I am not transgender.
I am not part of the “Transgender Community”.
I was never part of the “Transgender Community” because there was no “Transgender Community” when I transitioned. There was a “Drag Queen” Community’ and I was not a part of it. There was a “Transvestite Community and I sure as hell wasn’t part of that.
I was part of the Hippie Community, the Radical Community, the Feminist Community. I still am even if those communities are less obvious today.
I was transsexual not because I identified as transsexual but because I was in the process of taking female hormones and getting a sex change operation. I considered myself a hippie, a revolutionary and a feminist, one who happened to be transsexual. That is different from considering oneself to be a transsexual who happens to be a hippie, revolutionary and feminist.
I had a sex change operation. We called it that in the days before the Borg came along with a hundred different euphemisms that obscure the salient point that, sex reassignment surgery changes the physical sex one was assigned at birth and physically makes the person receiving it in to a member of the sex they weren’t assigned at birth.
The way the Transgender Borg fetishize the phrase post-op makes it seem as though a sex change operation is more akin to a nose job than something that alters who you are on a really basic level. It also makes it seem as though the operation simply makes you a transgender person who had an operation.
I started using post-transsexual instead. My life concerns are not those of the Borg nor are they the same as people with transsexualism who are in the process of changing sex, another phrase that has been euphemized into “transition”.
I am post-transsexual because I had a sex change operation. Not only that, but I had it so long ago they hadn’t invented GID yet. In those days they called it “transsexualism” and people had sex change operations to treat being born with transsexualism. We didn’t have WPATH, SOC or even a Harry Benjamin Society Standards of Care. We had Dr. Benjamin SOC and we followed them because he cared about us and they were reasonable. They weren’t profit generating tools for psychiatrists.
Before sex reassignment I was a left wing hippie radical and feminist. After sex reassignment surgery I realized I was a lesbian. We were as varied a group of transsexuals as the groups of today.
This is why I call into question the unquestionable dogma of both the Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc.
I am a feminist and I think all the peddling of replacing sex with gender is not only sketchy but an androcentric way of forcing women into specific sex(gender) roles that keep women as second class citizens.
Further as someone who maintained a literature archives for years before donating it to a historical archives, I’ve read enough of the transvestite literature to know many who read that material have a strong streak of masochism along with idea that feminine equals submissive.
Having been an activist of the left, a feminist and a lesbian since the 1960s/70s. I know the actual history and was part of that history.
I know that the roots of the “Transgender Community” are in the heterosexual transvestite communities, that Virginia Prince coined Transgender. (The quibble point about Prince coining Transgenderist not Transgender is BS. Transgenderist is to transgender what feminist is to feminism.)
It did not grow out of the Transsexual Community.
Prince despised transsexual women. He was the actual original purveyor of most of the filthy slurs now attributed to people like Janice Raymond. He was a man at that point and was the author of a couple of rather slimy booklets including “How to be a Woman, though Male” and the ultra misogynistic “A Transvestite and his Wife”. He had a doctorate in Pharmacology at a time when many, if not most actual transsexual women were lucky if they finished high school and had a little bit of college education. This made his giving hours upon hours of interviews to people like Stoller, Green and Money, etc instrumental to the pathologizing of transsexuality.
He was the source of many of the vicious attacks used by both the Transgender Borg Collective and by Janice Raymond.
But where did I come up with “Transgender Inc.”?
Believe it or not I actually tend to find Transgender Inc, the politicos less offensive than I find the cult of the TG Borg. I gave them that label when they started using “Gay Inc.”. For one thing I noticed how lesbians have been erased by people who often seem to have some major issues of sexism. Further of heterosexism.
Transgender Inc started dictating to the Lesbian and Gay Communities that they should drop their pursuit of marriage equality. Marriage Equality was a goal of the Gay and Lesbian Communities even before Stonewall, yet gay and lesbian people are to put that issue aside and dedicate themselves to working for a “Trans-Inclusive ENDA”. Never mind that it will be infinitely difficult to pass this “trans-inclusive” nationally given that anyone who looks carefully at both the language and all the people this is supposed to include starts focusing on the odd bearded men, who wear some women’s clothing but clearly aren’t women. The ones who get threatening and loud when anyone thinks they aren’t women. Or the ones who want to show up for work as a man one day and a woman the next. Or the gender queers who demand people address them using gender neutral language.
I’m old. I want to marry my partner. Marriage Equality is my big issue and I don’t like Transgender political leaders telling me what my priorities should be.
I been fighting discrimination against women in the work place since I started the process of becoming female. Discrimination against women is still a problem and sometimes the complaints of some transgender and yes, some transsexual women (particularly those in certain professions) sound as though they are driven by having had a lifetime of male privilege taken away.
There is also the same professionalization and careerist element that has become all too common to all of the National Activist organizations. The sense that the people at the top will never have enough money to out bribe the corporations in order to get “our” representatives to actually represent us and not the corporate interests. This leaves those of us back in the hinter lands wondering just what the fuck these “activists” are doing. Mostly they all seem a variation on the schmoozing Joe Solmonese.
In the case of Transgender Inc. they seem to be trying to sell a transparently deceptive concept that benefits part time transvestites at the same time it utterly disregards the interests of post-transsexual and assigned female at birth women. There is the blatant misuse and misrepresentation of post-transsexual women that is brought about by erasing and marginalizing anyone who dissents from the Transgender Dogma that is at the core of the ideology of both Transgender Inc and the Transgender Borg.
The one big thing both groups focus upon is a fetishization of “gender” and “gender identity” going so far as to press for gender to replace sex as a determinant as to who is a woman and who is a man
One thing about being a feminist and woman identified is asking is something positive or negative for women. I see all the focus on gender as having an extremely negative impact on women.
To me that seems to be a reactionary rehash of the idea of sex roles determining who is really a man and who is really a woman.
I’ve fought that idea my entire adult life both as a feminist and as a part of the Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movements. I’m old enough to recall the branding of gay men as womanish and lesbians as mannish, in spite of those lesbians and gay men being quite happy with the sex they were assigned at birth.
In spite of that opportunists in both transgender Inc. and the transgender Borg have on occasion attempted to claim both gay and lesbian people as transgender based on their perceived lack of masculinity or femininity.
I view this as totally reactionary and the dialectical opposite of gender role/sex role freedom.
So I use Transgender Inc for the politicos. As with any political group my agreement or disagreement with their positions is conditional. One major factor on an ad hoc basis is if the position helps or harms women. Another major one is if it helps or harm post-op transsexual women in any way, including the demand by both Transgender Inc. and the Borg that post-transsexual women and men be considered part of the “Transgender Community”.
There are other issues. Over the last few months, I have come to view Transgender Inc. as having a number of people who are either actively exploiting the community in order to be professional activists or run organizations that have on several occasions been discovered to have played fast and loose with the money they were supposed to be managing.
Transgender Inc. tends to suffer from the same divorced from the grass roots problems found in Gay Inc or the people running the Democratic Party. They are not addressing the major problems of sex work and substance abuse that have led so many in their community to lead kamikaze life styles organized around drugs, silicone pumping and street prostitution. Instead they are ensconced in their safe middle class, privileged lobbyist positions fighting for causes that will have next to no positive effect on the lives of the people they are holding up as martyrs.
As a post-transsexual lesbian member of the Gay and Lesbian Community I feel the relationship my community has with the transgender community has been one of exploitation. The Transgender Community is historically rooted in the heterosexual male transvestite community (despite its attempts to obscure those roots by the colonization of both transsexuals and the drag communities). They have decided it would be beneficial to the “Transgender Community” to colonize the Gay and Lesbian Movement to the point where we are now faced with a noisy minority faction, half of whom are either heterosexually married or could legally be heterosexually married demanding the right to dictate the direction of a movement they have decided to exploit. They are a minority group yet use victimhood as a lever to claim the right to determine the larger group’s agenda and direction.
The Transgender Borg Collective is comprised of far more people and is something I view as more insidious and harmful to women in general and specifically to post-transsexual women.
I would question describing it as a “community”.
It isn’t a community unless you also consider Scientology or the Moonies a community. It is a cult, and one that exercises a level of thought control that Stalin would have studied and chosen to emulate.
Further not all transgender people are part of this cult and that is why I do not label all transgender people with the often used and all too easy slurs.
I mean, do you actually think I would have had transgender people as close friends and lovers if they had spouted this misogynistic babble at me?
So I go after the ideology because in the real world rather than the nebulous world of bits, bytes and transfer protocols real people are having their human rights infringed and I’m not going to let the strange and hateful rhetoric, the ideology straight from Prince cause me to start abusing people who aren’t a part of this cult of on-line “Transgender enforcers”.
In the late 1960s and 1970s there were all sorts of strange cults going around: Tony and Susan Alamo, Scientology, the Moonies, Children of God, the Lyndon LaRouche followers, the Hare Krishnas.
They all showed the same characteristics that make up cult behavior. The us/them mentality. The dogmatic thinking, the creation of a world view that broaches no deviation from the ideology of the cult.
But the most unnerving similarity to these cults on the part of the Transgender Borg is how they treat those who were part of their cult either voluntarily or involuntarily but who leave the cult.
When Tina and I started using the meme “women born transsexual” we meant it to signify a rejection of all the psychiatric theory and an embrace of the idea that we were born this way.
We were immediately attacked by transvestites and other people who play the game of virtual transgender outlaw on line.
We are labeled as bigots and transphobes, elitist scum and worse.
We are subjected to public denouncing and anything they may have done with in the “community” is erased from memory.
All for having the audacity to question the strange jumble of Virginia Prince and Judith Butler post-modern thinking that is supposed to pass as logical and coherent yet ends up sounding like a series of memorized talking points straight out of some sort of fundamentalist cult.
Therefore the top end variety of Transgender activism like the top end version of Gay/Lesbian activism has earned the label Transgender Inc. just as HRC has earned the label Gay Inc.
While the ideological Stalinists who have become the blogosphere grass roots of the Transgender community have earned the label the “Transgender Borg Collective” for all their abusive ideology, their blatant colonization of transsexuals and their excruciatingly painful ordeals regarding political and ideological purity.
Post-transsexual folks are better off getting on with their lives and leaving the “Community” to engage in its cannibalistic orgies of political correctness.