Wanda Morganstern: LGBT & Trans Phobic Rants Against Me
All of us who are queer get accustomed to being judged, ridiculed and attacked by LGBT-Phobic people in this world: just goes with the turf.
I'm more respectful of another person's constitution-given right to "disagree" with my life than most: as long as that same person doesn't impede my own constitutional rights in pursuit of my happiness.
Who am I to judge their opinions just because they differ from mine?
Recently had my third negative encounter with a wanna-be actress in Atlanta known as Wanda Morganstern. Mind you - I've never actually met this woman face-to-face: wouldn't recognize her if I saw her on an elevator. However - for some reason - she's obsessed with trashing me for the simple fact I was born transgender.
This sort of trans-phobic, hate-spewing has no place in the arts!
Wanda Morganstern's Transgender Phobia
My first encounter with Wanda Morganstern occurred during her divorce - I was forced to get a lawyer and provide a deposition in response to completely false allegations she made regarding interactions between myself and her soon to be Ex-husband. Although she never met me and didn't know me - she accused us of having an affair.
As I've often encountered with trans-phobia, it would appear Wanda Morganstern didn't understand the big difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. In my experience, what most of these people see is that a transsexual is just the gayest form of gay - so gay, in fact: we added breasts and decided to present as a woman.
Of course, anyone who knows me knows: I'm 100% lesbian - not remotely wired sexually to men. Accusing me of having an affair with your ex-husband is like some guy accusing Richard Simmons of f**king his ex-wife: laughable. I ignored her bigoted judgement in my court-filed legal response - sticking to the facts that no such connection ever happened and the professional relationship that was our reality.
Fast forward a few years long after their divorce. Every time Wanda Morganstern's car broke down or she didn't have enough money for rent? She would reach out to Steven for help. Too often - out of sheer kindness - he would help her financially. As we were preparing for our new business expansion - he asked that I allow Wanda to represent us on the new lease as a means to help dig her out of the financial grave he understood her to then be living. What followed were a series of disrespectful and nasty emails which I can only assume were tied to LGBT-phobia.
I found working with her as a "vendor" completely intolerable - we negated her representation. The highly skilled professionals that replaced her were nearly flawless - and earned themselves a commission following our move of almost $200,000. Seems trans-phobia is not only ugly - its also unprofitable.
The final straw came recently when a friend alerted me about a completely inaccurate hate-spewing Facebook page Wanda Morganstern created that included a screenshot image about the she / "man" working with Dr. M. Was it really necessary to add me into her hate speech platform once again? She's never met me - but continues to drag the fact I'm transgender into her expression.
I ignored Wanda Morganstern's attack and negative comments twice previously. This third time was a charm for my sense of reasonableness - hence this public response.
In her most recent Facebook post that also included her newest trans-hating post ridiculing my life - Wanda Morganstern went on a complete tirade regarding how being married to Dr. Morganstern ruined her life and completely depleted her self image.
Yet - even after only being married to him for only about six months - she opted to keep his last name for her legal identity following their spilt?
Who does that?
According to her Facebook rant, that marriage was the worst event in her life journey - yet she keeps his last name - after a marriage that lasted a few minutes longer than a hockey season?
A dear friend of mine offered potential insight into why Wanda might have done that.
A couple of years after their divorce, my best friend Kristin - then a manager at the Apple store in Lenox Mall at the time - was called over to deal with a customer with a particular problem. How did Wanda introduce herself to my dear trans-friend? As "Mrs. Steven Morganstern". Kristin knew Steven well enough to know he wasn't married to her but played along.
Kristin - whose Jewish & was a film major in college - explained that the film industry is one of the few businesses where being Jewish can be helpful to your career and Wanda "Morganstern" perhaps kept the last name in order to improve her potential success with acting. That sounds like a pretty sleazy conclusion.
Most people I've seen hold onto a new name did so to try and escape ghosts from an ugly past associated with their previous last name. I'm guessing people just wished her Happy Hanukah. That's laughable!
Wanda Morganstern - the Actor
Art - by classic definition is a manifestation of human expression. It comes in many forms and those of us who spent our life within artistic expression tend to be the most accepting of different forms of human expression - like being gay, lesbian or transgender: it's our essence. The film industry is full of great artists - I have life-long friends in that business including Academy Award winning directors, cinematographers, actors and actresses. They were among the first to openly support me in my transgender journey. I couldn't have made it without them.
For someone whose actions show such LGBT-phobic hatred - to be trying to make a career as an artist? Sickens me. Alas, I really can't judge Wanda Morganstern's skill as an actor - her real film clips are measured in seconds: not hours.
However, in my opinion - outside of perhaps acting in a film with an anti-LGBT slant? Her actions point to a person not suited for the arts community.
Wanda Morganstern would be the last person I would include in a film.
LGBT-hate has no place in artistic expression.
How to respect a transgender woman in seven simple steps
With improved public awareness of transgenderism plus better resources for transgender women, more people find themselves alongside an individual dealing with gender identity issues.
Unknowingly, you probably already encountered lots of transsexual women. In order to prosper in their new identity, transgender women work tirelessly to become near flawless in their feminine presentation.
Some transgender women face huge obstacles in this regard: they start out extra tall or with noticeably oversized male features. In those examples? Strangers often quickly surmise she used to be a man. However, for trans-women without such initial handicaps? You would never know without further or constant scrutiny. Thus, most people don’t realize how often they already encountered lots of transsexual women - particularly in larger cities.
Perhaps someone you know or someone you work with recently disclosed they’re transgender and started their “transition”.
How do you properly respect such a transgender person? Simple - there’s just a few essential instructions:
What is Transgender?
Introduction to Transgenderism
Variations in Transgender Expression: What's the differences?
How to respect a Transgender Person
Men Dressed as Women
Urban Dictionary: Transgender Terms
Urban Dictionary: Transgender Slangs
What do I do if I think the girl you're dating might be transgender?
My husband watches shemale porn: Is he gay?
1. Use the appropriate gender pronoun
If you’ve known us for a long time in one gender and must get acclimated to another? That’s difficult - particularly at first. We know that - and won’t take offense if you slip now and then and still call us he. However, it can be dangerous if you slip too often - particularly in public environments. We never know when we might be seated next to a person who would react intensely by such disclosure. Also, we prefer to safely visit the ladies room without confrontation when nature calls.
What’s the easiest way to get accustomed to using to our new pronoun? Use it - even when we’re not around. Oftentimes, amongst a group of old friends, somebody starts referring to us as “he” - when its now “she” - and others chime into that same rhythm.
Would you like to be a transgender person’s hero? Then always use she and have the courage to correct others when they get it wrong.
2. Never use a mean “He”
The transgender equivalent of the N-word is the “mean he” - where somebody uses this masculine pronoun as a weapon to publicly out or demean a transgender woman.
It’s one of the cruelest things you can say: thus, please don’t!
3. Realize - We’re still the same person underneath
Transgender people dealt with trans-issues since childhood. In fact, we’re usually aware of our transgenderism between the ages of five and seven years old. Although we might not fully address the issue until we’re older, it’s always been a big part of our personally and existence.
Thus, the person you knew before we started transition is exactly the same person you see today. We might outwardly look and act different. However, underneath it all? We’re still the same friend, brother, co-worker, husband or father you always knew.
One of the most challenging aspects of changing genders is the loneliness during our transition phase. Some people pull away due to varied degrees of prejudice. This is but one reason our attempted suicide rate is an astounding 41 percent compared with 1.6 percent for the general population - according to a study called the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
What’s the most valuable gift you can offer a transgender friend? Open your heart to accepting her journey and open your eyes to the reality that the exact same friend you knew before? Is still there.
4. Don’t ask about our genital configuration
The first question on the tip of almost everyone’s tongue when they knowingly meet a transsexual woman - particularly if she’s quite passable and obviously evolved in her journey? Has she had the “final” surgery? This procedure - known as GRS: Gender Reassignment Surgery is very expensive and requires substantial recovery time from work to complete. Thus, lots of transsexual women haven’t yet completed this step. If you ask such a personal question about something she often can’t control? It can be a source of anguish.
Please don’t ask this question. It’s rude – like asking a breast cancer survivor if she still has her tits.
However, if you’re aware a transsexual woman recently completed GRS? It’s appreciated and appropriate to offer a congratulatory comment.
5. Be sympathetic to how challenging it is to successfully change a gender
Changing a gender is very challenging. The process to complete the physical changes is brutal and expensive. However, mastering the thousands of nuances that mark the difference between men and women requires years of constant study and practice.
Early on? We might wear too much make up, too much hair, or show too much leg or cleavage - too much is sometimes analogous with “dressing like a transsexual”.
If you think you can help us improve our feminine presentation through tips and advice? By all means volunteer that information. However, keep in mind that our new gender identity is younger than our chronological age. Thus, we might have teen girl-like sensitivity to perceived criticism. Please be diplomatic.
6. Don’t out us before we meet someone unless necessary
While an accidental “he” might cause others to surmise we are transsexual, associates sometimes share those details just before we’re introduced to new people.
Unless we’re new to transition and it's painfully obvious we’re transgender - and thus you consider it important to share that fact and related etiquette with someone whose meeting us for the first time - please try not to tell everyone in advance. It creates an effect similar to if we unexpectedly rolled up in a wheel chair: it’s all someone sees when we first meet.
The prettiest transsexual women often get pre-outed more often than us “Plain Janes” - as a veiled compliment. “You’re not going to believe she’s transgender” is a common but devastating way of telling others how much you admire her hard work and journey. Again, please try and let her first meet the person without prior disclosure.
7. Don’t out us in public settings
Aside from occasionally slipping and using the “he” pronoun, friends will sometimes “out” us in public settings because of the unique story associated with our friendship. I once had a dear girlfriend do this as we chatted with a couple seated next to us at a fine restaurant. The evolution of our association from my male self to my new female identity is a colorful story. However, in public? It’s not a good idea to share with strangers. You just never know when someone might react sternly to such trans-disclosure.
So please - try not to out us in public.