In a recent post, "Autumn" Sandeen makes the assertion that gender identity and gender expression are two different concepts. He them proceeds to try to argue pretty much the opposite.
He is trying to counter the very strong argument made by Ashley Love that pushing protections based on gender expression are harmful to transsexuals. Love is absolutely correct. Mr. Sandeen tries to argue the opposite. In spite of his rather lame attempts to argue otherwise, the term gender expression covers people like transvestites or crossdressers. It covers a behavior, not something that is intrinsic.
Clearly, whether someone crossdresses on occasion, or is a full time transvestite, like Mr. Sandeen, actual gender identity is not really an issue. Now, Mr. Sandeen may claim to be a transsexual, and may claim to have a female gender identity, but the facts are obvious. He has no desire to live as simply a woman. He goes out of his way to make sure that everyone knows his past. He flaunts the fact that he spent 20 years in the Navy, serving in a position that, at the time, was only open to males. Up until the point, after his discharge, that he decided to go full time, he was living quite happily and successfully as a man.
True transsexuals, also referred to as classic transsexuals, lead very miserable lives prior to transition. Even though they may be in denial, they simply cannot function in a male role. Their brain is not sexual differentiated to think as a male, and it is difficult, if not impossible, for them to maintain the illusion that they are men.
This is why protections for true or classic transsexuals are important. They have a medical issue that should be accommodated. Crossdressers and transvestites choose to engage in a certain behavior that does not warrant the same protection. Traditionally we do not protect behavior from discrimination, and we should not start.
Mr. Sandeen is an extremist. He favors protections that are quite simply, absurd. He has shown no restraint on issues like bathroom access. It is one thing to allow transsexuals, in transition, to use the women's room, it is something entirely different to say that putting on a dress entitles a man to invade women's space. Mr. Sandeen simply refuses to see that women might feel threatened by such a situation. In fact, in his comments, he adamantly asserts that women do not have a right to feel safe in the bathroom, making the absurd comparison to segregated rest rooms. He again shows his extremist position that holds that a chosen behavior, i.e. crossdressing and pretending to be a woman, trumps the right of women to feel secure in a restroom. For a transsexual, using the women's room is a necessity...for a crossdresser, even a full time crossdresser like Mr. Sandeen, it is more akin to a thrill, something to be done regardless of who it harms.
The great irony is that Mr. Sandeen and his ilk claim to be women, but they have no understanding or concern for those they claim to be in common with. Their attitude is more misogynistic than not.
No, gender expression should not receive protections. It is not the same, or the equivalent of gender identity. To follow the sort of logic that Mr. Sandeen engages in, one would argue that pedophilia would have to be protected since it is linked to a type of "sexual orientation." Of course, such a view is obviously outrageous. But it is consistent with Mr. Sandeen's approach which equates behavior with intrinsic condition.