Trans people experience difficult transitions and difficult life experiences quite frequently. For example:

• The Task Force has pointed out that trans people has pointed out that transgender people have major employment and healthcare access issues, and that there is an epidemic of lesbian, gay, bisexual — and transgender — (LGBT) youth homelessness.

• The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has pointed out the Harsh Realities transgender students face in public schools.

• The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) frequently points out, trans people deal with poor media coverage and poor media depictions of our subcommunity and its members.

Image: Mug Shot of Patricia DyeSo it’s with great disappointment that in the real world where people who identify as transgender, transsexual, or both transgender and transsexual are an often very oppressed population, we have a Dayton Daily News story about…well, to quote the article :

…[A] 31-year-old Franklin woman accused of pretending to be a boy named Matt to help build sexual relationships with teenage girls in Springboro and Middletown.

The prosecutor in the case can’t find a felony to charge 31-year-old Patricia Dye with; the most Dye can be charged with is a misdemeanor.

Filling in the issue found in the piece:

Tracey Steele, director of Wright State University’s Criminal Justice program, said cases involving women pretending to be boys to lure girls into sexual relationships are “virtually nonexistent.”

Reactions to changes in society’s views of gender and sex expression could be fueling the outcry in the Dye case, she said.

“Today, we have greater awareness of the diversity of personal expression as well as some concrete social change, which may make some people uncomfortable,” she said.

The article adds this from Steele:

Rather than being identified simply as male or female, individual sex and gender expression are increasingly viewed “more on a continuum,” Steele said.

“The transgender community is starting to gain a lot of momentum,” said Steele, also an associate professor of sociology at Wright State.

Does the 31-year-old identify as a female-to-male (F2M) transsexual, and/or as an F2M transgender man? The article doesn’t say, but there is implication that Dye may be F2M.

But the laws in Ohio and the ordinances in Warren County apparently don’t address Dye’s alleged criminal behavior because Dye is still legally female.  Ohio’s laws against pedophilia apparently aren’t gender neutral, so it’s not a felony in Dye’s state or county for a woman to pose as a young male to engage in sexual activity with teenage girls.

It seems Dye’s alleged behavior is something to condemn, and I definitely condemn sexual predation of pre-teens and teenagers by adults.

But that said, I expect that the religious right will pick up on this story, and of course try to draw broad conclusions from it. Dye’s predation story plays into their narrative about the alleged instability of transgender people; it plays into their narrative about their belief that all trans people are all potential pederasts, pedophiles, and rapists; it plays into their narrative that trans people are scary sexual predators. That Dye is someone who may be an F2M would expand their narrative beyond their perception of the danger of male-to-females (F2Ms) having any interaction whatsoever with underage youth.

It would be nice just to point out the hypocrisy of religious right people and organizations — should they highlight this case — about their own Godly perverts. However, people in our society have met many pastors, ministers, priests an lay Christians who aren’t sexual predators, so people are aware that not every Christian is a sexual predator. Even with gays, the religious right gets almost no traction with their lies about how there is a prevalence of pedophiles in the gay community because most folk in broader society know a number of gays who aren’t pedophiles. B

ut most in our society still haven met any trans people they’re aware are trans, and definitey don’t know any trans people. Heck, outside of the LGBT community when I reveal I’m transsexual and/or transgender, I’m more often than not the first trans person most people have ever met and engaged. Given that, it’s easy to believe misconceptions and lies about people who identify as transgender, transsexual, or both transgender and transsexual.

Roz Kaveney's six axioms of trans activismSo, I’ll be watching to see if the religious right picks up on this story, and remember Roz Kaveney’s Six Axioms Of Trans Activism (especially axioms 3., 4., and 5.):

1.) Display solidarity with all our trans brothers and sisters.

2.) Build alliances by getting involved as ourselves in other areas of politics.

3.) Refuse to let journalistic and intellectual attacks on our community go unanswered – we can have and keep the moral high ground.

4.) Be creative, be smart, be ourselves, and don’t let anybody tell us who we are and what we do.

5.) Refuse the pathological model – we are not sick, just different.

6.) Refuse those politics – heterosexism, body fascism – that work against all of the above, but especially #1.


Further reading:

* Chicago Go Pride: Ohio Woman Accused Of ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ Ruse

* WHIO Dayton: Another Victim Comes Forward In Patricia Dye Case

* CBS News: Ohio Woman Who Posed as a Teenage Boy to “Get Girl,” Gets Charged

* UPI: Ohio: Laws Don’t Cover Case Of Fake Boy
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page