Milwaukee Pride Parade strips Veteran Lesbian Activist Miriam Ben-Shalom of Grand Marshall Honors

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.

Miriam Ben-Shalom


141 Responses to “Milwaukee Pride Parade strips Veteran Lesbian Activist Miriam Ben-Shalom of Grand Marshall Honors”

  1. donesoverydone Says:

    Reblogged this on things I've read or intend to and commented:
    SHERO!!!! A total PERF!!!!

  2. Thank you Miriam Ben-Shalom for standing up for lesbians and all women. I stand with you in solidarity, sister. Thanks to Gallus Mag for your excellent reporting. Whatever “LGBT” is, it’s against lesbians. The Milwaukee Pride committee should be ashamed of their misogyny!

  3. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you so much, Gallus Mag, and thank you, Miriam, my new friend on fb. Thank you for your courage. You sure will be getting the death threats for talking back to the male masters. I had no idea of your history.

    This censoring and erasure of you is what they are continuing to do as the men claiming to be women and Lesbians take over what little we had, rewriting our history.

    Sharing in our fb Radical Feminist and other groups.


  4. rheapdx1 Says:

    Right on Miriam and call these bastards out on their crap.

    This shows once again…..those who demand space and ‘respect’ for their lives, etc are incapable of the same for those they want to embrace, as well as claim similar experiences with bigotry. It is a shame that the good of the ‘movement’ has been hijacked by those who ignore reality. (as well as bring scorn, via other means to those who get hit with ‘guilt by association’).

  5. southwest88 Says:

    Those cowardly males are not fit to shine her boots. Miriam Ben-Shalom speaks the truth and it is so refreshing! And that condescending letter they sent her! All so “thanks for being a brave soldier and getting us what we want but now we have group of men who need their fetish stroked in public so under the bus with you.”

  6. Janetwo Says:

    Just added Miriam Ben-Shalom to my list of woman role models. I hope some msm will pick up and make her reply as public as possible. When the list of people persecuted and silenced by the trannies will be long enough to consider them hate group?

  7. mel Says:

    She was and is a hero to lesbians and gays and I remember her from decades back. Hope her letter gets maximum exposure in the so-called LGBT press.

    She’s done nothing for the “LGBT community” because in her heyday the gay and lesbian civil rights movement hadn’t trans’ed itself into the absurdity it now is. Drop the T already!

    • IronBatMaiden Says:

      Hear hear!! Drop the T once and for all! Abolish gender and gender roles! The T has nothing to do with being gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

      On behalf of all my bisexual sisters who have betrayed you by being the handmaidens of the trans activists, I’m sorry. I will never advocate for trans activism.

  8. IronBatMaiden Says:

    Unbelievable. It’s bad enough the right wing nutjobs are completely shitting on her even after all her service. But for them to discharge her because trans activists are butthurt? That is unacceptable.

    I still believe that once gender roles and gender are abolished, the concept of being transgender will be eliminated.

  9. Oak and Ash Says:

    Miriam Ben-Shalom’s brilliantly honest response gives me hope. We need an army of women as courageous as she is!

  10. FeistyAmazon Says:

    This DykeAmazon Sister has done more for iur community than that buch of cowards altogether!!!She is hurting Sisters and it can happen to any of us that don5bbelieve the current brainwashing or dont fall lockstep in line with them.

    It is time to get the L out and US LESBIANS/DYKES TO ORGANIZE BY AND FOR OURSELVES!!!!

  11. DaveSquirrel Says:

    My new shero! Thank you Miriam Ben-Shalom!

    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.

    Yes, I too am a “PERF” – thank you for coining the term ❤

    • kesher Says:

      I’ve seen it before from other radfems. I don’t know who first came up with it, but clearly Ms. Ben-Shalom has been paying close attention to this issue.

      • DaveSquirrel Says:

        It is the very first time that I have come across it. I have seen other variations TURF etc. But PERF, seemed rather PERFect to me 🙂

    • sarineal Says:

      PERF, where ever it comes from, is so accurate. Love it too.

      I also love “women born of women” (or in other words female born of a female, as all women are). I was thinking a similar idea recently, men only share male, but women not only share female but also solely female experiences like giving birth. It gives women strength and empathy beyond themselves. They know it too, and will do anything to break those bonds between women and of women with other groups, will split out women out like here and hold them out to be an example and a lesson to others that don’t comply.

      They picked the wrong one to do that too, Miriam Ben-Shalom has faced down bigger foe than these ones, too cowardly to put their names to their poison pen letter. She’s actually brave and courageous, unlike them.

      • background spinner Says:

        ^^^ This! And the ones above!

        #PERF will be OUR term, based on reality, something the transborg are quakingly afraid of.

        I thank her for her courage and not only her refusal to cave to the establishment, but her strength and temerity to force real change for the better.

        She deserves a monument on the Washington Mall, or wherever suits her, which should not only be approved by her, but which should be commissioned by a woman of her choosing.

        *Women create humanity.*

  12. I love this brave woman…

  13. Autumn V Sandeen Says:

    • What is the point of this in a serious conversation? The only “ugly” here is you. You disgust.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Barbara- It is a tradition on some Lesbian/Radical Feminist blogs to post the video in lieu of comments from men who stalk and harass and threaten women. Autumn is such a man. Hence the video.

      • mel Says:

        Autumn is a predator and mindfucker and is therefore a hero in the trans movement. Trans ideology is built on mindfuckery. His latest act of heroism is to get Miriam Ben Shalom – who made history in her struggle for the rights of gays and lesbians to serve their country – removed as Grand Marshal of the Milwaukee Pride Parade. Miriam committed the thought crime of saying she was a woman and implying that men are not women. What a bigot she’s proven herself to be!

        She’ll be replaced by men in dresses who will tell us of their heroic exploits entering women’s locker rooms and leaving with their cocks intact. True heroism indeed.

      • DaveSquirrel Says:

        I see Sandeen has to come here, cock his leg, and military-man-piss.
        He can piss off.

      • Ashland Avenue Says:

        I like the trap door too, Gallus! 😀

        The nerve of that man, Buffalo Sandeen, to think he can come here and speak on your blog. His arrogance and vaingloriousness is never ending, isn’t it?

        Buffalo Sandeen: go find ever newer ways to rip off the VA. It seems to be what you do best. I mean, it’s not like there are soldiers who actually need care from them, are there? No! It’s all about you, and your tranny “needs”, right? You make me sick, Sandeen.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Hahhaha! I almost did the trapdoor…

    • WTF Is This Nonsense? Says:

      Target welcomes this man into female only-spaces.

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        Just watch. There will be so many more claims of harassment and assault now. Sadly, we only have each other on this matter. The only (shaky) allies we have on this matter are the conservatives. As sexist and homophobic as they are, at least they recognize that women need women only spaces like change rooms and bathrooms.

        Forgive me for going off-topic, but I recently purchased something I was originally trying to get from Target. They were sold out and I got them on Amazon instead. I’m so glad I got it there before they let these fucking autogynephiles into women’s spaces! Fuck them!!

    • Yes, I actually watched that video all the way through, without stopping, and while doing other things. I actually work in groups homes (a dirty, laydee, relatively low-paying job that no M2T would be caught doing) where people make far long, more annoying sounds for 12 hours straight, so this is nothing to me. Sorry, dudes, I’m tuning you out.

    • Hecate Says:

      The most accurate looking and sounding post by a crazy trans activist I’ve seen. It’s perfection. This is now indeed both the visual and audio in my mind whenever they speak/type their Orwellian lunacy.

      Thanks, Sandeen! Your honesty in representing yourself here is amazing! We’ll all have this in mind forevermore whenever mtf speak or post!

  14. Peggy Luhrs Says:

    I’m a PERF too, a member of PERFECT, Penis Excluding Radical Feminists Effecting Change Together.

  15. ShipRat Says:

    Ms. Ben-Shalom: I live in another country but I hope to someday have the honour to stand shoulder to shoulder with you.

  16. morag99 Says:

    The gist of that insulting, condescending, badly punctuated and badly written letter from the Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors is this:

    “Yeah so thanks for everything … you did some real nifty stuff and all that, yadda-yadda … but if you wouldn’t mind just getting lost and disappearing, that’d be great. See, a woman whose thinking doesn’t MESH with male thinking, desires, and lust for control is pretty much worthless to us. Thanks for your understanding. Sincerely, your masters”

    Apparently, Miriam Ben-Shalom was not even worth the time it takes to proofread and do a light edit. Someone might accuse me of being needlessly picky and distracting from the real issues. But, in my opinion, their sloppiness in that piggish letter just deepens the disrespect, adding insult to injury. I mean, letters from boards of directors are important documents, no? They are part of an organization’s history.

    Not that that disgusting, dishonest, covertly aggressive, gas-lighting corporate-speak could EVER be fixed! Not by a bunch of liars, anyway. Liars lie; that’s what they do.

    And Miriam knows it! I adore her pure, courageous response to them, and the edifying quotation that she chose. She knows that they are dangerous people, and she tells them why: not because they are delusional, and not because they don’t know any better. But because they know exactly what they’re doing!

    The harm they inflict on women is not only intentional, but it is only the beginning, because these men are more than willing to take it much further. She sees the big picture. She sees the foundation — the LIES — from which their misogyny will slowly grow more and more criminal in its expression.

    • DaveSquirrel Says:

      I agree with your ‘gist’ (or rather, malespeak translation) Morag. It is indeed insulting, disgusting, and shows what the alphabet really think of the “L”. ie ‘under the bus now with you ladies!’

    • Barbara Reiner Says:

      Wish I express what I feel..but you have done it for me…what a
      response. I hope that Miriam has read it, it will make her day…
      as will the other women who support her. It’s good to see it

  17. Heartwitch Says:

    Reblogged this on Honeycomb Bones and commented:
    I’m so glad women like Miriam Ben-Shalom are willing to be forthright.

  18. Jessica Says:

    What a bunch of assholes.

    Proud PERF here!

  19. Steve Says:

    Drop the T

  20. jummy Says:

    ‘GLAD’ meaning “go lick a dick”, I presume?

  21. nonny Says:

    AMAZING. AMAZING. My hero. Brava. This is terrible, but her response made my evening. Pouring a glass for this incredible woman.

  22. Teal Deer Says:

    Wow. Her response was beautiful. It gives me hope to see such a strong woman stand up for herself and all womankind.

  23. C. Bee Says:

    I guess I would be called a SOPERF – sister of penis exclusionary radical feminist – being straight and all. Or maybe MOPERF – as a mother of a PERF.

    Hats off to you, Ms. Miriam Ben Shalom from the other side of the rainbow. Thank you for your service, for being a role model with a moral compass, and for standing up for women.

    “To you bunch of Moral reprobates-“: the salutation of the century!

  24. Monika Beatty Says:

    Standing in PERFhood solidarity! Strong woman Miriam, and brave for standing up for women, thank you. Gallus Mag thanks for keeping us up to date always. It’s really time for the L to get out as it’s clear the T are the darlings and get all the support.

  25. Joseph McCarthy was from Wisconsin too. They are involved in a deliberate orchestrated campaign to silence women and control what we are allowed to think and say. What we see today is a new form of McCarthyism. They know that the only way they can shove this sh** down our throats is by bullying and silencing tactics.

    Miriam Ben-Shalom is a patriot, and these people are cowards.

  26. Amareldys Says:

    I am so glad I found you. I have felt so gaslighted by all of this, like how you have to say things that are not true or get ostracized for being a hater. Thank you so much.

    I am not some rabid conservative, nor am I a radical anything… (I guess I would be a TEF?) but when did it become an extremist position to not want to see penises in the locker room?

    I am so grateful for having found you, I felt like I was insane, and questioning a lot of things.

  27. Janetwo Says:

    Here is their website: . Its a shame there are no place for people to comment publicly. Hopefully the gay and lesbian community will pull out massively of the event in support of Miriam.

    There should be a compilation somewhere of all the stunts the trannies pulled to ruin or try to ruin Pride parades all over the world. I can only think of the Glascow Free Pride and the recent burning of the Rainbow flag in Vancouver but I am sure there are many other occasions.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Thanks. That website was linked in the post. They also have a Facebook page:

      • dejavublonde Says:

        in their facebook reply regarding an inquiry as to who their board of directors are they state:
        The Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors has a policy in place since 2005 which prevents me from releasing personal information about our Directors. If you would like to speak with them or bring a topic to their attention please email them at as that email will directly forward to them.

        I find it extremely shady that they have a policy of not listing their board. Pridefest does. Literally every 501c (either 3 or 4) that I know of does. I would never donate to any organization that has ZERO transparency (see what I did there?), public oversight or accountability.

      • GallusMag Says:

        There’s a couple places/articles online that state a man called Brent Holmes and his partner Jim Mellotte coordinate the Milwaukee Pride Parade event and run the facebook page. They own a piercing joint.

      • dejavublonde Says:

        Pridefest should also be ashamed of themselves, they are hand in hand with the parade.

      • Zemskull Says:

        I’m not a person who thinks that all enlisted military are heroes and joined to “serve our country.” That said, Miriam Ben-Shalom IS a hero and served honorably, and she has had outstanding accomplishments both in and out of the military. She’s correct that the Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors were cowardly to not name themselves in their letter to her, but the PrideFest board is named on their page.

        I would not be surprised if the Pridefest and parade boards were the exact same people, or, if there’s two boards, there’s a lot of overlap of leadership, as tends to happen in volunteer organizations.

        Interestingly enough, the page mentions that the event recently achieved official designation as a 501c3 non-profit organization with the Internal Revenue Service and State of Wisconsin. I agree with dejavublonde that it’s odd that a non-profit is lacking transparency.

        It appears that Scott Gunkel is the PrideFest president.

        “Milwaukee Pride, Inc. has also named three new board members to steward the emerging organization:

        Jessica Baker
        Jorna Taylor
        Eric Heinritz

        Other members of the Milwaukee Pride, Inc. board include Stephanie Knuteson, Denise Haussy, Michail Takach, Wes Shaver, Paul Masterson, Tim Talsky, Francisco Araiza and Scott Gunkel.”

    • rheapdx1 Says:

      While there may not be a website, per se of all the weirdness that does go on at the parades, there is You Tube and their sblings. Those places insure that the rather…..uh……uh….colorful (yeah, that is the kind word for it) displays live on in infamy. Like Leon Lett does (he of NFL on Thanksgiving infamy.

      Speaking of that infamy and T infamy as well, post military service…go over to the CNN site sometime and view a certain documentary there. Same stare, same ‘narrative’. The same narrative which was explained on ‘Dr. Phil’ last year, by the same person, in explaining the actions of someone who just went full time. It is enough to cause one to lose their lunch and dinner.

      Long story short….if not on the network archives, these live on via other means.

  28. Imelda_66 Says:

    That Thomas Paine quote she included in her response is so apt. The harm done by “mental lying” is all around. Brava to Miriam *and* Gallus for speaking the truth!

  29. Kitty Barber Says:

    ‘Pride’ is an odd word to use, isn’t it?

    • Kitty Barber Says:

      A group of men (and, I suppose, women, too) who don’t use their names, who don’t specify just WHAT was written on Facebook or by whom; how proud are these people? And just who was it that complained? Could it have been…
      ‘AUTUMN SANDEEN?’ That U.S. Navy vet who threatened Lisa Vogel with stalking if she refused to meet with him? Who wears a uniform he isn’t entitled to wear–the women’s navy uniform–and never wore when he was in the service?
      Pride Parade Committee:
      Who are you?
      What are you accusing Miriam Ben-Shalom of doing, EXACTLY? Who complained? WHY?

      This isn’t over.

      • rheapdx1 Says:

        Something says that no one will be honest about who said what, etc. The name of their game is to play the denial catd for as long as possible.

        A game well played by some of the corporate sponsors of the event. Hence, the organizers were taught by experts. And that is a shame.

      • EndTheHarms Says:

        You are so right. These things need to become known. Who can look into it?
        Are there LGB(T) organizations that can any longer be trusted to recognize bigotry against lesbians and women and actually act for justice? Or individuals anyone can think of who could take this on in some way?

      • Zemskull Says:

        Hi Kitty Barber. I just spoke with one of my “squid” (Navy) relatives. It’s a no-no for a veteran to represent himself or herself in public in a veteran capacity, e.g. carrying the Navy banner at a parade, in a uniform that misrepresents who you were while in the service, even if your former rank is not misrepresented; the latter is often at the root of “stolen valor” cases. You do not wear a Navy pilot’s flight suit to an American Legion function if you were actually a Navy mechanic, even if you don’t wear fake medals or verbally boast falsehoods about your career. I realize that, post-retirement, Sandeen managed to change his past military records to record himself as female. He still didn’t wear a female Navy uniform while actually in the service. Sandeen is, as my relative said, a “disgrace” on the uniform issue alone, even before one factors in the stalking you reference.

      • Zemskull Says:

        PS: In, at the very least a figurative sense, Sandeen actually is misrepresenting military accomplishment by wearing the female uniform even if rank is not misrepresented. It’s no secret that women have it much tougher in the military, with 40 percent of them raped while in the service, family and recruiter encouragement for women to enlist and reenlist tending to not be as strong as it is for men, male coworkers vocally telling them that women don’t belong in the service at all, and being barred from many specific job ratings until very recently. The Blue Angels, for example, named their first female pilot, Katie Higgens, just last year, and she’s actually flying the less prestigious Fat Albert support plane. And she had to work her tail off her to get that role–her credentials are far more impressive than that of many male Blue Angels pilots. Sandeen didn’t endure the Navy as a woman, and to wear a uniform implying otherwise is disingenuous.

    • pollyhannah11 Says:

      Not really, if you think of it this way: P-ride, Penis ride

  30. StraightFromTheHeart Says:

    Thank you, Miriam Ben-Shalom, for having ovaries of steel! We are behind you!

  31. Ruth Barrett Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’d like to gain permission to re-publish this in a book I’m producing on Female Erasure. Can you contact me privately so I can give you more information? The deadline is past for inclusion but I’d like to get it into the anthology if possible. Please message me through FB or use my email here. Thank you so much!

    • GallusMag Says:

      I know who you are. You have my permission to re-publish it. Please contact Miriam Ben-Shalom on Facebook and get her permission separately. I will email you.

  32. Livvie Says:

    I thank Sergeant Ben-Shalom for her service and I thank her for standing strong in her desire to keep all women, lesbian and straight, safe from predatory men. This woman is a true patriot, in more ways than than one. I hope to see her speak up and out more often.

  33. kaypasser Says:

    is there anywhere we can show our public support for this brave woman? i think this kind of exclusionary behaviour is exactly what they charge us with..except she has bravely demonstrated a lifetime of commitment and endeavor to her groups cause. dont see any transies doing that for feminism or lesbians do you? curious how everything they do is for themselves and at the expense of others dont you find? what a disgraceful way to treat a loyal member and how cruel this is.. is there a petition?

  34. Carrie-Anne Says:

    That was a wonderful response letter! It’s pathetic how the Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors threw her under the bus and continued the trend of making “LGBT” all about the T and pretty much ignoring the original three letters.

    • Doug Dittmer Says:

      “..the trend of making LGBT all about the T”. I’m an activist from the 80s and I remember the same tired complaint leveled at women. Gay men complained that Lesbians wanted to make the gay movement into a women’s movement, even insisting that the L be placed in front of the G. Instead of trying to find common ground, instead of building coalitions, instead of finding empathy, this community tears itself apart and dismisses people that don’t share their corner of the L, G, B, or T. And when we do that, we become as bad as any of the homophobes and transphobes.

      • GallusMag Says:

        “I’m an activist from the 80s”

        Sticking your dick into every man that moves behind your wife’s back isn’t activism Doug.

      • Doug Dittmer Says:

        It seems GallusMag responds to honest criticism with trolling insults, arrogance and ignorance. Just FYI, throwing insults isn’t particularly intelligent and surely doesn’t advance our cause. It just divides us. Welcome to Trump land.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Your pointless dismissive hand-waving away of lesbian and other women’s issues and concerns warrants no response. Men throwing out dismissive handwaving cliches telling us our lives don’t matter doesn’t advance OUR cause. Your comments are a waste of type.

      • Joe Clark Says:

        I see what Doug is (indelicately) saying here, and I’m going to suggest, as someone from that same era, that what the transgender phenomenon of the last five years has shown us as gay males is the irreducible value of private spaces for the sexes. As Miriam Ben-Shalom pointed out, gay men’s spaces have been noncontroversial for decades (truly decades). Looking back now, I see that lesbians were advocating for women-only spaces (pretty obviously and clearly, too), but gay males were not respecting the fundamental equality and fairness of those requests.

        Well, we sure as hell understand the importance of sex-segregated spaces now, don’t we?

        That’s why I keep telling sites like this one, who have a hair trigger when it comes to supportive comments from gay men and tend to just ban us from commenting, that many gay men support women’s efforts to create and secure female-only spaces. I certainly do.

        The distinction Doug is failing to draw is this: Today’s transgender activists want to rewrite gay as trans, rewrite female as male, and invalidate every distinction between the sexes, real or imagined (in their view, they’re all imagined). “Trans*” is attempting to overthrow lesbian and gay, very much in that order. Whereas back in the day, lesbians were asking for respect and equality. And basically didn’t get it, as I recall.

      • Jessica Says:

        @Joe Clark

        After NUS announced that gay men should be de-platformed because of their ‘privilege’ I went ahead and spent a couple of weeks reading PinKnews, where a lot of gay men post comments. They were *overwhelmingly* saying that 1) lesbians don’t like dick and that they have every right not to 2) lesbians are under no obligation to let penises into their female only spaces.

        It makes me happy to see that more and more people are coming around to realize that the T is for TOXIC.

      • Tina Says:

        I think the T showed their willingness to find common ground when they started insisting that lesbians suck dick. Meanwhile insisting absolutely nothing from straight women or men of any stripe.

  35. Its absurd that pride can’t make room for community disagreements and has to instead push an official party line that no one is allowed to object to. As a lesbian she is perfectly entitled to opinions about what it means to be a lesbian. It should not be a big deal.

    • Janetwo Says:

      I think its absurd for the LGB community to support a group largely homophobic and misogynistic. Transgenderism is not a benign difference of opinion, its an ideological cancer tearing apart the LGB community and threatening years of progress in both women rights and gay rights.That the trannies are allowed to harass and censor somebody like Miriam Ben Shalom is a disgrace that should make every human right activist take a deep long look into what has been happening.

      If the community does not clean up this mess, unfortunately, the religious conservative right will do it with the support of the majority of people. And I say this as a diehard lefty and a feminist. The Target Boycott has passed 1.1 millions signatures. And methink its just the beginning as more incidents of garden variety sexual harassements and outright sexual assaults will happen by letting the pervs invading women spaces. Letting the transloonies running the asylum is a big deal. Its not just lesbians who are affected, its all women. There is no media spin in this world that will alleviate the legitimate fears of women when the stats are that one woman in six has been raped or barely escaped it. Drop the T before its too late.

  36. CKDexterHaven Says:

    Hey, never mind! In the future the Third-Wavers will be able to look back on this golden age and honour the likes of Stefonknee, campaigning for the rights of pretend 6 year olds to take it up the ass-vagina. Who needs old lesbians and their pesky, women-focused issues?

  37. Annoyed Bi Chick Says:

    Yasher koach to Gveret Ben-Shalom!

    I’m definitely not a PERF. But I can’t be dissuaded that women deserve and require their own spaces, and it’s the rankest kind of bullying that women are expected — yet again — to cede space and rights to a (political) group whose needs and agenda don’t match women’s. Transpeople can have trans-only spaces, women should be able to have women-only spaces, simply because the trans experience is not the natal woman’s experience (even if the natal woman is nulliparous, etc).

  38. Tish Says:

    Lesbians do not go to pride parades. Instead host your own parties the same day of the event. Watch how many transwomen get confused as to whether they should infiltrate your space or be around a group of men!

    • IronBatMaiden Says:

      I think the same can apply to any other females, whether they’re bi, het, or ace. I’ve never been to pride, but I don’t think I’ll go after this incident of blatant misogyny.

      The trans activists can go fuck themselves! I stand with my lesbian sisters as a bi woman.

    • rheapdx1 Says:

      Tish…I was going to say similar about the few folks in the T portion who are sick of the BS the majority of the T borg has forced on others. Which in turn has caused more problems than anything else.

      In addition to advising folks not to go to events that would make daytime telly shows look mild by comparison, stay home. Have people over to discuss the logical roads forward over dinner. Or if others ask…channel the inner ‘Joe Friday’ and give the facts, to counter the crap being spewed (have had to do this more times than I can count. Not perfect, but at the very least…every bit counts to stomp out the weeds).

      Just avoid being around the ones who lack respect for any person who does not respect boundaries. Or logic…or those too young to understand they are being manipulated by the creep patrol.

    • GallusMag Says:

      It might be more effective to show up with signs protesting than to boycott the event.

      • rheapdx1 Says:

        Heck of an idea.The concern here is that signs and counterprotests to the illogical brigade would be seen as ‘hate speech’ or ‘creating an unsafe environment’ and the cops would then act at the behest of the snowflakes.

        The last sentence to some may seem like hype, but in the US these days, that is likely to be the case. All one needs to do is look at what has happened with other groups and how policing protests has gone. @GallusMag in a more adult country, protest and counter same would work. But the US has has in quite a few corners, de-evolved…..damnitall.

      • Akuba Says:

        I think people should show up at the Milwaukee parade with t-shirts with Miriam Ben-Shalom’s name & picture on them. They could also say “PERFECT Woman” (as that acronym is great!)

  39. I support the Pride Committee’s right to stand by the “T” in LGBT. I grew up in Stevens Point, I was at the first Pride Parade in Madison (1987) and Milwaukee. I find it sad that the folks who I stood side by side with are now actively practicing bigotry and phobia against transgender and two-spirit folks. Since when did getting older mean that we also got to exercise bigotry? I believe in womyn’s space also, and I was a separatist for many years, but not at the expense of other individuals. Sorry MBS, I am not now or ever going to support your ideas of bigotry. But more than that, the comments here after this article scare the heck out of me. This is sad and disheartening. Kudos to the Milwaukee Pride Committee and you all who are calling yourselves PERFS and this and that, you can kiss my Irish and Polish ass. I didn’t fight all these years for LGB rights to exclude the T many years later. Bring it.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Well Barbara, you can plant a big kiss on my fat white ass because you are a traitor to the lesbian community and women’s movement.

      “I believe in womyn’s space also, and I was a separatist for many years, but not at the expense of other individuals.”

      Other individuals = Men

      So you “Believe” in women’s space, but not at the “expense” of the heterosexual men who believe they have a right to surveil it.

      HAHAHAHAHAHA> What a HANDMAIDEN you are, carrying water for HOMOPHOBIC and MISOGYNIST MEN.

      Truly sickening. And sad.

      YOU are the reason that Miriam and women like her are being disrespected and dishonored and YOU PERSONALLY BARBARA, are the reason young lesbians inject testosterone in hopes of becoming heterosexual men. What kind of “Lesbian” puts the desires and wants of heterosexual men first???? Barbara is that kind.
      Truly sickening. You make me want to vomit. Your lips aren’t fit for my ass.

    • Ashland Avenue Says:

      Keep sucking that cock, Barbara. You seem to so enjoy it.

    • kesher Says:

      Speaking as a straight woman, I stand with young lesbians who are being harassed and correctively raped by straight men in dresses (I personally know of several of these women, all of whom were abandoned by the LGBT community which chose to ally with straight male rapists). I’m sorry you’ve decided to abandon these young lesbians at a time when they desperately need the support of older lesbians.

      Maybe if you or yours is finally harmed by one of these men, you’ll understand. But considering how hateful you are, I guess it could go either way, and you might decide to just double-down on your male worship.

      • Jessica Says:

        I had the joyous experience of listening to a straight dude lecture everyone on a specific blog that the ‘cotton ceiling is just a myth’ and that ‘trans women don’t want to rape lesbians’

        He was really really quite adamant in this defense. Male feminist too.

        If Bacopa read this Bacopa will know who I am talking about. It was oolon.

      • donesoverydone Says:

        I always read that guys name as colon.

    • Elle Driver Says:


      In your above comment you used the term “two-spirit” in tandem with transgender. You are aware that the two-spirit tradition has been most greedily appropriated by many non-Native people as a means of explaining/excusing their personal gender identity and behaviors associated, to the detriment (once again!) of the Native community, yes?

      The history of two-spirit persons is not rooted in transgenderism but (male) class status within the group and (most likely) male homosexual sexual orientation (hence the old anthropological term of berdache, or sodomite.) In historical usage it was almost never applied to females.

      And yet the conflation of two-spirit and transgender persists, seemingly as a way of attaching some kind of “spiritual authenticity” to the whole deal. “Well, if the wise and noble redman did it…”

      Further, this co-opting perpetuates the idea that all tribes somehow shared this concept– as if American Indians are some homogenous mass, united not by a shared land or history, but in the minds of those that appropriated their culture in the first place.

      Two-spirit is to transgenderism as the war bonnet is to Coachella.

      So I’d like to ask: Why do you use the term? How does your self-proclaimed “Irish and Polish ass” justify the usage? Does it make your argument feel more authentic? Do you get the multi-cultural BINGO by tying a deeply misunderstood concept– held by a only fraction of an already small minority– to the big corporate T machine?

      A Quapaw (Ogáxpa) girl

      • DaveSquirrel Says:

        Thank you Elle!
        Yes, even though I am not American, I am totally aware that it was native appropriation by Trans. They also appropriate the intersex case for their own ends, lesbians, and their main gig, women. As well as ‘transing the dead’. Basically, they have no shame and will steam-roller any group to serve their own ends.

        But throwing around two-spirit makes their idiot supporters sound like they’ve researched it. They haven’t.

      • Elle Driver Says:

        Cheers DaveSquirrel 😉

        Yeah, it drives me a bit crazy when I see the Tumblr kin proclaiming themselves “two-spirit” or pointing to the Hijra subculture as a means of justifying their gender identity.

        Now– someone please correct me on this if I’m wrong, but Hijra and several other “third gender” traditions, like two-spirit, appear to be not so much rooted in any magical, mystical “sacred knowledge” but rather in that same, boring rigmarole: the class/caste system. You know, the one that places males who do not conform to a particular culture’s idea of masculinity into their own special box. They can’t be classified as female, as they cannot bear children, but they can’t have a seat at the man table either, lest they shame the other men because they are effeminate, homosexual, eunuchs, etc.

        It’s rather baffling that people don’t want to acknowledge that even within marginalized groups there can be deeply ingrained ideas of chauvinism, classism, and misogyny. I guess it’s easier to congratulate ourselves on being soooo accepting rather than actually put in the time to study and understand these other cultures, warts and all.

        I-yi-yi cultural relativism gives me such a headache sometimes.

      • Zemskull Says:

        Funny how you never see white people say, “It’s okay for me to have a higher proclivity for poverty and alcoholism, because Native Americans do too!”

    • DaveSquirrel Says:

      This woman apparently taught Women’s Studies at some point. Perhaps the class should have been taught by someone who actually knows what a woman is, and not some male pomo concept of woman? From the bio:

      “Barbara has taught courses in Women’s Studies, Lesbian and Gay Studies, Legal Studies as Cultural Studies, and Gender and Sexuality at both Purdue University and the University of New Mexico. Barbara designed and developed the first LGBT course ever taught at Purdue University which is now institutionalized as a regular course offering.”

      “Since 2000, Barbara has worked in the pet service business and is currently self-employed with her own pet service clients.”

      A fancy way of saying dog walking? Are you sure they aren’t transcats? Have you confirmed their invisible gender identity?

      Stop slurpin’ the Trans KoolAid. Geez.

  40. Melanie Schneiter Says:

    Go Miriam!

  41. It’s official…SJW transactivists are allergic to negative feedback and any activism of actual substance. If you will permit me, I will post my story before I discuss Miriam because it’s relevant to the mentality of trans defenders.

    Back when Brucilla made his miraculous transition, that’s all people would talk about on Facebook. I was very pro-transgender at that point, and even I could see it was much ado about nothing, that he was essentially posing half naked for a fashion magazine (one of the least feminist icons of our culture there is) and that women have more important things to worry about. I have long been critical of feminism’s current obsession with fluff activism, “empowerment,” “choice,” inane publicity stunts, etc. and I saw Brucilla as a continuation of that vein. Anyway, I proceeded to post my regular posts, one of which was about a WWII chaplain who approved the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Decades later, he feels tremendous remorse and flies to Japan to meet with Japanese veterans and beg their forgiveness. The Japanese welcomed him with open arms and also asked forgiveness for Pearl Harbor. Now to me, that’s real humility, real courage, real activism. Response? Crickets. Nothing. No one cared. It was all about Brucilla and his “bravery” and “courage.” That was peak trans part I. Part II and Part III will be told another time.

    Miriam is a victim of the same mentality. As a (butch?) lesbian, a woman and radical feminist, she has seen real violence, real oppression, and real struggle. She put her money, her very self, where her mouth was by staging that protest and being taken away by officers. That’s old school activism. She made real, groundbreaking achievements for women, lesbians, and also stood with gay men and bisexuals (thank you, Miriam!) when we had struggles in common. I’m horrified that the grounds being used to exclude such an icon is a Facebook post by a nobody. There is truly no deviation from the party line allowed by “tolerant, “liberated” people in our age.

    I also thank Miriam for her blunt and honest reply to these clowns. Men can have male only spaces if they please, and they have the right to define themselves. Miriam knows this, and she knows that actual women would never have the sense of entitlement to threaten, to encroach upon boundaries, and be violent towards their opponents. Oh, wait…using the wrong language is literal violence now, so I guess women are as violent as men after all. *Shakes head*

    Miriam excluded an important segment of the LGBT community? What about lesbians? What about the G and the B (actual G and B, not bored straight people)? GSAs don’t have actual gays and lesbians anymore. And what has t done for the LGB? Nothing. Squat, except take, destroy, and parasitize. Fuck off.

    Miriam, you deserve this honor and I’m sorry these clowns saw fit to humiliate and insult you. You don’t need them.

    • K.Jane Says:

      Miriam Ben-Shalom is one of my new heroes. Good for her for not backing down and speaking her piece. I guess I too am I PERF because I’m a real lesbian who only loves other women and not men!

      As for pride things, it it all trans all the time! We had “Pride Month” at my school and it was nothing but transvestites and a few drag queens. ZERO lesbians and ZERO gays and ZERO bisexuals. Um, why should I support this again? Lesbians are my people, not entitled heterosexual males. Male-focused organizations never work out well for women, lesbian or not.

      I did go to a GSA in high school and it had a decent amount of actual homosexuals there. Now, a lot of them aren’t even GSAs anymore, but “Straight-Queer Alliances” and being a homosexual, especially a lesbian is “outdated” at best and “bigoted” at worst. I have had people be shocked when I tell them that I’m part of the lesbian community, not the queer community, and I am not interested in calling myself by a derogatory word. And then I get accused of in-fighting though I never agreed to be a part of this clusterfuck in the first place. In-fighting only happens between people of the same group and I divorce myself from this unholy matrimony.

      I don’t really use much social media, but I’m thinking of getting a Facebook account to friend her!

  42. Gail Benvenuta Says:

    Hmm. Yes, reprehensible that Miriam Ben-shalom has been dismissed like this. Wow. Heart hurts to read all this.
    Thoughts arise of so many parallels: Miriam was in the Israeli army, too, all those years ago; there’s experience to honor. Trump-like talk in these aggregated comments; who ARE we being in this community to be perpetuating that really bad behavior? Shia-Sunni and other like divides that tear communities and regions and countries apart. No difference in that kind of divide being shown in this current case. Our various communities do indeed have the right to our identities and concomitant needs, and then to know the times and ways we will of course collaborate for the well-being of our world/planet that is in such jeopardy. It’s essential for all of us to respect dignity and others/otherness within The One…. And we have to know that we are not going to find some kind of 100% political correctness under every rock.
    So for crying out loud, Milwaukee “Pride” Board – WHAT?? Too late to reconsider, eh … So wake up and learn something big NOW from your mistakes.
    “Pride” Not in my name.

  43. Thank you, Miriam Ben-Shalom! What a beautiful, courageous, truthful statement. You are a true American hero, much too good for the traitorous rent-seekers in Gay Male & Trans Inc and the liberal priestly class. Rock on!

  44. lovetruthcourage Says:

    I can’t believe they sent an anonymous letter, didn’t even bother to discuss the matter directly with her. I thought Miriam’s response was classy. Women, organize your own events. The ones “excluding” others are the dude bros running this thing.

  45. @Barbara Korbal,

    “Kudos to the Milwaukee Pride Committee and you all who are calling yourselves PERFS and this and that, you can kiss my Irish and Polish ass. I didn’t fight all these years for LGB rights to exclude the T many years later. Bring it.

    Apparently, Ms. Korbal doesn’t realize that the women on this blog are very astute and we do our research. We are on the cutting edge of feminist theory, and we analyze and critique everything.

    Would this be the same Barbara Korbal who is the Project Director of the LGBT Education Archives Project, Albuquerque, New Mexico? It’s no secret that some of the women on this blog are lesbian, and there are also bisexual women who occasionally visit this blog. Is it correct to state that the Project Director of the LGBT Educational Archives, Albuquerque, New Mexico went on a feminist blog and told lesbians and bisexual women to “kiss my Irish and Polish ass”, and to “Bring it”.

    These are my questions for Ms. Korbal. If she ever regains her composure, and stops telling the women on this blog to “kiss her Irish and Polish ass”, and to “Bring it”, I’m eager to hear from her. Everything that I list impacts the female sex, and women have the right to question what “gender identity” is doing to us. This is real, and it’s happening now.

    (1.) What specifically did the lesbian veteran Miriam Ben-Shalom do or say that was so “transphobic”? The letter from the Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors was rather vague.

    (2.) What is your opinion of the “Cotton Ceiling”, or have you even heard of the phrase “Cotton Ceiling”? Do you believe that lesbians are transphobic bigots for not dating transwomen, even if he still has his penis? The “Cotton Ceiling” is a theory proposed by trans porn star Drew DeVeaux. This is a real-life exchange that took place between a lesbian activist, and a trans activist. The lesbian asked the trans “What’s the cotton ceiling?”

    (3.) Do you believe that women should be free to do as they please on their own private property without being harassed by males? What is so offensive about women having one week a year to hold a music festival on their own land? I’m referring to the historic Michigan Women’s Music Festival which still lives in the hearts of lesbians.

    (4.) Do you believe that biological males are lesbian, or would it be more accurate to state that males identifying as lesbian is nothing more than co-option and colonization of lesbian identity?

    (5.) Can you understand why lesbians are offended at the terms “cis lesbians” and “trans lesbians”? Or, do you believe lesbians are born with a penis?

    (6.) Do you believe that lesbians and women have a right to define themselves? Why are women the only historically oppressed group of people who aren’t granted the right to define ourselves. I say males aren’t women, and they say they are. Why are they right and I’m wrong?

    (7.) Since you brought up bigotry, what is your opinion of these examples of deeply disturbing hate speech directed towards women? This goes beyond bigotry to something that is terrifying.

    No one on this blog has ever made these kinds of threats to transgender identified people. We chronicle what “gender identity” is doing to the female sex.

    (8.) Do you believe that 14 and 15 year old girls need “top surgery”? Do you even know what “top surgery” entails? “Top surgery” is basically elective mastectomies with the surgical trimming down of areolas and nipples.

    Could future historians view “top surgery” and “bottom surgery” on females as just another form of female genital mutilation?

    (9.) What is your opinion on the “transitioning” of children? Do you really believe that 5 and 6 year old children are “gender dysphoric”, or is it possible that the practice of “transitioning” children at younger and younger ages is primarilty culturally driven?

    (10.) What do you think of the sterilization of children through GnRH agonists and cross gender hormones? It’s a fact that children are being sterilized, and they know this is happening.

    Do you realize that some people view the sterilization of children as a human rights abuse?

    (11.) As to the allegation that lesbian veteran Miriam Ben-Shalom posted comments on her Facebook page that “contains a number of posts asserting that transwomen are a danger to young girls in public bathrooms and locker rooms”, it’s a fact that cross dressing males and males claiming “gender identity” are been convicted of crimes inside women’s restrooms, women’s locker rooms, and women’s homeless shelters.

    This video has been posted on gendertrender before, but I want Ms. Korbal to watch it. Keep in mind that this is a small sample, and it’s all based on court records.

    Based on crime statistics and thousands of years of history, women have legitimate reasons why we are naturally suspicious of males in our private spaces. They don’t want to hear this, but males who cross dress or identify as transgender offend at the same rate as other males. It’s a male violence issue, and harassing and bullying women won’t silence us.

    (12.) Do you believe that Stefonknee Wolscht and the man calling himself Carlotta Sklodowska have sincere “gender identities”? Or, is it more likely that these are males with sexual fetishes who are hiding behind “gender identity” laws?

    (13.) Do you believe that women are mean transphobic bigots for not wanting to see penis and testicles in the women’s locker room?

    (14.) What would you say to the victims of Christopher, “Jessica”, Hambrook? Do you believe that males claiming “gender identity” who still have their male genitalia should share sleeping quarters and bathrooms with homeless women in women’s homeless shelters? So, he still has his penis and testicles and he gets to bunk down with homeless women?

    (15.) Do you believe that males who torture women with electrical wires before raping them should be sent to a women’s prison. I’m referring to Richard, “Sherri”, Masbruch.

    (16.) Do you believe that males who are convicted of murdering or raping women should get taxpayer funded sex reassignment surgery and be sent to women’s prisons.

    (17.) Do you believe that violent adolescent males claiming “gender identity” belong in correctional facilities for teenage girls?

    • No-name Nonny Says:

      Hey! My ass is Polish and Irish (and two other white heritages) as well, and if I weren’t anon, I’d cosign this list of questions. Good list, Skylark.

  46. Old Music Says:

    Off topic again, but I’d like to add a link to this BBC radio programme I’ve just listened to, talking about ‘gender’ as a social construct, and enforced conditioning, not a feeling in ones head (but surprise, surprise, it’s a man getting away with saying it):

    • GallusMag Says:

      Ah, Grayson Perry. Great artist.

      • Rachel Says:

        I enjoy Grayson Perry’s work, and I love how he is fully reconciled with being a man who likes dressing in a stereotypically feminine way. There’s no special-snowflakism with Grayson, he is what he is and people are free to take him or leave him, as it should be. No drama. (That’s saved for the artworks.)

    • kesher Says:

      I read another interview with him recently where he talked about how angry and aggressive MTFs are and joked about how obvious it is that they’re men.

  47. GallusMag Says:

    by AUSTIN RUSE2 May 2016Milwaukee, WI7
    The organizers of the Milwaukee Pride Parade have fired this year’s lesbian Grand Marshall because she is critical of so-called “trans-women,” that is, men who wear female clothes and think they are women.

    Miriam Ben-Shalom is famous for being one of the first challengers to the U.S. Army’s exclusion of open homosexuals in the military, a case which she ultimately lost, yet made her a celebrity in the homosexual world.

    She went on to co-found the Gay, Lesbian, and Bi-Sexual Veterans of America. Note the absence of the T in the name of the group.

    She had been named Grand Marshall of the Milwaukee Pride Parade but was unceremoniously stripped of this position when it came to light that she opposes the notion that men can be women. Ben-Shalom calls herself “woman born of woman.”

    An unsigned letter to Ben-Shalom from the “Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors” said “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.”

    Calling herself a “PEFR — penis exclusionary radical feminist,” Ben-Shalom wrote back to the parade:

    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.

    Ben-Shalom invoked women’s safety in her opposition to men in dresses pretending to be women.

    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.

    Ben-Shalom is what’s known as a “second-wave feminist,” that is, a feminist of the 1960s vintage, who are often hostile to the notion of “trans-women.” Second-wave feminists believe women with penises are just another way for men to impose themselves unwanted into women’s lives. Second-wave feminists are offended that women with penises, like Bruce Jenner, can get awards for being women.

    Two years ago, Michelle Goldberg published a lengthy article in the New Yorker — “What is a Women?” — analyzing the conflict between second-wave feminists and men in dresses. Goldberg looked specifically at the long-time reluctance of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to include biological men pretending to be women either as participants or performers, a protest referenced by Ben-Shalom in her letter to parade organizers.

    Ben-Shalom’s Facebook page fights further on the issue. She links to an article — “On Lesbians as Villains” — she says parade organizers “need to read.”

    As lesbians, we need time away from dicks and maleness and mansplaining and transplaining. We need time away from po-mo hypothesizing about “what makes a woman.” We need time away from fear. We need time away from lesbophobia. We are fucking sick to the back teeth of it. We are exhausted and we need a fucking break. Trans/queer concerns are NOT lesbians’ concerns. Trans/queer politics are NOT helpful, or even good, for lesbians. (Far be it for me to stop anyone from waxing poetic on whether or not penis is female, but for the love of the fucking gods, let women have a minute away from this incessant noise that in no way serves our – women’s/lesbians’ –best interest.)

    The article goes on to list a number of instances where “trans women” have attacked women in women’s bathrooms, including “in one case a child.”

    This is not the first time transgender men have stalked Ben-Shalom. Last year, a trans-woman, “Autumn Sandeen,” wrote an op-ed in the San Diego LGBTWeekly complaining about Ben-Shalom using the term “woman born woman” on her Facebook page. He said the phrase was “transphobic.”

  48. Margie Says:

    My blood is boiling. She is a huge hero and now she is treated like garbage. “LGBT” was the mechanism by which once-gay organizations were taken over and turned against LGB people. It is the structure that needs to be eradicated if we are to have a chance at liberating ourselves from the hegemony of transgender activism. The Milwaukee Pride Parade needs to get hit in the wallet, just as happened to ESPA, and GLAAD and the so-called National LGBTQ Task Force.

  49. mint Says:

    JFC! I’m a cis-female. I’d like to point out that not liking lesbians with dicks is on par with my dislike of red-heads. It’s a personal preference and it’s within one’s own choices to have these feelings without making you a hateful “phobe”. I’m not a gingerphobe I just don’t find them attractive.

    This woman born as woman is a fucking hero, give her the recognition she deserves. It’s sad that the PC culture is so harsh now that a hero is discriminated against for having an opinion.

    The bathroom issue is getting brought up so much now. You’re trans? Cool, that’s fine. This trans bathroom thing letting creepers go into the woman’s bathroom? Not cool. If you’re someone with a penis who identifies as male, why don’t you agree to use the male restroom or the unisex bathroom so we can keep girls and woman safe from the MANY creeps who are taking advantage of the situation?

    If someone sexually identifies as female, they should feel some empathy towards females. You may not have surgery but you need to consider if the trans bathroom laws can affect the sex you identify with.

    • donesoverydone Says:

      Lesbians don’t have penises, lesbians are women. Women are adult females regardless of their personality or appearance. People with penises are males, adult males are men regardless of their personality or appearance. Men who are exclusive attracted to women are heterosexuals, even if they wear pig tails and skirts or alter their appearance with cross sex hormones or cosmetic surgery. Men can’t be lesbians..

      • mint Says:

        I agree with you 100% and this is why I have to ask, why aren’t trans women sympathetic to “women born of women.” Why don’t they understand that their sexual choices are affecting laws, why don’t they understand that perverts are going into women’s bathrooms and staring and taking pictures?

        If you feel you are a female despite what you were born with as genitals, can’t you feel sympathy for woman and girls who are just trying to use the bathroom when perverts dress up as their “sexual choice” and walk into the bathroom and start takings pics?

        Wave the progressive flag if you want, but I don’t want to go to the pool when sick fucks are changing and using transsexualism as an excuse.

      • donesoverydone Says:

        When have men ever cared about the feelings or rights of women? Men don’t want to understand women, they want to control them and use them. It’s no different when they put on a skirt.

      • Zemskull Says:

        @donesoverydone, remember in the ’80s and ’90s when it was just a joke when heterosexual men said, “I’m a lesbian trapped in a man’s body!”? To think that one day this would be said in seriousness, and increasingly believed…

  50. MichfestMovesMe Says:

    The Thomas Paine quote is awesome!

    For those interested, Milwaukee Pride Parade 990s (tax returns for nonprofits) are publicly available on The most recent lists four males in the top leadership positions. a mailing address and a contact phone number.

    I am not sure, but I don’t believe a 501 c 3 can legally conceal the names of its BOD’s.. I’m not a lawyer, but a BOD is the responsible party for any law suit or claim for discrimination.

    Ironically, It also seems to be acting on the same principle of ideological exclusion that the LGBT community is successfully winning in the bakery type cases. In other words, the epitome of hypocrisy.

    • lovetruthcourage Says:

      The Secretary of State has the names of the BODs of 501C3s and it is a public record.

  51. Reblogged this on Mancheeze and commented:
    Lesbian mentor and activist booted from Milwaukee Pride for recognizing WOMEN are a distinct class and that we are entitled to our own spaces and unique women’s culture.

    She was kicked out of Pride by MEN who are demanding she recognize their psychological delusions as fact.

    She’s a SHERO.

  52. Not my hero Says:

    How heroic to fight for her right to kill for imperialism. I wonder how “safe” Palestinian women born of women feel in your penis-free space.

    • donesoverydone Says:

      You think Palestinian women shouldn’t be allowed female sex segregated spaces, including spaces where nudity is to be expected, nor should Palestinian women be allowed to organize politically or socially without males and that Palestinian women must obey and believe any man who says he’s a woman because Israel. Ok.

    • lovetruthcourage Says:

      Reality is that Americans must be able to defend themselves against terrorists and rogue governments. Do you live in the USA? If so, you are a rank hypocrite. You are enjoying the fruits of what Mariam fought for, while criticizing her for securing those very things. Yes, diplomacy is important and should be emphasized, but clearly it doesn’t always work, and it would work even less, if no real power backed it up. Perhaps you should try being a realist and dealing with the world the way it actually is, instead of dealing in utopian fantasies. Also, Palestinians and other Muslims are not 100% innocent. Many support terrorist organizations. They also uphold some of the most misogynistic and patriarchal systems on Earth. The USA is far from perfect, but as a person who has traveled all over the world, including to multiple Muslim-majority countries, I would rather live in the USA than in ANY Muslim-majority country. Heck, under Sharia law, a rape victim needs 4 MALE eye witnesses before her testimony is deemed credible and equal to a single man’s. I don’t feel “safe” under that system, do you? Go Mariam! Keep defending freedom.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Thanks all for your comments on militarism and/or the Israel/Palestinian conflict. I am not interested in hosting a further debate on these topics here but I hope everyone said their piece and had their say. Thanks again.

  53. Posted this on my Facebook wall. This is such an injustice. And all because she dared to say something about some idiot who WANTS to be called “it” and has had surgery and tattooing to try to turn herself into a dragon. What the HELL did that have to do with “transphobia”? And note, it was MEN who made this decision.

    The older I get, the more I am tending towards some form of separatism. Because it is abundantly clear that some men in the gay community do NOT want to meet us even halfway. And MTF and FTM activists are making the LGBT community a very uncomfortable place for lesbians who are women born women and who want to preserve their own spaces.

    I support you 1000%, Miriam.

  54. GallusMag Says:

    MILWAUKEE— Like it or not, America is undergoing a profound transition. From Caitlyn Jenner to public restrooms, gender identity has taken center stage. But not everyone is happy about that. The FOX6 Investigators found some of the harshest criticism coming from a place you might never expect.

    When it comes to fighting for gay and lesbian rights, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more battle-tested soldier than Milwaukee’s own Miriam Ben-Shalom.

    “My concern is not with the transgender people. My concern is with the pretenders.” ~Miriam Ben-Shalom
    “If I have to march in lock step to some political line, then to heck with it. Because I don’t march in lock step,” Ben-Shalom said.

    But when it comes to transgender rights, she might just be fighting for the other side.

    Miriam Ben-Shalom
    “My fight is ensuring that women are safe from the pretenders who might use the trans issue to get in and hurt somebody,” Ben-Shalom said.

    Transgender issues are stirring debate across America, but they may also be driving a wedge in a community that, for decades, thrived on solidarity.

    “Is there a growing chasm in the LGBT community?” asked FOX6 Investigator Bryan Polcyn.

    Before he even finished the question, Ben-Shalom replied, “Yes. I would say that there is.”

    And that helps to explain why she was invited to serve as grand marshal of the Milwaukee Pride Parade, only to be told ‘nevermind.’

    “Her mindsets don’t line up with ours at this time,” said Brent Holmes, coordinator of the parade.

    Parade coordinator Brent Holmes called Ben-Shalom’s selection as grand marshal a ‘no-brainer’ until they saw her Facebook posts.
    Holmes said this year’s theme is “Heroes Of Pride,” which made the selection of Ben-Shalom a no-brainer. That is, until board members noticed her Facebook page.

    “It was a shock to all of us,” Holmes said.

    In recent weeks, Ben-Shalom shared posts asking whether transgender women are a threat in public restrooms, and created her own posts calling them “violent and judgmental” — even urging other lesbians to “Get the ‘L’ out of LGBT.”

    “There’s some hostility it seems,” Polcyn said.

    “Sure there is,” Ben-Shalom said. “Sure there is. I have hostility.”

    The parade board called the posts an “attack on trans women” and informed Ben-Shalom she was out as grand marshal.

    “It’s a bad thing for everyone, in my opinion. But it just had to happen,” Holmes said.

    “I just think they’re full of it,” countered Ben-Shalom, a self-described ‘radical feminist’ who has never been afraid to say what’s on her mind.

    Her lifetime of activism is deemed so important the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is preserving boxes of her personal records in library archives and the Library of Congress has historical files on her, too. In a 2004 interview, recorded for the national archives, Ben-Shalom says her activism started in 1975 with a single question, not long after she enlisted in the U.S. Army.

    “I got called into my commander’s office,” she told the Library of Congress. “And it was, ‘Sergeant Ben-Shalom, are you a homosexual?'”

    She admitted she was a lesbian and the Army kicked her out.

    “I was judged because I told the truth. I refused to lie,” Ben-Shalom said.

    In 1988, 12 years after she was discharged, Ben-Shalom became the first openly homosexual service member to be re-enlisted in the Army, by court order.

    “I want it recorded that it was not a gay man who first won and went back in,” she told the Library of Congress. “It was a Jewish lesbian from the state of Wisconsin.”

    Miriam Ben-Shalom is arrested and dragged away from the White House during a protest in 2010.
    But the fight was far from over. In 1993, President Bill Clinton made ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ the official policy of the United States military. And for nearly two decades she fought to repeal it, twice chaining herself to the White House fence. When President Barack Obama finally repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ for good in 2010, Ben-Shalom’s place in history was sealed.

    “I’m really thankful for Miriam’s work and what she’s done,” Holmes said.

    Ben-Shalom actually served as grand marshal of the Pridefest Parade in Milwaukee in 1990. A quarter-century later, things have changed.

    Karen Gotzler, Director of Milwaukee’s LGBT Community Center
    “I think in the community in the last 25 years, we have come a long, long way,” said Karen Gotzler, executive director of Milwaukee’s LGBT Community Center.

    She said it’s not just the general populous learning to accept transgender individuals, it’s some gays and lesbians too.

    “There’s so many of us in the lesbian, gay and bisexual community who really don’t have a full appreciation and understanding of what it means to be transgender,” Gotzler said.

    But it’s Ben-Shalom’s position on restrooms that has her most at odds with LGBT leaders.

    “If trans women were really women, they would get it!” Ben-Shalom said.

    She insists she is not “transphobic,” as Pride Parade officials have suggested — just protective of spaces reserved for women who were born women.

    “My concern is not with transgender people,” she said. “My concern is with the pretenders.”

    And by “pretenders,” she said, she means men posing as women.

    “I have not heard at any time where an honest to God man has just put on a dress and tried to walk into a ladies room for a nefarious purpose,” Holmes countered.

    The safety argument is one more commonly made by conservatives like Wisconsin Assemblyman Jesse Kremer.

    “I mean, if I send my girls into the girls changing room,” Kremer recently told FOX 6 News, “I don’t know who’s in there.”

    Rep. Jesse Kremer
    Last year, Kremer introduced a bill that would’ve required Wisconsin schoolchildren to use the bathroom that matches the sex they were assigned at birth, rather than the gender they identify with now.

    “If they need to use the bathroom, they should use the bathroom,” Holmes said, noting that the bathroom debate is just one example of how transgender individuals face hurdles today similar to what gays and lesbians faced years ago. “And look, they were with us back then. We need to be with them now as they go for those same struggles and those same rights.”

    “Are they going through the same struggle you were then?” Polcyn asked.

    “Possibly,” Ben-Shalom responded. “But we were not authoritarian in our demands. We didn’t say ‘our way or the highway. Give us what we want, or else.’ We worked for it.”

    Gotzler said Ben-Shalom represents a mindset that is going away.

    “The percentage of people who feel that way is decreasing over time,” Gotzler said.

    It’s safe to say that Ben-Shalom is not the only lesbian with reservations about trans women in the restroom, but she might be one of the few saying it so loudly.

    “I mean, how many women have to get hurt before enough is enough?” she said.

    Milwaukee Pride Parade
    Pridefest opens at the Summerfest grounds on Friday, June 10th and the separately organized and operated Milwaukee Pride Parade is scheduled for Sunday, June 12th, at 2:00 p.m. in Walker’s Point.

    Ben-Shalom tells FOX6 she intends to be miles away from both.

  55. brigidwild Says:

    Her reply was fantastic. I can not believe that so many women, lesbian and straight, are entirely dismissing people with important contributions and minds because they dare state that men can not literally be women.

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