Hope you are well. I am writing to ask the National Center for Transgender Equality to weigh in on a controversy that has pitted Lesbians, many of whom have been “good” allies to the Transgender community, and Transgender women. I am sure you have heard of it – the “Cotton Ceiling,” a term porn actress Drew DeVeaux and other Transgender women use to “challenge lesbians’ tendency to support Transgender causes generally but draw the line at sleeping with Transgender women or including Transgender lesbians in their sexual communities.”
Lesbians and Feminists object to the “Cotton Ceiling” metaphor as ahistorical and rape invoking. The metaphor cheapens the struggles of Females to shatter the glass ceiling in the workplace by suggesting that the right to sexual access to Females is on par with the struggle for equality in the workplace. The metaphor suggests that Females are a barrier to be broken, or that Females owe some obligation to “penetrate” the veil of Transgender Women’s underwear (God, I wish I was making this up). Lesbians and Feminists also object to the metaphor because it suggests that Lesbians (i.e., Female homosexuals) need to open themselves sexually to Transgender women in to demonstrate that we are “good” Transgender allies. Consequently, the metaphor dictates that Lesbians are bigots for not wanting to consider sex with male-bodied persons.
Now, I am well known as a transphobic bigot, despite the fact that I supported House Bill 235 in Maryland in 2011 (even with its stereotyping definition of gender identity) and helped stage a rally to support Chrissy Polis after she was beaten at a Rosedale McDonald’s. I am not writing you to be recognized as a Transgender ally, because, quite frankly, I could care less about that. What I do care about is the blatant Lesbophobia promulgated by your organization through Avory Faucette, your Director of Operations. Hir actions contribute to the further marginalization of Lesbians in the GLBT Community and raise serious questions as to why any Lesbian or Lesbian ally should support the work of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
On hir apparently personal blog (where zie identifies hirself as an employee of the National Center for Transgender Equality), Faucette weighs in on the “Cotton Ceiling” metaphor with numerous Lesbophobic gems. I shall quote them at length!
The narcissism in the radfem community is somewhat hilarious. Why would a trans woman WANT to sleep with you? How boring it must be to have sex with someone who reduces your body, your sexual creativity, and your capacity to a penis. How hurtful to engage sexually with someone who denies your humanity. No, thanks.
I am astonished that someone who claims to be a Feminist would really think that this discussion over the dreadful “Cotton Ceiling” metaphor turns on whether or not any Female is personally fuckable or desirable. Is Faucette a teenage boy? Perhaps that is hir gender identity, but most human adults can recognize a sexist putdown when they see it. Please rest assured that no one in the Radical Feminist community is personally concerned or worried about whether a Transgender woman wants to fuck them. I am embarrassed for hir that zie even wrote those words.
Radfems, you’re not just missing out on great sex. You’re confused about what it means to be a lesbian, or a woman. I don’t care what your physical preferences are or what gender identity you prefer. I do care that you confuse those two things, and thereby insult trans women. I care that you don’t bother to interrogate the origins of your phallus-based distaste for trans women, and think about whether it’s actually a dislike of the organ that’s happening here or whether transphobia and a refusal to view trans women as women is involved. I care that you assume describing yourself as a lesbian tells others that you prefer what you call a pussy, as if everyone has the same definition of lesbian, woman, or pussy.
Mara, I ask you – do you think Lesbians owe a duty to have sex with Transgender women? Do you think Lesbians are “confused”? Lesbian means “female homosexual.” Lesbians desire sex with Females. I recognize Trans women as women, but I do not recognize them as Female – if they were Female, this entire conversation would be wholly unnecessary. Does the National Center for Transgender Equality support the right of Lesbians to have sex with other Lesbians, exclusively? Or, rather, do you embrace Faucette’s view that in order to be a good Transgender ally (and, apparently, a good Lesbian), Lesbians must “deconstruct” their sexuality in order to accommodate penis? That is, Lesbians cannot solely desire sex with other Females unless they wish to face the wrath of a movement that says such desire is bigoted? If the latter is true, what makes Faucette – and you – any different from anti-gay reparative therapy clinics such as the one run by Marcus Bachman? Faucette apparently believes – like Marcus Bachman – that Lesbians can get rid of our homosexual urges and become “re-oriented.” It apparently worked for hir! Faucette is promulgating the same rhetoric used by P-FOX and other anti-gay organizations to deny Lesbian reality. Is this really something the National Center for Transgender Equality believes?
Sit down, shut up, and read a book (or a blog). We will be over here, having fabulous queer sex without you.
I leave Faucette to hir “fabulous queer sex,” as zie seems a little porn sick. I will note, also, that telling Lesbians they need more “education” around Transgender issues is getting a little boring. I think most of us know exactly what Transgender means for us: Close your eyes and think of England.
Looking forward to your reply,