Did you know that only 20% of the GLAAD board was assigned female at birth (AFAB)?
Did you know that bisexual people are under-represented on the GLAAD board compared to the percentage of bisexuals in the general population?
Neither did I!
Being a bisexual cis woman you’d think that I’d be appalled that GLAAD has not instituted a proportional representational system perfectly aligned with the demographics of the community they are serving.
Well – actually I’m not. I actually think that goal post is patently ridiculous.
Any governing body of any organization should strive for diversity of leadership. However, if GLAAD (who represents a minority group within the greater population) were to strive for proportional demographic representation, they would need to actively prevent a minority from having any real power in order to keep their numbers in-line.
So, I think that whole idea is repulsive really and I’m not appalled at all.
But don’t worry, there is someone ready to be appalled on my behalf and insist that minorities stay in their place!
YES! Andrea James is there to declare that trans women (like herself) are taking over GLAAD. The great trans cabal has descended on GLAAD and now has them in a strangle-hold! A whopping FOUR out of TWENTY FOUR board members are trans women! Worse yet – none of them are straight!
Realize that the James article is simply a continuation of her very public, and very vitriolic tantrum against a young bisexual trans woman journalist who had the unmitigated gall to suggest that stories other than the tropic tragic narratives about trans women make it onto movie screens.
Even those who are unaware of this history, however, hopefully will be able to read James’ article carefully and recognize its inconsistency and incoherence.
Andrea James calls other trans folks “elitists” while demeaning them as “newly minted queers”. What is their offense? Apparently, according to her, since they are not gay men they are less prone to like drag and that’s somehow a problem.
But the big secret at the heart of this debate is not philosophy. This “tranny” debate exemplifies how many transwomen socialized as straight boys dislike drag. They did not come up through the club scene, they were not forced to seek refuge among the LGBT community.
However, her whole premise was that some groups were over-represented on the board – and THE MOST over-represented demographic on the board was cis gay men. But apparently, if these four women were gay men and not trans women, they would have the perspective that Andrea James demands. So the thin veil of supposedly caring about diversity of leadership falls flat pretty quickly.
Not to mention her lament that activism is currently populated with “wealthy white” people and her complaint that several of the transgender board members were considered “straight” pre-transition, in the same article where she celebrates the recent induction of an extremely privileged and politically connected and decidedly wealthy white straight person to the GLAAD board.
James also affirms that she believes that GLAAD is correct in advocating that transphobic slurs not be used in mainstream media. She then accuses members of the board of attempting “to make ‘tranny’ a slur under any circumstance.” The only example provided, however, is GLAAD advocating against the use of slurs on a national television show with well over a million viewers. So, her straw argument is easy to identify – as she paints a picture of the trans cabal busting into the dressing rooms of gay bars like jack-booted thugs listening intently for the t-slur and ready to pounce.
The trans community is not a monolithic group, and the term “tranny” is used in different ways by different parts of our community. It can be a self-identity, or a term of affection among friends, or a casual shorthand. It’s not always a slur, and I am somewhat amazed that two professional writers seem to insist otherwise.
Yes, Andrea, I am also “amazed” – in other words I’m incredulous. (psst – That means I don’t believe you.)
She accuses GLAAD of “biting the hand that feeds them” and characterizes largely private discussions with the producers of “Drag Race” concerning a specific segment of one of their programs as “going after” them. Then she belts out the platitude: “The revolution will not be sponsored.”
To top it all off – she calls for civility.
“…there are smarter and more diplomatic ways to deal with conflict within our community as we work to support each other.”
She says this after saying that GLAAD has a “tr*nny” problem because there are too many trans women on the board; not to mention her attack on the “queer” credentials of trans lesbians and the repeated implication that they are unable to represent people like myself because of their lives pre-transition.
Not to mention her recent indefensible, decidedly undiplomatic, behavior on twitter.
I reject Andrea James as a representative of my interests, but this isn’t about me and it never has been. Her framing the article as standing up for AFAB folks like me is just a ruse. Between her and the TERF crew, I’m getting pretty sick of being used this way. I refuse to be weaponized against the people I care about.
The horrific truth is that a by-product of James categorical attacks against trans women she disagrees with, is that (due to her trans status) she provides a strong social reinforcement that such attacks are justified and permissible.
The evidence? Look who is congratulating her. Read the comments.
No matter though! In the same breath that Andrea James nostalgically romanticizes LGBT activists who “lived on the fringes of society” she dismisses her critics as “nerdy under-/unemployed victim cultists.” She slams her critics for never being “forced to seek refuge within the LGBT community” without acknowledging that transgender people are often rejected and abused within that community when they do.
I strongly encourage those who continue to support and promote Andrea James to look for themselves who her critics *actually* are and what they are *actually* saying; and consider carefully the implications of her words and actions.
Do not take how Andrea James packages her toxicity for mass consumption on face value. Do not take my word for it either. Listen to the people who are harmed by her rhetoric and demagoguery.