Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1996)
just out ▼ novembcr 1, 1990 ▼ 3
Room for another view
To the Editor:
I appreciate the effort to give visibility to
transsexual people [“W hen M irrors Lie,” Just
Out, Oct. 4, 1996]. H ow ever, a few points really
need to be made:
1. The article view s transsexuality as a pa
thetic, broken condition. I respect the ability o f
the TS people you interview ed. I think this is a
calculated political move: If we convince people
that we are sick, it is better than saying we are
sinners; if we convince them we are helpless
victims, it is better than saying we are child
abusers. Did asking for pity get rights for gay men
and lesbians? Did being labeled “m entally ill” get
older gay men and lesbians help living happy
lives in tough tim es?
2. Transsexuals need to be “m entally ill” be
cause we need m edical help and there is no other
way to get it. For 15 years I tried to get medical
help. Psychiatrists told me people with “gender
problem s” needed (surprise!) extensive psychiat
ric help before anyone could consider giving
them inform ation about w hether physical treat
ments even existed. W ithout that inform ation,
you cannot nam e or treat your problem . You can
only grit your teeth and go on, or becom e suicidal
and throw yourself on the tender mercies o f a
random mental health professional, who is then
supposed to figure out what is wrong.
Mental illness is a problem in the mind. People
told “you are mentally ill” do tend to assume that
their minds, not their bodies, need treatment. As
“mentally ill” we may get medical insurance or
protection under the Americans with Disabilities
Act. How much have these helped schizophrenics?
If transsexuality is a defect in the structure o f the
brain, note that people with epilepsy get medical
treatment and civil rights protection, and are con
sidered competent to make their own decisions.
V iew ing transsexuality as any kind o f illness
is trading the pow er o f pride for the power o f
practical help. People need both. The answers are
not simple, but we cannot start solving the prob
lem until we adm it that this is what the problem is.
3. The article im plies that brains com e in two
models, “m en’s” and “w om en’s.”
• No one can take a brain out o f a ja r and tell
if it came from a man or a woman. Honest. For the
details, read The Mismeasure o f Man by Stephen
• The medical people in your article must
agree with the pink and blue brain theory in print,
or they can be sued.
• Someone wanting to know why I am a writer
wants to know about my brain, my experiences, my
culture and my personal choices. Someone wanting
to know why I am a transsexual wants my brain on
a slab. Ask yourself why. Ask yourself if queemess
is just a “masculine” or “effeminate” brain.
• Men and women are plenty isolated from
each other in the gay and lesbian com m unity
without assum ing our brains are like our toilets.
I had a bad experience at Phoenix Rising,
and a counselor who works with transsexuals told
me that other TS men have reported having bi
zarre and unpleasant experiences there. Instead,
contact the Ingersoll G ender Center in Seattle, at
Alma Routsong, w ho wrote under the name o f
Isabel M iller, died on Oct. 3 after a long illness at
her home in upstate New York, surrounded by her
family. She was 72.
M iller’s best-know n novel was initially self-
published as A Place fo r Us and sold on street
com ers in G reenw ich Village. It received the
American Library A ssociation’s first G ay Book
Award in 1971, and was published a year later by
M cGraw-Hill under the title Patience and Sarah.
( 503 )
For most people, the hardest part of financial
planning is making the phone call But once
you do. you'll be very surprised to realize how
easy it all can be. As an experienced account
representative, Floreid is committed to helping
News for Portland's
To the Editor:
As a transsexual, I would like to thank you for
your article “W hen M irrors Lie.” Y our research
was excellent. Keep up the good work and you
may catch up with Willamette Week.
If you can judge a nation by how it treats its
minorities, then I’ve got news for Portland’s Queer
Nation: You treat transsexuals like bastard cous
ins. W e get to attend your family functions, but
you’d be damned if you’d put one o f us in your will.
It’s sad that it takes an activist from M inne
sota, who aligns herself with Phoenix Rising, to
get Just Out to concern itself with a transsexual
group. For years you’ve been invited to talk to us.
Lesbian and Gay Pride included “transgender”
in the program this year. Yes, cross-dressers are
human. W hen will transsexuals be adopted into
the human race?
Until then, w e’ll live like fugitives and silently
bury our own dead.
individuals, domestic partners, couples and
¿ iK / K Jÿ
S lìW B M S
families understand their financial
options. Whether the goal is bud
geting, retirement planning, life
insurance or saving for college,
• Friendly Sales • Fle e t Prices
• Huge Inventory • Excellen t Service
First Time Buyer
Floreid's expertise will help you to
make the right choices. WTiy put it
off? Dial your future in today.
^/our- firitnJ. in t/w dato industry
m K K S O lW B lB
Nw find Gmt ticks
We Appreciate Our Just Out Supporters!
500 NL Multnomah, Suite 278
Portland, OR 97232
Equal rights for all
To the Editor:
M any thanks to Teri Ventura for the article
“W hen M irrors Lie.” It gives me hope that the
queer com m unity will begin to apply “Equal
rights for all” to TSs, too.
I would like to add a point to the list o f things
you can do: Please write City C om m issioner
G retchen Kafoury, 1220 SW Fifth Ave., Room
211, Portland, OR 97204, in support o f inclusion
o f transsexuals in the Portland human rights ordi
Lesbian author dies
To R an Y our
F inancial F uture
J ust C runch
T hese N umbers :
M iller also wrote The Love o f Good Women,
Side by Side and A Dooryard Full o f Flowers. Her
final novel, Laurel, is scheduled for release in
N ovem ber by Naiad Press.
Miller is survived by four daughters and her
longtime companion, Julie Weber. Memorial con
tributions may be sent in her name to the American
Civil Liberties Union, your local hospice organiza
tion, or the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,
2320 17th St. NW, W ashington, DC 20009.
(Sources: Naiad Press and The Gay and Lesbian
Literary Heritage, edited by Claude J. Summers. )
WHEEL ALIGNMENTS & TIRES
M iH ynn s House "Sold
It's chilling down, but the Portland housing market is still sizzling!
Buying or selling real estate? Let me give you a hand.
As YOUR community real estate professional I can gently guide
you through every step of the buying & selling process!
T BUYERS, as an experienced BUYER'S BROKER I'll help you find
your dream home or investment at the best price & will represent
you & your interests from the initial negotiations through every
step to closing.
▼ SELLERS, I can put my top marketing & sales experience to work
for you! I'll price your home for optimum return, & see that it gets
the broadest possible exposure in the full marketplace, (even
nationally on my new tollfree line!) ...Yes, I'm "high tech", but still
"high touch"...you'll always get my full personal attention!
" !) ¿ y ta tt b\f /lis te n in g ..."
▼ CALL NOW to schedule your
FREE CONSULTATION !
T OUT on Broadway
2100 NE Broadway, Suite 1-B
Portland, OR 97232
503-287-9632, x122 (24 h r voicem ail/pager)
cellular 318-1455T fax 503-284-1618
OUT of the area? 1-800-825-9948
▼ E-mail: millynnj @aol.com
2454 E. BURNSIDE • PORTLAND, OR 97214
Family Owned & Operated Since 1952
W o rd
/H iU ifn n 'James,
g p i
T Associate Broker, multimillion $ producer|
...is o u r real estate professional
]| ▼ Specializing in Classic & Restorable Homes in Portland's established neighborhoods,
Close-in...Serving our community’s real estate needs for over 7 years...& Proudly
Celebrating my 25 yrs. of active participation in the struggle for gay & lesbian liberation!
Tçee me ¡ n rue ojAee^eue fop . ru¡s issue's selected usnw<$ST