Monday, May 23, 2016

Boycott Target movement just entered the silly season

I don't care what public front they may put up, I am guessing creators of the Boycott Target movement, the anti-lgbt group the American Family Association, aren't exactly happy right now.

From The Huffington Post:

The ongoing right-wing backlash over Target’s pledge to allow transgender patrons and staff members to use the restrooms which correspond with their gender identity isn’t dying down anytime soon. Faith2Action, a group which calls itself a “pro-active launching pad for the pro-family movement,” now hopes to go a step further by organizing a “Don’t Target Our Daughters Day” protest just four days before the retail giant’s shareholders meeting on June 8. Organizers want to designate Saturday, June 4 to be a “moment to stand together” and warn shoppers about Target’s policy allowing “predators and sex offenders” into women’s restrooms and fitting rooms by protesting outside stores.

You'll notice that Faith2Action says nothing about "our sons" being "targeted." That of course is deliberate because the group is a throwback to the days when anti-lgbt groups used shocking, albeit false, videos to demonize the lgbt community. Videos like the following which announces this event:

Now I know you are asking who would make such an insane video like this.

'When the 'moral right' attacked a transgender kindergartner' & other Mon midday news briefs

Special look - The main thing fueling this hysteria over transgender men, women, and children is how the right is presenting the issue. I took two articles from late April to demonstrate what I mean. They both involve a five-year-old transgender child. One is from the Federalist, a publication affiliated with the Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation has been working steadily to push back against all forms of lgbt equality. The other article is from the progressive Think Progress detailing the entire situation, including how The Heritage Foundation is exploiting the situation:

The Federalist - Minnesota Parents Sue To Get Trans Classes In Kindergarten

Think Progress It Takes A Village To Bully A Transgender Kindergartner

In other news:

School Policy Says It Can Kick Out Students With Gay Parents - This school is a private Christian school so I, at least right, have no problem with it. But the question is does the school want to keep this policy AND have the right to accept tax money?

Gay Choir ‘Humiliated’ During National Anthem At San Diego Padres Game - This situation is justifiably getting a lot of folks upset and we still don't know why or how this awful thing happened.

A taste of Trump’s anti-LGBT judicial choices - I don't care who the Democratic nominee is. If it's not my personal choice, I am still voting for him/her. LGBTs, including myself, worked too damn hard for our progress (including marriage equality) to take a step back. Equality is not a damn chess game. 

Sandy Rios: Openly Gay Army Secretary Can't Lead Men Into Battle - Apparently Rios doesn't know any black gay men. We have been known to whip serious ass. JUST KIDDING, folks! Rios' silly stereotype of gay men is refuted by historical figures such as Alexander the Great and figures now such as Eric Alva.

Religious right defends security guard arrested for assaulting transgender woman

The situation last week involving a security guard being arrested for assaulting a transgender woman who was merely attempting to use the restroom  brought much needed attention to the prejudices and discrimination transgender men and women face.

And leave it to the false news source One News Now (owned and run by the anti-lgbt hate group the American Family Association) to accentuate this point.

How the incident was reported by a legitimate news source, NBC Washington, Channel 4:

D.C. Police have charged a security guard at a Giant grocery store with simple assault after sources say she had a confrontation with a transgender woman who was trying to use the women's restroom.
The guard, who has not been identified, is a special police officer at a Giant store near Third and H streets in northeast D.C.Police confirmed they had arrested her there earlier today for a confrontation in the store, though they did not reveal details of the arrest. News4 spoke with Ebony Belcher, the transgender woman who said she was assaulted by the officer. Belcher, 32, said the woman came into the restroom and told her to get out. She said the officer put her hand on her shoulder and arm, grabbed her and tried to march her out of the store.
This is how  One News Now reported the incident with a few nauseating changes  including mis-gendering the woman and then falsely labeling her as a transgender man. The article in this publication was copied almost word for word from another right-wing publication, LifeSiteNews:

Law enforcement officers in the nation’s capital arrested a female security guard and threatened her with “hate crime” charges for removing a [biological] man — who claims to be a woman — from a women’s restroom.

The woman security guard — whose name was not released — reportedly asked a “transgender” man on Monday at around noon to leave a restroom located inside a Giant store that was designated for women only.

After refusing to comply with the security guard, the 32-year-old male, who identifies himself as “Ebony” Belcher, made a scene, which ended in the guard escorting the man from the Washington, D.C. retail store.

Belcher recounted that the female security guard insisted that his behavior of frequenting the women’s facilities was not allowed by the law in the nation’s capital — at least, yet.

. . .
Tony Pixley — an eyewitness of the incident — claimed that the dispute between the female security guard and the transgender man evolved into a physical altercation inside the store
Then the article adds this bit, which is in accordance to the transgender women = predators talking point the religious right have been pushing:

Many eyewitnesses did not see things the way LGBT activists and the local police department interpreted the event.

One customer who was shopping at Giant at the time of the incident bluntly expressed that the security guard was simply doing her job and protecting the privacy and safety of women and girls using the store’s restroom — as any normal person in her position would do.

“You got a penis — go to the men's bathroom,” Giant shopper Deana Chisholm reasoned when questioned about the incident by the WJLA television station. “If you are born a woman, go to the women's bathroom — period."

Not only does the right substitute truth for spin, but they obviously can't count. Since when one person is "many eyewitnesses?"

Friday, May 20, 2016

Family Research Council caught lying about Charlotte Observer column on HB2

FRC distorts a quote to scare its supporters.

Just a simple lesson in lying brought to you by the Family Research Council.

What is claimed by the Family Research Council:

In a stunning column this week, the (Charlotte Observer) argues that “Girls must overcome ‘discomfort’ of seeing ‘male genitalia’ in locker rooms.” 

What The Charlotte Observer actually said:

Yes, the thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms – and vice versa – might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort – with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage – then realizing that it was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.

There is nothing in The Charlotte Observer editorial about girls seeing male genitalia. And the passage is definitely taken out of context. Read the column for yourself  and decide.

Some might argue that what The Charlotte Observer actually said is equally distressing. I say if that's the case, then why did FRC feel the need to totally alter the passage ?

'SC blocks SECOND 'bathroom bill' & other Fri midday news briefs

Senate blocks Berkeley bathroom ban - Since, as I said before, South Carolina doesn't seem to be on anyone's radar, you will probably miss the fact that our state Senators blocked SECOND anti-transgender bathroom bill. This was not as major as the first one we defeated, but still just as ornery. 

Conservatives Hope Religious Art Trumps LGBT Protections In New Lawsuit - Attaching the argument of "religious liberty" to bathroom usage. I don't think that's going to work . . . 

 LGBT Activists Arrested During North Carolina Bathroom Law Protest - THIS is getting interesting.

Maroon 5 Stands With Queer Community By Canceling NC Shows - VERY interesting.  

These Photographs Offer A Powerful Glimpse Into The Lives Of The LGBT Community In Bangladesh - We should never take the equality we have for granted.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Family Research Council, Wall Street Journal pushing biased science against trans community

Paul McHugh, the religious right's newest model of junk science.

Those who  read this blog know that I have kept a history of the many times anti-lgbt groups have relied on either junk or cherry-picked science to denigrate the lgbt community and refer to us as diseased "others" out to destroy American society.

Sometimes, other conservative entities aid in this bad endeavor. Today, it's the Wall Street Journal aiding the Family Research Council with its defense of "bathroom bills."  The following is part of an email sent by FRC denigrating Obama because his recent directive to allow transgender students to use bathrooms in accordance to their desired gender identity and also because of the Justice Department's lawsuit against North Carolina for passing that awful HB2 law:

Obviously, the president is trying to move the ball as far down the field for his extreme agenda as he can before leaving office. But if he expected resistance, he certainly didn’t plan for it. “Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has raised the possibility that his state may forfeit its $10 billion of annual federal funding for its schools,” the Wall Street Journal pointed out
“We hope Texas follows through and is joined by other states. There is more at stake here than sexual identity, not least the self-identity of the United States. The Obama administration’s preoccupation with sex, whether in sophomore year or the fourth grade, raises questions about whether the federal bureaucracies know at all what they are doing on anything resembling the merits… Two years ago on these pages we published ‘Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution’ by Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Paul McHugh. In one of the most widely-read pieces we have published, Dr. McHugh pointed out that the idea of gender as subjective ‘personal truth’ has no basis in science. What studies have been done on gender preference also suggest that the belief that these choices result in positive psychological outcomes isn’t proven -- especially for students in grade school. Suddenly, though, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has solved the mysteries of gender confusion -- for the whole country.”

Paul McHugh is not a name known by many. Recently though, the religious right and other conservatives have been passing his anti-transgender information as accurate. Of course McHugh has credibility because he is affiliated with John Hops University. However, his information is still flawed because he is biased.

'Fox News edited out discussion of anti-trans legislation from Laverne Cox interview' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Fox News doesn't let up on its transphobia even when interviewing Cox.

Laverne Cox Has A Lot To Say About Anti-Trans Legislation But It Was Cut From Megyn Kelly’s Interview - Just like Fox News and Megyn Kelly. They bend over backwards to indulge groups and people slinging anti-transgender lies but GOD forbid they allow someone be able to respond to that crap.

House Passes Bill That Lets Government Contractors Fire People For Being LGBT - Veto that sumbitch!

 An Alabama lawmaker has the creepiest response to transgender bathroom hysteria - Oh lawd! No! No! No! Now this actually endangers people! 

 United Methodist Church Takes ‘Historic Action’ Toward LGBT Equality - Another article which reiterates the point that the religious right is bogarting the argument of lgbt orientation and religion.  

Anti-Trans Hoaxes On Fake News Websites Are Spiking — And Going Viral - Yes they are and I have seen several of them. It's not funny, folks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

D.C. guard arrested for assault after attempting to prevent transgender woman from using the restroom.

For all of the fear mongering about what may happen if transgender men and women are allowed to use the bathroom of their desired gender identity, it's fast becoming a reality that the folks everyone should fear are those who are trying to protect us from this non-important reality.

First we have all of these crazy people going into Target stores scaring customers with their unsolicited and very loud John the Baptist on crack sermons.

And now this:

D.C. Police have charged a security guard at a Giant grocery store with simple assault after sources say she had a confrontation with a transgender woman who was trying to use the women's restroom.
The guard, who has not been identified, is a special police officer at a Giant store near Third and H streets in northeast D.C.Police confirmed they had arrested her there earlier today for a confrontation in the store, though they did not reveal details of the arrest. News4 spoke with Ebony Belcher, the transgender woman who said she was assaulted by the officer. Belcher, 32, said the woman came into the restroom and told her to get out. She said the officer put her hand on her shoulder and arm, grabbed her and tried to march her out of the store.

Belcher said she suffers from Parkinson's disease and almost fell while the officer was shoving her.

I'm sure we will be hearing more details about this and the story could change. But for now, go to the link of the article and view the transgender woman in the middle of the controversy. Then ask yourself something.

 Does she look anywhere near a 6-foot, 5-inch, 250-pound man that the religious right semantically conjures up when they malign our transgender sisters? 

It seems to me that America doesn't need to be protected from transgender men and women using public restrooms. We need to be protected from the folks who obsess about transgender men and women using public restrooms.

'Anti-gay groups team with religious oppressive countries to persecute lgbts' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Eric Fanning
Anti-Gay Activism Trumps Religious Freedom At UN 'Family' Event - So anti-lgbt groups teaming up with religious oppressive countries to persecute  lgbts. These folks talk of a moral core but they simply have none.

Muslim States Block 11 LGBT Groups From Attending UN Aids Meeting - More on this situation.

 Senate Confirms First Openly Gay Army Secretary - Just in case you didn't hear about this historical moment.

 The Shockingly Simple Case For Treating Trans Discrimination Just Like Religious Discrimination - Oh this is interesting!

House GOP won’t remove anti-LGBT component from defense bill - Lovely. Another fight on the horizon.  

The Media Is Lying About Why North Carolina Is Being Sued - I would argue that they are being lazy more than they are lying.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fox News exploiting anti-transgender controversy it helped to create

Recently, Fox News has been showing an out of the ordinary - at least for the network - degree of professional journalism in attacking the credibility of these awful anti-lgbt "bathroom bills." However, as this Media Matters video shows, don't be fooled. Fox News spent a lot of time peddling the horror stories which state legislators used to justify these bills:

'President Obama defends transgender children' & other Tue. midday news briefs

President Obama
Obama on trans student guidance: ‘We’re talking about kids’ - During an interview yesterday with Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner, President Obama does another thing which makes him a wonderful president. He talked about the need to support transgender children. 

 Trump Says Government Must 'Protect All People' – And He Will Rescind Obama Transgender Protections - And to some people out there, this double talk makes perfect sense. Sad. 
Media shortchanging transgender community in 'bathroom bills' debate Repeating my post from last night. It's easier to victimize people when you control the means of communication.
 Kentucky woman beaten for looking ‘too masculine’ as people stood by and watched - Pending more details . . .  

How Did You Build Your Family As An LGBT Couple? - Yes, I know not all of us want families, but a lot us of do. Wonderful post.  

5 Things Not to Say if Your Child Comes Out - Dear parents, write these down and remember them.  

Mississippi to follow U.S. guideline on transgender students - I am just as shocked as you.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Media shortchanging transgender community in 'bathroom bills' debate

The above video of Hope Tyler, the mother of a transgender child being interviewed on CNN, is easily one of the best things I've seen in a while.

 From Raw Story:

Speaking to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on New Day, Tyler said that her daughter, Kylie, began transitioning to a male named Kai at the age of 12 after she became paralyzed.

 “It was a wonderful relief because we finally figured out what was going on,” Tyler recalled. “Ever since she was little, she was dressing in tomboy clothes… And then at the age of 9, 10, and 11 anxiety kicked in horribly. And we would go to the [emergency room] and they couldn’t figure out what was causing the anxiety.”

 “Conversion disorder is when your body shuts down physically and you become paralyzed in your arms or your legs,” she noted. “And Kylie, at the time, was in a wheelchair for five months.”

Tyler said that she began researching the condition and discovered that her son’s transition to a male was not simply a matter of psychology.

 “Girls have XX chromosomes, boys have XY chromosomes,” the mother pointed out. “The gene that determines your sex is called the SRY gene. And when the little piece of that Y gene falls off, that’s what causes a transgender boy. When there is no X involved in the chromosome, that’s what causes a transgender girl.” “Another thing people need to know is that there’s a whole series of XXY, YYX,” she continued. “These are people that have breasts with male genitalia. There’s also people that have both genitalia. These children need to be recognized.” 

Ever since this nonsense about "bathroom bills" began, the media has featured NC Gov. Pat McCrory defending his awful anti-lgbt law,  members of anti-lgbt groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, or pundits throwing out ugly missives about "male predators invading women's locker rooms and compromising their safety."

In many cases, they've allowed transgender men and women to be misgendered or semantically described as pedophiles without bothering to correct these grievances.

But they have rarely featured any medical professionals dealing with the issues of the transgender community or someone who can properly articulate the situation of being transgender.

To be honest, the news media have been very slack in bringing solid knowledge to the issue of "bathroom bills" and the transgender community in general. Instead, in a way author Paddy Chayefsky wrote about in his screenplay, Network, they seem to be intent on  "articulating" people's ignorance and fears. Who knows? Maybe they feel that dry (but accurate) statements from medical professionals are less entertaining than creepy (but false) anecdotes about little girls being trapped in lonely bathrooms with a 450 pound linebacker wearing a mini-skirt complete with a thick layer of drool coating his five o'clock shadow.

Maybe they fear that if they correct Sen. Ted Cruz when he goes on a paranoid tangent about "grown men sharing bathrooms with little girls," he may cut off their access to him on other issues.

Whatever the case may be, rather than bringing solid knowledge and understanding to this issue, some members of the media  given too much time to overpaid pundits who are too eager to build a reputation with which to sell their next book. anti-lgbt think tanks whom they know will afford them a good, albeit inaccurate soundbite, or elected officials  more concerned with being re-elected or gaining higher office than fairness.

None of these entities mentioned have credible background of research in this issue or a stake in ending this drama.

I guess what I am saying is that the fact that Miss. Tyler dropped so much knowledge about the transgender community was wonderful. But it's sad that it's taken this long for anyone to articulate such an intelligent point of view. And if the media was more concerned about gaining the truth rather than exploiting the situation, it wouldn't have taken this long.

Anti-gay group behind 'bathroom bills' has long, sordid history of persecuting lgbts' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Carlos Maza and Media Matters does the work other journalists should do by "dropping the T" on one of the groups pushing this nauseous "bathroom bills."  

Breaking: In Huge LGBT Win, SCOTUS Refuses Case That Could Have Sabotaged Obama Transgender Policy - This just came in seconds ago. . .  

Bi Women Are More Likely To Be Depressed Than Lesbian Or Straight Women, Study Finds - If one segment of the lgbt population is having problems, we are all having problems. 

 All-Male Nude Photos Shut Down Body Shaming In Sexiest Way Possible - Speaking as a person with a body which has been shamed from my weight to my ethnicity to my eyeglasses to my lack of "thuggish qualities," I say sock it to them!

Two incidents put 'bathroom bill' nonsense in perspective

Last weekend put this "bathroom bill" junk in perspective.

We've had bizarros marching through Target screeching because of its trans-inclusive policy:

Believe it or not, she is probably the least controversial. And we've had defenders of these bills not even being able to defend them on national television:

The only folks who are maintaining a semblance of sanity, decorum, and dignity are the transgender community, i.e. the supposed freaks.

 So what exactly is the problem in the first place?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Obama's pro-transgender directive - How to defeat the backlash sure to follow

 Vigorous truth-telling can successfully combat anti-transgender lies.

Obama Administration Warns Schools To Allow Transgender Access To Bathrooms - Just in case you haven't heard about this wonderful news (and I am sure we have all heard about it.) BUT, you know what . . . 

Texas Superintendent Says Obama Directive on Transgender Students 'Going Straight to the Shredder' - There will be a backlash coming. It's already started.  And there will be more to come. While Trump - if he is the GOP presidential nominee - can't necessarily use Obama's directive against the Dem nominee, the religious right sure as hell will. And based on this article, they will have allies. Now is not the time to do what the lgbt community always seems to do when we get earth shaking positive developments, i.e. hug and weep about how monumental it is while being sitting targets for a religious right backlash which knocks us back to square one. We need to fight for this with all we have. 

One way is to vigorously and LOUDLY educate against the myths and the lies. There is no reason why we shouldn't demand that a more rounded view of the transgender community and issues be presented by the news media  (local and national, even Fox News). No more pundits who spew on the fly. And above all, there is nothing wrong with writing letters to the editor of your local newspapers: 

 11 myths about transgender people 

Understanding the Transgender Community

Transgender Children & Youth

 A Comprehensive Guide To The Debunked “Bathroom Predator” Myth

And most importantly, assertively engage the creators and exploiters of anti-transgender lies in debates, on twitter, etc.  But first, educate yourself regarding who they are. Don't paint them all with a broad brush. Know their nuances. Inform about their nuances:

How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America

A "Religious Freedom" Legal Powerhouse Is Leading The National Fight Against Transgender Student Rights

How Anti-Gay Talking Points Are Being Recycled For The Transgender Community

North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law Borrows The Work Of An Extreme Legal Group