In Response to Transgate: Elizabeth Veldon makes record label for gender variant and trans artists

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Noise Artist, Elizabeth Veldon has announced that her record label Black Circle will only promote gender variant and trans artists, who will use the label as a place to air their views, for the foreseeable future. Veldon has told Dangerous Minds that her actions are in response to the recent transphobic articles in the British national press.

‘I am doing this in reaction against the surge in anti-trans articles published in the UK press. This began with Suzanne Moore refusing to apologize for a rather silly comment in the New Statesman, and instead throwing transphobic abuse at anyone who criticised her. She was then given a chance to make transphobic comments in the Guardian.

‘The Observer (the Sunday Guardian) then published an article by Julie Burchill, so full of hate speech that the public reaction against it forced the Observer to withdraw the article.

‘The apology the Observer put in place spoke of ‘causing offence’ but did not recognise that hate speech causes violence, causes hate.

‘This was followed by the Daily Telegraph republishing the article and the Independent publishing several articles defending Burchill and claiming that gender variant people complaining about her article where “a mob,” “bullies,” and “over sensitive.”

‘In addition Caitlin Moran, and the editors of the New Statesman, the Spectator and Vanity Fair have all came out to demand an oppressed minority to respect ‘bullies.’

‘In addition to this many cis gender (that is non trans) people commentating on the stories have sought to tell us what is and is not offensive to us.’

Black Circle is recognized as an important independent Noise and Avant Garde label, with a strong commitment to politics and activism. It also has ‘a policy of not giving a forum to people using hate speech, racist, sexist, homophobic, abelist or agist language.’

Veldon believes that by making Black Circle a focus for discussion on issues of gender, identity and sex, will help educate the public.

‘The intention is to allow those actually effected by this hate speech to have a voice which exists outside of the sound and fury of the comment boards of national newspapers, who would use our outrage to increase click rates and therefore to sell more advertising space.

‘I want to allow the voices of an oppressed minority to be heard, to allow us to contribute to this discussion in our own space and hopefully to educate some people.’

Black Circle have [square], Ars Sonor, Guillotine Munter and Pee-Tura and Elizabeth Veldon ready to release new work over the next few weeks.

The first release will be Elizabeth Veldon’s “A Prayer, A Benediction, A Curse”, which will be available as a digital download and limited edition tape. Veldon has also released “The Ever Present Fear Of Violence (For Julie Burchill)”.

Black Circle will also be releasing a zine, containing writing by all those involved with the releases.

More information from Black Circle here.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Transgate: Liberal paper’s hateful editorial opens up ‘free speech’ floodgate


 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Guest editorial by ‘L’: one woman’s story of transphobic abuse in Russia and Sweden


 
This is a guest editorial by “L”. It was brought to Dangerous Minds by Elizabeth Veldon, who writes this short introduction:

“There has been a lot of news coverage recently of homophobia in both Russia and Sweden, including the forced sterilization of gender variant people in Sweden. This piece is written by a friend of mine, a woman with a transsexual history, who has experience of life in both countries.

She is currently fighting extradition to Russia where she faces open discrimination and probably death. Myself and 36 other underground artists contributed to a release for her. If you want to hear the music I urge you to read her own words first.

This is her story, her voice.”

My name is L., and I am a woman with a transsexual past (male-to-female, MTF). I have had gender dysphoria since my early childhood, so I always had a lot of problems with socialization.

I have never seen my father because he left my family before my birth. I grew up with my mother and grandmother, who were extremely transphobic and authoritative and did not pay attention to my mental difficulties. I had to hide my real self from everyone from when I was 11 years old. It wasn’t until I was 21, in 2007, that I decided to stop hiding, and took my first attempt to bring my appearance in accordance with my self-perception.

This gave me other troubles, and I’ll only give one example: in October 2007, I was stopped on the street by a police officer, who took my IDs and took me to a police station. So-called “state authority representatives” made me strip nude and began to beat me and to urinate on me, laughing and shouting “fags must die!” When they put my head into the toilet bowl and cried out, “Drink Russian water you queer,” I lost consciousness. Eventually I woke up in an unfamiliar yard, my clothes torn and dirtied with urine and faeces. After this, I attempted to commit suicide. Thanks to my friends with the same problems, they helped me to find strength to withstand. But, I was hiding my real identity again for almost a year, and this was a real torture. I couldn’t stand it.

I learned that Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) in the Russian Federation would require a conformance letter from the Moscow Scientific Research Institute of Psychiatry, and in order to obtain one, a psychiatric examination was necessary. My friend in the transgender community told me about terrible violations of human rights in such clinics (unsanitary conditions, mobbing, rape, tortures, etc). Nevertheless, I could not live ‘as-is’ anymore, so I began Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) at my own risk. When my mother and grandmother discovered what I was doing, they threw out my female dress and hormones, but I continued with HRT secretly.

In September 2009, I met Anton, the man who totally understands me. Our relationship grew rapidly, but when my mother and grandmother found out they turned my life into hell. So, I left them for him, and we started living together.

Unfortunately, the problems connected with my transgender identity followed me through all my life in Russia. My boss – who was the head of the IT department of the local Federal Tax Inspection Office – told me (quote), “You have the choice – resign or face big problems. Fags are not welcome here.” I was forced to resign.

You can read the rest of L’s story after the jump…

The forced sterilzation of transgender persons and those with a transgendered past has now been abandoned by the Swedish authorities, but Russia still actively discriminates agains its LGBT community, as this video demonstrates:
 

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
“Reclaiming the Lucidity of Our Hearts”


Via Coilhouse, here’s video of Filipina poet and activist Sass Rogando Sasot speaking out for transgendered rights at the United Nations. Clear and moving speech on a crucial 21st century issue.

On Dec 10th (International Human Rights Day), Filipina activist Sass Rogando Sasot spoke passionately about transgender rights before an assembly of the United Nations. Her speech, titled ?

Written by Jason Louv | Discussion