Voices from Hands Across the Aisle

From Miriam Ben-Shalom:

I am a long time civil rights activist who has worked on behalf of the LGB (wasn’t a T then) community.  I also had a significant court case against the US  Army.  My peak trans moment came when I was denied the position of Grand Marshal for Milwaukee’s Pride Parade last year (not to be confused with Pride Fest).  I was uncivilly kicked out because of the words of others on my FB page at that time.  That denial turned me into an activist on behalf of the safety for women and children and keeping female spaces female; I also saw very clearly that women’s voices were being silenced; that women’s concerns were not only overlooked—but not even included in any legislation;  that (it appeared to me) there was a steady pressure to quite literally erase women’s cultural contributions whether it be  philosophy, writing, music, or arts of all kinds.   Sometimes, it even appeared as if a certain segment of the trans population wanted to erase us as living human beings as well.  As a result of being kicked off the Pride Parade, I was contacted by a Conservative woman, Kaeley Triller Haver, to come and speak at a Seattle event where we all were subjected to viciousness, yelling, screaming, and threats from trans supporters and activists.  As a result, Kaeley and I talked about forming some sort of bi-partisan women’s coalition focused on the trans issue.  While I have been excoriated by many women from the demagogic Left, the women from the Right who helped form our coalition have been civil and decent—and supportive!  I stand for the idea that Women’s Rights are Human Rights.  I stand for stopping the attempt at erasing women and women’s culture.   I stand for the safety of women and girls. I so wish trans would stop making it all about them—as it is really about male violence.  It is about protecting women and girls from such violence.  And that is what I stand for, what I fight for, in the end.  I stand for this fight that is about so much more than bathrooms.

From Kaeley Triller Haver:

From the time I can remember, my inability to keep my mouth shut has gotten me into trouble. My mom says I was hardwired for justice, and I think that must be true. I fell down the rabbit hole of the gender identity based erasure of women when I lost my job of 17 years for opposing a policy that gave grown males access to our organization’s numerous locker rooms and changing facilities. As a survivor of sexual trauma, I had done a painstaking amount of work to recover my voice, set unapologetic boundaries for my body, and believe that I had a right to say “no” to men who believed they had a right to take what they wanted by force. I saw a direct parallel between the dignity stripped from me as a child and the gender identity agenda’s pervasive silencing of women with the audacity to object to males in our spaces. But, like many women, I invalidated my own feelings and convinced myself I was the only one who felt this way.

But when a blog I wrote on this issue went viral, I began to hear almost daily from women across the country with similar experiences, concerns, and frustrations. It was then that I really realized that this was not a partisan issue; it was a women’s issue, and we women needed to stand together to defend each others’ dignity.  Some of the most compelling voices I discovered in this journey belonged to women on the other side of the aisle, who had seen this day coming down the pike for years and years. Miriam Ben Shalom was one of these women, and I can honestly say that working alongside the women in this coalition has been one of the most humbling, enriching, and rewarding experiences of my adult life.  It’s amazing what can happen when we put down our weapons and approach each other not as foreigners but as sisters. I am beyond grateful for the women in this coalition.  What an honor to work alongside them and learn from them on a daily basis.

From MaryLou Singleton:

My driving goal in life is making the world a better place for girls and women, the people who are oppressed globally on the basis of female biological sex. These people are aborted in the womb or smothered to death as infants because they have vulvas. They are sold in childhood to men as sex and breeding slaves and the world calls it “child marriage.” They perform countless hours of uncompensated labor and are treated as servants by men of all cultures. They are trafficked as commodities in the global prostitution and surrogacy industries. They go to jail for suspicious miscarriages. They are criminalized for having home births and for extended breastfeeding. They suffer court-ordered forced cesareans. The list goes on and on.
Transgender ideology tells us there is no such thing as biological sex and robs us of our ability to name the class of people who suffer sex-based oppression. If we cannot name a phenomenon, we certainly cannot fight it. Gender ideology is harmful to women and girls.

From “George Eliot”:

As a child, I was a tomboy and rejected all things “girly.”  I wanted to be a boy, just like my brothers and best friend.

Fortunately, my Mom, an activist feminist, allowed me to dress how I pleased.  It was the 1970s, and my favorite book was “Free to Be You & Me.”  And I was free.

I don’t recall ever not knowing Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech.  Mom made it clear that anything I said, did or wore was feminine because I was inherently female, and nothing could change that.  

I learned at a young age that biological sex is immutable, and gender, which stems from sex, is dictated by societal conventions, which my matriarchal household proudly flouted.

Eventually, I tired of being “one of the boys.”  I hated “King of the Mountain” as much as I hated Barbie Dolls.  Because I somewhat experienced “boyhood,” I knew that sex roles stifled both boys and girls alike.

Not surprisingly, I’m gay.  I’m still a tomboy, but in no way am I a man.  I love women, and I love being a woman.

I grieve for the “gender nonconforming” children who are being told that they can change their biological sex.  They are being lied to, and it breaks my heart that they risk sterilization simply to conform to sex roles, which are inherently stifling…and fleeting.  Like me, these kids may outgrow their “gender dysphoria.”  And like me, they may be gay.

In the 1970s, homosexuality was still considered a mental illness.  We had a family friend who could not conceal his homosexuality, and as a teen, fled his home & reinvented himself as a “straight female” named “Elizabeth.”  It was the only way he knew how to survive our violently homophobic society, and my family embraced him without question.

Fast forward to the 1990s, and I’m living in San Francisco.  Mom had died a couple years prior.  Elizabeth also lived in the city, and introduced me to lots of interesting people.  I trusted “her.”  She was an old family friend.  And I didn’t disclose to anyone that “she” was biologically male. She passed, and seemed to live a normal life as a woman.

Except for one thing: “she” loved to have sexual encounters with strange men.  It was Elizabeth’s raison d’être.  Like a good “sex positive” liberal, I didn’t judge.

One night, I was out “partying” with Elizabeth and two of her male friends.  I had survived college, and felt confident in my ability to stay safe while out.  But I had let my guard down…even though I knew Elizabeth was male, I acted as though I was out drinking with another woman.  But I wasn’t.  I was a single woman “partying” with three men.

I don’t think I was gang-raped that night, but can’t be sure.  I “came to” in Elizabeth’s bedroom without clothes that I did not remove.  I just got up, got dressed, and walked out.  Nobody stopped me, and we never discussed it.  I tried to obliterate it from my mind, but it haunts me to this day.

I later realized that I had been set up.  Elizabeth was using me as bait to attract straight men.  I swore I would never again consider a transwoman a woman.  Because they’re not: it’s impossible to change sex.  Anyone born male will die male. Regardless of cosmetic surgery, fake hormones and feelings.  Transwomen know nothing about “sisterhood.”

Last I heard, Elizabeth was working as a BDSM prostitute…presenting as a straight woman, of course.

We’ve come a long way, but society is still homophobic & sexist.  To me, transitioning children is gay conversion therapy.  And some men still feel entitled to consume, define and own womanhood.  They can say or do what they want, but they can never be female.  Sisterhood is beautiful, and it is exclusively female.

From Meg K.:

I became aware of the “cult of trans” when our local school board was under pressure to accommodate transgender students. It was the usual demand that “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) be added to the school district’s nondiscrimination clause. (Even though no one in our county as an employee or student had brought forth a case of discrimination.) PRIDE activists secretly met with school board members friendly to their position to help draft the language. By the time “average” parents got wind of the situation, PRIDE speakers dominated our school board public comment time and aggressively lobbied for the SOGI addition. Parents who were opposed — or just had questions —  were silenced.

Concerns like, “will my daughter have to undress in front of biological males?” or “can my Muslim daughter request not to share a room with a biological male on a band trip?” went unanswered.  At best, we were assured “nothing bad would happen, nothing would change.”  At worst, we were mocked and ridiculed as religious zealots, haters, or bigots.

Public schools are for everyone – as long as you check your religion at the door.

It was clear that the Transactivists were not going to allow public debate of their demands. While on the one hand they claimed victim status as “bullied,” on the other hand these same “victims” were bullying their way into bathrooms and locker rooms without regard for how anyone else felt. Never mind legitimate concerns of religious conscience or public safety. We had to consider their feelings, while Transactivists could ignore and shout down anyone opposed to their agenda.

Given my religious convictions, I am concerned for the mental and physical health of anyone who struggles to “identify” with the body God has given them. As the parent of a child with an eating disorder, I know the terrible toll mental illness takes on everyone in a family, most especially the sufferer. Children struggling with gender dysphoria and their parents have my sincerest sympathies and my prayers.

The desire to be known and loved in an authentic way is written on every human heart. We need to be very careful when we endanger children’s future fertility for the sake of “identity politics.” Significant discussion, study, and debate are required. But the Cult of Trans denies many realities, including the need for reasoned public discourse.

From a Mom in Washington State:

I completely disagree with the current way our country is trying to implement gender ideology laws. In Washington State, a commission of five unelected officials added “Gender Identity” to the State Anti-Discrimination Law in December of 2015 (https://justwantprivacy.org/the-new-law/). In this new law, a female who is uncomfortable with a biological male in a women’s public shower area will be asked to leave, not the male. The right to privacy and modesty for girls and women is being eradicated so that males can feel better about themselves.
About seven years ago, I took my young daughter to local pool to swim. As we were getting ready in the female locker room, a man walked in with his eyes closed and proceeded to shower. It was obvious to me he knew exactly where he was and I told him to leave because he was in the women’s locker room. He opened his eyes, got a good look at all the girls and women in various states of undress, and left. As the law states now, he could complain to the management that I harassed him and I would have been told to leave.
I recently witnessed a 20-something man use the women’s bathroom at a local mall. He was with two young ladies and, with the new law, I couldn’t say anything that might hurt his feelings. What about the feelings of the women and girls who are confused about why this guy was there? What about their rights to privacy and modesty?
My daughter and I attended a meeting last year regarding a transgender policy for our local school district. My daughter spoke publicly in regards to how she felt about allowing boys into the girls locker room. Her concerns about boys watching girls undress were completely dismissed, and she felt that her feelings about this issue didn’t matter. When the school board was voting on the policy, anyone who voiced concern or objections over the transgender policy were heckled, intimidated by protesters, and at times could not be heard due to the activists’ noisy intimidation. The message that my daughter received was that her voice and her concerns didn’t matter.
How many women have stories about seeing men in women’s spaces in Washington State that never got reported? And if reported, are the women believed or silenced? It seems that gender identity activists only want to hear our silence. We will not be silenced and we will not acquiesce to the erasure of females.

From Teresa:

I am involved in fighting gender identity policies that discriminate against biological women and girls in private spaces because I reject the idea that all women should have to set aside their principles, modesty and personal boundaries for the political views of a few.

The main reason I am against biological males in women’s private spaces is because of what I learned from personal experience. I was attacked and choked by a man in a bathroom setting for refusing his sexual advances when I was a teenager. I now refuse to be alone in the presence of males in private spaces like bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. Policies that allow biological men into private female spaces make me fear for my safety and show no regard for women who have endured emotional damage from an attack by a male. Policy makers should consider that there are millions of women such as myself who have been sexually assaulted before allowing men into women’s private spaces.

As a Christian, I care deeply about modesty and do not accept that I, or my children, should be forced to undress in front of unknown men. It doesn’t make any sense that it’s legal for men to see young girls in the YMCA showers and illegal for the same men to possess child pornography.

As a biological woman, I have been told my concerns aren’t valid, that men’s concerns matter more and that I should stay silent on this issue. I have witnessed gender identity activists shouting obscenities at women and belittling them in an attempt to silence and shut down discussion. It is time to stop ignoring and discriminating against biological women, listen to what we are saying and do something to ensure the privacy and dignity of women and girls!

From KS:

One of my very first memories was when I was molested at the age of 4. I was molested by at least 6 different people (those are the ones I remember) by the time I was 8. That is when I began being raped. I was raped multiple times by different people. I absolutely hate admitting these facts. These truths somehow make me feel dirty, unworthy, unlovable, and condemned. These truths affect my life every single day.
As a child, when I tried to tell people what was happening, I was told to “never speak of it again”. I got statements like: “It was your fault for getting too close to him,” “Well, if you didn’t dress in tight clothing, he wouldn’t have wanted to touch you,” “Why didn’t just stay away from him,” “I’m sure you could have done something to avoid it”, and “You must have wanted it or you would have left.” As if a young, intimidated, scared child could do something to avoid such a predator.
I had no adult to protect me. Now, I refuse to be an adult that does not stand up for children’s safety.
I now have very clear privacy boundaries. Unless I am married to you, you have NO business being in my personal, private spaces.  Now the government (and transgender advocates) are telling me that I have no say in regards to my personal boundaries. They’re telling me all the same things I was told as a child: “You have no right to tell him no” and “Your boundaries don’t matter.”
I know all too well that predators wait for opportunities to exploit victims. Gender identity laws written to accommodate transgender people have left a huge open door to sexual predators. Make no mistake, you are harming children if you do not stand up for their safety.