And So It Begins – Seen Today On Drop The “T” Petition

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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4 Responses

  1. Robyn Beasy says:

    In some ways I, as a transgender person, have felt similar ideas about the need for the T movement to dis-associate from the LGB because the LGB components seem to get a disproportionate amount of the attention (Media & otherwise). Now that the world-wide media is paying more attention than ever before to TG stories, the balance seems to be swinging more to an equitable position, some sectors of the overall LGBTIQ community are a bit miffed.

    I wish to make comment on a few things. In paragraph six the writer just went and threw all credibility out the window. Please cite your references for forming that opinion.

    I knew from a young age that I was different to all the boys that I knew. This was the age when I learned there was a difference between being a boy and being a girl. That central belief that I was not a boy, but a girl has stayed with me all life. Yes, there were times that that belief was challenged by the mores of society and yes, I complied with society’s social expectation of how I should live for five decades. In all that while my core belief about who I was never lessened, went away or changed. It wasn’t until I started transition that I realised just how much energy I put into maintaining that male facade every day. Now that I do not need to live a lie, I am just so much happier about all things.

    I have met many people along my journey, especially over the last 10-15 years or so, who are travelling down that same road. Some are just starting their journey, some well along, but all have that unshakable belief that they were different from what society expected them to be. They too, have learned just how much energy was spent in living the lie of being who they are not. Yes, some have had difficulty in deciding when to transition. Not because of their indecision about who they are, but because of the stressors exerted by the family/community they live in. To a cis-gendered person this would appear as though they were ‘changing’ their mind. Not so. The amount of medical evidence is mounting and getting closer to the point of determining a physical cause for our dysphoria thus removing it completely from the DSM’s view of being associated with “other” paraphilias. This is a worry for the cis-gendered conservatives in our community because all things that are different to their blinkered view should be cast as weird and hence a mental illness. In having a mental illness the individual doesn’t know what they are saying. Society can now ostracise and segregate this ‘abnormal’ behaviour and get on with ‘normal’ life.

    I am so pleased to see more and more stories of parents who are believing their children who identify as trans. The best course of action is to start treatment before puberty as the end results are just so much better for the transitioning individual and their family. To deny what the child is saying is a greater form of social abuse. An example: a cis-gendered boy that ‘experiments’ with things female, and subsequently discards such behaviours as he grows is not changing his mind. His curiosity about the world around him has been satiated and he moves on with life. Parents who choose not to listen to their children, discounting their feelings and forcing them to comply with societal norms are a greater abuser than the one who loving learns about what their child is saying and educates themselves into what is happening within their family.
    It is not the TG community that is forcing the media to report on such things. This is just a product of how society’s attitudes are changing over time and the media are reporting it. Yes, the media in reporting it, is contributing to society’s education while doing so. It is a circular happening.

    Society now, has much to make up in the form of reparation to the TG community. I do not mean the payment of money. I mean in believing us when we say what we say when we are children. Adults for far too long have decided that children cannot know their own mind and express themselves competently. The TG community still has to put up with the ‘gate keeper’ mentality that a child cannot make such determinations until they are 18 year of age.

    The issue identified in paragraph four of trans people infringing the rights of cisgendered people to a safe place such as bathrooms etc. The writer here has just completely invalidated his understanding of what it is to be transgendered by saying “this is most pernicious in the case of men claiming to be transgender demanding access to bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and other such spaces reserved for women”. Yes, cisgendered men using a disguise for nefarious purposes. You just don’t get it do you, Mr. Writer. A MtF person entering a bathroom with other women would do nothing to upset the feeling of ‘correctness” by being there. It would be an affirmation of being ‘normal’. I guess the converse is true for the FtM population.

    I cannot make comment about the issues in paragraph five as I wasn’t there and do not know much about that historical event.

    Lastly. “At the very least, a discussion must be opened up to these issues, which for too long are being suppressed and censored – they are genuine concerns that need to be aired”. Air them we may, but not much progress will be made when lack of understanding such as that indicated above by the writer does not change through education about another community’s travails.
    History is full of disparate groups joining together to ‘fight’ a common enemy. The LGBTIQ alliance came about in just this way. Maybe now the time has arrived for the TG community to dis-associate but not for those illuminated above.

  2. Lee Anne says:

    We were excluded from the early Pride movement due to being bad for the image that was wanted.We were dropped from ENDA in an unsuccessful attempt to get it passed. Charlotte, NC dropped us from a rights bill in a vain attempt to get it passed.Now, because of an election in which a paltry 25% turned out to vote, we get blamed and are threatened to be dropped again. Where is the outrage over the progressives who sat this election out.? That was not our fault.
    Where was the rush to drop us when you were fighting for marriage equality? We were welcome then. Some in the trans world said that once marriage equality passed we would be dropped. Looks like they may have been right.
    If you think the fight for equality is over you are sadly mistaken. In my state the only right guaranteed LGBTQI is the right to marry. And it is perfectly legal to fire them when they do.
    And to quote from a study that has been discredited shows how misinformed you are. There is sketchy information at best and new studies are being done as we speak. The Danish group whose figures you use just assumed that children who quit coming to their clinic had suddenly become non-trans. no follow up to see why they left. Just an assumption. Current data shows that ” adolescents who present with gender variance, or a transgender identity go on to be transgender older adolescents and adults 100% of the time. Again, the data is small, but supports the notion that gender constancy is certainly in place in adolescence.”
    Get the facts. Do some research of peer reviewed papers. Do not rely on outdated information. And please, encourage liberals to get out and vote. Lack of participation cost us the Senate in 2014 and lack of participation in 2016 will lead our nation into fascism. I guess that will be the T’s fault also.

  3. Jon king says:

    As a gay man I can say the l and the g did not have an understanding of each other for a long time. I am ashamed that someone I might call a sister or brother is passionate about excluding someone who is fighting the same fight we have. This has been and still is a fight to exist, to possess the right to be simply who you are. I apologize to the transgender community and really want them to know that these
    Idiots DO NOT represent the majority of a loving and inclusive community we will create. Together. There is no other way.

  1. November 7, 2015

    […] Two days ago I broke the story about a petition posted on which was posted after the defeat of Houston’s Equal Rights ordinance (HERO)  by a “of gay/bisexual men and women” who believe that want the “T” dropped from LGBT activism because the “ideology of the trans community is at odds with and is “actively hostile to that of women and gay men.”   […]

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