Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Jennifer Gable

Here and here is a story of “Jennifer Gable, Transgender Woman, Presented As Man At Her Funeral” and “Friends anger as father dresses dead transgender daughter as a man in an open casket because he refused to accept her new identity”. It’s very sad that Jennifer’s father seems to have been unable to be happy that she had discovered her self and felt such an overwhelming need to bury her as someone that she was not.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Touched by the music of Martyn Joseph

Last Saturday I went along to a Martyn Joseph concert at Windsor Baptist Church.

I’d been to a concert of his at Nettlebed Folk Club a year or two ago and I think once in the dim distant past sometime … maybe at Greenbelt.

And … well … wow.

So many songs touched me. It’s not often that I have felt so moved at a concert.

Here are a few songs.

So Many Lies

So Many Lies–Martyn Joseph


The words are here. I think there is a typo in the chorus at the beginning which is actually:

So many lies, such a small world
So many lies, day by day by day by day
I say we find some snow, and throw it their way
So many lies, such a short day

I was especially touched by the words of the final verse:

I’ve seen it all
Got my mind fixed in the dark
Fundamental thuggery
With reserved places to park
But there’ll always be snowmen
And bright angels in boots
To kiss the world beautiful
And to raise up hell with the truth

Such a wonderful contrast between fundamental thuggery and bright angels in boots to kiss the world beautiful.

And then here is People Crazy Like Me.

People Crazy as Me–Martyn Joseph

Always thought a man should have a dream
To pick himself up when he’s hit the floor
A fundamental right to some equality
In case some old bigot comes knocking at his door

Always thought a woman she should have the same
With equal rights attached to her name
Maybe they could raise a little family
And pass the message onto somebody

I look around sometimes I see
People crazy as me

Always thought the needy should come first
Lighten their burden, lift the curse
And give the old something new
Like our grateful hearts for all they’ve been through

I never thought that we should see them sick
As we take away the hospitals brick by brick
And build our stadiums up so high
Got a little contradiction here in my eye

I look around sometimes I see
People crazy as me

Always thought a child should have the chance
To be embraced by love and with her dance
To make mistakes but know the touch of grace
And if you beat on them then you’re a disgrace

Always give the time of day to anyone
Don’t be ignorant and don’t you poke fun
Don’t just deal with those who can give you gain
You should treat everybody just the same

Don’t think we’re supposed to understand
Every card placed in our hand
But I think that we are meant to know
We are not alone, we are not alone

Always thought that we should live with hope
But never trample on those who just can’t cope
With righteousness not far away
A little bit of redemption gonna save the day

I look around sometimes I see
People crazy as me
I look around sometimes I see
People crazy as me


and here is Kiss the World Beautiful:

Kiss the World Beautiful–Martyn Joseph


and The Luxury of Despair:

The Luxury of Despair–Martyn Joseph


And He Never Said is here:

He Never Said–Martyn Joseph

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Gender Fundamentalism

The New American has an article here with the headline: The Transgender Con? Many “Transgender” People Regret Switch.

Interestingly when I read the article there was an advertisement for hormone therapy included.

The New American article led me to an article here in The Federalist, headed Trouble In Transtopia: Murmurs Of Sex Change Regret.

The New American also led me to which is put together by Walt Heyer.

I’ve read the two articles and some of Walt Heyer’s web site.

I was left with the impression of people that have decided that whatever their own personal experiences are, then everyone must be the same. With almost no room for diversity.

I was intending to put together some kind of a critique of this but came across this article headed Walt Heyer, the Fallacious Transsexual written by Alison Hudson.

Alison’s article is very full of insight …  which is shorthand for saying that I agree pretty much with all that she says there. That doesn't mean it’s correct of course … but read what she has to say and see what you think. The refreshing thing is that Alison doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Walt Heyer, on the other hand. Well he’s much more of a fundamentalist and crusader.

Some of Alison’s words:

I am not going to judge Heyer’s personal experience nor his decision to detransition. That’s a private journey and only he can be the judge of it. What I will take issue with, however, is the way he’s chosen to turn his negative experience into a crusade against SRS [Sexual Reassignment Surgery] and the transgender community.

his [Walt Heyer’s]view on the matter: perverted gender imposters and greedy surgeons are going to get your kids if you don’t fight back! Won’t someone think of the children?

The main ways that Heyer backs up his extreme position are overemphasizing the importance of individual studies, cherry-picking data, and relying on a fallacious black-and-white view of the debate,. These are tactics are straight out of the pseudoscience playbooks of the anti-vaccination and anti-GMO movements.

In a larger sense, all of these flaws expose Heyer’s true problem: confirmation bias. He has an agenda that he is promoting, and therefore he selectively presents and overemphasizes the import of anything that agrees with his view while dismissing science that does not agree. Ironically, he accuses his opponents of “ignor[ing] studies that do not support their fabricated false information.” I’m sorely attempted to invoke the “takes one to know one” defense here.

In addition to these flaws, there’s the simple fact of Heyer’s general anti-trans rhetoric. He uses terms like “delusional” and “gender-imposters” when referring to transgender people, and calls transgender advocates “gender non-compliant activists” and “pushers of sex change.” He’s clearly not interested in an open dialogue, and certainly not interested in changing his mind.

Ultimately, is Heyer right about trans being purely a mental disorder? The scientific jury is still out. But his approach to defending his position is full of the worst sort of pseudoscientific flaws. It’s selectively edited, riddled with fallacy, and shackled by a concrete anti-trans agenda. It’s hard to take his conclusions seriously when they are so poorly argued in so many ways.

And here are some of Walt Heyer’s words taken from his blog here:

Transgenders want laws that protect them so they can provoke others with their often flamboyant, even obnoxious, behaviors. They want legal protections as transgenders so they can freely provoke, taunt and bully non-transgenders, secure in knowing they are protected from any consequences.

A bit further up he does say, in a smaller and not-so-bold typeface:

We are not talking about the transgenders who prefer to remain under the radar, blending in unnoticed. This discussion is about the gender non-compliant activists who want to be in your face, not blending in at all.

I guess that, like Alison:

I am not going to judge Heyer’s personal experience nor his decision to detransition. That’s a private journey and only he can be the judge of it.

But none of the transgender people that I know want laws to protect them so they can provoke others.

They are just people that are trying to get by.

Does that mean that there are no transgendered people on the planet that have obnoxious behaviours?

Of course it doesn’t.

People who are transgender are a diverse bunch.

People are diverse.

And so are their needs.

The real problem that I have with Walt Heyer is that based upon the experiences of some people, he develops an entire ideology that he seeks to impose upon all people.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Indoctrination and Intolerance … the places where Fundamental Christianity and Islam Meet?

I came across an article in the Sun Daily of Malaysia here.

The headline is:

Idris Haron: Resolve transgender issues through education

The headline sounded kind of groovy.

But then I read the article:

Posted on 15 November 2014 - 05:27pm
Last updated on 15 November 2014 - 06:42pm

ALOR GAJAH: Issues relating to transgender should be resolved through educating society on the trend, said Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

He said for society to understand issues on lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender, efforts must be taken at the early stage through education.

"It is good if we could introduce the subject either through social learning or religious classes to emphasise that such behaviour is prohibited in Islam.

"Should they be inclined towards transgender, and they are aware that the act is against the teachings of Islam, they would restrain from such activities," he told Bernama here today.

Idris said a system should be established to curb transgender activities and ban Muslim men from dressing as women in the country.

"Although being transgender is considered a human right and curbing transgender activities is deemed an abuse of human rights, action must be taken as transgender activities are a threat to Islam and the state," he said. – Bernama

RH Reality Check has an article here with the headline “Why Conservative Christians Fear the Affirmation of Transgender Identity” that mentions:

At its annual meeting this past June, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—one of the largest Christian denominations in the world—passed a landmark resolution on the issue of transgender rights, making its stance on trans* people an official part of the doctrine.

The resolution says, in part, that SBC’s leaders “condemn acts of abuse or bullying committed against [transgender individuals].” But they also resolve that no efforts should be made to “alter one’s bodily identity (e.g. cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery) to bring it in line with one’s perceived gender identity,” and that they “continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any court or state legislature to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy.”

In other words, even as the SBC ostensibly condemns physical aggression against trans* individuals, it has resolved to support state and institutional violence against the same people.

So maybe fundamentalist Christians and Muslims may not like the same things, they maybe hate some of the same things. United in their intolerances.

I almost wrote something beginning “it’s surprising that these days it seems that it is religious people that want to be legally exempt from treating people with equality, fairness, justice and dignity.”

But then I reflected a little.

And really, looking at the history of fundamentalist religion, it seems that this has always been the case. Fundamentalist religions of all kinds have a tendency to persecute anyone that is different from them. And where they can get away with it, that persecution has often times been merciless.

I’m not of the opinion that all religions are inherently bad. Or that all religious people are bad.

But, as time passes, I become more and more convinced that all kinds of fundamentalism are not just misguided, but that they have an evil influence upon people.

It seems that when a fundamentalist talks about education they generally mean indoctrination.

Toilets, transgender and transphobia

We’re hoping for a visit from a LAGLO from Surrey Police at the Surrey Swans meeting that is scheduled for November 30th

I emailed my Surrey Swans contact list to ask if anyone had any questions that they would like to have discussed.

A question that I’ve received reads like this:

I hope to come along, as always, but in case I don't then the question of toilet facilities is something which comes up quite a lot.

Obviously in private premises then a quiet word with a manager should clear up most situations, but in public situations I understand that there are no legal hurdles to overcome when using a ladies convenience when presenting as a woman (or crossdressed or . . . or . . etc) but what would happen should a genetic woman object and make a scene?

If I need the loo and go to the men's conveniences then this is the most likely place to be attacked, so . . . apart from personal responsibility for ones safety could they comment about loos.

I’ll post the answers when I have them.

I just recently searched Google News using the search word transgender. And the subject of bathrooms / toilet / loo facilities comes up a surprisingly high number of times.

There’s this from the Rush Limbaugh show. The discussion is about the city of Cleveland, Ohio and the person that called in to the show says:

the city of Cleveland, Cleveland city council, I understand that this has been an issue in other cities in recent days, although never went national.  Cleveland city council on Monday, I believe it was, was having a debate with the transgender community here.  I attended the meeting.  What they want is the right to use restrooms in public areas -- bars, restaurants, sporting events, and the like -- and I just wanted to get your take on that, because that's an up in-the-air issue here.  The Cleveland city council didn't come to a decision, so now they're saying it's gonna be going to the Supreme Court.  I would imagine the state Supreme Court

And then here the Miami Herald has the headline “Transgender discrimination ban prevails in Miami-Dade panel, despite opposition” and says:

Raw emotion and invocations of biblical damnation over a proposed ban on discrimination against transgender people dominated Wednesday what was perhaps the fiercest debate Miami-Dade County Hall has seen this year.

Advocates of a more inclusive society, including transgender men and women who spoke of how difficult it can be to find public acceptance, were outnumbered by conservatives who, in a show of force, assailed the legislation as immoral and a threat to public safety. Two likened South Florida to Sodom and Gomorrah.

What proponents called a civil-rights issue was boiled down by opponents to a mundane task that blurred the divide between men and women: going to the bathroom. A law protecting people like him, a transgender man said, offers the “dignity to pee in peace.”

Here the National Post has the headline “Parents suing Vancouver School Board over new transgender policy that lets students use any washroom”.

The Eastern Wake News says, here, that:

Wake County school administrators want to help transgender students avoid being bullied as they undergo what may be a difficult personal transition in the very public environment of school.

Wake, like other school districts across the country, is trying to accommodate the small but growing number of students who don’t want to go by the sex assigned to them at birth. From providing locker room and bathroom facilities to making sure of the right terminology to use, Wake administrators say they want to develop specific training to deal with bullying related to gender identity. has an article that mentions:

GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — Gloucester’s school board has delayed voting on a policy involving restroom facilities for a transgender student, until its December 9 meeting.

“Though I was assigned female at birth, that’s not the case. I’m a boy,” 10th grader Gavin Grimm told

Grimm, who attends Gloucester High School, came out as transgender over the summer. At school, he was initially told to use the nurse’s bathroom, then he was allowed to use the boys restroom.

The 15-year-old told, “However, there have been some parents in the community, or rather adults, that have had a problem with this. So, I’m fighting for my right to use the correct restroom … the men’s restroom.”

Back here I wrote about an experience of my own:

The only not-nice incident of the weekend occurred here.

Veronica visited the Ladies and a guy that was very much the worse for wear in terms of excessive alcohol consumption … began to bad-mouth her. For no good reason.

There was a member of the Weatherspoon’s staff close by at the time who called a security guard over and the man was escorted from the premises.

When we left, the guy was still outside the building with a few of his friends.

He was abusive to everyone and if it hadn’t been for the efforts of his friends in holding him back, I guess all kinds of things could have happened.

It seems that the people that have the hang-ups about this issue often are either simply uninformed or have some kind of a faith / religious region for their views.

The religious views seem to b0il down to the belief that God hates the whole concept of transgender. Maybe He loves the person … but they’re going to end up in hell regardless. It can be difficult to have a rational discussion about gender with a person that has decided that it is wrong because the Bible or the Qur'an (etc. etc, ) says that it is wrong. Period. So it can also difficult to have a rational discussion about gender, transgender and human rights with such people.

I personally know quite a few transgender people. So far I have never met anyone that deliberately wants to offend or upset people. They just want to get along with living.

I don’t know a single transgender person that goes to the bathroom / restroom other than for the purpose that the bathroom / restroom is intended.

My guess is that neither do the people who have problems with the idea of transgender people using the restroom.

Of course, I don’t know every transgender person in the world. But I find it difficult to see any real motive for the hang-ups that many people have about the use of restrooms that don’t, in the end, just boil down to being an expression of transphobia.