Before Transgender became the dumping ground for all sorts of unrelated groups from panty wankers to “gender queers”, bois and “gender fucker”, an umbrella covering transsexuals, transgenders, transvestites and even occasionally intersex people it was a term with a specific meaning.
Now I know in the post-modern world the idea of words actually having such quaint traits as meaning is somewhat passe. But the era of neo-con and neo-lib are over and I still remember that at one time Camile Paglia wrote a brilliant essay titled “Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf”..
I am at heart an existentialist. I believe in actions and that people who opt to do something about having been born with transsexualism or transgenderism must act in order to create themselves from that need. Having the “identity” is in and of itself meaningless, in existential terms. A thought crime perhaps in religions that impart guilt and shame for even feeling something but the unrealized act of being if left unacted upon in my world.
In the world of the 1970s transgender people committed themselves to the act of living full time as the gender not associated with their current sex. Sometime due to economic considerations or other reasons. If their circumstances changed and they got SRS they were no longer considered transgender. But the important element was the commitment to full time and included everything except SRS including hormones and perhaps top surgery either mastectomy or implants.
Most of these people are not all that “gender transgressive. Indeed they are as often committed to the “gender binary” as folks who get SRS.
Celebrate diversity rather than erase it. The different groups associated with the various trans prefixed words have different cultures and identities. Just as women born transsexual have moved to reclaim what is theirs perhaps it is time for transgender folks fitting the classic description to reclaim that label.