LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Recently, there was a ruckus in the LGBT community involving several trans community leaders and Jeff White, the now former Executive Director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center.
The fallout from this family squabble and apparently, pressure from the trans community, prompted White to resign. After reading a number of articles on the matter, including one written by White himself, I found myself thinking, good God! All this over a label (“cis”)?
In my opinion, Jeff White committed several minor gaffes and at least one, in the heat of the moment, fairly nasty gaffe. But all forgivable human mistakes. He should have not resigned — an apology would have been enough.
White may even had an arguable point regarding the word “cis”. In my opinion, I think he is wrong, but White is a gay man and may not have come to appreciate or understand proper usage of the word “cis”. I know it took me over a year to feel comfortable to use the word cis in my articles.
I’ve given Mr. White the benefit of the doubt, but let me be the Devil’s Advocate for a moment. So what if White is absolutely wrong about everything. Was is worth everyone’s time and effort to become unglued in this manner? White may or may not be much of a trans ally, but by default, LGBT groups are allies. Did we turn anyone associated with the Mississippi group away from trans people with this dirty bomb? White’s sphere of influence will live on and I see no trans allies coming out of there.
The trans community needs to find high value targets or at least tighten down loose cannons. Mr. Tony Perkins over at Family Research Council — a mainstream media go-to guy for the non-trans perspective — is amused that we’re beating up our own allies. What a serious waste of time, energy and ammo when there are still people out there that wish us dead.
Another family squabble I wrote about: https://lexiecannes.com/2015/02/01/open-letter-to-transadvocate-re-transgender-murders/
Contains links to other related articles as well: http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/16/1393668/-I-am-not-an-Anti-Trans-Activist-I-am-the-victim-of-Anti-Cisgender-Activists
Watch LEXIE CANNES right now: http://www.amazon.com/Lexie-Cannes-CourtneyODonnell/dp/B00KEYH3LQ Or get the DVD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963781332
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/
Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans
I agree. We waste time and resources attacking each other and we’re doing our adversaries’ work for them. I’ve been saying this for years. We are almost Soviet-style when it comes to florid denunciations and political show trials, all for the sake of a little prestige and status. For after all, if someone gets to determine the content of the conversation and the terms by which it must be conducted, then the outcome is rather predetermined, isn’t it? Labeling and good ol’ fashioned name-calling is very much in vogue among some of us who seem almost desperate to silence anyone perceived as opposition or even holding a different opinion.
In balance, I should note that Mr. White kinda dug his own grave. He flat-out refused to apologize for anything which is not a very diplomatic or productive position to take for someone ostensibly charged with the leadership of a human rights organization. On the other hand, many of us have been guilty of similar mistakes, myself included.
We trans folk can be awfully touchy sometimes and not in a good way.
Yes, this issue first surprised me when I became a trans-advocate as I assumed my work would be convincing the world OUTSIDE the LGBT Community that trans people are human beings and deserving of basic social and civil rights. But that isn’t what I found.
As the president of the Louisiana Trans Advocated (coincidentally Louisiana is a neighbor to Mr. Jeff White) and working with our LTA Board, we determined our first phase of raising ‘trans-awareness’ must be to educate the already established “LGB Community,” both the advocacy groups and the gay community in general.
Most already had the “T” in the LGBT added. but very few had any understanding of what that meant. It was, and still is, a challenge to show that “gay” is about sexual orientation, and “trans” is about gender identity. And of course it isn’t as simple as that, and to be honest, as we learned to work together, we in the trans community learned what being gay is all about. So a win-win situation?
NO! People in the trans-community would often get their panties in a knt (both genders of course) and constantly want to break away, for one reason or another. The gay community? Well they kept forgetting or worse, leaving us behind because of some perception of expediency.in achieving their agenda. But we have mended those fences. I won’t lie and say it’s a perfect union, but at least in Louisiana we are brothers and sisters of a sort, working in unity, The telling point is this, we get a gay person bashing a trans issue, we can depend on the gay leadership to approach them along with us.
But think of all we could have accomplished in the few years we had to work this out. Think of all the damage we cause internally. The worst situation that evolved from the etty infighting and sniping at each other? The ammunition we gave to out hater groups. They always bring up the point that the trans community doesn’t even agree with what they want, when lobbying the legislature and leaders of Louisiana.
So that is the story here. I am not addressing the trans community problems outside of Louisiana, the insane bickering, fighting over terminology, and jockeying for leadership positions…As Lexie says, “Chose high value targets [and]…. batten down the loose cannons”
Let the focus be on getting those social and civil rights for those in the trans community