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Transgender DADT Protester Autumn Sandeen Called 'It', 'Shim', 'Impersonator' by Federal Law Enforcement


Autumn Sandeen, First Class Petty Officer who retired in 2000 from the U.S. Navy after twenty years of service, was one of the protesters arrested at last week's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" action in front of the White House. 

Sandeen2In a post on Pam's House Blend, Sandeen discusses the slurs she endured as a transgender woman during her processing:

President Obama, U.S Marshals processed me into the DC Superior Courthouse. Apparently, these federal officers thought it was humorous that I, as a uniformed transgender veteran, was being processed into this U.S. Government facility. Many of them were pointing and laughing at me. The one caucasian, female U.S. Marshal who had her curly blond hair up in a bun -- dressed in a fuchsia, lightly ruffled blouse, a black blazer and slacks--kept raising her fist up and yelling out "Go Navy."

My peer female protesters -- Cadet Mara Boyd, and Cpl. Evelyn Thomas -- were in a holding cell behind the U.S. Marshal's station. They heard that same U.S. Marshal in the fuchsia blouse state the following to one of her peer officers (emphasis added):

"Did you see it? The nerve of it to be wearing a Navy uniform. Did you see the shim in the Navy Uniform?"

Calling transgender people "it" is clearly a way of dehumanizing transgender people. "Shim" -- a term relative to "she-male" -- is also a dehumanizing term to identify transgender people. President Obama, your U.S. Marshal calling me "it" and "the shim" is the equivalent to calling an African-American by the n-word, or calling a Gay-American by the antigay f-word, it is absolutely unacceptable.

I believe the behavior of your U.S. Marshal's sent the message to the prisoners that your representatives wouldn't protect me if these prisoners had sought to physically harm me -- because I was a less than human, a "shim." At no time did any officer correct or dissuade any of the other officers from such offensive behaviors. In fact, they seemed to feel comfortable in doing so around each other, even in front of other prisoners.

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  1. I still don't get CIS.

    But keep on truckin'!

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Apr 27, 2010 10:06:40 AM

  2. @Bill: Us calling you out on your repugnant transphobia equating to all trans activists being "dehumanizing" monsters is perhaps the most preposterous leap ever. You should arrange a CAT scan. Your brain clearly doesn't work right.

    Especially given the fact that I'm not even a "trans activist." I'm a gay man, who - unlike you - has a heart, a properly functioning brain and the capacity to feel compassion for people who happen to be different from me.

    Except, that is, for skidmarks like you that know what it's like to be bashed for being gay and still don't seem to understand that it's wrong for you to do the exact same thing to other minorities. You can die from a ground glass enema, for all I care.

    Posted by: Please | Apr 28, 2010 2:58:33 AM

  3. I guess Bill has serious issues with being grouped into the same demographic as Transpersons (judging by his hatred of LGBT). Fortunately, I think most Transpersons wll be equally happy not to be grouped in his category. I'll let him define his category for himself. However, I shall call them judgmental, intolerant hypocrites. Equality for all, not just yourself.

    Posted by: Moron | May 11, 2010 10:48:56 PM

  4. @Bill Perdue

    So what do you suggest fix this injustice? To make were young gay men do not have to be seen or fight against the drag queen/ transsexual image.

    Posted by: Roisia | Jun 3, 2010 2:25:25 PM

  5. What Mr Perdue seems to not realize is that without transsexuals and drag queens gay rights would not be where it is today. After all the most important event in gay history. The stone wall riots were started by Transsexuals and Drag queens throwing stuff at the cops.

    Posted by: Roisia | Jun 3, 2010 2:40:26 PM

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