Strange Expectations

I was one of those very co-operative sisters when it came to Stanford’s Program and all the follow ups.

Then came a movie called “Bladerunner”.  One of those films that made me think. Harrison Ford played the ostensible hero but I identified with the Replicants, a race created by cloning and manufacturing.

By the mid-1980s the researchers had pulled enough shit for me to start viewing them as the enemy.  Some of the stuff was so weird, the expectations so out of step with what was happening in the world that there was no way to check a box and answer their questions.

On some levels we are almost expected to disconnect the before from the after and the past shaped us even when many of the memories are unpleasent. One of the things about the movie that hit me was that Replicants emerged as adults without a childhood and their makers were attempting to implant false memories of a childhood that never existed.

I used the term Replicant in reference to how Judy Van Maasdam and those doing the follow-up were treating us. It is as though we were created and you want us to function in a stereotypical way.  It is as though we look human but aren’t quite.  She said that I was putting myself down when I said I was a Replicant in their eyes.  I told her that in the movie Replicant was the respectful term.  The slur was “skin-job” and that I had read the work of researchers who might just as well have called us “skin-jobs”.

But back to the memories.  I am writing a book and that has meant examining the aspects of what made me who I am.

I just reconnected with a friend from High School.  She was pretty, bright and kind to me.  She has made me aware that she and other kids watched out for me and were seriously pissed off with the bullies who picked on me.

Stuff like this shaped me.  Sometimes it seemed to me like we were supposed to deny our childhood and invent pasts that didn’t happen in order to please the researchers.

Sometimes and especially with many of the newer gate keepers and the language that gets used with all the gender stuff it seems as though we are expected to recite a set of incantations that would have seemed vaguely psychotic to many of us old timers.

I think I was right to call them on what was turning abusive.

4 Responses to “Strange Expectations”

  1. Evangelina Says:

    Suzan, this raises an interesting topic and is an area where the YMMV point applies possibly more than anywhere else.

    I counselled for a couple of years post and when the clients and yes the researchers, finally pissed me off once too often, I made the decision to move on with my life. The year was 1986 As much through circumstance than any conscious choice I ceased to mention my medical history to anyone. After a couple of house moves I found myself living in a situation where virtually no-one knew my history. As you have said in your blog I had a good job friends and a life. I did not need all that TG shit. The years passed and I met a man and fell hopelessly in love and there just never seemed to be a right time to “spill the beans” Now, after 13 years it hardly seems relevant. It was not until January 2001 and I bought a computer and got myself on line that I discovered that awful word “stealth” I hated it when I heard it and realised it was aimed at my circumstances. What I found on line and saw reported from the situation in support groups both 3D and online was that the lunatics had taken over the asylum. My life had been co-opted under the TG umbrella and it pissed me off more than somewhat.

    Most of my attempts to tell it like I see it are met with hostility from almost every quarter. Well every one is entitled to their opinion and to live their life according to their own conscience and so that is how I live mine. My life has become pretty stereo-typical. I didn’t really intend that to happen it just happened. If I mention childhood in conversations I talk about events and don’t make sexual references. This kind of existence is not for everyone I accept that.

    This makes me some kind of “replicant” in the minds of the TG and the researchers and Bible bigots were my narrative ever to be discovered. “The poor woman doesn’t know she is a replicant.” When I saw Bladerunner, I too felt sorry for the poor girl and cried when the tear appeared in her eyes. I kind of identified with her. Everything was fine until it became known she was a replicant. Everything is fine until the world knows you are transsexual. Yes, the parallels are there.

  2. Suzan Says:

    I identified with both Pris the Replicant played by Daryl Hannah and the one played by Ruger Hauser.

    Self aware and pissed off at the injustice of their existence.

    But then I am a bit of an Anarcha-Feminista.

    This is why I run this blog.

  3. Rika Says:

    Suzan,
    I had to meet with Judy Van Maasdam, in august of last year. It was at my surgeons clinic across the street from Stanford. I’m not sure if it was an interview or an evaluation, but it was done informally and I was there for only a breast augmentation. I felt like I was being scrutinized to put it mildly. Now I’m sitting here at home with her business card in my hand wondering if I became a statistic on some kind of scorecard. We were having a nice conversation and I explained that yes, I was diagnosed with GID, but that I identified as female since I can remember; my father tried to beat it out of me when I was 4 years old, and then tried to beat a male identity into me, finally giving up when I hit puberty. I told Judy that my mother confided to me that we had been exposed to DES while she was pregnant with me, and my experiences led me to believe that transsexualism is obviously a matter of biology and that I hoped the DSM drops the “pathology” stigma. Well, that ended the conversation abruptly. I like my surgeon a lot, but some of the supporting cast are a bit sketchy. But that meeting has left me wondering what happened that day. I guess I was saying things that she didn’t agree with ideologically. I did feel the gatekeeper mentality bearing down on me so I shut my mouth and she left the room.

  4. catkisser Says:

    The resistance to biological origins defies all logic and understanding. It’s closer to a religious belief than anything else that relies completely on faith in the face of science……and I say this as a Pagan priestess.

    And it’s not just the TGs, it’s those who run the “girl factories” as well. The absolute best break I got when I transitioned was going to the “wrong” therapist and being shunned by those in the local gender program. I worked and socialized with other women instead, sometimes I think that makes the difference.


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