The Eunuch, The Rapist, The Whore And The Child Who Simply Knew


(trigger warning for transphobic slurs)

A few days ago I woke up to read an almost hilariously transphobic article on tv.com reviewing a recent episode of the HBO (or Showtime or AMC or whatever… one of those channels adored by critics and people who shop at Whole Foods) series Sons of Anarchy that prominently featured a transsexual (or transvestite? Or drag queen? It really wasn’t very clear) character in a comedic tilt. The review was painful, shocking and strangely distancing in just how overt and aggressive the transphobia therein was. The writer had absolutely no compunctions about addressing the character almost exclusively by slurs (“shemale” was even in the title), and made no effort whatsoever to conceal just how hilarious and zany and wacky and kinky he found the very concept of a trans woman.

This was mostly just the usual kind of depressing bigotry and ignorance I find whenever I engage our culture, but shortly later there was something that occurred to me I found interesting, and allowed me an opportunity to reexamine some mistaken assumptions I’d made about the way trans women’s sexuality is policed, erased or subjugated in cis-patriarchy. Mistaken assumptions about the basic roles we’re forced into in cis perceptions. The character was being simultaneously positioned within both the “tranny rapist” AND “tranny whore” roles. And she wasn’t simply being swapped from one of those pre-packaged concepts to another, but occupying both in the same liminal space.

What interested me about this was how I’d previously regarded the various roles we occupy (analogous to the “maddonna”/”whore”/”virgin” dynamic forced onto women) as being discrete concepts. Discrete means by which a given trans character or archetype is constructed, and discretely simplified, fantasy identities projected onto the complexity of actual trans human beings. That was a mistake.

This dynamic, the limited set of roles projected onto trans women, or through which we’re represented, was originally conceived as a tension between the “pathetic transsexual” and the “deceptive transsexual”. In this conception, we were either broad-shouldered men-in-dresses with five-o-clock shadows and gaudy floral print dresses, who were sad, lonely, desperate, and doomed to lifelong misery: pathetic. Or we were “fake” and “artificial” women; beautiful and “realistic” but ultimately “deceiving” the people who made the assumptions that we were cisgender, and had cisgender bodies.

This idea, while representing a pretty common and certainly identifiable dynamic in how people imagine trans women also proved limited and not quite up to the task of properly articulating the way that trans women’s sexuality was policed, and the broader range of projections made in that act. It was a bit too cartoonish, and a bit too focused on how straight cis men specifically might see us in a relative lack of awareness of the realities. It also was very connected to the “passable”/”not-passable” dynamic which, while certainly false and damaging, is not the sole means by which these projections are made.

Later, the discourse shifted towards describing the “eunuch”/”rapist” dynamic. Trans women were either divorced from any sexual agency of their own, functioning only as a blank slate onto which cis fantasies may be projected or else shunted into a variation of “pathetic transsexual”, and in either case regarded as someone who has been reduced. Mutilated or had their “dick cut off” or otherwise is now less than what we were, not simply physically, but in terms of sexuality, identity, humanity and fundamental worth. The counter-concept was the trans “rapist”, in which we’re possessed of a sexual agency, but that sexual agency, by virtue of our non-normativity, our “neither, both” status, our monstrousness, our otherness, the frightening implications of our bodies and desires or even (perhaps especially) of being desired, and so on was inherently a perversion, a violation and predatory. Something dark and kinky waiting to forcefully drag you into a world of all your sexual nightmares. This often coupled with the concept of the “deceptive transsexual”, as in the still very much alive and well and common idea of “rape by deception”. That we’ve somehow “raped” a cis person if the totally consensual sex we’d had preceded overt disclosure, and followed the cis person making the normativity-driven assumption that we were cis (without bothering to ask; which is silly, if it’s really all THAT important to you that you never ever sleep with a trans person, you should ask. So long as a dealbreaker is basically harmless, it’s the responsibility of whoever has that condition to make it clear).

“Eunuch”/”Rapist” also handily overlapped with other common dichotomies used to police trans identities and sexualities, such as the gatekeeper and HBSer’s contrast between “true transsexuals” and the loose aggregation of “autogynophiles”, “transvestic fetishists”, “shemales” and “extreme cross-dressers”. The former “pure” and required to divorce themselves entirely from any expression of sexuality outside an extremely narrow, patriarchal, misogynistic and heterosexist construct, the latter “corrupted” by sexuality.

Personally, I kinda felt that eunuch/rapist was always a bit too shallow a range. In as much as the basic concept was to articulate a specific means by which trans women’s sexual agency is policed, controlled, perceived, subjugated, etc. it felt that far to many of the common concepts surrounding that sexuality, and the common archetypes built around us in media and culture, had to be sort of a bit forced to fit into one or the other, and that some absolutely held an in-between state. The “tranny hooker” for instance echoed the eunuch: in being use-able, available as a blank onto which male fantasies could be projected and in which the woman’s own sexual agency wouldn’t pose interference, often attached to the mythical “femininity” and “submissiveness” of trans women sought after by many chasers (this echo seems especially true of how real life trans sex workers are imagined and pursued). But it could also frequently echo the “rapist” in how men would feel “violated” by the simple existence of trans women available for sexual solicitation, or working a street corner in their presence, a sort of paradox that we are “predatory” simply for the “act” of being available as prey. And of course the mythical idea that trans sex workers are especially aggressive, and somehow magically “forced” all the men who’ve ever been caught employing their service to do so (a concept that courts and the public have repeatedly, ludicrously, believed). And the outright OPPOSITE OF TRUE myth that trans sex workers are especially cheap and available.

So it became necessary in my mind to imagine a tertiary branch of the construct, the “tranny whore”. This operated a whole lot like the concept of “whore” as applied to women generally, with all the attendant slut-shaming and victim-blaming, but with the added caveat that any expression of sexual desire or availability would be regarded as shameful, not simply expressions that were perceived as “excessive” or “inappropriate” or outside the boundaries, demands and desires of men. There was also a level of inherent dehumanization, with the driving perception that once a trans women has expressed any sexual desire or availability at all, she reduces herself to nothing but an objectifiable fuck-doll, a sort of kinky little sex-toy there for your kinky little adventure. Of course, the existence of sexual agency or assertiveness amongst trans women would inevitably steer the perception back towards “rapist” and “predatory” regardless.

Later I began to perceive a new construct of trans women start popping up all over the place in media and culture, like dandelions in the Spring. One minute it was wholly absent from the public consciousness, the next minute (sometime in mid-2011) it was fucking everywhere. This was The Child Who Simply Knew. The little child who was born a boy but right from the get go insisted she was a girl and wanted to play with dolls and wear pretty dresses and go to Girl Scouts. And everywhere across North America you could hear the collective, patronizing “awwwww” of the cis-patriarchal consciousness.

I believe that this concept was not in any way less about the policing of trans sexual agency.

The Child Who Simply Knew became a conceptual possibility the moment that queer-and-trans-advocacy finally severed the idea of transgenderism from the idea of sexual identity, when suddenly it became possible for the mainstream to conceptualize an alternative expression of gender separately from an alternative expression of sexuality. Prior to that, being trans was a “sexual orientation”, and the idea of trans kids was simply horrific, in that it required viewing children as potentially sexual beings. Once gender and sexual orientation had finally been decoupled by the progress of growing queer awareness, Trans Kids offered a pre-sexual and therefore non-threatening and innocent iteration of transgenderism. A transgenderism that could be sold to the cis public without their reactionary revulsion, fear and self-doubt at the thought of us as sexual agents. It was all the “purity” of the Eunuch without requiring the reduction, or the conception of her as lessened, reduced, or pathetic.

This idea of pre-sexual “purity”/”innocent” as adding a special legitimacy to transgender identification, and sexuality “corrupting” it, has been wholly internalized within the trans community too, something I talked about recently in regards to the supremacy of the “I Always Knew” narrative. It goes hand-in-heirarchial-hand with The Child Who Always Knew.

The question becomes: when the little girl (I think her name was Nicole?) from the Boston Globe story, or Bobby Montoya from the Girl Scouts story, grow up, are the same cis people (and trans people!) who coo’ed and aww’d over their enjoyment of dolls going to offer the same “support” and “tolerance” for their efforts to seek sexual rights and sexual health? Are they going to support healthcare that provides them hormones and lower surgery? Are they going to support their right to access Planned Parenthood, or women’s shelters, or women’s crisis lines? Are they going to be there for them if they’re sexually assaulted or abused or raped? Are they going to fully include them in women’s spaces, as women, and in trans spaces, as trans women, without a bunch of policing bullshit about the particulars of their histories and bodies? If either one of them grows up to be queer, are they still going to support their right to define their own identity? How about if they grow up to be butch? Or non-binary? Or poly? What if they decide to take up sex work?

Fuck no. Those same people who were all about the rights of a pure, innocent child to purely, innocently enjoy playing princess are going to turn their backs the very second sexual agency emerges.

All that said, not any of these concepts any longer to me seem as discrete and distinct. Instead they overlap, bleed in and out of one another, and get swapped out, relative to whatever the cissexist demands and desires need them to be for a given context. Like if you’re to be desired as pure and submissive and to be grateful that anyone would ever want you, you’re the eunuch, and then the moment you assert a boundary and say that you’re not comfortable with a given act or situation, you shift to being a deceptive, predatory bitch who tricked him, right up until you’re shamed and threatened back into submission, and then become a whore who “wants” to being treated as a disposable object. When they need to justify murdering you, it was “rape by deception”. When they need to justify ridiculing and humiliating you, you’re “just some dude who cut his dick off”. Etc.

This seems like a relatively obvious truth of how perceptions shift to keep a real life marginalized person in place, not at all unlike the Catch 22s, but what interests me is how this plays out in regards even to fictional archetypes, characters constructed wholly from cisgender imaginations. Even there, the manner in which we’re degraded and defined by their fears and fantasies doesn’t remain consistent, but gleefully dances in self-contradiction. Though I guess that’s almost what such representations of how cis imagination conceives us would have to be. After all, cisgender desire and disgust in relation to trans bodies and sexualities are consistent in nothing if not self-contradiction (“I’d be mad that a trans woman didn’t tell me she was trans before I slept with her, because I’m not attracted to trans women!” “but you just said you voltunarily slept with her, so you were-” “But I didn’t know she was trans then!” “But you just admitted you were attracted to someone who-” “RAPIST!”).

There’s a paradoxical simplicity to it, though. Rather than eunuchs, rapists, whores and innocent children, there’s really only one role we’re forced to play in cis-patriarchal designs for our sexuality:

Always only, all and exactly what they desire, are disgusted by, fear to become, and fear to desire.

Comments

  1. rq says

    I love reading your posts again. Very glad you’re back, and I wish you only the best!
    Thank you for the awesome read.

  2. Kizzy says

    I find myself questioning my motives from time to time. It’s frustrating to feel shame for something I haven’t consciously done or been able to find a subconscious perversion behind it. How do you focus on living life if the world tells you you’re doing it wrong despite other people getting a pass? I’ve absolutely internalized this transmisogyny.

  3. says

    The Rapist and The Whore (and a bunch of other horrible cissexist representations) have been occupying the same liminal space for a long time. The last time I noticed it was in The Hangover II, in which one of our dudebro heroes wakes up after a tryst with a Thai ladyboy prostitute that he doesn’t remember. The implication is that the prostitute “raped” him. Worse, this depiction also included The Deceiver, as well. All told, the worst of all possible worlds. The trans character was played by trans porn star Yasmin Lee, which is disappointing, I guess, though I won’t begrudge her the paycheck (and I’d probably take it myself). I just wish that survival in our society wasn’t contingent on participating in our own oppression.

  4. says

    Prior to that, being trans was a “sexual orientation”, and the idea of trans kids was simply horrific, in that it required viewing children as potentially sexual beings.

    Although I totally agree that gender identity and sexual orientation are and should be treated as different things, I think that a big start of the problem lies in the second part:
    The denial that children are sexual beings.
    Their sexuality is different from adult sexuality. Parents who don’t freak out at the very idea of this usually notice pretty early.
    Others notice too and that’s when they start policing it.

    • says

      I agree. However, our general culture still finds the idea of children as sexual beings to be horrifying. Possibly, frighteningly, because they’re scared that will erase their ethical boundaries. That they need to say children are pre-sexual in order to successfully cordone them off from their own desires. Which is, you know, creepy as hell; that those kinds of myths are necessary to keep people from hurting children.

      And often STILL don’t keep people from hurting children.

      • Hazumu says

        Our society sexualizes children from the moment we know what genitalia they come equipped with (think ultrasound.) Parents, relatives, friends and strangers project gender on to the child, and with it, the implied sexuality that goes with it. Then they try to keep the latter secret from the ‘innocent’ children for as long as possible, all the while reinforcing the former stereotypical gendered behaviour. The evidence that this is so is in the names called children whose gender personality presentation is at variance with the accepted norms – boys who exhibit girl-typical behaviour are ‘fags’, ‘queers’ and ‘homos’, while girls who exhibit boy behaviour are called ‘dykes’ and ‘butch’.

        • says

          Gendering and sexualizing, while very connected, are two different processes. We gender first, sexualize later. Sexualization is done differently in accordance with how a body is gendered, and people may be gendered somewhat differently in light of how their sexuality is expressed, but those are nonetheless different processes.

        • im says

          Also, there is a hierarchy. In increasing level of unacceptableness to cissexists : Unconventional gender interests/homosexuality (the former often applauded), butchyness/femmeyness, transvestism/genderqueer/etc, acutual transexuality.

          Of course, sexuality and gender have this big link…

          What about gendering based on imperfect (due to small but significant proability of error, i.e. prevalence of transexual people in the population) observation?

      • says

        I think the important thing I learned about my children’s sexuality is that it is 100% self centred. It revolves around themselves and their own bodies, nobody else. The only thing I had to do was to insist on clean hands.
        But that’s derailing, I’m sorry.

  5. tommorris says

    suddenly it became possible for the mainstream to conceptualize an alternative expression of gender separately from an alternative expression of sexuality. Prior to that, being trans was a “sexual orientation”

    Well, to be fair, it may have had something to do with the fact that trans has always been rather uncomfortably thrown together with sexual orientations in acronyms like LGBT, for political and social reasons (the not-always-justified belief that LGB cis people might be able to empathise and understand trans people slightly better than the hetero+cis world).

    ‘The mainstream’ as you call it doesn’t always think very long or hard about this stuff. It’s not exactly surprising that they kind of suck at understanding it: they just about wrap their head around the idea that there are gay and lesbian people, then mentally stick bisexuals and trans people in the same ‘queer’/’LGBT’ box and then try not to think too hard about the specifics.

    • says

      It’s a conflation made way before “LGBT”–it’s that when “the mainstream” thinks of “not normal” behavior for men or women, it becomes the same way they think of kink: sexualized, tempting sin. That’s been around for at least half a millenium in Europe and its colonies; I’m pretty sure you can look at the Devil figure to see this. Or study how racism against Native Americans was constructed partially by portraying them as “sexually deviant” by colonists, because they found tribes had people in them who would probably identify as “transgender” and/or “gay” in our culture.

      So the idea that people have caught on to a concept of “gender” as distinct from (though connected to) “sexuality”, is kind of a good thing for everyone, not only queer folks. But Natalie makes strong points, about how Othering can be so intense for some grues that they’ll turn a sympathetic Child Who Knew into an “ungrateful” adult. And doesn’t something like that happen with views of a lot of children in oppressed groups, once their adult agency starts showing?

      • says

        Incidentally, it’s not just the grues who I see such hypocrisy in. Teh Tranz Community is also extremely policey and hatey towards adult trans women who sought medical intervention as minors. Often they engage in very open displays of bitter contempt and jealousy, they erase the possibility that such women could have ANY problems or difficulties or pain at all, actively push them out of the community and claim they don’t belong, and even erase them as being “really” trans at all. This also occurs passively, with the discourse and resources for trans women being specifically built around those who have the standard, recognizable narrative of post-adolescent transition in which a masculinzed body is then feminized.

        • says

          There’s also alot of externally enforced separation: Adults aren’t allowed to interact with children. They’re seen as corrupting.

          And there’s a bit of internally enforced separation on the part of youngsters: They have little in common with older transitioners. So who wants to hang with them? Those who transitioned ten, twenty years ago, who wants to deal with that level of instability again and again? It’s selfish, but understandable.

          I was in a youth peer conseling group. At the time I left, they were lowering the age of those allowed in to cut out the college students. Now it’s to the point that there’s no support for anyone between twenty and fifty. Very frustrating; youth have no one to look for experience from, commonalities – and elder transitioners getting no support from an experienced, living community.

      • im says

        Good question. I wonder if someday a prenatal test for gender might be developed and people able to transition before puberty?

        • says

          A prenatal test would never be accurate or ethical.

          There are likely neurological traits that predispose people towards transgenderism, but gender is ultimately a sort of “language”, and inherently cultural. Gender isn’t a trait, it’s a means by which we understand and express ourselves to one another; in relation to our anatomical sex, our sexuality, our feelings and desires about those things, all filtered through the lens of culture and language. Gender is a semiotic thing. It’s inevitable, but emergent, and inherently socio-cultural in nature. There are real physiological and neurological phenomena underlying it, which are part of what gender expresses, but those don’t DETERMINE gender. A “brain scan” couldn’t really predict someone’s “gender identity” any more than seeing an infant’s genitals on an ultrasound can predict it.

          Assuming a “trans” neurological trait were ever “identified”, there would inevitably be people without that trait who wish to transition, and people with it who don’t. All that would offer would be a brand new way for doctors to engage in shitty gatekeeping and undervalue the wishes and autonomy of the patient. Not to mention how it would open up the possibility for selective abortion, or various attempts to “cure” children of teh trans before they even express any such feelings.

          I think NOTHING good could possibly come from such a test. And a whole lot of nightmarish things would.

          And no such tests are necessary for medical intervention before or during adolescence. The only thing that should be necessary is the child / teen expressing their desire for such intervention, and offering informed consent.

        • Concentratedwater, OM says

          Yeah, and maybe we will develop a pediatric neurological test which indicates a proclivity toward rape, and we can sterilize these people prior to puberty?

          I mean, come on now. SMH.

        • says

          I wonder if someday a prenatal test for gender might be developed

          That presumes that gender is fully and irrevocably set, either by genetics, very early hormones levels or some other such factor or combination of factors, before whatever point where you administer the test.
          That’s a pretty big assumption and if we’re wrong, it simply becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because we’ll be altering people to fit whatever we’ve decided that they “really” are.

          There’s a long and sordid history of society deciding what box an individual fits into and changing them to fit that box. It’s a tricky business once you start deciding for others what’s best for them.

  6. says

    “The Child Who Always Knew” – that’s a good name for it. It’s made me do a lot of soul searching. What does it mean that I didn’t “always know”? I mean, I was always questioning, but the answer wasn’t always there. Or what if I merely imagined always questioning to make myself feel better (memories are wibbly wobbly things, after all)? I like to think of myself as rather secure in my sense of identity, but if this is capable of shaking me up a bit, I can’t see how it could be anything but destructive to the gender narrative at large.

  7. Fey Trickster says

    ” One minute it was wholly absent from the public consciousness, the next minute (sometime in mid-2011) it was fucking everywhere.”

    Not about that trope specifically, but it seems mid-late 2011 signaled a pretty huge shift of trans visibility in general. With the story about the Girl Scout and the resulting cookie drive, ‘the child who always knew’, etc, The Taskforce’s report in late 2011, and so forth, it seems that 2011 signaled some sort of shift in transgender advocacy and visibility, and a pretty extreme one at that. Whether it’s ultimately a good or a bad shift remains to be seen, but I think it’s a significant rhetorical turning point.

    Also, glad that you’re back! I really love your pieces.

  8. says

    I do think there are good things about hearing stories of trans girls, though I was worried (perhaps still should be) about people imposing medical restrictions like “no Lupron allowed”. If trans women are acknowledged to have childhoods, even archetypical ones, that goes against the very strong misconception of them as “fake” in identity. But that doesn’t take away from your points about sexual agency at all.

    So, I left off the first half of the article and came back, but it was very much worth it.

    • says

      What I specifically find interesting about The Child Who Simply Knew archetype is that it’s the one mainstream representation in which the gender ISN’T written as fake and artificial. I find that it’s extremely illuminating of what the mainstream cis consciousness requires in order to perceive the gender as legitimate:

      – non-sexual and therefore “pure”
      – normative and expressed through the codes of initial, coercive gender assignment: pink, dresses, playing with dolls, princesses, etc.
      – white, middle-class, “family-friendly”, etc.
      – “Simply knew”: No doubt. No questioning. No fluidity. Absolutely as binary and normative as trans gender can possibly be.

      It’s more complex than that, but basically by looking at The Child Who Simply Knew (a trans archetype that’s embraced) in contrast to all other trans archetypes, which are degraded, vilified, dehumanized, objectified, disposable, etc. we can learn a lot about the “shape” of trans-misogyny in our current mainstream consciousness, and what is currently driving it.

      • says

        I don’t get that one, really, because it asserts memories which we know to be selective and reinforcing. It’s just unlikely, but I don’t want to deny anyone their self-identity. If that’s how they see themselves, sure.

        There is a reason for it to be embraced, though; this is how many children internalize gender: They see it around them, in the culture they’re steeped in, and choose to conform. An example I remember my sister – in a family where no female member wore dresses – demanding, as a two year old, that she wear nothing but dresses, ‘because that’s what girls do’.

  9. opposablethumbs says

    Apologies if I’m too far off-topic, but I just wondered what anyone else thought of the 1996 film Different for Girls about the relationship between a transwoman and the bloke who was her best friend at school (when she was living as a boy, before starting transition).

      • opposablethumbs says

        I had to look that up, I had no idea it was the same actor! :)

        I thought the film was really good. Anyone else around here seen it, and did you like it?

    • northstargirl says

      I liked it a lot. I appreciate how it portrays Kim as a human being who’s trying to live her life the best she can. It has a few moments that make me cringe with recognition, and a few heartwarming moments too. I think it’s definitely worth seeing.

      • opposablethumbs says

        Yes, I thought the portrayal of Kim was respectful – and she was a real 3D person with imperfections and strengths and weaknesses and desires, like she wasn’t being pinned up to be the Representative of All Transpeople or something. I think the audience could see why she had so much more reason to be afraid, too, which also made the courtroom scene powerful. I also thought the way the courier character (argh, his name’s gone out of my head) fucks up was good. Though I’m not quite sure how I feel about the ending.

  10. Gwen says

    I find it odd that you couldn’t be bothered to check the name of the girl “from the Boston Globe story”. If there was ever a list of ways to dehumanize a person, not bothering to check their name is near the top of the list.

    I agree with much of what you say regarding the roles projected onto us, but to attack the validity of a child’s account of their experience seems unnecessarily insensitive. It is true that that the “child who simply knew” narratives can seem very simplistic in comparison to the emotional complexity experienced by people who struggle with gender issues for a longer time, and yes the media seems to have latched onto these accounts in recent years, but please consider an alternate explanation.

    In the last few years children with all sorts of different developmental experiences have been mainstreamed in public schools. Rather than viewing these children as something to be isolated from “normal” kids, the approach instead focuses on making them feel safe, welcome and able to prosper in the mainstream environment.

    Viewed from this light (that of integration of differently developing children rather than a focus on sexuality), the media’s emphasis on the “child who simply knew” does not necessarily have such negative connotations.

    • says

      I see your point about kids being accepted in schools, and agree that it’s not always negative. But the first and most interesting story I read about Nicole was actually one about her dealing with the school administration and getting an ACLU award, not the one called “the child who simply knew.” It is the ACLU story that really speaks to her strength and that of her family, as well as illustrating how school administrations need to deal with harassment of trans girls. So if it’s “the child who simply knew” story that has spread even half as much as the “teen gets ACLU award” one, I think there’s a pretty clear problem there. It’s an indication that reporters who write “Child who Knew” stories may be focused on romanticizing stories of gender, not be sincerely engaging with trans girls as real people with distinct personalities and/or accomplishments. And it’s no attack to say that however closely some kids may fit “Child who Knew” narratives, they’re still a trope that gets projected onto kids. Nor is it an attack on children to question the usefulness of a cis public’s “awww”s when they grow up.

      Also, obviously Natalie could have looked up Nicole’s name, but how is it dehumanizing to forget the name of a person you’ve seen in one news story? It would become dehumanizing if one were criticizing or outright attacking someone, and then saying “I forget her name”, but unless you’ve already conveyed disrespect, it should be no big deal to mention a story in passing. I mean, I almost always forget the names of politicians, celebrities and people in famous stories, so my acquaintances will react to this scornfully sometimes, but nobody’s acted offended.

      • Gwen says

        She did insult the girl. Claiming that her story is a fabrication, a myth that is being championed by the media, is an insult. To further legitimize her by joking about her name is awful, especially given the importance of our chosen names.

        As someone who transitioned while on an e-mail support group for young people I can tell you for certain, “the girl who simply knew” is not a new thing. Yes, it can quickly become toxic when it is used to claim one person is more real than another person…but that doesn’t change the validity of it as an experience.

  11. says

    Harry Benjamin Standards of Care have nothing to do with the corruption of ‘auto-gyno’ etc; that stuff isn’t in the standards, and shouldn’t be associated with them.

    Don’t let that asshole corrupt the only process we have of trying to identify troubled individuals who will react negatively to transition, and medical treatment for transsexuals.

  12. batdown says

    tv.com seems like one of those things where someone bought the domain name way back when the www was pretty new and now it’s like “shit, gotta do something with this domain name.”

  13. DrVanNostrand says

    I saw the episode that was discussed and found the trans prostitute scene to be very bad. It was disappointing because the show is often thoughtful and often over the top. That scene was over the top, but thoughtless and offensive. It was put together just to point and laugh at the trans character. The “whore” archetype you describe fits the character almost perfectly.

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