Thursday, October 11, 2007

Crossing the T in GLBT

Sit up and take your transgender lesson! Susan Stryker came down the aisle like the proverbial schoolmarm, replete with the ruler and note to bring back signed.

As a follow-up to our ENDA podcast, you should definitely click on Why the T in GLBT is here to stay in today's Salon. Her scathing rebuttal to and expansion on fellow Salon-oid John Aravosis' original question is simultaneously educating and amusing. She delivers her own sort of reconstructive surgery.

Spoilers would be inappropriate. Suffice it to say, reading her piece is quite a ride, starting from the image of a beggar at the banquet down to the reasons why gay men need to stop trying to exclude transgender folk...right now.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a kick-ass article. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Comparing the current attack on Transfolk to the planetary demotion of Pluto was brilliant.

Btw, the link to the article took me to another of your blog posts. Here's the link to Stryker's article.

Ryan said...

I don't know if I find her article nearly as compelling, Mike. John was having an honest conversation, she went for the snark-o-meter 10000. Now, I love snark as much as any of us, but I only use it when someone is being absolutely rediculous - and usually against people in Team Homophobia, ie our worst enemies. Or, if I don't use it in that way, I'm just poking innocent fun. Stryker went for the jugular and it was way overdone.

The important point is that Avarosis could be right - or he could be wrong. If there's anything I'm sure of, it's that NO ONE has an idea of what will be the most beneficial. Quite frankly, Avarosis made a good point in the salon piece by saying any bill, even without words, that specified that glbt people were a minority that ought to be protected would be one of the biggest victories ever.

It's the political calculations from Laurel that finally convinced me to bypass an ENDA that didn't include transgender/transexual rights, with the knowledge that we're all but certain to increase Democratic leads and probably elect a Democrat to the office in '08. Yet, we're still putting off a house victory in the meantime that would certainly be huge momentum and a real pr boost for the community as a whole to make that happen.

One of the reasons why I kept hitting the poitn that we need to start this discussion now about the community as a whole is because it seems like whenever someone brings it up, they're viciously attacked. So, I think it's important to hear and consider glb people who are confused or reticent to include trans in at least their political calculations. That way, hopefully we can win all those hearts and minds and get everyone on the same - or even similar page - because right now it's a very silent and discontent group... and it's only a question of which side is doing more to undermine the over all efforts.

massmarrier said...

Well, I can also pull out my old man credentials and talk about compromises I have seen over many years. I tend to come down on the side of going for what's right. Fortune favors the bold, and all that. Sometimes nibbling your way to the full meal works, but often you end up with just the crumbs.

We see this with same-sex marriage in very similar ways. There's the debate of suing and at how high a court level, as well as the domestic partnership/civil union/SSM splits.

Another aspect we didn't get to Tuesday was inclusiveness. It hasn't been that long since many homosexuals didn't want to align with bisexuals either. These issues and alliances are complex.