As he investigated the story, he found more and more inconsistencies. Suspecting some sort of possible fraud, he dug deeper, but what he eventually found was that Vanderbilt was a post-op transsexual who was quite stealth. When he made it clear that he planned to expose her, she committed suicide. Naturally, a few transgender kooks have jumped on this to cluelessly blather about how rough it is for transgender people…mostly completely missing the simple fact that she was almost certainly not one of their ilk.
Another author, again completely missing the point, has taken a slightly different approach…but still misses the point entirely. "Dana" Beyer, one of several transgender extremists who have found a home at the Huffington Post, has written an article whining about Vanderbilt being in the closet. Of course, Mr. Beyer is quick to point out that Vanderbilt had a history of being suicidal, and had a history of "emotional struggles." He also makes the obvious error of referring to her as a "trans woman." Vanderbilt was nothing like Mr. Beyer and the rest of the cadre of kooks who pontificate at the Huffington Post. Vanderbilt clearly had no desire to be anything other than simply a woman…something the transgender crowd blanches at the thought of.
This is one several things that are lost on the transgender crowd in their rush to force transsexuals under their umbrella. We are not the same. Transsexuals have an absolute need to correct their bodies, and an equally absolute need to simply live as the women (or men, in the case of FTM transsexuals) that we really are. Transgender people have a need to be, well, "transgender." For them, the idea of not being "out, loud, and proud" is as equally offensive as the idea of being such is to a true transsexual. They want people to know their history. It is central to their identity, just as being simply a woman is to mine.
And that brings us to the core of what this article is about….Mr. Beyer's clueless drivel… For example, he utters this ridiculous bit:
When any life is lost, it is a tragedy. When it is lost because of unbearable social pressures, it is an unnecessary tragedy. Her story is, unfortunately, still way too common.Obviously, this poor woman killed herself because she feared something kooks like Mr. Beyer embrace with total enthusiasm. While I believe that Vanderbilt overreacted to the situation, I can understand what she felt. She would have been outed in, at least from her view, a very public manner. Now, in truth, the situation might well have been ultimately manageable, it would have been difficult. She no doubt had a lot invested in the product she had invented, and her future income probably depended on building on that success. Simply picking up and moving somewhere she was not known would not have been an option.
How one deals with being outed depends, in part, on the nature of the outing, and on where one lives. For some, it can be hard to escape public scrutiny. For others, it can be as simple as packing up and moving to a new town, or even a new part of town. What she was threatened with (as best I can tell, she was not actually outed until after her death, but she should have been assured that her private life would remain private. And, it is possible, if she had simply explained her situation to the person planning the article, that would have been respected.
But, I suspect that kooks like Mr. Beyer, and a long litany of others I won't bother naming, contributed to her death by pushing the concept that "transgender" people have no problem being "outed." After all, I suspect some of them should probably be more likely to be suicidal if people didn't know their history. After all, where is the fun in bullying people into ignoring reality and referring to you as a woman, if they are not fully, and unquestioningly aware that you were, and in many cases, still are, a male.
Some of the crap spewed by Mr. Beyer is just incredible… For example, he exhibits both the cluelessness of a man, and a complete disregard for the safety, perhaps, of those who don't share his love of the spotlight:
Leaving the closet of her pre-transition male life, she created a new closet, with a narrative that clearly was flawed when she presented as a highly successful engineer and inventor. I'm amazed that her story didn't immediately raise eyebrows, as she was a middle-aged 6-foot-3 woman with a low-pitched voice, degrees from MIT and Penn, and a résumé of work on the stealth bomber and Bluetooth technology. Maybe we've progressed sufficiently that many are no longer aware of the profound sexism that infected the realm of science and technology back in the '70s and '80s. Few women received those degrees and worked on those projects. The ignorance evinced by the author and his editor tell me we still have a long way to go.First off, Mr. Beyer would have kicked Vanderbilt right back into that first closet, where he still resides. Mr. Beyer continues to, effectively exist as a man. He may demand, and even force people to "acknowledge" him as a female, but they do it only by suspending reality. He continues to exist as, in effect, a man.
Second, he ignores the fact that, yes, some women, not many, but some, did manage to have careers in those fields. But he also makes sure to emphasize things that might clue his readers in on how to play "spot the tranny." Yes, folks, that tall woman, with a voice that is perhaps not quite as high pitched as you think it should be…she just might be a man, so don't hesitate to make that assumption. Especially if she has the "wrong" degree… Talk about ignorance…Mr. Beyer exhibits it in bulk.
Worse, Mr. Beyer goes on to not only absolve the author of any guilt, but to actually suggest that he was justified in what he put Vanderbilt through…
The LGBT community pounced on the writer and his editor, blaming them for causing her death, even though she had killed herself before the story had been published. There were complaints that she should never have been outed, even though her gender history was clearly pertinent to the mystery that was her life. It was implied that there was no compassion for her, a claim we have no way of evaluating. Causation was implied where there was only correlation, and the trans community lashed out at what it saw as a miscarriage of justice and vicious cyber bullying.After all, how dare she choose stealth. She must join behind those like Mr. Beyer, in transgender lockstep. Anything else is unacceptable. Besides, what Vanderbilt was subjected to was not unlike what many, including myself, have been subjected to by transgender extremists seeking to punish those who refuse to be assimilated. One blogger was literally driven into hiding because she dared speak out.
The question that haunts me is how we, as trans persons, can become full and equal citizens as long as we keep our true selves from our friends and neighbors. How can we overcome the need to reinvent ourselves in a manner others might consider deceptive when those others create such pressures that some trans persons see no way out? How can we be free as long as we stay in the closet or create new closets?What Mr. Beyer really wants to do is force people into the closet of being what they are not, because, quite frankly, he can never be what they are. Mr. Beyer would deny to those who are truly transsexual the life they seek, because he finds it "deceptive." What he actually demands is deception, not the other way around. What he really means is, if the truth gets out that transsexuals are not transgender, and that the idiocy spewed by the extremists is, well, idiocy, then he might not be able to successfully bully people into ignoring reality.
My answer is that we simply must come out. The risks may be great, and the act of coming out may be fraught with peril, but as our gay allies have learned, the only way to acceptance and affirmation is to first accept and affirm yourself.Mr. Beyer is a classic "gender fascist." He thinks he has a right to dictate what is right for me, and those like me. I do accept and affirm myself…as the woman I am, not a man in a dress like Mr. Beyer would have me be.