Does Jesse Singal still get writing gigs?


He’s a creep.

At least, no publisher ought to commission him to write about trans issues. There’s just so much information damning him as an untrustworthy actor.

This tweet bugs me.

When anyone talks about “biological” sex or “biological” males or “biological” females, it throws up a red flag for me. What does that mean? They don’t say; there are all these unstated assumptions behind it. I have to guess that what they mean is something about penises and vaginas and chromosomes and hormones, but those are all less absolutely deterministic than they imagine. Singal is a guy who writes about sex and gender a lot, so how can he be so casual and sloppy with his words?

And then I learn he’s part of a cabal of cis journalists who coordinate their agenda behind the scenes. Singal, of course is chatting away there.

Singal posted these messages in the discussion forum of a closed listserv he belongs to, hosted on Google Groups. The listserv, per its “About” page, aims to provide an “off-the-record discussion forum for left-of-center journalists, authors, academics and wonks.” It has been around for at least eight years (I found discussion posts dating back as far as 2010), and has just over 400 members (403 at the time of this writing). These members include New York Times best-selling authors, Ivy League academics, magazine editors, and other public intellectuals—in short, a lot of important people who influence public discourse through their written work. They use the listserv’s forum to discuss current events, news from their respective fields, articles they’ve read, articles they’ve written, and other topics of public importance. There are a number of threads about trans stuff, and they read like a greatest hits of the past decade of trans-related cultural anxieties: whether Chelsea Manning would pose a threat in a women’s prison; Janet Mock’s contentious 2014 interview with Piers Morgan and the “Twitter mob” she inspired; Elinor Burkett’s New York Times piece about Caitlyn Jenner and womanhood; comparisons between Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal; erasure of the word “vagina”; saying “pregnant people” vs. “pregnant women”; and a number of Jesse Singal’s articles over the past few years.

None of these discussions brought trans voices to the table because the group has never had any out trans members, at least as far as I can tell. “I really wish we had some trans people on this list, it’s a real void we have,” posted an award-winning investigative journalist in a thread about Singal temporarily leaving Twitter last December. “I’m not interested in sharing this list or any other space with someone who is going to insist on nullifying and erasing my existence and experience as female,” a prominent futurist in progressive news media wrote back. The exchange demonstrates two different means of excluding trans people from the discussion: passive exclusion (empty calls for inclusion that don’t lead to action) and active exclusion (we must keep them out). At the time of this exchange, the listserv had existed for nearly a decade. If the group’s members really wanted to bring trans people to the table, they could have done so at any point. The fact that they never did suggests that the group’s members—400 prominent, influential figures in academia, media, and publishing—would rather keep trans people at a safe, anthropological remove where they can talk about trans people without speaking to trans people directly. A less generous reading of this exclusion would say that they don’t see us as potential intellectual equals and, thus, don’t read our work.

Awww, how sweet — they sure would like to have some trans members, unless they somehow “nullify” cis people’s experience of their sex. I’ve met other men and women, cis and trans, and none of them have ever made me question my identity. Someone needs to get out more!

The final nail in the coffin ought to be this lengthy and thorough deconstruction of Singal’s devious anti-trans history. Here’s just a taste:

One reason we can confidently assert that Singal is distorting the narrative (whether consciously or in accordance with his own biases) is because he did consult people capable of fact-checking him for the article—he simply didn’t use their input. Singal interviewed multiple trans women for the piece, including trans writers Julia Serano and Parker Molloy, but their comments appear to have had little impact on the final draft. After it was published, both writers spoke out about several inaccuracies of fact and framing. They had addressed these points in their interviews and were ignored. Molloy’s response offers a nuanced critique of Singal’s pro-GIC arguments; Serano’s rebuttal contains crucial historical context about “how both ‘gay conversion’ and [Zucker’s style of] ‘gender reparative’ therapies share the exact same strategy of coercing gender non-conforming children to behave in a more normative manner.”

That interview was, it appears, the earliest contact between Singal and Serano, and he did not take her criticisms well. According to her, he lied about her views on transition to outrage his Twitter fan base. This would become an example of an alleged pattern of behavior by Singal. First, he is critiqued by trans people or allies. He misrepresents their positions to incite backlash online, or simply screenshots or quote tweets them to direct harassment their way. Trans writer Emily VanDerWerff said her experience with being misrepresented and harassed included “death threats, rape threats, invitations to commit suicide, [and] constant misgendering.” Singal contacts critics, threatening to sue. He contacts their employers. He sends them abusive emails. When someone reports a fact about him that he finds unflattering or releases a critique he doesn’t like, he frivolously threatens to sue and demands publications issue corrections—then howls about not getting them on Twitter. At this point, it’s a little bit of a joke on trans Twitter that every trans writer or academic, no matter how minor, is eventually subject to a Singal meltdown and volley of threats.

Singal’s behavior is unprofessional, to say the least. Julia Serano, when targeted by Singal, felt she had to temporarily leave social media for her safety. Another one of Singal’s trans targets was fired after he repeatedly contacted her boss. Singal’s habit of consistently and viciously attacking his critics poisons the well; it deflects any chance of real criticism, since it allows him to claim that any given critic simply personally dislikes him. He has, of course, helped ensure that this is the case by treating them poorly. This bad behavior extends beyond minor Twitter slap fights—it’s also a means of warping the conversation, punishing and dismissing dissenting voices before they can even speak. Leveling threats and directing abuse at sources and experts in this way goes beyond mere unprofessionalism—for a journalist, it’s genuinely unethical.

I think it’s clear that anything Singal writes on trans issues is biased, unreliable, and untrustworthy. Yet he still gets published in high-profile magazines! What do you think: do publishers and editors not realize how awful he is on these topics, or they’re all just awful people who share his ugly views?

Comments

  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    … unless they somehow “nullify” cis people’s experience of their sex.

    This irresistibly reminds me of an old joke, the punchline of same reading –

    Who put the novocaine in the vaseline?

  2. raven says

    Never heard the name before and it doesn’t look like I missed anything.

    Jesse Singal looks like a typical internet troll that posts on twitter and occasionally sells incoherent articles to the MSM.

    Leveling threats and directing abuse at sources and experts in this way goes beyond mere unprofessionalism—for a journalist, it’s genuinely unethical.

    For a troll it is typical though.
    It would be OK if Jesse SIngal shows up here and threatens me and everyone else. He won’t do that though. Bullies only beat up on people who can’t or won’t fight back. I couldn’t care less about what a troll I never heard of before thinks of anything.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    In the illustration he looks rather like some of the shadier characters of Family Guy. A younger mr Herbert?

  4. daulnay says

    It isn’t that the publishers are ignorant of his views, nor that they’re necessarily awful people – they could just be friends and acquaintances from that hidden list, college, or someplace similar. I’m reminded of when the NYT lost it’s conservative columnist (eventually replaced by Ross Douthat), and the publisher got the gig for a personal friend whose name I mercifully forget. Said friend flamed out and was replaced by Ross. For people in those social circles, nepotism can’t be discounted as an explanation.

  5. says

    The linked article is very helpful. This is a common tactic:

    When the medical consensus is unfriendly to Singal’s conclusions—like when a coalition of experts, including the American Psychological Association, releases guidance that “supports eliminating the use of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) and similar concepts for clinical and diagnostic application given the lack of rigorous empirical support for its existence”—he is snide and dismissive. “It’s pretty disturbing the American Psychological Association would lend its imprimatur to a statement like this that pretends nothing like [Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria] could possibly exist and that it’s inherently harmful to suggest social influence affects gender identity,” he tweeted. When challenged on this apparent support for using an unproven diagnosis in a clinical setting, he pointed out that he himself has said ROGD shouldn’t be used as a diagnosis, given the lack of data. Singal speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He cultivates multiple contradicting opinions within his own body of work, deploying them as needed to rebut his critics when held to task.

    I especially liked these parts:

    Many people, Singal included, bristle when labeled transphobes, disavowing the label because they don’t categorically oppose limiting rights for trans people. Singal defends himself as someone who merely disagrees with the ontological claims trans people make about themselves. But it’s fallacious to claim that he can’t be a bigot because he can maintain a respectful demeanor for the duration of an article. (Although, as we’ve seen, he can’t elsewhere.) I think the mistake here is seeing hatred as purely a matter of affect. Love is perhaps more of an action than a feeling. That belief of mine is informed by my experiences as a person with multiple marginalizations, as well as my personal ethics. Hate works the same way. There are a lot of bigots who think that if their mistreatment is unemotional, based on “facts,” then it’s not bigoted, and so work very hard at convincing themselves and others they have no feelings about the objects of their hate.

    But there is more to not being a transphobe than a lack of affect. Emotionless transphobia is not objective; it’s simply cold-blooded. So yes, I think Jesse Singal is a transphobe….

    …Singal would be the first to protest that he is deeply supportive of trans rights; perhaps he sincerely believes that he is. But his self-perception is of little consequence when his work provides a framework that props up bigoted assumptions.

  6. chrislawson says

    I don’t think a listserv for journalists needs to include members of every community they might write about.

    Firstly, it is impractical. Secondly, it is unnecessary — good journalism shouldn’t rely on members of your listserv correcting your errors, it should rely on gathering relevant information and reporting people’s actions and views fairly.

    Thirdly, it would have made zero difference; Singal interviewed trans people and then misrepresented and harassed them; the presence of trans voices on the listserv would have made zero difference because the presence of trans voices in his interviews made zero difference.

    Fourthly, I have little respect for those on the listserv wishing there had been trans contributors; it is not difficult to find fair and honest information on trans issues, so it would appear that the desire for trans presence is more about laziness, expecting an oppressed minority to do their editorial work for them even at the risk of emotional trauma and severe harassment (including losing their job — thanks, Singal!).

  7. chrislawson says

    SC@7–

    I would go further than that. Singal is lying when he claims to be objective and non-emotive about trans issues. Non-emotive people don’t respond to criticism by repeatedly bullying their critics’ employers into sacking them.

  8. says

    chrislawson @ #9, I also think he’s likely lying, but I think the larger point Anderson’s making is that while we can’t fully know what’s in anyone’s heart or what their intentions – even as irrationally perceived by themselves – are, it’s largely irrelevant. The article clearly establishes his patterns of action and their concrete consequences. Even if we were to assume hypothetically that he genuinely sees his actions in that positive light, it’s not reflective of how he actually behaves or the real effects his actions have on others, which is what matters in the world.

  9. says

    Re: Singal quote.
    “It’s pretty disturbing the American Psychological Association would lend its imprimatur to a statement like this that pretends nothing like [Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria] could possibly exist and that it’s inherently harmful to suggest social influence affects gender identity,”

    Medical professionals coming to a conclusion about a diagnostic label isn’t pretending about things that could exist. That is lying about the conclusion that it doesn’t exist and avoiding the supporting points.

    Singal wants it to exist and wants to avoid to responsibility of looking at the supporting points.

  10. says

    What do you think: do publishers and editors not realize how awful he is on these topics, or they’re all just awful people who share his ugly views?

    Another possibility is that, when dealing with a currently-controversial issue like transpersons’ rights, publishers feel pressure or obligation to try to pretend to be “evenhanded” or “balanced;” so whenever they publish anything that’s positive toward trans people, they also demand something from the opposite side, and if Singal is who’s available and has no scruples, than that’s who they go with.

    I noticed a similar phenomenon on the subject of routine infant circumcision: the movement to stop or ban circumcision became newsworthy, so at least some news outlets covered it and passed on the intactivists’ stated objections to the routine procedure — which meant (in the publishers’ minds at least) they had to also give the pro-circ folks a platform, so they had to find someone willing to speak up for that side. And who did they find? The utterly disgraceful, literally circumfetishist nincompoop Brian K. Morris, who was, despite his obvious embarrassing dishonesty and public embrace of seriously demented advocates, the only pro-circ person they could find who was willing to support the discredited procedure in public.

  11. says

    I don’t think a listserv for journalists needs to include members of every community they might write about.

    It may not be necessary or an ethical requirement, but it can be helpful, just like any other instance of journalists networking and informally chatting with each other can be helpful. And in this case, this group’s failure to do so kinda says something about them.

  12. says

    What do you think: do publishers and editors not realize how awful he is on these topics, or they’re all just awful people who share his ugly views?

    Likely for some it’s neither: they simply don’t care how much the trans community is hurt so long as it sells papers/ gives a friend a job/ triggers the libs/ satisfies whatever other motive that they might have. It’s not that they’re in ignorance of the fact that Singal is an extremist and indulges hatred as a hobby the way some people obsess over restoring cars or building models. It’s that they have goals and trans people don’t matter. They can honestly say that they don’t WANT trans folks shipped off to Treblinka. But they don’t want trans folks not NOT get shipped off to Treblinka either. Six of one, half a dozen of the other to these good folk.

  13. says

    Also, just making this prediction for the record:

    When someone shows up wanting to question the FtB commentariat about the “excesses” or “irrationality” of trans advocacy (including such things as supposedly not have a coherent definition of whatever, or supposedly not caring if cis people are put at risk of violence), they will happily jabber on and JAQ off until I show up. Then I’ll provide information that actually gets to the heart of the matter and they will suddenly not be interested in having a conversation or learning about anyone’s positions. They will instead replay almost entirely to people who are not me, and focus more and more on how they “merely” wanted to do something that they weren’t doing at all in their initial comments. When it becomes impossible to ignore me anymore, they will simply flee.

    Because none of these fuckers actually wants good information or they’d go read a fucking book.

  14. raven says

    “It’s pretty disturbing the American Psychological Association would lend its imprimatur to a statement like this that pretends nothing like [Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria] could possibly exist…

    This is very stupid.
    We don’t rely on diagnoses that might exist but aren’t known to exist.
    We rely on treating medical conditions that you know, actually do exist!!!

    ..and that it’s inherently harmful to suggest social influence affects gender identity,”

    If one claims that social influences affects gender identity, then it is up to them to prove that social influences affect gender identity. Otherwise this is just a statement without proof or data and may be dismissed without proof or data. No, social influences don’t affect gender identity.

    What Jesse Singal is doing here is standard right wingnut troll behavior. Just Asking Questions.

  15. raven says

    I find the Transphobe arguments to always be vague and incoherent.
    And when you try to get them to say something straightforward and simple, they can’t and won’t do it.
    Which means they don’t have anything but hate and disgust that they are trying to rationalize.

    For example.
    Suppose someone actually does suddenly come down with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. Well so what. So they then rapidly decide that rather than be a male, they are female and immediately schedule gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy? And then later recover and find they made an irreversible decision they regret.

    None of this happens so it is irrelevant. Basically a poorly made strawperson.
    .1. Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria isn’t known to happen.
    .2. It takes years or longer to get to the stage where medical treatment is done on Trans people. The docs and therapists take this slowly because, yes, some of the changes done are irreversible.
    That is in fact, why puberty blockers are used. To buy a lot of time.
    .3. Regret for becoming Trans is very low.
    This is a point that at least has some concrete data.
    Wikipedia Destransition
    Detransition is more common in the earlier stages of transition, particularly before surgeries.[19] The number of detransitioners is unknown, with estimates ranging from less than 1% to as many as 8%.[18][20]
    and
    A 2019 poster presentation examined the records of 3398 patients who attended a UK gender identity clinic between August 2016 and August 2017. Davies and colleagues searched for assessment reports with keywords related to regret or detransition. They identified 16 individuals (0.47%) who expressed regret or had detransitioned. Of those 16, 3 (0.09%) had detransitioned permanently.[1]
    The exact number of Trans who destransition or regret their decisions is 0.47% , 1%, or 8%, depending on the study.
    It’s low.
    It is never going to be zero.
    Who hasn’t done things they regret later. I’ve got a long list and my list is likely shorter than most people’s.

    “Aug 31, 2021 — In a survey published in June, 8 percent of British parents said that they regret having kids.” This isn’t an argument for prohibiting people from having children.

  16. says

    birgerjohansson @4: If you’re referring to the picture at the top of the post, that’s a character from Bojack Horseman. The character is, in fact, rather a creep, so initially I’d assumed PZ had chosen that character to illustrate the article for that reason… but no, it appears Jesse Singal chose that character as his Twitter avatar. Not entirely sure what that says…

  17. says

    If “social influences affect gender identity”, there shouldn’t be any trans people at all due to the way “social influences” heavily favor conformity and cisness.
    Oh, I don’t doubt that social pressure can keep one in their egg for quite a while — I’m living proof — but even my concrete-shelled, foam-encased egg eventually cracked, much to my parents’ disappointment.
    Funny thing is, me hatching led to Kylie busting out of her egg, so I guess the yolk’s on them.

  18. raven says

    Jesse Singal is a lying troll.
    No surprise, one of the core traits for a diagnosis of troll is lying.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid-onset_gender_dysphoria_controversy

    In 2021, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association cosigned a statement with 120 other medical organizations calling for ROGD not to be used in diagnostic or clinical settings due to a lack of reputable scientific evidence for the concept. The statement also criticized the proliferation of misinformation supporting the concept of ROGD targeted at parents and clinicians and the concept’s use to justify laws limiting the rights of transgender youth in the United States.[3]

    A November 2021 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics analyzed clinical data of teenagers seen in gender clinics and found no support for ROGD being a distinct phenomenon. The authors found no link between more recent onset of gender dysphoria and other mental health problems, and no link between recent onset and a high level of support from online or transgender friends.[16]

    Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria doesn’t exist.

    It’s just something one person made up based on reading a few websites for and by anti-Trans parents. She never even interviewed one single Trans person. “Noting Littman had not interviewed the teens, the GDA stated onset may only have been “rapid” from parents’ point of view because teens often delay coming out.[43][44][4]”

    It’s been rejected not just by the American Psychological Association but also by 120 other medical organizations.

    I read the Wikpedia summary and was appalled that anyone could take a small, wacked out study like that seriously.

  19. says

    Crip Dyke @15: Yeah, I notice that sort of thing happens…thanx for scaring away idiots who want to bloviate about certain people but can’t handle talking directly to one of that group.

    I’ve seen the same thing happen in blog threads dealing with health-insurance issues: some jackass shows up spouting all sort of hateful nonsense about Obamacare, then vanishes (or just never shows up) when someone is there talking about their own direct experience with medical and insurance/coverage issues.

  20. says

    The tactic he uses that I quoted and others have commented on really gets under my skin.

    a coalition of experts, including the American Psychological Association, releases guidance that “supports eliminating the use of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) and similar concepts for clinical and diagnostic application given the lack of rigorous empirical support for its existence [ahem, but I digress…]”

    So the expert coalition has plainly and concisely explained the reason for eliminating the use of this concept: “the lack of rigorous empirical support for its existence.” The only appropriate response for someone arguing the contrary is to engage honestly, critically, and self-consciously with the existing research. And as the one suggesting the use of the concept is warranted, the burden is on you to show that in light of the totality of the evidence.

    Of course, this isn’t what Singal, or Evo Psych ideologues, do. Instead,

    he is snide and dismissive. “It’s pretty disturbing the American Psychological Association would lend its imprimatur to a statement like this that pretends nothing like [Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria] could possibly exist

    So completely stretching and distorting the meaning of terms away from how they’re being used in this context. Very similar to the EP refrain that “If you don’t find my specific argument about [sex-based toy preferences, “racial” differences in IQ, the violent lizard brain, etc.] convincing, you’re denying evolution/science/the possibility anything human has an evolutionary basis/etc.].” Totally dishonest – just not engaging at all with the concrete case.

    And it continues:

    and that it’s inherently harmful to suggest social influence affects gender identity,” he tweeted.

    Once again he’s distorting the concept beyond recognition, but also using the other tactic we see time and time again: claiming that the objection to your arguments isn’t fundamentally scientific but emotional andor political. Note that the suggestion the coalition presumably (and rightfully) made that the clinical and diagnostic application of the concept is harmful is portrayed, by way of “inherently,” as being a sentimental objection in opposition to a scientific one, even though their objection is explicitly scientific.

    There are plenty of wrong and stupid notions coalitions of experts find no need to respond to in any given time or place; people often feel they need to respond to the stupid and wrong notions that are doing active harm. That the use of a concept is harmful and part of a hateful agenda of course doesn’t mean it’s invalid, but it doesn’t mean it’s fucking valid, either, or that arguments that it’s stupid or wrong can be dismissed because people also note that it’s harmful or hateful. People like Singal conflate the two – wrong and harmful – in order to ignore the first by making hay out of the second.

  21. Silentbob says

    When anyone talks about “biological” sex or “biological” males or “biological” females, it throws up a red flag for me. What does that mean? They don’t say; there are all these unstated assumptions behind it. I have to guess that what they mean is something about penises and vaginas and chromosomes and hormones, but those are all less absolutely deterministic than they imagine. Singal is a guy who writes about sex and gender a lot, so how can he be so casual and sloppy with his words?

    I find it hard to believe Singal isn’t well aware of GLAAD’s media reference guide for reporting on trans people:

    TERM TO AVOID:
    “born a man,” “born a woman,” “biologically male,” “biologically female,” “biological boy,” “biological girl,” “genetically male,” “genetically female”

    Phrases like those above oversimplify a complex subject and are often used by anti-transgender activists to inaccurately imply that a trans person is not who they say they are. “Biological boy” is a term anti-trans activists often use to disregard and discredit transgender girls and deny them access to society as their authentic gender identity. As mentioned above, a person’s sex is determined by a number of factors – and a person’s biology does not determine a person’s gender identity.

    https://www.glaad.org/reference/trans-terms

    He knows he’s using insulting language.

    Basically, if you wouldn’t describe a lesbian as “biologically heterosexual”, don’t describe a trans girl as “biologically male”. All you need to say is “trans girl”. That conveys all the information you need.

  22. chrislawson says

    Raging Bee@13–

    I agree that it can be helpful for minority groups to be in one’s social and professional circles, especially if one is open to honest listening, but my objection is to the implication that Singal’s transphobic articles are the result of a failure of the listserv to include trans members. The problem is that Singal is a transphobic troll, a serial harasser, and a shitty journalist. Trans representation on the listserv would not have fixed that.

  23. woozy says

    Basically, if you wouldn’t describe a lesbian as “biologically heterosexual”, don’t describe a trans girl as “biologically male”. All you need to say is “trans girl”. That conveys all the information you need.

    By inference. It’s worth noting that GLAAD does handle the situation if one does have a reason to be discussing her designated sex at birth being male one can:

    If there is a clear reason to refer to someone’s birth sex, the terms to use are: assigned male at birth, assigned female at birth, or designated male at birth, designated female at birth.

    I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to convey with “lesbian” and “biologically heterosexual” though.

  24. Owlmirror says

    “I’m not interested in sharing this list or any other space with someone who is going to insist on nullifying and erasing my existence and experience as female,” a prominent futurist in progressive news media wrote back.

    Is it just me, or did this person just spontaneously reinvent replacement theory?

    (Or maybe just replace “race” with “gender” in replacement theory?)

  25. rrhain says

    Here’s what the policy they’re talking about said:

    “Upon notification or determination of a student who is open about their gender identity, parents of the affected students will be notified of reasonable accomodation options available.”

    Let’s rewrite it, shall we?

    “Upon notification or determination of a student who is open about their being Black, Jewish, or disabled, parents of the affected students will be notified of reasonable accomodation options available.”

    Why does that sound racist, anti-semitic, and ableist when applied to race, religion, and disability but somehow is seen as “protecting the children” when applied to sexual orientation and gender identity?

  26. rrhain says

    #7, @SC (Salty Current)

    There are a lot of bigots who think that if their mistreatment is unemotional, based on “facts,” then it’s not bigoted, and so work very hard at convincing themselves and others they have no feelings about the objects of their hate.

    This has long been a refrain of mine. Many bigots don’t think they’re bigoted because they aren’t literally lurking in bushes with a baseball bat. Too many people think that unless somebody dies, unless somebody goes to the hospital, unless somebody is bleeding, it doesn’t count. They get up in arms over the idea that that means most everybody has bigotries. We hear people whining, “So are you saying Obama is a homophobe”?

    Yes. Yes, I am. Obama came out in support of marriage equality back when he was a State Senator. Then, when he was going for the national stage, he took it back. And then he said that it was something that the States should manage. And it was only after Biden forced the issue that he finally came around to supporting full equality.

    That’s homophobia. The fact that he wasn’t deliberately trying to kill gay people doesn’t mean it was irrelevant or innocuous. The fact that he changed doesn’t mean his previous stances didn’t happen or are irrelevant. Bigotry happens all the way up and down the line and it all counts. Every time someone denies something to a class of people that they demand for themselves, it contributes to the idea that it’s OK to do that. And when we allow that it’s OK to do that for the little things, it makes it easier to allow that it’s OK for the bigger things.

    So yes, that means we all have work to do. None of us have managed to grow up in a culture where bigotry is so pervasive and not have it infect our interactions with those marginalized groups. Even if we’re a part of those groups.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done. It means we recognize that we are fallible and despite our best efforts, there will be times when we screw up. We accept that reality, learn from our mistakes, and try not to do it again. Nobody gets to say, “I’m not a bigot.”

  27. raven says

    rrhain lost in outer space:

    Why does that sound racist, anti-semitic, and ableist when applied to race, religion, and disability but somehow is seen as “protecting the children” when applied to sexual orientation and gender identity?

    Fallacy of False Equivalence.
    This point is so obvious and yet, you completely missed it.

    Race, religion, and disability are not likely to cause a child’s parents to freak out and abuse them, kick them out of the house, or kill them.
    Whereas parents of gay and trans kids often freak out, abuse them, kick them out of the house, or even kill them. A lot of Trans parents are Transphobic haters, often getting that from their fundie xian religion.

    Think about it.
    The school notifies the parents that their kid is Black or Jewish.
    Well, duh, so is mom and she knew that a long time ago.

    The school notifies the parents that the kids is gay.

    After Man Is Charged in Gay Son’s Death, LGBTQ Groups Focus on Outreach

    The teen’s former stepmother, Sonja Jones, told Las Vegas NBC affiliate KSNV that the older Melton killed his son because he could not accept the teen’s sexuality. Melton “hated the fact that his son was gay,” Jones said, and “would rather have a dead son than a gay son.”

    The pointless parental notifications can and will cause serious harm to the school children up to and including being murdered

    I know people who work for CPS. A huge number of homeless kids aren’t runaways, they are pushed out of the house for a variety of reasons. A lot of them for being gay and Trans.

    Americanprogress.org JUN 21, 2010
    Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers
    There are about 1.6 million to 2.8 million homeless young people in America, and a disproportionate number are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. We don’t have to accept this reality.

    Since when is it the public school’s role to identify gay and Trans kids and out them to their parent’s anyway? They don’t have the training, it isn’t going to solve any problems, but it can and will cause huge numbers of problems for the children.
    The only purpose this serves is cruelty to children who already are going to have a hard life.

  28. raven says

    Another reason to keep the anti-Trans police out of the schools.

    Transgender teens 7.6 times more likely to attempt suicide
    Medicalnewstoday Written by Corrie Pelc on June 14, 2022

    Suicide is the fourth-largest cause of death among 15- to 19-year-olds worldwide.
    Researchers from the University of Ottawa found transgender and nonbinary Canadian teens have a higher risk of thinking about and attempting suicide compared to their cisgender, heterosexual peers.
    Scientists believe their research shows the need for better support for gender and sexual minority youth.
    Suicide is the fourth-largestTrusted Source cause of death among 15- to 19-year-olds globally each year. In Canada, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24.

    Within that age group, past research Trusted Source has shown that LGBT teens have a higher risk of thinking about and attempting suicide compared to heterosexual peers. However, the evidence relating to trans individuals has been very limited Trusted Source to date.

    Now, researchers from the University of Ottawa report that Canadian teens who are transgender or nonbinary are at a higher risk of both suicidal thoughts and attempts compared to cisgender, heterosexual teens.

    The study recently appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

    Trans kids have a greatly elevated risk of attempted suicide. It is 7.6 times the general peer group.

    Making teachers mandatory reporters to parents is guaranteed to result in a lot of dead Trans kids.

  29. says

    raven: I agree with you save for one slightly important quibble:

    Race, religion, and disability are not likely to cause a child’s parents to freak out and abuse them, kick them out of the house, or kill them.

    Race, no. But a child’s parents could likely freak out if the child questions their religion. And sometimes parents abuse or neglect kids because they have disabilities; or at least they simply don’t have, and don’t acquire, the competence to deal with their kids’ disabilities.

  30. raven says

    But a child’s parents could likely freak out if the child questions their religion. And sometimes parents abuse or neglect kids because they have disabilities; or at least they simply don’t have, and don’t acquire, the competence to deal with their kids’ disabilities.

    Well, that is true.
    A lot of kids never come out to their parents about dropping their religion because they know it isn’t going to go over very well. And in authoritarian religions like the Mormons, JWs, etc., when you leave the religion, you frequently leave all your family and friends behind.

    But that doesn’t happen because the school notifies the parents of the kid’s religion or disability.
    The teachers, at least in public schools, aren’t the religion Police or disability Police either.
    When I was in school, the teachers mostly…taught the kids what they needed to know to be educated.

  31. Owlmirror says

    Race, religion, and disability are not likely to cause a child’s parents to freak out and abuse them, kick them out of the house, or kill them.

    Race, no.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about race. It’s possible for traits to show up in children that are less obvious or hidden in the parents. Some parents might embrace these children; others might have enough societal or psychological bias to have antipathy towards them.

  32. logicalcat says

    Biological female means cis-gendered female. I wish it didn’t as I agree that it’s a redundant phrase as trans people are still biological regardless but that’s the general usage. Even tho we have a perfectly acceptable phrase (cis-gender male/female) with out biologically illiterate population it seems this phrase is standard now.

  33. logicalcat says

    And by biological illiterate I mean someone whose illiterate about biology science.

    Damn. Fell for the same bullshit. It’s just that easy.

  34. rrhain says

    #30, @raven lost in their own ego

    I realize that it was a bit subtle, but you missed the point when you tried to claim that I was missing the point.

    Yes, I know that. The number one cause of youth homelessness is being kicked out of the house for being LGBTQ+. That’s the point. We somehow think it’s OK to treat LGBTQ+ people this way while doing that to other people would be considered bigoted.

    And by the way, kids are kicked out of the house for their race. When the children of mixed-race parents find themselves in a new home because their parents got divorced and remarried (or even just go visiting their relations), they can find themselves being ostracized.

    Kids do get kicked out for not having the same religion. Or have you not heard of shunning? It’s part and parcel of Jehovah’s Witness and Scientology.

    And the cases of children being abandoned because they are disabled are common enough.

    And we consider those things to be horrible. But somehow, some people see that and yet think nothing of not merely rejecting their gay children but sending them off to be literally tortured in order to “cure” them of “the gay.”

    Yeah, the analogy isn’t so perfect in that you don’t have to come out to your parents with regard to your race, religion, or disability. But that wasn’t the point. That isn’t the entire point of the law. Didn’t you read it? To use your words, “The point is so obvious and yet, you completely missed it.”

    “Affected parents.”

    You didn’t think that it was just the parents of the student in question being notified, did you?

    No. They’re going to notify everyone. Yes, there will be the risk to the child who hasn’t come out to their parents. But there is also the reaction of all the other students as their parents start pulling them out of class.

    Or, more likely, the targeted student gets pulled out of class. Because let’s be honest, the school isn’t going to focus on the bigots and separate them from their targets. No, they’re going to target the student who hasn’t done anything wrong and disrupt their lives instead. Rather than pull the bullies out of class and focus on stopping them from harassing their targets, they’re going to pull the target out of class and make sure that everyone knows why.

    You may have wonderful, supportive parents but still be closeted at school. But by this law, as soon as the school finds out, they are going to notify all the other parents and suddenly you’re the new target.

    Didn’t you read the tweet that was the entire foundation of this article? “What’s the purpose of notifying parents about the presence of trans kids, those who are out or not? What other kinds of kids lead to such notifications?”

    If the school had a policy to notify all the parents when a Jewish kid was in class, we would all recognize that as antisemitism. So why does it suddenly become “protecting children” when it’s LGBTQ+ kids?

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