Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Cautionary Tale...Revisited

Back in March, I wrote about some who have rushed into transition and then had regrets. In that article, I mentioned Mike Penner, the Los Angeles Times sportswriter who made headlines in 2007 when he announced that he was transitioning to become a woman and would now be known as Christine Daniels. In October of 2008 he changed back to being Mike. Today, it has been reported that he was found dead in his home, and that the suspected cause was suicide.

Of course, unless more information is provided, there is no way of knowing what might have led him to take his life. It may have had nothing to do with his attempted transition, or it may have had everything to do with it. But I have to wonder...did all those TG activists who were so quick to embrace him when he was making a very public transition abandon him when he changed his mind?

"Autumn" Sandeen made this comment on his blog at Pam's House Blend:

Mike, when he lived as Christine, was someone I considered a peer and a friend. I feel the loss of my friend Mike tremendously.

Now, I don't want to read too much into this, but it does make me wonder. He was considered a friend and peer when he was "Christine," but was he just forgotten when he went back to being Mike?

I've had friends who realized that transition was a mistake. I didn't stop being their friend because they realized they needed to return to their old life. If they still wanted support, I was there for them. I wonder if Mike had a different experience. Perhaps those who saw him as a peer, and even as a friend, were suddenly afraid to associate with him.And it is sad that he will go to his grave, labeled the "transsexual sports writer." He should have been allowed to put that behind him if that was his choice. Might that have contributed to his death? Might a wrong choice have been hung around his neck like an albatross?

Whatever the cause, his death is a tragedy. And again, should be a cautionary tale for all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Return of Gender Fascism

For a while, it has looked like the gender fascists were on the retreat. Sure, they still tended to include classic transsexuals and people with HBS under the "umbrella" at times, but they would also speak of "identifying" as transgender, and even some of the worst, like "Autumn" Sandeen, while still falsely claiming to be "transsexual," would acknowledge their being transgender was a matter of political and social identification. But "Mercedes" Allen, another of those "former" non-ops who has decided that want the "fully monty" now has decided fight back.

In piece, Rocky Horror and the Holy Grail, or: The Problem with Defining to Exclusion, on that bastion of gender fascism, The Bilerico Project, Allen wants to bring all those who wish to escape the transgender umbrella back into line. And, as is typical with the gender fascists, at least tries to pretend to just not get it.

The article is primarily a rehash of the classic transgender party line that those who do not wish to be classified as transgender are elitist. That is not remotely the truth.

What Allen is really trying to perpetuate is the erasure of HBS and classic transsexualism, which, by its very nature is going to not be inclusive when compared with the transgender model. And that, quite simply is because it has nothing in common with the transgender model.

And a side note, Allen lumps "Women Born Transsexual" in with classic transsexuals, and those with HBS. That is actually wrong. While WBT was originated as a term to differentiate from those who are 'transgender," it has now become an assimilationist term that links transsexuals with transgender.

But Allen, like so many transgender types, cannot stand this. It is not that they feel that transsexuals think themselves better than those who are transgender, but that those who are transgender fear that they are inferior to those who are transsexual or HBS.

They cannot argue that they have any reason for their behavior other than choices that they make, so they wish to erase those who have a biological basis, making us all the result of choices.

But those of us who are HBS and classic transsexual are not willing to be erased. Not because we are better, but simply because, we exist.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who is Godwin? Good Question....

Transgender blogger, Suzan Cooke asks "Who is Godwin?" in another of her rants entitled Nasty Girl on "Women Born Transsexual." Since Cooke, like most transgender bloggers, is very big on censorship, I will answer her here. (BTW, Cooke is always welcome to comment here, but she should, of course, keep in mind that here the playing field is level.)

I would imagine, given her comparisons of those who voted against gay marriage in Maine to Nazis that she is referring to Godwin's Law, which was originally formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It states
As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
The term Godwin's law can also refer to the tradition that whoever makes such a comparison is said to "lose" the debate.

And it is exactly the sort of over the top rhetoric of those like Cooke that led Godwin to formulate the law to begin with. He is not, as Cooke rather defensively suggests, a Nazi sympathizer. Quite the opposite. The purpose of the law is to try, far too often unsuccessfully, to get those who trivialize the Holocaust by comparing anyone they disagree with to Nazis, to reconsider. While I am unhappy that gay marriage lost in Maine, I would not compare it to the murder of six-million Jews, as well as a number of other people by the Nazis.

But then again, I don't share Cooke's often extreme views on a number of points.