An open letter by Jazmine James regarding
the anti-transgender climate within the ICRME
From the files of an investigative report by Lynn Conway
March 13, 2008
Columnist Benjamin Paige, a member of the Board of Directors of the Board of the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire (ICRME), recently published one of the most hideously transphobic screeds we've ever seen in the GayZette Denver.
In response to escalating criticism of Paige's column, Tom Japhet the President of the Board of ICRME e-mailed me on March 9th, expressing mere "disappointment" with that article and saying that he'd be "discussing it" with Paige.
In his e-mail, Japhet mentioned the names of several past transgender members of ICRME, using those names to support his claim that ICRME is a transfriendly organization. I'd wondered about this at the time. It seemed that Japhet was tossing out and exploiting those names, rather than letting the women speak for themselves.
On March 13, 2008, Jazmine James, a former member of the ICRME, courageously sent us an open letter giving a very different perspective on the ICRME. Jazmine is the 29th elected Empress of the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire. She also served as the 27th appointed Princess Royale of the RMCS and held the office of Board President for the 31st reign. With her permission, we've posted Jazmine's letter below. In it she says, among other things, that:
"In the past few years the ICRME has had to start to figure out how to adjust with the changes made by me and others who have transitioned. This adjustment has not been easy. It has been one that is filled with spite and hate. Although I firmly believe that 90% of the members of the ICRME are not the hate mongers the problem is the 10% that cause problems a 100% of the time, and the leaders of the ICRME can not seem to figure out a way to put a stop to it." - Jazmine James
The ICRME now faces quite a dilemma: They're experiencing severe difficulties in sanctioning Paige, because many of their members are similarly and openly transphobic - and actually support the kind of hideous statements made by Paige. On the other hand, if they do not remove him as a member of the Board, they'll face long-term public ridicule as a haven for transphobic bigots.
No matter what the ICRME decides to do, we feel it's important to gain insights into the nature of the organization at this point in time. Jazmine's letter is of great assistance in this.
See also Jazmine's update
of March 16,2008, in which she reports on her reception at the
Imperial Courts King of Hearts Function on
Saturday, March 15, 2008.
LynnConway.com > TS Information > Trans News Updates > Benjamin Paige hideously mocks trans child > Jazmine James letter re the ICRME