Silence = Erasure

Evangelina Says:

The thing that has struck me over the years as a transsexual involved with transgender and transvestite men is that there are so very few of us and so many of “them” claiming to be like us that from the viewpoint of the uninformed the weight of credibility lies with the transgenderist. All the effort we exert in opposition becomes fragmented and treated as lies or at least lacking credibility through the sheer weight of numbers against us.


It’s small wonder that the vast majority move on keep their mouths shut and get on with lives in mainstream society keeping narratives firmly closed.

We have numerous credible voices out there, we always have.  I look to Lynn Conway’s Site and Andrea James’ Site regularly for fact checking and general information.

I’m on several mailing lists.  I run this Blog.  My life partner and I coined WBT over 8 years ago and as soon as I started talking about WBT and the importance of those of us who actually get SRS having our own identity separate from Transgender I found myself being trashed. I had been invited to show  the same retrospective of my photographic work Transsexual News Telegraph had recently published at a Trans Pride Event.  I was disinvited.

I’ve been a radical for some 45 years and I’ve developed a pretty thick skin.  Harsh words do not dissuade me from my opinions.  But a lot of folks aren’t into having a folder marked “Hate Mail”

Seriously reading other sisters biographies is a real start.  Seeing the commonness of our life experience.  We stopped being the “only one” the first time we read an article or book by or about another person like us.

Being friends with even a few other sisters ends that feeling of isolation.  And what does it really say about us if we look at friendships with others who have shared this common life experience as some how living in the ghetto?

I’m good at compartmentialization as are most people.  I don’t need to know my co-worker handles snakes and speaks in tongues as part of their religious practice and they don’t need to know everything about me.

I don’t let people who came out last month tell me experience doesn’t count when it really does.

While I have to work unlike others like Autumn Sandeen I can still post comments to the blogs of others, I can blog and I’m working on a book.

I’m an old left wing radical woman and You just gotta know that being a professional transsexual peddling books and speaking engagements looks better than spending the rest of my life working retail.

Mostly though why should I STFU.  I do that and my thinking and opinion get erased.

I was SDS and Weather..  Not exactly one to run from a fight.  My heroes were Emma Goldman, Mother Jones and Lucy Parson.  I want to go to my grave protesting.

No one can erase you or silence you unless you let them.  Some things are worth fighting for .

4 Responses to “Silence = Erasure”

  1. Ariablue Says:

    Well, I appreciate your voice of dissent in this sea of transgenderism. It is very telling when they try to belittle a lifelong activist and silence her. I’m sorry, but who really has the street cred here? Any rational person can take one look and see! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to your writing about that Prince/Lowman character. I’ve been keeping an eye out for the obit in the LA times, I’m curious how this person wanted to be remembered on their tombstone, or crematory memorial, etc.

    One common thing I’ve heard from a lot of transitioned women is that when they were going in for the surgery, the thought crossed their mind that “At least if I die, I’ll still be whole when I am laid to rest”. It may seem silly, because we won’t be here anyway. But the very thought of being remembered wrongly in that way is terrifying to quite a few of us, I imagine.

    I think it is because before our transition, it was kind of a living death for many of us. It was a state of non-being where we watched the world go by but couldn’t participate. We were ghosts. The idea of being damned to a perpetual hell like that strikes at our very core. It is an erasure of the sort that the transgender political group carries out against us every day, bit by bit. And they wonder why we are a teeny tiny bit uptight about it.

  2. catkisser Says:

    There are never very many of us in a sea of them….
    The trans communities are the only communities I can think of that actively silence their “elders” Suzan is one, at 12+ years post transition, I’m one and the others I know either poke their heads up occasionally only to be shot at then disappear (from their view anyway) I maintain regular contact with a number of 20 to 10 year women of trans history myself, I suspect if we networked there would be many more.

    But we have zero voice among the TGs like Helms, Sandeen, Abernathey and Juro. Whatever common good we fought for and in some cases won are buried by those types. Everything we learned is erased from view as much as possible and frankly, most of us just live our day to day lives as ordinary women and thus often don’t want to be remembered as trans anything.

    And yet I’ve noticed one common theme among us. We may be ordinary women today but we all did this extraordinary thing, transitioning our lives and bodies, something 99.9% of the world’s population cannot even properly conceive of in terms of what that means. It’s the one thing that brings us out of our “stealth” to associate with others who also did this, even if just every once in awhile because most of us don’t want to out ourselves to those in our day to day life and even if we do quickly discover no one else really wants to discuss it.

  3. ariablue Says:

    Found a prime example of how the TG’s “support” us, here’s my blog entry (got buried after I made another post today lol):

    http://ariablue.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/support/

  4. Evangelina Says:

    For the record, for around 18 months post surgery I was considered an “activist” and quite strident on certain issues. Towards the end of my tenure I began to realise that my views and arguments were largely accepted among all but three groups. The insanely Religious; the insanely right wing political; the insanely transgenderist (Prince supporters)
    This realisation coincided with my real profession suddenly taking off; a relationship with a transvestite man ending and a very cathartic conversation with a very well known transsexual woman whom I respect very much to this day. Following that conversation I said to myself, she’s right “I don’t need all this bullshit” It was then that I resigned from the “support” group and moved house to a new city and a new life and in the process cutting myself off from everyone I knew who were cognisent of my past. From the point of view of having a life it was the best thing I ever did short of surgery itself.
    I came on line some years later only to find that the lunatics had taken over the asylum. The net was and still is, littered with aggressive men calling themselves women, running web sites supposedly supporting transsexual women when in reality they support only “men in frocks” I have lost count of the number of times I have found myself in the same position as “JasmineG”
    Currrently I write an occasional essay post replies on a few blogs and maintain contact with four genuine women with a shared history. My special girlfriends. Actually I’d like that to be a larger number but there are so few willing to open personal communication. Perhaps I come across too strident?
    Catherine, what we did was not extraordinary in itself after all any transgender man can get srs. What is extraordinary is the HBS/WBT who leads a normal life in mainstream society following her correction. By that I don’t mean she has to be heterosexual. As far as I am concerned gay/lesbian is a part of mainstream life. I never used to think that but people change with experience, I have.

    Suzan, I agree with much of what you say, not all but an honestly held belief that is thought through and held for good reason is a cause for respect not hate. I feel much the same about Lynn Conway and Andrea James though there is less with Andrea I can agree with. There are others, however, elsewhere the transgender “white noise” is deafening and the patriarchy ruling where it has no business involving itself! But then, transgenderists are men and that is what they do, it comes naturally, why should we expect anything different.


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