April 30, 2016
The nameless members of the Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors stripped legendary rights activist Miriam Ben-Shalom of her honored spot as Grand Marshall of the June 12, 2016 “Heroes of Pride” event after men monitoring her Facebook page noticed women had made posts there that were critical of the idea of heterosexual “male lesbians”.
Miriam Ben-Shalom will be a familiar name to Lesbian and Gay Rights activists and historians. She was the first openly homosexual individual to be reinstated into military service after serving as plaintiff in multiple lawsuits and refusing a cash settlement.
After serving in the Israeli Army as an Armored Personnel Carrier driver, she enlisted as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army from 1974-1976, when she was dismissed on the basis of homosexuality, and served again from 1987- 1990 following her reinstatement after a decade of trials. She was then discharged, yet again, on the basis of homosexuality, ending her military career.
She co-founded the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans of America (GLBVA) and spent another decade organizing activism against the U.S. military policy of exclusion, and later against the Clinton era “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. She chained herself, in uniform, to the White House fence in 1993. Along with Dan Choi and other lesbian and gay service-members she was arrested after again chaining herself to the White House fence in 2010. President Barack Obama invited her to the White House in recognition of her decades of activism, she stood present when he signed the law repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” later that year.
This is not the first time hetersexual male members of the “LGBT” have surveiled, attacked, and dishonored Miriam Ben-Shalom’s legacy. Last year trans activist Autumn Sandeen wrote an entire OpEd sponsored by the San Diego LGBTWeekly titled “Unknowingly protesting with a lesbian transphobe!” where he complained that he observed Miriam using the term “Woman Born Woman” on a facebook post. He said this was offensive to men because it made a distinction between individuals born male or female. He went on to state that he wished, as a heterosexual male, that he had never protested DADT, a policy which never affected straight men like himself anyway.
Here is the full text of the Milwaukee Pride Parade Board notification to Miriam Ben-Shalom, stripping her of Grand Marshall Honors, followed by Miriam’s response to the board:
Dear Ms Ben-Shalom,
I am writing you today about our offering of the 2016 Grand Marshal position to you.
The Board of Directors was excited to have an opportunity to acknowledge your many contributions to the LGBT community by offering you the Grand Marshal position for this year’s parade. However, shortly after we offered you the position, it was brought to our attention that your Facebook page contains a number of posts asserting that transwomen are a danger to young girls in public bathrooms and locker rooms. After considering these posts, it is the Board’s opinion that these posts are transphobic and as such represent an attack on an important segment of the LBGT community.
While we fully support a person’s right to express their own beliefs and political opinions, we also feel it is important that our Grand Marshals publicly declared beliefs mesh with those held by the Milwaukee Pride Parade and the Board of Directors. The Grand Marshal is the public face of the Milwauee Pride Parade and thus needs to be someone whose views are compatible with our own.
The Bylaws of the Milwaukee Pride Parade include our mission statement, “To provide an outlet to the citizens of South Eastern Wisconsin in which GLBT individuals and groups can participate in a parade to show their pride.” We are an inclusive organization that seeks to be free of intolerance, and seeks to promote the equality of all members of the community. As such, we feel that we cannot have a Grand Marshal who has publically and repeatedly denigrated transwomen.
We wish to apologize for rescinding our offer of this honor. It is not a step that we take lightly, and it in no way should be considered a denial of the important work you have previously done for the LGBT community. Please understand this was never our intent to lead you on.
The Board of Directors would like to thank you for your understanding of this situation.
The Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors
Miriam Ben-Shalom’s reply:
To you bunch of Moral reprobates–so cowardly you can’t even post a name: Really rather a cowardly manner to deal with this. You are not correct about my FB page, although my FB page does have posts from others on it about the so-called trans issue. This issue is very sensitive for women born of women, but I would not expect men to understand. Further, no one asked me about my stance — which is very discriminatory indeed. For your information, I am indeed a PERF–penis exclusionary radical feminist who believes that women born of women have the right to safe spaces of their own and cultural events they put on for themselves and those sisters who might like to attend. After all, men have had a long history of male only spaces in the GBT community and not much ado was made of it.
I believe that gender roles ought to be abolished so that people can just be–without feeling the need to surgically change their bodies to meet binary stereotypes which are artificial and not biological. Your elimination is called sexism and is discriminatory and misogynistic. When I consider what the trans community did to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and the threats that were made there that I personally saw and heard and when I consider the threats directed at women who stand up to speak out about women’s safety, I become firmer in my estimation of who these people are and what trans means to –it appears–a great many people. No woman I know would threaten to kill another woman because of opinion. No woman I know would call others who differing opinions the nastiest words in the English language. Therefore, Pride Parade Committee: You are no better then those who threatened to hurt women born of women simply because they wished to be in a nurturing environ with others who were like minded. One may hope you take the so-called Trans community to task for all the threats and nastiness heaped on women as you took me.
I see that Milwaukee Pride cares more about men than it does about women’s safety. So be it. I was truthful about my beliefs and I hold with Thomas Paine: “It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this?” Thanks for fucking me over for being honest about what I think. You are no better than the Army.>>
Should you wish more from me, I will be GLAD to cooperate.
April 28, 2016
On Friday, February 5th the Pride Collective at the University of British Columbia raised the Rainbow Pride Flag on the campus flagpole in the opening ceremony marking the start of LGBT OutWeek 2016 festivities. On Monday they discovered that someone had lowered the flag to the base of the pole and incinerated it while still attached, leaving nothing but the scorched rope and brass grommets. This was investigated as a hate crime by university and local authorities. The Pride Collective cancelled the transgender pride march “Fuck the Cis-Stem” planned for that week out of concerns for the safety of participants along the route. Vancouver City Hall flew the Pride Flag in support of the Collective, which appeared to be under siege by anti-LGBT arsonists. (1)
“On @MayorGregor‘s request, the #Pride flag will fly today at #Vancouver City Hall in solidarity w/ #UBC. Hate has no place in our community.
- — @VanMayorsOffice” (2)
Turns out the perpetrator was witnessed and identified by a student who later came forth, having initially assumed they had simply witnessed a random campus weirdo doing something benign: “I just assumed they were doing some kind of ritual or it was the end of midterms and they were burning their material – I had no idea,” she said. “It was 2:30 p.m. in the middle of the day, they were just standing there and they were looking at me.” (3)
According to reports (4) , the arsonist is referred to by aliases Wayne Curtis Sartison, Wayne Curtis Fink, Wayne Fink, and (currently) Brooklyn Marie Fink in court proceedings and is 32 years old. He has been charged with criminal mischief (5) and held an impromptu press conference following his court appearance, where he requested that the charges be dropped on the basis that “This is a matter between a student and her school. This isn’t a matter of mischief, so it should just be summarily dismissed.” (6) Proceedings were delayed until May 17 so Fink can confer with counsel.
Fink explained to the press and via social media postings that he was already carrying a grudge because believed he was blacklisted as an artist in Vancouver for “speaking out against the rampant gay nepotism in that industry.” On the morning the Rainbow Pride Flag was raised, a professor referred to him with the gender neutral pronoun “they”, which sent him into an arsonist rage. He went on to explain that increased transgender visibility has made it impossible for him to ‘pass’ as reproductively female among the general public. He told the CBC (7) :
“Ten, 12 years ago I was just a tall woman and nobody thought anything of it, but because these gender nonconformers are being so loud and proud … now everybody looks and they can see oh, that tall woman with a deep voice, maybe she’s a dude.”
“Gender identity refers to a person’s sense of fitting into social categories”: Wisdom for the Youth of Today from GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society)
April 18, 2016
The following gems are excerpted from GIRES’ submission to the proposed new NHS Service Specification (“treatment guidelines” to you and me) for the UK Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescents (GIDS). The ‘fitting-youth-into-social-sex-categories-development-service’ in question operates out of the Tavistock and Portman facility and is run by Dr. Polly Carmichael.
The clinic, which attempts to treat children who are disturbed by sex-based social roles with pharmaceuticals, has quietly posted two items on their website for public feedback without notifying the press or public. The deadline for replies is April 20.
The first item is a ‘Policy Proposal’ which quite sensibly rejects lowering the age for cross-sex hormones below the age of sixteen in the UK. This is a response to transgender industry and activist lobbying to allow permanent irreversible changes to be performed on children below the age of legal consent. You can read that policy proposal, and rationale, in full here: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/clinical-commissioning-wave8/user_uploads/e03x16-policy-prop.pdf
The second item is a 62-page proposed service specification (treatment pathway) for the kids and teens referred to the clinic. No huge surprises. The usual circular definitions, which avoid outlining specifically what is actually being “treated” (“Gender Identity is an individual’s personal experience of their own gender”, LOL). The usual confusion and conflation of sex with gender (“biological natal gender” OH MY).
It is truly amazing that 50 years of existing work on gender: Analysis of what gender is, how it functions, its specific characteristics, modes of violent enforcement, harms, and lived experiences of such, is completely ignored because the authors of those five decades of work are Women. Lesbians. Feminists.
The proposed new GIDS service policy does mention obliquely in the most understated way imaginable that massive numbers of adolescent lesbians are seeking escape from sexual objectification and pornification and second-class humanity by adopting “anything but female” identities en masse. (“Gender identification is diversifying!”). (“The number of adolescents referred to specialized gender identity clinics for GD appears to be increasing. There also appears to be a corresponding shift in the sex ratio, from predominantly favouring natal males to one favouring natal females.”) (“Social and sociocultural explanations are offered to account for this recent inversion in the sex ratio of adolescents with GD.” ) COUGH.
And that trans-trending is now a subcultural teen fashion statement for entitled tumblrite millenials weaned on non-essential daily prescription pharmaceuticals that form their consumer identity every bit as much as the brands of clothing or carbonated beverage or types of piercing they express their core selves by sporting (“Yet it is also true that many youngsters who present to gender services are not acutely distressed”) LOL.
They also manage to note the absurdly high concurrence of social category dysphoria (gender identity malfeasance) among individuals who are less likely to observe social norms, ie. those on the autism spectrum. And that most “transgender” children will desist in adulthood. And that “social transition” in childhood results in distress, fear of teasing, and shame for those who wish to revert. And that a potential outcome of treatment for 2% (one youth out of 55 study participants in the only existing outcome study) is death due to complications from surgical castration and genital reshaping.
You can read the proposed service specification in full here: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/clinical-commissioning-wave8/user_uploads/gids-serv-spec-upd.pdf
And leave your comments, corrections or concerns, here:
The largest transgender industry lobbying group in the country, GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) has already posted their response. GIRES is run by a straight non-transgender couple, Bernard and Terry Reed. Bernard has an MBA from Oxford and serves as treasurer. Terry has a degree in Physiotherapy (occupational therapy) and serves as secretary. They started the group after their son, Niki Reed, suffered harassment when he transitioned on the job as a carnival ride operator and went on to win a groundbreaking 1997 employment tribunal that created precedent for transsexual individuals to sue on the basis of sex discrimination. (Chessington World of Adventures ltd v Reed, 1997)
Niki is heterosexual and went on to marry his female partner as a legal male. He does not publicly support the group his parents started and seems to have dropped out of sight. In all their public appearances his parents never speak of him.
What’s interesting is that GIRES is basically part of the UK government. They are “partners” with the Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership Foundation Trust which is their largest funder, and they co-produce educational materials on gender for providers together [PDF].
In addition, GIRES claims at least 79 “corporate members” of their group, including the Office for Nuclear Regulation, Imperial College London, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Learning and skills improvement service, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, among others. They were awarded the Orders of the British Empire in 2010. They donated over fifty thousand dollars to WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health) ostensibly to fund foreign language translations of the lobbying group’s standards of care. They are the establishment. A revolutionary besieged minority group fighting the power they are not. They are the power of the state. They are the state.
Here are a few nuggets of gender wisdom from Bernard and Terry Reed at GIRES to the youth of today, excerpted from their submission to the Gender Identity Development Service. You can read their full submission here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7n9HajupVrLSzdzVEhvaEVhZmRBNzVXMkMxdlZlZlV4SGFv/view?pref=2&pli=1 or here: http://archive.is/6rm1m
[Page 2 Gender Identity refers to conformity to sexist social categories]
Gender identity refers to a person’s sense of fitting into social categories of boys/men; women/girls. These are binary identities, but identities may also be non-binary, that is somewhere on a spectrum between the two, or outside that spectrum, known as non-gender. More of these widely diverse identities are now emerging, and many will be needing the support of medical services.
Gender dysphoria describes the unease experienced when the gender identity is not aligned with the sex assigned at birth: the gender role and expression typically associated with that sex are also sources of unease.
[Page 3 Absent all data, “associations” and “suggestions” “support” biologically based sexist social categories]
“Although no studies to date demonstrate the mechanism, multiple studies have reported associations with gender identity that support it being a biologic phenomenon.[…] Current data suggest a biologic etiology for transgender identity” (Saraswat et al 2015) [sic]
[Page 4 Skip the blockers]
Cross-sex hormones are acknowledged to be effective in treating gender dysphoria (which hormone blockers are not).
[Page 4 Hormones are harmless]
N.b. Cross-sex hormones are partially reversible.
[Page 4 Failure to attempt correction of sex role nonconformity is like waterboarding]
Delaying treatment causes “Psychological torture”.
[Page 5 Give kids who are still in the closet at puberty hormones]
It is not always possible to know whether gender non-conforming behaviors in a child are actually a reflection of gender dysphoria, or whether they are related to some other possible outcome, such as being gay, lesbian or bisexual. Usually, at the onset of puberty, the outcome becomes clearer to the child, and therefore to the relevant adults, including clinicians if they are already involved.
[Page 5 When in doubt: prescribe hormones]
The argument that the possibility of ‘desistance’ exists, is neither relevant nor a rational excuse for withholding cross-sex hormones. ‘Desistance’ should be completely detached from decisions about cross-sex hormones.
[Page 7 Hormones cure autism]
Anecdotally, young people who have been successfully treated, are often described as having no residual ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder]. The symptoms have disappeared once the dysphoria has been treated.
[Page 9 Actual death is a scare tactic compared to threat of potential self harm due to waiting for hormones]
The tragic death of a young person is not really a useful anecdote in this context. All surgeries carry risk, but unless you give the figures to show how many have had surgery, sometimes several surgeries and survived, mentioning one death is not meaningful. It seems like a deliberate scare tactic.
[Page 9 Hormones are the grail, the truth, the light. Nonconformity is death]
Preventing premature death would be overcome by providing cross-sex hormones to overcome the misery of gender dysphoria [sic]
[Page 9 Social sex role nonconformists provoke abuse upon themselves.]
Refusing timely interventions for adolescents might prolong gender dysphoria and contribute to an appearance that could provoke abuse and stigmatization
[Page 9 Social sex category nonconformity is ghastly, bleak, mentally ill, fatal.]
Psychological support is important but if the current reluctance to provide timely cross-sex hormones, young people will not recover from dips in their mental health but will continue to deteriorate.
[Page 14 The vast majority of people that quit hormones after a few months or years don’t exist]
Therefore it is extremely rare for CSH [cross-sex hormones] to be started and then have the young person decide they want to stop.
April 12, 2016
April 12, 2016
Popular Omaha nightclub ‘The Hive’ was the target of a transwoman sidewalk picket over the weekend. At issue was the unisex restroom now under construction at the establishment, which the bar owners intend to accommodate patrons of either sex who no longer “identify with” the restrooms designed for their anatomy. Transwomen and Drag Queens claimed the unisex facility was instead intended to discriminate against individuals with penises.The conflict was sparked when bar co-owner Jake Gardner made a comment on his personal Facebook page to his friends, stating his opinion that males should voluntarily use either male or unisex facilities unless they were transgender individuals who had undergone surgical and legal transition.
The comment sparked an online firestorm among legally-male individuals with penises who feel they “identity as” individuals with ovaries and vaginas. The bar’s business page was targeted with negative reviews and has since been taken down. “I thought I was posting to my friends, and it just went viral,” he told the Omaha World-Herald.
From the same article:
“Gardner, 34, is a self-described libertarian with long hair and a beard. He is also a former Marine, a veteran of deployments to Iraq and Haiti. He says people should be left alone to live as they see fit but says he doesn’t sugarcoat his statements.
“The last thing I would want to do is hurt a member of (the transgender) community,” he said. “But people’s feelings are going to be hurt when you bring something up that is sensitive.”
An article he read Tuesday about transgender bathrooms made him think about an assault at his bar, which he said happened a year ago. That led him to post the article along with his comments.
He described the incident like this: A person in women’s clothes but with male genitalia urinated in the women’s bathroom standing up. A woman in the bathroom said something. The person assaulted the woman. Bar staff ejected the attacker. The victim did not want a police report made, he said.
Gardner said he does not believe the person in the bathroom incident is representative of trans people as a whole. But he felt something needed to be done, leading to the bathroom project.
“I’m asking transgender folk to use the unisex … bathroom,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a big ask.”
Transwomen of Omaha disagree. Requesting male patrons to stay out of women’s facilities stigmatizes penis owners, they claim. “”It’s just kind of fear mongering,” said former ‘Occupy Omaha’ organizer Joshua Koleszar, to KETV Channel 7 News. “It’s casting us as predators and it doesn’t help forward the conversation.”
Like several of the heterosexual white male leaders of the former “Occupy” movement, Joshua has gone on to adopt an “oppressed identity” for himself, now calling himself Eris Koleszar and battling for the rights of penis owners not to be “stigmatized” by the “fear mongering” of women and girls who “oppress” him by casting penis owners as potential predators. In his spare time he lectures at lesbians on twitter, expounding on his philosophy of the radical praxis of “breaking down the barriers” of lesbian sexuality for heterosexual men.