Help Get Out the Vote One Last Time on November 6, 2012!

SOSea’s March for Marriage Event/Photo: Steph Brusig

The Seattle Lesbian and Social Outreach Seattle will help canvass Capitol Hill on Election Day 2012 in a last ditch effort to secure marriage equality in Washington State.

“This is a landmark year for securing our rights here in Washington State and we need every last moment available to make this fight result favorably for equality,” said Sarah Toce, editor-in-chief of The Seattle Lesbian and co-director of Social Outreach Seattle. “When a minority’s rights are being voted on by the majority, it’s never okay. We are going to make history in Washington State and every single vote will count.”

The two powerhouse Seattle institutions and their supporters will gather at 4am on Tuesday, November 6 at the Washington United for Marriage headquarters on Capitol Hill. The exact location is 517 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122. Volunteers will deliver leaflets to targeted voters until around 6:30am. Coffee and refreshments will be supplied by Washington United for Marriage.

“It’ll be early, but we’ll be ready,” said Toce. “Just imagine how great you’ll feel watching the results on election night and knowing that you had a hand in getting those last few votes in.”

Anyone interested in participating in this event should RSVP on the official Facebook page here.

The Seattle Lesbian (TSL) is a daily online news magazine operating from offices in the Pacific Northwest, and reaching communities spanning continents around the world. TSL has changed the landscape of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life by providing thought-provoking content with substantial relevancy on various angles of discussion and advocacy.

Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) is a coalition of LGBTQ and allied persons who care about the issues, politics, and social inequalities that exist in the world. Since July 2012, founding members have worked with local LGBTQ and allied businesses, orgs, clubs, groups and individuals that believe in the SOSea mission. SOSea is governed by a dedicated group of local LGBTQ and allied committee members.

I live in the Seattle area and I will be voting for Referendum 74. It is basic Human Rights, Civil Rights, Equal Rights. Freedom to Love. Freedom to Be Loved.

It is anticipated that Washington will become the first state in the U.S. whose voters have approved of equal marriage on a ballot vote. It has been approved by legislators or judiciary in six states – while in more than 30 states, voters h…
ave either forbidden it by law or overturned prior laws affirming it.

But I know that if and when the great historic victory happens, that it will be a bittersweet victory for me. Because even in victory I know that I will still be locked out of the Lesbian community, which has shunned and excluded me from Sisterhood for not being a real WBW (womyn-born-womyn) because of my transsexual history.

I had sex reassignment surgery 35 years ago, and I have found– after 20 years of exile ending in 7 years of being homeless– acceptance and respect as a woman among women working as an advocate, writer, facilitator and speaker working in women's and feminist organizations on behalf of homeless people. But it's just not a Lesbian, Transgender or LGBT kind of acceptance.

Because I'm not invited to the wedding or reception– not regarded as anyone's best woman, because to the mostly Separatist Lesbian Community all the word "transgender" means to them is "woman with a penis"– meaning that we're all not really women but are men. But since my transition ended in 1977 and I haven't "transed" since, I don't identify as transgender– because I did more than just assume a gender role, I corrected an incongruence of mind and body through surgery that was medically necessary for my well being.

I don't need "transgender" inclusion. I need "real woman" inclusion. But what are post-op transsexual women doing in the "Queer" community anyway? Heterosexual transsexual women are not interested in or by Gay men– and Lesbian transsexuals are rejected by Lesbians.

I wouldn't be complaining if I'd had no feminist history or history with the Lesbian Community. But I was recruited in 1986 by two Lesbians to be an intern in Counseling Psychology to serve mostly Lesbians at a Gay & Lesbian Center in Orange County, California. I served Lesbian clients for 900 of 1500 hours, including a group of incest survivors. My clients paid $25,000 in fees to see me.

Despite all my good work, in 1988 I was to be outed in a place I wasn't even hiding, threatened with violence by 4 Lesbians, ejected from the Womanspace I had co-founded and was purged from my job by a new transphobic Lesbian administrator for not being a "real" woman. But no one ever apologized to me, said thank you or ever invited me to come back.

Without academic or professional support, I was exiled to depression, isolation and despair for 5 years, coming out of it to face being the sole caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease for 6 years until she died in 1999. I moved to Seattle in 2000 and I was to run out of money and time to find a job and a place to live and I was to become homeless for 7 years until 2007.

I found hope and eventually a home and a life afterward– from the community of homeless women. I tried to return to the new better LGB "Transgender inclusive" community. But in 2008 I found myself unwanted by the leading TG organization in Seattle despite all my training and experience. I got into trouble for refusing to identify as transgender and for denying my being under the associated "all gender variant umbrella" But today the word transsexual is being deliberately eradicated in the service of a non-transsexual majority who don't want or need the surgery that I had to have to achieve a congruence of mind and body for my health and well being.

And I found that the new Seattle Lesbian community to be lovingly accepting of me at first, as they had voted twice to include "transgender" women. One lesbian leader even admitted that she had a transgender friend. I came out to them and they were affectionate, even. I was honored to be allowed to carry their banner in 2009 Seattle Dyke March. But 17 days later, an elder group leader became one of three 70 year old group leaders to engineer my shunning and exclusion from a group social event for "not being a real woman or lesbian". I was socially and sexually unacceptable.

I spent 9 more weeks trying to reason with them, but I had to leave the group in anguish and disgust after I lost on a 29-1 vote, an effort to get them to stop the bigotry,

"What in the hell are you all afraid of? I had surgery 32 years ago!', I said as I left and never went back. And in the 3 years since I have continued to be excluded by those same women in other lesbian groups here. That leader's transgender "friend" turned out to be a trans man– why?- because he was born female (WBW)- not a man.

I have found my Sisterhood of Acceptance, just not a Lesbian one. I will vote for Referendum 74 for me and my Freedom to Love and for many understanding Transsexual, Lesbian & Gay individuals– but as a group the misogynistic hatred of transsexual women has been ingrained in Lesbian Culture and Lesbian, Gays, Transgenders & the LGBT refuse to condemn it or stop it.
And they refuse to stop calling me transgender.

Your story was very compelling. For myself I have never taken much stock in wanting to be accepted for "what I am." I'd rather concentrate on "who I am". I've spent some time being homeless in Omaha Nebraska. Although I could have probably requested to stay in the woman shelter I opted to go to the men's instead. They made a few accommodations for me in order to make my stay safer, like allowing me to use the private bathroom. It was a very interesting experience. I spend a lot of time talking and listening to the homeless men. The majority of them had no problem with me staying there once they realized I am a "person" just like them. I made.quite a few friends. Chase King Being one of them.