Press Usage Guide

I’m so freaking sick of the crap usage that goes like this:  “So and so was born a man.”  Or  “So and so was born a woman.”

Are these people morons or what?

One is not born a man or a woman.  to paraphrase Simone de Beauvoir, one becomes one.

One is assigned male or female at birth based on the appearance of genitals.

Instead of headlines labeling Nikki as being born a man it would be more appropriate to say she was assigned male at birth based on genital appearances.  Transsexualism is physically invisible intersex condition with its earliest manifestations seen in cross gender behavior.

Use instead: “Assigned male at birth.”  or “Assigned female at birth.”

8 Responses to “Press Usage Guide”

  1. Anna Says:

    I suspect the usage “born a man” is intended to erase our childhoods and imply we were born fully-fledged adult perverts.

    Unfortunately those who came to understand themselves in adulthood never see anything wrong in it.

    Surely it is totally obvious that Nikki was, as she and her parents say, born with Androgen Insensitivity (although PAIS rather than CAIS), and was therefore intersex, not transgender, and certainly never a man in any way. I’m aghast that Texas has no procedure for allowing the intersex a decent life, corrective surgery, and marriage, instead leaving them at the mercy of the prejudiced and bigoted.

    I watch, also in horror, as the TG Centre, instead of supporting her for who and what she is, requires her to identify as transgendered as the price for their support. Even angrily calling her up on camera for Youtube to upbraid her for saying she doesn’t like being labeled transgender, that she’s a woman, a mother, and a widow.

    If her case is won it achieves what they want regardless of how she is labeled, but she is far less likely to win it, or emerge with her children, with the TG label hung around her neck at every step, instead of her obvious womanliness being the predominant impression. But no, they are out and proud TGs, and want everyone else to be TG too.

  2. Andrea B Says:

    Anna,

    Do you have a link to that?

  3. Anna Says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Yes, you can watch Cristan of the TG center at work at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dt0SwE3v48

    It relates to the video and written report at http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/morning_news/100802-nikki-araguz-fox-morning-news

    Since I posted the comment Cristan has also posted a video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS_Erd0tRFw ) showing an email Nikki sent after that recorded phone call on the same topic. It is followed by a clip from a news conference in which the fact that she had surgery by Marci Bowers is used as evidence that she is TG – the weird logic being because Marci Bowers is TG (actually a post-SRS woman but I’m not sure how she would self-identity) and the hospital in Colorado is a TG clinic (last time I checked it was the local general hospital) – and her saying she had a birth defect is dismissed as just something many trans people feel.

    So where are Intersex people to have corrective surgery if they become TG by visiting anywhere a TG person is treated?

    To be honest it makes me nauseous that a woman in this position is under such pressure from identity politics people as well that she feels she has to crawl like that.

    You can see her true feelings when she nods very vigorously in that press conference when it is said that it was a marriage between a man and a woman.

    Of course the problem is that the court outrageously froze all her assets, leaving her without any means of support or to hire legal assistance. And probably, further back behind that, it rather looks as if Nikki has long been in search of a complete explanation for her unusual body, and life, without success, and in the process, over several years, starting in childhood, has done things, said things and had friends which contradict each other. It must have been very lonely, and very frightening. But it does the TG center no credit whatsoever that their price for arranging legal assistance (pro bono from Phyllis Frye) and giving her food parcels is to police her self-identity and place her in additional fear in the process.

    • Suzan Says:

      I consider most of the claims of intersex to be highly dubious. And irrelevant. I you are assigned male at birth and have sex reassignment surgery for any reason then you are as far as I am concerned , transsexual.

  4. Anna Says:

    “I consider most of the claims of intersex to be highly dubious. And irrelevant. I you are assigned male at birth and have sex reassignment surgery for any reason then you are as far as I am concerned , transsexual.”

    That is far too extreme, Suzan. There are conditions that are wholly legitimate as Intersex, listed as “DSD” even, that can lead to people needing reassignment surgery. PAIS is the most common of those. I’m sure you know that, officially, an intersex condition precludes a diagnosis of transsexuality.

    Nikki says androgen insensitivity runs in her family, she says her genitalia were as of a 2-year-old, she is small, slight, pretty, feminine of voice and figure, has no sign of an Adams Apple, says she has not used hormones, and that she was very conscious of being like a girl in grade two. That’s consistent AFAIK.

    I’ve encountered just such a condition previously too.

    Nikki doesn’t claim to be Intersex, but says she had a disorder, which has been corrected and she’s now entirely a woman. Even if you disregard all that, many parents are now talking of their transsexual girls having a penis as a disorder (even “the worst disorder a girl could have”), which seems wholly valid to me.

    I would find it difficult to understand you holding a contrary view.

    This is not at all the same as someone claiming to have spontaneously changed sex (although someone who claims that is commented all over the pages relating to Nikki Araguz. But then where does she not comment…)

    • Suzan Says:

      It doesn’t matter. I still think the whole “intersex” thing is a waste of time and energy. As well as a fantasy on the part of 99.9% of the people making those claims. OTOH I do actually thing that how the body deals with hormones and the Goren/Zhou hypothalamus aspect bit might be a clue as to why.

      But it is pretty much meaningless. It could be written on our bodies in two inch high purple letters and it wouldn’t matter. Rights are not a matter of some specific marker. Black people are born black and that doen’t mean that because they are born that way they are not still subject to discrimination.

      For what it is worth Nikki’s claims depend on the sequence she did things in, documentation, etc.

      Phyllis Frye is perhaps the best lawyer for this matter in Texas. She knows what Christie Lee faced, why Christie Lee lost and the changes of obscure pieces of law that have been changed since.

      And that is what this case is about. It is not about intersex. It is not about Nikki’s appearances on Jerry Springer or other shows. Those are all smoke and mirrors obscuring the real legal aspects.

  5. Anna Says:

    Suzan:
    “I you are assigned male at birth and have sex reassignment surgery for any reason then you are as far as I am concerned , transsexual.”

    May I take it that the use of the present tense there was a typing error? I am under the impression that the narrative is that we were born transsexual but are now women? It is certainly my narrative.


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