A few years ago I read a book by Jay Prosser titled Second Skins .
While frauds like Bailey and Blanchard disguise their bigotry in pseudo scientific jargon Prosser points out how we have archetypal narratives. This is a variation on what a lesbian writing instructor taught me way back in the 1970s when she said, “All coming out stories are the same story, only the details are different.” Prosser’s thesis is that we need to trust our narratives.
Bailey and Blanchard’s position is that all transsexuals lie. On the other hand I doubt if an honest word has ever passed from the lips or pen of either Bailey or Blanchard.
While they accuse us of making stuff up because all our stories sound alike, they ignore the idea that they all sound alike because they are of an archetype that has a good deal of similarity to the gay or lesbian coming out story.
Common elements include awareness of both being different and feeling trapped in the wrong body dating from our earliest memories.
We share early memories of struggling to resolve this sense of difference by repression or by early exploration.
A coming of awareness that no matter what one does or accomplishes the feeling of being trapped in a body of the wrong sex will not go a way and that life isn’t worth living if one has to live that life in a way that is so empty and meaningless.
While the perverted Bailey and Blanchard look for perversion in others it is fairly easy to find non perversified reasons why one group comes out young and one waits until middle age.
If you like men you do not have a heterosexist society laying the whole number regarding your proper place in society upon you. You are already queer, in the words of Kris Kristofferson, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to loose.”
Granted it may not come down to just that, gay or hetero. Fear of loosing your family like so many transkids do is enough to scare many from coming out young. Then there is the justifiable fear of winding up a trannie sex worker because coming out has a high potential for trashing out the career your education has prepared you for. All these things are non-pathological, reasonable impediments to coming out when one is just entering adulthood.
There is something else that gets overlooked in the Bailey, Blanchard rush to pathologize.
Yes there are two statistical clusters regarding age of coming out. One group comes out upon entry into an adulthood and the other comes out in middle age. Perhaps if transsexuals were the only the only group re-evaluating their lives and making dramatic changes in their lives at that mid-life point then there might be grounds for looking for a zebra in the herd of horses. But mid-life is a common pivotal point where many people make life changing alterations in their paths.
Interestingly enough when one actually listens to the early life narratives one find the same sort of elements one finds in the narratives of those who come out young. Every coming out story is the same story only the details are different. Which may sound very Joseph Campbell,”The Hero with a Thousand Faces” , but the archetypal elements are there nonetheless.
Rather than mocking the moment of childhood satori that is present in the biographies of most transsexuals we should ask ourselves went we first had that moment of awakening to self knowledge.
Rather than suspect the narratives with common easily recognized elements and considering those narratives false, perhaps the narratives that should bear the most questioning are those that lack those elements. The narratives with a sudden awareness that happens only in middle age when one who has “never felt this before” suddenly awakens to this whether due to trauma or some other on the road to Damascus moment.
Particularly since these people so often embrace some of the most transphobic theories one can possibly find. Theories posited by pseudo-scientific right wing frauds with connections to NARTH and Opus Dei. Theories put forth by Bailey, Blanchard, Lawrence, Zucker, Recker, McHugh, Dreger, Cameron and Socarides.
Of course internalized transphobia coupled with a narcissistic personality could keep such people in deep denial of having anything in common with other women born transsexual. But one finds common elements among this group. Among others embracing BBZL etc have been Tirea, Laurent, Lisanne Anderson, Sue Ann Robbins and Willow, who is being allowed to speak but is moderated.
For these people everything is a pathology.
If post-ops commit suicide or engage in substance abuse it is due to a pathology on their part not to how hellishly hard society, especially the right wing Christo-Fascist bigots make it for people with transsexualism to survive with dignity. Must be pathology and not a life time of abuse.
That is internalized transphobia in action.
But as for me I trust ordinary WBTs with standard narratives not those with strange bizarre ones.