[TW: transmisogyny, misgendering/third-gendering, biological essentialism]*
Via The Wild Hunt's weekly Unleash The Hounds linkspam post, I found this blog entry by Tracie Welser, a pagan woman in Southern California, about her experience with transmisogyny at the Goddess Temple of Orange County. The short version is, at a women-only service honoring Cybele - which gives this story an extra layer of fuckery, as several Hellenismos friends of mine have pointed out that Cybele had one of the most famous orders of trans priestesses in history** - the Temple's "Presiding Priestess" Ava (I don't see how that's different from High Priestess, but in comments to the linked post she disavowed that title, so I will respect her expressed identity, which is a damn sight more than she is willing to do for trans women) made a series of comments about "the truth of womanhood" that referred to trans women as "mutilated", "not truly women" and "denying the truth of who they are". According to Tracie, who was at the service in question, it was spoken dogmatically by a person in a position of spiritual authority, and members were then asked to "meditate on this unreality [of trans-ness versus cis-ness]". This was not a dialogue. This was dogma.
So, with Tracie's permission, I am sharing this information for the benefit of any pagan female readers I have who are in that area, or who may be there at some point. The Goddess Temple of Orange County is NOT a safe space for trans women or their allies. It is headed by a 2nd-waver who defines womanhood by the possession of a uterus (apparently, even if you have had yours removed, if you were born with one, she considers you to have an "etheric womb", which begs the question of why she doesn't consider trans women to have the same sort of "etheric womb"...).
If you want to head over to Tracie's post and jump into the conversation, be warned that Ava has showed up in comments and is defending her bigotry with the usual litany of bullshit (which she asked me to post on here when I commented to ask Tracie if she would mind me blogging about this, lolno).
*I swear to fucking god I almost feel like I could TW for "2nd-wave bullshit" at this point, and it would be pretty easily understood. Although it might be unclear as to whether I'm referring to their cis-supremacy or their racism, so...maybe not.
**Much like the fact that it was a rite to Lilith that was the site of transmisogynistic exclusion at PantheaCon 2011, which...just read this fantastic post about the absurdity of holding a trans-exclusionary ritual to Lilith in particular.
Presented without comment: a snapshot of my Google Reader this morning, as I was going through catching up on everything I'd missed over the weekend:
[image description: A screenshot of Google Reader's interface, with two items displaying one right after the other, both from the same source blog, their headlines circled in red. The first item's headline reads "Catholic Church In Sudan Torched By Several Hundred Muslims", and is a story about geopolitical tensions between mostly-Muslim Sudan and mostly-Christian South Sudan resulting in a destroyed church. The second item's headline reads "National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Speakers Focus On Religious Liberty", and is a story about Catholic speakers at a prayer breakfast "drawing parallels" between violent persecution of Christians in other regions of the world and the recent refusal of various government entities in the U.S. to continue to accommodate and fund religiously-motivated discrimination by Catholic institutions.]