Your ignorant transphobia is not okay

17Sep10

Cedar has written some of the most trenchant stuff ever about transphobia — in particular, her Combatting “Combatting Ignorance” series. You should read it. The whole thing. But what I’m drawing from today is part 2, where she says:

But see, once you’re in the position to not be labeled ignorant, “not knowing” trans things is perfectly innocent. It’s totally optional, because any hurt you inflict in the mean time a)isn’t important, and b)will be washed away by the magic of intent. Except it’s not innocent. I would actually go further than Queen Emily when she says

The one thing ignorance is not is innocent, it is about having the power not to know and not to care… and we simply can’t afford to be naive enough to think otherwise.

It’s actually the power to know and not care.

You may not know the ontology behind our claims to reality, you may not know what the word “ontology” means, you may not know our critique of the sex/gender distinction or of biology. But you know how we see ourselves, you know that implying we’re not really women/men is offensive, and thus that claiming to be more real (in any of the myriad ways that cis people do this) is offensive. At some point, almost all of you made a conscious choice to disrespect us. Misgendering and ungendering transsexual folks has nothing to do with terminology, and everything to do with expressing contempt towards us and superiority over us–no matter how strongly one denies it.

Trans 101 can effectively refute transphobic and transmisogynistic arguments by invalidating their premises. But frequently transfolk are facing down a kind of malignant, aggressive “ignorance” that shows no interest in abandoning false premises. As Cedar says, everyone knows that transwomen identify as women. Denying our identities is therefore a conscious act of aggression. Transwomen as a class have done no more than assert their rights and demand to be respected — if that — so aggression against them as a class is unprovoked. This sort of transphobic person would only be happy if we went away and hid somewhere. They could demolish their own arguments by themselves with a few Google searches, but they don’t want to, because their objections aren’t rational. If you’re lucky, you can even get transphobes to admit some of this.

I ran into the Undercover Punk blog via enthusiastic comments left by the author a while back on Sungold’s blog. Somehow I don’t think Sungold is as big a fan of hers. I’m not at all blaming Sungold for not calling her out, because a) she’s busy, and b) at the time UP was commenting, her blog wasn’t 100% transphobia, 100% of the time. (In fact, many of her posts were good.) But it is that way now, and I don’t really know why the shift. Susan Stryker must have run over her dog, or something.

Let’s take this quickly. Post from August 27, here. Says trans women are socialized male and that this is a reason for rejecting their claim to be women. Has not stopped to think that someone with a female gender identity is going to internalize mass messages meant for girls, and is also going to attempt to socialize herself female until it’s beaten out of her. Has not stopped to consider that, excluding mass messages, girls aren’t all socialized the same way either. Is ignoring what actual trans women say about this, yes, but really wouldn’t even have needed to talk to one to figure this out.

Post from August 31, here. Denies being transphobic because she isn’t consciously “afraid” of trans women. Would never in a million years accept that argument from a homophobe critiquing her lesbianism in the same way. Claims her own ideas are rational, having suggested in her last post that trans women who think they’re rational are reflecting male socialization! Actually says that a trans woman being read as trans is the same thing as an able-bodied person “passing” as disabled; suggests that we are men pretending to be women, gender-slumming, doing this all for a lark. Is convinced that her theories are more important than our experiences.

Post from September 6, a guest post by Sonia. (But can be read as if by UP, as she enthusiastically supports everything in the post in her comments.) Claims that trans women’s gender is chosen, and that this “takes the power away from women as a group.” Claims that trans oppression is “freely chosen,” even though we’re in a double bind — we’re either oppressed and denied rights that all cis people enjoy, or we’re driven to meaningless existence and suicide because even though your ideology can erase our gender identity, our ideologies can’t erase ours. Nor can they erase the utter misery of dysphoria, which I cannot describe in any way that a non-trans person can fully understand. Is much more obsessed with surgery than most trans women I know, and seems to think surgery is the main thing making someone trans, which it isn’t. Also, like all of the other posts, ignores the neurological differences between transwomen and cis men.

This isn’t hard stuff to refute. Took me, like, fifteen minutes. It’s unlikely someone like UP, who’s had a lifetime of immersion in the feminist movement, hasn’t heard everything I’m saying dozens of times. It’s just that she chooses to cover her ears and say “I can’t hear you! I don’t care what your neurology is, what your lived experience is, or how you were actually socialized. No one questions my womanhood, so I have the right to decide who’s a woman. And, guess what, I’m going to use the same criteria the kyriarchy uses, because I’m rational! So — you’re not really a woman! Ha ha!”

So this post isn’t for her. I doubt she’s listening, anyhow. It’s for anyone who’s thinking about defending or excusing transphobia. Folks, it’s not about ignorance. It’s about willful aggression. If you excuse transphobes, you’re declaring war on me. And I have the right to fight back.

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10 Responses to “Your ignorant transphobia is not okay”

  1. Oh, man, did you see where she claimed that gendered socialization starts in the womb, so we’re all permanently tainted with male privilege before even taking a single breath?

    She also spammed comments on Restructure! on her post about Male Geek Rationality.

    • Wow, that’s a pretty crazy claim. I didn’t see it; I didn’t read any further than I had to to make my points.

      UP in the Restructure! thread is like UP everywhere else: at first hilarious in her sheer error, but very quickly just boring.

  2. I totally agree.

    She also tried to claim Julia Serano was using one cis woman to discredit all of feminism, and that this was bad (the first claim being untrue). She then tried to use Julia Serano to discredit all trans women as feminists.

    She’s pretty hypocritical, and her arguments only hold up if one accepts cissexist “common sense” arguments about who trans women really are and what we’re like. In UP’s world, trans women speaking at all is apparently an exercise of male privilege. I’m glad you posted about this, because no way was I going to give her the traffic by linking her.

  3. Sonia, I’m not approving your comments. They do nothing except rehash your guest post at UP. More importantly, you’re not allowed to misgender me or other transfolk on my blog. There is never any good reason to do that, and if there was, your cis entitlement wouldn’t be it.

  4. As you quote Queen Emily, “The one thing ignorance is not is innocent, it is about having the power not to know and not to care….”

    I completely and utterly agree.

    Particularly in regard to: ” “not knowing” trans things” and “But you know how we see ourselves, you know that implying we’re not really women/men is offensive, and thus that claiming to be more real (in any of the myriad ways that cis people do this) is offensive.”

    And this is where everything as an individual, it all falls apart. I cannot ‘know’ how any woman (or man) sees themselves. I do know that to not acknowledge after asserting gendering identity is the same as eliminating identity, but then so is assuming identity or ‘knowing’ – whether that is what is often classified as ‘cis’ (in some cases, labelled at the 99.5% of the population? Really?), or trans. I know trans that would be offended at being labelled female because they dress, nominative, present female, and vice versa for male, indeed statistically those are the majority under the umbrella Trans. Which can include but is not limited to: straight men who cross dress, staight, gay or bi individuals who cross play, sexual identity in role play, drag, genderqueer, genderfuck, boi, transsexual, transitioning, and several other terms used by the selves met.

    So, with: “everyone knows that transwomen identify as women. Denying our identities is therefore a conscious act of aggression.” and ” it’s not about ignorance. It’s about willful aggression. If you excuse transphobes, you’re declaring war on me. And I have the right to fight back.”

    There is a 1 -2 – 3 – 4 arguement that I wonder WHO possibly could meet that criteria. The one thing I know is that I don’t know enough. Could you, following the ‘ignorance is the power to know but not care’ and the ‘everyone knows….’ (which seems to mean that those who are ignorant are NOT innocent because they know or SHOULD know), to ‘If you act/speak/live in a way which denies identity it is agression’ (I agree by the way) to ‘Doing so is declaring war on me. And I have the right to fight back.’

    So, ethnicity? The several hundred/thousand ethnicities and their self identities? Orientation? Disability? (I know I was and am still vastly ignorant here, knowing a scant 50-200 conditions, how to respectfully identify the individual and interact with them within the disease/disability/invisable illness). I certainly hope those with a Type 4 varient of MS are not declaring war on me because I don’t quite understand the progression the way I do a Type I and Type II for example.

    Individuals whose body does not match their internal gender signifiers are not the largest percentage of individuals under the ‘Trans’ umbrella. They are however, more united than for example, cross dressers (which for males is between 10-20% of the population, for females…no reliable stats that I can find). Or those with male and female persona based on clothes signifiers.

    I have a great interest in the elimination of ALL transphobia, for all under the Trans umbrella, much as I have for elimination of ethnic, disability and orientation discrimination to name three. But there is no way I can meet that 1-2-3-4- objective, nor I think can you or anyone else.

    Please, put down the war.

  5. I do know that to not acknowledge after asserting gendering identity is the same as eliminating identity, but then so is assuming identity or ‘knowing’

    No, I think this is a false equivalence. It’s true that one should try not to make unnecessary assumptions about people’s identities. But it’s a much more serious offense to blatantly ignore someone’s asserted identity. And that’s something that happens disproportionately to trans folk. Tobi Hill-Meyer actually defined a trans person as someone whose (asserted) gender isn’t universally considered valid — which indeed applies to your expansionary definition of trans. A trans person can say what their gender is, and people won’t believe them.

    That’s also what Cedar was talking about in the post I linked; she mentioned to someone in her WGS program that she (presenting female) was trans, who replied “I thought you were a woman.” And on being called on that, her interlocutor pleaded ignorance. Cedar is saying that her interlocutor wasn’t ignorant at all, because if you know what a trans woman even is, you know they identify as women. It’s the most basic fact about them. Playing category games isn’t a relevant response; yes, there are people who do X and Y things that trans woman do and don’t identify as women. That isn’t license to assume that being trans inherently negates or reverses someone’s gender identity.

    I certainly hope those with a Type 4 varient of MS are not declaring war on me because I don’t quite understand the progression the way I do a Type I and Type II for example.

    I’m not demanding with this post that everyone in the world should go out and acquire a detailed understanding of trans folk. I mean, it would help, but it’s not my main goal; and no, it’s not realistic for everyone to understand the story behind everyone else’s identity. I’m more concerned with eradicating “malignant” and “aggressive” false knowledge regarding trans folk, which persists because our identities combined with our histories threaten commonly held and deeply cherished theories about gender. This is perceived as a sort of ignorance, so I call it that; in theory, it should be easier to eradicate than problems caused by not knowing things. All someone has to do is stop explicitly disbelieving trans folk about their identities just because they’re trans. Because of the aforementioned theories about gender, though, this fight has in fact proven to be harder.

    Individuals whose body does not match their internal gender signifiers are not the largest percentage of individuals under the ‘Trans’ umbrella. They are however, more united than for example, cross dressers (which for males is between 10-20% of the population, for females…no reliable stats that I can find). Or those with male and female persona based on clothes signifiers.

    OK, but: 1) only a small proportion of the people you mention actually identify as trans; 2) these people, cool as they might be, are not very relevant to this post, which is about how many people systematically and harmfully deny the validity of gender identities that do not match birth-assigned gender.

    It’s strange how the magical expansion of the trans spectrum — without the consent of the people being relabeled as trans, and often coming from a person whose gender identity is respected by society — always seems to happen in response to complaints by actually identified trans folk about tangible problems. Why, it’s almost as if we were being minimized by our purported allies! Surely that would never happen, though, right?

    Please, put down the war.

    I can’t; I didn’t start it. And I’m not aiming the guns at you anyway.

  6. I do not have the skills to create quotes so I will just use quotations, I hope you will bear with me.:

    Elizabeth: “…I do know that to not acknowledge after asserting gendering identity is the same as eliminating identity, but then so is assuming identity or ‘knowing’..”

    Quinne: “No, I think this is a false equivalence. It’s true that one should try not to make unnecessary assumptions about people’s identities. But it’s a much more serious offense to blatantly ignore someone’s asserted identity.”

    Why? I think I understand your statement, but your following example with Tobi Hill-Meyer is what I mean in ‘assuming identity or ‘knowing’, as in knowing someone’s gendering, or history. If you accept that asserted gender not being valid is trans, then is that not what you are against, whether it has been asserted individually, or is assumed (in the case of a newspaper article, or calling management regarding bathroom use as two examples).

    Quinne: “All someone has to do is stop explicitly disbelieving trans folk about their identities just because they’re trans. Because of the aforementioned theories about gender, though, this fight has in fact proven to be harder.”

    I am sorry, does this mean you don’t agree with Tobi Hill-Meyer, or what theories specifically about gender are you talking about?

    Quinne: “OK, but: 1) only a small proportion of the people you mention actually identify as trans; –

    1) since T, Trans is used for Transsexual, Transgender and Transvestite, I think an occurrance of 1 in 10 is actually a much larger percentage (10%+), just on transvestites, which groups like Tri-Ess, and others use as identifiers.

    2) Fighting for individuals under the trans umbrella which individuals are not a part of, is essential if bridge building is desired, which if HRC or LGBT organizations are wanted, is yes. That may be fighting for the validation of the aspect of gender, or in some cases sexualization of gender tropes that people are ‘systematically denied’, whether included or not.

    Quinne: “It’s strange how the magical expansion of the trans spectrum — without the consent of the people being relabeled as trans, and often coming from a person whose gender identity is respected by society — always seems to happen in response to complaints by actually identified trans folk about tangible problems.”

    Anyone declaring war on other human beings is a tangible problem, and as a fellow human being it is my problem. Saying, “I wasn’t aiming at you” is sort of the complaint you start out by saying is unacceptable (actually ‘doubly’ unacceptable), right, assualt by ignorance?

    Also, I am standing up for trans folks, with real and tangible problems: exclusion is one of those problems, as is assumption. Because unless you have historical X-ray eyes, how can you know whether a person does have a gender identity respected by society?

    Your example is one that is known as ‘true blood’: ‘only the X can comment on X issues’ – whether that be the divine right of Kings or the brother religion of the Roman soldiers. Except that people are interconnected and an assertion that one has ‘true right’ cannot invalidate the need to discuss issues which might end with harm, particularly when harm is the conclusion rendered.

    If your post wasn’t actually about the T umbrella but just a slam fest on someone you disagree with, just tell me you are all about the hating (not the transphobia hating, just the personal type of hating) and language of violence and I can go elsewhere because this isn’t a public issue, or one you really want people informed on, just certain people attacked.

    Let me know.

    • OK, so as best I can understand you have two issues here:

      1) Terminology. We disagree on this and we are perhaps always going to disagree, but I think my terminology is consistent with accepted use among young transgender bloggers, and to some extent within the feminist community more broadly. When I say trans it is usually short for transgender. I don’t prefer to use TS or TV at all because of usage disputes, I say “someone who’s had SRS” and “crossdresser” respectively.

      Unfortunately there is no such succinct replacement for transgender. I do think the most meaningful definition of transgender is someone whose gender identity (internal = legitimate) significantly mismatches their gender assigned at birth. (And that is a mouthful.) We are a distinct group of people (albeit fuzzy at the edges, like many groups) with our own set of problems and disprivileges, and who are usefully distinguished from cis people. That doesn’t mean there isn’t such a thing as a T* spectrum; there totally is. But I feel that drawing distinctions is also important. If you can’t distinguish cis crossdressers and trans people — and currently most people outside of the community cannot — the result is people saying that trans people are just cis crossdressers. Equating a 1% cis identified person with a 99% cis identified person. Assigning them the same gender. It’s a tailor-made excuse to deny our identities. And it’s just pretty much exactly what Undercover Punk and Sonia were doing in their posts.

      2) Metaphor. I said that war had been declared upon me, and as I am quite literally forced to fight for my very life thanks to the ignorant memes about trans people that have spread to insurance companies, doctors, etc. I don’t think the metaphor is entirely inappropriate. I use it because of its extremity, not because of its inherent violence (unfortunate as it is, the concept of war has been divorced from the concept of violence for a while now in most people’s minds, vide Baudrillard.) I wonder if you would have said the same thing about “women’s liberation” when people started using that word — that’s a war metaphor too. I don’t like using war metaphors if they trivialize war, but I don’t think this is a trivializing use.

      I do not have any need, desire, or really capability to enact any literal physical violence on the people who want me erased. I don’t even want to imprison them like you want to do to the creators of Penny Arcade for “hate crime language.” Authoritarian punishment of thought crime is just a bad idea. All I am really trying to say is that my daily life is dominated by the ideas of people who hate me, and that the only way I can even try to alleviate my oppression is via struggle in the realm of ideas.

  7. I agree we disagree – and that in many things we support similar outcomes.

    Your point 1)

    I agree that if you define

    ‘Young’ as mid twenties or below (unless in Grad studies, particularly in XXXXX theory)
    and
    ‘Accepted’ as – the United States, particularly the west coast and certain blog circles

    Then yes.

    Sadly that is not the majority, or even a small, small fraction of the majority of the group you outline. But hey, all those other countries, (states in the US), and people over a certain age or (FORBID WORSE!) being on the street on not having done the linquistic acceptance due to computer and university access. So, do I walk by when seeing you kick out people who don’t have that small entrance pass while having a diss fest? Or is it about ideas larger?

    I mean, for example, the LGBT groups set up, maintained, were done so for a T that a current crop of bloggers has language ripped, leaving them where? It was about brining people TOGETHER, not – hey, ‘they’ will use the wrong stereotype in understanding me and I can’t police that if I let those ‘OTHER’ T in. “I don’t prefer” – yeah, none of them prefered the T, in case you didn’t know, until Stonewall changed that – ironically that is part of the group you are throwing out of T.

    As to who gets the wrong ideas about whom: they won’t, honestly – most drunk rugby players will happily kill all T knowing they have gotten rid of the ‘perverse’ – or some ‘super-gay man’ (so you keep your gender identity but at the cost of taking away their orientation? Great!) – The question I don’t hear you asking is why straight hetero trans (the verbal slang for the umbrella which did matter because there wasn’t questioning or two spirited or anything else) crossdressers would have done so much to let the young T in if they knew they would be linguistically ripped out in blogsphere? And your arguement about ‘assigning’ is an arguement I’ve hear LONG time about why bisexuals are a bunch of low life backstabbers, and so say the lesbian brigade (blech). Oh, sorry, did you not want to know why T murders aren’t reported to the FBI?

    2)
    If we are talking US again, there is change faster than I thought possible, but yes, insurance is challenging (though laws are being passed and insurance companies are changing due to lobby groups). As to your life threatened, I think backing away from this is a good idea. Being Trans is not healthy, but then telling that to someone without insurance in an end-stage terminal disease is crass – and oddly it was never meme’s that threatened me, but skinheads on subways or Irish groups – oh Belfast when they were doing the ‘snakes being chased out’ and kneecapping and setting fire after breaking your door down, that was a meme and a half.

    In three years, I knew five transitioning individuals, of which two lived to the end of three years. I suppose I should say eight, but one survived four hours, before she was knived to death after the door to her home was broken down, another hung herself after three months of unrelenting harassment at the Tesco’s they worked at (the father wrote
    my son is a degenerate with brain disease’ for the obit and papers), and another, on the exact same day, deliberately walked out in front of a bus after a level of harassment which I don’t think you would believe (for example, a double decker bus made a slightly too long turn on a round about when school got out and in 30 seconds there were 400 kids screaming and trying to tip over the double decker, and smash in the windows – all with us and the driver inside – that was a pretty good neighborhood and ‘nice’ harrassment – what she got wasn’t ‘nice’). Time came, I started going crazy counting the dead, burned out of home, attacked, knifed, hospitalized – I saw a genderfree young man go from fairy wings to lumberjack shirts due to two daytime attacks (and the murder of his friend), in a couple months. I tire of it, and I tire of those who don’t get that life and death and war and attack mean just that. When they declared ‘war’ on us, there was a killing a day for the first week in one town. And this is where there are no guns!

    “you’re declaring war on me. And I have the right to fight back.” – That oddly is never a verbal metaphor for places where groups actually try to kill every single last (insert LGBT, or married, or couples, or same) – due to my experiences it will never be for me. Someone declares war on my partner, my sister, then buy asbestos (not a metaphor), because I really have had enough friends die and people push stuff through the mail slot – that’s the laugh innit, to set something on fire and push it through the mail slot and burn people alive, that’s a blast! Yeah, real fun around 11:30 when the pubs close and they start standing outside your flat – of course, Gender Law in the UK helped the life-span of many T individuals, particularly the EOC and $10,000 rider on telling people or discrimination. But there is a reason why the UK and other countries are decades behind in salary and lifespan (much better than some countries where life ‘out’ whether LGB or T is in years, or decades if lucky – or rapes per year).

    your response from Hate Crime Language tells me what countries you are not in. And publishing something does have responsibility. Even in the USA (the incite to riot for one). Making a living out of what you publish isn’t a ‘thought crime’ – in reference to Penny Arcade, in most countries it is a ‘hate crime’ which is a punishible crime. And since the US courts have held up that screaming “She-Male” at trans is okay under free speech while F*G!!! is not (see Philadephia Pride Parade arrests and the final decision for that one), I am against it. But then I am also against it because child exploitation porn of under 10 year old naked children can be sold in the US under ‘freedom of speech’ and can’t even be mailed through most other countries (since I worked in the UK to eliminate child porn rings, it is a bit of a issue with me).

    Sorry, I might have had my emotions high on the last point – some not really good memories, when you have more friends dead at 30 than your age.

    • This really, really sucks. Why is it so hard to find common ground?

      Sadly that is not the majority, or even a small, small fraction of the majority of the group you outline. But hey, all those other countries, (states in the US), and people over a certain age or (FORBID WORSE!) being on the street on not having done the linquistic acceptance due to computer and university access. So, do I walk by when seeing you kick out people who don’t have that small entrance pass while having a diss fest? Or is it about ideas larger?

      Well, the thing you don’t seem to be acknowledging about the language you’re using is that it was created by the mid 20th century medical establishment, rather than by any of the groups you’re talking about. And for a long time that was the only language anyone could use in public if they wanted to be understood. Over the last 15 years, the Internet has made it possible for a new battery of terms coined by people who are actually on the trans spectrum to emerge. These terms make distinctions that are important for us and among us. They have utility; that’s why we use them. And it’s true, because some people don’t have the privilege (that ought to be the right) of access to the Internet or haven’t found our community, they will never have heard our language. Some people may know, but disagree with the idea that our language is more useful at all, and keep using old terms or invent new ones. Nobody can stop them, and nobody should. Whatever terms turn out to be the most useful and respectful should win out.

      Or maybe we should all just learn Sumerian.

      It’s not about some sort of dumb purity test or gatekeeping, either. Genderqueer people, cis people, intersex, neutrois, and everybody else is welcome in trans defined space and should be. Trans men are welcome in trans women’s space and vice versa, and should be. The dialogue that goes on most of the time should be an inclusive one. (Not that all of us have an equal choice in the matter.) All I am saying is that cis cross dressers shouldn’t get to set the agenda for trans people who want to transition, because they’re going to emphasize different concerns. Vice versa holds too, although since there’s something on the order of 50 times as many cis cross dressers as trans folk that isn’t really a pressing danger. Is there something about that which seems unfair?

      I mean, for example, the LGBT groups set up, maintained, were done so for a T that a current crop of bloggers has language ripped, leaving them where?

      Leaving them still with all the power, all the money, and all the numbers. Leaving them still controlling the language of every book you can find in the library or the bookstore. Leaving them excluded from absolutely nothing, really, except the right to set the agenda among a group of people whose tiny size and limited scope you’ve adequately pointed out.

      It was about brining people TOGETHER, not – hey, ‘they’ will use the wrong stereotype in understanding me and I can’t police that if I let those ‘OTHER’ T in. “I don’t prefer” – yeah, none of them prefered the T, in case you didn’t know, until Stonewall changed that – ironically that is part of the group you are throwing out of T.

      Stonewall really was something, with all sorts of people fighting against a common enemy, because back then everybody really was equally marginalized. That’s not the case anymore and those with power know it, which is why the GLB lobby has been paying lip service to trans rights while systematically excluding them from the vast majority of proposed legislation. Which is why even large urbanized states like Pennsylvania and Ohio lack the most basic of protections against anti trans discrimination. Which is why even the GLB activists at my college could not tell the difference between trans and camp. John Aravosis doesn’t lead a movement that I belong to. And that’s a choice he made, not me. GLB PACs like the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund are doing jack all to help Brittany Novotny, and that’s a choice they made. By the standards of the trans community this paragraph doesn’t even qualify as bitter.

      As to who gets the wrong ideas about whom: they won’t, honestly – most drunk rugby players will happily kill all T knowing they have gotten rid of the ‘perverse’ – or some ‘super-gay man’ (so you keep your gender identity but at the cost of taking away their orientation? Great!)

      What does that parenthetical comment even mean? The media reports will often call even a transitioned trans woman who has legally changed her name a gay man, and use her male name, and vice versa for trans men, especially if that’s what the parents want.

      The question I don’t hear you asking is why straight hetero trans (the verbal slang for the umbrella which did matter because there wasn’t questioning or two spirited or anything else) crossdressers would have done so much to let the young T in if they knew they would be linguistically ripped out in blogsphere?

      None of the cis/birth gender identified crossdressers I know are dull enough to use the “language of violence” about me using different words to refer to them than Kate Bornstein does. In point of fact, most of the ones I know don’t identify as trans anything in the first place, though our respective ages probably mean we know different kinds of people.

      And your arguement about ‘assigning’ is an arguement I’ve hear LONG time about why bisexuals are a bunch of low life backstabbers, and so say the lesbian brigade (blech). Oh, sorry, did you not want to know why T murders aren’t reported to the FBI?

      OK, the only reason I’m allowing this part of the comment through is that I’m not sure I understand you correctly. Are you actually saying that, because I call cross dressers, genderqueer folk and trans folk by different names than you do, that somehow makes me complicit in the covering up of trans murder? Not only is that one of the most obscenely offensive things I’ve ever heard, it’s also a total non sequitur. What is even your point?

      I don’t know what you’re talking about wrt bisexuals either. It seems to me that they experienced exactly the kind of erasure trans people are undergoing today. Back when it was just the “gay and lesbian” movement, bisexuals were assumed to just be gay people in denial, so they didn’t get their own category. That remains part of the cultural stereotype today. Similarly, since the GLB folk can’t tell the difference between cross dressers, genderqueer folk and trans folk, they treat them all as subsets of the majority, which is CD. And since cis cross dressers don’t need hormones or legal documents changed or anything like that, why bother fighting for those things? The trans rights movement has been submerged under that for decades, so naturally there is some amount of resentment when one group tries to set the pecking order and agenda for everyone else.

      As to your life threatened, I think backing away from this is a good idea. Being Trans is not healthy, but then telling that to someone without insurance in an end-stage terminal disease is crass

      Why would you say that? Given the stories you report in the next paragraph, I know you understand — unless you think I haven’t been through any of that because I haven’t told you. Or because I’m not dead yet. Just about all of us are a moment away, and even if 41% attempt suicide, that doesn’t mean the other 59% can look at a bridge without seeing themselves tumbling down.

      Trans itself is as unhealthy as a cleft lip, but trying to live in this world as a trans person kills. And the people I’m complaining about are doing their best to make it worse. I’ll back away from my language when they back away from trying to kill me, and not a moment before.

      I’ve been through some things that I will never, ever blog about. I just don’t have the courage, and there are no signs anyone except my closest friends actually cares.

      And since the US courts have held up that screaming “She-Male” at trans is okay under free speech while F*G!!! is not (see Philadephia Pride Parade arrests and the final decision for that one), I am against it.

      Face to face harassment is different from generalized statements on the Internet. The former should be, and usually is, less protected. But last I heard the FBI cared more about going after text based erotica than anything we’re talking about. I am actually pretty sure the average American jurist, not to mention the average American, is either not aware that shemale is a slur or doesn’t care. Bang up job by the GLB movement helping with that, by the way. Thanks John Aravosis, right? (OK, a few are trying, but as QT pointed out a while ago wrt GLAAD they fail even when they’re trying.)

      But then I am also against it because child exploitation porn of under 10 year old naked children can be sold in the US under ‘freedom of speech’ and can’t even be mailed through most other countries (since I worked in the UK to eliminate child porn rings, it is a bit of a issue with me).

      This sounds strange to me since I’ve heard stories about people being prosecuted for developing naked pictures of their babies, or teenagers being prosecuted for having naked pictures of themselves on their hard drives. Which is not to say that I don’t believe you, since the only thing I firmly know about US child pornography case and statue law is that it’s nonsensically inconsistent. For me that issue has, again, nothing to do with “speech” and everything to do with the actual children involved.


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