Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Queerty Transphobia, Racism and White Gay Male Privilege On Display

TransGriot note: Thanks to Zoe at AE Brain, we have a recent comment posted on Queerty that's emblematic of the selfishness, privilege, racism and transphobia inherent in some elements of the GL community.

At the risk of sounding controversial, I visit Queerty because I am a gay white male. I have no interest in 'women issues'. While I'm not opposed to sporadic and infrequent attention to lesbians, I do not want this blog devoting any more time to their cause....

Yeah right, doesn't want to sound controversial but dove right into controversy in the first paragraph. Right off the bat he announces his neo-Mattachine selfishness toward the lesbian community.

Simply because I am gay does not mean I care about lesbians, bisexuals or transgender persons. I don't even know why some people try and group us together as one cause - GLBT - because we are not. I can see some purpose to grouping G + L and even Bs together, but not Ts.

Two reasons, first, we transpeeps were the ones that started the Stonewall Riot 40 years ago that kicked off the movement you Mattachine gays hijacked.

In case you didn't know, and obviously you don't since your transphobia and GWMP is showing, some of my transgender brothers and sisters are GAY and LESBIAN themselves.

I am quite comfortable being male, and I hate being associated with crossdressers. I find Ts offensive and do not want to extend any rights to them. Remember, had we not tried to press for "gender identity" clauses in all legislation, but instead limited it to "sexual orientation", gay marriage would be legal in every state. I have to agree with straights when they observe how bizarre and socially-inept crossdressers are, with their drug use and alcohol abuse.

You're also quite comfortable being a privileged selfish transphobe. It's not 'gender identity clauses that have kept you from gaining marriage equality, it's your inept political leadership and insistence on pushing this issue with conservatives controlling the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court that have caused your marriage equality failure along with your failure to court allies inside and outside the community.

And before you start throwing shade about drug and alcohol abuse, I can bat that ball right back at you about your peeps as well.

Transgender persons should fight their own battles, because at the moment they're hindering the rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals everywhere.

p.s. I am not opposed to lesbians reading the blog.

Actually dude, it's the other way around. If it weren't for us having to fight rear guard actions against gay males (and lesbians) who thought like you, we transpeople would probably have our rights already. Besides, you've already arrogantly stated in the first paragraph that you didn't care about lesbians or their 'cause'.

btw. In terms of transvestites, I do not hate them. I like the one that appeared on the Tyra show recently. She was very human, although obviously depressed and (before Tyra rescued her) was homeless. This is embarrassing: as gay men try to gain acceptance, we need to do so on the basis that we are educated, affluent and have greater disposable incomes (due to a lack of dependents). Crossdressers go against everything we work to attain.

Your refusal to use the correct terminology to describe TRANSGENDER people already makes a mockery of this paragraph. I damned sure don't appreciate you disrespecting Isis and your GWMP is showing when you pronounced Isis as being depressed without benefit of a PhD in psychology.

Your lack of knowledge about how the rest of the gay community lives is an embarrassment as well. There are far more poor gay people than there are ones in the upper income brackets where you HRCoids are.

I am quite content with how I live my life and, unlike you, I don't need to pretend for a moment that I must have the support of crossdressers so to be successful. I'm very happy surrounding myself with men, both gay and straight, and women, lesbian and straight. I don't need to go looking for peasants or (not to be mean) heshes for some form of validation.

So you're content with being a racist transphobe. This practically screams 'Log Cabin Republican' too.

I did not matriculate with a Juris Doctor in Law so to defend transvestites. I did so for selfless reasons, to work on bringing marriage equality for gay men and lesbians everywhere. It pains me when all our hard work is undermined by crossdressers, most of whom as Tyra shows, are welfare recipients, homeless and addicted to illicit drugs. They're embarrassing and as a "community" bring out reputation into disrepute.

TransGriot readers, here's an example of an 'educated fool'. The major thing that brings this community into disrepute is the breathtaking ignorance you're demonstrating in this comment.

Shannon Minter, the attorney who argued the Cali court decision giving you your marriage rights is a transman. Most of your so called hard work to gain your rights was on the backs of transpeople. Oh BTW, your racism is now on display as well. Not all transpeople are on welfare, drugs, or homeless either.

I will also be the first to admit that I have not done enough to stop Prop 8 or work towards legalizing same-sex marriages. I practice commercial law (and don't believe in pro bono work) so naturally I'm very busy. However, I HAVE made a personal commitment to work towards legalizing same-sex marriage this year. I am happy to boycott businesses, picket churches, etc., and by the end of the year I will know I have made a difference. Yes, I can accept that as of today, I have done very little for our 'cause', but that will change.

Do the gay community a favor and continue to be the self-centered, pompous anus you've demonstrated yourself to be in this comment that I've dissected. While I thank God that there are some GL peeps who are wonderfully inclusive allies, there are far too many peeps in the GL community we run into like this that turn us and potential straight allies away from supporting you on marriage equality issues because of the racist, transphobic selfishness in this comment.

They have the nerve to get their panties in a bunch when people call them on it.


Maddie H said...

Oh my god, that man is soaking in so much privilege and obviously loves that fact that I can't stand it.

He's emblematic of everything that's wrong with the LGBT movement.

Ben said...

Speaking as another "white," "educated," "middle-class," gay man this moron does NOT represent me or anything I stand for. It's people like this turning us against each other that have left our struggle for equal rights to flounder. When will these people realize that if we don't stand together we won't be able to stand at all?

Bunny said...

This shouldn't surprise anyone: it's typical "male" behavior. Men like to dominate society, so anything useful that women (or in this case t-girls) start is taken over, and turned into bastion of maleness, and the girls are just supposed to shut-up and recede into the background.

I have always been against the "T" in GLBT. I have nothing in common with gay males, or lesbians. Let them have their own movement. If we really want our own, then we should start one for us.

little light said...

I love that this jackass says he got his law degree for "selfless" reasons, just to help the community! And that's why he refuses to do pro bono work, only works for private-sector profit, and doesn't want to help any of the community that isn't directly about him.

What you said, Monica, and what Lisa said. It's people like this, who're constantly willing to harm other members of the community--how gracious, he's willing to allow lesbians to read the blog, so long as they don't speak up about their concerns!--in order to get a little more for themselves...they're the ones doing the most harm, not those of us who choose to stand together.

Dori said...

I did so for selfless reasons, to work on bringing marriage equality for gay men and lesbians everywhere.

Fucker needs to re-read a dictionary. That word does not mean what he thinks it means. If he were truly selfless he would be supporting something that doesn't directly benefit him in the least. I have known more than one asshole like this and they make me want to punch things.

I just don't understand, I really don't, how someone could ever rationalize a total lack of empathy and compassion. I realize that privilege when accepted and flaunted does exactly this, but I can't imagine what the thought process is. Does he go around all day thinking about how awesome he is and how the world needs to center itself around him?


The next time someone tells me that I'm paranoid when I talk about oppression and cultures of dominance, I should just show them this guy.

Diojeanne of Signup said...

This is fantastic... it sure kept me rolling. My favorite is the old, "I know I haven't done much/any activist work, but I plan to, so all activists need to abandon causes that don't directly benefit and join my tiny, restrictive coalition to get me the rights I crave" trope.

Even more than the anti-trans vitriol, the begrudging half-acceptance of lesbians is deeply hilarious. I'd bet a respectable sum that his mother used to punish him by making him wear a dress.

Monica Roberts said...

But Queerty's owner claims his space is 'transgender friendly'.

Yeah, and I have waterfront property along I-10 in the Atachafalaya Swamp near Breaux Bridge, LA I'd like to sell him.

Monica Roberts said...

Jamie, the problem with that logic is that we started the GLBT movement. Some transpeeps also identify as gay or lesbian and they have every right to be a part of that community.

AJ Plaid said...

...not enough shoes to throw at this dude (and Queerty for allowing this), not enough time in the day to throw them.

VĂ©ro B said...

That klunk is the sound of my jaw dropping.

What an amazing display of ignorance. I guess the one good thing about this idiot is that he's not a hypocrite. He puts his bigotry right out there.

Probably just as well he doesn't do pro bono work. I wouldn't even trust this guy if I were paying him.

Renee said...

If Queerty actually had a space that was trans friendly that comment would not have been up on their site longer than 60 seconds. You don't leave offensive hateful stuff like that up and then claim to care about trans people.
They claim to respect others but clearly they do not. They are a selfish crew only interested in pushing their agenda and to hell with anyone else.

Dennis R. Upkins said...

Yeah ask me again why Prop 8 passed.

Monica, I don't know if you're aware but this isn't the first time Queerty has passed some truly heinous racist and transphobic tripe.

I did a post on them awhile ago when they made some blatantly racist study saying that undesirable gay men are most likely to engage in drug use and unsafe sex.

And by undesirable gay men, they meant, the poor, older gays and anyone who wasn't of the caucasian persuasion.

Monica Roberts said...

you don['t have to tell me, I have firsthand experience with it.

Check Queerty and see how viciously I got attacked in the comment threads there when they posted the 'Your Pink Sheets Are Showing' post I wrote here on TransGriot.

Gina said...

One of our 'partners in struggle.' Wait until this putz gets laid off and he can't afford his Emperio Armani shirts anymore.

Gina said...

"But Queerty's owner claims his space is 'transgender friendly".

Translation: "We have a weekly recap of RuPaul's Drag Race."

little light said...

Word, Renee. Oy, what pendejos.
I've gotten out of the habit of even trusting that a space that proclaims itself trans-friendly will actually be, especially to trans women. I just left yet another organization that proclaims to be "LGBTQQ" when, after I aired some concerns that there was some transphobic behavior that made me feel unsafe, they allowed an older white cissexual gay man to literally back me up against the wall, loom at me, and raise his voice berating me about how I just wasn't being open enough to their welcome. Nobody seems to find that problematic in the least, and nobody seems to miss me.

Gina said...

More to be pitied than censured? Mmm, I think Mr. WGMP is for real. I've met lots of guys like that. In SF, where I live, there are entire bars, restaurants and clubs for those characters. Now what might not be totally real are his arrogant talk and claims of being so on top of everything. He's probably read too many Ayn Rand books.

Polar said...

I only have 2 letters for the piece of fecal matter who wrote the Queerty posting:


Just for the record, this crossdresser isn't sure whether he'll turn another finger in support of marital rights for gay men. Maybe just crossdressers should be married. Of course, many of us are. I also support the hanging of Janice Raymond and Joe Solmonese, while we're at it.

Unknown said...

I just think kind of absurd that you are screaming about gays and lesbians not supporting trans rights, but then you say things against gay marriage. If you don't have to support us, why should we support you?

Jah said...

Hunter, Im not sure who said anything against gay marriage. If a transperson did, it is most likely because they follow the same stupid feelings of other straight people. Transgenderism is a gender situation, not a sexual orientation thing, which is why we have gay, lesbian, bi and yes, even straight transgender ppl. we should all be working together and just to make it clear, there are many transpeople working for gay and lesbian rights, then gay and lesbians working for transgender rights. Get the facts, honey, get the facts.

Gina said...

Hunter, while I understand your concern about a double standard (and, btw, I live in California, and totally support marriage equity) your point lacks historical perspective. What some of the trans people on here are complaining about goes back to the 1950s-60s, when many of the earliest gay movements jettisoned their gender variant members (who helped start those movements) in favor of those who displayed highly gender normative behavior. We were thrown under the bus again in the late 90s and, most recently, again by HRC with the ENDA debacle. And now we're being told by the LG power brokers that marriage equity is the big enchilada and this is where the majority of the funds and effort are going. It's not that people in the trans community don't support marriage equity... overwhelmingly we do, but many are questioning how it's suddenly a more important issue than inclusive ENDA (and really, ENDA is very narrow in its scope). This didn't happen overnight. It's kind of like saying "well, that black person yelled something at a white person, that's just as bad as the other way around." And the truth is... no, there's not an equal balance to the level of power and discrimination historically experienced by both sides. I don't excuse Polar's negative sentiment, but it's NOT the same just in reverse. Our reality is, a lot of LGB people already haven't supported us when it counts and now we're being told, never mind that history and let's band together and put marriage equity first.

Monica Roberts said...

Because some gays and lesbians have a DOCUMENTED, long time antipathy towards supporting transgender rights. In many cases gays and lesbians were the primary actors and actresses in selfishly cutting us out of civil rights legislation using the bullshit cries 'it wouldn't pass with you in it', 'half a loaf is better than none' or 'we'll come back for you'.

And we're just as pissed about it.

I was in that jacked up position myself when I helped fight to pass job protection language in the JCPS employment policy DESPITE my anger over watching a panel cut transpeople out of it.

So no Hunter, it ain't homophobia, when people legitimately criticize y'all based on historically accurate information. You need to learn the difference.

It's the same frustration and anger you GL peeps are feeling about marriage equality, but transferred by transpeople to passing ENDA and hate crimes legislation.

Jah said...

and let's talk hate crime legislation. they are doing it again. i have learned that the hate crimes bill, that is suppose to come up for vote, this year, doesn't really include us either. WHAT A SURPRISE!
Barney is busy making us think he is all behind getting an inclusive bill passed for both hate crimes and ENDA, when really what he is doing is lying, AGAIN. If the hate crimes bill passes without absolute transgender legislation included, ENDA will do the same because the same language will be used. So, how again are gays and lesbians helping us?
I didn't think so.

Gina said...

So Kyle, let me see if understand you, if Polar does vote for marriage equity then you'll support their rights, and if Kyle doesn't vote on it, you won't support their rights? Is that it? That certainly sounds tit for tat and altogether unproductive.

First thing I might suggest is actually learning something about transpeople (rather than just being apologetic you don't know much) and our place in the struggle for your rights and how we've been treated by mainstream gay rights groups in return. Get informed. 'Sex Changes' by Patrick Califia is a good starting place. Then come back here and try to reconnect with some of what was said (also in anger). Maybe then, we can have a real discussion and sharing about what's bugging each of us and how we can avoid that.

kyle said...

I didn't mean that at all. I support transgender rights irregardless of polar's marriage equality opinion, votes or action. and thank you for the recommendation, I will read it.

Japhy said...

As the editor of Queerty- let me take a second to explain our commenting policy. Unfortunately, we're terribly understaffed, like most media sites, and so rely on our readers to flag inappropriate comments. When they do, we see them. They actually automatically get removed if enough people flag them, but we reserve the right to remove any and all comments.

It's simply impossible for us to wade through all the comments on the site. We do 20 posts a day on average and many of them regularly exceed 100+ comments. That's why we rely on readers to flag comments.

As for our coverage of trans issues, we continue to do so and I personally try to make all members of the LGBT community feel included.

Hope this clarifies the situation.

Gina said...

I appreciate how you're understaffed, but my problem isn't that these offensive sentiments were posted, rather that it reflects a very real opinion of a sizable portion of the LG (and queer) community. Which certainly isn't your fault nor responsibility. Nor do I by any means think the majority of Queerty's reader feel this way (although a portion of some of the most politically powerful LG peeps do). Personally, I would rather it were out in the open in all its ugliness rather than the Solmonese/Elizabeth Birch Syndrome of "smile & solidarity statements" and then a stab in the back.

Kyle: You're very welcome and I look forward to hearing your perspectives!

Chuck said...

I am a gay, 72 year old, middle class, white, businessman who was present at Stonewall and have been politically active ever since.

People like Harvey Milk, Craig Rodwell, Barbara Gittings and Dick Leitsch were close, personal friends of mine who were among the early gay rights leaders.

I am so embarrassed, as we come to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of Stonewall, that a member of our LGBT community, a man of privilege no less, can speak so despicably against a fellow human being.

On behalf of the LGBT community, I apologize for this man's over the top comments. I would like to think that this bigoted and hateful man does not speak for the rest of our community, for it it does, we are in deep trouble.

Jah said...

Thank you Chuck, for speaking out. I am sure, then, that you also knew Sylvia Rivera, as well as some of the other girls that were present through th ewhole Stonewall situation?
Unfortunately, he is views are not his alone and many, these days, do feel exactly like him and others that voiced one form or another, similiar to it. I know it hurts those of you that were around during that time. However, I must say this one thing. If those of you, that know the truth, had spoken up and not allowed some gay members of the community to hijack history, we may not be in this place today. I say this with no malice, just some frustration, around the whole issue. As a 44, almost 45 year old transman, it hurts me to see all of pioneers work go down the toilet.

Dale said...

Japhy, thank you for coming here to explain the situation at Queerty. You have a popular site, and it well deserves its popularity. I appreciate the coverage you give to trans matters.

I guess with its popularity comes the price of having more comments than can be watched over. Ayden's comment obviously struck a nerve for many in the trans community. We should have flagged it - en masse if necessary, but a couple probably would have been enough.

I'm sorry this discussion has been a coda to what was a funny and insightful article at Queerty.

Monica Roberts said...

Thanks for coming here to express your side of it, but as my homegirl Dawn Wilson likes to say, Accountability plus Responsibility = Credibility

I have over 1300 posts here, and the bottom line is that the editor/ blog owner sets the tone for what is and isn't allowed in terms of the comments on their sites.

Anyone that comes to TransGriot already knows or soon becomes aware that the wrath of Moni will come down on any homophobic, transphobic, insulting, or sexist comments on my posts and I set that tone from Day One.

You have a serious perception problem at Queerty that needs to be addressed because obviously the bigots feel comfortable expressing it over there and it needs to stop.

Gina said...

Again, I would rather see the bigoted reality from the relative safety of the Internet than having an edited, whitewashed view of the LGBT world. I don't think it's Queerty's fault for the attitudes of the people it attracts to its discussions. What might give it more cred is if there were editorial comments on how certain threads have evolved (or devolved) to let participants and the world know these transphobic views are not Queerty's views.

Renee said...

@Kyle I see that you completely miss the point. Whether or not you want to admit it, the GLBT community is nothing more than a microcosm of the larger society. This means that transphobia and racism are critical elements. How about you check your privilege at the door and acknowledge the ways in which your so-called liberal movement continues to privilege certain bodies in at attempt to legitimize its activist agenda. If people are angry it is because the GLB community has caused it with its continued desire to privilege the white male identity.

sidbrown210 said...

Oppression in it's most complete form is evident when the oppressed adopt and become convinced they are somehow on the "progressive" side of the prejudice exhibited against them. It's sad that we still are duped into conforming to a standard that doesn't include ALL of us. Thank you Chuck for speaking out. Instead of blaming the diversity within our own communities, let's continue to challenge the ignorance in others. As a black gay man, I know this all too well in terms of race; within the black community at one time "lighter" skin was revered (along with other terms like "good" and "bad" hair, "nappy"). If I can convince you to hate yourself and not the prejudice aligned against you, convince you that my bigotry is "normal" or acceptable, I don't have to challenge my own beliefs. It's really time the gay community evolve past this stuff. I say the same thing to my community of color.

sidbrown210 said...

Oppression in it's most complete form is evident when the oppressed adopt and become convinced they are somehow on the "progressive" side of the prejudice exhibited against them. It's sad that we still are duped into conforming to a standard that doesn't include ALL of us. Thank you Chuck for speaking out. Instead of blaming the diversity within our own communities, let's continue to challenge the ignorance in others. As a black gay man, I know this all too well in terms of race; within the black community at one time "lighter" skin was revered (along with other terms like "good" and "bad" hair, "nappy"). If I can convince you to hate yourself and not the prejudice aligned against you, convince you that my bigotry is "normal" or acceptable, I don't have to challenge my own beliefs. It's really time the gay community evolve past this stuff. I say the same thing to my community of color.