I Think It Would Be Best To Return Transgender To Its Original Meaning

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.

4 Responses to “I Think It Would Be Best To Return Transgender To Its Original Meaning”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Be wary of the psychopaths yes – be non-inclusionist by stigmatizing hetero CDs – balderdash. Sit down and listen to yourself – where is the hate coming from?

  2. Suzan Says:

    Well Stephanie and I noticed a different name on your e-mail account so I am going to go out on a limb and assume you are a member of the offended Het CD faction.

    It’s like this I came out before Stonewall and co-ran a little organization called the National Transsexual Counseling Unit where we had a small reference library of donated books. Two of which were by Prince, who at that point was Charles “Virginia” Prince. One was “The Transvestite and His Wife”, the other “How to be a Woman Though Male”. They were without a doubt two of the biggest piles of misogynistic bullshit I ever read.

    Later after I had SRS I encountered Prince. I had come out as a lesbian (bisexual but taking the political stance that feminism is the theory and lesbianism is the practice). Prince (of many names) told me I was a mistake and should have never gotten SRS since I wasn’t into play house wife to some dick.

    Fast forward and other encounters with het CDS and listening to the homophobic bullshit of straight except when en femme men I realized that het CDs no matter their Kumbyaa Tapestry party line were not people I had anything in common with.

    But hey fast forward to the 1990s and I’m in Transsexual Menace and trying to get het CDs to actually show some support on a variety of issues including the Ca. Hate Crimes Bill and marching in the LA Pride Day even. I couldn’t get one homophobic Het CD to show at a single event or to show any support.

    I have less problem considering the shemale/trannie hookers on the stroll or in the ads my sisters than I have considering you guys even to be friends of the so called community.

  3. Suzan Says:

    Sit down and listen to yourself –

    Gee I do not need some misogynistic dick to put me in my place. Even one who wears women’s clothes.

    Queens are sooo much cooler than you guys.

  4. Catherine Says:

    Dear Suzan,

    Really well written article. Takes me way back. I remember Sister Mary Elizabeth from when I lived in San Juan Capistrano back in the 80’s. What a trip down memory lane..

    I’ve been thinking, why would we all want to choose to lump ourselves together? If we fought for individual rights more specific to our needs, we’d get much more accomplished than fighting as a group who’s needs vastly different things from group to group. Society has a problem granting all rights that every person under the umbrella claims to need. Do CD’s really want to be accepted in society as women if they are perfectly happy as men? Would the CD or fetish community be happy if society granted them protection such as anti-hate laws so that it would be spelled out definitively that hatred would not be tolerated? Do they really want to be treated as women 24/7? Do they really feel that having bathroom and shower privileges for the time they are ‘dressed’ is something they must have in order to live their lives happily? Do WBT women who transition quite young need work-place tolerance laws considering they never deal with transition on the job? Transgender people probably need many different protections from group to group and person to person. Though will society ever grant them such protections if it opens up women’s spaces to men who dress as women part time and live with male privilege?

    Perhaps the umbrella does more harm overall as our needs are quite different from person to person. Perhaps this is why the GLB has problems figuring out where we belong in the whole GLBTQ/T etc.. rainbow. What I concern myself with mostly is the Lesbian part of GLBT community because what they are fighting for improves my life more directly than anything the T contingent is fighting for. My partner and I were married in California and I worry that our marriage may be nullified far more than I worry about bathroom privileges or tolerance laws for CD’s. For me though, if I thought transgender people were fighting for privacy, I’d jump on that bandwagon since it would represent my issues as someone that is WBT. Privacy laws would be peachy.

    I would gladly agree and vote for anti-hate legislation for anyone. No one has the right to hurt another person for something as stupid as what they wear. I would vote happily for transgender people’s rights to tolerance in the workplace (though pre SRS I’m not sure they should be allowed in all women’s spaces). They deserve respect as women in society in many places. What is between their legs doesn’t give anyone the right to fire them or treat them as anything lesser than the gender they represent. In the workplace it should be about the best person for the job and gender bias shouldn’t be acceptable. I think most rational people would agree with this.

    I think what confuses everyone is it is unclear where the lines are drawn within the larger T umbrella. I think most people (including the GLB) would be fine granting restroom and public access to women’s spaces to WBT’s. Can we expect anyone from the GLB to really fight for extending such rights to a part time CD? I don’t know of anyone in the lesbian community that would be ok showering with a CD at the gym, seriously. Lesbians, being women, aren’t going to fight for a bunch of guys to invade women’s spaces. Why combine the two groups in order to fight for legal rights?

    If we respect each other as individuals, we should respect each others individual needs. I think we all could get what we want far easier as separate and distinct groups than as a combined community. And considering the additions now on the end of the GLB what’s the big deal about adding a few more?

    I don’t know a lot of people in the CD community? Is there is anybody out there that is CD that is looking for more than anti-hate laws? Are bathroom privileges as important to CD’s as it would be for TG people working through a transition at a company?

    I’m curious as to what we all would like as individuals as opposed to the umbrella concept that what is good for one group is good for all.

    I think we might all be getting in each others way perhaps. Those under the transgender umbrella seem to be tripping all over each other trying to figure out what kind of laws they can get passed as a disparate group of people. I think the TG/WBT/CD/Fetish community might also also find far more support from the GL community if we were more honest about what each individual group may need. It’s so hard for anyone to agree, including the GL, to support letting CD’s or fetishists into women’s spaces considering they are quite happy as men and live their lives with male privilege in primarily heterosexual relationships where they can get married and file jointly on their taxes without the religious reich trying to pound them into the dirt. It’s why effeminate gay men represent themselves as the G part of the GLBT because gay rights would help them far more than T rights though, in all respects, they do, under the umbrella concept, represent as Transgendered as well as Gay, but how many feminine acting gay men do you know that march under the “trans” banner in a Pride Parade? You don’t see any effeminate gay males or butch lesbians scrambling to admit to being part of the transgender umbrella because their needs differ as gay men and lesbian women. Why don’t they seek to join the transgender community considering the represent in atypical ways to their gender? Because, their specific needs aren’t represented by the larger TG umbrella. It’s why there is a G and an L. Not just a G. Lesbians, have some needs that differ from the Gay Male community and most Lesbians don’t consider themselves part of the Gay Male Community that I know of. Why isn’t the TG umbrella hijacking the lives of feminine acting men or masculine acting women? I assume because individuals in the Gay and Lesbian community would never allow that and would never want that.

    We need to respect each others individuality and lives as well each others needs so we can all live happily ever after. Perhaps if we fought for just the rights we needed as separate and distinct groups, we might find larger acceptance on the whole. Why is it such a problem for people under the transgender umbrella to admit they have different needs? It doesn’t mean we can’t respect each other and love each other for who we are, does it?


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