Category Archives: Transgender

1000 Words: I Don’t Want To Know

Try as I might I can’t quite figure out all this transgender blowback that’s going on across this benighted countryt.

That Tennessee law banning most public displays of transgenderism would seem to be the last straw, the most egregious crackdown on people’s personal liberties imaginable. Then I remind myself that when radical, reactionary, neo- and crypt0-fascists get up a head of steam, the sky’s the limit. So Tennessee likely won’t have the last word in criminalizing gender expression.

While most of the nation seems okay with people deciding their genders assigned at birth don’t fit them anymore and, subsequently, acting upon that realization, antediluvian legislatures are falling all over themselves to enact laws designed to stop them. It’s as though a loud minority has taken over.

I suppose that explanation is as good as any.

Statehouse senators and representatives, as well as a passel of higher-ups — including Florida’s Ron DeSantis, Arkansas’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado’s Lauren Boebert — have positioned themselves as modern-day saviors, proclaiming themselves to be defenders of righteousness and good while cracking down viciously on rights and expressions.

Their chief crackdown right now is men dressing as women. Of course, it isn’t all as simple as that. Men dressing as women implies there are only two gender paths, both imposed on us all at birth and never to be trifled with. Reality and scientific explanation have demonstrated that gender is not binary but a fluid, too often societally warped spectrum. XXs and XYs are but one deciding factor in a person’s self-identification. People are born with a wide range of genital structures. Their minds and hearts, too, encompass an equally vast scale of sex and gender identifiers.

This has been true for all of human history. Men dressing as women, for lack of a better term, has been part of every human culture and society ever studied.

Women dressing as men, too. Yet, somehow, these modern day protectors of children and virtue don’t seem to care much about that aspect of things. Perhaps because women wearing men’s clothing signifies an aspiration to a higher state. To be sure, these anti-cross-gender display laws are written and championed by people who, no doubt, see men as superior beings and why in the hell wouldn’t any thinking woman want ascend to that holy state?

But men dressing as women? By god, that’s sick and evil. It’d be like blacks calling for a return to slavery or Jews loading themselves into the trains headed for Dachau. Crazy!

You see? I’m tying myself into knots trying to figure these people out. With a world entering a climate crisis stage, ongoing wars, the epidemic spread of automatic firearms and random shootings, men still physically abusing their domestic partners, the widening wealth gap, and countless other immediate and long-term threats to humanity, the DeSantis/Huckabee Sanders/Greene/Boebert gang see men on stage wearing spectacular gowns, multi-colored wigs, and dazzling makeup as something, by golly, we have to act on right now!

Of course, the drag-show-ban gang is using The Children as their most potent weapon. I’ve been to many a drag show and I’ve yet to see any crowd therein populated by tots. The Tennessee law specifically refers to The Children. It’s the same canard people used over the past few decades to fight against legal protections for gays and lesbians. What about The Children? they shriek.

It makes me wonder why The Children always pop into their minds when the issue of sex arises. I don’t want to make any unsupported claims here but…, well, use your imagination.

Problem is they’re using their imaginations and, for pity’s sake, thank heavens mine doesn’t go to those places.

Here’s another stab at trying to figure this all out. America — and much of the world — has become this tribal battlefield where each side sees everything the other thinks and says as The Worst Thing Imaginable. To be sure, my side does it too but, sheesh, the Trumpists, the Hard Right, the Fox News-consuming couch monsters have become expert practitioners at it. If the Liberals and the Democrats think drag shows are cool and lesbians can be teachers and gays cops, then these automatically become mortal sins. How many Fox folks even thought about drag shows before the echo chambers they live in brought them up? How many considered RuPaul — remember her? — a threat to children’s safety?

But as my side hollered for more tolerance and embracing of those Others, the other side reflexively dug in their heels. You’re okay with transgender people? In that case, they must be stopped!

As I say, I’m trying here. I’m casting about for answers.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon played women in “Some Like It Hot.” Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari did the same in “Bosom Buddies.” Hell, let’s go back hundreds of years to Shakespeare’s original productions in the Globe Theatre where every single solitary female role was played by a man. You’ve heard of Shakespeare, right? The fellow that every high school English teacher in anybody’s memory has assigned their students to read, to study, to embrace. As far as I know, high school students are mostly children.

No wonder there are so many gays and lesbians and drag show performances — The Children have been mesmerized by a playwright who dressed men in women’s clothing! Shakespeare was a groomer!

Am I coming any closer to an understanding here?

I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll ever know. There are some things I don’t want to know. And I sure as hell don’t want to go delving into the minds and imaginations of the likes of Ron DeSantis, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and the Tennessee legislature.

Hot Air: Good Sense Worth 2 Cents

Trifling Trans

Have you heard the news? Caitlyn Jenner’s gonna pose fairly nudely on the cover of Sports Illustrated this summer around the 40th anniversary of her gold medal turn in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.


Jenner, Long Ago And Far Away

Don’t hate me but I have to confess — I don’t give a holy shit about Jenner’s gender choice. I’m long past the point of noodling about trans people. I accept whatever form of gender display they choose. I’m even related to a trans person and I love that person (I won’t use a gender pronoun because I don’t want to even hint who that person might be).

Now some may say Jenner’s excruciatingly public transformation is important because too many dopes in this holy land are scared little rabbits when it comes to someone making or having made the big change. Fair enough, but knowing a relative or a co-worker or a next door neighbor who’s experienced the ordeal of redefining him- or herself to the public seems a much more effective way of bringing those folks into the mainstream, which is where they belong.

Caitlyn Jenner and that whole Kardashian mob serve only themselves and not some higher moral precept like the acceptance of those who are different.


Check out this piece on cartoonist Al Jaffee of Mad magazine. The old bird just turned 95 y.o. and is still scribbling pix for the beloved satire mag. He refuses to retire, saying, “They’re going to have to suffer the ignominy of firing a 95-year-old man.”

Don’t you just love feistiness, especially in a person most of whose contemporaries have been populating graveyards for years and years? BTW: He’s in no danger of being canned.

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Anyway, Mad magazine was my fave before I even hit my teens. It became a must-get after my mother, having discovered a couple of issues in my bedroom, warned me never to bring the mags to school and, moreover, not to even talk about them with my friends. She fell back on the nebulous they for authority. “They say this stuff is communist,” she said. “You can get in trouble if they (presumably my teachers, the police and/or, perhaps, the FBI) catch you with these.”

From that moment onward, I bought and hoarded every issue that came out.

Back to Jaffee, he invented the fold-in, the back cover cartoon feature wherein you folded it over at specified arrows to create a second ironic and always uproarious cartoon. The very first one featured Elizabeth Taylor kissing Richard Burton — this just as she was starting up her torrid affair with him — while her current husband, Eddie Fisher, was being trampled by the celebrity-obsessed crowd. You folded the panel in and — voila! — there was Liz smooching some other, anonymous handsome swain in the crowd with the caption, “The Next One!”

The next one, in terms of the fold-ins, featured Richard Nixon.

Mad always came down hard and funny on celebs and pols. Advertisements, big corporations, various blowhards, and sundry moralists, as well. It continues publishing to this day, both in hard copy and online, which makes me happy.

Good Luck

Malcolm Gladwell made a big splash with his 2008 book, Outliers, the gist of which was highly successful people like Bill Gates benefitted as much from the times they were born and where they were raised as from their brilliance, hard work and perseverance.

Now comes author Robert H. Frank with his new book, Success and Luck, connecting much of the myth-making about successful folk to the widening divides between conservatives and liberals and the haves and have-nots. Conservatives, Frank argues — as do I, love to buy into the fairy tale that the wealthy and successful got that way because they are special souls while the poor are poor because they aspire only to stand on the street corner smoking cigarettes and drinking out of bottles in brown paper bags.

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Get A Job, Ya Bum!

Believe me, I’ve had countless shouty debates in barrooms w/ people who’ve made just those assertions.

Frank also tells us his ideas about how policy changes might be able to even the playing field for poor sap kids who grow up, say, in Appalachia or East LA and are just as innately brilliant, hard working, and perseverant as guys like Gates.

May 7th Birthdays

David Hume — Scottish philosopher who championed empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. He argued in  A Treatise on Human Nature that we’re not so rational but more reactive and hard-wired from birth to do what we do.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky — Russian composer, one of the few classical greats who are known to a great number of people. He studied more Western forms and themes of music and included some of them them in his repertoire even though his output is considered definitive of the Russian character.

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Gary Cooper — One of the greatest underplaying film actors of the 20th Century.

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Eva Perón — Even though she’d been pals with Spain’s fascist dictator, Francisco Franco, “Evita” has been worshipped for some three-quarters of a century by Argentines for her and her husband Juan Perón’s liberal reign as the South American country’s first couple. She died young, contributing to her mythical status à la JFK.

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Anne BaxterEve.


Thelma Houston — Late-disco-era singer whose hit, “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” became an anthem during the days of big-city, airplane-hangar-sized gay dance bars.

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Amy Heckerling — One of the still-too-few female movie directors, gave us Fast Times at Richmont High and Clueless.


Thomas Piketty — Economist and author whose hugely best-selling 2013 book, Capital in the 21st Century, sits unread on millions of coffee tables around the world.

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Hot Gender Air

Potty Training

Schools in Los Angeles soon will allow transgender kids to use the bathroom of the sex that they identify with. Sounds good to this bleeding heart.

Kids who ID as girls won’t be getting the crap kicked out of them in boys’ bathrooms anymore. Great.

If you agree with the above conclusion, step back and remember what holy land you live in.

Bathroom Question

I heard about the Los Angeles Unified School District‘s new rule, set to go into effect next year, this morning on NPR. Cool, I thought. Then it occurred to me: Guaranteed, some some of a bitch is going to fight against it because next thing you know, all the boys in LA schools are going to claim they’re really girls just so they can get into the the female loo and goggle at panties.

And people wonder why our holy land is so sexually eff-u’d.

An NPR reporter interviewed a student at Azuza High School. “She’s student body president, a varsity cheerleader, homecoming princess, and a straight-A senior,” the reporter said. The student is also a transgendered girl. She says her school day is so busy she’s often on campus 12 hours a day. Despite that, she says, she rarely goes to the bathroom. If she goes to the boys’ bathroom, she might get pushed around. If she goes to the girls’, she’ll be breaking the rules. So, she holds it.


The new rule seems tailor-made for her.

Ah, but what about all those boys who want to peek under bathroom stall doors?

One woman went door-to-door to get people to sign a petition to overturn the rule. She says it “opens the door for predators.” She and her like-minded brethren throughout California have gathered some 600,000 signatures. The pastor of her church told the reporter his duty is to shield children from discomfort and danger. “I have to protect those that would be offended by this,” he said.

The pastor added that any given schoolboy — being a schoolboy, natch — would use the new rule to further his nefarious ends. “Maybe a couple of guys bet him, ‘Hey, pretend you’re a girl today. Go on in there, take a peek,’ ” the pastor said.


Saving The Nation’s Youth From Discomfort

So, once again in this great nation’s limitless wisdom, hundreds of thousands of us prefer to cater to the adolescent whims of giggly schoolboys than to protect people who face real dangers. Rather than clamp down on voyeurs and bullies, they’d have kids like that Azuza High School student refrain from micturating all day long.

Surprised? Silly.

You got raped? You shouldn’t ever have had sex before it happened.

You got your jaw broken? You shouldn’t have walked around like a mincing fairy.

You didn’t get that promotion? You shouldn’t have been born with a vagina.

It’s no wonder at all why we’re so sexually eff-u’d.

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