Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gender identity forum in Lawrence

Lawrence is currently considering adding gender identity to its nondiscrimination ordinance and today the City's human rights commission held a public forum to discuss the issue.

I went as part of a group of people representing different aspects of the transgender spectrum. Most of the people there were supporters adding of gender identity. The committee seemed focused at first about protecting people that were going to transition or had transitioned.

But I and others pointed out the issue is a bit more complex than that. For instance, there are people such as myself who don't fit the gender binary. Are we not to be protected against loss of job? Not to be protected against discrimination in housing?

The sticky wicket in at least one of the commission members minds seemed to be the issue of locker rooms, gyms and bathrooms. What if a man goes in to the woman's bathroom? Well first of all. if some one is transitioned entirely, likely you wouldn't spot them unless you have some thing about carefully scrutinizing the other people in the rest room or locker room. Even some one as myself-strongly transgendered but not planning on transitioning would probably be hard to spot, well OK in a rest room- and we certainly wouldn't go into an all woman's facility; the genitals don't match.

Not only that-quite frankly where ever possible I look either for unisex bathrooms or places with single stalls and a locking door, but on occasion I have gone into a crowded woman's room if absolutely have to. Go in, do my thing sitting down like a genetic woman, wash hands, check hair and leave.

One of the speakers at the forum was a lesbian whom I suppose might be construed as mannish or at least androgyne in appearance. She related how she was harassed by a woman in the women's rooms for being in the wrong rest room. Well I know, having done it accidentally, you don't go into a men's room dressed en femme because there is a fantasy about umm making it with a transgendered or transsexual person and this one man was not going to take no for an answer. I was concerned enough that I had a male friend in the group I was with, walk me to my car when I was ready to leave just in case.

So when it comes to rest rooms creeps are creeps even if they are in the "right" rest room.

As for showers and places where there is nudity involved, those are sex segregated places, and a transgendered person in the middle of transitioning or some one such as myself who's not transitioning can be excluded pretty easily I would think.

One speaker brought up work place issues and the example of a construction worker whose transitioning complaining because she can't wear high heels to do some sort of construction job. Well it is already settled law that workplaces have the right to enforce work related equipment rules. Another speaker felt that it might be difficult to pass a law that is precise enough to be enforceable, and granted courts do throw out laws because of vagueness to the point of unenforceability but it seems there you are trying to prohibit something (Like loud parties).

Here is a relevant counter example. There are a number of definitions of religion-and yet we don't say well that's too vague to enforce. Who would you exclude? Atheists? Granted some on the religious right might want to do that but in our society we define these classes of protected people in the broadest way possible.

I hope seeing a broad spectrum of transgendered people gave the committee a little bit more to go on. They hope to have a recommendation ready by November and a forum related to that before taking something to the City Commission. That is probably where the real opposition will emerge and all kinds of red herrings and bizarre hypotheticals will just pop from the sky.

Link to LJWORLD article.

Other links from The Force:

Now It's Showers!

Sex in Humans: It's a delicate balance

Secrets of Bug Person Exposed!

The Tyranny of the Dichotomous Mind

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oh Good Grief!

Just when I think anti-evolutionists can't get any sillier some politician comes along to demonstrate that I am wrong. Seems that a mayoral candidate in Tulsa feels the zoo doesn't properly honor Christianity and needs an exhibit on the first book of Genesis.

"Today we are announcing that God will be glorified in this city. He shall not be shunned. Upon our election, we hereby commit to honoring Him in all ways that He has been dishonored," said Anna Falling.

OK...check it out for yourself at:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another curious inversion

The latest tactic of the far right is apparently to try to use the rhetoric of inclusion against any one they would normally want to oppress. The latest example is an attempt to force public libraries to stock books about and by members of the so called ex gay movement

There is a report here from lgbt news:

My favorite quote from this report is from a member of a group called PFOX (parents and friends of ex gays) who reportedly said:

"Apparently, the West Bend Community Memorial Library is not interested in diversity," said a PFOX person claimed. "We urge Michael Tyree, the library's director, to be inclusive of the ex-gay community and accept our donation of ex-gay books. According to its own policy, the Library has a 'professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in developing collections.'"

Oh right, like these people are really interested in diversity. These are after all the same people who oppose basic civil rights for LGBT people at every turn. Why am I not impressed with their argument?

By the way this group bandies about a new term: heterophobia which they claim is on the rise!


What do these idiots think we are, stupid? OK, don't answer that.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

At the garden store

Originally uploaded by pdecell
Our local garden store got a shipment of orchids. Unfortunately the shipment consisted of hybrids such as this one that really haven't grown well for me. But I love the patterns.