transphobia (which you just used) is so rampant.

In other words, you are doing the same thing they are.

Care to explain how any of my reasons aren't valid or how they are any of what you accuse them of being? PS people that know me will tell you I'm white but they'll also tell you I'm far from privileged. Also how is it that your statements aren't rascists? Or how about elitism? Or causing a derailment through shear ignorance? Let each group be proud of who they are and support them where they need it and send the word transgender to the dump where bad ideas belong.

Care to explain how any of my reasons aren't valid or how they are any of what you accuse them of being?

Let me look at your reasons (the only ones I recall is the one where you cited an old, no longer applicable defintions, and then made an erroneous connection based on ignorance surrounding meaning in the dictionary).

Ok, for the sake of available time, I did a quick scan and those are of what you describe as "many" reasons.

1. Prince described her use of the term in the 1970's. Words change in meaning over time and in contextual use. You are making the same argument regarding her use of the term that many do make, but you are ignoring the point in time where the current meaning came into play, thusly side stepping the 20 years in between those two uses and the nearly 20 years since.

That means that your citation of the word is unlikely to be accurate, and is influenced by concepts that are not currently applicable -- such as the fact that the dictionary does not define it the way you do, it defines it the way it is used most commonly in general discourse.

Since your description of its use is not found in the top five of the dictionaries (though your definition is), your statement is inaccurate and misleading about the word's histroy and origin as a term in common use today.

You can not like it. I don't particularly care for it myself. That doesn't make the word itself all that bad or all that lacking in value.

As a note, I use trans. Unless dealing with cis folk, in which case I use transgender first, once, and then trans thereafter.

They understand that, and they do not understand it the way you describe it to be meant.

2. Your second reason is that you didn't cross gender, you crossed sex. You then describe this as how you didn't change your gender, because it was always the same in your head.

Current science and the nature of gender itself indicates the exact opposite. Gender is an externalized trait, based in multiple aspects that all deal with one thing in common: how other people see you.

If other people once saw you as a man, and they now see you as a woman, then you crossed genders.

Factually speaking.

Now, I can't help it if you don't know the difference beytween Sex Identity and Gender Identity, or how the two things are closely linked, or how the two concepts are talking about the same things you talk about and have for well over 50 years. I can teach you some of this stuff, but since you are in a defensive midframe, you may not be willing to consider anything I say as anything other than an outright attack.

Thusly, your stated issues with the term are based in either ignorance or improperly researched and poorly comprehended information.

Which falls into one of the categories I noted.

PS people that know me will tell you I'm white but they'll also tell you I'm far from privileged.

Being white, by itself, makes you privileged. So the statement indicates you are ignorant of the contextual use of privilege in play.

Would you like to learn about it?

Also how is it that your statements aren't rascists?

That you have to ask this demonstrates you don't understand racism.

Would you like to learn about it?

Or how about elitism?

Elitism is oppositional to umbrella concepts and inclusive policies -- since I am speaking to inclusion and umbrella, then it is, de facto, not elitist.

Or causing a derailment through shear ignorance?

Well, that particular form of ignorance would be somewhat cutting, to start with, but would also require me to not know what I was talking about. I do.

Which, oddly enough, you support through your statements.

Let each group be proud of who they are and support them where they need it and send the word transgender to the dump where bad ideas belong.

This functions on the assumption it is a bad idea. This says that you aren't familiar with it, with the history of the trans movement, and, presumably, your own community history.

Now, what would be really telling is if you said there was no community.

Does anyone know what the main opposition argument is against ENDA? men in skirts. Which is what a transsexual woman is NOT. Raise your hand if you think this law is dealing with crossdressing teachers? It isn't, it is dealing with transsexuals (who are grouped with crossdressers and gender variants). Isn't this oppressive?

Via this web site, TVC repeats past lies about ENDA, including the following:

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is the lesbian, gay, and transgender movement's "holy grail." It is prized precisely because it will foist the LGBT agenda into our public schools as a federally-protected right. Once this happens, every homosexual, bisexual, and transgender teacher will have free reign to indoctrinate our children into accepting these "alternative lifestyles" as normal and good. Currently, 38 states do not make "gender identity" into a protected minority under law. But once Obama signs ENDA, this will change. Every state will be forced to make cross-dressers, drag queens, transsexuals, and she-males into protected classes. These states will be forbidden by law to reassign any cross-dressing teacher because this would be considered "discrimination." Thus, children will be trapped in classes taught by men who dress as women and students will be indoctrinated that it's normal behavior.

Kathy Padilla | February 9, 2011 9:41 PM

Except that men in skirts is exactly what the TVC says transsexuals are:

"The reality is that no person can actually change into a different sex. Maleness and femaleness are in the DNA and are unchangeable. A man who has his sex organ removed and takes hormone treatments to grow female breasts is still genetically a male. He is simply a mutilated man, not a woman." - the Traditional Values Coalition

I may not be the same as many of the many different kinds of people out there - but I'm the same in my our mutual needs to employment, civil rights and respect. The TVC would have none of us lgb t or t enfranchised - you might consider that.

And the main argument against enda has never been one thing - it was - how can you have gays & lesbians men in classrooms? It was - how can you have gays around young men - it was even that gay men were men in dresses too. The argument is whatever they can through up against a wall & see what sticks today.

But - this post was about what g&l people could do to improve the lives of transgender people - do you have any suggestions other than saying you're not them? If you're unable to think of transgender people as people with very real needs who face discrimination - maybe you should reflect a bit more on the issue.

I am not opposed to men in dresses and think they also deserve full equality, even (especially) if it's politically inconvenient. And isn't this the core issue here, that it is politically inconvenient for LGBs to stick up for transsexuals? This makes it sound like you want them to stick up for you despite being marginally attached, but you don't want to stick up for people attached to your community. That is called hypocrisy and it is not a characteristic to be proud of.

right on. throwing other ppl under the bus to protect your own rights doesn't help ensuring everyone's civil rights or complaining when cis-LGB people do the same. this is where the transphobia within the trans movements becomes clarified. when it's not politically expedient.

also, i can't afford surgery for medical & financial reasons. thus, to the majority of the outside world (& i guess to some trans-historied women on here), i would be considered a crossdressing female when actually i'm TS/IS male. because i don't have the financial privilege & able-bodied position to access the medical model of transitioning under SOC somehow makes me less worthy of protection as a former educator who was harassed & not supported by staff & forced to leave the educational field due to trans- & homophobia? by default as a civil rights supporter for all, i can't deny transgender or gender-variant ppl their rights to jobs, safety & accomodations merely because it's not politically correct in the far right cis-gendered world. for me, it's all for on & one for all, or else nothing. anything else would be, hypocritical. i know my needs/reality as a TS/IS person are different from TG/gender queer people. but that doesn't mean i have to either lose my identity to them or throw them under the bus for their own political rights. civil rights protections should not be a zero sum game as the status quo would like. the longer we fight with each other, the longer it will take for us all to get protections & continue with our lives. just because some cis-LGB people don't understand doesn't mean i should hate them either. i can get pissed off & be mad at how the wealthier LGB orgs try to paint trans ppl into a useful puppet as part of their gang & history, but i won't become homophobic because of it either. we can't paint others with a broad brush & Then expect nuanced treatment.

I think it is important to understand that transsexuaism is not a glb issue. It is also true that intersex is not glb issue or a transsexual issue. Transsexualism might be an intersex issue but not vice versa. A transsexual person can be straight, lesbian, gay, bi or have a sexuality that labels really don't do justice to, as can an intersex person. It is important to maintain distinctions when concerning oneself with phenomenon that exist in entirely different realms. For any woman or man, it is most important, before sexual orientation becomes a matter of consideration, that their sex be recognized legally. All rights regarding transsexual people follow from the simple question of whether their sex is recognized, or not.

There is evidence based on outcomes that transsexualism exists. It is extremely important for a transsexual person to have access to the medical procedures required to allow them to live and experience sex in a way congruent with sense of self. The best thing an ally of transsexual people can do is work for unambiguous legal sex recognition that allows a sex designation correction with the full rights, no more, no less than the rights of those classified the same as the corrected sex; and access to medical care regardless of economic status, in the same way one would work for access to any other medical treatment whether it is a cornea transplant or any other kind of procedure necessary to maintain quality of life and even survival.

I strongly support glb rights. I spent two hours in a Marriage Equality hearing, this afternoon, at the Rhode Island statehouse, a few seats away from where Maggie Gallagher sat, and another two hours doing other volunteer work there, as a woman, not a "transgender person". I volunteer because I believe in equality and, also, because I am a woman married to a woman. I don't "indentify" as trans or transgender.

I wouldn't keep anyone from speaking of their own experiences as trans or transgender but I can't because it is not mine. Any ally of a person who is transsexual or, a person who has a background that is transsexual, would accept that, honor one's legal and physical sex change and accept them as that sex regardless of their medical history.

Edith, I think you pretty much have it. As an ally to trans people - cis GLBs can help make sure that legal recognition is streamlined, consistent from state to state, and work in the 3 states that do not allow trans people to change their legal documentation to obtain this vital bit of recognition. Having our status and medical history on a need to know basis goes a long way to putting us on an even footing with the rest of the population.

Work with employers and insurance companies to remove transsexual exclusions from policies. These can and do get applied to non-trans related medical conditions in addition to making access to health care difficult for a large number of trans people.

Simple point to this.

If you do not feel that the Trans concept is applicable to you,

If you do not feel that it can be used to describe you without making you a part of something that you find abhorrent,

If you don't "identify" as such,

or, in general, you find that trans -- which is what Joe asked about -- is what you are, then you shouldn't be commenting on this article, as Joe is not asking for your input.

Bluntly put.

Furthermore, if you are not part of the "transgender" whatever, then rest easy -- the survey results don't apply to you.

And, therefore, anything you say here about such is a derail, and deals in something else he hasn't asked about.

*Logically* speaking, of course.

But, for those who have problems with all of that, logic and knowledge are often somewhat difficult concepts to master.

Oh, and apparently "mannish", as well.

One word comes to mind to describe your rant "Immature."

What an interesting conclusion.

The fact that for certain one of the commenters here has said that the use of logic is a manly quality to me, in particular (and she's posted here under two different names), isn't, but I'll grant that my playful reminding her of such could be seen as that.

Beyond that, however, care to explain why the points other than that are "immature" -- that is, demonstrating a lack of maturity (age plus experience)?

I'm most curious to see the response.

Or where you just engaging in a bit of simple ad hominem? You know, "name calling"?

Let me see if I have this figured out. The question specifically was .."What Should Gays and Lesbians Do to Help Trans People?"

My response is ... how the heck should I know. Ask Toni, that's Toni's gig.

First Antonia I have not posted under two different names on this post.Second a while back I tried to change my name in the Bilerico system and for some reason it let me make a few posts then wouldn't allow me to sign in. I didn't change my name to deceive anyone in fact I sent a letter to Bilerico explaining why I was trying to change my name.Bil or Alex can probably verify that if they remember.I can assure you that many people know who I am and have read my comments for years.If you think simply being born white makes you privileged you are most definetly rascist.That doesn't mean I don't understand that there are hardships inherant with being another race it just means you fail to realize not every white person is born with a silver spoon in there ass.Your elitism is in the fact you disregard what those your supposed to represent feel.Just like you fail to realize that there are people who have never been comfortable with and who have been offended by the use of the word transgender it's entire history.I don't by into your new history candy coating job the word is offensive, counter productive and The umbrella leads to confusion.Failure to recognize and change this is causing a derailment.

Let each group be proud of who they are and support them where they need it and send the word transgender to the dump where bad ideas belong.

This functions on the assumption it is a bad idea. This says that you aren't familiar with it, with the history of the trans movement, and, presumably, your own community history.

Your reply says you only listen to those you want to hear not a good sign for a supposed leader.As for your lower comment being immature, again it points to a lack of true leadership skills.You make accusations of masculinity and attempt to deny my TS status.That tells me your losing and you know it again not something I would associate with leadership skills but definetly with immaturity.

I didn't say *you*, Amym440. Funny you should leap to that unproven and unestablished conclusion.

Your statement regarding "silver spoon" proves that you absolutely do not understand privilege as it is used contextually.

If you did, you wouldn't have said silver spoon anything.

Your statement regarding my history candy coating job is based in large part on a lack of awareness of that history, thus reinforcing my statements regarding such on your part.

The multiple falsehoods you state regarding me indicate your derail is running out of steam.

My reply says nothing of the sort -- that is something that you are reading into it through the lens of your own bias and presumptions about me -- which are falsehoods.

All of which fails to describe how you arrived at the conclusion of immaturity regarding me, which is what I asked you about.

Now, real quick: what does your personal opinion about me have to do with finding ways to help cis folks help trans folk?

As Deena noted above, she's not a trans person. You find it an offensive term and don't feel it should be used to apply to you.

Therefore, the posting is not about you.

So why are you posting to something that's not about you and making suggestions about people when you are not part of the group?

Furthermore, if you are not part of the "transgender" whatever, then rest easy -- the survey results don't apply to you.

I think there were a lot of people covered in that survey who are hoping someday it won't apply to them, either. Maybe I did derail the thread. I certainly hope so. Do I get out of jail, now, pass Go and collect two hundred dollars?

Well, given the survey specifically asked the questions that made it fairly clear who they were seeking, then they were people who were taking a survey that wasn't asking about them, then, weren't they -- which seems rather odd.

That you would be *glad* you stopped a meaningful discussion regarding how cis LGB people can help trans people is somewhat saddening, since it indicates a very high level of internalized stigma that will make your life more difficult, not less, but that you are unlikely to see it until forced to confront such.

having been there, I can say it is a most unpleasant experience, and I'd prefer you not have to deal with such.

As for the rest, well, this isn't monopoly.

Transgender and transsexual have two very different meanings. Choosing one word to describe both erases the meaning of the other. Transsexual is what it implies. There are way more transgender people than transsexual people. If the question of terminology is put up for a vote the arithmetic is easy to do. Of course the preferred term is going to be the one that applies to the most people. Anyone who doesn't agree with that majority will not win the election. Rails and trains are apt metaphors. This is not a discussion. It's a train that will squish anyone in its path.

Antonia a wise person once told me a saying that I think applies here.God only gave me so many breathes why should I waste any more on you?

Your wise person apparently wasn't very well informed, but wisdom and knowledge are not always found hand in hand.

The question is one you'll have to ask someone else -- my religious beliefs do not have a singular deity, so fundamentally, it's lacking in application to me.

Excluding that, ony you can answer that question -- just offhand I'd say it would be to learn more, but only if you were willing to learn and question, and think logically, but it appears you'd rather not.

Nothing I've said to you thus far cannot be answered, and if you use logic and knowledge to do so, you should be able to convince me of your correctness.

But you do have to use logic and knowledge to do so. Belief and opinion are not enough.

These are some small things that gays and lesbians can do to support trans people:

When your fellow gays say derogatory things about trans people, speak up and don't let it slide.

When your fellow gays say cissexist things (eg. penis=man, vagina=woman), challenge them.

When your community leaders talk about trans inclusion, hold them accountable. Do they actually make an effort to make trans people feel welcome in queer spaces or is it lip service?

When you don't know how to address a trans person in terms of pronoun usage, ask or find out.

When you make a mistake in pronoun usage, accept that you f**ked up and move on. Don't do it again. If you are unable to change pronouns, then just don't use pronouns.

Don't assume that a masculine-presenting female-assigned person is a lesbian until they notify you otherwise.

Likewise, don't assume that a feminine-presenting male-assigned person is a gay man.

Don't assume that all trans people are straight.

Don't assume that all trans people are queer.

Don't assume that one trans person's experience of gender is representative of anyone else's experience of gender.

Here you go Antonia you insist your transsexual and that you know so much about the community more than me.But you either are incapable of knowing or deny your very own identity while trying to drag down the identity others hold rightfully for themselves. You accuse them of all sorts of nasty behaviors while it is you engaged in them.Antonia quit denying the reality of who you are and quit trying to drag others down.You know full well that Transsexual does not belong under the transgender umbrella and you are helping to cause the rift.Not only is this rift in the T community it is being spread between the T community and LGB communities by selfish people like yourself. I can promise you that if NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force continue to put Transsexuals under the Transgender Umbrella there will be hell to pay. We as a community don't need that they need to recognize the error and fix it and we as a whole community need to end the confusion and damage caused by transgender confusion.You aren't the solution your the problem.

Well, now that you mention it, I'm not talking about identity.

I don't talk about identity. When I say I am a transsexual, that is not an identity. It is a description.

My identity is easily described by my name. I identify as Toni D'orsay. I do not identify as Transsexual.

That's merely a description of something about me. Like having blonde hair or being right handed.

And my job is dealing with this community, daily. It is, literally, what I spend every day working in, for, and about.

So since I'm not talking about identity, I can't be dragging it down, now, can I?

Why do you think I used quotes around "identity" earlier? You are the one who doesn't identify as trans, and yet trans *includes* people who can be described as all sorts of things. Including transsexual. Wether they idenfity as such or not.

Identity is a selfish, narrow concept when a single person wants to use it for themselves -- it is reductionist and narrow.

Social affinity -- one's Identity Group -- is valid, but that can't be limited to only some people who fit a narrow structure unless all of the people in that narrow structure do so.

And they don't.

So your attempt to do so is divisive, fundamentally so, and in social justice -- you know, things like making life better for people -- inclusion is what counts, not division.

If you don't like that fact, sorry, but there you go.

I haven't accused someone of nasty behaviors. Classism is not a nasty behavior, it's a cultural issue that people should be aware of so that they stop making life worse for other people. Same with all the other stuff.

Ignorance isn't a nasty behavior -- it's simply not knowing something. In this case, you've proven you are ignroant about seceral concepts that are critical to understanding the reasons that Joe is asking for suggestions on how to make things better.

Meanwhile, you are trying to make things worse.

You call me selfish, and yet you don't know a damn thing about me. If you did, you'd know that calling me selfish isn't an insult, isn't a bad thing, and actually involves me doing a hell of a lot of work for other people for my own selfish reasons, none of which involve fame, fortune, or even simple gratitude.

My problem, amym440, is people spouting the sort of asinine, fallacious, stigmatized, separatist horsecrap that you've spent time spreading here.

Because in the end, even you said it: you don't want transgender to be used because *you* don't like it.

That's selfishness.

Fold until sharp corners and use as a suppository.

Sorry Antonia you've been spouting off the crap and dividing the community.You choose to falsely identify yourself as transsexual then point the finger at others claiming they are the ones that are causing the problems.Misrepresenting yourself as something your not to promote a divisive issue is selfish and also immature.You are also promoting the notion that for transsexuals surgery is a choice so therefor it is not necesary for health insurance to cover surgery. You are helping to marginalize and drive poor transsexuals to suicide something you should be very ashamed of.Let me take that notion a few step further if it is not necesary for transsexuals to have surgery because it is a choice it was not necesary for you to transition because it is simply a choice.Since it's also been established that you don't need to transition because it's a choice you don't need hormones since theres no reason for your transition other than it was a choice.Since there was no reason for you to do any of those things because they were nothing more than a choice why are you still choosing to hurt others and waste my time?

"Sorry Antonia you've been spouting off the crap and dividing the community."

pot --> kettle

Tell ya what -- when you retract the lies you have in that comment about me, I'll start to deal with you like a human being again.

But I'm tired of dealing with liars.

Help me understand something. I am really wanting to better understand where you are coming.

I am guessing when you refer to the work you do everyday for the community is "This is HOW"?

Section 1.01 Full Time Status

Persons here must be committed to living full time in their target gender. We are more than understanding, since we’ve had to go through this process ourselves, of issues related to work, however, when on the property, one is expected to live in a manner consistent with one’s Identity and inherent Expression.

I perceive this to mean you only provide services for transsexuals and not the entire 'transgender' group. What I see is that crossdressers and other gender variants are not allowed in the program. Is this a correct assumption?

This policy tells me that your program has divided the trans community. Now, I do understand why you would provide something like this for transsexuals. Because they have special needs that other gender variants and crossdressers do not.

But I see you in here yelling and screaming at those of us who want to separate transsexuals from the transgender umbrella yet you are doing that very thing in practice.

1. No, it is not a correct assumption. It is one based on your personal ignorance and prejudices. It means simply that full time is required, and transsexuals are not the only ones who deal with full time.

2. You make a statement that Transsexuals have special needs that other gender vaiants and cross dressers do not. This is incorrect, and demonstrates ignorance aboutthe trans community on multiple levels.

3. You state falsehoods regarding me in your last paragraph.

Stop it.

" You make a statement that Transsexuals have special needs that other gender vaiants and cross dressers do not. This is incorrect, and demonstrates ignorance aboutthe trans community on multiple levels."

For you to call me ignorant and then make a statement like this is funny. There ARE differences. What other subgroup of the transgender community needs to have Gender Reassignment Surgery?

I didn't say there weren't differences.

I said that what you suggested demonstrates a lack of knowledge about them.

Two different things.

Were you not ignorant, you would have known that from the get go.

Including your assertion that only one part of it needs gender reassignment surgery.

Don't ask me. You wouldn't believe me anyway. Go out and learn for yourself.

You lie about me, to my face, twice, and then expect me to be reasonable with you?

no. I'm tired of the immoral effort to divide and separate, the dog whistles and the horseshit that is used to make some people feel better about themselves and achieve that on the backs of others oppressed in the same way.

I'm done with it. You are wrong, you are doing something that is bad, and you should be ashamed of yourself.


I don't give a rats ass what you want to identify as -- go be a fireplug for all I care. But you do not get to choose how others identify, you do not get to state falsehoods about other people in order to make your point seem better, and you do not get to do so when someone who knows more about it all than you do is hanging around.

Get over yourself.

You accuse me of shouting and yelling when I've gone to extraordinary lengths to be polite and simply note basic issues with your statements. I haven't even been snarky yet.

I am *so* done with all of your selfish, snot nosed, identity policing, waa waa horsecrap.

Get over your damn selves, or else go get educated.

I am not sure what lies you are talking about. I am trying to have a debate with you and you are turning to childlike bullying. That Facebook message you sent me shows me you have some serious anger issues.

A debate, Dana, doesn't include lying about other people.

A debate, Dana, requires thought and knowledge.

A debate, Dana, requires that you at least have a foundation -- and you don't.

A debate requires good faith -- and you aren't actng in such.

So don't lie and claim you were trying to have a debate.

I can't wait to see you run for office. That is going to seriously be something interesting to watch knowing how you deal with people who don't agree with you or perhaps might not understand something which could be what made you attack me. Are you going to call them f*ckwits and other names like you called me? Going to stock up on popcorn. Okay, I am leaving this thread now. Have fun.

Dana, I can see that what we have here is a failure to communicate. You see, you are under the mistaken assumption that when Dyssonance says the sky is blue she is not really saying the sky is blue. What she is really saying is that the sky is blue. And, if you really thought she meant the sky is blue when she said the sky is blue when what she really meant was simply that the sky is blue then you are an ignorant liar.


lisalee18wheeler | February 10, 2011 3:42 PM

I'm *so* disappointed that you didn't call her an "Asswipe"! :-p

lisalee18wheeler | February 10, 2011 3:54 PM

Shit, this is in the wrong thread...this should have been under Toni's "...fold to sharp corners and insert..." :-p

Seriously? We're still at this point?

Nobody can grasp that there are perfectly good reasons to not have surgery? Nobody remembers that not-that-many-years-ago, many transsexuals flocked to the term "transgender" willingly, out of a conviction that "transsexual" was misleading the public because it's not about "sex?" (yes, I know it's about changing physical sex -- I didn't say that was my perspective, just that it's what I had observed at the time)

I get it that there are differences between different subgroups covered by gender identity and gender expression. Some can't seem to get it that there are also "sames?"

Consistency. Jesus#@%$ingchrist. Consistency.

If we want people to listen to our perspectives openly rather than casting judgments and aspersions on us, wanting to exclude or distance us, or making assumptions about our motives, then consistency would dictate that we should extend the same -- even (!) on "transgenders."

If we want our allies to fight for legislation that includes transsexuals, shouldn't we also want to see that inclusive legislation cover other trans groups? I can't take credit for this, but you might notice that in Canada, it was never an option from advocates to drop gender expression from Bill C-389 as a bargaining chip, even though the complaints of the term's "vagueness" were one of the two reasons given by those opposing the bill? Today, they were voted into human rights legislation in Parliament. Together.

The original question is perfectly valid. And while it's reasonable to point out the differences between groups that the question was meant to address, some of the answers to it will be transsexual specific and some won't. That doesn't mean this needs to be another "don't group us with them" moment reminiscent of what happened to us in 1973.

I can't believe we're still wasting time on this $#!t.

It's pretty sad that, when someone offering support sincerely asks you what your community needs, all you can do is get in petty squabbles. Anyway Joe, I appreciate you putting the question out there.

My list:
1) Real representation of trans people in LGBT orgs. Moreover, a true cross section of the community in those positions (there are a number of orgs with some vaguely transmasculine female-bodied people who also ID as lesbians who are supposed to somehow be representing trans people in employment and that doesn't cut it); This isn't affirmative action (although I have no issue with that either), there are a lot of highly skilled and educated trans people;

2) An acknowledgement that, as important as marriage equality is, it's not as crucial to people's lives as employment, health care, housing and, especially for at risk youth, real support and mentorship services. Those are issues which impact all LGBTQ people.

3) Don't say LGBT when trans people are neither represented nor even considered. That applies to organizations, policy statements, "It Gets Better" videos, anything. Stop calling it the "gay community," a lot of lesbians and bi people aren't cool with that either.

4) Stop erasing or minimizing our place in activist history. Trans people were involved in some very crucial protest actions during the 60s even prior to Stonewall. Enough with the "we're doing you a favor by tacking you on to our movement" statements. It's a lie that it's exclusively a cis gay/lesbian movement, it never has been. Admit that and move forward.

5) Let trans people speak for trans people (but preferably not Amym440... just kidding... not).

6) Understand the trans community is highly complex and that a lot of us have gone through hell to get to where we are. Don't dismiss that complexity but also, don't listen to one voice in the community and somehow assume that person speaks for all of us. Complexity requires a multitude of voices.

7) Gay-produced media needs to treat us in a more respectful manner and as people who are often dealing with way more complex and even life-threatening issues than, yes, even they are. Do not represent us as clowns, do not presume to speak for us, nor tokenize us. Depict us as honestly as you would wish to be represented and if it's a fictional representation, they should be cast with real community members not gay people 'playing' us.

And seriously Amy or whoever you are, I'm a post-op woman. I don't happen to use transgender to refer to myself but I certainly know who it refers to when it's used and I'm not going to have apoplexy every time someone uses it in the sense of a political movement because it therefore somehow 'makes me into a crossdresser.' Speak for only yourself because you don't represent moi.

I don't need or feel compelled to speak for you or anyone else. What I have been saying is what I've seen and learned from being in the community. Personally I really do hate labels and can understand why some will try their damndest to break them.But more than ever labels are needed so that accurate information can be obtained within the group.We all know someone who has committed suicide,or is homeless,having a hard time finding employment etc.We all also know there are more than enough ways to sidestep the standards of care. In the study it says 43% of post-op transsexual women tried or committed suicide why? What percentage went through those doctors that run fast and loose with the standards of care and what percentage followed the standards of care? Just so you know I'm not seeking to close doors on anyone I just want to know the truth as to what is causing such high numbers that aren't even close to any of the numbers I've checked.For those who are going to scream that I am trying to close doors what truth are you afraid of? Why or what caused those numbers to appear? Homelessness why is it that millions are blown on political bs when there are lgbt and straight people either homeless or in shelters that aren't fit for a dog? Again labels help to target the subset of the group most in need of assistance.Again to find out the real truth in numbers the umbrella needs to be closed and put away.

Ginasf wrote:

6) Understand the trans community is highly complex and that a lot of us have gone through hell to get to where we are. Don't dismiss that complexity but also, don't listen to one voice in the community and somehow assume that person speaks for all of us. Complexity requires a multitude of voices.


Believe it or not I agree with that but I am not the only voice in the community that has been saying what I have.Care to deny that Mercedes?

lisalee18wheeler | February 10, 2011 3:46 PM

Why are so surprised? This happens every. single. time.

Kathy Padilla | February 10, 2011 8:55 AM

Manhattan Kansas just passed a nondiscrimination bill that covers Lgb t & t.

Another first - the first inclusive bill in that State. No one can say - it's not in my State in Congress from the Kansas delegation going forward on a federal civil rights bill.

On these things - it doesn't matter how you identify - it matters that you're covered in the bill.

Well, the LGB could, and should recognize our humanity. We are much more than the labels...Transgender, Transsexual, gender queer, describe us as being. Actually include us in legislation instead of using us as a bargaining chip, only to be tossed once our usefulness is expired.


I find it heartening that the biggest problem facing ppl who live as something other than the binary they were assigned at birth is the label 'transgender'. And that all such ppl need from the cis-GLB community is for them to call everyone who has had surgery 'transsexual' and everyone else 'crossdressers'.

And here I thought things were so much worse!

(extreme sarcasm)

Joe, one thing we would love to see is lesbians and gay men actually ADVOCATING for trans rights.

For example, the military continues to discriminate against trans people. The US Defense Department has clarified that even with DADT repeal, that trans people are not allowed in the military. See FAQ Question #4:

Q: Can transgender or transsexual individuals join the Military Services?

No. Transgender and transsexual individuals are not permitted to join the Military Services. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell has no effect on these policies.

I have yet to hear ANY gays or lesbians take up this issue. Where are you guys????????? This is one example of where we could use some help here.

What should gays and lesbians do to help transfolks? That's easy. First and foremost, get off the marriage tit and acknowledge that preventing hunger and homelessness (read: workplace and housing anti-discrimination protections) are far more urgent and important for the vast majority of the LGBT community than ensuring that the relatively tiny percentage of gays and lesbians who want to get married can do so.

In short, the way gays and lesbians can help most is to be willing to prioritize the right to survive over the right to file joint tax returns, and to be proactive about helping to see those issues resolved as quickly as possible. It's really no more complicated than that.

@ Joe, Congratulations. You have managed to accomplish at least 2 amazing things with your question.

First, you spiced up Bilerico quite a bit because frankly the response rate has been pretty low to posts lately and you have already exceeded 80 responses.

Second, you have pulled more responses than any of the "trans" posters have managed in months. I hope I'm not offending anyone by putting quotes around the trans word. I just don't really know what the heck trans means because people seem to hold their personal definitions of it.

As I have read the responses here I keep having this nagging feeling that maybe we should flip the question around and ask how gays and lesbians can be helped by the "trans". The first thing that comes to my mind is ENDA. My position on that has shifted with the times and I know what I am going to say will irritate some people so let me set the stage. I will never trust Solmonese because he is a liar IMHO. He pledged one thing and did the opposite when the chips were down. But, as I have watched events unfold from 2007 until now it has become apparent to me that an inclusive ENDA is DOA while a non inclusive one may have a chance even with the house under Republican control. And, as the library of Congress found out courts include even pre-op Ts under the protected category of "women". I could go to great lengths into the whys and wherefores but walls or text are anathema to me. Instead I'll just take the Denny Crane approach (Boston Legal) and say "an inclusive ENDA ain't going to happen Alan".

So, as unpopular as the idea may be, perhaps gays and lesbians can help "trans" by pressing for a non inclusive ENDA. Don't toss them under the bus but just push them off the 2011 route because it doesn't run past their destination.

crooked mile | February 10, 2011 1:43 PM

Most of the comments are a couple of people arguing and fighting over what trans terms to use and what they mean. How is this a triumph for bilerico?!? It looks like the same thing that happens on every bilerico trans thread. A huge infighting flame war.

She's being sarcastic.

Yay Carol. I give you an A for perception which is a very rare grade when I type due to my rather weak skills with text.

As to your estimates on post ops I'd say you are off by quite a bit. I'd place it around 100,000 based on even as few as 20 surgeons doing 100 surgeries per year over a 50 year period. I would not be shocked to learn it was even higher. Most never surface and are perfectly happy living as wives and women. They have no more a cat in these fights than their ovary equipped friends. Some of them even attend such events as the womensfest with no problems whatsoever. You (generic you) probably know a few without knowing it.

I agree with you in part, I didn't think of how many each surgeon does a year. My surgeon did two a week, and even though she doesn't work 50 weeks a year, I'm sure she does at least 80 a year, so 100 a year is a pretty good guess, as she prided herself on not being 'a factory' like some other surgeons, who I am sure may do 200 a year or more.

Are there really 20 surgeons, though? Maybe, so several hundred surgeries a year might be in the ballpark.

I am pretty sure we haven't had 20 surgeons for 50 years, though! SRS was just started in what, the 50s? And was pretty rare I think? Even at that, though, I think you are closer than I am, at least a few thousand a year for at least 20 years, and fewer a year before that. Plus, some of those ppl have died. So maybe 50,000, maybe even your 100,000? Still seems pretty high, but I wouldn't argue it too hard.

In the end, though, even though 100,000 is far more than the few thousand I imagine, it isn't much compared with the at least 1,000,000 ppl who do feel 'transgender' is ok for them.

I don't mean that a small group[ should just be ignored or shouted down, though. My problem is when the small group seems to not want to work toward some mutually acceptable solution, and states that 'they were there first' and will only accept the complete disappearance of the larger group as an answer.

No Carol. we don't expct you to disappear. We know that will never happen. And why should it be incumbant on the minority, (100,000 at the very best, probaby closer to 30,000) to "work to solve the problem for the huge majority, (1,000,000), when it is the majority that is causing the problem for the minority.

I am sure the very vast majority of the TS would consider the "problem solved" if the TG would just admit to being TG and STOP claiming, proclaiming and fraudulently representing themselves to be TS. The TS are not causing "the problem", unless YOU consider it a problem that a few of us are speaking out against forced inclusion in your TG umbrella.

Oh, this made me think, you know, even if there are 100,000, only a portion of those have such a deep and abiding issue with this whole thing. Of all the transsexuals I know, the only ones who are frothy about all this are the few I see show up over and over online (though a lot of us don't much like it, either, but just let it slide as something minor compared to all the things like employment, insurance, how we're treated by the medical community, and so forth).

And as I mentioned before, this issue of TSs hating TGs calling themselves is a new one; I thought all the heartburn was from TGs calling TSs TGs. So, that splits it down even more.

And yes, I think for most ppl, the issue is settled and over. Hoever, if you are a small group, and you want something to change, you can take a couple of tacts. You can be self-righteously wronged and wounded, and complain and launch personal attacks on ppl, and demand the bigger group changes. Or you can work to try to get that bigger group to understand why it is so important to you, and perhaps they will make the effort to come around. Though, as we have seen with a lot of things, that is a slow, frustrating process.

However, as you are seeing, once you have gone all in with the first tactic, ppl are not too inclined to want to listen to you.

You're a brave man, Joe. I've tried opening this can of worms before, and that turned into one for the books. I hope that your commenters continue to recognize your good faith effort to understand.

I also wish that we could respect one another's differences--including differences in opinion and respect one another's right to self-identify as desired, within the confines of reason.

I know its difficult to deal with disagreements about something as fundamental as how we choose to define ourselves. We have to recognize that someone else's valid self-identification should not in any way affect our own. You are the only one who can speak for you, and if anyone else claims that they can speak for you, or that they represent you, then set them straight--politely and with grace and respect.

If someone self-identifies in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, however, just wash your hands and walk away. We have zero grounds to launch attacks over such things. That's their business. Don't like it? Disassociate.

I was asked by several Tea Party members to stop using the term "teabagger." It first I almost laughed it off, then I realized I've been in his shoes. Even though I disagree with him on so many fundamental levels--and even though he's the one who wore a hat made out of teabags, for Chip's sake--he deserves my respect as a fellow human being and I complied with his request to stop using the term. If a Tea Party member tells me that he prefers the identification of "teabagger," then I'll comply with his wishes for him only. No matter how absolutely wrong someone is in a debate, we all deserve basic human dignity. That should never be taken away. Part of that is self-identifying.

We must stop eating our own in this community. We must recognize and celebrate that we're all individuals. I'm with Mercedes up there. We have had this labeling argument 100,000,000 times, and all its done is taken time and energy and made enemies out of friends. People with the same general goal--the fair treatment of all--end up spending more time hurting one another than attacking the real enemies of fairness and equality. Its sad.

I too wonder what we should call the tea party people. I think it's douchey to say "teabagger," but it's also nonsensical to say "tea party" since they're not an actual party. If they want to support different candidates and have an actual party, they should go for it. But they shouldn't get maverick points but keep on voting for republicans.

OK, I'm off topic, but I'm not touching the main debate in this thread with a 10-foot pole.

"OK, I'm off topic, but I'm not touching the main debate in this thread with a 10-foot pole."

Alex, how dare you interject your gay male phallus imagery on post-op women of transsexual history.

Save it for the Tom of Finland thread. ;)


I loved his comment, pretty funny, but I totally didn't see the phallus imagery!

Oh, and something else I have finally realized, is it isn't just that they are 'post-op transsexuals', but that they are mostly straight, too, and seem to hate gay ppl as much as they hate 'transgendereds', or, as they prefer, 'permanent cross dressers' or 'trannies'. So I am sure that Alex doesn't fit for multiple reasons (at least he doesn't wear dresses and make up around all the time, I guess...).

I identify as straight and I certainly don't hate gay men or all the others you listed.It's not my fault gay men won't enter my womans space.

Sorry, the 'mostly' applied to the hating gay ppl as well as the str8 part. That was unclear on my part.

Wait, wait Gina. Don't go shutting down discussion about Alex's pole.

If memory serves, you ended with "real women have penises" placing you squarely with the "problem" space in my book Phil........

lisalee18wheeler | February 10, 2011 5:34 PM

I know this has already been said, but seems to have been lost in all the noise, and I sincerely thank Joe for his concern...

The question that hasn't been answered, is not what the cis-LGB can do for Trans*, but what they can't do.

As in,
You can't speak for us.
You can't do for us.
You can't live for us.
You can't die for us.

All of those things are ours, and ours alone. We call the shots. We make our choices, whether good or bad. We have a voice, and we're using it, whether you like it or not.

It's time for the confusion, semantics, politicking, and backstabbing to end.

And it's time for the Trans* leaders (you know who you are) "to grow a pair".

This shit has to stop.

Phil, You are one of the reasons that I like gay men. Not as a sex partner, because I as a woman, may not be your type, but as an ally and a friend.

Having just struggled through the foregoing 100+ comments, I find that until the clear and precise DIFFERENCE/DISTINCTION is made and recoginized between these two terms, (TG/TS), it will be exceedingly difficult to progress further.

You will note that Mercedes has pointed out that this debate has gone unresolved for decades. Joe, in his quest for answers, might want to visit a realtively new blog called, "Ella es Asi", (She is so), where this issue is discussed at length and referred to as the 1,500 lb. Pink Gorilla.

I think that the greatest thing that Gays and Lesbians could do to help "trans" and or transgender people is to help make this distinction, and "Let MY People Go".

How about this for a starting point...?

TG's, change/playwith/express/blend/bend and other wise F**K with GENDER.

TS's, change their SEX.

Well, am disappointed...went to this site thinking, "Finally! Someplace with rational exploration of the issues without an opinion already ossified!"

Nope. Just another extreme WBT site using derogatory, condescending language toward the hated 'men in dresses'.

I think that gay people have helped to create this problem by joining forces with only those who push the transgender umbrella only option.The gay community prides itself on pushing gender boundaries so it is only common sense that they would take sides with those with views most similar to theirs.Unfortunately the only way I think this is going to be resolved is by class action lawsuit against organizations that put the TS under TG supposedly Trans friendly groups, LGB groups, and lgbt groups.I have already sent an email to NGLTF that unless they remove the T from under the term transgender I will be forced to seek legal remedy against them.It is really sad to think its going to have to come to that.We as a community need to find a compromise that doesn't invalidate anyones feelings or continue to lead people to suicide the way the transgender umbrella does.But the we outnumber you so therefore we can force you to be labelled any way we choose crap has got to come to an end (You sound just like the religious right).So does the we make the rules attitude because in the end the only ones with that power are the medical and psycological communities hopefully fairly and with input from the entire community.

Hmmm, that is interesting to think kinda like the problem Kleenex had when the word kleenex got co-opted as the generic term for tissue.

I guess you could trademark 'Transsexual' and sue to infringement? Problem is, fair use is allowed, I think you can only stop someone from using your trademark as their own, or using something so similar that your companies get conflated? Worth a try, would be fun to watch!

The other tact is perhaps to sue for libel? That would meet a lot of your goals, I think? You'd have to prove that being considered 'transgender' caused harm to your reputation, and that it isn't true. Might be an uphill battle at this point, considering the widespread use of the word 'transgender', but it would allow you to get all your grievances out in the open. Go with the rape thing, for sure, that is good.

Oh, wait, I forgot, someone mentioned identity theft! Maybe you could even get this in a court of criminal law! Put some of those trannies in jail, that'd show 'em!

I can't wait, please do this soon!

I am a T person! That is what everyone should refer to as my sex! It does not matter what is where, or when! I am not at all likely to let you look at what is or is not between my legs! Just happen to be human also, so just call me Regina?
If you really want to help? Stop the idiots that think we are in a bathroom to look at other females! I just need to leave what is left in a restroom no other reason! Please stop HRC from saying they represent me! They gave up that right in 2007 and the so many other times they lied before that.

So is a "T" person different from a "M" or "F" person? Is this what you seek, a third gender marker or sex?

@ Carol.... Now that some of the pestilence and rancor has tapered off perhaps a civil discussion can ensue. I will give you my understanding of at least part of the dynamics. You tell me where you see flaws. Prior to about 1995 the internet was still in its infancy. From about 1950 until maybe as late as 2000 a person could "transition", get various documents fixed and once in a great while there was something in the media that created a "tizzy" in mainstream society (such as Renee Richards). Yeah life was not exactly fair and yes society was brutal to both gays, lesbians and anyone not exactly "typical" of the mainstream. I'm sure you remember the early explosion of the net. Type in transexual (one s) and up popped a thousand porno sites about chicks with dicks. Towards the end of the nineties you started to be able to find serious sites dealing with "gender variations" and "sexual orientation". Things seemed to be progressing towards a more tolerant society. But wait, under the calm was a gathering storm of reactionaries in the form of the religious right and the simmering prejudices of the white male heterosexual supremacists. I know I'm skipping significant other pieces such as the whole AIDS dynamics but for the moment lets stay on Ts versus TG or whatever you want to call it.

Society in about 2000 - 2005 was nervous about the whole transsexual issue but not particularly threatened by people they considered weirdos and misfits who had sex change operations and then for the most part blended in. But once again the dynamic was about to change. Just as it seemed "gender identity" might be worthy of a gracious nod from mainstream society there was an explosion in traffic on the net, in the media and even in theaters of a much larger group of "the transgender". Myspace gobbled up net traffic and then came facebook and youtube. Mainstream society was treated to the "oh shit" factor. What had seemed non-threatening suddenly seemed like a possible societal cerebral hemorrhage. Easy fodder for the scare mongers. Once the easily predictable reactionary forces started campaigns the blood letting had multiple spillover effects. Gay Inc. was certainly not immune. And that's about the time some "women of history" started screaming. They are saying "look what you have done". They are saying take that umbrella and shove it up your ass or swallow it but don't stick it in my vagina. I know that sounds very harsh and crude but this whole dynamic has a lot of emotions built around it and quite a few of the 100,000 or so very quiet post ops in this country are feeling a bit like rape victims. State legislatures and even Congress may react in legislative ways that careen the civil rights of transsexuals off a cliff.

I have a close friend who is a pre-op transsexual. She is scheduled for srs in June. We were discussing some of these dynamics after doing a presentation to a college class in psychology and I said ... "face it, society is not yet ready to grant rights to freaks and that is what they see in the news and on youtube". I often choose words casually and she said ... "so now I am a freak". BTW, we were in a panel at the college that included several cross dressers and their wives (tri-ess folks). But back to my friend, we had a good laugh and now use the term freak frequently. We can do that but the proverbial sh*t would hit the fan if I used that term here in reference to someone. They just wouldn't be able to relate.

I apologize for this "wall of text". I detest long posts. Let me summarize. There are 50,000 to 150,000 shy women who are feeling like rape victims and who are being told "shut up and relax or you'll not enjoy it" by a rather loud and abusive gang of umbrella wielding freaks who aren't even using KY jelly. A very small number of those women of history are yelling "rape!!!". Is that graphic enough? Is it not understandable why those very few who have chosen to speak out are spitting in faces and yelling curse words? Kick the rapist in the balls and let loose the pepper spray and sob later when you are in the rape trauma center.

Thanks for the reply, Deena, it explains a lot to me. One thing you bring up that I never thought of is that the low number of transsexuals actually kept them below the radar, and as you say, maybe was the reason that the right-wing nutjobs didn't get their paranoia triggered. Once they get on something, they are so obsessive/compulsive that they will never let it go.

Yes and the same is true for the left-wing nutjobs.


Yes, there are plenty of those, too, and they tend to be pretty single-minded too. However, while anti-trans-anything is pretty widespread among the right wingers, I am not really aware of left wingers attacking trans ppl?

Unless, of course, you are talking about those 'transgenders' who are raping transsexual women?

Ah, and I am learning more, it seems most of you are also very conservative...that explains a lot...

Speaking as a member of that silent majority, I am impressed with the analogy and DO agree with it.

To equate long term, full time cross-dressers with women who were born with a medically "curable/fixable" condition is just plain fraudulent.

The TG do NOT seek surgical correction, while the TS do, and seem wiling to pay ANY price, no matter how high. How can these two be equated

Why cannot the TG just take their umbrella, do whatever they please with it, and leave women to seek medical treatment just as they would for any other medically treatable ailment.

Just exactly WHAT to the TG have against the term, "Transgender"? Why must they conflate themselves with the TS and steal the term "trans-sexual"?

Ah, always good to identify another one!

I thought the issue was that transgenders were including transsexuals in the term transgender, essentially calling them transgender, rather than that they are stealing the term transsexual?

FWIW, I agree with your definitions, to me transgender is changing things other than your genitals, and transsexual, is well, changing your 'sex', that is, you genitals. Makes sense to me, works for me.

However, really, do we really know what is between *anyone's* legs, unless they show us? Not just for transwhatevers, but anyone. I don't look at all the ppl I meet all day and wonder what is between their legs, and I don't care. I just take them for what they present as.

I have had SRS (I won't call myself a 'transsexual', though I consider myself that, b/c I know that I would here I am not really one b/c I don't hate the term transgender of the ppl who identify as such), and I don't have a problem being called transgender; in fact, as someone else mentioned, I usually use it to avoid the word 'sex' b/c that freaks all the repressed ppl out.

I think they have found the same with polls using 'homosexual' versus 'gay'. As soon as ppl here homosexual, they go straight to 'men fucking men in the ass' (which I personally thing is just fine, as long as you protect yourself), rather than to 'ppl who are attracted to the same sex or both sexes and prolly not that different from me otherwise'.

I know that one reason many HBSers and WBTs *like* the 'sex' part in there, b/c it seems to them to imply an in-born biological/medical condition instead of some whim or a mental disorder, and they are prolly right to some degree in that.

I can understand that they feel oppressed by having a larger group of ppl define their identity for them, and misidentify it at that.

However, to get anywhere, we are all going to have to work together (including the Transgender Mafia or whatever you consider them), and a scorched earth approach by the WBTs and HBSers, including thread-jacking, isn't going to gain anyone anything.

Carol I totally agree with everything you said right up till the thread jacking part.I 100% agree what's in your pants is nobody's business.I find people that ask my surgical status are usually the jerks with some hidden agenda and even if they're just curious it places you in an awkward position that you shouldn't have to be in.That said regardless of what someone has in there pants the surgery verses no surgery issue can be handled better.I totally understand why there is a push to say surgery isn't required but I see that message as a double edged sword.Especially when it comes to getting companies and communities to fund health insurance that covers it.I don't know if you recently read the story of Berkly California considering offering it's employee's a fund to cover SRS.The comments on the story were pretty brutal about what people think about paying for SRS. If we as a group are saying that surgery is a choice for everyone aren't we indeed saying SRS is cosmetic surgery and there is no need to cover it?
If indeed it is a choice why is it that people will kill themselves or mutilate themselves when surgery is denied to them for whatever reason? Is it possible to send a positive message that helps to end suicides and genital mutilations stopping just short of saying surgery is a choice?

The thing is, amy, I agree with a huge amount of what the WBTs/HBSers say and how they feel. I was close a few times to just getting out branch-lopper-offer from the garage, calling 911, and doing it myself and seeing if an ambulance showed up in time to save me from bleeding out, and really didn't care if they didn't. I thought, hey, if it is done, when they put me back together, they can just put me back together the way I want it all.

I didn't, for several reasons, but I understand how serious and compelling SRS can be. I just don't understand demonizing ppl who are just as driven to live as who they are, as women, but don't feel a need to have SRS. I love my genitals now, where I used to hate them, and it meant and means a lot to me to have had the surgery. I had complications, and went through a lot, but I have not regretted it for one second. However, to me, what is right for me is right for me, and if ppl aren't trying to tell me how I *should be*, then I don't care how they *are*.

Carol again I agree with just about everything you said. In one of the posts above and propably a couple places in between you've lumped me with the WBT/S HBsers. I don't agree with the mean spirited attacks and I wonder if anyone has thought to try and sit the sides down in mediation? Send in the coolest heads of all lots and see what type of compromise can be reached so we can all move along. Unlike you I did wind up in the hospital for a few days luckily without causing any major damage.

Yes, I think 'cooler heads' would be great. I actually agree with a lot of what the TSs who are upset have to say, just not the way they go about it (and in case you missed it, I don't much like the way most of the visisble 'TG activists' go about things, either).

I am very sorry you wound up in the hospital! I am glad you came out ok, and I hope you are in a better place with your life now. :)

I was linked to this blog from this site:

Sadly there are people there who think that it was wrong for Trans people who felt slighted when gender/gender identity was not included in the EDNA bill and they claim that this caused the bill not to get passed or signed.


How many people complaining about terminology do you think are crazy about being defined as transsexual? It's a problem to be dealt with. It is the meanings of the words not the words themselves that presents the problem that keeps flaring up.

trans- a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin ( transcend; transfix ); on this model, used with the meanings “across,” “beyond,” “through,” “CHANGING THOROUGHLY,” “transverse,” in combination with elements of any origin: transisthmian; trans-Siberian; transempirical; transvalue.

"A working definition in use by the World Health Organization for its work is that "'[s]ex' refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women" and that "'[m]ale' and 'female' are sex categories".[3]"

"Some feminist philosophers maintain that gender is totally undetermined by sex. See for example The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution, an important and widely influential feminist text.[4]."

"Scientific research shows that no simple distinction between the two can be made and that an individual's sex inflences his or her behaviour.[6][7][8][9][10]"

"Some third-wave feminists like Judith Butler, French feminists like Monique Wittig, and social constructionists within sociology have disputed the biological-natural status the distinction imputes to sex, arguing instead that both sex and gender are culturally constructed and structurally complicit."

Stephen Whittle's sleight of hand:

again from Wikipedia:

"As popularly used, sex and gender are not defined in this fashion. There has been increased usage of the word "gender" to refer to sexual differences, because of the dual meaning of the word "sex" as a biological feature as well as meaning the act of" sexual intercourse.

If Butler anD Monique Witting are correct, this argument should not be between the people the proponents of the "transgender umbrella" seek to define but among everyone - gay, straight, intersex, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, bisexual and onanonanon.

In popular usage the terms sex and gender are so vague that their meaning is open to how an opportunist with enough authority behind them would choose to manipulate that meaning. Feminists who prefer a dichotomy between gender and sex acknowledge the reality of sex and to them the distinction is important. The WHO clearly defines sex. The definition is clearly in the biological realm. This is important to transsexual people, both legally and medically. The distinction that the word transsexual provides for is obviously not expedient in the political realm but it is extremely important for a transsexual person's health care needs and how the legal system categorizes them, thus defining the rights they are entitled to. If the suffix "trans" is to be placed before any word to describe an experience of "THOROUGH CHANGE" regarding biological and physiological characteristics, it seems to me the least confusing word to attach the suffix to is sexual until because that is where the thorough change occurs for transsexual people. ""Scientific research shows that no simple distinction between the two . . ." but the sex changes involved in transsexual procedures are thorough enough to distinguish them as members of the sex they legally and physically transition to. There is plenty of research that has been done to back that assertion up.

Yes Edith but you have barely scratched the surface. When I was a child my mother taught me about the differences between a gentleman and a man. She also schooled me in the differences between a lady and a woman. I didn't really appreciate the distinctions until later in life when I encountered more men and women who were neither gentlemen nor ladies. Then I understood.

Edith, as usual, I have not a clue what you are going on about. Maybe you could try just saying whatever it is, and leave out all the random references and quotes? Maybe they mean something to you, and others seem to be impressed, but it just looks like something from Dilbert to me, and I just move on (I did read this, though, since it is addressed to me, and can't much make sense of it, sorry).

Interpret it for someone simple-minded, I suppose, and I will make another try at it.

I wrote:

If the *suffix* "trans" is to be placed before any word

FWIW, I meant *prefix*.

The whole subject of terminology that this thread went off on is relevant to the discussion involving the NCTE survey, I think. The subject of transsexualism is not explicitly dealt with in the study. I had trouble finding any mention of the word transsexual anywhere in the study, except where people were asked to self identify. In other writings Joanne Herman refers to sex reassignment surgery as "transgender surgery". In the study vaginoplasty is referred to, partially, as "removal of penis" which is a grossly inaccurate way to describe the procedure and offensive. The study does put a lot of emphasis on the problems faced by people who are or say they are what used to be described as transsexual. The message implicit in the study seems to be that transgender people are monolithic and any procedures deemed necessary by a transsexual person are merely options for a "transgender" person who wishes to accessorize.

Like you Edith I have issues with the survey and I believe it was specifically designed to push TS under the TG umbrella.In the Survey it states that all respondents identify as transgender 6456.
But if you follow the stats down it asks if you do not identify with being transgender 618 responded. then it asks if you somewhat agree with being transgender 1601 responded. Strongly 4039. Now where was the study links posted and why wasn't there in option to strictly identify as TS or TG? Then there could have been questions asked that would have identified falsely self identified individuals in a way that didn't alienate them for identifying the way they do. Something like if you identify as TS do you plan on having surgery at some point? If you don't plan on having surgery at some point is it because you either lack funds or insurance to cover it? Those to questions would have provided valuable information for why we need health insurance and health insurance with better coverage.Those that identify as TS but as non op only shouldn't be offended by those questions either.Other questions could have been posed that would have benefitted them specifically. Something like if you identify as TS but don't plan on having surgery do you take hormones?
If you identify as TS but don't plan on having surgery does your employer or health insurance provide coverage for hormones and related care?
Mara has stated that if you took the survey that you agreed to be listed as transgender simply because you would have had to identify as transgender to take it.That is sad trickery on her behalf and tells me that she doesn't have my best interests at heart.I do not believe the study is an accurate representation of the community or that it has the communities best interest at heart.

As I said, Carol, "The distinction that the word transsexual provides for is obviously not expedient in the political realm"

Sorry to be dense, but I have no idea what that means.

Distinction from what? Not expedient in what way?

wow, an amazing conversation on allyship generated here!

It's the strength in numbers thing, Carol. Like, should same sex marriage be put up for a vote? How many people have a stake in the outcome? To tell you the truth, I had to look up expedience to make sure what I said made sense. Antonia, was going on about logic last night. It's not a bad thing. It isn't all that matters but when you need it it helps. I don't watch Dancing With the Stars but is Bristol Palin the best dancer because everyone writes in and votes for her or however they work those stupid things? After I wrote that long thing I went back and read again what I was responding to. I don't think personal attacks are a good thing. I am not a name brand person myself. A pound of feathers weighs a pound as far as I am concerned. What transgender means is very different than what transsexual means. It seems to me the word transsexual is being forced out of usage. There seem to be a lot of forces at work. Intersex was done away with in the same fashion. Maybe you don't know this history. A lot of the same players are involved. I believe a lot of people are unaware that it is about upholding a sex binary which really doesn't exist in reality for a great many people. It is really complicated. I am a college dropout and working class. I am suspicious of all the double talk I hear. It's about sex. It's time people confront that fact.

I'm wiped out. Antonia rattled my bones last night. I shouldn't be up worrying about these things. This is very personal for everyone involved. Most of what I wrote is in Wikipedia or what the president or former president of WPATH wrote about. You can comprehend it. It's taken me a while to sort out what all this fast talk about gender is all about.

Ok, I still don't know what your you point is, really, but I am glad you have learned something!

I am sorry you got hurt in the process. :)

That is exactly what it is, Edith, "fast talk".

Anne calls it something like "psuedopsychogenderbabble" or something like that.

It really is not rocket science, carol. Trans-SEXUALS, cross over from one physiclal sex to the other to match up thei bodies with their minds.

Trans-GENDERS cross over from one GENDER to the other.

Why are the TG so resistant to accept this SIMPLE conceptand WHY are we ALL subjugated and oppressed by Dyss's trans-jacking?

I understand the concept well, Sam, it is the same language I tend to use. I just don't freak at being lumped in trans or transgender, and feel we do need some kind of umbrella term, b/c there is a lot of overlap in the protections required whether you have had/plan to have/don't plan to have SRS. I personally see common cause between TGs and TSs (to use the differentiating terminology). You and your community feel otherwise, I understand that. I do feel there are better ways to change things than snide, personal, condescending attacks, such as the 'Proud' thread on Susan's (or whatever her name is) blog.

And, just as Anne does not speak for all trans-whatever, ppl, neither does Dys (not Ashley Love, nor Autumn Santeen, or anyone else). Most of the vocal, visible ppl are extremists from each 'side' of the 'the war'.

I just feel that not every single person who uses the terms trans or transgender to include transsexuals is actively trying to hurt you. For most of us, it is more a convenience. I *am* understanding better how that can be hurtful to ppl who feel as you and the others do.

As far as ppl who never intend to have surgery calling themselves TS, well, I have a harder time swallowing that, b/c TS, to me at least, means you have changed your sex, your anatomy. Like I said before, though, if it isn't done to marginalize someone else, just how someone honestly sees themself, I can get right with it. Again, mostly b/c I don't see nomenclature as the biggest problem facing ppl who are living as something other than the binary they were assigned at birth, including those who have had SRS.

Throwing out meaningful terminology, (that is that words have a consistent, agreed upon meaning), is a form social deconstruction. If the word RED, as in color, starts to "include" meanings like 'reddish' or 'pinkish' or blood red, or candy apple red, or fire engine red, then the conversation becomes confusing.

To have a debate over the "meaning" or nuances of the color red is as useful as the conversation over the DISTINCTION between "reddish" and "purplish". In essense, how can there be agreement over what is 'redder', or 'purpler'
It is either RED or PURPLE. NOT BOTH.
That is the power inherent on controlling the narrative and THAT is the importance of this discussion.

BY blurring the distinction, controlling the terminology, NTCE and the TG Mafia, effectively ERASE women of surgical history as a SEPARATE entity or condition and forcibly,(by definition, or INCLUSION), equate them with all those for whom SRS is an option or "accessory".

Please do not dismiss this discussion as the the position of extremists. As has been pointed out this "debate" has been going on for decades. Most of us, 10's of thousnds of us have remained silent in our quiet pursuit of our lives within the mainstream, within the binary. I just recently joined the discussion, and frankl it is hard to get a word in edgewise.

Yes, I understand about distinctions being lost. However, that often happens in language, I think particularly toward 'simplification' when most ppl don't see a real difference between two terms or don't find that distinction important enough to keep straight. For example, 'whom' seems to be going away, with 'who' used all the time.

I am not saying I think that is right, esp when there are ppl to whom the difference is vitally important, I am just saying it happens. Usage prescriptivists have been fighting this battle for decades, usually eventually losing.

That prolly a lot of why 'gay' is used most of the time as an umbrella for 'gay men', 'lesbians', and 'bisexual ppl', even though at different times the groups themselves wanted the distinctions. Now I see a lot of lesbians calling themselves 'gay' rather than saying
'I am a lesbian', prolly because it is easier (I know I do, plus the cis-lesbians generally take issue with me calling myself a lesbian, too).

As far as the 'extremist' thing goes, no I don't consider the position of the WBTs/etc unreasonable (the binary works pretty well for me, as long as it doens't mean traditional sex/gender roles, though I am fine with genderfucking), or ppl in general who want to be heard and recognized extremists.

What I am talking about is the ppl who are actively out there attacking and demeaning others, and those are the ppl I see speaking for your cause (you excluded, I would add). I personally see all the women who have posted here for TS recognition as extremists, while excepting one or two ppl (and at least one of them is just as extreme as any of the WBTs), I haven't seen the level of hostility from the ppl from the 'transgender' position.

Maybe that's because these ppl have asked nicely for a long time, and were ignored or attacked, it's certainly the reason many of them give. I don't know, I wasn't there when all this started, and I really don't see that continuing those same fights help anyone (kinda like the ppl still arguing over the Veitnam War).

We all have to start from where we are, noone in the TG group is going to change their minds out of respect for what anyone did in the past, even if it makes them able to live as trans today. And I'm sorry, bit no matter how many times they say it, the TS ppl who are angry *aren't* the 'silent majority'. If they *were* the majority, they could influence things the way they want.

And they seem to spend as much time attacking each other as they do the 'trandgenders', splitting themselves into tinier and tinier fractions, until they have a bunch of little blogs where five ppl form a smug little us-against-everyone echo chamber. That's fine, if they like it, no big deal to me, but isn't going to get them very far in effecting change, in my opinion.

Carol, surely you understand the oppression inherent in this, your statement: "most ppl don't see a real difference between two terms or don't find that distinction important enough to keep straight."

Does that make it right or just? Does this justify the erasure of a minority? No. Speaking of extremists, I would argue that they can be found on either side of the issue, and I agree that they impede rather than inform or add to the conversation.

That does not change the simple, indisputable FACT that TS does NOT equate to TG or visa versa.

FACTS are NOT subject to popular vote. The FACT that TG's out number TS's by a factor of at least 10 or 20 to 1, does not validate the positions advanced by the TG, that TS is the same or some variety of TG.

Seriously, dude, can you read?

Right above, in the same post you quoted from, I said:

"I am not saying I think that is right, esp when there are ppl to whom the difference is vitally important, I am just saying it happens."

and, in a reply to you, I said the following (which you specifically commented on:

"Most of the vocal, visible ppl are extremists from each 'side' of the 'the war'."

I agree, because it is, doesn't make it right. And I agree there are extremists on both sides, and that I don't like any of them. :)

Actually "DUDE", I can read, although I do find your dissembling rather annoying, distracting, VERY condescending, counter-productive and sadly, transparent.

Well, a little of me goes a long way I guess, so I'll keep it short. All the other stuff I understand, but 'transparent'? What do you mean by that? I promise, a really short reply. :)

Oh, and sorries, from your name I thought you were a guy. I apologize, seems I was mistaken?

As a nearly 10 year transitioned woman, I have to say employment protections for transitioning folk is huge. I kept my job...though it was (of course) a struggle for my colleagues to learn to adapt. But...they did. They are wonderful people who, if you'd asked them 15 years ago if they could live with this would have said yes (We all work in the non-profit world, and they're the social liberal elite...of course they could!) - but in reality...when faced with it every day...found themselves somewhat challenged to live up to their own rhetoric. How much more difficult is it for socially conservative folks to accept and view a transitioning colleague as a human being first and foremost?

And so I say Gays and Lesbians are already helping enormously, for through the advocacy organizations, they (and we) support employment protections (with reasonable accommodations by the transitioning employee). These will help enormously to slowly, over time, teach our friends and neighbors that we are still human...still people with inherent worth and dignity.


"Your 7th point is especially important for me and needs more community awareness. I am in my third year of unemployment and rejected job applications, and I think the most blatant anti-trans discrimination that I've faced is from cis-G/L nonprofit organizations that claim to be GLBT inclusive-- both national and regional. I encourage everyone to speak up and ask the nonprofits that you support, how many transpeople are included in their paid staff and executive leadership?" KELLY WINTERS, (above)

I very much agree with the staements of both Kelly and Sandra. This employment issue IS KEY. However, I am concerned that those same "equal rights" may be a 'bridge too far' to extend to those that simply CHOOSE to "transition partially" or only "present" full or part time in their gender of choice.

Where does one draw the line?

Why shouldn't partial transitioners or people who go part time receive full non-discrimination benefits?

Joe in response to all this transgender BS I have decided to start a group to remind people that the T in LGBT means Transsexual. Look at any of the older Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual literature and there it is. My goal is to get more Transsexual women to join the group then NGLTF got to take their survey. I also welcome all LGB people who support returning the T to its rightful designation as Transsexual.

"Transsexuals that want LGBT to mean what it used to Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual no more of this Transgender nonsense."

yep, that should do it! love the 'cooler head' approach you are taking! :)

Hi Amy,

I worry that you are trivializing what is involved here by appearing to attempt to win a numbers game. The problem is that transsexual people are a minority. It isn't a minority within a minority, either. The problem presented by the study which is the topic of this discussion is that is the approach it takes in framing problems which are diverse ones and grouping together people, who in many instances, are dealing with very different issues. The terminology in question is the result of the approach taken. The problem is with the approach which is taken to increase numbers to put as much weight as possible behind a poorly conceived issue for political impact.

NCTE and NGLTF have justified putting the people under the heading they do based on their survey numbers. The problem is with the approach taken which is to imply there exists a group of people who is monolithic and deal with the same problem in different ways that are not more than accessorizing. The name National Center for Transgender Equality seems to imply that the equality that should exist for the people who they group together should be between each other who should not be discriminated against as a group that exists entirely separate from those who are not together within that group. Their survey implies that there is an equality between cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation and sex changing genital/ gonadal surgeries.

I don't understand how it is the mission of lesbians and gays to advocate for people who have a need to change their sex assignment. Gender expression nonconformity can be a controversial issue among gays and lesbians. It seems to be a concern for gay men more than lesbians. That is the focus that binds people who are LGB w/ the transgender T. Gender nonconformity is actually about behavior that does not conform to societal expectations for one's sex which is why it has so much support within certain elements of the gay community and is so controversial among those who naturally conform and have no desire to be unconventional.

The fact is gender nonconformity or just nonconformity, itself, is an issue for all of society. There isn't any way LGBT are going to advocate for transsexual or intersex people except in instances where transsexual people are misperceived as male or female because of the contrary nature of their original sex assignment. That still will not help a transsexual person with what they need most, which is to be accepted as a man or woman whose medical history and self expression is not the focus or central to who they are.

I, also, think you lose sight when speaking of gender which is a very abstract concept. Sex and gender do not exist as dichotomies. I think the effects of sex reassignment need to be seen more holistically. There is a hypothalamic- pituitary -gonadal axis. The concept of "gender identity" is the brain child of John Money. There are sexist implications involved with the notion of gender identity. Sense of self is very complicated but very real. It has to be understood in a whole body/interactive sort of way.

Edith I respect what your saying and I know who John Money is he srewed up John/Joan tragically. I also appreciate what you are saying about we are best at stating what our needs are.But I do support LGB's and even those who are TG in their quest for rights. I think they should support us in ours.Considering how hard the political times are we don't need to break completely away we need them to support us as we are and vice versa.Even if you were to accomplish the total split there would be quite a few TS women that would stay behind and make it difficult. I'd rather try a way that they may not totally like but atleast they could stomach and not force them to break ties that are important to them. I'm trying to be a realist and offer up a solution to the rift that while not perfect beats the alternative.I would even go so far as to say I would be willing to leave the term transgender intack so long as it was made clear that Transsexual wasn't under it.It's a big world there is room for everybody just not under the same umbrella its a little to crowded there.

I appreciate what you are trying to do Amy, in spite of any reservations I may have.

I spent a while last night trying to carefully read through this thread. It is awfully hard to see things in context when things move along as fast and furiously as they do on these highly emotional topics. I don't think the criticism you have received is deserved. The question of terminology is not nitpicking. It is not about names. It is about the frames into which things are put.

I just hope this doesn't turn into a popularity contest or a football game/war where it's one side against the other. The problems are way too complex to be split into a for or against dichotomy.

Edith I don't really want it to be a popularity contest.What I want is to show a high enough number that it is impossible to deny that a large amount of people are unhappy with the confusion the term transgender causes.Transsexuals should come out from under the umbrella but that doesn't mean we don't support the others just that our needs were being lost in the confusion the umbrella was causing.For those in the Transgender camp I ask you this if the TS T is still attached to the LGB and you become a seperate T how can you claim we abandoned you? Just by the Fact the TS T will be there lends credibilty to the fact we support you even if we totally don't agree on everything we're still there by your side.While what I'm proposing isn't perfect for either side I think the alternative is far to ugly to even contemplate.Edith please join the group I promise you your opinion will be highly appreciated and I can't promise you it will work but we'll never know if we don't try.

How non-transgender GLB people can help transgender people: Don't take the complex and sometimes painful conversations that we engage in internally as a sign that you cannot understand us, that we are not at a place where we can be both helpful and helped by non-trans GLBs.

When we express our pain towards you, realize that most of it is not about you...but some of it is.

Remember that many of us are ourselves gay, lesbian, and bi...and that we also have trans histories. The men's community includes transgender people. So does the women's community. We are already here, whether you know that aspect of us or not. Don't insist that we see our trans status or history as being as important (or visible) as you may need it to be.

And for God's sake, please stop using the word "tranny" -- even if you have trans friends who do.

The problem that I am having as a very long term post op, is that I have much more in common with the mainstream community at large. I gay friends and straight friends non of whom have any idea of my long forgotten "history".

From my personal point of view that is how it should be. The reason that there is so much strife is that the TG "Community" has taken it upon itself to ANNEX a portion of the population which does not care to BE annexed.


The greatest thing that the LGB Community could do is to simply just recognize that, RESPECT THAT, and help us convince your TG cousins that we are NOT all the same, and that "One size DOES NOT FIT ALL"


Thanks for your comments, but I work for The Task Force (4 years and counting) and there are four trans staff members here... and countless others who identify as gender-variant in one way or another.

Additionally- all four of us have worked on the ground in countless states to pass trans-inclusive or even trans-specific ballot measures, legislative battles, local ordinances, etc. We go head-to-head with statewide or even national organizations contemplating pulling trans people from projects or issue campaigns. We were in Kalamazoo when they won trans protections by the biggest margin EVER on an LGBT ballot measure. We are working in Nevada to add gender identity to their statewide non-discrimination protections. We are working in Maryland to support their gender identity bill as well.

I, myself, am working side-by-side with trans organizers here in Los Angeles to support the critical work of Gender Justice LA- we are creating a Trans Leadership Academy to support the development of up-and-coming trans community members so when organizations want to hire us... we are ready. More than half of the attendees will be transwomen, and the organizer I am supporting on this project is a transwoman as well.

Can we be better? Of course! Does the movement need more transwomen in management AND at the grassroots level... yes please.

Many of us are working tirelessly to ensure that's in our future, both at The Task Force and for the movement as a whole. But posting inaccurate, negative attacks on an organization that helped fund, organize and promote the first EVER comprehensive study on trans discrimination? I don't think that's the best we can do. Even on a blog.

Tristan of all those four trans workers that the task force has working for them how many are heterosexual? You do realize that by every survey you can find that the majority of post op women are heterosexual? That said let me tell you as a heterosexual identified woman neither you nor the task force has my best interest at heart. Your survey numbers on suicide/attempted suicides of post-ops is way high according to the proffessionals I've mentioned it to. There is one of two scenarios that can go with it. One the numbers are skewed because of where the survey was posted and the information is false.Number two the post-op people that answered it are mostly associated with the lgbt community and identify as LG or B and because of that and how they are treated within the community they are more prone to attempt or succeed at committing suicide.I think a survey should be done that asks the suicide question but also asks about sexual preference.That survey should be conducted free from bias in an academic environment with proof of status verified.Any survey conducted by an LGBT organization on Transsexuals should be held as suspect because there is reason to suspect bias especially towards a pro LGBTG stance.

Thanks for the question, Amy.

In my experience working side-by-side with trans people across the country, sexual orientation matters little when it comes to issues of housing fairness, basic respect in a job, and safety walking down the street.

As to who would be left out of a study conducted in an "academic environment" with "proof of status verified"... I can only guess, as I'm not a statistician. I can imagine, however, that many MANY trans people of color would feel unwelcome in such an atmosphere.

And to the folks questioning the legitimacy of Organizers in community organizations... I cannot think of a more critical role. We are entrusted with an organization's most valuable resource: the community we serve. If you want organizations to be held accountable to that community, your organizers are the ones to do it.

I'm proud of my job, my organization and the other organizers on my team. I don't know them, but I'm sure the other trans organizers that you're comparing us to are working hard and doing their best to represent a community that would turn their backs on them as soon as they're given the chance... as can be seen above.