I’ve come to view Transgender Inc as being like Scientology. Or the Borg, “We are Borg, you will be assimilated.”
To disagree with the party line of Transgender Inc. is to be considered a bigot, a separatist, and opens one to being “Fair Gamed”, a Scientology term for the launching of a full scale “Shock and Awe” sort of attack. Kind of like what Autumn Sandeen did to Ashley Love recently.
The way it proceeds once some one has been declared “Fair Game” is that all sorts of folks who have bought into the ideology of Transgender Inc feel free to join in the attack.
Gay Inc and Lesbian Inc has never known exactly how to deal with transsexual women and men. To them we have always been queens and dykes who went too far. Either we couldn’t accept being gay men who did drag or butch women who did drag. The subtext being that we were really mentally deranged gays and lesbians who couldn’t accept being gay or lesbian. I’m not going to speak to the transsexual to male experience here because I haven’t particularly discussed this aspect with any brothers. The idea is that transsexual to female people are queens who are only getting sex change operations so they can have sex with straight men is a long standing trope in the gay male community.
In spite of Transgender Inc.’s revisionist history, transsexual to female people weren’t really part of the gay community because even if we briefly passed through a phase of being part of the drag queen community we were more or less strangers in a strange land, aliens who may have looked like they were part of that community, but were actually more like participant observers.
The early history in San Francisco reflected that with each group saying of the other group, “That is not who I am, that is not what I am about.
My coming out experiences included briefly checking out the gay scene, mostly via survival sex. I was spectacularly unsuccessful in attracting gay men and even more unsuccessful in the few sexual encounters I had with gay men. I was too feminine for all but the chicken hawks, who assumed I was a runaway/throwaway minor. Then I was told having sex with me was like having sex with a girl and that wasn’t what gay men wanted. I contrasted that with having straight men attracted to me and who respected my physical boundaries when having sex and realized gay men could be good friends but not lovers.
Just who was doing the rejection?
Actually the gay men who rejected us for being too much like girls/women had a point. We were girls even before starting the process as that is how being born transsexual works. We were uncomfortable within our own skins and with our own sex parts, gay men are attracted to gay men who are comfortable with their male sex parts even if those gay men are drag queens or transgender and attracted to men.
Gay men couldn’t imagine some one having a sex change operation that obliterates their penis and uses the tissue to create female genitalia. There was also a feeling that we were somehow betraying Gay Liberation by de-queering our having sex with men by becoming female.
As I stipulated earlier I’m only superficially aware of something similar going on in the lesbian community, and yet I have heard the complaints regarding all the butches who were “going over to the other side” by coming out as transsexual to male.” I have read enough memoirs by men born transsexual to know that many have the same sorts of body issues as do women born transsexual.
Transgender Inc has insisted on rewriting our narratives, making transsexualism as well as transgenderism all about gender and not about our bodies or our discomfort with our sex organs.
If we question this or claim that after surgery we feel we are finally really members of the sex we have been surgically reassigned to we are told we are, “essentialists” and therefore beneath contempt.
This goes beyond erasing people with transsexualism from the transgender narrative and becomes a matter of invalidating our lives and our experiencing of our lives. It becomes a way of telling us we do not experience what we have in reality experienced.
I remember when the protests outside the Michigan Women’s Music Festival first started in the early 1990s. Yes lesbians have sometimes been hateful towards post-transsexual women. But in many other situations we have been accepted, tentatively at first perhaps but accepted nonetheless. Therefore I was not surprised that post-SRS women were accepted as long as they weren’t part of the Camp Trans protests and didn’t make a big deal out of their history. Post-transsexual women were not and are not supposed to accept such inclusion as long as our transgender sisters are not accorded the same acceptance.
You see this is the open secret about people with transsexualism. We don’t revel in our gender queerness, embrace being a third sex or gender. We aren’t transvestites or bi-gendered after our sex change operations the majority of us just want to be like other cis-sex/gender people. Some of us are straight and others of us are gay or lesbian. Rather than our betraying those post-SRS people who embrace transgender, those post-SRS people who embrace transgender are betraying transsexual people and are the quislings.
Transgender Inc has hegemony regarding even the terms of the debate. Am I the only person who has noticed how certain words such as “transvestite” have become politically incorrect? Oh I know supposedly transvestite automatically means fetishist, but it really doesn’t. It, like transgender means a person who dresses in clothes and like a member of the sex not commonly associated with their current sex parts. In reality transvestite is a part time transgender person and neither wants to have a “sex change operation”. NOTE “sex change operation” is also terribly politically incorrect and even sex reassignment surgery is deemed questionable. Those who think such an operation makes them ‘realer” than those keeping the original plumbing are “essentialists”.
More galling for many of us has been the insistence of grafting a “T” on to Gay and Lesbian when so many in the transgender movement are straight male cross dressers (transvestites). Many of these people come off the same as Men’s Rights Advocates, a movement that has been subject to biting criticism in feminist circles. The main Transgender Inc. demand of total acceptance of their version of the world in which man/woman-male/female is based on “identity and presentation” rather than any sort of physical reality comes off as egocentric in the extreme.
Yet organizations such as GLAAD have bent over backward in creating a partnership between Gay/Lesbian Inc. and Transgender Inc. In the case of GLAAD this has produced a style guide that completely caves to the hegemonic demands of Transgender Inc and turns GLAAD into a willing partner in the ethnic cleansing of any transsexual dissent from Transgender Inc.’s politically correct party line.
From GLAAD’s Style Guide
Transgender An umbrella term (adj.) for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers and other gender-variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.
Transsexual An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities.
(also Transexual) While some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves, many transgender people prefer the term transgender to transsexual. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, as many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.
Transvestite Derogatory see Cross-Dressing
Transition Altering one’s birth sex is not a one-step process; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includes some or all of the following personal, legal and medical adjustments: telling one’s family, friends and/or co-workers; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) one or more forms of surgery.
Sex Reassignment Refers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition (see Transition above). Preferred term to “sex change operation.” Not all transgender people choose to or can afford to have SRS. Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the role of SRS in the transition process.
Cross-Dressing To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex. Cross-dressers are usually comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth and do not wish to change it. “Cross-dresser” should NOT be used to describe someone who has transitioned to live full-time as the other sex or who intends to do so in the future. Cross-dressing is a form of gender expression and is not necessarily tied to erotic activity. Cross-dressing is not indicative of sexual orientation.
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) A controversial DSM-IV diagnosis given to transgender and other gender- variant people. Because it labels people as “disordered,” Gender Identity Disorder is often considered offensive. The diagnosis is frequently given to children who don’t conform to expected gender norms in terms of dress, play or behavior. Such children are often subjected to intense psychotherapy, behavior modification and/or institutionalization. Replaces the outdated term “gender dysphoria.”
Intersex Describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal or anatomical variations that make a person’s sex ambiguous (e.g., Klinefelter Syndrome). Parents and medical professionals usually assign intersex infants a sex and perform surgical operations to conform the infant’s body to that assignment. This practice has become increasingly controversial as intersex adults speak out against the practice. The term intersex is not interchangeable with or a synonym for transgender.
Problematic: “transgenders,” “a transgender”Preferred: “transgender people,” “a transgender person”Transgender should be used as an adjective, not as a noun. Do not say, “Tony is a transgender,” or “The parade included many transgenders.” Instead say, “Tony is a transgender man,” or “The parade included many transgender people.”
Preferred: “transgender”The adjective transgender should never have an extraneous “-ed” tacked onto the end. An “-ed” suffix adds unnecessary length to the word and can cause tense confusion and grammatical errors. For example, it is grammatically incorrect to turn transgender into a participle, as it is an adjective, not a verb, and only verbs can be used as participles by adding an “-ed” suffix.
Problematic: “sex change,” “pre-operative,” “post-operative”
Preferred: “transition”Referring to a sex change operation, or using terms such as pre- or post-operative, inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to transition. Avoid overemphasizing surgery when discussing transgender people or the process of transition.
Too often Transgender Inc guidelines seem straight out of the Transvestite Bible according to St. Prince, in spite of the denials and the refusal to discuss how the early usage of transgender as “the” preferred term came about. Yet when ever post-transsexual women challenge the hegemony of transgender ideology those who identify with Transgender Inc. open their mouths or start typing and it comes across as if those words were channeled directly from St Virginia Prince, right down to the trash talking of post-transsexual women’s genitals.