To the Editor:
This letter is in response to a recent article which appeared in your magazine. The article was an interview between Reba Douglas and Michael "Lola Lasagna" Valero concerning drag. Let me start by stating Michael and I were friends before drag was even an issue. Who would have thought that as a real female I'd even be involved in drag, but here I am! I'm Tacy, one of the cast members of "Tacy's Tantalizing Women of Illusion."
Michael was a part of that cast and did shows with us at Angles. We all appreciated his input (musically) and his talent. He was an asset to the show along with everyone else. No one person makes a show, therefore, there is no "leading lady," only "leading ladies!" We all contribute our own talent, style, and flare to each show to make them fun and entertaining. Michael decided to branch out and do other shows. He was never forced out of the group-in fact, he was encouraged to perform in both. In support of this, several of us attended his first show at Angles with Reba and company. He did a great job. He chose to disengage himself from our group for reasons I still don't understand. As far as I was concerned, we were still friends. Apparently I was incorrect in making that assumption. (We all know what happens when you start assuming!) At a time when we're all loosing [sic] so many friends to illness, who would think it reasonable to loose [sic] a friend over drag!
On behalf of the entire group, I'm sorry we left such a bitter taste in Michaels' mouth. (I'm sure he's had worse, but we won't go there!) We wish him well where ever he may go (Houston). I'll close this letter with a final thought: drag queens are a dime a dozen; good friendships aren't nearly as cheap!
--Tacy E. Higbee & Company
Dear Mr. Naquin-Delain,
I have read with a bit of shutter, the recent Letter sent to Ms. Birch, of the Human Rights Campaign. The letter supposedly signed by certain individuals, who represent themselves as members of the Transgender life style. I say with a bit of shutter, because the letter apparently has taken to misrepresent, and question certain actions, or nonaction by the HRC, with regard to what has become known as Transgender in recent years.
But, before I address the letter specifically, I would like to bring to the attention of all a complete misrepresentation that has been perpetuated in recent years. The term TRANSGENDER as originally used, and intended for, a specific group of individuals. These were and are that small group of males, who for many reasons, wish to change their sex to that of female. Having been in ;the field of Gender Identification for many years, and now retired, I have watched as many others, in an attempt to become recognized, begin to adopt the term TRANSGENDER. So for a brief moment, let us attempt to clarify this, and hopefully set the specific mind set, on the right track, once again.
There are various forms of the so-called Transgender group, the largest by far is the Transvestite, who according to national statistics, make up close to 84% of the Transgender. These Transvestites are males, who are heterosexual (straight), who despite [sec] to dress as females, on certain occasions. In most of these cases the straight male cross dresses in private, and does not appear in public. This is known as a fetish, as the male is not of the Homosexual, (or Gay), groupage. They have no desire for male companions, or lovers, (except in their fantasies). Those of the Transvestite group, who do venture out into public, will frequent the so-called Lesbian bars or clubs, where they can still maintain their straight life style, although dressed as females. This group in many cases are married to females, or are in a relationship with a female. You will never find them in the company of another male, unless it is one that is also straight, when they are dressed feminine. Unless, of course, in certain cases where there just happens to be other males present. This is the group that is most difficult to deal with, and to counsel. They usually do not accept themselves, and the fetish, that continues to follow them through life. This group are not Homosexual (gay), or even Bisexual, but in their everyday life, they live in a Heterosexual or straight world, and are secretive by their alternate life of dressing female.
The second groupage in the Transgender family is the Transsexual, of the remaining 16%, over half or about 9.5% are either pre or post operative. This is a special, and very delicate group of men, who are going through life in a body they do not feel comfortable with, and desire to change their sex. I must point out also there are females who will also go through the same desire, to change their sex to male. The Transsexual, and the ones the term TRANSGENDER was originally meant for, are extremely special people. They desire to be accepted for their new life, and seek the recognition of all around them. And yet they have the hardest and most difficult time because of the various laws and the changing of identities. And again in many cases the Transsexual will seek out male companions, and lovers, and usually when the surgery is complete, begin to compete as a female, in the heterosexual world, with certain minimal exceptions.
And then we have the third, and final group, making up less than 7 % (or approximately 6.5%) of the Transgender groupage. These are males, who cross dress, and are homosexual and do not wish to change their sex. This is by far the smallest group in the Transgender world, and the most difficult to deal with. They have very special desires, and needs, for acceptance in the gay world, and seek to have either short or long term relationships with a male companion. This is the group that the most difficulty in either the straight or gay world [sic]. The straight world do [sic] not wish to associate with them because they are gay, and also dress feminine. And the gay world tends to avoid them because they are different, and to feminine [sic]. Many of this group have a form of dual personalities, the so called masculine side, that has to deal with every day life, and the female side which desires friends and companions. This, (although the smallest group of the Transgender group), is the one group that is closest to the gay and lesbian world, in identity.
I am aware that there was a group founded in Louisiana, that at one time was a useful point for gatherings, and counseling for the overall Transgender group. But regrettable do [sic] to the groups make up, their national charter was revoked.
Now let us address the letter, previously referenced, with regard to the Human Rights Campaign, and Ms. Birch. When I was still in practice, and would occasionally appear in court to testify, or defend a rights issue, I would call on the HRC. And over the years they have been most helpful, and informative. The HRC was and is a major group attempting to gain rights and privileges, supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution to all. And as I have watched the Transvestites over the recent years, and their attempt to be included in the Homosexual community, I wonder to what purpose, straight men, would seek this form of recognition, even if they do practice fetishisms.
The HRC, nationally, has accomplished a great deal in and for the homosexual world. And their original, and current function, is to help and serve those people who are gay, bisexual or lesbian. Then intent was never, and has never been one to support members of the straight groupage, but to bring those guaranteed rights to all who have been overlooked, or forgotten.Being that the make up of the so-called Transgender groupage is over 84% heterosexual, or straight, they enjoy more rights and privileges, than many within the gay or lesbian groups. The HRC does not overlook the Transvestite, who is straight, but focuses on the needs and desires of the gay and lesbian groups. I have never seen over the years any form of specific or implied prejudice toward the Transgender. And in some location, there are or have been GAY cross dressers, sitting on local HRC boards. And a few years ago there was a gay cross dresser, who was closely linked with the National Board. Although I have been given to understand that certain factions in the Louisiana area have and are disruptive, to the local HRC board, over all this group continues to function and lobby, under extreme hardships.
As to the HRC supposedly avoiding recognizing the Transgender group, it would be apparent to all, that a group made up primarily of heterosexual males would not need the services of the HRC. Those of the much smaller group as the Gay Cross dresser, are already being represented by the HRC, by the very nature that they are gay.
It never ceases to amaze me, to watch the Transgender, who try to be most secretive, create the most problems. When a straight male indulges in a fantasy of being female, it tends to distort their vision. The HRC is and remains a worthwhile, and dedicated group of individual [sic}, representing a special group of individuals over all. The rights given under the Constitution, include the pursuits of happiness, and happiness is what one desires, and believes in.
--K. Marion Weisberg, MD
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