Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

While I was away...

I'm home from IML, and I have lots of stories to tell.

But first, while I was away, a rifle shot was heard from San Francisco. Transgender acceptance vs. one of the most regaled SM/leather clubs worldwide, the Chicago Hellfire Club.

Read the amazing article published in the Bay Area Reporter here.

This very issue is a major reason why I am probably going to Delta this year, and not CHC's annual Inferno event.


( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
Welcome back. And thanks for that story - I've linked to it.
May. 29th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)

major reason why I am probably going to Delta this year, and not CHC's annual Inferno

Good for you.

My friend Pud/stivalineri has responded on the subject here, http://stivalineri.livejournal.com/14727.html, which you should read, and
which has already engendered (tee-hee) an interesting discussion.

He also reposted it to this group blog here, http://nextguard.blogspot.com/, which you should not only be reading but contributing to. You can get a feed of this blog directly onto your LJ Friends page here, http://syndicated.livejournal.com/nextguard/.

(Deleted comment)
May. 29th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
No, actually, if enough people take a similar stand, things are least likely to change, in my opinion. Instead, they will always be able to find a core of guys who subscribe to their definitions and attitudes, and with nobody to challenge them, they'll go on for at least another decade or two.
May. 29th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC)
Which is not to say I disagree with or begrudge Phil's stand -- I simply don't see it as an effective tool if used as a universal choice.
May. 29th, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC)
Right. Because there is such a strong tie to non-universal/subjective feelings terms such as "sexy" and "preference"

I think that's the biggest trouble the trans community faces, is feeling sexy and being attractive to their desired folks. Some people may NEVER find those without factory-direct cock sexy (they can/could/should accept them in non-sexualized space, however). Just like some folks may never find fat people, skinny people, white people, tall people, whateverpeople sexy... until that one day they meet one that makes them.. well... hard. -- but that's the sort of stuff you can't *force* -- by demanding that level of change, you are asking to re-write folks' desires, which they are in this community for the sole purpose of accepting and finding compatible folks. Demanding the politicized in this arena, where the who dominates the what (unlike NCSF work which is the 'what', not the 'who') will feel bit like jesus camp (not the same idea, but the same feeling).

Not to mention to buzzkill - Say you go to a sex club and it is all sorts of people you don't find sexy. Ugly, mean, stupid, poorly dressed, disease, not SSC, whatever, its a difficult space... and the leather little community is *built* on that buzz... on the fantasy, on the getting what you want and feeling sexy doing it. Puts gum in the works. And the buzzkill, affects club attendence, and mutates into a psychological "turf war" for he only place in your little freaky life that you might've been able to call "home"

(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 29th, 2007 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ncnefarious - May. 29th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 29th, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ncnefarious - May. 29th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 29th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 29th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC)
Well, duh
Obviously a guy who likes girl parts is going to go to the event that allows men with girl parts.

If you don't object to events that are all-male or all-female, I don't know why you'd object to an event that's all-XX (of which there are many) or all-XY.
May. 29th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, duh

If a club is limiting to only men or only women, I don't see how it is extra discriminatory to say that only male-bits or only female bits are allowed. From what I got out of the article they aren't even saying only XY, they are simply saying that transmen must have went through surgery and have boy bits to attend. That makes lots of sense to me for a male-only sex club, just as it would make equal sense to only allow female parts at an all girl event.
May. 29th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, duh
Thank you. And it's particularly less of an issue due to the other kink & leather events which are available.

If you want an "all male event" that doesn't have as focused a membership and guest restriction, there's Delta.

If you want a pan event, there's Thunder in the Mountains.

Organizationally, the 15 Association on San Francisco and GMSMA in NYC are open. There's also "pan" groups like The Eulenspiegel Society in NYC.
May. 29th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, duh
The point is that gender goes beyond parts.

Yes, I like women. And I also like men. Thus my dirty "bisexual" branding.

That being said, I went to Inferno a few years ago, and had an amazing time. I would just like to go to an all-men's run with a few more of my male friends. Unfortunately, they can't go to Inferno.
May. 29th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, duh
For the purposes of CHC event attendance, gender DOES depend on what parts you have. Other groups have other criteria for their events: some require you were the specified gender at birth (as I personally would; even FTM's have been known to call the results of their gender reassignment surgery a "frankenpenis"), some will take you if you're in the process of changing genders, and some will just take you at your word, I suppose. Some groups would probably accept me as a woman if I merely put on a dress, because "gender is just another kind of drag." Yes, in those groups I think gender would really mean nothing and we're in a wonderful new age of acceptance.

It cuts both ways, though; there are a great number of female-only groups and events that specify females from birth only, let alone allowing MTFs who still have their penises. I have never seen anyone up in arms about those, though I'm sure someone has been.

I participate mostly in pan groups too. But you know, there's something about being with a group of men who are really into each other, none of whom grew up as women, that can't be duplicated in mixed environments. I would hate to see that chemistry take a back seat to acceptance and gender politics.
Re: Well, duh - foamcore - May. 29th, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Well, duh - raindog469 - May. 30th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 29th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC)
In the article, I find it hypocritical that Billy Lane asks for no last name to be listed in the article, but has no problem specifically mentioning Brent's last name.

You're right though, that if someone does not like the CHC policy on FTM, there's another major BD/SM event that has a more open membership and guest policy within a week of CHC's major annual event. If one vendor doesn't supply what you're looking for and there's another one around the corner, go to the one that has what you want.
May. 29th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
I wish it was that simple, Reddy. I'll have another post about this today.
May. 29th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
In the article, I find it hypocritical that Billy Lane asks for no last name to be listed in the article, but has no problem specifically mentioning Brent's last name.

Hypocritical on whose part? Billy's? Yeah, probably, though there is the fact that he may not be out at work, which is his right. The reporter's? By extension, that's like saying if one source is anonymous, all sources should be. And that's just bad journalism. Billy asked that his last name not be used; Brent did not. That's the way the profession is practiced.

And how you feel about the source of an argument is really irrelevant to what's being said.

If you didn't like the war in Viet Nam, you could have gone to Canada. We probably should still be doing that, too. This is a moral issue, not a marketplace issue. You can't apply a morality-blind free-market approach to everything.
May. 29th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
If you didn't like the war in Viet Nam, you could have gone to Canada.

If you don't like what's happening at CHC, you can go to (Delta, Thunder in the Mtn, 15 Association).

I reject the issue of FTM attendance at CHC events as a moral issue. Morals are subjective. Whose moral code do we use as a litmus test for this, then? Mine? Yours? Dick Cheney's?

This is about freedom of association for a member-funded, invite-only organization. This is people who want to attend that organization's private events and are not allowed to by recently re-iterated policy and practice.
(no subject) - gearjock - May. 29th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 29th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gearjock - May. 29th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - boymeat - May. 29th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gearjock - May. 29th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - boymeat - May. 29th, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - boymeat - May. 29th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tommytesto - May. 29th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - boymeat - May. 29th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tommytesto - May. 29th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - boymeat - May. 29th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tommytesto - May. 29th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - boymeat - May. 29th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foamcore - May. 29th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tommytesto - May. 29th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clayfoot - May. 29th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 29th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 29th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 29th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 30th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
Actually, Roger, Brent didn't give permission for Billy to drop his name. Brent "did not return a call seeking comment."
(no subject) - qnetter - May. 30th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 29th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
This very issue is a major reason why I am probably going to Delta this year, and not CHC's annual Inferno event.

Thats the great thing about this. If one group doesn't cater to your political desires, there are other options....
(Deleted comment)
May. 29th, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
No, I think you pretty much fall in with the majority of folks looking at this.
May. 29th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
The question then is, did the pro-trans folks within CHC try to initiate change via a quieter approach first? My understanding is yes, they did.

I think we have to recognize the sheer amount of emotion behind this debate. I understand both stances, and I recognize both as valid, judging purely on the arguments presented forward. I just agree with the pro-trans side of the issue.

It's hard for a man to be told no, you are not enough of a man to be a member of this group of men. Being told you cannot attend something that seems so basic to some is a difficult thing to swallow.
May. 30th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
I know it doesn't seem likely, but I'm sympathetic to your own motivation, and I'm happy you expressed it personally and honestly, rather than trying to say how "the majority" you haven't counted feels.

I'm not sure how it's qualitatively different from people who get squicked by fat guys or small-dicked guys or, maybe more fittingly, types of play (bloodsports, for instance, or piss play or puke play) that completely turn them off. But I understand how it could be for you.

May. 30th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
Am I the only person who finds the approach taken by the pro-trans folks to be destructive and nonconstructive?

As far as we know, public humiliation on the issue was initiated by one or two people. Lots of us have been involved in this for quite some time without ever making it a public issue. Some of us think it's terribly unfortunate and inappropriate that the press was brought into it. Some of us agreed a long time ago not to drive any club processes around the issue for several years, but people seem to have expanded that to the point that only "admit we've won and shut up" will do.
May. 29th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
As I read this, I can’t say that really know how to react. Part of me is horrified that a group would take such pains to blatantly exclude a group of people… part of me, just expects that. As a genderqueer person who is pretty consistently and constantly moving on the F – M continuum (definitely more on the F side these days), I have had major issues in gay male spaces. For example, 3 years ago at IML, I was not-so-politely asked to leave the Chicago Eagle (by a random moron, not someone who worked at the club as far as I know) because I lacked the proper equipment. It stung, and hurt for a long time. At that point, I was definitely more M than F. But you know what? I've almost completely stopped talking about my gender issues, because they cause me so much pain, and I feel like I'm having to constantly justify anything/everything I do/wear/spell/etc. I just want to be *me* - not have to make some kind of 'statement' or say that I belong to X group and feel X way about a particular issue. (For example, as a lesbian, I should be for new hate crime legislation, right? I'm on the fence, but because I'm a "part of that group", I am automatically assumed to have certain associations and beliefs.

I have mixed opinions about forcing groups to be all-inclusive, or to requiring them to change their definitions. This isn’t just a problem in the men’s community – women’s only groups have ever-changing definitions of who they allow into their spaces as well. (And for me, if someone identifies as a transman, I don’t understand why they are fighting to get/stay in a women’s group/space – and I don’t even like that about myself, that I feel that way… but I do.)

As a Great Lakes title holder I was told that I should be at all of our local club’s bar nights. I was the only bio-woman there many nights – unless I brought rabbit with me. Do you know what I did on those nights? Mostly, I worked the doors or watched rabbit, if she was going to do boots. I was not welcomed into the community, and after that year as a titleholder was finished, I came to a peaceful conclusion for myself: I am not going to fight my way into a group that doesn’t want me to be a part of it. I never felt entirely welcome, and I doubt that I ever would. Yet the organizers didn’t seem to mind putting me to work.

Last night, I drove home from IML with someone who had never been before. As a straight sub man, collared to his Mistress/wife, he was worried about how the gay men might react to him being a vendor. He said he felt totally welcomed and comfortable, and couldn’t stop gushing about how welcoming and “open and accepting” gay men are to “all”. I was so happy that he had a good time, and that his first experience was positive – because it means that he will likely come back. But I felt like I had to caution him that IML – especially the Leather Market – really is open to everyone, regardless of orientation or gender – but, if he were doing something other than vending/going to the contest, he might have had some different experiences. And not all events are like IML.
May. 29th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for being a trans ally! I always think (perhaps erronenously, I don't know...) that non-trans people advocating for trans inclusiveness carry more weight. Perhaps it's the psychological phenomenon about being able to hear or understand a new concept from someone you think is "like you". Trans people are so often seen as "other". I think that's the cause of the non-trans policies some organizations have. I mean, it can't be about penises. That's absurd. I have a penis and I have photos to prove it!

Thank you again. Your voice means so much to so many.
( 54 comments — Leave a comment )