Statement from Benjamin Paige
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
[Text from an e-mail forwarded to Lynn on 3-11-08]
Hello Court Members,
Well here we are, I had hoped to avoid a formal response/address to the RMCS members but it seems that it has become inevitable and required of me to do so.
First off, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has put forth their input and comments, however unrelated and unnecessary they might have been. You have shown that you do care deeply about issues and are willing to voice your opinion when you feel it is appropriate, and for all intensive purposes, this is a great attribute.
To begin, I must say that I appreciate all of the support I have received from those who actually have come to know me, your feedback and support matters most.
As far as the general concern regarding the matter I believe the main points can be summarized as follows:
1. 1. Many people generally don't agree with what I have said and believe that I am a "hate monger" and my writing about such a controversial issue in such a controversial way in a publication that is meant to be aimed at, and in support of, the GLBT community.
2. 2. I happen to be on the Board of Directors of the ICRME which is an organization whose social agenda is directed towards: raising money for noteworthy GLBT causes, holding functions for the enjoyment of our members and the community at large, and ultimately supporting the advancement of equal rights within the GLBT community. These of course are not specifically stated within our mission statement, but I am broadening the analysis due to presumed general consensus and, of course, your comments.
3. 3. My writing was directed at an issue concerning a child who happens to be transgendered. Many comments have addressed not only the general issue but rather the incredibly young age of the child, sighting that it is perhaps unethical to speak about a child in such a way.
I assume that I have covered the main points of the arguments presented by the members of the RMCS.
Let's analyze these issues shall we, I feel it is only
fair to address your concerns.
I write a satirical and (what I think of as a) humorous article with the intent of addressing current issues in the news (hence the title of the article). This article is meant to provoke, to inspire, to satirize and bring to light issues that generally go without note. If you have ever read any of my articles in the past you will note that many of them (if not most) make fun of members of our community, if you haven't been personally offended by at least one of my articles, then you are not reading them.
The column is meant to make fun of the general stereotypes of the members and groups within our community. I take pride in being able to laugh at the ironical nature in which I play devils advocate pertaining to issues concerning: Mormons, Those crazy lotto people, Republican Senators, College kids, Iranians, Christian Evangelicals, Christians (in general), Republicans, Democrats, Homeless people, Rich people, uber-retarted space monkeys, people with long hair, people with no hair, the mentally/physically handicap, smokers, people with AIDS, people who do drugs, rap stars, Mexicans, Black people, White people, Old people, Anyone who has had plastic surgery, Bell ringers in front of King Soopers, People with more than five children, transgendered people, People with fake legs, People who have succumb to freak accidents, Porn stars, Necrophiliacs, Lesbians, people who enjoy beastiality, Those damn good-looking young gay men, Straight people, the entire continent of Africa, and now transgendered 2nd graders.
Does anyone honestly think that I 'hate' all of these people?
Because I have seemingly demeaned and degraded everyone of these groups at one time or another. I don't detest any of these groups (except those uber-retarted space monkeys, I mean who are they trying to fool with those little bowtie's). But does anyone honestly think that I believe that the parents of a transgendered 7 year old are "perverted and like to take pictures of their seven-year-old boy dressed up in women's clothing?"
Really? I mean, Really?
I can't expect everyone to be an avid reader and I understand that some people read things for the first time and aren't quite smart enough to get the angle. But you of all people know me, you know who I am and the principles that I stand for; perhaps that is why the people that know me within our organization think that this whole thing is ridiculous.
It's called satire people, you don't have to find it funny, but if you can't see that I am making fun of the brainless uneducated fanatical right wing lunatics who think like this, then you are completely missing the point.
I understand that when taken out of context, put on the internet, and distributed all over the nation to people without a sense of what the column or the newspaper is about – it might come off as a maniacal transgender bashing rant. But I hold all of you to a higher standard, because I think that you are smarter than that.
Do I necessarily agree with every issue and every view within the GLBT community?
I should hope not, because everyone has diverging opinions on issues, and guess what, that is a good thing.
Do I agree that sex changes for people who aren't even old enough to know how to spell their own name properly are appropriate, not that it really has any bearing on the real issue, but in the interest of full disclosure; No, no I do not!
Not because I think they are too young to come to terms with their true identity, not because I think that they are confused, not because I think that god made them a certain way, it's because I think major elective surgery on a seven or five year old can cause more trauma than it is worth, it's because I believe that the notion of having a specific set of genitalia is arbitrary and irrelevant, its because I believe that the idea that 'all boys and girls should look alike, act alike, and have the same appendages' is one that has been instilled by a society over the course of thousands of years for the benefit of one particular group (males) in order for one group to benefit from the subjugation of the other by ridicule, violence, and mental enslavement. I find this notion to be absolutely preposterous and that is exactly the notion that this procedure, done on such an impressionable young child, would emphasize. And the leading academics in this area happen to agree with me.
Really, isn't the ultimate goal of the GLBT community to eliminate these preconceived notions of difference. This leaves no issue free from critique, not even if it involves a seven year old. But I digress; I'm getting a little bit more philosophical than is relevant to this conversation.
The point is that none of us share identical ideals on morality and ethics. But the point of the article was not to ridicule, not to demean, they never are. They are to provoke, and thanks to all of you, never has it worked so well.
So if you are telling me that in order to continue my service as a member of the Board of Directors with the ICRME I may never again be provocative, never again may I express an opinion unlike others, never again may I rabble and arouse dialogue, then you would have my complete resignation immediately. Because I would never be a part of an organization that stiffens differences and contradictory opinions amongst individuals (especially from an organization that touts their acceptance of the many differences within our community).
But that is not your intention, is it?
I understand that many people were alerted to this article with no knowledge of my previous work and without the ability to see through the obviously sardonic pretence of the piece; and while I cant agree with their resulting calls for 'action' I can almost understand it. Some people can't see the forest through the tree's... others simply refuse too.
I will refrain from mentioning any aspect of free speech and its importance because I feel it unnecessary to explain how important our civil liberties are to this group.
Nor will I touch on how ridiculous it is that this vile 'headhunt' has seeped into the arguably meaningless association with the ICRME. But I feel as though, through no fault of your own, many might be unclear as to my objectives.
I encourage anyone who is unclear about my logic, rationale, or intentions to please contact me. And if those beyond the reach of the court yahoo group have additional concerns, please send them my way. I enjoy the lost art verbal communication. And especially enjoy any well reasoned diverging opinions. I can't apologize for others' idiocy, inanity, or foolishness. And I will never apologize for being provocative.
My name is Benjamin Michael Paige
My Phone number is 303.359.2709
My Email Address is benjamin.paige@...
Benjamin M. Paige