Conversations Between Long-Time Post-Transsexual Friends

Living as a woman isn’t being a woman.

Becoming a woman after Sex Reassignment Surgery also takes time.

Being a woman in this world is dealing with the reality of having a cunt between your legs.  It isn’t an “identity” or a word game.

Pre-ops carry on about how it won’t make a difference, transgender people babble about how what’s between your legs doesn’t matter because “no one sees it” except for lovers.  What sort of level of self-deception is that?

Last night we had a conversation with a friend who is long time post-transsexual.  This morning I exchanged e-mails with another friend who is long time many years post-transsexual.

What do we talk about?

We spend some time conversing about how the whole transgender trip is undermining our lives by lumping us in with those pushing the ideology of Virginia Prince.

But that is only a small portion of what we talk about.

Just like issues regarding transsexualism and the semi-hostile relationship with the oppressive transgender paradigm are really only part of this blog.

Like this blog we spent more time discussing the chaos of the economy and the threat posed by the ultra-right wing crazies running the world.

But we also talk about getting older, our health problems.

But we also talk about the music and art we enjoy.  The authors we like and how the corporatizing of everything affects the arts.

Mostly though our conversations are about dozens of things besides the matter of sharing a common experience of having had sex reassignment surgery many years ago.

Our lives, lived long after the operation that differentiates us from transgender people with their obsession with identity and word games aimed at convincing other they are really women, though male.

The funny thing is how we are never given credit by those who claim it is just the same, yet haven’t had the experience for having actually experienced both.

Wisdom can come from experience and physical reality trumps identity in the reality based world.

12 Responses to “Conversations Between Long-Time Post-Transsexual Friends”

  1. quenyar Says:

    My partner consistently complains about transfolk not having any kind of real life outside of their gender obsession:

    Someone walks up to us and says, “Hi, I’m Mark.”
    “Pleased to meet you, Mark,” I reply we introduce ourselves. “So, what do you do for a living, Mark?”
    “Oh, I’m transgender.”
    “Ah!” says my partner, “a professional man.”
    The irony is almost always lost on said person, as he, being so self-obsessed, is immune to sarcasm.

    You’re mad about Transgender Inc. (I think) in the same kind of way Phil Ochs was mad at the Peace movement.
    Inside of me, as opposed to a relatively unyielding physical reality (coincidence of birth, location, sex, sight, hearing and era) I have always been profoundly dissatisfied by being a woman or being a man. In the same way that I understand other people to by dysphoric in the sense of their birth gender, I have always been human dysphoric. There’s no series of operations I can have, no cure I can seek. Hormones help to find a balancing point where I can see further over the divide, but I don’t have a common self with this man or that woman – I will be neither ally nor enemy. Sometimes I feel like being my own twin.

    And if the reality of my identity conflicts with your world view, I understand. Your world view may conflict with who I am. Tit for tat. But, (to quote More again) “I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live.”

  2. Teresa Reeves Says:

    It is a great joy for me that I will celebrate the 34th anniversary of my sex reassignment surgery (SRS) that occurred on April 21, 1977 in Trinidad Colorado. It is an anniversary of my rebirth, what was then the greatest day of my life ever, the most wonderful miracle that ever happened to me. I was able to share the anniversary for the first time on Facebook last year and I was able to share the joy with hundreds of transsexuals and received an outpouring of well wishes from so many who shared their greatest days with me.

    I have a dear friend who doesn’t celebrate the day with me. She describes herself as a transgender woman– but that she doesn’t want to be female. It many places in this world laws have been enacted and you can identify as female (or male) and be legally designated as female (male) without undergoing SRS.

    I am sorry my friend will never be able to share my great moment of achieving congruence of mind and body, becoming whole and that she will never know the joy of it happening to her.

    But it is what makes us different from each other. We are not all the same. We refuse to be assimilated by the transgender label. It is a vague and ambiguous word that is not enough to describe our genetic and biological imperative that made us strive to become who we are and do what we had to do to become real and true to ourselves. There is a very special sisterhood and brotherhood of being post-operative that only we share with each other, a bond that no one can ever take away from us.

  3. Andrea B. Says:

    @ Suzy,

    Years ago, I remember you saying that people should shut up for a couple of years after surgery or something along those lines. Thinking back on it, you were 100% right on that one.

    At the new year I had a conversation with an old ftm friend from my teens who had SRS before me. He asked me what was transgender and could i explain it to him in plain language. I tried to explain it best i could and went through the various Tg 101 stuff. He came to the same conclusion i did a long time ago. It is another term for transvestite.

    The TS people I am still in contact with from years ago, we mostly talk about artwork (I draw, paint, 3D, illustrate, hand carve wood, stone carve and build ancient devices (i am a geek)), there artwork, hand carving and stone work. We are still in contact because we have some similar interests, not because we are TS.

    Most TS people I have met over the years I am no longer in contact with, as I have nothing in common with them apart from SRS.

    I had my appendics out years ago, I don’t try to hang around with everyone who had an appendectomy, which I personally think would be kind of weird if someone did.

    The last conversation with an old TS friend of mine was where to get specialist industrial type kitchen equipment for one of my more insane ideas to try to go self employed and where to find a decent cheap dentist. We also talked about bunching up to buy some nursery stuff for an old friend of ours, who is have a baby next month.

    I don’t have a problem having a conversation with a TS if they have a problem and they need information or to find someone who can help them. I will help them if I can. However I will not have a ten hour conversation purely about TS stuff, mostly due to the fact I have no interest in theory. I will not discuss it in the pub, resturant or anywhere else public.

    I know most of my present group of friends have figured it out. It never comes up and I get the impression they would not be interested anyway. I goto my handcraft meetings, call over to the local nerdy computer club to beat them at pool, go shopping with my Polish, Lithuanian and UK friends, job hunt with my fun Kosovan friend, etc.

    What place is there for the fact I had a slightly unusual operation and what need would there be for talking about it, unless to attempt to be the center of attention.

    SRS is a medical procedure. It is over in a few hours. You notice afterwards you have had SRS, I hope. There is no going back. The novelty should wear of fairly quickly and if it doesn’t, a person should ask why are they fixated on it. Thats it done and dusted.

    You are snipped, you are tucked and thats it. After that get on with life. There is not much else to do.

  4. tinagrrl Says:

    “And if the reality of my identity conflicts with your world view, I understand. Your world view may conflict with who I am. Tit for tat. But, (to quote More again) “I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to l”

    Oh for gosh sakes, YOUR identity does not conflict with my world view. It’s YOUR identity — not mine.

    What causes conflicts are those folks who DEMAND we ALL be some sort of “transgender”.

    Sometimes they actually say something like, “Transsexual is just a subset of transgender. What’s wrong with being a part of a larger group?”

    The answer to that is very simple — transsexual is NOT a “subset of transgender” — that’s what the entire argument is about. It seems folks who are not, have never been, blessed (cursed?) with the transsexual condition are TELLING us what we are, what we must be — according to them.

    Some transgender folks use transsexuals — saying, “we are all the same”, then using us to claim THEIR legitimacy.

    That’s just silly.

    Transgender folks do not NEED us to be “legitimate”. They do not need us to be a part of any “umbrella” in order to claim their rights as HUMAN BEINGS, as CITIZENS of whatever country they are a part of. Their validity is unquestioned.

    I wish THEY would recognize that.

    Think about it. WHY would it matter to me what YOU identify as? I care when MY being, my quest, my life is defined by folks who do not know me, have not experienced what I have, and STILL tell the world THEY lead some imaginary group that they say INCLUDES ME!

    That’s delusional.

  5. tinagrrl Says:

    Andrea, back some time ago, I said, “All post-ops should be required by law to keep their mouths shut for a minimum of two years (five would be better). No books, no “pronouncements”, etc.”

    It was said in jest — though there is a germ of truth there.

    Of course I came up with that as a result of some of the things I said, wrote, blabbed about in MY first two years.

    That was on the WBT mailing list — and of course, some folks did not believe me when I said, “It’s a joke”.

    The usual flame war ensued.

    (Does it seem to any other folks that new post-ops have no sense of humor?)

  6. Lincoln Says:

    I am really growing to like this website. I get good news, and find interesting things to think about. More and more I’m growing to identify as a transsexual man, and it feels like a big shift. But it feels like a shift to focusing on myself and my needs instead of fitting in with everyone around me.

    I have many interests, and am slowly realizing that people who want to be my friend should care about more of me than how much “time” I put in working for the nebulous “community”. I cook, play drums, study Scripture, decorate a bit, (any other Christopher Lowell fans out there?) and enjoy reading about a lot of things.

    Recovering from illness has made me slow down a lot. Not being able to do as much has forced me to really start looking at who I am. I went through a long spell of thinking I have nothing to offer folks. But now I’m learning that there’s a lot to me, and am working on becoming a better friend.

    None of this will keep me from working for equality, but equality is a much larger, more interconnected thing than just trans right, or LGB rights, or feminism.

    I have a right to be all of myself, and to take care of me first. And I want to thank you, because this website is helping me along with this journey.

  7. jessica Says:

    Just a thought.
    Why are we ‘part’ of the LGBT community in which we’re hardly welcomed if we “come out’, anyway? In my life, I’ve dealt aggressively with a MEDICAL condition, keeping up with the latest cutting edge treatments for this condition. I DO live with a “natal” woman and have for 20-plus years, and I consider myself as natal as her. So does she.
    So I am a lesbian by virtue only of whom I love. As Friedan said, “if I’m not with a woman, am I still a lesbian?”
    Something seems askew, politically at least. Being gay/lesbian/bisexual (an orientation, presumably inborn) hardly seems to encompass a “syndrome” that has clear genetic and biological markers, and has NOTHING to do with sexual orientation. In my mind, it has very little to do with sex at all, but rather one’s identity, clear and apparent to the “self” from the first conscious awareness of said self.
    Ok, get ready for those letters…

    • Suzan Says:

      I’m part of the lesbian communities in that I share common needs and political goals with the lesbian communities.

      I’m not part of the transgender communities because I don’t really have much in common with them and because I can’t stand their ideology.

  8. tinagrrl Says:

    “So I am a lesbian by virtue only of whom I love.”, wrote Jessica.

    Errr — so is every other lesbian.

    There are all sorts of lesbians. Most are not “movement dykes”.

    Most are not “political lesbians” — in fact, a lot of folks do not consider “political lesbians” actual lesbians — especially if they are married to MEN.

    Once again we get involved in all this “identity” crap, instead of looking at what people do.

    Long ago when I tended bar, folks would ask, “what do you do?”. My response was always, “I tend bar. If I were a writer I’d be writing. If an actor, I’d be acting. I tend bar.”.

    I guess I’m not post-modern enough.

  9. Lisa Says:

    “All post-ops should be required by law to keep their mouths shut for a minimum of two years (five would be better). No books, no “pronouncements”, etc.”
    “It was said in jest — though there is a germ of truth there. ”

    I remember reading it on the list, too. It may have been a joke but it one of the wisest statements I’ve heard!
    Thankfully, things like Twitter and Face book were not available to me at the time I had surgery, or I’m sure I would have been making (what I thought were) grand pronouncements and deep observations to all around me pertaining to my rebirth as Venus or the metamorphosis into beautiful butterfly, etc. etc. lol

    Its not surprising, the euphoria of the moment when you wake up on that first ‘post op’ day is incredible, and you feel you want to share the joy with EVERYONE! At least I did.
    Fortunately a tiny voice of reason within me could just about be heard, and I knew I would probably regret later too much gushing commentary.

    Saying that, immediately post op, I did foolishly agree to make a film commissioned for the BBC with an independent film maker. Bad move!
    I cringe now thinking back on it. I’d known, the woman film maker previously. and felt I could trust her not to portray me and my family as a freak show. But, in hindsight, I have no doubt that is what the film would have been.
    Fortunately for me, after seeing the rough video, the BBC never took up the option and the film was scrapped. I had a very lucky escape and realise now how vulnerable I was at that time.

  10. quenyar Says:

    Suzan, you remind me of what Kwame Ture once said: “I was born a nigger, grew up to be a negro and then I learned to be proud I was black. After much struggle, I became an African American. When America played me false, I left. Now I’m just plain African. Such is progress.”

  11. tinagrrl Says:

    “Thankfully, things like Twitter and Face book were not available to me at the time I had surgery, or I’m sure I would have been making (what I thought were) grand pronouncements and deep observations to all around me pertaining to my rebirth as Venus or the metamorphosis into beautiful butterfly, etc. etc. lol

    Its not surprising, the euphoria of the moment when you wake up on that first ‘post op’ day is incredible, and you feel you want to share the joy with EVERYONE! At least I did.
    Fortunately a tiny voice of reason within me could just about be heard, and I knew I would probably regret later too much gushing commentary.”

    It’s no wonder. I was a “late transitioner”. After years of dreaming, denying, pretending, seeking (a suitable “cure” for myself) — I surrendered to myself. It’s very much like getting sober. I had enough. I just gave up. I actually accepted myself.

    Just think about it. After years and years, SRS was the culmination of “the impossible dream”. Who wouldn’t be giddy? Who wouldn’t be wont to make “deep observations” and “grand pronouncements”?

    I know I was, and did.

    For a long time, I’ve said it takes time to “grow into yourself” after SRS — in other words “transition” does not end with SRS. Then again, perhaps it’s just GROWTH.

    I think we grow in ways we are unable to – until our mind and body are “in synch”.

    Back in 1999, I was told by a lesbian I knew that I was more comfortable with my body than anyone she had ever met (no, it was not in a sexual situation – we were playing softball).

    I found that interesting. I was never thought to be “athletic”, nor was I that free and easy with my body. SRS changed that for me.

    There were, and are, just so many things to be happy about. There is also the simple fact we set out toward a goal — and achieved it, in spite of all the obstacles and unknowns.

    It was only looking back that I realized I would have been better served by keeping my mouth shut. — but, I was never known for that before, so …………………………………


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