Sunday, December 13, 2009

The ordeal of Ronald Gold

I grew up in the Age of the Closet. While I came out in college to some close friends, I was aware that perceptions of my identity needed to be carefully managed, if I was to have the career I sought. There must be no public declaration--and no open defense of the rights of “perverts.” To be sure, my contemporaries in the newly-formed Mattachine Society did just that, but some prudently hid under assumed names. Most of the leaders of Mattachine found that, except for the most menial posts, gainful employment was closed to them; the lucky ones were supported by their partners.

In 1969, with Stonewall, the gay and lesbian movement (not then styled LGBTQ) went into high gear. Because of the Vietnam War, the left was dominant then in ways that are hard to imagine now. And the left, especially the far left, has a long history of suppressing opinion not deemed “progressive." “No free speech for fascists!” the Communist Party USA proclaimed. And their definition of fascist was a broad one. Some thought that I fit it. When I became active in the movement I learned that it was simply taboo to criticise certain causes, including radical feminism and Third World advocacy (what morphed into multiculturalism).

Of course I strayed from the narrow path of self-censorship. In due course the guardians of political correctness took their revenge, by successfully maneuvering to deprive me of my editorship of the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality.

In the 1990s I decided to respond by joining a “non-left” gay group, one that contained a number of influential members. called Beyond Queer Friends. There too ideological censorship was the rule, though the list of taboos was different. Anyone who did not subscribe to their program of imposing social conservatism by means of the panacea of gay marriage was ostracized. For this reason I eventually left the group.

One would think that, having experienced repression and denial of their right to free speech, gay men and lesbians would resolve to be different. Yet as I have indicated, the reverse has been the case.

Now I must sadly report an egregious instance. Bilerico is one of the leading GLBTQ sites on the Internet. Recently, the administrators of the site invited Ronald Gold to serve as a columnist. Gold, a veteran New York City gay activist who earned our respect for his selfless work in the years immediately following Stonewall, chose to write his first column on a controversial subject, the rationale regarding transgendered people. He apparently did not realize that this was a no-go zone. These individuals are the poster children of the current postmodernist phase of the LGBTQ movement (perhaps I should write lgbTq movement). At all events a fire storm ensued. Gold was immediately sacked, and the offending column was deleted from the site.

The column is now hard to find. For this reason I reproduce it below. I confess that I would not have used such words. However, the Voltairean imperative is to defend the free speech of all persons, including (especially) those with whom one disagrees.

Here is the offending piece:

"No" to the notion of transgender
by Ronald Gold

“What is transgender? Well, there are two sorts who seem to be covered
by the name, the drag kings and queens so good at portraying cartoon
imitations of straight people, and transsexuals, the folks who report
that from an early age they've felt themselves trapped in the wrong
bodies. Despite the equipment they were born with that belies their
assertions, they say they are really men or really women.

“What does it mean to be really a man or a woman? Since it's not about
genitalia, it must be about personality, and what, one asks, is a male
or a female personality? Even straight people nowadays concede that
some men are the warm, loving type that used to be thought exclusive
to women, and some women are the strong, action-oriented sort that
used to be thought exclusive to men. And lesbians and gay men have
always known that people of the same gender can be very different from
each other. Isn't it true that those we form mated relationships with
are always complementary - even polar opposites - to ourselves?

“Let me state it categorically. There is no such thing as a male or
female personality. Personality is not a function of gender.

“So where does that put the concept of transgender? In my view, down
the tubes! And that leaves the further questions of how transsexuals
got to think the way they do, and what to do to resolve their
dilemmas. I hope I'll be forgiven for rejecting as just plain silly
the idea that some cosmic accident just turned these people into
changelings. What happened, more than likely, is that, from an early
age, when they discovered that their personalities didn't jibe with
what little boys and girls are supposed to want and do and feel, they
just assumed they mustn't be real little boys and girls.

“So, parents of such little boys and girls, do not take them to the
psychiatrist and treat them like they're suffering from some sort of
illness. Explain to them that, whatever the other kids say, real
little girls do like to play with trucks and wear grimy jeans, and
real little boys like to prance around in dresses and play with dolls.
And make sure the teachers are on the same page.

“As for adults struggling with what to do about their feelings, I'd
tell them too to stay away from the psychiatrists - those prime
reinforcers of sex-role stereotypes - and remind them that whatever
they're feeling, or feel like doing, it's perfectly possible with the
bodies they've got. If a man wants to wear a dress or have long hair;
if a woman wants short hair and a three-piece suit; if people want
romance and sex with their own gender; who says they can't violate
these perfectly arbitrary taboos? A short historical and
cross-cultural survey should establish that men and women have worn
and done all sorts of stuff. I recall reading something by Jan Morris
in which it seemed that he thought he needed a sex change because he
wanted men to hold doors open for him and kiss him goodbye at train
stations. For starters, I'd have told him that I've had these nice
things happen to me and I've still got my pecker.

“Perhaps it isn't needless to say that a No to the notion of
transgender does not excuse discrimination against cross-dressers or
post-op transsexuals in employment, housing and public accommodation;
and I strongly support legislation that would forbid it. I would,
however, get after the doctors - the psychiatrists who use a phony
medical model to invent a disease that doesn't exist, and the surgeons
who use such spurious diagnoses to mutilate the bodies of the deluded.”

Thus Ronald Gold

I trust that no one will attribute these words to me, Wayne R. Dynes. Doubtless I will be attacked for reproducing, or even drawing attention to them. In the eyes of the current gatekeepers of the GLBT movement Ron Gold is now, and will always be a pariah.

This is shameful. Shame on you, people of Bilerico!

Labels:

30 Comments:

Blogger Dyneslines said...

Pam (of Pamshouseblend.com) says that Ron Gold arbitrarily removed the letter T from GLBTQ. Who put it there in the first place? I don't recall ever assenting to this grotesque acronym. It was definitely not present at the two acts of creation of the modern American gay movement: in Los Angeles in 1950 and NYC in 1969. It is a neologism, and an unhappy one.

In reality most transpeople do not regard themselves as gay or homosexual. Their struggle is not our struggle.

Numerically, the vast majority of transpeople are heterosexuals who don the clothing that is stereotypically ascribed to the opposite sex. They gather at national assemblies such as the Fantasia weekend. Numerically, the most important segment of this highly constructed "community," they are usually left out altogether.

In a different way the pre-ops and post-ops do not consider themselves gay. Through surgery they are seeking to join what they regard as their true gender. Once this is done, they will--most of them--seek sexual relations with what they perceive as the opposite sex. Not gay.

That leaves only the drag queens and drag kings, some of whom are arguably gay.

It is not helpful to obscure these distinctions. Ron Gold seems not to understand them. But so too the vociferous critics of "transphobia," who want to throw all these phenomena into a common basket. Let us resist these confusions.

9:46 AM  
Blogger The Gay Species said...

As I understand language and biology, humans come in fundamentally two dimorphic SEXES, male and female. The exceptional cases of "intersex," in which 50% of the features of each of the dimorphic sexes is found in about 1.7% of the world's population (statistically overstated, I believe) would be the only licit use of "transsexual," with "trans" the prefix meaning "cross-over" and "sexual" referring to shared dimorphic sexual equipment.

GENDER, on the other hand, is related to SEX, but it is as much socially-conditioned as it is genetic. The GENDER axis concerns our notions of masculinity, femininity, ambiguity, etc. Unfortunately, Queers and their Theories confuse these two words in one of the worst linguistic abuses.

Those dimorphic sexes with a gender identity disorder (G.I.D), in which their biological and pscyhological consonance is dissonant are properly called TRANSGENDER. The notion of "transexual" is a malapropism -- except in the case of "intersex."

Must we mean what we say? asked J. L. Austin. I think so, and using language in its ordinary and proper grammatical construction, its meaning and reference, its denotative and connotative senses, according to its constitutive rules shows just how "queer" Queer Theorists and their "gender-bending" nonsense -- because they have Ph.D.'s in Talmudic studies -- have gone.

While "gay" and "lesbian," along with "transgender" (as described herein) and "transexual" (as the accurate sense of "intersex") are completely acceptable, common parlance, I prefer (as do most of my readers) HOMOPHILIA for those members of the species atttracted erotically to their same sex, GYNOPHILIA for female homophiles, and ANDROPHILIA for male homophiles.

The LGBTQIFDSAMSF initials are not an "identity" but an abuse of language. Queers, who largely adopt the strong version of social constructionism, believe their abuse of language -- especially in misstating "gender" when they mean "sex." and confusing "transexual" for "transgender"-- is part of an intellectual germination that already looks impotent as it does linguistic nonsense.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear Dyneslines,
Bilerico is a revenue-generating business (albeit a hobby for me, one of its entirely uncompensated editors). Every serious decision made by Bilerico is a business decision as well as a philosophical one.
Also, The rush of writing that flows through Bilerico is, in volume, extraordinary. In the case of Mr Gold's virgin post, the editors simply didn't give it enough scrutiny. We did not look at it closely and discuss it as a group. It did not exactly fall through the cracks unseen, but I guess those that did look at it must have given it a quick read, perhaps rushed by holiday season errands or whatevers. I mention this because there seems to be the perception that the editors were backing his post wholeheartedly and with consensual and complete knowledge of it contents. A better review and the sounding of an alert to the full body of editors probably would have resulted in our saying "Ron, write something else. Save that for some other day, and when that day comes, we'll help you edit it before it ever goes live." We have apologized because that is not what happened in this case.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

Ever since I read H. W. Fowler in high school I have been sympathetic to injunctions regarding sensitivity about language, and watchfulness regarding its abuse. Yet this approach takes us only so far.

While it is theoretically useful, the distinction between "sex" (biological) and "gender" (cultural) turns out to be hard to maintain, if not actually unsustainable. Postmodernists think that there is no such thing as sex, but only gender. Others, such as me, hold that there are a limited number of superstructures that can be erected on the bedrock of biological dimorphism. Things would be very different if we were snails or some similar androgynous creature, but we are not.

Over the last sixty years, the homosexual/homophile/gay/lesbigay/GLBTQ movement has been characterized by terminological volatility, as one "absolutely correct" designation elbowed its way forward, supplanting the previous "absolutely correct" moniker. This volatility is likely to continue, making the project of linguistic stabilization a challenging, perhaps impossible task. In all likelihood, the goal of "rectification of names" will be achieved only in the Grand Academy of Lagado.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Hazumu Osaragi said...

"Numerically, the vast majority of transpeople are heterosexuals who don the clothing that is stereotypically ascribed to the opposite sex."

Wayne;

Slightly more than half of transwomen (male-to-female) are sexually oriented towards females, or are bisexual. As an addendum, I hear regular reports of gay transmen (female-to-male). I can't quantify the number, but hearing of the phenomenon regularly I (not you) am speculating the numbers of gay transmen is NOT infinitesimal (maybe 1% or 2% of transmen?)

The rhetorical flourish vast majority is rendered meaningless due to it having no quantifiable meaning ("vast" equals how much? Over 90%? 80%? 50%+1?), and that it is so often used to bolster an argument (i.e., that the arguer has numerical superiority on his side,) that is easy to disprove.

Wayne, the 85% of society that is heterosexually oriented and cisgendered can't discern the difference between a gay male and a transwoman, nor a lesbian and a transman. To them, thransness is just extreme gayness, although the same-sex-oriented and the other-gender-identified 'get' the difference. We're stuck together, and you can't distance yourself from the transwomen even though you try.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Marlene said...

Dyne -- I'd like to respectfully remind you that if it weren't for a couple of transwomen by the name of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson, there would have been a Stonewall, let alone a gay rights movement!

With all due respect, my dear boy, go do some research before you go spouting off.

I'm transsexual AND lesbian, sweetie... damn proud of it and have a long track record of working for both my lesbian sisters and my trans brothers and sisters!

6:16 PM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

No, Marlene. It is you who need to do the research. The American gay movement began in 1950, when Sylvia Rivera wasn't even born, and Marsha P. Johnson was only five years old.

My research is found abundantly in Homosexuality: A Research Guide; and the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. To consult them, you will need to spell my last name correctly.

9:17 PM  
OpenID aeiouy123 said...

Sorry Dynes. Whether or not the gay rights movement started in the 1950s, Stonewall was what hurled it into the public discourse. The theme of the 60s and 70s were social change and grassroots social movements, and no 'fact' you can summon can deny the heavy trans involvement in fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians. Furthermore, the tone that you strike about trans people is parallel to the early views of gay men about lesbians. Most lesbians felt disenfranchised by the gay male community, thus they developed organically a more tight knit community of their own while still fighting for gay rights together with gay men and trans people. The LGBT is a reflection of not sexual identity, but the common knowledge of knowing we're in this together. Now that more and more gay people being accepted by society, I suppose now it's fair to throw trans people off the boat for still being a social pariah, right? Sexual and gender 'deviancy' is tied together, whether you like it or not, not mentioning the fact that identities often cross over. You do not make a good case for exclusion once we get beyond your obsession with semantics and distinguishing between gay and trans people. Ditching solidarity and only caring about public identity for individual groups while picking your fights only gets you so far; it does nothing to address the oppressive nature within communities and embedded privileges that come from, shoot me for saying this, being a gay, white male as opposed to being ascribed with the identities of 'woman', 'trans', or 'black'. "First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist ... ... Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me" Trans people fought for you by your side. Don't drop them because you can now get your rights without them, and leave them to struggle for their's alone.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Lux314159 said...

Thank you, Wayne, for posting Ron Gold's article. You are among the few people who still believe in Free Speech.

Once -- when Wayne Dynes, Warren Johansson and I were dining in an Indian restaurant -- Warren recounted how Karl Heinrich Ulrichs developed his famous phrase: "ANIMA MULIEBRIS CORPORE VIRILI INCLUSA" (a female soul trapped in a male body). It seems that Ulrichs was influenced by a rabbi, a student of the Cabala, who believed that a soul, in the process of transmigration, could end up on the wrong body, a female soul in a male body. Thus the core transsexual credo, consciously or otherwise, reflects a form of Jewish mysticism.

Ron Gold wishes the State to intervene to forbid "discrimination against cross-dressers or post-op transsexuals in employment...." I disagree. Employers should not be forced to hire individuals who are delusional or otherwise inappropriate for a job. A man who believes that he is Napoleon or Jesus Christ, or that castration has changed him into a woman, may not make a desirable employee. A man in a dress might not be appropriate for a job that requires client contact. What if a "male-to-female transsexual" were to go to a window, say "SHAZAM", and jump out, in the belief that "she" would be transformed into Mary Marvel and fly through the air in a red cape?

John Lauritsen

6:02 AM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

A Dec. 13 Bilerico posting by Keri Renault illustrates the dangers of militant transgendered advocacy. In part, she writes: "We are all gender transgressors in the LGBTQ community. It's our shared heritage in the fight for freedom of expression, of civil rights equality. Every letter in the LGBTQ movement shares this common lineage."

That is precisely what many of us do not accept; there is no agreed-upon common lineage. If there were, why is the acronym LGBTQ of such recent vintage?

"Each of us transgresses the binary model of hetero-normative gender roles."

That is just postmodernist cant.

Then she writes about "the fundamental notion of heterosexual, cisgender privilege espoused by the far-right patriarchal governing class of western social culture."

Notice the role of another weird neologism: "cisgender." Evidently the intent is to make those of us who are content with the sex we were born with insecure. Well, it doesn't work: I am not insecure.

"Gold's manifesto of patriarchal gay privilege was posted and unposted on Bilerico faster than a spinning lobby door during the holidays. It should warn others who would challenge the existence of any social group outside their cloistered class. This cautionary note extends to those who espouse one social ideology as more relevant and righteous than any other part of the transgressive, counter-culture whole."

Ron Gold has become a pariah--and the rest of us have been "warned."

Now comes the clincher, an old cliche of the 'seventies. "Attempting to define others is exclusionary, dehumanizing and yes, delusional."

Shall we then accept as valid a rapist's ploy of defining himself as a "sex educator," or a burglar's account of his own profession as that of a "property relocation specialist"?

What gives the author of these words the right to define Ron Gold as "patriarchal." Shouldn't Gold be the one to do the defining?

It seems that the caution about the inalienable privilege of defining oneself applies only to some favored groups, and not to others.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dyneslines,

Perhaps you should consider why you do not include posts on your site about same-sex attraction that might be found on One News Now, WorldNetDaily and the like in the name of "free speach"?

They're simply voicing a different opinion about your nature. You might find it offensive, but not including their perspective is an affront to their viewpoint.

Maybe it is for the same reason that Bilerico should never have posted poor mister Gold's post either?

8:56 AM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

The analogy anymous offers is invalid, illustrating the generally poor quality of thinking found on that side of the dispute. Bilerico is a public site, presumably offering a haven to all who represent the various shades of its LGBTQ amalgam. Ron Gold was invited to represent one voice from the G spectrum. Because his opinions rankled, he was then expelled and his piece taken down.

My site is a purely private blog which comments on a number of topics. I do welcome a variety of responses, as seen in the current exchange. But I am under no obligation to invite homophobes, neocons, or other such folk to contribute. Had I invited such a person to blog, and then removed the text, then there might be some sort of analogy. But there isn't.

Bilerico has practiced censorship; I have not.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dyneslines,

It seems to me that it's your response that is poorly thought-through. Most all blogs, public or private, put some limits on free speech. Posts are moderated. Commentors posts are often put through editorial review before posting.

The fail here was in Bilerico staff's failure to properly confirm the content before it was posted. However, it is entirely their right to remove the post when they realized it didn't reflect the image they wanted for their site. There is no such thing as a safe-haven in blogs unless it is on one's own site.

This is exactly why I defend your right to re-post the (inane) article and their right to take it down.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

The simple fact is that Bilerico censored a piece from a columnist they had solicited. For that they must live in infamy.

I haven't censored anyone.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LUX314159 wrote, "Ron Gold wishes the State to intervene to forbid "discrimination against cross-dressers or post-op transsexuals in employment...." I disagree. Employers should not be forced to hire individuals who are delusional or otherwise inappropriate for a job. A man who believes that he is Napoleon or Jesus Christ, or that castration has changed him into a woman, may not make a desirable employee. A man in a dress might not be appropriate for a job that requires client contact. What if a "male-to-female transsexual" were to go to a window, say "SHAZAM", and jump out, in the belief that "she" would be transformed into Mary Marvel and fly through the air in a red cape?

John Lauritsen"

Does this mean that employers should discriminate against gays and lesbians too? Many still believe that homesexuality is a delusion and perversion. Or, perhaps the gay is just too femme and the lesbian too butch for client contact. Does that justify their discrimiination?

Ultimately, this post and entire thread is about putting dividers up inside the "box". Those outside of it don't distinguish between the G, the L, the B, the T, or any of the other letters that are thrown in. I believe that it is counter-productive and limits our collective ability to make progress.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

It was you who said it yourself: In 1969, with Stonewall, the gay and lesbian movement (not then styled LGBTQ) went into high gear

The erasure of Trans people from Stonewall, and the Compton's Cafeteria riot of 1966, is historical revisionism at its worst.

I don't recall ever assenting to this grotesque acronym. It was definitely not present at the two acts of creation of the modern American gay movement: in Los Angeles in 1950 and NYC in 1969.

To say that Trans people were not just involved, but the prime movers in Stonewall is grotesque.

Hint: legal recognition of Transsexuals was first granted in 1955 in Illinois.

Christine Jorgenson was "out and proud" in 1953.

Maybe you should watch this.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

There was never any "erasure" of cross-dressers from Stonewall; the Fred McDarragh photographs clearly show their presence. What is not credible, however, is the claim that these individuals were sine qua non--that the event would not have happened without them. The Stonewall Inn, which I remember well, was not a drag-queen haunt. Typically, the patrons were nervous middle-class men in sport jackets. Most of the leaders who emerged afterwards, such as Jim Owles, Marty Robinson, Martha Shelley, John Lauritsen, and David Thorstad, were not transpeople.

I knew Marsha P. Johnson in those days. Although she claimed to have been present at the Stonewall events, she insisted, over and over again, that they had occurred in August, instead of June which the evidence overwhelmingly supports. So much for her credibility. Marsha could be quite delightful, but she was not a major participant.

Today a few trans activists are seeking to magnify the role of their group in a way that is entirely out of proportion. Responsible historians--such as David Carter, author of the definitive history of Stonewall--do not endorse these exaggerated claims.

Most importantly, this whole concept of "transpeople" did not exist in those days. Sylvia and Marsha were drag queens, and proud of that status. They had not read Michel Foucault or Judith Butler. They would have dismissed these theorists, with some reason, as honky phonies with their ass on their shoulders

Whenever I or anyone else posts on this issue we are faced with a barrage stemming from a small corps of trans activists who are determined to rewrite history to suit their agendas. This gay man--"patriarchal" or not--is not buying it,

4:43 PM  
OpenID aeiouy123 said...

"The Stonewall Inn, at the time, was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons, but it was known to be popular with the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, representatives of a newly self-aware transgender community, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth." This directly contradicts two of your assertions. Yes, my source is *gasp* wikipedia rather than some apparent God of all there is to know about Stonewall author, but I doubt you can really back up credibly any claims that what I just quoted is part of some mass trans-conspiracy to revise history. Heck, even consider for a moment that authors could in fact be biased.

"On the outer fringes of the few small gay communities were people who challenged gender expectations. They were effeminate men and masculine women, or biological men who dressed and lived as women and biological women who dressed as men, either part or full-time. Contemporary nomenclature classified them as transvestites, and they were the most visible representatives of sexual minorities. They belied the carefully crafted image portrayed by the Mattachine Society and DOB that asserted homosexuals were respectable, normal people. The Mattachine and DOB considered the trials of being arrested for wearing clothing of the opposite gender as a parallel to the struggles of homophile organizations: similar but distinctly separate." Perhaps quite reflective of your normative views on trans people? Maybe you should critically engage in seeing what's behind modern discourses rather than disparage everything that you don't agree with as being post-modern revisionism.

"Professor Susan Stryker classifies the Compton's Cafeteria riot as an "act of antitransgender discrimination, rather than an act of discrimination against sexual orientation" and connects the uprising to the issues of gender, race, and class that were being downplayed by homophile organizations. It marked the beginning of transgender activism in San Francisco." A subjective point of view, but still a valid one. Yet how valid is a point of view that there's a conspiracy by trans people and scholarly allies to rewrite history? History is written by those with power, and YOUR definitive history of the gay rights movement doesn't hold up under scrutiny when you consider it was a common sentiment amongst gay men to not want to be associated with the 'trannies'. Naturally, when you continue to hold the point of view that a minority group is 'delusional', they are deprived of agency, treated like children incapable of anything rational, and relegated to mere props rather than actors in history.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

What am I to believe: Wikipedia, or my own lying eyes?

6:22 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

So tell us what you saw at Compton's Cafeteria.

8:39 PM  
OpenID aeiouy123 said...

I don't know. Neither what you read or see may in fact reflect reality. Maybe realizing that is all that you can do barring further critical investigation?

I for one, would rather believe an article on wikipedia about the realities of homelessness than trust anecdotal evidence by acquaintances about having personally witnessed and known homeless people who are lazy and 'good for nothing'.

8:56 PM  
OpenID valeriekeefe said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Rivera

You want to hold up the Stonewall riots as a time of coming out for GLB, you better recognize that if it hadn't been for some very brave Village trannies, straight, bi, and dyke, you'd still be quietly going about your business in that teeny little closet.

You're worried about us trans women and trans men hijacking the movement that started at Stonewall? That's like a Russian getting angry at Britons for celebrating the battle of Britain, because really, the battle wasn't about their country's independence, even though they were the ones standing up, no, it was about yours.

Seriously, no invoking stonewall without knowing about this stuff.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Randolfe Wicker said...

It's amazing to read through these postings and arguments. Most prove that those "talking" don't know what they are talking about.
Heterosexuals equate homosexuality with trans behavior. The perceived violation of what a "male" or "female" should be is a very large component of homophobia.
I know because I was the first homosexual to demonstrate(1964), go on radio(1962) & television(1964) undisguised as an acknowledged homosexual. Whenever I spoke to groups in the early 1960s, members of the audience always asked if I went home at night and put on a dress and/or did I want a sex-change operation. Because of this (and before I got to know some trans people) I felt defensive & was actually transphobic. I felt "falsely accused" by such questions since they 'challenged' my much treasured masculinity. Fortunately, education, knowledge & life experiences have transformed me into a passionate supporter of the trans community today. Marsha P. Johnson lived with me from 1980 to 1992. Sylvia Rivera worked for me and was manager of my lighting shop from 1997-2001. I consider myself socially transgendered & call myself transaged & consider myself a transgender-fashion activist. Late in life I discovered how the binary definition of gender & the restrictions on clothing and behavior had seriously impaired many of my choices in life--in clothing & many other forms of social expression. About 20% of trans people begin as "biologically-defined" heterosexuals. The females who transition into males go from being "straight women" into being "gay men". The males who transition into being females go from being "heterosexual men" into being "lesbians". Few gays can wrap their mind around these kinds of facts because they are so traped into their neatly ordered gay/straight/bi world. There are millions of different genders. We all begin as females & we all end up being a mixture of male & female but are afraid to admit it.
Randofle (Randy) Wicker
See my trans videos on YouTube.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

It is perhaps ironic that Mr Gold and I are having a dialogue at this very moment, published in full, at my blog.

I would not have removed his publications from Bilerico. Not because I agree with them, quite the contrary. But because his words represent the views of a substantial proportion of the GLB (without the t) community. Now there were some parts that were "inappropriate" in their wording, but only the way the views were expressed, not the views themselves.

How and why they were "inappropriate" is a separate issue, one I'll leave till last lest it detract from the main dialogue.

If those views which I disagree with are so wrong, then the way they should be dealt with is by publishing them, unedited, and then a reasoned rebuttal. Which in turn should be subject to unedited counter-argument, and so forth. If my words are so 100% correct, then they should be able to withstand criticism, even from someone of the high intellectual calibre of Mr Gold.

Anyway, even though I'm someone who is both mutilated and delusional (by Mr Gold's standards), I believe that the antidote to poor speech is not suppression, but exposition. More speech, not less. The only possible exception is the lie direct, deliberate and repetitive falsification of objective fact. That is something Mr Gold has never, as far as I'm aware, engaged in.

Part I is here. Part II I'll be posting soon.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

Thank you Zoe Brain. I agree that the remedy for free speech we deem mistaken is more free speech.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Joanne said...

Re Zoe Brain:

Zoe peddles dogma. In her TG world every permutation of biological variation becomes a gender role transgressive act by default.

Mr Gold was arguing his case on the basis of the misinformation he and other GLB's have been spoon-fed by ideologists like Brain for years.

Every argument Ms. Brain put forward to counter Ron Gold's article is subject to other interpretations. Well Does Ms. Brain know that fact, and carefully does she avoid mentioning it!

Look at Professor Jan Wålinder's definition of transsexualism, written in 1969.

1. A sense of belonging to the opposite sex, of having been born into the wrong sex, of being one of nature's extant errors.

2. A sense of estrangement with one's own body; all indications of sex differentiation are considered as afflictions and repugnant.

3. A strong desire to resemble physically the opposite sex via therapy including surgery.

4. A desire to be accepted in the community as belonging to the opposite sex.


This is arguably the most accurate description of the experience of transsexualism ever written. This is what we experience from the very first years of self awareness.

Note the issues of anatomical dissonance that Professor Wålinder's definition acknowledged and which were pretty much pushed into the background following acceptance of John Money's theories in the wake of the Reimer debacle.

The single biggest flaw in Ms Brain's arguments and Mr Gold's opinions is this: both ignore the most important aspects of transsexualism. Wålinder's points 1 & 2.

Brain ignored them because she is a TG ideologue and performs to a particular audience.

Mr Gold ignored them because he didn't know.

There's a significant point here. One individual quite deliberately and intentionally omitted any indication that she was serving up just one of several possible interpretations.

Mr Gold can seek his refuge in genuine and unintentional ignorance.

Zoe Brain cannot!

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

“What is transgender? Well, there are two sorts who seem to be covered
by the name, the drag kings and queens so good at portraying cartoon
imitations of straight people, and transsexuals…”

“What does it mean to be really a man or a woman? Since it's not about
genitalia, it must be about personality…”

This is utterly facile.

If the article was not published it should have been on the grounds that Mr. Gold’s understanding of the issues was not up to standard.

Whilst I find your defending of the “Voltairean imperative” admirable, Mr. Gold - whatever his credentials in other areas may be, he was clearly totally unqualified to speak on this issue.

The whole thing smacks of the woodwork teacher being drafted in to take the biology class for the afternoon. And whilst I can sit at the back of the class snickering at his ineptitude, I do worry that if Mr. Gold’s argument resonates within the wider GLB community, their understanding of trans people is every bit as facile as his.


The rest reads like a concise version of Janice Raymond’s “Empire” and is wrong for the same reasons.
Oh and if the legislation that Mr. Gold supports is for trans Women to use men’s facilities without fear – then he can shove it.

1:20 PM  
Blogger CedarCat said...

As a woman and a lesbian, my hope is that men of all persuasions will support the notion that we are people. With the same rights and responsibilities as men.

Much of the fuss about "trans" seems to be to break into spaces forged by the hard work and long years of struggle. Women-born-women only spaces, in particular. The attempt to re-name me as "cis" woman, so that they can lay claim to my name for myself: woman.

What I also have observed is once the barricades have been broken, the "trans" pioneers proceed to lose interest in the dull, everyday business of building community. On to the next fight.

I have always wondered why the trans community has been glommed onto the gay and lesbian community. We have nothing in common. And that is the lonely plight of the trans people. You are a lesbian, who becomes a man, so now you are a straight male. Do your lesbian friends want to hang out with you? Not likely. And do straight males want to hang out with you? Also highly unlikely. So, now you have..... no one.

I believe it is this desperate need to belong that drives the trans community to disrupt. I truly wish them peace and that they find a space of their own, and a name of their own (not taking my name).

And I believe we are all one. we are all connected.

May it be in beauty.

10:00 PM  
Blogger MasterAmazon said...

Good for you for reprinting the article for all to see. So many Lesbians(and some gay men) are seeing the backlash by trans censorship and rewriting of BOTH our Lesbian and Gay history. I do not buy that a bio male is a "Lesbian". For YEARS he had privileges as a man, and sexist attitudes towards the women he dated, lived with or married, that when he transitions to 'female' comes INTO the Lesbian community expecting us to a) recognize him AS a woman, when most do not pass in any way, shape or form
b) some still retain penises and us Lesbians should just 'get over it' a la 'The Cotton Ceiling' debate. We are FEMALE HOMOSEXUALS, as such, our love and lust is reserved for female bodies, minds, spirits....but especially Female bodies.

No amount of external appearance can change that, or the potential fear an MTF might still retain a penis, and many still retain assumptions of their former male privilege, thinking we will give in to them if they are forceful enough.

Here is an article that addresses the difference between the Gay/Lesbian movement and Lesbians and Gays vs Trans interests. We are different communities. YOu just don't 'get over' the biological sex you come from...it is a lie.

http://liberationcollective.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/there-is-no-t-in-lesbian/

I have heard gay men complain to me, as many, many of us Lesbians feel completely coopted by the trans movement, and both MTF's and FTM's who INSIST in being in all our women's and Lesbian spaces, while also having some of their own.

Our issues are different and our needs are different. Sometimes gay men want to be with other bio gay males sexually or socially. And often many of us Dykes want to be with bio women, Lesbian or otherwise, we share a girlhood in common, similar outlooks, puberty, fear of impregnation, and many, many other things that no MTF will ever understand.

And it saddens MANY of us Dyke Butches to see more and more young women shamed of their female bodies, pressured by their peers, to identify as male, and go down the whole 'male identifying, hormone, surgery' route, as our strong Lesbian communities and spaces and businesses and bookstores have declined much of it due to trans infiltration and cooptation, the trans community has risen AT OUR EXPENSE and on the backs of our young Butches, convincing them for their freedom, if ONLY they identified as male, they truly could be free, and must be 'born in the wrong body', instead of a society that still DOES NOT accept Butch Dyke Women and effeminate Gay Men!
-MasterAmazon

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anna Djinn said...

Thank you for this article. There are many reasons why the transgender movement is causing real problems for women in general. I try to explain some of these problems and why we need women-only space in this article:

https://thefeministahood.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/what-is-a-woman/

11:52 AM  

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