The Social Trans-phenomenon

Secrets-leaker Bradley Manning says he’s now a she named Chelsea and wants the military prison to treat him as a woman – a “transgender” person. The Army will give him counseling but won’t aid him in an “transsexual” remake.

“Transgender” means one who dresses and behaves in a way different from his/her birth gender.


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A 1960s ‘I Am A Boy’ badge. Photos from Bob Jones

“Transsexual” means a person with a congenital intersex condition, sometimes including genital reformation surgery.

It’s believed that about 900,000 transgender/trans-sexual people live in America. Hard numbers are hard to come by.

It’s becoming an in-your-face social issue. In the 1960s, Honolulu required transvestites to wear large badges that read “I Am A Boy” – none that read “I Am A Girl.” I don’t recall any girls-as-boys among the street walkers of Kapahulu Avenue or Hotel Street.

Today, transsexualism is OK, sort of. We’ve had a school board member and a chair of the local Libertarian Party.

If it were only a question of who wears what clothing it would not be so challenging for us. But there’s the use of restrooms and how schools handle first names and dress codes.

If Jack wants to be Jill and wear a dress and use the girls’ bathroom, what’s a school administrator to do? To date, the Hawaii Board of Education hasn’t addressed this.

I sympathize with parents and school officials who are dealing with this new world order. It’s not just about tolerance, it’s also about a changing body of civil rights issues. Jack and Jill go up the hill to fetch a pail of water and come back as Jill and Jack.

This is another of those social changes that our Founders could not have imagined, and so we turn to our courts to interpret the Constitution because we’re afraid to leave it to our not always so bright or so progressive lawmakers.

I would not want to be a schoolteacher these days. Not only are the pay and rewards small and the criticism unending, the social ground under you is constantly shifting.

What’s good and right today is questionable and maybe legally indefensible the next one.

I’ll be interested to hear how teachers prefer to handle this trans-phenomenon.

Just confirmed: Kauai Independent Food Bank had to pay back $50,000 to the state Human Services department. That’s for improper distribution from the food stamp (SNAP) program. KIFB earlier was ordered to pay back $779,000 to the federal government for irregularities and, in 2011, executive director Judy Lenthall resigned.

The all-islands Hawaii Foodbank had ended its association with and support for KIFB.

What I’d have left out of the 2013 SPJ Gridiron Show:

The “Martha Stewart’s Kailua” comment about banning Gov. Abercrombie from the town “because of my no gnomes policy.”

Making fun of politicians’ behavior and actions is fair game, not body appearance. We don’t get to choose our bodies.