Those of us who came out in the 1960s and 70s have a different point of view regarding much of today’s thinking regarding people with transsexualism and their place in the scheme of things than do the transgender activists.
We didn’t view our transsexualism as something that made us transsexuals our whole lives and we definitely saw SRS as a dividing line between being women and being queens/transgenders.
Passing was something one did before SRS. It meant you had something to hide.
I don’t recall there even being a term like stealth for post-SRS women in the 1970s. We were female after surgery and just assimilated into the world of women. Some of us married men, some of us became hard core lesbian feminists.
One of Janice Raymonds bad raps regarding WBTs in the women’s movement and lesbian feminist movement had very McCarthesque overtones that put forth the proposition that as women we were so much like other women as to blend in with other women in the movement. A red under every bed/ A WBT in every feminist collective.
I happened to be really open about my history because I was so indistinguishable and because I had years of immaculate Left as well as LGBT/T credentials many movement women knew my history. I had a certain continuity.
I also helped run the San Francisco National Transsexual Counseling Unit with funding from the Reed Erickson Foundation. Reed was a T to M MBT from Baton Rouge who funded many of the early transsexual peer to peer groups.
Like most transsexual groups of the time our purpose was to help each other get our sex change operations. The expectation that was pretty implicit in our mission was that after SRS we were women or men as the case maybe and that we would leave the ghetto behind.
In those days there were physical places (Ghettos) where one could be an obvious drag queen or otherwise in between the sexes and not be harassed by the police.
I never lived in one. I found the ghetto a scary place both physically and spiritually.
Transgender activists want us to stay in those ghettos and feel our just being the ordinary women and men we can be (but are not forced to be) after our sex reassignment surgery is some how an act of treason. I have never understood how I could betray something I was never a part of but that is another article.
They use the term stealth as a pejorative term for our simply getting on with our lives, the presumption being that if we do not wear a t-shirt proclaiming our past then we are somehow hiding something.
This denies us the right to having personally determined complex lives within the ordinary society of men and women. Therefore calling our assimilation “stealth” has a textual reading that makes our assimilation seem both dishonest and a betrayal of this activist generated social construct call the “Transgender Community”.