The Death of the “Transgender” Umbrella

(Part of a three-part series:
Part 1: The Death of the Transgender Umbrella
Part 2: Why The Umbrella Failed
Part 3: Decolonizing Trans as Allies)

If you’ve traveled anywhere among trans or LGBT blogs in the past year or three, you’ve inevitably come across an ongoing battle over labels, and particularly “transgender” as an umbrella term.  It seems to be a conflict without end, without middle ground and without compromise.  And yet for discourse on human rights and enfranchisement for transsexual and transgender people to move forward at all, at some point that discussion needs to have some sort of resolution, and some thorough dissection of the argument will need to take place.  Could an alliance-based approach be a solution?  Or more accurately, could enough people on both sides of the argument be willing (that is, to not see their position as immovable) to seek an alliance-based approach for it to make a positive difference in the discourse?

I don’t know.  But something that has become clear to me over the past while is that the language is changing.  And I don’t have to like it, but I have to understand what that means.

I only speak for myself.  In the end, it’s all I really can do anyway.  I don’t speak for any trans-related community, don’t speak for The Bilerico Project or any of its other contributors, don’t speak for any other place I’ve posted or published writing, don’t speak for Alberta trans people — just me.

I say that because the international trans community is in a state of flux.  As the community defines itself, we’re discovering just how diverse “trans” really is, and just how inadequate any one single definition is when it tries to cover everyone.  A result of this is that in 2011, while the mainstream world is just starting to twig on to trans anything, trans and LGBT forums are finding nearly every conversation on trans issues, trans rights, gender studies and identity disintegrating into a debate about “transgender,” its use as an umbrella term, and whether there should even be an umbrella at all.  It’s reached the point that it’s stalemated any and every other discussion.  And ultimately, I realize that nothing some writer and blogger from Southern Alberta says is going to change that, but I can make my own declaration on the matter.  And in that, I speak for myself.

Because our language for trans issues is changing. Continue reading

Is This The Face of Christian Governance?

When he’s not working as a Legislative Assistant for Conservative Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott, Timothy Bloedow is the driving force behind Canada’s Christian Nationalist weblog No Apologies and Christian Governance, where he advocates for ideologically-run government:

There is no such thing as neutrality. Superficial thinking has confused peace, tolerance, pluralism, multiculturalism and similar ideas with neutrality. But there is no such thing as neutrality.

… The mission of ChristianGovernance is to teach and train Christians to understand the Biblical worldview as well as competing worldviews, and to help Christians translate this understanding into a faithful lifestyle and a compelling witness in this world.

In Should Harold Camping be executed as a false prophet? Bloedow (or Rod Taylor, or David Krayden, or Larry Bray, or Tom Bartlett, or the Freedom 55 Financial / London Life salesman, but usually if there’s no attribution, then it’s posted by Bloedow or his son) writes: Continue reading

Take Me Away! Or, Why I’m Live-Tweeting The #Rapture

I’ll be live-tweeting the #rapture this Saturday. Or for part of the day, at least. We’ll also have a house to clean, because hey, life goes on.

I do want to make clear, though, that I’m not mocking all Christians or all people of faith. I respect the person of Jesus as the ultimate altruist (and socialist, no matter how much corporate conservatives might try to turn a message of compassion and being community-conscious into “let them pay their own goddamned way”), and respect affirming and mutually-respectful people of faith who honor that one top commandment, to love one another. What I’m mocking is a kind of elitism that takes on the air of the ultimate revenge fantasy, when the elite chosen relish the thought of cheering on their ascent into bliss and our descent into damnation. The kind of elitism that destroyed my traditional family. Continue reading

What to Expect from a Harper Government (In The Bedrooms of the Nation III)

Previously:

I: A Brief Canadian History of Political Forces

II: The Opponents of Social Progress: Roadmap to the Far Right

As Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party seek a majority mandate, there is no shortage of speculation on either side of the map as to what a non-progressive Conservative majority would look like in Canada.  By some accounts, we’d see a new capitalist utopia of crime fighting and McJob creation.  By others, we’d see a social agenda unleashed which, now completely unbridled, would rewrite Canada into a Christian Nationalist dictatorship.

But we’ve seen already how Harper is completely cognizant of Canada’s inclination for social progress, and having to tightrope in order to maintain the far-right extreme and the centrist support he needs to maintain power.  Stephen Harper is gaming, and he is not going to seek only a 4-year majority.  He is in it for the long haul, and that means tightroping for as long as he can. Continue reading

Voting FAQ for Trans Canadians.

No, I’m not going to tell you how to vote. At the end of the post, I’ll list several tools you can use (or not) to make up your own mind.

But voting comes with its challenges for transsexual and transitioning folks, and I don’t want trans readers to be dissuaded from taking part in the process. Continue reading

Opponents of Social Progress – In The Bedrooms of the Nation II (Revised)

Update: This article has been revised and reposted.  This was originally done in response to a concern raised that even though I discourage retaliation, naming names might inspire someone to do so.  Which is not my intent.  But in removing those sections, the narrative changed, and had to be rewritten for the sake of flow.  Comments on the original post also displayed a huge amount of Islamophobia, so it became necessary to address that as well.  So the post has changed, but the premise remains the same.

Replies to this post will be moderated, due to the escalating level of bigotry displayed in response to the original post (most of which have been left in the moderation queue).  I’m not big on censorship and believe in free speech in Canada, but this is my place, and I won’t have it turned into a platform for bigotry aimed at minorities.  That’s my prerogative.  (And Jadis, I’m a little confused as to whether your threat was meant for me or for a commenter, but neither scenario is appropriate).  I also reiterate that I am not likewise aiming bias at Christians: my issue is with efforts from a small group which is not representative of all people of faith to assert any one specific faith system as law and dictate to everyone else how they should live their lives or whether they even should have a place in our society.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper keeps trying to assure voters that he won’t reopen social debates like abortion and same-sex marriage, since he knows that won’t earn him mainstream votes.  Instead, he tries to run on a platform of crime punishment and McJob creation.  And yet if one looks further, one overturns a rock which reveals a political base that is a coalition of usually-divided groups working together to oppose social progress.  In part one, we saw what led to the rise of the new Conservatives.  Here, we’re mapping out the network that makes up his base. Continue reading

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