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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

President Obama: A Transgender Veteran Is Not An ''Impersonator,'' ''It,'' Or ''Shim''

Autumn Sandeen's inhumane treatment at the hand of U.S. Marshals due to her transgender identity is a disgrace and cannot go unreported, lest it be forgotten, excused or dismissed. Please see her open letter to President Barrack Obama describing the incident here:

Pam's House Blend:: President Obama: A Transgender Veteran Is Not An ''Impersonator,'' ''It,'' Or ''Shim''

If you yourself know little to nothing about trans issues, today is the day to begin learning! Here are a few great starting places: The fabulous and incomparable Kate Bornstein has written both Gender Outlaw and My Gender Workbook: How To Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely. Another great start is an anthology called GENDERqUEER, which describes many, many gendered experiences. For a scholarly bent, check out The Transgender Studies Reader.

Not being transgender myself, this is the best way I've found to be a trans ally: listen a lot and talk a little. Don't speak for people. Say "my friend had this experience" or "actually that's a misconception, I read that..." And for the love of Pete, please don't go running to the one trans guy or gal in your neighborhood for the run down on all things trans. Just like there's no singular black, gay, or other experience, there's no one universal trans experience. Identities are complicated by race, sexuality, class, and geographical location.

The bottom line: you don't actually need to know anything about a person to realize that you don't need to hate and dehumanize them! If you simply keep an open heart and mind and realize that every person deserves dignity, move to the head of the class.

You can understand someone's experience later, but compassion starts now, today, this moment.

Please forward this blog to everyone you know.  Copy and paste it and repost it all over the place.  Let's spread the word about the injustices being done to women like Jane and Autumn and thousands like them.  Stop the hatred now.

Until the next time ....

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