Feathered Bastard

Psychic TV's Genesis P-Orridge drops PR bomb on Tom Anderson.

P-Orridge puts the smack down, right on Tom Anderson's skully.

Genesis speaks! And Anderson takes it on the chin. What else can be said? So let it be written, so let it be done...I love the line at the bottom, "PEE WHERE THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW!!!" A new twist on an old Crowley-ism.


When PTV3 was booked to play at Tom Anderson’s Club on Monday 27th August 2007 we were completely unaware of the ongoing civil rights issues and the local controversy surrounding the club’s owner’s victimization of transgender persons.

As our tour has progressed we began receiving email messages from the promoters expressing concerns about the continued viability of the venue under these volatile circumstances. Due to the wonders of MYSPACE technology we also received haunting pleas and disturbing enquiries from Gay, Lesbian & Transgender activists AND individuals.

They asked us to consider canceling our concert rather than appear to endorse Tom Anderson and company’s actions, albeit by default. We heard that “due to some complaints by unidentified biological women concerning the use of the women’s bathrooms at the club by transgender and transvestite persons. There is a real difference between both those communities that is often overlooked. Transgender people absolutely commit their lives and physical bodies to becoming the opposite gender identity to that with which DNA supplied them at birth. This is often at great personal cost and sacrifice. They often are ostracized by family, friends, workmates and their local community. No person changes gender identity lightly and ALL in an enlightened democracy must honor the courage of our brothers and sisters in the transgender community. No transgender person identifying as female would ever stand up to pee, which seems to be the problem at the heart of this issue locally.

Transvestites choose to temporarily dress as the opposite gender and whilst in their (in this instance) female persona will consider themselves temporarily “female”. Whilst it may well be possible that certain transvestites were “standing to pee” one MUST consider the alternatives.

Transgender women cannot use male bathrooms without genuine fear of harassment, ridicule, humiliation and violence. Our culture is constructed upon pre-historic behavior patterns that originate in male dominated cave clans where survival was imperative and rested upon attacking anything different, outside their experience, or just plain other; the unknown was always considered a threat and was always intimidated. 40 thousand years later it is time for us to become mature and communally remove these behaviors from our culture or be damned.

As the lead vocalist of Psychic TV I am perceived as transgender, and I am proud to be. My official ID states I am FEMALE, yet I was informed that not only would I be forced to use a separate bathroom from other women, including my female spouse of 14 years, but also there would be “guards” policing the use of these segregated stalls! What exactly is the club afraid of? If the question is hygiene then I suggest an honor system based upon polite notices requesting all people perceiving themselves as women respect all varieties of women using the facilities by sitting to pee. And if anyone out there is under the illusion that women’s bathrooms are innately more sterile and clean. Think again! Since becoming female I have been amazed at the level of pornographic grafitti in women’s stalls AND the equality of “spillage” and mess generated by both sexes.

The issue of transgender rights regarding public bathrooms is a national one. During my transition I was threatened with arrest at JFK Airport in New York for following the letter of the law and trying to use the men’s bathroom. But to use the women’s bathroom, which is what the security insisted I did, was at that time illegal…so WHERE exactly do you believe our community should pee? Or we less than citizens, like the slaves of not so long ago, and witnessing a return to a new form of segregation? Gender segregation?

This is why Tom Andersons “solution” is and always was unacceptable. First he banned TWO entire communities for living out their Constitutional rights to SELF-DETERMINED IDENTITY. Then he proposed policed segregation. In many states in the U.S.A. it is illegal for transgender persons who are female to use any women’s public bathrooms. Exactly WHERE do those people controlled by fear of the new expect us to go? In the street? Behind trees? Under cars? Whilst it may seem ludicrous to those of you who have not had the precious gift of living within both gender communities during your lives, the constant threat of official and community discrimination is a very real issue of quality of life and democratic rights.

PSYCHIC TV received information that protests were to be held outside the club if we played. For myself the position I was put in by Tom Anderson’s various actions AND his courting of the media to short-circuit civil liberties responses was intolerable. I see myself as incredibly fortunate in having a platform through Psychic TV/PTV3 to discuss issues, spread PANDROGENY (POSITIVE ANDROGENY) messages to our fan base, and through interviews, to you the media and the public you serve. I have suffered from Doctors refusing to treat me when I was in danger of dying within 3 days because I was transgender. I have been threatened, attacked, omitted from events and gatherings of close family. Yet I count myself blessed to have been so accepted by our sisters and brothers in the transgender communities.

We felt, as a band, we simply could not be seen to endorse Tom Anderson’s policies by appearing at his club, despite his offer to treat ME as an exception. It would be an unforgivable betrayal of so many people’s trust in my integrity of spirit. With protests threatened and guards policing the situation the possibility of feelings naturally running high could have led to somebody being hurt, injured, or property damaged maybe even arrests of those of us enflamed by righteous indignation over this attempt to legitimize turning us into a marginalized sector of second class citizens with fewer legal rights than biologically heterosexual members of this society and culture.

For this reason, AND because we truly do want our transgender brethren to enjoy our performance, and be with us in a friendly, joyous and pleasurable SAFE temporary creative environment we as a band have chosen to move our concert away from Tom Anderson’s club and will now perform at THE SETS, in TEMPE, ARIZONA on Monday 27th August 2007. PLEASE inform your friends, readers, and viewers of this change on YOUR behalf in protest against the encroachment upon transgender civil liberties.


You’ve got to fight for your right to PEE PEE!


Thank you for your time and attention. Cari saluti, GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE of Psychic TV/PTV3.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons