Author Topic: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..  (Read 21540 times)

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Offline HelenW

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Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« on: October 03, 2006, 06:07:38 pm »
This letter was in our local newspaper last week:

Can It Get Any More Twisted?
9/19/2006 - To the Readers’ Forum: Batavia High School is embroiled in a dispute over a transvestite science teacher. Last year, the teacher was male, but this year, a female. Actually, the male is still male. The sex change is a year away, but the man will have to be addressed as a woman. So, why refer to him as her? Dress. He will be dressed as a ‘‘she."

Do you ‘‘she’’ a problem? The school superintendent doesn’t. He says, ‘‘This individual is the same person as he was when he left in June ... Will he look somewhat different? That I will agree, but everything else will be the same. Hmmm ... if everything is to be the same, does that include the restroom?

I can’t help but notice how the superintendent refers to the person as ‘‘he’’ when the school, for the upcoming year, requires students to refer to the individual as ‘‘she." According to a concerned parent, a student has two weeks not to mess up by referring to him, I mean her, as a male. Otherwise, students will be subject to harassment violations if he — that is, she — is not addressed as a female while having a male physique.

‘Some adults have no problem with him being her. The only thing, they say, students have to do is merely focus on science. How focused would your focus be if she, a man, is teaching you with her male features being dressed in female clothing? Most people would need a double dose of ‘‘Focus Factor’’ before having to endure that!

Seriously, how sensitive is it to publicly display gross gender-confusion to a younger captive audience in a classroom? Yet, who gets grilled about being sensitive? Why do sensitivity lectures apply to one group and not the other? It’s not the wanna-be woman who has to make any transition for them. It’s those questioning and disapproving who have to make a transition for him. He/she is not hung-up. It’s the others who disagree with the school that have the hang-up. Can it get any more twisted? As much as the gender-confused person has caused a problem, the greater problem is with people who refuse, won’t admit or don’t even realize that a problem exists.

The Rev. Mel McGinnis, F______burg


It doesn't make me feel very hopeful about coming out around here.  I sent a very strong reply and the newspaper never printed it or any other rebuttals.  I guess I know now where THEY are coming from!   >:(

helen
FKA: Emelye

Pronouns: she/her

My rarely updated blog: http://emelyes-kitchen.blogspot.com

Southwestern New York trans support: http://www.southerntiertrans.org/

Melissa

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2006, 06:25:00 pm »
Well, the "Rev." in the signature sure says a lot.  Honestly, I couldn't help but think of Chaunte while reading that.  At least Chaunte is in new york.  The funny thing is that if you aren't visibly gender variant, then nobody knows to harrass you because they don't realize you're TS.  Anyways, it's things like this that make me hesitant about disclosing my TS status to people.  Of all the people I interact with on a daily basis, less than half know I used to live as male.

Melissa

umop ap!sdn

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2006, 06:28:18 pm »
Quote
transvestite
That's their problem right there: ignorance. They just don't know, and are not willing to listen. Gah, I hope the newspaper somehow ends up losing business over this.  >:(

Kate

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2006, 08:20:13 pm »
The sex change is a year away, but the man will have to be addressed as a woman. So, why refer to him as her? Dress...

if everything is to be the same, does that include the restroom?

Otherwise, students will be subject to harassment violations if he — that is, she — is not addressed as a female while having a male physique...


At first blush, it sounded like the usual religious bigotry. But I'm wondering now: is his only objection to the fact that the teacher will still appear male and have a penis? It almost sounds like he'd be OK with it if the teacher was fully transitioned (less appearance incongruence) and had SRS (for bathroom issues).

SusanKay140

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2006, 09:59:29 pm »
This underscores what I've long believed - you can drop out of school in an early grade and be an ignoramus as soon as possible, or can go for many years, obtain many degrees and reputed professional standing, and just be a slow learning ignoramus.  It doesn't much matter what the profession - journalist, minister, doctor, congressman or president - dumb is still dumb.  Let us cherish smart people, people that care, people that love and respect not hate and tear apart, and fully recognize the difference between well educated and well schooled.  Ignorant people should be ignored and not trusted to provide service and advice regardless of education and training, particularly when they supposedly provide education and news.

Of course, having dropped out early, I fully realize I am defensive about accepting direction and information from supposedly educated people that seem oblivious to common sense, basic decency and caring for humanity.  But, of course my natural scepticism about society totally balances that out .... that and my refusal to have a sense of humor about these things.  (Please insert your choice of yellow round face-like objects sometimes used to punctuate postings.)

Susan K

Buffy

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2006, 04:51:20 am »
It is a sad fact of society that people in certain "high profile" careers will attract attention from the media.

Doctors, teachers, clergymen, members of the armed forces (in the UK at least) have all appeared in tabloid papers under senastional "Sex Change.... headlines".

Letters follow from the normal biggoted individuals, who neither understand or take the trouble to find out (a) the truth and (b) how other people perceive the issue. These are generally based on misunderstanding, hate and anger that someone in these positions, who have regular contact with potentially vulnerable groups (Doctors, Teachers, Clergymen) or are meant to be protecting our country! (The UK has at least 2 MTF fighter pilots in the RAF)

My only concern here is that letters, giving alternative, supportive views where not published and that is not good journalism to cover all angles of a story.

But I guess that good news doesn't sell papers and a wholly supportive community, 100% behind the Teacher and willing her to suceed, kids that love her.... would not be good news.

I was a Senior Manager in a Chemical Company, when I transitioned. My Company prepared a press statement, briefing document and expected to have to handle news interviews and media coverage...... None of this ever happened, I guess I wasn't a major news story.

The majority of us will not be.......

Buffy

Melissa

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2006, 10:18:20 am »
Doctors, teachers, clergymen, members of the armed forces (in the UK at least) have all appeared in tabloid papers under senastional "Sex Change.... headlines".
Let's not forget Politicians, Actors, Athletes, and Musicians.  Basically anybody with any degree of "fame".

Melissa

LostInTime

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2006, 11:10:42 am »
I guess the church is just like the government, that it has a right to look down your pants or up your skirts just to make sure you are what you say you are.   ::)

I live in a conservative county and last year I wrote a great rebuttal to one of the local religious zealots who decided to attack Halloween and Samhain.  While the letter was never printed the editor and I did trade a few emails back and forth and during that he shared exactly what he thought of the original writer and his views.  LOL.

umop ap!sdn

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2006, 12:18:15 pm »
But I guess that good news doesn't sell papers and a wholly supportive community, 100% behind the Teacher and willing her to suceed, kids that love her.... would not be good news.
Makes me want to start my own paper and call these ***clowns out for what they are.  But I suppose that would only be fueling the fire.

Quote
I guess I wasn't a major news story.
So they didn't print mean things and hurtful lies about you. ;)

Kate

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2006, 01:22:02 pm »
But I guess that good news doesn't sell papers and a wholly supportive community, 100% behind the Teacher and willing her to suceed, kids that love her.... would not be good news.

I Googled some of the other news articles, and most are pretty cool, mentioning both sides of the argument fairly. It sounds like the majority of the kids are fine with it - except for some first-day awkwardeness.

Editorials and letters though... I guess the more emotional, the better. Perhaps the Reverend's letter will inspire some more compassionate responses to be submitted and published in the next few days.

STILL though, aside from the "twisted" phrasing, I didn't find his letter all that bad. There were no moral proclamations or accusations of it being "sick." He pretty much just said that someone wearing a dress over an obviously male physique might be a distraction to the learning process. He's also concerned about having someone with a penis using the women's restroom. It seems implied in his statements that *after* transition and SRS, he wouldn't object, as there wouldn't be those incongruences causing a distraction.

Whether I agree or not, I respect those concerns as being valid. It creates quite a quandry though, as I don't know how a teacher would get through the RLT then... nor should non-passable TSs be excluded simply for being "distracting."

Melissa

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2006, 02:33:16 pm »
He pretty much just said that someone wearing a dress over an obviously male physique might be a distraction to the learning process.
I'm having difficulty finding a photo of this person.  I doubt the author knows what the teacher looks like and is only making assumptions.  For me, I don't have an "obviously male physique" and I have notice that a good percentage of TS don't.

He's also concerned about having someone with a penis using the women's restroom.
An understandable concern, but frankly I would be more worried about a woman (in a male body) using the men's restroom.  I think this concern is based on 2 assumptions.  1. That the person is attracted to women and thus actually would want to look.  2. That this person is mentally male and thus would have the audacity to violate other women's privacy.  They may or may not be correct assumptions, but they are only assumptions.  For me, what others don't know, can't hurt them.

It seems implied in his statements that *after* transition and SRS, he wouldn't object, as there wouldn't be those incongruences causing a distraction.
That's fine.

Melissa

Offline HelenW

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Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2006, 07:09:18 pm »
Quote from: Melissa
I'm having difficulty finding a photo of this person.  I doubt the author knows what the teacher looks like and is only making assumptions.

She has chosen to remain anonymous.  I'm pleased to know her through our support group and can honestly say that she passes quite well.

The "Reverend" has definitely not seen her and is making ill informed and biased judgements based solely on his own prejudices.  He calls her a transvestite (grr! >:() and totally discounts the effects of her HRT.  He disregards all of the references in the news articles that try to define GID and calls our condition, "gross gender-confusion" al la "Focus on the Family" and N.A.R.T.H.

His letter is saying that calling someone who is obviously presenting as a woman by male pronouns is OK and shouldn't be discouraged.  My point is that doing so is rude and continually doing so after being asked not to, and being given time to adjust, is harassment.  I think this is the worst part of his letter.  Like many of his ilk he seems to think that it's OK to disrespect and mistreat people who don't conform to his narrow minded standards.  He has skillfully couched the terms of his hate to make it sound reasonable.

Oooh!  This still makes me angry! !
FKA: Emelye

Pronouns: she/her

My rarely updated blog: http://emelyes-kitchen.blogspot.com

Southwestern New York trans support: http://www.southerntiertrans.org/

taylor

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2006, 08:46:26 pm »
Hi Kate,

I have found with talking to ministers and pastors etc. the most that they say in regard to the TS issue is, they have no real opiniion because it is not in the bible.  And they also say on many accounts that sense the process cannot be changed back they accept the person for the sex they are now. 

 I also agree that it is a lot easier if the person blends as the sex they are acclaiming to when it comes to church leaders level of comfort. But then when you think about it, I would not say that is limited to just churches, you know?  Well anyway having talked to many pastors from conservative churches on the subject, this has been what I was told. Thought you might find it interesting.

Peace,

Taylor

Chaunte

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2006, 05:49:44 pm »
Greetings, my friends!

Yes, this is the type of religious bigotry that does exist.  I know that I will be facing the same thing when I transition.

Being <not allowed> causes fear in people.  We are expected to "bear this burden" and offer up our pain and confusion in sacrifice.  (This is the basic jist of what my brother said when I came out to him. - Story pending.)

In defense of the teacher, she may be "under orders" not to discuss her transexuality in a public forum.  I know that I have such a restriction on me.  There will always be those who will stand in our way.  Sometimes, the best way to let a letter such as this die is to leave it alone.  Printing a rebuttal  will start a debate that can only be detrimental to the teacher, students and district.

Chaunte

Ricki

Re: Now I know where the local newspaper stands .. .. ..
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2006, 06:49:15 pm »
very sad in my opinion, you know and we ask ourselves how will we educate young people and society, maybe educating is one thing but getting people to accept is another? 
R

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