One of the big problems I have with the Transgender Borg Collective is how they expect us to stay in their ghetto of transgender forever. It is sort of like being in a gang, death is the only way out.
For example I am supposed to embrace the label of “transwoman” after 40 plus years of being a woman without any sort of qualifying prefix.
This really negates the real reason I had sex change surgery, which was to be an ordinary woman, not a queen/transgender.
All the fictional history about how the Doctors wouldn’t do surgery on us if we were friends with other sisters is kind of bullshit given how many of us have been life long friends with other post-transsexual women and men.
Many of us looked at the queen/transgender demimonde/ghetto and saw one thing… No Future…
Too much insanity, too much sex work, to much drug addiction, too many kamikaze life choices.
Now ordinary can mean many things. For some it means having husband or wife as the case may be but your basic heterosexual marriage nonetheless. For others acceptance in the gay or lesbian communities and either an embrace or rejection of the struggle for marriage equality.
For some it means complete stealth and for others openness without “transsexual” being the first and foremost thing about them. When I say openness I am describing those folks who write memoirs, blog, may even be activists yet reject the idea of running around in a “Transsexual Menace” t-shirt being first and foremost “transsexual”.
While being “TRANSGENDER” first, and foremost seems to be what the Transgender Borg Collective is all about.
Transsexual has always been different from transgender, no matter how much they look alike , especial during the active “transsexual” phase of people with transsexualism’s lives.This isn’t a matter of transsexual being a Ph.D. in transgenderism or transsexual being the professional level in sports vs transgender being the amateur level.
At this point the Transgender Borg Collective will no doubt pull out “The Benjamin Scale”. Which was actually published in the mid 1950s in Sexology Magazine nearly ten years before it was published in The Transsexual Phenomena. I knew Dr. Benjamin. I was one of his patients. I also knew him through the Reed Erickson Foundation and had a chance to ask him about that scale. You see we were seeing people who looked pretty much identical to ourselves but who were not getting SRS, even when they had the money. Several backed out of SRS while being prepped for surgery.
Being transsexual or transgender isn’t being in a competition. The two things are different but with blurry ill defined edges.
For one thing transgender is static while transsexual is moving and becoming some thing else. Transsexual is about changing sex. Transgender is about transgressing gender “norms”, which is pretty murky concept in a world of G/L Liberation and Feminism since they are also about breaking down and expanding those norms.*
This brings up another bone of contention…
I am not into attacking actual transgender individuals. I may voice criticism of an individual doing something wrong the way I criticized Autumn Sandeen’s four part attack on Ashley Love over on PHB but I have also praised Autumn’s courage of conviction for actually going to jail for justices as she did when she was involved in the actions to end DADT.
This generally speaking isn’t about the activists either. I’ve watched too many activists work too hard trying to pass righteous laws that protect people from hate crimes and discrimination for me to dump on them. Even though I might well disagree with different individuals over various strategies or even goals at times.
I often think this loose all encompassing Transgender Borg Collective concept makes passing things like an inclusive ENDA next to impossible.
Yet any criticism of the Borg ideology gets me lumped in with folks whose entire blogs seem to be about little else besides trumpeting their superiority and hate for “The Transgenders”.
According to the Collective thought/wisdom/lore of the Transgender Borg Collective I am a separatist, a renegade, an Elitist simply for saying, “Leave me the fuck alone… I don’t want to join your cult…”
No thought is given to the concept that I might have had my sex change operation 20+ years before the founding of the Transgender Borg Collective.
Nor is any given to the idea that as a feminist I might find much of the TBC, especially the language surrounding “gender” to be oppressive to women. Especially given how feminist women in the 1960s and 70s spent so much time and energy fighting against women being defined by sex/gender roles.
For some of us the whole Transgender Borg Collective is as alien as the Borg collective of Star Trek fame.
At times it feels as though we are dealing with a cult spawned by an unholy alliance of Judith Butler and Virginia Prince. A cult that speaks a language of gender studies and queer studies and is so smugly caught up in the brilliance of their own words as to be oblivious to the damage they do the real lives of working and middle class men and women who don’t see themselves as gender variants or transgressing gender by deconstructing and rewriting textual commentary on the gender binary.
When I hear that sort of bullshit I want to smack the person saying it and tell them to get a freaking clue. If anything is an artificial social construct it is the idea that there is an actual rigid gender binary in modern western society. Haven’t the people talking this bullshit ever met a woman cop or soldier, or a feminine gay man. Gender isn’t sex. And being masculine or feminine in your gender presentation has little to do with actually being a man or a woman.
Today on Facebook I was in a discussion regarding the baggage the gender variant/genderqueer/etc gang is loading down the whole idea of Transgender as Umbrella with.
And by the way the standards, such as they are, are very minimal. Change your name, get your ID, and live as the person you say you are. How difficult is that? Isn’t that what the TG originally said was their model, their goal?
And now what do we find? The goal has shifted, and now people don’t even have to change anything at all, you just show up on the internet, or on a weekend get away “en femme”, and ouila! You’re a woman or man just like all those silly TS people who actually get their legalities and medical issues handled. I guess people should have taken the movement seriously when they said they wanted to destroy all “gender”, whatever they mean by that.
But its hypocritical too, isn’t it? These same people go back to their normal lives of being men and women, and leave the political and legal fallout for those poor TS saps to clean up. We are the ones who bear the brunt of their part-time fun and deconstructing whatsis, even though the people who claim to be fucking gender actually live quite comfortable in whatever gender or sex society sees them as.
WE are the ones with real needs. WE are the people who have made the commitment. People who want to party can do it on someone else’s dime, their days of using us are over.
The Internet has proven problematic on a number of levels. All the aliases for one thing. Why should I believe anything anyone hiding behind an alias says?
Then there are the sock puppets. Does anyone wonder why I automatically consider people who whip out tales of horrible injustice and all due to their being “intersex” to almost certainly be either liars or mentally disturbed, perhaps both? If so do the names Kiira Tirea and Cheryl Chase ring a bell?
The internet is filled with transsexual and transgender avatars giving strong opinions and powerful compelling reasons why they can’t transition. Or telling how perfectly they transitioned. some of them will flat out tell lies that I can cross reference as a bold faced lie in the 30 seconds it takes me to Google something that sounds sketchy.
Andrea James has page after page of information on various internet TS/TG fantasy role players.
If you regularly follow my blog you know I am into a whole wide variety of topics. Many like Medicare and Social Security have a direct impact on my life. So I wind up wondering about people who seem to have nothing else going on in their lives beside being part of the Transgender Borg Collective.
I also wind up feeling both reviled and objectified when ever I deal people who are taped into the collective Bible of the cult.
I’m used to denigration coming from certain segments of the gender studies “Radical Feminists”, I’m used to it coming from the religious right. But I will not put up with it coming from the Transgender Borg.
Their ideology and the way they feel about people who have had sex change operations with the idea of being ordinary women and men is appalling. It is as nasty as anything I’ve ever heard from either the radical feminists or the religious right.
I was abused as a child. I’ve been in abusive relationships as an adult. I stopped being in those relationships, I stopped drinking ad drugging. Why should I be part of a cult where I am abused?
I called this piece “Longing for Ordinary”… Not longing fro “Mainstream” or longing for some sort of princess fantasy.
Ordinary means different things to different people. My ordinary might not be yours but there are a lot of people mostly old hippies, old artist and old lesbians who share my sort of ordinary where a little bit of wonderful might be tickets to see some one I saw 45 years ago at a Folk Festival or in the Village. For me it might be a conference on press reform. For someone else it might be an Alaska cruise.
Ordinary means just being a part of the class and demographic you would be a part of post all the transsexual stuff if your life hadn’t been impacted by a trans-prefixed word.
I actually feel sorry for people who are totally caught up in the Transgender Borg collective. I especially feel sorry for the activists who have to deal with the ill defined category of transgender when trying to pass laws.
As for me… the really important things are finishing getting the garden in and having a friend coming for a visit in a couple of weeks.
My life is so mundane and ordinary compared to the trauma and drama within the Transgender Borg Collective and I kind of like it that way.
* Except for those people who actually live 24/7/365 while taking hormone and getting various surgeries other than SRS. They don’t seem to transgress gender very much either… Unless you are a writing a thesis in gender studies using post-modern terminology in hopes of snagging a worthless Ph.D. with a brilliant future as a barista or some other McJob.