That trans Navy SEAL who nearly caught bin Laden? Apparently we hate her.

I wrote last June about Kristin Beck, née Chris Beck, a transgender woman who was part of the elite Navy SEAL team that went on to catch bin Laden. Unfortunately, Beck, who at the time was still going by “Chris Beck,” retired just before her team went after Osama, so she didn’t get to share in the glory.

I remember last year thinking, “Damn, the trans community is lucky to have someone like Beck.” As a two-decades strong national gay rights advocate I’d give my eye-teeth for a gay spokesperson who was not only a Navy SEAL, but who just missed out on catching bin Laden. You couldn’t ask for a better representative for your community than that.

But, as it happens, Kristin Beck is now evil, and simply must be destroyed. (You can find Kristin’s book about her experience, to the right.)

Why? Because Kristin accused Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning of being a traitor; nor was Kristin terribly thrilled about Manning using her gender identity as an excuse for stealing nearly a million classified documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then handing them over to Wikileaks.

It doesn’t take much of a stretch to understand why a Navy SEAL might have issues with someone who takes nearly a million pages of classified information and then releases it to an organization that isn’t terribly friendly to America.  Heck, I’ve never been a fan of Manning either, for the exact same reason. Did that make me anti-gay, when Manning was still claiming to be gay?

You’ll recall that, at the beginning, Manning was gay (or claimed to be gay). Some in the gay community embrace Manning as a hero, first because Manning was gay, and now because Manning is trans. I found Manning to be an embarrassment expressly because Manning was gay. Having worked in gay advocacy for twenty years, having a perceived-traitor as your spokesman doesn’t get you very far in terms of convincing the all-important American-middle to make common cause with you. (I’m also not a big fan of leaking state secrets unless you have a darn good reason, and I’m simply not convinced by Manning’s excuses.)

Kristin Beck, and Chris Beck.

Kristin Beck, and Chris Beck.

And, just like Beck, I was annoyed that Manning seemed to be using her (his at the time) sexual orientation (which was Manning’s initial argument, before coming out as trans) as an excuse for why she stole the documents and released them to Wikileaks.  Manning’s argument was a rather dangerous one for our community, as it reinforced the decades-old concern that being gay was a security risk. To have one of our own claim that “yes, being gay made me steal state secrets!” was not terribly helpful for the cause.  And it’s an especially unhelpful argument, now that we know Manning is trans, when one of the trans community’s top goals is getting the ban on trans service members lifted (the gay ban was lifted, the trans one was not).  Elevating to hero-hood someone who suggests that she stole classified documents because of her gender identity hands our enemies a rather powerful argument for never lifting the ban at all. They used this argument against gays for decades, and they will most assuredly use it against trans in the military as well.

Beck felt the same way.  And as a result, Beck, who should be the trans community’s number one spokesperson, is now a trans pariah.

Bradley Manning, before coming out as transgender woman Chelsea Manning.

Bradley Manning, before coming out as transgender woman Chelsea Manning.

Beck got a lot of blowback from the trans community for her comments blasting Manning, but also because she questioned whether Manning was really trans, and whether Manning was simply claiming to be trans as part of some ploy to garner sympathy. As a result, Beck went back and forth in her earlier statement about Manning, using “he” and “she” to refer to Manning.  Beck was criticized for this mis-labeling. (Though it’s an interesting question as to what pronoun a trans person should use for someone they think is lying about being trans. If you adopt the pronoun the person asks you to adopt, then you are acknowledging that they are trans, even though you think they’re lying.)

Since that time, Beck has apologized for her comments about Manning, and for the mis-labeling — to no avail. Beck continues to be hounded by trans activists who have declared her the enemy. She simply must be destroyed, and harassed endlessly. Leading Beck to issue a statement last night, begging people to forgive her and let her continue fighting for trans rights.

kristin-beckBeck joins a long list of people, not just trans people, who have been declared the enemy of [insert oppressed group here] based on often tenuous evidence, and it’s a charge you can never live down, even if the charge is wrong, or even if the charge is right and you repent for your sins. You will always be evil, you will always be the enemy, and you will always be targeted for destruction.

I’ve written about these topics before.  And it’s not just in the trans community. I’ve seen it on women’s issues, race issues, military issues.  Heck, I was even accused of being an Amish-hater the other day.  I’ve also written about the problem in the gay community, and about the failure by some of us to embrace Ken Mehlman’s, or Senator Portman’s, willingness to aid our cause.  (And at least with Mehlman and Portman, they were in fact our enemy, working against us. Yet, I still am willing to welcome them into the fold if they truly want to help. Kristin Beck, on the other hand, was never an enemy of trans people.)

We’ve gotten to a point in the culture, reinforced to a large degree by the Internet, where everyone is an instant activist, everyone is terribly oppressed (usually by their friends and allies), and anyone who disagrees with us about anything simply must be destroyed, incessantly. There is no room for error, for misinterpretation, or for repentance. If you step out of line once, even if you didn’t really step out of line at all, you’re dead to us forever.

Kristin Beck is God’s gift to the transgender community. I’d give my eye-teeth for a gay Navy Seal, who almost got the chance to kill bin Laden, representing my community.  And if that Navy SEAL said something wrong, and came clean about it, and was obviously sincerely repentant, I’d forgive her, and then use her to the maximum extent possible.

You can choose to be angry, or you can choose to win. I’ve always preferred the latter.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • JDH

    The T in ENDA has sunk the legislation twice and stalled it over and over, yet it’s the LGB who threw the T under the bus? “If I can’t have it, nobody can!” But it’s T that’s under the bus. Got it.

  • JDH

    Why is it so hard to understand that criticism of current trans activism is about the activism and not the people? I’ll just answer that for you – it’s not. Check your reading comprehension.

  • JDH

    Apparently you missed the memo where none of that matters. Seriously, don’t even dignify the insults by playing defense. Facts and reality do not matter to those who engage in this kind of activism. You rightly criticize the style of activism for being the social justice equivalent of strapping a bomb to your chest, and I applaud you for it.

  • Jade

    You disagree with Snowden too?? Why must you throw all white, straight, geeky guys under the bus, John? Why?

  • Jade

    Really? You read the site of a man who threw an entire, vulnerable segment of our population “under the bus”? If he actually did that–if you truly do believe that he did that–why would you respect his opinions on ANYTHING enough to continue to read his site? I mean, he threw trans people under the bus, according to you. Which means (unless this phrase has been watered down so badly that it’s pretty much meaningless by now) that he doesn’t give a shit about them or their rights or their dignity. So if he did that, as you say he did, then why in the world are you still here?

    I think I know why, but I’d like to hear your reasons.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Fair enough. But Kirstin’s comment makes clear that she’s being harassed to the point, now, where she felt the need to go public about it now. Her reaction is the same reaction countless people, gay and trans, have had after being serially bullied and harassed by this angry fringe, led in part by an Advocate reporter, but others in well. There is a serious problem with this fringe and their bullying, and I suspect you’ve not been on the receiving end, which is why you’re not recognizing the symptoms in Kristin’s appeal. It’s vicious, it’s phobic, and it’s beginning to destroy this movement, I fear. Calpernia Addams, a longtime trans advocate, posted this to Kristin’s Facebook page:

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes, I’m aware of that regarding RuPaul. But it gets interesting, as you note, regarding how large the “trans” umbrella is or isn’t, definition-wise. RuPaul says he’s a gay man, but also identifies as “a tranny.” And if people who aren’t trans can correctly identify as “trannies,” then the other debate about who can and can’t use the word “tranny” gets a lot more complicated, as the word itself doesn’t just apply to trans people, apparently. So the people it applies to would per se have a stake in saying whether or not they think the word is okay in any circumcstaances, and thus RuPaul’s opinion on the question matters.

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    There are always 2 sides of any coin. We had a tremendous amount of support. But there was also some ugliness that happened. Trans Inc. are the ‘professional groups’ that do lobbying that are big names usually.

  • Palto

    Hi John – just typed my response then saw yours. We’re on the same page :)

  • Palto

    I guess that means women who let their armpit hair grow or metrosexuals could fit into that gender deviant definition as well. The bottom line is when transsexuals who identified as heterosexuals and demanded to be seen as such were added to the plight, it muddied up the GLB cause.

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    No lecture intended. I just wanted to convey that the comments I saw on Facebook from trans people (and there were quite a few) were very supportive and understanding. One or two people had initial doubts about the appointment as spokesperson but Kristin’s apology and explanation quashed them. I wanted Allison to know that there is a lot of positivity out there too.

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    My profile picture’s a bit bland to be fair and no, I’m not transgender either. What I meant was that RuPaul doesn’t identify as a trans woman. I believe that ‘tranny’ in their case refers to ‘transvestite’. The definition of the trans* umbrella seems to differ depending on what you read. Some definitions include drag queens, some don’t. But Ru is not a trans woman for sure. I don’t agree with any implication that looking like a trans person is an insult. Happy to share your feelings there.

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    I think she is a good person and I’m seeing a lot of support for her.

  • KF

    Couple of notes. 1) Maybe I’m just ignorant, but this is the first I’ve heard of any of this. Pretty much everything I’ve seen about Beck prior to this, including over the past few months, has been positive. There may have been some people attacking her, and those attacks may have been incessant, but I’m not sure it’s the trans community as a whole doing the attacking. (I could be wrong, of course, and this may just have not have come up on the radar on any of the trans news sites I read, or in the twitter feeds or tumblrs of any trans activists I follow.)

    2) If she has been attacked, she has my sympathies. Doesn’t seem like she deserves it.

    3) Going back to the trans community deciding she’s evil and must be destroyed, as you say in your article, I’m in the middle of going through the comments below her two current facebook posts on the subject, and I’m seeing a lot of support for her from trans people there, including from people who disagreed with her about Manning. Obviously, she must have received enough grief of late to post about the subject, twice, but it doesn’t seem like the trans community as a whole has rejected her. I hope people are able to make her aware of that.

    Whatever crap she’s been getting, hopefully it lets up soon. She seems like a good person, served her country, is working for the betterment of trans people, and doesn’t deserve to be attacked.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes, but all women face the same prejudice, crtainly any woman who has chosen to go into the workforce rather than be a stay at home mom. And female pilots especially face prejudice for being “gender deviant,” as you call it, as do male nurses. And we certainly can’t call all women, all female pilots, and all male nurses LGBT. :) I think gender is a larger category that we all belong to, along with women, and some men.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I hope it’s a fringe, and I suspect it is. The problem is that the non-fringe doesn’t speak up very much. I’ve had a number of trans people tell me that they’re actually afraid of speaking up, for this very reason, they know they’ll be swarmed and attacked by the louder hacktivists. In the gay community, the fringe has not run the movement for decades, if ever. I’m about as fringe a leader as you get in the gay community, in terms of someone who’s a leader in his own way but not as mainstream as say HRC (HRC probably considers me fringe :). I’d love to see a coterie of trans bloggers and activists as level-headed and committed to justice as the gay bloggers have been or, say GetEqual has been. GetEqual went after the right people, be it our enemies, or our friends in the White House who needed a little prodding at the time :) GetEqual didn’t just make stuff up and save their gunpowder for constantly attacking our own, based on nothing more than animus. This is destructive stuff going on, and it appears to be based on little more than a visceral hatred for other members of our community. That isn’t right, and it doesn’t bode well.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’d argue that’s more a defense of Snowden than Manning, but again, i can easily see how people could fall on either side of the issue, regarding either Manning or Snowden.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Hi, actually the article is about Beck complaining that she has been incessantly attacked and harangued by trans activists for almost a year now, even after she apologized. So if you’re concerned that Beck is lying, you should definitely contact her and ask her about it. As for the larger problem of a vocal anti-gay fringe having taken over the movement, to its detriment, that’s been shown repeatedly with ample evidence, though I can appreciate how if this is your first visit to this issue it might look out of place. I do hope saner voices, like the ones you talk about, step up and reclaim the movement. It’s important for everyone.

  • Leah

    The discrimination faced by all within LGBT has common roots in that it’s based upon the idea of gender deviance. Much of the issues faced by LGBs are because they are seen as being gender deviant. This is the common link between them.

  • rabotnika

    This article would really benefit from direct quotes/links regarding what “The Trans Community” is supposedly subjecting Beck to. In fact, it could really use some sort of definition as to who/what makes up this community, seeing as you’re describing it as some kind of hivemind. Trans people, like gay people or Latin@ people or any socially defined class of people, are a diverse bunch, and will disagree on just about any issue, big or small. Even if you were to link one or two or even a dozen trans bloggers/random twitterers “declaring Beck an enemy,” it’s asinine to equate the opinions of a handful of people with whom you disagree with “The [X] Community.” It’s lazy and in this case turns your argument against a certain opinion on Ms. Beck into an attack on a broad group of people.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Just be thankful they’re not drag nun clowns, or we’d never sleep nights.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    So you, as someone who isn’t trans, is lecturing Allison, who is trans, about what trans people are really like. Huh.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You? ;-) And actually, RuPaul calls himself/herself a “proud tranny,” so I’m not sure Ru would agree with your decision to excommunicate her. I am, however, intrigued that you’re outraged by my mentioning RuPaul, but silent about Kathy suggesting that looking like a trans person is an insult. Do you think it’s insulting to look like a trans person? I find that really offensive.

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    All I can say is that this doesn’t reflect what I saw in people’s comments on Facebook. Obviously if people are not making their opinions known, then I don’t know what they are! I saw an immense amount of acknowledgement that we all make mistakes, gratitude for the apology and a willingness to move forward together. So my impression on the trans community (don’t know what Trans Inc is?) is very different to what is portrayed here. I want to state this because I want people to see that I don’t recognise what’s being said here in this case.

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    There was a comment made in 2013 by Kristin that she has repeatedly apologized for. There were quite a few posts about how bad a choice we made on the TVTP. Kristin has made her apology and some will never accept it. It appears that most have accepted it, understood what occurred and have moved on from it.

    There are also some that will never make their opinions known and shun her or simply deny her respect. Trans Inc. does this consistently with people it particularly doesn’t want to work with or won’t bow down to their logo stamping. Silence and refusal to stand behind her are more of the trademarks of organizational shunning. I have yet to see any Trans Inc. groups stand up for her or embrace her in any public manner. It’s been the same with the TVTP. Organizations that could be embracing our project, utilizing the statistics and information available simply remain silent as if somehow we will vaporize and aren’t worth their time to consider.

    People make mistakes like this all the time.

    Frankly speaking Kristin is one of the bravest, most wonderful individuals in the transgender movement I know. She is selfless in her giving to our community and I”m grateful that people have now accepted her and moved past the 1 post out of tens of thousands shes made.

    Johns’ article was dead on about the points he made and about some of the crazy things being done in our movement ……

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    That’s interesting. What I saw happening on Facebook is that some people were talking about being unhappy with the misgendering (in light of the specific appointment as a spokesperson), then an apology/explanation was made, then people seemed to move on. That seems the opposite of what’s being said in the article. Have I missed something here, Allison?

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    RuPaul is neither a trans ‘guy’ nor a trans ‘gal’, would you like to pick someone else that you’d like to look like?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Since a few of the new visitors are attempting to claim that AMERICAblog never writes anything in favor of, or helpful to, trans people, I thought I’d share a few links that took me about 2 minutes to gather. These are just a handful — only the posts from the last few years — but I think you’ll agree they’re quite eye-opening.

    Sadly, the Internet has empowered an angry vocal fringe in a number of movements on both the left and right. On the right they have the Tea Partyers; on the left practically every movement has its equivalent. But like the Tea Party, the facts often don’t coincide with the rhetoric, so they simply make stuff up. But the existence of a few bad apples will never justify ignoring injustice direced towards any community. AMERICAblog has always fought for the civil and human rights of everyone, including trans people, as you’ll easily see below, and we will continue to do so.

    With that in mind, here’s a sampling of our relatively recent trans coverage:

    Transgender woman takes over lead “gays in the military” group
    http://americablog.com/2012/10/transgender-military.html

    AP exposé on the plight of homeless gay, trans youth
    http://americablog.com/2012/03/ap-expose-on-the-plight-of-homeless-gay-trans-youth.html

    The trans Navy SEAL who (almost) helped catch bin Laden
    http://americablog.com/2013/06/trans-woman-catch-bin-laden-kristin-beck.html

    The anti-gay right’s new target: Transgender kids
    http://americablog.com/2013/09/noms-new-target-transgendered-kids.html

    “Heroes,” a Portuguese PSA about trans families (video)
    http://americablog.com/2012/10/heroes-a-portuguese-psa-about-trans-families-video.html

    Transgender video – “Injustice at every turn”
    http://americablog.com/2011/04/transgender-video-injustice-at-every-turn.html

    Transgender homecoming queen in tears after brutal YouTube bullying
    http://americablog.com/2013/09/transgender-homecoming-queen-tears-brutal-online-hazing.html

    It’s a little weird that the Pentagon is celebrating “transgender” Pride considering it bans them
    http://americablog.com/2012/06/its-a-little-weird-that-the-pentagon-is-celebrating-transgender-pride-considering-it-bans-them.html

    Transgender woman shot and killed in DC
    http://americablog.com/2011/07/transgender-woman-shot-and-killed-in-dc.html

    Chrissy Lee Polis, victim of brutal McDonalds attack, speaks out
    http://americablog.com/2011/04/chrissy-lee-polis-victim-of-brutal-mcdonalds-attack-speaks-out.html

    Transgender work rights SLOWLY improving
    http://americablog.com/2011/04/transgender-work-rights-slowly-improving.html

    Adam Carolla’s offensive rant, his lame apology and the transgender community’s outreach
    http://americablog.com/2011/08/adam-carollas-offensive-rant-his-lame-apology-and-the-transgender-communitys-outreach.html

    Very Cool Interactive Map of Gender Diverse Societies
    http://americablog.com/2011/05/very-cool-interactive-map-of-gender-diverse-societies.html

    Russians film brutal video of attack on transgender woman
    http://americablog.com/2013/08/5-russians-film-their-horrific-attack-on-transgender-woman-video.html

    In Argentina, “going for more equality” with gender equality legislation
    http://americablog.com/2011/08/in-argentina-going-for-more-equality-with-gender-equality-legislation.html

    Dumped by her own community on Valentine’s Day
    http://americablog.com/2014/02/dumped-community-valentines-day.html

    Biden: Transgender discrimination is the “civil rights issue of our time”
    http://americablog.com/2012/10/biden-transgender-discrimination-is-the-civil-rights-issue-of-our-time.html

    Pat Robertson: Being transgender is a real thing, and it’s not a sin (video)
    http://americablog.com/2013/07/pat-robertson-transgender-is-not-a-sin-video.html

    Queen Elizabeth excludes gays, trans from “non-discrimination” charter
    http://americablog.com/2013/03/queen-elizabeth-gay-charter-discrimination.html

    LAX TSA undergoing transgender sensitivity training
    http://americablog.com/2011/08/lax-tsa-undergoing-transgender-sensitivity-training.html

    14 races for gay and trans people to watch today
    http://americablog.com/2012/11/14-races-for-gay-and-trans-people-to-watch-today.html

    The balls to be a trans activist on national TV in Uganda (video)
    http://americablog.com/2012/12/the-balls-you-have-to-have-to-be-a-trans-activist-on-tv-in-uganda.html

    Rally for trans girl barred from running for homecoming queen
    http://americablog.com/2010/10/rally-for-trans-girl-barred-from-running-for-homecoming-queen.html

    Bangor Daily News blasts anti-trans legislation, would “put them at risk of harassment”
    http://americablog.com/2011/05/bangor-daily-news-blasts-anti-trans-legislation-would-put-them-at-risk-of-harassment.html

    NYT looks at trans candidates
    http://americablog.com/2010/10/nyt-looks-at-trans-candidates.html

    Trans woman asks anti-gay bigot if he’d like to stone her (video)
    http://americablog.com/2014/01/trans-woman-asks-anti-gay-bigot-hed-like-stone-video.html

    CT’s Governor signs law providing protections for “gender identity or expression”
    http://americablog.com/2011/07/cts-governor-signs-law-providing-protections-for-gender-identity-or-expression.html

    TNR asks “What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?”
    http://americablog.com/2011/06/tnr-asks-what-will-it-take-for-america-to-accept-transgender-people-for-who-they-really-are.html

    Anti-transgender bill defeated in Maine legislature
    http://americablog.com/2011/06/anti-transgender-bill-defeated-in-maine-legislature.html

    Lawrence, Kansas adds gender identity to non-discrimination laws
    http://americablog.com/2011/09/lawrence-kansas-adds-gender-identity-to-non-discrimination-laws.html

    The time Archie Bunker gave mouth-to-mouth to a trans woman (video)
    http://americablog.com/2013/11/time-archie-bunker-gave-mouth-mouth-trans-woman-video.html

    Robin Tyler is organizing in support of Chaz Bono
    http://americablog.com/2011/09/robin-tyler-is-organizing-in-support-of-chaz-bono.html

    CT governor signs law providing protections for gender identity or expression
    http://americablog.com/2011/07/cts-governor-signs-law-providing-protections-for-gender-identity-or-expression.html

    Now that DADT is gone
    http://americablog.com/2011/09/now-that-dadt-is-gone.html

    Nasty anti-trans SNL skit
    http://americablog.com/2011/01/nasty-anti-trans-snl-skit.html

    Trans in the military, has their time come?
    http://americablog.com/2012/01/trans-in-the-military-has-their-time-come.html

    Gay/trans rights bill voted down in Florida
    http://americablog.com/2012/08/gaytrans-rights-bill-voted-down-in-florida.html

    In Kalamazoo campaign, opposition resorts to trans bashing
    http://americablog.com/2009/10/in-kalamazoo-campaign-opposition-resorts-to-trans-bashing.html

    DC government to run pro-trans ads at bus stops
    http://americablog.com/2012/09/dc-government-to-run-pro-trans-ads-at-bus-stops.html

    ExxonMobil against consider proposal to bar anti- gay, trans discrimination
    http://americablog.com/2012/05/exxonmobil-against-consider-proposal-to-bar-anti-gay-trans-discrimination.html

    Carnival Cruise: You can dress in drag if your drag looks like your photo ID, which would be NO ONE
    http://americablog.com/2012/11/carnival-cruise-ban-drag-gay.html

    Study: Trans people 10x more likely to attempt suicide
    http://americablog.com/2014/02/study-trans-people-10x-likely-attempt-suicide.html

    Argentina now leads the world in trans rights
    http://americablog.com/2012/05/argentina-now-leads-the-world-in-trans-rights.html

    Trans man wins UK Big Brother competition
    http://americablog.com/2012/08/trans-man-wins-uk-big-brother-competition.html

    Transgender beauty queen gets okay for Miss Universe pageant
    http://americablog.com/2012/04/transgender-beauty-queen-gets-okay-for-miss-universe-pageant.html

    Poland elects first openly-transgender member of parliament
    http://americablog.com/2011/10/poland-elects-first-openly-transgender-member-of-parliament.html

    Bravo’s anti-trans swipe
    http://americablog.com/2011/07/bravos-anti-trans-swipe.html

    ABC’s controversial new show has men dressing up as women
    http://americablog.com/2011/12/abcs-controversial-new-show-has-men-dressing-up-as-women.html

    Trans civil rights bill about to go to governor in Mass.
    http://americablog.com/2011/11/trans-civil-rights-bill-about-to-go-to-governor-in-mass.html

    Top Romney aide gleefully outed transgender woman, ending her political career
    http://americablog.com/2012/05/top-romney-aide-gleefully-outed-transgender-woman-ending-her-political-career-2.html

    Transgender advocate talks about trans in the military to CNN
    http://americablog.com/2012/06/transgender-advocate-talks-about-trans-in-the-military-to-cnn.html

    A tale of two West Point cadets: One gay, one trans
    http://americablog.com/2013/03/outserve-sldn-dinner-gay-trans-military.html

    Bradley Manning: “I am Chelsea Manning, I am a woman”
    http://americablog.com/2013/08/bradley-manning-to-live-as-a-woman.html

    Was advice columnist right to tell woman to divorce transgender husband?
    http://americablog.com/2012/11/advice-columnist-advises-woman-to-divorce-transgender-husband.html

    Big transgender ruling from EEOC
    http://americablog.com/2012/04/big-transgender-ruling-from-eeoc.html

    Gloria Allred unhappy with Donald Trump following overturn of trans ban at Miss Universe
    http://americablog.com/2012/04/gloria-allred-unhappy-with-donald-trump-following-overturn-of-trans-ban-at-miss-universe.html

    Chinese grandpa becomes sensation after modeling teen-girl clothes for grandkid’s store
    http://americablog.com/2012/11/chinese-grandpa-becomes-sensation-after-modeling-womens-clothes-for-grandkids-store.html

    Uplifting transgender teen article makes front page news in Tulsa
    http://americablog.com/2011/05/uplifting-transgender-teen-article-makes-front-page-news-in-tulsa.html

    Growing up gay or transgender in Appalachia
    http://americablog.com/2011/05/growing-up-gay-or-transgender-in-appalachia.html

    Crowd of 300 showed up at McDonald’s to protest anti-trans violence
    http://americablog.com/2011/04/crowd-of-300-showed-up-at-mcdonalds-to-protest-anti-trans-violence.html

    White House holding secret meeting with trans leaders, activists not pleased
    http://americablog.com/2011/04/white-house-holding-secret-meeting-with-trans-leaders-activists-not-pleased.html

    Aloha state passes employment protections for transgender Hawaiians
    http://americablog.com/2011/04/aloha-state-passes-employment-protections-for-transgender-hawaiians.html

  • dcinsider

    Were they the “fringe” I’d agree, but they are not “fringe” they are the trans community. The fringe in the trans community are the thoughtful people who want to work with their allies, but alas, they are few and far between, and nowhere near the leadership.

  • KellyWalderfuu

    my Aunty Allison recently got a nice 6 month old Jaguar by
    working from a macbook.this website C­a­s­h­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  • arcadesproject

    I don’t, and can’t hate, anyone who disagrees with Chelsea Manning’s decisions and conduct. But the US is better off, not worse, for knowing that its government is engaged in massive warrantless surveillance on its own citizens.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    OK, I give you permission to be wigged-out by the sisters. :)

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    I don’t envy me either :)

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    My first reaction is, is it the “trans community” that’s trashing Beck, or the trans thought police? I suspect the latter — they, like the fringes of our own community (or any other), tend to be more vocal and more rigid than the community as a whole.

  • Palto

    I personally think adding the T to GLBT set us back years. I wish transgendered people all the best but I have no idea what they have to do with the GLB community other than the shared minority and ‘outcast’ aspect. If they are gay yes but if they identify as heterosexual then no. T should not be part of the GLB equation.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well said.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Boy, I don’t envy you, having to deal with these folks :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I suspected that if we permitted you to comment long enough, you’d become vulgar and start personally attacking people. Fortunately, Allison and other trans people we’ve all met over the years serve as proof that we shouldn’t write off all transgender people based on an angry vocal fringe, and we won’t.

    And I’ve known Dan for years, he’s not mega-rich at all. In fact, he’s been burning the candle at both ends trying to provide for his family, which includes a teenage son. You have no way of knowing how much money Dan has, but your animus presumes and assumes so much about people you so want to dislike. It’s just very sad.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m going to leave your comment up as an illustration of the animus that sadly permeates so much of this debate. But I will not let you bash trans-bash or gay-bash, and your comment does both. There is nothing wrong with looking like a trans person, and your attempt to make “looking trans” an insult is really beyond the pale. This site has fought for trans people, and all civil rights, for a long time, and will continue to do so long after you are gone.

    As for Kristin Beck, the respect I have for her risking her life for our country, and being courageous enough to come out as trans, especially with a recent military background, isn’t based on what she thinks of me, nor should it be.

  • Kathy11

    We? Didn’t you just divorce yourself from trans people like two posts ago? Funny – you should hear what Kristin thinks of you, John.

    Jeez – show a modicum of consistency. Edit to say they. Even though you are one of those men who could pass as a trans guy pretty easily – it really doesn’t count.

  • http://greenleegazette.com/ James L. Greenlee

    Is it okay to be a little wigged out by the drag nuns? I know they do a lot for the community, but it’s the combo of religion and clown make up that gives me a wiggins.

  • Circ09

    Now you are just whining. I didn’t criticize you for adding your voice to the conversation on ENDA. I appreciated your perspective at the time as it helped me get clear about my own. I framed your position the way I see it and told you that I think you are wrong. There is a difference. Kristen Beck is not the enemy of all Ts. You yourself conceded that in another posting. And in time I’m sure she will speak her own truths to the movement. Dan Savage is mega successful, rich, considered a hero to Gay rights and hasn’t been thrown out of any movement either. He is taking criticism. That is nothing new. He has taken criticism from others in the GLBT community before. So what? He is still talking. He is still telling his truth. Now Andrew Sullivan! of all people has even entered the fray. Why are you so chickenshit? Not everyone in the GLBT movement has to agree with your positions all the time, John. You may even find yourself in a permanent minority on this
    issue. So what? It doesn’t mean you can’t add your voice to the conversation
    and suggest solutions. You have your own blog with an audience to do it on
    even. Why would you let Ts that do not represent all Ts and certainly not all GLBTs dictate what is and what is not proper discourse? Why are you giving others that much power over you?

  • 王仙賜

    It’s more like this. We beg and beg for rights, and to be a part of the political process, and ignoring criminal activity perpetuated by the government is kind of hypocritical. And then to label the woman who performed an essential public service as a “traitor” is really sad. Also, on a side note, I’m sorry you’re taking so much flack from so called trans* “activists”. The more the rail on minor or non-issues, and beat up and castigate allies and fellow community members, the less they are going to get anyone to care about real and important issues affecting the trans* community globally. And that’s really sad.

  • Ninong

    Bradley Manning’s behavior in the Army prior to the incident that made him infamous was proof positive that he was a troubled young man and not suitable for military service. It was a total failure on the part of the Army that they mishandled him badly.

    I have never been convinced that Manning’s motives were in any way patriotic or some sort of service to our country. I think he did what he did out of spite and for his own revenge because he was dealing with serious mental health issues. If the Army couldn’t give him the mental health care he obviously needed based on his history of irrational insubordinate behavior, then they should have discharged him.

    When it comes to Edward Snowden, I don’t agree with what he did but I don’t question his explanation of his motives. I think that in his own mind he thought he was doing the right thing.
    As far as Ken Mehlman is concerned I will never ever forgive him for what he did in devising Bush’s campaign based on getting the rabid fundies to the polls to vote by getting ballot measures banning same-sex marriage in as many states as possible. Get out the vote by making sure there is something against the Gays on the ballot at the same time. What a total low-life! A total lying scumbag and nothing he has done after he decided he was really gay after all will erase all that hate. Remember the dirty tricks he personally directed from his office in the White House? He should have gone to prison for that crap!

    Chris Beck, now Kristin Beck, is a true hero! Chelsea Manning, then Bradley Manning, is a troubled person who was unsuited for military service and the Army was negligent in not recognizing that problem and dealing with it properly.

  • pappyvet

    Thank you Allison,you will be hearing from me.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Crimes, in this case, consist of the mass murder and genocide of the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama. And of lying about WMD’s and creating a war fever with those lies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wyCBF5CsCA

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama, the Clintons and the Bushes are war criminals. Chelsea Manning is a hero.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    No — just this one individual (I’m sure there are others, but they’re bound to be exceedingly rare, even among the already uncommon Trans-folks).

    To my thinking, to be so gender-rebellious as to eschew both the male and female pronouns for the neutral (which absolutely has been used as a hate-speech slur against the Trans-folks) and then have a complete meltdown over a word that some in the LGBT (and also apparently the Trans* exclusive) community are debating whether to reclaim as a badge of pride as ‘queer’ was — suggests a person with more than a few self-identity and social adjustment issues.

  • Brian C. Bock

    I also reject the idea that we must include T even if it means LGB are dealt a setback. I understand the fear that LGB will get their rights and the door will close with T on the wrong side. But forgive me for not seeing it this way. Rights aren’t an instant. They are a continuum. African Americans and women STILL struggle for their rights. They’re always being challenged. There’s always another f-ing fight to be fought. And in the rights of African Americans, it’s not just African Americans fighting. People of all colors fight for their rights. Men fight for women’s rights. Straights fight for LGB & T rights. The way this happens is coalitions. Now is the time to build those coalitions. Stop attacking people and preventing them from achieving their goals or they won’t be able to help you achieve yours.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I think that in fact this issue has been unsafe to discuss for years now, sadly. Look at the comments above, you just criticized me (above) for my attempt to discuss these issues in 2007, which only goes to buttress my point that if one attempts to discuss these issues in a manner that might not conform 100% with what some folks would prefer, you will be forever the enemy, like Kristin Beck is now, like Dan is, etc. And I think that not only kills conversation, it means things never get better, misunderstanding and animosity grows, until things become very unproductive, which I think they’re now becoming.

  • BloggerDave

    There are also transgendered male to female who are in fact lesbians post-op… The same is true in some female to male … Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are separate issues…

  • Brian C. Bock

    “IT”?!! Seriously?! This is the word now? You cannot talk about this subject without stepping on a rake and having it hit you in the teeth. Fortunately, I don’t mind the taste of rake.

  • 2karmanot

    Nobody could be considered a neutral host by the hysterical standards of the T community.

  • 2karmanot

    Couldn’t agree more with John’s view. Thanks for highlighting it!

  • Brian C. Bock

    Regardless to what you believe about it, Bradley committed a crime and Chelsea must pay for it. I’m glad it was done. But it was a crime. You can commit a crime even when doing the “right” thing. Sucks, but it’s true.

  • Brian C. Bock

    Personally, I think since the crime was committed under the name of Bradley, he should be identified as such when talking about those crimes. But Chelsea came afterward and she should be address as such for any other reason. But I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to identify her as having been born Bradley because she is liable for her crimes when she was Bradley.

  • Circ09

    My movement is your movement. And there are no issues ever too unsafe to discuss. Only people that are too afraid to have the conversations.

  • pappyvet

    Thanks. Ok then………..

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Trust me, I won’t be hosting a peace summit :) It’s pretty clear that this isn’t an issue that’s safe to discuss. Which means it will continue to fester, the misunderstandings and animus will grow, and the movement won’t move forward. Which was exactly what I prediced, in 2007, would happen if we couldn’t have an honest discussion on these issues without accusing each other of treason. If you think things are going well for your movement, stay the course.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s ok, I totally understand how some people find Manning and Snowden to be heroes. I disagree, but agree that it’s arguable. And maybe that’s why we’re splintering. I do think young people feel like “we’ve won,” so now they want to move on to other issues, and ignore the issues that haven’t been won. Not sure. I also think the Internet has empowered folks who have a counterproductive approach to success, shall we say :)

  • Allison Denise Woolbert
  • tamarz

    I happen to disagree with you about Chelsea Manning, but I agree with your main point. I was talking with my husband last night about the pieces you’ve been writing on the attacks on gay leaders and notables by other members of the LGBTQ community. And it occurred to me (and my psychiatrist husband agrees) that this is, at least in part, a byproduct of success. We’ve had a tremendous string of wins and enormous progress in the last few years. Many of the goals that united us have been achieved and when that happens, groups often splinter and start these internecine battles. It happened to the civil rights movement, it happened in the women’s movement. Sadly, that splintering (in all of these cases) occurs before we really get to where we hoped to be.

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    I certainly think it’s possible to gain a clear and concise series on this kind of issue. I also think it will take some compromise to get individuals to a great understanding of what is truly happening in the “T”. We could certainly bring people together to begin the discussions. Dan has been especially harsh on the B and then there is RuPaul, a gay man that is causing ruckas over other things. Although I am one voice in this movement, some would follow, others would decry it as erasing them and yet others would be delighted. I’m game- the worst that can happen is we get a little better at life together.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Agreed. A good dose of personal finance education should be part of every education (of course then people would know how to avoid getting ripped off by their bank, cable company, phone provider, etc. so we can’t have that) and it would include a study of the common scam types. Some of them go back to the middle ages (Spanish prisoner, pigeon drop, etc.). People actually fall for that Nigerian prince thing, although lately the emails are made to sound like they are from soldiers stationed in Afghanistan who need someone to make a deposit for them. There is no stooping too low for scammers, I guess.

  • nicho

    I’m thinking in terms of a Gandhi, King, Milk,

    I think the message has been sent — loud and clear — what happens to people like that. You can include JFK, RFK, and Malcolm X on the list. Are you willing to volunteer?

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I’m just explaining why there is no Gandhi, King or Milk in 2014. it’s not just gay people who don’t have a leader like that today. No one does, and that’s why.

    And yes, we should be focusing on accomplishing something, maybe that “gay agenda” I keep hearing about, instead of attacking each other. You are definitely right about that.

  • nicho

    The problem is that to make a difference, they need access to government officials. To get access, you need to play nice — in other words agree to be co-opted and not make a fuss. After all, if you hold someone’s feet to the fire, then you won’t be invited to the White House Holiday Taffy Pulling Party. So, as long as you make bland statements in nicey-nice language, you’ll continue to get the invites. Step outside the line and you’re off the list.

  • nicho

    My cousin is making $150 an hour on the pole. And, as far as the state is concerned, she has been unemployed for 18 months.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I read with interest Dan Savage’s follow-up article in which he commented about his recent experience with a Trans person at the talk at the U of Chicago. Obviously much of it was how dismayed he was at the demand that he not use a particular word when talking — in a very general way — about how the LGBT community as a whole has used a strategy of taking back previously pejorative terms and defiantly making them positive again. His list included all kinds of words, of which ‘tranny’ was just one.

    Rightly so, he mentioned how many older gays and lesbians are uncomfortable with the word ‘queer.’ Funny, but I guess it shows my age that I’m exactly one of those. I personally have a hard time ‘taking back’ a word that was thrown at me as a child, decades before I was willing to acknowledge my orientation. ‘Queer’ makes me a little uncomfortable, but knowing what’s intended and meant by those who want to reclaim it, I’m not going to freak out if I hear someone using it in general or even to refer to me in a non-insulting way.

    Me, if I’m not going to be all pedantic and describe myself as “a bisexual woman married to a lesbian”, I’ll probably lean towards just “gay.” But I’m not going to demand that every individual I run across use that word. Nor am I going to go all medieval if someone now says, “Oh, so you’re queer.” It’d be more like, “Not the word I’d use, but sure, it’s close enough.”

    I was especially struck by this ‘Hex’ person’s rage, absurd tears, and indignant storming out over a discussion about a word Savage was commanded to refer to as the ‘T-slur’ — by a person who also demanded to be referred to by a pronoun that many know quite well is in nearly all cases literally the WORST thing you can call a transperson: It.

    This is exactly the kind of representative who would drive away even me, someone who considers herself a friend of and advocate for trans rights. I mean, this sort of behavior goes beyond wallowing in victimhood and seeks to revel in being aggressively alienating. (Dan was also right: If anyone had overheard him talking about Hex after the fact and using the ‘it’ pronoun, there’s no one who would not immediately assume he was incredibly anti-trans bigoted.)

    We definitely need more like Allison to speak up and show everyone there are perfectly sane voices out there. To offset the ‘monolithic’ alienators and professional perpetual victims.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I think that’s actually the way it works. If you are born male, or however one says it correctly, and you’re attracted to men, you’re gay. If you later figure out that you are in fact female, and thus transgender, and you’re still attracted to men, then you are straight. The two work independently of each other.

  • Circ09

    I read your comment below before posting and I stand by my wording as relating to John’s positions during the last ENDA fight. John can frame it however he wants. But that is what he did. Also, you see GLB civil rights as separate from T civil rights. I do not. Many T are also GLB and many GLB are discriminated against by straights over ideas of gender normativity rather than for orientation. As such, there is nothing in Title VII preventing some GLB from also requesting protection. As a lesbian, I am fighting for the same civil rights as my T friends. And I have no interest in running over someone else so I can be more comfortable first. I also don’t trust men that say they will come back for me when they have their comfortable spot in the world. History shows otherwise.

  • Bill_Perdue

    ENDA was killed after being gutted by Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi in 2007 and by Obama and the Congressional Democrats in 2010.

    My opinion is that a robust Constitutional civil right Amendment that targets political, economic and religious bigots with robust punishments for infringements on our rights to equality in employment, housing and public services is better. And that it should specifically include the LGBT communities, women, people of color and immigrant and imported workers.

  • basenjilover

    Enlighten me…. Are Manning and Beck dating men or women? If they’re dating men, then they should claim to be “straight”. If you transition to be woman and date men, you’re longer “gay” but straight and represent accordingly. Simple logic in my opinion. And that doesn’t mean I do not want transgenders as part of group. I’d consider them as “straight” allies.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Trans folks are not the only people in the LBGT communities who are disgusted by Becks rightwing and pro-war comments.

    There continues to be widespread support in all the LGBT communities for Manning’s heroism and her attempts to save the lives of GIs and civilians in Iraq and elsewhere and widespread antiwar sentiment in the US. It delivered a humiliating defeat to Obama’s warmongering attempt to attack Syria last year.

    Beyond that the revelations about empire building by American officials and of mass murder by the US military murder machine helped spark the Arab Spring. (Actually the Arab Spring is mislabeled because it’s effects were felt in Iran’s mass demonstrations against the mad Ayatollahs and in Turkey in efforts to topple the islamist government of Abdullah Gul.)

  • pappyvet

    I think it is time for us to have a legitimate discussion within the greater LGBT community about putting the knives down and starting anew the struggle of backing one another.

    What can be done? How do we do it? The web is wonderful , lets use it ! Nobody has to go anywhere. But we all have to use our hearts and brains because as you well know , there are people out there who see no difference in any of us in the community. At least as far as the hangman’s noose is concerned. And they are loving all the fighting.

    It’s time to get over it and show our stuff. Show our maturity with grace.

    The web is a perfect vehicle. I envision it as something akin to an online version of Constitution: That Delicate Balance series that PBS put out some time back.
    Lets stop the nonsense and invite some folks like you and Chris and Dan Savage to put all this to rest and become more than the sum of our parts. And yes if he chooses , John would be a perfect moderator.
    Allison , do you remember the phrase from that old Eagles song. “I lost my power in this world because I did not use it. ” Damn right.
    All of us here are sitting in front of a most powerful tool. Let us use it and start stitching this family back together.

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    I could see working with someone I know to host an online round table for discussions. In many ways, there has been a splitting of how sexual orientation and gender identity have been gaining civil rights. For the “T” most of it has been through court actions that filter down. Much of the LGB now are utilizing the same methods. ENDA is a nightmare on a dozen different levels and I advocated heavily in 2010 in DC over it. AEB seems to have a better path. But frankly, as time goes along, neither solution may be easily obtained. We are all a bargaining chip that politicians use.

  • FLL

    Your reply is exactly the reason why I wrote my earlier comment below, in which I proposed that people be more careful about using the phrase “throw someone under the bus.” LGB people (and trans people) have every right to fight on their own behalf without asking anyone’s permission. African-American civil rights leaders during the 1960s didn’t feel obliged to bundle their struggle with the struggles of other oppressed groups, and I don’t think they were doing anything wrong. Please see my reference below to the 2012 decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to use Title VII protections against gender discrimination to protect trans employees (which, of course, didn’t apply to LGB employees, who have no such national protections in the workplace). I don’t see anything amiss with this, and I will guess that you don’t either.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The central question here is that Chelsea Manning took heroic steps to help end the war and the save the lives of countless Iraqi civilians and of her fellow GIs. For that she was tortured and jailed.

  • pappyvet

    It was a simple idea to open doors not another reason to disrespect.

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    pappyvet- what type of roundtable are you suggesting? I”m interested in hearing more.

  • Circ09

    I’m not opposed to you having an opinion & expressing it, John. If I were, I would not still read your site. But in answer to pappyvet’s musing about “who could be against it and why”, you would not be considered a neutral host by LGB and especially most T for a roundtable conversation. Participant sure, but not a host.

  • FLL

    Moving ahead separately in order to satisfy the bigotry of some transphobic gay people would be ironic because it would mirror the bigotry of fundamentalist Christians. I agree with you on that point. My thoughts were centered more around strategy in state legislatures and company boardrooms, where it would be counterproductive to insist that every initiative must be a combined bundle that includes both LGB and trans people. To prove the point that it works both ways, consider the 2012 ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that Title VII gender discrimination covers transgender employees (but obviously not gay or bisexual employees). That allowed transgender employees to leap frog ahead of LGB employees, who currently have no such protections. I will repeat that, once again, there is nothing wrong with this. Progress is progress, whether it’s leap frogging or not. A link is provided here. Here is an excerpt from the article:

    In a decision that could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled April 20, 2012, that an employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person’s gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on sex but does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of transsexualism or gender identity. The EEOC’s ruling in Macy v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stated that intentionally discriminating against an individual based on gender identity, change of sex and/or transgender status is a form of sex discrimination and, thus, is actionable under Title VII.

    This ruling marks the first time that the EEOC has provided any guidance on the extent to which Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition applies to transgender employees.

  • The_Fixer

    True. And I know what that’s like. However, there are constant warnings about these scams. But people still play 3-card Monty on the streets of New York and people fall for scams all the time.

    It’s a shame, it really is. But really, maybe wishful thinking should be replaced sometimes with a healthy dose of cynicism. “If it sounds too good to be true…”

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Well, you’re suggesting that gay people aren’t permitted to have an opinion on their own civil rights. I think it was absolutey just to ask gay people whether they wanted to kill legislation they’d been working on for thirty years, postponing their own civil rights, when this was affecting people who very well may not have been able to afford that postponement. I think it’s wrong to suggest that gay people who disagree with you are no longer permitted an opinion on the course of their own civil rights, and their own civil rights legislation. The very way that you frame this is part of the larger problem of silencing, and creating animosity and division. I just don’t think it helps move us forward.

  • pappyvet

    I would rather let John or perhaps Allison reply to that.

  • keirmeister

    Well, the HRC is an organization with its own needs and agenda. That’s not exactly the same thing as what I mean, but I get your point. :)

  • pappyvet

    double dip amen

  • pappyvet

    Brilliant! I do not exchange money over the web but if you Allison and you too John wish to email me with another way I would love to donate as much as I can. I believe John has my email don’t be afraid to use it or you can get it from Becca. I would have donated to Americablog long ago but for some medical and burial bills I would rather not go into .
    Perhaps it is time to polish my marching boots again. All my love and support

  • keirmeister

    No, ideological purity is the exact opposite of what I mean. I’m thinking in terms of a Gandhi, King, Milk, etc. I’m thinking the leader(s) would be more on the moral side…definitely not the gatekeeper side. Easier said than done, obviously.

    Targets indeed, but it’s that kind of leadership that moves people.

    I’m just thinking out loud while sipping my liberal hippie tea. The real questions is, what is an effective way to focus people’s energies on the bigger picture instead of getting sidetracked by the noise?

  • Circ09

    I don’t think John hosting would go over well with a large segments of LGBT. He was one of the first to throw Transgender people under the bus during the last ENDA fights & openly advocated separating LGB from T.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    AT the rate online media is going, I may be :)

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    Our movement has a long history of shooting our wounded. I remember my own rantings in advocacy in my earlier days not so long ago. Some never forgave me. But- our community is growing as all communities do. Kristin is a gift beyond gifts and a powerful voice to not only our community but the world abroad. She is reaching ever deeper into society and producing greater understandings and is incredibly talented.

    Our movement as with the gay movement has to proceed carefully and with purpose. We are all reaching closer and closer to true equality for us all.

    At the same time, we must not forget those who paid the ultimate price and lost their lives in the movement for living their true selves. So the TVTP with Kristins’ help will begin the process of retracing cold cases and start requesting accountability of law enforcement to go find the perpetrators.

    So very grateful for you speaking out today!

  • pappyvet

    You drive a dump truck John? Welll I never. ;]

  • pappyvet

    Absolutely !

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Thank you. I think we really need to start hearing from OTHER trans voices, as the gay community is only hearing from folks who are starting to, I fear, drive people away. I don’t think your community is monolothic, but all we hear are the monoliths. We need to hear from the rest of you. This is a good start :)

  • pappyvet

    Bravo ! Huzzah ! Where have you been all my life! Thank you so much for this posting Allison.

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    Thank you John. Your article is dead on-

  • pappyvet

    If we cannot forgive a slight or try to understand a comment without zooming it off to the edge and rationalizing it as a mortal insult especially by one in our own family then how do we deserve the equal humanity we all claim as our birthright. For those few in the Trans community to sit with loaded tongues waiting to shoot at the rest of the family is unconscionable. Let us then have an online roundtable. Right here at Americablog. Perhaps John would agree to host it. Let us show our maturity and our willingness together. That I know of it has not yet been done. Who could be against it ? And why?
    Time to back up a little and stop the knife fight. Do not want to see it get any more hateful than it already has.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’ve not seen anyone opposed to, or refusing to, acknowledge that we all made a contribution. So while I agree with the sentiment, I don’t think it addresses the real problem here.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    http://www.transviolencetracker.org/index.php/trans-violence-tracking-portal-launches/95-kristin-beck-retired-navy-seal-to-be-national-spokeswoman-for-transgender-violence-tracking-portal

    Kristin Beck, retired Navy SEAL to be National Spokeswoman for Transgender Violence Tracking Portal

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2014

    Transgender Violence Tracking Portal

    Princeton, NJ (June 9, 2014) – The Transgender Violence Tracking Portal is proud to announce Kristin Beck as our new National Spokeswoman. Ms. Beck is an activist, author, and retired Navy SEAL who has embraced a journey towards her true self as portrayed in a CNN Films documentary called “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story.” A book by the same name will be released this fall which details her true journey.

    Ms. Beck will greatly aid the TVTP in its mission to grow greater awareness of the epidemic of anti-transgender violence, harassment and victimization of transgender people across the world.

    The TVTP is an organization designed to collect data on anti-transgender murders, violence, suicides, missing persons and harassment in order to help build awareness for the transgender community and provide clarity to the public at large concerning anti-transgender acts against us.

    Transgender people make up 1 to 1.5% of the world’s population but are about 400 times more likely to be assaulted or murdered than the rest of the population. These crimes are more likely to be violent, and are often meant to intimidate the entire community. Many of these crimes are left unsolved, which makes it doubly important to track and hold law enforcement accountable to solving these crimes.

    Ms. Woolbert, founder of the TVTP stated “We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Beck to our team and look forward to her working with us. Ms. Beck will be bringing to our organization the very best of dedication and forward thinking that our movement needs to continue to grow greater awareness for transgender people.”

    Ms. Beck will be an outgoing spokeswoman, bringing our message to new and current venues as she continues to fight for a safer and more equitable global society. With her strong voice and dedicated spirit, Ms. Beck will be a valued supporter for equal rights and the need for greater awareness towards the issues of violence facing transgender individuals worldwide.

    Transgender Violence Tracking Portal [email protected]

    Contact Person: Allison Woolbert, Founder

    Your generous donations allow us to continue to build and work on this project bringing greater awareness daily. Please consider a small one time donation or a monthly subscription donation to us- CLICK HERE TO DONATE

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And yes, Virginia, you’re allowed to be in favor of transparency and in favor of not sharing millions of classified documents with Wikileak simply because you didn’t like the war. Lots of us didn’t like the war. And being big girls and big boys we’re all entitled to make up our own opinion as to who is a legit whistleblower and who is a big mess. That doesn’t make us bad gays, but trans people, or bad anyone’s just because we’re adults and we disagree :) To paraphrase you, if you prefer a country where people aren’t permitted to intellectually disagree, I understand Mr. Snowden is looking for a roommate. :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You mean, you’re telling me to go live in Russia? Oh wait. ;-)

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    People are also desperate. Imagine being unemployed after benefits have run out?

  • Circ09

    Uh huh. That was supposed to be the reasoning for rallying behind the HRC. I won’t make that mistake again.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    1. It’s good to call people out when they make a mistake. It’s pointless to turn them into pariahs or to hold it against them no matter how many times they apologize.

    2. We have to make alliances with people even when we don’t agree with them 100%. If we demand purity we’ll be left marginalized. I think sometimes there are activists who thrive on railing against their own marginalization while working day and night to ensure that it continues.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Who’s going to be stupid enough to stand up and put a target on his or her back like that? Somewhere, sometime everyone has done or said something that will be used against them, even if it was decades ago and they’ve been apologizing for it every since. The “need” for idealogical purity is nonsense. It doesn’t exist except among politicians desperate to pander to someone.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    What the fuck is wrong with us these days?

    Everyone has said things they wish they hadn’t. Do they have to be pariah’s forever? Who does that leave if only the perfect are acceptable?

    We ought to be able to have rational discussions about any issue. But we can’t because of bullshit like this. I have mixed feelings about Chelsea Manning. Yay me. Now I get to be demonized by both ends of the political spectrum. What a fucking nightmare this country has become.

  • 王仙賜

    So, let’s get this straight. It’s unAmerican to disclose the illegal activities our government has been doing, and hiding from its citizens? Ok, gotchya. You might actually want to go live in another country. One that has even less transparency than America. Also, I like Beck well enough. However, I don’t glorify the slaughter of innocents in the name of the military industrial complex. I’d rather glorify John the dumptruck driver, as he’s actually doing something that positively contributes to society.

  • Allison Denise Woolbert

    We are THRILLED that Kristin is the Trans* Violence Tracking Portals Spokesperson today. Not all of us in the trans* community have thrown her under the bus and for me- she is an incredible person with hope and dignity. As one of my friends just told her- Welcome to the TVTP family. Kristen is our family and we are delighted to have her!

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    But it does seem to be a contest with some of these folks though. It’s this tit-for-tat bullshit rolled up in “woundology” (see my comment in the End of Gay History post).

  • Moderator3

    I’ll add a thank you for the flag. That’s the quickest way of getting our attention.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s ok, I liked your retort! But do flag them too.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    ” ENDA may very well be the last major combined effort, after which we may very well see the LGB and trans movements continue separately. But what’s wrong with that?”

    It depends upon the motivation for the separation. Make no mistake – there are many in the gay community who despise or are embarrassed by being otherwise linked to trans via the commonly used LGBT, rights movements, etc.

    These bigots sometimes obvious – if they even allow themselves to be seen at a gay pride parade, they are the ones with the horrified faces every time a drag queen, gay nun or an obviously trans person passes by. I can almost hear their thoughts: “I am not like THEM – why are they allowed to be here? ”

    So if the separation is primarily to placate those in our community who are narrow-minded and possibly bigoted, then no, we shouldn’t separate.

    If the separation makes sense as it will benefit both communities, then by all means, do it.

    But remember: United we stand; divided we fall.

    And as John wrote yesterday, there are a lot of white gay males we need to thank for all the progress we made. But there are also a lot of trans people, women and people of color we need to thank as well.

  • keirmeister

    There comes a point when any good movement needs leadership to help keep the focus on fighting the real adversaries instead of with themselves. Maybe what the LGBT community needs is strong RECOGNIZED movement LEADERS to rally behind…and maybe that’s the real challenge in the end.

  • 2karmanot

    “this is not a contest” Amen to that!.

  • The_Fixer

    Oh, I figured that would happen and I did flag the comment. But I had to have a little fun first :)

    Thanks!

  • The_Fixer

    I really am having problem with the new world order as it pertains to correctness of any stripe.

    Although I like to consider myself a sensitive person who tries to conduct myself by showing respect to others, I find myself unwittingly crossing the line on occasion. Lately, it seems that sensitivity has run amok. People who unwittingly use the incorrect pronoun when referring to a trans or uniquely gendered person are castigated and condemned. We have “trigger warnings” about any one of a number of things that most people might consider part of life, even if they are unpleasant parts of life.

    Worse yet, there’s little if any redemption to be had by those who unwittingly make a mistake.

    A lot of trans people have had extraordinary difficulties. I get that, so have I as a gay guy. I can’t honestly say that my level of difficulties has risen to theirs – but this is not a contest. I honestly think that some people really gain significant gratification from being victims. That’s the only explanation that I have for those who need a trigger warning for every crack in the sidewalk or those who get irreparably offended when someone makes a poor choice of words.

    All I am going to do is simply carry on as before – be sensitive to people’s unique situations and in the event I do screw up, apologize and hope for the best. That is all Kristin Beck can do. If the Trans community does not want a brave, decent person on their side, then it’s their loss.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    She (he/it?) has been banished to the spam folder. She was a busy gal.

  • The_Fixer

    Oh yeah? Well, I’ll do you one better. My dearly departed aunt is making $88 an hour on the Internet. She’s been unemployed since she died about 7 months ago, and her last payment was $19452 working on the Internet for a few hours. All this from the comfort of her casket, deep underground. She can’t spend the money, but her heirs sure are happy!

    Scams continue because people are all too willing to get fleeced.

  • FLL

    I mentioned on the previous thread that LGB folks and trans folks have bundled their political efforts together in the past only because a common enemy (fundamentalist Christians) attacks both groups. Now that the fundies are fast losing their political clout, the raison d’être for a merged LGBT political movement comes into question. ENDA may very well be the last major combined effort, after which we may very well see the LGB and trans movements continue separately. But what’s wrong with that? I propose some revision in the way we use the phrase “throw someone under the bus.” Do Hispanics and immigrants throw African-American under the bus simply by airing their concerns? I don’t think anyone would say so. Therefore, when you say that LGBs are throwing trans people under the bus (or vice versa), you’re taking it as a given that LGB and trans people are being reprehensible if they support political action specific to LGB or trans rather than bundling those political actions together. That seems to be an unfair accusation on its face. Both groups have the right to act on their own behalf. My modest proposal is to be more cautious in using the phrase “throw someone under the bus.” I’m quite sure that the African-American civil rights leaders of the 1960s were not throwing anyone under the bus,” even though their efforts were specifically on behalf of African-Americans.

  • KirstenMundayafy

    my buddy’s
    sister makes $87 every hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 6
    months but last month her payment was $19402 just working on the internet for a
    few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

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