The Truth Behind the “Drop the T” Petition: It Ain’t The HomoCons or the Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists (TERFs)
Two days ago I broke the story about a petition posted on Change.org 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.”
The petition which Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God wrongly and for “clickbait” sake states is an ” outrageous homocon petition” thus misusing the term “HomoCON” and changing the narrative completely. The petition that was posted IS NOT the work of some random right-wing quislings and it isn’t some bizarre minority opinion, of haters who aren’t even LGB, as Jervis has stated. It comes from inside the community and I know this but i have tracked down the author of the petition and its core group of supporters. (I refuse to “out” them out of the fear of the harassment that they will endure especially at the hands of the more radical parts of our community)
This is a “conversation” that some are bringing up I believe also has to do with attacks and abusiveness of many trans-activist in the past and the fact that they believe the combination of gender identity to sexual orientation is hurting the LGB community when it comes to getting job and housing protections passed. HERO was after all more than just about peeing. And like it or not this is a conversation that needs to be had because it is beginning to rip our community apart.
I have been an activist for many years. And I believe in equality for all. But I must admit that I find it ironic that the loudest voices that are upset by this petition are the very trans-activist who I have heard for years state that they wanted to break the “T” off and go their separate ways are now taking to the fainting couch..
This is a sticky and sensitive conversation. But one that needs to be had without misleading mis-information and with much cooler heads and without the faux outrage.
Is it best to tack gender identity issues into legislation with sexual orientation issues? Would we do better tackle them separately? Is it time to re-think and redo our strategy?
These are tough questions but ones that need to be discussed and answered honestly if we are to move forward either together as a community or together side by side,
I’d like to end with a message left on my original post.
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.