The last real Transsexual or Transgender “FIRST” probably happened before 1980.
Isn’t it about time we stopped seeing stories describing people as the first transsexual or transgender person to do something?
The “FIRST” spin on these human interest stories continues the idea that we are rare. Perpetuates the 1 in 125,000 or what ever stupid claim is being made about our rareness. Transsexual/transgender people aren’t as common as gay/lesbian folks but none the less we come close to being as common as dirt.
Years ago Renee Richards did the math based on her graduating class at Yale (IIRC and I’m too lazy to check today) and came up with 1 in 500-600 based on there being two others in her graduating class.
Lynn Conway figures 1 in 800-1000. Those are based on people getting SRS. Add in TG folks who don’t get SRS and that number drops to 1 in perhaps 50-100.
There are a lot of us. All different: Sex workers to doctors, lawyers, musicians, models, feminists, computer nerds.
“Warrior Princess”… The first was Roberta Cowell. She had her SRS before Christine Jorgensen. Served in the British Military during World War II and drove race cars to boot.
Fashion Models, April Ashley in 1960s and ever since. Some of the publicly known sisters who modeled include Terri Toye and Lea T. There have been many others.
In the late 1970s Pristine Condition ran for Homecoming Queen at Santa Monica City College.
A British trans-couple (IIRC with children) both had SRS and either married or stayed married in the 1970s.
Andy Warhol once quipped that in the future everyone would have 15 minutes of fame.
Interviewers used to pay us an honorarium for interview, then it went to dinner. Now being trans as well as having a story barely rates a Starbucks grande.
The constant churning out of stories about TS/TG people’s firsts helps perpetuate our otherness when the reality is we are just another minority.
Now, non-trans folks might marvel over discovering TS/TG people but being othered by being made into either a first or a role model is still othering.
Yes, our life experiences are different from those of non-trans-folks, but we are for the most part more like the people we grew up surrounded by than we different from them.
I don’t go to many trans-events and don’t go around telling everyone my history. It’s more like transition was so long ago and life since is so ordinary as to make my being post-trans irrelevant to most folks outside the community.
A couple of years ago I shared my history with someone because she was leaving town and I wanted to continue friendship via Facebook.
I sometimes feel TG Activists are making TS/TG into something more than it is. I know the Gender Queer faction is. Being TS/TG is like being gay or lesbian. It doesn’t make you a good person, or likeable and it is too common to make you really special.
All the striving for publicity is kind of a waste of time, the rewards are hollow unless you have something to offer beyond the headline.
With all the bigots out there in the world of social media the attention often brings negative attention that leaves you feeling like shit. See: Transgender teen homecoming queen deals with criticism, praise
There is a Japanese expression: “Deru kui wa utareru”. The translation is an English phrase: The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.
Having Transsexual or Transgender as a title gets old really quickly. It’s easier to have it come later in your QV than have it be the first thing people think of when they encounter your name.