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Identical Treatment in the Machine of the Law, The Quest for Transgender Civil Rights

Identical Treatment in the Machine of the Law, The Quest for Transgender Civil Rights

Автором Joanne Borden

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Identical Treatment in the Machine of the Law, The Quest for Transgender Civil Rights

Автором Joanne Borden

210 pages
2 hours
Dec 24, 2015


This book explains the transgender phenomenon in an easy to understand and simple way to explain it to others. Also included are over 50 different speeches that are loaded with arguments and ideas for lobbying for transgender civil rights at all levels of government and may be useful for lobbying for any civil rights cause. It combines two topics that are inseparable in achieving justice and identical treatment in the machine of the law. For a full discussion of transgenderism and all facets of transgender people's life, refer to the author's other book, Transgender Complete, A Virtual Handbook, which is also available from most eBook retailers.

Dec 24, 2015

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Joanne Borden is a transgender woman. She lives in Nassau County, New York, is a widow, has 2 children and 4 grandchildren who refer to her as Papa Joanne.Before retiring, Joanne earned a Psychology AB, a Business MBA, and Engineering PE. She was an Industrial Engineering Consultant, was president of two engineering societies, and is a WWII veteran.In retirement, Joanne is the author of three books: "Transgender Complete, A Virtual Handbook," "The Transgender Monologues, Gender, Sexuality, and LGBT Life" and "Identical Treatment in the Machine of the Law, the Quest For Transgender Civil Rights."She has performed in the Vagina Monologues, her own monologues, and several Fresh Fruit Festival Variety Shows (NYC), where she won the Best Story Teller of 2012 award. She has spoken at Transgender Day of Remembrance services, churches, and synagogues on transgender and GLBT issues.Joanne is a Past Vice President of her League of Women Voters, an advocate for women’s equality, and the civil rights of gender variant people. She often speaks promoting all LGBT issues and has delivered 100+ speeches in county and state legislatures and other venues.

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  • When we determine other people’s gender, we use any indicator available. When the doctor or other baby deliverer sees a penis, the child is labeled a boy. If a penis is absent, the child is la-beled a girl.

  • Most people are not conscious of the fact that they specify their own gender based on their inner feelings and not on their anatomy because their anatomy and their feelings agree.

  • The code [law] does not explicitly protect individuals based on their status as 'transgender' or based on their overt gender expression" demonstrates there is a difference of opinion in the matter.

  • The best gender description is the one the individual feels most closely de- scribes the gender they feel they are inside—the one that gives them the most personal comfort.

  • Most people don’t believe or understand the concept that some people are born with a gender different from their physical sex characteristics.

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Identical Treatment in the Machine of the Law, The Quest for Transgender Civil Rights - Joanne Borden


If you are interested in learning what transgenderism is, learn an uncomplicated way of explaining it to others, or interested in discovering new avenues and some ideas to use in advocating for civil rights, reading this book would be an good choice!

The explanation of the transgenderism will provide a clear path to understanding and explaining the phenomenon of transgenderism. In a single sentence, when an individual's physical indications of gender disagrees with that individuals gender, you have a transgender person. This is explained in the following chapters; however, for a full and complete understanding of transgenderism and every facet of transgender people’s lives and obstacles, refer to the author’s book, Transgender Complete, A Virtual Handbook. It is available in eBook format from most ebook sellers.

This book also includes over 50 different speeches loaded with arguments and useful ideas for lobbying for transgender civil rights at all levels of government. These speeches were primarily presented before the author’s county legislature (Nassau County, New York). However, similar speeches were used lobbying New York State legislators and various other groups. If speeches at other venues presented by this author would be too repetitive, they are not included in this book.

That’s it! The above describes the book in a nut-shell.

The prime purpose of the book is to help advance transgender civil rights.

Back to Table of Contents



The Importance of Gender

Gender is most central to the development of our identity and social relationships. The word gender is of prime importance in almost every known society and touches every facet of life. Names, books, magazines, colors, clothing, and behavior all have a gender. Gender also determines how we treat people (e.g., ladies first). Even words have a gender.

Since the 14th century gender referred to classes of nouns as either masculine, feminine, or neuter. The meaning of gender as referring to the state of being a woman or a man was a secondary meaning but rarely used in that regard. In fact, since the 14th century the word gender was used almost exclusively as a grammatical term.

Gender’s second use, the state of being male or female started to be used after 1900 but not commonly until the middle of that century. United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg¹ popularized the use of the term gender as meaning the state of being a woman or a man when she used that meaning in all her work as well as her legal briefs.²

Justice Ginsburg said,

I owe it all to my secretary at Columbia Law School, who said, I'm typing all these briefs and articles for you and the word sex, sex, sex is on every page. Don't you know that when those nine men [the Supreme Court Justices] hear that word, their first association is not the way you want them to be thinking? Why don't you use the word gender? It is a grammatical term and it will ward off distracting associations.

Many dictionaries now define gender’s prime use as the state of being a man or a woman. It is not commonly thought that even though the words gender and sex both describe the state of being male or female and are sometimes used interchangeably, they are frequently used differently. In recent history, sex is generally used to refer to anatomical/biological/physiological differences and gender is used to refer to cultural/social differences. Some researchers draw a difference between the two terms as sex refers to male and female and gender refers to masculine and feminine.³

The distinction I draw between the words sex and gender is I try to use the word sex when referring to body organs or intercourse. I sometimes slip but always try to use the word gender to describe the state one is most comfortable being associated with—the one an individual feels they are inside themselves.

Determining Gender

Society has only two classifications for gender―female and male. Furthermore, society demands that everyone must fit one classification or the other. Without exception, everyone must fit within either the female or male label. Children are either a girl or a boy and adults are either a woman or a man.

Gender is determined for all people, including transgender people, using one of two methods. We use one method to determine other people's gender and a second method when we determine our own gender.

When we determine other people’s gender, we use any indicator available. When the doctor or other baby deliverer sees a penis, the child is labeled a boy. If a penis is absent, the child is labeled a girl. It seems obvious that the word sex originates from the fact that a child’s sex organs has always been used to define his or her sex. Once you are labeled a female or a male at birth, you carry that label as both your sex and gender forever.

When genitals are covered with clothing, we use the clothing itself or another physical characteristic. We use physical characteristic because they are usually correct and that is all we have to go on.

In determining our own gender, we use a different benchmark. We use what we feel we are inside. When we were young and first became aware of a difference between boys and girls we didn’t pick a gender! We knew our gender intuitively—from somewhere deep inside us—it was automatic!

My friend Alice, labeled a boy at birth, recalled kindergarten when the teacher said the girls line up here and the boys line up over there. Well, Alice lined up here with the girls. The teacher instructed her that she belonged over there with the boys. Alice obeyed the teacher, her authority figure, and went to the boys side over there. All the children laughed at her. That laughter taught Alice that even though she belonged here with the girls, she better keep that a secret and stay with the boys or the children will laugh at her.

A labeled girl wrote that she remembered looking in the mirror when she was very young and wondered why none of the other boys had long hair like she had.

I often hear transgender friends refer to the woman or man inside them. No one has to teach us our gender and we don't use indicators because gender comes from inside us. Other people cannot determine our gender accurately because gender is not visible. Think of a headache. No one can determine if we have a headache because that is also not visible.

This tells us first, physical characteristic are an indication of gender and not our gender. Clothes are not our gender. They are an indication of our gender. Genitals are not our gender. They are also an indication of our gender. The 182,000 intersex babies born each year testifies to that. Many intersex babies⁴ have genitals that look ambiguous an some even look like those of the other sex. It is estimated that there are 930,000 intersex people now living that were born with ambiguous looking genitals or genitals that look like those of the other sex in the United States.

The only exceptions to a baby being labeled either a boy or a girl at birth is when the child's genitals are ambiguous looking. This occurs when the baby has an intersex condition or a chromosome variation. These individuals are discussed later.

We often hear the term gender identity in connection with transgender people. This is a convenient way of saying our gender differs from our sex organs. This may seem confusing but is clarified when you think of genitals as a person’s sex and gender as the person’s knowledge of what they are.

Most people are not conscious of the fact that they specify their own gender based on their inner feelings and not on their anatomy because their anatomy and their feelings agree. Since most people’s experience is that anatomy and actual gender seems to always agree, they assume all people’s actual gender and anatomical indicators agree, should agree, and always agree. They do not remember how they determined their own gender when they were a child because there was no incident to help them remember that identification took place without reference to one's sex organs. As a result, most people think of gender and indications of gender as synonymous. However, ours (i.e., transgender people's) are not synonymous. Ours disagree! Therefore, other people erroneously say transgender people have a gender conflict. Realistically, the only conflict is the concept that an indicator of our gender—our physical characteristics—and our actual gender always agree.

If our innate sense of our gender disagrees with the physical indication of our gender, we are called a transgender person. Thus, the description of a transgender person is anyone who varies even slightly from what the child’s primary sex organs indicate.

Furthermore, the use of the prefix trans in the word transgender is misleading, since we are not changing anything and we are not opposite to anything. Men and women are different, not opposite each other. We simply have genitals that indicate a gender different from our actual gender. Rather than trans, which means a change, we are escaping from an assumed persona society forced on us. When we assert our true gender, it is more correctly an affirmation not a change of our gender.

Additional proof that gender is innate is proven by all other mammals who assume their gender role without being told what it is. Steers, castrated bulls, mount cows even though intercourse cannot occur.

In fact, the only accurate method of determining other people’s gender is to ask the individual. Gender is an innate sense all mammals—including humans—have. All other methods of determining a person’s gender are merely indications.

Inaccurate Indicators of Gender

The large number of intersex babies that are born each year frequently offers physical proof that sex organs are not always a good indication of gender. The number of intersex children born each year is quite large—a lot larger than most people realize. Roughly 182,200 intersex babies are born each year and a good portion of them have genitals that do not indicate any gender because the genitals look like both or neither sex—they are ambiguous looking. Still other intersex babies have genitals that indicate the wrong gender.⁶

One example of an intersex condition where boys have genitals that look like those of a girl is 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency (5-ARD).⁷

A lack of or a deficiency of male hormones in a genetic male fetus or exposure to male hormones in a genetic female fetus often results in ambiguous looking genitalia. In addition, mutations in certain genes can also cause ambiguous looking genitalia.

Intersex conditions that cause genitalia to appear as those of the other sex are Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia⁸ and Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.⁹

A mother’s prenatal exposure to male hormones, certain drugs that contain male hormones, or drugs that stimulate production of the male hormones in a pregnant woman can cause a developing female’s genitals to become more masculine looking. A developing baby may also be exposed to excess male hormones, if the mother has a disease or condition that causes hormone imbalance. Furthermore, some genetic abnormalities can cause impaired testicular development and result in the genitalia’s appearance to be like neither or either sex. Several other conditions are caused by unknown factors and result in a confusing genital appearance.

From the vast experience medical science has with intersex children, ambiguous genitalia are not accompanied by the individual’s uncertainty regarding their knowledge of

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