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April 10, 2014

Open letter to Andrea James and Calpernia Addams

By Kelli Anne Busey
@kellibusey

 

Co-authored by, Marti Abernathy

It started with Addams March 5th Advocate Op-ed: In Defense of Jared Leto followed by Parker Marie Molloy March 10th Advocate post, critical of Addams, titled “Op-ed: What People Don’t Get About Dismay Over Jared Leto. Everything was civil up to that point, but that civility came to an end with Calpernia Addams dismissive April 2nd Huffington Post article “Parker Marie Molloy’s Transphobic and Homophobic Slurs Don’t Matter, but Our Response Does”.  Addams inexplicably attempts to invalidate Parker’s transgender identity because of her youth and  attacks her style of journalism and advocacy writing:

“A few weeks ago newcomer to transition and lesbian/trans issues Parker Marie Molloy purposefully misgendered me and called into question my identity as female in an op-ed piece for Advocate.com by calling me a ‘drag queen’ and saying that I ‘[refer] to [myself] as ‘a transsexual.’ Apparently she’s expressed similar sentiments about Carmen Carrera and others. I was freshly returned from speaking at Oxford University and recording my acoustic LP in London, so I filed the incident under ‘See If This Still Matters to You in a Few Days” and resumed my busy life here in Los Angeles.’”

“I wasn’t sure who Molloy was, but I assumed that she was another one of the nutty trans hacktivists who had been ‘triggered’ by the buzz generated when Jared Leto thanked me in his Oscars acceptance speech.”

Blatant ableism of Addams’ “nutty trans hacktivist” aside, the dismissive and elitist tone of her piece is evident. If you disagree with her, you’re wrong and a “nutty trans hacktivist.”.

Addams and James have stated Molloy slurred her by calling her a drag queen and a transsexual. One look at Addams’ website and you’ll see that she brands herself as “America’s Transsexual Sweetheart.” As far as being called a drag queen, since when is that a slur? Self identification should be respected, but the implication here is that being a transsexual is at odds with being a drag queen. Drag is performance art, drag queens are performers, and they perform at drag establishments such as Hamburger Marys. If you perform at a Vegas show club, you’re a showgirl. If you dance and sing at a drag bar for money, it’s not a slur to call you a drag queen regardless of your gender. How different is “drag queens are men, drag kings are women” than “trans women are men, trans men are women?” Is Monica Beverly Hills not  trans because she identifies herself as a drag queen? From LOGO’s Mark Blankenship on why Hills was not cheating while being trans on RuPaul’s Drag Race:

“Because ‘drag’ isn’t just about dressing up like someone of the opposite sex. It’s about donning a persona. It’s about an artist using his or her talent to create a larger-than-life performance that somehow captures, critiques, celebrates, or enhances our typical understanding of identity. Think about RuPaul’s Drag U, which focuses on turning biological women into “drag queens” for a day, just so they can feel fabulous. When they dress outrageously and take on stage names, those women ARE drag queens.

I know where this argument leads: By my logic, you could say that anyone dressing up in any kind of costume or notable outfit is putting on drag.

And… yes. That’s exactly what I mean.

Drag is everywhere. In this history of drag balls, for instance, there have always been categories like “executive realness,” in which gay men dress as heightened versions of heterosexual business men. In those cases, those queens aren’t rocking girl drag, but they were still in drag. When I put on a suit and tie for a work event, I’m rocking executive drag. And so is Donald Trump.

The point is, we’re always putting on identities. We’re always performing a self for the world. We’re always in drag. All of us.

While Addams can choose what to call herself when she performs at a drag establishment, implying that drag queen is a gender identity is a form of internalized transphobia. There’s a difference between a performer’s gender identity and their performance. Being called a drag queen isn’t a misgendering slur.

On April 5th Andrea James chimed in with her vitriolic screed “I F*cking Hate @RuPaul”. She began by slamming Molloy for a tweet, since deleted, in which Molloy expressed her frustration over RuPaul’s unrepentant transphobia. This tweet made its way to the pages of TERF central ‘Gender Trender’. Cathy Brennan, a virulently transphobic woman spends much of her time examining the trans agenda using every opportunity to insert hate hoping to drive a wedge between trans people and the feminist movement.

This image has since been deleted from Gender Trender but its important to note, if Brennan agrees with your sentiments, its time to check yourself.

A  quick synopsis of James’ post on Boing Boing:

  • Parker Molloy is a newbie trans person, an unethical journalist, who has an unhealthy addiction to Twitter.
  • The Advocate isn’t the same as it used to be, and Molloy is just trafficking outrage for linkbait.
  • Molloy is a heckler, not a journalist because she isn’t polite.
  • RuPaul is a drag queen who is allowed to be transphobic because he’s a boundary breaker/drag queen/entertainer.
  • Molloy has disdain for drag, and is an internet shut-in who uses made up pseudo-academic jargon.
  • Most vocal anti-RuPaul hecklers are trans women who are primarily attracted to women.
  • She-male, tranny, he-she, shim, chicks with dicks, dolls with balls, sluts with nuts, or guys in disguise, are hilariously offensive slurs, but drag queen is a slur that must not be used.
  • Twitter activists are mean and don’t build bridges and don’t do anything, witness #CancelCOlbert.
  • I don’t hate Rupaul, Rupaul has made a lot of money, sold a lot of product and donated a lot of money to LGBT charities.

Suggesting that Molloy is a pseudo-journalist “shut in” is not only ableist, it’s factually incorrect. Molloy is a well respected journalist who has contributed to Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Salon.com. She also has a Twitter account at ParkerMolloy and a website of her own where she provides personal opinion and commentary. The meme that James is trying to promote that Molloy isn’t a journalist is simply an ad hominem. Plenty of journalists have Twitter accounts where they communicate their own personal views. By James’ logic, Ezra Klein, Andrew Sullivan or Glenn Greenwald aren’t journalists because they have twitter accounts where they discuss their own personal opinions.

It’s also a bit odd that James complains about new/social media on Boing-Boing. Boing-Boing is definitely not part of the old media establishment. This amounts to “GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU YOUNG KIDS” while standing on someone else’s (new media) lawn.

James goes on to say “These trans folks have developed their own pseudo-academic jargon like cis-het, which means ‘cisgender heterosexual,’ which itself means ‘non-transgender straight person.’”Pseudo-academic? James might want to check with actual academics, since it’s a term used in, you know, academic papers.

James also gives RuPaul an out because he’s a drag queen and suggests that Twitter activists don’t actually accomplish anything. This simply is false. James asks “Why does Molloy, who is transgender, fucking hate RuPaul? Ru used the word “shemale” recently on RuPaul’s Drag Race and has unapologetically used a number of other taboo words over several decades, like “tranny” and what-not.”

 Trivializing transphobic words and phrases that are used by those who kill only serves to highlight James’ separation from the transgender reality.

RuPaul has made a living using transphobic verbiage in his show, capitalizing on the outrage from our community to rake in the dough. RuPaul shouldn’t be given any more of a pass than Kelly Osbourne was given for her “chick with a dick” comment. Calling out Osbourne did have an effect. She apologized and her millions of twitter followers were educated along with her about the Transgender Day of Remembrance. You can point to other Twitter led movements as well that had actual positive results. Even James’ example of #cancelColbert fails to prove her point. The Colbert Report has a viewership of 1.9 million people a night and the controversy made into the New Yorker, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street journal, and many well respected media outlets. The people who viewed Colbert’s show or read about the hash tag activism were informed of controversy around the Washington Redskins name. Awareness of the problem is one of the first things you need to do to fix a problem, and #cancelColbert did just that.

James also alluded to Molloy’s sexual orientation, saying “It’s noteworthy that the most vocal anti-RuPaul hecklers are trans women who are primarily attracted to women.” Why is this noteworthy? Would mentioning that Calperina “I date straight guys, dumb ass” Addams spends much of her time working in gay male culture be remotely relevant to the conversation at hand?  For all of James’ comments about not bridge building and the Twitteratti simply being a “ the worst of two worlds: heckling and gotcha-style journalism”, what exactly does mentioning Molloy’s sexual orientation prove? Trying to judge someone on their intention or motivations is troublesome and doesn’t do anything to build any bridges or heal any wounds. Seems more like “gotcha-style journalism” that James complains about in her own post.

In the end, I’m not sure why either James or Addams have chosen to point their sites on Molloy, rather than on the the questions Molloy asks about RuPaul, or the industry they work work for. Does the industry need someone to speak up for it? Worse, do they need someone lobbing personal attacks in defense of the indefensible?

Those that claim to be allies or part of a larger LGBT community shouldn’t be given a break because of who they are. In fact, they should be held to a HIGHER standard than those people who do not self identify as LGBT or as an ally. No amount of personal attacks on Molloy, “shooting the messenger,”  will change that.


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64 Comments

  1. […] 100-Plus Trans Women Stand Against Calpernia Addams and Andrea James: An Open Letter*|*Zinnia Jones Open letter to Andrea James and Calpernia Addams | The TransAdvocate […]

  2. Gene says:

    I think the author has misunderstood what was so insulting about Molloy’s remarks regarding Addams. Molloy said Addams WAS a drag queen and only called herself a transsexual. The article has since been altered to remove the implication.

  3. AN says:

    Parker Molloy is a newbie trans person, an unethical journalist, who has an unhealthy addiction to Twitter.
    The Advocate isn’t the same as it used to be, and Molloy is just trafficking outrage for linkbait.
    Molloy is a heckler, not a journalist.
    RuPaul is a drag queen who has experienced transphobia and is a positive piece of the large ongoing conversation, not a villain.
    Molloy has disdain for drag, and is an internet shut-in who uses made up pseudo-academic jargon.
    Twitter activists are mean and don’t build bridges and don’t do anything, witness #CancelCOlbert.

    • AN says:

      The thing is really this: if you read Molloy’s article about hating RuPaul, it literally makes no sense. There is no from A to B. Somehow, over the course of her article, she ‘proves’ RuPaul is transphobic simply by citing something an actual transphobic person said and then taking one stray joke-y RuPaul line out of context. It’s ridiculous. The quote insinuates RuPaul believes trans people are simply drag queens with surgery. Obviously, obviously, obviously RuPaul doesn’t believe that. If Molloy had argued the word “Shemail” shouldn’t be used, it would be one thing. But she didn’t. She did a whole other crazy bullshit rude fucked destructive thing.

  4. kensho says:

    Drag
    (DR)essed (A)s (G)irl

    It’s pretty straightforward.

    • Adelaide says:

      Etymonline says it’s more likely from the Yiddish ‘trogn’. I’ll trust them over a highly speculative backronym that doesn’t even make sense.

  5. […] From Kelly Busey: Open letter to Andrea James and Calpernia Addams […]

  6. Great article, Kelli and Marti. I couldn’t have said it better. But commenters, please don’t feed the Darlie. *eyeroll*

    • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

      Oh please, go on another gun rant Bella.

      • I won’t rant, however I will say that the Second Amendment protects trans people. But hey, if you want to wait for the police to find you and protect you from someone who is trying to rape or kill you for being trans, then you be my guest.

    • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

      I simply posted the US gun death statistics (not ever suggesting a single gun law). You went crazy, went on some wild right wing gun rant, defriended, blocked ,whatever. Hmmm, do I trust someone so clearly over emotional about the subject in handling a gun to protect me ……….mmno, I will wait for the police, thanks though 🙂

  7. When will Andrea and Calpernia stop bullying the community? #antibully #fifteenminutesareup

    • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

      “Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws.”

      Responding to public comments made by public figures is not “bullying”. Nor is one public figure the “community”. #fantasybully #fifteenminuteyouneverhad

    • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

      Why, are you too physically crippled to paste quote marked text into google yourself ?! The restrictions restrictions you are talking abut have nothing to do with this set of circumstances.

      Parker made comment first, par example:

      “Addams, herself, represents a very specific type of trans woman”

      Narrow minded stereotyping based on assumption.

      “There’s nothing wrong with individuals like Addams, just as there isn’t anything wrong with “the Rayons of the world.”

      Again , backhanded slagging based on stereotyping.

      “What is wrong is that transgender individuals — specifically transgender women — are almost always portrayed as this particular type of trans woman.”

      “ Borten and Wallack interviewed a number of transgendered activists and doctors who faced similar struggles with access to drugs during the course of their writing, and they created composites of those people for the film.”

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/11/01/dallas_buyers_club_true_story_fact_and_fiction_in_the_matthew_mcconaughey.html

      “some are the world’s Rayons, but most of us are not.”

      And the film never said otherwise. Do we need models of every version all of us in every film because you are afraid someones going to think thats you ?! REALLY ?! The film as about a man dying of AIDs trying to survive and if you think that there weren’t a bunch of transgenders out there who go to the street to survive who got AIDs and HIV you are dreaming ! Just ask Janet Mock! Real, its way more true than you think.

      So it was not just the “drag queen ” reference Ms Addams reacted to it was the insulting , over arching class discrimination. “that specific type of trans woman”. An insult to every woman who ever had to survive that way.

      I’m not going to go through and pick Parker apart, she doesn’t deserve that but neither did Addams! And I don’t give a damn if you like her or dont like her. If you think she is relevant or not. She has been one of the best things about this community and the fact she works hard to make a living offends you ,TOUGH S&@T! I’m thankful for every single person who is employed in this community period. Including Parker.

      The last article up here on Addams was a one sided attack based on a donor who tried to use her donation size to get Addams friend kicked off the Trans children’s board because Addams appeared in a video about gay winks ! Who’s the bully ?!

      If you don’t like how transwomen are portrayed WRITE IT YOURSELF! Or support people who do like Alexandra Billings and Marlo Bernier who write fully fleshed characters ! Picking on people in the community who are a part of successful films is the most petty thing you could do. If it were anyone else we would be proud.

      • “Why, are you too physically crippled to paste quote marked text into google yourself ?! ”

        Quite the ableist statement.

        Is that the line of attack? Attack the individual?

        No, that’s the claim being made about Ms. James and Ms. Addams.

        I am glad you brought up Trans Youth Family Allies. About how private donor information of a donor who questioned the appropriateness of a transgender youth organization’s board member being involved in the production of “LIKIN’ BIG DICKS”, a video’s which carried the self descriptor ” “Gay Pimp” Jonny McGovern & Calpernia jizz all over Far East Movement’s LIke A G6 and come with the dirty gay parody Likin Big Dicks!”. Don’t worry, it’s in a censored version too.

        What was Ms. Addams and Ms. James’ response?

        This donor’s private, non stage name was posted and publicly disclosed on Ms. Addams’ website, with intent to bring great harm to this donor, an actress and performer in her own right as retaliation for daring to speak out against.

        I could care less what Ms. Addams or Ms. James do for money or with that money. But when they devolve into harassment and bullying of others who disagree I will stand up firmly against that behavior, not the person, just the behavior.

        http://www.alicedreger.com/in_fear.html

        Once is an incident. Twice is a pattern.

    • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

      “Quite the ableist statement.”

      Oh yes, the sarcasm I use to respond to your laziness and hysterical self admiration was a slight against those with cripple ifingers. “I fucking hate people with crippled fingers”

      “Is that the line of attack? Attack the individual?”

      See previous statement.

      “No, that’s the claim being made about Ms. James and Ms. Addams. I am glad you brought up Trans Youth Family Allies. About how private donor information of a donor who questioned the appropriateness of a transgender youth organization’s board member being involved in the production of “LIKIN’ BIG DICKS”, a video’s which carried the self descriptor ” “Gay Pimp” Jonny McGovern & Calpernia jizz all over Far East Movement’s LIke A G6 and come with the dirty gay parody Likin Big Dicks!”. Don’t worry, it’s in a censored version too.”

      God , this is so appropriate. Entertainment is about being controversial
      http://uproxx.com/music/2013/12/miley-cyruss-adore-you-is-a-sex-tape-disguised-as-a-masturbatory-music-video/

      Alanis Morisette sings about going down on someone in a theater,, Angela Jolie was nude, had simulated sex , played hookers, played mental patients,smoked , on and on and on. She is a mother with children, how dare she ! This is the same bigoted, sexist, self hating attitude against transwomen that religious fanatics employ , a second standard whenever one of the community participates in roles in the entertainment industry. ITS A SONG TIPPER GORE! GET OVER IT! It’s a fantasy , not reality. entertainers do not live the songs they sing! I shouldn’t have to say that to a full grown adult!

      “What was Ms. Addams and Ms. James’ response?”

      Oh no, Im not done yet , we will go there in a second! This donor, WHO IS TOTALLY OUT, yet pretends that the is some hidden curtain of secrecy that no one else can see, uses her companies donation to try and BULLY Andrea out, not for being in the video, for being a friend to Addams. It is the most disgusting kind of witch hunt based on the most fraudulent faux morals . There was no excuse for it

      “This donor’s private, non stage name was posted and publicly disclosed on Ms. Addams’ website, with intent to bring great harm to this donor, an actress and performer in her own right as retaliation for daring to speak out against.”

      First Addams has had her name repeatedly posted in places like wikipedia and online. This is going to happen to anyone when you come out later than a teenager. Searching out people who harass attack you online is pretty standard and Geena came to Addams site to attack her. Not the reverse! . Geena’s name was online. Please don’t pretend that Geena’s intent was not to “ bring great harm “ to Andrea. Cough (hypocrite) cough) !

      “I could care less what Ms. Addams or Ms. James do for money or with that money. But when they devolve into harassment and bullying of others who disagree I will stand up firmly against that behavior, not the person, just the behavior.
      http://www.alicedreger.com/in_fear.html”

      Oh the faux Bailey controversy where Andrea took the disgusting things Bailey said in his book TMWHWBQ and laid HIS OWN DISGUSTING WORDS about transgender children over the freely public pictures of his own children . This is called “The Mirror” Its a tactic from the 48 Laws of power used to defeat your enemy. Oh god the irony that it causes outrage among everyone when laid across an academics children’s picture yet not the slightest bit when Bailey smears TG kids that way. Utterly telling . Lets quote your link shall we.

      “Even though Ms. James’s actions were not directed at me, as a scholar who works on sex and politics, I found myself deeply intimidated by Ms. James’s actions”

      Yes, the idea that someone might come along and use your own words against you is horrifying isn’t it ? If having critics is too tough then don’t use the public forum to promote a hateful nonsensical book. Dreger went on and on and on to write all kinds of BS that no one cares about, she did TED talks. So fearful was she.

      “Once is an incident. Twice is a pattern.”

      You see, the story of Geena did not end there, the Transadvocate got 4 women together and sat online creating a talk show and article based around the public dispute between Calpernia and Geena, only the show didn’t include one person, Addams. It was a one sided attack that only addressed the after. The point of the show ?! It was to escalate and nothing more. I asked Marti, what was the result supposed to be ? Who does it benefit?! It pretty much trust upsets everyone. I feel sorry for everyone involved. Parker has a future. This will not be the last controversy she is involved in for speaking her mind, whether you agree with it or not. Whatever you say publicly, whether Calpernia or Parker, you will have critics.

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        My response is waiting for moderation”:)

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        Oh and one more thing. The link for from Dreger:

        “I want to make clear I am not saying Ms. James does not have the right to speak. What I am saying is that I don’t think we should be putting our university’s good name near her. I would feel the same way were someone to be interested in, say, inviting a neo-Nazi to speak on campus. I would defend that person’s right to speak but I certainly wouldn’t enable or support their speech.”

        God had forgotten all this till you popped it up So, using Baileys own hate speech over pictures of hi own kids, is equivalent to being a “neo-Nazi”. Dreger was and has tried to silence the opposition through articles in the NY Times and numerous other articles on the same subject. Claiming that academic freedom suffers when you allow other people to criticize science ( wait Bailey claimed it wasn’t science but didn’t follow the IRB rules and then revoked that in an online interview to avoid further punishment bu NW University) .

        Dreger is fanatic who’s hysterical claims of the loss of academic freedom have been rebutted and disputed by tons of academics. No”chilling effect” was ever proved. Odd on the one hand intentionally trying to censor your opponents while whining about freedom.

        Bailey went on to do live sex demonstrations in his classroom using a man and his wife, a dildo and a power saw. Morals, yes. No words necessary.

        http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/05/nu-professor-apologizes-for-sex-toy-demonstration/

  8. […] the open letter over at Transadvocate.com, I think I’m done […]

  9. Sassafras says:

    DarlieB:

    “I totally agree, Parker was confused.”

    And she apologized and the error was corrected. For non-horrible people, continuing to write hit pieces and harass her on social media would be considered ungracious at best.

    ““Actually, Brennan DOES agree with Andrea. She does in fact think young queer trans women are skin-transvestites brimming with male privilege. -”
    No she doesn’t. Brennan calls herself a “MERF” now. She hates anything that was or has male characteristics, .”

    Um, that doesn’t actually address what I said. There’s no logical contradiction between hating all things male and agreeing with Andrea that trans women are male-privileged woman-suit-wearers. In fact it’s just a logical extension of her views, which is why it was so toxic for Andrea to promote it.

    ““The only point where the two of them differ is that Brennan includes Andrea in that category, and Andrea’s willing to ignore that in the quest for self-promotion – ”
    Nothing is occurring to you now that says how ridiculous that sounds. Brennans promoting the Pacific Justice Institute, The most antigay organization on the planet.”

    Once again, what you’ve said has nothing to do with what I said. Brennan considering trans women to be false and considering Andrea to be false right along with them has nothing to do with Brennan’s promotion of the PJI. Brennan supports anything that hates trans women, and Andrea dealt out the hate.

    ““We thank ppl who notice how fucked up trans ideology is. “GIDWatch /Cathy Brennan “

    Do you actually think she considers Andrea’s ideas about trans to be less fucked up than the rest of us? She hates all trans women. She likes when anyone calls us skin-transvestites, not just other trans women. Stop pestering those that Andrea attacked to accept her abuse for the good of the community.

    • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

      “Um, that doesn’t actually address what I said.”

      This does.

      ““We thank ppl who notice how fucked up trans ideology is. “GIDWatch /Cathy Brennan “

      She was simply enjoying the chaos. .

      “There’s no logical contradiction between hating all things male and agreeing with Andrea that trans women are male-privileged woman-suit-wearers. -”

      My god, you couldn’t stretch that to fit no matter what you did. Nonsense.

      “And she apologized and the error was corrected.”

      The Advocate corrected it, not Parker. And she apologized on Twitter. Did she apologize to Ru ? So her hating Ru is OK ?! You think thats fine? How incredibly hypocritical.

      “For non-horrible people, continuing to write hit pieces and harass her on social media would be considered ungracious at best.

      So many insults. Calpernia didn’t, Andrea did. In fact , after the HP piece she wrote she simply ignored her. How quickly Calpernia accepts or doesn’t accept an apology is her choice. Most of us are satisfied Parkers mistake was unintended and that eventually the two would sort. Critics’ comes with the journalists job. Right Marti 🙂

      “She likes when anyone calls us skin-transvestites, not just other trans women. ”

      Or drag queens Please try to be less effective.

      “Stop pestering those that Andrea attacked to accept her abuse for the good of the community. ”

      LOL! The good of the community! I listen to people like you and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that you do for the “good” of the community. You are sideline cheer leader to the chaos. Nothing more.

      While I don’t agree with Andrea playing Parker it’s hardly horrible. Ru isn’t my friend so I wont have the same reaction to someone like Parker saying she “FUCKING HATES HIM”! In a world where real atrocities occur all the time to transgender people a Andreas scolding of the “relevant up and comer” seems pathetically insignificant when weighed for importance.

      I will explain and respond to whatever I want. I promise to be more respectful than the participants. Attempting to bully me into silence , doing exactly what you falsely claimed I was doing wont change a thing.

  10. DarlieB: “Oh please be offended by what Andrea said. It makes her point.”

    WOW, Andrea, you proved the point that trans women don’t like it when you call them murderous hetero-male-privileged skin transvestites! I’m sure you’ll win the Nobel Prize for your groundbreaking research in the field of Shit Everyone Already Knew.

  11. DarlieB says:

    A show that does drag, “gay men doing a caricature of women” is not a show that represents us, nor was it intended to be. Calpernia gets criticized publicly for ANY and ALL statements she makes. Parkers dismissal ( unintentional or not ) was just such open criticism. Marti’s last attack on Calpernia ( this truly should be called “Another open letter …. to whoever”). Please dont pretend this is a one way street.

    Did Parker not say she “fucking hates Ru” ? How is that in any way journalism ?! I have faith she will be a terrific writer but that kind of statement demeans anything that follows. I don’t want to attack her, I think she means well. This is a learning experience in metering your words. As much as she or you or anyone dislikes things Ru says THAT is not representative of “the community”. You would think people asking for a release of hatred and a greater understanding would display a greater tolerance for people ,but unfortunately we are all human.

    WHAT DO THESE ATTACKS SERVE ANYONE?! What is the end but loss of friends and further division and isolation. The embarrassment of that division and misunderstanding in the community compounded by retweeting and misrepresenting the context of what was said . There are no villains, just people . Be part of the solution, not the problem. Just my opinion.

    • Sassafras says:

      “Did Parker not say she “fucking hates Ru” ? How is that in any way journalism ?!”

      It’s NOT journalism. It was on her personal Twitter, where she expresses her personal views, not an article in a national publication.

      “WHAT DO THESE ATTACKS SERVE ANYONE?! What is the end but loss of friends and further division and isolation. ”

      The opportunity to have a solution was in Addams and James’s court after Parker was made aware of the offense and apologized. That they didn’t accept that and went on the attack should show you who’s part of the problem.

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        “It’s NOT journalism. It was on her personal Twitter, where she expresses her personal views, not an article in a national publication ”

        She has 5000 followers on Twitter , she is a public figure that writes in a national publication. I think thats as public as you get and celebrity gives you NO PRIVACY! Welcome to the big leagues. You don’t get to be at work “Im a journalist ” and at home “gay hater ” It is still public and every damn thing you do reflects on your job. Homophobes don’t get hired to write ( no Im not saying she is, just that everything you do decides your job) .

        “That they didn’t accept that and went on the attack should show you who’s part of the problem. –

        Im bot discounting anyones participation here but there are two separate issues. Parker did not just diss Calpernia., Parker dissed Ru. The article Andrea wrote was her own at quoted the attack on Ru. Apologizing to Calpernia had nothing to do with that. Parker never apologized for the attack on Ru. The apology to Calpernia was made and that is where it should have been left. The rest is all just games.

  12. DarlieB says:

    ” As far as being called a drag queen, since when is that a slur?”

    Since the beginning if you are talking about misgendering . When you identify as female. don’t doubt Parker used it innocently but she used it. Women doing drag call themselves Faux or Bio Queens. Drag Queens are men, as cross dressers are men and they are both part of the transgender community.. Liza didn’t like Ellen’s joke much did she!

    “Self identification should be respected, but the implication here is that being a transsexual is at odds with being a drag queen.”

    That would be correct, it is. Even Parker knows that. It is at odds , well unless you consider men transwomen to be men which many of the younger transwomen do about those who transition late. Please don’t even open up that can of worms but lets face the facts. It’s not just as clean cut as you are making out. And that is transphobic ( it’s time to stop tossing that word around, save it for the bigots and not people fighting over definitions. ).

    “While Addams can choose what to call herself when she performs at a drag establishment, implying that drag queen is a gender identity is a form of internalized transphobia. “

    She is the hostess, she sings and MCs but she does not to drag. Drag is a particular performance as Faux queens will explain. The intention is to look like a man doing drag. That is what drag is.

    “Monica Beverly Hills not trans because she identifies herself as a drag queen?”

    This is something that even on DR that no one talks about, drag queens are part of the transgender community already. Monica is trans -gender. I ran her name through google with the word “transsexual”. Does she call herself transsexual ? No! Carmen does. Its not them just making the mistake, its you. As I understand it transgender is the umbrella term for a group of non-gender conforming people. Transsexual is a specific term.

    And thats another thing, why do you think it was such a big deal on Drag Race these three came out as transgender ? Thats right, because drag is done BY MEN! Most often , gay men.

    Parker made a mistake, intentionally or not, she got hit for it. That should be the end of story but its not . None of what follows matters a bit though . It’s choosing sides and escalating terms and complete fucking embarrassment to the trans community. No, Brennan did not favorite Andreas tweet because she agrees with Andrea, its because she loves watching you all suffer and run ariound screaming about injustice. She butters her bread with your pain.

    ““While Addams can choose what to call herself when she performs . .”

    THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT! While I don’t condone any of the fluff that went on after the one thing that is utterly insane is that you are sitting here arguing someone else’s identity. How do I do an eyeroll big enough?! This is all nothing but entertainment for the people who hate us. Bravo! Please, don’t let me stop you. We all have so much time to waste.

    • DarlieB says:

      “Pageant organizer (and Faux Queen) Ruby Toosday had “friends who got fired (from drag clubs) for being women…it seemed like we had definitely hit a nerve. ”

      Better than Chocolate (1999)

      Yes, now Im done.

    • Sassafras says:

      The fact that several trans women have done drag on RuPaul’s show only lends credence to Parker’s confusion at the situation. If these women can be women as drag queens, how is anyone not intimately part of that community supposed to know they were all special cases and that drag queen actually automatically means male? For years now, when i’ve heard people saying drag queens are men, I’ve cautioned them “Well, some trans women DO do drag, so you can’t overgeneralize”, and you know who I was thinking of when I said that? Calpernia Addams.

      Furthermore, it highlights James and Addams’s hypocrisy that they are saying that calling a trans woman a drag queen is a misgendering slur, but they’re defending RuPaul, who has flat out stated all trans women are drag queens. If Parker had said “I was just joking, lighten up!” would THAT have made it OK? It seems to work for RuPaul and Andrea.

      Besides which, when she found out her mistake, Parker apologized. Do you think her apology was insincere? Because it seemed really damn sincere to me, and the response it got was snark and vicious insults.

      “No, Brennan did not favorite Andreas tweet because she agrees with Andrea, its because she loves watching you all suffer and run ariound screaming about injustice. ”

      Actually, Brennan DOES agree with Andrea. She does in fact think young queer trans women are skin-transvestites brimming with male privilege. The only point where the two of them differ is that Brennan includes Andrea in that category, and Andrea’s willing to ignore that in the quest for self-promotion.

      If you’re so against choosing sides, how come I see your username popping up only to tell people who are calling out Addams and James for their flatly abusive behavior to stop, but you’re not telling those two to cut it out? All this would have ended already if Andrea hadn’t chosen to keep escalating things by continuing to attack Parker and promote her hit piece at every opportunity (always folliowing it up with “And here’s a link to my latest business endeavor!”). She’s chosen on her own to alienate a huge portion of the trans community by calling us skin transvestites and promoting herself and Calpernia as “the good ones” to cis people, but you’re taking US to task for it. If you want this to go away, talk to the two that are on the attack, not the ones standing up to it.

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        “The fact that several trans women have done drag on RuPaul’s show only lends credence to Parker’s confusion at the situation. – ”

        I totally agree, Parker was confused.

        “Actually, Brennan DOES agree with Andrea. She does in fact think young queer trans women are skin-transvestites brimming with male privilege. -”

        No she doesn’t. Brennan calls herself a “MERF” now. She hates anything that was or has male characteristics, . Her whole argument is totally rejection based. Anything she makes up to defend that

        “If you’re so against choosing sides, how come I see your username popping up only to tell people who are calling out Addams and James for their flatly abusive behavior to stop ”

        BS, I never told anyone to stop. II said it was pointless. I said the same thing to Andrea. This is pointless. I call all the parties “human” .

        “The only point where the two of them differ is that Brennan includes Andrea in that category, and Andrea’s willing to ignore that in the quest for self-promotion – ”

        Nothing is occurring to you now that says how ridiculous that sounds. Brennans promoting the Pacific Justice Institute, The most antigay organization on the planet.

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        Oh and Marti called me a TERF for explaining drag was done by gay men. 🙂 Not offended though, Im sure she meant it in the most politically sensitive way.

        Sometimes you just can’t win and as I told Parker, it really doesn’t matter if you say the most inoffensive thing, someone will be offended. Life is crazy and so are people. Double that for journalism.

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        “We thank ppl who notice how fucked up trans ideology is. “GIDWatch /Cathy Brennan

      • friday jones says:

        She called you a TERF? That was a HUGE mistake. I would have said “quisling.”

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        Well “friday” , it’s hard being right whatever aspersions your critics cast 🙂

  13. […] my own fatigue with  no-win grandstanding, I’d prefer to reference Transadvocate’s open letter for the background information. This link contains requisite contextual links that document the […]

  14. kellibusey says:

    I have contacted the editors and asked that they show that this op-ed was co-written by Marti Abernathey.

    • DarlieB says:

      I think everyone knows Kelli. Marti’ last attack on Calpernia is still up here. She happily posted it on her facebook. I dont want to post the same long speil I did on planet , but I probably will given the life of these things.

      • Sassafras says:

        Marti pointing out Calpernia’s bad behavior is an “attack”, Andrea calling Parker and other trans women “skin-transvestites” is just “parody”.

        • DarlieB says:

          It was an attack. There was no interviewing both parties, it was a bunch of trans people sitting online attacking what “Calpernia ” did. There was absolutely no purpose in it other than to attack. It was one sided propaganda. Geena attempted to get Andrea removed from a board based on her hate of Andrea, not for any moral failing of Andreas . She has an impeccable record . Yes, it was a parody. Especially of Parkers repeating “drag queen”.

          https://twitter.com/jokestress/status/453199023143260161/photo/1

  15. Maggie Hendershot says:

    Thank you, Kelli. This mirrors my exact thoughts when I first read Calpernia’s second op-ed. Since when has drag queen been derogatory, let alone a slur? If Calpernia didn’t want to be called a drag queen, then she had every right to ask it to be changed. It was, and Parker apologized profusely. Calpernia then writing this crotchety piece is frankly ridiculous, petty, and petulant. She seems to feel that her trans discourse (and it is HER trans discourse, in her mind) has been colonized by the worst sort of people of all: MILLENNIALS.*shuddershudder* Everybody knows millennials are the worst, with their entitlement, and their laziness, and have you even SEEN GIRLS? That is all I hear in her entire op-ed. The same old tired hat we keep hearing from white-haired old men, only this time it’s trans flavored. Which is weird, because it isn’t like Calpernia is old.

    • kelli Busey says:

      You are very welcome Maggie. I had started writing a post about this for planetransgender when Marti asked if I’d like to co write a piece. She is brilliant. It was an honor. There are quite a few of us ‘stripes’ out there who feel the same way. Maybe lots more than some realize.

      But that’s no surprise given how self-involved they are.

  16. In her “I F•cking Hate @RuPaul” article, Andrea nails it:

    “… arguing on Twitter is like debating via bumper stickers …”

    Yup. It’s an epic waste of time, a morass, a tiger trap filled with punji sticks, as many celebrity hournalistes have found to their dismay – if you don’t mind my going overboard with the analogies?

    [199 characters]

    Meanwhile, before anybody tries to nail Andrea to a cross of linguistic Puritanism, they should be aware that she’s most likely to nail them right back in ways that place their reputation in a state of disrepair, because she is just that smart.

    How do I know? Andrea James was User:Jokestress on Wikipedia, and dedicated years of effort to improving the quality of articles on transgender issues, contributing edits of really astonishing quality and quantity on a broad range of other topics… only to be proscribed, in an incredibly bad decision made last May by the Wiki’s Arbcomm, from editing on topics covering sexuality, including trans* topics… because James Cantor of Toronto’s Center for Addiction and Mental Health won out in his crusade to slant the Wiki towards his version of the CAMH worldview.

    I spent over three years editing mostly on trans* articles as bonze blayk fairly intensively , and I can tell you 1) there is no reward for doing this other than feeling good about trying to help ensure balance, accuracy and intelligibility against a tide of nuisance editors, and 2) Andrea James is not an ideologue, and like her or not, she is NOT mired in an obsolescent worldview.

    Meanwhile, talking scat accomplishes nothing in the real world – besides alienating people from trans* folks in general and persuading them all our arguments for equal rights are just hooey.

    Oh, and in parting, I offer ROOT.

    “My other bumper sticker is intelligent, I assure you!”

    Sincerely,
    – bonzie anne – guiterroriste

    PS: Yes, guiterroriste: that’s what it says on my form 1040, and would I lie to the Internal Revenue Service?

    • Sassafras says:

      OH GOLLY, nobody better make Andrea mad, she knows how to use Wikipedia!! Activism on Wikipedia is surely more important and real than activism on Twitter.

      Seriously, for such a genius she sure is keeping her skills under wrap. Repeating someone’s words back to them is a level of wit most people surpass in grade school. And while comparing her opponents to the killer in Silence of the Lambs is hurtful indeed, it’s not exactly what I’d call clever or even topical. For someone who can’t stop talking about how Hollywood she is, couldn’t she come up with a reference less than 20 years old?

      • “And while comparing her opponents to the killer in Silence of the Lambs is hurtful indeed…”

        Where did she do that?

        • Sassafras says:

          On her Twitter. In addition to repeatedly alluding to Parker being a “skin-transvestite”, she also tweeted that trans women who disagreed with her were “Gumbing out”. Jame Gumb is the real name of “Buffalo Bill”, the killer in SotL.

        • DonnaL says:

          Gumbing out? Skin Transvestite? But I’m sure she was just being ironic, right? Let’s all call her Ms. Jonathan Swift!.

          One of the many problem with Andrea’s so-called sense of humor is that her “ironic” parodies of bigotry are indistinguishable from the original. Thereby failing entirely in their supposed purpose.

          Some genius. She has always displayed poor judgment on occasion, and a remarkable obliviousness to how counterproductive her rhetoric can sometimes be (what with its sledgehammer subtlety and all), all the way back to her embarrassing attempt to prove a point by doing what she did with Bailey’s kids (but it was ironic!) — thereby causing enormous damage to the campaign against The Man Who Would be Queen, no matter how many times she apologized for it. She should never have been the story, but her own actions made it so.

          At least she used to choose her enemies well, both with Bailey and the largely fictional “Transkids.” .

          Now she’s becoming a self-parody, and if she doesn’t stop soon and back off, will quickly destroy what’s left of the good reputation she had, back in the days when she was a Big Macher in TransWorld.

          Parker did nothing to deserve this nonsense.

          Thanks for this article.

          • DarlieB says:

            Well, actually Parker did a few things . When making apologies TWITTER IS THE LAST PLACE TO DO IT! Look, it’s not a marriage proposal , you hurt someone and you should talk privately. Not on the public stage. Hurtful statements are not best resolved in public for show ( that is most likely why it was viewed as insincere.

            Also Andrea also probably doesn’t give a damn what you think. No offense but there are no “trans elections”. If you feel the community is not well represented than I suggest you throw your hat in the ring.

          • Sassafras says:

            That’s BS. If you mess up publicly, you make a PUBLIC apology, that’s common sense. It could be followed up with a private conversation, but admitting the mistake publicly is basic courtesy.

            And it’s abundantly clear Andrea doesn’t give a damn what other trans women think of her. But if she’s going to publicly attack other trans women and call them murderous skin-transvestites and badmouth us to as wide a cis audience as she can, she’s going to get pushback. If you don’t want anyone responding to your BFFs with anger then I suggest you convince them to stop being asses in public.

          • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

            “If you mess up publicly, you make a PUBLIC apology, that’s common sense. It could be followed up with a private conversation, but admitting the mistake publicly is basic courtesy. ”

            Gosh, what did people do before Twitter ?! 🙂 There are no rules that way , nor did Parker have he good sense to explain the mistake. . The correction was done by the Advocate, not her. Twitter is not the best place to reconcile with someone you offended. My opinion.

            Oh please be offended by what Andrea said. It makes her point.

  17. Manco M says:

    Hi Kelly
    sorry for my english I am italian….

    It seems to me that gender issues have gone way off the center of the discussion, replaced by the search or defense of personal status and visibility. When things go like this no one looks smart anymore and people like me that fight their battle in social anonymity start to think that the ones involved are not transgender or female or even drag queens, they are just lazy spoiled childs, and I have far more in common with the cisgender people i meet than with them.
    The journalist probably being the more honest but far from perfection just the same.
    The fact that they act so childish make me even question their true credit and value.

    Of course one side of the coin tells me “ok she (Calipernia, James ) is transgendered so she probably deserves her luck more than anybody just because of her troubled life”, but the other side of the coin tells me also “ok, but still, there are people that are smarter and have probably a shitty life transgender or not, and if you’re lucky in the end it does’nt imply that you’re allowed to defend your status in a so bitchy nonsensical way”.

    In the end being transgender is just one of the condition or attributes that give us our personality, if u build your whole life just on this don’t pretend to be a wonderful person, you end up being just a lazy spoiled child.

    Sad thing is that i really admire them as women for how they become, but this is the only thing i admire in them, the strength and the possibility to conquer their identity, but still, everybody should be more than that.

    • April k says:

      Mean people can be kind and children can have wisdom. I too feel that over-reactive people who attack others ‘must’ be wrong, but that is not true. Truth stands on its own, regardless of who said it. So I try to remember to read Andrea or Calpurnia’s words with that in mind. But I still come to the same conclusions, that they likely have less ability to step outside of the situation and see things how they really are.

      • Manco M says:

        We agree on this. I am too a bit over the edge of kindness sometimes, when things see me more deeply involved, but at least i have something to say, and well my truth is usually more than” i have money and status and things to do and u are noone not even a woman”
        It’s not even because i don’t actually have these things, but because i respect hard work and merit and i don’t consider money or possibilities a value, and i don’t think the good things u do, supposed u do special things, should separate u from everybody else, but at the opposite serve as connection with other honest and kind people.
        But of course playing it with honesty requires to have good skills, otherwise to reach a better status than the one you would deserve you have to play it dirty.
        I think they did these.

        • Manco M says:

          As a conclusion, the problem with some minority spokeperson, or people that act as ones is that even if the usually the main and sometimes only reason why they reached their notoriety is because they should reoresent you, they end uo representing an even littler minority: just themself. But of course the vast majority is made of people fighting hard and honest and not for their individual gain, but it seems we re not talking about those. It is important to distinguish and choose acccordingly.

  18. Sassafras says:

    If they think Parker calling a longtime drag performer a drag queen is a slur against her validity as a woman, then it’s interesting that they’re defending RuPaul so hard, since he flat-out said that transgender women are drag queens. I wonder just how rich and famous you have to be before it stops being offensive?

    • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

      “Parker calling a longtime drag performer ”

      She is not a drag performer. Ru lives in another community. I don’t think its about money.

      • friday jones says:

        If Calpernia Addams wasn’t a drag performer, then was Barry Winchell able to meet her at one of her drag shows? Did a Wizard do it?

      • friday jones says:

        That should have read “If Calpernia Addams wasn’t a drag performer, then how was Barry Winchell able to meet her at one of her drag shows?” Left out the word “how.”

      • DarlieB (@DarlieB) says:

        She was the MC. She does not do drag,

  19. AriadneDawn says:

    Dear World:

    Context matters.

    Have we really become so lazy about language that we forget to consider that? This isn’t directed at any single side in this conversation. Rather it’s directed at all those involved in any conversation.

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