Sunday, April 6, 2014

In Re: Straight Man plays Transwoman

Since apparently every trans person in required to have an opinion, and there is also apparently only one correct one, a couple of things to say. In "Dallas Buyers Club," Jared Leto plays a transwoman in the movie. This is "wrong," I'm told, for many reasons.
Honestly, I don't care. No, really. For many reasons! One, I don't know how the role evolved, what the intent of the producers was, or the actor. Two, no tranperson even tried out for the part, so what, they should have been required to go out and find one? Three, the incessant lecturing of the transadvocacy people, rather than conversations, doesn't do any good. Four, who plays what does nothing to my own sense of myself. What, "oh no, a guy played someone somewhat like me, I'm worth less than I thought," am I supposed to think that? That seems to be one of the points being made, on behalf of the "trans community," which always wants to speak for me.
Well, no. And getting myself worked into a lather over it is a waste of my time. I have far, far better things to do with it. I've said it many times, but I'm a parent, a volunteer, I'm a good employee, I help people lose weight in my own small part, keep score for numerous high school contests, and lots of other things. Trans comes far down on that list. Oh yes, it's part of who I am, but it's not something I'm proud of; it just is. I hope my just being me, and interacting with people daily, can show people what a transperson is. I think it's a much better way to do so than lecturing about why someone getting a movie role is unfair.
This is an unpopular stance. I'm *supposed* to be upset about it. But I'm not. And when this blows over, there will be another thing I'm supposed to be angry and upset and organizing petitions for. Sorry, I'm done with it. Transadvocacy has taken it's turn towards lecture, be angry, declaring any out-of-step thought as phobia, bigotry, and discrimination, and generally a lot of shouting. I'm out. I'll be over here, living my life (which was what it was all about, being able to live my life without hating myself), and hopefully being a good example. And having a far better time doing it, I suspect.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Perception and Anger

Reference Liz's blog again.

It's pretty sad when someone has only their anger to sustain them.  Did I not say, in my previous post, that Kosilek has won the case, and the appeal?  Therefore Kosilek gets the surgery?

If it is medically necessary, in Kosilek's case, by this decision and it's appeal, then Kosilek legally has the right to receive it. 

Why yes, I did.  But faux moral outrage (there's that phrase again, funny how that keeps coming up) tends to blind a person to what's actually being said, and only hear what they want to hear.

It's about perception, Liz.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Legal is one thing, public opinion is another.  It would seem, despite your insistence that my aim is to dismantle the Constitution and throw the United States back into the dark ages (uh oh, that sounds like outrage), that I did indeed agree with you.  See above, and the previous post that I quoted.  I haven't said it is illegal, at all.  Rather, it's about perception.

Lets look at a few things that are legal, shall we?

One, the previously mentioned O.J. Simpson case.  He did not commit murder, legally.  Has that mattered since the day he was found not guilty?  Not a bit.  He was outcast, regardless of that verdict.  No one cared that he was not guilty.  It was the perception of what occurred that mattered.

Two, the Affordable Care Act.  Entirely legal, since it was passed by Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court.  Nevertheless, the last poll I looked at, 59% of those polled said its a "bad law," by the poll's question.  Again, it's legal.  That doesn't matter to a majority of the country, plus or minus 3 percentage points, certainly.  Their perception of the law is that it's bad, in spite of everything that's being said for it's good.  My opinion on it doesn't matter here, either, it's how it is being seen.

Three, NSA data gathering.  Legal again.  Affirmed by many challenges and rulings.  Yet it seems to have ticked off numerous other countries around the world, and not a few citizens of the U.S., as well.  But it's legal!  That didn't stop Mr. Snowden, though; he's hailed as bringing to light quite an outrageous chain of events by many.  Is the law all that matters here, too?  Or is the public perception here to be dismissed?

Perception.  It can make things far more miserable for someone, or a group, than having the law on one's side.

None of what I say, of course, matters.  You want to be angry.  You are angry at the world, angry at anyone who disagrees with you and your moral position.  I'm sure you'll tell me that I'm fake, "faux,"  and have internalized transphobia again or something, so you can feel smug and superior.  You'll rail at me, or someone else who doesn't accept you and your positions absolutely, no doubt publicly, and think you've scored points.  But you'll still be angry.  

Anger is an awfully consuming emotion.  It's sad to see someone so driven by it, and unable to let it go.  There's a whole world out there, just waiting to have you.  But you'll choose the insular world where everyone you keep handy agrees with you, and you can be angry with everything that's outside it, I have no doubt.  And everyone outside moves further and further away, until there's only you, all alone.  

Go ahead, be angry with me for saying that.  You can even have the last, triumphant, vitriolic word over at your place.  Because I'm moving away, too.  One less person to rail against.  You win!  

Or have you, really?

A Shrill Transsexual Harpy Responds

Someone's had some things to say about and to me, after misrepresenting things that I have said, and has decided to take it personal on her own blog, which can be found at this location.  My response to her follows.  LizMarie's blog will be quoted in blue below.

A federal judge upheld the right of a transgender inmate to receive gender confirmation surgery at the expense of the state. As usual, a particular crowd of transgender voices arise at this “outrage”, about how the “community” brings “shame” upon ourselves because some of us supported this decision. Since I cannot post my unfettered thoughts elsewhere, where these harpies gather like shrill ravens shouting down anyone who disagrees with them, I’ll post my thoughts here. What follows is what I would have addressed to these irrational, illogical, constitutional defying shrill voices of faux moral outrage had I been allowed to say it where it should have been said.

Well, right off the bat, I seem to have hit a nerve.  Name calling right at the beginning of a long diatribe never bodes well.  Let's review my position, before we go any further, for those new to the discussion.  One Michelle Kosilek, convicted of murdering their own spouse, has sued the state of Massachusetts, as an inmate sentenced to life without parole, to have state-funded sex reassignment surgery.  The suit was successful, and reaffirmed on appeal.  I have taken no position on whether this is medically necessary or not, I haven't the slightest idea about Kosilek's medical history.  Rather, I have asked if this is really what the Transgender Community ("the Community," from now on) wants to support, as many of them are, as a means to getting this covered by health insurance and government-funded insurance.  I think that's a bad idea, since backing  a convicted killer, whether their case has merit or not, does not, in my opinion, project a very good image of the Community, and gives the impression that whatever it takes to get what we want, we'll do, including building off of the tragedy of someone being dead to put this person in prison in the first place, to enable the lawsuit. 

Some of you seem to hold the notion that prison should be cruel and unusual punishment, despite a clear constitutional prohibition against the same.
Some of you seem to want to pick and choose what the government is allowed to call “medically necessary”.
Some of you seem to want to deny that the AMA and APA have stated that GCS can be “medically necessary” in specific cases.
Some of you seem to want to deny the long standing legal finding that anyone in prison is thus a ward of the state and the state is therefore mandatorily obligated to provide “medically necessary” health care, because the state has removed the opportunity for the individual to do so themselves.
Given the above, the decision of the judge follows in clear black and white logic.
Some of you seem to not give a damn about the US constitution, two hundred years of legal precedents, the advancement of modern medicine, and the formal recognition by the scientific community that being transgender is a medical condition.

I haven't, but that won't stop you.  I've specifically avoided saying anything about whether or not this person should receive any such service.  I agree that it's a medical condition.  I don't know how I couldn't, given my own history.  Nor have I said anything about the legalities, due process, precedents, or the Constitution.  Precedents do certainly seem to be on your mind, though.

Here’s a hint – if GCS is medically optional for this prisoner, it is medically optional for every single one of you too. If it is medically optional for this prisoner, and not covered, then it should legally not be covered for you either.

 Actually, since I'm not an inmate of a correctional facility, the case is quite irrelevant to me, since whether and service for SRS for me is between me, my doctors, and my medical insurance provider, and what their policy states.  It's legal for them to either cover, or not cover, the procedure, and for, in my case, my employer, as the owner of the policy, to decide whether or not it is included in the policy they are buying.  I'm just glad that it was covered.  Again, nowhere have I said whether it's necessary or optional, but that just gets in the way of a good rant, doesn't it?

I don’t care of you like or dislike this human being. I certainly don’t. I think what she did was reprehensible. But you cannot play the selective game with medically necessary treatment without also establishing legal precedent that it is therefore selective for everyone else,  including you.

I hadn't commented on this before, but I will now.  No, Liz, it has nothing to do with whether insurance covers me, or you.  It is only about whether an inmate in a prison in the state of Massachusetts can receive a medical procedure and have it paid for by the state.  This is what you fail to see.  You seem to think that this will set a precedent for every other possible case.  How?  One, it involves state funds, in one state.  This will do nothing to affect anyone covered by private insurance.  Two, it is for a ward of the state, under the care of the state.  Again, that does not affect those that are not wards of the state.  This is a very narrow decision, that would have to be stretched two different ways, to private insurance, to the general public, in order for this to affect people outside this narrow window.

Is it medically necessary for this person to receive this procedure?  I don't know; I said before that I don't know Kosilek's history.  And that's the thing.  Nor do you, unless you are somehow privy to their medical case history.  I said before, I do agree that it's a medical condition.  If it is medically necessary, in Kosilek's case, by this decision and it's appeal, then Kosilek legally has the right to receive it.  You certainly want it to be.

There is a word for the short-sighted thinking you present and that word is hypocrisy. I would suggest you reconsider the legal and logical ramifications of your short sighted position, but I know better than that. That’s simply impossible for those motivated by such hypocrisy. Your quasi-moral outrage appears to be more important to you than consistency of legal application of the law in light of the AMA’s position on transsexual surgical health care. Your faux moral outrage defies facts and logic before the law but you’d rather “feel good” about your faux moral outrage than have consistent and fair legal precedents.

I am hardly hypocritical in my stance in regard to Community support for convicted murderers.  My opinion on that has not changed since day one of the Kosilek case.  Short sighted?  Actually, no, I'm looking quite a bit further down the line.  I'm looking at what this can do to others' opinions of the Community.  What it can do to support of the Community, when they see a Community backing a convicted killer's case, legal or not, just on the small hope that it might get them something, too.  Hypocrisy?  Hardly.  You don't care how this looks.  Your moral outrage here, is it because of people not supporting a legal decision?  Just off the top of my head, I recall the criminal case of O.J. Simpson.  That was a legally rendered verdict of not guilty.  Did you have an opinion there?  Was it, like it or not, that this is what was legally decided, therefore it must be?  What you have failed to see, time and again, is how supporting a convicted killer appears to the rest of the general public.  You don't care that it might just come back to bite you; this could erode support for your trans brothers and sisters, all so you can get your own piece of the action. 

I've actually listened to people about this, Liz.  People being who they are, and assuming since you're trans, you must have an opinion about every trans subject, were bringing it up with me at my favorite local eating establishment, back when the first decision was made, before the appeal, and it was appearing on news pages all over the web.  They honestly couldn't figure out how people were behind this person.  "How could people like you want that person to get that?" was actually asked of me, by one.  Basically the same question, in nicer terms, was put to me several times.  How should I have answered, Liz?  They obviously already have an opinion of the Community.  They have an opinion of the Community position on it.  People think it is abhorrent to support a murderer.  There is no positive spin to it, in the general public's eye.  That won't stop you, though. 

And yes, a Community can choose whom or what they will support.  Yes, it's legal.  I do not dispute that, nor have I previously.  Just because it's legal doesn't mean they have to appear to support the person behind the case.  Referring back to Mr. Simpson, he was legally found not guilty, but didn't seem to get much support after that.  Why is that?  Could it be that, despite being found not being guilty, no one wanted to be associated with a person that was morally reprehensible?  Was that fair?  Yet here we have another person that is morally reprehensible, you've said so yourself.  Yet you are willing to set that aside, and would have the community set that aside, so that you can have that chance of stretching a legal ruling about a prisoner and state-funded medical coverage to somehow legally include everyone.  I am not, because it does no one any favors when trying to convince people that yes, indeed, this is something that should be seen as medical.  All this does is irritate people and bring into question what the Community is thinking.
And yet some of you wonder why we have so much trouble getting insurance coverage for GCS for the rest of us? Go look in the mirror. You are why so many of us have such trouble. YOU  are the problem! You! Because as soon as you argue that this procedure is not medically necessary for Michelle Kosilek, you have argued that it is not medically necessary for you either. If you, as a layman, call into question the diagnosis of medical professionals in one case, you have created the legal basis for a layman to question that diagnosis in every other case.

Exactly.  You wonder why it's so hard for people to get coverage for SRS.  It's my fault.  Mmm-hmm.  But wait a minute, I haven't questioned the diagnosis, because I don't know how that was made, I've already said that.  Perhaps you might want to look in that mirror.  It's all about getting that coverage, isn't it?  Back the person, then.  Tell people how the chain of events that started with someone killing their spouse, is going to help you get coverage now, too!  See how much support you get from them, for your GCS coverage.  If you, and the Community, are willing to use this example, this very one here, as the reason everyone should have coverage, then I believe it is you and the Community that are the ones making it more difficult for everyone else.  I'm not having a problem looking into that mirror.  How is it when you look in it?

There is no such thing as a "legal basis" for such a diagnosis, despite your argument here.  A medical diagnosis is made by a medical doctor, no one else.  That diagnosis may be entered as evidence in a legal case.  A judge decides the legality.

So the next time a trans brother or sister wonders aloud why getting coverage for GCS is such a legal mess, please have the courage to stand up and say, “Me! Me! I’m the one who screwed you over, for my faux moral outrage! You’re welcome!” But I’ll bet not one of you has the guts to stand up and take responsibility for what you represent. Not one.

I'm already standing up, LizMarie.  I am quite comfortable with myself, and what I see from others tells me what they think of your position.  Faux moral outrage, indeed.  I seem to detect a large amount of that, rising from your blog.  Your motives are quite clear.  Spin the spin machine, never mind what this person has done, and get yourself what you want.

But please, keep calling me names, if it makes you feel better.  I won't be the one whose still stomping up and down, desperately trying to get people's attention, and not understanding why they keep moving farther and farther away.  Perhaps it's all of that moral outrage that's hitting them in the face.