The Albany Speech: Building Alliances and Community

This is something like an approximation I’m giving of the speech in Albany. Like I mentioned before, I can’t memorize, so I often end up writing a speech, then outlining it, and then speaking from my outline and notes.
But I think you’ll get the gist of it.
Thank you so much for inviting me up here. I’ve only been to Albany a few times, and this is much nicer than freezing on the Capitol’s steps. Much, much nicer.
I want to thank all of the groups who brought me up here, with an especial thanks to Rhea, who did so much of the legwork. I think by now she’s discovered that if you want to see something happen, you usually have to do it yourself. I had to warn her that if she kept on, she’d end up having herself whisked away to State Museums to speak to people, since that’s how it happened to me. Writers generally like the company of cats and computers, and I think it’s a mean joke that after you actually get a book published, the first thing that happens is you get yanked away from your cats and computer and told you need to stand in front of a room full of people and talk.
But still, that’s how it happens. I never intended to be writing or talking about trans subjects at all; after all, I’m not even transgendered, and I’m only honorarily GLBT. I ended up here because I wanted something that didn’t exist, so I had no choice but to create it. That something was a community – a community that Betty and I would belong in, where – when people saw us together, hand in hand – we wouldn’t have to explain who or what we are. I went online and found stuff for transpeople, but little for partners. There were places reserved for crossdressers’ wives, but only ones that implied I should be unhappy. When I went to the Manhattan GLBT center I was asked what exactly I was doing there, and I didn’t really know the answer, except to say “because I need help, and friends, and people who understand.”
Those of you who have been involved in support groups or organizations know what I’m talking about. If everything that needed to be done, was, we could spend our time discussing the finer points of medieval art, or fly fishing, or collecting miniature railroads. But in the meantime, there’s too much to be done.
When I hear about a transwoman who doesn’t want crossdressers in her group, or about crossdressers who don’t want to hang out with gay men, or lesbians who won’t let transwomen into their spaces, I always remember that old joke about academia, where the politics are bitter exactly because the stakes are so low. I worked in environmental politics for a while in my early 20s, and it was true there too. Likewise for third parties, and sadly, it’s true for the trans community as well. There are arguments online and in person about how to define transgender, who is transgendered, who in the trans community suffers the most or the least. There is gossip, naysaying, and a lot of holier-than-thou attitudes. When one person says “we should protest” there are three who say, “if we protest they’ll think we’re crazy.”
Well, they already do.
If there’s one thing the trans community can be clear on, it’s that society thinks transpeople are either invisible, crazy, or perverted. Sometimes all three at once.
In some ways, what we have is a luxury of lack. There is so much to be done, so many to be educated, so much ignorance to enlighten. Transitioning, or living openly as genderqueer, trans, or as a crossdresser requires a PhD in gender, practically. We learn to teach, to explain, to show. We grit our teeth and explain ‘trans 101’ over and over and over again. Betty and I can’t go to a party without knowing that at some point in the evening, we’ll be cornered by someone who just wants to ask questions. We try to ignore what it feels like to be poked with sticks, to be looked at as if we just landed from another planet.
And yet as a community we still have time to argue with each other, to tell someone she is not transgendered, to gossip that so and so isn’t full-time, to ask – like the ignorant do – who’s had surgery and who’s on hormones.
It’s no wonder then we never get to talk to others, or that we get angry when others get the pronouns wrong. We go out in the world to fight the good fight, but we do so already worn out with the in-fighting, the gossip, the insecurities of people who not only have to explain themselves to the rest of the world but to their sisters, their community, their potential allies.
We can’t afford it.
We’ve got trans teens being thrown out of their homes, and young transwomen and men being killed. We have closeted crossdressers who are about to lose their wives, and maybe custody of their children, if they come out. We have transitioned people who fear that someone will notice a larger-than-average hand or a smaller-than-average one. We lose our jobs to discrimination, have to rewrite resumes so they pass, spend our lives saving money just in case. We live with ridicule, open hostility, and little legal protection. We are not considered the same as other American citizens, and our love is the target for groups that find us immoral.
And yet we talk about whether or not he’s really transgendered, or if she is.
And what I’d ask you is: will the bullies care? When some ignorant fool with a violent streak sees me and Betty walk down the street hand in hand, is he going to stop to ask me if I’m heterosexual, or if we’re legally married? When he sees a crossdresser coming home from her local support group, is he going to wonder if there’s a wife and kids at home? Is he going to wonder whether or not some other trans person considers that trans person legit or not? Will he ask a gay man if he’s got a 401K plan, or if he’s legally unioned? Will he bother to ask a lesbian if she birthed her own children?
You know the answer. We all do. Bigots don’t see a difference between the white picket fence GLBT and the queers. But we still fight amongst ourselves, wearing each other down with criticisms and oughts. We go out in the world wounded and full of pride, and we’re already exhausted when our partners, mothers, clergy, coworkers make jokes about faggots. Who has the energy to fight the good fight with genuine energy after spending all day fighting a useless one with someone who should be a friend?
I have a weird lens on some of this stuff because I used to be heterosexual. I say “used to” because people just do NOT see Betty and I as straight, anymore. But I used to be, and I remember what it felt like to receive the validation, and status, and approval of being in that world. The loss I’ve felt has been keen, noticing that lesbian couples aren’t physically affectionate in public spaces, that gay men might kiss in the West Village but have to look around first before they kiss anywhere else. Aside from my own sense of anger at feeling restricted, it makes me sad. Sometimes I don’t think we even realize the ways we hide ourselves. And sometimes I think we’re so busy worrying about gay marriage – which is worth worrying about – that we forget that the goal is to be able to have our love be socially acceptable. Right now, it’s still rough going. There’s a reason transsexuals go stealth and that crossdressers stay in the closet. They don’t want to lose that, because it’s a lot to lose. I know a little too well how much it is to lose.
If gays and lesbians could marry legally I wouldn’t have to worry about Betty changing the gender marker on her license, because then it wouldn’t matter if people saw us as two women or not. But the reason the trans community needs to help make gay marriage legal is because it’s the right thing to do. Too often, trans people live in the loopholes, and that’s no way to live. Focus on the Family wants to tighten those loopholes: they’re disgusted by people like me and Betty being legally married, as disgusted as they are by Vermont and Massachusetts and New Paltz.
But there are other things too: employment discrimination and child custody issues and higher risks of suicide in our teens. We have to worry about harassment, physical violence, and – according to Amnesty International – we even have to worry about whether or not the police will hurt us when we look to them for help.
Plenty to do, indeed. But to me some of the most important stuff we have to do is not just GENDA – but we have to change the hearts and minds. And that’s the hard part, isn’t it? It’s so vague, so much less countable than 32 pieces of legislation nationwide. I get exhausted thinking about the very idea of it – all the Americans who voted for gay marriage bans out there, hating. Politicians who play their fear, their moral superiority. But the same as we don’t have time for infighting, we don’t have time for exhaustion, either.
Like I said before, I ended up here accidentally, looking for community where there was none. Because I was okay with my husband being trans didn’t mean I had friends who understood one iota of what our life is like. I wanted to find other people like me to talk to.
The first people in our lives who knew were gay and lesbian and bisexual. It wasn’t an accident or a coincidence, either. We were given Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg by one lesbian friend, The Drag Queens of New York by another. One friend who’d been active in the early days of Act-Up told us not to come out over the Thanksgiving holiday, that “mom, please pass the stuffing to the homosexual” was inappropriate and ineffectual. We found guidelines for coming out on the HRC website, GLBT legal history on the Task Force’s, and a model for friends and family on P-FLAG’s. What we found is that the GLB is not just it’s organizations, but it’s resources, the gay and lesbian and bisexual people we already knew, who knew themselves what it was like to be in the closet, what it was like to be misunderstood, what it’s like to be told you’re immoral because of who and how you love.
We came to understand that we were in the same boat and had been all along. We’d been sitting up front watching the spray while others were minding the course. But slowly, as we came out to others, we realized that we already had a crew, we were already onboard, and that all we had to do was say “Is there anything I can do?” for us to feel fully welcomed. And boy were we welcomed! Because all the people on that boat knew too that plenty of the world was out to sink it.
To me, that’s the nature of community and alliance. Not sitting back and saying “what have you done for me lately?” but saying instead, “tell me about what you need.” When disparate groups do that for each other, something really remarkable happens. I’ve found it amazing at how easy it can be, by just wanting to know someone else’s story, someone else’s struggle. And yet, it’s like we have trolls at the foot of the bridge. And we have to be wary of the trolls.
Not very long ago, Betty and I were out with a friend at a very trans-friendly, gay business, a bar and restaurant. It had gotten a boost when it had first opened by having a drag queen and some friends of hers throw weekly parties in their largely unused upstairs room. The people came, because drag is hip again, isn’t it? And the business grew, and being right near a movie theatre, it drew a diverse crowd. But it was always trans friendly; the T-girls would gather at the bar every Saturday for dinner or drinks or both, and then head off to a somewhat infamous trans night at another bar. This one night when we were there, the bartender, a gay man – pulled one of the transwomen aside and told her that the T-girls were becoming a problem, not by being there, but because they’d started to use the place as a community center: changing in the bathrooms, bringing their own flasks of alcohol to cut down on costs, etc. The brouhaha that ensued was remarkable for its sound and fury but made almost no sense. The bar, the bartender, and anyone who sided with THEM were accused of being transphobic. After the trans contingent huffed away, Betty and I wandered over to the bar to hear more about what the fuss had been about, and what we heard was that transpeople were behaving badly. After talking to the bartender for a while we found out he didn’t really know much about transfolk. He told us what it was like to grow up a bear in the mid-west and we told him what it was like to be trans. And we talked about why transwomen might use the bathroom to change in, and why they might get a little too drunk too fast (because they’re nervous as hell), and he nodded, and we nodded, and then we came home to find out that some of the transwomen were involved were talking about a lawsuit, and stayed up until a very late hour writing emails to any of the local community leaders who might be able to put a stop to their foolishness.
And it was foolishness: not because gay people can’t be transphobic (or trans people be homophobic) but because if we can’t figure out how to be accepted, and acceptable, to one another, then we don’t have a shot with the rest of the world. And as much as we all can be self-ghettoizing, the rest of the world is still out there: discriminating employers, judgmental pharmacists, and of course the Federal and State governments, who still don’t seem to understand why gender markers are about as valid now as race markers are.
And then there are the groups like Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America. They have our number now. They know about couples like me and Betty who slipped through a loophole in the ‘legal marriage’ debate. We watched with millions of other GLBT Americans as state after state voted in the last election to make our love and commitment illegal. We know what Fred Phelps thinks of us. He doesn’t care if you played Sulu or have your own television show or play Pro Ball. You know what a bigot calls a gay doctor? I’m sure you do.
But still we fight amongst ourselves about whether or not crossdressers and transsexuals have anything in common. They do, folks. They’re all in the same boat that lots of people want to sink. Passing transwomen are embarrassed by the “man in the dress.” Crossdressers think transsexuals have just gotten carried away with themselves. And every single minute that we make these accusations of each other, the Religious Right find a few hundred more people who are willing to boycott a company for hiring gay men or funding a pride parade. They’ve got money and power and membership and visibility and politicians’ ears.
And we can’t sit together in a room long enough to even hear about pending legislation.
The thing is, there’s a lot to be done. If you don’t like to deal with politicians or don’t like the kind of legislation that’s being sponsored, do something else. You don’t have to be a lawyer or a politician – just a citizen, just a person. If you don’t like the way a group is run, volunteer to run it instead. Start a second night of a group you’re in if you’re having debates about whether or not talking about hormones is okay or not. If you think others are cheap, spend your time fundraising instead of complaining. If you’re lonely, go answer the phones for a GLBT suicide prevention line. You could print out a ‘trans 101’ flyer and put it under every windshield wiper of your local mall. Every time you want to say something mean about someone else, donate another $50 to a GLBT organization for the privilege of having a computer and a safe place to start a flame war from, instead.
No matter how you do it, find a way to cut it out. Because there’s really way too much to be done. We don’t have time for your ego. What we need is hands, legwork, and someone to answer the phones.
I canvassed for the NY Public Interest Research Group. Door to door, forty doors a night. It’s an eye-opening experience. I had one woman thrown a nickel at me, and I had one quite superior type ask me bluntly how much it would cost him to get me off his doorstep. “Just tonight or all week?” I asked. He wanted me gone all week. And he paid, in cash, to get me gone. But I’d also have the people who wanted to argue with me about how I was wasting my time, that politicians were all crooked, and that the world was going to hell in a handbasket. Others wanted to debate me on the finer points of third parties or recycling programs. And what I found was that the people who wanted to debate me, or the people who slammed the door in my face, were better off left alone. Because for every five of them, there was one person who would invite me in, and offer me tea if it was cold, and give me a check or sign a petition. I would go back to work the next day instead of feeling burnt out and exhausted. I’d get to tell people a few things they didn’t know, and they’d get to tell me their concerns, for their children or their neighborhood.
And what I realized was that that is the nature of community, that shared conversation, that intent to find commonality. Politics is as much about the way people share their lives as it is about the laws that get passed; it’s about how people understand what they share, what their common goals are, what makes their own lives and the lives around them a little easier. It’s what I was looking for when I showed up at the GLBT center’s doors. It’s what I was looking for when I went online. And I found that I could spend all my time getting into arguments, just as I could have done canvassing. But I wouldn’t be here tonight if that’s what I’d spent my time doing. Instead, I listened to stories and told mine. I asked questions. I learned, I read, I looked for a commonality of experience. And what I found was this community – not just the trans community, but the whole of the GLBT. It’s a remarkable community. Sometimes others tell me they can’t see it, that they don’t believe in it, that we’re not unified. My feeling is that we don’t all have to agree. We have different priorities, different causes, different experiences and world views. But what we can do is talk to each other, offer each other a safe place in a world that is not really that safe for any of us.
After that, it’s hard not to see how much has to be done, and how much disagreement, and gossip, and nitpicking, comes out of our fear, our insecurities; how much comes out of the very fact of how unsafe and unvalidated GLBT lives are. This life isn’t easy on any of us, and although we have differences, we can only work for common goals if we can see past our differences, and focus on the issues that concern all of us. Right now, the choice is quite simple: we need to learn about each other, to talk about how we are. We need to educate others that we exist. We can’t do that when we’re exhausted from hearing gossip or arguing as to whether we’re transgendered or not. We need somewhere to come home too, a safe place where we can recharge and commiserate.
Mostly what we need is to be gentle with each other, so that we go back out there and fight the good fight.
Thank you.

Five Questions With… Calpernia Addams

Calpernia Addams is in some ways thecalpernia addams woman that so many transwomen aspire to be because she’s beautiful, talented, outspoken and smart. But her story is also the story of a Soldier’s Girl and came with more than its share of pain. She and Andrea James now run Deep Stealth Productions together, which produces and consults on a variety of video projects related to gender. At her website,, you can find community forums, her diary about her Hollywood doings, and of course more info about who she is, what she’s up to, and how she became the woman she is today.
1) When you spoke last year at SCC, you mentioned that you’d be keeping an eye on representations of trans people by Hollywood. What did you mean by that, and what are you doing?
As a relatively out transwoman, I have been fortunate to make several friends and acquaintances in Hollywood who hold key positions in the business of television and film. I also regularly attend premieres and showcases for new media, where I’m often specifically sought out for opinions and input. I never want to be seen as an overbearing nag, but I always let the industry leaders in these situations know that I am watching their portrayals of trans people closely, and that I am available for anything from conversation to consultation to referrals if they are interested in learning more about the realities of our world. While there are many factors that go into shaping a piece of entertainment media, I do try to be present, available and vocal when I see something that uses an aspect of our community in it’s storytelling. Some of the results of the work Andrea James and I have done can be seen in the upcoming Felicity Huffman film “Transamerica,” for which we provided in-person and script consultation. I also appear as a Texas fiddle player in the film, and Andrea can be seen in a clip from our popular “Finding Your Female Voice” instructional video. The upcoming LOGO network documentary “Beautiful Daughters” will showcase our 2004 sold-out all-trans-cast production of “The Vagina Monologues” with playwright Eve Ensler and mentor Jane Fonda, which was the first event of it’s kind. We have also consulted on television shows such as CSI and many documentaries in the last two years.
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Five Questions With… Abigail Garner

Abigail Garner is a writer, speaker and educatorabigail garner who is dedicated to a future of equality for LGBT families and communities. She speaks from her own experience of having a gay dad who came out to her when she was five years old. Bringing voice to a population of children that is often overlooked, Abigail has been featured on CNN, ABC World News Tonight, and National Public Radio. She is the author of Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is (HarperCollins, 2004).

1) As a child of a GLBT parent, you’ve effectively become a ‘lightning rod’ for others children of GLBT parents. What has that been like?

It’s is really a joy to connect with “my people.” It’s really not what I originally set out to do, because I subscribed to many of the same misperceptions as the general public. Namely, that there are very few adult children of LGBT parents. My advocacy initially was to be a resource for younger children and their parents. In the process, however, I have been contacted by so many peers that I hadn’t let myself believe were out there — adult children in their 20s, 30s and older. I even chatted with a woman born in 1938 who had a lesbian mother and gay father. And despite whatever differences there are between us, when the common experience of having queer parents is reflected in another person, it’s exhilarating.
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Five Questions With… Dallas Denny

dallas dennyDallas Denny, M.A., is founder and was for ten years Executive Director of the American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. (AEGIS), a national clearinghouse on transsexual and transgender issues. She is currently on the board of Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc., AEGIS’ successor organization, which lives at She is Director of Fantasia Fair and editor of Transgender Tapestry magazine and was editor and publisher of the late Chrysalis: The Journal of Transgressive Gender Identities. Dallas is a prolific writer with hundreds of articles and three books to her credit. She recently decided to retire her license to practice psychology in Tennessee, since she seems to have found a permanent home in Pine Lake, Georgia, pop. 650, the world’s smallest municipality with a transgender nondiscrimination ordinance.
1) You’ve been a trans educator/activist for a long time now: what do you see as the biggest development in terms of trans politics since you’ve been doing this?
When I began my activism in 1989, the community was almost entirely about education– outreach to the general public and information to other transpeople. There wasn’t much information available, and much of that wasn’t very good or was outdated– and even the bad information could be almost impossible to find. The rapid growth of the community in the 1990s and especially the explosion of the internet made information much easier to find.
Somewhere around 1993, the community had reached a point at which political activism had become possible. Of course, some of us had always been doing that, but it hadn’t been a prime focus of the community, and what had been done had been sporadic and short-lived, often was done by a single individual or a small group, and tended to happen in places like San Francisco and New York City. This activism did give us some political gains– most notably in Minnesota, which adopted state-wide protections as early as, I believe, the early 1970s, but around 1993 there was a growing political consciousness in the community, and things just began to take off.
I can identify some important events of the 1990s– when Nancy Burkholder, a post-op transsexual woman, was kicked out of the Michigan Womyn’s conference, when people began to come together in Texas at Phyllis Randolph Frye’s ICTLEP law conference, when the March on Washington turned out to be non-transinclusive, when a bunch of us got together to form GenderPac (an organization which was promptly hijacked by the Executive Director)– but there were two biggies, in my opinion. The first was the first transgender lobbying, which was done by Phyllis Frye and Jane Fee. They couldn’t believe they had actually done it, then wondered why they hadn’t done it before. When HRCF (as it was then called) promptly went behind their backs and removed the transgender inclusions Phyllis and Jane had convinced lawmakers to put into the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, there was a sense of outrage. The news broke when Sarah DePalma got an the law conference. It happened to be the only ICTLEP I attended. We had a coule of strategy sessions and went back home and the next week did actions at at least six Pride events, including Atlanta, which I coordinated. You should have seen the jaws drop when I handed leaflets to the folks at the HRCF booth. The organization has, of course, done a complete turnaround since then, or so we hope.
The other big event was the muder of Brandon Teena; in the aftermath, we began to get media coverage that concentrated on our political issues and not just our individual psychologies or transition histories.
After that, things just exploded. Today many of us– as many as one in three– have some sort of legal protections– anti-discrimination, hate crimes, or both. My little town of Pine Lake, Georgia, population 650, even has trans protections– and I didn’t even have to ask for them. They were already in place when I moved here in the late 1990s.
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National Coming Out Day

October 11th is National Coming Out Day, and I wanted to provide some resources for some of you who might have someone to come out to – a wife, girlfriend, parent, child, friend, or peer.

  • Here’s a short piece by Abigail Garner, the author of Families Like Mine.
  • Lambda’s tips for coming out are brief but helpful.
  • HRC has a special section of their Coming Out Project pages called Coming Out as Transgender.
  • The APA has a “Just the Facts” sheet that’s more geared toward the GL, but still has a lot of useful information on reparative therapy (for those of you who might come out to more Christian friends & family).
  • And there’s the transgender division of P-FLAG, T-NET, which has a bunch of useful information for the family of transpeople.

Good luck!


First a letter from one RenaRF to the President which was also posted on Daily Kos. It sums up how I’m feeling, too.
RenaRF also provided a list of organizations that are focusing their efforts on the Gulf.
Also, here’s a good article on the funding issue, & why the region wasn’t prepared.
& Another one that appeared in Salon
There is *no reason* that in this country, with our resources and technology, the poor folks of the South were left to evacuate by their own means, except for the short fall of empathy.
And God bless that man who had to let go of his wife’s hand.

A Day in the Life of HB: Part One

I thought this might amuse some of you, for whatever reason it would.
Wake up, slightly bemused at having dreamt I grew up with Sting living two houses away from me.
Put on tea water, weigh self (don’t ask!), turn on computer, light cigarette, say hello to Aeneas (who always greets me when I wake up), apologize to Endymion (who continues to sleep at my feet no matter how many times I kick him when I’m sleeping).
Go online, curse dial-up, delete pounds of spam. Do I really need to see ads for “young girls jerking you off” when I first wake up? No, I don’t. Do I even have a penis for these young sluts TO jerk off? No, I don’t.
Open the Animal Rescue site, tab to MHB, check stats, amazon sales rank, message boards. Tell someone to get bent and someone else to quit picking the same fights, already. Split threads, move threads, delete bitchy posts. Proceed to the Breast Cancer site, the Child Health site, the Hunger site, the Literacy site, the Rainforest site, which I let load in a background tab while I check out the boards.
IM Betty, who tells me about my email before most of it downloads. (We get cc:’d a lot of the same info.)
When the tea water whistles, if I hear it, pour tea; while tea is steeping, prepare a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Yes, I’m addicted. In a still-sleepy daze, wonder if I should let the Cheerios go soggy while I finish smoking the cigarette I lit, or put out the cigarette to eat the Cheerios. (It’s about 50/50, as far as I can tell.)
Bug Betty via IM about the eight things we’re supposed be doing, who she’s supposed to be calling, what events we’ve been invited to that she hasn’t gotten back to me about, which reminds me to open my calendar, and see that I’m supposed to work, so I speed up my tea drinking and emailing.
Answer ten emails in succession: one to a friend from my pre-tranny life, five to trannies currently emailing me regularly, two queries from people about info/resources, and one to someone I promised some bit of writing to. The tenth I forward to Betty about tech stuff on the site/boards.
Ignore the phone until I stop saying fuck under my breath when it rings.
Stop doing everything to give Aeneas his morning love-down.
Wonder if I have time to work out before I dress and bathe.
Answer five more emails: two responses that have already come back from the previous set, a third from a partner who’s freaking out, forward two other invites to Betty so she can not get back to me about whether or not she wants to go.
Read the new posts on the boards again, making sure whatever fights started have been dropped, then pick one myself about something feminist.
Remember to take my Zyrtec when I realize I’m itchy all over from the Aeneas love-down.
IM Betty about how she slept, say hello, only to notice a “brb” about five lines up.
Wait for Betty to get back so I don’t forget whatever it is. Drink tea, play with Endymion. Take out yoga mat. Check answering machine for previous night’s messages because I didn’t want to answer the phone. Get back to find 10 lines of IM from Betty that end with another ‘brb.’ Completely forget what I was supposed to IM Betty about.
Check my to-do list, cross one thing off and add another.
Make a few phonecalls.
Finally, Betty gets back from lunch and tells me she has no idea if she wants to go to anything I’ve mentioned to her. I resolve just to tell her what we’re going to and quit asking her, then forward her a few more emails about events in the next half-hour after I’ve made the resolution.
IM Betty to tell her I’m working out. Work out. (Okay, so this doesn’t happen everyday.)
Take a quick bath, dress, check the boards one last time, IM Betty that I’m going to work. Smoke another cigarette. Wonder how long it will take someone to write their own version of this blog post on the boards.

Privacy and the Boards

Due to the email harassment of someone who posts on our boards, Betty & I have had to change the access to the forums. From here on in, *anyone* who wants to read the forums has to register in order to do so. Only the ‘Technical Difficulties’ forum will be open to all, mostly because we needed a place to post this announcement so that people (esp our non-registered readers) would not be totally baffled.
It’s really unfortunate that we’ve had to do this, but the threat was serious enough that we feel we have no choice.
In terms of the harassment: someone has threatened to send various posts on these boards to the person’s employer: quite serious, indeed.
Again, apologies for this inconvenience. Believe me, once we confirm the harasser, their full name & address & photo will be posted here. We have no tolerance for this behavior.
Personally, I’m furious. Spending the time building a community like the MHB message boards takes a lot of time, effort, and work. And for one little bitter fuck to come along and ruin it for everyone really pisses me off. What it does, effectively, is make it possible for those who are already dealing with transness, at some level, to do so, but it prevents those who are more intrepid from getting any help, or being able to read the experiences of others. And that group includes the closeted CDs, stealth TSs, and especially partners, who are probably our most significant unregistered readership. Whoever sent that email (via anonymous remailer) is on my shitlist for taking much-needed resources from the people who need it most.
To those intrepid readers: I hope some of you will find the courage to register, to read or post or both.
If you are reading this, you anonymous, bitter shit, be forewarned that Betty & I have dealt with the likes of you before. We will find your local paper, we will find your name & address, & don’t be surprised when we use all three in combination.
Helen & Betty

Blogging Betty

My lovely partner has decided to start a blog in order to rant about the innumerable things she thinks and reads. My best guess is that little will be trans-related, but it’ll be a great resource for interesting reading, especially political notes.
I suppose this means I have to start acting.