WBT Biographies

As an amateur historian and an archivist I’ve always had and read a fair sampling of trans themed books, especially memoirs.  I’ve watched their evolution ever since the expurgated and self censored “Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography”.

So straight, so square so different from my messy late 1960s life of sex, drugs, rock n roll and radical politics.  Canary Conn’s book in the early 1970s hinted at a life a tad edgier and closer to the lives that were being lived by my friends and myself.

But where oh where wre the books with the real stuff of life?  The stuff that caused Jim Carroll to open his book “Forced Entries” with an epigram attributed to Anatole France, “All writers of confessions, from Augustine on down, have always remained a little in love with their sins.”

To make matters worse many of the autobiographies were by people with whom I felt I had very little in common.  Renee Richards, Roberta Cowell, Jan Morris, Nancy Hunt.  No one ever writes about giving a blow job to a lead singer or lead guitar for an invite back to the Continental Riot House for the after gig party or for the pass that let me say the magic words, “I’m with the band.”  Indeed the emphasis is so on ladylike as to often come across as being afraid to mention any carnal desires and lusts.

Oh no most of these memoirs were more about being born privileged and having spent their callow youth in a uniform rather than having hot sex with a boyfriend who had deserted after returning from Vietnam.  No one mentioned the dressing to give the doctor a hard-on because we knew that was the surest way to get him (and it was most often a him) to write a hormone script or agree to do our operation.

It was as if actively enjoying our lives was something taboo and heaven forbid we should actually enjoy sex.  Then in the early 1980s April Ashley’s book came out and with it came a sense that it was actually possible for us to both have fun with our lives and enjoy sex.  Coincidentally April’s book treated her operation as a point in her life and not as the climax.

The same with Aleshia Brevard’s, Leslie Townsend and Rosalyne Blumenstein.  At last people had started telling their stories in a way that didn’t sugar coat them as much.  Some talked about abusive relationships post SRS others talked about having substance issues.

In writing honestly about our lives we get to see the variety of twists and turn they take and yet see the common point that resonate.  Because even as alien as some of the biographies of those who come out in middle age are to my adult life there are the same element we all tend to experience as children.

Knowing both young and older emergers has caused me to see the pathologicalization laid forth by the dicks like BB & L for the bullshit that it is.

A Common Transvestite Misconception

I often find heterosexual transvestites demonstrating  both ignorance and arrogance regarding both WBTs and sisters in process.  One aspect of this is that we all start out cross dressers and that both transgenders and transexuals take it further.

I guess in this sort of cosmology a sort of sports analogy works cross dressing equals playing a high school sport, transgenderism equals playing that same sport in college and getting SRS equals playing professionally.  This is the same line of thinking that causes some TVs to put us on a pedestal  and then call us elitist when we claim to have little or nothing in common with them.

I think this stems from some common TV fantasies that show up in some TV erotica where the protagonist is forcibly feminized yet keeps his peepee while others are also feminized but are taken to the ultimate.  It is a safe fantasy of being like WBTS yet not having to give it up to Cybele’s knife.

If we challenge them on the idea of a continuum or that people tend to move toward transsexuaklism they whip out Dr. Benjamin’s scale.  The thing about The Transsexual Phenomena is that it was publishe in 1966 and hit the stores in 1967.  But it wasn’t written in 1966.  Indeed it is a strung together collection of journal articles slightly rewritten.  Many stemming from the early 1950s.  The Kinsey Scales played a role in Benjamin developing his own scale.

When we were running the office he visited us along with Zelda Suplee and we talked about the things we were finding.  One of those things was that by 1970 kids with transsexualism were arriving in the city and never going through the stages of identifying as queens.  They would get to the city, visit the office and go to the public health clinic and get hormones and enter transition.  On the other hand people were getting their SRS dates and then changing their minds but continuing to live as women.

He agreed that his observations could change with the culture and with more people living more openly.

It has been 40 years now and if some things we thought in the 1960 were right everyone would have started coming out as young adults and transvestites/transgenders would have nearly disappeared.  This suggests that while all three  might well be innate they also might not have a very close relationship.

I would say to transvestites, “Don’t put us on pedestals and then call us elitiist because we say we are different.”  It just pisses us off and makes it harder to work together on ad-hoc issues that might be of common interest to us both.  Hate crimes and ENDA spring immediately to mind as ad-hoc issues that probably are of common interest.

But we aren’t you sisters.  Further some of the crap I’ve heard from TV/TGs regarding my genitals sounds as though it came straight from some right wing Christo-Fascist preacher.

I might be nicer to y’all if you didn’t say such nasty shit about my nice little pussy.

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