Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Factions in the T community

There are 2 dominant groups in the T community with a few smaller groups.

The two largest groups are those who support the Transgender umbrella and those Transsexual women who oppose the entire concept. (Separatists)

The other groups have varying degrees of opinion on the topic and are not the focus of this essay.

Tran’s separatists feel that the gender non-conforming crowd is somehow ruining TS ability to get laws that protect them and access to surgeries. The entire idea that someone might confuse these women with a man in a dress is unbearable. I understand that reaction. The idea that someone would consider me a man raises my hackles. I have gone through allot of effort to be recognized as the woman I am.

However, I know that no matter what I do there will be bigots and haters that will consider me a man. Not even SRS counts to those bigots who believe that what we are born with defines us. No amount of surgery and hormones make a bit of a difference to these folks the second your birth sex is revealed.

The idea that someone might consider me a cross dresser or a fetishist is rather off putting and I will be as brave as to say, it down right pisses me off.

But…Is it the fault of a cross dresser or a drag queen or some other gender variant individual that bigots will consider me (or you) a man, (even if I was passing up until the moment I was outted or clocked)? No. The actions of another person do not reflect on me. It is the bigots failing. It is not the failing of some theoretical gender bender.

If gods forbid someday I, or one of you, should be bashed by a bigot for being ‘a man in a dress’ the bigot is not going to ask for a carry letter to confirm a transsexual diagnosis. That piece of paper in my (or your) purse will do not one blessed thing to save me (or you) from a bigot. A bigot does not differentiate between a TS and a CD. To a bigot we are all the same. In fact to a bigot being TS is probably even worse, as we ‘cut it off’ (rolls eyes), which hits these men in an irrational castration fear. A proper diagnosis and carry letter will never protect you from a bigot. That letter confirming your diagnosis is only good to save you from the discrimination of those good people who know they should know better.

The TG umbrella was forged by bigots when you think of it. It was the reaction of the victims to the bigots that forged the TG umbrella. If you have an issue with the umbrella and want it dismantled, you play into the hands of our enemies. United we stand divided we fall. Instead, join in and help dismantle the foundations of bigotry.

hugz and luv,
Cynthia Lee


Sagebrush said...

I don't care if people have their umbrella, as long as they don't try to pull me under it. I was born with a birth defect. I had it repaired. Now I live a pretty normal life. I'm not worried about bigots other than those who hate women, and there are all too many of those.

There is nothing "separatist" about me or people like me. We have been changing sex and integrating with society for decades. Very un-separatist, really.

I simply think it's unfortunate that people have less and less of an idea of what it means to be born with the congenital disorder called transsexualism. At one time, they had a pretty good idea of why and how someone would change sex. Now, they see "lifestyle choices" and people who say surgery is optional yet claim to be the sex they were not assigned at birth -- or worse, make it all about gender instead of sex.

I don't want anyone to be hassled or beat up or even killed by bigots. I think people should be able to live their lives in peace. But that's what I already do -- because that's what I wanted. And yes, that peace is jeopardized, for others if not for me, but all the confusion that now reigns.

Elizabeth said...

I dare any transgender activists to push a new "special treatment" for the transgender crowd and openly call it the transsexual and transvestite protection bill.

Universally people believe transgender means transsexual. Why not clarify this openly? It is simple why they do not. They would be laughed out of every legislature in existence because if the legislature did not laugh them out they would not be re-elected.

Do any of us wish harm on transvestites? Of course not but neither do we wish to be called similar because that harms us. We are separatists because we have no common ground.

Unknown said...

There never was a golden age for transsexuals. There was a time only those girls who could pass 100% were allowed surgeries, thus keeping us invisable.

Now they are allowing people to transition who do not pass as well. So TS are sticking out regardless of the fact that there are other gender varients out there.

Unknown said...

For me to accept that gender varient people are harming transsexuals I must accept that my spouse is in some fashion harming me.
I have to regect that premiss.

My spouse being androgyne does not take rights away from me.

Indi X Yes Really... said...

I am trans* or transsexual according to the textbook. I transitioned a long time ago. I find the separatist movement quite subversive and potentially dangerous. Thanks for calling this bad behaviour out. I have been labelled a TG Borg lately and personally i find that quite transphobic. Having transitioned a long time ago I can confirm that these separatists are not only displaying transphobic behaviour but encouraging others to behave in the same manner. I would also point out that the transsexual separatists movement doesn’t accept that f2m's actually exists or are valid and in any way similar. Best advice to young trans folk avoid these people they are in fact dangerous and transphobic as weird as that sounds. be careful who you hitch your little red wagon to. Also to point out some more of their floored logic, according to the separatists you aren’t transsexual unless you are on hormones or have started transition <3
The umbrella term TG which includes all of us was also coined to avoid some people throwing others under the bus for their own self reasons. Trans friends don’t send trans friends to the separatists.

Indi X Yes Really... said...

as a transsexual woman i distance myself from these seperatists more and more everyday as read their comments and rhetoric which includes horrible opinions regarding the health and well being of transmen or anyone who is towing the WPATH line. I will make it part of my focus to call these people out on their transphobia and BS. I fear for young trans woman who might get caught up with these misguided breakaways. I would hate to think anyone in the wider communities would expect that we all behave this way. Remember TS Separatists are the opposite of Radfems and when you choose extreme politics over neighbourly love then you get what you get. BEWARE OF IMITATIONS KIDS. Separatists are bad news.

Deena said...

The very term separatist is an attempt by the Borg to deny the validity of a sex change. I consider it one more misogynistic shout down.

Sagebrush said...

Cynthia Lee, no, there was never a golden age. Who said there was? Dealing with being born transsexual has always been difficult.

The old gatekeeping wasn't about "passing." It was about making sure those who changed sex conformed to prevailing stereotypes. Thankfully, that's no longer the case, just as it's not the case with natal men and women. If anyone is pushing stereotypes, it's TG activists. For them, it's more about how you look and what you wear than who you are.

Women who change sex aren't "passing." We're women, and that has nothing to do with stereotypes, either behavior or appearance, because there are all kinds of women in the world. It's simply about being. And yes, it's the same for men. I have written about MTF people because that's what I know. It would be foolish of me to try to characterize the experience of FTM people.

I'm not invisible. But I'm not visible because of my medical history, and I wouldn't want to be. Some people apparently do want to be. That's their business.

Gender-variant people don't harm people born transsexual, at least not by being themselves. But TG activists are harmful when they are dishonest about what they are really doing and try to claim they are working for people like me. They're not.

The "T Community" of your title is made up of people who consider themselves trans-whatever. If you're just a woman or a man, then that's what you are and that's how you live. There's no point to community if you try to include people who don't belong in it.

Anonymous said...

If you are just a woman and no longer trans, why bother getting involved in T politics and discussions?

Sagebrush said...


Benevolence. :)

Anonymous said...

I am curious. How does, "Having transitioned a long time ago" qualifiy someone to "confirm that these separatists are not only displaying transphobic behaviour but encouraging others to behave in the same manner"?

Also when Indie X uses the term "transitioned" is he/she(?) speaking of a transition of both primary and secondary, physical sexual characteristics or a social transition. It helps to be clear.

Anonymous said...

I can probably lay claim to starting any seperatist movement since back in 1986 when I listened Charles Prince lecture about how it was possible to be a woman and not have surgery and that the name for this state was transgender. He also urged in that speech of rubbish that transsexual was an extreme form of transvestite and therefor we were all in fact transgender. I stood up and said I have heard enough of this bull shit I'm a female not a man in a dress and walked out.

I've been posting writing and posting about this very issue ever since. The key point that has been made and well made is that transsexuals, genuine transsexuals and not wannabee transvestites wish to become an intrinsic part of female society and not be a portion somewhere in the middle. We seek a cure for our condition TG's seek acceptance of it. To reject that premise is not hate or any version of phobia. It is simply disagreement with a theoretical paradigm and nothing more. The problem for the TG is that without the validation of transsexual they cease to have any credibility so he hate emanates from the TG and not the other way around. You lot have your fight with the rest of society, we don't need to fight anyone if you leave us out. The only thing we need from society is to be left alone and allow us to correct birth documents. We can look after the rest ourselves.

The golden age in legal terms was the 1950's 60's when bureaucracies quietly allowed these documents to be changed.


Unknown said...

One of the neat things about words is that over time they change in meaning. I know the origens of transgender(ist). The word has changed in actual meaning over time. it does not mean what it did when it came out of Princes uninformed mouth.

Being maried to an androgyne has really opened my eyes to the wonderful diversity of gender. Where you or I would absolutely and rightously freak out to be third gendered, this is where my wonderful spouse is most comfortable and functional.
I do not care how much you think that a person like my spouse is threatening your rights, I simply do not see it. You are tilting at windmills.
Also I am pretty sold that what my androgyn (TG) spouse is going through when hir version of gender dysphoria stikes is just as genuine and real as the dysphoria that drove us to transition.
I have seen the years of depression and tears go away virtually overnight once ze embraced the fact that ze was niether male or female but some of both. Once ze started taking cross sex hormones clarity and focus became part of hir daily experiance.
I have seen the agony ze has been through when meerly choosing a wardrobe for the day could send hir into a depresive state for weeks.
A limited transition did wonders for my spouse. That makes hir TG. There should be nothing wrong with TG people in our society. It is as obvious to me as the sun in the sky that the TG person has a variation of whatever nueral intersex thing we TS have. Why else does a limited version of the treatment we need to cure us cure them?

I don't get it personally. I am a woman and to be seen as anything other than that sux royaly. But I do not have to understand it. I just have to love my spouse and you can be damned sure that I would do anything I need to do to secure hir the same rights as every one else.

Would a good wife do any less?

Anonymous said...

@Cynthia, I have no personal or theoretical axe to grind towards yourself or your spouse. I'm familiar with androgyne I had little choice in existing in that state for years. The difference is I was not there by choice and was certyainly not comfortable. That is comfort for your spouse and I do respect that. However dragging the TS condition under a term that seeks to equate everything with everything else is a nonsense. You may not realise it Cynthia but arguing that the meaning of words change over time and then using that to authenticate a false premise like transgenderism because it has evolved to mean something different to it's origins makes it ok does not stand up in my view. The term transgender was created by Magnus Hirschfield prior to the creation of transsexual and this is a matter of history. Prince co-opted the term transgenderist to apply to his penchant for dressing only in female attire and not having srs performed on him. SRS was Something vehemently disagreed with.

Even if people could get their minds around the concept that transgender is about gender presentation and Transsexual is about which sex an individual identifies with we would all get on a lot better. However, unfortunately society in general understand transsexuality they have not yet grasped transgender because transvestites in general seek to mitigate their burdon of guilt surrounding their desires by claiming transsexuality. Perhaps because crossdressing is seen as a deviant desire transsexuality is seen as something over which people have no control and therefore carries less stigma. Soo they've adopted it. It really is that basic.

I know the history I have lived it.

I wish you both well Cynthia I genuinely do we don't choose whom we love we just do.