For Transgender Military Personnel: The 41 Percent Suicide Statistic Has Suddenly Disappeared

I’ve been spending the past few days reading and studying the stories of active duty and transgender military personnel and veterans, and I can’t help but notice a strange pattern that’s taking place in the news media: the suicide statistics for our trans community are now suddenly missing from nearly every news article that’s being written about the transgender military population group.

How can you explain this other than to point out how the shifting sands of the culture wars waged by the two media sides have now shifted again.

And while the Los Angeles Times wrote a great Op-Ed today about the history of transgender military service, it was clearly lost on their journalist that the historical figures they used as examples fought and served while not getting any transgender medical treatments such as hormones or surgeries.


Brianna Gallegos (July 29, 2017). Local transgender airman speaks out about President Trump’s tweets. (Archive)

Kevin Fagan (July 30, 2017). Transgender Army veteran wonders if the door will slam shut. (Archive)

For anyone not paying attention, it’s strikingly clear that the same statistical tools that were once used to advance transgender rights are now being used to destroy transgender military service.

“Hartzler’s office calculated the additional costs of surgeries for new transgender recruits every year.”

“There are 178,000 new military members per year, and assuming 0.7 percent are transgender, 1,246 new transgender service members each year. Assuming 30 percent get surgeries, there would be an additional 374 surgical transitions per year, or 3,740 over 10 years. Those surgeries would cost $493 million, and with 3 percent inflation a total of $579 million by 2027.”

“The costs of active duty transgender surgeries and those of new recruits over a 10-year period total $1.349 billion.”

“It is likely even more transgender service members would seek sex reassignment surgeries if they are taxpayer-funded.”

“More than 30 percent of transgender individuals say they want to have various sex reassignment surgeries in the future, according to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey.”

“Fifty-three percent of men who identify as women say they someday want a breast augmentation, and 61 percent say want an orchiectomy, the surgical removal of one or both testicles, in the future.”

“Sixty-four percent say they want a vaginoplasty, the construction of a vagina, someday.”[Citation]

Even the transgender advocates like Kristin Beck have jumped into the numbers game. What the source of this data?

“Beck told she thinks barring them will cost more in lawsuits than the savings Trump touted in medical and other costs. She said she estimates there are 75,000 to 150,000 transgender personnel in uniform.”[Citation]

I feel as if I’m writing an After Action Review (AAR) on the failures of transgender military service, but this lesson is strikingly clear: be careful of what you advocate and how you advocate it. Because it can also be used against us. Like statistics were in this case.

How Misguided Advocacy Caused Or Helped To Cause The Transgender Military Ban

Turning on the evening news last night, I was treated to the site of what I guessed to be a twenty-something transgender woman in Portland. She was being interviewed on the local CBS channel about the transgender military ban. As part of their opposition to the ban, this person explained to the reporter that they had served in the military and during their service they had engaged in multiple suicide attempts. The reason behind their suicide attempts is because they are transgender. I was immediately struck by the thought of: how exactly is this making a case that you’re fit to serve in the military when you have engaged in multiple suicide attempts?

I’m going to make an assumption at this point and link these suicide attempts to the person’s gender dysphoria while serving. The transgender community may be blind to these inconsistencies that they constantly introduce in their advocacy or communications with the pubic, but I can assure you that the rest of the world is not. Neither is the military or the folks who run it.

“But it didn’t come easily. Manning launched a hunger strike in September, demanding access to treatment for her gender dysphoria.”

“She remained housed at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male Army prison, despite her request to transfer to a civilian women’s prison. She had to cut her hair, exacerbating her gender dysphoria, Strangio said. She felt her situation was so dire that in July she tried to commit suicide.”[Citation]

As we’ve been building up to this ban on transgender military service actually becoming a reality, I’ve watched all sorts of things playing out. One of the most notable is the ACLU playing a significant role in getting Chelsea Manning freed. Getting Manning released was bad for two very obvious reasons. First, as I’ve mentioned many times before, the conservative media outlets use Manning’s picture as subliminal advertising for all things transgender. They most especially use Manning’s picture for all things transgender military. Both the ACLU and these conservative media outlets have made Manning the face of transgender military service as much as possible. But the second problematic thing with Manning is that Manning is also intricately tied to very publicly playing the suicide card to get trans healthcare. In fact, that was a big part of the reasons given by the ACLU as to why Manning should be freed. Again, what about this suicidal behavior that’s explicit tied to gender dysphoria is conducive and desirable in regards to military service? Nothing. Because it’s the job of the military to serve in austere environments without a lot of or possibly without any support whatsoever.

In these harsh military environments like this or as prisoners of war will transgender military people start coming unglued because of gender dysphoria if they don’t have access to hormones or because they can’t access a surgery? Those are fair questions for the media to be exploring and asking. Those same questions also point to how undesirable it is to allow people with gender dysphoria to serve at all. This really isn’t a conversation about transgender military service, it’s a conversation about gender dysphoria. For many in the trans community, those two things are inseparable.

“Manning told me: “I was afraid I was going to be in that little cell or something like that little cell for the rest of my life. And that bad things were going to happen to me.” After a week, she fashioned a noose from bedclothes and made what she told me was a “halfhearted attempt” at suicide. “I kind of knew it wasn’t going to work.” It got the staff’s attention, and according to a medical evaluation later obtained by Manning’s legal team, a military doctor would diagnose anxiety, depression and “probable gender identity disorder.”[Citation]

On the subject of Chelsea Manning and laughable trans activism and advocacy, Manning even admitted to the New York Times (yes, that one, the nation’s paper of record) to making a “halfhearted attempt” to commit suicide just to get attention while in prison. Why would the military want transgender people like this? Who has the nerve to try and sell the military on hiring people such as these? I don’t. You don’t need me to take you down, you’re just doing just fine all by yourselves. You’re effing, bloody idiots.

“Racked by discomfort with his male body, a condition known as gender identity disorder, Brewis made repeated attempts to kill himself.”

“The rare condition went untreated behind bars, and Brewis castrated himself in his cell. In 2007, he used nail clippers to cut out his testicles, records show.”[Citation]

The question of what happens to transgender people who have severe untreated gender dysphoria is readily available to be witnessed in any correctional setting. To be blunt, a number of male to female transsexuals in these settings attempt to castrate themselves. And again, we can point to the transgender advocacy organizations being heavily involved in this area as well; making the case that these transgender people must get trans healthcare in order to not harm themselves. Again, why would the military want someone like this? They don’t. Again also, how can the transgender community and the rest of society not see the problems and contradictions of these trans advocacy organizations making the case that without trans healthcare trans people will harm themselves; while at the same time claiming trans people are fit for all purposes to serve in the military. They’re not if they’re like this. Transgender people, as demonstrated in these examples, who have gender dysphoria are not fit for military service. For very clear reasons.

“Hey all, me again. I’m still trying to figure it all out. I know that I want to transition. I don’t know when or in what way. Surgery of any kind absolutely terrifies me. I get ill just thinking about surgical procedure at all. I’m also trying to get help. I’m in therapy for my anxiety and depression. I haven’t come out to my therapist, yet. I’m so concerned about it interfering with my career. I already feel like a shitty sailor most days. I know being trans and not doing anything is the main source of my mental health concerns, but I honestly can’t see another way to deal right now. If I don’y deploy, I won’t be competitive and I won’t promote. I know that once I’m being treated for anxiety/depression with medication, I’m med down and can’t deploy. I’m considering coming out and requesting a delay in treatment. I think I can wait until I complete these orders if I know that transition is coming afterwards. shrug”[Citation]

Then there’s the issue of not having your head in the game during military service because of the mental health symptoms that are comorbid with and because of gender dysphoria. What’s good for the military about having a contracted service member serving that’s suffering from depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation because of their gender dysphoria? Again, the answer is nothing. At best they’re a nuisance to their units. At worst they’re a threat to the rest of the force. Which is then a threat to our national security.

“Dr Zucker says in the film: “It is possible that kids who have a tendency to get obsessed or fixated on something may latch on to gender.”[Citation]

“Zucker “believes that a whole range of psychological issues can manifest themselves in a child’s obsession with changing their gender.”[Citation]

For years Dr. Kenneth Zucker has been quoted in the media talking about how trans people can be obsessed with their gender and gender identity. The person I’ve shown on Reddit doing just that proves that it’s a real problem. And once again it points to trans people suffering from gender dysphoria being unfit for military service.

An interesting future transgender study area would be to examine if there is any correlation between being confined in a correctional type setting with lots of time on your hands while obsessing about your gender to see if this is amplifying the urge to self harm. Because most of the castrations take place in correctional facilities.

“Many active duty service members are already undergoing medical care related to transition. Sergeant Ochoa receives hormone therapy from his army physician, and was anticipating having a hysterectomy to lower the risk of cervical cancer created by testosterone.”[Citation]

The next and very obvious problem that many are blind to is the question of: why would you bring people into the military who not only need hormones to keep their gender dysphoria at bay, but then also need risky surgeries to fix the problems associated with or created by the hormone treatments themselves? Again, this stuff isn’t compatible or desirable for military service. Again, the double edged sword of transgender advocacy, that’s sold as “trans people need trans healthcare in order to survive” has brought down transgender military service. But the media and the transgender organizations are either blind to this, or unwilling to admit it.

“You just took the steps as they came without notifying anybody? Correct. Other than my civilian doctor.”

“The military currently covers medical care related to gender dysphoria. Why did you have to go through the private route? Through the private route all I had done was hormones. Any surgery I received has been done through the military.”[Citation]

Then there’s the issue of transgender service members self-medicating on cross-sex hormones for the purposes of becoming more masculine or feminine appearing in order to treat their gender dysphoria. Anyone who knows anything about military service knows this is essentially breaking military regulations, which is their form of laws. How can this be condoned? Why haven’t the offenders been prosecuted for doing so? Especially officers who live under a creed that they will never lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those that do.

“I had my name legally changed in March 2016, and I wanted to start hormone therapy treatments. Due to being ATC, I am on flying status which affects the medications I am allowed to take. Hormones would take me off flying status, but for an unknown period of time.“[Citation]

Running off on your own and getting a hormone prescription isn’t exactly a petty thing if other service members openly write about how it can cause them to be removed from flight status. So once again, nothing about this is pointing in the direction of these persons being desirable candidates for military service; especially officers who are bestowed with extreme powers to punish other service members for wrongdoings.

“Chelsea Manning: ‘Trans Health Care Is Necessary. If We Don’t Get Our Treatment, We Die’”[Citation]

As not-very-smart trans advocates you’re of course welcome to keep claiming and preaching that “we die if we don’t get trans healthcare,” but when you blow other things up like transgender military service because of your misguided activism and advocacy, then you need to start taking responsibility for your actions. And the media needs to stop protecting you from the ridicule and scorn that you deserve. I just called you out and pointed a finger at all of you responsible. And I’m not going to stop there either, because every time the media points out the high suicide rate in the trans community, they are at the same time making an excellent case as to why we’re unfit to serve. You can’t have it both ways.

So these issues in addition to all of the other problems that I laid out in my letter to The Office of The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the reasons we now have a ban on transgender military service. And I’m very much aware of who’s actually responsible for this happening. Now it’s just a matter of those folks actually taking the blame and responsibility for it happening.

The Problem With Not Having A Sex

“So far, most moves to accommodate non-binary folks on official documents have involved adding a third category, such as X or NB, to sex- or gender-identification options. But Davis discourages this solution, as it “neither dismantles nor significantly challenges the bureaucratic use of the traditional sex binary.”[Citation]

There’s a good article today from Elizabeth Nolan Brown about the book Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? by Heath Fogg Davis.

The article hits upon the usual and endless discussions about a better world that’s free of sex and gender classifications. Which I also would love to see, but we’re a long way off from that for a lot of reasons. In the piece, Heath states that he’s against third gender markers.

I have to point out however that I think a lot of the people who talk these issue don’t really understand the complexities and the underpinnings. For example, most of the discrimination laws and ordinances in the United States all use the word sex. If you don’t have a sex, then how can you be discriminated against under a law that says your sex is the requirement for discrimination?

“Textualism is a formalist theory in which the interpretation of the law is primarily based on the ordinary meaning of the legal text, where no consideration is given to non-textual sources, such as: intention of the law when passed, the problem it was intended to remedy, or significant questions regarding the justice or rectitude of the law.”[Citation]

I believe the legal beagle’s call this “Textualism,” but I’m not a lawyer. That’s why I hired a brilliant one for my court case.

Then there’s the issue of terrorism and The REAL ID Act. It too requires some sort of description for sex/gender.

Everyone in this discussion should note that my court order says the sex of Jamie Shupe is non-binary. I have a sex. And if you discriminate against me for reasons of sex, then because I have a sex, I have legal standing. That’s my belief. And it’s also why I think having a sex is important at this stage of the change that’s underway.

The academic types have been writing scrolls and books and babbling about a genderless world for decades. But I think they fail to see that the very foundations of the world we currently exist in has to be slowly rebuilt and rewritten before that can ever happen.

Talk is cheap and easy. Academic theories and opinions without actions aren’t actually changing anything. Nor did these thing actually effect any change. The real change comes by putting your money where your mouth is and actually really changing things.

The Third Gender is our road to getting back to a world without sex and gender. That’s my belief.

“Transgender people are those whose gender identity and expression—whether they feel like a man or woman and whether they look like one—are at odds with what we normally attach to their biological sex.”[Citation]

Heath living as a trans male, while writing about non-binary issues, and while at the same time being rejected by society for claiming to be a male, isn’t part of the solution: it’s part of the very problem that he’s writing about. And I refuse to take advice from anyone who claims that someone can “feel like a man or woman.” Where’s the proof of that?

“No court in the United States has ever ruled that a person became legally male or legally female for all purposes. Thus, it cannot be said in any meaningful way that “I am now legally male,” or “I am now legally female.” One can truthfully say that a birth certificate, drivers’ license, or passport says “M” or “F,” but that is not the same thing. One can, at most, say that “for X purpose, I am now legally male.” Statements such as “I am now legally male” are a statement of opinion, rather than a statement of law.”[Citation]

Most don’t realize it yet. But the battle over the word sex is still yet to come.

Your New Gender Until Death In The UK

“The suggestion is that trans people will now be able to self-certify, with a statutory declaration that they “intend to live in the acquired gender until death” sufficient to secure a new passport and birth certificate.”[Citation] [Archive]

I’m not famous for having the proper filters to speak nicely when I see inappropriate things. And I have to say now that this is suggestion that trans people get locked into a gender until their death is one of the most hair-brained things to come along yet. What kind of idiots come up with stuff like this?


Because many trans people are already committing suicide from being trapped into transitions that they feel they can’t get themselves out of.

“This is a post that’s been a long time coming. 19 years of depression, give or take. It’s been long and brutal and full of a lot of tears and angst and it’s finally coming to a close. 10 days ago I purchased a shotgun and today, after the required California waiting period, I picked up that shotgun. A few of you have seen me offer up countdowns and references to October 1st at around noon; that was my nod towards this outcome.”

“I’ll be honest, I don’t know what to say here. I’ve turned over the words in my head for a little over a week now and I’m still not sure how to find that balance between “TL;DR” and “here’s why I put a 00 buckshot shell into the roof of my mouth”.”

“Initially my plan was to go into detail about my pains, waxing laborious about my struggles with transition (I shouldn’t have done it. Not because I’m not trans, but because I didn’t have a fraction of the personal strength to succeed at it, unlike some of the amazing trans people I’ve been privileged to know), my physical struggles (heat sensitivity, and more recently hair loss), or my mental pain (I can’t even look at myself in the mirror.). But paragraph after paragraph of whining seemed like a poor way to go out; most of you have had to deal with enough of my bullshit”[Citation]

If you don’t believe that, then read Kate von-Roeder’s suicide note that she left before blowing her head off with a shotgun.

“Chelsea Attonley, 30, who was born a boy and called Matthew, said she now finds being a woman ‘exhausting‘, is tired of putting on make-up and wearing heels, and now accepts that she should always have stayed a man.”[Citation]

Chelsea Attonley is dead now too.[Citation]

The beauty of being non-binary is that I can return to presenting as a male to take a break from society at anytime I choose, or as needed. I’m no longer locked in.

The Harm That Transgenderism Does To Women

“On Holy Thursday, the Catholic Church got its first woman priest. It was done quietly in Trinidad, Colo.” It wasn’t a bishop that gave the church its first female priest, the article added, “it was a surgeon.”[Citation]

I’ve been writing a lot lately about the theme and question of whether or not what we’re doing with transgenderism in it’s current state is causing harm?

I’m of the opinion that it is. Everywhere you look there are clear signs of the harm that we are causing to females. The damage is readily visible in the church, the military, sports, academia, and private spaces.

Definition of FEMALE

a(1): of, relating to, or being the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs [Citation]

Definition of TRANSGENDER

: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth; especially : of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth

You shouldn’t be able to become the first female priest by cutting your penis off.

“NORFOLK, Va. — A member of an elite special warfare unit in the Navy has come out as transgender.”[Citation]

You shouldn’t be able to become the first female Navy Seal by coming out as transgender.

“A transgender soldier in the British army has become the first female to serve on the frontline.”[Citation]

You shouldn’t be allowed to become the first female to serve on the front lines by merely coming out as transgender.

‘Thomas was ordered to serve three life sentences so that he would never kill or hurt another woman again. Thomas is now Michelle, but Michelle is still a convicted kidnapper and murderer of women, and the justification for her sentence has not changed.’

“Finally, Lamb is not entitled to transfer to a female facility. “Inmates do not have a constitutional right to choose their place of confinement.”[Citation]

So for anyone who doesn’t understand why transgender women get hated on so much, it’s because everyone can point to what they’re doing and rightfully claim that it’s causing visible harm to females.

I truly believe that the reason I didn’t have much trouble becoming legally non-binary was because people weren’t able to point out any real harms in me doing so.

I’ve created my own space and identity. I haven’t co-opted or claimed the space or identity of others. Because once you do those things, people will push back and point out the harm that you’ve caused.

Public Comment: Physical Description, Including Sex, On Driver License, Driver Permit Or ID Card

(The public comment I submitted to the Oregon DMV on March 29, 2017.)

To whom it may concern:

I am strongly in favor of adopting the proposed rule change for the: “physical description, including sex, on driver license, driver permit or ID card.”

This rule change is an important human rights issue for not only the non-binary, transgender and intersex communities, but for all persons. It is a matter of equality.

It is not lost on me that many struggle to understand non-binary people such as myself, but to them I offer a simple analogy. I ask them to picture that I had a black mother and a white father, or some similar combination. I then point out that as a result I would be a mixed-race child. But instead of thinking of me strictly in terms of just race for this analogy, I ask that people extend their view further into the human condition and into the lenses of being intersex as well. It should be clear that in this situation I would have inherent and immutable traits from both parents. And it is through these lenses of race and intersex that I ask people to view and understand me.

As a mixed-sex person, to force me to become either completely male or completely female and to carry identification identifying me as such leaves me in a state of mental and physical distress when attempting to navigate public life. And it was for this reason, and with documentation from doctors at the Veterans Administration and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), that I appeared in a Portland court to have my sex accurately classified as non-binary. This is why offering an X on Oregon identity cards is an important human rights issue, not only for me, but for all like me. Since my court victory other Oregonians have also been declared as non-binary in multiple counties, by multiple judges.

American history was made in that Oregon courtroom and denying persons such as myself this most fundamental right to accurately define ourselves is the equivalent of demanding that the mixed-race child in my analogy be forced to choose and become either completely white or completely black. That would be an injustice that multiple other nations have chosen to correct by previously awarding legal recognition and legal identity to their non-binary citizens.

There is no greater fundamental right than the right to proper identity. And identity is fundamentally and explicitly tied to identification documents.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy once stated: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”

As many states in our vast nation have either regressed or have failed completely to make bold progress in important human rights issues such as this, the State of Oregon and it’s people have not only risen to the challenge, but acted as national leaders, setting progressive standards for others to emulate, follow and stand in awe of.

Throughout our country’s history, the State of Oregon has been a lighthouse on our nation’s Northwest corner whose rays of light have guided change and led people here that sought refuge, safety and hope for a better way of life. This beacon of light has repeatedly guided those most in need of human rights protections to Oregon soil. It was as a distressed and bullied transgender person that I sought these much needed protections. Sadly, I needed these protections despite being a decorated veteran and retiree from the United States Army.

Oregon has been a leader in common sense solutions. We don’t jail people or ruin their lives in this state for using cannabis. We offer the right to die with dignity when in dire medical crisis. And we should therefore offer the right to accurately define oneself during life as well. If I am free to end my life with the approval of a doctor in Oregon, then it is only right and just that I may also accurately define myself on identification documents under that same doctor’s medical recommendation.

As a young child who was born in the nation’s capital and grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., I was mesmerized by the magical gifts that my grandfather who worked in the shipyards of Portland would send to our family from afar. I still fondly recall the piece of petrified wood that my Mother kept wrapped in a delicate piece of tissue in the china cabinet that he sent. My Grandfather passed away in Portland in 1968, while I was still a small child, but to this day I am still profoundly struck by the irony that I too ultimately made the same journey. But I doubt that it would surprise him to know that Oregon was bold enough to declare me as the first legally non-binary citizen of the United States.

Before the European settlers arrived on the shores of America and colonized the United States, the native Americans referred to their tribal members such as myself as two-spirited people. Two-spirit people embodied both male and female characteristics and lived between the sexes. They were celebrated, understood, utilized as valued members of their tribes, and above all, they were not ostracized. They were regarded as a third sex. Oregon has restored that lost and delicate balance of nature in their recognition of the non-binary sex class. And by doing so has led the nation in this important human rights issue. California immediately followed.

In this context and upon this background, I pray upon the great State of Oregon to adopt this historic DMV rule change. I further pray upon the State and it’s people to adopt this rule change not because of the underlying court order or because of the medical evidence, but rather for the reason that it is the right and humane thing to do for a historically marginalized group of Oregon citizens at a pivotal point in our nation’s history in regards to human rights. By adopting this rule, Oregon will send others in this nation that lack our vision and compassion for their fellow citizens a strong message that: as they go backward, we go forward. Again, I strongly urge and plead for you to shine our light of change brightly upon them.

Respectfully submitted,

Mx. Jamie Shupe

Portland, Oregon

The Presentation I Wrote For GALA


I am Jamie Shupe from Portland, Oregon.

I am the first person in the United States to be legally declared as non-binary.

When people ask me to explain what non-binary means, I tell them this: If I had a black mother and a white father, then I would be born as a mixed race child. The answer to understanding me is to simply replace the words mixed race with the words of mixed sex characteristics.

As a mixed race child it would be unfair to me to insist that I become all white or all black for the sake of appeasing society, because I simply cannot do that. And doing so causes harm to me in the form of emotional distress.

I can no more shed my male biology, than I can bury my feminine gender identity. And any system that attempts or forces to me to do just that is not only unrealistic, but gravely unjust.

In a state that allows me to choose death if I am gravely ill, I have been awarded the right to accurately define who I am in life.

As a transgender person, I have refused to accept the narrative that I was born into the wrong body, because I am a fully functioning and unique variation of nature.

I have also refused to accept the narrative that my genitals are a birth defect, because I have used them to bring precious life into this world. And that child is my most prized and cherished possession.

But most of all, I have further rejected the notion that gender can only be defined and exist as two polar opposites, because I know that to untrue. And a court has confirmed that.

For me, everything exists on a spectrum. And as a non-binary person, I have never been imprisoned by the opposite poles that have come to represent gender. But at the same time, and until now, I lacked a legal identity. That injustice has been corrected.

As a non-binary person, who has been awarded the right to exist and live anywhere on the gender spectrum, I am able to love anyone I choose without shame. And I do. I am also free to wear any clothing that I choose without shame. And I do. Because I cannot be wrong in my choices.

Everything about me has always been fluid. I can lead, or I can follow. I can be the dominant, or I can be the submissive. My sexual orientation is not limited to men, women, or transgender people, because I am able to love all with equal intensity and passion. And how I choose to present myself to the world is not restricted by gender norms, because they do not control, define me, or govern me.

My court victory is the sword that has freed all that wish to exist in a similar manner. There are no qualifications to be non-binary. And it is a sex classification that must remain uncorrupted in the manner that male and female have been allowed to become contaminated by hierarchies, the fear of differences, and an intolerance for variance. Let my sincere belief that we all have the right to define ourselves serve as the shield for your journey in doing so.

In the same way that GALA Choruses works, teaches, and seeks to inspire and assist others in their journey, I hope what I have done will allow others like me to do the same.

Thank you GALA, for all that you do!

You are our voices to the world.

Author: Jamie Shupe, June, 2016

The Danger Of Attacking Gender Identity

“An intersex person appears to be defined as someone with at least one sexual incongruity. If brain sex can give rise to such an incongruity then, legally, we think that there may be no difference between an intersex person and a transsexual person.”[Citation]

I exist in a rather precarious and not always well-supported place as an activist of social and societal change not only because of my ideologies, but also because of the much needed changes that I seek to bring to the transgender community. Because I am trans and most especially because I was assigned male at birth there’s a number of feminists and lesbians who will never accept me as an ally; all due to their seething hatred for all things male and all things with a penis. Whether that’s deserved is a debate for another day. Also because I am trans, there’s a huge number on the conservative right and the evangelical end of religion that will also never allow me to be an ally in like-minded causes, because they also hate all things transgender. Their bibles and teachings say that their are only males and females despite all of the intersex babies that are born each day. And because of my harsh views against blocking puberty, the sterilization of trans children and adults, and the surgical mutilation of our transgender community members, I am also often at odds with many of the self-appointed leaders of the trans community. These are people that have been complicit in or responsible for leading us into this dark era of of modern-day transgenderism. As one journalist that I gave a lengthy in-person interview to remarked: “oh, so you’re like an island then” about this situation.

Summarizing me as existing on a metaphorical island in all of this is a fair and reasonably accurate portrayal of my existence. And I have no problem with often having to function and operate seemingly alone like this when necessary; because it’s really no different than life was during my long military career. Because as a military leader I had to make unpopular decisions and implement courses of action that frequently upset my subordinates. I also had to guard against other service members becoming overly friendly with me for reasons of personal gain. As an enlisted leader I couldn’t associate with lower ranking people or officers because of fraternization rules and the penalties for doing so. Nor could I associate with other leaders that were my peers without worrying about my big secret getting out that I didn’t agree that I was just a male. The higher I climbed in the ranks, the lonelier it became. So I was literally an island. And the military literally prepared me to continue to exist as one whenever necessary.

“Genderqueers may be perfect plaintiffs for the kind of law we would like to create, but are they the perfect plaintiffs to present to a judge or jury? Genderqueer people are demographically younger, which may mean some people would be more likely to think that genderqueers are simply confused or going through a phase.”[Citation]

Before my court appearance I did a lot of studying. I studied the trans community and it’s strengths, weaknesses, and flaws. I studied myself and my own strengths, weaknesses, and flaws. I studied the feminists and the radical feminists and their ideologies. I studied the desisters that supposedly didn’t exist, but did. I studied what the conservatives and the religious communities said about people like me. And I studied legal briefs on transgenderism. That’s how I knew the person who would break the gender binary should be someone that’s older, because not being of a younger age group was listed as one of the ingredients that would be convincing to a judge. That’s how I knew that someone born male would have a better chance of breaking the gender binary than someone born female. That’s how I knew what legal arguments to make if my lawyer didn’t and it came down to me having to make them in that court room. And that’s how I knew that my military service record would cause an ethical dilemma for the conservatives if they chose to attack me for breaking the space between male and female wide-open.

Over the past several years as the war over bathrooms, identity, and transgender children has been fought there’s been a lot of strange alliances formed and made. These aren’t exactly normal times when people who openly identify as lesbians are openly joining forces with conservatives and religious elements in order to shut down the gender and surgical clinics that are transing children. These strange bedfellows have found common-ground to unite in this particular battle, while still warring with each other on other fronts and issues.

As a former military person who fully understands the perils associated with coalition building, I totally understand the risks and dangers in forming or building these types of alliances. Because some of the groups and parties that radical feminists and others such as myself have formed alliances with in this fight aren’t exactly gay friendly. But like many of our military partnerships against terrorism in the Middle East with allies that treat women horribly and think nothing of marrying extremely young girls off to older men as child brides; these alliances sometimes must be made for the greater good and for the end result of the greater cause. In this case it’s saving these trans kids from those that think mutilation and sterilization is their cure for gender dysphoria.

“You coined the term autogynephilia, which refers to a man who is aroused by the thought of himself as a woman. This term is kind of your baby. Is it going to make it into the DSM-5?”[Citation]

But what some elements of the lesbian, feminist, and radical feminists communities fail to understand in the battle over gender identity is that they are also putting sexual orientation at risk as well. An example of this is in their endless use of autogynephilia to discredit trans women. It’s a battle tactic that shouldn’t even be used because of it’s origin and roots, which are equally detrimental to them.

“The doctor likes to flout political correctness, he can’t resist an off-color joke, and his ideas about gender and sexuality are archaic, even by the standards of the peddlers of pathology at the APA. It has been 40 years since homosexuality was removed as a mental illness from the DSM. But given a clean slate, Blanchard said he would still classify homosexual sex as abnormal.”

“I would say if one could start from scratch, ignore all the history of removing homosexuality from the DSM, normal sexuality is whatever is related to reproduction. Now you have everything else. I would distinguish between behaviors which are anomalous and benign vs. those that are malignant. So homosexuality would be not normal but benign. Whereas something like serious dangerous sadism would be a malignant variation.”[Citation]

Using autogynephilia as a means to harm trans women is a zero sum gain battle tactic in this fight because the same person who coined the term also says that any sex beyond sex for reproduction is in their opinion abnormal. And if you want to quote Blanchard about autogynephilia, then as a lesbian or gay man, you need to be prepared for Blanchard quotes about your sexuality and sexual practices to also be used against you.

“He says: “The signs were refusing to wear girls’ clothes. I dressed up in my brother’s clothes. I only liked rough and tumble games like football.”[Citation]

With this fatal flaw in your next social media or opinion or writing piece having now been pointed out: do you really still want to quote Blanchard and use autogynephilia as a weapon against trans women? And if so, then why the silence whenever it’s pointed out that female to male transsexuals, who have mothered multiple children, divorced, and then ran off with a woman have routinely engaged in what’s been described and categorized as autogynephilia behavior also? It’s things like this that expose things that are done solely because of hate. And claiming “well, they do it less” isn’t a defense.

It’s interesting to note as well that while I see endless attacks on transgender women by feminists for what’s best described as trashing their marriages and leaving behind a house full of their own biological kids, so that they can run off and pursue life as their “authentic selves” because of their gender identity; I see no such attacks at all on the gay men or lesbian women that do the exact same thing because of their sexual orientation. In fact, and quite to the opposite, I’ve actually seen some of the latter celebrated and turned into speakers for the cause for this exact same behavior.

“When I once asked her if she would like to go to Singapore for a sex change operation, she told me, ‘You really do not understand. I am the third sex, not a man trying to be a woman. It is your society’s problem that you only recognize two sexes.'”[Citation]

Another issue that I keep running into with some elements of the feminists and radical feminists communities is while they endlessly spout off about the erasure of females and the erasure of lesbians; they fail to see or acknowledge the erasure of the Third Gender/Third Sex. This has been taking place for centuries. Even worse, some of them even seem to like or support it and want it to continue. These same folks want everyone to believe that their sexual orientation is a real and biologically innate thing, but at the same time they also want to condemn gender identity and anything beyond their rigid definitions of male or female as a fraud. This behavior is no different than the biblical element of religious conservatism in that it also fails to acknowledge the existence of intersex people.

In doing these things, these people fail to see the clear danger in what they’re doing. At the same time, this same group also complains about things such as the appropriation of their spaces; while failing to understand that if they don’t allow a third gender space, it will result in their spaces being appropriated as a consequence. And they can further be accused of enforcing groupthink in their own social media circles by banning articles from certain websites. Which by the way is the exact same groupthink behavior that takes place in some transgender social media circles to enforce the adoption of their ideologies. Controlling information and discussion for a group of people can and should be defined as cult-like behavior. Reddit is the perfect place to witness this playing out each day.

“Page 21: “All the time I was growing up, I knew that there was something really problematical in my relationship to manhood. Inside, deep inside, I never believed I was fully male—I never believed I was growing up enough of a man.”

“Page 22: “The idea of the male sex is like the idea of an Aryan race.”

“Page 23: “The penises exist; the male sex does not. The male sex is socially constructed.”[Citation]

As a person who’s not afraid to question or critically analyze things, I’m perfectly willing to point out that ideologies shouldn’t be built, shaped, or created by any one person. For example, the beliefs of radical feminist John Stoltenberg are much different than the ideologies of many of the female radical feminists that have taught me their own brands of feminism.

A lot of what Stoltenberg says highly resonates with me. But then again, some things don’t. I don’t view biology and sex as a social construct. I view biological sex, sexual orientation, and gender as all being on a spectrum. One only has to look at race for a common-sense comparison point in this. Bits and pieces of the ideologies and theories of those that came before me have been put into the melting pot that formed me and what I believe. I take what I think I need and what makes sense and throw the rest away. My ideologies remain malleable. My absorption of information is systematic in that I can easily take what I need from multiple sources and filter out the unneeded info as background noise.

I do however think our current use and definition of gender identity is misguided. I believe that gender identity is real, a valid thing, and biologically based. But I disagree with it’s use as the sole means to determine someone’s sex. Because essentially what’s been done with gender identity is to equate being masculine with being male and being feminine with being female, which is toxic. I’m comfortable with the words masculine, feminine and neutral because we have to have language to describe what we feel, or think we feel.

“She also explains her decision had much to do with the discomfort that came with tucking away her penis.”[Citation]

But is there also danger and controversy in allowing a select group of individuals to decide what’s normal? But at the same time however, do we not need some kind of agreed upon yardstick or means of measurement to decide what to base normal on. For example: If I were to implement Blanchard’s thought process, I would say that wearing women’s clothing as a male can be normal. But cutting your penis off to make women’s clothing fit better or because you’re tired of tucking it would be abnormal. But in our crazy world of transgenderism, the cross-dresser is painted as an abnormal pervert that’s constantly hated upon and never given the media stage, while the transsexual that cuts their penis off is celebrated by that same media as normal and constantly paraded around as an example of normal.

Some people have questioned the validity of statements I’ve made in social media circles about being able to feel masculine, feminine, or neutral, but I really can feel these things. I can literally get shaved smooth, don a wig, and slide into a sexy dress and feel tangible emotions of feeling highly feminine. Likewise I can slip into a pair of heavy jeans, a flannel shirt, and a pair of boots suitable for hunting, construction, or the outdoors and feel tangible emotions that I can equate with being masculine. Of course I realize that these emotions and feelings are ultimately based on societal constructions of what I’m supposed to feel by these things. But nonetheless, I can feel them.

I can move and effortlessly switch with graceful fluidity between being masculine or feminine, or in being the dominant or the submissive. I can lead or I can follow. My sexuality is just as borderless and fluid. I’m equally comfortable and equally excited by men, women, or trans people in my sexual pursuits. Maybe it’s autism. Or maybe it’s a unique gift from nature that I possess to feel these things so intensely and to be able to traverse these worlds so fluidly, but I can. And it’s real. The danger however is in assigning a sex to these things or behaviors based on what I feel.

In a recent talk with one of the women that works as a privacy and safety advocate for females and children at an organization that’s highly hated by some members of the trans community, I confided that the Army leadership manual had taught me to always do what’s right for the military and for the nation in my actions and deeds; even in the face of adversity and even if it conflicts with the opinions or desired actions by peers or subordinates. I was honored when she in turn confided that my value system mirrored and reminded her of those held and expressed by Miriam Ben-Shalom, another former enlisted military leader.

The Army’s leadership lesson of course meant not to allow such actions as troops being allowed or encouraged to burn villages, towns or historical sites; or to harm innocent civilians during military actions. But the same lessons apply to activism and advocacy. The test of what you’re doing should be whether or not you are harming others in your actions.

Females can clearly and easily point out the harm that transgenderism and putting transgender women under their cisgender umbrella has caused them. It’s as simple as pointing their fingers at women’s sports or the invasion of spaces they consider as their own. They’re also not allowed to point out the obvious, such as getting a neo-vagina created from a penis isn’t the same thing as having the one they were born with. To do so makes them transphobic. In all of those endless culture war and ideological battles lies the beauty of being non-binary and in the restoration of the third gender to North America. Because while some radical feminists will always hate me for nothing more than having been born male; they can’t accuse me of doing them any harm by existing in the historical third space that I’ve restored for the trans community. What was erased from the soils of my nation has now been recreated and restored.

“Sharmin tells BBC Culture, arguing that “hijras can be considered to fall under the umbrella term transgender, but many prefer the term third gender”. She describes hijras as people designated as male at birth but with feminine gender identity, who eventually adopt feminine gender roles.”[Citation]

Our world history as members of the third gender is not one of medical experiments, forced or voluntary sterilization, and surgical procedures to make us into caricatures of the opposite sex.

“The notion that a child could be “born in the wrong body, creating such a sense of misery that the child and his or her family sought relief via medical intervention—is there any archeological or documented evidence of that amongst the ancients?”[Citation]

Our history is living as feminine males or masculine females or androgynes that have not lost site our biology, it’s capabilities, and it’s limitations.

Throughout my life I’ve heard people talk about a person’s mission in life or their accomplishments being described as someone’s destiny. Or that someone was put on this Earth for the purpose of doing certain things in their space in time. I’m undecided on the validity of those statements and beliefs, but if they’re true, then I can only assume that my destiny was to lead the trans community out of this dark era of sterilization and medical mutilation that we’ve been led into. And that all of my years of military leadership training and the tests of my strength by subordinates and society were the supporting foundation of the island that is now me.

Chelsea Manning: The ACLU’s Gift To The Conservatives And Evangelical Right

I can still remember the morning I was walking in Downtown Portland in 2015 when there was a group of early-twenty-somethings on the sidewalk soliciting for people to donate $10 to join the ACLU. At the time I had just come out as trans about 18 months ago and I thought it was great. I readily forked over my ten dollar bill and joined, because I thought they would help me as a trans person. You have no idea idea how much I regret that decision. Because everywhere I look I see the damage that the ACLU is doing with their misguided and toxic legal battles.

“An anti-LGBTQ group is using Chelsea Manning’s image in an ad campaign that urges lawmakers to vote against allowing openly transgender people to enlist in the military because they would be entitled to medical care.”[Citation]

When I wrote “Transgender Military: The Perfect Storm,” I reminisced about the dangers I had warned about to the transgender military community back during the election time frame that would come by setting Chelsea Manning free. At the time I even wrote a Facebook post about this and no one on my friends list would touch it with a comment. Everyone was silent. I think I was quite prescient in those predictions.

“The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa also argued for the camera ban.”

“The Iowa City library installed the cameras in 2007 after a registered sex offender assaulted a 20-month-old child in a Des Moines Public Library restroom in 2005.”[Citation]

But with the ACLU it’s not just helping to set Chelsea Manning free, everywhere you look their toxic legal fingers are harming people.

“Trans people, trans organizations, the trans movement did not choose this battle,” Dean Spade says. The law professor says rich donors chose the issue, and maintains the focus will hurt other trans rights issues.”[Citation]

I’ve also been kicking around a bit of a conspiracy theory on the Manning release situation as well. And this is just an opinion, but I can’t help but wonder if freeing Manning was an intentional assault on transgender military service to help shut it down, because it’s well known to anyone who studies the issue that a lot of people within the trans community don’t like the either military or transgender military service itself. Clearly these type of activists had to have known that if Manning got freed, that the religious and conservative right would use Manning at any chance to harm the rest of us. For example, whenever the Washington Times does an article on anything transgender military, for subliminal advertising they often use Manning’s photo; even when the article may have nothing to do with Manning directly. Example 1. Example 2. Example 3.

I guess I just have nothing much else to say at this point other than “fuck the ACLU.”

My Connection To The Hirja Of South Asia

Jamie Shupe (June 11, 2016): “I was assigned male at birth due to biology,” Shupe said. “I’m stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine. My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology. Being non-binary allows me to do that. I’m a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex.”[Citation]

Shahria Sharmin (July 20, 2017): “Sharmin tells BBC Culture, arguing that “hijras can be considered to fall under the umbrella term transgender, but many prefer the term third gender”. She describes hijras as people designated as male at birth but with feminine gender identity, who eventually adopt feminine gender roles.”

“What makes them unique is their beautiful integration of their femininity and machismo,” says Sharmin.”[Citation]