Tina and I coined the term WBT or Women Born Transsexual nearly 14 years ago.
Over the years this term has been colonized by bigots who wanted it to somehow elevate them over people who use the term transgender to describe themselves or even to beat up on other women with a transsexual history.
It wasn’t meant to be used that way.
It wasn’t meant to separate those who used it from anything except the endless discussions of etiology, endless discussions of post-modern gender theory.
We coined WBT (Women Born Transsexual) years before Lady Gaga’s anthem “Born This Way!”
We were saying enough with all the dehumanizing discussion regarding why we are trans… I prefer transsexual over transgender for a number of reasons. It was the term used during era when I came out and feels braver because it uses sex instead of gender, a term that seems sex phobic.
But I’ve mellowed in my old age and have better things to do than fight with people who want to use WBT for Women Born Trans or even Women Born Transgender.
That’s because the important part is the word born and the implication that we are born this way.
We were born Trans, Transsexual or Transgender. (You pick the trans prefixed word you feel comfortable with.)
We weren’t born men (Or women in the case of our brothers). We weren’t born boys even though we might have been assigned male at birth.
We were born transkids.
We didn’t grow up boys. We grew up transkids, dealing with pesky issues described with trans prefixed words.
Some of us were so obvious, with our transness so written on our bodies, that adults and other kids saw it and labeled us long before we had the words to describe ourselves.
Applying the born this way structure is what make Piers Morgan’s insistence upon using the born male, born a man structure so highly offensive.
We weren’t born men or even males despite our initial birth assignment. We aren’t broken. We aren’t failures of the process of gender socialization. We aren’t delusional. We aren’t mentally ill in spite of the APA, who tries to turn anything they can into a diagnosis that will generate income for its members.
We are people, ordinary people who happen to have been born with something some call transsexualism and others call transgender. We are all different sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicity, abilities, politics and levels of privilege with one commonality. We were born trans.
We are serving notice.
We are tired of smarmy cis-sex/gender talk show hosts disrespecting and insulting us.
We are tired of being the scapegoats of Taliban Christian Neo-Nazis.
Some of us are tired of cis-sex/gender actors being hailed for their brave performances in drag face because TS/TG folks are not suitable to portray TS/TG folks. Especially since we don’t reflect the stereotypes the directors had in mind. Don’t bother trotting out the canard of TS/TG actors/actresses not wanting to be type cast, they are rarely if ever cast as in non-trans roles.
We are trans and we want to reclaim our own narratives.
I’m so proud of Janet Mock and her fighting back. It was a long time coming and marks the start of a new era.