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News :: GLBT/Queer
Colorado State University attempts to muzzle transgender lesbian speaker Leslie Feinberg
20 Apr 2005
I was invited by the Colorado Feminist Alliance (CFA) to keynote this year’s Take Back the Night rally on April 21. However the Colorado State University administration has tried to silence me. And in doing so, they have revealed a deeper layer of an emerging reactionary campaign to suppress progressive and left-wing free speech on college and university campuses...
leslief.bmp
Note: See below Indymedia article on Feinberg's talk at UMass-Amherst in November 2004 where she steadfastly defended and supported Tack Back UMass and GEO.

Colorado State University attempts to muzzle transgender lesbian speaker Leslie Feinberg

Message from Leslie Feinberg (April 18, 2005)

Please repost widely to those you think will be interested

I was invited by the Colorado Feminist Alliance (CFA) to keynote this year’s Take Back the Night rally on April 21. However the Colorado State University administration has tried to silence me. And in doing so, they have revealed a deeper layer of an emerging reactionary campaign to suppress progressive and left-wing free speech on college and university campuses.

As a funding source for CFA, the university required me to sign a contract with two egregious clauses. One made me liable for anything that occurred at the Take Back the Night event. The other “indemnified” the university from any responsibility. These clauses open the door for right-wing disruption of progressive events.

When I would not sign, the university administration refused to budge on the indemnification. More ominously, students told me officials said they would only waive the liability clause if I provided the content of my talk and a list of some of the campuses I had spoken on, in order to prove that my appearance had not caused trouble.

These demands are chilling and unacceptable. As a result, they have threatened to silence a speaker who is transgender, lesbian, feminist, a survivor of sexual/gender violence, a union activist, and a left-wing organizer. Even funds to fly me to Colorado have been blocked by my refusal to submit to these demands. Therefore, in order to speak on April 21, I am paying for my own travel.

This struggle with CSU comes at a moment when Colorado is ground zero for a twin campaign across the country. Under the banner of “free speech,” a right-wing mobilization is ratcheting up on campuses that are openly racist, anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-Palestinian and pro-Iraq war. At the same time, legislators in Colorado and other states are trying to pass laws to curtail free speech on campus. Now, as during the Vietnam War era, such restrictions will be used against those who dissent against the powers that be.

It is no accident that this suppression of progressive and left wing voices coincides with greater student/labor unity, anti-war organizing, counter-recruitment against the Pentagon representatives on campuses, preparations to mount a struggle against the impending military draft, and organizing against racist, sexist and anti-LGBT threats on campus.

How you can help:

Send messages of support to the CFA for their right to choose their own speakers for the April 21 Take Back the Night event to: tgwarrior (at) earthlink.net. I will forward those.
Notify me if you would like to be part of a campaign to push back reactionary attempts to limit progressive speech on campus. You can contact me at: tgwarrior (at) earthlink.net.
To join me in this building struggle against the reactionary campaign to block progressive speech and organizing contact me at tgwarrior (at) earthlink.net.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
wmass.indymedia.org
November, 2004

Hundreds cheer anti-racist struggle
By Bryan G. Pfeifer

UMASS AMHERST -- Standing before a crowd of more than 500 in Amherst at the University of Massachusetts Bowker Auditorium Nov. 1, Leslie Feinberg began hir talk by dedicating it to the struggle of ALANA students: African American, Latin@, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American who are under siege by racists on campus.

Feinberg's gesture of solidarity received cheers and thunderous applause from the multi-national, multi-gendered audience.

Feinberg--a Workers World managing editor and author of the books "Stone Butch Blues," "Transgender Warriors" and "Trans Liberation"--was invited to cam pus by the UMass Stonewall Center and Pride Alliance, a lesbian, gay, bi and trans student organization. The event kicked off November's Transgender Awareness Month.

Other scheduled events include a "Trans Awareness Panel," a "Graves in Rem em brance" day when paper tombstones will remember those murdered by bashing, a "Trans Films @ Real Out Film Festival" and a UMass Pride Alliance drag ball.

Proudly wearing a Graduate Employee Organization UAW Local 2322 button, Feinberg, who co-chairs the Queer Caucus of the National Writers Union/UAW, raised GEO's demands. The union is currently in contract negotiations with the university administration. Its demands include support for ALANA and for trans employees.

Feinberg asked, "Are we going to stand up with GEO to win their contract demands?" Once again Feinberg's unity and solidarity was greeted with massive applause and cheers, a common event throughout her talk.

Feinberg presented a historical materialist view of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender oppression--from communal societies to the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. Ze focused on how historically those battling racism, sexism and imperialist war have found a basis for unity against a common enemy.

"In order to cement unity we have to walk our talk. We have to fight against each other's oppression as though it was our own."

Feinberg concluded with calls to build the anti-capitalist progressive and revolutionary currents within all mass movements and to repudiate anti-communism and red-baiting.

For over an hour after hir talk Feinberg greeted audience members in front of a beautiful four-color Million Worker March banner at a Western Mass. International Action Center table. Those who surrounded the table to talk included members of many of the major LGBT organizations in western Massachusetts: Every woman's Center, Food for Thought Books collective, GEO, the Office of ALANA Affairs, Pride Alliance, the Stonewall Center, the Student Govern ment Associ ation, the UMass Anti-War coalition. There were also people from various student organizations from the Five College system: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke, Smith College and UMass Amherst.

Dozens of pieces of literature--including the call for a week of anti-war actions Dec. 3-10, information about the first national meeting of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together--FIST, LGBT 4 Million Worker March stickers, Workers World Party conference brochures and WW newspapers--flew off the table. More than 20 people opened trial subscriptions to Workers World newspaper.

-- 30 --

(c) 2004 Bryan G. Pfeifer. Article may be reprinted in full or in part provided full attribution is given to author.

Union labor donated.

-- END --
See also:
http://www.transgenderwarrior.org
http://www.iacenter.org

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Colorado State University attempts to muzzle transgender lesbian speaker Leslie Feinberg
21 Apr 2005
Is a transgender lesbian a woman who has been surgically altered to be a man and is attracted to women?

Or is it a man who has been surgically altered to a woman and is attracted to women?
Re: Colorado State University attempts to muzzle transgender lesbian speaker Leslie Feinberg
21 Apr 2005
i would presume this means that leslie feinberg is biologically male, identifies as female, and is attracted to women (biological or identified? really its none of our business who she's attracted to...) sex is biology, gender is sociology.
Re: Colorado State University attempts to muzzle transgender lesbian speaker Leslie Feinberg
21 Apr 2005
So, a transgender lesbian is a straight man who either identifies with or has been sugically altered to be a woman?

Oy vey.
Re: Colorado State University attempts to muzzle transgender lesbian speaker Leslie Feinberg
22 Apr 2005
[Editor's note: The author of this post is responding to now hidden transphobic comments.]

This is totally offensive. Moderators and IMC staff, PLEASE pay attention and delete offensive and transphobic comments.

FYI, that is not what a transgender lesbian is.

Transgender is an umbrella term that includes people who's gender is presented differently than the mainstream, or people who change or alter their gender, or who's gender does not match their sex (gender is a socially constructed category, while sex is biological). Transgender includes folks who transition from male to female (MTF), female to male (FTM), or who are gender-variant, gender queer, crossdressers, transsexuals, etc.

Just the fact that nobody commented on the actual issue here and instead everyone is concerned with the sex and genitals of LF, makes this entire string of comments offensive and also unwelcoming to anyone who is able to answer your questions or have a productive discussion about this issue.