[personal profile] recursiveparadox
For those that remember the last post about people finding cisgendered offensive based on some of the most fallacious and stupid reasoning applicable, don't forget, trans people are just as capable of fallacious silliness.

When in comes to fallacious arguments and pseudoscience, no one does it better than the Harry Benjamin Syndrome proponents. To give you a reasonably good idea of what they're claiming would require me to suspend about 90% of my biology knowledge, beat my head against my desk until it became numb and try very hard not to make the wtf face that my friends are so very familiar with nowadays.

I will do my best for you. But first, there may be uninformed cisgendered people here. Cisgendered people who (provided they haven't ran off from being so offended by the word cis) may want to know what Gender Identity Disorder (which is certainly not HBS) entails first. A point of comparison if you will. It's blindingly simple to describe so it isn't necessary to make an entire For The Uninformed post for it (but to be helpful, I will put a tag for GID and a For The Uniformed tag on this post).

For the Uninformed Mini Section: Gender Identity Disorder

Put simply Gender Identity Disorder (or GID for short) is a mental disorder wherein one exhibits a persistent (meaning it doesn't go away) urge to exhibit traits of a different sex. These traits may be the somewhat ethereal and short lived cultural elements assigned to a given sex. Or these traits may be a simple self conceptualization and involvement with the social group of a given sex. Or these traits may be the actual physical bodily structures that arise from the developmental path of a given sex (not necessarily all of them either). Or all three. GID doesn't specify, so it covers an epic shit ton (technical word) of symptoms.

GID is often characterized by dysphoria, which causes this urge and is persistent in and of itself. This dysphoria has triggers and normally the triggers are traits of one's birth sex. It's often described as a feeling of foreignness or wrongness to one's body parts and/or social and cultural roles and expectations and/or sociological group and conceptual description as assigned at birth.

Okay, maybe not so simple. My fault for being a biologist and loving technical terms. To make it a little bit less sciencetastic: Your body's sexed traits (penis, breasts, vagina etc) and/or your grouping in society (guys, chicks or androgynes), and/or your social/cultural roles and expected expressions (how society expects you to behave) causes you to hurt a lot and makes you want to change one or more of those things.

Ending of For the Uniformed Mini Section!

Transsexuality is more of a phenomenon then a disorder, it's the phenomenon in which individuals with the conditions described by GID (or other folk with different issues) seek out, attain or finish a process known as transition. This transition can be physical or it can be social or it can be both.

So what does this have to do with HBS? After all, HBS's website claims that it is an intersexual condition wherein the mind is the only section that possesses the traits of another sex (whereas more commonly intersexed folk may have genitalia and physical structures that do not strictly follow a male or a female development path alone). That doesn't sound much like GID right?

Well actually, "HBS sufferers" (you will find out why I used quotes shortly) experience dysphoria, often seek out physical and social transition and are pretty much entirely medically and conceptually described by the phrases "GID" and "transsexuality". In fact, the HBS people like to claim that HBS is "true transsexuality". Well shit. So that makes things a lot more interesting now, doesn't it?

First problem: HBS claiming "true transsexualism" (as a medical version of the word transsexuality, which is a fabrication in and of itself, as transsexualism is essentially the exact same damn thing) is a No True Scotsman Fallacy. In case you abhor hyperlinks, a no true scotsman fallacy is based around circular reasoning wherein the actual data or definition of a concept is ignored and counterexamples are dismissed as not being true so and so.

So if I were to say, "all MtF transsexuals like high heels," and then someone else were to dispute that by saying, "I don't like high heels and I'm an MtF transsexual" and I responded with, "you're not a true transsexual, therefore your example doesn't do anything" it would be circular fallacious reasoning based on misuse or complete ignorance of a definition.

Transsexual's definition does not specify a brain intersexed condition. It doesn't even really specify dysphoria or GID. So to make claims about "true transsexuality" or worse yet to attempt to pretend that transsexualism is a medical term replacing a political term, when those claims involve things that have nothing to do with its definition (while simultaneously dismissing all counter examples as not real transsexuals) is the textbook example of No True Scotsman.

And that is exactly what HBS proponents do.

Wait, it gets worse.

GID is established in the medical community for America and written into the DSM (diagnostic statistical manual, the book used to diagnose and keep track of the disorders that the psychological sciences know of). It has essential equivalents in the ICD (what the World Health Organization uses for the same purposes as the DSM). It's backed by the psychological field and biological field's research and the methodology of treatment has been tested and is detailed in the standards of care put forward by WPATH an organization of medical doctors, psychiatrists and other biology and psychology related scientists. It's also accepted by the American Medical Association (which is usually a good sign for its scientific authenticity)

What does HBS have establishing it? Well... nothing actually. It's a theory presented by a layman (an admittedly latently sexist word for non-scientist) named Charlotte Goiar and expanded on by more laymen, all of whom are transsexual and personally invested in HBS being taken as reality by the medical field. This theory is based on a flawed study that tested the brains of dead transsexuals who had already undergone hormone replacement therapy against the brains of dead cisgendered folk of the same birth sex who underwent no HRT. A study done in the 1990's I might add.

The reason why this is flawed? Because exposure to estrogen or testosterone changes the brain, as established in this study published in 2006. Oh and the fun part? They based this study on a group of people with GID and a group of people without it, took brain tests using MRIs and whatnot and then exposed the people with GID to hormone replacement therapy. Which not only tests to see whether HRT changes the brain but also establishes what a pre HRT transsexual's brain looks like.

The information revealed is pretty damning. The transsexual individuals had brains identical to cisgendered people of the same birth sex. After HRT, the transsexual individuals had brains nearly identical to cisgendered people of the same sex as their target sex. So this idea that trans people have intersexed brains? Completely and utterly unscientific. To the point where you can arguably state that the evidence used to back up the hypothesis has been scientifically disproven.

As a note: This is not to say that there couldn't be elements of the brain's structure that we can't detect with current methods that are sex specific and could contribute to or actually inflict GID on someone if they were mismatched with the external birth sex. But the only study used to back up the idea of "intersexed minds" has been disproven so HBS has been relegated back to layman unbacked hypothesis. Any attempt to claim that it is scientific, empirically proven or backed by research is at best shoddy pseudoscience and at worst outright willfully ignorant lying

So the whole HBS thing? Fallacy and a lack of scientific backing. Good times. As Laura from Laura's Playground has cautioned one should not take the HBS proponent's standards of care seriously, nor should one take what they say seriously. The fact that they continue to peddle this abhorrent pseudoscientific garbage as scientific and medical fact is a pretty good indicator of either willful ignorance or outright self inflicted delusion. Not a great bunch to be taking advice from.

There are a few people though (especially because of the note above) that would ask, "well isn't it possible that they're still sort of right? That there might be an intersexed brain condition or something causing GID?"

Perhaps. But something that is important to remember is that anyone who claims that they know the single cause of GID is either full of shit or doesn't understand how the disorder is named and defined.

You see, when I went over GID above, you'll notice that it is (basically) a name assigned to a collection of symptoms. The name doesn't yield a whole lot of idea about what might cause these symptoms and if you look around, you'll find that there's not a lot of ideas on what any causes might be. Considering the sheer numbers of substantially different experiences of dysphoria, transition and whatnot had by various trans people who still meet the definition for transsexual and meet the diagnosis of GID one would be hard pressed to make a viable argument that GID had one single unifying cause.

Like most disorders named after a collection of symptoms (like Multiple Personality Disorder was before it became DID) you really don't know if there's multiple causes. Whereas a disorder that is named including a causative agent (Dissociative Identity Disorder, same effects as MPD, but caused by dissociation fragmenting one's identity and self conceptualization into multiple individuals) can definitely be shown to have a single cause.

So to sum it up GID does not contain a cause mention, nor do scientists really know the cause(s). And people with GID have had really radically different experiences. What does this say, logically? That it is highly likely that GID is multicausal. This means that there could be an intersex brain condition version of GID (maybe called Neurological Intersexuality Disorder if it exists, is discovered and split off). This means that there could be a sociologically and psychologically induced dysphoria version of GID (after all, there's a few folks out there for whom the body is not the issue but the way society treats them is). This means that there could be a self conceptualization version of GID, unrelated to society (which would probably still be called GID if others are split off, honestly). This means, overall, that there could actually be quite a few different types of GID caused by different things (going beyond even what I listed above).

All of these versions (with the exception of hypothetical ones that defy what we do know about the brain, body and GID) are possible because nothing about what we know of GID suggests that any single cause is responsible for every case of it. So when people start talking about "true GID" or "real GID" or "the real cause of GID" they are, for lack of a better way to say it, full of shit.

Always good to keep that in mind for medical trans discussions.

Two points

Date: 2009-08-20 03:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

While there may be no conspiracy pursy, historically TG when put into the common lexicon by Charles “Virginia” Prince, was done quite purposely with one and only one goal.

Tie TG and TS into being “the same.”

For this I need to point to any documentation. This information was gathered directly from the horse’s mouth as it were. I attended one of the IFGE early functions many years’ back and “Virginia” seeing something in me. What I do not know, decided to make me a pet project. For four days and three nights, I was regailed (hammered would be more accurate) with the history of Transvestites in America from the 30’s onward. All recounted in excruciating detail as was TS, As I might add ,seen by Prince. who for the record, denounced it as total fraud… ( this sour grapes response of his came aobut followed Dr Benjamin’s refusal to recommend Virginia for surgery. Again this from his mouth to my ears)

I will have to give Virginia this. He was a dedicated man and when he set his sights on a goal he accomplished it. That and he was also very good at making vital connections with like minded persons. Virginia, having decided on a very personal and moral level that there was no difference between TS and TV, and not wanting anything to do with TV as the perversion it was perceived of in the early years. (Which btw did resulted in his being arrested and sentenced to five years on a felony charge of sending obscene content through the mail) Set his sights on glomming onto the slim legal and social acceptance TS had gathered at the time. Legitimacy created by TS being seen, not as a psychiatric issue but as correctable medical issue and no threat to the binary.

He quite purposefully did everything in his considerable power to blur all boundaries and to create as much confusion as possible in the mind of the public about transsexuals and Transvestites, which he sifted to the new term, “Transgender” which continues to this day.

Given the numbers of transsexuals then and now are far far less than TV’s. His cause was eagerly taken up by the legions of men seeking to loose stigma and gain acceptance… both laudable goals mind you, but not with the tools chosen by him and them to accomplish this.

They did what men have done since time immemorial, they co-opted women for their own needs. Albeit this time women with a transsexual history. Bottom line the gender continuum was born at the hands of this man and we transsexuals have been drug kicking and screaming along with is ever since. Not as women with a correctable medical issue but as the uber queerest of the uber queer . We are, the far lunatic fringe of the “gender continuum! Gee thanks!

Which brings me to point two

We harbor no ill will towards any who suffer with gender variant issues, nor do we want to see them not recognized as valid. They should be…

That said we just want to the same consideration being asked for by all the others. To be allowed the right to be recognized for what we are… different!

Now is that really that much to ask?


Re: Two points

Date: 2009-08-24 06:33 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
FWIW, Sibyl's account of Virginia Prince and her actions is about as misleading as the HBSers mischaracterization of the scientific evidence for transsexuality. And yes, Prince preferred she (and lived full-time as women for about half her life) -- see her biography by Richard Docter (http://www.amazon.com/Man-Woman-Transgender-Journey-Virginia/dp/0974560006/) if you want a more factual account. The HBSers' repeated intentional misuse of pronouns is a good demonstration of exactly the sort of hateful batshittery they're obsessively engaged in.

If fact, Prince vehemently denied that transvestites (the term used at the time) or "transgenderists" (her term for people like herself who transitioned socially but surgically) were at all like transsexuals. Then again the HBSers conveniently overlook that Harry Benjamin in fact argued in that trans-ness is a spectrum and probably would be horrified to see his name used for hateful separatism...

Not to mention that the "but Virginia was mean to us 40 years ago" argument really isn't relevant and hasn't been for at least two decades. Yes Prince was influential in her day, but even at the time a number of her opinions were seen by contemporaries as outmoded or unenlightened.

BTW, if there's an argument to be made about people co-opting terms, I'd say there's a far stronger case that it's a number of transsexuals adopting transgender (seeming as a more "gentile" euphemism) during the past couple years, judging by how I've seen transitioners self-describe themselves in news stories.

Lena Dahlstrom

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-08-24 07:01 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Sent the last comment prematurely...

Meant to also include this quote, referring to the "Benjamin scale" (http://www.genderpsychology.org/transsexual/benjamin_gd.html) he created to classify and understand various forms and subtypes of transvestism and transsexualism.

"It must be emphasized again that the remaining six types are not and never can be sharply separated." - Harry Benjamin, Pg. 23 of his 1966 book, "The transsexual phenomenon".

The scale included three types of "Transvestites," some of whom "may live and be accepted as woman;" a category for "Transsexual (Nonsurgical)" -- who "may live as a man or woman; sometimes alternating;" and two categories of "True Transexual" (moderate and high intensity), both of whom wanted surgery but not all of them obtained it.

(FYI, the scale refers to sexuality based on their birth genitals, something Benjamin later said was reflective of the attitudes of the time but pedantic and missing the point about how trans people saw their own sexuality. There's also other language used in the scale that considered outmoded or even objectionable today, and it's worth remembering that while it was an important theoretical advance at the time, 40 years of subsequent research has given us more insights and evidence than Benjamin had available at the time).

Lena Dahlstrom

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-08-24 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't have any problem with saying that TG can include TSs (as well as a bunch of other types of people), nor with saying some TS (or some drag queen/kings, or some others) don't considered themselves transgendered. My experience with the HBRers is that they want both sole ownership over the term TS as well as be the sole arbiters who "qualifies" as TS -- and anyone else deciding to self-identify as TS is somehow disrespecting their identity. (It's also been my experience that while they're extremely vocal in demanding respect for themselves, they're quick to disrespect the identities of others -- intentionally using wrong pronouns, putting names in scare quotes, calling people mentally ill sexual perverts and men in dresses, etc.)

As far as the increasing use of TG as a synonym for TS in news articles/TV documentaries over the last year or two, I don't see any grand conspiracy. Rather I think it's partly due to an unfortunately worded definition in the AP Stylebook (the standard reference guide used by most U.S./Canadian news organization), which while it's technically is a bit misleading and would lead someone unfamiliar with trans issues to assume they mean the same thing. And as I mentioned, it seems like some of the people using it are doing so because it's somehow seen as more respectable (possibly because it "transgender" doesn't have "sex" in it, in the way that the word "transsexual" does.) The third factor is that non-TS people who self-identify as being part of the transgender communities generally don't show up in news articles that often. For example, crossdresser make up the vast "dark matter" of the trans spectrum, i.e. they're far more numerous than TSs (probably by a factor of 10), but almost all of them are deeply, deeply closeted, so they go unseen. So again, in the absence of visible trans people who aren't transitioning, it's easy for the general public to assume TG = TS.

Lena Dahlstrom

You've Crushed Nothing

Date: 2009-09-02 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tgnonsense.wordpress.com
We have no reason to continue debating your isssues. Your debunking the notated study is not unreasonable; I don't think anyone has said there has been a definitive cause for transsexualism established, only that the research to date is leading to that inference.

There is nothing wrong with those who prefix their gender identity with trans, as the transgender do, but classic transsexualism (or true, real transsexualism if you are more comfortable with that) is different. If you want to refer to yourself as a bitch, no one is questioning that, but what's the point? And if you see yourself as transgender that is fine too. But, it doesn't change the fact that those who see themselves as something other than, less than, or different than simply female are the same as those of us who don't.

Re: You've Crushed Nothing

Date: 2009-09-02 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
There's nothing in your posts to rebut. I'm not going to argue with you. You have made up your mind.

Any inference you make regarding some "vast Evil Transgenderist Conspiracy" is your own paranoid take on things, not anything I've said. And, if you claim that I have inferred that, then please cite it with a link.

What I've said over and over, along with linking to the blogs, comments, and activists of whom I base my position is that the GLBT should lobby for whatever rights they feel they are entitled to, but they have no right to appropriate my political nor those who feel as I do. It's not just my site that has that position, there are many. We don't talk to ourselves, linking to each other's sites, rehashing the same old gender debate within our own ranks. Nothing could bore me, at least, more. We've long taken our position to the mainstream blogs where we are not shouted down and insulted, but listened to with the respect of the years of experience and "real life" we have. The intersex has done the same thing.

We are not better, but we are very much different. It is the transgender who say that we say we are better, not us who say that. As I mentioned in another comment here, sure, we have fanatics who feel as we do, misgender people, are rude if not down right mental cases. But that doesn't represent the rank and file who represent our position.

Re: You've Crushed Nothing

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2009-09-02 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: You've Crushed Nothing

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2009-09-02 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: You've Crushed Nothing

Date: 2009-09-02 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've never called anyone a gender fascist...ever. I see no purpose is bringing in the fanatics that both sides of this debate have in their ranks...do you?

Re: You've Crushed Nothing

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2009-09-02 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: You've Crushed Nothing

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2009-09-02 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: You've Crushed Nothing

From: [identity profile] dyssonance.wordpress.com - Date: 2009-09-03 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-02 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Lena, first off, I don't ascribe to the term HBS, my blog is full of references to that effect. HBS was simply an attempt to differentiate transsexualism from everything else; it was badly presented. But, just as the transgender have their rude fanatics, so do the transgender. As for your comments that HBS/WBT/true/real transsexuals (and all of those terms represent the same thing) intentionally misgender people, I believe that is a generalization that isn't correct - for instance, on my blog I prohibit it entirely - nonetheless, those who do fall into the same fanatical category I mention above.

You are correct, though perhaps by a factor even greater than 10, crossdressers do make up the vast "dark matter" you refer to. The issue is, just like you, they have no concept of transsexualism and are quite active within the GLBT we object to. Just as I, a straight woman, have no right not insight into what it's like to be homosexual or a crossdresser, neither do crossdressers and gays have any right or special insight into what it's like to be classically transsexual. That said, just like you are doing on this thread, drag queens, gays, and those not transsexual continue to join into the debate. We don't appreciate it; even a cursory review of the intersex blogs will show you they don't appreciate being associated with the GLBT either.

We can state it on our blogs until the cow come home, but the GLBT will not acknowledge - though HRC has - that there is a huge majority of post op transsexuals who are not only not homosexual, but don't even carte blanche support the GLBT. We see ourselves as women, period. No prefixes, no qualifiers...just female. We are post op, successful, mainstream integrated, and don't appreciate the GLBT, and specifically the transgender telling us what we need, or do not need, in regards to what is in our best interest...yet they continue to do so. The fanatic's blogs aside, which we not only don't support but condem, our blogs mention all the time that the transgender and the GLBT as a whole need to lobby for whatever rights it is that they feel they are entitled to, but they don't represent us. We acknowledge all the time that we don't represent nor speak for the GLBT. Yet the GLBT is the one who claims to speak for everyone GLBT, including all transsexuals who, unfortunately fall under the transgender umbrella. When we object to the GLBT speaking for us, we are subjected to the same old tired insults of bigots, transphobic, homophobic, commit ad hominen attacks, yada, yada, yada.

Are there some post op TS who claim they are TG...sure. Are there TG (including TS) who are homosexual...yep. And, we certainly acknowledge that. But there is a vast number of us, we think the majority when the number of post ops known to exist yet of whom are not on the radar are considered, who not only reject the TG label, but our inclusion within the GLBT completely.

We can take the mischaracterizations; we can take the insults. We know the GLBT are not going to stop either tactic, in spite of what we spell out in plain English. On the other hand, enough is enough, the GLBT has no right to continue appropriating our support when we don't give it; we are not going away.

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-02 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Granted I am a PE, Professional Engineer, and have been for a very long time. I hold no real opinion either way with regards to ENDA, though if I were find it on a ballot, I would push the lever in the affirmative. One thing I know for an absolute certainty is that employment discrimination laws without affirmative action are simply useless.

Much as been said with regards to civil rights legislation and the success of blacks in the work place...but there was affirmative action. There were millions of people of color in the work force who were undoubtedly discriminated against; that is not the case with transgender and transsexual folks.

Prior to equal employment opportunity legislation, employers pretty much did what they wanted. After a few well publicized law suits, employers everywhere wised up. If an employer wants to terminate someone, they are now certainly intelligent enough to make sure they do so within EEO guidelines. But, more to the point, I can't imagine working at a place where I'm not wanted.

ENDA will not change anything for the gender variant, TS or TG, with well over a hundred major metropolitan areas and several states already having such legislation it hasn't even dented the unemployment of that group. Transsexuals realize they have to work, and do whatever is necessary to find employment...and for the most part, particularly post op TS, they do find employment, without the protections of ENDA type legislation.

Re: Two points

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2009-09-02 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Two points

From: [identity profile] dyssonance.wordpress.com - Date: 2009-09-03 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Two points

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Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-02 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyssonance.wordpress.com
Point one is a fabrication.

The usage of Prince was specifically, and intentionally to separate her and those like her from transsexuals. Furthermore, the term she used was transgenderist. Her reasoning for using was literally to say that she (and those like her) were not transsexuals. Remember, she had a strong and abiding lifelong dislike of transsexuals. In her mind, getting away from them, being disassocaited with them, was important.

And she failed.

It wasn't until a transsexual woman wrote a very popular book using the term several times in the mid 1980's that it gained any sort of application as an umbrella concept and political identity class.

As for Point two:

you may seriously want to consider taking your struggle to the publishers of encyclopedias, dictionaries, and the media outlets, as well as GLAAD and similar orgs, because, like it or not, they are the ones who are using enforcing the terminology.

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-03 01:25 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I was so not trying to cause a ruckus with my two points. Rather I was just relating a very personal experience with Virginia and no, despite what others here may say, it was not fabricated!

What was said was very accurate, Look I even shared a hotel room with Virginia! Which rather improbably came about because Virginia had a thing for taking in waifs and possible novates at these things and in me she saw both.

The price of that room was I would agree be her pet project for four days. I ate with Virginia, went to seminars with Virginia, stayed past the close of the convention as did Virginia. Heck we even wound up eating that day at the same Dinner just past the Philly airport, (I drove) There Virginia and I had a very late three hour breakfast somewhere round 2:30 in the afternoon as I remember. At the dinner I ordered eggs with scrapple, which Virginia tasted for the first time though, a bit ambivalent about the scrapple btw. Virginia ordered pancakes, bacon, and eggs sunny side...

During these four days Virginia talked to me and at me non-stop. I was told in great detail about how Charles became Virginia, How Charles was arrested for federal pornography charges and sentenced to five years in the pen. I was told about Charles’s wife and their relationship and how Charles found other crossdressers as part of his sentence to speak to "men's" clubs. I was told how he started Transsvestia and how he started the social gatherings that would eventually become Tri-ess. Virginia related to me in great detail his her (he switched pronouns at random) life and how he she went about creating transgender as a term and why. I was even told about how the retirement community Virginia lived in and the fights that were had there because it was out that Virginia was still a man. But most of all I was told how utterly and totally wrong I was about being TS and wanting surgery and how we were all just transvestites if we would be realize it!. .I was even shown Virginia’s photo album and helped Virginia pack for the flight home

Mind you this was not some 40 years ago as it has been alluded to even if Virginia's role started back then (actually it would be more like 50+ if you want to be really accurate.) No this encounter withg Virginia was way back in 2003 and every bit of what I related in the first post came straight from the horse’s mouth...

None the less the point remains. Much to Charles “Virginia” Prince’s dismay I did not and would not derail transition. Rather I went on to have surgery and quite happily become an ordinary straight Suburban Soccer Mom. A women whose medical history is just not that important to her , her family or her man or anyone else in her life for that matter. (more so as none of them know)

A woman who like many others like her simply wants to get on with her life. A women who gets rather irked when she turns on the TV and there in living color and surround sound is yet another self appointed leader of “the community” exposing that the very life she leads is utterly impossible and that we are all one big happy family. Since when?

Mind you this is not hate on my part! Charles, Virginia Prince was kind to me even if Virginia would leave met with a headache every day from the nonstop badgering and even then I held nothing against Virginia. I respected Virginia’s right then and were Virginia still alive now, to be who Virginia was and all I have ever asked in return was the same

The simple right to be respected by this community not as a trans woman or a transgerder or a transsexual or a gender queer of part of some lgbr continuum. I only want the respect to be called what it says on my driver’s license, passport and birth certificate…


Again, is that really so much to ask?


Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-03 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyssonance.wordpress.com
No, it isn't too much ask, in my opinion. However, as a transsexual, my opinion doesn't have merit or weight.

What does have merit or weight is the force of law. Since my ID, birth cert, and passport say the same thing, I've learned that that force is rather powerful, and that the practical response is a funny look at the offender.

That said, your meeting with Prince is not the issue of contention. It may, however, be an issue of some jealousy on the part of some others. The issue of contention is the purpose behind the term as it was coined, which is what you were citing.

It was popularized into its current usage by Feinberg in the early 90's, and so from about 85 on its meaning was stripped out of Prince's hands as it passed to the general usage. So by the time you met Prince, the meaning of the term had been irrevocably changed.

(which, from a language point of view is incredible, given the speed with which it came into wide use. I can think of only one other example of such a word, and that would be quiz, if one gives credence to the anecdotal origin for it).

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-04 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

So if it is not too much to ask, why so reluctant to give it?

The basic tenant of this and so many others threads across the net, including what I’ve read on your own blog Dys is that I’m not a woman,. I’m some sort of ersatz, penile inverted Frankenstein-esque amalgam of man-made surgical parts grafted onto a castrated-man. A freak, that at best roughly simulates the shape of a woman.


What a horrible way to look at this gift of correction! I get up everyday, and before I go about the mundane job of putting food on my table I thank god that I live in the here and now where that terrible mistake could be corrected. Then I pick up where I left off and go on about my life unencumbered with any of that which went before.

Sure, I have history, as do we all! Sure, I went through transition! Because of that, I like everyone here has experienced full force, the utter brutality of societies scorn for one perceived as being not fully of one sex. It is not a thing I would wish upon my worst enemy

Yet I persevered though the pain of it and transitioned. I moved on. I started life anew. I cut all the ties (and I do mean all) to a past that is no longer mine. It hurt god did it hurt and I shed a lot of tears in the process, but when it was over and done with, I discovered the joys of simply being…

A woman…

All this angst? All this dysonance (truly no pun or slight meant) None of this has any part of my life now.

Should it?

Is there something I’m missing about why holding on to that pain is a good thing? Is there some reason I miss as to why I should turn my back on the life I have created? Is there some reason I should grab up this banner of out and proud (of what pray tell?) and wave it from on high saying “ha-ha, fooled ya! I’m really a man? What would I, or any of those I love gain by such an act?

Nothing! Nothing at all would be gained by my doing that and what is worse it would mean all that pain and suffering was for naught

Once upon a time in the not too distant past, here in the USA. State legislators in all but two of the fifty states, including I might add those horribly conservative states whom at the time still embraced Jim Crow laws accepted that God can make a mistake. That a female (or male) can be born with the wrong genitalia… And this is the important part! That this mistake is correctable and so should be codified

Part of the agreement (or what I believe you called a legal fiction) was that one so afflicted would actually correct the mistake! It was assumed that if one truly was a female then such a such gross error would make it so there is nothing more important in a girls life than to get it over and done with so she can move on to a new life!

That is the way I say it and I made that pact, , I paid the price and once it was done, picked up the pieces that were left, came to speed on all that I missed and slipped into society with the past as the past.

Virginia’s live was the opposite of mine she made being in transition a life’s work. She had taken hormones, grown small breasts and kept her boy parts. Virginia was in perpetual limbo. For that I feel for her. It cannot be easy to be seen as “less than.” It wasn’t when I lived in that place and I was there for only a brief time.

But I do not want to throw stones at Virginia, Virginia for all his fautls is gone to her reward and one does not speak ill of the dead. I do not know where Virginia is buried if she was, but what I do know with all certainty is that her death certificate says male and when that time comes for yours truly it will read female which is what I am.

There in is the point. I was female even when I had wrong parts. I was female when I had that corrected. I will die a female and all the time between even when trying to be male was that of a woman doing the best she could with what she was dealt.

Cut the ties… A woman with a transsexual past is still a woman and not part of a continuum. Let us go!

All I want is to be left alone, to not be connected to others with whom there is no connection. I do not wish anyone ill, I will sign petions I will back anti-discrimination laws but the price I ask is that I be left out of the unbrella…

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-06 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyssonance.wordpress.com
Who says I'm reluctant to give it?

You've been reading my blog of late -- but my blog of late has dealt in the perceptions of the world outside that umbrella. My blog of late has been dealing in what those people who are not trans whatever are thinking. About anyone who has done those things.

So you may have been reading my blog of late, but you haven't been reading it for a while ;)

My personal take on the matter is fairly well known: I'm a jingoist who thinks that trans people are, by default, better than cis people.

In everything and every way.

My personal take on the matter is that this is a blessing, not a curse. IF youd read my blog for a while, you'd know that I adore being a woman, and that only now -- after transitioning without any ties to my past, and I return to things that I derive joy from -- like friends and family.

If you'd understood what I've been writing of late, you'd see that I'm looking at a dissonance that exists between the trans community as a whole and the rest of the country.

And cutting through the taboos that have built up as a result.

SHould the pain be a part of your life now is a question of strange thought, as is it will always be part of you now. That angst? Its what allows you to recognize how wonderful you have it now.

Holding on to that pain for you has passed -- for a lot more people, its still there, still present, and they cannot escape the past as you did in a time when you had to do so.

Nor is anyone telling you need to turn your back on the life you have created, so asking that question implies that you've perceived something not being asked of you.

Proud of being who you are, my dear. Pride isn't about being proud you are trans, its about being proud that despite being trans in a world that crapped on you, you are still able to be yourself.

So waving that flag doesn't say that except to those who never believed you in the first place. And never will.

And that pact still holds. Its not been erased, not been changed -- but there is far more to the idea of GID or transsexualism than just that tiny bit -- a I also pointed out on my blog.

There really are some who don't need to go all that far.

To say that you "feel for her" is to make a jdgement on her life that isn't applicable -- its *her* life -- and she was happy with it. Who are you to tell her she wasn't?

Who are you to say she *should* have done more? Why force on her the very thing she spent her life fighting?

The continuum includes Man and Woman -- you cannot be outside it and still be one or the other.

Unless you are genderless, which is neither man nor woman.

Lastly, remember that I am a woman as well. They cannot "let us go" as a whole, because *us* is not a massive singularity. It is an individual structure.

And until you get every last one of the transsexuals in the country to agree -- which, as you know, just ain't gonna happen -- its a pipe dream.

And remember as well that you and I can both be called transgender, transgendered -- and have such done accurately. It is not merely an identity, it is a description.

We can't escape that. We can tell those who do so to avoid it, but it will still be there. And it will still happen.

There's 300 million people in the nation. More, actually. Right now.

Numbers less than 30 million just aren't going to be all that important to them, and they aren't going to give much of a damn about what you or I want to be called.

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-06 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)


I agree with you about Virginia, Virginia lead a life that made him / her happy and for that I am glad and I hope it does not come off that I am passing judgment on him for that. It is one of my most sincere wishes that no human be persecuted for what are innocuous actions be it their choice of a sexual partner for their tastes in clothes or their desire to express a different gender role.

That said there was one thing in your reply that is quite similar to much of what "Recursive's" has said and that one point is the crux of the matter..

"There really are some who don't need to go all that far."

I could not agree more but it that is the case… IF, and this is a VERY big if, that desire is not there, then that person is simply not transsexual. That desire for correction is the ONLY goal for a transsexual. It is the singular defining characteristic and so, until that desire is settled they will lead at best some sort of a shadow life behind the male golem they created to survive

No, for the person who does not desire correction yet wants to express life as other than the sex were born into something else is driving them. Something very very different than what drives a transsexual. What that is. I really don’t know! Is it bad? No! Is it wrong? No, it is just different, and it is that difference that divides the two, It is that difference that makes all of my sisters work like the devil to get their correction so they CAN move on with their lives.

Is that a bad thing? Does bad even enter into the picture? Again, no.! It is what it is... A transsexual is driven by one thing and that is the wrongness of their morphology to who they are. I have yet to meet a one who would not have been just as happy to have the means to correct the brain sex as it was the body sex. I would have been quite happy to have been a man but I wasn’t now looking back I can see that I never had the faintest idea about what a man was. I was a cargo cultist acting out a male role as seen from the outside.

That was then, this is now. I had correction, I blended into society as the woman I am and so to finish up even if my history does become known it would take on the air of “her? Nahhhhhhhhh!” can’t be! How do I know this? Because I was once outed by a TG (something that is endemic I’ve found in talking to other women such as myself.) It was a vain attempt to say I’m the same as her” and it failed misserably. For a while there were those questioning glances the wispers but I did not reply. Why should I? I was a woman insulted to her very core! He called me a man! In time it dies down for lack of fuel and I eventually moved

And that is part of it is it not? While I do support laws to protect those sisters who are in their transition and also to protect those who are expressing gender differences I as most of the women I have met really don’t need laws to protect us as different because we are not! We are pretty much the same as every other woman out there with the same worries and the same concerns, the same hopes and the same dreams. We bump our heads on the glass celings and we worry about being alone in a dark place at night. We love our families and we would taer the eyes out of anyone who threatened the. We are woman end of story…

With great care

Re: Two points

Date: 2009-09-06 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyssonance.wordpress.com

If you would add "in my opinion" to the start or end of your assertion that

" IF, and this is a VERY big if, that desire is not there, then that person is simply not transsexual. That desire for correction is the ONLY goal for a transsexual. It is the singular defining characteristic and so, until that desire is settled they will lead at best some sort of a shadow life behind the male golem they created to survive"

Then I can agree with you. Because I don't have a problem with your personal opinion being such -- I have a problem with the basic assertion that its true for all people when it patently isn't.

However, that is not only not the case in the understanding of the rest of the world, it fails to match the diagnosis itself -- and since transsexual is a medical term with specific concepts about it, it does have primacy in the wider social milieu.

The definition of transsexualism (medical, again, remember) and its concomitant GID, do not require one to undergo the entirety of the triadic process --and indeed, it is suggested that such be avoided whenever possible.

As a matter of blunt fact, most trans men do not undergo that surgical correction because the option available is not only poorly suited to the task, but aesthetically displeasing in many situations. So that particular assertion immediately makes the overwhelming majority of these men not men.

This is not a new division, either, Sybil. Its been present for at least 50 years -- more even.

In the colloquial sense, breast surgery qualifies as said surgery -- and by that same token, women who don't get breast augmentation are suddenly not women by that basis.

It is an untenable and poorly thought out and unresearched position based on projection and limited understanding of the variety of potential transsexual experiences involved. And is something I took a long and detailed look at in the middle of August when I started the current series of essays I've been doing.

Indeed, if there were a diagnostic and treatment point at which the division between everyone else and transsexuals were to be placed, I would place it at hormones, as going back that more than 50 years, that's where the one singular commonality exists.

The rest is subject to vagaries of individual lives.

As a note, you can now say, with certainty, you have met a transsexual would would not want to change the brain sex. Perhaps not in person, but if you'd like to take a trip, you can certainly do so :D I;m in Phoenix, Arizona.

My life experiences have made me who I am today. Good, bad, and indifferent, I would prefer to keep them all over fixing the brain, because all that is me is contained in my brain, and I would not be the same person I am today.

And I happen to like myself.

Re: Two points

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2009-09-07 04:18 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Two points

From: [identity profile] dyssonance.wordpress.com - Date: 2009-09-09 05:01 am (UTC) - Expand

Genderbitch: In ur gender, revealing ur privilege


This is a blog. About transsexuality, feminism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, GLBT stuff and etcetera (check my tags for more on that). This is also an angry blog.

You might see me as slightly antagonistic. Oh well. I incite because I am trying to push people into thinking, discussing and breaking out of the stagnant bullshit of privilege. Which needs a nice firm kick quite a bit. Sometimes to the head. If I need a nice firm kick too, make sure to distribute it because well, I'm not immune to privilege either. XD

Anonymous (account-less) commenting is allowed but please sign it with an alias or name. I reserve the right to delete useless trolling, hate language and attempts to out my name or out anyone else here.

Welcome to my space. Take your shoes off, stay a while. Use the fucking coasters.


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