More Putting Words to Work

About 12 or 13 years ago in LA I lived in an area where East Hollywood met Los Feliz met Silverlake.

It  was a nice semi boho area with great Thai restaurants, a decent used bookstore, a couple of independent bookstores, a couple theaters (both live and movie), art galleries,  and a real coffeehouse with poetry readings and all that.

You also couldn’t turn around without bumping into one of our brother kinfolk.

I was a volunteer at the LA Gay and Lesbian Community Center and I met a couple of academic brothers, one of whom convinced me I was an important person in history.  He introduced me to Susan Stryker but that is another story.

Now I’m a big believer in using our power to name rather than having outsiders impose it on us.  This is why I say I was treated for transsexualism and not for GID or Gender Dysphoria (Never mind that neither of those had been socially constructed when I got SRS)  I borrow the initials of an African American Clothing Design house for this process FUBU (For Us, By Us)

Anyhow one of the brothers I met refused tocall himself F to M.  Instead he used T to M.  Part of the origin of WBT arises from my taking this concept from him

As some of you have noticed I use “Transkid” a lot.  This meshs with the idea that before surgery we were transsexual and assigned as male (or female as the case may be) and later when our being transsexual and not male (or female as the case may be) we had sex reassignment surgery that changed our genital sex assignment.

I know this leaves metaphysical questions but T to F works better for me than Male to Female.  Particularly since I wasn’t all that male to begin with.

11 Responses to “More Putting Words to Work”

  1. Evangelina Says:

    I too can live with that concept.

  2. Catherine Says:

    I really like the T to F term. It makes a lot more sense. Especially for those of us that transitioned young enough to have never really been men. It’s a lot more accurate than me thinking in terms of androgynous boy to female. I’m terrible with terms though. I still don’t think I’ve found one where I feel included under the trans-umbrella. I really need one.. lol.. I feel kind of left out. Every time I find a group, I usually find I’m not welcome for one reason or another. And I was kind of grooving on WBT until I read some blog from a Redneck WBT and realized that I’m not welcome because I’m currently not having sex with men and believe in rights for all American citizens. Oh dopey liberal me. Go figure that my politics could get me thrown out of an extremely ostracized group. I guess it’s my fault for letting the tribulations of my life make me a more compassionate person. Then again, maybe the “redneck gene” is more powerful than whatever gene it was that made those women transition in the first place. That would make an interesting study.

    It’s just weird how many labels I’ve had in my life and I realize that I don’t seem to be allowed to play in any of them because I usually don’t fit someone else’s definition. I was a boy, but because I wasn’t masculine enough, I wasn’t invited to play in all their reindeer games, I transitioned and before SRS I guess I was TG, but then again that was only a year or so and I didn’t know any other TG people so I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it so after SRS, I hung out with women and was a woman for a number of years with all my documentation changed and my privacy respected. Then I found I was attracted to women when I was in my late twenties and suddenly I had a new label, Lesbian. Then I got ‘outed’ at work thanks to a mentally ill psychologist and a manager that couldn’t keep her mouth shut, and suddenly people started asking me weird questions after working there for fifteen years and I ceased being a Lesbian or a Woman (at least to those I was outed to) and I was now Transsexual or Transgendered (mostly thought of as Trannie, probably) and ended up quitting my job and restarting in a place where I wasn’t out. Then I tried to be Transgendered, but that group was really mean to me because, I think, I “passed” too well (Seriously. I had a TG person say “I cheated” because I had an intersex condition I’ve had to deal with my whole life. It’s physical not mental like most WBT’s claim.), I found I couldn’t fit in there and then recently found the WBT group and thought, peachy! I belong! Now I find there is a bunch of WBT women filled with so much hate and misinformation that I don’t feel welcomed by that label either.

    I have to admit, I just don’t get the Redneck WBT community. I do love that they think they are part of the “family values” brigade. Cracks me up. The fact is, if they had a penis and were able to procreate then claiming heterosexuality and family values is a bit spurious at best. I doubt the “family values” people even want them. If they were truly “family value” oriented, then why would they transition and destroy their ability to have children. Silly monkeys.. And I am oh so tired of WBT and TS people who transition later in life claiming intersexuality without any real proof. People like me tortured by the medical community for years, from birth, might find that a little unfair to those that could have lived “normal” lives biologically. I considered my intersexuality completely separate from my transsexuality since not all IS people choose to transition which is why I don’t bring it up usually.

    I think I’m going to go with the term “Freak” for me. It’s the only one that no one seems to really want to claim and has that taste of individuality about it. I’d prefer to go back to “Woman” but I’m not sure that’s truly a choice when “Out” regardless of passability.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but am I the only one who is lost concerning all the terms nowadays? I like the term “normborn”. I like “normie” even better. But why is it that we need so many terms? The ones I’m aware of are CD/TV/TG/TS/WBT/IS/Q (sorry for the abbreviations). Then there are now terms for people who aren’t under the umbrella. L/G/B/S(traight)/H(etero)/N(ormborn)/CG (Cis-gendered), etc.. Sometimes I feel like I belong to some secret society with special code names but I never got the decoder ring in the mail.

    What I also think confuses people is that it seems like nobody in each group wants to claim the term they come up with. CD’s keep telling people they are TG. TG people want people to see them as TS, TS people want people to see them as IS and some WBT people want others to see them as Normborn. Nobody seems to want to be whatever it is they label themselves as. And those WBT people wanting legislation to only protect WBT’s that only allow them to marry men. Umn.. Do they really think that includes “unpassable” WBT’s? Does anyone truly believe that “unpassable” post-srs WBT qualifies as “heterosexual”. I only practiced law for about five years in California, but I can see a lot of holes in that kind of legislation. I think there may be too many “exclusive” terms being used. Post-SRS WBT women, unless passable, will be a hindrance to any legislation desiring “normalcy”. Should we create even more groups now? Scientifically, heterosexuality or homosexuality in WBT women is always going to be debatable no matter how much Redneck WBTs may wish to believe otherwise. The fact is, many WBT women simply cannot, at this point in history, really demand to be seen as an intersexed organization. If they aren’t born with obvious physical deformities, the medical community won’t legitimize such legislation until provable/repeatable studies come out. And most of the WBT’s I’ve met are in no way IS. I had one woman, who dated men, tell me that she was intersexed though she fathered three children, was married to a woman and transitioned in her late thirties. Please…

    Ok.. Off topic. Sorry, but I was so disappointed to find that even the WBT community is splintered. I was just happy, at first, to find a group and I term that I thought I could stand behind and I would have assumed that living through such a terrible life experience that “transitioning” entails would make a person more compassionate but from what I’ve read lately from some sectors of the WBT community, they are anything but compassionate. They use insulting terms for anyone that doesn’t see things their way. One person even claims because they were last on a comment section of a blog that somehow they were right? Mostly it just means they were the last to comment but it doesn’t seem to dawn on them. That takes balls. These “straight” WBT women claim to want traditional marriages, though the people in charge of traditional values in America would very likely view their marriage as anything but “traditional”. If you were to put me and my partner or any two “normie” lesbians in front of someone and then put a late transitioning WBT with the voice of drunken male sailor, with their male partner, which one do you think they would consider more “normal”? By transitioning and being WBT, you sort of forfeit the right to the term “normborn”. Period. No real grey area there. Those WBT people who think that anyone in the religious reich will ever view their marriage to a man as “traditional” must be smoking some pretty good stuff and I think they should share 🙂

    I guess I’ll stick with “Freak” until I find a group that will let me play with them.. Wow.. I needed to vent big time.. Sorry Suzan.. Ignore the majority of this post. Sorry. Just don’t have time to re-read it at the moment.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Cathryn, for the most part I’m with you on your comment and would applaud it. But than you do yourself what you say apalls you in others… claiming something and say who not fullfills this mark is somehow not real.
    I finally (socially) transitioned with 36. There was no Dr. Benjamin over here in Germany, and when I tried to reach the medical community I only was sent home. The way the german standarts of care are set up finallly drove me away from the medical community and I started to do hormones with 25, but all I could get my hands on, were the “herbal hormones” which are not regulated because no one thinks they work (they did, but slowly) then I made a lot of other mistakes until I handled to transition. But I always did know I will transition and it was my only real goal (Being an honest person it gave me a bit of a pain when in job-interviews I was asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years 😉 )

  4. Catherine Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I too live in Germany. I never said anyone isn’t “real” What’s “real”? People are real as they want to be. Personal perception will always differ from social perceptions is all I’m saying. Might be a language barrier. Probably easier to discuss in German. Anyhow, what I’m getting at basically is, in the US, no legislation can be passed unless the medical community has some say so over transition. If anyone with enough cash can self-diagnosis and transition at will without any standards, it’s hard to tell who is and who isn’t medically transsexual, let alone whether or not someone qualifies for hetero or homosexual standard. Even so, “passable” for the American public is still a big deal.

    I received hormones in Thailand when I was still a teenager and because I was IS, I was placed on all sorts of hormones most of my life not to mention “normalizing” surgeries which did anything but… I know I got a little carried away with my post, but it gets frustrating after a while. Everyone seems to want rights but they seem to only want them for themselves and use themselves as the barometer of normality. You see this a lot in the US.

    One of the reasons I love Germany is because my friends here are far more individualistic and open minded. I just keep letting people under the TG umbrella beat me up verbally in one way or another and I’m over it. If you lived in the US long enough and went through I went through, you might see things a tad bit differently. But that’s a whole other thing. I’m a firm believer in the right for anyone to live as they wish, just don’t tell me how to live my life.

    Either way, you’ve made me realize that I’ve had enough of all this. I’m clearly not going to belong under anyone’s label. So, I just need to delete all these blogs from my computer and get back to being just me. I’m don’t belong clearly. You’re right in a way. When I am starting to act like those that I don’t like, then it’s time to leave before I become something I never wanted to be. Thanks for the eye-opener.

  5. Sarah Says:

    Hello Cathryn.

    I was thinking about doing this as a private message, but theres a toy named google translations for the others.

    I pretty much understand what you feel, cause I feel pretty much the same right now (some links to my blog):

    In chronolical order
    (on this blog and english, the last comment)

    And I’m still sorry that I let me trigger by your post (the mention of classic transsexuality equaled HBS views for me) at dented blue mercedes, now I see we have at least some important views in common.

    The whole persons that are lumped by third parties under the TG umbrella are still doing nothing than snap at each other and the winner is? The two sex system even Cathryn promotes. And various IS people (who would not touch a once TS person with a stick). If we can’t accept out differences, you can not expect that from cispeople either – and hey, Cathryn discribed it – as long as no one knows your a woman with a TS past everything is good, but one instance where your past is shown, and you am viewn with the same eyes again like every person under that hated TG umbrella. Its not the fault of the other TG identified that stand lower in that Group (IS vs TS vs TG vs TV).

    Sorry, I finally mixed a response to various posts and comments into this one.

  6. Sarah Says:

    Oops, I forgot one post. One of my best friend was very unhappy with this shiny little boxes that are presented here:
    Am I IS, TS, Human? (German)

  7. Suzan Says:

    The whole idea that we are all transgender and that there is an umbrella is very male. Indeed the foremost promoters of the transgender as umbrella are either normborns or men.

    It is just so transvestite to think that getting SRS is like getting a Ph.D or taking transvestism further.

    I am also a believer in the two sex system and I am a female member of that system.

    A fair number of the leading anti-transsexual intersex people who made up ISNA were in fact transsexuals pretending to be IS. (Kiira Tirea & Cheryl Chase).

    You use the same TG Party line as every other TG. You don’t know shit about how people deal with me or other post-SRS women and how they differentiate between us and the transvestites.

  8. Sarah Says:

    I allready earned some threads 🙂

  9. Sarah Says:

    threats… now beside that.
    I never forget how you pointed out babybattybats on Zoes pointed out something that threatened your identity (as woman) and you transformed it into a death thread.
    Thats a bit why, while I begin to like you, I still have problems with that face of yours.

    And how you am triggered now reminds me of me being triggered elswhere by you.

    That binary you and Suzan name is the curse. As an intersexed person who had done harm on you due to that you should understand.

    When I side with you and Suzan I can hide in a few month on the WBT side, but that wont change anything for the broader picture. And nothing for the women in change. The still transsexual. And nothing for intersexual children, still harmed.

    That is why I said we share some of more importent views, but not all.

  10. Suzan Says:

    I do not see the sex binary as a curse. I may well have been and even still be an in-between but I still see a sex binary as the only place I have ever lived or for that matter ever will.

    I did not think of myself as female until after SRS. I thought of myself as transsexual. Now I will grant you that I was one of those people who had their not maleness more girl than boy written on my body.

    (Not an illusion or even that special as Dr Benjamin pointed out to me some 25-33% of us have physical traits that are more female than male.) Which is to be expected given Swaab’s findings of genetic markers showing problems with the androgen receptors.

    I think, my dear, you have drunk too much of the transgender ideological Kool Aid.

    Get back to us on this matter when you are 5-10 years post-SRS.

  11. tinagrrl Says:

    Some years ago, more or less tongue in cheek, I said there should be a law that says all post-ops must keep their mouths shut for two to five years after SRS.

    It was partly a joke, and partly a reflection on how my thinking changed over the years.

    Of course I was taken seriously. When I attempted to explain how it reflected the evolution of my thinking as I lived my life as a woman, some folks said they were not weak-minded the way I was.

    I actually found that a very interesting statement. They were so sure they were right, they were able to totally discount all my experience.

    It almost appeared to be a holdover of “male certitude” on their part — one of the very things I saw as changing within me over time.

    Of course, I must have been wrong — after all, they were the newly minted “experts”.

    As I’ve said, over and over, there is no “community” — but, if we’re lucky, there can be alliances based on common goals — if we can finally agree on some of those.

    So far we can’t even agree on those.

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