Monday, April 29, 2002

Never Enough Blog Updates Department

It looks like the Gallery of Goddesses site--which featured transgendered women as contributors to society in general and included politicians, Olympic athletes, and artists--may not be coming back. This is a great sadness, but hopefully someone will rise to the occasion and create a new resource like this.

I have added two new links to the Gender section:

  • The Center for Gender Sanity provides lectures, conferences, and training materials aimed at exploding gender myths on a practical level. Their most visible contributions are resources for transsexuals who transition on the job, and the Full Circle Of Women conference for all who identify as women to explore what it means to be a woman.
  • The Transfeminist Anthology Project at is compiling essays on what it means to be transgendered or intersexed and feminist, adding greatly to a debate that has been polarized into pro- and anti-trans feminists, full of over-analyzing and blithe calls for an end to gender in toto.

Both resources are full of thoughtful information that I highly recommend considering. Do visit and read these sites!

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Never Enough Hoax Exposees Department

It seems that the Objective: Christianity site is a hoax. Damn, and I was hoping....

(C.f. "Never Enough Religious Idiots Department")

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Never Enough Prayers For America Department

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich gave a speech back in February which I consider to be one of the most beautiful, truly patriotic speeches ever given by a politician. It is very much worth reading if you have not done so already.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Never Enough Religious Idiots Department

Is there no end to stupidity disguising itself as religion disguising itself as scientific objectivism? I guess not.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Never Enough Surgical Bluntness Department

My, this article is a refreshing change. I've always hated the notion of having my gender invalidated because of genitalia. And while I have found a surgeon I like, I still detest the notion that I can't be taken seriously as female unless I have a "sex change". Especially given that, as this article points out, courts are starting to use chromosomes as a "true" test of legal sex, and never mind that almost nobody has their sex chromosomes determined anyhow.

(And also never mind that claiming this legal distinction creates FIVE de facto sexes--XX, XY, XXY, XYY, and X0--going from frying pan to fire faster than you can say "scientifically ignorant legal system"!)

Here in the relatively trans-friendly state of Washington, I cannot claim an "F" on my ID without a letter stating that I have completed my genital reassignment surgery and can fool a gynecologist. This strikes me as very odd. Does this mean that every government official has a legal right to know what's between my legs? And why is it so important to know what's between my legs anyhow? Why advertise to the world, "Hey, I have a penis!" or "Behold, my mighty vagina!" in the first place? Are we truly so hung up over genitalia that we cannot have a discourse on gender--a social construct--without checking body parts to know where we all stand?

I have no answers. I wish I did. But I can keep questioning, hoping that others join in the questioning until we get some answers to these dilemmas set up by the uneasy alliance of science and superstition.

Never Enough Trans News Department

Thanks to, there is a transgender news resource that appears fairly up-to-date and balanced, with stories to make us cheer as well as cry.

There is also GAIN--Gender Advocacy Internet News--but as far as I know this service has been quiet since October 2000. If that changes, I'll post the news here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Never Enough Trans Rage Department

In case there are those foolish enough to think my gender rant from the other day (c.f. Never Enough Gender Rants Department, 4/14/02) was nothing more than whiny complaints, let me assure you that the points I raised were valid. However, the general trans situation is actually even worse than I let on; from that perspective one might say I am whining. But you can't make that claim without knowing just how bad it gets. Hopefully these articles from Alternet will help clarify the issues at stake:

Nightmare in Miami--the story behind a Mexican transsexual who applied for asylum, only to be incarcerated... and raped twice.

On the Back of the Bumper--while many gay rights groups give public lip-service to the transgendered, they rarely back trans-inclusive legislation, and this situation is causing ever-growing rifts between gay-rights advocates and trans activists.

Girls Will Be Boys--Women's colleges are grappling with the issue of transgender students, mostly by retrenching themselves in their traditional gender role and causing problems for female-to-male (FtM) transgendered students.

Dicks, Damsels and Dilemmas--A member of the National Organization for Women comes clean about how FtMs are causing complications for feminist theorists.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of New Genitals--a sneering article regarding the decision by the City of San Francisco to cover sexual reassignment surgery as part of their health care coverage for city employees.

And if that isn't sobering enough, there's always the Remembering Our Dead site, which lists a depressingly large, and growing, list of people who died as a result of trans phobia. The worst part is, the list is incomplete and only includes those deaths that can be verified. Imagine how many people were ignored utterly.

Believe me, I might complain about my lot, but ultimately it's only a note in a chorus of growing agitation. You haven't heard the last from us, to be certain. It'll only get louder.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Never Enough Recording Industry Defiance Department

For those of us who see the RIAA and its lobbying efforts as a threat to our liberties--and in some cases, even to our legal livelihoods--there is a web site where we can get our news and rally behind efforts to block unreasonable, ill-conceived laws and the notion that all consumers are criminals. FIGHT TH' POWER, and STUFF!

Never Enough Scientific Criticism Department

Political scientist Børn Lomborg published a book last year called The Skeptical Environmentalist. Sadly, aside from not being an environmentalist--or much of a scientist, it would seem--the book makes huge scientific errors, such as selectively quoting from the body of research in order to bolster weak arguments. Alas, it appears that Lomborg can't handle criticism from real scientists who have been rigorously trained in the scientific method and who have to face intense scrutiny from peer review any time they publish findings. The scary part, however, is that Lomborg's work seems to be accepted without much criticism in other circles, such as in The Environmentalist.

Perhaps Lomborg doesn't realized the dual-edged sword that true skepticism entails. As Robert Oppenheimer put it:

"There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors."

Lomborg asserts, of course, that he embodies that statement; but it truly appears that he embodies the quote's negative. Maybe if Lomborg actually studied one real science, he might realize how unscientific and ungrounded in reality his own biases, and those of economicists and so-called political scientists, have become. Pity us all if anyone cites Lomberg as a credible source!

Sunday, April 14, 2002

Never Enough Gender Rants Department

It annoys me in profound ways when well-meaning women come up to me and say, "Oh, I just love a man in drag!" Most of the time I feel like saying, "That's sweet; I hope you find one some day." Instead, I often find myself explaining the issues behind being a transsexual, in particular:

  1. I'm not a man except by technicality, and even THAT is going to change as soon as I raise the $10,000 to do it;
  2. I'm not "in drag" and have only a tiny bit of common ground with the drag queens they are surely thinking about.

One of the complications here is that the transgendered have their own "community" of sorts, with their own language and concepts. For one, we recognize our own gender dysphoria--a deep dissatisfaction and rebellion of the identity versus a socially constructed gender assignment. We transsexuals, crossdressers, and other transgendered certainly didn't ask to be this way, but there's an inward voice that speaks, for some in whispers and others in screams, saying: "That letter on your birth certificate isn't you. And you've got to do something about it." We're thus driven to not just dress in clothes of the so-called opposite sex, but to take on the role of said gender to whatever extent is necessary that the inward voice speaks in more peaceful tones. Someone with experience only with gender norms and maybe a few viewings of Rocky Horror therefore has no concept that, for most of us, "transvestite" and "drag" are slurs. The former is a medical term that has connotations of fetishism which hardly applies; the latter lumps us all with gay men who like to play up the glamorous life now and then as an homage or a parody, but without identifying with the female. Either way, the language does us a disservice.

Speaking of gay men, another major point of contention involves deep confusion between the concepts of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Sex is what the doctor sees between your legs at birth. (And doctors have been wrong.) Gender is what society tries to saddle us with after sex is determined. And sexual orientation is who you wind up sleeping with, anyway. Granted, there is interplay between the concepts of sex, gender, and sexual orientation, but it would be a grave disservice to confuse the three. Based on my physical characteristics, I am technically male but quickly changing into more and more of a female form; society tried to socialize me as a boy and as a man, but that didn't stick and I am now resocializing as a girl and as a woman; and frankly, women turn me on in ways men simply cannot.

I raise this point because it still amazes me how often my transsexuality gets discounted because I prefer women. Worse, even now I still hear comments like, "If you like guys so much, why not just be gay?" Apparently, some cannot fathom why I would change my sex if I didn't want to sleep with men; I could simply remain male and have sex with women, right? Conversely, if I want to change my sex, I must want to sleep with men, and I could simply remain male and live as a gay man. It's a lose/lose situation; either way, the notion of changing sex gets rubbed out on grounds of sexual orientation. Talking about missing the point.

No matter how one cuts it, I regard myself as female so strongly that I give myself expensive hormone shots and pills to alter my body as well as my emotions, and plan on having my genitals remoulded surgically to match. This isn't a weekend fling; I have changed my name and started living every moment as female as I can, and will do so for the rest of my life. I am going through a profound experience beyond the scope of being "in drag," beyond heterosexuality and homosexuality, beyond static notions of what it is to be a man or to be a woman. My mere existence smashes barriers and thumbs a nose towards those who wish to enforce society's norms. And I don't feel like this is a choice either; the alternative is to have that screaming inner voice drive me to the grave prematurely, and that is simply not an option. No, I have no choice but to be myself, no matter what confusion or discomfort others may have to face. Anything less would be irresponsible to the world, which has labored for centuries under the yoke of Western Society's delusions. I march for freedom, and that, friends, is no drag.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

Never Enough Explanations Department

Someone recently asked why all my entries start with "Never Enough" and end with "Department." The first part refers obliquely to the SubGenius teaching, "Too much is always better than not enough." (Of course, they usually forget to mention the other half of that teaching: "But it's almost as bad.") The second part is an homage to MAD Magazine's use of "departments" that usually change from issue to issue. And now you know where I get my warped sense of humor.

Never Enough Shaggs Tributes Department

For those who have listened to the proto-punk badmusic legends The Shaggs, you will undoubtedly love this fictional tribute to The Shaggs drawn by badmusic afficiando Michelle Boulé. Enjoy!

Never Enough Zingers Department

Who would've thought that one of Reagan's old hands would give Dubya such a well-deserved kick in the tuchus?

Speaking to The Los Angeles Times this week about Mr. Bush's floundering, the Reagan administration policy honcho for the Mideast, Geoffrey Kemp, said: "A two-year-old could have seen this crisis coming. And the idea that it could be brushed under the carpet as the administration focused on either Afghanistan or Iraq reflects either appalling arrogance or ignorance."

That's gotta hurt.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Never Enough Trading Cards Department

I'd pay for a set of American Crusade 2001+ cards.

I should have paid for a set of Friendly Dictators cards, though. Oops.

Never Enough Militaristic Criticism Department

I know that weapons have been a theme of the past two blog entries, but bear with me.

Has anyone else noticed the increasing militarization of American culture? It started back in the 80s, when Reagan declared War On Drugs, thus giving police departments the impetus to start getting paramilitary training and ordinance on an unprecedented level. Now it's rare for ANY city, no matter its size or particular social mileau, to not have a sizeable SWAT team.

And now NASA is increasingly bedding itself with the Pentagon, in hopes of securing funds for research projects that will benefit both science and the military. Ultimately such a marriage of convenience will benefit the generals far more than the scientists, and should be shunned. And yet, I fear the trend will be towards an increasing dependence upon the military-industrial complex on the part of space research.

I can't help but to feel this will lead America even further down the path of empire and closer to the nightmare of constantly fighting armed conflicts across the globe in order to insure "security." Fortunately, there was an old general who saw the nightmare clearly, and warned about the chance of that nightmare becoming prophesy:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

Never Enough Weapon Art Department

An IRC acquaintance of mine wanted to share with me the art of Antonio Riello, who takes weapons and gives them a good dose of fashion sense.

In rebuttal, I had to show him the art of Seattleite Charles Krafft, whose Villa Delirium Delft Works produces, among other things, Delftware china shaped as guns and grenades, all with the trademark delicate blue flowers in the glaze.

Sick fuckers, both of 'em. Then again, so am I--and my acquaintance.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Never Enough Marriage Weapons Department

So my Dearest Cynthia and I will be married together this Summer, and as a result we've been thinking about the ceremony. We don't want anything pricey, of course, but we'd like to add a few things to make it special and personal. And today, I had what I thought was a wonderful idea.

See, many of my friends are what I'd call "paganoid"--if they aren't pagan, they at least prefer a pagan atmosphere over a Christian one. Hence, two different weddings I've attended in recent years have involved the exchanging of swords and daggers. Needless to say, these weapons are a tad phallic, and thus not suitable for lesbians such as Cynthia and myself.

The perfect weapon to exchange, then, would be a double-bladed battle axe, or labrys. "Labrys" means "lip" and is etymologically related to "labia". The head of a labrys resembles a woman's labia, in fact. Because of this, it represents feminine power. Thus, the labrys used to be a sacred weapon to women, thousands of years ago. There were temples to goddesses that had a labrys--up to nine feet tall!--at the gate of the temple. There were also statues of goddesses that wielded a labrys in each hand. In some regions, only women were allowed to wield such a weapon.

Cynthia and I want to exchange these to represent: (a) That we'll protect each other no matter what; (b) that we are sharing in each other's femininty; and (c) that there is nothing wrong with being called a battle-axe. Plus, I'm sure it'll cause a few gasps when we pull these out after exchanging vows.