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    December 08, 2007

    GNW 5: Memphis trannie mayhem

    Posted by: Chris

    Gnw_lighthouse_logosmall Here are the Top Five most popular stories over the last 24 hours on Gay News Watch, along with an Editor's Pick from me at the end:

    1. Lexus Toyota threatens lawsuit over gay porn star Lexus: QUICK LOOK: What does Toyota have to do with gay porn? A lot, apparently. The U.S. branch of the Japanese automaker recently sent a communiqué to Daniel Grangier, president and CEO... (MORE)
    2. Jeffreyneilson GOP ex-aide admits sex with teen he met on gay site: QUICK LOOK: Jeffrey Ray Nielsen — the well-connected Orange County conservative activist who claimed the liberal media was out to get him by publishing a series of exposés on his... (MORE)
    3. Jodiefosteraward Foster almost comes out accepting women's award: QUICK LOOK: Jodie Foster gave a moving and surprisingly candid speech when she received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at the 16th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast this... (MORE)
    4. Lulabrazil Brazil's president announces first gay rights confab: QUICK LOOK: Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced last week that he will convene the first-ever national LGBT conference in South America's largest country. The... (MORE)
    5. Cloutier1 After arrest, gay Calif. mayor-elect loses in recount: QUICK LOOK: The new mayor of Vallejo, Calif., is finished after less than 48 hours on the job. Two days after Gary Cloutier was sworn in as the city's chief, a recount of ballots...


    • Dacoriangreer Cross dressers attack McDonald's workers in Memphis: QUICK LOOK: Three men who were dressed as women and attacked a Memphis McDonalds worker have been charged with assault. Dacorian Greer, 23, Danny Mitchell, 26, and Lynn Gillespie,... (MORE)

    Not only is the story a bit bizarre, but it was irresistible for me because it comes from my hometown and was first reported by the TV station where my brother has worked for some 20 years. He's no longer on the editorial side of things, but I had to check out WMC's original report because local activists have been critical of the way the story has been covered.

    Here are the highlights, with the language I'm guessing would be objectionable in my italics:

    Memphis Police continue to search for search three cross-dressing crooks who started a fight at the McDonalds on South Mendenhall Sunday night. It was definitely not business as usual at a local McDonald's Sunday night as a carful of angry transvestites pulled up to Martez Brisco's drive-thru window.

    "Men trying to look like women, drag queens, transvestites is what they were," Brisco said. There was an argument at the window and that's when things started to get a little strange.

    "They come to the window, tap, tap, tap. I'm still ignoring them. I guess that just pissed them off worser," Brisco said.

    Three men, dressed as women, jumped out of the car, ran into the restaurant armed with a tire iron, and started swinging at employees, but not before they disrobed, kicking off their stiletto boots, hoop earrings, and jackets. …

    Albert Bolton had bandaids covering scratches where one of the drag queens mauled him with his fingernails.

    "I was fightin with 'em, trying to protect him, and he scratched me," Bolton said.

    As the fight carried on, the manager grabbed a pot of hot french fry grease and launched it at the men. One of the men retaliated, smacking the manager in the head with a wet floor sign sending him away in an ambulance.

    Before they drove off, the cross dressers smashed in the drive-thru window.

    Police are working on a more detailed description of the trio. Authorities said they are looking for a black car and three men dressed as women.

    1128071014431 It's a colorful story, reported colorfully. The primary objection, I'm guessing, would be to the description of the trio as "men dressed as women" rather than as "transgender women."

    I wouldn't quarrel with the way WMC did it, considering we don't know nearly enough about these three to know whether they were, in fact, drag queens, cross-dressers, trasvestites or transsexuals. Yes, "transgender" is an umbrella term for all of these things, but the more specific terms aren't offensive. I know that "men dressed as women" pushes buttons for trans folks, but it's accurate at least for drag queens and cross-dressers.

    Then again, even after reporting on transgender issues for more than a decade I'm repeatedly told I need "Transgender 101" training -- which is activist code for buying into their rhetoric and usually their political agenda.

    I believe that we should leave it up to people to decide what it is we call them, so long as the terms they use are defined adequately to remain accurate and not skew reality.  WMC covered this bizarre fast-food fight in ways an LGBT publication would not -- although it's notable that Out & About, the local GLBT newspaper, borrowed almost the entire WMC story.  Still, all in all, it seemed fine to me.

    Gnw_lighthouse_logosmall For a complete news summary, click or bookmark: gaynewswatch.com/transgender



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    1. on Dec 8, 2007 12:27:13 PM:

      You should probably be a bit more accurate in your headlines Chris. "(T)rannies"? If they were, in fact, drag queens, as the story states, then they were GAY MEN dressing in drag. They're generally not the folks ID'ing as part of our crowd, they're a part of yours.

    1. anonymous on Dec 8, 2007 8:25:19 PM:

      "I believe that we should leave it up to people to decide what it is we call them, so long as the terms they use are defined adequately to remain accurate and not skew reality."

      To me, this is the key thing. When transexual men refer to themselves as "lesbians" they are skewing reality.

      And anyone who tells them not to do that will be called a hateful bitch and told to read Transgender 101 books.

      I think transgender people need to develop language to describe themselves that actually works in the real world, not some sort of bizarro Trans-only world.

    1. am on Dec 8, 2007 10:30:27 PM:

      anonymous. suggestion:

      got to VS and get refitted. Me thinks your bra is to tight and there is no blood making it to your brain.

      You're nuts. really.

    1. Geena The Transgirl on Dec 9, 2007 2:42:34 AM:

      Working class folks trying to earn a living at McDonalds, one man assaulted with a tire iron taken to hospital with a concussion, another has facial lacerations. And Tennessee Equality Project is worried about the language describing the perpetrators.
      Don't we all realize these injured victims are where our sympathy should lie?
      And since when do crossdressers strip down to get ready to rumble? That's transvestite behavior. This is no different than the misguided politically correct concern over calling gay bashers in Holland Moroccan Muslims.

    1. david on Dec 9, 2007 5:57:40 PM:

      am -- like clockwork -- a transjacker reads something they do not like about transissues and they start the name calling. can you transpeople never respond to anything without put downs? come on! it's pathetic -- every single comment on chris' blog over the past few weeks about trans has elicited nothing but whining, childish personal attacks from "transmen"-- grow up if you want to even begin to be taken seriously. And anonymous -- I agree with everything you write -- keep it up!

    1. am on Dec 10, 2007 1:13:55 PM:

      David. Actually I have read all three of the recent posts by anonymous and she does a pretty good job of pulling out the guns and insulting folks at the most ‘pathetic’ level. She doesn't give a single constructive comment about anyone transgendered or anything Trans related. Which is fine, everyone has a right to their own opinion. Everything that she has said has bordered along the lines of extreme. I'm sure there are people that fit her description, but it doesn’t fit the Trans community as a whole. Gays and Lesbians have their own stereotypes as well; shall I go on an extreme rant and start with those?

      Re-read what people have written on this blog and own a little bit of accountability on the level of childishness and name calling. At least Chris was able to do that at one point. Which I respect, and I also respect that he maintained his ultimate position. I will concede that I said something that was unkind. Though it was hardly name calling. If I had it wouldn’t have been nearly as nice. I have specific issue with anonymous’ verbal tactics. In fact, her views seem to be more of regurgitated synopsis of what other people say. I’ve spent 15 years in the lesbian community, just recently starting my transition, and I can promise that it has not been hijacked by transgendered folks. Though I can see how Lesbians would be confused as the visibility of transfolks has increased over the years.

      Transjacker is name calling. Holding us to a higher standard?

      To comment directly on Chris’s post: I think he’s being a little sensitive, I also think he’s being purposefully provocative. Referring to the three men as cross dressing crooks is not a problem. That is what they are after all. Though transgendered is a blanket term, the connotation of the word and how it is meant to be used does not apply to these men, at least not at this time. If they truly are Trans then so be it. They don’t get to drop the label of ‘crook’ just because they may or may not be Trans. A man dressing up as a woman on Halloween does not make that man ‘transgendered’. Drag Queens may fall under a transgendered blanket, but that does not make them Trans (though some are). They do by the nature of crossing over make a political statement about gender. Even if it is not their intent. Obviously the same goes for drag kings.

      Perhaps if the transjacking rhetoric was toned down a little we might be able to have an actual dialogue. At the very least, give your actual experiences with transfolks. I get the feeling that this rhetoric is simply just passed around but not many of you have actually experienced it. At the very least the transjacking crap is based purely on generalizations. You can’t have tolerance and acceptance without living it day to day.

      So my apologies anonymous. It’s hypocritical of me. Sincerely. David you have reminded me to take the high road, rather than sink to the level of some of my peers.

    1. anonymous on Dec 11, 2007 2:01:02 AM:

      " In fact, her views seem to be more of regurgitated synopsis of what other people say."

      If you keep hearing the same arguments over and over again - maybe it is because it is the truth. And these are not 'old' arguments. One of the most insidious tactics of the Trans Movement and Queer movement is to claim that anything that doesn't toe the line of the Trans/queer doctrine is an old argument, and no ethical, enlightened person would even listen to them (and of course all 'new' arguments must be 100% approved by the trans/queers).

      "Everything that she has said has bordered along the lines of extreme."

      Well, I think that transexual men who claim to be lesbians and demand access to all lesbian space are 'extreme'. I don't think saying that a man can't be a lesbian is extreme at all. It is true.

      "Perhaps if the transjacking rhetoric was toned down a little we might be able to have an actual dialogue."

      The transjacking has already happened - we are just saying that we don't like it. "Gay" organizations encouraging congressmen to vote AGAINST a gay civil rights bill? We have apparently slipped into a trans-controlled alternate universe.

      I don't have a problem with gays and lesbian protesting "gay" organizations that put transexual people first.

      The problem here is that transpeople don't want to live in the real world - they want to force gay people to live in a bubble world where we all have to accept trans doctrine that a man can be a lesbian (and MUST be invited to all lesbian events), and a woman can be a gay man (and MUST be allowed total acess to gay male culture).

    1. Jonas on Dec 11, 2007 7:57:37 AM:

      The only question I have with the coverage of the McDonalds incident is that the reporting just glosses over the argument that supposedly started the fight and why the manager chose to "ignore" the cross-dressers.

      While there is probably nothing in an argument that could justify hitting someone with a tire iron, the reporting doesn't even seem concerned to report what started the fight that supposedly caused the drag queens to attack.

      While I sympathize with anyone hurt, the reporting doesn't even seem to try to find out the cross-dressers' side of the story. Perhaps they were 100% in the wrong, perhaps they were 75% in the wrong. It would be nice to know.

    1. Monster Beats Sale on Nov 26, 2011 2:47:54 AM:

      perhaps they were 75% in the wrong. It would be nice to know.

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