Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat

Trans people in Washington State are staring down the barrel of a bill that will strip vital protections from them.

A bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity passed out of a Senate committee 4-3 Wednesday.

Our Republican menaces are using the same exhausted arguments as those in other states, pretending they care about the safety of women, while ignoring the fact that literally no transgender person has ever attacked a woman in a restroom. On the other hand, plenty of trans folks have been assaulted just trying to pee. They need laws that allow them to pee in peace.

So first thing: we need to shut this shit down. You can send this letter to Washington state legislators for a start.

If you can make it to the hearing in Olympia on Monday at 1:30, please do go. If you are in the Seattle area and need a ride, I can take up to three people. I would only need you to chip in for gas. Let me know by end of day today if you want to carpool with me.

If you live in Washington state, you can comment on the bill here.

And, also importantly: we need to vote these bigoted fuckers out. Here is the list of spons0rs: [Read more…]

If Your Feminism Requires a Vagina, It Is Bullshit

I’ve been seeing some supposed feminists engage in an awful lot of transmisogyny for people who claim to give a shit about trans people. And I’ve seen entirely too many feminists claim or act like they’re intersectional, then go off the rails when it comes to trans women. Ophelia Benson is the prime example of late, but there have been others. Far too many others. And I am bloody tired of it. So we’re going to have some real talk today.

This is not how you go about intersectional feminism. And it makes me really fucking uncomfortable when someone claims to give a shit about women and does a little public posturing about how much they care for trans people, too – and then goes off on a trans woman. In one recent episode, I saw a self-righteous feminist argue with a trans woman (who is also a biologist) about the trans-misogynist term “female-bodied.” When you run roughshod over another woman because she does not have the same genitals you do, you are fucking up badly. When you argue that there is such a thing as biologically female with a biologist who is telling you it’s more complicated than that, you are fucking up spectacularly. And there are far too many cis women who are doing shit like this.

So, as a cis woman, I’d like to say this to all y’all who think that being “biologically female” or “female-bodied” – meaning having a vagina and a uterus – is crucial to the experience of being a woman: [Read more…]

Lies the Medical Establishment Tells About Trans Kids

I just got done reading a jaw-dropping, rage-inducing article on the lies some people in medicine tell about trans kids. This is one to keep around in case you run in to some jackass claiming that the majority of trans kids change their minds. Newsflash: they don’t.

The studies that say overwhelming numbers of trans kids change their minds about being trans? Horribly flawed. I mean, super mega flawed. Such as: [Read more…]

Say Their Names: Murders of Trans People Skyrocket in 2015

Most of them are trans women of color. Most are young: almost all are under 40. They’ve been shot, stabbed, beaten, and run over. They’ve been killed because society treats them like trash, and their killers get the message that they’re disposable.

This is why I have no patience left for so-called “good” people who won’t acknowledge that trans women are women, who buddy up with the people who vilify them, deny their womanhood, and work to get legislation passed that discriminates against them. It’s why I won’t tolerate slurs and derogatory jokes about trans people in my presence. Every bit of bigotry, no matter how small it may seem, adds to the danger and prejudice they face. And I am not willing for my trans siblings to suffer anymore. They have as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as my white cis self does. Every single one of them was a beautiful, valuable human being. Every single one of them should have had a long, rich, and fulfilling life.

That, my cis friends, is why we must use our privilege to do all we can to end the social and legal violence done to them. And when you find it hard to do that work, there will be a list of names that should shore up your resolve.

Say their names: [Read more…]

A Perfect Example of the Necessity of Inclusive Language in Reproductive Rights Activism

A couple of weeks ago, Ophelia Benson hounded an abortion doctor into blocking her because she insisted that using the term “pregnant people” somehow erased women. In the process, Ophelia gleefully erased non binary AFAB folk and trans men. When called on her bullshit, she tried to invoke Black Lives Matter, which went about as well as you would expect.

I doubt Ophelia is reachable, but some of the folks on the fence or not too far into this ridiculous camp may be, and for them, I wish to bring their attention to the following, which illustrates exactly why we include AFAB trans people when we fight for reproductive rights. Content note for rape and anti-trans violence. [Read more…]

Yes, Trans People Need to be Included in Abortion Discussions

Ophelia Benson recently harassed an abortion doctor who used inclusive language when advocating for abortion rights on Twitter. It’s pretty rich: a supposed champion for women’s rights decided it was far more important to pester an abortion doctor for using the term “pregnant people” than defend her against the howling anti-choice crowd attacking her for providing pregnant women, trans men, and non-binary people with a functional uterus. You can see the whole sordid exchange here.

As a cis woman with a (probably) functional reproductive system: No, Ophelia. You’re not doing a thing to help me avoid being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Abortion doctors using inclusive language doesn’t set women’s rights back a bit. Having trans rights included with mine doesn’t hurt me – it helps. If we could see trans people as people with full rights to bodily autonomy, it would be easier for everyone to see women as people with those rights, too. So let’s just get that clear right now.

People like Ophelia do more harm than good. Cis women like me aren’t going to get better and shinier rights by shitting all over trans people. We’re not going to better protect abortion rights by denying a place at the table for trans folk who are in need of reproductive services. All it does is further harms a minority that’s already quite harmed enough. Women have a rough time getting the reproductive care they need, true. Trans men and non-binary people with female-assigned reproductive organs run into the same obstacles we do, and then have to deal with even more barriers to care: [Read more…]

20+ Ways to Help Trans People of Color

It’s hard, sometimes, to know what to do when you’re cisgender and you’re helplessly watching as trans woman after trans woman is murdered, the majority of them trans women of color. You want to stop it, fix it, but you feel helpless because you have no idea where to begin, how to change a culture where racism and transphobia conspire to kill. You don’t know how to alleviate the suffering. And so maybe you’re paralyzed by the enormity of it.

You’re not a god or a superhero, so you won’t be able to magically make it all better. But you can do your part to change the world. Here’s your map:

With all of this in mind in one of the most visibly bloody years we’ve witnessed of violence against trans women of color, I wanted to make a list of things you can do to begin to change the culture of violence against trans women of color into one of love, appreciation, and transformative change.

Some of these things may not be in your power to do, but many of them will. Many of them will be easier than you expect. And if we all do our bit, we can make a difference.

Don’t give up.

Image: Trans flag with white wording on it. A crown is featured at the top with the trans symbol protruding from it. Text: “Keep hope and carry on”

Image via Amigas Latinas.

On the Necessity of Being a Good Trans Ally, and Links to Some Trans Resources

I’ve watched with increasing dismay as a person I admired very much, whose blog I read first thing every day, failed spectacularly to understand why her actions over the past year and more have been upsetting to trans women. I’m about to leave on a trip, so that’s as far into that quagmire as I’m wading for the moment. There’s something more important for me to say, anyway:

Yes.

Trans women are women. Full stop.

Moreover, they are women who face misogyny of a particularly virulent kind. [Read more…]

A Rainbow Splosion for This Historic Fourth

I woke up this morning and realized: this is the first 4th of July we’re celebrating wherein same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. I’m usually all, “Yeah, July 4th, meh, bwhatever” because crowds and noise and mindless patriotism aren’t my things, but this time, I’m all, “America, fuck yeah!” I wish it hadn’t taken the Supreme Court to make my country catch up with the other countries that’re happy to let couples marry even if they happen to have matching naughty bits, but I’m just happy we’ve got it. And the religious right tears have been so damn refreshing during this heat wave!

Of course we’ll need a rainbow fireworks display for this particular 4th! [Read more…]

The Supremes Got it Right! And a Timely Reminder that Elections Matter

ZOMG YOU GUYS! WE CAN GO TO ALL THE SAME-SEX WEDDINGS!!! SOME OF US CAN EVEN GET MARRIED AT THEM!!!!!!

I hope you’re satisfied, my QUILTBAG friends.

See, I’d hoped to protect you from this shit. Y’know, like, having to buy a ring, and pop the question, and choose the date, and venue, and get a cake (which we all know can go horrifically wrong, even if you’re baker loves same-sex weddings), and deal with all the family drama what with Aunt Margaret not talking to Cousin Leslie anymore, and then the humdrum ordinariness of married life, and the house, and the kids, and the bills, and the harsh reality of what “til death” and “in sickness and in health” really means. I’d thought you had a good deal, avoiding all that shit. It was kinda like back in the nineties when we thought the military wasn’t accepting pagans, and I was really glad, because I didn’t want any of my pagan friends to die in some bullshit war. I was against same-sex marriage before I was for it, because I figured you didn’t need the aggravation. But, since you wanted it so very much, I changed my mind, just like I did with my pagan friends who wanted to serve our country without having to hide who they are. And I’m getting happily drunk for you right now.

I’m still not sure why some of ya’ll want to sign up for the military when you don’t have to, but I’m old enough now to see why marriage is a big deal, and I’m just sorry it took so fucking long for our country to say, “Oh, hell. If you want it, go on, you crazy kids! Get hitched!”

Even if some of you crazy kids aren’t exactly kids, on account of having to wait so damn long. [Read more…]