Saturday, 3 December 2016

Jennifer Boylan letter to the New York Times

While not normally a huge fan of hers I must admit that this letter she penned for the New York Times absolutely hits the mark...

"It was the morning after the election. The bottle of Champagne I’d opened as part of an anticipated victory celebration still sat on the coffee table, only one-third finished, the unconsumed flat remainder marking the exact moment that my future, as a transgender American, became uncertain.

I wanted to hear Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, but she was late to the podium. On TV, a commentator speculated that Mrs. Clinton had lost because of her party’s focus on things like trans rights — “boutique issues,” they were called.

A boutique — a place where you’d shop for, say, artisan pantyhose — is not the first place I’d associate with an individual’s quest for equal protection under the law, but then what did I know? I was now one of the people from whom the country had been “taken back.”

The phrase echoed unpleasantly in my mind. A boutique issue? Is this what my fellow Americans had thought of my fight for dignity all along?

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard it. This summer, Bill Maher cautioned that “there’s no room for boutique issues in an Armageddon election.” He volunteered to put his own pet cause — “legalized weed” — to one side if it would help the party win Ohio. “And you know me, I have seeds in my urine.” Apparently providing a person like me with health care and protecting me from violence and discrimination in the workplace were on the same order of magnitude as the right to roll a doober.

Nov. 8 is over, and legalized pot did very well, thank you. The future of L.G.B.T. rights is more tenuous.

This is not only because Donald J. Trump’s administration is filling up with people who oppose L.G.B.T. equality. It’s because the Democrats may now dismiss our urgent needs as unaffordable luxuries, and back off the fight. As a local Democratic official in Ohio put it in a memo to the Clinton campaign: “Look, I’m as progressive as anybody, O.K.? But people in the heartland thought the Democratic Party cared more about where someone else went to the restroom than whether they had a good-paying job.”

I was present in 2014 when President Obama signed an executive order expanding a ban on L.G.B.T. discrimination in the workplace, so close to the president that I could have thrown glitter into his graying hair if I’d taken the notion. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

That order could be one of the first things to go in January when President Trump “erases the Obama presidency” on Day 1 of his administration (in the words of Stephen Moore, a Trump adviser and Heritage Foundation fellow). Other issues on the chopping block could include the lifting of the ban on transgender military service and the Justice Department’s backing of trans students under Title IX.

Mr. Trump has occasionally expressed support for L.G.B.T. issues, although, as usual, it’s impossible to know his core values. He has opposed a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. And yet he’s also pledged to appoint a Supreme Court justice who would overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

If his intentions are unclear, those of the people around him are anything but. Mike Pence, his vice president-elect, is one of the most extreme opponents of gay, lesbian and transgender people in the nation. In Indiana, he signed a bill to jail same-sex couples applying for a marriage license. He wanted to divert funding from H.I.V. programs to conversion therapy. He opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

On the state level, L.G.B.T. people face even greater losses. One advocacy group puts the number of anti-L.G.B.T. bills waiting to be introduced nationwide next year at more than 200. Texas is likely to lead the way. Its Senate Bill 242 would punish teachers who keep students’ sexual identities private from their parents — in effect forcing them to out the students. Senate Bill 92 would void local anti-discrimination ordinances. And the so-called Women’s Privacy Act, like House Bill 2 in North Carolina, would force transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate, regardless of their anatomy, appearance or identification.

Across the country, L.G.B.T. activists fear the advance of other laws pushing back against the progress that’s been made over the last eight years. Some will come in the form of First Amendment Defense Acts. These would legalize anti-L.G.B.T. discriminatory actions by employers, health care providers, landlords and other businesses — as long as these are motivated by religious belief.

Who will fight against these laws, if Democrats give up on their commitment to justice? Colin Jost, on “Saturday Night Live,” made light of this when he noted the new Tinder feature giving users 37 different gender options. He said, “It’s called ‘Why Democrats Lost the Election.’ ”

I don’t deny that a generalized fear of “political correctness” contributed to the resentment of some Trump voters. But Mrs. Clinton hardly campaigned as an L.G.B.T. firebrand. In fact, there’s really only one race in which L.G.B.T. rights played a major role — the governorship of North Carolina, where the Republican incumbent, Pat McCrory, rammed House Bill 2 through his Legislature last spring.

A recount is underway, but Mr. McCrory is for now at least 10,000 votes short of re-election. His relentless campaign against L.G.B.T. people led to an economic backlash from corporate America and — perhaps of greater offense to the people of North Carolina — from the N.C.A.A., which moved championship basketball games out of the state. If he hadn’t taken the issue on, he would most likely be on the threshold of his second term.

When Mr. Obama signed that executive order in 2014, he said, “We’ve got an obligation to make sure that the country we love remains a place where no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, or how you started out, or what your last name is, or who you love — no matter what, you can make it in this country.”

This is not a boutique truth, but an American truth."

Friday, 2 December 2016

the lessons of history

Globally we have created an economic situation that cannot continue to exist. The presumption was that through globalization entire societies would prosper through free trade of goods and services which would then expand the wealth and advancement of those nations. But instead the opposite has happened and a small percentage of individuals have expanded their wealth and now control the vast majority of the planet’s resources.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that many people in this world are not going to be generous of spirit by nature and, when push comes to shove they will choose pure profit over an option that also considers what is best for the society as a whole.

When FDR was president, Americans paid far more tax than they do today and they benefited from The New Deal as well as the GI Bill which allowed many American soldiers to go to school free of charge and then raise their families by creating a prosperous middle class.

In this new deregulated global environment, the people who own factories and businesses are not going to manufacture their products out of the goodness of their heart in a place that costs them more to do so. They are instead going to move their operations overseas where they can pay someone a dollar a day to make a cheap T-shirt.

Hence the impoverished blue collar worker who has lost his job in the United States isn’t going to get that job back unless the government policies are adjusted which will encourage a return of manufacturing. A lying opportunist like Donald Trump is most certainly not going to be the one who does this and, if he is fortunate, he might be able to survive his term without facing charges of impeachment.

If the world reaches a tipping point where the masses have little to lose, you will see a backlash on a far grander scale than the French Revolution because once desperation sets in people will do what they must.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


Image result for beggar

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

little steps

In a Canadian first, Morgane Oger became the first ever transgender woman to be nominated by a major party as the chosen candidate to run for public office in British Columbia. In this case it was the New Democratic Party of Canada.

Little steps….

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/morgane-oger-historic-nomination-bc-ndp-1.3870285



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

some people you just want to slap silly

I know a little bit about people like Denise Shick because my own sister is involved in a right wing religious organization that has nothing better to do than pronounce themselves on things they know nothing about.

Not surprisingly, Ms Shick has no personal experience with gender dysphoria other than at some point in her life her father transitioned and she never forgave that particular indiscretion. For the record, The Federalist is another right-leaning website that also loves to pontificate on issues they know nothing about.

At this point I would like nothing better than to let Ms Shick have a taste of what gender dysphoria feels like for a few months and am certain she would change her tune awfully quickly. But such is the way the world works where more often than not it is the people least qualified to speak on a subject that are the most vociferous.

She somehow cannot see the connection between a releasing of social stigma and transgender people coming out of the woodwork and prefers to label it as fad. Blaming Alfred Kinsey and others for instilling sexual liberty is nothing short of moronic as is using the term "craze" to refer to the gender incongruence that spurs suicidal thoughts in some young people who feel helpless.

I could spend about an hour in room with her and set her straight but I have learnt that nothing can be done for the dogmatic believer who will not be confused or deterred with facts. For people like Ms Shick live within the monochromatic belief system that doesn't allow for the natural variances that a restriction-free society would bring. Instead she would rather see people suppress to her own heart's desiring in order to bend to the prescribed rules that work absolutely just fine for her but not for everyone else.

It is precisely these types of people that would get a mouthful were they unfortunate enough to meet up with me. They might not smarten up but I'd sure feel better about bursting their hot air balloon.

http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/28/seen-transgender-craze-coming/

Monday, 28 November 2016

crossed wires....

After reading literally hundreds of narratives from transgender people over the years, I have come to two undeniable conclusions. First, no one asks to be transgender and second, for those that are heterosexual, it is unavoidable that the dysphoric feelings will become sexualized at puberty.

I have pondered the second one at great length and I feel it is impossible for the conflict of wanting to be female while simultaneously being drawn to one sexually, to not affect the psychosexual development. Puberty is the point at which our sexual identity is being cemented and the dysphoria simply tags along for the ride. How many of you have had the experience of looking at a beautiful woman and simultaneously desiring her but also to be her? for this is a universal theme that I have read over and over and have of course experienced first hand.

Understanding this mechanism is important because we grew up in a time of sexual repression and with little to no access to reliable information. The result was to blame ourselves and consequently suffer because of it. With that process now better understood, we can realize that there is little use in feeling guilty about something you had no hand in creating.

The old discredited Blanchard model sought to accuse us of indulging in a type of aberrant narcissism which then created a false female identity. While this model may have worked well for guilt-ridden individuals like Anne Lawrence it didn't resonate with many of us who had experienced a gender incongruity since earliest memory. Blanchard's work (which is now almost 30 years old) is all but on life support and discarded by modern activists as well as millenials themselves. Only enemies of male to female transgender people, which oddly includes some older androphilics, still hold on to it in an attempt to discredit.

Transgender people have traditionally denied or downplayed the existence of sexual longing in their dysphoria but there was no good reason to since it simply formed part of the package that fed the dissonance we felt but couldn't explain even to ourselves. Transgender activists like Julia Serano don’t shy away from this reality and, once past the stigma, you can start to really examine what to do about your situation.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

the alt-right direction

Of late I have taken a keener interest than normal in politics. The Trump election has been a big reason but also there are signs that even internationally we are headed into dangerous waters.

The alt-right (or alternative right) movement has been gaining ground in some parts of the world and, emboldened by internet anonymity and an appetite for rhetoric, they have found an audience among some disgruntled white men who view the encroachment of foreigners into their territory as anathema.

Make no mistake in that these are white supremacists who pine for a society devoid of visible minorities, jews or any other group that threatens their vision of a “Leave it to Beaver” world that no longer exists. Most are not religious and in fact their viewpoint contrasts sharply with the idea of love of neighbour which forms an inherent part of most faiths.

Trump’s adoption of Steve Bannon (of slimy Breibart news fame) as a political advisor has certainly not helped matters and there are videos online showing people doing hand salutes to Trump (a la hail Hitler) which will give you the shivers. Somehow his election has sent them the message that this new administration is on their side.

It's not so much that Trump went looking for these trolls (I don't think he's that well informed) but by simply basing his campaign on inflammatory rhetoric it was enough to embolden them....