(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):
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
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 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.