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Nov 20 2013

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Just reminding everyone.

tdor

55 comments

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  1. 1
    Al Dente

    Someone needs to tell Dan Savage about this.

  2. 2
    Nepenthe

    The GSA at my uni is holding a TDOR event focusing on Brandon Teena, a white, trans man who was murdered 20 years ago. Shockingly, the GSA is led by a white, straight, trans man.

  3. 3
    Keith Moon

    There is no bullying on the Daily Kos.

    In the eleven years since I washed up those shores as a leftie guy looking for sanity in a world gone mad, there has been no bullying of anyone.

    Least of all, there has been no bullying of anyone who thinks that NSA spying is horrible but that there might be some peripheral issue that might warrant discussion. That would be worser than Hitler, even.

  4. 4
    Francisco Bacopa

    I think a lot of people easily understand being gay, but trans identity is difficult for a lot of people. Not really sure why as it never becomes a relevant issue for that many people, and when it is relevant, surely you can see that there is some deep longing that overcomes all social pressures going on here. You have to respect that.

    But the recent ENDA debate has brought out all kind of crazy arguments. Supposedly cis-women will be harassed by trans-women perverts in the restrooms. Wait? Has this ever happened? And trans-women who just wanna just do their business and get outta there?

    Seems to me that what the opponents of ENDA are imagining is that is that cis straight males would for a short time pretend they are transgender in order to ender women’s restrooms and harass or rape cis straight women. I think they probably don’t care if they rape lesbians.

    Does this even seem likely? Would a cis straight male even take the risk of pretending to be trans? And anyway, if such a thing EVER happed the dude would not be covered by ENDA as he would be unlikely to establish that he was transgendered.

  5. 5
    John Pieret

    No serious criticism intended here, but MTF (implied by the graphic) transgendered people are not the be-all-and-end-all of transgenderism. Certanly MTF transgenderism, in our patriarchal society, is the most despised, most put-upon, and probably the most deadly (to those who experience it) form. But FTM transgenderism is also much discriminated against, not least because it is denegrated as women just being “butch”.

    Just a gentle reminder that all TG people need our support and care.

  6. 6
    Endorkened

    Francisco @4,

    This! I’ve been saying this for years! The day a cis man decides that his best option for getting a warm bed is showing up at a women’s shelter in a dress demanding to be called Brandi, we’ll address what to do with him right after throwing a transphobia-is-over-forever party.

  7. 7
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @John Pieret:

    Okay, show me how FtM people are excluded by the graphic.

    Seriously, are the high heels a glitter a little over the top for FtM fag boys? What. Pray tell, what specifically in the image makes you certain of not only the gender but the intended sex of the figure?

    I’ll make my popcorn, this should be good.

  8. 8
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Pieret

    MTF (implied by the graphic)

    I read the graphic completely ambiguously in this regard. It can equally be seen as FTM. Perhaps you can explain what it is you see.

  9. 9
    Rip Steakface

    @ 7 and 8

    I think it might be implied (not sure) by the fact that the silhouette in the graphic looks somewhat male (i.e., no hips), while in the center of the chest, there’s what seems to be a face with glossy lip stick and long, curly hair. That said, that face also looks like it could belong to a vocalist for a glam metal band.

  10. 10
    That Hyena Bloke

    @ 4

    That’s a good point, I haven’t encountered a single case of it. One could also point out that a cis male that’s intent on rape doesn’t even have much reason to pretend to be trans anyway, if you’re going to go into a bathroom to commit a crime pretending to be transgender is somewhat of an unnecessary step. They’d just go in and do it, it’s not like trans people get some sort of automatic protection from crimes they commit.

  11. 11
    chigau (違う)

    John Pieret #5
    I’ve tried but I cannot see which “direction” the graphic is indicating.

  12. 12
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @That Hyena Bloke:

    But, um, pretending to be trans* would um, totally make people less likely to notice you on the way to the crime or from? No one would be able to point out the direction of flight of someone masquerading as visibly trans*.

    And it would have to be visibly trans, since rapists can already masquerade as genders that they aren’t as long as they don’t look trans* while doing it. If you don’t look trans*, then how does the trans*-access provision help you?
    ===========

    @Rip Steakface:

    Well, it’s a good thing we have John Pieret @ #5 to tell us, on Trans* Day of Rememberance, how and when to assume gender and sex from appearance.

    If there’s one message that we really need to hear on TDoR, it’s some more instruction on assuming gender from appearance.
    ===========

    Some people can feel intimidated by snark or by subjects in which they don’t feel themselves expert or by topics of oppression.

    But we really have very little here, and though TDoR is over in most of the Americas – and most of the rest of the world too, I think it would be really nice to see non-trans people take a bit of the risk in this thread that trans* folk take every day:

    Why not use this space to say one thing that you, as a non-trans* person, have learned about or through trans* folk that has actually impacted your behavior.

    That last part is important. “I learned Calpernia Addams’ name” doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter where you learned it, or how long ago, but what has changed you, changed your behavior, that you discovered about or through trans* folk?

    That would be a useful purpose for this thread. And I promise not to turn any rhetorical guns on anyone who follows this model. Anyone who says something of the form suggested will get no feedback from me at all unless directly asking, and then only constructive, on topic feedback.

    Let’s make this a safe place to take a risk in telling stories that benefit non-trans* people even as they reduce trans oppression.

  13. 13
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Well-said, CD, I think that’s a great way to take the thread.

    Thanks for the remembrance, PZed. I’m horrified by how many of the poster’s statistical categories I’ve lived in.

  14. 14
    Bicarbonate is back

    As per the image above. I just glanced at it and read the words beside it. It came off as a broken, battered body, a kind of war-zone body. I guess I picked up on the crackling, cracking aspect of it, or lacerated look. Then saw the comments on it, went back and actually looked, at which time I noticed it is overwhelmingly male.

    I suppose it could be considered MtF because the outline is male and muscular but in the place of the heart is a long-haired androgynous face, could be female or young hair-metal singer. I didn’t at first notice the face. I suppose the face could also be interpreted as being made-up, lipstick especially. But then my brother-in-law, always wore skirts and make up on stage (indie rock band) and he’s cis straight.

  15. 15
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Francisco

    Not really sure why as it never becomes a relevant issue for that many people, and when it is relevant, surely you can see that there is some deep longing that overcomes all social pressures going on here. You have to respect that.

    I think it’s because the existence of trans* people means that you have to ask yourself some serious questions about sex and gender.
    What I learned from trans* people about myself is that I had to throw out some very simplistic assumptions about “what being a woman is”. And I don’t mean the social construct, I mean underneath.
    Look at the TERFs, a hate-group frothing at their mouths, making violent threats against trans* people because they can’t deal with this.
    +++
    What else did I learn: That thinking about sex and gender on a binary is like Bohr’s atomic model: Sufficient for some basic stuff but ultimately false. And unlike teaching Bohr’s atomic model, teaching these things as a binary is actively harmful.
    What I started to do is to be more of a decent human being. Not assuming that “I can’t see no harm = no harm” in things like lazily using pre-transitioning names and pronouns. I started educating people about this, because not everybody is lucky enough to have such wonderful people like you here on Pharyngula to patiently teach us privilege reeking cis-idiots about those matters (thank you. You shouldn’t have to, but the least I can do is to tell you that I really appreciate it)

  16. 16
    Dhorvath, OM

    I have learned that my habitual abhorence for gender performance was not okay, that my issues with cultural assumptions about who I am based on how I look cannot, should not, be fixed by dismissing the concept of gender, and that some of the ways I had formerly sought to show support for trans* people was a form of denial that trans* people can be who they want to be. I think that the damage I represent has diminished, but I don’t know specifically how my behaviour has changed, rather my attitude is broader and less severe than it once was.

  17. 17
    rq

    I have learned a lot about my own gender preference/presentation/identity and a lot about misconceptions I have had or have propagated… It’s rather difficult to put into words. I mean, it sounds silly to say “I learned we are all human people!!!” but that’s kind of the gist. You know, we are what we are and I can’t judge people for things that aren’t their choice. It made me uncomfortable at first, but that’s because it was a whole new sphere of knowledge. And I had to realize that, really, it’s not my business to try to impose my own worldviews onto someone else and their perceptions of themselves. I’m better, now. Better, not perfect.
    Also, I’d never realized people had so much hate for something not like themselves, or not conforming to their standards of what is proper and correct and Natural. I learned that, too, that there’s a heck of a lot of undeserved and unrequited hate for trans* people that… confuses me on a deep level, because it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that should be anyone else’s business. I’m sorry for that.
    Also, the gender binary sucks, I kind of knew that already, but reading about trans* people’s experiences, here and elsewhere around the site, really, really brought this home, along with the idea of privilege (and the difference between having it and not having it). It’s hard not to impose it (the gender binary), it’s hard to keep it at bay from society around us, it just sucks.

  18. 18
    Quodlibet

    Criminals who intend to rape people in public restrooms are not going to care about protective laws like ENDA. The existence of the law will not make them more or less likely to be rapists.

    I’m sure that trans* people have been using their preferred public restrooms for many years and that many of us haven’t even noticed. If people in restrooms are scrutinizing other people closely so as to discern whether the other people *might* be trans*, well, that’s just creepy.

    =======

    I was going to write about how I have been educated and enlightened by reading here, but rq @17 did it better than I might have done. I had no idea how ignorant and intolerant I was. I am grateful that my perspective has been enlarged on gender issues and other important human considerations.

    Years ago when I first started commenting here, I received a well-deserved drubbing for saying Stupid Things. I am glad that I went away and thought about it, then came back and kept reading and thinking and learning.

    I also had to confront my ignorance when my daughter went to college at a school with a wonderfully diverse student body. For the first time in my life, I had an opportunity to meet, and talk with, people who identify with places on the gender continuum that I’d never even considered. (Hope I worded that OK.) The challenges that some of these young people face are daunting; their bravery and love for life are inspiring.

    My better understanding affects how I vote, how I interact with people, and the degree to which I speak up when I see intolerance and ignorance. I have chosen to be an ally; it’s a clean, strong feeling. And best of all, my social circle has widened and is now richer and more diverse than at any time in my life. I am intimate friends with people who, twenty years ago, I might have ignored, or worse.

    There’s a smug feeling that people tend toward: that if we are not actively doing harm to marginalized people, then we are behaving responsibly. That’s wrong. To behave responsibly means to speak out, and speak up, for those who are marginalized. (And also, I might add, to speak to people who are marginalized – don’t just ignore them as if they don’t exist.)

    I realize that what I’ve written above sounds … smug. But it’s a way of saying — to all in this forum who have shared their stories and who have had the patience and perseverence to explain how nature works (re: gender and sexuality) and how we as humans can embrace and celebrate this wonderful diversity — thank you.

  19. 19
    Trickster Goddess

    @4

    if such a thing EVER happed the dude would not be covered by ENDA as he would be unlikely to establish that he was transgendered

    That is completely irrelevant. It is already illegal to harass or rape people in washrooms, no matter what the sex, gender or gender presentation of either party is.

  20. 20
    Quodlibet

    Following on to my comment above at #18:

    At the risk of seeming to engage self-promotion, I offer this essay I wrote a few years back on my gradual enlightment:

    http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/2011/09/tolerance.html

  21. 21
    Ada

    @5

    No serious criticism intended here, but MTF (implied by the graphic) transgendered people are not the be-all-and-end-all of transgenderism. Certanly MTF transgenderism, in our patriarchal society, is the most despised, most put-upon, and probably the most deadly (to those who experience it) form. But FTM transgenderism is also much discriminated against, not least because it is denegrated as women just being “butch”.

    Just a gentle reminder that all TG people need our support and care.

    This was posted for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Look down the list of dead. It *should* be acknowledged on TDoR that the vast majority of those killed were trans women of color, and, more importantly, that the cause of their death is not simply transphobia but the specific combination of transphobia, transmisogyny and racism directed specifically at them.

  22. 22
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    [graphic]

    The graphic style is called “grunge”. The image can also be read as perpetrator and victim.

    What I have learned from trans* people (wrt Crip Dyke‘s question/challenge): What I thought I had learned was that trans* people are just normal, fun loving people. Not particularly different from anyone else. Why I got this impression was that the little slice of urban South Africa¹ I was privileged to inhabit was pretty tolerant and down to earth. What I was not exposed to was the other side of the coin – the communities that display extreme levels of violence towards trans* people such as that the OP links to. This violence is so hard for me to reconcile in my mind. I cannot even begin to fathom what would cause this hatred towards trans* people. What is it that drives the assailants to such outrages?

    It is perhaps in the middle that I am failing to see. Between the communities of outright acceptance (that I see and understand) and of outright, even violent, rejection (that I see, even as I do not understand). In other words the inability to see the situation in anything but its extremes. What I have learned (in no small measure through Pharyngula) is that this is a form of cognitive blindness on my part. I see the extremes but not the middle.

    ¹ In Hong Kong there is very little violence across the board. Refreshingly so. It is fairly common for people to present themselves as the opposite sex of their birth. The society is quite conservative, so the battle for full legal recognition is still being fought. My exposure to trans* people is purely passing in public. What little I know about the situation here is largely thanks to the media.

  23. 23
    Mobius

    Well said. I approve of this message.

  24. 24
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The first trans person I met was a jerk. There’s really no other way of saying it.

    But the fact that he’s a jerk has noting to do with the fact that he’s trans – he’d be a jerk if he were cis.


    I managed, due to being brought up in a very rural, very conservative, very religious area, to graduate from high school without really comprehending that “trans” was something that someone could be. I then merrily toddled off to an East Coast women’s college known to be a hotbed of feminism, lesbians, and leftist politics. Within an hour of arriving on campus, someone said “heternormative” in my hearing. I’d never even heard this word before.

    At the moment when I stepped onto campus, a debate was raging over whether or not the student constitution should be re-written to replace the female-specific language (this is a women’s college, so the constitution was deliberately written to be “she” and “her” everywhere) with gender-neutral language (“the student”). The administration, while carefully maintaining the “we don’t meddle in the student government” stance that is required of them, let it be known that they were utterly baffled that this was up for debate. The resolution passed, overwhelmingly. Students gleefully paraded around campus wearing signs that simply said “STUDENT.” That year also saw physical plant announcing that they were going to stop replacing the signs for the toilets – people kept tearing down the “MEN” and “WOMEN” signs. That year also saw the election of the student-body president (a role that comes with an automatic 5-year term as a trustee), where one of the candidates formally requested to be listed on the ballot by his chosen name, not his birth name, and to be referred to in the masculine in all publications. The other candidate promptly issued a statement applauding “my good friend, [chosen name], a truly honorable and decent man.” Said statement went on to say that if anyone was considering voting for her on the grounds that she wasn’t trans, said people could shove their votes up their bigoted asses (the statement was somewhat more polite than that, but not much). Despite howling from various quarters – mostly alumnae some reason – (“It’s a women’s college!”), the debate on campus largely revolved around the student-organization budget, college dining, and whether or not the college should divest some of its portfolio for political/ethical reasons.

    I was somewhat taken aback by all of this.

    I’d spent 19 years thinking that I was a woman because I had a vulva – wasn’t that all there was to it?

    But I listened to people talk, and listened. My gender identity and my body line up with each other. But they don’t in everyone. If I had the same gender identity as I do, but had been born with a penis, I’d still be a woman. If I had the same body as I do, but a different gender identity, I’d be a man. Or not, perhaps, depending on what specifically my gender identity was.

  25. 25
    frog

    @12:

    I have learned that trans* is a real thing, and that any confusion transfolk may have about their gender is a result of cultural messages not making sense with what a transperson knows about themself. That is, the outside world is causing confusion, not the transperson.

    The concrete step I take is to unambiguously accept a person’s gender as what they tell me it is: male, female, or something else. If I know a person both before and after they come out as trans, then I switch to their stated preference of name and pronoun and use it openly and clearly. No waffling, no bullshit, no questions (other than “How would you prefer to be called?” in cases of people who aren’t choosing on the binary).

    Language has power. I will use that power to support people in being who they are.

  26. 26
    John Pieret

    I could well have mistaken the message of the graphic but I took it as a male body with a female person (in the form of the face) “inside” of it. I’ve often seen transgendered people describing themselves as trapped inside the wrong bodies.

  27. 27
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    One message of trans activism is that one can’t tell that a body is male by superficial appearances, nor can one tell gender from maleness or femaleness – though one can guess with a certain level of accuracy, that accuracy declines precipitously when one specifically enters trans* positive space.

    One is asked to question one’s assumptions, to allow oneself to be uncertain.

    Moreover trapped in the wrong body is a bullshit trope created for and perpetuated by non-trans* folk. While I don’t know and probably no one will ever know who first applied this phrase to trans* experience, we know from history that this way of describing trans* folk was embraced by trans* folk specifically because non-trans* sexist and cissexist jerks insisted on denying access to medical care unless the trans* person in front of them matched the industry-standard narrative. Harry Benjamin wrote it. Trans people read it. We parroted it back to providers who then thought, “Wow, how accurate and prescient was that HB guy! And me, because I’ve said it too. Gosh I’m smart!” Now trans* folk get pushed to describe themselves this way – and continue to use this shorthand – because of the actions of non-trans* folk.

    I know you mean well, John Pieret. Please take that energy you wish to use making things better and think about why “trapped in the wrong body” might be a bad phrase to use.

  28. 28
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    we know from history that this way of describing trans* folk was embraced by trans* folk specifically because non-trans* sexist and cissexist jerks insisted on denying access to medical care unless the trans* person in front of them matched the industry-standard narrative.

    This, exactly.

    I mentioned in another thread recently that the gatekeepers placed in front of trans* people to prevent us from getting treatment are, by the nature of the task, likely to be conservative in general bent. If they weren’t intent on saying “NO” to progress, they wouldn’t be conservative, QED. So we are forced into adopting their conservative view if we want to win their approval.

    *insert metaphor about non-human creature dancing for a hostile crowd here*

  29. 29
    Feats of Cats

    Moreover trapped in the wrong body is a bullshit trope created for and perpetuated by non-trans* folk.

    If anyone here with knowledge or experience feels like talking more about this right now, I’m interested in your perspective on why this is wrong. I seem to have been sold this bullshit trope and want to be the best advocate I can be. How did you feel?

  30. 30
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Francisco @5

    I think a lot of people easily understand being gay, but trans identity is difficult for a lot of people. Not really sure why as it never becomes a relevant issue for that many people, and when it is relevant, surely you can see that there is some deep longing that overcomes all social pressures going on here. You have to respect that.

    It’s the way transsexual people ruin a lot of myths about the “vast natural separation between men and women”. A new hormone bath and boom, all those secondary sex characteristics start displaying strongly. Furthermore, a transsexual can see directly the difference in privilege, thus having a damn strong argument for how both it and sexism works. Additionally, it’s probably an existential crisis to consider for cisdudes trying to fulfill toxic masculinity. But wait, that person had “dude” traits, but are actually a girl? Could I be a girl and not know it? Could I be turned into a girl by the vast matriarchal conspiracy? That sort of hyper paranoid crap.

    And the fear of non-binary trans* individuals just reveal the fallacy of the male-female binary divide and thus are even more threatening to sexist worldviews and thus seen as even more dangerous and needing even more “correction”.

    But the recent ENDA debate has brought out all kind of crazy arguments. Supposedly cis-women will be harassed by trans-women perverts in the restrooms. Wait? Has this ever happened? And trans-women who just wanna just do their business and get outta there?

    No. It has never happened. But a super-christian anti-trans* bigot working on an anti-trans* in the bathroom bill turned out to a rapist who was invading the woman’s restroom of his shop and harassing and assaulting the women there.

    So yeah, there’s that nice bit of IT’S ALWAYS PROJECTION. And yes, transwoman just want to piss or shit and get the hell out of there. And how difficult and unsafe it can be to do so is why there is a bitter joke in the transwomen community about how the first thing you learn to do as a transwoman is control your bladder so you never have to pee in public.

    Would a cis straight male even take the risk of pretending to be trans?

    Cis people are very ignorant about just how soul-crushing and debilitating gender dysphoria is. They think, la de la, of course I could pretend to be trans* for a long period of time in order to blah de blah scare tactic, but actually living life as the “wrong sex”. Being addressed by the wrong pronouns and treated with the wrong social responses is not something to be suffered lightly.

    So no, there’s no way this pack of “never has suffered a single instance of oppression” whiny fucks could last a day with that.

  31. 31
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Feats of Cats @29

    Moreover trapped in the wrong body is a bullshit trope created for and perpetuated by non-trans* folk.

    If anyone here with knowledge or experience feels like talking more about this right now, I’m interested in your perspective on why this is wrong. I seem to have been sold this bullshit trope and want to be the best advocate I can be. How did you feel?

    It’s something that a lot of the trans* community has been pushing back against as of late. Here’s a New Zealand transmale artist on the subject.

    A lot of issues as I understand them from other trans* people is focused on the fact that it prioritizes and privileges surgery paths over non-surgery paths and completionism on those surgery paths, also that it privileges a type of woo where one’s spiritual “real essence” is “trapped” inside and needs to “come out”. And that last aspect also feeds into an idea that one’s “real self” is determined most by whether one “passes” or not. Cause you’re “trapped” until outsiders see you as you and free you, which kinda reduces people to objects to be rescued.

    And then there’s the reality that Sam Orchard in the comic notes. Many trans* people don’t actually hate their body, or don’t hate all of their body. There can be bits that one feels complicated about or are triggering. There can be bits that can just bring a huge amount of joy. To TMI here, I’m on hormones, but haven’t had any surgeries yet and there are certain body parts touched in certain ways that are resolving of my gender dysphoria that feels nearly sexual.

    And there can be bits that yes, we straight up hate and want gone or would prefer a superior version that required less mental creativity to deal with. But there can even be bits that are loved that wouldn’t be expected to be loved. Trans* people are a diverse lot and I think that’s the main issue with the trope. It basically says there is one trans* experience and that so often becomes a cudgel against trans* people than a training model for cis people to understand trans* people.

    Which is why I believe the current replacement is to emphasis that trans* people have always been the gender they want to be seen as and any things they are doing are to help have that reality accepted by the outside world and resolve whatever gender dysphoria they have.

  32. 32
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @cerberus:

    a super-christian anti-trans* bigot working on an anti-trans* in the bathroom bill turned out to a rapist who was invading the woman’s restroom of his shop and harassing and assaulting the women there.

    Source? I would love to know more details about that.

    ========
    @Feats of Cats:

    I might later, I don’t want to just now – part of it is I have reading to get done b4 a 2pm class, but part is just, well, I don’t know. In any case, i’d like to help, just not now.

  33. 33
    Evinfuilt

    Thank you PZ for posting this. I’m out, I transitioned many years ago now. I’m lucky, I failed on my suicide attempts. I got the support network and treatment I needed.

    I’m also lucky, I fit the Gender Ideals that society saw fit, and so I don’t struggle daily with harassment, but many don’t. So here’s just a simple thank you for the environment you’ve setup here on these blogs. A safe place for me, and place to help educate others.

    Thank you to all the posters here, who discuss and try make the world better.

  34. 34
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Cerberus:

    A lot of issues as I understand them from other trans* people is focused on the fact that it prioritizes and privileges surgery paths over non-surgery paths and completionism on those surgery paths,

    Could we be really careful how we’re using privilege here?

    The demonization of trans* folk that overfocuses on MtF people as compared to FtM or other people leads to some folk being invisibilized and some folk living under terrifying scrutiny. Different experiences, but it’s hard to say that one is “privileged” over the other.

    In a similar-but-not-the-same way, having someone fundamentally misrepresent your experience isn’t necessarily a “privilege” over trans*phobic jerks simply failing to notice that you exist and/or include you in the narrative.

    In the 90s I discussed MtF privilege as a real thing. For a time I thought it was reasonable b/c of the relentless and pervasive silence and the way it led to such extreme isolation. But now I don’t think that the isolation is all that much different – there are lots of ways to get info about FtM folk, though you typically have to enter through queer community first. That extra step is a hurdle, but for MtF folk the **mis**information that makes you think you know about MtF community is an extra hurdle.

    Sometimes not having to unlearn things can be a great advantage.

    But even if it doesn’t play out that way the majority of the time, we simply don’t have any good empirical reason to say that the influence of the media and of popular trans* narratives on FtM experience is **worse** than the influence of those things on MtF experience.

  35. 35
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    And I just wanted to hug and say thank you to all the non-trans* people who have shared what they’ve learned from trans* people. Your stories are powerful and I can definitely say that I, at the very least, appreciate them.

  36. 36
    Rich Woods

    Re. What have I learned

    To the best of my knowledge I’ve only ever met one person who has transitioned, but the thing which sticks in my mind is that, for her at least, the drive to finally be her real self was so strong that it overcame the risk of losing the love of her family, the companionship of her friends and the respect of her colleagues. She risked never being able to see her children again.

    I can’t comprehend the amount of courage it must take to do that.

  37. 37
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Crip Dyke @34

    Yeah, I can see your point. I guess what I was trying to get across is the societal notion that surgery is somehow required for trans* experience and that those who are “further” along are viewed as “better” or more “complete” than those who aren’t, which can be very othering and pressuring for those who have no interest in surgery or haven’t been able to gain access to it due to economic hardship or a decent version of the surgery you want not existing yet.

    Crip Dyke @32

    Here you go.

    Evinfuilt @33

    We’re glad you’re still here too. *Safe Hugs*

  38. 38
    hierophant

    [Bye, hierophant. --pzm]

  39. 39
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Fuck off, TERF asshole, it’s your bullshit anti-trans rhetoric that helps get us killed. Bit fucking rich for you to complain about someone else being radical, even if I believed your transparent trollery.

  40. 40
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Crip Dyke @32

    Let me fix those links:

    Should work now.

  41. 41
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Cerberus

    I guess what I was trying to get across is the societal notion that surgery is somehow required for trans* experience and that those who are “further” along are viewed as “better” or more “complete” than those who aren’t

    And I’m sure you’re familiar with the trope that no one will want/need surgery after the revolution, transsexual folk have just bought into the sex binary, transgender is the more enlightened position, Virginia Prince’s cross-dressing is an expression of who you are but surgery is a denial of who you are and thus equals mental illness, and can I just say, “mutilation”.

    Trans* people get it the neck. When trans people get it in the neck differently, it’s just a matter of where people like hierophant find an opening to stick the shiv.

    Unless and until we have actual research showing that on the whole one subset is privileged over the other, the current assertions that different experiences amount to “privilege” (especially when you know that in this context “the privileged” is synonymous with “the persons who perpetuate and benefit from oppression”). You could have all the MtF folk on the planet disappear tomorrow, it wouldn’t make any difference in how media treat FtM folk. Likewise people who have had surgery and/or are confident that surgery is a good option and how the media treat people who don’t want surgery and/or think it wouldn’t be a good option. And vice-versa applies in both cases.
    ==========
    Thanks for the links.

  42. 42
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @hierophant:

    trans people met in Toronto to discuss how to force lesbians to have sex with them

    Why pull your punches? You’re already lying, and “force lesbians to have sex” doesn’t fool anyone into thinking you’re saying something different than “rape lesbians”.

    Why not just say that trans* activists hold how-to-rape conferences? You’ll sound exactly as hateful and unreasonable and dishonest either way, and we know you’re just burning to convince other people that to be trans* is to be a rapist.

  43. 43
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Crip Dyke @41

    I don’t really think it’s a privilege so much as just a thing that can be pressuring. And you’re right that other subcultures have pressure in the opposite direction.

    Honestly, it’s kind of weird to be arguing here about it as I’m not really married to my statements here as I’m just trying to report what I’ve read from transmen and non-surgery-path transsexuals on the subject of why the trope bugs them rather than defend my own beliefs.

    So yeah, I’ll probably just bow out here before I lead us too much further down a derail.

    Sorry if I said something stupid and offensive.

  44. 44
    Feats of Cats

    @31 Cerebus:

    Thank you! I’m going to try to put things in my own words to test my understanding.

    What I am taking from this is that the concept of a completely different person of the opposite gender trapped inside one’s body is an idea that is way oversimplified, based erroneously on binary gender roles, and overlooks that the actual feelings and experience is different for each person. A trans person doesn’t have a highly-stereotyped version of the opposite sex lurking inside them, waiting to be released by surgery and acknowledgement from others. You’re already you, just with some set of parts that feel wrong or don’t match up to your internal sense of self.

    Unfortunately, trans people have had to pretend that the “person trapped inside” thing is what they do experience in order to receive the treatment they need. Which seems especially messed up to make someone with maybe confusing feelings about self-identity take on a fake self-identity for the sake of people with simplified and wrong views of what it means to be trans. All in all, it’s a poisonous concept.

    Am I on track?

    @32 CD:

    Totally. If you ever feel like talking about it at a later time, I’ll be reading and interested. I’m mostly a lurker, but I’m pretty much always in gender threads and often read the Lounge as well.

  45. 45
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Cerberus:

    I’m not pissed at you, Cerberus. I’ve spelled out my reasons for disagreement with things you’ve said. I don’t need to dwell.

    And it even looks like we both agree that there can be social pressure that truly injures people just as they think they are reaching supportive community, but that isn’t “privilege” in the sense that we usually discuss it here.

    We should be good here. I think we’re good here. Are we good here?

  46. 46
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Feats of Cats, 44:

    Yep, that’s a really good start.

    ========
    @cerberus:
    If you don’t want to derail, but you do want to chat more, we could always talk in the lounge or TD or via e-mail…

  47. 47
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Feats of Cats @44 and Crip Dyke @45

    Yes on both counts.

    And sorry for being a little more muddled than usual, my brain has been extra foggy as I’m preparing for my first meeting with my dad since he disowned me and which is occurring tomorrow.

  48. 48
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Hierophant: Wow, thank you so much for bringing your lies and transmisogyny to this post. It’s lovely to be reminded of why exactly trans* women are so often murdered!

    The Cotton Ceiling workshop was to talk about how incredibly fucked up it is that trans* women are expected to be desexualized, and that they’re totally not women to women who claim to be sexually interested in other women. It’s about the transphobia of some communities. Not a goddamn thing about forcing anyone. Believe it or not, trans* people tend to find bigots as repulsive as anyone else. We just want some fucking honesty from y’all.

    And no, you don’t know shit about the definitions of trans either.

  49. 49
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    So…other than blathering about that “cotton ceiling” nonsense, I’m guessing that hierophant didn’t say anything?

    *sigh*

    TERFs are so predictable.


    Something I said on Twitter yesterday, paraphrased: I came to be anti-transphobic and see being an ally of trans people as a worthy thing to strive for out of feminist praxis. That is, my studies of feminism informed my thoughts on trans people, transitioning, and transphobia. Simply put, it is my belief that the gender = sex essentialist thinking that underlies transphobia is way too closely linked to gender-essentialist thinking about the “inherent natures” of women and men (thinking that tends to be appallingly sexist) for my comfort. Also, given the ways that oppressions and privileges intersect and feed off of each other, I fundamentally believe that the only way for women (and men, for that matter) to be freed once and for all from sexism is if trans people are free to live their identities fully, free of transphobia and sex-essentialist gender-essentialist societal messaging and stigma.

    Which is to say, I strive to be supportive of trans people both for their own sakes (because they deserve it, dammit!) and for my own sake.

  50. 50
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    #12

    I grew up in an area like Beatrice: rural, very conservative, and very religious (Roman Catholics). Luckily, I had one badass head librarian at our school’s library. She fought against and wouldn’t ban Harry Potter because of all that witchcraft nonsense. She also packed the library with gems like Luna. It’s not without its flaws, but that was the first time I’d ever heard about trans* people. I honestly hadn’t known they existed because of the lean, bible and binary view of sex and gender that I was taught. People being assholes to Luna (including the having to live as a woman to “prove” herself, even then I thought was just cruel and unusual) and the ending was one of the early heartbreaking, tear jerking book moments of my life. **

    I read that book around 4th or 5th grade. It, sadly, remained the only thing I knew about trans* people until I found Pharyngula at 17. The Horde here has not only grown my knowledge by leaps and bounds, but also become friends with trans* individuals.

    It’s still hard to comprehend just how damn deep this all goes. My whole life is a lie. I’m not a woman because of my vagina or my ability to have children. I’m a woman because I’m me and I say I am. It’s been particularly hard since my father wanted a boy and abused me as a girl (be silent, be a sex thing, etc.) so I’ve never been “girly”. I’ve been repulsed by such things because they represented the bad in myself. I was teased and rediculred for many things, including not being “girly” and “acting manish”. But through all that, I didn’t question my gender because there wasn’t any doubt that I was a woman. I just didn’t want to be one because being a woman sucks. I was very seriously one of those “if you were those high heels (etc), you are just buying into that shit and harming the cause” people. It made me feel better about myself and made sense at that time.

    Basically, I was awful. I didn’t live up to my own ideals and values because of my own baggage and lack of self-awareness. Learning about trans* issues, not only made be a better person (and continues to do so) but helped me accept myself.

    ——————————
    ** Speaking of which, I need to write a review for that book. Doesn’t any one have any recommendations for books on this topic as well? I know there’s nonfiction (which I’ll also take), but I’ve had a harder time finding fiction with trans* characters. The only other one off the top of my head is a paranormal romance who has a support character whose a trans* woman werewolf.

  51. 51
    John Pieret

    Crip Dyke @ 27:

    Point well taken. And if I have given offense, I appologize. It was not intended.

  52. 52
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    if I have given offense, I appologize. It was not intended.

    Never thought you intended offense or harm.

    I am very happy that you don’t want 3/7ths* of trans communities to be ignored in favor of a different 3/7ths*. The goodwill behind your original comment was evident.

    *Or whatever large-but-less-than-half number represents each of these groups

  53. 53
    John Pieret

    Crip Dyke @ 52:

    Thank you.

    If I may ask, many people here use “trans*” … is that the proper form of address and, in my ignorance, why?

    I should say that I was aware that not all trans* people are binary … that not all want surgery or think that they are only somehow “whole” if, and only if, their bodies match social expectations. I was clumsy in the extreme if I conveyed that impression. Sexuality and gender are, I think, spectrums in which there are no “right” answers and that people should have the right to decide for themselves.

    As a lawyer myself, I see no insurmountable problems in working that kind of thing out legally … vis a vis bathrooms, employment and the like … except for the fact that law is (largely) what the majority wants it to be. LGB (sans T) have made great strides in the last few years. It’s no accident that the Religious Right has largely shifted their fire from gay marriage to anti-trans* rhetoric.

    The real question is how we can do foe trans* people what has been done recently for LGB people … get society as a whole to see them as people too.

  54. 54
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @John Pieret, #53,

    but also for anyone interested in the splat/asterisk in trans* who missed my original comment the first time around: last summer I wrote a comment about the use of the splat/asterisk at the end of “trans” to get “trans*”.

    Enough people found it helpful that I’ll given anyone interested in the topic a link right here without feeling too terribly vain for linking to myself.

    Anyway, as I say in that piece, I once used it consistently and gradually got out of the habit later. I don’t think I’m at all perfect about it, but I’m getting fairly consistent in its use again. Writing that bit served as a reminder to myself that the splat is still quite meaningful.

  55. 55
    John Pieret

    … people who do experience confusion and questioning, use that as a spur to goad them to find out more, and then suddenly discover that people were always making the distinction between sex and gender, transsexual and transgender, even if that person was not always personally making the distinction.

    Thank you. Education is the greatest gift.

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