Un-Gendering Sexuality

Disclaimer: This was written very late at night, while very tired. Very sincere apologies if it’s a bit sub-par, or a bit weird.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little bit lonely.

Sorry, everyone. I know FTB isn’t livejournal, and there’s no “current music – Bright Eyes” or  “current mood- WHEN WILL SPRING AT LAST COME TO THE WINTER OF MY SOUL AND LET ITS SUNLIGHT DRY MY BITTER TEARS” buttons at the bottom of the WordPress Visual Editor (though maybe I could ask Jason to have them installed? I’m sure he’s considered doing it for his own blog). But still, it’s true. I have squishy emotion things. And lately they’ve been rather squishily unsatisfied with my dinners-for-one at the computer, watching the crumbs of my Oreo Cakesters flutter down to the keyboard’s crevices in the romantic light of the antiquated monitor.

And last night, while being lonely, I ended up ruefully thinking about all the various lovely, awesome, brilliant, wonderful lesbian or bi trans women I know in internet-land who have professed crushes on me over the last couple months. It can get a bit frustrating hearing internet people say they think you’re cute when you were just a moment ago reminiscing on the fact that you haven’t been on a date in over three months.

So I began joking that if that’s how it’s going to be, I might as well just throw in the towel on this whole pitifully doomed “heterosexuality” thing and begin accepting applications for a lovely, awesome, brilliant, wonderful trans lesbian girlfriend. Send cover letter with attached resume and cookies (I have a fondness for macadamia snickerdoodles) to sincerelynataliereed at gmail dot com. Please include three references. [Read more…]

Gender Expression Is Not Gender Identity

This is sort of turning into a bit of a “covering the basics” sort of week here- mixed with a little “dealing with stuff I’ve been meaning to address for awhile”. So it seems appropriate that I should also take a moment to handle one of my biggest personal pet peeves regarding how people talk about gender, and transgenderism in particular.

Honestly, I think I could feel pretty satisfied with my entire “career” (I know) if I could just manage to put this one thing to rest.

Gender expression and gender identity are two different things. [Read more…]

The “Ethical Imperative” Of Disclosure, or: How To Believe Your Victim Owes You An Opportunity For Abuse

Another sad and tired cliché of the trans discourse. Another offensive question that cis people consistently ask us so as to assert their privilege. Another way they seize control of the discourse to subtly remind us who’s boss. Something I’ve been skirting the edges of for quite a while but haven’t yet dealt with directly.

Ahhh, “It’s Unethical To Not Disclose”, at last we meet. This battle has long been our destiny.

*activates lightsaber- FWOOOMSHzzzz-* [Read more…]

Proving Skeptics Wrong, Urban Outfitters Successfully Stoops Even Lower

Apparently no longer content with simply ripping off designs from independent artists without paying or crediting them, clothing a generation of hipster misogynists, pulling their “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” tee off store shelves after just one week (citing non-existent “bad press”), selling packages of ramen noodles for $5.00 USD a pop, drastically marking up products cheaply manufactured in overseas sweatshops in order to make heinous profits, funneling exorbitant sums of said heinous profits to finance Rick Santorum’s presidential bid, and their infamous “eat less” women’s long v-neck, Urban Outfitters have decided to continue their campaign of branding themselves the hippest purveyors of pure evil on the corporate high street by engaging in cheap tranny jokes! [Read more…]

“Trapped In A (Wo)Man’s Body”

Okay darlings, let’s get this cleared up, please. Because I’m sick of dealing with this.

You know the whole “woman trapped in a man’s body” / “man trapped in a woman’s body” thing? That is a metaphor.

Okay? Do you have that? Do you understand? I’ll repeat: It’s a metaphor. A simplification. A way of putting transsexuality into terms that are easily explained to a cis person. That is why it exists, that is its job. Helping you understand something very complex (and very alien to your own experiences), in a way that is quick and easy, for contexts where a full and nuanced explanation is not feasible, and for people who wouldn’t understand those full and nuanced explanations.

It does NOT accurately reflect actual trans experience, is NOT intended to, and is DEFINITELY NOT the entirety of our thinking on the matter.

So when you mistake it as what (and all) we really believe, and decide to mock or discredit our identities by joking around about “what if I think I’m a penguin trapped in a human body?”, “what if I’m a black guy trapped in a jewish guy’s body?”, or “what if I’m a robot trapped in an organic body?”, you are making an ass of yourself. You haven’t dropped some wicked awesome truth bomb that totally proves how crazy and irrational trans people are. All you’ve successfully managed to do is point out that a simplified, dumbed-down metaphor is simple and dumb (which, I might add, is simplified and dumbed-down for the purpose of helping out simple-minded dummies like you). Congratulations!

When trans people use this metaphor, it is not because we don’t understand the complexity and nuance of gender and sex and how they work. It’s because we need to cope with how many of you don’t understand it. [Read more…]

Why I Bother

So I’m enjoying the glow of victory today. Last night, our team, The Gallifreyan High Council, emerged as Time Lords Victorious in the Vancouver leg of the Cross-Canada Skeptical Smackdown quiz night. In addition to myself, the trans-feminist skeptic-ish atheist blogger, we had Joe Fulgham, co-host of the Caustic Soda science and pop-culture podcast, Xavier MacDonald, who bears a striking resemblance to The Green Arrow, and Lars Martin, both a nuclear astrophysicist and the cuddliest, most loveable German in the world. Pics will probably be forthcoming at either Skeptic North or Confessions Of An Asshole Skeptic, probably around the time we also figure out our national standing.

But that isn’t the only bit of pride I will oh-so-immodestly strut around today!

Because you know what this is?

This is my 100th post at SNR! [Read more…]

Birdo, Poison And How To Construct Trans-Pride From Transphobia

I’m not really a gamer. I don’t own any consoles. It’s been a long, long time since I did. I’m usually pretty okay with that. Life is too big and expansive to fit all its subjects and media and passions into one little brain and lifetime. With some things you just have to accept “okay, I guess I’ll just be mostly oblivious about that particular thingy” or “okay, I guess I’ll just accept this particular gap in my education”.

(which is fine as long as you remember not to start acting like you are an expert on those things)

But every once in awhile, something comes along that makes me think yeah, I really kind of wish I did have a console or two, and was a gamer.

Like the recent release of Street Fighter X Tekken.

Why? Because I could play as Poison, the semi-iconic (and tediously “controversial”) transgender character originally from Final Fight. I could play as a beautiful, femme but totally badass trans woman, and spend all day kicking the will to live out of a series of virtual cisgender assholes. Kick back and harmlessly vent my increasingly pent up rage at a non-virtual world where all too often we’re the ones who get hurt. [Read more…]