Words have strength, words have meaning.
This is why I don’t do post-modern.
To me a man is an adult person with a penis, a male. A woman is an adult person with a vagina or more properly vulva, a female. Man and woman are not some gender based social constructs although “gender” is in and of itself a social construct. see feminine/masculine/manly/womanly.
What I have hated most about transgender as umbrella is of it messes with language to deceive. Some who are brutally honest would say lie.
They claim transsexual and transgender are synonyms when they are discrete terms with different meanings. Transgender people live full time as members of the sex not associated with their current genitals and are not working heart and soul to get SRS. Transsexuals want and get SRS and move heaven and earth to do so.
I hate the terms cis-sexual or cis-gender in part because the first person I heard use them was Laura Blake/Laura Masters, a thoroughly disagreeable transgender/transwoman on the Usenet. I know Julia Serano, who I adore because she is both cute and bright as well as giving great slam poetry, is very fond of those terms but I am not.
To understand where I am going with this I shoud give a little back-story. Now days when I refer back to the 1960s and going to the Haight I say I was a “hippie”. Back then I described myself as a politico, a radical, a freak, anything but a hippie because outsiders considered hippie a synonym for “flower child” and I was most definitely not one of those.
When I came out in 1969 one was either a queen or a trannie, the equivalent of transgender and transsexual. When you got surgery, had the operation, had your sex change operation it made you into a real woman and separated you from both the queens and the trannies.
Now lots of folks give me shit about calling it a sex change operation and I’m equally comfortable with the more genteel sex reassignment surgery. However changing/reassigning from male to female was what the operation does. Since they label you at birth based on the appearance of what is between your legs and equality demands no more or no less upon completion of the surgery that we be sexed by the same standard.
This brings me to a great new term by Sophia Siedlberg, “Normborn”. I wanted to use the term “normie” for those born with out the burden of having been born in-between in the same way as I used to call heterosexuals “breeders” back in the days before “gaybabies” produced by turkey basters, adoption and immaculate conception. By contrary to popular belief I don’t seek out getting trashed and flamed for being honest. It just happens because people are very enchanted with pretty word, euphemisms to disguise and erase our having been born different and as a result growing up to go through an operation that treats our being born with transsexualism by reassigning our sex to the sex that is a better match.
Besides the fucks at Focus on the Family will still lie about us and use us to beg money from their stupid followers no matter what pretty and obscuring language we use.
I know academics love complex language because they can use it to to write scholarly articles for their Journals.
But me… I’m an anarcha-feminist and I think the best way to deliver a message is to tape it to a brick and heave the brick through a big plate glass window.
So “normborn” is a word for today
April 2, 2009 at 6:10 pm
I agree that words have power and command of language and the English language in particular, affords the skilled user great power in debate and in personal expression. We all arrive at our viewpoints both as a result of life experiences and as a result of arguments that have convinced us because of the power that the words used have created. Suzy you say YMMV. I think that sums up this very concept.
I tend to use different terms because of experiences that I have had both on a personal level and as an observer not out of any belief in post modernism. I don’t believe you can learn to be a woman (or man) if that were true I should have been able to learn to live as the sex assigned to me at birth by a midwife’s quick glance at my genitals when born. However I couldn’t, though I did give it a try. Perhaps we were fortunate you and I in that we were both obviously already quite female despite male appendages. That said, without exception the people I have met and helped who earnestly and diligently seek surgery as a matter of urgency, have all had secondary sex markers that make their transsexuality obvious to all but the most bigoted and blind. It is for these reasons and no belief in “post modern” language that I choose to use “correction” rather the “sex change” you prefer. That said I don’t have any feelings of dislike of that particular choice of description. I never have accepted that I was ever fully male, perhaps that is one reason why I prefer to use different words.
April 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm
Clinically/academically, you’re right about transsexual vs. transgender.
You can be right, and still lose, though.
Use [Google blog search (beta)] to look up Transgender. There are 461,684 page hits. Most of them are about trans rights, and transition, and where do I get hormones/counseling/etc.
Now search transsexual. 380,343 page hits, with words like horny, slut, fetish, and a lot, lot worse.
I’m a DES son. Mom went to medical school, we always had a PDR in the house. I’m post-op. I transitioned on the job and still work there. I’m not a horny slutty [____] (etc, etc, etc,) but a valued employee.
In a perfect world, transsexual and transgender would mean what you say they mean. But they don’t yet, and they won’t for a while. Meanwhile, to those co-workers for whom my transition is still a big deal, I’m ‘transgender’, because it ain’t got nuthin’ ta’ do with SEX.
If that’s’ what it takes to keep the peace in my little corner of the cosmos…
April 2, 2009 at 9:25 pm
Actually for me it was all about sex. I was very cute and didn’t need a bit of surgery to do feminine and have everyone assume I was a girl because Iof my gendered appearence and performance.
But it was extremely important for me to have female sex parts so that when I showered/bathed, peed or fucked I was a female between my legs.
If it is a big deal for your co-workers perhaps you should find a job where your past is not a big deal.
April 2, 2009 at 9:28 pm
The ones for whom it matters are very outnumbered by the ones who supported me and accept me, and talk about my pre-transition self as if it was a different person.
‘Sides, at its core I like the job I have 😉
April 2, 2009 at 9:33 pm
Actually it has EVERYTHING to do with sex It just has nothing to do with sexual activity.
Which sex you are has nothing to do with any of the variations of the sex act or sexuality. Unfortunately few people actually fully understand the English language and as a result it becomes mis-used.
April 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm
I Googled “Transsexual”. There were 9,790,000 hits in 0.22 seconds.
The first ten are:
Transsexualism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There are other cultures, however, that have not only held a place for transsexuals but even sanction them. Some native American tribes accept them as …
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexual – 187k – Cached – Similar pages –
Information on gender dysphoria, and all of the complexities surrounding it. Includes articles and essays.
transsexual.org/ – 32k – Cached – Similar pages –
Dec 24, 2006 … While the ‘classic’ transsexual commonly knows their gender status from earliest awareness, even for them, this information can become …
transsexual.org/TEST0.html – 13k – Cached – Similar pages –
Video results for transsexual
Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual: Old Version
A Transsexual in Teheran, Iran
News results for transsexual
Transsexual man expecting twins sparks ethical row – Mar 29, 2009
A 25-year-old transsexual man in Barcelona has announced that he is pregnant with twins, prompting debate in Spain about the ethical use of reproductive …
guardian.co.uk – 4 related articles »
Transsexual Women’s Successes
Approximately 30000 to 40000 postoperative transsexual women live in the United States, and many thousands more are now in the process of gender transition …
ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/TSsuccesses.html – 76k – Cached – Similar pages –
Transsexual Road Map
Jan 4, 2009 … Free consumer information and advice for transsexual women.
http://www.tsroadmap.com/ – 26k – Cached – Similar pages –
From Tim to Kim: German pop star, 16, becomes world’s youngest …
Feb 5, 2009 … A German pop singer has become the world’s youngest transsexual after she underwent Gender Reassignment Surgery in November, …
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article…/From-Tim-Kim-German-pop-star-16-worlds-youngest-transsexual-sex-change-op.html – Similar pages –
Transsexual Women’s Resources Main Page
Apr 27, 2008 … Resources for MtF transsexual women: hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery, medical & surgical topics, US resources, literary selections …
http://www.annelawrence.com/twr/ – Similar pages –
Karen Serenity Positive Thinking Successful Transsexual Women Role …
Sep 1, 2004 … A collection of successful, inspirational, post-operative, [mtf] transsexual women role models for transsexual and intersexed women!
http://www.karenserenity.com/ – 18k – Cached – Similar pages –
Susan’s Place Transgender Resources for Transsexual/Transgender …
A support resource for transsexuals and the transgender community. A wealth of information, articles, links, site ratings & reviews, message boards, chat, …
http://www.susans.org/ – 34k – Cached – Similar pages –
Book results for transsexual
Transsexuals: Life from Both Sides – by Lynn Hubschman – 300 pages
Just Add Hormones: An Insider’s Guide to the … – by Matt Kailey – 190 pages
Searches related to: transsexualtranssexual transgendered transsexual ftm transsexual marriage transsexuals myspace
No horny sluts, no overtly “sexual” (oh! THE HORROR!!) references.
I think many folks just think “Transgender” is more “genteel”.
The thing is — I’m not now, nor have I ever been “Transgender”. I WAS a “person with transsexualism” – AKA “a transsexual” – then I had SRS and am now a woman.
I identify as a woman. I live my life being a woman.
That does not mean my past is a deep dark secret. If someone really wants to know, they could most likely discover it. My Dr. knows – because I thought he had to.
Aside from that – transgender and transsexual have little meaning in my current life.
April 2, 2009 at 11:15 pm
For quite a while, I’ve been of the opinion that some folks cling to “transgender” simply because it’s a way to remain “special”.
After all, once post-op you become (sooner or later) “just another woman”. That’s quite a fall from being the “local trannie” who’s “going all the way” (having SRS).
In addition, some folks who were supportive prior to surgery lose interest after you actually go through it.
In the long run, I think that’s just fine — isn’t the GOAL to be “just another woman”?