Friday, December 31, 2010

DSM as Weapon and Tool of Social Control

As we head into what is hoped to be a grand, brand spanking New Year, a lingering question remains in the air, much like the remaining tangy, stale odor of last night's silent pile of empty Don Perione champagne bottles...
Just when is society going to take a hint that we as Trans-experienced people, are not "mentally ill" and are as natural as squirrls and granola?

There is mounting consensus that the damaging and stigmatizing "diagnosis" in the DSM can be replaced by a more somatic (relating to whole treatment of the body) medical diagnosis of physical misalignment from inherent Gender Identity, place that within the ICD9-10 for insurance and theraputic purposes, eliminating the notion that Trans people are "mentally ill" while still being able to access medical treatment. A large number of mental health practioners and physicians are currently supporting an atmosphere of condemming Trans people into the "defective human being" catagory.

The general media, in all of it's glory and predicatable focused concern about the bottom line, seizes upon any opportunity to portray Trans individuals as disordered freaks and "interesting gender imposters with mental afflications" to draw audiences, ratings and earnings.

Notice how they have inserted even Intersex people into the DSM via the "diagnoses" related to the rejection of "assigned" (forced upon) sex and gender role after Intersex birth and the forceful introduction of the concept of Intersex as "abnormal condition"; Re: GIDNOS ("Gender Identity Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified") and DSD ("Development of Sex Disorder"):

Herstory (yes, a feminist reform of the word: history) has recorded the use of the DSM as weapon and a tool of social control and stigmatization, against women, gays and minorities in the past as well:

An elightening read!:
DSM: Diagnosing for Money and Power, Summary of the Critique of the DSM
By: Ofer Zur, Ph.D., and Nola Nordmarken, MFT:

I re-interate that the DSM is used as a weapon and tool of control - I point out the socially encouraged images of Transsexual/Transgender people as being individuals who are "insane", "abnormal", "sick", "things to be pitied" and the general stigmatization that the need to outwardly express inherent internal gender (which includes identity), which runs counter to an "assigned" gender role and presentation, is just about equal to committing a criminal act - are results of that being presented within the DSM as a "disorder".

Even the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) strongly argue that there is a need to eliminate Inherent Internal Gender as a "disorder" from the Diagnostic Statitical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM):

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rain of Change (at Cal State University Long Beach's April 29th Rally for Trans Man Who Was Carved With a Knife)

Rain of Change

As Trans people, we have an authentic self that drives one to endure and largely overcome the incredible task of connecting… courageously crossing the rift between our true inner being with that of the outer shell; We were put on this earth to teach the aforementioned and to teach that a nerve… a nerve exists which prompts one to rise up, against mass selfish control of who we really are by a status quo inundated with a dinosaur-like sense of reality, an astounding and ...beautiful gift!

Because of that and other reasons, we are different, that difference causes fear which turns to hate, which then morphs into a self - assigned license to hurt us, to kill us… US.. as a valid sector of human society whose only crime if you will, is to have the audacity to align our brains with our body… to live an authentic life as much as possible, rather than sink into a smothering socially mandated existence. This infuriates a plethora of people, particularly the ones who have no compunction about not only beating and mutilating us… but to want to take our lives as well!
This attack did not happen because of theft, this did not happen due to a personal fight over a lover, nor was it RANDOM! We all know that the person who carried out this horrible assault.. called the victim over, a kind Trans man who only wanted to attend class.. by his NAME!

I know the man who was attacked; I’ve worked side by side with him, educating people just like you in a musty, box of a lecture hall. When I found who was assaulted, with the word "IT" sliced into his chest, I cried…

Whenever a Trans person is hurt, killed or beaten in a hate driven attack I feel it deeply, whenever a Trans person is unjustly discriminated against on a job she had fought sooo hard to get, it's like a bat to my stomach... whenever a young Trans child is brutally bullied and assaulted in any way, my bosom and soul cry out in immense agony - I feel like a mother and close sister to all of them... just as I feel for anyone else, woman, straight, gay or lesbian… who would suffer if it were visited upon them…

This attack was designed to send a message, to try to teach us to hide, run back inside and live our lives according to a rigid, inhuman status quo that ignores our cries when we are beaten and our flesh carved into, with one syllable messages. A deaf ear of that status quo, is turned to our pleas for support and equal protection when it is politically advantageous to do so…

BUT do you know what? A Trans Storm is coming; the clouds have been forming, billowing above a prairie-plain of hate, ignorance and indifference… No more, no more… NO MORE… can we just sit by and take an abuse that should have been addressed long ago. Oppressors, those who sit on the sidelines in some type of wide eyed neutral curiosity, those who support us as Trans people, only in times of political need…

guess what..

An awakening rain storm of education, of our collective Trans voices, our irresistible, justified call for change is now cascading down upon this world. NO MORE… no more… no more, no! Disrespect, Transgender phobia, oppression of us and our identities must NOT stand – IT CAN NOT STAND, IT WILL NOT STAND FOR LONG.

We as Trans people have more than grown tired over the years, bombarded with empty promises of equality and safety extended to us in the hope that we are lulled to sleep like so much hypnotized sheep being shoved off of a steep cliff. But we are still here! Heaven said almighty, we are STILL here. With hearts filled with determination, with a courage that cannot bend to any Misogynist, Trans phobic, Homo phobic bullies will.

We can begin to stimulate change, even if it’s in baby steps – at least with a truly sincere alliance among ourselves here, that is possible.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Delusional Drag Queens and Labeling "Privileges"

Response to Ru Paul’s Approval of the use of the word “Tr****y” for all Trans women

I'm a strong Black WOMAN with a Transsexual past (but remembers her roots), but I don't run around tagging myself as a "ni***er even within a black community, nor do I tolerate the word Tr****y in reference to me within a Trans community. A lot of TS/TG Women take offense to that word and being called "drag queen" because it demeans and mocks their authentic identity in public. It's awesome that we are able to deeply respect ourselves and really know who we are individually... but it is largely about educating a public held captive with a long held fit of ignorance.

I knew an uneducated gay man who was friends with one of my female roommates. I had just started sex transition and was heading out to work one day presenting as my rightful gender. He blocked my way, standing in the door, refusing to move as my so called supportive roommate giggled like a half-witted Cheshire cat on high grade Marijuana. He said "wait a minute, where are you going? are you a drag queen? perform for me, you should be performing and put your boy clothes on". Needless to say (and I sadly regret doing so) I kicked him squarely in his crotch / family jewels and said; "No, I am a woman, please respect who I am, now I need to go to work, thank you..."

Drag Queens such as Ru Paul, should not try to represent a portion of the Trans Family without consultation, just as Trans gender and Transsexual Women should not assume that they are automatically privileged to speak for drag queens or anyone else about what they should accept as a public label... especially if it is meant to belittle.

What happens when that self-confident Trans Woman is constantly called Mr drag queen or "tr**nny* on the job while trying to make a living as the woman she is, physically transitioning to appear as the woman she is. This brings to light a shred of scintillating truth: Whenever a Trans Woman or Trans Man stands up for themselves and asserts their absolute right to permanently express their Gender Identity, they are smacked down, treated as though they had committed a grievous crime... meanwhile those who would kill them for doing so, are happily acquitted by juries blinded by dazzling "dog-and-pony-show" rhetoric doled out by defense attorneys enamored with a false concept called "Trans Panic".

It's about Trans People loving and respecting themselves, their true identities, and those of others unconditionally, while teaching an abusive society to do the same.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Film Festivals, Psychotherapists and Gender Mockery

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Film Festivals, Psychotherapists and Gender Mockery

How's everyone on this fine, wonderful Tuesday?

Welcome to my blog: Ari the Empowered Kitty!

Today I'm sitting at home a bit ill, a day off from work. I have the window slightly open and I'm listening to the sweet chirruping of Yellow Breasted Chats in the backyard, a common bird found in California (and all the way up to Canada in certain areas there as I'm told), on a 57 degree semi windy day...

I'm still alive myself, but wondering how an innocent Trans woman feels several cities away from me, as she helplessly looks up into the beastly eyes of an unfeeling brute.

Knowing she will suffer a horrible demise within seconds as the result of the blind rage of a transphobic man who, earlier that evening, thinking that he'll finally get some "snatch" of quick pleasure from an apparently pretty girl he's met that night at the local bar 3 blocks down..."It's ok" thinks the potential killer, "In the movies they don't mean shit anyway, just another trannie freak she-guy that dies because it tricked me into thinking it was a girl".

I sit here pondering about how she feels... right before her life is taken... tears long welled up and streaming down dripping, falling from her chin - with thoughts about not having time to say good bye to her family and friends , her life "snatched" like some cheap toy in the hands of a five year old seeking quick thrills stealing from a Rite Aid...

I sit here reflecting on how and why a film called: "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives" now showing at the Tribeca Theatre in New York today, can possibly:

1) be taken seriously enough to be allowed run time at a film festival (Tribeca) that is supposedly held in high esteem by the elite "Filmanatti".

2) How did the management of Tribeca's Film Festival become blinded to the Transphobic elements attached to and in that production?

Quite obviously it depicts Transwoman as being over-the-top, "drag queeny", cartoonish, bad caricatures of women. They have cast gay and straight male actors to play lead characters who are Transgender (who have nothing to do with the communities of Trans people), with only 2 actual Transwoman delegated to very minor roles.This, done by a producer -David Luna, who has no knowledge, no connection, no back ground research, nor respectful recognition of Transgender/Transsexual people.

Obvious backhanded put downs and twisted sex-ploitation of characters that are touted to represent the Trans communities, are shabbily glossed over with a clumsy attempt to portray the gratuitous, bloody violence against the "Trans Women" in the film as campy comedy..; Not to mention that Gender Identities are mocked and deeply de-valued as is their humanity, as well as symbolized as nothing more than fetishistic sex objects and Pop culture jokes.

(We are investigating the accruacy of reports about this)
On the Trans and ouskirts of the NYPD police grapevines, word is being passed around that there were 2 new murders of Trans girls near Spanish Harlem, one of the vernerable enclaves of buroughs in New York City after the film's premiere...

Now a funny thought: What if Mr. Luna, the principal producer, were to wake up one morning to (re)discover that he is Transsexual? A perspective would change, through the crystal-clear glass of common understanding... that this film demeans actual transgender women, who already struggle for acceptance and respect in their day-to-day lives, more than worthy enough, to be valued for their contributions to our society.

I sit here somewhat happy, that at least there was SOME type of response to this parcel of sewage, crawling along, sprung from minds endowed with supreme ignorance... and coming to call on a public that has already been trained to hate, pathologize and marginalize us. Ashley Love and MAGNET - Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Trans people, GLAAD, Kelli Ann Busey and Dallas Transgender Advocates, Gender ID Coalition, as well other organizations, had begun a media campaign against the film and are at this moment protesting and encouraging vigils for past slain Trans sisters.

But... we need more. More people to stand up... with self confident assertiveness without aggressiveness, with a clearly unified voice overheard above the cricket chirping of the self-smug haters who wish to see us and our Genders controlled by their narrow social definitions, life experiences, standards of happiness or dead...

With frustration, sadness and painful ebbing within my being, I sit here drumming my manicured but short, taupe-colored nails on the desk-stand as I write this blog, wishing I were able to delve into the depths of the mysterious logic of those APA (American Psychariatirc Association) members who voted... onto, yes...voted onto an official Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders review board, (whose job it is is to redefine what is and is not a "mental disorder".. for the new version to be published in 2012-2013) people who have demonstrated in the past that they have little or no regard for an individual's Gender Identity, even though it has been demonstrated through out the majority of a person's life; Or does not cease to exist, no matter a therapist's attempt to ignore or "force out" or suppress said identity within a patient.

Certain individuals appointed to the DSM board (who also have a measure of influence with the ICD-9 Diagnostic Manual publishers abroad as well)such as Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a Psychotherapist with a reputation for attempting to treat Trans (AND Intersex) children with "Reparative Thearapy" in order to achieve either of 2 hopeful outcomes, they're gay boys and lesbian girls or go on to live "straight and normal" lives regardless of a buried Gender Identity opposite the role they are forced into... "Now Billy, don't you go changing that sex... you're supposed to be a boy because god (we) want you to be one, now go and be a man, keep and use your thingie to make a girl pregnant to make me some grandchildren..."

Then there is Dr. Ray Blanchard, another appointee to the DSM board, who is a proponent of the theory that male-to-female Transsexuals who are exclusively attracted to men are rather just extreme homosexual men... OR if they attracted to women, why... they are really in love with the idea of themselves becoming women. -This idea is also pushed by one of his favorite colleagues and "advisor" to the board: Ann Lawrence, who after a lengthy investigation, forfeited a medical license in Anesthesiology, when caught fondling a sleeping patient during a surgical procedure... she is another ultimate fan of "Autogynophelia", the definition of which was mentioned above with Blanchard.

Gee, with such experts in attempts to obliterate our Gender Identities like these, I would say that their input within the board, bodes ill for thousands, nay... tens of thousands of an already over-pathologized, stigmatized population of people desperately seeking help to align their bodies with their true Gender. These miserable souls, tortured and in internal agony, after being told that their identity is "really" a result of some sexual-fetish "disorder" defined in a book touted as an instrument of authority.

I see their pain and condition made worse, I see this leading to deaths...

But... sadly, none of this actually matters to a (hopefully small?) percentage of Cis-Gender gay men (some were cast as "Transgender Women" in the "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives film) who do not see our Gender Identities as authentic, insisting that Trans Women are really "gay men in dresses", then joining in misogynist, oppressive and social separative action or inaction contributing to the humiliation, disenfranchisement and dehumanization of Trans Women.

I and several other Women of Trans experience, encountered this, whenever we went to Trans group meetings in gay areas such as San Diego's Hillcrest area.

More information about the DSM situation to come in my next blog.

-AriKitty (AKA Arianna Davis)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Intro and welcome

Hi everyone!

This willl be my weekly blog for the Gender ID Coalition (to officially start tommorow)
Tune in tommorow.

-Arianna D