“My rights are being dismissed for his rights”

Cissie of the Day!

April 30, 2015

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[Photo Credit: Hand-tinted print by Donna Brown Photo]

[Photo Credit: Hand-tinted print by Donna Brown Photo]

Here at GenderTrender we get a lot of queries and searches from women whose male partners or husbands have just declared their intention to transition and “become a woman”. Today a reader left a very interesting list of things her mother-in-law says she wish she had known, or that she had done, when her husband did this to her. Here is the comment, originally left HERE:

“You are NOT alone. Aside from some of the wonderful women here, this happened to my MIL. Luckily none of the children in that case were young, but it still caused serious problems for them–it was so devastating to his son that he moved to another country. My ex-stepFIL–who now is “a woman,” although he looks, talks, and behaves exactly like a man–barely has a relationship with his children anymore. He’s rarely permitted to see his biological grandchildren, and then only with supervision. (We allow him to see our daughters, but with the caveat that he is NOT to “present” as anything but male around them. We do not call him by his ridiculous tranny name and our girls are not even aware that he goes by a different name around other people.)

His health has been seriously damaged, but as others have said, he made/is making his own choice.

Anyway. Like you, my MIL found that there was zero support for her, and everyone, from therapists to online “support” groups, told her she was the one with the problem because she wasn’t thrilled at the idea of sleeping with/being married to a tranny, and didn’t believe that he could actually “become” anything more than a castrato with fake breasts, which is exactly what he is. More than once she ended up in tears because of how she was spoken to and treated by those people, and because they made her feel like SHE was the one at fault, SHE was the one whose behavior was cruel and unforgivable. It’s likely you will run into people who will say the same to you or treat you the same way. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. YOU ARE NOT WRONG TO THINK THIS IS HORRIFYING AND YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT WRONG TO PROTECT YOUR DAUGHTER IN ANY WAY YOU CAN.

(Sorry for the all-caps, but I feel the above needs an emphasis as strong as I can possibly give it.)

I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you, having a young child. I am absolutely furious on your and her behalf at the monstrous selfishness and disregard for both of you that this man is displaying.

I really wish I could offer you some real advice or help. All I can tell you is that my MIL wishes very much that she had done several of the following things (this was about fifteen years ago now, and not in the US, and of course every situation is different, but you may want to consider or look into these things, which are of course not legal advice and I am not a lawyer):

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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.

Sue

From comment left HERE.

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michfest

Lisa Vogel, the creator and visionary behind the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival announced today that the legendary multi-generational women’s encampment and music festival will end this year.

After four decades of overcoming every sort of challenge imaginable in order to create the miracle that is Michfest, Vogel posted the following announcement an hour ago on the festival’s Facebook page:

Dear Sisters, Amazon, Festival family,

It has been my honor and privilege to produce the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival for 40 years. It has been my life’s work, my deepest commitment, my constant challenge and my most profound joy. Every single thing of value I have learned in the world I have learned in the process of being part of building this beloved community. Almost every friend and family member who I cherish I have met on that hallowed ground, and every single way I have learned to put my mind/heart/shoulder into the purpose of creating something beautiful that honors womyn has come from the sweat I earned on that Land.

I am writing to tell you that the 40th Festival will be the last Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. The spirit of this community will live on forever, the friends and family we have found on the Land are eternal. Everything we have created together will feed the inspiration for what comes next. It’s possible that I will come back with something else, or that other sisters will take the inspiration of the Michigan community and create the next expression of our Amazon culture. What is true for me is that now is the time to bring this 40-year cycle to a close, stepping out on joy at our most incredible anniversary celebration.

We have known in our hearts for some years that the life cycle of the Festival was coming to a time of closure. Too often in our culture, change is met only with fear, the true cycle of life is denied to avoid the grief of loss. But change is the ultimate truth of life. Sisters – I ask you to remember that our 40 year Festival has outlived nearly all of her kin. She has served us well. I want us all to have the opportunity to experience the incredible full life cycle of our beloved Festival, consciously, with time to celebrate and yes, time to grieve.

There have been struggles; there is no doubt about that. This is part of our truth, but it is not–and never has been–our defining story. The Festival has been the crucible for nearly every critical cultural and political issue the lesbian feminist community has grappled with for four decades. Those struggles have been a beautiful part of our collective strength; they have never been a weakness.

For many of us this one week in the woods is the all too rare place and time where we experience validation for our female bodies, and where the female experience presides at the center of our community focus. A place to lay our burden down from the misogyny that pervades our lives from cradle to grave…a place to live in intergenerational community, and to live in harmony with Mother Earth. I know this is true for me. And I have a deep trust that each and every one of us can take what we have experienced on that Land and continue to create space that feeds our spirit, creates diverse community, honors our experience and supports our struggle as womyn making our way through the patriarchal world. Please take what you love about Michigan and use it to create something new and beautiful.

It is important that each and every one of us knows she is empowered to build on what we have experienced together on the Land. Everything you feel on the Land, everything you see – is something of spirit, and love, and passion for female empowerment….for womyn’s community. The Festival’s 40 years of culture and community are a powerful seed and our communal experiences have created fertile ground to plant in. I know that we will find inspiration and vision to create our next time and space.

For those of us who will be gathering for our 40th anniversary this August – let’s joyously hold up our incredible community and allow ourselves to be strong enough to consciously let go of this incarnation of her, with all the love we each hold in our beautiful hearts. Let us gather this August knowing that what we truly cherish about the Festival lives on in each of us, and more will come from this fertile ground. Let’s do this up together – Amazon proud!

I will meet you there in August – my eyes meeting yours, heart wide open.

With all of my love and respect,

Lisa

michfest nite

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Emily Dievendorf- creator of the largest anti-Lesbian boycott in history

This afternoon Equality Michigan announced that Executive Director Emily Dievendorf has resigned. The surprise announcement comes on the heels of the withdrawal of support by The National Center for Lesbian Rights and The National LGBTQ Task Force for the controversial anti-Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival boycott authored by Dievendorf last year.

Dievendorf, a “Bisexual Rights” activist partnered with a male, organized the contentious boycott against members of the lesbian community who support the iconic annual 40-year-strong women-only music festival. The boycott targeted Lesbian artists, Lesbian musicians, and Lesbian vendors, as well as attendees of the event, calling for a financial attack on the women’s livelihoods. The justification for this boycott was Equality Michigan’s claim that lesbianism is a form of discrimination against male people, and that affinity groups based on the female experience are unfairly discriminatory against males. Last August, Dievendorf persuaded many national organizations that had formerly purported to advocate for lesbians to join the Equality Michigan campaign against Lesbian and Women’s Rights.

Since that time, Equality Michigan and all the signatories of the boycott have experienced a hemorrhaging of support, both financial and volunteer, from lesbians and the allies of lesbians and women. In effect, the boycott of lesbians and women resulted in the opposite effect: a withdrawal of support from the so-called “LGBT” organizations by the lesbians being boycotted. Somehow, this came as a big surprise to these organizations, who had long ago abandoned lesbian and women’s interests yet apparently believed that the ongoing, foundational, steady support of the very women fueling their “LGBT” orgs would continue even if they were targeted, insulted, and their livelihoods harmed. Finally, last week, NCLR and The Task Force, two of the largest signatories of the boycotts, publicly withdrew their names.

Two months ago, Dievendorf posted a muddled, confused statement on Facebook expressing her puzzlement over the withdrawal of lesbian support from her now formally anti-lesbian organization. It read:

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