The Two Way Street of Compromise

So far I’ve chastised post-ops for their name calling that goes beyond just TS vs. TG . The name calling has gone beyond TS vs TG to become one of I’m better than other TSs because I’m straight or “classic”. Time for the name calling to stop.

Yet for an issues based coalition to work on specific issues to transcend the inter group fighting perhaps it is time for some of the proponents of Transgender as Umbrella to give up some deeply cherished thinking  too.

One of those ideas is that we are all transgender. What ended the fighting between gay men and lesbians was gay men accepting that many lesbians  felt gay as umbrella was erasing them and their uniqueness.  Gay and Lesbian came about as a way of recognizing there were differences even as there were common political goals.  Transsexual and Transgender represent the same sort of compromise and no they will not satisfy every one particularly those who see their transness as a post-modern rebellion against the confines of some sort of ideological gender binary.

Transgender and pre-op people need to stop telling post-ops their surgery really doesn’t make a difference.  People who will swear to that belief right up until they go under sedation on the operating room table and often retract it as soon as they have healed enough to pee normally, shower and have sex.  SRS does make a difference.

Speaking of SRS.  In exchange for our stopping comments and name calling that does not respect your hard earned right to not be called by pronouns of your assigned at birth gender, how about you losing the right wing Christo-fascist insults regarding our post-SRS sex organs.  It has taken two parties to make this into a war and if you are insulted by “men in dresses” maybe you should ponder regarding our feelings about “inverted penises” and “artificial vaginas”

A lot of the post-modern stuff is pretty dubious.  Some of gender is probably innate.  Those of you who are comfortable with living a gender role not associated with your birth sex may well have as valid a claim to innateness as transsexuals who get SRS have.  But they are probably two separate conditions and not different reactions to the the same condition.  Respect runs both ways.

I am a child of the 1960s.  I didn’t go to Woodstock as I was too busy transitioning in Berkeley that summer and my limited resources were devoted to making that real.  I was part of an Action Faction, the equivalent of today’s Black Blocs.

I have a deep anarchist streak.  Expecting freedom and equal treatment doesn’t require a whole lot of justification particularly in the US and other places with democratic structures.  Freedom is a given even when those who do not want you exercising those freedoms try to intimidate you out of them.  I’m old enough to have been harassed and arrested for violation of rules on gender appropriate clothing.  We didn’t use a whole lot of rationalizations about gender identity to fight those laws.  We used the idea of freedom and not harming anyone.

Some of the arguments about the primacy of gender over sex in defining who is a man or who is a woman have a serious potential to be used against women who work in non-traditional fields and who live non-heteronormative lives.  If it is transphobic to call people on these concerns it is misogynistic to ignore them.  Particularly when the right to not conform is as basic a freedom as free speech.

A transinclusive  ENDA and transinclusive hate crimes laws are aimed at legitimizing the right to not conform to stereotypical gender roles and still have your rights respected.  They protect both transgender people and transsexual people because even those who assimilate easily can be outed should they ever have to press a sexual harassment case.  Companies will hire investigators to probe the life of any litigant and even post-SRS folks are currently unprotected.

As I have said to post-op sisters there are real enemies out there including Porno Pete LaBarbara and the entire religious right.  It would be better by far to stop the inter group horizontal hostility and focus on working for things that benefit our own groups even if the needs of post-SRS people born with transsexualism tend to be different form those who are either transgender or pre-op.

This “Real ID” as well as the continuing pathologizing of both transsexualism and transgenderism by the APA are prime examples of issues that oppress or potentially oppress both our groups.

As a 1960s radical I remember Dr. King being murdered in 1968 and how his murder came almost a year to the day after he started speaking out against the war in Vietnam.  How by that time he had come to see that poor people no matter their race all suffered the same sorts of oppression and should work together on fighting for things that would benefit them all.  Putting aside personal interests to fight for a common goal was also the idea of the IWW, a union for all from the early 20th century.

The powers that be love to see us fight among ourselves.  As long as we do that we are not working to improve our own lives and we are doing the work they would have to do by keeping each other down.  That is the essence of the message Audre Lorde was communicating when she said “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”  As long as we put so much time and energy into fighting each other we will never manage to get GID out of the DSM or pass ENDA and Hate Crimes Laws.  Will never be able to move on to guaranteed health care and housing issues.

26 Responses to “The Two Way Street of Compromise”

  1. ariablue Says:

    I think you allude to part of the problem when you use the phrases birth sex and gender identity, especially putting them as you do in opposition to each other and using that interchangeably for the term transsexual. It seems that the people who are objecting most loudly to the inclusion under the GLBT don’t see the situation that way. They don’t view their condition as having anything to do with gender at all, and the definition of birth sex is also in dispute.

    One has only to look at the struggles of the Intersex movement to understand that they who use the term birth sex to stamp everyone with a label, beginning with those in medicine, do not have a lock on Truth over anyone else. It has as much to do with philosophy as “gender identity”, and is not the physical reality that the general public seems to think it is. Society is far too credulous when it gives that kind of power to fellow human. Most of the time it is just a medical convenience, but has grown into something more as things spill into the GLBT arena.

    And that is the core of the issue. I, and others, don’t feel that there is a natural connection between transsexual and the GLBT. If my support was asked, and my identity was respected, I would probably think about it and come to the conclusion that my needs are best served elsewhere. But nobody was asked. And that is the second major problem.

    It is obvious that a movement that forces people into something against their will is committing political violence. The will of the few, or even the individual, is being perpetrated on the many. I cannot accept that this is right and just. The tactics used to silence dissent, the dictatorial style of the self-appointed leaders, the outright lies and misrepresentations being spoken in our name… all these things can only lead to one conclusion. No good can come of this.

  2. Suzan Says:

    I think a careful reading of my above statement would show that I am saying I value the freedom to live as one chooses over the elaborate rationalizations that have been put forth and were at the height of popularity about a decade ago.

    I am not over joyed with the crap that has been thrown by both sides. Which is why I am saying to both sides, “Cut the crap! Both sides are guilty of slinging the bullshit.

    Perhaps it is because I have started working with post-SRS women on the removal of GID from the DSM.. Something I see as important goal and have started working together with TG folks.. The way I did over a decade ago when we added gender presentation to the hate crimes bill.

    The goals are more important to me than calling names.

    I also do not like the people like Jennifer Usher or Susan Elizabeth Taylor very much and would never take their side on any matter.

    As for being part of the LGBT/T community… I’m a lesbian identified as are a lot of post-SRS women.

    I more or less rejoined the reasonable set like Andrea James, Lynn Conway, Kelly Winters and others.

    As for misrepresentations in our name.. Some of the grossest misrepresentations have been by post-ops including one sister at MWMF as well as some who have claimed to be intersex but weren’t. I’m not going to mention the Bailey supporters who claimed to be autogynephiles or some people who masqueraded as former transkids.

    I don’t get off on being part of the bully set and even my harshest wordsd were for the most part aimed at ideas and not people.

    Also when the anger was directed at particular people I said what I had to say to them.

  3. Anonymous T Girl Says:

    “I also do not like the people like Jennifer Usher or Susan Elizabeth Taylor very much and would never take their side on any matter.”

    You know how i feel about people like Jennifer Usher.

    But you’re literally saying, “I will never agree with X or Y about anything.”

    Even if they have a valid point, or some specific truth that cannot be denied, now *or in the future*, you are declaring that you will automatically oppose them simply for the sake of oppostion.

    Your emotion has completely overwhelmed your rationality there.

    Can’t you see that?

    • Suzan Says:

      I’ve known the nut job Jennifer Usher for some 13 years, since the days of Usenet. The odds of her coming up with something reasonable are about as likely as Michael Savage coming up with something reasonable.

      Years of listening to certain people gives one an idea of where they are at. To not evaluate the validity of their positions based on that knowledge is pretty stupid.

  4. ariablue Says:

    I’m not particularly interested in sides or personalities, though I do find being placed opposite certain “reasonable” people to be a rather harsh estimation of the situation. I don’t think the acrimony itself is what keeps people from participating, it is the fact that people’s needs are not served by getting involved. And that is the basis for the protests by people like me; our needs are not served, and further we feel we are increasingly harmed by the forced association.

    The continued focus on cliques and personality contests in all things trans is a tremendous turn off to the under 40, and especially the under 30 crowd. Because it is not *their* fight. It is the continued argument between two sides that can’t see anyone else in the mix. The people trying to lead the charge don’t seem to see that the new transitioners and others coming up now have different concerns and a different take on life.

    I think that is something that Obama tapped into with his huge victory. Rather than seeing the new people and their concerns as worthy of their own voice, the established politicos tried to fit them into their own paradigm and the argument that those two sides, D and R, have been having for quite some time. The 20 and 30 somethings aren’t interested in plots and machinations that were hatched on campuses decades ago. And I think something similar is going on here.

    As to the inclusion on the basis of sexual orientation, I think I would have reservations about trying to include other people based on just my own situation. It’s impossible to know what the real numbers are, but if something is to be fair and just, it can’t just be a numbers game anyway. The fundamental basis of freedom… is being free.

    Everyone should be free to choose.

    • Suzan Says:

      I’m pretty disappointed in our Corporate anointed President. I would have liked a progressive. LBJ was the last real Democrat in the office. Oh well at least it is fun watching the conniptions of the racist Republicans are having regarding having a person of color as President.

  5. Anonymous T Girl Says:

    As i understand it, you’ve undergone a significant change in your opinion and position on things as of late. Which makes hearing ‘they’ll never change’-type statements all the more confusing.

    i’m sure there are several people who feel the same way about you right now, by evaluating years of your prior opinions. All it takes is a narrow view and a closed mind.

    i am simply pointing out that it seems irrational to make blanket declarations on how you will react now or in the future, about *anything*, just because it happens to come from a specific person.

    If anything, you’re painting yourself into a corner. And when people do that, it can turn into fighting not to be wrong, rather than fighting for what’s right.

    Will i be treated to another insult like ‘stupid’, just for engaging in a conversation with you?

    This is precisely what Aria and i are talking about.

    Those of the older set are locked into such an absolutist war with each other, it’s become back-ground noise to us.

    You’ll make heated, furious, stands automatically after just seeing a single letter (R or D for example), and nothing more.

    Corporate annointed? LBJ?

    *sigh*

    • Suzan Says:

      Hey if you want to enter into a love fest with Jennifer Usher be my guest.

      As far as I’m concerned you don’t have whole lots to offer here.. Anonymous… Most people worth while have real names

  6. karen A Says:

    “Some of the grossest misrepresentations have been by post-ops including one sister at MWMF ”

    Who are you talking about at the MWMF? My ‘old friend” who was on TT many years ago or someone else?

    – Karen

    • Suzan Says:

      I don’t know was your old friend AKA “One down” or something like that who was outed on the MWMF list?

      It doesn’t matter because there is always Bo Laurent and Denise Tree. Andrea James has a page of the pretenders and frauds. Sometime it’s impossible to tell the real sisters from the J.T. Leroys of the world.

      More than a few are not only not post-SRS women but actually sort of on-line role play and aren’t even actually TV except in their one hand typing fantasies.

      Really zen and really weird. Is one hand stroking and one hand typing like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time?

  7. ariablue Says:

    That’s kinda mean to Anonymous Suzan. She actually has her picture out there and blogs about her life so hitting her there is a bit low. I think she does have a lot to offer and is a smart, tough woman who could teach a lot of people in the trans-cube a thing or two if she put her mind to it.

    I’m sorry that things worked out this way, I hope you have better luck solving this problem than others have in the past.

  8. Anonymous T Girl Says:

    i assumed your responses weren’t directed toward me. But now i’m not so sure.

    1.) i can’t stand Jennifer, because out of pure contempt for others, she misgenders people. i don’t know anyone else who does that. Beyond posts she’s made in the past year, i don’t know ‘anoldfriend’, nor am i aware of any other identity she may have used.

    2.) i don’t have any ‘old friends’ online. i’ve only been active in the online T ‘community’ for a year.

    3.) i have no idea what you mean by ‘MWMF’. i’m assuming it means the T-women exclusive women’s festival, but you lose me on the whole ‘list’ thing.

    4.) i don’t know any of the four (five, counting ‘Roo’) people you mentioned. But after mentioning them, you say something about faking being post-op. i don’t know if you’ve actually read my blog, but i’ve never claimed to be post-op.

    5.) i post pictures of myself, videos of my daily life, recount things some would deem too personal about my past, and even give the city and state i live in. My first name has even been slipped through on one video and one picture.

    Calling me ‘anonymous’ (in the insulting, ‘hiding’ sense of the word) and not ‘real’ or ‘valid’ because i don’t use my full, real name?

    You need to learn the definition of a pseudonym. Do you hold them same contempt for people like Mark Twain, also?

    Facebook will not let me create an account with ‘anonymous t-girl’ so i have refused. i will not use any other handle.

    i don’t frequent ‘ts roadmap’. i’ve done it on my own, rather than trust any online ‘how-to’ guides.

    Male masturbation jokes?

    This is what Aria and i are talking about. The older crowd eating each other in their tired old feuds, living in the past, and reacting with irrational anger at anything they perceive as a threat to their established ‘activist authority’.

    It’s made several of you insulting and irrational.

  9. tinagrrl Says:

    Dear “A-T-Girl”, I suspect you might just be misreading Suzan’s posts. Perhaps the fact you are so new to the web, or the “T” portion, means you do not have a handle on some of the history we have with the “Ushers”, etc.

    Wannabes and frauds have been rife on line. They have also done a lot of damage to a lot of folks. Some folks, in deep depression caused by all the losses they suffered, were driven to the brink of self destruction by some of the online frauds, They are a dangerous bunch.

    Of course, the fact you were not there seems to mean it never happened, and leaves you free to scold the “old-timers” about the care they take.

    “Roo” referred to a fraud perpetrated on line — a report, with horrific details, from a person who was supposedly legitimate, about a murder in upstate N.Y. It was picked up by many bloggers — then dropped and deleted when the details began to appear “fishy”. It was a total fraud.

    You had nothing to do with that. There was no connection to you.

    Remember — it’s NOT all about you.

    Being unaware of the history many folks have with other on line folks is not an advantage — it does however allow you to take offense at things not connected to you.

    “MWMF” is the Michigan Woman’s Music Festival. They have online discussion groups where the anti-trans policies of the festival are discussed. Some of the most vociferous anti anyone who is, ever was “T”, at any time — or who does not toe that specific persons “party line” — are trans folks. I know of at least one who was “outed” on the list. I have no idea what that led to — I do not go there anymore.

    I do not go to any “T” lists anymore. Fighting with the same old folks, over and over, makes no sense.

    As for TS-Roadmap — it’s not a blueprint — it is a guide to resources, an information clearing house, and can give an overview on some of the issues facing all of us. As with other things — take what you need, leave the rest.

    There is no advantage to re-inventing the wheel. I remember dismissing advice given by long term post-ops when I was still a pre-op. After all, this is now — they were ancient, not up-to-date, and were not current. Things are different now — etc., etc., etc.

    I was wrong. Over time, my awareness, attitude, and opinions changed — more than once (I know, you are not “weakminded” like the rest of us, you have a plan – or not – and, so far, you are right – or not).

    My experiences led me to say (tongue in cheek) that ALL post-ops should be required to KEEP QUIET for at least two years after surgery (five is better). It might amaze you how many folks took that seriously. The attacks were pretty strong — in addition, some folks sort of agreed — but, for others, not them. That seems to be the prevailing attitude among many T, post T, HBS, post-op, TS, TG, WBT, etc. folks — all that advice is great — for other people.

    In many ways, I do not expect anything else. We are all strong minded, often stubborn, folks — otherwise we would never have completed this journey.

    The journey continues.

  10. tinagrrl Says:

    The “male masturbation” joke referred to wannabes who seem to “get off” on being some sort of “T” on line. Some manage to pull it off (pun intended) for an extended period of time. Some have even garnered great sympathy, have had folks very worried about them — until some skeptic, traced back the e-mail, cross referenced it with other lists (sometimes by sheer accident) and discovered the “poor-little-T” was some dirty old man getting off on his computer.

    “Male masturbation jokes” as a result of unfortunate experience.

    Please be aware of the issues before you attempt to be superior and patronizing.

  11. karen A Says:

    [quote]
    I don’t know was your old friend AKA “One down” or something like that who was outed on the MWMF list?
    [/quote]

    Friend was in quotes for a reason… Anyway OneDown is one of the names she used on the MWMF board… IIRC she used Emma on TT.

    [quote]
    Andrea James has a page of the pretenders and frauds. Sometime it’s impossible to tell the real sisters from the J.T. Leroys of the world.
    [/quote]

    Well as you make know I do have some issues with the AJ tactics…

    But in any case “emma” or OneDown etc, is real. I ran into her in person one time, unfortunately.

    – Karen

  12. Anonymous T Girl Says:

    Ah.

    At this point it is apparent that Suzan may get away with displaying an obviously aggressive attitude without being called out on it.

    i have been repeatedly insulted, and you spin that as someone merely ‘taking care’.

    Twice she has referenced me, and her attitude before this has been made clear. i never claimed it was ‘all about me’ this time, but certainly some portion of it is.

    Please don’t wave that dripping paint brush at me. ‘Egotistical’ is not my shade of color, no matter what you think.

    With using my online name it “quotation marks”, your actual superior and patronizing attitude makes that false accusation against me ironic.

    Aria and i tried to have an honest dialogue with you. It’s too bad it had to be this way. Our conscience is clear. If you cannot see what has transpired for what it is, i don’t know what else to say.

    My patience and willingness to absord this behavior can only go so far before i collapse into frustration and anger.

    Enjoy growing more irrelevant by the day.

    • Suzan Says:

      Aggressive attitude? WTF… I’m not going to your blog and getting offended. You are the one coming here and trying to start an argument. And you have been that way since the first.

      BTW What’s with the T-girl thing? I wouldn’t call myself a transwoman. I used to have transsexualism but I had an operation that cured it and I haven’t felt the deep need to change sex in almost 40 years.

      I gave up the trying to use a nom de guerre 10 years ago when I realized it was pretty pointless.

      I have a perfect solution to your being offended. Quit reading. Quit commenting if you don’t want to be called on your pissiness.

  13. tinagrrl Says:

    Shall I go to your blog and treat you the way you treat us here?

    No, I will not. Nor do I go to anyone’s blog to post personal attacks — what’s the use?

    It’s their blog, their opinion, the place they promote their ideas — as well as reporting on issues we may all have in common.

    If you have ideas that are different — feel free to post.

    Ariablue, Catkisser, and others do not agree with Suzan all the time — they have no problems here. In fact, Catkisser has even gotten a “shout-out” from Suzan.

    How can that be?

    Think about it.

    By the way, since we have a bunch of rescued cats, and 4 or 5 get up on the bed whenever I take a nap or go to sleep, perhaps I should call myself “Catkisser2” —– naw, it’s not original, smacks of plagiarism, and is just one aspect of my life — it is a good name, nevertheless.

    I put quotes around “A-T-Girl” which is a paraphrase of the name you use — as such, there was no insult, nothing patronizing, nothing in any way insulting — after all, it’s not your real name, it’s an “internet name” — why would putting it in quotes be an insult in any case?

  14. dyssonance Says:

    Interesting.

    Two people — who generally do not get along very well — suggested I peruse your stuff, Suzan.

    So I am. Yeah, you and I are pretty distaff sides of the same two coins.

    And since apparently I incite fights by simply posting points people dislike because of an emotional context they’ve applied, I shall refrain from all commentary save this, and shan’t return to the thread to elucidate further as the “room” is full of adults:

    Strictly speaking, transsexualism is never cured. It is, officially, managed. This is recognized in law, internationally.

    • Suzan Says:

      Welcome

      I’ve seen your postings in various forums for years. You are right that people react emotionally to both of us. This is true of a lot of people who have actual things to say. Of course it is equal true of the reaction towards people who just spew.

      As for the managing but not curing. SRS cured at least one element of my having been born transsexual. I have never wanted to change sex again.

  15. tinagrrl Says:

    By the way, merely as an aside, A-T-G, you came here attacking. From the very beginning, you attacked. There was no attempt to discuss, nor did you present any reasoned views — your intent seemed to be FIGHT.

    Now you complain about a supposed “aggressive attitude”?

    It’s merely a response in kind.

  16. dyssonance Says:

    Hee hee — yeah, funny that, huh?

  17. Joanne Says:

    Dyssonance wrote:

    Strictly speaking, transsexualism is never cured. It is, officially, managed. This is recognized in law, internationally.

    I wish you all the best in your attempts to reach a compromise
    with this one, Suzan. 🙂

    You will be fortunate to survive the ‘dogma grenades’.

    • Suzan Says:

      I believe in life long growth but people have to work to grow.

      Dyssonance is right in a way SRS and hormones are a process of managing transsexualism.

      Calpernia is also right in that the becoming a woman goes on until you die. What I doubt many get is that Simone de Beauvoir said pretty much the same thing as did my grandmother, who died some 40 years ago.

      Ten years after SRS is a pretty good period of time to catch up on the socialization missed out but then some things we maybe never catch up on.

  18. Joanne Says:

    LOL. 🙂
    By that logic life is a medical condition, cradle to grave.

    No wonder Big Pharma’s stocks look so good.

    And just being human is an evolutionary process, unless you stop learning and growing. There’s some things nobody ever catches up on … 🙂


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