Friday, November 4, 2011


This is my personal response to an editorial in the Tacoma News-Tribune today by a self-proclaimed "black conservative," named Walter. He suggests in his essay that black conservatives have to be very courageous to buck their own community. He says he used to be a loyal Democrat, but that people in the Democratic Party can't be anti-abortion, against gay marriage, or religious. He says his conversion to conservatism was a "come-to-Jesus" moment, but he didn't realize the cost. He has been called a traitor, an "Uncle Tom," and been accused of giving aid and comfort to the "enemy." He says he does not support Barack Obama, and agrees with most of the positions of Herman Cain. He says he wonders if his dying father, an Obama supporter, was proud of him, particularly for standing up for his belief: "no excuses."

Walter –

Thanks for your essay today in the News Tribune. I am always eager to learn more about the mindset of that rare and elusive creature you call the black conservative.

I admire that you stood up for what you believe in, and had the courage (or foolhardiness, as you intimate) to go against the grain of your clan, the African American community in establishing your own identity. You were exercising your liberty. Good for you. That doesn’t mean, however, that you made a wise choice. When departing from the “common sense” of your own community, you are either a spiritually gifted prophet who perceives an entirely different dimension, or someone who is deaf, dumb and blind to truth that everyone else can clearly see.

Like many contemporary conservatives, I think you may not have a very good idea of what conservatism really is. Many people think being conservative means being prudent, frugal, Christian, all-American. But liberals are these things, too. (You show stupendous ignorance – and a degree of malice - when you declare that liberals are not “religious,” and even more audacity in claiming that your becoming conservative was a “come-to-Jesus” moment, in reference to one of history’s greatest liberals. It would have been far more accurate to say you had a “come-to-Pharisees” moment.)

Political conservatism is the predilection to “conserve” established hierarchy, institutions and traditions. We can see this dynamic working throughout human history, and its modern political incarnation dates back to the Irish politician Edmund Burke (ironically something of a liberal for his time) in the mid to late 1700s. We see it still working today in almost every showdown between liberal and conservative, where liberals see a new and better way, and conservatives are desperate to retain or restore an older order.

Conservatives were against the founding of the United States of America. The conservatives of that era were called the Tories, the same as they are still called today in Britain. Those early American conservatives were determined to “conserve” the tradition of kingship and their traditional ties with Britain, and so fought fiercely against the patriots in their own country. The first American “civil war” was patriots vs. conservatives. Following independence, many conservative Americans moved to Canada.

Conservatives also fought, tooth and nail, to “conserve” such “traditions” as education only for the male elite, slavery, Native American subjugation (and sometimes actual genocide), women’s subjugation, unfettered rights of aristocracy and wealth, child labor, feudalistic economic structure, lack of worker’s rights, the right for corporations to pollute at will, and, of course, they fiercely resisted civil rights and affirmative action. In short, conservatives have been the very bane of culture – worldwide, and in America – since the dawn of culture itself. They have always been the party of “no.”

We have to scratch our head and ask a couple of questions. "What have conservatives ever offered the world?" And, "who are the conservative heroes of history?" And for the most part, we simply draw blanks.

Find an arch-enemy of the poor, the non-white, the female, the natural world, even science, and his (almost always his) face will be conservative. That is as true today as it was 2500 years ago when Socrates was being convicted by the Athenian court, 2000 years ago when Jesus was accused by the Pharisees,  600 years ago when Joan of Arc and “witches” across Europe were being burned at the stake by the Church, 500 years ago when Galileo and Copernicus were persecuted for their scientific awakening, 230 years ago when men of the enlightenment sparked a revolution among the patriots of America, whose first rebellious action was to attack a corporation, 150 years ago when conservative madness sent this country into a bloodbath of unimaginable proportion (again, patriots vs. conservatives), through over 100 years of reconstruction and Jim Crow policies of continued subjugation and prejudice against the now free black people, to 40 years ago when Martin Luther King and the freedom riders were beaten and harassed by conservatives waving the Confederate flag, to today when conservatives try mightily to deny liberty, equality, justice and pursuit of happiness to gay, lesbian and transgender Americans, as well as immigrants who happen to be poor and brown.

Yet the history of America, and the world, is the continual refutation of conservative ideology. Yes, it wins elections and sets us back from time to time, but the arc of history is toward ever greater liberty, equality, justice, pursuit of happiness, oneness, cooperation, love for one another, forgiveness, non-judgment, the very ideas conservatives so desperately attempt to thwart. Overall, conservatives are the biggest losers in world history. They have stood against progress at every turn for thousands of years.

So there is DAMN GOOD reason that poor people, people of color, females, people of alternative lifestyles, people who revere nature, as well as those who are authentically religious and actually try to live according to the core precepts of their faith, find conservative ideology highly dubious, if not downright diabolical. The African American community is not wrong for leaning liberal and Democratic; the facticity of the matter proves them dead right!

The only “black conservatives” I have yet come across in my 59 years seem to be – coincidently? – those black males (almost always male) who have managed to succeed within the paradigms of so-called “mainstream” society. I take it that you, like Allen West and J.C. Watts and Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele and Herman Cain,  et al, are at least somewhat affluent. Good for you all. That’s what America is supposed to be about: opportunity for all. Liberals do not resent success based on merit and virtue; we cheer a Steve Jobs or Howard Schultz or Warren Buffet or Lady Gaga or Beyonce Knowles or Carl Sagan or J.K. Rowling. We resent extreme unfairness, and unmeritorious “success” as personified by George W. Bush and John McCain, for example, punks who would be lucky to be managers at Wal-Mart if not for their poppies and grand-poppies (will Mitt Romney be the next candidate of privilege and nepotism offered up by the conservatives?). Likewise, we disdain CEOs who make millions in bonuses while driving their companies into the ground, and financial traders who rake in billions while actually contributing nothing to the economy.

Despite America’s progress, we still have a long, long way to go. We have formed a more perfect union, but the game is still rigged. We haven’t yet completely succeeded in deconstructing all of the paradigms of conservatism, particularly unmeritorious, un-virtuous hierarchy. Indeed, the big political story of the past 30 years is the come-back of conservatism after half a century of being flat as a pancake. Since the “Reagan Revolution,” conservative ideology has held sway, fully putting into practice its two “great” ideas – no definitely not liberty, equality, justice, pursuit of happiness, oneness, cooperation, love for one another, forgiveness, non-judgment, virtue – but low, low taxes (especially for the wealthy) and deregulation. These twin “values” have steered American policy through three Republican administrations (20 of the past 30 years), one conservative (at least corporate conservative) Democratic administration (Clinton), and now an administration that has been described – by conservatives - as “moderate Republican” (Obama).

Now the clear-headed, around the world, see where this radical swerve away from the policies of the liberal New Deal and compassion, this “good effort at conservatism,” has gotten us: wildly out of balance economic disparity, the world economy on the precipice of depression (exactly like the last time a “good effort at conservatism” was tried in the 1920s), governments broke, global warming, technology out of control (crippled nuclear power plants, and mutant corporations like Monsanto threatening our very biosphere), horrendously non-virtuous farming practices (including the utter shame of industrial animal food processing), unions emasculated, poverty, hunger, depression, anxiety, despair and unhappiness rising all around the world, while a tiny cadre of the richest of the rich still pocket (often ill-gotten) profits, swill champagne and look down their snooty noses at the rest of the world, the 99 percent. They don’t realize they are so poor, all they have is money.

Meanwhile, the conservatives, undeterred by their historic sins and their contemporary failures, charge on into the Land of the Wrong. They now want to double-down on their philosophy: more low, low taxes and more deregulation. It is as if they are not satisfied with the world economy on its knees; their greed knows no bounds and they believe they can extract even more profit even as they risk total collapse and catastrophe. I can only surmise they have some sort of clever escape plan for themselves.

I suspect, Walter, that your dad was very proud of you for being an individual, for exercising your liberty, for making it in a white man’s world. Perhaps he was troubled, though, by your abandonment of the wisdom of your community, and of universal values for false and selfish values. You boast that you stand for “no excuses,” but in articulating that point you paint your entire community with the label of excuse makers, while being entirely blind to the art-form that conservatives have made of excuse-making for their ideology of selfishness.

I would argue a bit with Maya Angelou, and suggest that it is not courage, but heart, that makes all other virtues possible. Conservatives love to think that they are filled with courage, just as they like to think of themselves as “rugged individualists.” Both self-conceptions are actually laughable. Conservatives are conformists, and need to be told what to believe. The black conservative is an anomaly of sorts; one who rejects his own community and its values, but yearns to join and conform to a different, ostensibly superior community, that of the affluent, ruling society. It’s quite an understandable, egoistic desire; only the very strong could resist. Having earned a level of financial status and adopted their ways and beliefs, he may be welcomed into their ranks, even if only as a token symbol of their magnanimity.

It’s all completely false and selfish. Certainly conservatism is not based on courage or wisdom or any higher virtue. And it has always lacked heart. Someday, you may evolve forwards (or would it be backwards?) into recognition that liberals sometimes err in their zeal to be selfless, but conservatives always err in their zeal to be selfish.

Take care my friend.

Annie R.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I am a fan of the "It's Get Better" campaign, designed to help queer youth understand that they are going through an especially dramatic (and sometimes downright dangerous) phase of their life, and that (usually) things will settle down within a few years. I've defended the campaign to those who say it doesn't really do anything. I think it accomplishes a lot, on an individual level, and it has certainly elevated the subject of queer-bullying in the national conversation. Hopefully, not just queer individuals, but also parents, friends and schools are more aware of the situation and working to help solve the problem.

But I think the campaign is very incomplete. Here's what I would like to add to the equation. Yes, queer or bullied or unhappy youth, it likely will get better. But that doesn't necessarily help you much in the here and now. And it's entirely possible that things could get worse before they get better. So we need something that's going to help right now.

Of course, if we are seeking something that can help "right now," it can't involve society itself, because we have no control over all of society, or really, anyone outside ourself. We can't immediately change a school system, and we can't necessarily change even one bully. So the solution must be something we can conjure within ourself. Now we have full control over a potential solution. I think that something, that solution, is the concept of virtue.

It's an old word, an old idea, but one that is actually very fundamental to everything that we do and think. Yet our modern culture doesn't really take virtue very seriously. Some even scoff at the term. We are not encouraged to think about it much, if at all. Instead, we are encouraged to conform, to desire, and to consume, which it turns out are all in their ways un-virtuous. For instance, rampant consumer capitalism, which is the economic model that most of the "civilized" world currently engages, principally promotes the emotion of desire... desire for something that the seller promises us will make us "happy." But it turns out that this is usally a deception. The thing which we desire will not make us happy. And which emotions are most closely associated with desire? Greed and envy. Both of these distract and divide us from our true self, and from each other, and from the natural world.

So this is a prime example of how society de-emphasizes virtue, and emphasizes what really are unvirtuous emotions.

So how do we, especially, say, a queer youth, begin to consider virtue? First they have to be made aware that there is such a thing, and that it resides inside them (at least for most people). Recognizing that this natural goodness, this ability to think and act rightly, this virtue, is already inside you, is deeply empowering and protecting. But only if you recognize it. If you don't recognize it, it remains like Excalibur, stuck in the rock.

Uh-oh, you may question, what is this about Excalibur? Where is this leading? It's leading to the hero who pulls out the sword. And you know who that hero is? The only hero who can pull out the Excalibur of your life. The hero is you.

No, I'm not suggesting that anyone has to become an Arthur, or some kind of super-hero, or even a tough guy. You just have to recognize that you should be the hero of your own life. And you do have an Excalibur to help you do that; it's your virtue.

The bullies, those who are self-absorbed, those who want and envy and hate, they are disconnected from their virtue. Their own Excaliburs are stuck in the rock, and completely hidden from them. And so, they are really not very powerful. In fact, they are actually pathetic. And they instinctively know it. They sense they are disconnected and unreal and weak. So they feel bad about themselves. To make themselves feel better, to seem stronger, they often lash out at those they perceive as "weaker." They often turn to weapons to use against the "weaker" person. If they turn to real weapons like guns or knives or any kind of physical violence, then we have a real problem, that requires professional attention and assistance. Do not go silent in the face of this threat. Call in the authorities, parents, teachers, school administrators, the police. All of civilized history should be on your side in protecting you from such vile and inexcusable behavior.

But it's not typically guns or knives or any kind of physical intimidation that bullies employ. Their usual weapon of choice is words. And words are nothing but string to your Excalibur, your virtue.

When you are assaulted by their words, wield Excalibur. Imagine striking the offensive words down as they come at you. This is your virtue, coming to your defense. You know who you are. You are the good guy; the bullies are the bad guys. You are not trying to hurt anyone; they are. You are compassionate; they are not compassionate. You are intelligent; they are not intelligent (at least not when they are being bullies). You are creative; they are uncreative. By being a virtuous person you are in balance with Universal Order; by being bullies they are unbalanced and out of control. You are unformed, but hold high potential; they are unformed, and demonstrating low potential. You are beautiful where it counts, inside; they may be beautiful on the outside, but are a mangled mess inside. You will likely find beauty and meaning and happiness in your life; they, alas, will find heartbreak and woe. You are truthful; they are liars. Or, even if they tell the truth, they don't understand the truth, certainly not your truth. You do.

The bully will go for your perceived weakness. You're gay, you're trans, you're ugly, you're fat, you're clueless, you're not popular. Some of these things may be true. The words they sling at you may actually be accurate. They may call you "Fag" or "Queer" or "Homo" or "He-She" or "LadyBoy" or "SheMale" or "Sissy" or "Whale Butt" or "Pizza Face" or whatever. It will usually be an epithet you've heard before, because these people are not very creative.

And so, as you swing Excalibur you focus on the term and size it up, parse it. Like one of those slow-motion action films, the words fly at you... "SSTTUUPPIIDD".... and you think no, that is a completely false, completely worthless description; I reject it. Slice! Next! "FFAAGG"... and you think yes, that's part of who I am, I'm OK with that, I accept it, and this word cannot hurt me. Slice! Next!

Just like this, your inner hero protects you from the bully's assault. And all you did was get your mind around your virtue.

We should have compassion for the bullies. They are that which they deign to despise and torment. That doesn't mean we have to put up with their antics and drama. If they get really out of control, call the cops. But if they are just up to their usual shenanigans with their gossip, or their Facebook and Twitter pranks or something like that, even if they confront you with a torrent of verbal bile, just be present, look deep into their frantic and frustrated eyes, focus deep inside yourself, and flash Excalibur.

There's a long journey ahead, heroes! Yes, there will be problems, but magic is also in store. Wonderful friends and experiences and thoughts and feelings await. It won't be long. It does (usually) get better. Meanwhile, virtue in, virtue out.


My last post, "Vote, Damn It," generated some complaints that I was being too harsh, that I was "in pain," and that the non-voters should be treated with more gentleness and respect.

I am not "in pain" so much as angry. And anyone who is not angry about the
situation the world finds itself in today is not really paying attention, or
perhaps does not care.

Now we must parse words, and also definitions. Is anger always a "negative"
emotion? It can be, especially when it comes to rage, an extreme form of anger,
or when anger is allowed to fester. But we learn from those who have carefully
considered and written about the "passions" that anger can be, in fact, a very
productive emotion... because it often prompts to action. Sometimes it is very
appropriate to be angry. Sometimes, if you are not angry about a particular
thing, there is something lacking in you; you may, in fact, be unconscious
and/or uncaring. You might ask yourself, where would America be if a contingent
of colonists didn't get really angry around 1776?

There is a saying, "The Truth will set you free. But first it will piss you

I'm angry that a certain class of extremely un-virtuous persons in this world
have managed to screw it up for the vast majority of us. And they wish to
continue to do it. They wish to continue perpetrating the very same ideology and
policy that has always thwarted liberty, equality, justice and fairness. And
they will lie and cheat and manipulate to do it. These people are bullies and
pirates and assassins, assaulting the human family and our precious planet. An
election is coming up next year that will determine to what extent they will be
able to continue getting away with their crimes.

I do not accept that we - the collective - can do nothing about it. I do not
accept that I - an individual - can do nothing about it. In fact we have a
wonderful tool for effecting change: it's called democracy. So I have accepted
my responsibility, to myself, and to the collective, to fight back, to make a
better world. In the cultural wars, and in the war to save the planet, I am not
a victim, or a bystander, I am a warrior.

Yes, I use the terminology of war and violence because this is a war, and it is
violent. The people we are up against are thoughtless, careless and sometimes
uber-violent. Though my methods are non-violent and virtuous, that does not
preclude whacking them as hard as I can with my most potent weapons... words and

And in rallying our side, like any warrior, I exhort my fellows to action, to
arete, which means our most virtuous self: including our inner hero. It is
intentionally non-diplomatic. Diplomacy, making deals with the devil, got us
into this mess. Diplomacy by its nature is uninspiring. Again, I use words,
pointed words, motivation by sharp rebuke for those who have heretofore shirked
their reponsibilities to themselves and their friends and family. It's intended
as a slap. Snap out of your stupor. Earn your respect. Get your act together and
help the cause.

Now, it's not like I'm asking them to sharpen their sword and physically go to
war. I'm not even asking them to volunteer to help a campaign. I'm just asking
them to get off their duffs and VOTE.

Yet they still carp and whine, and say, "Oh, you ask too much of me, and you
don't ask nicely, you hurt my feelings." So they have come up with yet more
excuses. It is these excuses that hold them down, and this behavior that
commands disrespect of themselves, and from others.

I don't think it's low self-esteem for most not-voters as it is plain old
laziness and apathy. Yet those who wish to psychoanalyze themselves, or others,
and allow such excuses are playing into the hands of the oppposition, and so are
actually highly counter-productive. The weak, slackers, the self-absorbed who do
not vote, and those who coddle and enable them, actually aid the opposition;
they vote for their oppressors and the destroyers of the world. And the cycle of
feeling bad about themselves is not broken, perhaps it is even worsed by one who
is aware at some level that they, again, failed in their responsibilities.

And, so I have in part accomplished my mission. This message is not a personal
message; it is a social message. It is not to someone; it is to everyone. I have
brought forth the issue. I have stimulated spirited conversation. I have made
the call to arms. I have raised the hackles of some. Good! Get mad. Get mad at
me. Get mad at something! Be passionate, damn it! Live with passion! Allow your
anger to arise and be channeled into something productive.

Conversely, if I had asked so very nicely for people to vote, it would have been
a typical post that no one really bothers to notice, and little if any
conversation. Of course, such a "nicecy-nice" post could hardly have ventured
into the primary thrust of my message: you have a RESPONSIBILITY to vote. And I
am not asking politely, I'm demanding that you stop shirking that reponsibility.

It affects me when you don't vote! It affects the entire country when you don't
vote. You may have the right to screw yourself, but you don't have the right to
screw me, or the community, or nation, or planet.

You know, I hear that in Australia, if you don't vote, you are fined. That's the
right approach. I'd love to see that here in America, too. In this country you
are fined for lots of things when you shirk your responsibility. Run a stop
sign: fine. Leave garbarge in your yard: fine. Don't bring your library book
back on time: fine. Don't pay your taxes: big fine. But strangely, we are not
fined if we blow off our biggest civic reponsibility: voting. Of course, the
opposition would hate to see required voting because they feast on non-voters.

Voting is a sacred responsibility. And there is NO good excuse for not doing it.

Yes, GASS is all about support. Having conversations like this is spot-on with
regard to its mission. Very important ways GASS can support its members is by
stimulating conscious thought and action, and by not acting as enabler of their
adharma, their avidya, their non-virtuousness. Psychology clearly informs us
that the best way to higher self-esteem is through a framework that emphasizes
discipline and responsibility. So a supporting person or group that is trying to
encourage higher levels of self-esteem will provide a caring but firm
scaffolding for that development. That includes, to some degree, a sense of high
expectation, which is fundamental for enlightened growth.

In demanding that people vote, we are not demanding that they heal themselves of
all their afflictions. We are not asking much at all. Just vote. And see how you
feel afterwards. If you have not been a voter, then by voting you have
transformed yourself, for the better. You will feel better. You are taking
responsibility. You are helping yourself and others. You have broken a pattern
of laziness and apathy. And who knows where that transformation will lead.


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Today, some tough love.

The past few weeks I've noticed something very troubling: quite a few members of
our trans community don't vote. I don't know if the ratio is larger than with
the general public (which is pathetically low), but I suspect it may be. Several
of the persons that I talked with volunteered the information that they don't
vote as if they were actually proud of the fact, like, "yeah, I stick it to the
man by not voting."


It's called the "right" to vote. And that's true to a degree. There was a time
when we (meaning the "little people") were prevented from voting. We do now have
the "right" to vote, and we are downright stupid not to take advantage of it.
Our ancestors would have given anything to vote.

It's also called a "privilege." That's a bit shaky. Yes, we should feel
"privileged" in some sense to live in a society that is enlightened enough to
have such rights. Many people living today do not have the right to vote. So,
again, not taking advantage of this "privilege" is stupid.

But more than a "right" and a "privilege," voting is a RESPONSIBILITY!

When you don't vote, you're not screwing "the man," you're screwing yourself,
and you're screwing your family, friends, allies and community, too. When you
don't vote you are FLUNKING YOUR RESPONSIBILTY to yourself and your community.

Because, you see, in a democracy where most all adult citizens have the right to
vote, there's no such thing as "not voting." You say you "don't vote," oh, you
are horribly mistaken... you vote alright, you vote FOR the person or issue that
you would have voted AGAINST if you accepted your responsibility!

Yes... it really is that stupid. Why don't you just punch yourself in the
face... and then do it to everyone you know, as well. It's pretty much the same

Your "no" vote, is exactly that... a subtraction from the good guy's total vote
count. The bad guys feast upon your idiocy. You're just as good as a "yes" vote
for their guy!

"Oh well, my vote doesn't matter," you say. BALONEY! If all, or even half of,
the "not voting" turd-blossoms out there across America accepted their
responsibility to vote, the bad guys wouldn't have a chance in Hell. We, the
little people, would RULE! We would kick their ass every time. Instead, every
not-voting doofus is actually working for the bad guys.

Wake up! Get your head out of your ass! Stop being so self-absorbed and selfish
and pathetic and dumb as shit! You're smarter than that. You're better than

Live up to your responsibilty to yourself and to your community. Get registered
to vote NOW, for this year, so you'll be ready for the big showdown coming up in

The LGBT community, the middle class, the poor, minorities of all kinds, and the
vast majority of average citizens are under assault by the bad guys with the
toxic ideology that serves only the top 1%. We need every person on board If
you're too lazy to help in other ways, at least VOTE!

Sometimes things do come down to black and white. If you're not voting with us,
you're with the terrorists!



The Zanesville, Ohio massacre of 49 beautiful, precious and completely innocent animals has me seething. What insanity is this? Let's start with the moron who collected guns and such "pets" as tigers, lions, leopards and bears. This Marlboro Man wannabe was well-known as a trouble-maker, and recently served time for illegally possessing over 100 firearms. Then he commits suicide, but only after opening the cages of all of his "pets." They escaped and local law enforcement executed all but six out of 55 exotic animals. A shocking photograph of dead tigers, lions, bears and cougars captured for posterity the carnage.

We know the world is populated by a contingent of crazies who will do anything. ANYTHING. But what is perhaps even more infuriating is that common sense did not handle this wacko appropriately before a tragedy. He was a known danger to the community. But it turns out Ohio is under the spell of a political delusion that highly regards "property rights" and disdains "regulation." Republican governor John Kasich refused to extend an emergency order by his predecessor (a Democrat) that restricted the ownership of exotic animals. That law might have prevented this debacle.

It's not a stretch to see the similarity in the carnage wreaked upon the economy by banksters, also a known danger to the community, who were likewise deregulated. This dysfunctional mindset must be cast into the cracks of doom from whence it came. The conservative mantra of "deregulation" begs for catastrophe.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Oh goodie. In addition to the Teresa Reeves "Declaration of Transsexual Independence," I found another one online, the "TS-Specific Declaration of Independence" written by Courtney Holder. I don't know which precedes the other. This one brings up some of the same points, but in shorter format. I might as well take a whack at this one as well. Here you go. This time, my added clarifications are in blue:

To: LGBT Community, TG Community, human rights groups, the general public
TS-Specific Declaration of Independence

We are a community comprised of people who were born
in bodies that do not match our sense of gender and
who wish to correct this physical condition and get
on with life, with the opportunity to assimilate into
the mainstream and even hide the condition if we so
desire (we reserve the right to erase our own identity and history).

We expect and even demand all the same
treatment, rights, expectations, and protections as
genetic born members of whatever gender we claim as
our own (and we want to achieve these "gender" rights outside any affiliation with any group that shares our general gender incongruity).

We assert the right to form a community comprised
of individuals who support the concept of two
genders despite having this condition (in other words, even though our existence refutes the strict "gender" binary, we choose to deny our own uniqueness in favor of conforming to a dying paradigm). We do not
wish to be connected with individuals who support
more than two genders, individuals who don't
believe in gender, nor those who support infinite
shades of gender (we also believe in the dualism of good/evil, black/white, up/down, and a flat-earth). Nor do we wish to be connected
with movements of individuals whose main purpose
is to change social and legal attitudes towards
sexual orientation (homosexuality is an abomination). We maintain that we have a
medical condition that LGBT's and TG's do not have (and reserve the right to redefine the word "transgender" in this manner so that it specifically excludes anyone who wants or needs what now is termed "Gender Reassignment Surgery" and/or its medical precursors).
We maintain that our condition is medical and is not
anyway connected with any sexual practices, and it
hurts us when we are slandered in such a manner (heaven forbid that anyone get the idea that "transsexual" has anything whatsoever to do with "sex").

This declaration lends itself to support the
following rights:

1. The right to a name, label, or title that is
uniquely ours, and ours alone (i.e. "transsexual").

2. Freedom of association and dissociation, and
the right to have our own community of only
fully transitioning TSs who have or want SRS (i.e. " transsexual separatists" as defined strictly by a vague surgical criteria, which, sorry, pretty much eliminates most F-t-Ms, and social passability, which, sorry, pretty much eliminates you 6'-4" "ladies" because you are not going to be able to erase your history and true identity, and also must exclude the waffling pre-ops who don't want surgery enough to get it done. Buh-bye, losers).

3. The freedom to gain separation from the LGBT and
TG communities and to maintain such (because such people make us mad by not buying fully into our self-delusion of being just regular men and women... except for this little birth defect and our life history up to the time we chose to seriously seek the surgical solution).

4. The right to fight for our rights alone, without
any outside interference or "help," and the
right to be to be the only ones speaking for us (because only we can properly articulate the selfish inaccuracy and depth of delusion of our arguments).

5. The right to privacy and secrecy if we so desire (because our most fervent desire is to trade one incongruency for another).

6. The right not to be compared to LGBT or
transgendered individuals (because we hate unity, equality, liberty, diversity and community... well, except the dreamy community of femininity which we demand to join without any guff from anyone, including those other females... you know the biological ones.).

7. The right to separate care, separate programs,
and separate research studies from transgendered
and/or homosexual persons (because we might get cooties from the transgenders and transvestites and homos, and deserve our own specifically tailored medical, psychological and social rights and programs and attention, which already exist and are continuing to grow and proliferate largely as a result of our being part of the LGBT community, a truth we reserve the right to add to all the other facts we wish to ignore).

8. The right to expect honesty and truth in
labeling from those who claim to be our allies (in other words, you are either with us or with the terrorists. If you don't buy into our delusion, you are not our friend).

9. The right for MtF TSs to marry males, and FtM
TSs to marry females, and for such marriages to
be considered heterosexual marriages and be
performed in accordance with existing laws (like those prohibiting same sex marriage, which is a perversion of sexuality, not that we "transsexuals" ever think about sex; we just want to be part of normal, nice society, not the world of you sexual, or gender, or whatever, deviants).

10. The right to have all legal documents have the
gender which we believe ourselves to be, and for
the documents to be fully honored by all parts
of the government, medical establishment, legal
profession, employers, and the insurance field (which, admittedly, the "transgender" political effort has succeeded in advancing, but which we now wish to usurp and commandeer, expecting all of those previously involved in that effort to abdicate and repudiate the term "transgender" and swear an oath of allegiance to the "transsexual" creed, or to remove themselves from any association, alliance or connectedness to said movement).

11. The right to do all things that those who are
members of the gender which we declare ourselves
to be are allowed to do, without double standards,
exceptions, or different expectations (well, except, hee-hee, to be able fulfill the biological mandate of that "gender").

12. The right to hold any religious, political or
moral views, and to assemble with like-minded
persons. We shall have the right to practice our
beliefs without our gender or the legitimacy
of our medical condition called into question.
Implied in this is the freedom from peer
pressure to attempt to force conformity in any
of these areas (because, after all, we don't like having our black/white vision of the world challenged by the "transgender" rainbow. We resent and reject their attempt to force us to conform to nonconformity of societal norms).

13. The right to be seen as members of our correct
gender who have/had a physical birth defect, not
as members of the wrong gender becoming members
of the right gender. Eg., MtFs are women born with
a physical birth defect, not men becoming women (and in this belief we demand that no one, including ourselves, shall examine our biological structure or our life history for scientific and cultural evidence of the opposite reality).

14. The right to not be seen as CD/TV/TG persons who
become TSs. TSs are that way from early in life
and never are CD/TV/TG. CDism is a chosen
behavior of those born with a male identity. MtF
TSs are women born with a birth defect who choose
to correct it. CD/TV/TG are labels for different
types of crossdressing men, and men can never
become women, ever. MtF TSs are born with a
female identity but forced to pretend to be
boys/men. MtF CD/TV/TG persons always have the
identity/soul of men dispite how they may dress or
pretend, and they can never jump categories to
TS. A TS who says they "used to be a crossdresser"
is either lying, confused, or not a TS. TSs are
born as TSs and CDing men remain CDing men. There
is no category jumping (because as we all know all things in the universe are as God created them and never change. So, to clarify, a "transsexual" is born and must defiantly struggle against their subjugation, bondage and birth defect from Day One, NEVER losing their fierce resentment for their birth defect, NEVER freely acknowledging their status as the wrongly assigned gender, NEVER indulging in the pleasures and privilege of that wrong gender, NEVER fulfilling ANY of the biological mandates of that wrong gender lest it be said, FOREVER, that they willingly and, perhaps, happily, went along with the wrong gender for some time or some experiences, including - TRAITOROUSLY - having children, which would only serve to CONFIRM and CEMENT their acquiescence and allegiance to the wrong gender. Biological XY persons with penises acting as men ARE men. But "men cannot become women", and therefore those who have ever, for a single second in their life, failed their "real" gender identity, are forever disqualified from calling themselves "transsexual" and cannot become women, because "there is no category jumping").

15. The right to reject pity. We are not inferior to
other women or men (and we reserve the rights of normal women and men to feel superior to deviants like transvestites, transgenders and homos).

16. The right not to be connected with any sexual
practices, nor be lumped in with any group that
promotes such things (because, as dualists, we reject the full range of sexuality diversity within nature and the human family, in favor of a black/white, good/evil and wholly conformist world, and because we fully recognize our own and society's squeamishly deranged obsession with sex, and therefore seek to distance ourselves and our movement from the subject by calling ourselves "transsexuals"). 

The Undersigned
Petition to LGBT Community, TG Community, human rights groups, the general public was created by Members of the TS-Specific Community and written by Courtney Holder (  This petition is hosted here at as a public service.


I find it interesting that nowhere in Courtney's declaration is the word "transsexual" actually used. Huh? She happily uses the initials "TS" repeatedly, which we all know stands for "transsexual," but she can't quite bring herself to utter the sex-linked term, even while demanding the right to a name, label or title of their own. No label is provided other than "TS." What does this mean? Could be that she innately recognizes that "transsexual" is a loaded term, full of old baggage and sexual connotation. Courtney tries to shoo that connotation away when she says that her group "is not anyway connected with any sexual practices," but of course, that simply will not fly with a word like "transsexual." If you don't want sexual practices evoked by a label, it better not have the word "sexual" embedded in it.

Another strange thing is how many times Courtney uses the term "gender" as opposed to "sex." "Gender" is mentioned 14 times. "Sex" is mentioned just five times, and four of those are in reference to homosexuality, which this particular "transsexual" explicitly rejects (I do note here that Teresa Reeves, as an aspiring lesbian, may not agree with Courtney's interpretation). So, the concept of "gender" dominates this document, sex is pushed aside as nothing particularly relevant, yet they want to separate themselves, "transsexuals," from "transgenders." They maintain that their gender has never changed, but this is usually, clearly, not the case. The vast majority of post-op "transsexuals" have a long history of living in the gender that aligns with their sexual biology. Many even produced children, in full utilization of that biology. By transforming their lives to live as the opposite gender, they are very definitely transgender. What any human is unable to do is to change their full sexual biology. One hundred trillion cells with chromosomes cannot be changed, nor can the fundamental purpose of sexual apparatus: reproduction. Yes, certain aspects of sexual apparatus can be modified, but that does not mean that the underlying sex of that individual has in any major way been altered. No F-t-M can biologically father a child, and no M-t-F can have a baby, and this is the very meaning of sexuality. Through hormones and surgery and other programs, an individual with a gender dichotomy is able to greatly relieve the mind/body incongruency, which is great, but it's not a sex change.

A conservative religious and political bent is easily discernible in this declaration. The political definition of conservatism is the predilection to conserve traditional socioeconomic hierarchies and institutions. Here Courtney is solidly conservative in defending traditional man/woman, heterosexual, Christian and Republican, orientations. These "transsexuals" adore the gender binary, and have convinced themselves that it is possible for them to entirely cross over to the other side. Alas, as she goes on to describe the process of how one is born "transsexual," followed by a disjointed set of restrictive prerequisites that astonishingly few people of transgender experience actually qualify to join the club. Perhaps that is why the number of people who had signed her online declaration on the day I visited her site is... zero.

What this declaration of rights really amounts to is a demand to be given license to bamboozle themselves and the rest of society. They start with a delusion: that there is a gender duality. There is not. There is a vast spectrum of masculine/feminine potentiality, with possibly as many genders as there are people, and each person should have the liberty to create - and change whenever they want - that identity. Then they add two more delusions: that they can wholly and completely cross the gender divide... by changing their sex. No and no. Probably no single woman or man who ever lived experienced precisely the same perceptions of their woman-ness or man-ness, but there are certainly commonalities to their experience based entirely upon their biology and history. It is the height of hubris for someone who comes from an entirely different biological and historical source to presume to claim that they have the ability, or the right, to take some hormones, have a nip/tuck, close their eyes, click their ruby slippers, make that leap of faith, and all of a sudden they awaken just like "any other woman" (as Teresa Reeves stated it). It adds up to a triple delusion that the "transsexual separatists" expect us all to honor and respect.

Sorry, I, as a post-op TRANSGENDER NOT TRANSSEXUAL PERSON, refuse to go along with your stupidity and selfishness. Courtney, you actually are exactly right: "there is no category jumping" when it comes to sexuality. You weren't born transsexual because there is no such thing. The term is inaccurate and obsolete. But you were probably born transgender, or you became that somewhere along the way. And you will stay transgender all your life, though you are free to pick and choose where you feel most comfortable upon the gender spectrum. You don't have to tell everyone about your history; you can be a "woman" as you move through culture, but you have to be honest with yourself, your family and your close friends. You will never be just like any other woman because you will never have their biology or history. You do have your own special biology and history, and a wondrous life story. The transgender journey is sacred. Honor it. By running away from it you disrespect it. You are a transwoman... different from a transman, a gender queer person or a crossdresser, with special needs, but still part of the transgender family, just as a human is part of the primate family.

This "transsexual" position is based upon a raft of ignorance and ethical hollowness. Your belief flies against the facts of science itself, while your motive is to ever separate and divide from others, and from your own true self (which you are blind to see). The path to acceptance is not through division and usurpation of some fervently wished-for but false identity, but by joining your true essence with all of those who share some commonality and the allies who also believe in the cause. Your cause is a sure loser. Stop fighting so hard for the right to "hide," and to be something you will never be, in order to conform to people who will never fully accept you as what you are pretending to be. That's actually a pretty crazy way to think and live when there are so many people ready to accept you for who you really are.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I'm fairly new to the great Borg vs. Separatists crisis currently boiling within the transgender community. So I'm not at all certain of the totality of arguments put forth by either side of the equation. I'm wading my way through a few of the lengthy diatribes of some of the proponents of the dichotomous positions. I find the issue entertaining and quite informing of the breadth and depth of the transgender experience. I'm glad the discussion is taking place because it calls upon us to think deeply about who we are, where we come from and where we are going.

It is, however, important to keep in mind that the transgender population is a very young constituency, really only about 20 years old as a viable social and political movement. We're just now finding our footing and our voices. Everything is changing all around us: how other people think about us, and how we think about ourselves. And it's good. This is growth. This is evolution. This is progress. Yet, when things change, when new awareness and ideas come along, old ideas and old terms get shoved aside. Some people have a real problem with that.

By even using the term "transgender" in the way I have here already my position on the matter becomes instantly clear to those who are familiar with the arguments. For it seems that the term "transgender" as an "umbrella" term for just about anyone - including casual crossdressers - who transits or transgresses or transforms along the great gender divide sticks in the craw of those individuals who consider themselves serious "sex changers." They reject the word "transgender" for themselves, and prefer the alternative term "transsexual," which defines and separates them from all other wannabes. So these are the separatists.

The "Borg" is the transgender collective or "LGBT Dictatorship" who are intent upon forcing the separatists, against their will, to join them under the despised and unrecognized umbrella.

I recently stumbled upon a manifesto, a "Declaration of Independence" of the separatists, apparently penned by Teresa Ellen Reeves, a Northwest resident, about a year ago. I found it fairly well written, at least grammatically, and quite illuminating as to the full gamut of the separatists' concerns. I thank Teresa for her contribution to my understanding. I refer you to this link for her full text:

I'd like to take this opportunity to comment on many of the principal points that she makes.

In this piece, Teresa declares "independence, secession and liberation" from both the transgender umbrella collective and the LGBT collective, which in her view have variously sought to erase the identities, silence the voices and render "transsexuals" invisible and powerless. She argues that those who have undergone a "sex" change are entirely different from those only engaged in some sort of "gender" bending or changing, and that this differentiation renders any type of commonality futile.

The first thing I'm going to do is to throw out the word "umbrella" and substitute the word "rainbow." Though well-meaning, "umbrella" is a clunky description, conjuring a huddled throng of possibly disparate individuals, whereas "rainbow" connotes a smooth continuum of incrementally different individuals who nevertheless are grounded in unique commonality. This metaphor is far closer to the truth of transgender reality.

Now let's examine the first paragraph of her declaration: "We, the transsexual people, hold these truths to be self evident. We are an independent and distinctly different people who were born of a mind in contrast with our physical bodies. We have a neurobiological imperative to seek a congruence of mind and body, and through our transition we relentlessly pursue the remedy and correction of our birth defect through hormonal and other therapies and sex reassignment and other surgeries."

Notice how she admits that this condition involves a "mind in contrast with our physical bodies" and a "neurobiological imperative to seek a congruence of mind and body." This portion of her statement could well apply to any person on the transgender rainbow continuum. Even crossdressers have "a mind in contrast" with their physical bodies, and "neurobiological imperative" to cross the gender divide, if only temporarily. So she has established a firm framework of transgender commonality... with a brain/body incongruency issue at its core. But then she immediately seeks to diminish that commonality by separating out the "transsexuals" as different because only they relentlessly pursue a remedy for their "birth defect" through hormones and surgery.

Now her definition of "transsexual" is set: one who is relentlessly pursuing a "sex" change. But when does this relentless pursuit begin? When does one become "transsexual?" Before birth? At birth? In childhood? Adolescence? Young adulthood? Middle age? The senior years? The answer, of course, is that it can begin at any time of life. So then, what is the person before they begin their relentless pursuit? Not a "transsexual" according to the declaration's definition. Then no one is innately "transsexual," but rather must have both the mind/body incongruency AND the wherewithal to begin the relentless pursuit. Those who will not or cannot make this commitment need not apply to the club. And what about those whose commitment waxes and wanes? While they are dutifully taking their hormones and having electrolysis, are they "transsexual," while if they cease to do this for awhile, they lose their membership? In other words, are all preoperative "transsexuals" probationary, subject to having their TS status revoked at the first sign of weakening? Meanwhile, Teresa makes it clear that once one is post-op, the "transsexual" definition can be dropped for good. According to Teresa, the post-op M-t-F "transsexual" is now a real woman. The only transsexual aspect remaining is their history (which now they must hide). So it would appear that the state of "transsexuality" is quixotic and temporary.

This is clearly quite messy and irrational.

Teresa imagines a great transgender and LGBT conspiracy against "transsexuals," those who have a "bona fide medical condition." These conspirators want to depathologize and normalize the transgender experience, and claim that gender variance is natural. To the separatists, this is an afront to their mindset. They fear that if gender identity can be all over the map, and people can come and go as they please upon the masculine-feminine scale, then perhaps medical solutions aren't really necessary.

Teresa explains: "Since 'sex' in their view is between the legs only and 'gender' between the ears, all that has to be done is convince transsexuals that they only have to change their concept of gender and role and that they should be content with their original birth sex. Meaning it is better to change your mind than your body and better to change gender rather than sex."

This leaves me scratching my head. I've been around the transgender community for over 30 years, and I've never heard anyone suggest such a thing. Perhaps in the bad, old days psychiatrists proposed such a solution. Today, maybe some fundamentalist Christian program offers such an ideology. But I have never perceived any transgender or LGBT conspiracy to encourage "transsexuals" to not transition or to discourage them from obtaining medical and psychological assistance through that transition. Quite the opposite is the current reality, with most transgender support groups filled with knowledgeable pre and post ops, happily detailing their experiences, and a medical system that has never been as large, varied, accessible and welcoming as now. The facts simply don't support the separatists' claim of wide-spread repression and discrimination; actually they have never had more opportunities and rights than they have garnered as an important part and parcel, indeed leaders, of the transgender community.

I just believe that Teresa and the separatists are confused about sex and gender. They seem to assume that everything gender-related is in the head, while everything physical is sexual. They cling to outdated terminology and conceptualizations of 40 years ago that were themselves based upon shoddy differentiation between gender and sexuality. Changing your sex is impossible for humans. Yes, you can add hormones, which will induce some physical and psychological changes; you can surgically alter your genitalia and other body parts. So you've changed some aspects of your biological sexual components, but you haven't changed your sex. To do that, you would have to transform your chromosomes in all 100 trillion of your cells, as well as your gamete-producing apparatus. That's what sex really is all about: reproduction. If you haven't changed that, you haven't changed sex.

Even after the "sex" change operation, you may not have even changed your sexual orientation in terms of which gender you prefer to be with. Only about 30 percent of post-op "transsexuals" change their sexual orientation. It would seem that Teresa is among those whose actual sexual orientation was not changed by her "sex change." As a man she was attracted to women. It was XY on XX sex. Now as a transwoman, she is attracted to women. It's still XY on XX. Chromosomally, she was heterosexual, and she is still heterosexual, because there really wasn't a "sex change." But from a gender standpoint, she was straight, and now she's a lesbian. It was masculine/feminine sex, now it's feminine/feminine sex. So she is transgender, not transsexual. She should embrace the mind/body equation that actually affirms her feminine gender identity, not fight against it while trying to square the circle of the biological equation that actually refutes her proclaimed sexuality.

Alas it seems sexuality is the end-all and be-all for the separatists. Yet it's an impossible dream. They must bend themselves into pretzels and redefine words to form some semblance of logic to defend their position.

Teresa says, "Today there have been oxymoronic constructions of words used as a substitute for sex reassignment surgery including gender "reassignment", "affirming" or "confirming" surgery. Oxymoronic because it is a sex change and not a gender change operation-- as surgery is performed on primary and secondary sex characteristics, and not on "gender" organs."

The terms she describes as oxymoronic are actually just a bit clumsy, but not inaccurate. "Sex reassignment" or "sex change" are inaccurate. The surgery itself can be construed as a "reassignment" by oneself, or as some kind of official cultural initiation, graduation or correction. The terms "gender affirmation" and " gender confirmation" were coined as potential replacements for "reassignment," and may be more accurate, but haven't really caught on yet. This demonstrates the flux that our language is in as we evolve as a community.

The "transsexuals" are simply wrong in asserting that altering the sexual organs equates to a sex change. Altering primary or secondary sex characteristics still does not undo underlying sexual biology.

What is very possible is gender change. And gender is what it's important anyway, not sex. Gender is how you self identify and how you present yourself to society... at all times. Sexuality is about fucking... and from a genetic standpoint, reproducing. If it doesn't involve fucking or reproducing then sexuality doesn't actually have a lot to do with it.


She just doesn't get it. She's not going to win any friends among genetic women by claiming that she is just like "any other woman." That's just bullshit. She has no idea what it is like to be a genetic woman. That's a dishonest, ignorant and ignoble insult to individuals who were born female, grew up little girls, felt the subjugation and discrimination of male privilege and patriarchy every day of their lives, experienced the hassle and pain of menstruation every month starting around age 11 or 12, and lived in a state of constant vulnerability and disadvantage in a "man's world" without any relief all their lives, and also experienced the authentic magic of the holistic biological female self. Teresa is very definitely something different from this, and certainly not just "any other woman."

She continues: "We terminate our membership in our sex of birth and end our ability to function in that sexuality and instead have enabled our sexuality as the sex we have transitioned to. 'Sexual Identity' is whether you agree or disagree that you are a member of the assigned sex and whether or not you accept the sexuality and the sexual and reproductive role of that sex."

Teresa is so factually off base here that the mind boggles. Only if you change the words "sex" and "sexuality" to "gender" does this statement not grate like fingernails against the biological blackboard, and even that falls apart when she brings in the concept of "reproductive role." Reproductive role? You really want to go there, Teresa? Female sexuality is all about producing large gametes, eggs. Once Teresa is able to produce large gametes, then we'll talk about her "female sexuality."

So we can't change sex, and we can't steal the history, thought process and feelings of the opposite sex. But we can do the next best thing. We can change gender, as much or as little as we want to, and start building our own catalogue of experiences and history. We can wear the clothes of the other gender. We can style our hair like the other gender. We can wear the accessories of the other gender. We can gravitate toward the same interests as the other gender. We can learn to walk and talk like the other gender. We can learn to think somewhat like the other gender. We can get jobs as the other gender. Other people will treat us as the other gender. Sometimes, if we are good enough at all of this, most people will never even know we were not always of this gender!

None of this has anything to do with sexuality. But there's good news on that front as well. If we want to, through hormones and surgery and other methods, we can approximate the sexual characteristics of the other gender, to the point of even doing the sex act. We haven't completely changed our sexual biology, but we have to the extent we can copulate, or "have sex," in our new gender, perhaps with a new partner, or with the same old partner. Now that is really great for those who want it. And what happens is that the mind, the seat of gender identity, is greatly relieved and enlivened by this new physical congruency. It's not perfect, but it's way better than what it was. In fact, it's a rather beautiful thing. So the "neurobiological imperative" that Teresa mentions at the beginning of her Declaration, is fulfilled. The body can be transformed to better match the gender identity, and then the individual can more effectively and more happily transit the gender divide in their own self-perception as well as in culture-at-large. So the transgender pathway is available to any who would take it, for as far as they wish to take it. There are both capitalist merchants and medical professionals and governmental officials who will help us go as far as we want to go. And there is no conspiracy standing in the way.

Teresa herself has been the beneficiary of this ever widening system, but she sees enemies everywhere: "A major faction of the transgender dictatorship seeks the deconstruction of the dichotomy of human sexuality and abolish the sex binary of male and female to suit a minute portion of the population and to create a legal classification of persons other than female or male that some call a third gender (sex), including transgender, genderqueer, bigender, gender neutral, gender fluid, polygender, etc. They would like to desegregate single sex-only spaces and establish gender neutral or multigender restrooms, locker rooms, schools, jails, etc. where all must be allowed in."

Again, "sex" is foremost on her mind. I've not encountered this "major faction" of the "transgender dictatorship" that is seeking to deconstruct the sexual binary of male and female. The gender binary, yes. The sexual binary, no. It is a biological fact that the basic template of sexual reproduction is based upon the polarity of male and female. If there are people out there disputing that, then they are as confused as those who think they can change their sex. It's in the realm of gender where people should be free to blend masculine and feminine energy, perspective and identity. In other words, to be themselves.

Transgender people are free to do whatever they want with their gender identity and presentation. They can play around with it, or they can go all the way to full gender transformation, including the physical self.

Teresa and the "transsexuals" are afraid of this freedom in the hands of the rabble. They are the sex changing aristocracy, the ones who are strict and serious and conformist and traditional about this mind/body dichotomy business, to the point of needing medical attention (as they keep reminding us). They are not free to decide for themselves where upon the gender spectrum they are most comfortable. They are commanded to proceed full speed. The "transsexual" Grand Council will revoke their "transsexual" membership in good standing if they don't get a move-on down Sex Change Road. And they don't like any posers muddying the water for them within the greater cultural pool. So they feel they must create a clear line of separation between their higher aim of "sex change," and the lesser and often aimless objectives of the transgenders. To create this division, they wish to sever all ties to the transgender community, and its motley collection of queers and crossdressers and pre-ops who don't have what it takes to become a real woman or man. It's basic clan mentality.

"To be trans- "gender" is to change gender role. Gender is a sociocultural role construct that is a cluster of roles played that conform to the societal expectations of behavior and identity by those sexually assigned female or male."

Well close. Gender is personal identity and cultural presentation in addition to societal expectations of roles and identity. Almost always it matches up with biological sex. But, as we are discussing here, not 100 percent of the time.

"Change of gender is the last word in the transition of those whose journeys stop-- ending midway to becoming unified in body and mind. Transgender people are willing to settle for less than what transsexuals are seeking."

Absolutely wrong. Here Teresa and the separatists are simply taking it upon themselves to make up a new definition for "transgender," so that it will no longer include them. This is the same creative license they utilize to presume that modifying one's genitalia magically changes one's entire sex. They don't want to be under the umbrella, or on the same rainbow spectrum, so they are taking their identities and marching off. But it's rather like California declaring secession from North America. Nothing in the definition of the word transgender, either etymologically or within common usage, implies that a transgender individual cannot pursue and fulfill the same mind/body unification that a "transsexual" achieves. They don't have to, of course, but they can. I did. And I am proudly transgender, not "transsexual." And there are tens of thousands of other post-op transmen and transwomen who also consider themselves transgender.

Now, Teresa and the separatists charge that the "transgender Borg" are out to erase their identity and history. Nothing could be further from the truth. The transgender political movement is trying to save their true identity and history from those that would destroy it: the "transsexuals" themselves. But there is great irony in this tiny minority of "transsexual" reactionaries telling a much larger collective that they aren't what they think they are. According to them, you can't be transgender and have had surgery... or even want surgery. You can go midway, but stop right there, transgender person! You have no right to go any further. The "transsexual" Grand Council declares you unqualified!

It's a ridiculous assertion. Anyone is free to think of themselves in any terms they want. I will not say you don't have a right to think of yourself as Jesus or Cleopatra or a purple wallaby. Out of a desire to help you understand reality a little better, I might attempt to point out the delusions in your interpretation. Or I might just choose to ignore you. But I do have a right and duty to counter your attempt to set up a cultural meme that is blatantly in error, divisive and destructive, not just for others but for yourself as well.

The "transsexual" separatists have it all wrong. There is no such thing as a sex change, and therefore the word transsexual is inaccurate. There is no conspiracy. There is no Borg, though there is a welcoming, inclusive and powerful Rebel Alliance: the LGBT community and transgender community within that larger spectrum. No one is trying to erase their history or their identity, except themselves. No one is trying to prevent them from getting their surgery. No one is denying their difference from a crossdresser or gender queer or drag queen or any of the other people upon the transgender spectrum. Those who want surgery hold down one side of the transgender rainbow, and those who only want to dress up now and again hold down the other. They are certainly not the same, but they certainly are related.

Teresa and the separatists (who seem to be overwhelmingly M-t-F) see enemies and repressors everywhere. They are suspicious of and angry at the transgender community, gays, lesbians, the straight people, normal society, even F-t-M "transsexuals" (because by typically not undergoing the all-important surgical initiation, they are dubiously "transsexual"). In this embattled state, as well as in the incoherency of their doctrine and dogma, they are like the fundamental Christians and political conservatives, at war with the world and reality.

The pity is that these people cannot embrace all of the grand and wonderful diversity of the human rainbow, and accept their own unique and special qualities, and the sacredness of their individual journey. In their fervent wish to be the other "sex," the "transsexuals" have missed the epiphany of being something far more profound. They think they have a birth defect, something to be corrected and then forever hidden, rather than a challenge-gift of sublime meaning. They are the ones struggling so desperately to erase their own history and true identity in flailing pursuit of an impossible dream. In dreamlike seeking of "sexual congruence" they end up losing their authentic, holistic self. They are doing themselves, and all who come behind them, no favors.

I would imagine that this way of thinking will soon largely die out. Younger trans people are much more open to embracing their authenticity as a blend of masculine/feminine energy and perception. Giving up the impossible dream of ever becoming, deeply biologically, the opposite sex/gender, and opening up to the possibilities of forging your own unique gender identity, and bringing your physical self into the best possible congruence with that self is the true pathway to wholeness and happiness.

The mystical word transgender conveys the essence of this journey. Long may it inspire and unite those who would accept the challenge to understand it, explore it... or to be it.