Kennebunk, Maine- Days after the Kennebunk High School became the first in the state to fly the Gay Pride flag, it has been removed on request of a transgender student who apparently believes that Gay Pride and the visibility of lesbian and gay students run contrary to the well-being of transgender persons.
School administration sided with the anti-gay transgender student. According to news reports, the transgender student felt that pride and visible support for lesbian and gay students might inadvertently draw attention to transgender students who are ashamed of being transgender and desire to distance themselves from the Pride movement.
This is not the first time transgender activists have sought to remove gay pride flags from schools. Last year the University of British Columbia’s Gay Pride flag was burned on the flagpole by a trans student who feared increased public awareness and acceptance of lesbians and gays might result in transgender people being associated with homosexuals. Hate crime charges against the arsonist were dismissed by law enforcement, who seemed confused by the whole thing.
Transgender is an anti-gay, anti-lesbian, homophobic and sexist movement. Their aims are to roll back the visibility and pride of homosexuals and undo the scant gains made for women in the female equality movement. The Kennebunk High School administration is perfectly clear: Gay Pride should go back in the closet.
March 7, 2017
March 5, 2017
February 28, 2017
GUEST POST by WEIRDWARD
I just came across some information today after doing some research, and really wanted to share what I found because it’s just so messed up. It’s in relation to the Women’s March movement, and I first saw mention of it on Feminist Current, and followed it up because I was curious.
Basically, the organisers of Women’s March on Portland partnered with a trans non-profit organisation called Portland Trans Pride (or PDX Trans Pride) to sponsor their event and collect donations for them, with the understanding that PTP would take a cut of the donations to cover their own expenses (how charitable!) but would pass the rest of the money on to the WMP to cover the cost of the event, and that any further funds left over would be put towards funding future activism/events under the WMP banner.
Well, surprise, surprise, turns out that Portland Trans Pride only has one real board member, transwoman Rebekah Brewis, and that the WMP organisers were not aware of this at the time. Apparently there were previously two other women who were board members of Portland Trans Pride (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess actual biological women since one of them was Brewis’s then-girlfriend), but one had been kicked off the board by Brewis six months earlier, and his girlfriend had also subsequently left due to the relationship ending. After the march, Brewis refused to release details of how much money he’d received in monetary donations, refused to release any of the money to Women’s March on Portland, ignored all correspondence from them, and absconded to Canada. According to the statement on Facebook released by WMP, the stolen funds included at least $22,000 raised through T-shirt sales.
Read their Facebook statement here:
“Women’s March on Portland
24 February at 00:59 ·
MESSAGE FROM MARGARET JACOBSEN:
I was one of the lead organizers for the Women’s March on Washington: Portland (aka the Women’s March on Portland, “WMP”). We sought a fiscal sponsor for the event. Rebekah Brewis, the Executive Director of Portland Trans Pride (“PTP”), agreed to have PTP serve as the fiscal sponsor. Our plan was to raise funds for the march that took place in Portland on January 21, 2017.
We did not have a written agreement with PTP, but we expected it would receive some portion of the funds raised for acting as our sponsor. People who advanced funds for expenses for the event were to be reimbursed. If there were additional funds left over we hoped to apply those to other events down the road. Both PTP and WMP represented on their Facebook pages and in communications with the public that funds that were donated would be earmarked for WMP.
People could contribute in a variety of ways. They could donate goods or services. They could buy t-shirts and a portion of the proceeds would go to WMP. Purchases were made through PTP’s PayPal account. Or, they could donate directly to WMP via PTP’s Pay Pal account. Expenses would be paid or reimbursed out of those funds. Some were reimbursed during the planning stages of the event.
The event was very successful and we raised more than we expected! We raised approximately $22,000 from t-shirt sales. We do not know how much was raised from direct donations because we do not have access to those records.
After the event was over we contacted Ms. Brewis to discuss the need for additional reimbursements and how to handle the remaining funds. At that time Ms. Brewis said it was her intention to keep all of the funds for PTP, which was never agreed to. She then stopped communicating with us about this issue. We learned shortly thereafter that while she indicated on her application to the DOJ that PTP had three board members, two of them had stopped being associated with PTP approximately 6 months before she applied for her non-profit status and the event itself. Stephanie Anderson, who is listed as a Board member on the application for non-profit status, said that she had been told by Ms. Brewis she was “kicked off” the Board back in June, 2016. According to Ms. Anderson, the other Board Member was Ms. Brewis’ girlfriend, and following a break up she too had been disassociated from PTP for some time.
We attempted to reach out to Ms. Brewis multiple times to follow up on her intentions. We also wanted to ensure that those who donated received the proper documentation regarding their donations, regardless of which organization received the funds. We had an attorney attempt to reach her via telephone, email, Facebook, and fist class and certified mail. All of these efforts were unsuccessful.
Late yesterday we saw that Ms. Brewis had posted that she was leaving the United States for Canada. To our knowledge, PTP has not been dissolved as a non-profit is required to do.
We are very concerned for the people who donated in good faith to WMP. We want to ensure that their donations are recognized. We are also concerned that Ms. Brewis appears to have misrepresented the legitimacy of her organization to WMP, and as a result is personally benefiting from the funds that were intended to go to either WMP or PTP.
PayPal has a 45 day period in which people can contest charges to their accounts. We want to make sure that those individuals who donated directly to Pay Pal can do so in the time they have.
There are a number of documents to support this complaint. I am sending them via separate email to Linda Vazquez at her email address. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Brewis has since released a statement of his own on Facebook accusing two of the WMP organisers of transphobia, both of whom are Black women. He claims he is holding onto the money because of their ‘transphobia’ and their association with other transphobic groups, and says that the accusations of transphobia have to be legally settled (presumably to his satisfaction and in his favour) before he will hand any money over (which will be never, I mean, come on). He also accuses the organisers of not being genuine activists, saying they are ‘jobless’ (actually a lot of activists are poor and/or jobless because OPPRESSION, hello) and that they want to exploit the list of donors for corporate gain. I mean, that’s not impossible, this entire Women’s March movement is very corporate, but from having a quick look at these two Black women on Facebook and other places around the internet, they both seem pretty legit to me. I would trust them with my activism dollars long before I would trust Rebekah Brewis anyway. Giving a shit about women is obviously not what this guy is about at all, he just wants that money for his own corporate profiteering. I also love the slip early on where he describes the relationship between the two organisations in this language: “Our [Portland Trans Pride’s] lead role and control of the Women’s March on Portland”. Yep. That’s exactly the right description, actually. We are in a situation where trans organisations are controlling and dictating women’s activism, and it’s terrifying. And trans organisations obviously know they’re doing it. They’re proud that they’re doing it. Do you fucking understand this, women? Do you understand that you’re being controlled by men in dresses to make sure that you don’t get too out of hand and start demanding anything like, oh, I don’t know, actual liberation from male rule?
Read his statement here:
February 27, 2017
Here’s the podcast I was interviewed for. I’m really happy with how the producers handled my story. The interviewing process was long and tough- they put a lot of labor and thought into creating this. I get contacted by reporters and producers quite a bit, and they make me pretty nervous in general. I’m really happy that I worked with these people in particular.
February 23, 2017
This post is the second in a series of essays on sex, gender, and sexuality. The first is available here. I have written about lesbian erasure because I refuse to be rendered invisible. By raising my voice in dissent, I seek to offer both a degree of recognition to other lesbian women and active resistance to any political framework – het or queer – that insists lesbians are a dying breed. If women loving and prioritising other women is a threat to your politics, I can guarantee you are a part of the problem and not the solution.
Dedicated to SJ, who makes me proud to be a lesbian. Your kindness brightens my world.
Lesbian is once more a contested category. The most literal definition of lesbian – a homosexual woman – is subject to fresh controversy. This lesbophobia does not stem from social conservatism, but manifests within the…
View original post 1,645 more words
February 23, 2017
The Obama administration’s ‘Guidance’ had eliminated the protected legal category of ‘sex’ and replaced it with an individual’s personal identification with the sex role stereotypes culturally assigned based on sex, called ‘Gender Identity’.
Adherents of the ‘Gender Identity’ movement believe that biological sex, and therefore sex-based discrimination, does not exist and that instead, sex-role stereotypes need to be legally enforced, supported, and protected. By eliminating sex as a recognized category the Obama era “Guidance’ allowed male students to occupy formerly protected female showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms, and eliminated the rights of female students to privacy from males in those spaces.
Gavin Grimm, the high school senior whose Title IX lawsuit is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court in March, described in a 2016 essay how years of sexism, bullying, and homophobia led to her adopting a belief in ‘Gender Identity’:
“When I was little, I didn’t think of myself as a boy or a girl. I thought of myself as a kid who did what I wanted. When I started school, though, that gender divide became more apparent. I noticed that boys didn’t want to play with me. I had a best friend in elementary school, and one day he just said, “Hey, we can’t hang out any more.” When I asked why, he said, “’Cause you’re a girl.” I was indignant. “What are you talking about?” I asked. “What does that even mean?”
I never, ever, in a million years envisioned myself growing up to be a woman. I don’t think I thought of any alternatives, but I knew for sure that I was not going to grow up and be a woman. When puberty hit, my biggest struggle was not only feeling betrayed by my body, but also the increasing pressure to become a little lady.
It was around this age that my leg hair started growing in — and I did not want to shave it. I loved having leg hair; I thought it was cool! But, my classmates didn’t agree. My mother, of course, put a lot of pressure on me — because I was “blossoming into a young woman” and all that — to conform to feminine archetypes. That caused a lot of conflict in my family relationships. I was a very volatile, angry kid in that time period.
But, I didn’t give up; I just continued refusing to shave or wear dresses. I gravitated towards boys’ clothes. It started slowly: Oh, here’s one Pokémon shirt because I love Pokémon. Soon, I was only shopping in the boys’ section. My mother (and I want to make it very clear that she has come a very, very long way) is Christian. She had a lot of problems with homosexuality, and she perceived me to be a homosexual female because I was very masculine in how I acted and dressed. At one point, she came to me and said, “You’re so angry, and I know why.” I said, “Wait, you do?” And, she said, “You’re a lesbian.”
I was about 11 or 12 at the time. And, I knew I liked girls, but I’d never, ever, ever identified with the term “lesbian” — calling yourself a lesbian means asserting yourself as a woman, and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to live in that gray area where I didn’t have to say that I was anything. So, the conflict started again. Apparently, being a lesbian doesn’t excuse you from shaving your legs.
I found out about the word “transgender” when I was watching YouTube. I clicked on somebody’s video, and he looked like a girl. Then, I watched another video from, like, two years later — he was a dude! And, you know, I was 12 and thinking, Holy crap. What did he just do? I want to do it!
By the time I was 13, I started questioning things that the Christian Bible considered “sinful.” My body was betraying me more and more, the older I got. It was a horrifying experience — one that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. There’s nothing that I can think of that compares to the emotional and mental anguish. I was bullied a lot for being masculine and for being perceived as a lesbian. I was chubby and I was different. It was a cacophany of bad.
That’s when I finally revisited the idea that maybe male vs. female wasn’t all there was to it. I actually came across a scientific study showing differences in the brains of cis males and trans females — despite both being born with “male” bodies. I thought, Wow, maybe I’m not crazy.”
‘Gender Identity’ doctrine reframes the cultural issue of sexism and misogyny as an individual, personal, medical adjustment issue which eliminates the ability to meaningfully critique or politically address the male supremacist power structure of sex-roles themselves. ‘Gender Identity’ eliminates sex as a recognized category while codifying the roles.
The text of yesterday’s letter withdrawing the Obama administration ‘Gender Identity’ Guidance is as follows in bold:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
February 22, 2017
The purpose of this guidance is to inform you that the Department of Justice and the Department of Education are withdrawing the statements of policy and guidance reflected in:
- Letter to Emily Prince from James A. Ferg-Cadima, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education dated January 7, 2015; and
- Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students jointly issued by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education dated May 13, 2016.
These guidance documents take the position that the prohibitions on discrimination “on the basis of sex” in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, see, e.g., 34 C.F.R. § 106.33, require access to sex-segregated facilities based on gender identity. These guidance documents do not, however, contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.
This interpretation has given rise to significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concluded that the term “sex” in the regulations is ambiguous and deferred to what the court characterized as the “novel” interpretation advanced in the guidance. By contrast, a federal district court in Texas held that the term “sex” unambiguously refers to biological sex and that, in any event, the guidance was “legislative and substantive” and thus formal rulemaking should have occurred prior to the adoption of any such policy. In August of 2016, the Texas court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of the interpretation, and that nationwide injunction has not been overturned.
In addition, the Departments believe that, in this context, there must be due regard for the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing educational policy.
In these circumstances, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved. The Departments thus will not rely on the views expressed within them.
Please note that this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment. The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights will continue its duty under law to hear all claims of discrimination and will explore every appropriate opportunity to protect all students and to encourage civility in our classrooms. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice are committed to the application of Title IX and other federal laws to ensure such protection.
This guidance does not add requirements to applicable law. If you have questions or are interested in commenting on this letter, please contact the Department of Education at email@example.com or 800-421-3481 (TDD: 800-877-8339); or the Department of Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-292-3804 (TTY: 800- 514-0383).
/s/ Sandra Battle
Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education
T.E. Wheeler, II
Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Justice