‘Transgender Etiquette’ at Creating Change 2009 in Detroit – ‘Each of Us Can Decide for Ourselves in which Bathroom We Belong’

pat_califia_2.JPG Creating Change or Creating Confusion? (This is a woman.) Radical author Patrick Califia embodies the “transgender” chaos at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s annual activists’ “Creating Change”  conference, to be held in Detroit Feb. 6-10. The biologically female Califia once considered herself a butch lesbian, but then opted for a “female-to-male” transgender identity, ending up as a self-described “gay man” — which would make her a ‘gay man trapped in a lesbian’s body.’ In order to minimize “transphobic situations,” the Task Force is warning Creating Change attendees that “a person’s external appearance may not match their internal gender identity.”

Folks, it simply doesn’t get any loonier on the Left than the National Lesbian & Gay Task Force’s annual “Creating Change” conference for grassroots LGBTIQQ (which I think stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Questioning” — but it’s hard to keep track). This year’s “Creating Change” event is being held in Detroit Feb. 6-10 [2009].

How loony, you ask?  Well, on page 17 of this year’s Creating Change program is this advisory piece on “Transgender Etiquette,” as the Task Force endeavors to snuff out “transphobia” within its activist ranks. If you gathered 20 witty foes of homosexuality in a room and instructed them to make up something to embarrass the “gay” movement, they couldn’t come up with anything this bizarre.  And yet, Creating Change is a serious affair — funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Ford Foundation alike — where sexual revolutionaries learn how to work the political system to break down America’s traditional sexual and gender norms.

Reading the notice below, is it any wonder that when the Homosexual ‘Task Force’ comes to town, simple “Male/Female” restrooms won’t do?  We’ll have more on Creating Change in future posts.–Peter LaBarbera

This is reprinted verbatim from the online Creating Change program, with our emphasis added in bold:



Adapted from The 2002 Portland Creating Change™ Host Committee

There are many transgender people at Creating Change™. To be inclusive and improve the quality of life for transgender people here, please read and act upon the following.

Please do not assume anyone’s gender, even people you may have met in the past. A person’s external appearance may not match their internal gender identity. You cannot know the gender or sex of someone by their physical body, voice, appearance or mannerisms. Pay attention to a person’s purposeful gender expression. We consider it polite to ask: “What pronoun do you prefer?” or “How do you identify?” before using pronouns or gendered words for anyone. When you are unsure of a person’s gender identity and you don’t have an opportunity to ask someone what words they prefer, try using that person’s name or gender-neutral phrases like “the person in the red shirt,” instead of “that woman or man.”

One way of acknowledging transgender people’s needs is to designate restrooms gender neutral. In bathrooms, many transgender people face harassment that can lead to anything from deep discomfort to arrest or death. Regardless of what bathroom you are in, please let everyone pee in peace. Each of us can decide for ourselves in which bathroom we belong.

Please listen to transgender people’s needs and stories when they are volunteered; yet please respect people’s privacy and boundaries and do not ask unnecessary questions. Educate yourself through books, web sites, and transgender workshops. Then please join the many hardworking allies who are working to respond appropriately to transphobic situations. Respectful allies, who learn from and with transgender people and then educate others, are important for successful transgender liberation.

Thank you for your help and have a great conference!

This article was posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 at 3:44 am and is filed under 04 - Gender Confusion (Transgender), 06 - Queer, E - Praying for the Lost, Gender 'Fluidity' (Confusion), Health & Science, Mental Health, News, Task Force. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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