This Whole “Are Trans Women Real Women?” Thing is Gross

From The Medium:

The question is not whether trans women are “real,” but what is the real motivation behind defining some women as “real?”

Emma Lindsay
March 23, 2017

One of my facebook friends posted some article on how to be an ally to trans people. Something about the article rubbed me the wrong way, but I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what — so I asked my friend why she’d posted the article. Did you find this article helpful when interacting with the trans people in your life?

She told me she didn’t know any trans people, but wanted to make clear that she was a safe person to talk to about trans issues. As it happened, she actually did know a trans person, she just didn’t know that person was trans. Apparently her method of broadcasting her “trans-safety” via facebook shares was not effective. This friend has always to me represented, like, something that is deeply wrong with liberal culture. The desire to be open minded simply for the sake of being open minded, not because you have come up against a situation that requires it, seems fairly toxic. Additionally, the belief that by dealing with something in the abstract, that by reading enough articles about it, you’ll be equipped to deal with it in real life, seems woefully misguided.

I have a few trans friends, and at times I have behaved problematically towards them. I’m not proud of it; I’m just trying to be honest. You can’t learn how to interact with people via facebook articles. You can’t get to the point where you’re this flawless ally without being a fucked up ally first. And, to get real with you, I try to be a good ally, but I still got trans women on the internet telling me how transmisogynist my writing is, so clearly I still got some shit to work on.

But, despite my problematic bigotry, a surprising number of trans people have forgiven me my issues and opened up to me about their feelings and thoughts on gender. Which, is actually a little weird in some ways.

Truth be told, early on some of my feelings on trans issues were a little TERFish. I remember talking to one of my old friends about feminism, and she said something like “a lot of feminists want to abolish gender, and I really, really don’t want to abolish gender.” She was a trans woman, and she didn’t want to abolish gender because she liked being a woman.

But… I was sort of one of those feminists who wanted to abolish gender! I was into math and science, the sports I liked were fighting sports (wrestling and jiu jitsu) and I had just suffered for a long, long time to do the things I wanted to do as a woman. And, for some chick to be like “omg, all this girly shit IS GREAT — LET’S KEEP DOING GIRLY SHIT” was very threatening to me initially. It triggered an almost instinctual panic: is some of my autonomy going to get lost if I fully embrace the trans movement?

Yet, despite my fears, I liked my friend and I saw how important this was to her, so I just rolled with it. I certainly fucked up a few times, but whenever I did, it was always accidental. Nowadays, I fuck up less because I just think of her as a woman. A quirky woman, possibly a morally questionable woman, definitely a loud woman, but mostly just a woman who is not substantially different from my other female friends.

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Robert Reich: The Resistance Report 3/27/2017

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Arkansas could make it ‘illegal to be transgender’ this week

From Gay Star News:

State’s bathroom bill proposal is just the tip of a transphobic iceberg

27 March 2017

Trans people in Arkansas could soon lead an essentially illegal life.

State lawmakers are currently discussing three bills: House Bill 1986, House Bill 1894, and Senate Bill 774.

If all three pass, it could force trans people out of a majority of public life because their existence would effectively be illegal.

SB774 is Arkansa’s version of North Carolina’s controversial HB2 ‘bathroom bill’.

Called the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act, it would require trans people to use public bathrooms matching the gender marker on their birth certificate.

It would apply to all government and other state-owned buildings.

And it’s only the tip of an iceberg of transphobic laws.

HB 1986 would expand existing Arkansas law and allow a person to press charges against trans people under indecent exposure laws.

Indecent exposure, it argues, is any situation where someone ‘knowingly exposes his or her sex organs to a person of the opposite biological sex: (A) In a public place or in public view; or (B) Under circumstances in which the person could reasonably believe the conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm.’

The law could, for example, ban trans men who had top surgery from going shirtless anywhere in public.

‘If a transgender man has top surgery, his chest could be viewed as a sexual organ, according to the the language used on the bill,’ Zachary Miller of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, told Salon.

‘Anywhere his chest is in public view — like at a public pool or going to a spa — he could be in violation of the law and be arrested.’

The law could see trans people fined $2,500 and also holds a maximum prison sentence of one year. And that’s only the beginning.

Trans people found guilty four or five times over a 10-year-span would face six years in prison on a Class D felony charge.

Any further charges would result in a 10-year sentence.

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A Threat To Bathroom Rights Is A Threat To All Transgender Rights

From Elle UK:

ELLE’s transgender columnist breaks down the psychological consequences of being denied these sorts of basic rights

Mar 2, 2017

When I was at school, I hated the male changing rooms. That heady mix of pre-adolescence, testosterone, body odour and Lynx deodorant made me convulse and want to hide in the corner between parka jackets. It was, as you might expect, the place where most of the bullying occurred. I was often taunted and teased, and I saw many other femme boys subjected to the same insults.

Transgender children leave school earlier than any other group, and a recent survey has shown that 25 per cent have attempted suicide, and a further 25 per cent have considered it.

And being forced to inhabit the cruel, unmediated environment that male changing rooms can be, is in no small part to blame.

If you don’t know it already, Trump is coming for transgender students’ rights, by reversing a decree that would allow them to use the bathroom according to the gender they identify with.

There has been uproar, of course, about this and there has been the predictably extreme transphobia from people who would strike us from the face of the earth, but there has also been a loud contingent of people who are asking, ‘but are bathrooms really a big deal?’

And here is what I have to say to that…

I’m deeply concerned for the future of LGBTQIA youth in America.

President Trump’s decision to revoke transgender children’s bathroom rights will have ripple effects which threaten every measure to protect transgender students.

Originally put into place by Obama, the guidelines called ‘Title IX’ allowed students to use the toilet which represented and corresponded with the gender they identified with, rather than their biological sex.

Trump’s plans are to revoke Title IX, in favour of making trans students use the bathroom according to the genitalia they were born with.

In other words, if like me you identified as a transgender woman, under Trumps plans you’d be expected to use the gent’s bathroom as opposed to the ladies’.

If that privilege was taken away from me, I’d be really anxious and concerned for my safety. If I was forced by law to stand at a urinal and urinate it would be really damaging for my mental health.

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