Is Trans Over?

Sex and gender are two different things.  Gender is about social roles, the indoctrination Simone de Beauvoir wrote about in “The Second Sex.”  Sex is about what’s between the legs or an activity cheerfully performed that enjoys wide popularity.

For what it is worth there has never been a gender binary as masculinity and femininity have always been shades of gray and not black or white.

From The Advocate:

The beginning of the end of the gender binary may have arrived.

By Riki Wilchins
June 13 2017

I was talking last year with a woman who ran a large public company, and she was discussing her son, who she explained was nonbinary and used them/they as pronouns. I asked how long they had been transgender, and she replied, “Oh, they’s totally straight and male with a girlfriend — they just hates male/female categories and says that gender binaries are so over.”

My first response was, “Oh, my God — we’ve gone too far!” But upon reflection, I realized a profound shift was taking place, and a fundamental question was being posed.

As writer-activist Dana Beyer points out, “the ‘trans’ in transsexual was about moving from one thing to another.” One was going from male to female, or vice versa.

This concept was more or less unconsciously grafted onto transgender. It’s an overused description that “transgender” is a broad “umbrella” term for all those people who are gender-nonconforming — transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag people, stone butches, etc. And a political movement grew up to represent these people and their political interests.

Alas, this is not and never was true.

While we’re no longer supposed to use the term “transsexual,” what we have and have always had is a transsexual movement, about one’s right to change sexes.

On one hand, think of most of the main issues that animate this movement: the right to use the correct bathroom, to serve openly in the military, to get name-change corrections, to not lose one’s job when transitioning (or when outed!).

These are all important and necessary things, but what they have in common is that they are all related to changing from one sex to another (or, if you prefer, to having one’s correct gender recognized).

On the other hand, you cannot find any transgender or LGBT organization of any size that ever mentions stone butches, drag people, or cross-dressers. For political purposes, they don’t exist. So, not much room under that umbrella.

This is particularly unfortunate for cross-dressers, who pretty much founded what grew into the modern transgender movement and created many of its earliest institutions, and then had to stand by and see themselves left behind by it.

Now the transgender movement is being challenged by those who identify as nonbinary and genderqueer. But are these people transgender?

Transgender has also been about some sort of biological anchor, a difference between one’s perceived or presented gender expression and one’s inner gender identity, a dissonance or, to use the old psychiatric term,  “dysphoria.”

But with genderqueer and nonbinary people, it is the identifying act of saying one is nonbinary or gender-nonconforming which is central to identity. Can one be transgender if one is not “really” transgender? Is the simple act of identification enough?

And even if we do include such people within the transgender movement, as Beyer has asked, how would you operationalize that politically? What bathrooms do nonbinary people want the right to use? How do they want to be integrated into the military? What category (or categories) do they seek to have government-issued ID?

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6 Responses to “Is Trans Over?”

  1. sharongaughan927 Says:

    These days I am not “trans” in anything. In fact, if I ever was “trans” at all it was a long time ago. Hurray!

    • Suzan Says:

      I don’t get all the “Identity” crap. I was transsexual. Long ago (45 years) I had an operation. Once the changing of sex was over and as time passed the connection to the passage became less and less.

      Now transsexual is part of my history, not my present. In some ways being a hippie and 1970s Lesbian Feminist (Dyke) had more lasting impact upon making me who I am. Partly I think because transsexual was about a passage, whereas being transgender, as people are today is an identity that has no point of closure.

      • sharongaughan927 Says:

        I live in a (mostly) quiet neighborhood and go about our daily life without reference to my medical history. I never demand of strangers that they know of my alleged transgender connections. Some of our adult kids will come over today for a picnic-style get together. This weekend there will be a visit to our favorite bookstore and maybe a ball game. I will go for a run. Then, of course, there is the frequent dog walking. We are so completely ordinary and have been for many years.

  2. Edith Pilkington Says:


    I think you should be aware of Lamda Legal, the Fenway Institute in Boston and the Center for American Progress’s position on gender and sex

    from The Fenway/Center for American Progress:

    “Some transgender people may not identify as transgender, but only as male or female. In these cases, assigned sex at birth can indicate that the individual is transgender, which allows providers to offer the full range of care – such as anatomically appropriate preventive screenings – that meets the individual’s needs. Data on sex assigned at birth are also useful for the development of algorithms for clinical decision support.”

    ahead of that it says:

    “Current Gender Identity, Assigned Sex at Birth, and Administrative Gender

    Documentation of both current gender identity and assigned sex at birth is critical for delivering appropriate care to transgender patients. We strongly caution that current gender identity data must be the information that populates the “gender” field on patient identification materials, such as hospital wristbands, and should be used for purposes such as making room assignments.”

    In other words, your assigned sex at birth will always maintain precedence, and you will be not actually reassigned but categorized as “transgender” without consent. All this is covered up by double talk about self identification. To be frank, I’ve never heard so much duplicitous bullshit in all my life.

    I’ll put the Lamba Legal quote underneath the link to the Fenway/CAP piece. The web address for the link is “doaskdotell”.

    I have a lot of experience w/ doctors affiliated w/ The Fenway Institute. They are not progressive, whatever that means.

    from Lamda Legal:

    “A. Recording Gender in Admitting/Registration Records. Current best practices call for collecting both the patient’s current gender identity as well as the patient’s sex assigned at birth. This “two-step” process is recommended because not every transgender person will identify as “transgender.” However, a patient whose current gender identity does not match
    the patient’s sex assigned at birth should be agged as transgender in the admitting/registration record because this information can be important knowledge informing a provider to offer preventive screenings appropriate to that patient’s anatomy.”

    I won’t link because I don’t want this post to go into moderation, even if it will because it’s so long. The title of the PDF, for anyone interested, is:



    “AFFIRMING”? It should read “PATRONIZING”

    This is absurdity. Forget about my personal history, what about a child just reaching puberty on GnRh agonists who will never go through the sort of puberty implied by their doctor assigned sex at birth? How is their assigned sex relevant, especially for medical purposes?

    Every person with a transsexual history has mixed sex characteristics, it has to be acknowledged for medical purposes. That is understandable but I believe there should not be a two track system which essentially makes a person’s sex reassignment irrelevant. The person should be listed as female for ALL purposes with notes that have extremely limited access where the realities of a person’s transsexual health care is listed as something to be uniquely considered as anything else would be uniquely considered for ANY female patient. As it stands now, these so called advocacy groups, which supposed “trans advocates” such as Maddie Deutsch, from UCSF, parrot, are paying lip service to something known as “gender identity” and disregarding the realities of the person’s body. I see all these groups doing great harm in all this.

    I just went through gender recognition through the Irish government. I have dual citizenship. My registration is on the foreign registry. I have been told by the woman in the foreign trade office that legislation is being put together to assure the privacy of the registration and assure that the registration will not be able to be used to link back to my doctor assigned sex at birth. What’s going on with these advocacy groups seems to be very different.

    Sorry, I just had a bad hospital experience. I dread the thought of going into a hospital for any length of time knowing these people will look for any excuse not to treat me as the person I am.

    • Suzan Says:

      What we have with the Transgender Movement is a hegemonic ideology that has erased transsexuals in the name of a greater good. Not all that different from the SJW Intersectionalists hiding their antisemitism behind the guise of anti-Zionism

      • Edith Pilkington Says:

        I live next to the new rabbi, at Temple Beth El, here, in my neighborhood in Providence, and his family. They moved here from Alberta, Canada almost 2 years ago. His wife is a lawyer, and I believe she has a degrees or minored in Women’s Studies. She has expressed SJW sentiments at various venues in the local social media here. When I greet here in the driveway she seems to have an annoyed quizzical look on her face. She doesn’t greet me by name, just “hello there”. I think she’s probably very familiar with the concept of intersectionality. I hope she’s not hiding anything behind it. . . . To be frank, I wish she were a little more personable.

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