The Truth Behind the “Drop the T” Petition: It Ain’t The HomoCons or the Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists (TERFs)

Joe Jervis Homocon idiot

 

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.

Robyn Beasy

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. 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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9 Responses

  1. Julian says:

    Good post, Will. But this isn’t just about politics. I disagree that it’s about the political convenience of “dropping the T”.

    It’s a fundamental difference of opinion. A transgender ideology that denies biological sex exists, cannot co-exist with homosexuality. We fought for the right to love our own sex. Now they want to redefine sex and call us bigots for asserting our identity. And turn gay kids into transgenders.

    I’ve been with this thing from the start, and for me it’s simply about standing up for gay people. That’s all it’s about. I’ll do whatever it takes to support gay people against those who threaten us, even if that means fighting those “on our side”.

    • sicklefang says:

      It’s not really a fundamental difference of opinion.

      None of us are saying all gay people are actually just trans. Fuck, /I’m/ gay. A lot of other trans people are too. They could live life as a straight man or woman, but they’re not doing that, because that’s not who they are. It never was who they were and it’ll never be who they are.

      You know what else we’re not saying? That all guys must be 100% manly and all woman 100% feminine.

      There’s trans men who wear dresses and are drag. There’s trans women who are butch.

      Does that make them any less of a man or woman? Fuck no.

      And the same goes for cis people.
      If you’re a guy and you like wearing dresses? Go for it. And don’t worry, it doesn’t make you a woman. If you’re a woman and you’re not in the least bit feminine? Doesn’t mean you’re not a woman – and never let anyone tell you it does, because whoever is saying that is a dirty liar.

      All we’re saying is, that if you’re a woman you’re a woman. And if you’re a man, you’re a man. And it doesn’t matter if you have a penis or a vagina, because that is not what makes you a woman /or/ a man.
      The fact that you identify as a woman or man is what makes you a woman or man.
      (And the same goes for non-binary and agender people. If you identify as that, then that is who you are (and if you feel dysphoria when trying to identify as who others say you are, or when imagining being who everyone else thinks you are, then that is most likely not who you are).)

      Where is that difference of opinion you’re talking about? Because I’m not seeing it. (But I tend to miss all kinds of obvious things, so maybe I’m just missing it here as well. So, if that’s the case: Point it out. I want to see it too.)

      • So you as a gay man date and sleep with people with vagina’s (and breasts) when they say they are men?

        • sicklefang says:

          There was a reply here.
          It’s gone now.

          Well, at least as far as I can tell.
          Because, y’know, I actually already wrote (and posted) a reply to your comment yesterday.
          But it seems to have diappeared (at least as far as I can tell), so you’ll get the short version now:

          I’m probably the worst person to ask this question to.

          Because I’m not just homosexual, but also grey-ace (aka, been sexually attracted towards 2 people (both guys) in my entire life and am not sex-repulsed (and also not vagina/penis-repulsed)), so I honestly don’t really care about anyone’s specific genitals or somesuch.

          I’m also kind of romance-repulsed (aka, the thought of dating someone that I’m not friends/close with already seems… well, it makes me feel like I might throw up, to put it simple). I just don’t think I could ever date someone I wouldn’t already be friends/close with before the entire dating-thing, without feeling at least mild repulsion at something as simple as holding hands, or kissing them or whatever else there is.
          Weirdly enough, dating a (hypothetical) friend or someone I’d already be close to before we started to date doesn’t repulse me at all.
          So, I’m pretty sure I’ll only ever end up dating people that I’m already close/friends with before going on the first date.

          As such, it seems crazy to me to say they’re “just saying” they’re a guy (dunno if you meant that in your comment, but I’m just gonna address it regardless. ‘Cause I can, y’know?;) ). Because that would literally entail lying to me, all my friends and my family (and most likely also that person’s friends and family) for multiple months at a time (and also for the rest of that person’s life, if we’d ever actually start dating..).
          And that just seems like a ridiculous amount of work, just to /maybe/, /eventually/ end up dating me, y’know?

          So, to repeat: I’m probably really the worst person to ask this question to.

          And to answer your question directly: I’m fine with having sex with someone regardless of their sex or gender. But I’m only interested in dating guys, which is why I’m saying I’m gay. But yes, I would be completely fine with dating a guy that has breasts and a vagina.

          Because I’d definitely have my reasons for falling for/dating that guy. And as long as those reasons continue to be a thing I can’t be bothered to care about which kind of genitals he has or whether he has a completely flat chest or not.

          So, yeah. I’d date and have sex with a guy, even if he has a vagina and breasts.

          Hope that answers your question (and that this reply won’t disappear like the last one did…).

          PS: If the comment actually still exists and is just invisible to me, for whichever weird reason there might be, then just ignore all this.
          It’s pretty much all just a repeat of what I already wrote, just kind of shortened.
          (And it’s still really long, because I don’t know how to keep myself short… Sorry for that, by the way.)

      • Frank says:

        “The fact that you identify as a woman or man is what makes you a woman or man.”

        That’s the big lie in black and white.

        I identify as an Cher but I know I’m not.

        That would make me delusional.

        • sicklefang says:

          I wrote a reply to you (which I didn’t save anywhere else before (or after) posting it, because I apparently never learn out of past mistakes..). Now I can’t see it anymore, so I guess it’s gone now/got deleted/whatever.
          So, you’ll get the short version (which I actually /did/ save somewhere else this time, but I’m still hoping this comment won’t suffer the same fate the other one did… Enjoy, I guess):

          The discussion was about whether the transgender agenda negatively impacts the homosexual agenda (aka, whether getting people to understand someone might be trans (and completely unable to change that fact about themselves) is harmful towards getting people to understand that someone might be homosexual (and completely unable to change that fact about themselves)).

          As such, whether or not it’s delusional for someone to be trans is completely beside the point/irrelevant/unrelated.

          “I identify as an Cher but I know I’m not.”

          Then you do not identify as such, going by the definition of the word “identify” that I was going for – which was knowing you are something and feeling like correcting others/uncomfortable/frustrated/angry, when they say you’re not – more often than not, there will also be prove of that being the truth (e.g. if you love a band, you identify as a fan of that band. If someone now says that you actually hate that band, you’ll feel like correcting them, because you actually really love them. Prove of you being a fan of them would be e.g. you knowing the lyrics to pretty much all their songs, or somesuch).

          That’s one of multiple official definitions of the word “identify” and the one I was going for.
          If you assumed I meant a different one, though, then I apologize for the misunderstanding. ‘Cause this was the one I was actually talking about.

          PS: If the reply actually still exists, but somehow is just invisible for me (which I doubt, but, y’know, I can hope, right?), then just ignore this, I guess. It’s really just the shortened version of the long comment that (at least as far as I can tell) has disappeared.

  2. whoiscis says:

    Thank you for this article Will. It’s nice to see some understanding out there.

  3. ananda says:

    Google search results for the dropthet petition have been manipulated to exclude a link to the actual petition. Google “dropthet change.org” and see. Any other search using that format brings up the petition being searched for as the first result.

What do you think?