Monday, November 30, 2009

Is It OK for Our Entertainers To Call Us 'Faggots?'

In the local St Louis news these past couple of days, the most prominent articles were of the protest at the Cathedral Basilica and the vicious attack on three young gay men at a local establishment. Skipping through the story of the protest, the story of the young men is gathering not only local, but national attention. As it should. After an evening at this establishment, they young men went out to their auto out in the parking lot, where they were confronted by a group of straight men. As the incident unfolded, the young gay men were called 'faggots' by the other, a scuffle began and the three young gay men were on the ground with serious injuries. After viciously beating and kicking the young men of our Community, the attackers drove off in their car. The City of St. Louis Police Department is investigating the assaults and determining if in fact this was a hate crime. Which we know it is.

Do you know where I am going with this post?

RevlonRobyn has a problem. Wasn't it just last week when she was in another Community establishment listening to a drag queen, liberally calling the patrons 'Faggots?' And at the same place, this same entertainer (?) was marginalizing the Transgender Community. What about the RiverFront Times’ last issue, where their sordid story of a Transwoman, laid bare her soul, without a thought for decency. And in the issue before that, the RFT had done another story where a local drag queen at the Miss Gay America Pageant called the Transgender Community psychologically diseased. "It is!" Neither the drag queen, nor the RFT had qualms about what was published.

Don't you think it is about time for us to educate these entertainers and the RFT with some sensitivity training? Or do you want to continue to hear these words of hate, discrimination and marginalization as entertainment? Then, hearing them applied to our brothers and sisters in hate, out on the street? I think it is time we take back these words, put them in a safe and throw away the key. Next time you hear an entertainer calling you a 'faggot' or when you read the marginalization of anyone in any of the sectors of our Community in the RFT, tell them what you think.

This 'T' is not silent. And she is not going away anytime soon.

[Note: This blog was presented as part of Robyn Carolyn Montague's speech at the Community Gala on November 30th]

Saturday, November 28, 2009

From The Trans, To The Ones We Need

Antagonist (the Trans, the one in conflict): Depression. Discrimination. Denial. Fear. Loss. Ridicule. Hate. Despair. Exclusion. Pain. Need. Want. Grasp. Hope. Weakness.


Protagonist (those around the Trans, the main Character): Share. Reach. Hug. Give. Strengthen. Learn. Accept. Love.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Homeless Shelters for the Trans, not Marriage Inequality

RevlonRobyn encourages the Trans Community of the Greater St Louis Area to join in this protest of what is wrong. We have no viable homeless shelters for our brothers and sisters, yet the Archdiocese of St Louis would rather spend the stated 'pittance in their coffers' towards organized hate, than to support the basic human right of love or save the lives of those without homes. It's time to tell all that we are here, we are people and we are not going away anytime soon. It's time we tell the Archdiocese that there are better causes to support for basic human rights. RevlonRobyn often wonders whether the Archdiocese believes in a different God, than the one she was brought up to understand.

RevlonRobyn shares from Show-Me No Hate, et al:

Tim Townsend of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on November 11th broke the story how the St. Louis diocese funded an anti-gay marriage ballot measure in Maine.

The local Catholic money was used to pay for a ballot measure called, "Question 1," that asked Maine voters if they should take away the right of lesbians and gays to legally marry in their State. Unlike Proposition 8 in California, the right of marriage was already granted to same-sex couples by the Maine legislature and signed into law by Maine's (who is Catholic) Governor John Baldacci. This was a measure to take-away rights already granted.

Make no doubt, Saint Louis Archbishop Carlson, along with dozens of Catholic Bishops across the United States donated over $180,000 to the Maine campaign that erased Maine's new Marriage Equality law; furthermore, they donated the money during a time when the Catholic Church is cutting, slashing and closing down parishes.

It's time for St. Louis Catholics and non-Catholics; gay and straight community; to come together and peacefully tell the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, that there are better uses for the local $10,000 Catholic dollars.

Last November over 1400 St. Louisans stood on the steps of the Historic St. Louis Old Court House to show solidarity to all those affected in California after the passing of Proposition 8.

On Sunday November 29th from 11:30am to 1:30pm; in front of the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica steps, we are asking St. Louis again to stand for equality. We gather again in solidarity for those not only discriminated against in Maine - but we stand for religious tolerance and diversity in our community.

Sunday November 29th: there is no better date than the first day of Advent to rally for Equality. Sunday November 29th marks the first day of Advent, a time for Catholics and Christians to prepare or "make things holy," before the holiday. Advent literally translates to "coming" and we cannot think of any better time to "come-out" and "come-forward" as a community.

This rally is organized by:
Catholic Action Network, Holy Families Committee and Show Me No Hate

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Demeaning Of The Trans By The RFT

I find a current cover story of the RiverFront Times appalling and abhorent in which they provide unnecessary and lurid details of a transwoman that is perhaps facing time in prision. The story subjugates this woman beyond comphrehension and this story has absolutely no respect whatsoever and goes beyond the boundaries of decency of the personal and private portions of the life of one that is Transgender.

I find this story so totally abhorhent and demeaning not only to the subject, but also to the Transgender Community of Metropolitan St. Louis (and of course meaning all that are Trans). Whether or not the subject of this story approved this or not, the descriptions in this article go beyond decency and approach the thought of patent transphobia.

Several friends brought my attention to this article done by the River Front Times (a St. Louis 'what's happening' print/online magazine), that dealt with a Transwoman who is in some rather legal hot water. While the story in itself is sensationalistic, the RFT went beyond journalistic decency when it went into details beyond what was necessary for the point of her legal matters.

This sorry article went from those legal matters, to describing the issues she has been going through during her transition as many of the Transwomen do, the events leading up to, the issues with her family and then it really went to hell. The woman, in her interview was asked of some of the medical details of her transition. When I spoke to the woman, who called me last night, she had been of the opinion that some of the questions were simply of interest and not for the article and shared some answers that she is apparently regretting now, including intimate details of her post-surgery care.

The woman explained to me that what went from an innocuous sharing in this interview, was a sheaf of notes that the reporter kept hungrily writing. When all said and done, the article had her pretty much looking like some crazed Transgender person running around in underwear about to rally to battle like some crazed anarchist.

The article as published, denigrates the transgender community to lowest level of humanity. It delves into the most intimate secrets of our transitional health care. If you have read the article, you know exactly what I am talking about. I posted a comment to the story, in which I denounced this magazine for publishing it. No doubt the claim will be that the woman signed a release, but that should not give free license to the article as it was written. In a chat with another prominent Trans in the region, I am of the understanding she will be contacting the RFT directly.

RevlonRobyn has been sharpening her claws for a long time this morning. She has brought out her finest surgical steel files and rasps, a micrometer for that precision shaping and the bench grinder is on over in the corner to finish the precision edge.....

This 'T' remains forever non-silent.

Monday, November 23, 2009

11th Transgender Day of Remembrance In Recap

With all of the emphasis on Transgender Day of Remembrance these past couple of weeks and with events and memorials regarding it done before and after the actual day of memorial (each November 20th), one may ask (or hear it being asked) is this being overemphasized, carried to far, just not needed? Now before someone rears up in a hissy-fit and wants me to turn in my activist card and/or declaw me, let's take a look.

I went to four separate memorials, and attended 10 separate preceeding and anteceding events with regard to TDOR, in less of 7 days. A busy little activist, these were lectures, workshops, discussion panels, memorial services and even a play where time stood still to honor our fallen. I can see where one might say, "hey, enough is enough," but being an activist for the Trans (hey, I'm a Trans too!) trying to bring all out into the open world, I knew it was best to do so. Of course, being a small organization just beginning to grow up, only the metro area of St Louis could be covered. And I do have a partner, and he has expressed a desire being able to get an appointment with me, as well.

The reading of the names are depressing, as one would expect. The message from the speakers at each of these events was different, in message and in the approach. The majority of these were (of course) depressing and one of these was upbeat and suggested that we change to a happier 'tone' next year. I kept an open mind and from what I saw and heard, have the following to say.

The reading of names and the method of the murders are traumatizing and very heart-breaking. The candles and vigils and marches depressing and full of grief. In one speech with 'uplifting words' was of promise and hope (as were the others) but it was the one that I liked least. And don't come crawling all over me for saying that, the person that made that one is a friend of mine at the Community Center. And after all, I am allowed my opinion.

My thought is this: With a murder of the Trans now being calculated at one every three days, the thought of promise and hope will only tend to put that hope forefront and the Trans upholding that notion alone will have a lot of second-thoughts when we reconvene next year with the new list. When the Federal Hate Crimes Law was passed, I saw any number of blog commentaries from people that expressed the 'joy' that there would be no more murders. Huh? Of course, the commentary in return brought these dimwitted people back down to earth and retrieving that 'safety plan' they had thrown into the trash.

My second thought was that these memorials were not only overal poorly attended by the LGB Community, but by the Trans themselves. The thought that we meet at several places (speaking of the St Louis Metro area) does not capture the thought of what we are trying to say to anyone. Absolutely no one heard us, except to read of the events (but not to attend them). The point of each of these memorials fell about deaf ears. A radical thought of mine is why simply have these for the Trans, we know about the deaths and what is the need to re-hash the news (yeah, I know, about to lose my Trans-card, eh?) each Nov 20th? But before declawing me for heresy, let's take another look. We need this Day of Remembrance if not simply to keep the awares about ourselves. But why not get this out in the world's face, where we take these small singular events and combine them to present our pleas in force.

Make a noise. That is what we need to be doing. A few people in a church or at a forum or workshop will never be heard. We should be congregating together, the Trans Community making a huge noise and be making those that do not attend feel a little bit contrite. The noise the LGB's make on Day of Silence is deafening. We need to make ourselves heard.

Yes, we should look at other ways to promote the Trans Community as something to be proud of, and to be proud without fear. To do this, the Trans need to come out of hiding and be seen and counted as people. Because that is what we are. No one is going to give us that chance unless we are openly out on the street and doing the things we do. And be doing this open and be doing it loud. We need to take every opportunity to voice the thought that we are here, we are proud and not going away anytime soon.

Do remember, it is not without a word of caution. The hate crimes law does not, nor will not, stop hate crimes. We need to be vigilant, for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters. Go about your day, go about what you do, but go about in vigilance and remember we are still targets of hate and discrimination. Even by the "L's" and "G's" and "B's."

But don't be a silent "T."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Word Comes To Mind, To You?

RevlonRobyn wishes to thank all the following, who all, in one way or another, kept her going through the days and days leading up to and during these days of Remembrance. While it may seem trivial to some, each contributed to her keeping her tasks and thoughts on track. A meeting here, a workshop there, a luncheon there and each of those fine establishments that all know how to make a good ‘Club Soda with a twist of lime.’ There were those that brought inspiration and those that brought both relaxing and thought provoking entertainment and those that said ‘sure – no problem’ when she needed a place to change outfits. Youth and Elders, Students and Workers, Clergy and Laypeople, and a friend that escorted her whenever she didn’t feel safe. Some were Lesbian, some were Gay, some were Bisexual and some were Heterosexual. And yes, of course, some were Trans. And of course, there were so many that contributed to producing and conducting all of the Transgender Day of Remembrance Events.

Among those that kept her going in different ways were Washington University in St Louis, St Louis University, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, St John's Episcopal (Tower Grove) Church, Growing American Youth, LGBT Community Center of Metro St. Louis, Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis, Human Rights Campaign - St Louis, "Oh Really" Online Productions, Korner's, Novak's, Just John's, Bubby & Sissy's, Mia Rosa's, Cicero's, Mokabe's, SAGE - Metro St Louis, St. Louis Effort For Aids, That Uppity Theater Company, PROMO, Metro East Pride, and Pride St. Louis (now she wonders with whom has she forgotten?). There were the people of all of the above, yet there were more: those that wished her well, those that told her to keep the pace, those that told her to slow down. Those that agreed and those that did not, but still all unanimously, are her friends. Oh yeah: Her partner Carl and a Transcat named ‘Blu,’ and yes,.....the techs at her favorite 'claw' salon.

The word is (of course): Community. And yes, there is a "T" in that word, and it isn't silent.

Friday, November 20, 2009

No, It's Not Okay To Marginalize Me With Transphobic Phrases

Remember when you my dear gay friend, were being called a 'faggot?' Boy, didn't that tick you off, in fact, now there are these huge LGB Organizations out there chiding those and calling for boycotts of people and products associated with that use of such terminology.

Enter the Transphobic insults for the Trans: Tranny, Tranvestite, She-Male, Girly-Boy, and then ones I have been called, either directly or inherently: "Ugly Fucking Whore" and now (one with) "Transsexual Eyebrows." The only difference is everyone rushes to castigate those calling those gays 'faggots' yet marginalizes those that are Trans by looking in the other direction.

Let's see: When I began volunteering for the LGB's and their causes about eight years ago, I found evidence that it was 'not ok' to be Trans, so everyone was led to believe I was gay. So much easier. Yet later, during a cold winter, I wore tights and pantyhose under my jeans, as any girl, to keep myself warm. A Principal in a prominent local LGB Organization, noticed this one day, spotting them through a hole in the leg of my jeans. He proceeded to make rude comments to me which I found rather derogatory. I was also thinking 'hey, I thought I was part of this Community that is fighting hate.' Apparently not. Suffice to say that jerk (who is still around the St Louis Community) can be solely noted as one person who made me think once again, and delayed my transition by two years. Simply from the thought that the Trans were not welcome.

Early this past Summer, I went to Metro East Pride Festival, in Belleville, Illinois. I was in transition, living full life in my proper gender identity. As I walked up and down the streets, I saw the LGB's stopping to stare and point at me, the thought coming to my head as: "Hey, look, one of those "T's." The stares and glares proceeded throughout the day, including two lesbians openly commenting on my (slim) form fitting 'daisy-duke' short-shorts. The thought in my head was "bitch, because I can wear them, unlike you."

But what really frosted me about the transphobia at this event there in Belleville (my mother's childhood town), was the next day in the city of O'Fallon, Mo, a hotbed of nearly total conservatism, where I was in a local department store, being called "Ma'am" and "Miss" and "may I hold the door for you." What's up with that, eh?

Then sometime this past October, I was sitting in a Community night club, talking to my partner. A drunk gay came up to be and said I was ugly. He proceeded to go down a list of disturbing, transphobic names and phrases, finally with a "you're a ugly fucking whore." Before I had a chance to stand up and rearrange his face with my claws, the owner of the bar (who had come into the room) grabbed this jerk and hauled him out the front door. A few minutes later, this jerk came back in, and was about to come over once again, but I stood up and I guess being a foot taller than him, convinced him to re-think his valor. He then walked down along the wall, but was noticed, and hauled out the front door once again...

Then last evening, after attending two separate Transgender Day of Remembrance events, of which one was so distressfully full of personal grief. Afterwards, I went to a local nightclub, known for it's drag shows now and then. Everything seemed fine, despite the foul mouth drag queen who was the Emcee, spouting his liberal use of homophobic phrases, his favorite being 'Faggot.' He then took up with the insulting of an apparent straight female, finally referring to her 'Transsexual Eyebrows.' It took a moment before the thought set in: Those that are Transsexual, can be identified by their eyebrows. He was in inference, insulting her for being Transsexual (though she wasn't) and used her eyebrows as evidence. The humor escapes me that it is okay to marginalize one being Trans. Which is what he did.

Think about it: We, that are Trans, live in certain fears, that of losing friends and family, losing our jobs and we are being murdered, since apparently we have no worth. Think about being marginalized as being less than human by some transphobic members (?) of the Community. Not once, not twice, but many times. It is not a joke, it's called Transphobia. And Transphobia is killing one of my brothers and sisters, every three days.

This 'T' will never be silent again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Countering the Clones of Hate

The Community in St Louis once again stood up to retake what is of their's not of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Yesterday a huge crowd of supporters blocked out the image of these clueless, brainwashed children of Fred Phelps, in Cedar Hill and other grass roots groups counter-protested at sites in University City and Bridgeton, Mo. RevlonRobyn and and partner Carl joined the two evening groups in support of these two events. Carrying a large Trans Pride Flag amongst the angels made the point that the Trans find such hate towards them unacceptable as well.

Noting that Phelps and his clan of clones will be picketing an educator that is Trans at Kansas State University on the 23rd, RevlonRobyn (who will be in KC for an activist's luncheon) is thinking of joining in any counter protest there....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Grass Roots Exclusion

Well, here we go again. Grass roots exclusion as a tool of activism, that is, the activism of the 'Cisgender Agenda.' As stated in my commentary back at this bitch, with transphobic activism such as this, it makes the old HRC / Trans rift seem nothing more than than an agrument between two children. Robyn saw it like this, after reading the article in the Bilerco Project postings early this morning:

"Remind me not to invite this 'person' over for tea. And when the LGB's come over yet again and again looking for donations and handing out invitations for fundraising events for the 'cisgender agenda,' remind me to give them a copy of this article instead.

What is infuriating about this article, is that it cheerfully and without caution, threatening all the efforts and energy expended towards Trans inclusion as part of the Community. And the Tran's inclusion of the L's and G's and B's (said as a Community, of course). These comments make the old HRC / Trans rift seem like a childrens spat over which Barbie doll one gets to play with...

My point is simple: We should be working together as a Community for a purpose, that being inclusive and not devisive. Working my activism in the (St Louis) Community (which I do inclusivly for the ENTIRE community), I was appalled to find that in room of about 75 people (95% LGB), over two thirds of them thought that ENDA was something special for the Trans! When they heard that here in Missouri that they could be fired for being "LGB" they were totally shocked. Activism? Where in the hell were the LGB activists of STL? How come it took a TRANS activist to get them to listen?

This article is incredibly dumb. And don't get me riled up on the numbers of the Trans population, the fact is we haven't been counted. And with her transphobic approach to activism, maybe we never will. Thanks. Hmmmmm, checking in my bag, I have a few extra dollars...since I no longer need to earmark this for LGB causes, maybe a new pair of shoes is in order....(and the Revlon Red claws need sharpening)."

This 'T' isn't silent.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sees opposition to the Hate Crimes Law this way: The ones that oppose it, do so, simply for the fact it takes away from them, what they feel is a right to murder.

Robyn spoke at the Rainbow Alliance last evening, the LGTIQAXYZ123 ;) group at St Louis University. A cross between 'TRANS 101' and 'TransAction 101' she spoke on such things running from etiquette in conversation to hate crimes. She made the statement that the 'Trans are still so excluded, that Fred Phelps (GodHatesFags) doesn't even make a remark about them on his websites of hate.' The statement brought out a good laugh, but Robyn continued on, stating that 'actually it is a bad thought, in that his (Phelps) hate refuses to recognize the Trans as people.'

Friday, November 6, 2009

Remember the Maine - Tomorrow

Miss Robyn is 100% for Marriage Equality, Repeal of DOMA - she cannot get legally married either, being trans doesn't fix anything for her. BUT - ENDA is what is on the serving plate right now....are we going to sit here and bellyache about Maine, while we let ENDA go down the drain? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to hear anything about Maine right now. You should be on the phone, talking ENDA.

RevlonRobyn has been following a lot of the rhetoric from the 'mouths of babes' with regard the loss in Maine. People blaming these folks, those folks, HRC, etc. C'mon, get with it. Everyone instead of getting back to work on issues like that, are spending all that good activism energy writing letters blaming people, etc. on Maine. Duh. It's over, let's move out and work to correct that....

(feels good to stretch out the Revlon Red claws)