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A debate raged throughout LJ today, and I'm sure in other forums I don't know about.

This particular flare-up is only a small part of something greater that has been occurring for a few years now, and will continue I expect for a few more.

I doubt many opinions were changed. It would seem the sides are polarized and will remain steadfastly locked into their positions.

One thing I find troubling is the some of the statements being made about FTMs. While this is nothing new, I feel like we have somehow gone backwards in time. All of the hateful or ignorant comments made about homosexuality years ago are being used again against FTMs, and this time it is coming from the gay male community.

Many people have brought up comparisons to the Michigan Womens Music Festival. The arguments are practically identical, and feelings are being hurt just as hard.

It's sad really. I hate to see us fighting internally like this - but when there is disenfranchisement, there is debate. Still, it was mostly civil, thankfully. It could have been worse. It has been worse.

Now as I head off to bed, I can't shake one thought out of my mind...

I wonder what Tony DeBlase would have to say about this mess. I willing to bet his opinions would have surprised many.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 30th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
What statements specifically that we gay men have said about FTMs were also used against gay people years ago?

That the condition is unnatural? Nope, none of us have said that about FTMs.
That it's an illness? Nope, nothing like that here.
That they're going to hell? Oh, please, as if.
That they can be cured? Um, no. As the main character in the movie Transamerica said, "Don't you think it's strange that plastic surgery can cure a mental illness?"

I'm really scratching my head on this one.
May. 30th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
You're right - the "sick" argument hasn't been invoked today.

It - more specifically, the "they're not men, they're sick, deluded women who mutilated themselves" argument - was invoked constantly for about the first two years CHC discussed it.

So it's hard to see the form that was presented today - "they're not men, they're women" - and not fill in the blanks.
May. 30th, 2007 07:08 am (UTC)
The meta-argument is the one that counts -- "I know your truth better than you do." That's been in abundance.
May. 30th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
Which is really more presumptuous... judging someone's gender based on their chromosomes, upbringing and body parts, or demanding someone else invite you to their reindeer games when you're specifically not wanted?

I mean, it's clear which side of that question each of us falls on, so I guess it's really a rhetorical question.
May. 30th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
What makes you think this is about FTMs demanding they be invited to our reindeer games? This is about US demanding we be ABLE to invite them. It is members of the club who are making the demand.
May. 30th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I have had CHC members offer to invite me to Inferno, mostly after seeing me play, more times than I have "demanded" an invite. The latter figure would be zero. In my case (copping to my privilege), they were surprised when I told them the reason why I could not go.
May. 31st, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
There are only three possibilities raised by the appearance of that Bay Area Reporter article that started this whole blogotrauma.

1. This is about FTMs demanding they be invited to our reindeer games. For example, according to the article, Billy Lane crashed Inferno despite having his invitation revoked, was shunned while he was there, and yet was still "disappointed that the members chose not to invite him back the following year." Lance Moore says the no-FTM policy "angers him". We have a number of angry FTMs here.


2. This is about bitter ex-Hellfire members, attempting to air Hellfire's internal issues in the press. Schultz "has withheld his membership dues in protest" and Schorle is "a full member emeritus." Both are nice ways of saying that they're not part of the group anymore, and here they are, talking to the press.


3. This is about a writer at the BAR, Heather Cassell, having a bone to pick with Hellfire for some reason. There's no evidence of this at all apart from the article itself.

So, 3 is implausble and 2 is too embarrassing to contemplate. It's gotta be 1.
May. 31st, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
Actually, "full member emeritus" is a way of saying that he's a full member who was term-limited out. It's still a very distinguished position, and he's very much a part of the group -- it merely means he's served his ten years in voting status, and once you have, you don't drop back to associate, but rather, keep all of the privileges of full membership except for a vote. (If you didn't know what it meant, why did you proclaim that it meant something else?)

The notion of the Inferno Coordinator being able to disinvite someone on his own say-so has no precedent. Billy was invited according to the correct process, and Brent had no call to disinvite him unilaterally.

My point is that this is not about FTMs putting pressure on the club. This is about members of the club wishing to invite some of their gay brothers.

And by "this," I mean the issue, not the article. The article is an unfortunate but inconsequential element of it.
May. 31st, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)
"Emeritus" has meant "retired" in any organization I've ever belonged to, and that's a pretty common definition. Admittedly I'd only heard it used to refer to board members, never regular voting members.

Regardless, this article is not inconsequential. It's the shot heard round the world, the death knell for vagina-free sexual spaces. Beyond the blogs, other articles in the gay press will be referencing it for years to come, and Hellfire will only be able to hold out for so long. As I blogged earlier myself tonight, this is the beginning of the end and we've done it to ourselves. I'd say enjoy it while you can, but apparently you're in the tolerance camp rather than the identity camp.
May. 31st, 2007 05:01 am (UTC)
"Emeritus" has meant "retired" in any organization I've ever belonged to, and that's a pretty common definition. Admittedly I'd only heard it used to refer to board members, never regular voting members.

The Full Members *are* the board.

And, once again, though it doesn't seem you're listening: I am a strong believer in gay male sex space. I simply believe that our society has advanced and a definition that is dependent on Y chromosomes and penises is as obsolete as a flat-earth world view is.
May. 31st, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
You're not listening either. If there are people with vaginas about, it ain't a gay male sex space. Trying to cast gay men as neanderthals for seeing vaginas as the ultimate representation of female sexuality, which is the exact opposite of gay male sexuality, will not change that.

The first time a transman sues a gay leatherman for child support following an activity that you would evidently refer to as "gay sex", maybe the transmen's allegedly gay male advocates will figure out that they're backing the wrong horse.
May. 31st, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
You're not listening either. If there are people with vaginas about, it ain't a gay male sex space.

I am listening. Listening and agreeing are not synonyms.
May. 31st, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
The fact is, you do not get to determine who is or isn't a male. No matter how prejudiced and ignorant you are, no matter how forcefully you declare your opinions, no matter how much you go decide to ignore medical science about gender identity - YOU DO NOT GET TO DECIDE.

So, enjoy your opinions in your little pocket universe. The rest of us will continue to evolve without you, thank you very much.
May. 31st, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
It's cute how you say "medical science" as though psychology somehow trumps physiology, and how you say "rest of us" as though it means more than a handful of loud urban bisexuals.
May. 31st, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)

Good one. Really.
May. 30th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC)
I haven't really been following the debate except in your journal and in one you linked to, but I just want to pop in with a quiet "Well, yes and that's why I've never gone to the Michigan Women's Music Festival" despite desperately wanting to all through college in Chicago. MTF have worked a hell of a lot harder to be a woman than I have, and if they can't go to a Women's festival I don't particularly want to either. Well I do, but I won't.
May. 30th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)

Politics suck...
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." often has a lot of wisdom to it

lotsa politics and gossip trauma around here lately
May. 30th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
I agree with your second statement but not the first.

Personal attacks certainly suck and are unproductive.
But politics - discussion and debate of ideas and ethics and action on one's convictions - does not suck. It's difficult, yes, but it also produces positive change that wouldn't happen if people didn't complain about and discuss injustices and problems.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )