Republicans Try to “Stomp a Mudhole” in Trans* Rights

Vandy Beth Glenn showed up for work on October 31st, 2006 wearing a conservative black skirt and red turtleneck sweater. Although it was Halloween, her outfit was not a costume. Glenn, who was working as a legislative editor in the Georgia General Assembly, had recently come out to her immediate supervisor as transgender, and the two of them agreed that the holiday was the perfect time to begin her workplace transition. “I don’t think anything could have turned me back at that point,” said Glenn. “I reached a point in my life where I said it was time to stop fronting.”

Her department head, Georgia Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby, reacted with horror at her outfit and promptly fired her, arguing that not doing so “would be extremely harmful to our work operations.” Despite the fact that Glenn worked in a windowless office and had minimal contact with legislators, Brumby feared that “some members of the legislature would view that taking place in our office as perhaps immoral, perhaps unnatural, and perhaps, if you will, liberal or ultra-liberal.” As for his own feelings on trans women, Brumby added: “it makes me think about things that I don’t like to think about, particularly at work… I think it’s unsettling to think of someone dressed in women’s clothing with male sexual organs inside that clothing.” Um, do you normally go around picturing your coworkers’ genitals all day? Because that is super creepy.

Glenn filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against her former employer, and last month an 11th Circuit panel ruled that her termination violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and amounted to sex discrimination. The ruling concluded that “a government agent violates the Equal Protection Clause’s prohibition of sex-based discrimination when he or she fires a transgender or transsexual employee because of his or her gender non-conformity.”

Vandy Beth Glenn and her lawyer

Kristina Wertz, Policy Director of the Transgender Law Center, explains why this ruling is so significant:

“Essentially, the Court said that when an employer makes a decision based on someone’s lack of adherence to narrow gender stereotypes, that decision is based on sex- and that’s against the law…The Court said that all people are entitled to protection from sex discrimination- including transgender people.”

Vikram Swaruup, former Legal Intern at TLC and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, adds that the ruling “is important because a number of federal laws protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of sex, while no federal laws protect on the basis of gender identity or expression. As a result, the Court’s recognizing this broader understanding of sex is critical for protecting the rights of trans* and gender non-conforming people.”

This ruling is one of several reasons why 2011 has been called a year of significant progress in the struggle for trans* equality. Two weeks into the new year, the Republicans are hard at work trying to fuck it all up. Mitt Romney firmly opposes last month’s 11th Circuit ruling, arguing recently that federal workplace protections for LGBTQ people would “open a litigation floodgate and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges.”

And then there’s Tennessee. The state legislature has repeatedly attacked queer people- anyone remember “Don’t Say Gay”? This time, one state Senator is focusing his attention on where trans* people pee. Richard Floyd (R – as if that’s a surprise) has introduced a bill ironically titled the “Bathroom Harassment Act”, which “restricts access to public restrooms and public dressing rooms designated by sex to members of that particular sex.” And since Tennessee does not allow the sex marker on one’s birth certificate to be changed, the bill would essentially make it illegal for any trans* person to use the restroom that corresponds with their true gender. This means that I would be arrested and fined $50 unless I used the men’s restroom.

He Thinks We Belong in the Same Bathroom

And what if Richard Floyd came across a trans woman walking into the women’s dressing room? Here’s the violent, transphobic answer in his own words:

“I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry. Don’t ask me to adjust to their perverted way of thinking and put my family at risk. We cannot continue to let these people dominate how society acts and reacts. Now if somebody thinks he’s a woman and he’s a man and wants to try on women’s clothes, let him take them into the men’s bathroom or dressing room.”

There you have it, fellow trans ladies! Richard Floyd has vowed to stomp mudholes (sounds painful!) in us unless we agree to tinkle alongside him in public restrooms or try on clothes where he can keep an eye on us. And he could “care less” what we or any other queer advocacy groups think. See for yourself in this extended interview he gave to a local TV station:

Why are transphobic politicians so concerned about where I pee? Even last year’s much-celebrated Massachusetts equal rights bill only passed after supporters agreed to drop provisions for “public accommodations”, allowing opponents of the bill to declare a “victory for the safety, privacy and modesty of women and children who expect to be safe and secure in public bathrooms.” It makes me sad that some people assume that I’m a threat to women and children simply because I am trans.  Would it really be less awkward if I were forced to use the men’s restroom instead? All of this “bathroom panic” reminds me of the homophobic public service videos from the 1960s that equated being gay with pedophilia. Then and now, the scaremongering has no substance behind it. The truth is that here has never been a documented case of a trans* person assaulting someone in a public restroom or dressing room (but there have been numerous cases of cis people attacking trans* people in these spaces). And as long as our politicians continue to ignore this fact, full trans* equality will never become a reality. Don’t stomp a mudhole in me, Richard Floyd —  just let me pee in peace.

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I'm a 23 year old femme lesbian living in SF. Once upon a time, I was a USC frat boy ;) I ♥ music so please recommend your favorite artists to me!

annika has written 21 articles for us.


  1. “Um, do you normally go around picturing your coworkers’ genitals all day? Because that is super creepy.”

    This was pretty much the only bright spot in this article. I died.

    This is all so frustrating and ridiculous. Also another reason why I keep arguing with my friends about why increased states’ rights is a terrible idea. Because crazy, violent, transphobic people like this dude are in the legislatures of a lot of states, particularly the southern ones.

    Thank you for this article, these are the types of issues more people need to be aware of.

    • I also adored that line.
      Autostraddle: making depressing news hilarious.

      Thanks for the great article.

  2. Thanks for this article Annika!!

    Super frustrating and a reminder that trans issues will be swept right under the table if we can’t all align in support.

  3. I doubt Richard Floyd has ever even talked to a trans* person. If he had, he would know that trans* people are, in fact, people. And that changing your gender presentation to match your true gender does not transform you into a crazed, predatory lunatic.
    He’s obviously confused and that confusion has led to fear and hatred, which is a truly sad and all too common occurrence.
    Thank you Annika for this article… I think all members of the LGBTQ community need to band together and love each other to combat hate.

    • I am always so amazed at this ‘crazy, predatory lunatic’ rhetoric regardless who it’s about, be it trans* people, heterosexual men of colour, bisexual women, gay men, anyone who doesn’t ‘conform’. Why, on earth, are white straight old dudes so afraid of this type stuff?

  4. The answer to “Um, do you normally go around picturing your coworkers’ genitals all day?” is clearly yes. SO creepy.

    And because he can’t help himself from imagining what you got going on in everyone’s pants, we shouldn’t be allowed to express our gender the way we see fit. We should express our gender the way HE sees fit. That’s how democracy works, right?

    Also: since when does any minority, much less trans* folks, “dominate the way society acts and reacts” to anything? Yo, Dick, how’s about you crack open your dictionary and look up the words “oppression” and “privilege.” Maybe even search around the internets for helpful examples of these terms. Cuz you need to check that monstrous, hulking privilege of yours. It’s gross.

  5. From my limited British understanding, I’d have to say that the idea of increasing the power given to states over their own laws such as equality laws, seems a teensy bit silly. Every time I see a story like this it makes me thankful I live in this country, which despite a reputation for old fashioned traditional views is currently pushing forward with many equality laws with much less opposition from extremists, because they realise here that its just not worth fighting the way the world is turning, EQUALITY IS HAPPENING!

    • True dat.
      I sometimes feel like here in the Ukay we don’t talk about issues like this enough in public, but to be honest, I like that we don’t have crazy uneducated people talking crazy uneducated nonsense and actually being allowed to propose that people do the crazy uneducated stuff they suggest.
      I mean obviously we have crazy uneducated people who say crazy uneducated things sometimes, but you can’t get away with much without radio 4 listeners blowing up ofcom because Clarkson’s angry about muslim lesbian women and every time a politician speaks, someone does a protest / riot.
      Ahhh to be English.

      Seriously though, I can’t believe that some silly man who thinks a woman who was born with male genitalia is an immediate threat to women is not only NOT tucked away in a nursing home where care workers nod as they swiftly push them up against the window and leave them to rant at the birds, but he is an actual honest to goodness politician??

      • I just want to say I love Radio 4. So much. They can do no wrong, apart from You and Yours, srsly that programme is full of shit.

      • If we had a politician like that, these days he’d be laughed at (see Nick Griffin). I think sometimes our small size helps because the government doesn’t need to rely on the counties to police themselves as much as in america, where they have nearly 5 times our population to govern, some delegation is needed. But if someone as paint sniffing crazy as this guy is allowed power, I think there may be something gone slightly wrong…

    • Actually, in the current state of things, it’s a *good* thing for LGBTQ people. The relevant amendment in the U.S. Constitution is the 14th, in combination with various other federal laws such as the civil and voting rights act, and americans with disabilities act. As currently interpreted, protected classes (aka, those groups which cannot be discriminated against) in the federal interpretation are race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (over 40). Because the 14th amendment was incorporated some time ago (aka, it applies to state law as well as federal law) states cannot make laws that conflict with it.

      This is all well and good, but as you might notice, the current interpretation says nothing about sexual orientation or gender identity / expression. Sooo many of our more liberal states have in the past two decades or so taken it upon themselves to pass their own anti-discrimination laws that add protections for those classes and act in concert with protections already granted via the 14th amendment.

      Obviously it’s not great that current federal law does not afford such protections to all citizens regardless of the state they live in, but the courts are catching up, and will get there eventually (as the 11th circuit did). In the meantime, it’s nice that some stats *have* been able to extend such protections. If the states had no ability to do so, then none of us would be protected until the federal government dragged its ass in line. Even if we lived in liberal states…

      • A good basic education in American law there :)
        That’s all very good, and I’m glad to see that the liberal states are making good use of their freedom to implement new laws to protect those who are not currently protected under the 14th amendment, its just a shame that some people try and abuse that exact same freedom. By the sounds of it the only way to stop them is to pass another amendment, or something similar, on a national scale, because it seems that due to the very nature of a democracy, these bigoted politicians gaining power are representing the views of not just themselves but of a significant portion of their state, and you can’t really tell them that they aren’t allowed to stand, as that would be infringing their right to stand for office. It’s the people who need to be educated, as is rightly stated so often. It happens in Britain a lot, I don’t know if its come to the attention of the Americans yet but Sean Bean, of Game of Thrones fame, is playing a trans character in a tv series soon, and hopefully this will bring the truth of trans issues to as many people as possible. With such a big name as Sean Bean playing the role, it should garner a lot of viewers!

        • Legislation is one way to go. But, fortunately, the courts are an alternative option. As more and more circuits do what the 11th did just recently, protections will expand across the country. If a case ever makes its way to the Supreme Court, then a recognition of the 14th amendment reaching to sexual orientation or gender identity would extend those protections to every citizen overnight.

          Of course, the downside to this is the pace. Legislation is faster, as court cases take years to progress to the appellate level (and even longer to the supreme court). The judicial route also usually requires at least one person to be hurt by a law before it can be challenged (the “actual case or controversy” requirement… I’m sure the UK has something similar). In some cases a law could be challenged before it affected anyone directly, though, to prevent it from affecting people while the case was pending the litigants pursuing the case would need to get an injunction from a district court, a difficult task for completely separate reasons.

          Someday people will look back on this era and be dumbfounded that it took us this long and was this hard. I wish that day was tomorrow. But at least I’m able to believe that every day that goes by we get closer to that…

  6. There are SO MANY REASONS that so-called ‘bathroom panic’ is as ridiculous as it is horrible! In addition to the excellent points you make above, Annika, allow me to remind all the transphobic legislators and bathroom-users out there that we already have laws prohibiting men from assaulting women and children in bathrooms. They are the same ones that prohibit women – both trans* and cis – from assaulting other women and children in bathrooms! That’s right – the laws that prohibit physical assault, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. Turns out those laws apply everywhere, even in bathrooms! Who would have guessed??? So cut your transphobic shit out stat, m’kay? Because it’s incredibly hurtful and discriminatory, and it’s fucking pointless.

    • Thanks! I’d really encourage everyone to contact him about this, ESPECIALLY if you live in Tennessee. Here’s a sample text (feel free to copy, modify, improve, or post your own):


      I am appalled by your introduction of the so-called “Bathroom Harassment Act.” The bill has no purpose other than to alienate and degrade trans* people, particularly as it cannot be enforced in any practical manner. Further, the bill, while claiming to promote safety, does the opposite: trans* people are often the victims violence due to their gender presentations. Forcing these people to use a bathroom that conflicts with their gender amounts to intentionally placing people in potentially violent situations. Your blatant disregard for the citizens of your state is despicable. While the senate version of the bill has already been withdrawn, you owe your constituents a full apology for neglecting your duties as a civil servant and using your position to promote intolerance and hatred.

    • done! If everyone on Autostraddle emails this guy about his intolerant despicableness, maybe his inbox will be so flooded that he will have to listen to us.

  7. I know that there are mean politicians out there who hate us, but can I just say yay for starting workplace transitions on holidays? My first day was Valentine’s Day last year ♥

  8. Well this whole bill and Richard Floyd in general is so ridiculous I’d take up way too much space and time fully bitching about it. But what really puzzles me and has come up in recent media between discussion of Floyd’s bill and the “Girl Scout trans* panic” is the concern some people appear to have about the safety of others in bathrooms where trans* people are simultaneously present. Just like Annika said, there’s never been a documented case of a trans* person assaulting someone in any way in a dressing room or bathroom. It’s trans* people who worry for their safety and lives when they enter these intimate spaces that they have a RIGHT to. Forcing someone to use the bathroom of the opposite gender that they identify and represent as would cause a LOT more problems and discomfort than policing gender to this hateful and false standard. How would police even enforce this anyways? Would a genital inspection be taking place at all public restrooms and dressing rooms all over Tennessee? Maybe a chromosome test? Well I certainly feel bad for whoever’s job that is at Macy’s.

  9. Also, I find that the best policy against people like this is not to rant and rage at them over the phone with expletives and insults, but to let them rage until they pause for breath, then carry on with the good work of persuading the sane of why guys like Mr. Floyd should not have power over people they obviously have no respect for, let him stew in his own hate and see how happy he’ll leave himself and his family while the world becomes steadily more friendly around them

  10. Ugh, this is disgusting. :(

    How does Floyd expect to be able to police this law, anyway? Have the police cruise bathrooms and pick up anyone who they perceive as too masculine/too feminine for whichever bathroom that person is exiting? Not that the police don’t *already* harass people entering and exiting bathrooms even in places where no laws about who can enter which bathroom are in place…

    If you guys haven’t already seen it, you should watch “Toilet Training” by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. They give a much better, more in-depth perspective on this issue than I ever could.

    This law is insulting and dangerous for all the reasons people mentioned above and more. It dismisses the gender identity of trans individuals, conflates trans people with pedophiles and rapists, and implies that not only are gender and sex the same thing, but that they’re both obvious from a glance when in many cases that simply isn’t the case. I pass pretty well for male when I do drag, if I do say so myself. :P

    (Annika, this is way off topic, but you are super cute in that picture!)

  11. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t there stalls in public bathrooms? Or is there some super special kind of bathroom in Tennessee where people pee in toilets with no stall, kind of like in prison?

    If you are that afraid of someone with different genitals or chromosomes coming into your sacred pee spot and watching you, use a damn stall!

    And dressing rooms have doors too. It’s not like there’s some big secret room where all the women (or men) change in front of each other and give each other makeovers and say “OMG that bra is so cute!” (Although if there were, I would totally want to hang out in there like a creeper.)

    • Not all dressing rooms have doors or stalls or private areas to change in. They’re rare but they do happen.

  12. What does “stomping a mudhole” in someone even mean? Stomping holes in people is physically impossible unless the stompee is made out of tissue paper.

    His argument is nonsense, and his threats are nonsense.

  13. “I don’t try to impose my personal preferences and convictions on those people.”

    I’m pretty sure that passing a law designed to make you feel comfortable in a situation that you probably wouldn’t even know was happening is actually imposing your personal preferences on people.

    I wonder if he realizes that by passing this he isn’t just preventing transwomen from using the ladies restrooms but he’s forcing transmen to use them instead? Like I don’t think that’s occurred to him yet?

    • My girlfriend gets confused for a guy all the time in the restroom. Women look at her and gasp, like, Oh my God there’s a man in here! She is definitely masculine of center, but still identifies as a girl. So if she elicits that kind of response, I feel like trans guys in women’s restrooms would get chased out by little old ladies wielding heavy purses.

      Clearly this guy hasn’t thought this through.

    • It seems to me like most transphobic people aren’t even actually aware that transmen exist. Everytime I read about one of them spouting nonsensical BS about trans* people they only ever talk about transwomen, so I’m pretty sure they either just don’t know or somehow think transmen and butch lesbians are the same thing (since for them transwomen are “men in women clothes” they must believe the same thing the other way around too).

      Anyway, as Annika implied in the article I’m pretty sure all those assholes portraying gay and trans* people as creeps and sexual offenders are exactly the fucking creeps they say we are themselves, they’re projecting so much I wonder how comes their arms haven’t fall off yet.

      • it’s funny, it seems like he just doesn’t want anyone with a penis to use the women’s bathroom, yet this law would force trans men, some of whom have penises, to use the women’s bathroom…

  14. So I wasn’t familiar with this particular phrase to “stomp a mudhole” so I decided I’d look it up on Urban Dictionary.

    1. To tear someone a new ass, to beat them to near death or to otherwise hurt someone to the point that they can not fight back.

    When I read that I was in awe, that this person thinks it’s acceptable to openly discuss beating someone to near death, regardless of who they are or what they are doing. I can’t imagine, even in cases of self defense a point where this would be ok, and yet he offers a situation where no threat is present and yet still intends to beat someone to near death.

    It isn’t just the dehumanization and transphobia that I find appalling, it’s the brazen manner in which he openly discussing hurting another human being.

    What terrifies me, though, is the idea that there are many others who feel just the same but don’t have a public platform.

    This all goes back to the bathroom panic thing and some weird trope that LGBT, especially our trans brothers and sisters, are violent attackers and deviants. I don’t know where the hell this trope came from, but it’s got to stop, for the sake of treating people as human beings.

    • “When I read that I was in awe, that this person thinks it’s acceptable to openly discuss beating someone to near death”

      An elected official no less. It’s really disgusting.

    • Thanks for looking this up for us. I had no idea what it meant but thought it sounded disturbingly violent – it’s even worse than I thought. He is essentially threatening to carry out a hate crime against trans women just for using the bathroom… and yet he thinks trans people are the threat to safety? What. The. Hell.

  15. This is so terrible I don’t even know what to say.


    There is a really positively portrayed gender-nonconforming/trans* kid on the new show “House of Lies”. It’s only just started, but the kid’s father and grandfather are really supportive and the people who are weird/bigoted about it are portrayed as mean/stupid. It seemed pretty awesome to me (although I am only 1.5 episodes in).

  16. This reminds me of how fascinated my mother was by her coworker Judith, a transwoman and a very kind person. My mother had been very wary and scared of the idea of trans people until she met Judith, and she was like, oh she is juts a lady like me who has different struggles. If more of these asshat politicians had met people like Judith when they were young they wouldn’t be like this, which is why we need equality now, so more people will feel free to represent themselves truly, then everyone will know a transperson and some gay people and it’ll be no big deal. (This is my MLK day dream comment)

  17. This seems to be really, really relevant to the sex-ed article Autostraddle also ran today. Like, I feel like if the sorts of changes they’re trying to make over there (like teaching about gender identity and treating people like humans) were actually made, maybe people like Richard Floyd just wouldn’t exist, you know?

    Ignorance is our biggest enemy.

    • Which is why the Richard Floyd-types will fight the hardest to keep proper sex ed away from kids.

      You see, middlemuse, children just aren’t born with this kind of hate in ’em. The mudhole stompers have to keep the young away from the good, clean values all of us would like to see them raised in. Instead they want their own lessons of irrational fear for ‘others’ to be taught in our churches and schools. Bigotry like this is unnatural and can’t properly procreate. The practitioners of such have to make sure the next generation is left closed off and vulnerable to be recruited into their degenerate, alternative lifestyle of blind intolerance.

  18. Not to take away the horrible consequences this would have on our trans* friends, but doesn’t this dumbfuck realize that this law would affect parents of young children too? Now mothers are not allowed to bring their young sons into the women’s room, and fathers cannot bring their young daughters into the men’s room. Like. Really? REALLY? This is what you’re afraid of? Why not just make a law banning known sex criminals to enter public washrooms of the opposite gender SINCE THAT’S WHAT YOU CLAIM TO BE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT.

  19. I’m proud to say I live in Georgia where that court ruling happened. It’s not TOO surprising (still surprising though) that is happened here. We are often remarked as the gay mecca of the South, as I hear. Mr. A. Floyd (changed his name to “arsehole”) . . . Dude gives me shudders. He hatred is so deep to transpersons that he’s willing to make violent remarks. I bet he’s never actually talked to a transpersons. Maybe if he met a group of trans*, he would change his views.

  20. I was so happy to see you writing another article, Annika! I’m just sad it had to be because of this news. :(
    Also, this guy’s frighteningly violent attitude towards trans* people seems to be preventing him from seeing how COMPLETELY ILLOGICAL this bill is. Ugh it just makes me SO furious that people like this have to exist.

  21. 1. Vandy Beth Glenn is pretty.

    2. Trans* women = men who dress up in women’s clothes to steal their way into women’s rest- and changing rooms and molest America’s women and children. Finally someone with a plausible definition. #irony

  22. On a note which is unrelated to the tone of the story, how is it that you are so completely adorable?

  23. i know this geriatric bigot did not say he was going to “stomp a mudhole” in someone’s ass. i have four words for him: I WISH YOU WOULD. first of all, his old ass should already know it’s illegal to assault people. second, he’ll probably, and rightly so, get his own ass kicked for starting with people. third, he needs to get a fucking life and leave people the hell alone! crack open a book, look up transgenderism and transsexuality on google, and hell, here’s a COMPLETELY wild suggestion: talk to and get to know actual transfolks! i cannot even believe this asshole thinks it’s acceptable to make public announcements physically threatening people who might be his own constiuents! isn’t there some kind of legal censure or impeachment process they can put him through? it’s time for him to go, for real.

  24. UUUUUUGGGHHH. This is really dumb. You wrote a really good article about this really dumb thing, though, Annika. And I loved that picture, it made me laugh!

    Um, kind of unrelated but on a happier note this documentary looks like it could potentially be really good:

    And it could potentially help more people understand the humanity of trans* people and the very difficult struggles many trans* people face in staying true to who they are.

    • Don’t worry about it; I doubt most people do but it does serve an important purpose. I’ll do my best to explain.

      Essentially, there’s a tendency in the media and even among LGBT people to use “trans” as an abbreviation for transsexual, whereas there are many individuals and groups of people who might identify as transgender but not transsexual (e.g. genderqueer persons). Consciously applying the asterisk after “trans*” is an inclusive step, donating that the conversation is about all transgender persons.

    • Also, etymologically the asterisk comes from Boolean internet search engines, in which you can use * as a wildcard indicator to include suffixes, prefixes, etc. and not just the original word. It opens up searches to a wider range of results. example: searching ” Auto* ” might yield “automatic”, “Autostraddle”, “automobile”, etc.

      In a similar vein, the word ” trans* ” allows room for a broader range of people and identities than simply “transgender” or “transsexual”; it can, by extension, include transmasculine folks, transmen and transwomen, transvestites (though some people still use this term to refer to themselves, it’s now generally seen as pretty pejorative), and genderqueer or gender non-conforming people. Kinda like how “queer” is often used to denote a wide range of sexualities and identities.

      • I don’t want to derail this thread (even though the Tennessee bill is dead and isn’t going forward), but I do want to comment on the ‘asterisk after trans’ and the responses to it.

        Transgender is an umbrella term which absolutely includes all gender variant, crossdressers, some people who do drag and actually view themselves as gender variant, genderqueer, genderfluid and transsexual persons (it could also include butches or femme boys if they want to also ID themselves as trans… most don’t but some do). So I don’t know how anyone can say “trans*” covers identities or presentations which transgender doesn’t or is more inclusive… transgender is the ultimate inclusive term for anyone who cares to ID that way.

        The term “trans” was overwhelmingly used by trans people who had issues with the term transgender (which has never been universally accepted in our community). For many trans people, the term transgender suggests “a crossing over of gender” which is exactly what many people who transition don’t feel about themselves… that they were not “someone who wanted to become a woman/man” but that they already were that. That our genders have always been who we know ourselves to be. Yes, it often was also used to denote people who needed to medically TRANSition and for people who didn’t like how transsexual had become fetishized as a porn marketing term, dragged through the mud by transphobies or pathologized by medical gatekeepers (or even that it had the word ‘sexual’ embedded within it). Basically, many trans people have had labels crammed down our throats.

        And now our own shorthand term ‘trans’ isn’t good enough because people from the queer community (many of whom are cis-bodied or very temporarily ID as genderqueer for hipness quotient) want to call themselves that term but it needs to be expanded because they feel it doesn’t include them. Well, guess what, every term doesn’t encompass everyone from a community. The terms ‘hispanic’ or ‘Latina’ are used as an umbrella terms, but that doesn’t mean mestiza has to also include everyone hispanic does. It truly bugs me when I hear people policing the term trans, especially when it’s people who haven’t had to go through medical transition (and not having to do that is, in my mind, a form of privilege). If you want to use an asterisk it’s absolutely your right, but please don’t start telling others they “should” use it because, dammit, trans people have a right to own one single term of our making. And I especially have a problem with people who, a year or two ago, barely knew what a trans person was suddenly informing others “it has to be done this way.” *rant over*

  25. Another well written and interesting article! Even if it’s about appalling news :/

    I agree it’s deeply ironic her boss seems intent upon turning us into fetish objects and used that as his justification for castigating her. Nice. I am *so* glad she won that. Complete ignorance and violent threats from the State Senator as well: my sympathies to all concerned. I hope this bill is killed off.

  26. My dad’s getting remarried in June in Nashville, but now I’m scared to go because of this law and the TSA…

  27. Thank you so much for all the info (and occasional but much-needed lighthearted twist) Annika! The trans youth groups I work with are writing open letters to the Tennessee House about the bill and Rep Floyd’s transphobic and violent statements!

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