Transing The Dead

Recently I attended an event for NARAL Maryland where I ran into many friends of mine. I am not a huge fan of these types of events because I find it uncomfortable to dress up, but I expect most people are used to me showing up unkempt by now (and they have the decency not to tell me I look like a schlump, thanks friends!)

One of my friends and I got to talking about the Mormon practice of baptizing the dead into the Mormon Church.  In case you haven’t heard of this, Mormons posthumously baptize Jews who died in the Holocaust as Mormons. Seriously. This practice does violence to reality, to a person’s lived experience, and to basic decency.  She told me that her partner felt so strongly about this practice, he added a provision to his will expressing his wish never to be baptized into the Mormon Church postumously.

So what of what happens when we die? I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in opportunists.  The Mormon Church see dead Jewish people and think, “Look, an opportunity to help more people have endless celestial sex!” (As a side note, I also believe that some Transgender Activists will celebrate when I die, and when Radical Feminists die, because they’ve told us so. Knock yourselves out boys!)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the posthumous baptizing of non-Mormons quite a bit lately, as I have been reading about the people honored by Transgender Activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith and others on the Transgender Day of Remembrance and the MEN who murder them (which you can read about here.)  I am going to write about the Men kill Trans Women (and why) in another blog post; this post is about how Trans Activists have tread dangerously close to being like the Mormon Church in baptizing murder victims into the Church of Trans.

As a Lesbian activist since the early 1990s, I’ve seen (and read about) dozens of cases of Gay Men who wore drag attire or women’s clothing and who were attacked or murdered – indeed, you’d have to be willfully ignorant not to know this if you’ve been out in the community since the 1990s.  I remember Smith writing letters to the editor of The Advocate pointing out various men murdered while en femme. Are these Men transgender? Does it do violence to the lives they led to claim them as Trans? Might it? Does it matter?

I think it does. I think Truth matters.

But I am not a Gay Man. I will simply note that there seems to be a very broad definition of Transgender and move on.

Until I reach the children.

In the catalog of people killed by Transgender violence, we have 16-month-old Roy Jones III and 3-year-old Ronnie Paris Jr.

Roy Jones III

Ronnie Paris Jr.

These are children murdered by Men because the Men wanted to enforce (violently) masculine social roles on them. The murderers here used words like sissy and faggot to degrade the children (oh and btw, the fear of little boys acting like girls is rooted in misogyny), and killed them because of their (own) Masculine socialization. The actions of these Men says NOTHING about how these children “identified.” Because children don’t “identify.” They are children.

Smith has attempted to justify Transing children thusly. “This is important to realize that although transgender people are at the heart of this, and are the most affected by anti-transgender violence, this is not solely about transgender-identified people. We all can face anti-transgender violence.”

No. We (can and do) all face Violence from Men and we all bear the burden of Male socialization; the problem of Masculinity (Gender) and Male Violence perpetrated by Men does not mean that these children are transgender. It does not make the murderous violence of their fathers “anti-transgender violence.” It means that Masculinity (and Male Violence) are a big fucking, evil problem that WE need to fix (which we can only do by Naming It).

Another questionable inclusion is the death of Allison Decatrel, murdered by Richard Burzynski one Halloween when she dressed in men’s attire (it was HALLOWEEN!!).  Burzynski’s masculine socialization dictated that Women should present in “womanly ways,” even on Halloween.

Allison Decatrel

Burzynski felt so strongly that Women should not wear “men’s clothes” that he thought a reasonable response was to run over Decatrel with his car. This murderous act says something about Burzynski; it says little about Decatrel and certainly does not make her a posthumous trans man. It does highlight, however, why it is crucial – a matter of life-or-death – to work towards the elimination of Gendered social norms (oh and also, MALE VIOLENCE).

Our Communities have much to learn from the anecdotal data gathered by Gwen Smith et al. Unfortunately, the (false) narrative Smith has given us with her years-long project is “Cis People Kill Trans People.”  But as I said, another blog post for another day.

Transing the Dead makes me just as uncomfortable as Mormons baptizing dead Jewish people. Because it is a lie. It doesn’t reflect reality. It is opportunistic. And, most importantly, it does nothing to solve the problem of Male Violence (which, I’ve decided, is not really the point of Transgender Day of Remembrance, an event with a whole other agenda).

An anti-death penalty group with which I have been active used to give out cards that affirmed the bearer’s commitment to anti-capital punishment.

So, in the event of the bearer’s murder, the bearer’s family could prevail on the State not to seek the death penalty for the bearer’s killer.

Is it time for cards that state “In the event of my death, I am not Transgender. I am simply a (Woman/Man) who tried to live my life free of oppressive Gender Roles”? Or a provision in your will, perhaps?

I think it might be time for this.  I think, at the rate things are going, Everyone Is Trans.  And I cannot see how this “Everything is Everything” impulse reflects reality or aids in the quest into WHY Men Kill. If nothing else, Truth should not be a casualty of Male Violence.


  1. “Truth should not be a casualty of Male Violence.”

    Yes. That’s the big point. Trans people are being harmed, but they are aiming back at women, not at the system that employs the violence.

    Tactics used by transactivists in the situation described which have a destructive actual or potential impact on the women’s liberation movement include:

    1. Failure to Name the Agent. by calling the killers “cis”, the actual perpetrators of these crimes escape being named. They are men. In the one exception described, it appears that the killing was due to factors other than the victim’s trans status. By not naming the agent and calling the killers “cis”, women are implied to be one-half of the killers. This obscures the cause of the harm to both trans people and women.

    2. Re-Definition of Trans Victims: in three cases described, those of two young children and a third young woman, the victims were apparently not trans. By defining a young woman killed because she wore gender-bending clothing as trans, lesbians and other non-conforming women become re-identified. This leads to falsely inflated statistics regarding hate crimes against trans-people at the expense of actual statistics regarding hate crimes against lesbians and other non-conforming women. Similarly, by re-defining young victims of psychotic male hatred as trans because of the psychoses of the perpetrators, statistics regarding violence against women are deflated and statistics regarding trans violence are inflated (here, the victims are little boys, but there would be no conceptual reason for little girls not to be included).

    3. Re-Definition of Transgender Violence: in defining hate crimes against non-gender-conforming women as hate crimes aimed only at the trans community, hate crimes against biological women, which are far, far more frequent, are piggybacked-upon, leading to falsely inflated statistics favoring trans concerns over the concerns of the women’s liberation community.

    The problem with these invasive, piggybacking tactics is that the harm to women’s concerns is considered mere collateral damage, if it is considered at all, and I doubt it is. I don’t feel these tactics are deliberately aimed at having a destructive impact on us; but they are aimed at advancing a transactivist agenda without regard for violating the boundaries of, disrespecting, and causing harm to, the women’s liberation movement.

    Our consequent resistance is then mislabeled “transphobia”, which compounds the harm. The rejection and resistance is a protective response in our community to aggressive overreaching, insensitivity, and general flailing-about within the transactivist community, not hatred of any kind.

    These seemingly “small” inroads, making a little inventive misstatement here, doing a little overreaching there at the expense of the women’s community, can cumulate into large misunderstandings very quickly. The priorities of the transactivist community are not the same as our priorities, though we certainly have in common that both communities suffer from male violence. We need to keep our boundaries sharp and clear and continue to resist this invasiveness, overreaching, and piggybacking, and to keep our eyes on the real goal, to stop male violence.

    1. Well said. Male violence, and ending it, is a huge area where women and trans people have huge solidarity of interest; it is unfortunate that the politically active trans community seems more interested in making a (false) political point (i.e., the cis people kill trans people narrative) rather than working towards real change (i.e., identifying the cause of male violence and ending/minimizing it).

  2. You are right. I know of AT LEAST TWO Nebraskan Dykes who are VERY CLEAR that Teena Brandon/Brandon Teena was a Butch Dyke who ‘passed’ as a man cuz they would not tolerate a Butch Lesbian in the small town/rural life she lived in. Both Lesbians have lived in Rural Nebraska, and one of them, a Butch herself, was TERRIFIED after Teena Brandon was killed, because she lived as an out Butch in rural Nebraska. Even her own mother made clear that Teena Brandon was NOT seeking surgeries or hormones to transition to male.

    But after she was killed, the trans community made it a cause celebre to put her up on a pedestal of ‘this is trans violence’, rather than, she was found out to be a Dyke and female, and thus punished accordingly, raped and murdered by men.

    The problem is MALE VIOLENCE against anything not deemed just as macho male, and that this violence is so rampant in our everyday lives, our media, in war, in prison, in gang culture, that it is almost celebrated and women are always the spoils for the victors, and that any woman outside her appropiate role, just like a man outside his appropiate macho role(that is, ‘acting’ like a woman) are all fair game for violence, whether physical, sexual or both.

    They don’t want to name the ROOT CAUSE, cuz that will imply EVERY male, and the whole point is to smokescreen it, which will allow the violence to continue…not stop it!

    And as one raised Jewish and proud of my heritage, and into Goddess worship/Wiccan/Amazon for my spirituality I would NEVER want to be baptized Mormon, xtian or anything else I did not consent to…either currently or posthumously, or assumed to be trans cuz I’m nonfeminine and Butch!

    Thanks again for a good share!

  3. An anti-death penalty group with which I have been active used to give out cards that affirmed the bearer’s commitment to anti-capital punishment.

    Sadly we live in a world where there are people like Ted Bundy. It is a profound ethical dilemma though; if it was applied exclusively to serial rapists, murderers and war criminals and on the basis of exhaustive evidence perhaps it would be slightly less so.

    1. Yes, sadly, we live in a world where Men dominate Women. SAD is one word for it.

      1. EVIL and HORRIBLE are other words for it.

  4. You may have missed the point of the Day of Remembrance. The TDoR has never been about remembering trans people who were killed. It has always been about remembering ANYONE who lost their lives to anti trans violence. If the killer acted out of trans hate then we remember their victims on that day. In addition to the examples you found, a few years ago a straight, married, cis man was remembered after he was killed while holding his wife’ purse for her. They are not being remembered for being trans, but for having tragically lost their lives to anti trans violence, cis and trans alike. “Transing the dead” Is indeed horrible, but TDoR is not guilty of it. It is a solemn day where we remember not only the dead, but that hate is real and must be opposed. Anti trans violence doesn’t JUST affect trans people, so we remember everyone it affects. How could there be anything wrong with that?

    1. No, I know the “point.” I also know that it’s not “anti-trans bias” that is causing MEN to kill folks.

      TDoR seems culpable of transing the dead in these 3 cases. If you don’t think anything is wrong with that, I suggest you have either not read this blog post and the thoughtful comment above, or you don’t care.

    2. “It has always been about remembering ANYONE who lost their lives to anti trans violence. If the killer acted out of trans hate then we remember their victims on that day. In addition to the examples you found, a few years ago a straight, married, cis man was remembered after he was killed while holding his wife’ purse for her. They are not being remembered for being trans, but for having tragically lost their lives to anti trans violence, cis and trans alike.”

      Oh what utter horseshit, You basically just admitted that trans wants to appropriate ANY instance of conduct that might have been viewed by someone as not conforming to societal mandates. That is the very essence of what Cathy wrote about and has been addressed in the comments here.

      Some of the people that I see mentioned in discussions associated with TDOR were deaths that had absolutely no evidence that the death was related to their appearance or claimed ‘identity.’ But by god, if it was a male in a dress or a female who might have been using a different name, then the TDOR people are going to clamor that the homicide was BECAUSE someone was ‘trans.’ Never mind that some homicides are simply random acts of violence…violence perpetrated by males in most cases, but random nonetheless. Let’s face it- a guy killed for holding his wife’s purse has NOTHING to do with trans-anything. It is a death but not a trans-related death, and to claim otherwise is an appropriation for the purposes of the whacktivists who want to inflate the numbers so they garner some measure of sympathy for more legislation that makes no sense….

  5. The is a very apt comparison, because trans “scholars” are claiming that Joan of Arc is trans, or that any woman in history was trans for doing “non-traditional” work. Stealing women from women’s herstory is another tactic of the transmovement, and it is a serious appropriation of women of the past.

    Violence against trans is about male violence about anyone “performing feminine” whether it is female prostitutes, trans prostitutes in female clothing, or a man holding a purse. It is all against male hatred of the female, and male appropriation of the female body.

    The issue is male dominance, and male enforcement of dominant/submissive human roles. Any woman or female-impersonator is subject to mad dog male physical attacks and murdering ways. The vast majority of murder is committed by men — men kill women, men kill the female-appearing, men are the threat.

    You can’t just call everyone trans because they don’t conform to male supremacist DICK-tates.

  6. In response to ‘remembering anyone who lost their lives to anti trans violence’.

    This doesn’t really make sense. Average joe citizen has little to no understanding of what trans is. Average joe citizen is much more likely to look at what he considers to be a man in a dress or a woman in a suit and see someone who is homosexual, regardless of whether or not that is actually the case. Regardless of whether that person is trans or gay or lesbian or a straight dude holding his wife’s purse.

    So it is likely that what is actually killing these folks is homophobia – in addition to male violence, of course. Stop with the co-option already, just stop.

  7. Homophobia and male violence— look at every trans murder in the U.S. between 1990 and today, and you will find not one instance of a bio-woman killing a Mto Trans. What you will see are het men killing MtTrans prostitutes, just as they kill bio-women prostitutes.
    You will see lesbians being killed by — guess who? Right again, het men. The rape of women — female appearing and not, again het men.

    So the idea that trans is a separate category, and that this is the cause of the murders in the first place is just not the case.

    Trans tries to appropriate women’s bodies and lived experience, it tries to elevate fettish to civil rights, it tries to negate the real criminals and the reasons for these crimes.

    The word is homophobia to the point of committing murder, with epheminate gay men getting killed right along with bio-men in drag, bio-men with bodies modified to do feminine performance, not female existence but the performance of the patriarchal idea of what women have to perform in patriarchy to NOT BE murdered in the first place. So once again, we have this little shell going on within MtTrans patriarchy, a bait and switch if you will. Don’t fall for it.

  8. Yes, homophobia and woman hatred are at the bottom of it. It’s not just the effeminate or female appearing MTF’s that don’t ‘pass’ as females, and regular bio females are murdered every day by men worldwide for not conforming, but so are Butch looking and acting women, women who do not conform either, nor are read as male, and eventually FTM’s will be murdered if word gets out they aren’t ‘really male’ by men…but for sure I know Butches that were sexually assaulted by men for being outside ‘appropiate female roles’ and murdered for same and ‘looking like Lesbians’ or wanting to appropiate male privilege and take up their space and be treated AS EQUALS and not sexualized by said men. Course they probably wouldn’t stop there and attack any female or effeminate man to enforce their power and sense of privilege.

    Some cultures give them sanction to do so, like homophobic third world countries, and some subcultures, like gang culture, and lone wolves too. So what some might consider ‘trans’ violence is essentially homophobic violence and gatekeeping against any bio female who attempts to assert herself, is too aggressive and manlike, or any man appearing too womanly. It all still comes down to female hatred or those who are female appearing and not manly men, and keeping women and Dykes and Butches fearful to really be themselves.

    And NO Joan of Arc may have been a Sacred Crossdresser for HER OWN reasons and visions, and as a DykeAmazon Butch I am too….but she NEVER EVER claimed she was a dude or a male. Trans also want to claim EVERY BUTCH or heterosexual gender defiant woman is ‘trans’ too..when such is NOT the case. Doesn’t mean we want to be men, but WE WANT ALL THE PRIVILEGES MEN SO FREELY ENJOY AND NOT BE TREATED LIKE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS OR THE RAPE/SEXUAL HARASSMENT TOUCHABLE CASTE! FREE FROM MALE SEXUAL VIOLENCE!!!

    So many of our Butch Dyke and crossdressing Lesbian sheros from the past, have now been baptised as Trans individuals instead, basically erasing the Lesbian past. This is much like revisionist history that Holocaust deniers do against the Jews(to take another similar tack), us Jews have to put up with, other than Mormons trying to baptise posthumous Jews and others to their religion). I saw this start happening in the early to mid ’90’s and it really angered me, cuz the crossdressers like Radclyffe Hall, and Gertrude Stein and all those American ex patriot Lesbians living in Paris and the others who wore mens’ suits and ties, were PART of Lesbian culture back then, and further back, Joan of Arc was one of our sheros with her bravery, like an Amazon, of following her visions, leading armies, sitting on her horse in her armour, and being a powerful independent young woman, who like MANY powerful crossdressing young women who assume male roles, without considering themselves to BE men, are often killed or censored or dismissed or married off and forced back into dresses….she refused and was put to death for it!

    She was NOT trans, anymore than many of those ex patriot Lesbians surrounding Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas were. But hey, what does that matter?Soon the only definition of Lesbian will be a hetero male loving vision of all feminine women.

    The rest will be considered trans and some version of male.
    Goddess forbid…and every older Female Identified Butch considers themselves to be the ‘last of a dying breed’, sadly…


  9. […] Brennan’s post likening transgender ideology to Mormonism struck a chord with me and caused me to think about this in more depth. I am a former Mormon and am […]

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