[The Friday Fundamentalist Farce File is a week’s worth of “news” clippings from conservative hubs like WorldNetDaily and the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow. Millions of Americans absorb these messages as gospel truth—literally—on a daily basis.]
There was a lot of good news this week, but what was the Right talking about? Abortion, Israel, teen sex, and Corporal Klingers (the latter, of course, to make fun of transgender people).
Continue reading “Friday Fundamentalist Farce File — 2/25/11” »
Zack… and Peterson… are coming at you from opposite sides of the continent! Zack is in Las Vegas for Netroots Nation and Peterson is heading off to TransForm New Hampshire. The sound quality is a bit low because it was recorded via phone, but the content quality is at its queerest. Zack shares some of his experiences spending a full day (July 21) with other LGBT bloggers and organization reps with some updates on some pressing issues. After weeks of teasing it, Peterson finally tells us about all the awesome workshops to expect from TransForm New Hampshire. Listen this week to get a sense of these great conferences, then follow Peterson and Zack on Twitter throughout the weekend for even more! (Zack edited out a lot of the delay, but left in his unusual number of umm’s and uh’s so you can tell how tired he is.)
The Queer and Queerer Podcast!
Listen to this week's episode:
(Please click here to listen on iPad/iPhone or download.) | Open Player in New Window
Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:
» Israel Jails Arab for ‘Sex Through Fraud’
» NYT’s Randy Cohen: When to Out a Transgender Dater?
» Dr. Jillian Weiss responds: People Who Don’t Out Themselves Are Immoral
» Check out Peterson’s new show: I Can See Sarah Palin from My Window
» Check out the Same Sex Sunday Podcast!
» TransForm New Hampshire
» Netroots Nation
The Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who said “sorry” a lot, but when he said, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” it meant he knew something very sad about the people he was saying it to that they were not (and might never be) aware of.
To the National Association for the Research & Therapy of Homosexuality: I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.
I got this piddling email last night from the President of NARTH, one Julie Hamilton. If I could sum up the small treatise in one word, it would be “Nuh-uh!” I’ll let the abstract speak for itself:
The purpose of this article is to address misperceptions and/or misinformation regarding NARTH. Although some critics will remain skeptical and perhaps some even antagonistic, others desire accurate information. This article is written for the latter group, those who might be interested to know the facts about NARTH’s mission and purpose.
I have zero respect for NARTH (and I’m not just “skeptical” about it). But for the sake of argument, I’ll pretend to be someone desiring “accurate” information. However, my frame of reference will be the American Psychological Association’s report and resolution on reparative therapy from last August.
Let’s check out their claims:
NARTH is Not Anti-gay, nor is NARTH a Hate-Based Organization
Critics and antagonists have labeled NARTH, its leaders, and members as “bigots” and having “hatred” against homosexuality. Simply stated, these accusations are completely false. NARTH’s leaders value and esteem both those who have embraced homosexual identities as well as those who seek change of orientation or identity.
Actually, my understanding is that that’s true, not false. If you promote the idea that homosexuality is something that it makes sense to deny, then you’re promoting negative views on homosexuality. It’s right there in your name, NARTH; you suggest that homosexuality is something for which people need therapy. This only reinforces many of the hateful attitudes already present in our culture.
NARTH Recognizes Client Diversity
NARTH values the individual’s right to choose – both individuals who are comfortable with their homosexual identities and those who want to explore other options. NARTH acknowledges that some people are comfortable claiming a homosexual identity, and we respect their freedom to do so. At the same time, NARTH recognizes that others choose not to embrace a homosexual identity, are distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions, and would like to explore other options for their lives.
It’s deceitful to suggest that homosexual attractions are optional. All of the research the APA has done demonstrates that they are not.
In our culture, those who are dissatisfied with their unwanted homosexual attractions and choose to pursue change are often treated with disrespect, mockery and ridicule, as are the therapists who try to help them.
It could be because there is no valid research that supports what you practice and an overwhelming majority of professionals in your field reject the work that you do as flawed and hurtful.
NARTH Therapists Honor Client Self Determination: Clients Choose Their Own Goals while Therapists Avoid Imposing an Agenda
NARTH defends the rights of clients to seek treatment for unwanted homosexual attractions. Individuals who are dissatisfied with their unwanted homosexual attractions and enter therapy seeking change should be respected and not be coerced into embracing identities which clash with their deeply held values or religious beliefs.
Even the most deeply held values and beliefs are changeable. Sexual orientation is not. Besides, the APA found that the benefits of reparative therapy can also be provided “within an affirmative and multiculturally competent framework.” While people are entitled to hold onto their beliefs, it is deceitful to suggest that a coherence with those beliefs can be realized through therapy.
As the APA report said, “telic congruence based on stigma and shame is unlikely to result in psychological well-being.” In other words, it’s not always in patients’ interest to help them maintain beliefs that are incompatible with their sexual orientation.
Reorientation Therapy Includes Many Different Mainstream Approaches to Therapy
Reorientation therapy is simply psychological care aimed at helping clients achieve their goals regarding their sexual attractions, sexual orientations and/or sexual identities. Reorientation is not decidedly different from other therapies. There are many psychological approaches to helping clients with unwanted homosexual attractions. All approaches supported by NARTH are mainstream approaches to psychotherapy.
This is misleading. The APA resolved that mental health professionals should “avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts.” Any of NARTH’s efforts would fall into this category. NARTH itself falls into this category. After whining about language like “cure” and “conversion,” Hamilton makes this very point:
NARTH encourages its members to assist those who seek help for unwanted homosexual attractions, attractions which seldom occur in isolation from other issues commonly treated in therapy.
See? The help for “unwanted homosexual attractions” shouldn’t be to try to make them not homosexual; it should be to try to make them not unwanted.
While Success Rates are Similar to Some other Issues, Therapy for Unwanted Homosexuality Seems to be held to a Higher Standard
While studies on therapy for unwanted homosexual attractions seem to yield varying success rates, ranging from 30%-70%, these rates seem to be no different than success rates for many other therapeutic issues.
This is also misleading. After a thorough critical review of research, the APA resolved “that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.” Even the data that NARTH uses to defend its approach does not justify the suggestion that reparative therapy is “as successful” as other forms of treatment, as this point implies.
Therapeutic Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation are not found to be Harmful
Although the media and even some professionals have reported otherwise, the APA Task Force recently reported that the research on whether or not change attempts are harmful is inconclusive.
The word “truthiness” comes to mind. The study did in fact find there was evidence to indicate individuals experienced harm, including “loss of sexual feeling, depression, suicidality, and anxiety.”
Oh, and did you know that NARTH is quite transphobic? Given their eagerness to promote gender conformity, it shouldn’t be surprising, but read this:
On the note of harm, it interesting that it is considered acceptable within the mental health field to assist a five year old boy in identifying as a girl or to administer hormone treatment to a ten or twelve year old child to physically change the child’s biological sex, but offering talk therapy to an adult who would rather not be homosexual is thought to be harmful.
As I’ve already intimated, the main point of this document is to whine, “Whaaaaaaa!”
One more defensive point.
NARTH is Neither Right-Winged, nor is NARTH a Religious Organization
Although the critics often describe NARTH as a right-wing, religious organization, NARTH is neither right-wing, nor religious. Rather, NARTH is a scientific, secular organization.
This may be. I wouldn’t call NARTH scientific, given that they ignore an incredible wealth of science so they can blindly continue doing what they do. We also know that many (if not most (if not all)) reparative therapy outlets are housed in religious organizations.
In the end, NARTH’s attempts to not look anti-gay amount to nothing. Everything that they stand for is bunk, and the end effect is to perpetuate negative opinions of homosexuality.
NARTH is a joke and they are harming our nation. On a sadder note, they are doing great harm to themselves through their ignorant ideas. I’m sorry, NARTH, I’m so sorry.
If this brief refutation of their points has captured your interest, feel free to read the full NARTH document and the full APA Report. Compare their legitimacy for yourself.
This doesn’t need to be a long post. The title says it all. “Transgendered” is not a word. For some reason, though, people use it all the time. I’m sick of it, so let me make this crystal clear.
The adjective is “transgender” or “trans” for short.
Examples of usage:
She is transgender.
Zi is trans.
The transgender community includes many diverse identities, all of which might be considered trans.
There has never been a reported case of transgender people using bathrooms for devious purposes.
Being trans is not a condition. It’s not something that has happened to a person. It is who a person is.
“Transgender” is not a verb. Thus, a person can not transgender, nor can a person be transgendered. (A person can transition, and a person can have transitioned.)
For some reason when I hear people say “transgendered,” it sounds like “mutated” or “disfigured.” It makes it sound like trans people aren’t real people. It’s grammatically incorrect and belies an understanding and respect for trans people and their identities.
Is this semantics? Yes.
Is it important? Yes.
Is continued use of “transgendered” offensive? Yes.
I want to also point out that my argument is in agreement with both the GLAAD Media Reference Guide and the NLGJA Stylebook on LGBT Terminology. Please consult these free resources if you have further questions about LGBT terminology.
Thank you for your time.
(Hat tips to Pam Spaulding and Big Hollywood.)
When we talk about homophobia and transphobia, it’s usually not people who are overtly hurtful. Often such feelings can lie just under the surface of a “supportive,” “I have gay friends,” façade. All it takes is a catalyst and it all comes rolling out.
And it can be pretty small. For example, you might have someone like Martin Scheinin. Scheinin is the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism. That’s really his title. His job really is to make sure that security efforts don’t violate people’s rights. I think it’s fair to assume that part of that would be making sure that specific groups of people aren’t unfairly targeted. That’s what I think he was doing when he proposed rethinking security checks that “focus attention on male bombers who may be dressing as females to avoid scrutiny [and] make transgender persons susceptible to increased harassment and suspicion.”
Sounds great. Trans folks shouldn’t be thought of as suspicious. That seems reasonable, right?
Not to Greg Gutfield and his posse!
Let’s deconstruct all the transphobia…
Translation: checking for dudes who conceal bombs via cross-dressing hurts the feelings of men who cross-dress as a lifestyle choice… like Bill.
I can’t figure out if this is the worst story ever, or THE GREATEST STORY EVER.
And they’re off!
Use of demeaning language “lifestyle choice”? Check.
Make fun of friend by calling him trans? Check.
Completely denounce a story about protections for trans folks? Check.
I mean,by revealing what the UN does best, this report takes the transgendered cake: simultaneously undermining the war on terror while mocking common sense. When the UN isn’t trying to minimize mass murder, this mishmash of maniacs tries to commit it themselves.
Conditionalize people’s identities with grammatically incorrect “transgendered”? Check.
Translate nondiscrimination policy as “mocking common sense”? Check.
Suggest that not discriminating is tantamount to mass murder? Check.
The war on terror is not a lab for social engineering. The war on terror cannot be guided by feelings belonging to someone who fried his brain on Oprah. The war on terror is meant to protect the innocent from terror – be these innocent folks gay, straight, transgender or half man/half unicorn (they exist). If America were to take this UN report seriously, we would put everyone at risk, including the transgendered and those dumbasses at the UN.
Suggest that war is more important than respect and that compromising respect is essential for protection? Check.
Accuse trans folks of having their “brain fried” by the sympathies of Oprah? Check.
Include mythical in-breed for comparison to identities you don’t respect? Check.
I would hope that the gay, lesbian and transgendered community would find this idea equally as ludicrous, but if they don’t, I don’t care. I’ll still be wearing my floral caftan in first class. And those embroidered sunflowers are not stains, by the by. And if you disagree with me, then you’re probably a racist.
Assume you can speak for other communities and blow them off at the same time? Check.
Blatantly mock trans identities by presuming it involves being prim about dress wearing? Check.
Somehow suggest that you are the victim of racism when you are pretending to talk on behalf of others’ peoples rights but instead are offending everyone and making a total ass out of yourself? Check.
Let’s see how things unfold with the rest of his friends there on Red Eye. Here are some excerpts…
Here’s some nice racism from John Devore, espousing a policy of “maximum paranoia”
If you eat falafel for lunch, you’re a terrorist. If you have a bad attitude, you’re a terrorist.
Greg asks his friend, “Actor/Comedian” Allen Covert (whoever he is), a profound question:
If we relax standards on the transgendered, won’t that encourage terrorists to cross-dress? Because that way they can get through faster.
The use of “transgendered” is at least up to five now. Just a note: “transgendered” is not a word! If transgendered were actually an adjective, transgender would be a verb. But it’s not. Transgender is an adjective. It is not only incorrect but offensive to use a word that conditionalizes people’s identities as if it was something done to them instead of respecting it is simply part of them.
Anyways, how does Covert respond?
Look, Greg, I think you have it all wrong here, because I firmly believe that it is better for a million people to die a fiery death than to offend one dude who’s not comfortable unless he’s wearing his Vera Wang wedding dress in first class.
I happen to agree with you. Feelings are more important than atrocity.
Let the man put the wang in Vera Wang. Let him do it. Let him do it.
I’m personally of the opinion that when somebody starts juxtaposing respecting an identity with genocide, they’re really in over their head.
It’s totally clear that these people have no understanding for trans identities whatsoever, let alone respect. A trans woman is not a “dude” nor a “man.”
I’ll let you watch the rest of the clip. But Bill Shulz gives us one more piece of brilliant wisdom about trans identities:
It is not a lifestyle choice if you force me to do it, Greg, particularly if I’m cleaning your office while doing it.
I think he might be on to something legitimate about the way his manpurse is searched more thoroughly than women’s, but I think he might actually have just been joking.
So there you have it. If you have ever wondered what transphobia looks and sounds like, you’ve now got a whole little collection of comparisons all in one tidy little clip.
Keep it up, Fox News. You’re doing great.