Welcome to the 1974 NYC Pride Parade…in Dallas!

From Lone Star Q:

“The media loves to focus on the elements of fetish, drag and nudity in our parades. We just keep giving them the ammunition to use against us in legal arguments against gays and same-sex marriage, gays adopting, gays in the military.”

These were the words of Alan Pierce, co-owner of the Round-Up Saloon and prominent member of the Dallas Tavern Guild — the association of bar owners that puts on the city’s gay Pride parade and festival. It was Pierce’s response to a widely publicized controversy involving last year’s festivities. Parade organizers went above and beyond city code and state law to enforce a “ban” on underwear and “overexposure” of female breasts, both of which had been allowed in previous parades without confirmed incident. This drove heated debate over the way our community expresses and celebrates LGBT Pride.

This (as grammar-checked in Vol. 5 No. 18 of Lee Brewster’s Drag magazine; no link, sorry) is the ‘Statement Against Transvestism’ issued by the Hunter College Lesbian Rising Collective & Gay Men’s Alliance in the run-up to the 1974 NYC Pride Parade (which was the year after proto-Janice Raymond-ite and future co-chair of a certain national LGB( ) organization that had no problem with, once it finally deigned to stop openly espousing the Ron Gold view of trans people, hiring a non-trans woman over numerous more-experienced and better-qualified trans women for its ‘trans expert’ position Jean O’Leary had been allowed to viciously defame trans people from the pride festival stage):

We support the rights of all individuals, as long as the individual rights do not harm others. However, we do strongly protest the inclusion of transvestite spokespeople and entertainers at Gay rallies and demonstrations for the following reasons:

1. As Lesbians, we cannot view transvestism or ‘drag queens’ other than as a parady (sic) and ridicule of women, a projection and carry-over into Gay life of heterosexual male contempt and his elitist, supremist attitudes.

2. Lesbian feminists have gained support for the Gay movement from hetrosexual (sic) sisters in the Feminist Movement. These women, while supporting Gay rights, are offended by the ridicule directed at them by men assuming the costume-parodies of heterosexuality. The risk is increasing that the Feminist Movement will not publicly support our rallies and demonstrations.

3. As Gay men, our sexual orientation and affectional preference is towards other men. Our goals, hopes, and loves are not represented by men playing at being women.

4. We must realize that the transvestite is a victim of heterosexual society. These men and women were taught that the only way to relate to one’s own sex is through the disguise and roles of the opposite sex. transvestism is a back-handed affirmation of the ‘right order’ of heterosexuality, at the expense and negation of the positive, alternative lifestyle of self-affirming Gay men and Lesbians.

5. Transvestism oppresses Gay men by perpetuating society’s sterotypes (sic) of us. These are the portrayals we see in movies, on news-reports, and in magazines. Our oppression must end within our own Gay community before we can expect it to end in the minds of others.

6. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals are known to practice transvestism. For this reason, it is not specifically a Gay concern or priority. Therefore, it should not be promoted at rallies and demonstrations.

We make a stronger distinction regarding Transsexuals. They do not even identify with Gay Liberation, but adopt heterosexual roles, attitudes and life-styles completely. They are the first, themselves, to stress that they are not Gay.

7. Transvestism is a remnant of the ghetto and the first symbol of Gay oppression. We, in the Gay movement, are in the process of self-definition and self-acceptance. Transvestism negates both, by first imposing exterior definition and secondly, by masking us from our real selves and others. When we come out of the closets, we must leave the trappings of the closet behind! Gay pride begins with self-acceptance as real, natural people, without the sham of a ‘drag’ mask.

We strongly protest the inclusion of transvestite spokespeople and entertainers at Gay rallies and demonstrations

I’m just comparin’….

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1 Comment

  1. Ah, the sixth point she made hinges on an old fallacy that doesn’t stand up to even the slightest examination. It’s been pretty well established that when there is no Harry Benjamin Society style medical gatekeeper with regressive ideas about gender roles, about 40% of trans* women tend to be hetero, about 40% tend to be homo, and about 20% tend to be pan/bi.

    A LOT of the “stereotyping” complaints about trans* women made by cis women are just sheer ignorance of the regressive attitudes about gender roles that have been traditionally imposed on trans* women by medical gatekeepers.

    In my own case, back in the Eighties I was a fairly casual-dressing trans* woman, preferring jeans and sneakers to dresses and heels and rarely wearing much if any makeup, which meshed well with my work inside of high-tech clean rooms. But I knew better than to show up for a session with my gender therapist in anything other than the highest of high femme fashion, and in full makeup. That would have been considered a “red flag” in those days, because the trappings of femininity were considered to be part of my goals in transition.

    Which is ludicrous, because I’m somewhat butch in every possible way, but that had nothing to do with my personal relationship with my own body. I am not my clothing. I couldn’t stand certain male aspects of my body, but I didn’t see fancy dresses as being any sort of goal since I could wear fancy dresses at home if I wanted to.

    So it always amuses me when I, as a middle-aged early-transitioning post-op transsexual woman who is pansexual and butch, when I am accused of the following by mere dint of being trans*: lesbophobe, homophobe, man-in-a-dress, heterosexual, penis-having, stereotypically ladylike, and confused.


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