Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sandeen Proves Himself a Bigot

One has to hand it to "Autumn" Sandeen, the man just doesn't have good judgement.  His latest post really shows him for what he is...a "classist, sexist, racist, lookist, and otherwise judgmental and xenophobic" bigot.  He has posted a video called The People of Walmart in a bizarre attempt to attack what he terms the "Homophobia Industrial Complex."  

The bizarre thing is, some of the people in the video appear to be rather outrageous transgender types.  Sandeen is trying to attack people who oppose the idea of some man in a dress teaching kindergarten.  I assume he is thinking about the controversy in Oakland where a group of extremist transgender activists were allowed to attempt to indoctrinate a first grade class on the deconstruction of gender.

I know it probably seems that I pick on Mr. Sandeen a lot, but he invites it.  He posts garbage like this, and then seems amazed that even some of his supporters are outraged. 


Since I first posted this, the comments on Mr. Sandeen's blog have been almost universally negative.  And, in a somewhat surprising move, Suzan Cooke, who had previously, and rather surprisingly, embraced him as a friend has now turned on Mr. Sandeen due to the attack on people who shop at Walmart, and his column yesterday where he presumed to advise Janet Mock.


Well, it is the Monday after Sandeen's bigotry was posted on Saturday.  He is finally back from wherever he was hiding, and he has issued what will have to pass for his apology.  He claims he had no idea that the video might be offensive and that the saw it as celebrating "diversity."  Now, given that this is pretty much lifted from one of the few comments that did not condemn him for posting that piece of garbage, it is pretty obvious that he was waiting for someone to offer him something he could use to bail himself out.  I don't, for one nanosecond, believe that Sandeen did not see that video for what it was, an attack on people that was, as Pam Spaulding put it, "classism, sexism, racism, and fatphobia, to name a few."  Of course, it appears that Spaulding is not going to take Mr. Sandeen to the woodshed.  No surprise....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sandeen Should Keep His Advice To Himself

Well, "Autumn" Sandeen, one of the more obnoxious of the transgender extremists, is back with his latest silliness.  He has taken it upon himself to advise Janet Mock, the editor of who has chosen to out herself as part of the "It Gets Better" series of videos.

Ms. Mock transitioned very young and had previously not revealed her past.  She chose to do the video out of concern for young transsexuals.  It is admirable that she chose to do this, and to be honest, I envy those who have access to this sort of information now.  When I was in my teens, the only term I knew was "transvestite" until I saw Christine Jorgensen mentioned on a show hosted by Joe Pyne.  It did not provide much in the way of real information, and when I read "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex..." I got horrid misinformation about my options.  It was not until I read "Canary" by Canary Conn that the possibility of transition and surgery became known to me.  But, other misinformation prevented me from pursuing transition for a number of years after that.

Mr. Sandeen presumes to lecture Ms. Mock about what she can expect.  He presumes to try to impose his experiences on her.  He has no business even remotely doing this.  He is suggests that she can expect to be seen as a "man in a dress" by some.  Yes, I suppose some extremists on the Right might attempt to impose that term on her.  But that is not what Mr. Sandeen is talking about.  He is talking about other women.  I am sure Mr. Sandeen is speaking from experience, as that is exactly what he is...."a man in a dress."

Quite obviously, Mr. Sandeen is upset that Ms. Mock has made it clear that she is a "transsexual" not "transgender."  He is not a part of Mr. Sandeen's imaginary community.  She is a woman, who has left her past behind.  Worse, from Mr. Sandeen's point of view, she is someone who can help change opinions about the differences between transsexuals and transgender.

I don't know what Ms. Mock's future plans include.  Hopefully, she will simply continue her life and the fuss will pass quickly.  That, of course, will deeply disappoint Mr. Sandeen.  Like Mike Penner, who for a while was known as Christine Daniels, Mr, Sandeen hopes to puff himself by some association with a public figure.  But he really should just keep his advice to himself. I seriously doubt Ms. Mock appreciates it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The "Empire" Strikes Out

In 1979 a former nun turned radical lesbian-feminist named Janice Raymond wrote a book called "The Transsexual Empire."  In it, she viciously attacked transsexuals, and in particular, those who claimed to be lesbians.  Raymond, who was a lesbian-separatist considered them to be invading "women's space."  And ever since, some, particularly those who themselves identify as "transsexual lesbians" have been obsessed with Raymond and her views.

Personally, I find Raymond to be a bit of a bad joke.  Her book was ludicrous.  She has no understanding of the true nature of transsexualism, coming at the subject from the classic radical feminist position that socialization is the only factor differentiating men and women.  Raymond ignores the role that biology plays.  And, quite simply, Raymond was terrified that she might encounter a transsexual and not know they were born male.  For want of a better term, Raymond was terribly "heterophobic."  Sort of the lesbian equivalent of a man who loses it when he finds out the woman he is with was born male.  

Now, "Autumn" Sandeen, a pseudo-transsexual kook who pretty much fits the stereotypes that Raymond attributed to all transsexuals, is dragging up Raymond's diatribe again.  And, ironically, Mr. Sandeen is using it to attack true transsexuals.

At the heart of Mr. Sandeen's latest diatribe is his same tired insistence that he is a woman, albeit, a transwoman.  Of course, the problem is, "transwoman" is, at the very least, an oxymoron.  There is really no such creature.  Transgender, by its very nature, precludes someone who was born male from actually claiming womanhood.  It is an open repudiation of actually being a woman, and certainly of actually being a transsexual.  Those who identify as transgender tend to cling to their histories.  They want to claim to be women, while keeping one foot in their maleness.  And worse, they show utter contempt for anyone who does not wish to share in their bizarre behavior.

In the article, Mr. Sandeen quotes Sandy Stone, who was attacked by Janice Raymond in her book.  Stone was a sound engineer with Olivia Records, a music company specializing in women's music.  Stone was a post-op who, at the time, identified as a lesbian.  Stone has since married a man and is now a professor at an university in Texas.  A few years after Raymond's book, Stone wrote a diatribe entitled "The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manisfesto."

Now, in Stone's essay, there is a section where Stone seems to attack those who "pass."  This is something, of course, that Mr. Sandeen wholeheartedly embraces:
To "read oneself aloud" -- I embrace the concept for myself. It is a posttranssexual experience for me to embrace a transgender experience as my own, diversity-minded experience. I know that reading myself aloud, this being out and proud as both transsexual and transgender, has been defining for who I've developed into. I certainly will not pay the extremely high price of silence for personal acceptance within any portion of our broad society.
There are a couple of problems with the above statement.  First off, Mr. Sandeen is not remotely a transsexual, and secondly, for him to speak of being "postranssexual" is completely absurd.  You can't be "post" something you are not to begin with.  And clearly, Mr. Sandeen is not a transsexual.  If he is "posttranssexual," then he is, in effect, saying that he has completed his transition.  Since he is an intact male, he is effectively declaring himself, again, to be non-op.  A year or so ago, he had begun claiming he was surgery tracked, though he showed no apparent need to move ahead with any plans for surgery.  That seemed fishy at the time, and now he again seems to be taking a non-op position.

Likewise, another transgender extremist, "Monica" Helms, who was also, for a period, claiming to be surgery tracked, not only appears to have returned to the "they will take my penis when they pry my cold, dead fingers from it" camp, but also appears to be frantically opposed to the very idea of surgery being a covered benefit under insurance.

Mr. Helms launches into a bizarre, and completely dishonest diatribe about how insurance coverage for surgery would not make any difference.  First off, if it is covered by health insurance, it is covered like any other necessary surgery.  The claim that one has to pay up front, and is then reimbursed is an outright lie.  I know.  I had my surgery paid for by insurance, and my main out of pocket expenses where a $250 co-pay, and the cost of my dilators.  Everything else was paid for.  Now, not all medical coverage is as good.  If I had another plan, I would have paid more.  But if I had that other plan, I would pay more for any medical procedure.  If, say, I needed bypass surgery, I would have paid the same amounts.  

Why does Mr. Helms make these silly claims?  Because if his health insurance actually covered the costs of surgery, he would lose an excuse for keeping his penis.  He needs to maintain that illusion that he would have surgery, except it costs too much.  Never mind the fact that he bought a house, rather than seek surgery.  For a true transsexual nothing is more important than corrective surgery.  For someone like Mr. Helms, nothing is more important than finding an excuse to keep his penis.

Mr. Helms also raises the ridiculous claim about people being "non-ops" for health reasons.  This is also not remotely legitimate.  Yes, there was a time when people were denied surgery for reasons such as being diabetic (which I am), or being HIV positive (which I am not),  or other conditions.  As surgery for true transsexuals is increasingly recognized as medically necessary and not just elective doctors are more willing to take risks, and in most cases any contraindication is only a temporary situation.  People are "non-ops" because they are not transsexuals.  They want to keep their penises.  I had a friend who was a brittle diabetic.  Her blood sugar was very poorly controlled.  She had been denied surgery for years, but before she died, she convinced a doctor to remove her penis and testicles and complete everything except creating a vagina.  She didn't live much longer after that, and died of unrelated causes, but she was a transsexual.  Mr. Helms, is not.

As one commenter points out, by claiming to be transsexual, but rejecting surgery, they are undermining those who really do need it.  They either do not care that they hurt true transsexuals, or more likely, that is their goal.  They know they are not really transsexuals and they hate those who are.

So, why do they so desperately cling to the claim that they are transsexual?  Because they want the benefits that they believe transsexuals have.  They want to force society to grant them legal status as females, even though they have no intentions of giving up their penises.

It is ironic that people like Mr, Sandeen, and Mr. Helms, claim that being "out, loud, and proud" is about being honest, and yet they are anything but honest.  They want to claim the status of being something they are not.  They want to claim to be transsexuals when they have no desire to change their sex.  They want to change their birth certificates to indicate that they are female, while retaining their penises.  They want to change their passports, again without giving up their penis.  They want to claim to women, even though they are clearly, and happily, men.

They cannot possibly fool people into thinking they are really women, so they dig in and demand that people suspend reality and go along with their delusions.  And, again, they attack those who can successfully live as women.  And no, it is not about appearances.  It is about behavior.  I have met many who looked quite convincing, but who had such totally male attitudes that the illusion that they are actually women quickly fades.

This is why Raymond bothers them so much.  They are exactly the sort of men that Raymond saw all transsexuals as.  I would be willing to bet there were probably transsexuals that Raymond did not know were transsexuals.  Of course, the very idea of actually being a woman is lost on people like Mr. Sandeen and Mr. Helms.  They are men playing a game of dress up.

One of the issues that Raymond makes a big fuss over is privilege.  I always find this somewhat amusing.  For a classic transsexual, male privilege is as unknown as it is for any other woman.  We grew up being seen as, for want of a better term, "defective males."  We were labeled as "sissies" and while we were not, perhaps, treated exactly like females, we were not treated as normal males either.  Our status was, quite often, not unlike that that many women experience, but at the same time, lacking in many of the advantages that they had.  For example, we certainly lacked the protection from violence that, at least in the past, extended to females.  But we also were denied the sort of status that leads to privilege.  On the other hand, men like Mr. Sandeen, and Mr. Helms, were leading successful and happy lives in the military.  Apparently, they were crossdressers, and as sometimes happens, they have decided to take their "hobby" to the next level.

The bottom line to all of this is that it seems truly odd that some are so obsessed with being accepted by the tiny handful of kooks who make up radical separatist feminism (the sort who think all heterosex is rape and that men should be eliminated).  This is a group that is at the far extreme, and yet some waste an incredible amount of time worrying about the fact that they do not accept "transgender" people as "real women."  So what?  There are always going to be people who don't accept the concept of sex reassignment.  And shoot, I seriously doubt that the vast majority of people really accept kooks like Mr. Sandeen and his ilk as "real women."  I mean, seriously...a bunch of men, playing dress up, while making it clear that they were born men, that they intend to keep their penises, acting in a very masculine manner (and blissfully unaware of that behavior in most cases), and demanding that they be called women?  Granted, they are as looney as the extremist feminists that they obsess over.  Maybe that explains it all...

Sunday, May 8, 2011


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.