WWTGSKWaHD? (What Would Tolstoy, Gandhi, Sakharov, King, Walesa, and Havel Do?)
August 8, 2011
The Oldest Trick In The Anti-Civil Rights Playbook
August 10, 2011

Apology To Cathy

You know what I’m upset about right now? The fact I even have to write this post in the first place..

As some of you know earlier Sunday morning I was in a chat with a longtime freind of mine that discussed the odious UN paper that seeks to bar trans rights coverage to transwomen. That friend had a negative interaction a few years ago with one of the authors of that paper that she never apologized for that spurred that person to express some problematic language that I didn’t catch until it was brought to my attention.

I have a few things to say before I make an announcement.

Now, I’m more than a little angry right now that I see history repeating itself. Once again we see the cycle of white radical lesbian feminists separatists compiling a paper to a government body that negatively affected transpeople in 1981, we have 30 years later history repeating itself.

The pen of injustice is wielded once again by first world white female authors who have submitted an unjust paper that should the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women accept their specious interpretations, will have deleterious effects on the advancement of civil rights of transwomen not only in the States but around the world. It also further angers me that the people who will suffer disproportionately should that occur will be non-white transwomen, who already bear 70% of the anti-trans violence committed against us on this planet we share.

What disturbed me was that this ginned up controversy erupted on the 16th anniversary of the day that Washington D.C. transwoman Tyra Hunter died from survivable injuries in a 1995 traffic accident due to medical transphobia. Instead of spending August 7 reflecting on that issue, focusing on ways to combat medical transphobia and discussing the unjust UN paper’s many flaws, discussion has veered away from those topics to engage in vitriol focused on me.

It has been brought to my attention by people that I love, respect and care about that the daylong controversy has reached the ear of a Maryland legislator. I was also reminded of the fact by those people that since I am one of the few people who holds one of the highest service awards the trans community can give to honor an individual, much more is required of me leadership wise than other people in this community. .

So at this time, I apologize to Cathy Brennan and to anyone who may have been offended by those remarks. While the remarks were not authored by me, still I should have caught it and admonished the person at the time it was said, and that’s my mistake.

As I close this, my question to Ms.Brennan is this.

When are you going to apologize for the mistakes you have made that have not only cost your fellow trans citizens of Maryland civil rights coverage that you have enjoyed since 2001, and some of them their lives, but have submitted an odious paper that could potentially deny to others the same civil rights coverage you and your co-author enjoy?

I await the answer to that question along with the trans communities of Maryland, the United States and the world.

cross-posted from Transgriot

  • Glad to read your apology. I, for one, will withdraw my call to no-platform… oh, and two quick notes:

    One: There are too many trans women (I refuse to write trans women as one word and follow the favorite grammatical tic of cissexist radicalfeminists) murdered by casual indifference and venomous hatred for me to honestly remember the day… and having not been able to read your blog recently, I didn’t get the reminder… I would mention that there were roughly 130 suicides yesterday, in America, and how many of them were murdered by the Standards of Care, left to slowly bleed out their ability to cope with living a lie, with going unknown and uncounted, before they finally ended it all because the hazing that passes for medical treatment was insurmountable?

    That not everyone recalled the death of Tyra Hunter on the 7th of August does not mean that trans women forgot that much of the world wishes we would just crawl into a hole and die, any more than letting April 4th go by without a day of meditation would mean that people forget how pernicious political assassinations are to the life’s blood of freedom and democracy.

    Two: Would it be too much to concede that perhaps something approaching a fair share of cissexists, middle-class cissexists, self-hating trans cissexists, cissexists in positions of power, including firemen and paramedics, commensurate with their share of the aforementioned populations, are persons of colour? I’m not asking, nor should I, for any more.

    • Transgriot

      Valerie, you still don’t have a clue how insulting your  ‘you are hereby deplatformed’ comment is to me and other transpeople of color.

      But that’s another post….

      And to answer your quick points, would it hurt you to concede that there are racists and bigots in the LGBT community, and POC TBLG people pointing out that simple truth does not make them ‘
      violent racists’  because Caucasian LGBT people don’t like, don’t want to hear, or wish to bury that message?

      And if we claim we are a multicultural community, that you take into account that there are issues of importance to transwomen of color, people that we wish to mourn and and our heroes and sheroes that you need to recognize and respect just as you expect us to do with yours?

      • Sixroads

        Thank you for saying this, again. My ancestry is northern European. I fully expect to hear uncomfortable truths within a context of multicultural discourse. I also acknowledge that I may be incapable, by dint of my own origin and personal formation, of being incapable of full comprehension; that incapacity on my part does not invalidate those truths.

        • Sixroads

          Apologies — “of being incapable” is a typo on my part. With any luck, my intended meaning will be discernable. Again, thanks!

      • I don’t so much concede that there are violent racists in the BLTG
        community as do I regard it a statement of fact. That’s why I don’t call
        racists ‘heteronormative racists.’  I didn’t start out by claiming that
        GTLB people were exempt from racial prejudice by claiming that every
        racist of import was cis and stright. I don’t think that’s homophobic or transphobic or loaded with whatever residual or lived privilege one would like to claim. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual people, whether Cis or Trans, have contributed to the deaths of people of colour. But then, I never claimed otherwise.

        There’s a reason that I mentioned April 4th in that reply… and I do make an effort to remember people who’ve been killed…

        I will continue to state that your writing of trans women and trans men as one word is degendering to the community.

        I will continue to when germaine, when I am the only voice available, try to remember to point out that American, and Western society continues policies that lead to the poverty, mass-incarceration, and death of non-white persons in disproportionate numbers, though that is not, admittedly, my key focus, what with, as you said, my lack of direct personal knowledge… but any one with a cursory understanding of political economy knows that weakening entitlements is the most racist act a government can, at this time, legally commit. And I continue to defend and advocate for the expansion of programs that help the impoverished find dignity and by extension those groups like trans women

        Obviously, I recognize that there are issues of higher importance to trans women of colour than to white trans women… as I said, I sometimes need a reminder, but that doesn’t mean that all debate on other issues stops because it’s the anniversary of the death of a trans woman… if that were the case, we’d never do anything.