I first heard the term Transgender in about 1976 at a Southern California group called Renaissance that was run by Jude Patton and Carol Katz (Later Sister Mary Elizabeth). It was based in Orange County and was closer to the Stanford group than to the Center in the Tenderloin.
We were dealing with the reality of there being lots of people who lived 24/7 with hormones and top surgery (either breast implants or chest reductions) but who never completed the process with getting SRS. The perpetual pre-ops.
Transgender served a purpose of providing an accurate term that was dignified. Transgenders lived as the gender not associated with their present sex and weren’t really working towards SRS so pre-op with its implication of either a looming or future post-op status was not really accurate.
Cathryn raised something I feel needs discussing. The umbrella means that transgenders who fit that original definition are also open to having transgender trashed by people who are more sociopathic fetishists than transgender in the original meaning.
Further I don’t think the occasional cross dresser should have the same rights as someone who is either transitioned to permanent or at least semi permanent “transgender status” or of people with transsexualism who may sill be in process.
A lot of this could be dealt with by the issuing of the card like they used to at the Center For Special Problems in SF. I know sociopaths are sociopaths and no system is perfect. But there are also WBTs who are full blown sociopaths as well. I had one sister attack me with a knife during a momentary psychotic episode. I had another stalk, harass and even blackmail myself and another sister.
I consider it wrong to condemn an entire group based on the acts of individual members of that group.
I also don’t think heterosexual transvestites should be included in LGBT/T nor should there be any effort to protect them beyond those which are incidental. Protections should be limited in the area of job descrimination protections to those individuals who are 24/7/365. Hate crimes protections should cover all including the freaky fetishistic CD.
Full time Transgenders also include F to Ms.
Now maybe the original is too corrupted by being used as this ill fitting umbrella. One phrase I got from a brother that seems to describe TG sisters as well as “non-op” brothers is “non-op TS” or “Top-op Only TS.
These days there is a class element and many of those who opt for that part way space just don’t have the resources to actually get SRS. How does someone lacking even a high school degree or for that matter the ability to get a passport due to immigration status pull off SRS.
I had a lot more resources than many I meet today and I did it at a time when it was cheap to live so it was possible to save. It can still be done but it takes a lot of disipline and a fair degree of luck.
Returning Transgender to its original meaning and getting rid of the once in a while CDs, the fetishists and all the other hangers on would turn the term back into a dignified term for folks who live full time as members of a gender not associated with their present genitalia.