Sometimes we need to apply Occam’s Razor and slash through the piles and piles of complexity.
The simple truth that many try to avoid is that transsexuals change their sex or at least as many of those physical characteristics that classify one as a member of one sex or the other as it is possible for them to change. Everything else is supposition.
There are some simple other basic realities. One of which is that there is no certain, for sure, answer as to why people with transsexualism want to change their sex. There is no carved in stone etiology although there are what appear to be common narratives that tend to fall in a couple of general categories.
In the struggle to find that carved in stone answer we tend to get into these huge sectarian fights over minutia that are really pretty meaningless in the overall scheme of things.
This often means we neglect to ask the really important questions. Like: Why does it really matter why we are transsexual or transgender? Why does it matter if one is lesbian, bisexual, straight or gay? These are just forms of being that are common enough to be considered just something people are.
When male infants and small children adhere to the masculinity or female infants and small children adhere to the femininity we indoctrinate them to believe is vital to their being it is assumed that they are normal. When these same children show a preference for things and behavior expected of the other sex we consider them abnormal. In reality these different kids may be normal for what they were born.
Women born transsexual has had people try to use it as a separatist club. It has had people make all sorts of claims about it but back when Tina and I coined it we meant it in part to be a simple statement of transsexual being something we were born. Being transsexual or transgender (or LGB for that matter) is intrinsic to our being.
Perhaps the question should be: Who would choose at such a young age to be something that is the focus of so much abuse, discrimination and scapegoating? The big three of the desert based mythologies declare LGBT/T people to be abominations and suggest that murdering us is an appropriate reaction to our being different.
Transsexuals and transgenders wound up aligning politically with the LGB movements in part because of facing common oppressors and the same type rationales for that oppression.
Over the last year or so I have found it increasingly hard to fathom the embrace by so many of the “I’m really intersex” line, particularly by those who fathered children. My inclination is to say, “So what?” Too much published by those making up the self identified intersex movement comes off as crazier than what one finds in the TS/TG groups. A combination of baring stigmata and sharing of stories of one’s having been abducted by space aliens. You are different and oppressed. So what? In many cultures until relatively recently actual intersex kids were abandoned on hillsides at birth.
Trading one form of oppression for another is of questionable value for anything other than possibly claiming innocence and distancing oneself from those evil transsexuals and transgenders. You know, the ones who aren’t so ashamed of what they are that they too make up improbable intersex conditions.
For what it is worth I have noticed that many of those who most proudly proclaim their intersex conditions often have excuses for not getting the same treatments transsexuals and transgenders get to make themselves more comfortable within their bodies.
Perhaps they are convinced that in a John Galt sort of way they as an individual can avoid the hatred and discrimination that falls on transsexual and transgender people, especially those in the lumpen prole class who are all too often employed in the sex industry.
It is true that many if not most people born with transsexualism, homosexuality, transgenderism and the like think science is our friend. Science provides us with plausible answers as to why we are different from the cis-sexual/gendered, answers that do not stigmatize us as evil.
Some of us even think that embracing sickness models such as GID or AGP/AP is preferable to being “evil”. This isn’t a liberating line of thought but is rather straight out of the 1950s gay as mental illness model that was embraced by gays and lesbians of that era.
I see a lot of magical thinking in the idea that if science were to conclusively prove innateness that some how that proof would end all the abuse and discrimination we suffer.
Racism and misogyny demonstrate the fallacy of that line of thought.
Likewise we live in a world where more people probably believe in astrology than astronomy. Where people believe some sort of magical invisible sky daddy created the whole universe rather than the Big Bang.
Were researchers to discover a specific genetic string that cause transsexualism or transgenderism etc there would always be a Caribou Barbie, (Sarah Palin) to wave an M16 as we were loaded into the box cars asking us, “How’s that sciency thing working out for ya?”
Bigotry is rift among the researchers studying us. Have you ever noticed how it is always “male to female” transsexuals who are stigmatized by this crew of psychiatric professionals? How much of that is science and how much of it is castration anxiety on the part of male psych theorists cringing at the very thought that we seek out surgery that castrates us and removes the penis in the process of creating our vagina.
Indeed I think the whole root of questioning the motivations behind mate to female transsexualism is predicated upon male supremacy and wondering why one would trade that male supremacy for membership in the class, female, which is considered the lesser sex.
Perhaps the simple answer that we were born this way is unsatisfactory for those looking for the complex answer that satisfies all sorts of questions about sex, gender and identity but it should be enough for us. Why is it our role in life to provide researchers with subjects to study or answers to complex philosophical questions?
I was born this way. It ain’t rocket surgery.*
From the movie Boondock Saints II