CNN’s Piers Morgan vilified for amazingly pro-transgender interview

CNN’s Piers Morgan is on the defensive for a reportedly horrific “sensationalized” interview he did with transgender woman, and advocate, Janet Mock on the release of her new book about her life journey.

janet-mock

After the interview, Mock accused Morgan of “sensationalizing” her story, and claimed that Morgan had repeatedly offended her by the questions he asked, and by the way he referred to her life story.

I just watched Morgan’s 15-minute interview with Mock, which I’ve posted below, and it was easily the most pro-transgender interview that I’ve ever seen. Morgan was not just a gentleman, he practically gushed over Mock, repeatedly calling her “remarkable,” “gutsy,” “brave,” and praising her “courage.”

Morgan’s interview helped the transgender cause immensely.  And he’s now paying a price for it.

First a little background on what transpired during the interview.  But later I’m going to get into this larger issue of whether we, on the left, have a tendency to sometimes use a nuclear bomb to swat a gnat that wasn’t even bothering us in the first place.  And in this case, a very friendly gnat at that.

Here’s how Piers Morgan began the interview:

Janet Mock has a remarkable life story. Janet was born a boy, and at the age of 18, she took the extraordinary step to become the woman she is today.

Sounds good so far, no?  You’d be wrong.  We’ll get to that in a moment.  First a few more quotes.

At one point, Morgan talks about how, had he not been informed Mock was transgender, he’d never have guessed, “which makes me absolutely believe, you should always have been a woman, and that must have been what you felt when you were young.”

Again, sounds pretty good.

Here are a few more quotes from Morgan:

“it takes such guts”

“you’re obviously an incredibly gutsy person”

“Not many people have come out and been quite so brave… helping the American people and other countries come to terms with this as being a perfectly normal thing.”

“I can’t think of anyone better to be out there promoting all of this than you.”

I watched the entire 15 minute interview, posted below, and Morgan’s comments I quote are illustrative of the entire interview.  It was gracious and supportive to excess.

But those comments earned Morgan a multi-day harangue online, and utter evisceration from trans-right advocates and Mock herself.

You really have to watch the video for yourself, to fully appreciate just how pro-trans, and softball, the interview really was:

Now, let’s look at a few more specific complaints about Morgan’s interview.

Morgan ended the first segment of the Piers Morgan Live interview by saying that Mock at one point had to tell the man she was dating that “you used to be yourself a man” — although Mock has never identified as a man.

The on-screen description of Mock was that she “was a boy until age 18,” although she was identifying as a girl in high school, and the Piers Morgan Live Twitter account posed the question during the interview, “How would you feel if you found out the woman you are dating was formerly a man?”

To make things even more confusing, Mock repeatedly refered to herself as having been "born a boy" in an autobiographical piece in Marie Claire.

To make things even more confusing, Mock repeatedly referred to herself as having been “born a boy” in an autobiographical piece in Marie Claire.

Except that, most viewers, and most people reading this article, would have said the same thing – that Mock did used to be a man, and was a boy until age 18.  What exactly was wrong with what Morgan said, and how is this “sensationalizing” Mock’s life and experience, even if it were somehow incorrect?

And to make things even more confusing, Mock repeatedly referred to herself as having been “born a boy” in an autobiographical piece in Marie Claire back in 2011.

“Though I had been born a boy…”

“I loved them because they had long hair, and they were the only “dolls” OK for me, a boy, to play with.”

“In fact, I even found other boys like me there…”

“I was once a big dreamer who happened to be born a boy named Charles”

“I calmly said. “I was born a boy.”

And the title of the piece, though editors sometimes mess up titles, is “I was born a boy.”

I suspect what’s going on is an issue surrounding whether trans people “become” the other gender, or whether they were always one gender.  Meaning, I suspect trans people would say that they are not born male and then become female – rather, Mock, for example, was born a female in a male’s body.  Thus, when Morgan said “you used to be a man,” he was inaccurate, since Mock has always been a woman, even if her body was male at birth (however you want to define that).

Though honestly, I have no clear idea what Mock objected to.  Did she mean that she was always female from birth? Or did she mean that she should be referred to as female from the dat at which she started to self-identify as female, which was well before she was 18?  We don’t know because Mock never raised the concern, nor tried to explain, which was why she was there in the first place – to explain to people who know nothing about trans issues, what it is to be transgender.

Regardless of the explanation, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Piers Morgan sensationalized anything.  I’d have made the same mistake, and I suspect 99% of the public would have, or has, as well.  I’m sure most of us have written the same about Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning – writing that she used to be a man.  And because Mock didn’t explain this point, I’m still not sure how to describe what gender Bradley Manning was before he self-identified as Chelsea.  And while that perhaps means I’m uninformed on the complexities of trans issues, it’s hardly worthy of villification.

You’ll note in the video that Mock did not correct Morgan over this point.  She could have simply said, “actually, Piers, it’s a common error people make about being transgender, thinking that we change genders – in fact, I’ve always been female, whether or not I was born with the body of a male, and whether or not I’ve had sex-change surgery.”  I think that would have been a fascinating point to make and explain, and it’s clear that Morgan would have been receptive to it, judging by how gushing he was throughout the entire interview.  But it never happened.  A teaching moment was lost.

One other point that Mock got upset about, and it’s a point that’s come up before, including when Katie Couric was attacked for doing a different interview with a trans woman that was, again, incredibly supportive.  Morgan asked Mock about her sex-change surgery.  It’s a sore topic among some trans people, I suspect because it feeds a false perception of someone who “used to be a man, but then post-surgery ‘became’ a woman.” It also risks separating trans people into allegedly “real” trans people who have had surgery, versus those who have not.

In fact, that was part of Mock’s criticism of Morgan:

The on-screen line that she “was a boy until age 18” reflected “bad judgment” and “reductive thinking about gender,” she said.

“What they’re saying is, ‘Only until I got the surgery, then I was a woman,’” she said.

Janet Mock appears on Piers Morgan's show a second time to explain why she was upset by the first interview.

Janet Mock appears on Piers Morgan’s show a second time to explain why she was upset by the first interview.

But that’s what a lot of people think is the case, that when you have gender reassignment surgery  your gender is reassigned, that you change from male to female, or female to male.  Mock is putting herself out there as a transgender advocate, who has just written a book about being transgender, and is going on nationwide prime time television to provide the American people a much-needed education about what it is to be transgender, a topic most know little to nothing about.  I’m not sure she’s doing her cause complete justice by complaining about the way an obviously supportive interviewer phrased his questions, or about the topics he inquired about, when they are the questions and topics that most Americans would ask on this subject.

At another point, Morgan discussed Mock’s relationship with her boyfriend, Aaron, who designed the cover of her book, and who she writes about in the book. Mock objected to this topic, after the show:

“My book is not about Aaron or my relationship, but that’s the most sensational thing they want to pull out,” she said. “They’re not talking about my advocacy or anything like that, it’s just about this most sensationalized … meme of discussion of trans women’s lives: ‘We’re not real women, so therefore if we’re in relationships with men we’re deceiving them.’ So, it just feeds into those same kinds of myths and fears that they spread around, which leads to further violence of trans women’s bodies and identities.”

I didn’t find the topic sensational at all.  I found it empowering.  Not to mention, her book is very about Aaron as she included him in the book.  Morgan raised a seemingly valid interview question.  He asked Mock how she approached coming out as transgender to the man she is currently in love with, and how he reacted.  I think it’s a fascinating and relevant question, and it gives us a window into society’s perception and reception of trans people.  You’d ask a gay person what it was like coming out, why not ask a trans person the same?  And in any case, if it’s a sensational topic, then why include it in the book in the first place?

One final point some trans advocates are raising: That Morgan was impolitic in his tweets about Mock after the show.  In fact, here’s his first tweet after the interview:

piers-morgan-tweet

And here is Mock’s first tweet after the interview:

janet-mock-tweet

Here’s the problem.  And I’ve seen this on gay issues, but also on issues of race, and beyond.  There seem to be this notion that there are questions one should and should not ask, and it’s not always clear to the interviewer what those questions are.  I know gay people who get offended when they get asked what they see as “stupid” questions about being gay, such as “who’s the husband and who’s the wife?” when two gay people get married.  And if the person is supportive, and genuinely curious, and not asking with malice, I don’t take offense. I answer their question.  And if I’m unclear as to what they really mean, I might inquire further, “do you mean sexually, or do you mean that you think men and women have different jobs in the home?” And then we discuss that topic.  They have expressed an interest in knowing more about my being gay, in understanding me and learning about me and my people.  I’m not going to rip their heads off no matter what question they ask, so long as the question is asked sincerely and without malice.

America does not know transgender issues.  At all.  It’s only gotten to know gays in recent years – and that education has taken decades.  I’ve noticed a tendency to criticize anyone who attempts to discuss trans issues and then gets any small point incorrect – whether it’s using the wrong pronoun or asking about reassignment surgery.  And that criticism risks not simply alienating people like Piers Morgan who are clearly allies, but it also sends the message that perhaps it’s not safe covering these issues if even a staunch ally like Morgan is going to be eviscerated for giving a softball interview to someone he clearly admires.

There’s nothing wrong with educating people on your issues, and even correcting them when they get something wrong.  But when America knows very little about you, and someone who is clearly sympathetic invites you on their primetime network show to tell the world about your story, and then gushes over you for 15 minutes (one-third of his entire show), ripping his head off is certainly one approach to winning over the hearts and minds.  It isn’t mine.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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663 Responses to “CNN’s Piers Morgan vilified for amazingly pro-transgender interview”

  1. buddygonzo says:

    Go home Piers, now! And don’t be bossy.

  2. buddygonzo says:

    She went on TV then complained about sensationalizing her story? She could stay home and shut up.

  3. Kitty says:

    I agree with that to a large extent. However its not uncommon for people that know of a trans persons past to use it as a weapon against them now. Even though we always identified as x a large portion of people don’t get it. Also if we’re super open about our past some people react in negative, and possibly violent ways. That may be why most trans people bury their past. I personally wouldn’t admit to it, and would avoid the spotlights to keep it quiet. No need to paint more targets on my back. But yea if we could be totally open like you suggest and not be bashed,defamed,discriminated, or any other form of a attack. I would totally be open, and share all details. With friends I’m only open about it after I have gotten to know them well enough to be sure they won’t react negatively.

  4. JenkPac Shakur says:

    LOL, I love it when the left eats their own. Remember libs we told you f:a:g:s are mentally ill and we meant it and they themselves are proving it to you by biting your hand which feeds them.

  5. pinky green says:

    Piers Morgan kissed her @$$ thru out the whole interview, and she’s p*ssed off?
    Why?
    Good lord, man! Uh, I mean lady!
    Get a grip!
    The reality is, this is the 21st century, and people who are playing “God” are now calling themselves transgender. AS IF, God made a mistake. As if nature made a mistake. The way they were born just wasn’t good enuf.
    And I suppose Mr. Morgan’s interview wasn’t good enuf either.
    Geesh!

  6. Wilko Schutzendorf says:

    That was a very kind interview. If she is offended, I blame it on PMS.

  7. KF says:

    “… is identified by your chromosomes.”

    Have you ever been genetically tested to see if you are XX or XY, or are you simply assuming you’re one or the other? There are people who are born XY and go through a fairly uneventful life as girls and women. Their genitals don’t look male at all. There’s also times where people are XXY or XXYY, or another configuration. I don’t think that there’s a specific genetic link found yet for trans people. There might be one.

    “Transgender people need to remember that their lifestyle is a choice”

    Researchers in the mental health field disagree with you on that. I guess yeah, it is a choice since with many trans people the only other option is suicide. I don’t really think it’s a choice if the decision is between suicide and transition. Suppression therapy hasn’t been successful with trans people.

    “To identify as the opposite sex and to go to such extremes to make your appearance match your ideal gender seems makes me question if your still trying to conform to a specific gender role.”

    There’s butch trans women out there, and feminine trans men. Not sure if you thought about that or not.

  8. pmcneel1 says:

    I take offense to this backlash against the non-transgender community. Honestly, from our point of view it is hard to understand “Identifying as a ______” because to us it is an unnatural concept for us. From my point of view being a MAN/BOY or WOMAN/GIRL is identified by your chromosomes. I feel the concept of gender roles are wrong, a man can sew, a woman can be a mechanic. Then you have sexual orientation, which is a chemical attraction and people do not have control over who they are attracted to and they can love and marry whoever they want. From me this quantifies any option. Even those that have had the gender reassignment surgery still are still physically the same gender they were, men still have XY pairings and women have XX pairings.
    Transgender people need to remember that their lifestyle is a choice and although nobody should discriminate against them, it is unreasonable for you to expect everyone to be 100% P.C. all the time, people will make mistakes. Hell, I’m sure I’ve probably managed to offend people with my first paragraph despite its based on science, and nothing I’ve said is untrue. However, if something really bothers you, correct them and let it go. Or better yet, just let it go, because its a state of mind which somebody without your convictions will never understand 100%.
    Finally, transgenders spend so much money on body modification to physically look like their ideal version of themselves. To identify as the opposite sex and to go to such extremes to make your appearance match your ideal gender seems makes me question if your still trying to conform to a specific gender role.
    P.S. Before anyone complains about me using the word “choice”, if you identify as the opposite gender, that’s all well and good, but its still a choice. Especially when you decide to physically alter your appearance.
    P.S.S. I also understand that there are males that the testicles never descend, to these people I truly feel sorry for them, it has to be a hard life.
    P.S.S.S. Bring on the thumbs down, and hate comments, I’m sure they are coming. I look forward to your insults.

  9. Catherine Hopkins says:

    Interesting point of view. I agree, it would be better if the labels were totally unnecessary so that I’d be just a woman and not a trans woman and cis would also never be needed but there remain times when it’s appropriate to differentiate between trans people and non-trans people and cis is the word that means non-trans. I’ll happily apologise for using either label when simple woman, man, person would have done but in a discussion where it’s vital to differentiate between those with a difference between sex assigned at birth and gender and those with those two separate attributes in accord, can you come up with a better term – and bring it into currency?

  10. karmanot says:

    “when you offend someone, even if you don’t see or agree why, the best
    policy is not to try to re-educate them to your point of view but to apologize.” Case in point– ‘cis gender.’

  11. Catherine Hopkins says:

    And I appreciate yours too, John. I think you’ve got the point exactly this time and am glad to see some nuanced movement.

    I still think Piers Morgan’s interview was poor and the response largely justified and I’m interested to read your views on the changing room issues – to which I think the answer is one of personal tact and discretion.

    As for gender at birth, maybe it helps to separate sex and gender? What is assigned at birth is sex, based on a glance at genitals. What develops with the identity of a person is gender. The GRS initials have changed so many times I can’t keep up but I think the point is that genital surgery realigns the sex and the gender of the person so that they match. The person is, however, always the gender with which they self-identify. If we can get across that one point, to the population at large (the man on the Clapham Omnibus as we Brits say) but also to our well intentioned but often uniformed colleagues in minority movements we’ll have made real progress.

    As for Piers, his biggest mistake was not to realise that when you offend someone, even is you don’t see or agree why, the best policy is not to try to re-educate them to your point of view but to apologise. Incidentally, still as a Brit, please keep him. We don’t want him back.

  12. I appreciate the respectful and detailed response. And I don’t really disagree with you on most of this, other than your part about the “offense” taken. Offense is a very tricky thing. I’ve never been one to believe “majority rules” in any discussion. A lot of bad things in life happen to most of us because the majority sees things incorrectly. And on the left, though online in general, left and right, the majority gets offended and sometimes they get it wrong. And I’m talking of my own straight Internet politics crowd here.

    Sometimes it’s justified, but there’s still no reason to do anything about it – such as, when I would go on Tv and a friendly interviewer would talk about “sexual preference” instead of “sexual orientation.” Or they might ask me when I “admitted” to being gay. Depending on the interview, I might not even correct the host, as they’re being pro-gay, the larger points are getting across, and I risk looking like a “bitchy queen” if I correct them. So yes, I could take offense, and I’d be right, but I’d also be tactically and strategically right to give them a pass and not complain about it later.

    I don’t think you rambled at all. I think that’s an excellent explanation. But my points in the article above, and here, are about tactics and strategy, and motivation. People don’t know trans issues. And the “what gender to call oneself” question is terrifically complicated when you get into the question of when a trans woman is referred to as a woman, such as when talking about her birth. I’ve heard two diifferent answers from trans people – well three really. Janet says no gender at birth. I’ve heard trans women say they’re women at birth. And I’ve heard trans women say they’re born male, but when they realized they were trans they became female, or at least assumed their rightful female identity. This stuff is quite complicated.

    And let’s not even get into Janet’s theory of being born without gender. I’d never even heard of that. And if she’s talking about no one in society being born with a gender, then people are going to push back on that as it’s not the way they see gender. That doesn’t mean one or the other is right or wrong, but it does mean that a conversation needs to be had and that it’s going to be a confusing one, and we have to recognize that without getting too upset if the interviewer’s heart is in the right place.

    As for gender reassignment surgery or whatever it’s now called, most Americans perceive trans people as transexuals, people who have gotten surgery and chanted their gender. The Dr from the 70s, Renee Richards comes to mind. I can’t speak for 20 year olds, but for people in their 40s and up, Renee Richards was our frist trans experience, and she was a he who got surgery. That’s what people think of. I get the nuance that you don’t need surgery to be trans, or to be a woman, but that’s new to people. So you can’t be surprised that people get that wrong.

    But there’s another problem with the surgery question, Janet even mentions that she got surgery in Thailand, I believe. I certainly don’t think trans people should have to explain the details of the surgery on television, but discussing the surgery generally, why they chose to get, why they didn’t choose to get it, strikes me as something a lot of people would wonder on these issues, and as someone who isn’t trans, I don’t find it sensational, I don’t find it being asked about in a sense of mockery or malice or titillation. I gets asked because it’s the basis of what most people think of when they think of someone trans. Again, if the question is that offensive, then you need to educate people with ire, if they’re not mocking trans people but are asking a sincere question.

    I will say on the surgery question that when I wrote about the chicago lawsuit a while back, about a trans person wanting to use the allegedly-“other gender” (so to speak) sauna at a health club, I believe, we got into the discussion of how such a policy would work. And I mentioned that I could imagine the policy working more easily, for example, for a trans woman who had had gender reassignment surgery, as a trans woman who hadn’t had such surgery, and who was still quite male, including chest hair and genitals, would likely cause a panic in the women’s changing room or showers. And I don;’t say that to be sensational, I say it as a lawyer trying to think through how these issues would work and how to resolve them. I was told that it was insulting to discuss surgery. I don’t know how you discuss that issue without thinking through the various scenarios. And if I’m wrong, if the surgery doesn’t play into how women will react, and how the policy is implemented, then explain that to me. But don’t rip my head off for asking the question that I bet you 99% of Americans (or 96%) would be asking. The only way to get people comfortable with trans people is to let them ask the hard, embarrassing, impolite questions IF THEIR HEART IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE. And I’d gladly say the same thing about gay issues.

    So sometimes this concept of “we don’t talk about that” seems to set the debate back, rather than move it forward.

    Ayway, I appreciate the response, and the tone – your billing willing to give a detailed and educational answer. JOHN

  13. Catherine Hopkins says:

    John. I’m sure you’ve read some of the truly good op-ed articles that have been written and I’m no professional writer but I’ll try to give you some idea of the faults. Of Piers Morgan’s interview and why I don’t think your article comes over in the way you suggest.

    First – your title – or was is a sub-editor’s? “Amazingly pro-transgender.” You’ve already picked over the bones of why Janet wasn’t happy and seen the reaction from the minority actually involved and yet you still consider the interview amazingly pro-transgender? To ME the title just reads as a defence of Piers Morgan. His interview was offensive. The arbiters of offence have to be the offended, not the offender and not the bystanders. He offended for all the reasons already discussed. His response was then to get defensive and claim hurt and tell us all loudly that he is a supporter. In that, he’s back where the liberal establishment was for your struggle in the 70s or 80s. Claiming support while not understanding the issues BECAUSE they weren’t the oppressed but part of the establishment.

    Lets make no bones about this. The situation for a small minority is still grim. The leading edge is generally young, always poor, trans women of color. They DIE. From Janet’s book, of all the deaths by hate crime against a member of the LGBTQ community in the US last year, 53% were trans women of color. This is what Janet is fighting, having seen it herself. We must struggle for the equality of the most discriminated against. The rest will follow. The way forward is to humanise that cutting edge minority. And Piers Morgan’s interview perpetuated the exact dehumanisation that Janet is fighting. The sensational. The constant contention that someone was ‘born a boy.’ The total focus on the date of the GRS surgery. We are not any of that. We are people. Each with a different story and the attempts by the media to push us into a one size fits all box are no longer acceptable.

    Most of the complaints from my community have been well represented and deconstructed elsewhere by others more capable that I but lets address a few just for consolidation.

    ‘Born a boy,’ and ‘Was a boy until age 18.’ No. Unacceptable and old. Sensasional. Janet was assigned the sex boy at birth but showed the gender identification of girl throughout her life. She grew into that presentation of her gender along with realisation and ability but her gender identity was always girl. The only acceptable variation on those old sensational titles would be ‘Assigned sex at birth was boy.’ You point out the Marie Claire article to justify acceptability. Well, all other considerations apart, that article brought Janet onstage and we have moved on since then. The struggle isn’t immutable thankfully. If struggles were, where would ANY of the LGBTQ community be?

    The point of being a woman or being a man isn’t that operation. You ask, in reflection of Piers Morgan and inquiringly if that is or isn’t the case. While the perception is that we are men (or, id assigned girl at birth, women) until ‘the’ operation we BECOME the operation. We are our gender identities. It is our very core. Janet was a girl from the earliest memory of her own gender identity. Some of us are slower to acknowledge a misaligned gender identity and conform to our sex assigned at birth until quite late in life due to denial and external expectations but even then, once realisation isn’t clouded by that denial, it becomes obvious that we were always had that same gender identity. We just couldn’t admit it even to the person that matters most. Ourselves.

    While we don’t complain and allow the inaccuracies, errors and sensationalisations to continue unchallenged, nothing will change, John. I come from a place not unlike yours. One which now represents less struggle than 30 years ago and more privilege. I’m not a young transwoman of color being brutalised just to survive. But I am right behind Janet and that cutting edge in the struggle because when they are finally equal human beings in the eyes of society, so will be we all. Until even the most obviously transgender (because those like Janet, who can pass as cis women are privileged in that way too) poor black kid on the streets is treated, first and foremost, as an equal human and never as an object, figure of fun or disposable thing, then that is the front line in the continuing struggle. The struggle you started and of which you now occupy the rear echelons, no matter your intentions.

    Again. I commend you to the dozens of excellent op-ed articles already out there for a clearer viewpoint than mine and, especially, urge you to read Janet’s book. She really does point the way forward in a way that resonated even with this old, white, comfortably off and fairly ‘passable as cis’ trans woman at the privileged end of this struggle. And white, black and of color have been used throughout this comment not as racist slurs but simply to emphasise that that gradient of discrimination still exists and is a part of this problem.

    Sorry to ramble – I probably need an editor but I’m no professional writer, as I explained.

  14. That was the entire point of my article. No one outside of a select group in the gay community, understands the trans community outside of the trans community itself. And if you are going to attack people for genuinely trying to understand you, then you aren’t going to be terribly succesful in helping people understand you, and in obtaining your full and equal civil rights. A lot of trans folks who have weighed in seem to think that everyone either knows your issues, or that people who don’t know them obviously hate you. There is a third possibility, that your issues are completely new to most Americans, and that the very questions most Americans have about you are questions you don’t like discussing. That isn’t a recipe for people learning more about you, and ultimately accepting you. I realize you don’t like to hear this, but I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I chose to remain silent on the fact that I think your strategies and tactics are counter-productive.

  15. Casual reader says:

    So educate him of what you think his failings are. That was the whole point of his article: If someone is without malice but with considerable respect and caring, then why not explain to them what they got wrong and why? It seems a better tactic than belittling them.

  16. Catherine Hopkins says:

    You fall into all the same traps as Piers Morgan and, again, just show how little you understand trans women.

  17. Dawn T says:

    While you are looking things up try looking up 1969 NYC gay riots aka Stonewall and see who was the first to combat the corrupt abusing NYPD in the streets. The real reason there was a seperation was because conservative gays didn’t want to be associated with flaming queens once the movement started to pick up speed.

    Yes gay men want to disassociate with the trans community so they can by all appearances pass for heterosexuals.

  18. karmanot says:

    Same here
    .

  19. pappyvet says:

    Thanks John. I must admit , I am somewhat confused.

  20. pappyvet says:

    LOL I can understand that John. When I was a boy we did not even go to the movies without wearing a suit and tie. Times have changed indeed.

  21. Yes. Ugh.

  22. karmanot says:

    We over lap in the old world. I enjoy these stories. I don’t recall call-out-cards, but remember white gloves and patent leather shoes.( respectable bourgeois Americans never realized that such wear was the calling of footmen.) I do remember my father instructing me to clean the shower and fold the towels if the host family had no staff, but otherwise don’t interfere with the duties of staff. Oh, and never wear spectators after 6. I do recall being that extra man at black tie dinners. What a long time ago was that! —-ancient history and so excessively artificial. I do remember that after my father’s generation gentlemen were not expected to ride and that white dinner jackets were no longer radical.

  23. Ninong says:

    If you called me cis I would have no idea what language you were speaking because I have no clue what that word means or when it was invented.

    Gay men identify as men and lesbians identify as women, so we already have pronouns in every language that are perfectly adequate. The only people who insist of pronouns that are the opposite of their biological gender are transgendered people.

  24. Ninong says:

    You’re lucky you weren’t raised in New Orleans. If you were, you would have had to endure a Mardi Gras custom called the “call-out cards.” When I was 17, my mother offered my “services” to two different colleagues of hers at work whose daughters needed more names to fill out their dance cards for whatever Mardi Gras ball their parents were members of. Some guy stands up there at the mic and calls out the names of the gentlemen for that dance. That was in the mid-1950’s.

    So I had to buy a tux (luckily I wasn’t required to go full formal with tails and white tie) and show up at some stupid ball so that my name could be called out, maybe twice, to dance with some girl I had never met before. Mardi Gras balls are the most boring things in the world, except for the parents whose precious daughters are members of the court. After those two balls, I told my mother, “No more!” So the next year she set me up as the blind date for someone’s daughter’s high school prom. I was into my mid-20’s before she finally gave up on that stuff.

  25. Ninong says:

    I should have added that we gave up our seat for any pregnant woman, regardless of her age or our age unless we were physically unable to stand or something.

    Yes, my grandmother would always remind us to remove our caps when we entered the house in case we had forgotten. And she would practically faint if my little brother showed up at the table wearing a cap. Or if he dared to touch any food on the table until after grace.

    The incident involving the Macy’s door happened to me in the 1970’s in San Francisco. I didn’t understand that the rule about holding the door open didn’t apply to everyone and that some people might think I was deliberately mocking them or something, especially if they were very obviously not dressed like a typical “lady.”

    I didn’t mean it as an insult but I can definitely understand how that person could take it that way, especially since she was 10 or 12 years younger than me and her attire left no doubt about her sexual orientation. After that I knew better. In retrospect, I guess it was a mistake on my part but certainly not an intentional insult.

  26. karmanot says:

    Did your mom make you go to cotillion? :-)

  27. karmanot says:

    “Trans people are being silenced.” Maybe people have just stopped listening. Since the views of ‘feminists’, gays, lesbians and Bisexuals are irrelevant to radical trans positions, then who in the hell do you think will move the trans

    communities into full legal and civil rights?

  28. karmanot says:

    Well done. You used the term ‘cul’t. Now two of us will need shelter from the rabid correctness of transbots.

  29. karmanot says:

    Come back Shane, come back, come back………………….cowboy rides into sunset.

  30. karmanot says:

    As one gentleman to another: good breeding is never ever wrong. When manners are considered fail, then the recipient is a candidate for mercy. You could have shoved her through the doorway, after all it was Macy’s not Bergdorf’s, but then no gentleman would do that. LOL

  31. karmanot says:

    Bravo! “Only LGBs are dumb enough to keep taking this abuse” Done out of good will I assure you. Most of us have little or no experience with the trans community. The leaders among trans people in SF during the nineties were advocates for GLB rights in an inclusive civil meaning and also directly involved in HIV/AIDS volunteerism. Apparently, all that has changed, if the comments on this blog are indication. I found it extremely offensive to have pro-advocacy spit upon and considered cis arrogance. This speaks to me of trans ghetto mentality and not a movement toward integrated legal civil rights. Janet Mock is a disaster. I’d go so far as to say radical trans attitudes smack of sexual cultism.

  32. Your last graf is funny, I do the same thing, though I was born in the 60s. And you’re right, I never thought about it, but the rule is any woman older than me, and any man who’s a senior, even though I never realized that that was how I picked and chose. Funny, and we’re not even southern. Also, my mom, who immigrated from Greece at a young age, gets very upset when she see’s guys wearing baseball caps inside anywyere, she finds it rude. I never really got that.

  33. karmanot says:

    Here is a voice I’ve not heard before. I’d be interested to know the history. It sounds like you have been down this road before. Although I realize that the trans bots will jump on this as anti-trans. It seems to me now that the GLB communities need to unhitch the trans caboose.

  34. karmanot says:

    Simple, GLB people do not think of themselves as non-trans. Cis is a term that smacks of ghetto exclusivity. The GL community went through similar problems in the early decades of activism.

  35. karmanot says:

    What would you say if a gay man said “don’t call me cis.” I think we know that answer by now.

  36. Ninong says:

    You gotta do what you gotta do. Bye!

  37. karmanot says:

    Interesting thought N, but I would still go for anti-discrimination inclusion. My example would be conservative black Baptist church communities who actively lobbied to discriminate against gays in the Prop 8 contretemps. As much as I loath their religion and bigotry I couldn’t find myself voting against civil rights. At the same time because of the trans hostility on this post alone, I will no longer direct active support toward Trans issues until a more comprehensive voice is realized. Nor, will I include ‘T’ in GLB anymore.

  38. Ninong says:

    Let me give you an example from my personal experience. I was raised in the Deep South back when boys were taught to be gentlemen and always remove their hats indoors or in the presence of women and always, without fail, open doors for any and all females of any age. Of course, I was born in the 1930’s, so a lot of things were different about the Deep South back then.

    It wasn’t until I moved away from that part of the country that I learned that not all females considered it an acceptable courtesy to have a man hold the door open for them. I was practically assaulted for holding the Macy’s door open for a woman who took it as an extreme insult. The F-bomb was only part of the insult she hurled my way when I tried to let her go first. Maybe not the best example for this thread but it’s to show that you’re right about not knowing which form of address a person prefers and I’m just adding that you never know which gestures are considered a personal insult instead of an expected gesture of respect.

    One more point. When I was young, a gentleman gave up his seat on public transportation for virtually every female, as well as older men. That custom seems to have died. Now that I am much, much older, I don’t have to worry about that one very often.

  39. Vera says:

    Please, don’t let us hold you up. Separate away!

    Oh, I see you’ve already gotten started. Even while trans activists subjected LGB-founded and LGB-funded organizations to an ever-growing list of demands, trans activists have felt perfectly free to maintain their own segregated, trans-only organizations. Funny how “LGBT” only imposes obligations on the LGBs. You’d almost think that the entire arrangement was little more than a systemic fraud on LGBs.

    And those T-only groups? They solicit and happily accept big checks from privileged “cis” white gay men like Jon Stryker, who I am sorry to say is sufficiently naive to think that his donations will buy him one iota of gratitude or kinship from entitled, truculent trans activists. So Rebecca, when you separate, be sure to tell Mr. Stryker to stop sending that privileged cis gay money, k?

  40. Vera says:

    “JANET MOCK: Gay rights and trans rights are not the same thing.”

    That is probably the first true and sincere statement to come out of her mouth. We should listen to her. She is right. LGB and T are 2 discrete groups (and indeed, even T is an “umbrella” term for a variety of very different subgroups. LGBs are not incomplete and we do not need heterosexual people who have gender identity issues to complete us. LGBT is objectively an antigay concept. It was foisted upon us in the 1990s as the result of a collusive effort by trans activists (who would stand to benefit by being able to dictate to LGBs how their resources and political capital should be expended) and certain “queer” academics and activists (who despised the idea of gay civil rights and wanted the movement to be linked to non-mainstream causes, such as a war on the “gender binary.”)

    Prior to the late 1990s and early 2000s, no one used the term LGBT. Go look up the historic national marches in 1979, 1987, 1993 and 2000. Somehow it completely eluded millions of educated, politically aware LGB people over the course of decades that they were actually one “people” with straight hermaphrodites.

    During all those decades, our movement actively educated the public that being gay should not be equated with gender dysphoria or crossdressing. In fact, we objected to such linkage as stereotyping. Thanks to the reactionary concept of LGBT, we now promote the very stereotypes that we used to oppose.

    Mock wants to be listened to and wants her pronouncements to be taken seriously. We should do so and end the reactionary sham of LGBT. Allies we might be. Friends, certainly. Part and parcel, never.

  41. Ninong says:

    Completely agree. I would add that in my experience, which goes back to the 1950’s before trans and then the 1960’s when transgender surgery became more common, every fully transgendered person I knew had been what we would call a “drag queen” previously. That’s not to confuse transgendered with crossing-dressing, I’m just pointing out that even though not all cross-dressers were transgender candidates, all transgendered people I knew were previously fond of drag.

    I knew only about a dozen fully transgendered people back then. The first one was already in her 40’s when she had the surgery in the mid-1960’s and the youngest one I knew was only 21 when she had it done in the late 1960’s. One thing about it back then in the 1960’s was that every one of them previously identified as gay. Apparently the idea that they were never gay hadn’t been realized yet? They considered themselves gay men who had a strong desire to live their lives as women because they felt that would make them happier. So good for them.

    I think it wasn’t until the late 1960’s, early 1970’s, that the notion that transgendered people were simply people who had been “born in the wrong body” took hold.

  42. Ninong says:

    Interesting. Then trans people should insist on being excluded from LGB-rights issues because that would only confuse the issue.

    So trans people are right. They are not gay and they never have been gay. Now that we have that issue straightened out, let’s get on with passing ENDA without any confusing and unnecessary trans language.

  43. Ninong says:

    Janet Mock raises a point that has been thrown at us many times on this forum over the years every time there is any discussion about ENDA or any other topic that drew the attention of transgendered people. They emphatically insist that, like Larry Craig, they “are not gay and have never been gay!”

    If they’re not gay and have never been gay and do not consider themselves part of the “gay community,” then why is there a “T” after the “LGB”? It should be “LGB,” not “LGBT,” which I’m sure they will agree with based on everything I have heard from them.

    It would have been a lot easier to pass ENDA without the trans inclusion. It wasn’t taken up back when the Democrats had control of the House because they feared a backlash from the newly elected Democratic congressmen from districts where that position would not have been accepted. What comes to their minds every time the issue of trans comes up in legislation? It’s the cartoonish people who dress up in carnival-like attire with make-up to match and parade on floats or up and down Bourbom Street on Mardi Gras. They fear that if anti-discrimination legislation includes trans, then someone like that is going to teach first grade.

  44. Jay says:

    One of the most curious thing about this entire fiasco is that Mock was so friendly and appealing while she was on camera, then took to twitter and revealed a very ugly side to her personality. I am still confused about that. It is as though she is projecting onto Morgan her own failure to clarify her own story. After all, most of the things she objects to are things that she has also done, either explicitly or implicitly: referring to her earlier self as a boy, discussing her transition, discussing her relationship with her boyfriend, etc. The contrast between her initial presentation and her subsequent one makes me think that either she is seriously disturbed or that she wants to create more publicity to sell more books and doesn’t care how much she damages Morgan or the trans movement itself.

  45. Jay says:

    There is an irony in this discussion about ENDA because the courts have found that trans people are protected under the civil rights protections that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, but gay men and lesbians are not. This ruling has recently been codified by the EEOC. So trans people enjoy far more legal protections against discrimination than gay men and lesbians do.

  46. Jay says:

    Barney Frank did NOT say that he would never vote for an ENDA with trans inclusion. He said that at the time ENDA with a trans inclusion would not pass Congress. So far, he has been proved right. In addition to lying about Frank’s position on ENDA, you also fail to mention that he has been supportive of trans rights and has hired trans staff members.

  47. mark nine says:

    Piers Morgan is a hater and should go home

  48. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    “they mostly want to separate themselves from gays and lesbians”

    If that’s what you really want, I can’t foresee anyone going against your desires.