You can choose compassion

(UPDATED)Dr. I. Alex Abramovich is a researcher specializing in homelessness faced by gay, lesbian, and transgender youth. Abramovich is an FTM transgendered person, hence is female. She is the figurehead behind a proposal to the City of Toronto with two primary aims – increase the number of existing shelter beds in Toronto for gay, lesbian, and transgender youth and build a separate shelter for such persons.

Abramovich refuses to acknowledge that her project has 100% support within the gay and lesbian community. Nobody is opposed to her project, least of all me. We all support her project even though its basis of statistical research is practically useless. A city report (PDF) detailing survey results from 2013 simply asked respondents “whether they identify as part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Transsexual, Two-spirited, Queer (LGBTQ) community” (all capitalization sic). The highest affirmative response came from the youth-shelter system.

Quite simply this does not tell us enough. How many of these respondents fall into the category that transgender researcher Abramovich would surely insist is first among equals, namely “Transgendered, Transsexual”? (That’s two different things, isn’t it?) How many are gay males? How many of those males are actual real males and not FTMs like Abramovich? Earlier research I read, dating back to 2010, makes the same category errors.

Why are these disparate groups with disparate needs lumped together? Ask a lesbian what she has in common, if anything, with a two-spirited male aboriginal. Is it just that they’re both in need? Well, is that sufficient to justify “LGBTQ” shelter beds and an entire “LGBTQ” shelter operation? Should MTF transgenders, i.e., males, be housed with lesbians in the proposed shelter environment?

It is intrinsically credible that gay, lesbian, and transgender youth are treated worse in the shelter system. You barely need to back that up with documentation. But if you do, your research has to be bulletproof. It isn’t. Everyone in the actual gay and lesbian community supports the project anyway.

Now let me talk about untouchable female researcher Alex Abramovich. I couldn’t call her an obvious FTM at Daily Xtra because this simple statement of fact, later confirmed by Abramovich herself, is deemed defamatory. (It is not.)

But quite recently, this pioneering woman in science had the balls to write a handwringing post on her personal Weblog decrying “the infighting that occurs in the LGBTQ community.” (Unwisely, she begins the posting with “There’s something that I need to get off of my chest.” Apart from her breasts?) She continues:

I am profoundly disturbed by the infighting that occurs in the LGBTQ community…. This type of hate, ultimately, divides our community and breaks us apart. It makes us forget what we were fighting for in the first place, and that many of us are fighting for the same causes, for the same rights; many of us are fighting the same fight. Instead we end up fighting against one another, when we could be fabricating a framework that will nurture our diverse and powerful community. […]

Let’s stop with the hate. Let’s be nicer to each other.

This academic, who should exhibit a commitment to freedoms of conscience and of expression, promptly deleted this comment of mine:

You’ve got a lot of nerve. This “infighting” you decry is actually an all-out assault by queers, LGBTs, and transgenders like you against, first of all, reality (“Some women have dicks” is not a true statement), actual gay and lesbian history (Stonewall was not led by “transwymmyn of colour”), and actual gay and lesbian people, who are now deemed the oppressor.

Your temerity riles even more because you and your political class are winning and run every “LGBTTQQI2S*” organization and institution in this city, and, when you get right down to it, everywhere in the West.

You want less infighting? Fine. Stop calling us cissexist and transmisogynist and racist when we correctly point out that, for example, you are female.

She also deleted this one after allowing a transgender to lie about Stonewall (excerpted):

[S]omething eldergays like us are good at doing is countering transgender lies with facts. You might want to read Duberman and Marcus; I did. Stonewall was a gay bar, not a transvestite bar, in part because appearing in the attire of the opposite sex was illegal at the time. Stonewall was a gay uprising, not a transgender one. Gay is not a subset of transgender and all gay history is not a variant of transgender history.

Then she ignored this direct inquiry:

A question for attribution for a beacon of academic freedom and universal rights, the mighty Dr. I. Alex Abramovich:

You’re spearheading a project with 100% support in the actual gay and lesbian community – increased shelter beds for gay, lesbian, and, yes, transgender youth, with the ultimate inauguration of a shelter just for these groups. Nobody is opposed to your plan.

I would like to know why, since you personally are winning with your project, and the group you represent (transgenders) fully owns and operates every single “LGBT” organization and institution in this city, you have the gall to publish on your blog a call to eliminate “hate,” to listen to each other, to foster community, to stop any “infighting.” I need a comment from you – again, this is for the record – on why you pretend that the actual aggressors and instigators of this disharmony are not, in fact, queers, transgenders, LGBTs, and their allies.

Further, are you not aware how batshit transgenders like Darryl Banks use Twitter and Facebook to harass, no-platform, and actually threaten everyone who dares to point out that a penis is not a female organ? (Your vagina isn’t male, either, “Alex.”) Will you not actually publicly condemn the true aggressors in our diverse LGBTTQQI2S* communities – your people, the ones who are already winning?

We know a couple of things about Alex Abramovich: She engages in censorship of her political opponents; she is disingenuous about the true aggressors within her own group; she predicated a project on unsound research; and she is now and always will be female.

We support her project nevertheless. Nobody likes a sore winner, Ms Abramovich.

Would-be lawfare practitioner “Mr.” Alex Abramovich

Above, I pointed out that the actual political aggressors against gays and lesbians are queers, transgenders, LGBTs, and their allies. I stated further that “batshit transgenders… use Twitter and Facebook to harass, no-platform, and actually threaten everyone” who not just politically disagrees with them but dares to state biological fact.

Who’s next on the list? Why, mighty Dr. Alex Abramovich, who, according to evidence at my disposal, lied to the police by making a false accusation against me. (Details below.)

As I explained it to Toronto Police LGBT (sic) liaison Danielle Bottineau via electronic mail (links added; privacy redactions made and not always indicated):

As LGBT liaison, you are saddled with the unenviable task of dealing with disputes (that does not mean arbitrating them) not just between straight people and us but within what are called the LGBT communities.

Like this one. Dr. I. Alex Abramovich, an FTM transgendered researcher into youth homeless whom you may have heard of, filed a spurious harassment complaint, according to this E-mail I received (headers available if you want to see them):

  • From: David La Penna

  • To: [me]

  • Subject: Harassment Allegation

  • Date: 2014-Dec-09 at 14:42

Please be advised that allegations of criminal harassment have been reported to Toronto Police by Mr. Alex Abramovich. These allegations name you as the suspect. I was the initial officer assigned to this and I filed a report yesterday.

At this point you are not charged with anything; however, Mr. Abramovich has explicitly told you via Facebook and E-mail to stop contacting him. It is in your best interest to avoid all forms of direct or indirect communication whether that be online, in-person or through a third-party. Mr Abramovich has been advised to avoid all contact with you.

She is responding, I can only presume, to two fact-checking questions submitted through her Web site’s contact form. She and I have never met or spoken.

I am a journalist of long standing (with nearly 400 published articles and two nonfiction books; I was a columnist not only in the Star and the Globe and Mail but in Xtra) and I have an ethical obligation to fact-check. Fact-checking through a publicly available contact form is not “harassment.”

One of my messages is reproduced in a blog post I wrote [this selfsame one] and the other was simply a link to that post with a mention that I’d see her at any future City committee hearings considering any plan to implement her shelter proposals. There, I also gave her the spoiler that I supported her proposal. In what appears to be a topsy-turvy transgender universe (tautological in and of itself), support statements are baselessly deemed harassing.

I don’t have API access to Facebook, a complex, inscrutable Web application, so I do not know if she attempted to contact me via Facebook. My address there isn’t publicly listed, but is easy enough to search for. Looking through my direct messages, I see nothing from her. But if she blocked me, I would never see anything either, so it is impossible to differentiate the two states of nothing-sent and previously-blocked. Nonetheless, I can assure you I never received a warning, demand, or request from Dr. Abramovich on Facebook, nor can I remember reading anything from her on Facebook ever.

I have been online for 23 years and know my way around E-mail very well. I can state with confidence that she has never E-mailed me, given the proviso that server-side spam filters, over which I have no control, may have silently deleted any such message before I could view it. Further, this claim would have to be backed up with a copy of the message or messages with headers visible; further yet, she would have to prove I read the message. (Did she show such headers and prove that to La Penna? Shouldn’t he have known to ask?) Among other checks I carried out, searching for Abramovich or ilona6 in various ways yielded nothing.

Hence not only was I never warned by Dr. Abramovich to stop contacting her, the complete lack of visible contact from her also presents the conundrum that I have no idea what she finds harassing. (If anything beyond my existence.) As Dr. Abramovich is female, there is no “Mr.” Abramovich who might have laid a complaint.

I did not provide the Toronto Police Service with any telephone number in this context. This E-mail from La Penna was the first I’d heard of the whole thing. I view the claim of having attempted to telephone me as a likely privacy violation. Just like being carded, really.

So to sum up: This transgendered person objects to a supporter of her project fact-checking a question about her own original writing. Instead of addressing the issue directly, as I would expect a defender of academic freedom to do, she ran to the police and filed a spurious claim (in fact, the claim might be outright false).

The Toronto Police Service is already in the position of having accepted that spurious complaint and in all likelihood having violated my privacy rights. Dr. Abramovich’s complaint is an attempt to chill my constitutionally guaranteed free-speech rights and I won’t stand for it. Among many other things, I am entirely free to refer to Dr. Abramovich as female and to support her project. I would be equally free to call her male and oppose it, or to take any other position and use any other terminology not found by a competent court or tribunal to be prohibited by law.

Flatly stated, I have not “harassed” Dr. Abramovich in any way, shape, or form. Since I’m also someone who writes guides for other journalists on how to avoid libel, that too is a statement I can categorically make.

One option is for Dr. Abramovich to withdraw her complaint. Another is for me to publicize the issue, which then involves your referring questions to Mark Pugash, who will then refuse to comment.

Bottineau didn’t bother to respond. I view this as taking Ms Abramovich’s side, but of course I can’t prove that. Nor can I prove the negative that Abramovich did not contact me. I can certainly attest I have never read any E-mail from her. Given the totality of the information available to me, along with my experience and memory, I feel confident in stating she made a false claim to the police.

Nonetheless, what she’s doing is attacking an actual supporter of her project who has the temerity to call bullshit on her claims about the true source of “the infighting that occurs in the LGBTQ community.” I have the further temerity to recognize biological reality and state that Abramovich is an FTM transgendered person, hence is female.

The actual enemies of transgendered persons are the males – largely heterosexualist, though a significant portion of them have unresolved tranny fetishes – who beat up MTF transgenders and murder them. (The same happens, though less often, to FTMs.) The Transgender Day of Remembrance has reason to exist, but gays and lesbians are not that reason. Transgenders pretend otherwise. As far as trannies are concerned, nothing is worse than calling them trannies or acknowledging that their biological sex, like everyone’s, is immutable. Some related facts are as follows: Transwomen are men; there is no such thing as a “trans lesbian”; “cisgender” does not exist; no women have penises and no men have vaginas; Stonewall was not a transgender uprising.

Instead of just manning up, as “Mr.” Abramovich might be advised to do, and accepting that the same kind of freedoms that allow them to be transgendered in our society allow others to disregard some of their claims, batshit transgenders harass and attack the legitimate gay and lesbian community. In this case, Ms Abramovich attempted to wage lawfare against me. She doesn’t have a case.

I will not tolerate abridgement of my constitutional rights, least of all from a woman whose work I actually support.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.30 12:28. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/11/30/ilona6temerity/

Updated from time to time.

2014.12.09

  1. Love & Radio, which is quite good:

    1. Violent”: Joyce Carol Oates–compliant “MMA” fighter with actual self-awareness Nick Salvatore:

      I was with my friend Alex, and one thing led to another, and we took to grappling. I realized it was one of the most intense experiences I’d had. Um, kind of like being in a crash, but, uh, not as necessarily life-threatening. And, I dunno, it drove me nuts. I started doing it as often as possible. I mean, it’s not necessarily what human beings are built to do, but it’s something that human beings seem very adept at, and I guess it just struck some sort of atavistic core with me – and drove me nuts.

      It’s – it’s almost like dancing, and it’s almost like fucking…. And sort of trying to find a way to arrange your body the way one might arrange words or paint or beats or whatever to achieve this sort of optimal æsthetic effect, which just happens to be, you know, the other person lying unconscious on the floor or whatever. It’s creative, but you get created, you get re-created….

      But, you know, I, and we – me and my friend Alex, we fought naked, uh, and, I mean, that was really weird…. Really weird. [“Did you like it?”] I did. I don’t know if we would do it again necessarily. Also, the tile floors really ripped up our knees and ankles.

    2. Daryl K. Davis, an African-American who befriends Klansmen

    3. Mathias Rust lands his plan in Red Square

  2. Grant mentions me on a Way with Words episode and gets Canadian spelling kind of wrong.

  3. The Nerdist talks to Clive Barker for almost two hours about every aspect of health and sexuality while never bothering to talk about his having AIDS or allegedly shooting up his husband with needles (case dismissed).

    (Previously: Why do we write?)

2014.10.05

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.12.09 13:01. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/12/09/podcastroundup/

Since my first meeting with the TTC in nearly seven years back in August, every month somebody has found cause to call me a faggot on the transit system. (They never expect a comeback like “Yeah, I am a faggot, but at least I graduated from high school.”)

It would be excessive to say that has never happened to me before, but never so often, and I have no memory of the last such incident before this summer.

What surprises me is I am much more bothered and offended by the way the TTC treated and treats me.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.12.09 10:23. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/12/09/correlation/

What happened in Queer Nation in Toronto circa 1991? (Not 1985, as stated here.) We could ask Scott Thompson – or I could, if ever would invite me onto his podcast, whose ostensible final episode included this monologue of his (interjections elided, ≈40:00):

I always hated activism. Eeevery time I tried to get involved in an activist group, I was – sometimes literally – thrown out…. Thrown out of Queer Nation. Yeah. For being a man. Because they were discussing something— It was so bizarre. At that time, people were so polarized. And also sexual politics were feverish. So they’d have these meetings where they were afraid to have leadership because leadership was seen as patriarchal. Because men were more physical, they were in your face, and they had louder voices and all, women were like, “That’s an unfair advantage!” So they refused to have leaders. So there’d be a male and a female as co-leaders. So it was chaos. […]

There was a discussion about – oh, this is so stupid! There was a gay hotline, and the female leader went up and she was going on about the sexism of the hotline. How can a hotline be sexist? Because they were getting like eight times more calls were coming from gay men getting attacked than women, and therefore that proves sexism. So I put my hand up, and, even though I wasn’t supposed to [because] a woman had to speak before me and then someone in a wheelchair, when I finally had my chance to speak, I said: “Well, maybe that’s because women aren’t gaybashed the way men are.” The next thing you know it was like: Sexist! Sexist!

And I said: “Everybody in this room knows that gay men are the target.” Men don’t go out to beat up lesbians. It might happen, but it’s a one-off. You know? It’s rare. And that’s more under the umrella of misogyny. But the truth is gaybashing is primarily about gay men. And I was thrown out. But thrown out for stating the obvious….

Oh, this would be 1985? Thrown out. I remember me and my boyfriend walked out at the time. I went, “I can’t stay in this stupid—” It was nonsense. I felt like I was in Soviet Russia back in the day…. It was like thoughtcrime. But look where we are today: There’s a lot of that going on. It never ended…. That’s my point. Whenever anyone is serious, all I hear is: Sexism! Hate crime! White male!

I remember being called “white male.” Like: “White male!” OK, whatever…. And most of the room was white males.

I actually have an anecdote of my own about Scott’s sitting a few rows behind me during and after my presentation on zapping Public Enemy.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.12.04 12:30. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/12/04/whitemale/

The amusingly volatile Armond White, as if serving tempeh two ways, reviews Foxcatcher with one angle for Out and rather a different one for National Review.

(Pro tip: chickenhawk is one word in either of its senses. Also, Brendan Lemon paid me a kill fee for a “Talk of the Town” piece I wrote for the New Yorker about John du Pont back dans la journée.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.28 15:54. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/11/28/foxcaughttwice/

Recommended (inevitably) by Armond White was Patrice Chéreau’s Son frère, which, like Free Fall, approaches homosexualism from unexpected angles (in the latter case including who does so from the rear). (A later review by White. Chéreau’s obituary; all we can hope for is to be half as interesting as he was.) For some months I have been the eldergay on the subway picking through the atrociously typeset library copy of the original book by Philippe Besson.

One brother in Son frère is sick, only it isn’t with AIDS and he’s the straight one. The gay brother is removed from his own feelings and is played unconvincingly by a visible heterosexualist. (Both lead actors have Italian surnames.) The gay brother suddenly has to give a shit and do so with a commitment, gravity, energy, and stamina never before needed. His skinny twink bf unit deals with everything better – so much so that he and the sick brother become pals behind his boyfriend’s back.

The gay brother does not need to feel bashful or ashamed about hanging out at the gay beach or actually being gay.

Straight brother: I really love you. I wanted you to know it. I’ve always loved you.

Yet he does. Really, it’s hard for us not to self-censor. But he’s willing to speak with honesty after he makes out for a moment with his brother’s girlfriend. (With full commitment from the actor. You can see the blood pumping.) The only time the brother/actor can be honest is after kissing a girl.

Gay brother: His was the first cock I touched. I think I jerked him off. He was the first boy I knew.

Son frère restates the lesson of The Long Day Closes and Toast and it remains the hardest lesson to learn: Men will let you love them.

Son frère: It’s icy, it’s distant, it has a great ending. Yes, the sick brother dies, as he must. But then the gay brother finally changes. It took his brother’s dying for that to happen. That, like loving him, was all right too.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.25 14:32. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/11/25/hisbrother/

Months in the making, Jesse Brown interviewed me on CanadaLand’s Episode 58.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.17 15:26. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/11/17/canadaland-interview/

A week ago, Spiekermann stood me up when he was in town for the only time – presenting at the same design conference that in its earliest years invited then disinvited me.

I feel my lifetime interest in typography has come to naught. That feeling pervades all my interests, in fact.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.16 12:18. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/11/16/spiekermann/

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