7/28/2017 Background Radiation

This was a big week. I’m not even sure this counts as background radiation at this point. It’s an outright attack on transgender people. Whether from bigotry, or shallow political showmanship, it’s still a deep cut at allowing transgender people to partake in normal public life.

As you have all heard by now, Trump Tweeted on barring transgender people from serving in any capacity in the military.

I work for an agency within the Department of Defense, so this hits close to home. I am not active duty, and have never served in the military. However, my agency follows guidelines for the entire DoD.

It is unfathomably openly bigoted to even attempt something like this. I’m not surprised the Trump administration is a festering bag of syphilitic dicks, but I am surprised at the sheer audacity with which they put their bigotry on display.

The first article I read on this was from LGBTQNation titled: Trump bans transgender people from serving in the military.

Then from there my RSS and Google Alerts blew up in spectacular fashion.

At this point we all know what Trump, and his hate filled shoulder devil Mike Pence, tried to do. Instead of focussing on a bare number of half illiterate tweets, I’d like to focus on the things that came out of this that gave me hope.

Within 24 hours of receiving this news, I had coworkers sending me emails outraged on my behalf. My friend Steve sent me an article from the Military Times titled: Transgender airman: ‘I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military’

Certifiable Bad Ass and Active Duty

Sgt. Logan Ireland

My friend Christy sent me an email that her friend in the Air Force received. It was sent out by David L. Goldfein, Gen, USAF. It said the Air Force will not be acting on these tweets, and that the Air Force will continue to treat all service members with respect.

I also started to see the responses on the internet pour in.

Caitlyn Jenner came out swinging at Trump in Caitlyn Jenner is upset with Trump over military ban. Love her or hate her, this is significant because she is conservative politically, and has a platform. She’s been used by other conservative politicians as the “trans friend” argument. It’s hard to do that when she’s not being so friendly. Plus, despite what you say about her, she does publicity better than Trumps administration could hope to. That’s her families livelihood.

Like Caitlyn, the Log Cabin Republicans have issued a statement against the Trump administration on this. Log Cabin Republicans Oppose Trump Transgender Military Statement. This is significant for the same reason, in that they have been waved around as proof that this administration is still LGBT friendly.

In fact, here is an entire list that LGBTQNation put together of conservative Republicans that opposed this fuckery These Republicans are giving Trump the finger & supporting transgender rights.

I am so liberal I bleed socialism, but to see people so far on the other side of the political fence opposing this persecution of transgender people in the military is great. By all accounts we have somewhere around 15,000 transgender troops out there. To have conservative people, who might not always view us as normal human beings, come out against this is very hopeful for the future of transgender rights.

But then there is everyone else that stepped up:

Marine General Joseph Dunford, the nations senior military officer and chair of the Joint Chief’s of Staff said they will not act on tweets. They will not act until they receive legit legal policy changes from the white house. He also noted they will continue to treat all troops with respect, similar to the memo my friend Christy sent me. This is the most fuck you, I think the DoD can do, honestly. They have to respond to direct policy change, but he’s pointing out it’s a shit policy change if it happens. Top U.S. general says Pentagon will not change policy on transgender troops until White House acts

The Mayor of Austin is offering police jobs to any transgender troops that were kicked out of the military: Mayor Invites Trans People Banned From Military To Join Police Department

Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy signed an executive order reinforcing the states nondiscrimination policies within the Connecticut Military Department. Gender identity is specifically called out as protected. Governor Signs Order Against Discrimination of Service Members

There are stacks of websites listing the cost breakdown on what it would cost for transgender health care. This is just one such article from Lifehacker The Military Spends More on Viagra Than on Transgender Soldiers’ Medical Expenses

This is not a small issue. To have our President make this proclamation, via tweet no less, is a stunning nod to all the bigots out there that already hate transgender people. It’s a dangerous time to be out and trans, especially if you are transfeminine and not white. The violence scales towards transgender women, and is higher against people of color.

However, this has also brought us many unlikely allies that have never thought about transgender people before. In my personal life, I have had folks step forward to tell me they are shocked at the bigotry on display, and didn’t know we faced that. If nothing else, we are gaining allies because our opposition has come out looking no better than a playground bully.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Mark Agee for this meme:



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I was only gone a minute

I stepped away for a little while to recover from the anxiety and stress of Wolsey’s surgery. I figured it was a safe time to take a break, enjoy the air and not get anxious about anything. Then I come back to this,

The Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017

“The U.S. House of Representatives is coming out against transgender rights. Their newly-introduced bill, called the Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017, would dismantle Obama’s mandate that trans people be treated as a protected class.”

What is wrong with the conservatives. Honestly, in the past I would say that it isn’t fair to lump the bigoted Trumpers with all conservatives, but the problem is that the conservatives aren’t stopping the madness, so I do have to hold them responsible. This isn’t just for LGBTQA or healthcare, its about everything.

This is on the heels of the House trying to vote down Trans military members from accessing healthcare or being allowed to serve. It was narrowly averted by twenty four GOP congressmen who voted against it. My hat is off to those people. However, those GOP are being called the “Dirty Two Dozen”, which first of all is a lame name, but second of all are already getting flack for voting like that by the other conservatives (media and congress), with one of them coming out and saying he voted against the trans bill “accidentally”. Because of this pressure,  I don’t trust it would be stopped again.

A Close Vote, A Big Win in Congress for Trans Military People

“On Thursday, July 13, 2017 Democrats stood together and tall for common sense military readiness, transgender equality and health care equality and were joined by 24* Republicans and defeated an unnecessary and hateful amendment by Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri, that would have banned the coverage of transition-related health care for transgender troops. Hartzler has a long and consistent anti LGBT record. Hartzler has been condemned by LGBT groups for calling transgender service members a “domestic threat” in an interview with the conservative Family Research Council.

The mean-spirited Hartzler amendment, despite the active support of Vice President Mike Pence, narrowly failed, with 209 supporting and 214 opposing.”

This is why we got Wolsey’s surgery done years early. We know we will be out of working for the DoD in 3 years or so. Our office has been good, the agency has tried but the feds have been very very slow, yes even Obama was incredibly slow to do anything about it and only did it after states started making the feds look bad. Also, our work culture is very toxic and having our current president and the sitting congress go crazy is not something we need to deal with. I just look at the shit they are pulling and it is freaking me out.

Overall, I guess I have learned it doesn’t help to take off time and step away, when you come back nothing has changed for the better, just more shit to deal with. So no more of that, at least for now. I should be staying here for a long while at least.

My next goal, go on an internet research hunt to see if anything has changed in finding support for staying married to your newly trans husband scenario. Before, there was absolutely no support for a husband staying with his newly transitioned husband, but maybe in almost four years’ things have changed.

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7/21/17 Background Radiation

Below is a list of the top stories that made it through the cacophony of anti-LGBT news stories this week. I like to call this constant stream of hate filled instances Background Radiation, because we have to live with it. It’s there. It never leaves. It’s always in the background of our lives.

Let’s see what we have this week, that’s been buzzing around out there.

I’d like to start with the hilarious outcry from the less then brilliant people out there, then we’ll get into the scary news articles.

Headline: Christian group accuses London of ‘ideological extremism’ for making its Underground gender-neutral

Pink News often keeps track of the hilarious idiocy of the anti-LGBT movement. This time it’s the Coalition for Marriage freaking out that the London Underground had a sign that was rainbow colored. OMG! It’s an agenda! The sky is falling!

Headline: Mother-of-ten burns a copy of Teen Vogue’s anal sex guide in amazing video meltdown

This loon freaked out, and burned a copy of Teen Vogue that had an anal sex guide in it. The guide is amazing. I wish I had read that as a teen. It’s even trans inclusive to a degree by not assuming folks with certain genitals are certain genders. The article from Teen Vogue is really well written, and focuses on health, safety, and “enthusiastic consent”. Go read it: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/anal-sex-what-you-need-to-know

Don’t think for a second this panic isn’t about “the gays” in some way. Every time I have some weird argument about homosexuality being normal, someone brings up butt sex as an abnormality that is only engaged in by “the gays”. That’s ridiculously wrong, but you can’t convince these people of that.

If I can put my snarky hat on for a minute, perhaps a woman with 10 children should have read that article as a teen as well.

Headline: Steve King compares transgender troops with castrated slaves

Okay, this is an 8th term Republican who 1. has literally the worst history education ever if he thinks the Ottoman empire ran on castrated slaves for their military. Perhaps he was thinking Game of Thrones? 2. Has a crazy idea on what being transgender is. Castrated? Apparently he’s thinking of transgender women. I think? Over the years I’ve talked to a good handful of transgender men in the military, so what are we? What’s the reverse of castration?

This was a part of the failed GOP push to rip away medical care from transgender troops.

Headline: Planet Fitness Transgender Lawsuit Heads To Michigan Supreme Court

This nut. Cormier freaked out when a fully clothed transgender woman went into the locker room to just grab her purse and jacket. She complained, was told off, and then spent several days freaking the hell out in the Planet Fitness screaming about “men” in the ladies locker room. She was such a jerk about it, she got her membership revoked. Then she sued, was struck down, and is still appealing.

This is one of the best write up’s I’ve seen of this idiot. My favorite part of the write up is where the judicial ruling points out just encountering someone fully clothed retrieving their purse and coat does not constitute sexual harassment, and by returning again and again to the facility to look for the transgender woman in question kind of debunks her claims of harm.

Headline: Salvation Army busted discriminating against transgender people (again)

Why anyone supports these bigots is a mystery to me. They have such a long and storied history of anti-LGBT discrimination. In this case, New York sites have been discriminating against transgender people in housing options for treatment centers, I believe.

They are once again focused on transgender women’s genitalia. The most shocking part of this was that they were performing physical exams of transgender women’s genitals as a step to getting housing. . . Are you serious? They demanded to see a woman’s genitalia? As policy? What the fuck. Don’t support these assholes, even a little.

Headline: Don’t Tolerate the Intolerable from Chechnya’s Strongman Kadyrov

Headline: Putin spokesman backs Chechnya leader’s call for gay purge to ‘purify our blood’

I mostly listed the lighter stuff first because this is such a big deal. It’s horrifying. Chechnya is literally rounding up gay men and murdering them. It’s a state sanctioned purge. It’s awful.

I’m not sure what to do to help. These men are being tortured and murdered publicly without repercussion. All I can do is point to it, and make sure as many folks are as aware as I can make them.


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7/14/17 Background Radiation

Below is a list of the top stories that made it through the cacophony of anti-LGBT news stories this week. I like to call this constant stream of hate filled instances Background Radiation, because we have to live with it. It’s there. It never leaves. It’s always in the background of our lives.

This week we’ll start off with something I had been dreading.

Headline: House Rejects Ban on Transition-Related Health Coverage for Transgender Troops

Republicans were attempting to strip the newly instated transgender medical coverage from transgender soldiers. This is were I, a non active duty, civilian employee of the Department of Defense can be effected. My healthcare comes from the Department of Defense. Riders effecting coverage most likely effect me as well.

This is the very reason I got bottom surgery this year. My testosterone is doable for me to pay via cash, but buying a dick? Not so much.

In this situation, it was narrowly rejected with 214 rejecting, and 209 supporting. Those screaming to deny transgender soldiers access to transgender related care cited all sorts of bullshit, but one that kept coming up was expense.

We can’t even know the expense because we don’t know how many transgender people are actually in the military. With a history of absolute persecution, some transgender folks go stealth when they join up. They might already have transitioned, making it impossible to tell. Some won’t transition until they get out because their immediate comrades are not supportive. Some won’t want surgery, just to serve, because not all of transgender people want surgery.

Like this article cites, the numbers for transgender people in the military range from 1500 to 8800. Nobody really knows, and until a time when we aren’t so hated, and persecuted, they won’t know.

What I do know, is that they GOP attacks on transgender people by attempting to cut medical and protections from persecution is malicious. We are the new panic button they keep wanting to stomp on to “energize their base”. Gay folks just don’t pack the right punch of outraged hysteria anymore, as more and more folks accept homosexuality as a normal part of life. We were the next target in line.

Headline: Chick-fil-A is still supporting our enemies’ causes

At best, after the last big focus on these people, they kind of said they’d keep their views to themselves, and not involve the business. That was a lie. They have been shuffling a large amount of funds to “Christian” charities with a clear anti-gay focus, and spoke publicly about how ashamed they are of the passage of marriage for same sex couples.

So he’s a liar as well as a bigot. Seems like that goes together a lot these days.

So you may like your traitor chicken, but you might want to consider where the cash from that chicken goes.

Headline: Attorney General Jeff Sessions to address anti-LGBT hate group in closed-door event

There were a lot of articles on this, and I chose one that didn’t put the words Hate Group in scare quotes. If the Southern Poverty Law Center designates your ass as a hate group, they will have receipts.

Everyone knew Sessions was anti-LGBT. This isn’t a shock. It’s just always astounding to me how these people are just so damn brazen about it.

That’s all I have the energy for today. My anger meter is about full on just these.

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7/7/2017 Background Radiation

Below is a list of the top stories that made it through the cacophony of anti-LGBT news stories this week. I like to call this constant stream of hate filled instances Background Radiation, because we have to live with it. It’s there. It never leaves. It’s always in the background of our lives.

I’d liked to start with the ridiculous this week. So much of the anti LGBT stories I get are just downright nutty. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the people these stories are about are folks that hate LGBT people, and go out of their way to attack us. They just aren’t playing with a full deck.


You know she means business because she says that gays raped the rainbow, and stole it from Christians. This is Linda Harvey, the founder of anti-LGBT Christian group Mission America. They are a hate group.

We have to take groups like this serious because of the damage they can do, but this woman sounds unhinged. She’s got her hyperbole meter stuck on 11, when it needs to be a 5.

As a bonus, she wants us to have a new flag, with “lots and lots of black”. I guess for her black = bad.

Headline: Russian MP: Angela Merkel kissed Satan over same sex marriage

Angela Merkel kind of back doored same sex marriage into legality in Germany without having to vote yes on it herself. It was an artful bit of politicing. She kept her party alliances, got to vote no, but also bowed to the increasing pressure from the population at large and her opposition.

A Russian MP named Vitaly Milonov has gone full hyperbole on the Satan train because of this. He insists that she has made a deal with Satan, and kissed him to seal the deal. That’s not the only Satan comment he has about her. Like the weird lady above, his hyperbole meter is off the charts.

I mean, this is all hyperbole for these people right? Please tell me it’s hyperbole, and they don’t actually believe these things. . .

Headline: Christian baker says that Jesus wouldn’t bake a cake for gay people

Okay, remember Jack Phillips out of Colorado? No? Remember the baker that refused to bake a cake for a gay couple? I bet you remember that.

This guy now claims Jesus wouldn’t bake a cake for a gay couple. You know, because Jesus was all about withholding food, and and shunning people. Does this guy even have a bible?

Headline: Boycott Raspberry PI Foundation

This is a real change.org petition. The author of this petition feels that the Raspberry Pi Foundation is pushing an LGBT agenda.

“The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity founded in 2009 to promote the study of basic computer science in schools, and is responsible for developing a single-board computer called the Raspberry Pi, the UK’s best-selling PC of all time.” – According to the wiki page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi_Foundation

This is some level ten crack-potting right here with this petition.

As amusing as these people can be, these are still people that are actively working to attack folks in the LGBT community. At least I can laugh at these ones. The next ones are not so funny.

Headline: Trump Administration Appoints Anti-Transgender Activist To Gender Equality Post

This is a lot more concerning, when real life trolls and anti-LGBT people get into positions where they can effect policy.

Headline: Pentagon delays decision on transgender recruits

Delaying this is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I work for the Department of Defense. That means I can see how it’s going to take them a damn long time to figure this out.

On the other hand, there are already transgender soldiers out there. Hell, I have talked to quite a few transgender men over the years that serve active duty. Some are out, some are stealth. They still exist. It vexes me that this has been an thing as long as we have had a military, and just now they are freaking out about it.

I want our transgender soldiers to have protections, so they don’t have to serve stealth, or be dependent on their immediate superiors reactions. Also, don’t think for a second, the GOP isn’t trying to repeal this. A delay may be a tactic to figure out how to do just that.

Headline: Woman shot to death in Virginia is the 15th reported trans murder victim of 2017

Another week, another violent loss of a transgender women. It’s so common, and so horrifying. If you are the praying sort, pray. If you are the donating sort, donate to your LGBT causes. They need it in the current political climate.

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Target means what it says

Yesterday a first happened, we were harassed by bigots trying to get petition signers for an anti-transgender bathroom bill right outside Target.

I hate feeling powerless. I hate not being able to resort to my baser instincts when confronted by people who hurt my husband.

We were going to Target to pick up some things for the house. We are fortunate, there is one across the street from us so we just wandered over. As we got to the front of Target we noticed the petition signers out front. As we walked in we both wondered aloud if they were for the anti-transgender bathroom bill (Souther Poverty Law Center’s writeup here on it).

We didn’t think much about it until we came back out of Target. Right in front of the out door was a very loud, older black male yelling for people to come sign for a bill that will protect women and children in Washington State.

Those are the magic words we knew meant this was an anti-transgender bathroom bill.

He yelled over to us “Gentleman, come sign this petition” I walked over to just verify which bill, and it was I-1552. The thing about I-1552 is that it isn’t just a normal anti-transgender bathroom bill, but actually establishes penalties to school districts that “expose children to transgender people”.

Yep, it is not only horrible, but more horrible then any other law that came up so far, even in the Deep Red areas. Fortunately it failed to get enough signatures in 2016, hoping the same in 2017.

Wolsey just looked stunned at the guy, I saw the shiver he gets before he erupts, but I am proud of him. He just threw his hands up and said “You want me to sign a petition to make what I am illegal” and he stomped off. Meanwhile the asshole sitting down trying to sell us this petition looked shocked at Wolsey being transgender and then began trying to explain it isn’t a bad bill and he should still sign it. He then started screaming at Wolsey, I am assuming that is when he realized that Wolsey was actually transgender. Most people forget that it isn’t only transgender ladies, but that there is transgender men, and Wolsey definitely looks like a very masculine male.

I was stunned. I couldn’t do what I wanted to and flip that table, I couldn’t scream at the guy (even as his yelling in general became yelling at us) and I just closed down and walked away. Next time I will remember to get a photo before I say anything to them. The guy just started to lose his shit at me and I was thankful I had kept my cool.

We went home and were both furious. Why would Target allow them to be outside of the building. After all, Target is known to be supportive of the LGBTQA community. Was this all just for show? After all there was a boycott back in 2010, but since then Target has come out defending LGBTQA people, and especially the transgender community and bathrooms (Target CEO Says Company Won’t Back Down on Trans Bathroom Policy). This is one of the many reasons we shop here instead of Walmart.

The panic that Target let these people be here passed though. I spoke to a man at Target who was in charge (will keep his name away so I don’t get him in trouble). I was expecting him to tell me he couldn’t do anything, however I got the opposite.

The gentleman seemed pleased and said that my call was exactly what he was hoping for. Evidently the Renton Police had refused the Target’s request to have the petition signers move away from their door because they had not harassed or bothered people. The guy’s screaming at us and harassing Wolsey was all he needed.

The good thing about this, the gentleman didn’t have a ton of voice of being polite and doing something because he had to, he sounded like he really wanted those people out and he was horrified by what they were doing.

I didn’t see the petition signers later that day, I hope that he was able to remove them, but the fact that he was so supportive of it meant everything to me and Wolsey. I may hate feeling like I have no control, but at least there are others out there that will support us, and that made all the difference.

They just proved to me that Target means what it says.

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So the Seattle paper, The Stranger, had an article on transgender issues. . .

Katie Herzog wrote an article for The Stranger. It’s our Seattle liberal rag that covers local issues. Over Pride month they had been great, and put up all sorts of great perspectives in their articles.

Then there was this one. http://www.thestranger.com/features/2017/06/28/25252342/the-detransitioners-they-were-transgender-until-they-werent

I’m not saying this article is factually wrong when Herzog says there are transgender people that opt to step back, and not transition. I’m saying that as a people, trans folks are a very small population with poorly recorded statistics. Often the best we can do is discuss our experiences in situations like this because it’s really hard to get good data on a population that is so persecuted, going Stealth and hiding your past is considered a valid goal for many transgender people.

My objection to the original article, was first that it was curious that Herzog didn’t talk to anyone that was big in local transgender issues. We have some amazing transgender resources here in Seattle, and she didn’t reference any of those.

Instead she decided to give time in her article to a discredited doctor. This was an “all sides are equal” tactic. The same ideology that puts flat earthers or climate change deniers up against real scientists and tells us that the views are equivalent.

I didn’t really say much about this article other than to point to it on Facebook.

Others have done a great job of breaking down the issues at play here:


Then yesterday I got hit with signature gatherers in front of the Target by my house, looking to gather signatures to get a bathroom bill on the ballot to prevent mostly transgender girls and women from having access to women’s restrooms.

I called the guy an asshole, and told him I’m transgender. I don’t think he ever understood me when I said I’d have to pee in the ladies room. For him, mostly likely, all transgender people are transgender women. A cop was looking on. I got loud, then I stalked off.

He had the Herzog article on his table. Her article was already being used to attack transgender people.

Still, I was just annoyed, until I saw this new article this morning by Katie Herzog:


It reads like a doubling down to me.

That’s when I decided to write to The Stranger. I don’t really write to newspapers often, because I don’t really think they’d care. This little kerfuffle is a good page view generator right now, as TERFs and bigots flock to the article as well as transgender people and their allies.

In that whole article, the sentence that got my goat was this:

Some were supportive of the article, some weren’t. TERFs and radfems baited trans folks into argument and vice versa.

Herzog writes as if we are all on the same footing here. Once again, this is ridiculous.

I decided to write a letter to The Stranger, for all the good it will do. I am going to post it here as well, because at least someone will see it here:


I’ve never wrote to to a newspaper before like this, so please believe me when I say how incredibly upset I am to even try. I don’t have any hope that anyone at the Stranger even cares, but I am moved to give it a go here.

Katie Herzog wrote a badly researched article, where she either had an agenda, or relied on sources with an agenda. I know this because I am transgender, and I read her original Detransitioning article as soon as it hit my RSS feed.

I talked to my other Seattle area trans friends, and we pretty much were universally disgusted. For me it’s not the first time I’ve seen articles created to discredit transgender experiences.

I would have chalked it up to some cisgendered chic running into the Dunning Kruger effect face first, but then she wrote the second follow up article where she doubled down on her sources. Including a discredited doctor.

You want to know why I am so pissed off? Yesterday I came out of a Target, and was propositioned by the anti-transgender group collecting signatures for a bathroom bill that would legally force my bearded self back into a women’s room.

Guess what article was sitting on their table? Go ahead. Turns out Katie Herzog’s article was a big hit.

So while she is equating TERFs, and anti-transgender bigots as flip sides of a coin in this new article (referencing TERFS and transgender people baiting each other on her FB page.) she has missed a key point.

We, the transgender people, are fighting for our right to exist without being molested, attacked, and killed. Sure there are folks that step back from transitioning. There aren’t any reliable sources for numbers. Many of us see-saw back and forth over time. There was no way to know if that was the final destination or a pause for them.

I was so happy with The Stranger during Pride month. I felt I had an ally. Now I know I shouldn’t have bothered placing my trust in your publication as a transgender man. You were just looking to push an agenda for more page views. Because what other reason could this publication have to float a badly researched article, then have the author double down on that bad research.

There are so many good reputable sources for transgender issues. Katie Herzog chose none of them, and now her work is being used to attack us, and me personally recently.

Well done. It’s not like they needed another weapon in their arsenal to attack my very humanity, but you gave them one.

-W. Bradley


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