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Apr 14 2014

Open Letter: 350+ Trans Women and Transfeminine People Stand Against Calpernia Addams and Andrea James

Trans Women Oppose Recent Attacks by Calpernia Addams and Andrea James

We, the undersigned trans women and trans-feminine individuals, are appalled at recent attacks on trans woman journalist Parker Marie Molloy published by Calpernia Addams and Andrea James on the Huffington Post and Boing Boing. Addams’ and James’ hit pieces exhibit a pervasive hostility to young, queer trans women, and indeed any trans woman who is uncomfortable with the use of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender drag queens like RuPaul. They display homophobia, transphobia, ignorance, dishonesty, and hatred throughout.

We believe that these pieces should not have been published, and that they are not representative of the views of trans women as a community. Calpernia Addams and Andrea James do not speak for us.

 

1. Absence of good-faith arguments

James variously describes trans women who take issue with RuPaul as “hecklers”, “shut-ins” who “spend their waking lives online”, “victim cultists”, “self-haters” engaging in “attention-seeking behavior”, “elitists”, “the language police”, “finger-wagging schoolmarms”, “fucking stay-at-home transactivists”, and “trans separatists” with “internalized transphobia” who “transition from male to female with the zeal of a religious convert.” Unlike James, we do not believe that objecting to transmisogynist slurs makes someone any of these things. We also find it doubtful that James genuinely seeks to “resolve this dispute like professional journalists”, as her column exhibits very little sense of professionalism at all. If, as James says, “experienced activists seek to build bridges and establish empathy”, we are skeptical of her experience.

 

2. Misleading personal attacks

Addams and James have chosen to focus on an individual trans woman and personally attack her at length. In doing so, they give the impression that opposing the use of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender drag performers is an isolated and marginal position held by, as Addams puts it, “nutty trans hacktivists”. In reality, the conduct of RuPaul and others has been widely criticized by vast swathes of trans women. This is not a new critique that has only arisen due to a lack of experience among young queer trans women. It is a long-standing and well-supported objection, one which has been articulated by trans women of all ages and sexualities. Addams and James ignore this in favor of needlessly inflammatory rhetoric, a regressive defense of gay and lesbian transphobia, and unmitigated contempt for the gender and sexuality of queer trans women. Their columns do not contribute to this discussion in any meaningful way.

 

3. Traditionalism and ageism

We reject Addams’ portrayal of young trans women like Molloy as “newcomer[s] to transition and lesbian/trans issues”, a description which suggests young trans women are less informed, less competent, and less qualified to argue their viewpoints on these topics. To the contrary, young trans women can offer a fresh and contemporary perspective to balance the traditional and stagnant views of those like Addams and James. Whatever decades of experience with trans issues that Addams and James have had, it has not served them well in these recent columns.

 

4. Misgendering and accusations of “privilege”

We find it completely unacceptable that Addams would accuse queer trans women of being “conditioned to bully and take by a lifetime of white, heterosexual, male privilege”, using “the gains and habits of this privilege”, and having “lingering ‘cis-het privilege.’” It is baffling and incomprehensible to imply that an out queer trans woman is somehow capable of wielding heterosexual, cisgender, male privilege to her advantage. This isn’t a new tactic – it is commonly used by transphobes to misgender trans women and dismiss anything we say as coming from a place of supposed “maleness”. Here, Addams has done exactly that. This is not a meaningful argument; it is only more of the same classic transmisogyny.

 

5. False hierarchies of trans women

We oppose Addams’ and James’ oversimplification of queer trans women’s sexualities, unique personal histories, intersectional experiences, and self-understandings. Addams describes her own “feminine and soft nature” and experiences of being “rejected from participating in heteronormative culture”, while claiming that queer trans women “presumably lived most of their lives with the tacit approval and support of a society that viewed them as heterosexual, white men”. Her presumption is unwarranted, as is James’ description of these women as “newly-minted queers”.

If a trans woman is attracted to women, this does not mean that she always lacked a “feminine and soft nature” (whatever Addams thinks this means), that her sexuality was never called into question by others, that she was not “a participant in LGBT culture”, or that she was never attracted to men. Many queer trans women who are attracted to women share these experiences – their queerness is not “newly-minted” by any stretch of the imagination. Addams’ and James’ false dichotomy uncomfortably echoes the long history of straight trans women being judged as more legitimate in their womanhood and more “feminine” than queer trans women. This constitutes the same kind of implicit misgendering as Addams’ claim that queer trans women possess “lingering” privilege, while Addams herself supposedly does not.

 

6. Hypocrisy and feigned offense

While any use of “drag queen” to deny or delegitimize a trans woman’s gender is obviously unacceptable, we decry James’ hypocrisy in taking offense to the accurate description of Addams’ history as a drag performer. James herself notes that trans women have a history of “working alongside drag performers”, and that there “was no separation of drag and trans” in “pre-Stonewall Manhattan LGBT social life”, but then claims that “drag queen” is a “transphobic slur” when referring to Addams’ involvement in drag performance. This is, at a minimum, inconsistent. It is absurd that James would denounce this accurate statement of fact as “transphobic”, while she and Addams promote false generalizations about queer trans women and implicitly misgender them with accusations of “male privilege”. We particularly note the hypocrisy of Addams’ call to defend “trans people who choose to… associate with gay and lesbian people”, given her own hostility toward queer trans women.

 

7. Siding with mainstream prejudice

Contrary to James, we do not accept that drag performance is itself a valid excuse for cisgender people to use transmisogynist slurs. James believes that “taboos around language” – language such as “shemale” – are “practically begging drag queens and kings to violate these taboos”, and that drag is an “art form with countercultural subversion at its heart”. Such a rationale is nonsensical. When a word becomes so closely associated with open hostility toward a marginalized group that it is widely considered a slur by the group it targets, this is not itself a justification to continue using this word. It is rather obviously a compelling reason not to use it.

Cis people using transmisogynist slurs are not violating a taboo when the use of such slurs is already broadly accepted among cis people. Most of society does not consider it taboo to refer to trans women in these terms – there is no taboo to break. Repeating a one-word distillation of a culture’s hostility to trans women is neither countercultural nor subversive. It is mainstream. In light of this, James’ commitment to “siding with offensive artists” is hardly a laudable choice.

 

8. Disingenuous conflation of “transgender” with drag

We reject James’ classification of RuPaul as transgender, as well as any implication that cisgender male drag queens are therefore entitled to use transmisogynist slurs. Cisgender male drag queens are assigned male at birth, and they neither consider themselves to be women nor live as women in their everyday lives. Unlike trans women, they are not the ones who regularly face the consequences of widespread transphobia and transmisogyny, and they are not confronted with the fallout of normalizing transmisogynist slurs. Likewise, Addams’ statement that she “hate[s] the term ‘cisgender’” shows a lack of understanding of the importance of this distinction.

 

9. Hiding behind “homophobia” to defend transphobia

We further reject Addams’ argument that trans women’s criticism of the use of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender drag performers is a form of “homophobia” or “hatred or derision for gay and lesbian culture”. Trans women’s objections to transphobia do not become any less legitimate when that transphobia comes from “gay and lesbian culture”. This transphobia is no more excusable – it is equally deserving of scrutiny. While Addams recognizes that “being trans is not a free pass to be transphobic or homophobic”, she appears to believe that being gay or lesbian is indeed a free pass to be transphobic. We do not share this belief.

 

10. Elitism and exclusion of queer trans women from queer culture

Addams attacks trans women who object to RuPaul’s slurs as “hate-filled, angry and inexperienced folks” who “hop the fence at this late stage and try to dictate our culture rather than learn and build and participate in it”. We believe that trans women have every reason to be angry at the mass media legitimization of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender men, and we question the value of learning from this culture or participating in it, let alone building upon it. It is no point of pride to tolerate a transphobic culture. Accusing young queer trans women of trying to “dictate our culture” implies that they have less of a claim to gay and lesbian culture than Addams, and lazily dismisses legitimate objections to the harms of this culture and the attitudes it has normalized.

 

Our aims

We ask that Calpernia Addams and Andrea James refrain from publishing further columns exhibiting this variety of homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, misgendering, ageism, and unwarranted hostility toward other trans women. We further ask that Huffington Post, Boing Boing, and other outlets refuse to give a platform to any columns endorsing such prejudice, whether by Addams and James or by others. As Addams notes, “you choose your community’s voices and heroes.” We reject Calpernia Addams and Andrea James as voices of our community.

 

SIGNATORIES

  • Lauren McNamara, defense witness, United States v. Manning
  • Amelia June Gapin, software engineer
  • Thorin Sorensen, activist and writer
  • Katherine Prevost, software developer, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Anne Cognito, activist and author
  • Kat Haché
  • Andrea Borquez Brito, law school graduate
  • Sarah Brown, politician and trans woman
  • Kristina Foster
  • Teri Dawn Wright, student, activist
  • Lauren Voswinkel, software developer
  • Bobbi Joseph, activist
  • Dr. Mirah Gary, physicist
  • Vivian Doug, public speaker and systems analyst
  • Breanna Clayton, web content strategist
  • Danielle White, SAS Platform Administrator
  • Rachel Ripstra, software engineer
  • Jessica Reardon Smith
  • Kimberly Horne, software developer
  • Josephine Doggett, artist
  • Dr. Aoife Emily Hart, lecturer
  • April Daniels, writer
  • Morgan Smith, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies student and activist
  • Sabine, activist
  • Chelsea Tera Boyhan, field support engineer
  • Fallon Fox, Mixed Martial Arts fighter
  • Sarah Foreman, activist and software developer
  • Josefina Vineyard, graphic designer
  • Rebecca Hargate, software developer, University student
  • Schell Carpenter, Vice President of Engineering
  • Kayley Whalen, trans activist
  • Carol Holly, Scientist and Global Business Development Manager
  • Erika Sorensen, software developer
  • Laurelai Bailey, journalist for TransAdvocate.com
  • Emily L Kwolek, activist
  • Adele Sheffield, social media manager, web editor
  • Winter Hardin, student
  • Skye Arixe
  • Melissa Savage, activist
  • Dana Lane Taylor, TransAdvocate.com, University of Pennsylvania
  • Rhianne Stevens, lecturer, activist and Transgender Support Group Officer
  • Willow Dobmeier
  • Katie Anderson, software engineer
  • Chelsea Richards, emergency medical responder
  • Emily Prince, Esq.
  • Morgan Rose, artist
  • Casey Coughlin, student
  • Zoe Gagnon, software engineer and activist
  • Kathryn Anna Fortunato, IT systems administrator and activist
  • Rebecca Putman
  • Ellie Green, artist
  • Coda Gardner
  • Jayska Teag
  • Eleven, filmmaker and writer
  • Alisha G, information technology
  • Greta Gustava Martela, software engineer and TGSF board member
  • Nina Chaubal, software engineer
  • Annetta Gaiman, trans feminist
  • Diane Tejera Monaco, scientist and educator
  • Alex Ray, web admin
  • Claire Siegely
  • Ally Clarke
  • Aria Smith
  • Devi Smith
  • Bethany Turner, market researcher and webcomic author/artist
  • Cristan Williams, Senior Editor for the TransAdvocate
  • Madison Turner, singer/songwriter
  • Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor, author and activist
  • Amy A. Dobrowolsky, trans feminist geographer
  • Autumn Sandeen, Editor for The TransAdvocate
  • Christina Ann-Marie DiEdoardo, Esq., criminal defense attorney
  • Melissa Jensen, sex worker
  • Octavia Reising
  • Naomi Ceder, IT director, Pythonista, advocate
  • Kris Simon, disability, gender, and sexuality activist
  • K.L. Tremaine, author and publisher, Artemis Flight Books
  • Kelli Anne Busey, contributor TransAdvocate, blogger planetransgender, activist
  • Serana Storey
  • Kylie Brooks, gender, disability, race and sexuality activist
  • Amber Dawn Redman, International Media / Commercial Aviation / Communications / Equality Journalist
  • Reverend Erin Fish, Professional Twitterer
  • Sarah Noble, transgender and equality activist, university student
  • Paige Sullivan, software engineer, trans* activist, wife, and parent
  • Amélie Erin Koran, Executive Office of the President of the United States (Detailee) & President of U.S. Department of the Interior GLOBE
  • Morgan Mullaney, software engineer
  • Lisa Harney
  • Meryl Scarlett Fortney
  • Dani Pettas, videographer/advertising creative
  • Forth Sadler, queer transwoman
  • Ayasha Pope, writer and musician
  • Sara Ross, activist and game developer
  • Kylie Jack, ux designer, activist
  • Kathryn Long, technical artist and software engineer
  • Kaitlyn Richardson, system administrator
  • Hannah Cutler, archaeologist
  • Miranda Lukeman
  • Karin Engström
  • Harriet de Kok, student, aged care personal care worker
  • Freja Falson, student, writer, and trans feminist
  • Shadi Petosky, creative director
  • Jennifer Kitney, student chef
  • Megan Danielle Turcotte, software developer
  • Annie Mei Shen
  • Lauren Moffatt PhD, Professor of Physics
  • Rani Baker, destroyedforcomfort.com, noise musician/freelance artist
  • Amy Wilhelm, trans activist, network engineer
  • Amoreena Crees, interior design
  • Zoey Marie Bedenbaugh, student, writer
  • Dominica Deal
  • Eva Odland, IT worker/author
  • Mara Emily
  • Phoenix Lee
  • Katherine Cutting
  • Cassidy Drake
  • Drew Stroud, web and game developer
  • Amara Sugalski, geneticist
  • A.J. Hunter, activist and writer
  • Rhea Vichot, graduate student
  • Trinity Pixie, blogger
  • The Right Honourable Max, Lairde Harmony
  • Dr. Myriam J. Johnson, physicist
  • Charley Matz, trans lesbian artist
  • Jess Rowbottom, IT consultant
  • Zoė Alexandra Adams, physics student and trans woman
  • Frida Viñas, Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya architecture student
  • Sabrina Kane, Elections Project Officer
  • Maria Ramnehill, transfeminist
  • Addie C.
  • Rebecca Turner, software engineer
  • Caelyn Sandel, indie games developer
  • Anathema Jane McKenna, journalist and poet
  • Stephanie Springflower, self-employed bookkeeper
  • Michelle Emily Cloud, student, poet & lyricist, musician
  • Julie Rei Goldstein, Actress / Voice Over Artist
  • Samantha Llywela Thornton, photo technician, student
  • Alice Wilde, drafter
  • Erin Susan Jennings, trans liberation activist
  • Jessica Ferguson, Sr. Information Security Manager
  • Alison Chan, advanced networks researcher, uni student, LGBT student leader
  • Jessica Fay Speed, artist/postwoman
  • Henry-Katherine H., student
  • D.J. Freedman, MSW, queer social worker
  • Michelle Spicer, BA, Writer/Activist
  • Jennifer Lavender Winn, seamstress
  • Alyssa C. Smith, student, activist
  • Alice T., comedian
  • Aurora Michelle Danes, activist and nursing student
  • Jenna Stewart, student
  • Sarah Spohn, system administrator
  • Jasmine Erricka Glenn
  • Alexie Scanlon, activist 
  • Christina Kahrl, sportswriter and activist
  • Amy Rebecca Boyer, Software Architect
  • Dee Emm Elms
  • Androgyne Partridge, noise musician, graphic designer
  • Emily Joh Miller, student/writer/musician
  • Chloe Skedgell, web developer
  • Stephanie Wilson, retired, civil engineer, program manager
  • Natalie Roman, web developer, LGBT youth mentor
  • Rowan Davis, student
  • Chris Malarky, IT professional
  • Laine DeLaney, transwoman, author, columnist, activist, and community organizer
  • Maddy Love, podcaster and clinical laboratorian
  • Marja Erwin
  • Danni Shochet, Director of Information Systems, Vice Chair Raleigh Transgender Initiative
  • Clare Davis, bookkeeper
  • Jane Natoli, Financial Crimes Consultant
  • Amy Roberts, writer, game designer, software QA
  • Danielle Burgess, web developer
  • Sophie Taylor, aerospace engineer
  • S. Allen, charity worker
  • Elizabeth Rossiter, software engineer
  • Emilie Geary, trans advocate
  • Sarah Savage, activist and writer
  • Julie Harper Lynch, registered nurse
  • Roberta Joanna Manners, software engineer
  • Rachel S. Adelhyde, writer and activist
  • Cadence Valentine, board member of Transgender Leadership Council, co-chair and lead organizer of Transgender Leadership Summit, Program Coordinator for Transsafetycounts, secretary of Transgender Service Providers Network
  • Johanna Wolf, game developer
  • Alexandra Robin Clodge, software engineer/activist
  • Juli-Ann Richmond, Kind Hearted House Sitting, pet and plant services
  • Abby Malson, software developer, transgender woman
  • Allison Lara Keene, software developer
  • Janet Logan, software engineer and transgender woman
  • Katherine Norcross, molecular biologist and artist
  • Alison Edwards, writer and educator
  • Rachel Determann, musician, data journalist and engineer
  • Nicole “Nicky” Roberts, activist, 2013 JCF grantee
  • Jamie M. Kerrigan, Sales Associate
  • Kara Johnson, animal rights activist
  • Finch K., Research Analyst
  • Margaret Laughlan, Residential Social Worker
  • Harper Sylvia Sanford, software QA
  • Victoria Solís Quintillá, student, activist
  • Alexandra Pitchford, writer, game designer
  • Skyla Marchel, activist

  • Ashley Wells, library technician and artist
  • Zoey Bartlett, research chemist and legal activist
  • Gemma Seymour, Sorciére Itinérant, Writer, and Activist
  • Jennifer Mason
  • Donna Levinsohn, attorney and activist
  • Elizabeth Flanagan, Trans/Geek Feminist
  • Madison Rae, HIV Outreach Educator of the Transaction program
  • Kelley Sullivan, Sales Representative
  • Nina Yorty, freelance caregiver
  • Tommilynn Janelle Travis, Customer Support and Sales
  • Jessica Ottowell, software engineer, small business owner, PR officer for the British Liberal Democrat party
  • Rye Silverman, comedian and writer
  • Christina W., Software Engineer
  • A. Mani, Researcher (Math, Logic, Rough Sets), Trans Feminist
  • Sara Hughes, college student information systems analyst and project manager
  • Erica Jones, software developer
  • Michelle Jené Wedge, Writer / Activist
  • Danielle Newberry, author, culinary engineer
  • Nuala Shields, retired network engineer, trans activist, human being
  • Lily Connor, Pagan priestess and nursing student
  • Miranda Radik
  • Charlie Hale, student and author
  • Aisling Fae, college student, physics
  • Gina Grahame, businesswoman
  • Laila Villanueva, United States Army Nurse - currently silently serving on Active Duty
  • Ryan Alana McLaughlin, artist, blacksmith, former Special Forces medical sergeant, activist, and feminist
  • Ellen Faye Harvey, Sales Specialist
  • Mica Hind, storyteller/historical interpreter
  • Claudia Jean Adams, Online Community Manager
  • Nancy Scott Burke Williams, Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Kelsie Brynn Jones, ILGA Advocate
  • Lara Boons, Belgium, a little bit a solo activist on disability, hit by PTSD
  • Allison Andrews, software engineer
  • Aleshia Brevard
  • Anne Rowlands, librarian and pagan
  • Alena Bruening, model
  • Eli Erlick, student, activist, and director of Trans Student Equality Resources
  • Vera Vartanian, writer
  • Alex Sennello, student and cofounder of Trans Student Equality Resources
  • Tina Kent, truck driver
  • Dawn Alderman, systems engineer
  • Lynn Cyrin, student, activist
  • Nic Llewellyn, cleaner and musician
  • Aubrey Schaefer, writer
  • Bella Bellucci, writer, activist, entertainer
  • Lilith Barri Routh, network engineer
  • Lilith Annabelle Rios, Customer Service Representative and Trans Feminist/Activist
  • Laura Watson, Singer/Songwriter/Musician
  • Kathryn Isaacs, software developer
  • Jena Lewis, trans* diversity educator, community activist, feminist
  • Jade Juhl, trans advocate
  • Lily Wolf Solomon, owner of Greenpath Transcripts
  • Gwyneth Yeh, Artist at ArenaNet
  • Samantha Hypatia Thompson, librarian
  • Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan, Women’s Studies Professor
  • Veronica Garrett, Nuclear Professional
  • Emma Bready Larson, student, library worker, and activist
  • Morgan Sea, Tranzister Radio
  • Sierra Kinney, owner of Lone Star Laser
  • Sena Riley, blogger/programmer
  • Caitlin Howarth, student
  • Christina Williams, IT manager and newbie trans advocate
  • Kendall Cunningham, pastry chef
  • Miranda Rae Lunabel, barista and musician
  • Alexandra Bard, medically retired Marine
  • Chelsea Allens, Artist/Student
  • Drew Deveaux, queer porn star, feminist, sex educator
  • Julie Danielle Barnett
  • Coraline Ada Ehmke, Software Engineer and Activist
  • Isabelle Jones, law student
  • Gwen Carlson, student and activist
  • Lisa Severn, IT Architect
  • Helen C. Walther, Chat Administrator, Susan’s Place Transgender Resources, Executive Director, Southern Tier Trans Network
  • Jody Toomey, sci-fi author and musician
  • Eleanor Amaranth Lockhart, university lecturer and researcher
  • Cristin Meravi, student
  • Alys Elbe, student
  • Erin Dean, queer trans* woman of color and radical intersectional activist, blogger at Glitter of Revolt
  • Ellie Morris
  • Crystal Frasier, author
  • MC Tanuki, musician
  • Eva Allan, Revolutionary socialist and Trade Union Activist
  • Elizabeth Izatt, software engineer
  • Bitmap Madelyn Prager
  • Veronikka Edmunds, Waste Management Consultant
  • JoVan Wilson, Healthcare Communicator
  • Natalie Russell, civil engineer
  • Ellie Howard
  • Eleanor Robyn Carson II, author, photographer, video game reviewer
  • Tylyn S. Anson, filmmaker and MFA student
  • Alex Richards Childs, student of Metallurgical Engineering
  • Bobbie Jo Conner, maintenance worker
  • Jessica K. Nichols-Vernon, writer
  • Rachel Evil McCall, writer
  • Sophia Gold, performance artist
  • Kathryn Cowie, writer and editor
  • Johanna Marseille, graphic designer
  • Kori Evans, student
  • Morgane Oger, small business owner
  • Amanda Melody Barna, student and pizza delivery driver
  • Rachel Collier
  • Michelle Jane Perez, writer
  • Lauren Gartrenlaub, Case Manager at a social service agency
  • Robyn A. Montgomery, student
  • Vikki Valimir
  • Alyson McManus, Staff Writer at Persephone Magazine
  • Ryder Goodwin
  • Ash Shields, artist, student
  • Stephanie Wallace, Wine Professional, Software Developer
  • Johnnie Ramona Peel, College Instructor and Blogger
  • Rebecca Dobie-Watt, Helpdesk Analyst
  • Sarah Robinson, IT Tech
  • Bridgett Josephine Waxman, student
  • Dana Ashleigh Goodyear, LPN
  • Tali Gaither, trans*femme Disability justice activist, feminist, queer writer
  • Trina Hanson, IT support/web developer
  • T. Walpole, trans officer, Goldsmiths LGBTQ
  • Maya Martinez, US Army Infantry
  • Christina Lynn Johnson, studying for a Paramedic certification
  • Jasmine Doherty, Air Traffic Controller
  • Cheryl Ann Davidson, advocate/hotel front desk clerk
  • Jacquelyn Kjar-Meyer, student
  • Corinne McCreery, Customer Service Representative
  • Tara Franks, student
  • Joli Shempert, university student
  • Antoinette Coles, Information Technical Professional
  • Julia Kreger, systems engineer, photographer, support group meeting facilitator, retired alternative lifestyle community leader
  • Mackenzie Jade Compton, artist
  • Vanessa Kindell, IT support
  • Tori Amanda Foote
  • Lily Lambda, leathergirl
  • Jayna L-Ponder, Podcaster, Educator
  • Alexandra Williams, Licensed Nurse’s Assistant
  • Emilia Lombardi, Professor, Public Health
  • Lexi Kamen Turner, musician/student
  • Petra Mullooly, student and freelance writer
  • Jale Queen, IT Practitioner and Produce Worker
  • Jacolleun “Chrissy” Madron, actor/director/producer
  • Catherine S Hopkins, Airline Captain
  • Alison Stevenson, student
  • Jamie Lynn Armitage
  • Shay Fabian
  • Alice Beaty, DJ, Mixed-media artist, Kaotee
  • Christianne Benedict, illustrator, writer, cartoonist
  • Kiera Beltman, student
  • Dr. Jadis A. Smith, Postdoctoral researcher
  • Allison Kelly
  • Rebecca Adomaitis, accountant
  • Kerri Green, senior staff nurse
  • Willa Riggins, Information Security Professional
  • Stephanie Lawless, retail accounts management, feminist, trans* support facilitator
  • Shelby Green, student, trans activist / educator
  • Jemma Nelson, Bioinformatician
  • Wren Tobi Stein, college student, cashier, real estate owner
  • Marissa du Bois, Programmer Analyst
  • Joanna Blackhart, Musician, Activist, Educator
  • Anna, Former Huge Calpernia Fan, Former Recommender of Finding your Female Voice
  • Wenda Rhiannon Rose, writer, producer, artist, and proud trans lesbian
  • Alicia Artemissian, programmer, writer, caregiver
  • Morgan Thorp, student, occasional Youtuber and Twitch streamer, and further proof that trans lesbians exist
  • Kristen Haven, student, web developer, volunteer
  • Susan Lewis, Social Care
  • Roberta Proença de Gouvêa, Flight and Aeronautical Engineering Student
  • Ashley Davis, software development
  • Willow Gallagher; transfeminist, community leader, trans activist
  • Auriana Danielle Fabricatore, student and pornographic actress
  • Alice Summer
  • Nata Murray, MilTrans advocate who transitioned a decade ago, still in uniform after over 27 years service
  • Evie Ovalle, Healthcare Worker
  • Amber Planting, Air Force Veteran
  • Jenifer Divine, musician, writer – Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand
  • Bethany Hill, trans activist and graduate student
  • Danielle Church, software architect
  • Chelsie Scott, writer
  • Sylia Gray
  • Elen Parker, student, queer historian, and trans dyke
  • Hayley Anthony, marketing planner
  • Ada Nicole, mathematician/teacher
  • Robynn Penelope Mussell, transwoman and owner of Robynn Penelope Game Design Studio and co-founder of Know Where To Go QCA
  • Nicola Romanski, draftsman – electrical engineer
  • Nicola Clubb, freelance 3D designer
  • G. Searer, engineer
  • Victoria Kaye, Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Adina Lynn Levy, Software Development Supervisor
  • “Storky” Duncan, professional poker player
  • Zoe Steinfield, Program Media Assistant at the MSU LBGT Resource Center
  • Danielle Krassner, Systems/Network Admin
  • Alyssa Herzog, trans*woman and DevOps
  • Wren Gayle Romano, doctoral candidate and activist
  • Tetyana Swan, Co-Founder, Co-Owner, San Francisco Sleep Diagnostics
  • Megan Faulkner
  • Eloise, scientist
  • Rava Soler, trance music producer, trans feminist blogger Akntiendz Chik (in Spanish)
  • Jeannie Lynn Robert, IT professional
  • Corinne Green
  • Cynthia Pauline Jones, Trans woman and Poet
  • Renata Luisa Sdao, Photographer/Artist
  • Dawn Stacey Ennis
  • Barbara Campbell, MSgt, USAF (Ret)
  • Rebecca Miriam

 

If you are a trans woman or otherwise trans-feminine and would like to sign this letter, please email Zinnia Jones at [email protected] with your full name and occupation. This letter will be updated regularly.

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  1. 1
    Question mark

    A lot of antagonism from both sides. Why can’t we all just get along? : /

    1. 1.1
      applebeverage

      Because if our side stops being antagonistic than their side will be free to continue saying that transmisogynistic slurs and attitudes are okay without fear of rebuttal or consequence of any sort. I mean, is that not obvious? Here we have a society that wants to hate trans people, especially trans women, especially queer trans women. And having had people tell me that it’s okay for them to call me a man because their other trans women friends are “okay with it” makes me more than just pissed when trans women in positions of visibility and influence tell our society “Yes, it is okay to use transmisogynistic slurs and think of trans women as men.” I mean at that point I actually want to do worse than just sign on to what is actually a very tame call-out of their behavior, but apparently that’s still too much for you. Disagreeing with someone is antagonism? Where are the personal attacks in this statement, other than quoted from Addams and James?

    2. 1.2
      Sassafras

      Please don’t give us the “both sides” thing. Parker’s offense was not only mild, she apologized profusely and the Advocate corrected the mistake. Addams and James’s response was far out of proportion and attacked the legitimacy of many, many more trans women than just one. On top of that, James has been harrassing Parker on Twitter, comparing trans women who disagree with her to the woman-suit killer from Silence of the Lambs, and pushing her article towards any venue or person with a history of anti-trans sentiment (like Qweerty and John Aravosis). You can’t heal a wound until you take the knife out, and James has been keeping it in there to twist.

      1. darliegoddess .

        Parkers offense was HUGE! She stepped way beyond the bounds and made it a personal attack. She CHOSE to escalate it. The apology was for calling Addams a man, not for the utter snobbism rife through the entire article.

        1. Sassafras

          Yes yes, accidentally calling someone who has been involved in the drag community for decades a drag queen and then apologizing when you find out she was offended is definitely HUGE, while calling trans women “skin-transvestites” and such is just a silly little parody. Next you’ll be giving the same argument you gave on Transadvocate, that Parker and the signatories are “ageist”, while Andrea calling young trans women “newly-minted queers” and bagging on youth constantly isn’t ageist because …?

          1. Bella Bellucci

            It ‘isn’t ageist’ because James’ star is finally fading and she doesn’t like the competition.

          2. PJ5784

            Accidentally? She didn’t just call Addams a drag queen, she said she claims to be a “transsexual.” No, not transsexual, “transsexual.” Notice the difference? That’s a pretty clear indication of intent.

          3. Sassafras

            No it isn’t. As she explained in part of her apology to Calpernia (here, here, and here), she used quotes because she was specifying “transsexual” as a word since the term itself is falling out of use in favor of “transgender”. The whole point of that brief couple of sentences was that Addams represents only a particular portion of the trans community, and one example is using the term “transsexual” (a term, incidentally, I also use for myself). I think she was mistaken to not elaborate on her point, but the thing is that Addams was not the focus of that article.

            Parker’s behavior since the error makes it pretty clear that she really didn’t intend to imply false things about Addams’s identity. She apologized profusely and I have seen her speak graciously every time the topic of her original error shows up, and admit over and over that it was wrong of her. Parker is not perfect but she still did everything a person could want of someone that said something offensive.

          4. PJ5784

            Seriously, are you a friend of Malloy’s? You’re more detailed in your defense of Malloy than Malloy was herself. To me, those remarks seem to me more like she’s backpedaling and trying to save face than an actual apology. I think that the title should read “Trans Women and Transfeminine People Stand Against Calpernia Addams, Andrea James, AND Parker Malloy. Her comments were just as bad, and she was the one who started this whole mess. I’ll just be happy when this blows over and is done with. It’s gotten too nasty too fast.

          5. Sassafras

            I’m detailed in defense of Malloy because I have experience in these internet discussions and if you don’t provide links and explain very carefully, people will twist your words and prolong he discussion by demanding links and sources. Of course, if you do take care and prove your points, then people will just accuse you of having a conflict of interest and being too detailed since they can’t actually rebut what you say.

            And no, I don’t know Parker Malloy but I watched this little shitstorm unfold and instead of playing the fake “all sides are equally bad” bullshit I saw how both parties acted and it was clear who was more worthy of defending.

        2. Bella Bellucci

          Darlie -

          You AGAIN?! You’re EVERYWHERE spouting your self-serving rhetoric! Attacking the victims who may have overreacted while forcefully giving a free pass to the oppressors (formerly known as the oppressed) is not a good look for you, but that kind of group-think is what I’ve come to expect from you – and it’s why we’re no longer friends. The bottom line is that RuPaul is not trans, he feels entitled to use transphobic slurs because he figures he’s ‘close enough,’ and you want to attack anybody who doesn’t think that’s OK, presumably because your M.O. is to kiss the asses of the most high-profile trans people you can find, even if they throw a large percentage of other trans people under the bus.

          Everyone seems to love to attack queer trans women because Harry Benjamin touted the “gay men are the only ‘true transsexuals’” line, and Blanchard called them perverts, but in reality it’s many ‘straight’ trans women like Addams and James who have so much self-hatred that they too become oppressors, joining the ranks of so many misguided gay men (especially drag performers) in a destructive and counterproductive attempt to sell out to the safety of larger numbers.

          This makes their argument that the ‘real’ enemies are cis people that much more laughable… and ALSO counterproductive. Cis people mostly require only education. Gay men should know better and so their transphobia is even more pervasive and intentional. Continuing to defend them sends a message to the mainstream that it doesn’t have to respect us because not even others in our supposed ‘community’ do so.

          T out of LGBT. As someone who has a history of being abused by society because it saw my own family do the same, I can tell you that it’s the only way until Gay, Inc. finally comes around. If those perceived as being closest to you don’t respect you, then nobody will.

          1. delphiomally

            Hell yes! T out of LGBT We are soul twins! Bella, someone else mentioned that it is time to start our own movement. It has been past time to divorce. Not in hate or anger but because recent events prove that we have met the the enemy and he is with us.

            I would love to communicate with you because I subscribe to “If not now when? If not you, who”? Gay, Inc. has shown itself, despite some supporters, to be more toxic than Straight, Inc. We do need to leave them and their drag…pardon me…”trans” shows to themselves. Of course this will be seen as a less-than-amicable “divorce”, and yes it is, but never rising to the level of hatred because most of us are also LGB sexually speaking. We have seen enough and don’t need to see any more. The T must break out now or we never will. This isn’t about seeking leadership or notoriety. At this point it isn’t even about a movement. It is about starting a journey toward independence. Gay, Inc, in so many words has extended the unwelcome mat and we must pick it up and move out.

            Again, it’s not about me, you, or anyone. It is about someone doing something so that it can grow legs and momentum. We have the internet which wasn’t around during early “movements”.

    3. 1.3
      Meggamat

      Person A: DIE IN A FIRE PERSON B!
      Person B: That was unneighbourly and hostile.
      Person C: Oh my goodness gracious me! What a lot of antagonism from both sides.

    4. 1.4
      Bella Bellucci

      You have chosen the side of the oppressor. Well done. *eyeroll*

      1. Question mark

        A lamentation about pointless confrontationalism and in-fighting and a wish for world peace equals chosing the side of the oppressor? Must be one hell of a nice oppressor. O_o

        This started out with Calpernia saying some decent stuff about the portrayal of trans women in film http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2014/03/05/op-ed-defense-jared-leto.
        One of her points was that there are many persistent clichés in the portrayal of trans women and there should be more balance, but there are real women that match these clichés and their experiences should not be erased. Parker’s reply was basically an elaboration on the first part of said point. Along the way though, Parker described Addams in ways that seemed to call into question the legitimacy of her transgenderness. She then went to Twitter and decided to call out Carmen Carrera as another “showgirl/drag-queen-esque” trans woman in a clearly dismissive fashion. Then Calpernia wrote her insult/accusation-ridden response and here we are.

        Clearly both people (and Andrea James too) acted hypocritical and intolerant at certain points, and they should be called out on this. But Zinnia’s post clearly takes Parker’s side, while depicting Calpernia and Andrea as ridicilously bigotted caricatures. Then with the list of names at the end, which is basically equivalent to the amount of middle fingers raised at the latter 2 people, I can’t help but see this as little more than a personal attack perpetuating the drama. A drama that might’ve started out from just poor wording and disagreement on which slurs, if any, might be reappropriatable.

        1. Sassafras

          When Parker was called out, she APOLOGIZED and the Advocate amended the article. Calpernia and Andrea’s response was to spit on the apology and write hit pieces in Huffpo and Boing Boing and promote them to anti-trans groups and sites. Andrea in particular took great joy in ridiculing Parker, threatening to have her fired on Twitter, and comparing trans women who disagree with her to the woman-suit killer from Silence of the Lambs. There’s no balance here, one side is clearly going ridiculously overboard without remorse and attacking the legitimacy of a whole lot of people. When you play the “balance” card here, you’re supporting letting Andrea continue to attack and attack and tell the mainstream cis gays that it’s OK to treat trans people like garbage, and the rest of us just have to try and ignore her. Fuck that.

        2. Jenny9999

          Unfortunately it seems that most of the responses I see flying around the internet about this have never read Parker’s, Calpernia’s, or Andrea’s original pieces. They instead are familiar with this incendiary piece (which was written by a personal friend of Parker’s), which itself is more of a hateful witch hunt, which is unfortunate. All three made good points, and all three said some stupid things, but due to Zinnia’s bully pulpit on forums such as r/lgbt, this has turned into an “us vs them” instead of working together to solve any real issues.

          1. Annah Hinman

            I agree. I think it’s very unfortunate how it always ends up being “I hate because she/he used this .

            We’re (trans) known in the LGBT community for being on the cuff of a verbal fighting match. It’s been like that for years. Someone is always sizing someone up like some glorified gym class.

            In my opinion it’s immature and childish behavior. It needs to stop if we expect the world to take us seriously.

          2. Sassafras

            Ridiculous. I’ve read all the original pieces and to pretend that THIS is a hateful witch hunt while Addams and James’s direct attacks on both Parker and all other young, queer trans women are just “good points and bad points” is ludicrous. Calling this incendiary while ignoring that Addams and James are telling cis audiences to simply ignore (or even worse, intentionally attack) young trans women activists shows a complete lack of perspective. I am a straight trans woman of Addam’s age and I will not sit by and let her and her BFF make us all look like homophobic ageist assholes.

            As for “working together to solve any real issues”, I’m sorry, but I do not work with people who call trans women “shemales” and compare them to the killer from Silence of the Lambs. That’s exactly like feminists who try and build bridges to the TERFs that want trans women erased from society. I WILL NOT DO THAT. I refuse to work with people who intentionally abuse trans people, tell the majority to shame and bully them, all the while trying to curry favor with the rich and famous while stepping on the backs of other trans women. Addams and James are just going to have to live with the consequences of the nastiness they’ve shown, as the rest of the trans community leaves them in the past.

  2. 2
    'Papa Doc' Duvalier

    I support both of Calpernia Addams and Andrea James right to Freedom of Speech. There is no right or wrong way to write a article to express their views on a subject. There is no official handbook as to what words can and cannot be used when describing trans folk. There seems to be a civil war with the LGBT Community where they always seem to be attacking one another over the littlest things. When what should be done is they should support one another, such as what can be done to improves the lives of trans people who have an alarming high rate of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse along with a painfully high suicide rate.

    If Calpernia Addams and Andrea James are not to be the “voices of our community”, then who shall be? I detect jealousy from none other than Zinnia Jones. It’s been very long time since you’ve had a article published on the Huffington Post. These two people seem to stealing your thunder and you can’t seem to take it? You and your partner have already angered the entire decent population on r/lgbt subreddit by your actions of trying to control people by telling them what words they can and cannot use. I can’t count the number of times you and your partner have used the most filthiest language on people. You two should both give up of being Mods there and give someone else a chance to moderate the r/lgbt subreddit so they can nurture that intelligent community.

    1. 2.1
      applebeverage

      “I support both of Calpernia Addams and Andrea James right to Freedom of Speech, but not Zinnia’s. There is no right or wrong way to write a article to express their views on a subject, except for the way she’s doing here. There is no official handbook as to what words can and cannot be used when describing trans folk, but further down I will criticize her use of language. There seems to be a civil war with the LGBT Community where they always seem to be attacking one another over the littlest things, so I am going to attack her over that. When what should be done is they should support one another, such as what can be done to improves the lives of trans people who have an alarming high rate of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse along with a painfully high suicide rate, but I’m not going to point out Addams and James’ failure to do that instead of spewing aimless vitriol at an individual blogger.

      If Calpernia Addams and Andrea James are not to be the “voices of our community”, then who shall be? I detect jealousy from none other than Zinnia Jones, because I need to make an accusation somewhere to disguise my own hypocrisy. It’s been very long time since you’ve had a article published on the Huffington Post, which is the only metric I will use here to measure people by. These two people seem to stealing your thunder and you can’t seem to take it? You and your partner have already angered the entire decent population on r/lgbt subreddit by your actions of trying to control people by telling them what words they can and cannot use. I can’t count the number of times you and your partner have used the most filthiest language on people, remember up above where I said there’s no wrong language? Well here I am, saying hers is the wrong language. You two should both give up of being Mods there and give someone else a chance to moderate the r/lgbt subreddit so they can nurture that intelligent community, because like I said before, freeze peach is only for people I approve of, and if Zinnia wants approval from me, she had better get crack on supporting hierarchies of privilege rather than trying to dismantle them.”

      I’m not sure if it was really my place to do that, but goddamn that was fun.

      1. applebeverage

        *get cracking

        goddamn it i proofread that like 3 times

      2. 'Papa Doc' Duvalier

        I have no idea what you just did but you must have a lot of free time on your hands. It’s sad you can’t write anything original. Keep on kissing ass every chance you get You really do sound like you enjoy people putting things into your mouth every chance you get whatever it may be?

        1. Quin

          It amazes me how often even the most benign and harmless comments get snagged by people like applebeverage and dissected to the point of them creating the very things they find offensive. They might as well be diddling themselves, they get such enjoyment out of creating conflict in the name of trans…whatever.

          1. applebeverage

            “hur hur hur i mentioned masturbation where’s my trophy”

        2. applebeverage

          You’re right, that wasn’t original. All I did was bring the subtext of your post into the light of day. For some reason you seem upset about that. Is it because you wanted to hide your obvious hypocrisy?

        3. Bella Bellucci

          Apple schooled you, son! I hope you were paying attention. There will be a quiz later.

      3. kezzi

        That was awesome what you did. :)

        1. applebeverage

          Interesting trend: People who think I’m great are polite and kind. People who disagree with me make unwanted sexual comments about me.

    2. 2.2
      besomyka

      It’s not jealousy, it’s indignation.

      Ru Paul used trans-misogynist slurs – slurs that too many of my siblings hear just before they get beaten or murdered – to make trans people the butt of a joke, just like every other cis asshole that tries to dismiss us as not-real. That it’s a few trans people supporting him in his bigotry doesn’t make his bigotry right – it makes those trans women enablers of trans-misogyny in the same way that gay men supporting reparative therapy cannot be considered allies of gay men.

      Perpetuating the core accepted truth in society as to our nature is not transgressive or provoking, it’s banal. It’s what people do to fit it, not stand out.

    3. 2.3
      Gregory in Seattle

      As has been said many times before, freedom of speech is not freedom from the consequences of that speech. Addams and James have a right to use their platforms to say what they want, yes: as do everyone else.

  3. 3
    Shelley

    It is important to remember that Andrea and Calpernia both have ties to Logo TV.
    The same folks who bring us ‘Ru Paul’s
    Drag race’

  4. 4
    Meggamat

    Ultimately, it seems that the advocacy groups for the aforementioned subdivisions of the human population will collapse in much the same way that the socialist groups in late twentieth century Britain collapsed, due to internal bickering and division. unlike the the Soviet socialists who found a leader in Lenin, Trotsky and eventually Stalin, the British socialist groups found no strong voice. this proved to be fortunate, as it prevented proud Britannia from descending into the same chthonic pit as the USSR. Only time will tell if the inevitable demise of the so called “LGBT” movement will bring good or ill fate to mankind.

    1. 4.1
      Nentuaby

      The Queer and Trans communities will never accomplish anything, and there are no US tanks in Baghdad!

      1. Meggamat

        I don’t think that there are any US tanks in Baghdad. America has a small military presence in Iraq, but it doesn’t extend that far any more. You realise that Saddam Hussein was tried and executed years ago do you not?

        1. Nentuaby

          Look the phrase up, you risible muppet.

          1. Meggamat

            You are accusing me of being in denial of obvious reality. Was that really so difficult to state directly? And did you have to be so rude?

          2. Nentuaby

            Your “contribution” to the conversation was insinuating that Q&T activism is akin to international communism, and gleefully predicting the collapse of our movement, so… Yes.

          3. Meggamat

            I insinuated that it was similar only in the respect that it is marred by numerous internal schisms. I believe it to be a more noble cause than communism (as are most causes) but ultimately, the divisions within it will annihilate it. Such as it was with Rome, such as it was with Greece, such shall it ever be.

          4. applebeverage

            Except that there’s no country called LGBTQIAia to collapse. We exist in all regions and cultures, and in our existence we demand basic human rights and respect. This is the problem with human ability to recognize patterns; it errs on the side of seeing a pattern where there is none.

          5. Meggamat

            The pattern applies not only to countries, but to any conglomeration of individuals. Inevitably, one of three things must happen. A consensus must be formed, a single and overpowering mind must dominate or the conglomeration will fracture and die. It is as unavoidable as the orbit of the heavens and the motion of atoms. Only a civilization which had surpassed us to the same extent we have surpassed bacteria could hope to change this. The flaw lies not within your movement, nor within its ideology. The human condition demands conflict. It is no less an aspect of us now than the diversity of sexual aspects which you have based your movement around the decriminalization of. If consensus cannot be reached and no great leader steps forward, your destruction is not a question of “if”, but “when”.

          6. Nentuaby

            So if it’s applicable to literally every association of human beings in all of history, why bother to bring it up here and now? This is a conversation about a specific controversy at issue, not a sociology class.

            Or, since use of literary devices seems to offend you: I accuse you of raising this point, which you yourself now state to be utterly trivial, as a deepity and an opportunity for scurrilous insinuation. I state that I do not believe any serious-minded person would have chosen the point of comparison you did (with digression to your gladness that said point of comparison came to no good end, no less!) unless they wished to make a negative point about QT activism, and I state that I believe you are being transparently disingenuous in claiming it was merely a neutral statement. Again, if it were a neutral statement, there would be no point in making it.

            I do not claim to know whether you’re motivated by animus, “trolling,” or just abysmal at this “communications” thing– but in any of these cases, I name you a muppet.

          7. Meggamat

            I brought it up here and now because nobody else seemed to acknowledge it. A statement of fact does not imply an opinion about whether that fact brings joy. Stating that it might rain tomorrow is a neutral statement, but it has a point. The Cycle is intrinsic to mankind’s societies and as such, cannot be stopped whilst mankind still engages in gregarious pursuits. The Cycle cannot be stopped.

    2. 4.2
      F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

      Clearly, if the goals of groups of individuals are so very different, their is nothing “internal” about the “bickering”. Just because you would like to lump everyone you find to be similar into one group doesn’t mean they are a group. Nice try on the categorization there, Aristotle, and thanks for the dismissiveness.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    janiceintoronto

    Does anyone believe that either of these two women even care what a bunch of “she-males” say about them?

    The petition was a gargantuan waste of energy.

    Nothing will change.

    1. 6.1
      Meggamat

      So how goes the physics research?

      1. janiceintoronto

        Better than ever. Thanks for asking. Are you a fan?

        1. Meggamat

          I have quite an interest in physics, but I don’t follow your specific institution.

          1. janiceintoronto

            It’s very hush hush…

    2. 6.2
      Sassafras

      No one is under the illusion that Addams and James care about anyone that can’t give them money or invites to Hollywood parties, but showing that they don’t speak for trans people is what’s important.

      1. Quin

        Fine, then just say “they don’t speak for me”. Easy as that. And yet someone needs to create an “open letter” that all these offended people hop on the proverbial band wagon, rather than simply say, “they don’t speak for me.”

        Why does it take hundreds of words and 11 paragraphs when five words are much more succinct?

        1. Sassafras

          Uh, they ARE saying “they don’t speak for me” and then going on to say WHY. Actually explaining your reasoning and points of disagreement makes it harder for people to dismiss you, which is exactly what would happen if a few people just said “they don’t speak for me” and left it at that.

          Besides, why do you have a problem with it if people want to respond to someone spreading hateful garbage? Do you just want people to shut up and not rock the boat?

      2. Eva

        This. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Sassafras!

  7. 7
    transgentile

    tbh Molloy’s use of “drag queen” as a transphobic slur is disgusting. It both delegitimizes drag artists and the gender of its target. All of these people are awful, and I refuse to support any of them. I’m frankly quite disappointed that Molloy wasn’t included in this “stop doing this bullshit” piece.

    1. 7.1
      besomyka

      Because she thought that’s how Calpernia identified? Once she realized her error, she apologized, issued a retraction, and was rather public about it? That is, she *did* stop without any further needed input.

    2. 7.2
      Sassafras

      Tbh, Parker made a mistaken assumption due to Addams’s decades of work in the drag community, and she apologized profusely for it before James decided to punish her and attack all young queer trans women in the process. Besides which, Addams and James are defending RuPaul, who has said that all trans women are just drag queens who got surgery, so that makes their offended feelings seem a bit insincere.

    3. 7.3
      Gemma Seymour

      Good. I’m all for delegitimising drag artists. Fuck drag.

      1. Quin

        Then in the spirit of equality, fuck you for your hatred.

        1. Bella Bellucci

          She’s got a point, language aside. The problem here isn’t RuPaul, per se. It’s that he’s got a bully pulpit in a very popular television show. Give a transwoman the same spotlight to oppose him and it’s a very different ballgame. Until then, drag has a disproportionate influence on how the mainstream sees gender variant people – as a bunch of catty, selfish, faux-glamorous cisgender gay men in makeup and ball gowns who exploit feminine stereotypes for profit and care little for whom they reflect poorly upon.

    4. 7.4
      PJ5784

      That’s the biggest offense of this article. Addams and James certainly don’t speak for me, but reading the comments by Malloy were just as bad, if not worse.

      1. Sassafras

        “Drag queen” is worse than “skin-transvestite”?

    5. 7.5
      Jenny9999

      I’d be pissed too if I were called a drag queen.

      1. Sassafras

        Yeah, like when RuPaul told people that all trans women are just drag queens that got surgery. I eagerly await Addams and James’s hit pieces on him for misgendering all of us since I’m sure they won’t give him a pass because he’s rich and famous …

  8. 8
    Gemma Seymour

    Calpernia Addams and Andrea James are parasites whose only concern is for their own welfare, and they have and will gleefully sell out all the rest of us if it means fame and fortune for them. I’m not afraid of them, and I’m not afraid of their supporters. My responses to Calpernia’s article were direct to Calpernia, public, and harsh. I’m not even going to take the time out of my life to directly address Andrea, save to say that I hold her in the same low regard.

    1. 8.1
      Gemma Seymour

      All criticism of my comments will be immediately discarded.

      1. Meggamat

        *Criticisms (it isn’t a mass noun).

    2. 8.2
      Quin

      My, you’re an angry one, aren’t you? How exactly are you helping the cause with being so dismissive and full of rage? You point to Addams and James as the bad guys and yet you are no more out of the gutter with your comments than the one you cast those two into.

  9. 9
    Erin Fuller

    I don’t care much to follow either of these hacks I am to busy working on building on unity in our Transgender community to allow two self serving seperatists Support a drag queen who was called on trans misogyny and discrimination all three can fuck off

  10. 10
    Kat

    That’s an impressive group of signatories. When the world sees that “Androgyne Partridge, noise musician” has lent support to this effort, it will have a major impact.

    OTOH, the signatory who went out of her way to identify the Executive Office of the United States may experience a different sort of impact when her employer hears about it.

    1. 10.1
      ohdanigal

      You assume that her employer doesn’t already know…

    2. 10.2
      Sassafras

      Wait, I don’t get it, is “noise musician” supposed to be a less respectable occupation than “z-list celebrity hangers-on”?

      1. Quin

        More like, “let’s make up a title that makes me sound edgy and hip”. Never mind half the titles I saw on there, I laughed out loud at.

        1. Sassafras

          Uhm it’s not really making up a title if it’s a genre of music that’s been around since the 70s.

  11. 11
    susanbjourney

    Thanks for printing this pro-censorship roll call. It think it’s important for people to know the names of the pro-censorship, anti-free speech crowd in any supposedly progressive movement. Way to stand up for silencing opposing points of view! Meh.

    1. 11.1
      Sassafras

      I think it’s important to know the names of people who engage in ridiculous hyperbole, so thanks for sharing!

      1. susanbjourney

        You’ll be singing a different tune, sassafras, when they come after you with the muzzle.

        The trans* community is the WORST when it comes to advocating censorship of differing points of view and rolling out the hysterical hyperbole: “OMG you misgendered me and now I’m going to have to kill myself or get murdered.”

        Really? I mean really?

        Put something on that ridiculously thin skin and learn how to debate like REAL women, not like babies who are so afraid that someone might say something with which you disagree that you HAVE to scream and cry for them to be censored, no-platformed, shut down. Sheesh.

        1. applebeverage

          “when they come after you with the muzzle” you mean like how you’re coming after us with the muzzle? Nothing, literally nothing about this, stops anyone from using their free speech. Case in point, your capacity to pretend this is a free speech issue, using your speech to do so. But you want us to shut up. Why is it that every last time someone brings up “free speech”, this is the argument?

          We are not the government. We are not arresting people whose speech disagrees with us. We are addressing some very harmful things a couple of trans elitists have said, and telling certain publications “hey, in light of this maybe you don’t want to give them a platform?” Or were you under the impression that those publications have a legal obligation under the First Amendment to give out a platform to anyone who wants it?

          1. susanbjourney

            Are you seriously too illogical to discern the difference between “I disagree” with “OMG DELETE HER ACCOUNT, DON’T LET HER SPEAK, MODERATE HER, CANCEL HER RESERVATION, OMG OMG OMG TRANSPHOBIA DON’T PUBLISH HER PICKET SCREAM NO-PLATFORM MY HAIR IS ON FIRE TRANSPHOBIA!”

            Meh.

          2. applebeverage

            Are you seriously too illogical to discern the difference between a suggestion and a legal mandate? There is nothing to actually legally enforce the suggestions being made here about whether Addams and/or James should continue being published. Therefore, nothing is being done against free speech. Why is this so hard for you to understand? I mean, I’d love to have things your way–I always wanted to be in the Huffington Post, and by your definition of free speech, I’m entitled to post articles there under the First Amendment. But sadly, that’s just not the way things are.

        2. Sassafras

          After coming across this little gem on the girlslikeus hashtag, I suddenly find myself giving less than the tiniest shit about your insights.

    2. 11.2
      ohdanigal

      So, by your logic, we are not allowed to state opposition to any speech even if that speech is part of enforcing strictures that harm us.

      1. Alice Wilde

        That’s because free speech is only for those who support the status quo. Ugh :P

      2. susanbjourney

        The only acceptable approach to speech you don’t like is…drum roll please…MORE SPEECH. Not censorship. NEVER censorship. Censorship of opposing points of view is pure evil.

        They have their say. You have your say. They have their say. You have your say.

        They get censored? Maybe you get censored next?

        See how that works?

        1. Meggamat

          I agree completely. There was a valid point to be made here, namely that the signatories of the document wished to separate themselves from the individuals in question, but the calls for censorship went too far.

        2. ohdanigal

          You keep using that word. That word does not mean what you think it means.

          We are asking that private entities deny a platform for the speech of those two. That is not censorship as the U.S.First Amendment rights do not compel a private entity to give a platform to any particular speech. The signatories to this letter are all individuals without the power to abridge anyone’s actual right (consequences of speech are not abridging, thus in the same way that I have not abridged theirs so have you not abridged mine.)

          1. susanbjourney

            There is a principle here that is blowing right over your head. I have never once in my entire life contacted a site and asked that they take down someone’s blog or shutter their account. I have never once tried to get other people’s posts on news articles deleted. I have never once demanded that a venue not allow a scheduled speaker to speak. I have never once tried to get Twitter or WordPress or Blogger or Huffington Post or any other entity to CENSOR someone with a different point of view than my own. Trans* folks (some of them on the list above) have done that and MORE – over and over and over again – to feminist women, gay men, lesbians and even transwomen with who they disagree.

            I don’t care what you say or where you say it on-line, but as soon as y’all start these pathetic, childish, anti-free-speech campaigns to silence people in the LGBT who disagree with you? You’re dead to me, as dead to me as the creepy Maoist cultists who haunt every protest march in Seattle – as dead to me as the cretins in the Westboro Baptist Church.

            Nothing you say has any value as motivational, persuasive or political speech if you engage in trying to silence, de-platform and censor people who have as much of a right to speech as you do.

            This petition is DISGUSTING behavior. It should make every person reading it cringe in embarrassment. Seriously.

        3. LykeX

          Who’s getting censored? Who’s even calling for people to get censored? A private corporation deciding not to publish your articles isn’t censorship in any free speech sense of the word. Calling for a corporation to stop publishing certain kinds of articles isn’t a call for censorship. It just isn’t. That’s not what the word means.

          I’m having an awful hard time finding anything in the above post that qualifies as censorship, a call for censorship or any kind of violation of free speech. Now, if there was a call to have the people in question arrested or have their private websites taken down, that would be censorship and it would be crossing a line. I don’t see that. If I’ve missed it, please point it out.

          And to be absolutely clear, this…

          We ask that Calpernia Addams and Andrea James refrain from publishing further columns exhibiting this variety of homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, misgendering, ageism, and unwarranted hostility toward other trans women. We further ask that Huffington Post, Boing Boing, and other outlets refuse to give a platform to any columns endorsing such prejudice, whether by Addams and James or by others.

          …is not censorship.

          1. LykeX

            And, once more to be clear, you’re of course perfectly free to disagree with the petition, but don’t whine about censorship and free speech, because that’s just not what’s going on here. The owner of an outlet exercising control over who gets published through that outlet is not censorship in any meaningful sense and is in no way a violation of their free speech.

            Nobody has the right to get their articles published on another person’s site. Free speech doesn’t allow you to take control of another person’s property and use it without their permission.

        4. Miri

          You do realise that censorship only applies to a denial of free speech by the state, right? You do realise that Zinnia isn’t a representative of the state of any actual country, right? You do realise that private concerns, like news sites and such, can choose who they want to publish and who not, for whatever reason they choose, and that anyone can ask them do so and give reasons why they think they should, right? You do realise that a right to free speech doesn’t come with an attendant right to a vehicle for the dissemination of said speech, right?

          Because… what you’re saying makes it seem as if you don’t realise any of those things, which really begs the question, while you might have the right to speak, why the hell would you speak about something you clearly have absolutely no understanding of whatsoever?

          1. susanbjourney

            In the Internet age, mobbing every, single popular site on the web and INSISTING that they censor other people (OMG TRANSPHOBIA! MAKE IT STOP!) is censorship in this age.

            The fact that you try to pretend that you’re not doing what you KNOW you’re doing just proves how unethical you are. How completely vile your politics are.

          2. LykeX

            @susanbjourney
            No, it’s not, because private websites simply can’t censor people (in the sense of restricting their right to free speech). Literally nothing that HuffPo does with their site would ever amount to censorship.

            You don’t have the right to get your writing published on someone else’s site. That’s not a right covered by free speech and they can refuse to publish your writing for whatever reason they want. It might be a bad reason; it might be completely arbitrary, unfair and biased; however, it could never possibly be a violation of your rights.

            People telling the owner of a site what they want or don’t want to see is perfectly legitimate speech. People threatening to boycott a site if they continue to publish certain material is perfectly legitimate speech. The site owner can then comply or not, as they choose. It’s their site. They decide what to publish.

            Just like I can go to a store and tell them that they should pull a product or I’ll refuse to shop there, I can tell a site owner that they should stop publishing a certain person or I’ll stop visiting the site. Likewise, you’re free to tell the owner that if they don’t publish the person, you will stop visiting the site. The owner is free to comply with one or the other, or ignore us both.

            They could even decide that we’re too much of a bother and turn the entire site into a picture gallery of hangnails. It’s their site, so it’s their choice. They decide what goes up on the site and we decide whether that’s something we want to spend our time on. There’s nothing either illegal or unethical about any of this and nobody’s rights are being violated.

  12. 12
    Aleshia Brevard

    Dear Zinnia,

    I read your article and call for support regarding the unfortunate Addams/James issue. I would appreciate your adding my name to your list of signatories. It has been fifty-plus years since my own transition and I now live outside the confines of a gender community — that, however, does not indicate disinterest in the freedom, self-expression and/or well being of the community or our younger sisters and brothers.

    Aleshia Brevard

  13. 13
    Ace of Sevens

    I get that what Calpernia Adams was said was very problematic, and Andrea James was worse, but I don’t get point 6? Am I missing some context? She was effectively misgendered as part of a criticism on her. Why do you think she’s only pretending to be hurt by this?

    1. 13.1
      Sassafras

      Addams and James are heavily defending RuPaul, who outright said that trans women are drag queens who got surgery. They seem to only be hurt by it when people who aren’t rich and famous say it.

      Plus it seems to be kind of disingenuous to say how hurtful misgendering is and then engage in it viciously and deliberately for revenge.

  14. 14
    Annah Hinman

    Since Day 1 of Coming out as a transgender all I have seen has been attacks back and forth. After two years of it I got sick of it and left the transgender arena all together.

    As a Pastor and now a full time woman, I fight for equality but Hell will literally freeze over before I take sides again.

    Why? Because each side is messed up in their own way. Back stabbing, sucker punching. Like a frigging WW wrestling match of words.

    No way.

    1. 14.1
      Annah Hinman

      and there is one signature on your petition that makes Calpernia and Andrea look like the most gentlest and kindest human beings on this planet.

      I mean ….. this person is bad news but she’s displayed on your signature page

    2. 14.2
      applebeverage

      okay so why are you even posting on this? seems kind of contradictory to say you don’t take sides while saying “this is wrong!”

      1. Alice Wilde

        What happens is some people want to change the status quo and then someone else frames an argument as “why can’t we all just get along” then the persons looking for change will be seen as the one causing the bigger disturbance no matter how oppressive the status quo is. That’s the mentality that some people have anyway.

        Have you ever been in a group of people with a few saying a bunch of sexist things and you try to correct them or ask them to stop? You will be the bad guy and even some of the supposedly not sexist people will think you were the asshole no matter how polite you were.

        I think people really need to think more about this and who they really need to be lecturing. If there are people on any side making terrible arguments or saying terrible things then go ahead and call them out but please spare us on these lectures. If you can’t, I really hope you went and told the “other side” how terrible they are too.

      2. Annah Hinman

        I replied because a friend told me about this petition going around. Before I clicked on it, the first thing I thought of “well it’s probably a trans against trans thing.”

        Sadly enough I was right.

        It is the single most destructive force we, as a trans community, do to each other. I’ve moderated trans sites and I’ve moderated gaming sites. Trans sites are far more worse when it comes to personal attacks and an OCD like behavior to “crush they enemy”

        One unnamed transgendered website is so bad that I continually pray she gets the help she needs. I’ve seen trans people viciously attack other trans people on websites, at homeless shelters I work for and in other settings.

        I mean the vitriol against one another is absolutely mind boggling. Rather than uniting trans people will harass other trans people to the point of criminal/civil lawsuits; and many times it allstarted because one trans used a word the other trans person did not like.

        Rather than fighting amongst one another we should be uplifting one another. Who the hell cares if RuPaul said we are dragqueens. Do you think I’m going to lose sleep over it? Do you think the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the Federal government is going to read RuPaul’s statement and draft a bill around her words?

        There is a difference fighting for equality and fighting another trans person because of their beliefs like a teenager.

        Yes, of course there is in fighting in the LGB community but the T community…we take it to a ridicolous level.

        That’s all I’m going to really say about. Take care and be careful out there!

        1. applebeverage

          Well with your first two paragraphs I was getting ready to say “well then it’s time for you to go to the other side and tell them they’re wrong too” but then you went on to say that no one should care about the harm they’re doing. You are entirely disingenuous in your assertations. You have firmly chosen a side and are willfully taking part in the argument. You’re also on the wrong side, but that’s another point which has been pretty thoroughly explored in the petition itself.

  15. 15
    Katie Anderson

    Have any of the people complaining actually responded to points in the letter rather than just telling us we shouldn’t be offended?

  16. 16
    Matthew Chen

    So I don’t generally support Ru Paul’s use of slurs nor am I fan of Andrea, but I am a bit confused by this venom directed at Calpernia, a woman who has been fighting for LGBT rights longer than I’ve been alive. This entire open letter seems to conflate Andrea’s acceptance of Ru Paul’s negative language use as being identical to Calpernia’s opinion on the matter. “this misplaced anti-gay language should receive the same level of criticism as something like RuPaul’s use of the words “she-male” and “tranny.” That’s a direct quote from Calpernia’s essay to Malloy, which I think makes pretty clear that she does think that RuPaul’s deserves the criticism he receives,. Calpernia’s attack on Malloy was a response to Malloy mis-gendering her. Yes Malloy apologized for this later, and it wasn’t their intent to be harmful, but just like in the case of RuPaul not intending to hurt transwomen across the world INTENT DOESN’T MATTER. Its not a question of “You meant well”, and meaning well NEVER invalidates the argument of the person who is offended by these sorts of slurs (an argument you make very well throughout this). In short Calpernia’s attack is specific and focused about transphobic language. That’s a problem. Defending someone who uses transphobic language, no matter what their original intention is also a problem, both when Andrea does it for Ru Paul and the implicit defense that appears here by even mentioning the specific reason Calpernia decided to write her essay (she got mis-gendered). How exactly is the obscuring of one person’s experience with transphobia in order to combat some else’s use of transphobic language helpful when the person you are obscuring doesn’t even support the use of transphobic language to begin with?

  17. 17
    Gregory in Seattle

    I’ve been seeing an “example of privilege” meme floating around recently, which basically goes: “It is not a problem because it is not a problem for me.”

    There is an awful lot of “Words like those are not a problem because they are not a problem for me” going on in these comments. This sentiment is commonly being followed with “Because I don’t have a problem with such words, anyone who does have a problem with such words is silly and hypersensitive,” which makes for an illustrative corollary to the meme.

    Some of the above poster may wish to meditate on this for a while.

  18. 18
    George Foley

    Way to pay the Hate forward.

    I will say as a trans ally. Which I have been for years since my own sisters’ transition in 95′ at the age of 15. It was a very different place. At that point of time her only ability to meet other trans individuals was with the limitations of telnet ( I know I’m dating us but it’s okay :P I like my age). At that time finding any community for my sister was welcome. Andrea James and Calpernia Adams were there for her as well as there to share their experiences and educate me. Perhaps they are not as radical as you would prefer. However I can say they were exactly what I needed to grow as an individual and find my voice without talking over my sister’s space or voice.
    Mind you I can only speak from my experiences rather than speaking for allot of others as you chose to do. As a matter of fact it is part of what Andrea James helped me learn at a Chinese restaurant in north Hollywood. That I should only speak from my experiences as an individual and ally and should not speak from my sisters as I was not in that community. That was a very different way of thinking for me as we had grown up for our entire lives as Irish twins and very close in age maturity etc. I’m saying this only to highlight the gross differences that I see in a very short time of your argument as well as your anger with her and how she acted around me. I’m not denying your experience meeting her and Calpernia though I will say I have never seen either of those ladies talk the way you said they did in person. It must have been an odd day for them when you meet them.
    I learned a long time ago we all have different emotional bandwidths. Some people feel more love some more hate, some tend to mimic those around them. Your article however is full of hate and judgment. You sincerely hate and judge both those ladies. Having been on the front lines dealing with the Christian crazies. Having advocated and spoken with in the gay community dealing with ass hats like Dan Savage and the like and working on educating them. Trying to teach them to listen to others experiences as quotes and not to add our own personal filer as a translator. Rarely have I seen such vitriol towards another individual in a shared community.
    I’m not going at this from a jealousy issue. I’m going to call it more of a self hate issue. You seem like you grow from anger and hate. Mind you that is not a bad thing. Though I think that we need to know where we draw our strength from in our personal filter. Then when we communicate with others it’s important to remove as much of our own personal filter from the conversation before sending the conversation back. That is what makes for objective communication and education. Mind you I’m only speaking as a human from a human experience not as a cisgendered male. Before you try to attack these are human experiences and emotions not limited by gender.
    I only say this as an ally that you truly are trying to be constructive you need to learn to communicate in bridges rather than bombshells. Also please use I statements and personal held beliefs or say specifically in letters like this. “These individuals who we do not know but have followed publicly we are judging for the following reasons.”

    in our experience with these individuals at a personal level. (that would be an accurate opening of this) Have issues with these statements at these times as references by (then add foot notes) So that individuals are judging with complete context. Otherwise it’s more closely represented to Jingoism or Propaganda. As most individuals can get people to rally around hate like moths to a flame. Though you seem to be seeking Righteous Fire which is infinity more useful and creates growth not just destruction. Finally follow the letter with a path to redemption or set benchmarks for individuals to show growth and good faith.

    Writing something that is just a judgment with no course of action has no functional use other than to espouse hate. You can make a statement of we disagree with these core statements and actions ( please reference them as you are a writer I’m a baker so forgive me for not knowing the format but I know that much) Then a statement of understanding for why someone could make a mistake ( this is an olive branch) Then offer coaching and advice on how to grow and become a more amazing person as this shows your investment in their success and happiness as well as recognize that education and growth is your primary goal.

    I know you are going to rip into me as a Hiv + Cisgendered Male who has no experience of your hardships. Though I will say having been in three relationships with trans individuals and with a sister who I love more than anyone else. I want you to be a uniting force and not a divisive one. In my own experience. I have found that it is great and necessary to call out others on what they do that is wrong. HOW EVER more importantly is to help offer education on the way back. Be firm in making your points without having to deconstruct, humiliate, shame, judge, devalue others. As those are the tools of the enemy.

    I hope you all figure this out. I have specifically not commented on any of your comments in a hope of not trying to change the information. I just ask that you think about the context in which you choose to talk to each other and find resolution as you have more enemies at the gates and you don’t need them in your hall as well. Be well one ally to another

    1. 18.1
      Alice Wilde

      I can only speak from my experiences rather than speaking for allot of others as you chose to do.

      I must of missed the part when Zinnia Jones forced all of us to add our names to this letter voluntarily.

    2. 18.2
      Sassafras

      Some people feel more love some more hate, some tend to mimic those around them. Your article however is full of hate and judgment. You sincerely hate and judge both those ladies.

      In your rush to lovingly judge us as full of hate, you might have missed that both these women you’re defending spat on repeated apologies and attempts to make amends, and Andrea has been threatening to ruin the reputation of Parker Molloy and calling trans women who disagree with her “skin-transvestites” and comparing them to the woman-suit killer from Silence of the the Lambs. Nothing hateful about that, right? I’m sure they were super super nice to you and your sister, but if you’d crossed them then you might find your sister being called a skin-transvestite.

      1. Annah Hinman

        Writing a petition of this magnatude doesn’t tell me those who agree with the petition are full of hate…but it does tell me there are other liberation injustices in the transgender community you need to fix you priorities on and too much effort is going into this project.

        Just seems childish to me. Calpernia isn’ t my friend, lover, or family member. The US does not write trans legislation around her opinions.

        Just seems like another “I hate you for using [word] because I use this [word]

        1. Sassafras

          Yeah, cause obviously none of the people involved can be doing anything else while this letter is up, and they should only focus on Annah-approved issues.

          1. Annah Hinman

            Rather than complaing about it on the internet then get out there and make a difference. Going to a homeless shelter and helping a transgender person find a job and a home of their own is what will change a trans persons life. Not writing blogs attackin another trans person. That’s folly

          2. Sassafras

            It is possible to participate in the Internet AND also do constructive things outside as well. The idea that people using the Internet are just armchair activists is just a way to try and prevent socially conscious individuals from making use of the most powerful communication technology in the world.

            By the way, did you also go scold Andrea for writing blogs to attack other trans women, or did you save that just for us?

          3. Musca Domestica

            So, complaining on the internet (about something that happened on the internet, no less) is doing nothing, but here you are, on the internet, trying to affect other people’s behavior?

            Internet is real. My 81 yo Grandmother is on Facebook for freck’s sake. Even though I’m surprised every time I see she has been able to post a comment (I’m her IT-support), she understands that she is interacting with real people when she does that. She knows that if she wrote something mean (she most likely wouldn’t), it would hurt someone for real. News, ideas, information/disinformation and opinions are shared and spread on the internet. Money is collected for charities on the internet. You can pretend that your holy hands-on work is the only thing that makes a difference, but showing up here to state that is making you look like a hypocrite.

    3. 18.3
      Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

      George Foley – pray tell me, why should anyone complaining about problematic langage take heed of someone who uses the phrase ‘Irish twins’?

      Besides, your whole comment boils down to “This isn’t a problem for me, therefore it shouldn’t be a problem for you.”

      When what you could have written, and got a much more positive response, was:

      “This isn’t a problem for me, and I’m having a problem understanding why it is a problem for other people. I would really like to learn, but am having trouble with finding search terms for finding the appropriate information. Please could someone help?”

      The thing is, movements change as goals change, and goals change as each one is reached. In each generation, there are brave people who refuse to stick with the status quo but, at great personal risk, go on to the next stage and fight for the next goal. This isn’t ‘paying hate forward’; it’s expressing frustration at people stalling the movement.

      The first stage is even to recognise that there is a class of people who are trangender; rather than individuals ‘with a weird mental disorder’, which was how it was framed when I was young. The relief I felt, when I discovered that there are other people out there who are just like me in many ways, was so great that it has completely overwhelmed any other problems I might have with being transgender. Just accepting myself for who I am is such a wonderful feeling after half a century of hiding from myself that I feel no need to go any further (yet!). Because my parents were raised in a culture that said that everyone has to fit into a strict binary, and everyone who didn’t fit was deviant and should be locked away for the good of society, that was the attitude they passed on. When ‘coming out’ means total loss of liberty, most people either hide behind a binary-appropriate façade, and become invisible that way, or get locked up and disappear in another way. For many of my generation, self-acceptance after a lifetime of mental anguish from self-denial is enough.

      But just because I am content with self-acceptance doesn’t mean that I think anyone else should be; or even that I think that I should stay hidden. I am out to my spouse and much of my immediate family and friends, and to most of my online friends too. It would be trivially easy to find my meatspace identity from my online one; I’m not afraid of ‘being outed’; I just want to be gentle to my elderly parents, who love me for who they think I am (the person they created to protect me).

      The next stage as I see it, after self-acceptance, is to demand legal acceptance: the right to be who we really are. That is the stage that many of the people of my older offspring’s generation (in their thirties) fought for. This is the generation that has been able to go for gender-reassignment surgery and expect reasonable results. This is the generation that has managed to get legislation against discrimination, that has managed to get the ‘T’ into the LGBTQI… acronym. Having achieved so much, they are pretty immune to negative language; after all, they were the ones who came out at a time when they risked being locked away ‘for their own good’, when gender-reassignment surgery was considered ‘mutilation’ and ‘fixing the brain’ was supposed to be the better (only) option.

      The next stage, I believe, is going for societal acceptance – real equality, not just legal equality. Building on the work of previous generations, this generation (which is that of my younger children and grandchildren (pre-teens, (and younger) teens and twenties)) is demanding not just tolerance but the same respect that everyone else expects as their birthright. Which means jumping hard on demeaning language with a history of being linked to physical, mental and rights abuses.

      This doesn’t make them ‘thin-skinned’, or ‘hyper-sensitive’; it makes them the generation that might just achieve what my generation felt was beyond us – a truly egalitarian society.

      What some posters here see as intra-group squabbling, I see as older generations content to rest on their laurels, possibly just tired of fighting from what they’ve achieved, and not seeing the value in what the younger generations are trying to achieve for themselves (and, by extention, for the rest of us) whilst the younger generation, having seen the movement achieve so much in the last forty years – and having plenty of energy for the fight – cannot see why we’re stopping so close to the goal. And their disappointment in us when we not only stop fighting but tell them that we think their fight isn’t a worthy one – or even sabotage it by using the same problematic language that they are trying to expunge from society’s vocabulary – is only to be expected.

      The reason that there is a fight over language is because language shapes society’s attitudes. Now, I might be content that (thanks to the fights of a younger generation) I no longer face being locked away for being who I am.

      That doesn’t give me the right to tell that younger generation that they are being hyper-sensitive for wanting surgery and employment security.

      And it doesn’t give me or them the right to tell the newest wave that they should be content with being allowed to be themselves and shouldn’t expect to be treated humanely, let alone equally.

      If the movement gives up at any stage before true equality, the culture will reclaim their lost ground and we’ll be right back at square one.

  19. 19
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Wow, the FREEZE PEACH brigade is out in force today.

    With regards to the Letter, *slow clap*.

    1. 19.1
      applebeverage

      Seriously. Did reddit buy out FreeThoughtBlogs or something?

  20. 20
    Jessica K. Nichols-Vernon

    As if being in the wrong body wasn’t enough pain by itself!

  21. 21
    mattyarbrough

    Middle aged middle class CIS white guy here, I’d just like to voice my support for Zinnia and the open letter, it’s depressing to see this sort of thing in what is becoming the mainstream of new media.

  22. 22
    ebutler

    ‘James variously describes trans women who take issue with RuPaul as “hecklers”, “shut-ins” who “spend their waking lives online”, “victim cultists”, “self-haters” engaging in “attention-seeking behavior”, “elitists”, “the language police”, “finger-wagging schoolmarms”, “fucking stay-at-home transactivists”, and “trans separatists” with “internalized transphobia” who “transition from male to female with the zeal of a religious convert.”’

    Well, she got me there.

    ‘…while claiming that queer trans women “presumably lived most of their lives with the tacit approval and support of a society that viewed them as heterosexual, white men”.’

    Until high school, I was often called gay, but that changed after I masculinized in my appearance quite a bit in high school, so she’s got me there, too.

    1. 22.1
      Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

      Yes. I have to wonder what her opinion is of queer trans men who have hidden in plain sight disguised as cis-het-women? =^_^=

      ‘…while claiming that queer trans women “presumably lived most of their lives with the tacit approval and support of a society that viewed them as heterosexual, white men”.’

      And why white? Does she not think that there are any trans POC?

      1. Sassafras

        And why white? Does she not think that there are any trans POC?

        Identity politics is an important part of her messaging. By framing her opponents as all white, she’s trying to imply both that she is above her whiteness and thus that POC should support her, and also trying to cast opposition to RuPaul as racist. She’s tried to reduce the diversity of her opposition at every point (claiming they’re all lesbians, all young, all white, all nerds, etc) because she knows progressives will at least pay lip service to supporting diversity. It would almost be clever if she didn’t employ it so ham-fistedly.

  23. 23
    Bill Nicholl

    As the father of a son who identifies as my daughter, I will always support her and anyone who identifies as transgender.

    1. 23.1
      Poppy

      As a trans woman, I would be horrified if my father referred to me as being his “son who identifies as [his] daughter” rather than his daughter.

      1. LykeX

        I found that a little grating, too. I guess the idea was to signify an at-birth-assigned “son”, who identifies as a daughter. I think the explicit use of the feminine pronoun makes it clear that this is a case of unfortunate phrasing rather than ill intent. I know “intent is not magic”, but it’s not entirely irrelevant, either.

        1. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

          I agree, LykeX.

          If I could one day see a similar statement from either of my own parents, I would be over the moon!

          We have to make allowances for where people are coming from; their journey may well have been a much longer one than we can imagine, even if they haven’t yet arrived at the desired destination. They can only speak from where they are at. At least they have made the effort to embark on a journey that many can’t be bothered to.

  24. 24
    Jacolleun "Chrissy" Madron

    Zinnia,

    I would like to sign your letter, but I keep getting a 404 redirection back to the post. I for a long time have not liked that Calpurnia Adamms thinks that she is the “grand goddess” of the trans-woman community. She does not represent us in any decent fashion when she herself cannot blend into society outside the gay community and has to address most of us as closet queens. She does not understand the struggles of normality when her main base of income is to be a drag queen. I am a respected actress and director here in the Denver film and stage community. I could never cast Calpurnia in a strait woman’s role, because she presents herself as a smarmie gay male in a dress, unless I’m looking to cast a drag queen. I have used trans people in strait roles for various productions as strait people and we all find it quite rewarding. She cuts down so many trans people who do not or were not given the oppertuneties as she was. That’s selfish and unfair. She has proven that she’s nothing but a media monger and profits off of whoever flashes a dollar in her face like a cheap un-remorseful whore. I cannot understand where in the hell she went so far of the parameter after sharing her tribulations as “Soldier Girl”, but she has. What pity.

    You can put me on the sign up list and friend me.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your time on this.

    Jacolleun “Chrissy” Madron actor/director/producer

  25. 25
    Jane Draught

    How many more signatures do you have to collect before this article becomes Trans law?

    1. 25.1
      Sassafras

      Trans Congress isn’t in session right now so it will be a couple of weeks before we can get the bill looked at

  26. 26
    Roxanne Beamon

    I agee.

  27. 27
    closedmyaccount

    You may want to clean up the list, there are some fake/troll signees in it…

    - The Right Honourable Max, Lairde Harmony
    - Reverend Erin Fish, Professional Twitterer
    - Bitmap Madelyn Prager
    - Trinity Pixie, blogger
    - Lily Lambda, leathergirl

    1. 27.1
      RachelEvil

      I don’t think any of those are fake. Bitmap Madelyn Prager is a friend-of-a-friend of mine, and Trinity Pixie, as has just been shown, has blogged on this very site.

    2. 27.2
      Trinity Pixie

      No, wait, I think he has a point.

      1. M. A. Melby

        Oh – that’s hilarious.

        1. closedmyaccount

          o,O wasn’t expecting to see nicknames/aliases on that list. my bad.

  28. 28
    Jenna Stewart

    By the way, in case anyone didn’t know, I’m pretty sure Schlumbumbi (#27 unless comments get removed) is full of shit (again).

    Bitmap Madelyn Prager has an easily-Googleable Facebook page.

    Trinity Pixie has done a podcast with Angry Atheist and has a twitter page (https://twitter.com/TrinityPixie).

    Lily Lambda is a real leathergirl with her own website. (potentially NSFW, didn’t check too far http://lilylambda.com/)

    The other two don’t seem to have enough of an Internet presence to be confirmed from the outside.

    So yeah. Stop doing that, Schlumbumbi.

  29. 29
    Jenna Stewart

    Oh hey, I forgot to mention! Trinity Pixie has blogged HERE!
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2014/03/a-secular-argument-for-transphobia/

    So stoppit, Schlumbumbi.

  30. 30
    =8)-DX

    Can I just site here at the bottom of the comments section and wave a rainbow (or whatever) flag saying I support everyone, and especially harmony and understanding between people of all genders, sexes, orientations?

  31. 31
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    =8)-DX

    No.

    Because now I’m at the bottom, waving…

    =^_^=

  32. 32
    Jennifer Wendelin

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I emailed to be a co-sponsor of this letter. I hope my qualifications are enough for your standards.

  1. 33
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    […] related news, more than 100 trans women have signed a letter denouncing two recent articles about the show’s use of transphobic […]

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    […] came about after weeks of direct negotiation on how to proceed. My critics have also published an open-letter response to this article, in which the authors and the letter’s signatories take issue with my criticisms. Big Freedia […]

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  7. 39
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    […] Open Letter: 300+ Trans Women and Transfeminine People Stand Against Calpernia Addams and Andrea Jam…–”Addams’ and James’ hit pieces exhibit a pervasive hostility to young, queer trans women, and indeed any trans woman who is uncomfortable with the use of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender drag queens like RuPaul.” […]

  8. 40
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    […] rape, and death?  A movement that calls for the suppression of speech, even from it’s own elders? How did we get here?  That will take more than one post to answer, I’m […]

  9. 41
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    […] of self-hate.  It is interesting to note that on the recent 350+ signatories of the Zinnia petition,  approximately 120 out of 390, or 31%, listed a STEM occupation. And yet we are to ignore the […]

  10. 42
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  14. 46
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  16. 48
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    […] a platform for a vile and misinformed post – this time, castigating young queer trans people. Open Letter: 350+ Trans Women and Transfeminine People Stand Against Calpernia Addams and Andrea Jam… (Zinnia Jones, Free Thoughts […]

  17. 49
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    […] a platform for a vile and misinformed post – this time, castigating young queer trans people. Open Letter: 350+ Trans Women and Transfeminine People Stand Against Calpernia Addams and Andrea Jam… (Zinnia Jones, Free Thoughts […]

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  22. 54
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  23. 55
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  24. 56
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