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January 4, 2011
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January 10, 2011

Blog Of Shame: Sockpuppets and The Politics of Personal Destruction

Autumn Sandeen’s latest “expose” over at Pam’s House Blend is about activist and blogger Ashley Love. She states her reason for this post is that:

“However, I can’t help but feel that Ashley Love’s pattern of writing derogatory and defamatory commentary needs to be exposed to the light of day. It seems to me that her views are outlier viewpoints, and she’s too much of a public figure — both in and out of trans community — to ignore what she’s been writing over the past year about transgender identified people.”

First lets define some terms:

  • Defamationthe act of defaming; false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel; calumny: She sued the magazine for defamation of character.
  • Derogatorytending to lessen the merit or reputation of a person or thing;disparaging; depreciatory: a derogatory remark.

What was Love’s great defamatory statement?

[I]ts times to stop living in a fantasy, and face the facts. Sweeping diversity and individuality under the rug has done nothing for the sex and gender diverse communities, or at least nothing for the transsexual and intersex communities. Perhaps its done a lot for white cross dressing males and white gender queer FTMs, but it has only served white trans masculine people, and thats it. I have more in common with a non-trans woman than I do with a cross dresser or drag queen. Many TS/IS people are fed up of being bullied by PC BS. We are tired of being muzzled by late transitioning white CD and TG male bodied people who run the TG Facista non-profit world and buy their way onto the Gay(lgbt) non profit boards. Did we go through all we went through to be told we are the same thing as men in dresses? We think not.

While I disagree with Love’s statement about “TG male bodied people”, I don’t see it as defamation. I think it’s a difference of opinion. What I don’t get is how this piece helps the transgender community. Regardless of what you think of Ashley’s opinions, her actions in the TOTWK actions really proved she puts her money where her mouth is and she’s out front and center.

I wish that Sandeen would look inside her own blogging platform and write about the sockpuppetry that’s kicked two trans people off of Pam’s House Blend.  I wish she’d discuss the GAYinc elite that silence those with opposing views behind the counter of PHB.  Maybe look into the employment troubles some bloggers (*cough*) have due to no match letters from the Social Security Administration…. Maybe take a peak at the 990’s of the National Center for Transgender Equality’s funding to see who finances it? Or how about a powerful House Representative that will talk about penises in showers at one time, then be offended when the shower question is asked of gays and lesbians?  Unlike Sandeen’s post, these things have real consequences to the future of our movement.  But I guess those compelling questions aren’t good coffee klatch material, eh?

Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor.

Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist.

She’s been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday.

As an advocate she’s previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She’s taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana’s Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana – 3/2005).

In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama’s LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.

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  • Robyn

    Posing for photo opportunities with celebrities at posh fundraising banquets does not make one an activist. Just a socialite.

  • Robyn

    I’m not a big fan of either of these individuals, but I will say this. The views currently being very strongly expressed by Ms. Love clearly indicate that she has little or no grasp of the fundamental concepts or the accepted scientific or stylistic nomenclature associated with the community she claims to serve. Her idea of what constitutes a transsexual broadly excludes a vast segment of the community that does not conform to her narrow and rigid frame of reference, completely unsupported by empirical evidence. I have read her remarks, and have seen my dissenting opinions deleted from her Facebook threads in favour of those expressed by her sycophants. In particular, she and her associates at TS-Si intentionally misgendered Sandeen, and referred to late transition trans people as “transvestites.” Her concept of the ideas of sex and gender are exactly bass ackward. She has no clue concerning the ideas of identity or the individual expression of same. Again, I’m no great Sandeen supporter, either, but to commit this deliberate and malicious misgendering to print in the form of blog or social networking posts is not just irresponsible, but especially in the context of this community, borderline libellous. I don’t blame Autumn for being angry. I’d be pig bitin’ mad myself. This campaign of divisiveness is very dangerous, indeed, as Ms. Love somehow managed to become a contributing writer at the Huffington Post. In the context of the broader audience this medium reaches, i.e. outside the community, her irresponsible approach to “journalism” could prove harmful in the long run toward the greater community objective.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t blame Autumn for being angry. I’d be pig bitin’ mad myself. This campaign of divisiveness is very dangerous, indeed, as Ms. Love somehow managed to become a contributing writer at the Huffington Post. In the context of the broader audience this medium reaches, i.e. outside the community, her irresponsible approach to “journalism” could prove harmful in the long run toward the greater community objective.”

      Her CB status at HuffPo has her under the thumb of an editor, whereas Autumn and Pam have posted this personal attack at a member of their own community without any kind of editorial oversight. I don’t agree with a lot of Love’s views, but I’m more concerned with Autumn’s approach to journalism than I am Ashley’s, especially in relation to the sockpuppetery going on at PHB.

      • Robyn

        I couldn’t agree more. Again, I emphasize that you won’t find me in Autumn’s or Pam’s corner, however, the remarks that appeared in TS-Si concerning Autumn crossed the line into the completely unacceptable. I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks of Autumn Sandeen, but the article that appeared on TS-Si, reposted to FB by Ashley Love repeatedly misgendered Sandeen and made inappropriate reference to her genitals. I think that these things are off limits in any discussion within or outside of our community. I guarantee that had such remarks been made by someone outside the community about Sandeen or anyone else, Ms. Love herself would be up in arms. Certainly, the PHB retalition was also irresponsible, but all I’m saying is that is was not unprovoked.

        In my view, the dangerous thing about Ashley Love having the Huff Post as a platform from which to express her elitist views is that the wider audience is liable to get the impression that this would be socialite (sort of the Mikhail Salahi of the trans world) is some kind of eminent expert, or that she speaks for the entire trans community. The potential exists there for the undoing of the hard work of lo, those many that came before, and blazed the trail upon which Ms. Love treads.

        • This is to laugh!
          I was one of those who did a lot of the heavy lifting back in the day only to see it undone and the civil rights of all trans people set back two decades by the insane antics of the Sandeens and the like…..

          Rohyn, you haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

  • Natalie Murray in Trenton

    While I have a certain amount of agreement with Ashley Love’s position here*, I don’t agree with some of her methods. I was part of a recent Facebook thread in which that very statement was discussed. But it turned out that, if anybody posted a comment that disagreed with her, she’d simply delete it. In other words, it certainly wasn’t a free and fair discussion. I told her what I thought of that and left.

    As for Autumn Sandeen, her latest crusade, now that DADT has been repealed, is about trans rights in the US military. As the eighth person to transition in uniform in the Canadian Forces, and one of the few who will stand up and speak out, (, I think I can fairly say that I have a fair bit of experience that I can offer up. And offering it up is exactly what I tried to do. I commented on her Facebook and PHB posts, with some other people who know me coming out of the blue and supporting me. I messaged her directly. Not one answer. I can only conclude that the only person Autumn Sandeen writes for is Autumn Sandeen. She’ll pick and choose who and what she writes about such that it makes her shine in the limelight.

    *Where I agree with Ashley Love has to do with their needing to be a place at the table for the unique needs of transsexual people, especially those of us that are surgery track, lest it be lost in the din of ‘transgender’, as seems so often the case.

  • Nikki H

    If Ashley Love actually did make those comments about white crossdressing men and late transitioning men, then it is a MAJOR problem with her representing our community as far as I’m concerned. It’s tantamount to saying that the black American commmunity would be better off if everyone was light skinned. She obviously does not understand that gender identity is a spectrum. I also wonder why she thinks that only people passable ( I assume like her) should be given civil rights protection. Comments like hers are very cruel regardless of whatever self serving activism she has done in the past. I agree with Autumn Sandeen.

    • Anonymous

      Apparently you missed a part where she’s addressing ” Sweeping diversity and individuality under the rug”. I disagree with her argument, but she’s not saying what you’re intimating.

      • Robyn

        Actually, she is.

  • Guido

    The Hypocrisy Of The Rainbow … When The Humbug Wizards Of LGBTs Hide Their Identity

    “The previous posting has caused quite of stir. Not through comments to the posting but via email to Focus On The Rainbow.

    I’ve been called everything from a turncoat, to a scumbag to things which would make a sailor turn blue and of course an anti-gay gay who helps the opposition.

    I’m bisexual actually.

    I’ve been asked to take the posting down and to go burn in Hell.”

    • Not Your Friend

      Sandeen spoiled her nest in San Diego years ago. She has belonged to a few groups in the San Diego aria and all of them have gone down in flames thanks to her fine work.
      So it comes at no surprise that Ms Sandeen’s destructive behavior goes unchecked.
      One must wonder what set this latest attack campaign off this time. There isn’t anybody with a Dr. Jekyll, Mr Hyde personality to compare to hers in the LGBT community.

      With any luck this will be Ms Sandeen’s Waterloo and she will go quietly into the background for good.

      • Not Your Friend

        And yes I’m a former friend of Sandeen.

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