Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The law of conservation of transness

by Carrie Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 05:09:46 AM EST

As you may recall, Helen was the resident trans woman on this site since the early days until her untimely passing just under 18 months ago. With her gone, I should have picked up the mantle but that would have required me to out myself when I wasn't quite ready. Now, however, my social transition is complete as some of you who are my friends on Facebook may know already.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Over Helen's lifetime, acceptance of trans people improved a lot. But in the last five years or so things have started backsliding. The situation in places like the UK (often termed 'TERF island') and the US is now dire, with a veritable trans moral panic raging. Accordingly, you may expect me to resume blogging on trans politics, which is a topic Helen herself didn't really broach since 2008.

A few years ago, then-VP Biden [called] transgender discrimination [the] 'civil rights issue of our time' at a campaign event for the reelection of Barack Obama. Little did he know.

is "Joementum"?

Washington Blade | Biden: LGBT discrimination the 'civil rights issue of our time', 30 Oct 2012
Advocate | Biden Calls Transgender Discrimination 'Civil Rights Issue of Our Time', 31 Oct 2012

one year later...
buzzfeed | Delaware's Beau Biden Urges Legislature To Pass Transgender Protections, 16 June 2013

two years later ...
obamawhitehouse.archive.gov | Remarks by the Vice President and Dr. Biden to the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner, 23 Mar 2014

Look, I don't want this just to be a rah-rah speech here.  I mean what I say, it's clear we have a long road to travel to change hearts and minds and laws all around the world.  But we're beginning to do it.  We're beginning to do it.

I want to talk to you about what the President and I are doing to help us get there.  Barack and I believe that the rights of LGBT people is an inseparable part of America's promotion of human rights around the world. No, no, no, it really -- it cannot, is not distinguishable.  It's a false distinction made in the past.  The first and most important thing this administration has done is to use the bully pulpit of the most powerful nation on Earth to stand up in defense of LGBT rights around the world.  It means speaking up against the criminalization of LBGT status or conduct, as President Obama has ordered all agencies working overseas to do.

three years later...
tuscaloosanews | Biden's 2012 gay marriage 'gaffe' now an advantage, 4 Oct 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton also has a committed following in the LGBT community, as was evident in the program before Biden spoke. Each time the former secretary of state appeared on screen the audience erupted in applause.

four years later...
WEF | Joe Biden calls for business to lead on LGBT rights, 5 Feb 2016

During the the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, he met with numerous executives including Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of apartment-sharing company Airbnb; Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca Cola Company; and Anthony Scaramucci, founder of hedge fund SkyBridge Capital.

"When it comes to LGBT rights in the workplace, the world is looking to you," Biden told them. "You have more impact than anything the federal government has done."

The vice president was adamant that the conduct of senior management was core to advancing the LGBT agenda. "You can literally change the terms of the debate ... You actually put governments on notice," he said.

Biden also praised the progress already made. Only a few years ago, he pointed out, business leaders would have ignored homophobic remarks. "You would have all kept you mouths shut. We wouldn't have said anything. Today, name me a business meeting in the United States of America with someone who would do that."

That sentiment was echoed by Beth Brooke-Marciniak and Shamina Singh, speakers on the first ever LGBT panel at Davos.

obamawhitehouse.archive.gov | Presidential Proclamation -- LGBT Pride Month, 31 May 2016
Since our founding, America has advanced on an unending path toward becoming a more perfect Union.  This journey, led by forward-thinking individuals who have set their sights on reaching for a brighter tomorrow, has never been easy or smooth.  The fight for dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive society.  They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment -- under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics.  This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward justice.
Politico | 'My Country Accepts Me as a Woman', 1 July 2016
Hillary Clinton was the force behind a little-known breakthrough in transgender rights. So why doesn't she talk about it?
by Cat on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 12:54:12 PM EST
11 years ago
"A lot of my friends are being killed, and they don't have the civil rights yet. These guys are gonna make it happen"

10 days ago
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on April 20, 2023

Beijing Daily: According to the latest data on April 18 from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 164 mass shootings in the US this year, bringing the total gun deaths to 12,486. A latest CBS News/YouGov survey shows that 61 percent of the Americans interviewed report feeling "frustrated" over the political gun debate, and 77 percent of parents of school-aged children say that they worry their kids may be hurt by gun violence. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports and that some US media call mass shootings their national shame. Year after year, the US publishes thousands of pages of annual Human Rights Reports on countries of the world and dictates to them about their human rights record. But can't the US just for once do something actually meaningful for protecting its people and tackling its gun violence problem?

by Cat on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 03:22:09 PM EST
Cheers Carrie, and congratulations!
Actually, I still owe you rent from the last Paris Eurotrib meet-up... I'm sure we'll sort it one day.
That was the only occasion when I met Helen in the flesh. It was a great experience, it really confirmed what I already knew from interactions here : she was a sister soul for me.

I had a nephew who is now a niece. She looks so much happier than when she was a boy. She lives on the other side of the world, so I wasn't able to give them much support for the transition -- I would have liked to compensate a bit for the lack of support of their father, my brother.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 3rd, 2023 at 12:58:49 PM EST
Hey, sorry I took over a week to reply to this.

I don't remember how you owe me rent from a Paris stay, but I'll take that debt :P I may even collect it on a visit to Lyon...

As to your niece, all I can say is this. A remarkable thing with trans folks seems to be how sad the eyes are in pre-transition photographs vs. how bright they appear post-transition. The eyes have it. Then, family is often the hardest group of people to deal with. Unfortunately family relationships are laden with a lot of expectations family members have of you, and often they can't let go of some of those expectations. And finally, even if she's all the way across the world, you can still be supportive just by staying in touch, which in the age of the internet is easier than ever. Of course expressions of genuine love and support also help, as does showing appreciation for the fact your relative is choosing to live more authentically than hitherto.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 14th, 2023 at 12:14:40 AM EST
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Since I rarely use social media these days, I had not seen it before. So congratulations are in order!
by fjallstrom on Wed May 10th, 2023 at 12:46:46 PM EST
A more general comment on transness and politics.

Not to diminsh the importance of current trends and legislative proposals in UK and US, I think what we see is a re-action to the broader visibility and acceptance of people being trans over the last 20 years. And while that reaction gets traction on some issues (bathrooms, womens sports) the greater visibility in combination with general acceptance I think points in the opposite direction. Or at least I hope so.

by fjallstrom on Mon May 15th, 2023 at 01:08:57 PM EST
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice". This is true on a historical timescale, but on the scale of a human lifetime it can, and definitely has been known to, bend towards injustice and get stuck there.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 17th, 2023 at 11:26:22 PM EST
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