Whenever a post-transsexual person, usually female, has the audacity to say that having a vagina is really a very different life experience than the life she experienced prior to SRS, even living full time with hormones and all. She is scornfully hissed at by the embracers of Transgender Inc and branded as an “essentialist” or perhaps a body fascist.
Thus our life experiences are dismissed as trivial, dismissed as divisive. Called fascistic and on and on.
If we are really lucky the true believers in the ideology of Transgender Inc, which is really the Church of St Virginia Prince will channel Janice Raymond for us. Janice Raymond/Virginia Prince, when it comes to hatred of post-SRS women there is little difference.
I recently read Max Wolf Valerio’s book, The Testosterone Files: My Hormonal and Social Transformation from Female to Male. One of the things he observes about the role testosterone plays in his becoming a man is the mirror to the things I experienced on estrogen. The same sorts of things my girlfriends of the era talked about with me when we were going through the process of changing sex. We had mostly entered the process within a couple of years of each other and shared notes.
Along with the physical changes we talked about the emotional changes. We spoke about feeling more female inside as we feminized our bodies in the same way Max describes feeling more male as he physically changes.
Both Max and sisters who dare to talk honestly about how the physical aspects of changing sex separate them from former peers are terribly “politically incorrect” according to the rule book set forth by Transgender Inc.
After all that separates us from the business man with the stash of clothes in the storage locker, that he takes on road trips along with the “Tranny” porn magazines he whacks off to.
The role of post-op post-transsexual women in Transgender Inc is rather odd. We are placed on a pedestal and told by so many they would get surgery and be “just like us” but for a thousand different reasons any one of which would sound valid had we not heard them so often from so many people.
But being an idol on a pedestal or a sex object in a magazine for closet cross dressers to jerk off to requires we act like brainless objects with out opinions and if we have opinions we should shut the fuck up least we spoil the fantasy.
The fantasy being that one can in the words of the title of one of Virginia Prince’s infamously misogynistic booklets, “Be a Woman Though Male”. A book presented as a how to guide as though being a woman was a simple matter of tastefully matching shoes and shirtwaist dresses with gloves and hat, thus crossing the rigidly defined gender barrier that seems to exist in the minds of fundamentalists of all stripes.
We become evil separatists saying nasty things the second we say having a pussy between our legs is different than having a dick there.
We are told, “Oh no, it isn’t” by people who have only had a penis there. Or we are told, “No one ever sees it.” A comment I find stunningly in denial of biological basics such as peeing. Or bathing or even self pleasuring not to mention the mechanics of having sex with another person.
Are we supposed to forget the paranoid negotiations required of us as pre-ops when our bodies didn’t match the gender we presented as. Post-SRS people have the advantage in this dialogue. We were there once upon a time, transgender people whose sex does not match their gender have never experienced both.
I think the attempts on the part of Transgender Inc to erase or control the narratives of post-SRS folks is so they can claim sameness with post-sex reassignment people without having to go through surgery. By erasing the differences a whole alphabet soup of folks who make up the ever shifting and growing lexicon of Transgender Inc can lay claim to things post-SRS people gained through years of struggle that went on before Transgender Inc came into existence.
Transgender Inc claims this long history tracing it’s origins to Silvia Rivera and Stonewall but really only came into existence 20-25 years ago. In so doing they ignore both the transsexual movement that grew out of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot and the heterosexual transvestite movement which grew out of Prince and others. The whole transvestite is degrading meme is straight Virginia Prince, if you must know.
Those of us in the early transsexual movement realized how changing our bodies separated us form those who did not. It moved us out of the drag queen ghetto of places like the Tenderloin where those who did not change their bodies spoke of sex reassignment surgery in the exact same derisive terms many in Transgender Inc use today.
The whole ideology of gender theory has never felt right to me. It has always seemed oppressive and cooked up. A rat stew to poison second wave feminism, which attacked sex roles and stereotyping. It has always been suspect with me. Like astrology or the study of the biology of unicorns.
I look at nature shows, we own cats, I grew up near farms, I’ve observed the sex differences and behavior (gender) differences between male and female animals. Some differences are innate.
Some are hormonal. Is it pure coincidence that T to M and T to F people both go through a secondary adolescence when starting hormones?
The physical changes from one sex to the other place us in the social tango with sex role/gender role expectations of people growing increasingly female or male in appearance. The more female or male we become the more we are treated as ordinary members of the sex we are transitioning to instead of the sex we were assigned at birth.
Transgender Inc is generally sexphobic, more willing to talk about gender transformations than sex changes.
Someone responding to a comment I made recently on Pam’s House Blend said something about not liking the word “Transsexualism” because it medicalized the condition.
Great except transsexualism is a medical condition. It is about changing sex and involves hormone shots and pills along with expensive and often painful surgeries.
And after we finish the process and feel more or less comfortable in our own skins many of us feel the process is over with and it is time to get on with our lives. Cybele’s knife or sex change surgery removes us from our physical past and makes it”real”.
Making it real is disturbing to those who embrace Transgender Inc. Because it implies we are passing judgment on those who do not get SRS rather than finally feeling at home in our bodies and really ourselves.
We aren’t supposed to even discuss our experiences because saying how different life is after is denigrating those who are bound up with the ideology of gender.
If thinking there is a difference between having a penis and having a vagina makes me a thought criminal and an “essentialist” then I am either forced to lie or plead guilty. I choose honesty.