The following is a Press release from the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. I felt it was important enough to make sure everyone saw this.

For Immediate Release: Dated December 10, 2010

Transphobic Politician Appointed to New Governor’s Cabinet

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is extremely disappointed with the announcement this week that Governor-Elect Bill Haslam is appointing Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons as the new Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security.

Mr. Gibbons has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of concern over the safety of transgender people, especially African American transgender women, in Memphis.

After the February 2006 arrest of D’Andre Blake for second degree murder in killing Tiffany Berry, a 21 year old pre-operative transsexual, Blake remained free for two and a half years on a mere $20,000 bond even after he admitted to friends that he had killed Berry because she had “touched” him. On July 28, 2008, Blake was arrested again on the charges of first degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of his two year old daughter, Dre-Ona Blake, over “potty training.”

In an even more highly publicized case in June 2008, Gibbons’ office refused to file criminal charges against two Memphis Police Department officers who insulted and brutally beat Duanna Johnson, an African American transgender woman on February 12, 2008. The U.S. Department of Justice eventually filed criminal charges in Federal District Court of West Tennessee against Officer Bridges McRae, but Gibbons’ Office has still refused to take any criminal action in the case on behalf of the state.

Mr. Gibbons’ indifference to the safety of transgender people in Memphis has contributed to the perception that Memphis may be the most dangerous city in the country for transgender people.

Now, he will be responsible for the safety of all transgender people across the entire state.

Unfortunately, there is no legislative confirmation process in Tennessee for Cabinet officers, so this means that Mr. Gibbons will automatically assume his new position on January 15, but we do feel that Mr. Gibbons is totally inapprorpriate for this positon given his anti-transgender record. The continued refusal of his current office to stand against anti-transgender police brutality, and the lack of action in bringing D’Andre Blake to trial for the murder of Tiffany Berry nearly five years after the initial arrest and confession, is all the more appalling as anti-trans violence continues to plague the state, as the recent beating of Akasha Adonis in Jackson illustrates so vividly.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) will have its bill back next year before the Tennessee General Assembly to add “gender identity or expression” to the state’s own hate crimes law. It is time for the State of Tennessee to go on record and state that violence against trans people has no place in the Volunteer State.

The 107th Tennessee General Assembly convenes on Tuesday, January 11. We urge all Tennesseans to contact your state legislators immediately and tell them it is time to take a stand against anti-trans violence in Tennessee, especially now that one of the key officials responsible is indifferent to the safety of transgender people.

Marisa Richmond

Inspired by the TERF’s posting and commenting at The Magazine Project.

You insult us.
You claim we are ruining everything.
You sourly say “Well I’m glad YOU are happy but everyone else is mistaken.”
You describe us as the scum of the Earth…

Then cry foul when we dare argue back against your cissplaining.

Sorry, it doesn’t work like that.

I’m not oppressing you, I’ve got no power to do so. As much as it may hurt you to hear this, what you are doing is classic oppression. You are ganging up with the forces of social conservatism to deny us medical care, to attempt to legislate us out of existence, and to attempt to shame and frighten us back into the closet.

You load us up with all these false circular arguments, you shift goalposts, you consistently work to waste our time and energy, our love, and our caring.

We reach out time after time to show you we are not the monsters you assume, we try to respond to your concerns, only to find time and again you ignore what we have to say and just respond with the same script.

You say that my existence reinforces the gender binary, is anti-feminist, and that I’m just a pervert who’s wearing a woman suit.

You say that my life helps kill women by reinforcing a culture of a oppression against them, and yet you fail to see how your words and actions kill trans women by helping to support a culture that oppresses trans people.

You assert that you really trying to make life better for everyone, that you really care, and yet the words you use are full of hate and fear.

So you know what? It’s your turn.

Prove to me that I’m wrong. Prove to me that I’m hurting feminism, lesbian culture, or women in general by my continued existence on this planet. Because I say it’s YOU who is doing that. I’ve done my proving, thread after thread, interaction after interaction, and simply by living my life.

Your hate.
Your fear.
Your unreasoned flailing and logical fallacies.
Your telling my wife that she’s a waste of a perfectly good lesbian.
Your telling me that my happiness and rights mean nothing.
Your willingness to put aside your own theory in order to better hate me.

Your Turn.


I’m watching a cop walk free after yelled racial slurs and then MURDERING a black father who he was kneeling on. 73 day sentence for murder.

A seventy three day sentance for murder.
A 73 day sentence for murder.
73 days. 73 days for ripping Oscar Grant from his family.

I’m watching the tea party take over with hate and fear.

I’m listening to a woman I trust and respect tell me that her grandmother says the things that are happening in broad daylight are the things that are the things that happened under the cover of night 40 years ago. That it is worse now then it was then.

I’m listening to the same woman tell me how conference organizers told her that they didn’t want to pull in racial or ethnic minority sponsors for their conference because they didn’t want to piss off the local media powerhouse who is sponsoring them.

Then say it again in writing.

I’m watching the media cover it up. Worse, I’m watching them uniformly paint people who are hurt, afraid, and speaking up as dangerous and needing the full force of the state to put down.

I see the media play up the fear of anyone who isn’t white, straight, cis, christian, conservative, able bodied, or any number of vectors of oppression. I watch them generate a cloud of hate and let it murder people over, and over, and OVER.

I watch the Conservative elite ally itself with a hateful, violent mass, who the media portrays simply as citizens fighting for their rights.

I am watching America take the steps from a racist nation that murders it’s citizens, into a full-on fascist state.

I watch, I scream at the top of my lungs, I talk to people, but I am just one voice. Others scream, plead, talk, argue, and are arrested, silenced, and killed.

I wonder where we will be in 5 years, and I tremble in fear. Please prove me wrong. Please, Please, Please, Please prove me wrong.

But even you do, Oscar Grant (and so many others I have never heard) of will still be dead, and their killers will have gotten off with a slap on the wrist, AT MOST. Other times they’ll have been promoted for their murderous actions.

Johannes Mehserle, you are a murderer and should rot in jail.

So, a post by transfinite about deviant art being transphobic reminded me of something I don’t think I’ve put in blog form.

I left deviant art because of the absolutely failed moderation scheme they have in place. The question of whether they should moderate or not is one for another post, but I do think that if they choose to do so, they are obliged to actually follow through when something is reported to them.

About a year ago I was browsing around desktops looking for something interesting, and stumbled across an actual Nazi who was doing all kinds of art promoting National Socialism, and white power in general. I reported the art and about two weeks later got a canned response back saying the wall paper “White Power Babe” did not qualify as hate speech under their rules.

So I responded:

Hate art report marked as invalid

Jun 18 03:00 pm

I submitted a report about http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/163606620/
This was marked as invalid with what appeared to be a canned response, saying the deviation did not “The staff reserves the right to remove immediately and without warning any submission which advocates or promotes the genocide, killing, or destruction of an identifiable individual, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability or which promotes inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.”

The stated goals and methods of the White Power movement are to do all of the above. This is true for virtually every white power group out there. This background is clearly meant as a promotion of White Power movement, and as such is a direct promotion of Racism and a whole slew of other hatreds. Per your own FAQ, “Submissions which incite or willfully promote hatred against an identifiable group or individual will be removed in a similar fashion without warning.”

As a promotion of a movement that engages in hate crimes, this deviation clearly falls under the definition of hate art.

Another two weeks later their response was the same exact pasted response that I got the first time.

Thank you for contacting deviantART, I will be assisting you with your support ticket. Our apologies for the long wait!

I have reviewed the deviations in question and I have concluded that the themes used do not violate any current deviantART policy

It is important to remember that you could find various deviations to be personally offensive for one or more reasons but you should try to keep in mind that your personal feelings of what is offensive and official deviantART policy could differ on several points and things which you find to be personally offensive could be tolerated and allowed by deviantART.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you require additional assistance.

Sorry. Two moderation fails that blatant is TOO much. Goodbye DA, and Good Riddance.

H/T s.e. smith, TheSilverParty, and solidad.

This is something I really encourage white people to do, I really don’t think I need to tell PoC that they generally aren’t represented well in media. Though I haven’t done it in awhile, the I used to pick up The City Paper and count the people represented in photographs or drawings, and think about how they were depicted. It didn’t surprise me when I had several days where out of the fifty to sixty people pictured less than five were PoC. I also count people depicted in advertisements due to the generally positive depiction in them. Please note that this is not me singling out The City Paper, if you pick up most mainstream publications you’ll likely find the same thing.

So just as a snapshot, here’s the count from the June 26-28 2010 edition, with some notes.

Total people: 93
White : 68
Poc : 18
Indeterminate: 7 (silhouettes or very small depiction)

This is actually far better than normal, but when you look at the breakdowns something else emerges:


  • Atheletes – 6
  • Prison – 4
  • Family – 7
  • Professional – 0
  • Misc – 1


  • Athletes – 0
  • Prison – 4
  • Family – 19
  • Professional – 32
  • Misc – 13

Just a note about the numbers above, not everyone marked as Prison related were prisoners. The numbers came from one photo for a story about rehabilitation in prisons, and I marked everyone depicted in the Prison category, as it was not indicated who were there as part of the staff or as participants in the program. Given Attire It is likely that both PoC and white people were professionals participating in the program. All of the depictions of PoC being part of a family were from one advertisement for Movies in the Park, and I have to really give them credit for that. There are any number of good breakdowns of why media representations matter, but unfortunately I’m in the process of moving so can’t track any down. If you know of some, please post them in the comments and I’ll revise this post to include them.

I’ll be posting up more counts over time, but I do encourage you to look at the depictions of all types of people in the media surrounding you. Not just PoC, but LGBT people, people with disabilities (none depicted by the way), and any other group you can think of. From an equality and attitude standpoint it’s depressing.

This is not news. This is not how it should be. We can and must do better than this.

So, Lady Gaga won a GLAAD award. Cuz, you know, there’s nothing like supporting the lgbT community like making an openly transphobic video.

The Bad Romance hitmaker was honoured with the Outstanding Music Artist award in recognition of her most recent album, The Fame Monster, and for her efforts in promoting equality in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

BLAH. Whatever.

E.T.A. link from pink bat princess – – “..It’s not sexy, I look like a tranny.”

Arizona seems to be in the midst of a complete meltdown, but I can’t help but wonder how much it is actually worse than before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the fucknuggetry isn’t horrible or hard to deal with. I’m saying that I’m pretty sure that the level of fucknuggetry that is going on there and elsewhere isn’t new. Perhaps it’s hit a temporary peak with President Obama and the accompanying right wing fear-fest, but I doubt it had that far to go. This level of hatred and doesn’t come out of nowhere. Guess what, this is what PoC have been saying all along.

Erasure, disenfranchisement, being targeted by law enforcement, told their history is unimportant or dangerous, and that laws of this nature actively encourage violence against minorities. And all of those are just in one state. There is more going on every day all over the country. Acting like these trends are new has the same effect as trying to deny the context of a racist society they exist in. It gives the serial fuckheads cover under which to operate, and perpetuates the culture of purposeful ignorance that is so harmful to any actual dialog that might come from any one event.

Oh and for those celebrating the firing of the racist twit who was behind the mural campaign, yes it’s good he lost that platform from which to speak, but I have to agree with Serolf Divad:

Don’t get too excited. I mean, after all, it took a bucket full of bad national press to get this guy fired. He wasn’t fired for promoting White Supremacy through his radio show, or he’d have been fired the day he first launched his whitification campaign. He was fired for embarrassing the wrong people.