More on transgender v. transsexual

CRISTAN WILLIAMS | Cross-posted from Ehipassiko

Since my last post on this issue, I’ve met a few really cool folks in the “transsexual-not-transgender” camp. I was fortunate enough to meet one transsexual named Zoe. We messaged back and forth for quite some time over Facebook, and she really helped me to better understand where she’s coming from. And you know what, I 100 percent support her decision to self-identify herself as transsexual and not as transgender. The thing that seems to separate Zoe from the seeming majority of those in the TS-not-TG camp is that she’s not a hypocrite, she likes facts, and she speaks for herself instead of presuming to speak for all other transsexuals.

TS people don’t identify as TG anymore

A big problem with the idea that TS people no longer identify as TG is that it’s a demonstrably fallacious idea. The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force recently published the largest American trans study ever with more than 6,000 respondents. In this study, they actually asked how we self-identify. Care to guess how many self-identified with the term “transgender”? Ninety percent. Yup; as in almost everyone but a small minority.


Double standards are fun

Also, I’ve not yet seen the TS-not-TG group address a double standard I regularly observe:

• Most in the TS-not-TG group will regularly group TS and IS people together when talking about themselves because, they claim, being grouped together with other types of trans folk is offensive to them.

• However, most in the TS-not-TG group seem to have a blind-spot when it comes to acknowledging that in many regions of America, intersex people are offended when they are grouped with transsexuals.

• So, it’s somehow OK to demand that all transsexual people stop being referred to as transgender because the very idea is seemingly too offensive to contemplate, but it doesn’t matter that grouping themselves with IS people is incredibly offensive to some IS people. That double standard is what I think most might view as being hypocritical.

Grouping us together is something new that was done to us

I’ve also noticed that many of the TS-not-TG people feel that they were grouped with other types of trans folk only very recently. Perhaps where they come from, this is absolutely true. However, it’s demonstrably incorrect to make that claim for all transsexuals. In Houston, for example, our community purposefully began working to create one unified community that encompassed all types of trans people in the mid-1970s.

—  admin

Lawsuit challenges Louisiana’s ‘crimes against nature’ law punishing oral, anal sex

MARY FOSTER | Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s 200-year-old law against solicitation of oral and anal sex is archaic, discriminatory, and unconstitutional.

So says a coalition of lawyers and social activists who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday challenging the state’s “crimes against nature” law, which makes solicitation of such acts illegal.

In Louisiana, prostitutes do not have to register as sex offenders unless they are charged more than once with having oral or anal sex. Those who are paid for only those types of sex do have to register if arrested a second time.

Attorney Alexis Agathocleous of the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights said Wednesday that distinction targets homosexuals, transsexuals and poor and minority women who work as prostitutes.

“Four in 10 of the people in Orleans Parish Prison are there because of a ‘crime against nature,”’ Agathocleous said.

And 97 percent of the women registered as sex offenders in the state are charged with “crime against nature,” said co-council Andrea Ritchie.

Not only is the law unconstitutional, it is enforced completely at the discretion of the arresting officer, Ritchie said.

“This leaves the door wide open to discriminatory enforcement targeting black women, transgender women and gay men for a charge that carries much harsher penalties,” Ritchie said. “That decision can change the entire course of a person’s life.”

People who are registered as a sex offender must notify their neighbors, have their name and offense published in the newspaper, appear on the sex offender website, and have the words “Sex Offender” stamped in bright orange on their driver’s license or state ID.

The registration is for at least 15 years and can be for life.

Ritchie said one woman convicted of the crime cannot take her daughter to day care now because of the sex offender designation which restricts the amount of contact she can have with minors.

“It can hurt people for years and keep them from getting their lives together,” said Deon Haywood, executive director of Women With a Vision, which works with women at risk.

Lawmakers modified the law last summer, rescinding the need for those charged with crimes against nature to register as sex offenders, but only after the first arrest. If arrested a second time they must register. They did nothing to modify the requirement for those previously arrested on the charge to remain registered, Agathocleous said.

“All other sex offender crimes involve children, violence, coercion,” he said. “None of those things are involved in the crimes against nature.”

The state attorney general’s office said it had not yet been served with the lawsuit and declined to comment.

—  John Wright