Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Schroer Decision!

Way back in June, I blogged about Diane Schroer and the discrimination she experienced in trying to get a job. Well, a decision has finally been handed down, and the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia found in her favor. Very cool.

One thing I found interesting about the case was the statement below, taken from Dr. Weiss's blog post:

"Charlotte Preece, the decisonmaker, admitted that when she viewed the photographs of Schroer in traditionally feminine attire, with a feminine hairstyle and makeup, she saw a man in women's clothing. In conversations Preece had with colleagues at the Library after her lunch with Schroer, she repeatedly mentioned these photographs. Preece testified that her difficulty comprehending Schroer's decision to undergo a gender transition was heightened because she viewed David Schroer not just as a man, but, in light of her Special Forces background, as a particularly masculine kind of man. Preece's perception of David Schroer as especially masculine made it all the more difficult for her to visualize Diane Schroer as anyone other than a man in a dress. Preece admitted that she believed that others at CRS, as well as Members of Congress and their staffs, would not take Diane Schroer seriously
because they, too, would view her as a man in women's clothing."

I find this cultural assumption that your body defines who you are incredibly painful. It virtually makes me invisible. If you look at me and see a man in woman's clothing, you don't see me, you don't understand me, you don't believe in me. And that hurts.

I'm a woman in a man's body. That is very different. My clothing tells you that's who I am, as well as every other signifier I can come up with. Yeah, I know it's not perfect. It's like a big birthmark all over my face, or a hunchback. There's only so much I can change. And I'm very grateful that so many people see me for who I am, including one friend who didn't realize I could donate sperm for a possible pregnancy until she thought about it for a minute.

But I'm off the subject. I just want to take a minute to celebrate this landmark decision – another step forward for equal rights.

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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our