HUD proposed regulation forces homeless women and girls to bunk and bathe with men who claim to feel psychologically female: January 19 deadline for public comment
January 6, 2016
Julian Castro, the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (and the likely Vice Presidential running-mate of Hilary Clinton) has announced his agency’s intention to eliminate the legally protected category of sex in homeless shelters nationwide, eliminating the right of vulnerable women and girls to shower, sleep and toilet separately from homeless men.
HUD had previously issued a non-binding “guidance” document back in February 2015 suggesting that physical sex be redefined as “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics” and prohibiting those providers of homeless services who receive HUD funding from inquiring about the physical sex or sexual orientation of service recipients. Kind of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” provision. Providers were instructed to assess clients on the basis of adherence to sex-role stereotypes and make their own determination of the client’s transgender status. Those suspected of possible cross-sex identification were to be advised that the agency provides placement based on “gender-related characteristics”, and not physical sex: “where a provider is uncertain of the client’s sex or gender identity and that information matters for the determination of placement, the provider informs the client or potential client that the agency provides shelter based on the individual’s gender identity.”
HUD’s non-binding February 2015 “guidance” was similar to those recently issued by other Federal Obama administration agencies [such as the DOE’s “guidance” overturning Title IX protections for women and girls, and the DOL’s “guidance” eliminating privacy for women in workplace accommodations] which attempt to reinterpret existing protected sex categories into a cluster of unspecified psychological characteristics which the government redefines as the core human reproductive trait, overriding biology (or any other objective measure).
The proposed new rule is a modification of the previous “guidance” that HUD issued and will change federal law, officially removing sex as a protected category and creating precedent for other agencies to bypass the legislature, judiciary, and public debate in eliminating the legal category of sex under which women’s rights are protected. (HUD Secretary Julian Castro actually cites the DOE’s recent highly controversial reinterpretation of physical sex -as a subjective psychological self-perceived essence- under Title IX as the governmental authority which sets the precedent justifying his own agency’s move to elevate its internal “guidance” into federal regulation.)
Julian Castro’s new HUD rule will be the first official elimination of legal sex-based protections for private citizens under federal law by agency regulation, and homeless impoverished women in crisis- largely women of color with children, most of them survivors of male violence- are the first targets. Under this new law legal sex status will be redefined by the US government as “gender identity” defined as such:
“Gender identity means the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth.”
Biological sex will be conflated with sex-stereotypes of “appearance, behavior, expression and other gender-related characteristics” and become “perceived gender identity”:
“Perceived gender identity means the gender with which a person is perceived to identify based on that person’s appearance, behavior, expression, other gender-related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth.”
This law is designed to allow homeless males to bathe and bunk in shelters set aside for females and specifically forbids agencies to consider the rights of women and girls to bathe, bunk, and bathroom separately from men. There is no provision for “improper purpose”. There is no “right to privacy”. There are 18 references to “health and safety” issues and concerns but the source of potential dis-ease and danger is never identified:
“In deciding how to house a [transgender] victim, a recipient that provides sex-segregated housing may consider on a case-by-case basis whether a particular housing assignment would ensure the victim’s health and safety. A victim’s own views with respect to personal safety deserve serious consideration.”
“..taking health and safety concerns into consideration. A client’s or potential client’s own views with respect to personal health and safety should be given serious consideration in making the placement. For instance, if the potential client requests to be placed based on his or her sex assigned at birth, HUD assumes that the provider will place the individual in accordance with that request, consistent with health, safety, and privacy concerns.”
“..whether a particular housing assignment would ensure health and safety. It is prohibited for such a determination to be based solely on a person’s actual or perceived gender identity or on complaints of other shelter residents when those complaints are based on actual or perceived gender identity. It is likewise prohibited to deny appropriate placement based on a perceived threat to health or safety..”
“..legitimate safety concerns that may arise in any shelter, building, or facility covered by this rule.”
“..eliminate the safety risk and that has available accommodations..”
“…since it would not apply unless the facts and circumstances demonstrated a nondiscriminatory risk to health or safety that could not be eliminated or appropriately mitigated by policy adjustments and physical modifications to buildings and facilities.”
“HUD recognizes a limited exception to accommodating individuals in accordance with the individual’s gender identity when a recipient, subrecipient, owner, operator, manager, or provider identifies a legitimate safety risk that cannot be eliminated or appropriately mitigated”
“keeping a record of when a legitimate safety risk is identified.”
“accommodation is necessary to ensure health and safety. It shall be prohibited for such a determination to be based solely on a person’s actual or perceived gender identity, the complaints of other clients, beneficiaries, or employees when those complaints are based on actual or perceived gender identity, or on an actual or perceived threat to health or safety that can be mitigated in some other way that is less burdensome. In order to avoid unwarranted denials of placement in accordance with an individual’s gender identity, decisions to provide accommodations based on concern for the health and safety of the individual..”
At no point is the nature of this “threat to health and safety” identified. Epidemic male violence is apparently not only a protected government-sanctioned institution beyond reproach but one which cannot be named. While a male or male-identified transgender client’s “own views with respect to personal safety deserve serious consideration” and his “own views with respect to personal health and safety should be given serious consideration in making the placement”, women’s views with respect to their own personal safety are not only disregarded but explicitly prohibited by law: “It is likewise prohibited to deny appropriate placement based on a perceived threat to health or safety..”
Homeless males can identify as female or male and access whichever facility they prefer. Atlanta’s 600-bed Peachtree-Pine Shelter estimated that 5% of the male homeless population is transgender (using the no longer required definition: males who regularly adopt some social cues traditionally associated with females). “Women are allowed to stay in the men’s shelter — because Peachtree-Pine is not supposed to turn anyone away — but they can only stay in the lobby area overnight sitting upright in a chair, said Tony Thomas, the shelter’s spokesperson. So when given the option of sitting in a chair all night or sleeping in a cot, many transwomen will identify and “present” as male, he added.”
According to Mark “Mara” Keisling’s National Center for Trans Equality (NCTE) 49% of homeless transwomen report a history of criminal incarceration. [PDF]
Presumably this measure solely serves the desires of some men to be housed with women. Only a sociopath would suggest a female transgender (FTM) be housed among men. Toronto’s ‘Trans Communities Shelter Access Project’ claims that multiple homeless “transmen” have been gang-raped in men’s shelters: “Although a female-to-male trans person (trans man) might identify themselves as a man… the reality for many is that surgery and hormones are expensive, passing is out of reach, and men’s services are not safe for a trans man who may not pass. If an FtM has not been approved for testosterone, or had a mastectomy, (and even if he has…) then he is at risk for physical, verbal, and sexual assault in men’s dorms/ bathrooms/ and showers. There have been incidents of gang rape toward FtM’s in men’s shelters. Some FtM’s may choose to face these risks in a shelter that validates their identity… but they should not have to. There are no FtM shelters or rape crisis centers, so as men who face (or have faced) sexual assault, spousal abuse, and gender discrimination, there is, as of yet, no place better equipped to meet the needs of FtM’s than women’s services.”
As required by the Administrative Procedure Act this proposed law has been filed with the Federal Register for public comment. HUD is required to respond to issues raised by the public before adopting the law. The deadline is January 19. Comments may be submitted by mail or posted online here:
Comments must include the name and number of the regulation:
FR–5863–P–01 Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs
You can also view the comments that have been submitted. As of now, 30 comments have been received. 20 have been published. 14 have been discarded due to duplication via (transgender activist) mass mailing campaign. 4 are obviously duplicate mass mailers from transgender activists. 10 are yet unpublished. Only two comments mention the welfare of women and girls.
[bolding by me-GM]
September 5, 2015
Blood and Visions: Womyn Reconciling With Being Female by Autotomous Womyn’s Press.
An anthology of writing and artwork by 10 womyn who stopped their female to male (ftm) transitions. Personal stories, political analysis, practical advice, and resources for womyn who struggle with dis-identification from their female reality.
Excerpt: “This process lacks the intoxication of transition, goes back into friction that rubs us raw and makes us feel what we’ve spent years trying to get away from. From this we learn power you can’t pick up at a pharmacy, that’s not made in labs, not made by men. Power that comes from being a womyn, being a dyke, power we’re not supposed to know about; many womyn have been killed or defamed for being wise to it. Power they tried to kill in us or trick us into calling male. We find it in ourselves and each other; in our friendships we find the strength to continue, to think and feel what we were taught was forbidden.”
Glossary of terms:
Autotomous: Describes the ability of an animal (or metaphorically, a womon) to release a part of her body/self and abandon it in order that she may survive attack or injury. Examples of autotomous animals are lizards (autotomous because of their tails), sea cucumbers (their ability to divide), and starfish (their arms). Some autotomous creatures regenerate the parts of themselves they have sacrificed, to some extent. The creature is never wholly the same but in most cases, she does survive.
Detransition: Ceasing transition, abandoning trans identity, and no longer trying to “live as” the opposite sex. This can include actions such as going off hormones, changing one’s name back to one’s birth name, no longer binding, no longer packing, etc. Detransition does not have to include any attempts to change one’s clothing choice, hair, behavior, or other things perceived as gender-markers, nor does it necessarily include plastic surgery or electrolysis to “reverse” the steps taken during medicalized transition. Detransition means stopping transition and beginning the work of reconciling with the reality of having a female body and having survived girlhood. Often used by those who no longer understand “gender” in terms of “identity,” but in terms of patriarchally-imposed sex roles.
Deeply moving and informative for all women concerned about the wholeness of our womanhood — and our sisterhood.
SUPPORT THIS BOOK
June 22, 2015
From 4th Wave Now: “They pull no punches: they discuss Lupron lawsuits, the possibility that hormone treatments will aggravate issues like cutting/self harm, and the folly of dosing kids with hormones when their frontal lobes aren’t developed. They criticize the doctors who are too quick to diagnose gender dysphoria when many other mental health issues are prominent. They acknowledge the homophobia (internalized, as well as of professionals and parents) that feeds into transition of kids–a point of view that is pretty much heresy in trans activist circles. They even take on the biggest taboo of all: Suicidal threats by kids if they don’t get hormones and surgery. They contrast the initial glow of transition with the reality of years on hormones when the excitement fades.” Read more on the excellent 4th Wave Now site here, including a partial transcript: https://4thwavenow.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/video-advice-from-an-ftm-and-mtf-dont-take-this-rocky-road/
Our daughter in college just announced her/hir intent to start taking Testosterone. What should we do?
April 23, 2015
Request for advice and guidance from a concerned parent:
Our almost 21 year child just announced yesterday her/hir intent to start taking T and said that she was considering top surgery eventually as well but “that’s all”. Ze has been wearing men’s clothes for a couple of years now, hates having a period, and appears very butch. Seems most interested in/connected with other butch/lesbian individuals. We have tried to understand and have asked if hir intent is to transition to a male, but she claims not; stating that she’s just tired of being seen as a female, despite the butch clothes etc but does not want to be a “full male”..more like androgynous or “non-binary”.
It’s a long story, like many, but it started when she went to college and found her “place/home” in the LGBTQ community, and then changed her major to “Gender & Women’s Studies”. We are so concerned about whether this T medical treatment and surgery is truly what will make her happy versus being pressured by the environment she is currently in. She wants to change her name legally this summer. She seems attracted to other lesbians from what I can tell which may not be much! I know this may not be PC but what we’ve seen develop in her school experience feels “cultish” to us. Maybe we’re in denial? We are so very concerned about the permanent nature of this “transition” and that it is being done without any in-depth psychological evaluation or counseling. There is a possible history of abuse from a male babysitter when she was 4, but it was never possible to establish exactly what happened..she was examined and no physical evidence of anything was found. We did take her to counseling of course. She was also bullied in both middle and high school. She does suffer from anxiety and has trouble handling “stress” She has done extremely well academically and is very bright. She has always been quite nurturing and wonderful with babies and young children and even thought about becoming a preschool/elementary school teacher up until fairly recently.
What should we say to her about this upcoming transition? Should we give her any advice or information? We have tried to be accepting/loving parents but we are so afraid she is making a mistake that she could seriously regret later in life once the changes are permanent and that her decision to do this is encouraged so much by the community she is now involved with.
Thank you so much for reading this and any suggestions you can make would be very welcome.
From comment left HERE.
December 31, 2014
Right now, we’re just starting off and slowly gathering new members. There is a vetting process, so if you are interested in joining, you can email 23XX at email@example.com and we can go from there.
December 12, 2014
Can I tell you all that the first time I felt a sense of relief from reading an article on Gender Trender, I went immediately into extreme distress and feared that it meant I was evil? Because of the PRONOUNS! Because of the PRONOUNS being used to mean sex, not gender. Because when I read the news item through the lens of sex, not so-called gender, I saw the real power dynamics so clearly and could no longer deny what I saw. I could feel my brain beginning to deprogram and I was afraid of what this would mean for my life. My hands actually went clammy with fear. I was afraid I was betraying everyone I knew, and that I would be punished. That I would be exiled. And when you are lesbian, already so outside of human belonging, perhaps already cast out from your original family—the prospect of exile is no light matter. I wanted to bargain: Listen, Gallus Mag, I need to keep reading this stuff but can you just do what you are ~supposed~ to do with the pronouns, because this is scary as shit and also “offensive” and I know I am supposed to shut this sort of thing down wherever I see it. But the meaning of the words was the point, and I knew it, and I was afraid of what I knew because I knew it meant I would have to change. And I felt the change bringing me back into my body and bringing my body into this new terrain, an unknown landscape defined by an overwhelming kind of clarity.
The fear. I can’t even tell you how palpable that fear was. I wasn’t raised in a religion that did this to me—it’s not like I was programmed this way, and then triggered. Yet my fear was the fear of a heretic raised in fundamentalism. This is how I know Daly’s right: patriarchy is the underlying world religion and all of these belief-ways are its many sects.
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