Believe it or not WBT issues go far beyond fighting with transvestites and arguing over whether or not transgenders are human beings or just fetishistic pantie-wankers.
Many of us are older and while we may well be so assimilated that our history isn’t an issue we are forced to confront the same two headed economic discrimination monster tha faces our WBW peers and that is far more problematic employment especially in this economic crunch due to ageism and sexism.
I work retail with other people with college degrees. We are held to part time so we recieve zero benefits, no regular hours which make taking a second job difficult and constant anxiety due to the economy.
Thus Globalization, the Health Care Crisis in America, the World Wide Depression, Faith Based Hate, aging and relationships are all WBT issues.
I take my cues from y’all.
For example many live in isolation and need to connect with other people as they get older. In that we are like many other members of the alphabet soup of queer.
How often are you afraid to visit a new doctor because of a nagging health issue and reluctance to discuss all factors? Adequate health care is a WBT issue.
I could think of a hundred or more but today is my day off and I am going to dinner with my honey.
March 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm
I find myself of increasingly divergent thinking about what I read here–knowing full well this probably means little to you, but I will say it anyway.
What you say resonates more than a little, but then, the fundamental identity issues simply divide us: age, age at transition and at surgery, apparent socialization.
How could my struggles, not having been part of the National Transsexual Counselling Unit, be anything like yours?
How could my identification as a woman, an older woman working retail with young people, mostly women with degrees, in Canada’s version of Barns & Noble, and broad acceptance, be anything like yous?
Most of the reaction I receive seems to be from this quarter, response to an older woman who simply doesn’t shut up, not as a trans anything–this is a non-issue with most people I interact with, although I suspect it is an issues with the bosses. There is more surprise with my actual age as compared to my apparent age.
I have a long history, long before transition/surgery, working in progressive politics for the environment, social housing, choice–but none of these seem to fit your paradigm of what WBT issues must be.
I will no doubt continue to read your blog and probably comment from time to time. Yet, yours is simply another club I cannot belong to–I have always had to make my own.
March 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm
I am also an old woman working in retail. I too have a degree and I am both under employed and without health benefits that Canadians are fortunate enough to be able to take for granted.
As for participation in struggles. I was in SDS and later Weatherman. I was at the Pentagon demonstration in 1967 and fought at People’s Park in Berkeley. While I was running the NTCU I was sheltering a deserter.
After the NTCU I was a Second Wave feminist, involved with radical feminism and lesbian feminism.
As for your struggles not being like those of others… I tend to disagree… A writing teacher once told me all coming out stories are the same. Having met hundreds of both sisters and brothers as well as having read dozens of biographies/memoirs I feel fairly safe in saying that with rare exceptions our stories have more in common than different. Indeed like my writing teacher who may have been too much in awe of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces” I often feel as though all people with transsexualism stories are the same story.
Even the overly analytical and strangely written second biography from Renee Richards, “No Way Renee” has those common elements.
March 9, 2009 at 6:58 am
This post definitely resonates with me. Especially the question, “How often are you afraid to visit a new doctor because of a nagging health issue and reluctance to discuss all factors?”
I rarely have gone to doctors. I’ve always received hormones through ‘other means’ and these days from online sources without prescription. I haven’t been to a doctor in years that know anything about me being WBT and because I’m not willing to open up about my past, it’s doubtful I ever will seek medical attention for anything if it is related to something that would be perceived as “trans”. I’ve heard too many horror stories and with the US doctors being allowed to discriminate based on religion, I wouldn’t even call 911 if I had to in the US.
In Europe I do go to the doctor but not for anything “T” related. In my job, early arthritis is common so I’ve been seeing a doctor about that but my “past” isn’t an issue and there’s no reason for me to bring it up.
I just don’t feel comfortable dealing with doctors who will most likely throw into the transgender category, because of something I did when I was a kid. I am too afraid to ever see a US doctor because of ignorance and hatred and the assumption that I’m like every other transgender person they’ve seen on the tele.