special ed

Constance McMillen’s High School Also Suspended a Transgender Student. Just ‘Cause

Oh you’ve got to be kidding: Itawamba Agricultural High School, which wouldn’t let Constance McMillen bring her girlfriend to the prom, has a history of anti-LGBT policies. Evidenced when, this year, it suspended Juin Baize, who came to school for one whole day before being kicked out for wearing women’s clothing.

Even Constance remember Baize’s short-lived stay.

“People were talking about him all day, trying to get a look at him,” said McMillen. “It was insane, it was ridiculous, it made me so mad. They said he was causing a distraction with what he was wearing but it was a half day of school and people didn’t have time to get used to him.” The other students wouldn’t be given a chance to get used to him: the next time Baize came to school, according Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi, Baize was given a suspension notice and sent home. When Juin returned to school after his first suspension, he was suspended again.

“Juin’s case was a situation where a transgender student wanted to attend school dressed in feminine clothing,” said Bennett, “and the school district would not even let him attend school.” The reasons for a student’s suspension are supposed to be noted on the suspension form, according to Bennett, but that part of Baize’s suspension notice was left blank. So the ACLU sent a letter to the school on Baize’s behalf asking the school administration for the reasoning behind his suspension—information the ACLU would need in order to challenge Baize’s suspension in court. “But the school would not talk to us about the situation,” said Bennett.

And of course, there’s a hero mom behind the scenes.

Baize’s appearance and the fact that he, unlike Constance McMillen, was perceived as a trouble-making outsider made living in Fulton increasingly impossible. Beverly Baize couldn’t find work because, she believes, Fulton is a small town and people disapproved of her son. Juin was harassed when he left the house, according to Beverly Baize, so she stopped letting him go out alone and then stopped letting him go out at all.

“I’m so afraid for him,” Bertsinger told me last week. “I support him. I buy him the clothing to wear as a female. I just want him to be safe.”

Our immediate reaction to a story like this? Fire the administrators.

But that seems a bit harsh, doesn’t it? To infringe on the livelihood of these academia professionals just for discriminating against a lesbian and a transgender student? Oh, on second thought: Fire the administrators.

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  • Rashid

    As long as fire is involved, it should work. Whether it’s laying them off or torching them.

  • Hyhybt

    (subscribing without comment, for now. If anyone knows a way to do that without making some form of post, please let me know.)

  • Tina

    This is…a TAD more severe than disallowing someone to go to prom. Watch this get totally swept under the news media rug…

  • BK

    Baize is probably the most unfortunate last name someone with the name “Juin” could have. Juin is French for “June” and Baize sounds exactly like “baise,” which means “fucks.”

    Sad story, though. There was the ACLU when she was suspended from school? Something must be done about these high schools, because this one is not the only one in the US doing this kind of thing.

  • terrwill

    Seemss like the only thing they grow at the Itawamba Agricultural High School is bigotry, hatred, ignorance and intolerance……………

  • Zoe Brain

    Terrwill – weren’t you the one who insisted that there should be only GLB not GLBT?

    “…the trans people who post here will never accept any type of criticism. Instead they adopt behaviours and start flingiing insults that would warm the cold hearts of any rightwing nut bag lunatic…”

    “I don’t dislike trans people. I simply do not like when persons who very clearly state that they are straight attempt to wedge themselves under the GLB umbrella…. Trans people bring a lot of baggage with them, you expect to be welcomed into the GLB struggle yet many of you claim to be straight. Its the people who do not identify themselves as Gay that need to go away”

    Just like the school board told this kid to “go away”, right?

    *SIGH* The one thing we have in common is that it’s the same people who persecute us. But I think that’s enough. Allow on encourage the persecution of “those icky trannies”, and soon full humans – gays and lesbians – will suffer too. As here.

    Hopefully you realise what I’m getting at now. I think that maybe from your comment, you might be coming round to the idea that, although trans concerns *are* different, it’s not a matter of them “attempting to wedge themselves under the GLB umbrella”, more of a case that they’re the canaries in the coalmine.

  • terrwill

    @Zoe Brain: I still 100% stand behind my original statement. If you declare you are “straight” then you are not Gay And I don’t understand why someone who is straight would seek support from the Gay community. I still do not see why you can not understand or agree with this.

  • Martin81

    @Zoe Brain — I agree with @Terriwill — if you identify as transgender, you are not homosexual. Yes, we are all treated unequally by the majority, but that doesn’t mean we have the same issues to fight. For example, transgender individuals aren’t affected by a ban on gay marriage, because they are, in actuality, heterosexual, and can marry the person they love (see Chaz Bono). It would be equivalent to saying that Native Americans and African-Americans should be lumped together simply because they are racial minorities. Doing so completely ignores the unique issues each of the those communities faces. I think by lumping us all together, it also adds to the ignorance of heterosexuals who see gays and lesbians as simply men who want to be women, and vice versa, when that is clearly not the case.

    So, a person can still be angered by transgender discrimination, but not feel that transgenders and homosexuals should simply be lumped together when it comes to discussing the challenges we face. Yes, it is nice to have support from many different groups, but the more differences that are added, the more diluted the overall message becomes.

  • Hyhybt

    @Martin81: I think transgenderism (if that’s the wrong word, please forgive and correct me) is, though not the same thing, very much along the same lines as homosexuality. Gay men are essentially the same as straight men except for what amounts to a switch thrown the other way somewhere in the brain for who you’re attracted to (and the same for lesbians); transgendered are the same except for a switch thrown somewhere telling them what they are. How you proceed from there, of course, is different, but I expect that if the sources of both are found, they’ll be very similar in nature.

    Meanwhile, it seems to me that, far from being eliminated, the problem of marriage is far worse for transgendered people. What do you mean by saying they’re heterosexual? Do you mean they’re attracted to the sex opposite to their original physical makeup, or opposite to their destination? And since, if I understand correctly, some jurisdictions recognize people only by their birth sex while others accept a change, who they can marry changes as they travel and a marriage to *anybody* flicks on and off the same way it does for a traveling gay couple. Taking away the sex/gender requirement for marriage should matter every bit as much to them as to us.

  • Tina

    I’m a lesbian trans woman, but for sake of the arguement, consider this:

    I was born in Idaho. Idaho will never, ever, evereverever, change my birth certificate to reflect the fact that I’m female. If I cant get the birth cert, I can never get my passport updated. I’m recognized as female in about a dozen states, but can only marry a woman in a couple. I’m recognized as male in the others and can only marry a woman – period. As a male. With my long-dead male identity going on a contract.

    Again, purely theoretical…i’m never going to uphold this stupid “institution”.

    But, again…Baize’s rights are thrown under the bus. By queer people. Just sorta ignored.

  • edgyguy1426

    Soooooooooooooo the trans people that have same sex partners are welcome under the LGBT umbrella but those that after transition that have opposite partners are not welcome? So if this H.S. kid has an attaction to guys after transitioning, you’re saying she’s not welcome in our struggle, our movement, our fight for equality? This just doesn’t sound right to me.

  • Jadis

    Fair enough. Time for the T to get out. The GL resents us, never misses an opportunity to kick us in the face. They hate us even more than Southern Baptists.

    Queerty, please stop posting trans articles. Last one out turn off the lights.

  • Jackie

    Is there anything more beautifully “Queer” than a transperson? ; )

  • Archie Semper

    Martin81 (and to an extent, Terrwill), I think you have a lot of reading and thinking to do.

    There are many good reasons to include the T people with the LGB people, but I’ll just mention a couple that might have special significance to you.

    Martin81, you say, “If you identify as transgender, you are not homosexual.” The two are not mutually exclusive, no matter what you seem to think. But almost all T people live as gay, bi, or pan for some period in their lives–whether it’s before, during, or after transition. Therefore, they belong in LGB communities. Some might argue that this person is no longer gay and doesn’t belong here anymore and that person is now gay and does belong here…but seem to be saying that you would disallow all T people just because (and this you do say) you think they can’t be gay. What are they, asexual? All of them? Seriously?

    I grew up with a gay sexual orientation just like other gay men. The one difference? Everyone thought I was a girl. And hetero. I wasn’t. I am trans. I am gay. Yet you, like the medical community just a few years ago, insist that I do not even exist.

    I’m not an isolated case. I know lots of trans men who are gay, bi, bi-curious, pan, omni. I know some lesbian trans women. Sexually, we are all over the map.

    Second, which folks in LGB communities are most hated by the general public, and even some LGB folks? The “obvious” ones, the ones who transgress stereotypical gender behavior and presentation. That’s right, the feminine men and the masculine women. Gender variance is already a big part of LGB communities, even if folks like you want to deny it. It’s logical to include T folks under the umbrella.

    Third (an extension of my last point), the general public, and bigots particularly, tend to see T people as gay anyway and respond to them with homophobia. The last I saw, homophobia was a big issue in LGB circles, even if it is aimed at people who aren’t actually gay. Your attitude implies that if an effeminate straight man is beaten up because he’s perceived as gay, it’s not a problem for the LGB folks. If you have that attitude, you’re welcome to it. But whether you like it or not–as I said before–gender variance is inextricably entangled into LGB issues. And I feel that homophobia, even when it’s aimed at people who only LOOK gay, is also a part of LGB issues.

    Let me ask you outright: do you accept non-hetero T people into LGB communities? If so, you believe that nearly all trans people have the right to be in the LGB community at some point in their lives. If not, you are excluding some gays and lesbians from the LGB just because they are trans. If you feel this way, how do you justify it?

    You seem to think that by “lumping together” LGB and T, there is no room for separate advocacy. Yet there is. You’re proposing a false dilemma here. There’s not just either-or; there’s both.

    I certainly hope you don’t want to toss aside the T people because of some bigotry on your part. A lot of LGB people feel that they’ve finally attained a degree of acceptance and respectability–and they think that trans people are so weird and fringy that we might destroy that hard-won ground and make LGB folks look bad and retard their progress. I’m not saying that you feel this way, but I’ve run into a lot of LGB separatists who do. This kind of attitude happens in virtually all persecuted minorities. “Don’t act too black/Jewish/gender variant…you’ll make the rest of us ‘normal’ minority members look bad.” And you know what? I think that’s bull.

    And let me tell you, the ban on gay marriage has a HUGE and DIRECT effect on trans people. I am gay. If I fall in love, it won’t be with a woman. Now that I’m legally male, I can’t marry a man.

    In fact, I’m currently married to a straight man, and we are divorcing. But the legality of our marriage is now questionable. If we decided to stay in that marriage, our right to inheritance and Social Security and other benefits could be challenged. It will happen at the federal level (and may have already), and it’s definitely happening in some states–because gay marriage is not universally legal in this country.

    I’m not sorry about the long rant, either. I expect that you won’t read it, but maybe someone else will read it and think again.

  • FabKitty

    You all know you can go to slog.thestranger.com and this trans kid story on there.
    You can also donate money to him and his family. (it’s a really good cause)
    I donated as much as I could, i hope i helped out any.
    And leave all your comments on there to I know it will help him feel better when you show you r support!

  • Dasher

    The point is an injustice was done to this person, and the school administration was sneaky in leaving the reason for the suspension blank on the form. To try to give the victim no identifiable cause of action, or else to let the school shift gears on the reason and be less of a target for litigation.

    He was supposedly suspended for wearing women’s clothing. In the photo he is wearing a pink T-shirt. Not exactly my idea of women’s clothing. I wish I had twenty bucks for every str8 boy who wears a pink T-shirt to high school. I could retire on it.

    The problem is that Juin Baize is an effeminate boy who is probably prettier than most of the girls in his class. What his official card-carrying status is (whether he is gay, transgender, cross-dresser, or whatever) would seem to be pretty irrelevant to me if he’s going to get bashed.

    And maybe the school administration just wanted him bounced to prevent violence in their school.

  • Missanthrope

    “air enough. Time for the T to get out. The GL resents us, never misses an opportunity to kick us in the face. They hate us even more than Southern Baptists.

    Queerty, please stop posting trans articles. Last one out turn off the lights.”

    Actually most of my friends are G, L or B and treat me as an equal and as part of the family. The only GLB people I’ve run in to with a problem are gays over 40 (who seem trans women as “super dragqueens” or trans men as “super dykes”) or gutless assholes who post mean spirited things from behind a computer, like some people here at queerty.

  • terrwill

    @Archie Semper: I still can not for the life of me figure out why there is so much misunderstanding of my comments. I have no issues with anyone who identifies as Gay. What I do have a problem with is trans people who state the words “I am straight” once you make that declaration any reasonalbe person can come to the conclusion that you are not Gay. For whatever reason a decent number of trans people once the transition is complete they identify as straight. I know trans people and have zero issues with them. Again what I have issues with if you disown the community and then you have an issue, you claim homophobia………

    A straight person hating on a person who claims to be straight isn’t homophobia………….

  • Jackie Santopietro

    Many queer people insisted they were not such at one point in their life. The reasons are many and usually a self defense mechanism for the person. Would it not just be easier to love them for who they are and to just understand they have yet to face the issue. I know I am not the only queer here with a child from a hetero marriage.

  • Archie Semper

    Terrwill, I didn’t misunderstand your comments, and please note that at the outset I directed my comment primarily at Martin 81 and clearly stated that my diatribe only applied to you to a certain extent. I am simply claiming that there’s good reason for there to be an LGBT “community” rather than just an LGB community. In many ways, LGB people and T people have common interests and issues even when the T people identify as straight before or after they transition. If you had read and seriously considered what I said, you might have picked up on that.

    And, interestingly enough, I remember quite a few GL people objecting to B people in the same way that you are objecting to T people now. And yet B people can have quite a lot in common with GL people, at least with regard to sexual orientation, homophobia, etc.–as can T people even when they identify themselves as straight.

  • Archie Semper

    Terrwill, I should also state that your final comment is problematic. You say, “A straight person hating on a person who claims to be straight isn’t homophobia [sic}.” If the persecutor reads a straight person as gay and uses that assumption to persecute him or her, then homophobia is clearly involved. There may be transphobia, too, on top of that, but homophobia is present as well.

  • Dasher

    Labels schmabels. While everyone is playing games with words, somebody needs to wake up and protect this kid from violence!

    When he is out of danger, you can go back to your unproductive pursuits.

  • missanthrope

    “Labels schmabels. While everyone is playing games with words, somebody needs to wake up and protect this kid from violence!

    When he is out of danger, you can go back to your unproductive pursuits.”

    Quoted for truth. People who want to play identity politics games over whom they should care about while people like this kid suffer are not serious about equality or fighting bigotry.

  • melanieshub

    Why is there always so much discourse between us? While it is true that many transgenders are not gay, lesbian or bi, we all suffer persecution at the hands of the same narrow minded idiots. Such is the case in discussion. Transgenders are assumed to be gay, simply by our appearance in their minds. We really have to unite for our common cause, – to end this persecution and obtain equal opportunities that are really afforded to all in our Bill of Rights and our Constitution. The labels they put on us all are superficial, and it’s time people looked past the exterior and their fears and judge people by their inner qualities. We can’t divide, for there is strength in numbers, – a strength that can allow us to change the world and show society that we have something to offer, while being given fair opportunity to better our lives and live without fear.

  • Hyhybt

    @melanieshub: Some also think gay people are transgender… or really, they can’t comprehend the difference. “So which of you is the woman?”

  • jeffree

    @missanthrope: @Dasher: Agreed.
    I think this kid & his family need help.
    We may not share identical issues but we share common enemies. If the Queer Communities dont stand up somehow against this (along w/ Gay Inc. Organizations and ACLU, etc) then I believe & fear no one will.

    @Archie Semper: @Tina: Thanks for the clear info. I think that I need to do more reading & thinking about the T issues.

    I spend a lot of time “educating” liberal straight people who “get” the idea of LG rights/ issues but don’t realize in concrete terms why we struggle & fight.
    When I explain the risk of job loss, discrimination in housing/adoption/marriage/military, etc, they often *do* come around. I wish every damn day that I didnt *have* to do it, but I keep on.

    It’s possible that many of us gay guys & maybe lesbians & bis may need similar help in understanding T issues. Yes its work for you, but dont please give up too easy.

    When were faced with similar struggles, it’s best 2 join together.

  • Archie Semper

    Jeffree, I’m thankful for guys like you who are willing to take the time to explain gay issues to people who don’t get it. If it’s any consolation, I’ve seen a marked change in the attitudes of young people just in the past decade. Ten years ago, when I first started teaching, I had to tread very lightly when we got around to the queer-oriented essays I had assigned; and no student ever came out to me, even though most of them thought I was a lesbian. Now? My students overwhelmingly ASSUME that LGB people should be legally equal to straight people, and I’ve lost count of the number of freshmen who have come out to me as LGBT in the last three years. But I live in a liberal state. These poor kids in Mississippi…I worry about them.

  • terrwill

    @melanieshub: As a Gay person, I have had some of the best experiences one could ever wish for, satisfying life, great friends, experiences and relationships. All elements of my life that were as a direct result of being born Gay. Unfortunately being born Gay has also led to a lot of terrible experiences simply for being born Gay. Including bits of discrimination, denial of benefits and rights, and probably the worst thing ever to happen to me is having my best friend Gay bashed so fucking badly that he died six days later sole reason for his death was that he was Gay…………

    You state that many trans are not Gay. Many of them openly state same. When Chaz Bono was interviewed recently, probably the most visable trans person ever when asked about his relationship his response was “We are just like any other straight couple”…….Sorry but I can not get past nor give them a pass for that. If you are trans and Gay, welcome and I will fight for and defend you as strongly as any other Gay person. If you clearly state you consider yourself straight and intend to live your life as a heterosexual, you have no right then to then claim homophobia when someone has issues with your status as trans. You have no right to expect the Gay community to come to your assistance. You have clearly stated you are not a member of the Gay community. It can not be a part time decision………………….

  • Archie Semper

    Terrwill, I completely appreciate where you’re coming from. If Chaz Bono is Captain Straight now, then of course he isn’t gay. It’s absolutely your choice and your right not to fight for him as you would for fellow gay people. But consider this: some people feel that a trans relationship is always, unavoidably, very very queer–whether it is straight, gay, or something else entirely. So by that logic (which, I understand, you might not accept), trans people in any kind of relationship could expect to be part of an LGBQ community, with or without the T. I guess it depends on whether you accept the concept of queerness and consider the Q to be part of the whole alphabet soup.

    But it sure looks like Chaz and others like him don’t subscribe to this sort of thinking. To each his own.

  • terrwill

    @Archie Semper: First off its nice to be able to engage in a cyberconversation with someone who has a differing point of view w/o personal insults being hurled at the oposing viewer as far too often is the case on Queerts……….You are correct that some persons are simply pushed under the Gay umbrella regardless if its raining on them or not……….Perfect example is Johny qWeir. He is percieved as Gay by virtually every person who has a pair of eyes and ears. He is on the recieveing end of anti-Gay bigotry, yet refuses to state the words “I am Gay”. Same with the trans folks who are treated same way. People are going to assume that they are Gay. I just can not accept persons who will very vocally state they are not Gay. Yet if they suffer discrimination they suddenly seek support from the Gay community………….I am not refering to some high school kid, I am taking about adults who have made a conscious decision to declare they are not Gay…………….

  • melanieshub

    @terrwill: First, I never made any statement as to my own sexual preference, merely the transgender community as a whole. Second, you saw we have no right to claim homophobia if someone has issue with us as transgenders. If a transgender is attacked and murdered by someone that would refer to her as a fag in a dress, then you’re implying that girl isn’t as dead as she would have been if she were a gay male? Homophobia is not judged by how you see yourself, but as others see you, because that’s where it originates, – in others.

  • terrwill

    @melanieshub: Would you very pretty please read my entire post??? I have stated time and time again my issue is only with those who declare “I am straight” to me that means thank you and buh bye to the Gay community. If you so choose to do so, then please do not come crying back claiming that you are having issues because you are claiming homophobia. If you are not Gay how can you claim someone is homphobic towards you???? Sorry, you can not become Gay only when it is convient for you………….

  • N.Chaos

    @edgyguy1426: I agree. Transgenders are treated like shit sometimes worse than gays in general, though I can’t see why. Who someone loves/fucks or what gender they are shouldn’t matter. I feel like biology and identity are entirely different things. I may have been born female, but I’m sure as hell not a woman.

  • Archie Semper

    @terrwill: “If you are not Gay how can you claim someone is homphobic towards you????”

    Terrwill, there are at least two ways of looking at this. From your perspective, I gather, it isn’t homophobia if a guy beats the crap out of a straight guy whom he only THINKS is gay. In one respect, I see this–the attacker is beating up a straight person, not a gay person. I completely get this. I’m not sure how you, personally, would categorize this type of act, though. Can you elaborate? I’m genuinely curious.

    Melanieshub comes from the opposite perspective. The key here, as the post says, is in the attacker’s motives. He hates gays, and his violent act springs from that hatred, even if his victim is straight. The classic definition of homophobia is a fear or hatred of homosexuals, and the attacker definitely feels that. Since his act is motivated by a hatred of gay people, the attack can be seen as a homophobic act.

    It’s a lot like hate crime law. A crime is a hate crime when it’s motivated by some kind of hatred or prejudice against someone who is perceived to belong to a particular group. It doesn’t matter whether the victim really does belong to that group. All of this is part of the legal definition, and a guy who bashes a straight women because he thinks she’s a dyke can be prosecuted under the hate crime statute.

    It does seem like a double standard for a straight person, a double advantage. Especially one who has gone out of his or her way to proclaim, “I am straight!, and especially if that person used to be or used to identify as gay. It’s like they get both straight privilege and gay privilege, whenever they want it. But the price, in this hypothetical situation, is that they are gay-bashed when they aren’t even gay.

    I don’t know, does this make any sense? How do you yourself define a seemingly homophobic act aimed at a straight person?

  • Tara Chee

    Terrwill – I entirely understand where you’re coming from. But the concern here is that you willfully wish for the separation of minorities who have a shared history of oppression and support for one another. Can you say that you being a gay male (at least that’s how I assume you identify) would experience oppression the exact same way a lesbian, or a bisexual person would? Yes, there’s the aspect of sexual orientation that you can claim to be common ground, but when bisexuals and lesbians are somewhat given disdain for more than just their queer sexuality, even within the GLBT community, it speaks to a need to fight more than discrimination based on simple sexual orientation. Native Americans face a different kind of oppression from African Americans, yet they’re still able to organize and fight against oppression in solidarity under a banner of ‘People of Colour’. The thing is, because trans people are PERCEIVED as being gay, or ‘worse’ in the mainstream, and the fact that trans people have been actively involved in gay causes since the beginning, many having adopted a gay identity before coming out as trans, stripping the T away from GLB is senseless. Any arguments to do so reek of shame towards trans sisters and brothers, or at least belief that they’re simply baggage, and getting rid of them will get them their rights, faster. If that’s how you personally feel, then all I can say to you is well played. Go win your rights, but please don’t bother looking back with the pretension that you care at all about the rest of us. See you 10 years from now when gays are entirely accepted, while gay members of society argue against giving rights to trans people.

  • jeffree

    @Archie Semper: Thanks for telling your side!

    The sad fact is that even gay men often do not get involved in any g/l political issues, not to mention bi or trans issues: the guys I know in my age range (middle 20s) do NOT care or think about gay marriage, adoption, ENDA, DADT., etc. i hope they don’t represent our future or the majority of gay men, but that’s my day to day truth. Most do not vote. Most do not know what the HRC is or care.

    i’m sad to say that if gay/lesbian rights arent on their agenda, then bi or trans issues fall down to the end of the list along wth getting tested for SPDs or doing alittle volunteer work.

    I’m a horrible writer (one poster called me a retard!) but I have to say that yes, gay men & women of all ages should care about the whole Q community, but it’s NOT happening. We should group 2gether 2 fight vs common enemies, but no that is not a priority for more than a minority.

    Being honest, i have more luck getting str8 people in their middle 30s or more to come around 2 speaking out, thinking about the Qs, voting, signing petitions etc. than guys my own age & older.

    sorry 2 be a downer but sometimes it is important 2 face facts.

  • Kristopher Kole

    It is so easy to get so far away from the point here……the point is that this young person,(regardless of how he or she identifies) is being persecuted and ridiculed for his/her right to expression. S/he is hurting absolutely no one by putting on clothing and dressing in a way that s/he is comfortable. We have no right to speculate about his/her sexuality. Frankly, it does not matter. We put so much stock into things and ideas that are pointless and irrelevant in the grander sceme of things. Who says or decides what clothes are appropriate for men? for women? When were these choices made? Can’t we see that it does not matter??? Why is it so difficult to just love people. Empathy? Compassion? Where are these things? Acceptance? Lets move past our hypocritical and expectant intolerance. It is time to evolve…..

    Tara Chee ~ You rock…….peace out!!

  • Archie Semper

    @jeffree: Jeffree, I never had much political consciousness when I was in my twenties, either. But I have always attributed that to my constant internal struggle over my gender identity and sexual orientation. I strongly felt that I was a gay man, but I felt so freakish in my role as a straight female that I spent most of my energy just keeping my head above water. At the end of the day, I just didn’t care because I didn’t have anything left to give.

    I don’t see anything wrong with your writing except maybe a little too much textspeak! Anyone who calls you a retard is not only rude but incorrect.

    Kristopher, you’re quite right; we’re somewhat off topic now. I feel that everyone, not just LGB or LGBT folks, should be concerned about how Juin was treated. This child’s gender identification/trans status shouldn’t matter. I have never understood why a young woman I used to work with was allowed to go to the prom in a tux when a boy in an evening gown almost certainly would have been turned away. And I don’t get why schools can’t have nonsexist dress codes. I understand that men’s higher status in this society dictates who can do what, but c’mon–this is the twenty-first century. If RuPaul can win millions of admirers by strutting around in a dress, why can’t Juin wear girls’ clothing? If the other kids hassle Juin, they’re the ones with the problem, and they should be dealt with accordingly.

  • RI

    I think some of you with your anti T issues are missing the big picture here. You want straight people to accept you, but you cannot accept someone on the fringe of your own beliefs? Acceptance is acceptance, if you can’t manage it how can you expect others to accept you?

  • IncREDible

    Having read through a great number of the posts here, I only wish to add a simple concept. Regardless of a tag, name or label- whether it be L, G, B or T- we cannot and must not tolerate hatred. It is hatred that drives people to force people from schools or any other public place that ought to be for any and all. As a community of people, a city, state or nation must not allow any type of hate to be a cause for inequality. Let us just join together and quit debating who falls under what “umbrella.” Rather, let’s use our common abilities and our voices to raise a call for the end to hate in our nation and our world. After all, isn’t that what really matters?

  • melanieshub

    @IncREDible: Amen and well put. We’re all in this together.

  • Seda

    Terrwill, As a trans woman, I seek support from the gay community because we are stronger when we fight together; because, like gays and lesbians, we suffer the same discrimination from the same people, though our issues are different; because alone, we are too few to make a difference. Most of all because I support opposition to ALL oppressions. I will stand behind you, gays and lesbians, in support. I will stand behind blacks, Jews, Latinos, whoever is oppressed because of their identity. All oppressions are related; and because they all are, if anyone is oppressed, we all are.

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