Slightly Better

Here's a story from today's New York Times about Brittany Novotny, a candidate running against Sally Kern to represent Oklahoma City in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Let us repeat yesterday's “WTF is wrong with this” game:

[A picture of Ms. Novotny talking to Dorothy. The caption reads: "Brittany Novotny, Oklahoma's first known transgender candidate, on June 27 at an Oklahoma City gay pride parade.]

Select answers below the fold:

"Gay" Campaign? I'm really not clear what the author means here. Is it a reference to Novotny? Her supporters?

Ms. Novotny does not merely "identify as a heterosexual woman." She is a heterosexual woman. I don't see that "identify as" qualifier attached to other folks' sexualities, you know.

I don't care about Ms. Novotny's birth name. It's not relevant here. It's not relevant anywhere.

"Sex transition"? WTF?!?

I'll give the Times some credit, they did manage to find a picture of a politician campaigning. So, uh, bravo?

I get the impression that the use of "gay campaign" is meant to highlight fears of the "homosexual lobby." But why go there? Why qualify Ms. Novotny's identity as a heterosexual woman? It's hardly as if trans and gay are the same thing.

A few years ago, I was fairly active in an internet forum for folks working through/talking about gender transition. One of the bigger splits on the forum was between straight women and lesbian women (these are not the only two options, and there were also trans men present). Straight women and lesbian women do move in different circles, within different subcultures.

I'm a dyke. My partner is a dyke. This has nothing to do with my being trans, and I get really indignant when folks use my transsexuality to qualify my lesbian identity, or my partner's identity. Ms. Novotny is a heterosexual woman, and may well be straight (it's entirely possible to be solely interested in opposite-sex sexuality while still not being straight). She's not gay. I know I hate it when people imply that I'm kinda like a gay man. Ms. Novotny certainly isn't a lesbian, either.

This article is framing things on Rep. Kern's terms. Why? Unless the Times is also run by hate-filled bigots, there's just no need.

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