As Ray Davies sang so long ago, "Girls will be boys and boys will be girls/ It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world..." And indeed, some in the Valley's pre-op community are determined to pee standing up at Anderson's Fifth Estate in this dispute with the Scottsdale nightclub, which I detailed in my "Bird" column of December 28 entitled "Tranny-Gate."
According to the trannies, sexuality is all in your head, and has absolutely nothing to do with that split fig or meat-n-veg between your thighs. If you think you're a woman, you are a woman. Even if you weigh 300 pounds, speak in baritone and sport a beard -- you have just as much right to use the babes' bog as supermodel Giselle Bundchen. So ladies, the next time you see some doods who resemble Wesley Snipes, et al. in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar having pissing contests and putting rouge over their razor burn in the women's bano, keep your trap shut. You have no say. The trannies -- even those who still have a wang -- own the femmes' shitter.
At least that's what Michele deLaFreniere, the transgendered guy who's made this an issue (and who happens to be the Chairperson of the Scottsdale Human Relations Commission), and his bud Michelle Delgina (rhymes with "vagina"?) insist. They think they're the Rosa Parks and Angela Davis of AZ powder rooms. Delgina recently wrote a long-ass letter to me that could double as a novel, and here it is below, along with my responses and some chiming in by deLaFreniere. As Johnny Carson used to say -- wild, wacky stuff.
Note: They may use portions of the first letter in next week's paper, but they will have to edit it for length, obviously, unless my editor wants to put out a second edition of the paper. And references to "Nicki" are to Niki D'Andrea, the New Times music editor (herself an unabashed lesbian), who assisted me with reporting on the item.
from Mangina, uh, I mean, Delgina:
My gosh!! Where do I begin?? My Name is Michelle DelGina and I am the other woman that was denied entry into Anderson's Fifth Estate on November 25th, 2006. The other woman that was publicly humiliated and had my dignity smashed on the ground by an arrogant bigot in front of other patrons, friends and staff on the steps of Anderson's. I realize you are trying to come off as some snappy Hollywood style reporter shooting out snappy little rainbow colored zingers to make your readers say "Oh my!! I can't believe he just said that!!" When in actuality you sound more like a pompous ignorant prick.
I was wondering how you can continually quote Michele deLaFreniere when you never even interviewed her?? Apparently it was some woman at new times named Nicki??? So either you are really a trans woman that goes by the name Nicki and you can pass pretty good or you just made crap up and paraphrased information fed to you in you little gerbil cage there in the back of the office.
That is how I imagine your space is there at the office. A big smelly cage with one of those big water bottles wired to the side. The bottle looks like you haven't had fresh water in it for quite some time as there appears to be algae growing on the inside of the bottle. Obviously the bottom of the cage is covered with shredded New Times. You converted your exercise wheel into a sort of make shift clothes hamper with dirty socks and "rusty" bottomed underwear hanging from various rungs. Tapping your little pencil on your oversized front teeth humming some little tune to yourself that mama gerbil sang to you at nap time long before country rodent decided to become city rodent. I can just see you resting your long, sad and furry nose on the crossbar of the cage with your little notes crunched up in your little boney claws like some destitute prisoner hoping for anyone to stop and talk to you. "Umm, umm, squeak, squeak, Nicki!! Yo! It's Stevie! You gotta read this!" "Uh, what? Do you need another donut gerbil boy??" Nicki says as she doesn't even spin her chair around to make eye contact with you. "No." You say even though you would love another donut but you are hoping to score with her some day and you know how she feels about over weight rodents. "Can we do another piece together? This stuff I came up with today is a hoot- you gotta read it!" Nicki being a class chick casually says, "Yeah, sure. I gotta take a crap first. I'll read your stuff when I get back."
As some of your readers are aware of it is probably going on three weeks ago now that there was a hate crime in Scottsdale not far from Anderson's Fifth Estate in Scottsdale. A gay couple was brutally assaulted as they exited Fraser's Steak House by seven men. The report says they were white males. White males just like Tom Anderson and I am assuming you. It was disheartening to see you treat this "Tranny Gate" as a funny "entertainment" piece. Mr. Anderson's actions and bigoted statements like: "Your kind in here anymore" and "we are losing money because you come in here", along with your twisted, insensitive, inaccurate piece and the accompanying irresponsible cartoon only open the door to further discrimination, hate and violence. Just like the hate crime that happened outside of Fraser's.
The transgendered population is the most at-risk-for-murder minority on the planet. They are not only murdered, because of ignorance and fear, but often times mutilated afterwards. What the hell do find so damn funny about hate, violence, death and mutilation?? Mr. Anderson, being a business owner and "leader" (used loosely) in the community and you, as a journalist (used even looser), you both have a responsibility. Often times we look to our leaders for cues on how to act especially in public- I think that is why they call them leaders. And unfortunately many people these days can not think for themselves and must read about how everyone else is acting or watch it on TV to see what is popular so they don't stand out. And now- with a few insensitive and hateful actions and comments we have been basically thrown in the street. And you think it's funny? Are you one of those goof balls that giggle at car wrecks?? Do you even know any one that has ever been assaulted because they are different?? Or do you just hang with people like yourselves??
As responsible adults and unfortunately people in the place of some power and influence, it is your responsibility to educate yourselves about issues before you decide to ruin people's lives and open the doors of hate and bigotry. Mr. Anderson has chosen to make the focus of his argument the restroom issue when there was a simple solution to the whole problem right there in the club. Instead of choosing this option he chose to flex his bigoted "I'm protecting my female patrons" attitude. These "guys" are actually disguising themselves as woman and infiltrating the club just so they can sneak into the woman's restroom to stalk and rape woman!! Absurd!!
Do you people really buy that crap?? You think he is there to "save and protect" his female customers?? Really??? Well- I was at Anderson's just Saturday night out there in the cold protesting and picketing Anderson's and MIX 96.9 for publicly inviting EVERYONE in the valley to come to Anderson's for the hottest retro dance party in the valley and then not actually allowing everyone they invited in. I was posted right in front of the club. I was standing there with my big banner looking cute as ever and three of these so called female patrons that he is so concerned about protecting come staggering out of Anderson's and laughing their asses off. They obviously have had too much to drink.
These three women meandered past me and went and sat in a car for about 5 or 10 minutes. I paid no attention to them as Scottsdale is now becoming the hate crime hot spot in the valley and I had to watch my back at all times. The three women get out of the car and make their way back to the club- I assume it is because one of them kept saying how bad she had to pee. They hobble past me again and make their way into Anderson's parking lot. The slower and obviously more inebriated one made it all the way there, up and over three different curbs. It was the last one that she tripped over and kind of poured herself onto the parking lot.
Her friends were laughing their asses off at their friend's drunken mishap. The one that had to urinate was laughing the hardest, "Don't make me laugh, I gotta pee really bad now!" I stopped to think to myself for a minute "Hmm, at least now when she goes into that restroom she won't have to worry about that trans werewolf rapist with the 12 inch penis!! Yes ire- the women of Scottsdale are now protected- Thank the Lord and Tom Anderson" I guess at this point one of the women actually made it to the door as the one trying to just kneel on all four was muttering the classic "I'm done drinking! I'm done drinking."
But there I am out in front of Anderson's being kept out- banned from even going on the property. I am actually one of the people they are protecting these women from?? This gal can not even get to all four and had just tripped and almost did a face plant on the parking lot and the manager, doorman and cashier just sit there and watch. I am banned from the property and if I went on the property to help this over served incapacitated female patron I would have been arrested for trespassing. I could only look on and watch another female loose her dignity on the doorsteps of Anderson's.
I look and check the street which was behind me and then looked back to see this woman struggle to her feet. I do not think she was ready for the slight incline of the lot and immediately started to back peddle towards the parking block she had originally tripped over. Again- no concern by the staff whatsoever. The concrete parking stop caught the back of both her heels which caused her butt to quickly accelerate towards the ground. As soon as that part of her anatomy made impact it kind of had a sling shot effect on the rest of her upper body as you can imagine.
What I saw next I have never seen before in my life and hope to never see again. This poor gal smacked the back off her head- right where the neck goes into the skull so hard on the concrete curb that surrounds Anderson's parking lot that I almost vomited from the horror. I thought she was dead. The staff sat there. I started screaming, "Oh my god- call an ambulance, call an ambulance!!" This poor girl was out cold. I was yelling at her friend to not move her. It was a horrifying scene.
Two police cars a fire trunk and an ambulance quickly arrived. They neck braced this girl and boarded her up. They were looking around and asking if anyone saw what happened. Duh!! Yeah! I was right there!! Some lady- I am not sure if was her friend or what at that point because I was so traumatized- said yes, and she looked at me and said, umm (searching I guess for which fucking-pronoun to use with me), this person saw. The paramedic looked up at me with his little note pad and just said- OH. Not "what did you see, what is your number in case we need to get a hold of you, what is your name..." Nothing. None of you idiopts asked me any questions. Oh God!! A trannie- don't make eye contact!! Your friend is lying there with a possible fractured skull or a bleeding brain and I am someone that can help and you choose to not even ask. I was horrified by what happened to this girl and then once again by how I was treated.
And you know what??? Michele deLaFreniere was across the street and saw what happened and heard me screaming. Michele deLaFreniere was the one that made the 911 call. Michele deLaFreniere and I were the only one to come to this girl's aid. Michele deLaFreniere and I were the ones they were protecting these girls from. I do not know the extent of this girl's injury but if you think Tom Anderson is there to protect these woman you are sorely mistaken. It is about money, it is about over service, it is about ego. If you ever talked to the manager or thug at the front door you know what I mean. This ain't no class operation.
And for the record dumb asses- fifth estate, which Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines as 'any class or group in society other than the nobility, the clergy, the middle class, and the press'.
Lemon, I guess you represent the press (sort of), and Anderson, you have a lot of money- enough to be at least the middle class. Most christian religions denounce us and money, well... So I guess that makes most transexuals more Fifth Estae than any of you. Ironic isn't it??
I do not need to address the other issues in your piece because you are really just a fiction writer. You take things that happen in the real world- change things around and make a cute little story out of it. And Tom!!??? Tell me you didn't really say those thing quoted in Mr. Lemon's piece!! You wouldn't really publicly humiliate your wife like that- talking about using some other guy's junk like that, would you?? And if you really did say that- what the hell would you do with some guys cut off meat any way???? I am glad you were never in the restroom on those few occasions I did use the men's room at your club. God know what you think about as you stand next to some hung dude at the urinal- "Boy...What I'd like to do with that...!!! I was embarrassed for you whole family.
If you are one of the regulars that know me then let Anderson's and MIX 96.9 know that you are not coming back and not going to listen anymore till they make things right. Do something now.
Print the whole damn letter or none of it!!
and my response:
Thanks for novel, Michelle. Very amusing. I am curious about one thing though: Have either you or deLaFreniere had sex reassignment surgery? That one fact would illuminate a great deal. Thanks again.
ToWongFo-ite Michele deLaFreniere chimes in, but at least she's not as long-winded as Delgina:
Does it really matter except to my lover, the person sneaking a peak through the stall door crack and my gyn?
Another novel from Delgina:
This is how they deal with it in New York: http://www.jenburke.com/2005/09/30/restroom-usage/
For one thing- in most transsexuals- it is the brain that is different. There is research that backs this up in regards to hormones and a "male" and "female" brain. They ARE different. http://web.syr.edu/~jaclar01/gender.html
It is this incongruity that causes so much confusion and despair in a transsexual. We look into a mirror and do not see what we feel. I am only guessing why you want to know but I am assuming you want to know whether or not I have a "right" to be in the woman's restroom or not.
I think the other Michele sent you something about (Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) sec. 41-1442) I can not nor will I address the other women's personal physical information. I identify as female and that is how I expect to be treated. This is how it works with transitioning from male to female:
You first have to be identified as being gender dysphonic. You need this before you can begin to get hormone from an MD. Unless you can not for one reason or another afford to go this route and begin doing things on your own. I believe you have to be on hormones for at least a year and do your RLT for two years before anyone will sign off for you to get SRS. RLT stands for real life test. This is where you have to live in this new role as a female for two years. Everything must be done as a female- work, shop, socialize and yes, use the restroom. You can not even get a surgeon in Thailand to do the surgery until the RLT is complete and you have the signatures from your mental health doctors. So for at least two years I am going to be in this limbo state that I believe you are asking me about. A "state of gender" if you will that for you and most of society still considers a male and one that I believe and always have -to be female. And even after surgery most will still insist on calling me "him" and questioning me on restroom usage. Not all of us will "pass" as female no matter how hard we try.
I actually have an "M" on my driver's license but I like to think that stands for mutant until I can get my birth defect corrected. But in the case of Anderson's I will soon have a legal name change and get the court documents I need to change that "M" to an "F" on my license and that will still not matter at Anderson's as I am the only one in the core group of girls that has been initially banned that has the "M" on my license. According to the state of Arizona they are all considered to be legally female. So the banning of our kind is not really even a "gender" issue- it is a sex discrimination issue at that point.
Think about the implications here for a moment. You want me to actually use the mens room wherever I go right? I have breasts that are quickly approaching a "C" cup and I am continually picked up on when I go out. You want me to go into a restroom filled with drunken males at 11 or 12 o'clock at night? You know what will happen. You want me to go into the men's restroom at the public library? As a father and his two small boys are in there? I will either get arrested as a crazed pervert or assaulted.
For many transsexuals the time they have to wait for surgery is considerably longer than 2 years because the surgery is so expensive. And then there are non-op transsexuals that never get the surgery. What do you say then- tough crap!! They should take the heat for wearing a dress??
It is not about the penis it is about the brain and spiritual being. Say you are riding a Harley down the 101 and take a nasty spill and some how get your junk sheared off. You come to in the hospital a couple of days later and the doctors are standing over you and you are in a pink night gown. Before you can even ask what and why- they say, "Sorry Steve, we couldn't save your dick so you're a woman now and you have to use the woman's restroom the rest of your life. So now, months later you have recovered as best as you can and go out to Anderson's for a party. Are they going to pat you down before you go into the restroom and say- "Whoa a minute there girly boy- this is a MEN'S room. If you ain't packing any meat then you gotta go in with the sitters!!" Do you become a woman the second you and your penis are separated from each other?? Absolutely not. You have a male brain.
It is totally absurd to even suggest that with your question- "Have either you or deLaFreniere had sex reassignment surgery?" Why are you curious about that any way?? A dick does not a man make. Actually wanting to know that one fact is the most illuminating thing here. To me it suggests that you feel til the surgery is complete we are guys still and that Anderson has every right to deny us entry. To me it suggests that like most people out there you see only black and white and not the range in-between. You need to read this link: http://www.gendersanity.com/diagram.shtml
Please correct me if I am wrong in my assumptions.
To me this goes far far deeper than sexual orientation, which by the way is protected in most discrimination legislation now and is recognized as a specific classification in hate crimes by the FBI. Go to page 10 of this article: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/98hate.pdf It is published by the FBI. There is not even a classification for transgender hate crimes in their statistics yet they are often the most brutal of all the attacks.
Most of us do not know about the opposite sex until puberty so sexual orientation, for most not everyone, is found out much later. My earliest memories of something wrong with me and the desire to be thought of as a female was at least five years old possibly four. My own mother thought that this was some sort of sexual perversion when she found out that her adult "son" was going through the process to align her body with how she felt on the inside. What does a four year old know about sexual perversion?? Try thinking this way your whole life- thinking that there must be something wrong with the whole world because they keep referring to you as him and he. Then add to this- PUBERTY! Do you recall how confusing that was?
I am not trying to suggest that being transsexual is the most difficult thing in the world- far from it. I am just trying to point out that- just knowing the "fact" of what is between my legs would Not clear up anything. It might solidify yours or Anderson's justifications for your actions against us but your thinking in that regard is quite flawed. If for me to be accepted as a female is based on me NOT having a penis then if I have it enlarged will that make me more male?? Are guys with tiny penis's just kind of male? Is a female with a huge vagina more female than a 30 year old virgin female? It's not about the existence or absence of flesh- is it?
Perhaps, but NYC's board of health backed off on an "anything goes policy" as regards self-assigning gender. A little self awareness goes a long way as well. Some discretion in the bathroom at Anderson's, and you may never have been kicked to the curb.
Delgina again, practically singing "We Shall Overcome":
Discretion? You mean don't apply makeup in the mirror like the other women? If I have to puke in the toilet- turn the other way and puke sitting down so the women in the restroom won't be suspicious that there might be someone pissing standing up??
I am not discouraged in the least bit by any of this. I will gladly rush through this petty paperwork detail and get my status changed to F. No problem. I will go anywhere I damn well please at that point.
But that does not begin to address the issue of the seven or eight legally recognized females that Anderson was refering to. They are what they are and you can not deny them entry because you or anyone else is uncomfortable with them. There are a lot of people uncomfortable with crippled people. There are a lot of people uncomfortable with black people- they are affraid they are violent and they are all theives- so they should not be allowed in with other people. Nice narrow minded hurtful and hateful sterotypes. Just like this rediculous one you are not only subscribing to but feeding as well.
Justice will prevail.
Discretion might mean a shave now and then...And sitting down to pee. Like, uh, a woman might. Stuff like that.
"Legally recognized"? You mean, just because you say you're a woman, you're a woman? Do you bring a note from your Dr., at least?
So, let's say I decide that I'm a woman. A fat woman with a beard, but all the same, I've decided I'm a woman. And I squeeze myself into some pantyhose and head on down to the local waterin' hole, where I use the ladies facilities and perhaps flash whoever's present a little schlong action in the process of draining my bladder. That's my legal right accoding to you, correct?
Hmmm...In that case, maybe I'll do it this weekend at Anderson's.
I mean, like I said in the piece, I've been to clubs where there are unisex bathrooms, and I personally don't give a shit, even if some dudes are having their George Michael moments therein. But I also think women have a right to go to the bathroom without a bunch of guys in there, if they want.
To compare this with the black civil rights movement reveals what you're really after. I'm sure you'd love to force us all to accept unisex toilets. But -- sorry, it ain't gonna happen. I mean, dude, I'm the most liberal person I know in this state, and even I think that's bullshit. Give it a shot in the courts, if you want. I'm pretty sure you'll lose, but at least you'll be giving me something to write about for as long as it lasts.
Ai-yi-yi, it never ends! Maybe Tom Anderson can let them pee on an outside wall so they'll leave us all alone. Aaaaaaaaah!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.