I don't really want to write about myself, actually. I should probably knock it off with the dramatic "I'm not blogging" posts and just say that I'm not going to write about myself very often.  But I will write or post something when it strikes my fancy.

There's this organization in Maryland, Equality Maryland, an LGBT rights group. There is a current controversy involving a bill before the Maryland House of Delegates, HB 235, which provides trans rights when it comes to things like employment, but excludes public accommodations. I've remained out of the debate since I don't fancy myself much of an activist nor do I live in Maryland.  And besides, I rely on myself.  Equality Maryland is for the bill. Many of my friends are against it.  You can read about the controversy by doing this Google search.

One of my friends reposted a picture from Equality Maryland's Facebook page. Oh, look. A man in a skirt. How nice.   Oh, he's holding up a big sign that says "ALLY."  Lovely.  Do the cisgender people who posted this image realize how insulting it is to transsexual women?  It's no different than if I attended, say, one of Martin Luther King's rally in blackface and claimed to be an ally. It's insulting. Exactly the same image that groups like the Traditional Values Coalition exploit. If you go to that link, one of the first things you'll see is this line: "Do you want men in dresses teaching your kids?"  You know, TVC, if you need a picture for your hate campaign, EQMD has one for you.

The picture, posted by a so-called ally, is exactly why transsexual/intersex people cannot rely on LGBT groups, transgender people, or gender queer people to speak for them. They do not speak for us.  As well-intentioned as they might be.  It amazes me that a so-called ally doesn't realize how insulting this is.  It blows my mind, actually.  What it tells me is that my goals are not aligned with this group's goals.  It tells me that this group has an underlying ignorance about the issues which transsexual women face.  This is why I cannot and will not rely on such groups to help me find my way.  I go it on my own, and find my own way, as a strong woman.

You know who speaks for me?  Me.  Not Equality Maryland.  And certainly not this guy.  And besides, that's a really ugly skirt.



He's also standing in a way that no one who actually wears a skirt for real (or even a kilt) would stand. Idiot.

Oh please ladies! You're taking yourselves way too seriously. If you are offended by that picture, then you must really be insecure. No cis person will look at that picture, and think any less of you because of it. More likely than not, they will get a smile on their face, and think how courageous that young man was, to put an a skirt to show his solidarity with you.

Melissa XX

If he wants to wear an ugly skirt that in no way matches his ugly tie and stand like a douche-bearded backpacked twit...hell, I don't think anyone is trying to take that right away from him. He can do that all day long with his badly painted sign and then go lift up his little attempt and being...whatever...and pee at a urinal before going off to stay any old place he wants because he doesn't need protection when it comes to accommodations.

He is not our "ALLY" as most of the LGBT organizations are not really our allies because we are generally not on their radar except as a bit of extra lip service and they will always say that anyone who complains that they are not working in our interests is a fringe dweller (ha) who does not see the bigger picture of why, say, DADT repeal is more important that a fully empowered ENDA and we need to just be good little girls and boys and fall in line and wave our rainbow flags and mindlessly accept whatever they are selling.

What's happening in Maryland is not surprising. And you're right, Faline. We are best helped by helping ourselves.


I don't have a problem with a man wearing a skirt, or with such people supporting LGBT causes, but neither men in ridiculous skirts, LGBT organizations, nor TG activists speak for me. I'm doing fine without their assistance, thank you. :)

OK, I did a bit of homework (not the homework I'm supposed to be doing), so I have a little more idea of what's up with HB-235.

As for gay "allies," even though I no longer read Bilerico, I saw enough there to know that even the best-intentioned just don't get it. I don't think they try not to get it. It's just outside their ability to comprehend.


I don't think anyone here was personally offended by the picture. I know I wasn't. It's more about what it represents, and the kind of use a group like TVC could put it to.

I think you're being a little unfair, ladies. Really.

Here's this chap, it's probably taken him some amount of courage to don a skirt, have his photo taken and wave sign saying "Equality Now". He's supporting equality with a smile - isn't that worth something?

Does anyone know if he's gay? Does it matter? What does his sexuality have to do with any of his ideas, his expression, anyway? Isn't criticizing him a little mean? So what if the protest isn't quite what you'd want - it's a sentiment expressed; quite a noble sentiment, actually. (Are you going to argue against it because of how it's delivered? No? I didn't think so.) What - are you going to reject equality, or the man's support, because he has a beard and is wearing a skirt? It's not a caricature, it's an expression of support.

Don't shoot the messenger, ladies (you have Anne to do that). Embrace them in their efforts, and perhaps guide them. But please don't shoot the chap supporting equality. He has enough bulls eyes on him without those he clearly seeks to support painting their own targets on his chest.

Carolyn Ann

Yes, I am arguing against it because of how it's delivered. It's delivered as a caricature of a trans person.

Like I said in the post, I could paint my face black and claim to be supporting racial equality. But that wouldn't be an expression of support, it would be a caricature.

The point of the post is not necessarily to criticize this individual. The point is that a group like EQMD chooses to put this particular photo on their Facebook Wall. And that they don't get it. How could anyone get it, who isn't transsexual?

P.S. After quite the outcry on the photo comments, EQMD has removed this picture from their Facebook page.

I didn't see the pict, nor do I live in MD, so I'll refrain from commenting on those directly. But, as a general observation, clearly there is still a need to educate. If those who are "allies" don't get it, how can we expect the broader society to get it? Do people really think this is about wearing skirts and high heals? Is that the general perception? I don't wear either of those any more than any other woman, because I'm not really any different than any other woman. The sooner we start getting that message across, the better off we'll all be. Unless of course there are some who want to be perceived as being different, then by all means have at it, but please let me off the bus first...

I disagree that it's a caricature, Faline. I think it's just an inept attempt at expressing support. I agree that Equality Maryland should have figured out that this picture wasn't communicating what they wanted to communicate...

On another note, I didn't read your original post carefully; as a result, I came to the wrong conclusion. Sorry! :-) <-Embarrassed smiley.

Well then, if this man in a skirt IS NOT a caricature, then what is he supporting? The right of men to wear skirts?, (No problem, here).

OR...Is he supporting the right of that man in a skirt to use "public accomodations", IE te ladies bathroom?

Why does a change of wardrobe suddenly endow a man with the "RIGHT" to equal access? I mean, why bother with the skirt?

What shoud be noted is that these so called "allies" are NOT our allies. They are interested in THEIR agenda NOT ours. The are denigrating who we are by either claiming t be the "same/equal" or...claiming we are "artificial" psuedo-women.

A caricature has exaggerated elements; the chap in the picture doesn't have any. He's quite ordinary looking, except for the skirt. At most it's an inept signal of support for the transgender and transsexual communities and individuals.

As I've said, I don't know the context of the picture. So I have no idea what he's supporting. He clearly supports equality, but beyond that I have no idea when the picture was taken and its context. I don't suppose you do, either. (I like your sudden leaps of logic, Anne. They're always so facile.)

Well, "dearie", if you would do you homework, you might understand.

Homework? What on? Your inability to spell? The relative coherence of your rants? Your grasp of logic? The fact that you can't tell the difference between a sign-carrying, strangely attired, man striking a silly pose and a caricature? What do I need to study up on, Anne?

I will ignore your typical male ad hominems and and offer you some actual facts.


Like I said: inept. And in that context, insulting.

I think you'll find, if you read my blog, that I've long said the gay community are no allies of the transgendered and transsexual communities. (I say the same thing about feminist groups, too, but that's a different topic.)

Equality Maryland is the typical gay-rights organization: transphobic except when they need to be inclusive. They recognize that truly awful truth about conservatives: the transgendered or transsexual woman is more "icky" than the homosexual guy. If getting protection for the gay community means leaving the transgendered* community behind - that's what they'll do. With nary a backward glance, never mind a pang of conscience. I've been saying this for years! (I'm trying to think if I've ever been proven wrong on that... And I'm not coming up with anything.)

But that's all it is: inept and insulting in that context. It borders on the facetious, but just manages to avoid being that. Other than that: I'm not sure why anyone is surprised a gay rights group discards the transgendered*.

* I think it bears noting that those who eagerly toss you from the bus don't particularly care about your differentiations.

(Good grief. I find myself generally agreeing with Anne; only the broad strokes, but still. Whatever next? ;-) )

Indeed! Whatever next?

You guys are really disgusting! Seriously you are sick fucks! It's just a guy in a skirt!!!

And you're an idiot with no name. :-)

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When I transitioned, there just weren't too many blogs out there written by straight, transitioned women. Well, here's one.

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