There is no “compromise”

I wanted to elaborate on my Best Friend Jason Kenney’s “poor counsel,” in which he advised the Albertan government to reach a “compromise” with the two Baptist schools that refuse to adhere to Bill 10, a law signed in by the previous conservative administration that obligated all schools to form a Gay-Straight Alliance or Queer-Straight Alliance should the students request one.

Shortly after these comments made the news, David Climenhaga of Alberta Politics pointed out that as a human rights issue, there is no reasonable way to compromise between Queer lobby groups who largely wish to enjoy the same privileges as anyone else and religious lobby groups who want to continue bludgeoning us out of existence.

Just to elaborate: the “Gay Agenda” has largely been about accessing the same civil sectors as anyone else, and enjoying the privileges that we are supposedly afforded by virtue of being a Western democracy. But religious reactionaries campaign from legal exemptions to treat Queer folks equitably in the name of their faith, thereby re-ifying the nature of cishetero privileges by making them, well, privileges rather than rights.

So I would like to see Climenhaga’s question repeated until it’s mainstream: “Where, exactly, do you plan to compromise?”

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By what measure of “effective”?

While reading some of Julia Serano’s work, there was one statement she made about the battle between gender-affirmation treatment models and gender-antagonistic treatment models pointed out by anat in our comments that made me take a second (actually fifth or sixth) look: (emphasis mine)

We can continue to debate the efficacy of gender transition, or of gender-reparative versus gender-affirming approaches, and each side will be able to find statistics to support their side of the argument. But what is really driving this debate is a difference of opinion with regards to what constitutes a “good outcome.” Trans activists and advocates like myself generally think that a good outcome is a happy child, regardless of whether they transition or not, or whether they grow up to be transsexual, non-binary, gender non-conforming, lesbian, gay, bisexual, etcetera. Trans-antagonistic and trans-suspicious people (who constantly cite “80% desistance”) seem to think that a good outcome is a cisgender child, and they seem to be willing to make transphobic arguments and subject transgender and gender non-conforming children to clinically ordained transphobia (i.e., gender-reparative therapies) in order to achieve that end goal.

I’ve certainly tried to explain how frustrating the media can be when it comes to covering trans issues, including trans research. In addition to the media, trans women* have to contend from misinformation perpetuated by religious fundamentalists and/or TERFs as well as academics whose work is completely imbecilic. Common among the many, many groups that antagonize trans women is a refrain that transitioning doesn’t “fix” anything, sometimes citing (when they remember evidence should back up their claims) a Swedish longitudinal study following two cohorts of transgender women over the course of several decades. The Swedish study found that many of the health outcomes of trans women were still poor after transitioning, including gender affirmation surgery.

The problem, of course, is that the numerous trans-antagonistic lobbies didn’t actually finish reading the paper. The primary author of the Swedish study, Cecilia Dhejne, is not pleased with the way her work has been hijacked by motivated reasoners:

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Trump Youth: Totally not Hitler Youth

The founder of Trump Youth decided to take a page out of Mein Kampf and start a youth movement in a radical proposal to “remove the parasites from America.”

I’m literally not making this up.

A website for the group encourages young voters to “[e]mbrace your destiny and become a part of the greatest battle the world has ever seen.”

“We Millennials are destined for greatness; no longer will we sit idle and watch everything our forefathers built be turned to dust,” the website says. “Our world is hurting, and it is up to us, the Youth, to become the Hero Generation and to save the world.”

Writing on his personal website earlier this year, Liardi said that he did not understand the “truth” about Adolf Hitler until he read Mein Kampf.

“I began to seek out the history without the propaganda– I wanted to understand the mind of the supposed most evil man in history,” he wrote. “So I studied the events leading up to the war, the german Weimar Republic, WWI and the climate of Europe in the early 20th century. And yes, I read Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’.”

Incidentally, I also studied the events leading up to the Third Reich. My term paper on WW2 was returned with a giant checkmark on it, which when pressed for an actual letter grade, my prof said it meant “A+.” Somehow I walked away from that project without coming to the conclusion that fascism is a sustainable or practical solution for… well, literally anything. I won’t bother with the ample material of ethical and moral considerations of fascism, because anyone persuaded by Mein Kampf is already an ethically bankrupt egotist that isn’t likely to be satisfied by any arguments that appeal to altruism or the slightest sense of empathy.

NSA, I know you’re reading this: This motherfucker and every other motherfucker who joins him better be on a list.


That’s an odd way of using the word “choice”

I’ve long lamented the role of Catholic institutions in my government. Initially a persecuted minority, Catholic institutions that were established prior to Canadian confederation had their role cemented by law as part of the agreement to confederate. It was an agreement to legitimize what was, at the time, an organized–if widely discriminated against–minority. The problem, of course, is that these days education tends to be a matter of the theoretically secular government that runs the province… except that these Catholic institutions are happily trodding on secular law by shoehorning “conscience exemptions” into every damn bill that crosses the Legislature’s table. In other words, Catholic institutions don’t have to follow the law.

We’re long past the openly violent conflict between Protestants and Catholics, yet Catholics still enjoy their role in government. Or, I would say that, if not for my favourite advocacy group ever, Parents for Choice in Education. Apparently not satisfied with indoctrinating their children in both faith-based school and church (and in homeless shelters and hospitals–their reach is far), PCE, despite being called a “choice” organization, seems chiefly interested in making everyone else follow their choices.

I’ve written about PCE before. They were the ones who said the new Albertan government would “foist comprehensive sex education on schools next,” and meant it as a bad thing.

Just let that sink in for a moment. Comprehensive sex ed. The thing that reduces teen pregnancy. The thing that reduces the rate of abortion. The thing that reduces the rate of STI transmission. The thing that allows women to participate in the economy, drives up the GDP, drives down the cost of healthcare, stabilizes population growth, mitigates numerous health problems, reduces the rate of domestic and relationship violence, and perhaps most noticeably puts a dent in the poverty cycle.

Class mobility. Cheaper healthcare. Lower crime rate. Bad. 

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Signal Boosting: Convert, Cure, Closet, or Kill — the Religious Right’s Plan for Trans Folk

Medium has a post up that is equal parts delightful in its thoroughness (so many citations, thank you!) and also… horrifying, in its thoroughness (egads, that’s so much hate being cited). It explains that the plan the Religious Right has for trans folk can be reduced to “Convert, Cure, Closet, or Kill:”

Almost 60 anti-transgender bills were introduced this year, most of which targeted transgender youth, restricting access to public accommodations, defining “sex” in non-discrimination laws to exclude transgender people, or permitting health care providers to refuse to treat transgender patients. Another six states introduced laws banning protections for LGBT people, which would join Tennessee and Arkansas in nullifying local non-discrimination ordinances. Twenty-two states introduced “Religious Freedom” laws making discrimination against LGBT people legal and consequence-free.

The vast majority of these laws did not pass, but HB2 in North Carolina did. It functionally accomplished two of the Family Research Council’s goals by nullifying all legal protections for transgender people, and effectively banning them from public bathrooms, while setting a nearly impossible bar for obtaining legal recognition of a gender change.

Also noteworthy is that while NC requires “sex change surgery” (the preferred term is gender confirmation surgery) to change a gender marker, they are adamantly opposed to state provided insurance from covering such procedures. Many transgender people do not want such surgery, or are physically unable to have it. Most simply cannot afford it.

This is why the transgender community has reacted so vehemently to HB 2: it is the realization of many of the goals of hate groups intended to legislate a community out of existence. This is something that has not been pointed out in the mainstream media, though it should be. How would the media react if North Carolina had passed a law targeting black people that was explicitly proposed and endorsed by the Klan?

I strongly recommend this post in its entirety, as it demonstrates the contradictions and inanity of religiously motivated positions to antagonize gender diversity. It also demonstrates why trans folk are generally suspicious of researchers, as so-called scientists have been well known to abuse us to further political agendas (see: Dr. Zucker, asshole extraordinaire, standing proud among the ranks of abusive anti-trans researchers like Alice Dreger, J Michael Bailey, and Ray Blanchard). It predicts that these strategies, tried and tested as routine failures against the LGB, will ultimately flop as they did before–but not before they’ve claimed a body count.

The authoritarian war machine needs lives to fuel it, after all.