An open Letter to Cathy Brennan

Edit: There have been a few updates since I wrote this. If you read this before skip down to the bottom for the new bits.



You know Cathy, i was very very close to hating you, I don’t take any pride in admitting this as its not really healthy to hate someone but today you wrote something that made me finally understand you, and that borderline hate instantly became pity.


“Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy.

When I was a little girl, I really related to this.

I wanted to be a real boy too.”


My god, you aren’t cis.


But instead of taking this realization that you don’t fit into the box that says “woman” you chose to attack *everyone else* who doesn’t fit into that box either, because you decided to bury that part of yourself, much like the “ex-gay” conservative christians we hear about in the media.

Your own self loathing and dysphoria was something you couldn’t unpack and handle.


“When I started developing breasts, and my mother made me shop for a bra, I refused to be in the “lingerie” department with her at the same time. She would go in and leave a pile of bras for my approval, and I would surreptitiously look at the lacey pile, quickly selecting the most un-bra like ones (this was before sports bras. It was not fun).  I refused to say the word “bra,” because I was so despondent over the state of my chest.”



Do you know how many times i’ve heard the same sentiments echoed by trans men and genderqueer CAFAB people i’ve met? It breaks my heart that your self loathing was so powerful that not only did you reject trans men as friends after they came out, you openly attacked the entire trans* community because you can’t bear to see us be happy , something you deny yourself.


While it wasn’t the place of your trans men friends to tell you what you should identify as, its pretty clear to just about every trans person who reads your story that you aren’t cis and you aren’t gender conforming. So from now on I will never call you cis again.


So i’m going to tell you what they should have.


Men can be pregnant and have children, trans men are allowed to do that. Thats a thing thats ok to do.

Perhaps you aren’t a trans man, perhaps you are genderqueer or gender fluid or something else entirely, but you certainly aren’t cis.

And that’s ok.

They shouldn’t have tried to pressure you into identifying a certain way, and instead should have just given you support in your self exploration, and i’m sorry that you didn’t get the support you needed and now you are alone and in terrible obvious pain.

You even admit you still at some level want to be a man.

Well I want to tell you its ok to want that and its ok to act on it. You don’t have to, but its an ok choice to make.


What isn’t ok is your continued attacks on people who have figured out who they really are and are living the life that makes them feel happier. You don’t have the right to attack the happiness of other people or inflict misery on them just because you had a bad time of it.


You have fought so hard to attack the very concept of transgender because you know at some level if you stop doing it and accept us for who we are you have to look in the mirror and face the reality of your own gender issues.

And that thought scares the living shit out of you, so you continue to attack what you fear, this is literal transphobia. You are afraid of the very concept of transgender because inside deep down you know that if you stop fearing it you just might fall under that umbrella.


If that happens you know that all of your current friends will turn against you as you turned against the trans men you had in your life.


But what you don’t realize is that these people aren’t really your friends, anyone who can’t accept you for you isn’t your real friend. Instead of seeing the inherent problems with the community you are a part of and either working to reform or dismantle it you cling even tighter to it out of fear, because you don’t want to be alone. Perhaps you think its too late to change.


What you also don’t realize is that once you shed off these fake friends and people trying to force you back into the box that says woman that you admit you don’t fit into you will gain real friends who will accept you for who you really are, yes it might take time for some of us to forgive your past, and some people might not forgive you at all. But some of us will. Some of us have a past too and are willing to give people a chance to grow and change. Its never too late to change, or to grow as a person. As long as you are alive you have a choice.


Wouldn’t you rather be at peace and be around people who accept you for who you are inside? Wouldn’t you rather just open up and let the real you out?

None of your issues however excuse what you have done and continue to do, this needs to stop. Even if you can’t handle your own gender issues you need to understand *other people can* and you don’t have the right to attack them for it or have the right to try to take away the civil rights of other human beings because they were able to handle something you can’t. You don’t have the right to try to convince someones doctor to take them off of hormones because you have chosen not to take them.

Perhaps you should put down your metaphorical sword and go see a gender specialist and talk about your issues, perhaps they can help you find the peace you are clearly lacking.

Perhaps you should stop attacking the things you have denied yourself, and instead work to dismantle the cisnormative structures that hurt all people.

So no Cathy, I don’t hate you. I feel sorry for you.


Updates begin here.

Seems bug and the TERFs read this and I seem to have hit a sore spot or two.

Bug is now claiming all lesbians are transgender.



Projecting much bug?


Oh and I appear to have struck a nerve in known transphobic celebrity Rosanne Barr.



Thanks for the signal boost you fucking bigot 😀

8 thoughts on “An open Letter to Cathy Brennan

  1. Jonathan

    Actually I disagree with this quite strongly. I don’t think CB has any gender problems at all. I read her story as being about a girl/woman rejecting femininity, later understanding that gender is oppressively forced upon us (by patriarchy), and being particularly and personally motivated to campaign against it.

    Instead, I think her mistake is a very common one: She assumes that everyone’s experience with gender is the same as hers, that her understanding of (her own) gender is universally applicable to everyone else, that her truth is the truth. And if there’s one thing we (should) learn in the trans community, it’s not to do that.

    1. Christine

      I would argue that this is still not cis.

      I don’t think defining her, telling her she’s wrong, etc is going to change her.

      I transitioned when I had to. She won’t have that compelling reason. She is arguing that she could be made whole by tearing down the gender binary and I don’t have issue with that. I have issue with her UPHOLDING the gender binary when it suits her bias.

  2. danah gaz

    Love the disposable site.

    It’s already down after no more than five days. It must have been another temporary addition to Cathy Brennan’s low rent house of hate.

  3. Reiko R.

    It is not the plèbe or the feminists that bother me… it is the psychiatrists! I don’t particuliary like them! As I thought, it is the white caucasian mâle doctors that I never had any help. I went to see an asian psychiatist for the stronger hormones. They are not purists towards the two sexual groups, mâles and females.

    … and besides, I have change my body the way I wanted, on my own by being a strict vegetarian and by having one very slight facial surgery. It was okay before but I decided to have absoletly no bone ridges that forms the eye brow. I had my adam’s apple removed and even that was superflious… anyway, I am very activist about what I am just about to say. We really do not need psychiatrists, there are always a surgeon somewhere who will do these two very little shapening surgeries on the face. I had my sexual glands remove a long time ago and had no problems. The phyto-hormones block-off the-low-sexual-hormonal side effects and I keep forgetting putting on my estrogen patches. I don’t want to have big breasts.
    It is true that the strong synthetic anti-androgènes are a solution against hursitisme and mâle-pattern-baldness but being vegetarian does help because the numerous phyto-hormones block pretty much the estrogen-expression and the testostérone conversion into the di-hydro-testostérone and also, being thin and having small bones, isn’t that a complexion of féminité… like most asian mâles.

    I am concluding. I identify myself as a “garçon féminin”, “une fille’i, a féminide of another specie. And a message for all women who are angry at all human mâles, “wouldn’t it be to your advantage, if most human mâles lose the capacité for their body to produce the mâle hormones and they become frail and “féminine” so they would be easily manageable.

    You should read about the emergeance of “les garçons herbivores” ou “les garçons féminins” du Japan. They are a majority in that country. They eat well, they are pretty and they have made an healthy choice. They flushed coïtal sex and they chose érotisme-towards-self and sensuality towards the other.

    1. Laurelai Post author

      There is so much wrong with what you just said. Here is an excerpt from the University of Maryland medical center on menopause and HRT

      Women often try herbal or so-called natural remedies to treat menopausal symptoms. There have been numerous studies conducted on various herbal products and other complementary and alternative therapies. These studies have not found that these approaches are beneficial. Some herbs and supplements can have adverse side effects.
      Phytoestrogens and Isoflavones. Many studies have researched plant estrogens (phytoestrogens), which are generally categorized as isoflavones (found in soy and red clover) and lignans (found in whole wheat and flaxseed). No evidence to date indicates that phytoestrogen foods or supplements provide any benefit for hot flashes, night sweats, or other menopausal symptoms. They also do not appear to help lower cholesterol or prevent heart disease. Nevertheless, soy is a healthy food choice. The best sources of soy protein are soy food products (such as tofu, soy milk, and soybeans), not supplements.

      Soy isoflavones contain genistein and daidzein, which are estrogen-like compounds. While some studies have suggested that soy food consumption may protect against estrogen-responsive cancers such as breast and endometrial cancer, other studies have indicated that high intakes of soy may increase the risks of these cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends that women with breast cancer eat only moderate amounts of soy food and avoid taking dietary supplements that contain high amounts of isoflavones.

      Other Herbs and Supplements. The following herbs and dietary supplements are sometimes used for menopausal symptoms and have certain risks:

      Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), also known as squaw root, is the herbal remedy most studied for menopausal symptoms. Although it contains a plant estrogen, this substance does not act like an estrogen in the human body. Studies have shown mixed results in preventing hot flashes. High-quality studies have found that black cohosh works no better than placebo for treating hot flashes and night sweats. Headaches and gastrointestinal problems are common side effects. This herb has been associated with liver toxicity.

      Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) does not appear helpful for hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms. Do not use dong quai with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin, because it may cause bleeding complications.
      Ginseng (Panax ginseng) has been reported to possibly help menopausal symptoms of depression and sleep problems, but it has no effect on hot flashes.

      Kava (Piper methysticum) may relieve anxiety but it does not help hot flashes. This herb is dangerous. There have been several reports of it causing liver failure and death, especially in people with liver disease. Do not use kava.
      Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) is an herb sometimes used for menstrual problems as well as menopausal symptoms. It contains a plant progesterone. However, like black cohosh, there is no evidence that the human body can convert this substance into a hormone. Patients should be aware that some commercial herbal wild yam products contain prescription progesterones. (For more information on progesterone, see Hormone Replacement Therapy in Medications section.)
      Evening primrose oil has not been shown to be superior to placebo. It may increase the risk for seizures when taken with certain types of drugs.

      Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a weak male hormone secreted by the adrenal gland. It is available as a dietary supplement. DHEA has no benefit for hot flashes and may increase the risk of breast cancer.
      Generally, manufacturers of herbal remedies and dietary supplements do not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell their products. Just like with drugs, herbs and supplements can affect the body’s chemistry, and therefore have the potential to produce side effects that may be harmful. There have been a number of reported cases of serious and even lethal side effects from herbal products. Patients should check with their doctors before using any herbal remedies or dietary supplements.

      Source: Menopause | University of Maryland Medical Center
      University of Maryland Medical Center
      Follow us: @UMMC on Twitter | MedCenter on Facebook

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