Nonsense and Sensiibilities among the Transgendered

Common sense seems to have eluded those who placed the following hypersensitive editor's note on an article in the UCLA student newspaper about gender inequality in health care. The author's argument for free or government subsidized tampons was silly to begin with but the note placed it way over the top.

Editor’s note: This blog post refers to individuals who menstruate as women because the author wanted to highlight gender inequality in health care. We acknowledge that not all individuals who menstruate identify as women and that not all individuals who identify as women menstruate, but feel this generalization is appropriate considering the gendered nature of most health care policies.

As might be expected, this excess of sensitivity to the transsexual community caused the Daily Bruin to be treated as a laughingstock by many. 

That also happened last week to the organizers of the Free Pride event to be held in August in Glasgow, Scotland. Because some transgendered people have expresses discomfort around men who identify as men and cross dress, the organizers announced they would not be booking any drag acts as entertainment for their event.  Here is what they said about their decision.

We would like to reaffirm that this is not to say that we do not want gender expression, which we do encourage, at our event. We encourage everyone to wear what they want and express their gender however they please! There will be no policing of peoples gender identity. We will be re-enforcing our safer spaces policy at the event and asking that no-one assume anyone else’s gender and remember to always ask pronouns.

Free Pride is intended to be a safe space for all individuals. It is also intended to bring a new vibrant change to Glasgow’s LGBTQIA community; putting marginalized people at its heart.

Will the organizers set aside a safer place for people with practical intelligence as opposed to gender warrior indoctrination?

When the affected performers let it be known they were upset, Free Pride then modified their initial position to allow the drag acts of the transgendered. I am not sure -- is it a drag act if it is a man who is convinced he is a woman dressing like a woman? Dramatically, drag works as entertainment when it is a man who knows he is a man pretending to be a woman. Then the reveal at the end shows it all to be a ballsy joke. The illusion is broken and the audience sees the artifice for the first time -- the choker necklace that hides the Adam's apple, the ruching on the dress that hid the junk. But when the act features a man who truly believes he is a woman the reveal is more likely to underscore his own delusional state. For despite the "self-identity" and perhaps even hormone therapy and surgery, he still looks like a man when the artifice is removed. We laugh, often heartily, with the brash drag queens, some of whom are known to give saucy advice to women on how to act more feminine. Those who are cruel may laugh at the transsexual. Those who are not tend to look away. Few people want to join another's delusion. 

When Free Pride allowed transgendered performers some of the drag queens, whom I suspect rather outnumber the transsexuals, became doubly offended. Many also noted that the move probably violated UK discrimination laws. There was talk on the social media of a boycott. Then there is the matter of how a lot of the heterosexuals who attend such events come to see drag queens. And while Free Pride was founded as a less commercial alternative to Scotland’s much older Pride Scotia, the promoters certainly do want people to show up. But who is going to show up at a Pride event for that fun bunch known as social-justice warriors? Were the organizers planning on running around handing our affirmative consent forms for all those who might wish to wander off into some cover for a quickie?  Or does that new set of rules only apply to heterosexual sex? 

Obviously, all of this caused Free Pride to be ridiculed across the UK and in America. After all, to most people with common sense, a man in a dress is a man in a dress. (Except in Scotland where it may be a man in a kilt.) That the man in a dress who truly believes he is a woman may be offended by a man who wears a dress as an elaborate joke doesn't seem a big deal. Those who transgress the norms should be made of sterner stuff.  

Unfortunately, it has become a big deal to some transgendered, and especially to gender studies champions in academia. It seems that a practice that goes back for centuries in the theater of men dressing as women is under attack on college campuses lest it offend those fragile gender identities. Consider the recent action of the British National Union of Students:

An obvious example is the motion which condemned cross-dressing as a ‘mode of fancy-dress’ and looked to student unions to ban clubs and societies from holding events which ‘permit or encourage’ cisgender people from cross dressing.

Cisgender is the term the exquisitely sensitive elite now use for unimaginative people who accept the gender God assigned to them. The term to describe the elite, on the other hand, is prig:-- self-righteously moralistic people who act as if superior to others based on scant evidence to that effect. . 

In the end, despite the spirit of their original policy, Free Pride completely reversed the initial policy and welcomed all drag performers to their event. In the process of trying not to offend anyone's sensitives, Free Pride ended up marginalizing themselves as everyone ended up offended in some way.    

From some comments about this Free Pride kerfuffle, I suspect some homosexuals are wondering that it may not have been in their interests for their political activists to make common cause with the doctrinaire academic gender warriors and the academic's cause du jour, the emotionally fragile transgendered. You have to try very hard to take the party spirit out of a homosexual pride event, but the social justice warrior types have shown they may be up to that challenge.