It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Masonic Lodges and the issues surrounding transgender people/members

page: 1
2
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 03:50 PM
link   
After reading more and more instances of transgender people and how they're being allowed to join same sex clubs, I got to wondering about the Masonic Lodges.

Before I begin, I'm not looking to turn this thread into a heated argument or even a debate. I'd just like to hear opinions and stories that may pertain to this issue. Thank you in advance for civil discussion and participation!
Second, please forgive me if I use any of the transgender terms incorrectly. I'm not very informed about this topic and may use terms and expressions in the wrong manner. Please accept my apologies up front. Thanks again!

Here are my questions:
1. Would a transgender male be allowed to become a member of a Masonic Lodge?
2. If a woman was an Eastern Star and decided to undergo hormone therapy and other procedures to become a man, would she/he be allowed to become a Mason?
3. If a transgender male was already a member of a Masonic Lodge and it was later discovered that the man was actually a transgendered female, would they be forced out of the Lodge?
4. If a Mason declared that he was going to undergo treatment to become a woman, would he have to become an Eastern Star?

The girl scout thread about the transgender boy got me thinking about this and I hope nobody is thinking that I'm writing this as a joke or making a mockery of the subject. Times are changing and I often wonder if groups as ancient as the Masons have ever discussed this topic and thought about how they will, or if they will, conform to fit a changing society.

Have any Masons ever heard of this issue happening within a lodge or maybe this has already happened in your lodge? Have the lodges ever discussed this sort of topic? Would certain rules have to be altered or new rules created to allow equality and block any type of discrimination? Do you ever believe that it will come to a point where the Masons and Eastern Stars simply become all one lodge because of gender specific/identity issues?

The 21st century is presenting us with many complicated and interesting issues. Many of us are having to look deep inside ourselves to answer whether or not we are accepting of these changes in all or just parts of our lives.

Again, I welcome any civil discussions and look forward to reading the replies.




posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 04:36 PM
link   
At no time would a non-female be invited into the Masons. The rest of your questions are null because if your part of the Lodge your used to keeping things to yourself as well as information not available to others, including our fellow Brothers. So why would you reveal information regarding your Sex change or orientation?



posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 04:46 PM
link   
reply to post by Toolatetotalk
 


I thought that you had to ask to be a Mason and that nobody was ever "invited" as you say.

But, regardless. I understand the definition of 'Fraternity' and offered scenarios when a current member may change genders, so some of my questions are not insignificant as you have decided.

Many years ago, I worked at an auto garage as a cashier. One of our regular customers decided to become a woman after being married for several years and having three kids. Every time he entered the store, he would be dressed as a woman. We never treated him any differently.
Are you under the belief that this would never ever happen in the future of Masonry?
Or are you just in denial?



posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 04:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by Afterthought
1. Would a transgender male be allowed to become a member of a Masonic Lodge?


As a personal disclaimer I do not consider people to have undergone sex change operations as now part of the sex opposite of which they started, i.e. just because you have your plumbing removed does not make you a women, just a guy with boobs and no equipment. So I would have to say this would not be a problem to me.

On a side note I have seen some heavy weights come through that had some serious moobs, so it would be kind of hard to tell since you always keep your shorts on.


2. If a woman was an Eastern Star and decided to undergo hormone therapy and other procedures to become a man, would she/he be allowed to become a Mason?


I would say no because of my above mentioned take on the situtaion. Also, Masons have taken an oath not to be at the initating, passing and raising of women.


3. If a transgender male was already a member of a Masonic Lodge and it was later discovered that the man was actually a transgendered female, would they be forced out of the Lodge?


For the same reason I would say yes since, to me, they lied on their initial application for membership about being a man.


4. If a Mason declared that he was going to undergo treatment to become a woman, would he have to become an Eastern Star?


All Master Masons are automatically open to be members of the Eastern Star.


Have any Masons ever heard of this issue happening within a lodge or maybe this has already happened in your lodge? Have the lodges ever discussed this sort of topic?


No to all.


Would certain rules have to be altered or new rules created to allow equality and block any type of discrimination?


Good question, I have no clue.


Do you ever believe that it will come to a point where the Masons and Eastern Stars simply become all one lodge because of gender specific/identity issues?


I hope not. The fraternal aspect appeals to me and I would not want to see it change.



posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 05:04 PM
link   
reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


Thank you so much for your thoughtful and honest responses!


I realize that some may consider this thread to be ridiculous, but I don't see it as being all that strange or impossible for something along these lines to occur within a lodge. I mean, stranger things have happened, right?

I wouldn't doubt that any of these scenarios may never have even entered a Mason's mind, so I thought I'd open it for discussion. I mean, why would they unless someone close to them was undergoing a gender "transformation". Besides, you never know when this issue may come up, so one would think it should be discussed now instead of being caught off guard.

Thanks again and best wishes to you!



posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 08:49 PM
link   

Have any Masons ever heard of this issue happening within a lodge or maybe this has already happened in your lodge?


Believe it or not, yes.

One of my lodge brothers is a PDDGM and is regularly called to serve on the juries of Masonic trials. He actually has been called on a trial such as this, the verdict of which was unanimous expulsion, the opinion being that the "man" portion of the further light or benefit no longer applied. (It probably didn't help that the Mason on trial gave "I still want to go to the Masonic home" as his reason to desire continued membership.)


Do you ever believe that it will come to a point where the Masons and Eastern Stars simply become all one lodge because of gender specific/identity issues?


First, as has been mentioned, Masons already can become Eastern Stars (who are organized into chapters, not lodges). Second, I can't really see 1-ish% of the population driving the agenda for Freemasonry, especially given the demographic unlikelihood of their ever becoming Masons in the first place.



posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 09:28 PM
link   
reply to post by OnTheLevel213
 


First, thanks for offering your personal account of this happening within your lodge and the outcome.
I am happy to hear that it was brought before everyone and discussed instead of running the person out as an act of bullying. It's only the responsible and respectable thing to do to see how the majority feel about it. I have to admit though that I do feel a bit bad for the person since they probably really did want to keep attending, but the majority voted and there's not much that can be said after that is concluded and decided. We all make choices in life and have to suffer the consequences -- especially when they're not in our favor. Alas, we must do what makes us happy first, then deal with the rest as it comes.

PDDGM?
I'm not familiar with this. Can you explain?



I can't really see 1-ish% of the population driving the agenda for Freemasonry, especially given the demographic unlikelihood of their ever becoming Masons in the first place.


You're probably right about this and I have to admit that I felt the same way as I was thinking about this predicament. It's such an ancient (if this is the proper term) association that I wouldn't see many changes being implimented for so few persons.

I'd also like to say that I was never aware that Masons could be/were also Eastern Stars, but I'm happy that you and the other poster mentioned this as I've learned something new.

Thanks for contributing to the thread and shedding some light on a twenty first century issue.

Best wishes to you!

edit on 27-10-2011 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-10-2011 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 09:52 PM
link   

Originally posted by Afterthought
First, thanks for offering your personal account of this happening within your lodge and the outcome.


It wasn't my lodge, but it was within my state. The Grand Master keeps a couple of people on call for trials; the idea that Freemasonry is run by a few connected men is both truer and more mind-numbingly mundane than a lot of ATSers realize.


I have to admit though that I do feel a bit bad for the person since they probably really did want to keep attending, but the majority voted and there's not much that can be said after that is concluded and decided. We all make choices in life and have to suffer the consequences -- especially when they're not in our favor. Alas, we must do what makes us happy first, then deal with the rest as it comes.


If he plans to live as a woman, I have to fall on the side of the jury here; Freemasonry is a men''s organization.


PDDGM?


I realized just after the fact that you'd have no idea. Past District Deputy Grand Master, roughly equivalent to a vice president for a Grand Lodge district (about twenty or so lodges in a given part of a state).


It's such an ancient (if this is the proper term) association


We're one of the few organizations that's not afraid of the term.


that I wouldn't see many changes being implimented for so few persons.


Resistance to change is the best and worst thing about Freemasonry, and I have to admit I'm leaning toward the former here.



posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 10:07 PM
link   
reply to post by Afterthought
 


Several Masonic Grand Lodges have already ruled that transgender peoples cannot be admitted into Freemasonry. You must be a man, born as a man and remaining a man. The last GL case I recall was a Master Mason had a sex change and became a woman, and was then expelled from Freemasonry.

You can be homosexual and join, assuming the lodge you petition isn't against it (there are some very conservative lodges) but most are open about it. But transgender is an absolute NO.



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 10:14 AM
link   
Thanks again for addressing my questions and providing considerate replies.

To the poster who stated that I'd have no idea as to what the Masonic terms mean (PDDGM, was it?), you're spot on. I've never been an Eastern Star and have no plans of joining. I still find freemasonry to be an interesting topic though and I appreciate all of you entertaining my off-the-wall questions.

I certainly have to agree with the fact that it should be up to the particular lodge whether or not a transgendered person was allowed to join. Being that it is brought to a vote is only the responsible action. I, myself, am mostly conservative in my values and have a deep appreciation for tradition and I don't blame the Masons for wanting to remain with their original rules and be adverse to change. Honestly, in this crazy, mixed up world, it's nice to know that some things do remain the same even if it's just for the sake of being consistent.

After doing a little digging, I came across this instance from hundreds of years ago:
www.masonicdictionary.com...

The Chevalier d�Eon is a mysterious and remarkable character, but he was not a �woman� Freemason. It seems highly probable that this peculiar person (born 1728 was partially an hermaphrodite, feminine in appearance, if sufficiently masculine in nature to become a distinguished soldier and one of the best swordsmen in France. In spite of a pronouncement by a court of law that �he� was a woman, his male sex was definitely proved after his death. This is more remarkable, as after a masculine career of some distinction (which included being made a Mason in London) he voluntarily admitted that �he� was a woman, and lived as such for thirty-three years.!

The world believed him at the time, and great was the stir caused by the thought that a regular Lodge had �made a Mason of a woman.� Postmortem examination restored confidence; the best explanation of his odd life is that he was insane; the worst which may be thought of him as a �woman� is that he deceived the world, Masonic and profane alike, for many years.

(Quoted material begins half way down the website's page.)

Is this a true story? Have any of you ever heard of him before?
If it's true, it's quite fascinating and I'm amazed that a similar issue as the one discussed here happened so long ago.



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 07:11 PM
link   
reply to post by Afterthought
 


Rules like that cannot be left to lodges because there are serious consequences for making a woman a Mason. Say one lodge decides they are a bit more progressive than other lodges and make a transgender person a Mason. Other lodges, or more likely the Grand Lodge, would not recognize the legitimacy of the entire lodge .. meaning everyone in the lodge could be expelled from Masonry.

It's regulations like that, the power to expel entire lodges to breaking traditions or oaths that has preserved Masonry for all these years.. change is very hard.



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 09:44 AM
link   
reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


What about issues like testicular feminization or androgen insensitivity? I realize the general public may not understand or even know about those (and many other conditions affecting the sex of an individual). We had a patient recently that was born with ambiguous genitalia who was genetically XY. This person had assumed the gender of a female and looked female, except on urogenital exam (blindly-ended vaginal canal, no uterus/ovaries, partially fused labia forming a scrotal sac, undescended testicles and clitomegaly). So, technically this person could have reconstruction to appear fully male (even though he would have orchiectomy because undescended testicles can lead to serious issues - cancer, in some cases). There are a great number of medical issues related to a patient's sex assignment at birth (and to what gender they may assume); I'm not sure masonry is fully prepared to tackle this subject. Hell, most organizations aren't.

Definitely an interesting question (especially in light of those who rail against us for not allowing women into a FRATERNITY).



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 10:07 AM
link   

Originally posted by Afterthought

Is this a true story? Have any of you ever heard of him before?
If it's true, it's quite fascinating and I'm amazed that a similar issue as the one discussed here happened so long ago.



Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont (5 October 1728 Tonnerre - 21 May 1810 London), usually known as the Chevalier d'Éon, was a French diplomat, spy, soldier and Freemason whose first 49 years were spent as a man, and whose last 33 years were spent as a woman. Upon death, a council of physicians discovered that d'Éon's body was anatomically male.

more:
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 10:17 AM
link   
reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


I think it instances like that it would not be an issue. I think that the Orginal Poster was refering more to people who make a gender decision later in life due to sexual preferences, however I could be wrong.



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 10:21 AM
link   
reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


Thanks for raising the birth defect aspect of this to demonstrate that it isn't always black and white.

How many parents who give birth to a hermaphrodite choose the sex of the child compared to those parents who wait and allow the child to choose later in life?

Although, this is a complicated and touchy subject that most don't want to address, it is a fascinating topic for discussion.



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 10:24 AM
link   
reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


No, you weren't wrong. My thread certainly began with questions surrounding the issues of transgender, but it's interesting to see how this thread is developing. It's nice to know that the people who are medically challenged in the gender department would be treated with respect and given membership.



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 12:12 PM
link   

Originally posted by AugustusMasonicus
reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


I think it instances like that it would not be an issue. I think that the Orginal Poster was refering more to people who make a gender decision later in life due to sexual preferences, however I could be wrong.



I understood that completely (OP only referred to transgender), but you'd brought up the aspect of medical reconstruction and that sort of begged the question of what I brought up.

I truly feel bad for the demographic that goes through this (the medical variety more than the attention whore variety).



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 12:31 PM
link   
reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


Indeed, in fact, unless the individual even brought it up I doubt anyone would ever know. I don't know about your lodge, but we don't ask candidates to drop trou so we can take a gander.


We save that for afterwards.


I dont think (personally anyways) that gender assignments at birth would be an issue at all .. as long as you don't retain the lady parts. In pretty much all cases the individual is assigned the sex they are either most closely to or preference leans to and grow as an adult into that sex. So a male, assigned a male, would look like a male and a Lodge would never ask "At any point in your life ... have you had a vagina?"



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 12:51 PM
link   

Originally posted by HardToStarboard
...but you'd brought up the aspect of medical reconstruction and that sort of begged the question of what I brought up.


I had not taken into account hermephrodites and was only refering to people who do this for other reasons.



posted on Oct, 29 2011 @ 12:56 PM
link   
reply to post by Rockpuck
 



a Lodge would never ask "At any point in your life ... have you had a vagina?"


That's not what I heard...... just kidding.


You would think that nobody would ever know that a person was born with both sexes, but there is the instance where you're in a small town and everyone knows everything. I have to wonder how many of these people grow into adulthood with both the penis and vagina intact.

Then, looking at the numbers, not so many are choosing surgery:

Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female:
one in 100 births

Total number of people receiving surgery to “normalize” genital appearance:
one or two in 1,000 births

www.isna.org...

Considering these numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if there were quite a few Masons who fall into this category. As long as they're not bullied or considered not worthy of initiation because of something they can't help, I really don't see why there would ever be a problem. These people surely have a more difficult time in society to begin with without being considered "not worthy".

Thanks to the poster who provided verification on the story from the 1700s.



new topics

top topics



 
2
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join