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The Indigo Girls need to stop including the ‘T’ in their community activism language



Indigo Girls

What is the “My Family. Together.” campaign that was launched in February 2012? According to Immigration Equality:

“For couples facing separation, exile or undocumented status, the president’s inaction has serious, immediate consequences. Today, we are telling the president: We can’t wait.

Today, we’re launching a new campaign – My Family. Together. – to tell our families’ stories and to tell the president to stop denying our families the simple right to be lawfully together in the country they love.”

The Indigo Girls recently posted a video on YouTube for this campaign in which they framed the issue as an LGBTQ campaign. I personally object to Amy Ray and Emily Saliers including the T in their use of LGBTQ. In 2005 and 2010 the band participated in segregation of trans women out from all other women. Because of this, the band members have no credibility to speak on behalf of trans people and issues.

Where they participated in discrimination of trans women is their multiple performances at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MWMF) which has an explicit “womyn-born-womyn” policy for attendance at the festival. The articulation of the phrase “womyn-born-womyn” in the MWMF attendance policy is specifically meant to exclude trans women from the festival who were assigned male at birth. The Indigo Girls, by participating in the event, have knowingly participated in segregationist behavior.

And, it was knowingly – especially for their 2010 performance at the MWMF. In 2005 it appeared for a brief moment that the MWMF had changed their segregationist policy. However, Lisa Vogel – the lead organizer for the annual festival – put out a press release to clarify their policy hadn’t changed. Vogel, speaking directly to trans women, stated:

“Since 1976, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival has been created by and for womyn-born womyn, that is, womyn who were born as and have lived their entire life experience as womyn. Despite claims to the contrary by Camp Trans organizers, the Festival remains a rare and precious space intended for womyn-born womyn.”

In 2005, the Indigo Girls performed at the MWMF. And with that 2005 controversy, Amy Ray interviewed trans women and Lisa Vogel, and posted these conversations on the Indigo Girls‘ Web site (Correspondence: 2005-06-13: Amy – Michigan Womyn’s Fest Interviews: Interviews #1 and #3). Ray and Saliers are very aware that the MWMF‘s “womyn-born-womyn” policy is meant as a segregationist policy directed at the minority population of trans women. As Jessica Snodgrass, a then on-land organizer from Camp Trans (a protest held outside of the MWMF each year) stated in a published interview with Amy Ray, “Camp Trans‘ mission is to change the policy from ‘women-born, women only’ to ‘all self-identified women.’”

And … “I will tell you that, the transsexual women who I know, who are in my everyday life, and in my feminist and women’s communities outside of Michigan, had a different kind of girlhood. And, one that I can’t imagine because I’m not a transsexual woman, but one that I can relate to because I still grew up a girl.”

Trans women are women in the same way that African American women, disabled women and women veterans are women. To have a policy at the MWMF that identifies one kind of woman as a kind that’s not welcome at the festival is discriminatory… is segregationist.

Yet knowing this, in 2010 the Indigo Girls again performed at the MWMF. By performing at that 2010 festival, they knew the festival segregated against trans women in the festival entry policy. And with those thoughts in mind, it’s safe to say the Indigo Girls knowingly participated in anti-transgender segregation.

Which, if they believe in anti-transgender segregation – or even just as alleged allies of trans people tolerate that kind of discrimination – then they are free to hold that tolerance of gender inequality.

But, two years later, to speak on behalf of trans people for Immigration Equality and their “My Family. Together.” campaign by referring to LGBTQ community in their video: No. The Indigo Girls should not speak on behalf of trans people because of their past tolerance of – and participation in – anti-transgender segregation.

And too, Immigration Equality should distance themselves from the Indigo Girls video. Having the Indigo Girls speak on behalf of the T-community in their “My Family. Together.” campaign is simply not acceptable.



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=30051

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012. Filed under Online Only, Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

34 Comments for “The Indigo Girls need to stop including the ‘T’ in their community activism language”

  1. After reading the article, I have to disagree. We have seperate Trans functions where only Trans people are allowed. The indigo girls have on more than one occasion worked ethics a band who has a transman as lead Singer. I was born female, so should I be allowed to go to mwmf because I’m still technically female? The song become you by the indigo girls was very instrumental in helping me come to terms with my transition, and I applaud them for being one of the allies of the Trans community.

    • @blue montana
      “We have seperate Trans functions where only Trans people are allowed.” Name one. Name an event where a cis ally would be banned. What exist are events designed by and for trans people because of historical exclusion by events exactly like the MWMF. Your argument is equivalent to saying people of color shouldn’t complain about access to other universities because HBCUs exist. HBCUs exist because of a history of segregation just as trans-inclusive events exist by necessity because not all “feminist” orgs have resolved their bigotry. Thankfully, the vast majority don’t have this issue.

  2. I would no more want to go to the Michigan Womyn Who Can’t Spell Women’s Music Festival than I would a Klan rally. But, I recognize that both groups have a right to exclude who they want. A lot of post-op transsexuals have attended MWMF. Of course, they identified as women, not transwomen. I am not a transwomen, either. But I am also not a radical feminist separatist. Going to MWMF will not make you more of a woman. Nor will any other effort to force your way into places where you are unwelcome. The. Again, if you think there are degrees of womanhood, that just might be part of your problem.

  3. When I see the comparison, articulated here by Blue Montana, that “There are trans only events,” I would say there are big differences here.

    We have to remember that the MWMF is a public event where tickets are sold to attend the event. Therefore, this is a public accommodation issue: every kind of woman is welcome at the festival — i.e. African-American women, Hispanic women, women veterans, women servicemembers, disabled women, tall women, short women, lesbians, bisexual women, heterosexual women, asexual women, senior women, teen-aged women, pregnant women, etc. — every kind of woman, that is, except trans women. The management at the MWMF have segregated out one kind of woman as not being welcome at a women’s event where tickets are publicly sold.

    Again, we’re talking about public accommodation.

    To quote MLK Jr. from the Speech at the Great March on Detroit, “[I]n some communities we are still moving at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a hamburger and a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.” Towards trans community, we are still moving at horse-and-buggy pace toward trans women gaining tickets to women’s music festival.

  4. Mountains out of Molehills

    You simply don’t get it. They are musicians. While they are political in nature, they are also still working on trying to make a living. They were contracted to play a private event. And yes, while MWMF is a very large event, it is STILL a private event which means that they can set the rules for who they want on the property that they use. The very simple reality, missed by too many of the trans-whatever label is in use and PC, is that lesbians, as females, have the absolute and inherent right to set sex-specific boundaries. It is those who were born male that seem hellbent on ignoring our abilities to self-select who we want to associate with. Consequently, you are once again making mountains out of molehills.

    Personally, I miss the days when it was simply the gay and lesbian community before every other group that felt marginalized began trying to engage in coattail politics and shoehorn their way into acceptance, when you could simply say ‘the gay and lesbian community’ without some other group getting worked into a tizzy. Further, even if one subscribes to the alphabet soup notions, one need not articulate their lobbying efforts for a broad umbrella. I can guarantee you that I would NEVER support efforts that continue to seek to conflate sex and gender, which is precisely the bullying and blurring of lines that the ‘gender community’ is insisting upon…sex IS NOT gender nor vice-versa. But that does not stop you from taking what is essentially yet another backdoor effort to voice your disagreement with MWMF practices.

    • This is the strange part. For years, the transgender activists repeatedly said “sex and gender are separate.” Some, granted, took this to absurd extremes of claiming there was no correlation, but the basic idea was sound. Transsexuals seek to bring sex and gender into alignment. Transgender people seek to transgress gender. But now we have this idea that “gender equals sex” that I strongly reject. I am a woman, and because my gender has always been such I brought my body into conformity as there was no way to alter my brain. Put another way, regardless of your plumbing, women are born that way. It is not a choice.

      • Please read my comment to Mountains Out Of Molehills, A Woman, Period. You missed the point of the column. That point has to do with the Indigo Girls trying to credibly speak on behalf of trans community issues wheh their performances at the MWMF cause them to have no credibility on those issues.

        Whether you agree with the MWMF policy or not, or whether you agree or disagree with the perspectives of quite a number of trans community members on what the MWMF policy should be, the point of the column is that the Indigo Girls can’t credibly speak for trans community members’ civil rights when they participate at an event that segregates trans women out from all other types and kinds of women. It should be seen as an either/or moment for the band’s two members.

        • Well, I personally could care less who seals or doesn’t speak for the trans-community as I am not part of it, or the LGBT community. I am a straight woman with gay and lesbian friends. I actually, strongly oppose some of the extremist demands of transgender activist. I do not, for example, believe you have a right to force yourself on the MWMF. They do not see you as a woman. That is not likely to change. They might say the same about me, but I don’t care. They could not pay me enough to attend. Why try to force yourself where you are not wanted? You might ponder the deeper significance of that. There is a truth there you need to learn.

          • Speaks, not seals. Typing on an iPhone is tricky.

          • All Quarter Given

            > Why try to force yourself where you are not wanted?

            Because society is where we’re not wanted. We are unwanted everywhere; should we simply fuck off and die alone?

            Screw that. I’d rather try to get in where I can, despite the hate.

  5. But, MWMF is not remotely a public event. Yes, they “sell tickets,” but not to just anyone. It is for women-only, and like it, or not. They get to define women as they see fit. Also keep in mind that this is an event where there is, as they say, a lack of privacy. For some, that should be a problem.

  6. Mountains out of Molehills, you’ve missed the main thrust of the column. It’s not that the Indigo Girls can’t have opinions about trans people that align more closely to yours than mine, but instead they are speaking out for civil rights for trans people when they’ve participated at a festival that, with intent, discriminates against trans women. Especially in 2010, they participated knowing full well the festival has a segregation policy that discriminates against trans women.

    The main thrust of the column is that the Indigo Girls can’t have it both ways. The Indigo Girls can participate at a festival where trans women — due to a attendance policy that embraces segregation — aren’t welcome, or they can speak out on behalf of full LGBTQ community civil rights that includes the trans subcommunity and all of its members. They can’t do both credibly, but that’s just what they’ve attempted to do in posting a video for Immigration Equality’s “My Family. Together.” campaign.

    This is one of those times where there is just no middle ground to stand on. It really is an either/or proposition — they can’t perform at the MWMF and then credibly speak on behalf of trans community’s civil rights.

  7. Mountains out of Molehills

    I don’t see it as being something where they have to find a middle ground. And since this isn’t a campaign THEY created, chances are good that some of what they are going is scripted for them. It isn’t as though they are presuming to speak for the trans-whatever community. The trans-whatever community is one that self-injected itself into the alphabet soup. It therefore becomes no different than any other article or story involving a person under the alphabet soup umbrella where they only seek to speak for their community (in this case the gay and lesbian community).

    Further, it seems that you want to base opinions on what has occurred in the past, leaving no possibility for the potential for changes in whatever opinion they may hold. But the fact that they elected to play a paying gig does not also mean that they hold an opinion that denies anyone legitimate civil rights (and no, the ‘right’ of a person with a penis to enter sex-segregated space is NOT, IMO, a civil right no matter what letter a judge may be persuaded to sign).

    MWMF is not a discriminatory event. One must be holding a public event in order for such to have occurred. MWMF is private and as such, reserves the right to define their welcomed parties in any manner as they so choose, just as for example, Augusta National had the right to exclude women from their membership rolls. You and your “community” do not get to shoehorn yourself in somewhere just because you want to redefine biology.

    • Well put. Very well put. Sadly, we have silliness like the person in Washington, who has forced a girl’s high school swim team out of the locker room. That is discrimination, but not according to some…

    • Watch the video. Tell me if you think it’s scripted: http://youtu.be/SsQ6VB6e7oQ

      But even if it were true that the text they read was scripted for them, the Indigo Girls are still responsible for what they do and what they say. It’s not too difficult to realize that if you read a political script that someone else wrote for you, you’re the one reading it: you’re still responsible for what you say even if someone else wrote your words for you.

      As a side not, I’d like to remind you that the name of the publication I write a column for is LGBT Weekly, and the T stands for transgender, and the name of the regular column is Trans Progressive. The T isn’t for the “trans-whatever community” as you described it. That you don’t refer to trans community members like me by our expressed identity language at a publication that embraces the T in LGBT speaks to the level of disrespect you have for trans people … trans people like me.

      But lay that that apparent disrespect aside for a moment.

      Again, the bottom line is that the Indigo Girls chose to perform at what many trans people consider a segregationist, discriminatory festival in 2005 and 2010, and then they chose to speak on behalf of trans people on a civil rights issue: immigration equality. The Indigo Girls really needed to choose whether or not to be fully pro-trans or fully anti-trans, and yet they appear to be trying to choose to be functionally both pro- and anti-trans in their speech and behavior.

      The issue I’ve presented in this column is the Indigo Girls inconsistent speech and behavior regarding trans people. The column wasn’t about the validity of trans people’s identities, but again, it’s about the inconstancy of speech and action of the Indigo Girls regarding trans people’s civil rights.

  8. I am left wondering if Sandeen actually _watched_ the video. It is very clear that Emily is speaking to SAME SEX immigration concerns given her reference to a bi-national relationship. Neither Amy nor Emily make an effort to speak to/for people like Sandeen other than a reference to all the letters in the early part of the video, an exclusion of which likely would have created an entirely different furor from corners of alphabet soup.

    As a clue, not every gay and lesbian message HAS to be an umbrella message. The transsexual who was formerly straight and remains with their spouse isn’t the person who is at risk in immigration issues. In fact, it is that very same person who rarely “gets” the issues related to same-sex marriage and why it is such a critical component of legislative wishes of gay and lesbian people. Few of the so-called T are even able to understand the real reasons women are upset with war on reproductive rights we have seen in so many parts of the country in the past years. The “T” simply does not get it and rarely does little except to go out of their way looking to fill the victim role.

    People like Sandeen can bark and howl all they want about op-ed pieces like this one not being about ‘identities,’ but in the end, every one of their complaints comes back to the premise of how their ‘identity’ is being ignored.

    • Ann, the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray used the acronym LGBTQ right at the start of the video. Also, if one reads the Task Force’s/NCTE’s study Injustice At Every Turn — a study of over 6,000 self-identified trans people — 64% of trans people identified their sexual orientation as lesbian, gay, same-sex, bisexual, or queer, while only 21% of the respondents identified as heterosexual.

      If this was venn diagramed, the trans community’s circle would would significantly overlap with the LGB & Q community’s circle. It is appropriate to include the T in the discussion of LGBTQ immigration equality.

      What isn’t appropriate is the Indigo Girls speaking about LGBTQ immigration equality — a term that includes the T — because of the band’s fairly recent participation at the MWMF while knowing the festival has a “womyn born womyn” attendence policy that is intentionally meant to discriminate against trans women.

      • And if you actually _listened_ to the message, then you would have realized that it was same-sex deportation that was the real content.

        I am sure they will be crushed that you won’t buy their next release or that you want to stifle their involvement in legislative activities. The effort to silence people seems to be a tried and true tactic of the “T” in shoehorning themselves into trying to get others to accept their self-claimed victim status. It seems to be just as true now as when Frye and others started trying to claim in the early 90’s that your “identity” crap was just the same as what gays and lesbians had to deal with.

        Oh, and regarding the study- any study that is self-selected is questionable especially when your self-identification grouping includes persons with male genitalia still intact claiming that they are lesbian (a term that is the province of the female of the species). Or that lets persons who used heterosexual privilege to marry and have kids that now want to claim they are “same sex”- you want coattail politics to carry all of your water and that just ain’t going to happen…

      • Not every issue that affects one portion of the LGBT community affects every portion. As has been pointed out, a fuss would be raised if the indigo Girls did not use a longer version, but now the complaint is that they did. You can’t have it both ways. I mean, gay and bisexual are also excluded from the MWMF, but they are not complaining that the Indigo Girls have no right to speak for them.

        MWMF is held byf a group that takes an extremist view that not everyone agrees with. In a similar manner, Transgender activists often take extremist views, such as in the case where some are pushing the view that a non-op in Washington State has a right to use the women’s locker room, including the sauna and showers when teenage girls from a high school swim team are present. This goes beyond “bathroom access,” and raises serious questions about boundaries.

        The simple issue that some wish to avoid is one of balance. The MWMF do not desire the presence of males at their event. They have come to accept the presence of at least some post- ops. They might call it “rubbing our noses in it.” If one wants to go to MWMF then go as a “woman.” And if you can’t respect their views, have the decency to stay away. Forcing yourself on them is not going to affirm you as a woman. In fact, it could be argue that it does the opposite.

        The elephant in the room here is “trans-” as in “transwomen.” Part of the problem, obviously, is that insistence on making an issue of one’s past. This is especially offensive to separatist-feminists.

        Insisting that one has a right to enter a space like MWMF while retaining a connection to being a male, socially, or in most cases, physically, is going to be viewed by them, as men forcing onesself on them. And in their minds this is akin to rape. Now, your view may differ on this, but I fear, like it or not, they have a point.

        This is the sort of issue that raises uncomfortable questions for some. Reality can be harsh. Rights are never absolute. Thinking they are subjects one to the issue of “privilege,” an all too often abused term, but one appropriate here.

        Bottom line, perhaps one should be celebrating the fact that the Indigo Girls have spoken out on an important issue rather than complaining that they did something that few will actually see as remotely wrong.

        • 1.) No, you’re 100% wrong about the admission policy, A Woman, Period. The MWMF does not accept any women who have any history of transsexual experience at all as being women — they realize it’s hard to police, so they want the trans women who they can’t tell are trans women to self-police themselves and not attend the festival.

          But let’s be clear: the “womyn born womyn” (WBW) attendance policy means that if you were assigned male at birth you’re not welcome at all at the MWMF, post vaginoplasty or not. Period.

          2.) You’re off point again. The Indigo Girls are free to hold a position that trans women aren’t really women, or second class women, and therefore should be excluded from attending the MWMF because trans women aren’t WMW.

          The Indigo Girls are also free to advocate for LGBTQ civil rights to include the civil rights of transgender identified people.

          My argument isn’t one that takes into account your tangential arguments about what Washington state laws are: my argument is that the Indigo Girls can’t functionally support the MWMF attendance policy AND credibly speak on transgender equality issues — the T in LGBTQ standing for transgender.

          And, that’s my point. The Indigo Girls can’t participate in discrimination against transgender people — to include transsexual people who weren’t assigned female at birth — and then speak on transgender people’s behalf. The Indigo Girls need to pick a side, but instead knowingly participated at a a festival that segregates out trans women as not being real women while at the same time are trying to speak on behalf of transgender women’s civil rights.

          The arguments you’re making aren’t ones that recognize the transgender issue with the Indigo Girls speaking out for immigration equality policies — to include the T people of the LGBTQ community — while themselves not supporting transgender women’s equality issue of being recognized as female at the MWMF.

          Literally, the issues you’re bringing up have nothing to do with how the Indigo Girls are trying to have it both ways on how they approach civil rights of trans people in general, and trans women in particular.

          Please stop trying to make this about trans women behavior and speech when the commentary was specifically about the Indigo Girls’ behavior and speech. If you can tell me why it’s acceptable for the Indigo Girls to engage in antitransgender behavior and then speak out in favor of transgender equality, then I’m all ears. That said, you’re arguments aren’t addressing at all the contradictory behavior of the Indigo Girls.

          • No they don’t need to ‘pick a side.’ You and yours seem to believe it is an all or nothing proposition…well, guess what- welcome to the way of life that females have had for more years than you walked the earth. It is not an all or nothing game.

            Further, just because the video had the alphabet soup does NOT mean their message means they were speaking for everyone who might potentially ever in the foreseeable future be in one of those groups. They gave a message that very clearly spoke to a group who IS directly impacted by immigration issues, specifically the same-sex relationships where the domestic union (and in cases where persons traveled to a State where same-sex marriage is legal, marriage) is not recognized and one partner is subject to deportation. That is a same-sex relationship issue, not a trans* issue. Sandeen, you HAD your heterosexual privilege in the form of a marriage and you fathered children where the parentage was not the subject of being questioned by the government. Every day in States all across the United States, however, gay and lesbian people have children where the child cannot have both dads or both moms on the birth certificate, where expensive adoption proceedings are necessary in an attempt to gain the simple privilege of being recognized as a parent so that the government cannot come in and break up families. THOSE are the people that the Indigo Girls are speaking to and for through their public service message. There is no contradictory message being sent by them.

          • Well, please tell me how someone can claim to be a woman and then ignore the feelings of women with regards to privacy and security. I think you are, quite simply straining out a gnat, and swallowing a camel. That is, you are complaining about a very minor point, that the Indigo Girls didn’t refuse to perform at an event, and then trying to demand that they do something you would probably be even more angry if they did do. Do you REALLY expect anyone to believe you would not be screaming bloody murder fit the Indigo Girls had spoken of the LGBQ community? Really? Because we all know better.

            Simply put, why don’t you just accept that you are not welcome at MWMF, will never be welcome at MWMF, and simply move on. It is an event held by a very radical portion of the lesbian community, and it is well within their rights to have such an event. It seems rather silly to make a fuss because they don’t want people who they consider, quite correctly in some cases, to be men, in their presence. They may make a blanket statement, but in truth, those who are practically speaking, affected by the policy are those who probably should be affected by the policy. Those who want to attend, and who do attend, are those able to fit in. Most women, believe it or not, have probably never even heard of the MWMF, and if they have, it is probably pretty well near the bottom of things they would voluntarily do. Most women would be miserable at such an event. It appeals to a very specific group of women, but it seems to bother you. I had a friend who attended, mainly because her partner wanted to go. She hated it. And she was very definitely lesbian and, yes, as they would put it, a woman born woman, as was her partner. She thought the whole thing silly… And more than a bit oppressive.

            Again, the fact that some seem obsessed with forcing themselves on these women who want no part of their presence seems rather curious to say the least. What it does not seem is in any way something a woman would do, but as they say, your mileage may vary.

            Bottom line, I think you should not be trying to tell the Indigo Girls how to be your friend. Be glad they are willing to support you. Not every one is.

          • Ann, you’re obviously not transgender identified. You don’t have the ability or authority to tell transgender women what to think or feel about the Indigo Girls.

            And yes, the consensus I’ve seen from trans women I’ve spoken to about this opinion about using the LGBTQ means they were speaking on behalf of trans women is this is shared point of view about the Indigo Girls. And, they feel the Indigo Girls words in 2010 and their speaking on behalf of trans people (to include trans women) by using the acronym LGBTQ in 2012 is not acceptable.

            I know one very prominent, politically connected trans woman who contacted me and wanted copies of my documentation I had for the column. This was so she could confront both Immigration Equality, and perhaps the Indigo Girls, over why the Indigo Girls have performed at MWMF and then have presumed to speak for trans women via use of the acronym LGBTQ.

            What it comes down to in my mind is these questions: who are you to tell trans people (to include trans women) what to think and feel about this Indigo issue? Who are you to tell us that we can’t perceive this as an either/or situation? How you believe trans people should feel and respond to the situation to me appears to be a Derailing For Dummies You’re Taking Things Too Personally argument — your arguments therefore can be reasonably considered simple derailing of a minority population member’s point of view. You’re not transgender identified, so why to you feel you have the authority to decide for trans community members whether or not trans community members call this an either/or situation?

            And now I’m done commenting in response to you on this comment thread. On my end, I can see this has now become a pointless debate where you’re attempting to tell trans people like me what to think and feel about the contradiction of the Indigo Girls actions in 2010 and their words in 2012. In a nutshell, you don’t have that power or authority.

          • oh the irony is thick here…it’s an op-ed piece, yet the lesbian females are not allowed to hold our own opinion lest we be accused of telling the male-to-trans that we are apparently telling them what to think.

            I can only tell hope that the IE folks (as well as any representatives of IG management) tell your ‘very prominent, politically connected’ friend to go get stuffed…figuratively speaking of course.

            Life is not an either/or situation. Females have long known this simple fact of life. It is the male of the species that tends to favor the ‘so I have said, so it must be done’ manner of result. Had you been born female and lived the female experience within the confines set forth by society, you might have better been able to grasp that nuance of the comments (not to mention the fundamental elements of the issue). In life, you don’t always get your way…compromise is a must and the trans* never seem to want to compromise on anything.

          • Ann, it is hard for those who have had privilege to understand not having privilege. In fact, it is impossible in many cases.

  9. A Forner Ond Friend

    When you think of Tee-Gee this person represents the norm.
    Do you want this person at a Womyn only event?
    Do you want this person in the locker room with you?


    Autumn Sandeen supports what this person does, and is in every way just like this person.

    • Thanks for the link. I especially found it telling that it never occurred to this person to say, “Hey, let the high school swim team use the larger locker room, I’ll that the smaller one…” Instead, this person thinks the teenage girls should be “informed.”

      I do have to say, the silence from the TG community has been rather deafening.

  10. Autumn Sandeen’s homophobia has no place in a Gay newspaper. You should fire her.

  11. It’s well past time the GBT Communities respect Ls and our different needs: http://bugbrennan.com/2011/12/13/sniffdown-on-michigan/

    • Well, given that Sandeen has apparently tweeted approvingly of Cristan Williams attack piece trying to link those who are appalled at the behavior of Colleen Francis in Washington State, I think maybe they need to learn to respect the needs of women in general. It appears that Sandeen consider Francis to be “a girl like us,” And some wonder who many want no part of being labeled as transgender….

  12. Carolyn in Baltimore

    Thanks Autumn –
    I actually would be fine with taking the T of lesbian activism. Maybe the G also. You certainly don’t speak for women. The misogyny of the Gay movement, of transwomen who pray to the alter of femininity yet threaten women in the most vile ways, of a movement where the ‘lesbians’ who get attention and support are the ones who just recently decided to be women, who make a sexy game of it, who claim to be oppressed by women because we think biology actually means something.

    And if the Indigo Girls decide to drop the T, even though they have stood up for other aspects of T rights, they can do so. But not because you tell them to. Tired of being mansplained to.

  13. I am truly amazed and disgusted at the amount of spite and hatred leveled at trans women in these Comments. Our world has a long way to go toward acceptance and understanding.

  14. So very much to digest and think through before commenting. After reading every single word with an open mind I have reached this conclusion; it really does get down to privilege. Natal women have had to accept and swallow the ever so bitter pill of exclusion for the last ten thousand years. And it seems that many Trans-women want to just be grandmothered in, well, it just doesn’t work that way. The more T-girls try to force this upon natal women the more natal women will push back. I completely agree that male-privilege has tainted/skewed many Trans-women’s ability to accept no graciously.

    Now, if I may flip the coin, it is human nature to want to forget that which has been painful and hurtful in our lives. With that in mind, we need to remember how relentless women and hardline feminists have fought to shatter all glass ceilings and demand entrance into the all-male club. Even those clubs and prefessions that we really have no interest in; if for no other reason but to simply get our foot in the door. Those doors that have been locked for centuries.

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