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July 2, 2012
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August 3, 2012

Ashley Love, Quit Colonizing Isis King!

Ashley Love, Quit Colonizing Isis King!

Isis recently modeled political shirts that read, “Legalize Gay” and “Gay is O.K.” and I know what you’re thinking… You’re thinking that it’s cool that an out transgender woman is able to support one of the many political causes she cares about. What would you think if I told you that your reaction is wrong; moreover, what if I told you that you’ve just helped oppress Isis and every transgender woman out there? Furthermore, what if I told you that the only way you can make your thought crime right is to only use the language Ashley Love allows and to turn your back on half of modern transgender history? I know what you’d say because it’s the same thing I say to myself every time I read something Ashley Love has written.

Love’s 1-woman “organization” MAGNET released a McCarthy-like indictment of American Apparel and GLAAD for supposedly duping Isis into calling herself a gay man which is, of course, all part of the ongoing conspiracy against transsexual people. Love asserts that Isis wearing a “Gay is OK” shirt means that Isis is gay man. Yup. That’s right. All you cisgender women out there, don’t wear anything with “legalize gay” on it because doing so means that you too are a gay men. All you heterosexual folks out there, beware; you need to be mindful because supporting gay rights = telling others you’re gay. In Love’s universe, if you engage in political speech which supports full 14th amendment rights for non-heterosexuals, you’re actually calling yourself gay:

[GLAAD] inadvertently went against their mission statement by validating the transphobic misconception that Isis and other women like her are “gay” males, instead of who they really are – women, period. The constant misgendering of women of transsexual experience by GLAAD and other ‘LGBT’ groups derails accurate education on transsexualism and must stop.

Ashley has created a FaceBook group of some of her supporters (and a lot of gawkers) in an attempt to make the unreasoned ad populum argument that American Apparel and GLAAD colluded to make Isis out to be a gay man, that transsexuals as a whole don’t want to be called transgender and that GLAAD is forcing the media to refer to all transsexuals as being transgender (which is a  lie). Instead of doing the work of making a reasoned argument, Love hopes that you’ll take her fact assertions on faith alone because others share in her dogma.

In search of more people to believe in the anti-transsexual conspiracy Love believes to be occurring, she recently had a misinformation piece published on the Washington Blade’s website:

It’s unethical to enforce sociopolitical opinions onto another group’s legitimate medical condition, such as how transgender umbrella theorists started doing in the mid-1990s to transsexualism. Our patients’ rights are not a political bargaining chip for gender deconstructionism activists to appropriate.

In theory, the coalition known as LGBTTIQQ is different communities aligning themselves to accomplish a common goal. But what happens when that coalition’s top priority ranks the needs of a particular, more privileged group over the more discriminated against groups? An uprising is what happens. The “Transsexual Spring,” the widespread and growing resistance against misrepresentation, calls for major reform in education concerning our birth challenge. Our health care, medical-based narrative and social well being won’t be compromised or worked against by notions of pro-segregation, malpractice, history revisionism and the tolerance of sex discrimination. We hope our educational campaign will spark dialogue that leads to honesty, healing and harmony. Our much larger goal is promoting media depictions with messages that affirm, rather than misgender.

REALITY CHECK:

Dear Ashley:

You wrote: “Our much larger goal is promoting media depictions with messages that affirm, rather than misgender.”

Misgender? Did you say misgender? I’m really surprised to learn that your goal is to stop the practice of misgendering since you engage in that behavior yourself. Maybe I misunderstood you when you asserted that people like me have male psyche:

For example, this Spring a few self-promoting and self-aggrandizing “transgender” bloggers, authors and “gender outlaw” entertainers (who actually financially and professionally profit by enforcing transgender socio-politics and umbrella-ism theory) are obsessing over how to stop the inevitable transsexual liberation by creating petty drama, speculating, concocting ‘out of this world’ and laughable history revisionism, taking actions and quotes out of context, presuming to know one’s intentions as if they are telepathic, unrobing and degrading the bodies of women born with transsexualism and behaving like unstable, over compulsive and anti-social pesonalites, fueled by their amazing male egos and desire to get attention, although it’s negative attention. – Ashley “I hate citing evidence”  Love, May 6, 2012

Unethical? Did you just say, “It’s unethical to enforce sociopolitical opinions onto another group’s legitimate medical condition…“? Oh, you mean like what you’re doing to Isis right now?

Isis King: I even try to stay away from “transsexual” because I still have my own little things with the word.

Janet Mock: What is that? I want to explore that.

Isis King: I just… it’s kinda like the whole “tranny” thing, I just feel like when someone says transsexual, it’s so much negativity that comes with it. So, I just prefer “transgender.”

Janet Mock: Well, yeah. And of course you have the right to self-identify how you choose to self-identify.

Isis King: Yeah…

Janet Mock: I feel like “transsexual” to me makes it only about the body and the transition, whereas “transgender,” I feel, speaks more to the entire essence of what politically what our bodies say.1

Love, STOP using Isis to promote your deluded2 version of reality! Let Isis speak for herself. Stop pretending that you are the arbitrator of self-identity for transsexuals. I am a transsexual who is part of the transgender community. When you refer to me, Isis, Janet or the MAJORITY of transsexuals, you should state that we are either transsexuals who are part of the transgender community or that we are simply transgender and/or trans (with an * if you feel you REALLY need to). That is, unless you want to, by your own standards, be unethical. I’ve never once referred to you as being a transgender person, Love because I – unlike you – will respect the chosen self-identity of trans folk.

Even though you KNOW it’s a lie, I see that you’re still pushing the 1990s as your date for transgender being an umbrella term? Ashley, that makes you a demonstrable you’re a liar. Furthermore, your own hubris has blinded you to the double standards you seem to happily to be blind to:

  • You’re happy to claim to be victimized by the word “transgender,” but seem all to eager to erase the self-identity of transsexuals who DO identify as being transgender.
  • You decry trans folk who you claim “speak for you” while in the next breath asserting asserting that YOU (via your bogus front “organization”) speak for transsexual and intersex people.
  • You resent being associated with other non-cisgender folks while at the exact same time trying to associate yourself with intersex folks regardless of their objections.

Why didn’t you bother to mention the FACT that Isis (like me) self-identifies and being transgender? Would the truth have been a little too inconvenient for deluded reality? Ashley, your so-called “transsexual spring” is a fantasy. Almost all TS Separatist leaders have moved on with their lives, the historical narrative you continue to push has been thoroughly debunked and practically all trans stars (you seem to hope to influence) self-identify as being transgender. The only folks leading your “transsexual spring” are the fringe folks like yourself, Just Jenifer and the folks at Gender Reality. You know,  those “ethical” folks who, like yourself,  get their jollies by misgendering people in lieu of presenting evidence-based arguments.  Look around you because you’re in good company, Love.

Ask the transsexuals, intersex people and other trans folk you were screaming at – LITERALLY SCREAMING AT –  (to the point thought several people thought you might become violent) during the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference what they think of you. I couldn’t help but note that you chose to not mention those altercations in your blog account of the conference. Was it because you knew that if you honestly discussed your obdurate behavior people might think less of you?

Consider this a reality check.

Ashley “I’m Colonized” Love: Isis is calling herself a gay man!


NOTES:

1.) These statements were made in a video conversation between Isis King and Janet Mock.

2.) “Delusion” is used in the strict dictionary definition of the word and is not an ad-hom attack:

3.) I’ve used “colonize” in the title of this article in an ironic way. The whole “colonization” meme is, IMHO, trite, overused and seems to have become the  hallmark of hyperbole.

cross-posted from Ehipassiko

Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice sites TransAdvocate.com and TheTERFs.com, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group.
  • If I need to put a label to my condition and my history, “transsexual” suits me well enough.

    I’m not a male cross dresser, a transvestite, a drag queen, a “transgenderist” (whatever that means)

    I’m a woman. I also happen to be transsexual. I don’t have much in common with the above, and often times, I don’t care to be to swept into the same categorical box with them. It does me a disservice. It probably does, them, as well, but I wouldn’t know.

    • However you want to personally identify is fine with me (fine with probably most trans folk).

      However, asserting real harm because English speakers use the term in a manner consistent with the English language is an incredible statement to make in light of the demonstrable progress of the trans community (especially transsexuals) over the last 20 years. Please make an evidence-based case for your assertion of fact.

      Your personal opinion (or mine, for that matter) is irrelevant. Evidence is what matters when individuals make assertions of fact – especially when those assertions seem to fly in the face of everything we know about the history of “transgender” (going back to its medical roots in 1965).

  • Megan

    I think that article was by Avory Faucette, not Chelsea Sayre. Maybe you have your link pointing to the wrong website?

  • valeriekeefe

    Also, while heterosexism is a horrible thing, I hate to break it to the American Left, but Gay was more or less legalized anywhere this company does brisk business in the last decade, it’s trans that needs to be legalized. Gay (Inc.) just wants tax breaks now, having apparently stopped caring about lesbians, cis or trans, in Arkansas.

  • valeriekeefe

    Unrelated to whether Ashley Love is a twit who thinks cissexism stops where vaginoplasty starts:

    Isis King: I just… it’s kinda like the whole
    “tranny” thing, I just feel like when someone says transsexual, it’s so
    much negativity that comes with it. So, I just prefer “transgender.”

    Janet Mock: Well, yeah. And of course you have the right to self-identify how you choose to self-identify.

    So Cathy Brennan is no longer cis? People have the right to identify their own sex, who they are attracted to, but they don’t get to individually identify the power dynamics involved in the same manner as one identifies their sex. Those dynamics exist even if not acknowledged.

    I could, for sake of argument, identify as straight, but never having been in a relationship with, had sex with, kissed, or dated, a man in my life, it would not be true, and would likely be an expression merely of my own internalized heterosexism.

  • Valerie Solanas

    According to “Bev Jo” there ARE no “transsexuals; the word doesnt really exist” therefore, transsexuals cannot be “colonized”. I refer you to a sept 2011 quote:

    “Sometimes, in their carrying on with their narcissistic, spoiled, tantruming complaining, they reveal themselves. There is no such thing as “transgender” or “transsexual,” so they are all just tranvestites/female impersonators. I do believe that they know this on some level, if not all levels. Their whole game is pretense and caricaturizing and minstrelizing. They can’t present themselves otherwise so they reveal themselves as varying styles of drag queens really. They would be laughable if they weren’t causing so much horrific damage.” -BevJo.

    • Kathy

      Can someone prove to me that Bev Jo really exists? It sounds like a failed Turing Test to me.

      • Supposedly, she was one of the instigators of the campaign against Beth Elliott, and one of the members of the Gutter Dyke Collective. She also wrote a list of reasons lesbians should not choose to have children. She does seem like an example of Poe’s Law, though.

        • Kathy

          If only her mother were a lesbian.

  • Kathy

    She’s a model – they’re paying her to…model. She doesn’t object to the message about supporting gay people. If she did – she wouldn’t take the job.

    Outside of that – Trans people can support gay folks without being gay – they can also do so while being gay/lesbian/bisexual. Sometimes, that can be the side of their lives they want to speak too.

    I hope someone hires her to promote other messages and products to the general public. Would love to see her in ads for – say – a car dealer or UNICEF.