Clearing the air on Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White’s departure

Jeff White disrespectful to the very last tells Facebook friends he was "Forced by the trannie armada."

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

According to a press release by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center [MGCRC], the Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of founding member Jeff White due to a controversy surrounding some anti-trans statements made on his Facebook page during the Memorial Day weekend.

The release states, “While we greatly appreciate Jeff’s contributions to this organization and to the larger Mississippi LGBTQ+ community, we are saddened by the most recent turn of events that ultimately led to his resignation. We would like to reaffirm our commitment to freedom, fairness, respect, and equality for all in our community.”

The MGCRC states that it will remain committed to their goal of creating and fostering a cohesive LGBTQ+ community in South Mississippi and the greater state. The center is now in the process of rebooting its organization as a result of the aftermath and the Executive Director’s actions.

WXXV-TV 25 in South Mississippi reported that “The LGBTQ+ community suffered a blow today as the founder and executive director of the Rainbow Center resigned.” It goes on to say that after a week of abuse, “White has been under constant attack on social media from the very community he fought for, stemming from comments he made on Facebook about the way he identifies himself.”

In an emotional statement, Jeff said to WXXV-TV 25, “The one thing that we get taught more than anything else in this community is that you are not allowed to define a human being, by your own beliefs, by any definition in any book ever, anywhere. We define ourselves, that’s what our pride is about. That’s why we have pride in ourselves, that’s why we have pride in our community, because we stand up for ourselves and we don’t put up with this crap.”
The definition Jeff is referring to is the term cisgender, a word he was labeled during a conversation between him and a well-known trans activist.

As a point of reference, cisgender and transgender are terms derived from Latin. Cis meaning “on this side of” while Trans meaning “on the other side of,” thus anyone who is not transgender, is considered cisgender. In other words, if you are not transgender, you are cisgender, or a person who identifies with the sex they were born as.

In it’s simplest terms, Wikipedia describes Cisgender and cissexual “(often abbreviated to simply cis) as related types of gender identity where individuals’ experiences of their own gender match the sex they were assigned at birth. Sociologists Kristen Schilt and Laurel Westbrook define cisgender as a label for “individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity” as a complement to transgender.”

Mississippi media has painted Jeff as the victim and the trans community as the aggressor, but taking a look at why Jeff White tended his resignation to the MGCRC tells another story, one that the local media has refused to investigate.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff WhiteJeff White is correct, “you are not allowed to define a human being, by your own beliefs, by any definition in any book ever, anywhere…,” however, during a recent conversation prior to his resignation, Jeff defined a trans woman by calling her a man and a dude, the cardinal sin of being an ally to the trans community. GLAAD constantly reports on incorrect pronoun usage in the media and has a whole section in their media guide concerning pronouns and incorrectly gendering people who are transgender. Executive Directors for every LGBTQ+ organizations nationwide should without question adhere to this principle as a base line to include the ‘T’ in your organization’s mission.

The deliberate misgendering alone by an Executive Director of a major regional state LGBTQ+ organization should be grounds for immediate termination; sadly, incorrect pronouns and gender usage were not the only factor in Jeff’s departure. Mr. White went on to label various trans women bitches, c*nts, males, trannies and dudes, again, behavior that should not be associated with the position Mr. White held, but over looked in the local media.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

During the 3 day verbal attack perpetrated by Mr. White on the trans community, he called for the “death of intersex” while posting the definition of intersex trying to make the point that “Cisgender is confusing in relation to people with intersex conditions.” Mr. White never went on to explain the call for death, so that can only be left to speculation.

During the 3 day ve

The exchange got so heated between him and a noted trans activist that when the community jumped in to help defend our stance on being misgendered and minimized by an organization, it ended with a threat by Jeff B. White to close down “his” organization and calling people who are transgender “fucking pompous Trans people.”

For more than 3 days, White insisted that he was not cisgender until his final “Fuck every single god damned one of you” post ended with, “There is one less cisgender person that is fighting for your rights.” Just another reminder that White is an Executive Director of an organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ issues. Jeff B. White concluded by threatening to shut down the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center.

The MGCRC is a 501 C3 non-profit organization and an Executive Director does not have the ability to shut down an organization without board approval and it would be difficult to believe that the foundation of this specific non-profit is so weak that the Executive Director would have the final say in its closure.

In reality, it takes months to close down a 501 C3 non-profit organization including filing an intent to close with the Secretary of State office, a vote by the board, a division of assets and paying any outstanding debts with the current cash on hand required by a non-profit organization. A general announcement on Facebook that you may be seizing power and forcefully closing down a nonprofit organization is for all intents and purposes illegal.

By this time, it appeared that the board of directors for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center was already in a weakened state based on the following message outlining the stress already felt by the board members, possibly by the actions caused by the Executive Director.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

On May 29th, 2015 the Board of Directors then issued a press release stating that Jeff B. White had resigned, however, over the next 24 hours, there was an alleged take over by Mr. White of their website and twitter account. Claiming that the “new leader” had never changed the passwords, Mr. White declared on Twitter that he “never hijacked” the accounts he had created and in one instance, encouraged one Twitter user, who asked about the alleged takeover and the previous Facebook remarks, to kill herself.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

On the Rainbow Center’s blog section, Jeff White posted a final entry titled “Ding Dong Jeff is Gone” verbally attacking various people within the trans community. The blog was immediately taken down by the Rainbow Center and at this time, a 404 error shows in its place and all Google, Bing, and Yahoo cached pages have been deleted showing them as unavailable on the server and inaccessible through WayBackMachine.

The issue was finally resolved later in the evening when the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center issued a tweet stating that they have regained control of their account which included blocking members of the press and those involved in the original verbal assault and installing True Twit, a Twitter service that manages and controls who can follow an account.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White

An anonymous source told Planet Transgender that Jeff White is prone to these types of rage’s and name calling; the source questioned his ability to be part of, or running an LGBTQ+ organization and that other LGBTQ+ organizations in the area were hesitant to work with him because of his previous behaviors.

Under and biased reporting on the resignation and its causes fall in line with the media’s representation of the trans community. Reporting a one sided story as WXXV-TV 25 ran without questioning the reason behind the resignation, while allowing Mr. White to victim blame, is poor journalism at best and WXXV-TV 25 in Mississippi has created a level of disgust in the national trans community for not delving further into the story, which is that the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center had to separate itself from someone who no longer represented the betterment of the greater Mississippi LGBTQ+ community without damaging its reputation.

This is the second time in as number of months that the Mississippi media has incorrectly reported or violated media standards when dealing with the trans community. As reported in this publication, the Sun Herald in Biloxi Mississippi incorrectly reported the arrest of a trans woman by violating AP Style Handbook Guidelines by using an incorrect pronoun and dead naming her in their story. The Sun Herald was met with immediate backlash as a result of their poor journalistic integrity that in a later story, pronouns and preferred names for the trans woman were used.

Inaccurate media representation aside, this is what we in the trans community have known all along, that many regional LGBTQ+ organizations see us as nothing more than “men in dresses” and when pushed to explain their views, they simply go into a cisgender meltdown releasing their true feelings about people who are transgender. We are deliberately misgendered, mispronouned, legislated against, minimized, and made to feel that the T in LGBTQ+ is silent only to have people in the greater LGB community say that it’s because we were socialized as males and we miss our male privilege.

What LGBTQ+ organizations do not understand is that we were never socialized as male or female, we never attached to what was assigned to us and we are in a constant struggle to prove our existence. We as a community are attacked daily for simply existing; should this attack really be coming from non profit donor supported organizations designed to help us or are we just the new bargaining chip to toss aside in next years legislative session when the “gay agenda” will come under attack from the right in the form of Religious Freedom Bill.

Regional LGBTQ+ organizations need to fight for their viability in the future. This summer, the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality and that debate will finally come to an end and many donors have already stated that the fight is over and the need for these organizations on a regional level will no longer exist.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center made the right decision in accepting Mr. White’s resignation and the trans community, both locally and nationally, want to see this organization survive, grow and learn from Mr. White’s actions to create an all inclusive LGBTQ+ organization.

Claire-Renee Kohner

My name is Claire-Renee Kohner and in January of 2014, I came out as transgender. My family fully supports my transition and, along with the Minneapolis trans community, my transition has been extremely positive. My journey should be fun, so keep your arms and legs inside the cart, it's going to be a wild ride.

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18 Responses to Clearing the air on Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center Jeff White’s departure

  1. Chaunce Woodmansee May 31, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Jeff White’s words were taken so vastly out of context that he resigned just so he could explain himself without a bias reflecting against him. He called for death to intersexed, nonvoluntary operations. He insists you cannot be defined by another person. Only you define yourself, but thanks to a few radical psychopathic individuals, now the rainbow center is ruined, and there will be no justice for the next trans individual put in the wrong prison on the MS Gulf Coast. I hope you’re happy now.
    P.S.-Transgender is not a religion with sins and a list of its own abominations. Have a nice day.

    • Lindsey May 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      His words were not taken out of context, nor were his repeated attacks on others. No one was mad at him for not wanting to be called cis (although technically he is) but his reaction to it. he lashed out and said transphobic and misogynistic things. He then proceeded to victim blame and bully his supposed allies.

      Also, it seems the rainbow center will be better than ever! as they are now reconnecting with allies that had to step away from the organization because of jeff’s abusive tendencies.

      That is if he can stop trying to hijack the groups web presence so he can spray more vitriol, and going to the press to lash out at allies unjustly.

      • Gloria June 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm

        How in the gay god’s name is it not hypocrisy for you to insist that he is “technically cis” when he doesn’t identify as such?

        The whole point of trans rights is to claim that the ONLY legitimate way to be labeled is self-identification. And he doesn’t identify as cis. You guys just can’t have it both ways.

        • Lindsey June 5, 2015 at 3:03 am

          because cis is not an identity, I guess you have some bad information,

  2. Ryan Mahan May 31, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I would like to clear up a few misconceptions and incorrect assumptions this article has. First, the local media did not “refuse” to report the full story. To refuse would imply we were asked to do a story and declined. It would be more appropriate to say we chose to report the facts, sans the personal attacks from both sides which lead to this situation in the first place. The facts are simply these: Jeff White helped found the Rainbow center, he headed the center and helped lead the fight towards equality for all groups, Mr. White resigned over comments made on social media and group “infighting”, and now the group will be under new management. That’s the the story in its simplest terms, all facts, no emotions, no bias. Second, WXXV has covered many Rainbow center events, the allied blood drive, the ongoing fight for marriage equality, an opening of “RENT” and its impact on homosexual culture, and when the center helped a local city pass a non-discrimination ordinance…just to name a few. The story about Jeff’s resignation did not single out any particular LGBTQ+ group (that was you, actually), so “+” not included, that gives the transgendered community an 80% chance of not being included in any internal dispute. So, calling WXXV journalistically irresponsible seems like just more name calling, the thing at the root of this entire situation, not to mention also being incredibly juvenile. Lastly, Jeff said some terrible things, and were we to do a full story on this situation, they would have been brought to light. But in the interest of being fair and balanced, I would also need to include the many equally, if not more so, offensive and horrible things these “well known trans activists” said to provoke him (something this “unbiased” article did not mention). This situation was poorly handled on all sides, so it seems more prudent to limit the damage, stop the personal attacks, and band together to continue the fight for equality for all races, genders, and sexual orientation.

    P.S. If you are in Mississippi, and want to do an interview, feel free to email me. It be happy to tell the full story…as long as it’s fair.

    • Lindsey May 31, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      your first problem with your report is that it says that he was under constant attack because of the way he identifies himself. that is simply not true!! he was under constant “attack” because he used gender slurs against all trans people.
      Secondly no one feels it is a blow to the LGBTQ+ community when a supposed ally is exposed as a bigot and misogynist and ousted from his position of power that he is responsible for protecting. lgbt people and groups around the country have refused to work with him because of his attitudes. so it is actually a joyous occasion that he is gone. Not at all a sad one as wxxv editorialized.

  3. Claire-Renee Kohner May 31, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I stand by my comments concerning WXXV-TV irresponsibility in journalism simply because it has been known for quite some time that this person was an issue.

    Giving him a platform to cry on the air and playing victim to a situation he created is in fact journalism by patsy, so if you want to play that role, your station is doing it well.

    Why do I need to be in MS to interview you? We both have email or FB chat to conduct an interview, so if you are interested, then I am too.

    Finally, nothing a trans woman, trans activist or woman says warrants being called a bitch, c*nt, man, dude, male, or in his recent tweet to me, “a vile bitch c*nt.” If you feel it does, then I’d love to hear how you can justify that type of misogyny.

    Email the editor for my email address.

    • Diva June 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      “concerning WXXV-TV irresponsibility in journalism”- says the girl who did a news article about something she was PERSONALLY INVOLVED IN. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. Thats like a cardinal sin of journalistic integrity. Get some…..

  4. Just Another Gay Mississippian June 1, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I just learned of this situation today from seeing a post on the Club Veaux Facebook page..and frankly I am apalled at everyone involved. Are all of you so goddamned perfect you have never said something insulting, inappropriate or degrading to someone else? I sure as hell have..and so has every other person I know..whether intentional or not. Yes..Mr. White obviously said some very upsetting things. But let me tell you all something about MS. This is the WORST state you can possibly be GLBTQ in. I mean the WORST. People have been insulted, beaten and killed in this state over their sexuality. They have been stalked and run out of town due to it. Their homes, cars, and property have been damaged beyond repair because of it. So to think there is an organization down here fighting for GLBTQ rights..such as the Rainbow Center is..and then something as petty and insignificant as THIS could derail it is just downright pitiful and stupid. What the hell is wrong with you people? So Mr. White felt he was being disrespected and was trying to make a point by making the other person feel what he was feeling by addressing them in a way they did not want. How many of us wouldn’t have done the same thing? And even though Mr. White was the head of an organization he helped create..again..this IS MS ya’ll..not Washington D.C…and we all know what happens when southern tempers fly..much less the southern tempers of a group of people who are used to being insulted and having to fight for the right to be respected. Couldn’t everyone have put on their big boy/girl pants and just apologized to each other like grown ass adults are supposed to do? No..of course not. Because it’s more important to whine, cry, and scream discrimination at the cost of burning down a GLBTQ ally organization..of whom it’s a miracle it even exists in such a heavily anti-gay state such as MS. And for the record..this is the FIRST TIME I have even heard of the term Cisgender..and quite frankly I don’t like nor accept it. I am a Homosexual man. Period. And we all know these terms are changing practically every year..so I doubt Cisgender is a term that is going to stick around. However..it’s not what people call us that matters..it’s what we answer to. So if you want to use the term Cisgender..knock yourself out. But don’t expect me to answer to it. I’ll call you Sir..Maam..or whatever else you want..but you don’t get to tell me what I am or answer to..no matter how many people are behind you. I sincerely hope Mr. White can return to his organization after everything cools down..because he obviously worked hard to create it and it isn’t fair he go out like this over such a stupid reason. And it IS a stupid reason. We need all the help we can get in MS to fight for our rights..but if we keep spending all this time and energy fighting and destroying each other there won’t be anything left to fight for. So can we please get over this..make the necessary apologies..and be adults and get on with our business? And thank you Ryan Mahan for providing a clearer picture of this story. Have a great day everyone.

    • doodlebug_firefy June 4, 2015 at 11:52 am

      THIS is the first time you ever heard the term cisgender?

      What rock have you been living under? What kind of LGBTQ ally doesn’t know the term cisgender?

      • Just Another Gay Mississippian June 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm

        @doodlebug_firefy

        I am a Homosexual Man. That is the term that has been used to describe men who engage in sexual & romantic relationships with other men for thousands of years now. I don’t need to learn any new terms to make me feel better about myself..or make you feel better about me or about you. If you want to label yourself something other than Male or Female, Homosexual or Lesbian, or Transgender..you go right ahead. But don’t expect others to follow your lead..don’t expect others to adopt the labels you put on them..and don’t put people down just because they don’t think the way you do.

        After polling most of my Gay & Lesbian friends..90% of them have never heard of the term “cisgender”. And many of them are very active in Gay Rights. However..100% of them told me they could care less about this new label nor feel it helps the cause of Gay Rights. As a matter of fact..many of them were offended by this label and the need for others to try to redefine who they are as people.

        So you go right ahead and call yourself whatever you want. I personally don’t need any new labels to tell me or others what I am. Nor will I answer to such labels. This doesn’t stop me from living a full and active life and supporting gay rights and causes. If anything..you should learn that being Gay, Lesbian or Transgender has nothing to do with labels. It has to do with living your life as you see fit and being respected and allowed to do so. Maybe you young GLBTQ people need to redefine yourselves at every corner to feel better about who you are. But those of us who are older..who have seen all the struggles we as a community have been through..from Stonewall to the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s to the struggle for gay marriage today don’t need new labels to get the job done.

        I was there during those struggles. I saw my friends dying due to AIDS in the 80’s and marched to give our community a voice and urge more research into a cure. So don’t tell me I haven’t done anything for the GLBTQ community just because I don’t adopt your new labels. Not only is that an ignorant thing to say it is also a very insulting thing to say to GLBTQ veterans like myself who fought for our rights in the streets while being spit on and threatened with violence way before most of you young GLBTQ members with your high ideals and forceful ways of trying to make others think the way you do were even born. I’m not a GLBTQ “ally” my dear. I am part of the community. And an elder part at that. So show some respect. And don’t shoot members of your own community just because they don’t agree with you. If we can’t be tolerant with our own and our differences..how in the hell can we expect others to be tolerant of us?

        Learn. Grow. Respect.

  5. Claire-Renee Kohner June 1, 2015 at 7:17 am

    An interview request was extended to Mr. Ryan.

  6. Claudette Imaman June 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    This is a childish an biased take on what happened. I ghosted the whole thing and while Mr white did explode quite hotheadedly, there are huge gaps in your recap about what happened. He was absolutely bombarded by a barrage of people, the author of this piece of trash included.
    If you want an unbiased take, you should report one yourself. Your Facebook page is filled with your obsession on this topic and it is absolutely disgusting. One person pissed you off and you blog an out-of-context witch hunt on here and all over your feed. Grow the hell up and get a diary Miss Kohner. The fact that your panties are so wadded up over this still just proves that Mr White is winning the war because he’s living rent free in your mind. You know nothing about what goes on here in MS. You’re just a rabble-rousing outside party who insisted to get involved because you have nothing better to do. I’ll bet your mother is so proud of you for acting a damn fool all over the Internet.

  7. Claudette Imaman June 4, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Screenshots on your personal page just reiterate my point, my dear. Classy.

  8. TheGayJeff June 16, 2015 at 5:09 am

    Here is the entire truth of what happened from the beginning up until today. Do not believe this one sided bile that Claire has written.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/16/1393668/-I-am-not-an-Anti-Trans-Activist-I-am-the-victim-of-Anti-Cisgender-Activists?showAll=yes

  9. Chris June 16, 2015 at 9:26 am

    The T community is losing friends and allies. I suggest the T be taken out of the alphabetical soup. Attacking women, feminists, gay men, lesbians etc. is your downfall. Whose gonna be in your T camp if you piss off LGB? Straight people? Good luck with your own self hatred, you project it on to everyone else.

    • Errol June 22, 2015 at 3:05 am

      You fail to realize that the cis community is indeed working diligently to advance the cause of the trans community. let’s not for one minute suppose that GLand B have some kind of self-imposed monopoly on activism relative to the trans community. There are plenty of us who are quite happy with being identified as cis, and who have spent decades advocating for the trans community. So there will be one less “advocate” standing in front of a microphone, fair enough. Rest assured this advocate will continue to house this community’s homeless, feed this community’s hungry, gather this community’s lost, and bury this community’s dead. Since I now have the additional task of addressing the issue of Jeff White’s tyrades against the community while I have been addressing the other attacks against the trans community from within, I have to go now, and continue my task of garnering the support of the cis community of the cause of the trans community.

  10. Chris April 24, 2016 at 9:17 am

    I am a Facebook friend of Jeff White. In more than a year I’ve not seen a hint of cyberbullying from him.
    I’m a big supporter of trans rights, but this story and the comments here are not only wrong–they are what I would have expected from Cathy Brennan.
    Look at all of you ganging up on one person–shame on you all.
    Maybe YOU are the problem here. Maybe YOU should let others define themselves as you demand the right to define yourselves.
    Maybe YOU should have stopped attacking and provoking Jeff before things got to this level.
    Respect is a two way street.