Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…

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enough to go around

lately in the news is a story about a brave judge, making the right decision. i refer to the massachusetts case of a transgender person, in prison for murder, and the decision the judge passed down declared that denying this person treatment for their condition constituted ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, thus making way for this prisoner to have a gender reassignment treatment and surgery.

you can imagine that is going over like a led balloon with the ‘tax-payers’, especially those of a prejudging bent. but what if the treatment were a triple by-pass to correct a congenital heart defect? would the tax-paying public have a chance in hell of denying that person who will spend the rest of their life in prison the life-saving surgery and treatment they would require?

i think not. but maybe…

now this person, who currently resides in a prison for men, is certainly not a poster child to elicit compassion, i guess. she killed her wife, after all. imagine the irony of being a woman in a man’s body in a men’s prison for killing a woman!

but the judge made the right call. gender dysphoria is a real and treatable disorder. and from what the various reports have said, she had it bad! suicidal, self-harming and self-destructive behaviours. and who knows to what extent the circumstance of her psychological torment figured into her inability to restrain her actions with regard to the murder.

to withhold treatment from a person because we find their crime heinous is not an excuse. and their are protections in place for those who inhabit our far too extensive prison systems for good reason. the fact that the prisoner is transgender is irrelevant and the treatment and subsequent gender reassignment won’t make her less a murderer, nor will it commute her sentence. (altho she will most assuredly be transferred to a woman’s prison after that.)

the judge’s decision is the correct one, and a big step forward for transgender folk in our society. so it is no surprise that many uptight, right-wing nut jobs and people vying for political office are all weighing in on the ‘wrongness’ of it all.

but imagine my surprise, when among the various news stories and blogs i found that made mention of this was one in which a blog cites the possible danger that advancing the rights and equalities of transgender women poses for the women’s rights movement. can you imagine?

like, would white women feel threatened in the sixties that black women being able to register to vote would somehow lessen their own right to do so…lay waste the suffrage movement? what the bleep?!!!

the blog was on wordpress somewhere, but i didn’t bother to take note of its url. reading the mission statement at the top of the page said all i needed to know. apparently women’s rights, in their estimation, do not extend to trans-women. the very notion that these transgender type women are recognised as women threatens the advances that ‘real’ women have fought for. and rights being extended to these ‘faux’ women apparently might actually make it necessary to include them in all women spaces, programmes and such. a horror story!

my daughter is way more woman than these fraidy cats! she will have to fight for the right simply to be recognised as a woman, not just to be empowered as one! she will have to have surgery to correct the mistake her body has made and will need to take hormones for the rest of her life just to be who she is…a female.

who the bleep do these women think they are, cis-gendered pretenders to the throne of all things female? they’ve never had to work at being the girls they are…it was simply their birth right…and like all other types of “entitled” folk, they are content to lord it over the likes of my daughter, to deny them access or entry into their exclusive club.! i don’t even consider these types women! since they have allowed their cis-gendered priveleged status to justify looking down their collective nose at transgender women. real women don’t deny other women their place in society!

i’ve met this type of woman before, at women’s gatherings…many of which exclude even post-op trans-women, some that allow them but would like to check them for a residual penis before letting them enter…like the michigan’s womyn’s festival for one. and now, apparently, just having the world at large, (and especially this judge’s decision) grant transgender women equal rights, acceptance as women etc. is a threat to the community of “women born women” (goddess i hate that phrase!@)

what the frack!!!???

do these women think there’s not enough equality to go around?

on the other hand, there have been some very thoughtful and forward thinking articles about the issue of this judge and the woman whose rights he protected.

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Beating the cis-tem: A look at privilege based on gender identification – Iowa State Daily: News

a very necessary article for those of us with trans-folk as friends or family members.
helping cis-folk to realise their own priveleged status in relation to the oppressor/oppressed position of cis over trans persons can open minds.
in turn, open minds can unlock the consideration and compassion so often withheld from people who differ from the dominant society’s hierarchical paradigm.

Beating the cis-tem: A look at privilege based on gender identification – Iowa State Daily: News.


this disgusting culture

the last couple of posts i’ve made, reblogs from other excellent bloggers, have brought up a host of thoughts about this allegedly civilised society in which we at the dawn of the 21st century find ourselves.

racism rampant despite civil rights gains, hate-crimes perpetrated against those who are judged as ‘other than’, whether it be for their faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or even just their gender, inequalities justified by those who imagine their morality to be superior. bullying of our children. and these are only the real world day to day degradations.

add to these the representations of violence in movies, video games, on t.v., the constant beating of the drums of war by political figures and media pundits, the actual drone assassinations our peace prize winning president carries out to check off names on his ‘kill list’ and yet somehow we are shocked when someone dons a batman joker’s costume and shoots up a movie theater, or mistakes sikhs for the understandably loathed (for no reason) muslims and opens fire in a temple.

these things shock us, but what of the things that really ought to shock and disgust us, things like those mentioned in ‘the male gaze’ or in “disgusting” ?

in general, the media doesn’t notice when a trans-woman is assaulted, unless she fights back perhaps, in which case she is likely charged with committing a crime. there is no wide-spread shock at the number of women raped, wives beaten, or gays attacked every day. the reaction of the dominant culture and its participants ranges from ‘oh really? to ‘well, that’s to be expected’

i commented on the “disgusting” blog that i felt that for me to pen such a post would be very healing. if i used this literary device to ‘speak to’ the man who upon realising i’d spurned his advances, (not just because i prefer women by the way, he was one of those disgusting ‘male gaze’ types) decided that i was in need of a good ‘raping’. or to address the many men who only thought such things. or to chastise the father, my dad, who made it clear that i was a disappointment.

i would love to post something that my fellow ‘women-loving-women’ would read and feel shamed for rejecting our trans-sisters as less than women. especially those who would ban them from ‘all womyn’ gatherings (you know who you are). i would love to post something to society in general for requiring impossible standards be put upon women. the acceptable height and weight imposed upon us to be considered worthy, the ritual of shaving our womanly body hair so as to appear pre-pubescent and thus desirable in our male dominated world. the painted faces we are told we must have to be ‘easy, breezy, beautiful’, while men can be ugly, fat and old without derision.

i would like to let our ‘looksist’, ‘size-ist’, sexist, age-ist’, cis-ist society know that femininity is not a commodity. that gender is not genitalia, that love is not the exclusive domain of straight folk, that there is no such thing as ‘passing’.

i would love to be able to afford to buy time on broadcast t.v. networks, as do the people running for office, or those trying to sell their latest snake oil, so that i could declare to this ‘lagging-behind’ society, to the captive couch potatoes who have only this medium for diversion from their slave-wage daily grind, that there is another way forward. that those holding the power are oppressing them too. that only by respecting one another as human beings sharing a fragile planet, and treating everyone with kindness, consideration, and compassion, by joining ourselves as one instead of being suspicious of each other, judgemental and divisive, can we overthrow the faceless monsters of greed and oppression that have taken our world and infused it with this disgusting culture.

but most of all, i would love to make a difference, somehow. to waken those that need nudged. so that the world my beautiful transgender daughter grows into someday will embrace her…just as she is!


No, Bill O’Reilly, Glee Will Not Make Your Kid Transgender. And So What if It Does? | | AlterNet

saw this and had to post it…enjoy!

No, Bill O'Reilly, Glee Will Not Make Your Kid Transgender. And So What if It Does? | | AlterNet.



earlier today in this blog, i reblogged a story from germany about a trans-girl who faces institutionalisation for merely being who she is. it is a tragedy, no doubt. society, especially here in the U.S. has never upheld the ‘liberty and justice for all,’ part of the pledge we were forced to stand and recite in schools every day.

the statistics are frightening with regard to trans and queer folk. the discrimination, the assaults on not just our human (and allegedly equal) rights, but on our very flesh. the numbers are truly daunting. yet the paucity of reporting on such statistics is indicative of the esteem afforded such groups by the dominant cultural paradigm. our issues are not their issues. we, along with our rights, are expendable.

my daughter, with really almost ‘zero’ life experience yet, intuitively understands that by entering the role allotted to females, and a trans-female at that, she will be relegated to the portion of society that is less empowered and often preyed upon. a sad state of affairs. she already understands much that i haven’t yet bothered to teach her. despite my ‘holding back’ until she is a little older to reveal the dark place our world can often be, she understands that she will have to fight her way through life as a girl. she knows and she is ready, or so she thinks.

but why should she have to fight?why should anyone? why does society have no place for transgender/transsexual folk? or queers? or black people in general. why are the assaults against these groups seemingly ‘understandable’.

trayvon martin was a member of an expendable group: black in a white societal power structure. transgender/transsexual people are members of an expendable group too: gender variant in a cis-sexual binary-coded paradigm. and really, even simply queer folk are also relegated to a second class citizenry; their rights only attained through struggle.

when society can ‘decide’ whether queer folk can marry, or thinks it right that women can be paid less than men for the same job done, when police can decide whether gunning down an unarmed black man constitutes murder, it is a tragedy. it is also a symptom of a disease, a cancer.

people should never be treated like ‘expendables’.

my daughter is fierce! i trust in her strength, in her ability to confront the world and have it be on her terms. that being said, it is no secret to her that the only lower place on society’s totem pole would be if she had also been born black. she knows this, altho i haven’t painted the scene for her. she told me one day. (tho not using the totem pole reference). she simply said, “if i were black too, i’d be the lowest in the world, except for animals”

that an only almost 9 year old, who doesn’t watch t.v. (only movies) or go to public schools, knows the ‘place value’ within society of transgender and black folk is profound. she has correctly diagnosed the disease without having yet experienced the symptoms. and she knows this isn’t the way it should be.

so if a child knows that ‘place value’ is wrong, that every single person on the planet should be afforded equal respect and esteem, why doesn’t the society at large recognise these things?


wouldn’t wish it on anyone

the other day, after a long time since last i’d spoken with her, i called up an old friend. we’ve known each other since the early 1980’s when she still wore the external body of a male. but to me, she was and has always been, my sister.

ever since she was able to recall, she had felt as tho she wasn’t male. beaten for wearing her sister’s dresses and derided for being a sissy, her childhood was not a very happy one. only her mother seemed to quietly understand and support her.

like many transgender people who aren’t allowed a choice in the matter, she chose to follow the lifestyle and sexual preference of a gay male, on the inside knowing that she was really something other. like many transgender people before her and since, she knew that being gay was not who she was. but even within the lgbt community, at a time when the ‘t’ part of that acronym was not fully accepted by the community, she was told that she was probably really just a feminine gay man.

she knew better, but just as many others like herself, she began down a long road of self-destructive behaviours and equally as destructive relationships, thinking that the path to her true self would never be within reach.

many long years later she chose to insist upon being true to herself. it wasn’t easy. no one seemed to support her in this, altho as always, her mother extended quiet acceptance and support. so when about a decade ago she started on the path to becoming the woman she had always thought herself to be, there were few who stood beside her and many more who abandoned her completely.

as of today, she has been living outloud as a woman for ten years, and as a post-op transsexual for the past six. we often talk together, by phone since we live in different states. i feel honored to be one of the few with whom she’d always known she could count on.

in the early years after her gender-reassignment surgery our conversations were filled with her expressions of joy in finally being HERself. there were all the emotional differences between male and female to take note of, and she did. there was also a sense of regret at not having been able to ‘grow up female’, as she felt that ‘culturally’ there was much of nuance she had missed. still, she felt empowered as a female in a way she had never experienced as a male. she gloried in her new found sexuality, because altho she had been with men as a man, it was a whole other feeling to experience this as a woman.

often she would tell me that the lovers with whom she had been intimate since becoming a woman seemed disingenuous; as tho they were only ‘hot’ for her because it was such forbidden fruit. few seemed very interested in her as a person, and fewer still wanted to commit themselves in any real way to a relationship, or even being seen with her in public, in that small rural community of america’s mid-section.

she was equally as frustrated by the reaction of women, her peer group really, because there seemed to be little acceptance of her into their hallowed sorority , or even acknowledgement of her womanhood. and among women who knew not of her being transsexual, she often sensed jealousy directed towards her for attention men paid to her.

as i started out saying earlier, i called her again after a long time…months. she was depressed and going through such things as i wont mention here, but most of which had to with the prejudice, and oppression cis-centric society imposes upon those who don’t walk the binary line. it seems the most ignoble irony that her struggle to become whole is seen by most as a pathology, a mental illness or personality disorder. in healing herself, many see her as sick.

as i listened to her, i heard her loneliness, her frustrations. the realisation that she was one of the more oppressed minorities in our society, (a woman…and a transsexual woman at that!) was beginning to take its toll. the men with whom she had had real relationships as a woman, treated her the way society has ever allowed men to treat women: as underlings, to be dominated and controlled by whatever means they chose. the feeling of being empowered as a woman was being met headlong with the reality of a second class citizenry allotted to women.

after long hours of listening to her, she said; “i wouldn’t wish this on anyone” referring to being a trans-woman. i wasn’t shocked.
she wasn’t saying she regretted becoming a woman, it is after all who she really is. rather she was saying that the level of discrimination, ostracisation and oppression to which people like herself were subjected is such a curse as to not want anyone else to have to suffer it. she said this knowing that my eight-year old child is transgender and will one day face similar pain.

of course, these are precisely the realities that made me so fearful at my little boy’s assertions of being a girl inside. these and worse fears were behind my reluctance to really hear what ziona was saying. the hard road ahead to merely becoming who she is will likely be fraught with similar discriminations, ostracising and oppression even despite the progress being made to allow transgender/transsexual people to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as cis people. and even if or when society legislates in favor of transsexual/transgender people, it isn’t possible to legislate people’s attitudes away. there are those who seek to harm gay and transgender folk today despite the ‘hate-crime’ legislations in effect.

it is more than sobering to realise that in supporting my transgender daughter in her need to become who she is, i may prevent her from committing suicide (as many trans folk do that are not allowed to be themselves), i may be able to make sure that she gets the puberty blockers in time to prevent any ‘male’ attribute perpetrating its irreversible assault to her feminine nature, i may be able to scrimp and save for the medications and subsequent surgeries she will insist upon pursuing (and she will), but one thing i cannot do is rest assured that society will treat her with the respect to which she is entitled.

but that’s why i speak out. that’s why i educate others, whomever will listen. and that’s why i am encouraged by the strong trans-women who have gone before to show the way, who blog, write books and go about their lives being unapologetically themselves.

there is no therefore herein. wish i could come up with one. altho if a test existed to identify a transgender person while in utero and i should find that the life growing in my womb bore that gene, i would not consider such thing cause for termination, it is still something i wouldn’t wish on anyone! not at least until society has grown to the measure of compassion necessary to ensure equality and acceptance to all its various members.

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does stealth = shame?

does stealth equal shame?
this point is moot where my daughter is concerned.

before i realized how badly she needed to live as
the girl she is, zeeona felt compelled to tell folk
who saw her as a boy, (she had short hair, didn’t wear
dresses) that she wasn’t really a boy. she called it
‘her secret’ but didn’t keep the secret very well.

one day, at the opening of a new lgbt community center
in a nearby town, the local tv news wanted to interview
me. because i am a queer woman who has adopted a child,
and the laws against this in our state had recently been

altho i had adopted zee long before moving to florida, i
agreed to speak on camera about my feelings and thoughts
since the repeal.

zeeona had already been living as a girl at this point,
and identified very much with this community of lgbt
people. she even initiated conversations with some of the
folk who were there about the fact that she wasn’t just
the adoptive child of a queer parent, that this was her
community in her own right as well.

i feared that the reporters would hear this and want to
interview us further about this other twist. it wasn’t
that i was ashamed, it was something else that i couldn’t
quite put my finger on.

fast forward a year, and once again because of a totally
different sort of news story, we find ourselves being
interviewed on camera for a tv story. it was one about the
toll of foreclosures on neighborhoods becoming veritable
ghost towns, with banks not taking responsibility for empty
property upkeep, and so many vacant homes.

zeeona drew me down to her and whispered in my ear that she
wanted to tell the newscaster about her “secret”. once
again i felt that uneasiness i’d felt at the lgbt community
center’s grand opening.

i told her that this story was about something else.

it isn’t that i have ever felt the slightest inkling of re-
gret for allowing my daughter to be who she is. it isn’t
that i have ever felt that her being transgender is a cause
for shame. it isn’t that i felt that the information is not
hers to share. or that the subject is too private for sharing
with others.

it was all about my fear that in this homophobic, transphobic
judgemental society the repercussions of this admission had
far more consequence than a young child could comprehend.

lately, especially since the high profile transitioning of
chaz bono, i have wondered about just how much more damaging
being stealth can be.

there can be no doubt whatsoever that in order for society to
come around, there must be exposure to the things it judges
and fears. the refusal of closets and subsequent visibilty of
the gay, lesbian and bisexual community has done much to win
long sought after rights and respect. quite probably then, a
similar time for visibility and pride need occur with regard
to trans-people in order for injustices to be identified and
turned back.

in the queer community, there were always some who felt the
need for privacy as regards whom they chose for love and sex
partners. after all, what business is it of anyone else? do
heterosexual people have to declare themselves?

but there were far more of us that felt that the dominant
cultural paradigm had to be openly challenged if we were ever
to attain equal standing within society. that it was unfair
that blatant display of heterosexual love and intimacy was
okay but to walk down the street hand in hand with our lovers
was not.

i would never presume to tell the transgender community
that it perpetuates prejudice against them to be ‘stealth’,
that “secret” often translates “shame” in the minds of
“normal” society. because this allegedly normal society has
few qualms about discriminating against any and all that run
contrary to their established rules. just look at ‘dont ask –
dont tell’ or ‘defense of marriage’ legislation for proof of
this well known tendency.

but can i continue to tell zeeona when it is okay for her to
share ‘her story’? where does my protecting her against an
irrational society end? does my protection translate as shame
in her young mind? dare i impose my fears upon her young mind
by letting her know the horror stories of hate-crimes, of
things such as ostracism and discrimination?

she’s only eight!!!
so how can she make the decision to not to be “stealth” when
she’s scarcely old enough to understand the repercussions?

as with most things concerning her well-being and safety, i
find myself walking a tightrope between supporting her and
shielding her. tho as i said earlier, the stealth controversy
is a moot point with her. she has no hesitance to declare that
she is transgender.

so no matter what i feel, no matter my justified fears or my
feelings that society needs to be awakened to the presence of
people who are ‘other than’ in their midst, this is her story,
not mine, to tell or not to tell.

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to do the right thing

it is great being a parent!

while this statement is true at many levels, it shouldn’t be taken to imply that parenthood is without its trials.

my daughter zeeona has brought me no end of expanded awareness on a variety of subjects. as well as moments of absolute frustration.

but i wouldn’t trade a single moment of our time together for all the rice in china.

all in all, raising a transgender daughter doesn’t begin to compare with dealing with the side effects of her autism.

considering the surgeries and hormone treatments in her future concerns me far less than the juvenile polyposis syndrome she has, which necessitates yearly surgeries to remove countless pre=cancerous lesions from the whole of lower intestinal tract.

thinking of her health and well-being in lieu of the brain scarring she suffered at birth, the abnormality of a transfer of genetic material between the third and fourth chromosomes, and the anomalous spiking of electrical activity in her pre-frontal cortex worries me far more than the fact of her gender variant identification.

tell someone your child has autism and they sympathize with you.

inform them of the juvenile polyposis syndrome, and what it is or might mean and people are moved to compassion.

share with someone the fact of the intermittent seizure activity, the slight cerebral palsy that affects pronunciation of some words and has caused weakness and lack of tone in some of her muscles, and people consider our lot unfair and think us brave.

but if you let them know that your child is transgender all bets are off.

seeking to do the right thing for our transgender children is often called, ‘enabling’ them to be ‘mentally ill’. pursuing a course that can actually heal the child’s rift with the physical reality when it includes helping the body to align with the psyche is judged harshly by people.

there are no end of resources and medical practitioners to help zeeona and i maneouver the course of her various other ‘conditions’, and no one is concerned when i pursue the most appropriate treatment for them…they would be concerned did i not!

but when i pursue the appropriate treatment for helping my transgender child achieve wholeness, along with the prejudices of the sociey at large, there are precious few facilities and professionals geared to assisting us, unless we go to boston, seattle, san francisco…

well, you get the idea.

the statistics are daunting as regards transgender folk. if they do not receive the appropriate treatment to knit their outer selves to their inner selves death by suicide, drug addiction and other self destruct behaviours are high.

this is not a phase. it is not a mental illness. it is not a disease pathology. it is a person’s inner self and gender expression betrayed by the physical reality. or maybe for some it is really just a betrayal of their reality by a cis-ist dominant society’s insistence upon a binary gender system.

for every transgender person the way forward is perhaps as varied as are people themselves.

some will be fine with merely knowing they are inside the opposite of what their external bodies appear. some will want to alter their appearance and live as their identified gender to some degree, whether taking it all the way to gender reassignment surgery, or just hormones. some may be satisfied with merely using cosmetics and dress code that society has approved for that gender.

but without a doubt, the most important therapeutical assistance for any transgender person is acceptance of their reality. – by society, family, and friends.

so why doesn’t this happen? why does zeeona get all kinds of understanding for her various other conditions and judgement and loathing for this? why am i lauded as a patient and perserving parent for seeing to her health and well being in every area, except this one?

being a parent is sublime. and it is an honor. it is also a call to advocate on behalf of someone other than one’s self. regardless of previously held beliefs.

and so it goes…

to do the right thing isn’t always the easy path. come to think of it, usually the reverse is true.

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tale of two tee-shirts

this is going to be a bit of a rant. fair warning.

around about the same time zeeona began to live outloud, i found some awesome tee-shirts at cafe press online that were very trans-affirming. one in particular caught my eye, it read: ‘my kid’s transgender. if that’s a problem for you, get some help’

i chose that one over others because it dealt directly with a kid’s transgender reality and a parent’s advocating and support of same.

it didn’t occur to me that it was ‘outing’ zeeona, partially because everyone that knows us realizes that the son i’d been raising is gone, replaced by a daughter.

because of this prior knowledge that friends, neighbors and family have (not to mention the various health care professionals, clerks at stores etc.) there has been opportunity for dialogue about transgender issues. some folk who i’d never have thought would be, turned out to be very open to learning about this whole thing.

in a couple of weeks zeeona and i will be at the transgender children’s family conference in berkeley california. she can’t wait to meet others like herself. because even tho she is not ashamed of who she is, and feels a little bit proud to be special and different, everyone likes to feel that there are others who share a reality in common.

so that tee-shirt is a good, supportive, trans-affirming garment; bought at an online store that doesn’t even specialise in lgbt attire.

as for the other tee-shirt in this tale.

it is put out by an alleged friend to the lgbt community; a company called ‘outwear’. but as so often is the case, the last letter of that acronym, the ‘t’ is singled out for marginalisation.

they have actually put out a tee-shirt that boasts: “womyn born womyn”.

now i have long been aware of the exclusion of my fellow sisters from events like the michigan womyn’s music festival and other women only events. long before i had a trans-daughter i had trans-friends. and even before i had a trans-friend i knew this policy of excluding women who weren’t born female was dead wrong!

taking just the words into account, no one, whether female bodied cis types nor transgender types, is a born a women.
we are born babies. we become women. or not. some who are born male become women too!

so who is the more female? the most woman? the one for whom their womanhood is an accident of birth? or the one who had to break through the accident of their own birth to lay hold of the womanhood that reflects who they truly are?

i am cis. born in a baby female body, which just happened to match the gender that expresses my true self. as i grew to womanhood, nothing needed be done.

my daughter is transgender. born in a baby male body, which happens to be at complete odds with the gender that expresses her true self. she will have to actually “do” stuff to achieve what came as an accident of birth to me. she will have to strive against the natural tendencies of a male body, fight them back with hormones and testosterone blockers, and eventually have the parts that violate her sense of being a woman removed.

(note that not all transgender folk feel the need for, and some can’t afford the surgery. it is a paradigm of cis society to wrongfully define folk by their genitalia)

so how can anyone deem her, and those like her, as less woman than those accidentally correct-bodied womyn?

how dare they!!!

and how dare a company that purports to support the lgbt community produce a shirt with a message that can only be one intended to marginalise, no, oppress trans-women!

womyn born womyn? as opposed to those who are women despite the whole of society and even their own bodies being obstacles to them?

shame on you outwear! and shame on any woman that dares to ascribe to the philosophy that puts accidental female-ness above and beyond the reach of trans-women!

so, boycott time! i already for many years now have refused to attend festivals and such that declare themselves womyn only to the exclusion of trans-women.

i hope anyone who is as outraged as am i at ‘outwear’ for this transgression will boycott them as well. maybe even send an outraged email on their contact us page.

what if the tee-shirt had read ‘white born white’?