Monday, January 30, 2012

TS separatism

amazing how the TG community feels so free to tell TS women who and what they are. 

TS separatism is a reaction to the continual theft of our identity by a male, sexually fetishistic, genderqueer majority.

have the TG crowd tried being a TS, speaking from their hearts? of course not. No man really wants to BE a women, they want to imitate and compete with them. that's why they are -not- TS. that is why they are genderqueer instead. they have no desire to lose their male genitals or need to blend into society as a woman. 

What happens in these TG spaces is, you speak, and then a pack of incredibly sensitive males jump at you, accuse you of transphobia and 'privilege' and being elitist. it doesn't matter what you say, it is as if merely having the effrontery to dare to speak is enough to trigger a defensive rage.

if you dare to suggest that the experience of being TS is in any way different to that of a CD, then you are lectured at length about brain studies that 'prove' we are all the same; on the 'transgender spectrum' that somehow implies that TS is merely an extreme form of crossdressing (and so therefore, the TS is really male); on 'de-gendering' and how gender has no basis in reality (like, hello? looked between your legs recently?)

it is offensive, patronising and very, very, very male.

maybe there is jealousy? after all, us TS get our birth certificates changed and get to use women's facilities (this is a big fetish for some guys. the sacred 'female' loo, that they were ejected from once they were too old for their mums to take them inside anymore). we get treated as women and can marry our (straight) men. the TG forget that there is a difference between us. ie, WE are women. binary identified and generally heteronormative women. we are not men in dresses, we do not retain our male genitalia (and an ability to use them for rape.) that is why we can use female spaces, because they belong to us. we fit into society and it accepts us, for the greater part. i experience little violence, little discrimination and little social difficulty, because i offer no violence, discrimination or difficulty to society. If someone challenges me, i have sure footing to meet that challenge and claim my rights.

the TG crowd, however, seem intent on beating the world into submission, forcing them to accept their pantie clad cocks, like it or not. and at the same time, they do it whilst claiming OUR voice. In support meetings they dare to hit on vulnerable TS women and play games with their minds. They resent our existence, unless we submit to their genderqueer agenda. We are beaten with a mantra of 'having to accept everyone', which is used to silence our non-TG-message voices, yet that acceptance is one way, and we must conform and agree or we have our posts deleted. Why should a man who plays dress ups have any right to claim a female identity? it is disgusting and has to stop. 

hence. TS separatism.  as time goes by we will only become more visible, more vocal, and more damming of the TG community that co-opts our identity, steals our voice and abuses our rights to identify as we wish.

if the TG groups don't like it, then they need to stop claiming commonality with us, stop claiming to speak for us, and stop claiming to be like us, when they are patently not.

Friday, January 27, 2012

what is wrong with this picture: the 'transgender spectrum'

we've heard of the autistic spectrum. it goes from extreme autism through to high functioning aspergers, and denotes a range of social and functional deficits, spanning unknown but believed to be common biological causes.

we also have the 'transgender spectrum'. it goes from crossdressing male through gender variant to true TS. (i'm ignoring the FtM for now)

i find this incredibly offensive. like, utterly. it says, explicitly, that the only difference between a sexual fetish male and a TS is one of degree. it whitewashes over the totally different experience of the two groups, and binds us together without consent. it unfairly links sexual fetish and gender identity. it is fundamentally wrong.

i think that the confusion has arisen because most TS go through a stage of crossdressing, as they are coming to terms with themselves. However, a TS 'crossdressing' is a very different experience to a sexual fetishist's crossdressing. The ones i know have no doubt as to their gender identity. they are men. they crossdress because it turns them on in some way, and they have sex with males or females as men.

where is the similarity with TS there? we crossdress because we are trying to fit into society in the way we feel we should. We should not even call it corssdressing, it is gender conformal dressing, for us. we just hadn't got around to fixing our gender.

things are made worse by the genderqueer trans* activist groups. It serves them to 'prove' that the CD and genderqueer groups have the same underlying causes as the TS group, since it allows them to hitch a ride on our legal fight for recognition. they'll insist on blurring the line between sexual fetish and gender identity, and when challenged will pull out all sorts of exploratory brain studies to try and prove their point.

We are not the same. the only similarity that i can see between myself and the genderqueer / CD groups is that we like to wear dresses. however, when i put on a pair of work boots and pant, i'm a woman in work clothes, not a guy.

i think this concept of a spectrum is intensely damaging to our public fight for recognition. we are women. first and formost. we have had to deal with being born in the wrong bodies, but that is all. Most of us recognise the gender binary, and believe in it so much that we had to change which side of it we were on. This is profoundly congruent with the beliefs of wider society. we are not asking that they throw away a firmly rooted concept, we are simply asking to be accepted once we've changed.

why should we mix this simple message with the vastly different one pushed by the genderqueer and CD groups? Why should society accept that a guy who wears a dress, sometimes, who is capable of rape (i was raped by a CD, for example) should be allowed access to safe female spaces? why should we not be able to challenge their presentation?

it is true that whilst transitioning, TS may appear like CDs. that does not make them the same, and it is OK to have different legal rights for the two groups. One is a female, committed to fixing a birth defect. the other is a male, committed to sexual fetish. Superficially similar, but worlds apart.

i have no comment about the legal situation for the genderqueer, who play at being different genders as it suits them. I do not understand it.

the situation is so messy. Too messy. Dangerously messy. It is time TS is taken off the 'transgender spectrum' and treated as a totally separate grouping. It is time we stood up for our rights, independently.

Monday, January 23, 2012

transition ages - is late transition going to be a thing of the past? what does that mean for the trans* community?

this blog is laden with personal info, to try and increase the emotional impact of what i'm suggesting. welcome to my life story, trans issues edit!

when i was little we did not have the internet. all my information came from books, TV and radio. we only had 3 TV channels too, and BBC radio 4, which is pretty straight middle class programming.

this meant i was only exposed to a narrow selection of data. Most of it said that men were men and women were women and the differences were so great that there was no movement between the two genders.

so when i went to school at 4 and saw that there were girls as well as people like me, and that they didn't have willies, i knew i was in the wrong body. i stole a leotard so i could wear it in secret and pretend i was a girl. i must have asked my mum about the differences between girls and boys, because i knew that to talk to her about not wanting to be a boy would have been a bad idea because she thought very strongly that i was a boy.

i knew enough biology at 12 to know that hormones were responsible for the development of  secondary sexual characteristics, so i stole my sister's contraceptives and ate them, hoping they transform me. if only i had known about androgen blockers, i might have begun my transition then. i did find a good book on makeup, though

when i was 15, in school biology, i learnt that in some genetic pools, there is a greater incidence of pubertal gender swapping - namely people who thought they were girls suddenly dropping testicles and growing peni. That was a pretty nightmarish idea, but i still dreamed the opposite would happen to me.

still, there was no data available to me showing me that i could, and the weight of normal programming seems inescapable. didn't stop me wearing skirts when i could, and telling everyone i trusted i wanted to be a girl (except my mum, i knew she'd disapprove, and my dad, because i wasn't so secure in his love for me).

by 18 i'd become a goth, so i could wear my hair long and wear make up and dresses and yet still be normal. i was going out to BDSM clubs in london, but still had not met a true transsexual, only crossdressers. i felt uncomfortable with them, as they were very male. especially the one who raped me. Still, despite my non-classical crossdressing, i'd not met any information that told me a sex change was possible (that's what i called it in my head). it was a not so secret dream that i had to sit on so that it wouldn't hurt me anymore. i did learn that martial arts in high heels was possible (watching michelle pfieffer as catwoman) so i got some 6 inch heeled ankle boots and practiced cartwheels. i painted myself as a girl, in bondage, on the back of my leather jacket as that's how i felt, in the chains of my male body. i explained it to anyone that asked. no one said that i could change.

i went to uni. caused a bit of a stir when i was picked for a college dating game, and showed up in full goth 'drag' (although to me it was just looking nice). i was into girls, but i guess i was a little too different when i was trying to be myself. i had such a hard time from tutors, students and staff at uni (the ever old-fashioned cambridge) that i decided after my first year that i'd give it up, and try to be normal. i cut my hair short and got into rock climbing and turned my body into a toned, slim machine. it was amazing to own this alien device that was so strong and muscly. still no idea that sex changes were possible, and by now testosterone had done its horrific work, making me 6 foot 2, broad shouldered, with a deep voice, a beard and a brow ridge. my mind had been trained by it too, to see threats and danger and assess the world like a strategy game. In my mind, i clung to the self portrait i did at 13, where i was an astronaut, with an androgynous face.
the internet got going. it started as a text based thing, and then there was graphical content as the TCP/IP stack developed and we moved into the http protocols. lots of geek content, but no information that could have helped me. i talked about my issue with a girlfriend/boyfriend couple i was sharing. one an anthropologist, the other some kind of lit student. at cambridge. neither of them suggested change was a possibility, so i guess they hadn't come across the information either. I was doing some research on neuronal pathways in a type of fish - as a sign of the times the key published paper i found that had the experimental results i was looking for was located in the back of a dusty library in the wing of an obscure department. i was thrilled to have tracked it down.

now i'm 23. living in london, working at the institue of psychiatry, of all places. Taking drugs like acid and ecstasy to provide escape from the world; to give me a mental playground to get lost in, to avoid the suicidal despair that held my life, as i felt my dream of being a mum slipping away with every day. I paint over the girl in bondage with an image first created by an inmate at bedlam, now the bethlem and maudsley trust. it is a UV psychedelic cheshire cat, and its eyes blink when the light changes. i met a girl, who was deeply connected to the LBG london scene, and told her everything. we talk a lot, but still no idea that a sex change could be real. there were not the role models. no information. the only hint was a  newspaper article in the SUN, saying how a bond girl was once a man. i read it like it was manna, searching the girl's face to see if i could find signs of the truth of the article. it was in the SUN, a sensationalist rag known for its tall tales and breasts on page 2. still, it sparked some hope. perhaps it could be real?

my partner had a body issue that required surgery, lots of excess skin from losing lots of weight. it got me into the idea that surgery could transform your body. i fantasised about how it would work for me, but couldn't figure it out - i really wanted a womb, and the thought of not being able to have babies was depressing.we lived together for ages, we were in love. she even got pregnant. this was the best thing ever for me, as that's all i'd wanted, but she decided to abort. it broke my heart, and also my will to keep trying to be a man. it was so unfair if it had been the right way around it would have been my body, and my choice. it made being a guy even more heartbreaking.

the internet had got going by now, we were still using libraries to access research publications, but computer geeks and scientists were using it as a big info exchange medium, and even the newspapers were getting in there. still no google, but it wasn't far away. so i started looking, using webcrawler,  to find out more. somehow managed to not find any news groups on the subject. (news groups seem to have vanished these days)

a couple of years later and i've found the information i'm seeking. i've learnt that a sex change was a possibility. i'm torn. its all i wanted, ever, but it means i can't have children. i meet a new partner, who later becomes my wife (we get married after i've changed my name). she knows everything from the start - the first time we go clubbing together i'm in my favorite silver dress and sparkly collar, because it looks and makes me feel fabulous. we plan our future. our children, my sex change. i stop taking drugs. i go to my doctor and get the hormones i need. its a godsend. testosterone stops and my mind is freed from its evil grip. i start oestrogen, and it makes me feel right, in a way ecstasy almost did. I'm offered cognitive behavioral therapy but quickly decide with the therapist that its not what i need, since there is nothing wrong with me that SRS wouldn't fix. i meet my FIRST transsexual, in passing, at the GID. they scare me, as they look very male and very unhappy. i'm afraid i do too. We get married and i store sperm for our future children. i have surgery.  i meet my second transsexual at the hospital in thailand, a lovely woman from australia. theres a lot of scary people there too, who remind me of my secret fear - that i'm a deluded guy. and then i have to get used to not being a guy anymore, and forgetting and unlearning years of social conditioning, struggling with my looks, with my adam's apple and  male hips, male face.

from the time of me finding the information i needed to the time that i had surgery was about 2.5 years, which included waiting times and passing through charing cross's gender identity clinic, following the correct channels just in case i was mad (and who could blame me for a little doubt, given that this was my childhood dream made manifest?). 2.5 years. about a 2 month gap from when i found the information to when i made my mind up and went to the doctor. i wonder what the average lead time is for other true transsexuals?

the critical factor in this whole process was the availability of information. The same is, i would suggest, true for many of the older-transitioning transsexuals. If i had known what i knew at 25 at the age of 4 i would have told my parents. if i had known at the age of 8, i would have nagged them, and explained the social unease i felt at being the wrong sex (sex is now a bad word to use, and we are supposed to say gender, but that is the word i knew at 8). if i had known at 11, i'd have saved for hormones and not my first computer. if i had known at 13, i would have demanded androcur and estrogen. etc.

so. with the internet now alive and kicking, with information out everywhere, on youtube, on TV, in newspapers etc. how many trans children are going to be as naive as me? how many are going to sit there and type in "can a man become a woman" instead, and learn what they need to know really young? i'm guessing lots of kids are going to learn early, and get to do something about it young.

there's one girl in the miss uk competition, who transitioned at 10 and had surgery at 16. she's beautiful, because she didn't have to go through male puberty. she is blessed, and many more trans kids are going to be blessed that we live now, and not 20 years ago. the information is available to both us and our parents and the medical system that needs to help us.

the internet has transformed the world, and hopefully it will help transform many young transsexuals, so they can fit into their desired sex without suffering from so many of the problem associated with late transition. who in their right mind would put it off, once they know it is available?

i think this will have a further effect. it will widen the unspoken gap between 'true transsexuals' - the ones who recognise the gender binary (ie, that there are men, and there are women, and apart from the rare interex case, they are the two genders we have) - and the 'transgender' group, which includes straight and gay crossdressers, and a slew of non-binary acknowledging 'genderqueer' people.

for a long time, we have been grouped under an 'umbrella'. As less pre/post op true transsexuals exhibit male phenotypes but instead pass effortlessly, because their bodies never make that fateful male pubertal change, the visual similarities between the two groups will disappear. post-trans women will look and sound exactly like women. their bodies will be totally congruous with their minds. and the hold these gender queer groups have on our unique identity and unique path with be loosened. the general public will look at us and see women, and look at the TVs, CDs and genderqueer and see them as they are, and it will be obvious that we are not the same.

maybe then, we'll get more sympathy and less PC/discrimination fear based responses from the big wide world. Perhaps legislation will start to make sense and health care systems will be geared for helping us early.

i can't speak for everyone, but my dream didn't include me standing out. i simply wanted to be a normal part of the world, making babies and loving someone. I wanted to be transformed into and accepted as a woman, because i was. the only thing that stopped me was lack of information. i hope those of us who are born in the wrong sexed bodies in the future will have the chance to achieve their dreams. early.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

the trans debate. call me a post-trans woman.

whoa. political hot potato!

i got annihilated for referring to trannys as 'guys in dresses'. my mistake. i was going on the meaning of the word that i grew up with in the UK, namely, transvestite.

i also made the mistake of looking up the meaning of words on google and wikipedia. I think this is where the general public gets their info, after all. that too, was a deadly error. i'm surprised i wasn't summarily executed, for "allow others to define us". jesus wept. i wasn't allowed to ask around for current definitions, as that comes under the 'derailing' category of "asking for a clue".

i got accused of derailing so many times, i wrote the the guy who maintains the "derailing for dummies' website, asking them to include 'accusing people of derailing' as a derailing method in its own right.

so what does tranny mean? apparently it means whatever the fuck you like, and don't argue. its the T world's new N word. we can use it on ourselves, and on each other (but only nicely), although we aren't allowed to dislike the word or deny its applicability to ourselves, because that somehow implies judgement of others. and no one else can call any of us it, even those of us who are.

so, i asked for clarification of 'transvestite'. i was hoping for  a simple answer. well, no. apparently TV now covers everything from the eponymous 'guy in a frock' , through bi-gender curious, genderqueer, gender fuck, drag queens, intersex, dual-spirited, agendered and whatever sexual fetish you fancy through to full time crossdressers (male or female identified) and pre and non-surgical trans women.

the term 'trans' and 'tranny' include all that lot as well as pre and post operative 'true' transsexuals (to use a medical term).


i guess i'm conservative. i recognise the gender binary (intersex issues aside), so i changed sides . the bi-gendered and gender queer crew don't recognise the gender binary, so they are in a whole different world, to me and most of society. i'm not condemning them, that's their right and i hope they have fun.

i spent a long time in that genderqueer space, when i was getting over my self-image issues (which were based around fear of actually being a guy, but in surgical drag). looking at 9 year old photos solved that. my friends and i saw a stunning young woman. "but you're so pretty", said a 12 year old friend. was i? my memories of that time were of paranoia, that i looked like a drag queen. the proof that that self-image was way off the mark made me reconsider a lot of things. So i no longer cling to a 'bit of a guy, bit of a girl' picture i held onto like a shield, so i wouldn't have to fail at being what i am, a woman.

the labelling argument grew heated. for not wanting to be described as a 'tranny', when it meant so many different things, i was called 'transphobic', 'homophobic', 'separatist' etc etc etc. i was shouted down and personally attacked, mainly by those occupying the genderqueer ground.

so i went looking for a new label. here's some quotes, please excuse the typos:

cap'n Flow In
i've been talking to a researcher who is interviewing post operative mtf transsexuals. turns out that all of us, so far, have a problem with the trans term, especially as it now applies to so many who do not recognise the gender binary.
for us, the term 'post operative mtf transsexual' is accurate, but unhandy. we don't want to be called 'trans women' due to the ill defined nature of trans, but are not necessarily happy with 'women' since it does not acknowledge our reality. we are searching for a term.
how does 'non-cis woman' work for others who fit into the medical defenition of pre/post operative mtf transsexual? i'm not very interested in what people who are NOT in the category think, as this is about us.

ANONYMOUS  know I'm not your target market for answering but I feel all these divisive labels just end up dividing the community further. From someone relatively new to the community it seems to often dissolve into fighting, back stabbing and bitching. I see having a whole host of labels as almost a way to define a "class system" withing the community. Surely we can all play nicely together as one? Help each other out? Fight for each other instead of against each other? Is that not the point of being part of these communities?

Flow In you may see a class system, but that means you have a belief that any one state is better than any other, i don't. i believe that labels are quite handy when describing things, especially when the labels currently used are so wide. 'transwoman' can now refer to a gay/striaght guy in a dress. that means it is no longer useful when used in the wider community, or in here. it is quite possible for a group to consist of diverse, distinct, groups, and yet still function nicely. pre/post operative true transsexuals are a real minority group, and suggestions that i meekly submit to a melding my uniquie identity to a larger, amorphous, genderqueer majority simply to avoid being seen as 'elitist' 'separatist' or 'divisive' are not acceptable.
alliances, or 'umbrellas' (and i reject the term 'spectrum', unless if goes from binary cis through genderqueer to true trans) are made up of distinct groups, working and playing together.

this is after days and days of fighting with the umbrella 'borg.
unfortunately, it has led to division within our community. Some of us even debate wether there is a community or not. i kind of like it, since lots of people pass through different stages in their life, and its good to have a group that will support that. the main argument for an 'umbrella' seems to be politically motivated. putting our voices together gives us more clout, more ability to get legislative and medical change.


i'm in a very small minority, and bullies are attempting to silence my voice because it is 'off message'. ie. i do not agree we are all the same. that is no good.

i'm lucky. i'm articulate and reasonably calm. when i get shit thrown at me by my peers i'll stand my ground and keep stating my case, keep trying to understand where they are coming from (although apparently trying to understand someone is 'derailing') so that a stable common ground can be reached.
lots of my post-op peers are not the same:

As a TS seperatist I see very little actual common ground with the TG borg.. about as much as I have with the LGB community actually.. I'm straight female so their issues aren't mine, I'm happy to "conform" in the binary space, but by MY choice. Far happier there than I am being forced under the LGBT "umbrella" by default. I think the "umbrella" is too wide.. RuPaul is a perfect example with people arguing that HE has a right to be under the TG "umbrella" because he pretends to be a woman (and enforces a lot of the bad stereotypes that all TS/TG people are just gay or lesbian crossdressers or drag queens/kings) wehen the reality is he is so far from our groupings that he should be excluded.. He's not TG/TS so doesn't belong.. the same as anybody who just wears opposite gender clothing "because they want to" should be excluded.. cis-males in dresses aren't TG (yuck) they are exploring some sort of fetish. They really don't belong. By allowing these abberations and also allowing ourselves to be forced into the LGB movement has done decades of harm to our very simple human and civil rights and respect campaign. I know I have upset quite a lot of the borg recently wth this line but.. The black civil rights movement wasn't exactly welcoming of white supremacists and didn't exactly allow them to join their core groups. The LGB campaigns aren't exactly welcoming of straight heterosexual people, and even less welcoming of a binary conforming straight heterosexual TS woman. I will work with allies under an "umbrella" but only when those allies don't attach a label which doesn't really apply to them and then force me to conform to it as well. I wrote a paper not long ago which was universally attacked under the title "warning, transsexual woman ahead, cis-gendered crossdressers need not apply" .. The borg don't like TS seperatism to find a voice and lay down some logical boundaries :)

this went down like a lead ballon. it appears the non 'true' trans people want to make us the same as them, by whatever method necessary. they'll quote brain studies, they'll quote difficulties in medical and legal situations, they quote phobias and discrimination. all cart-before-the-horse kind of stuff. for me, and many of my contemporaries, its simple. you get the wrong body, and you do something about it. some of us don't get surgery, but the initial state is still there. why does the 'borg' keep trying to assimilate us? we aren't going to say goodbye, simply because we've been acknowledged....

i have a feeling theres a deep psych thing going on. to get accused of a class system, of elitism etc. repeatedly, to get accused of value judgment, when all i was doing was defining existant labels? 

here's my one of my main antagonists speaking, about derailing:

No, this is what derailing is:

It's fine for people to disagree, engage in healthy and constructive debates, talk about issues whilst maintaining a safe space and not making people in the discussion un-safe/isolated, speak or question respectfully, without getting to the point of "you must educate me on this identity/idea I think is really weird/not legitimate and that I know nothing about, and really have no desire to, and I will only dismiss what you say once you have laboured and but so much thought into your response"... But the sum of what some people have been doing on several topics on this page has been more than this, and has usually made value statements against people and their identities, their lived experiences, putting people down, silencing, policing identity and who belongs and who doesn't belong, and has been exclusionary and quite unsafe in the way people have conducted themselves.

This is because i was trying to defend the minority position that true transsexuals are not the same as crossdressers, and that i don't like to be called 'tranny'. this particular speaker said "you cannot say..." "shut up.." "go away..." etc. accusing me of value judgements in every statement. i'm fairly conscious of my intentions, and i did not deliberately do ANY derailing, judging, or excluding. in fact, i would repeatedly state that defining of difference explicitly did not intend judgement.

ah well, the debate has died down for now.

and i've an idea:

'post-trans', i was pre-trans when i was trying to be a boy, then i started to transition, so i was trans, and now, about 11 years later (9 years after surgery), i've moved through that. am i now post-trans. ?

so, i shall no longer say i am a 'transwoman' (since that now includes gay men in dresses). i am a 'post-trans woman'.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the libra tampon ad

drag queen walks into a powder room, gets into a little cat fight with a very similar looking (if shorter) woman. they compare eyelashes, lipgloss and tits, before the woman offers the drag queen a tampon.

she stalks off in a huff.

logo comes up: libra gets girls.

implication? well, that is where it all went wrong. apparently with that tag line libra is saying if you don't bleed you are not a woman. (where as i thought they were saying if you are a drag queen, ie. a guy, you don't need libra). this has offended post menopausal women, women who don't bleed for some other reason, and more peculiarly, a group of "transgender" people.

i'm going to talk about the last lot, since i'm post operative transsexual. i had my boy bits consigned to history a long time ago and now live as a (trans) woman. i'm out and proud (since otherwise i'd be hiding in a cupboard and paranoid) in a small-town community.

i'm not offended. why should i be? it doesn't take bleeding to make a woman. ask my mum.
that's not what this ad is about. its about a drag queen in a cat fight.

this is my defenition:

transwomen are women who got born in the wrong body, and who decided to do something about it.

pretty simple, huh. it will probably cause a storm of debate but i like simple.

unfortunately theres tons of plain weird people who like to play with a TG (transgendered) identification and want it to cover everything from androgony to cross dressing for sexual kicks and they've pulled transpeople into this debate by claiming to speak for us, and getting upset on our behalf.

in _my_ privileged, post op, actually feel i am a woman and always was so i did something about it (after trying and giving up on the alternative) point of view, if you are not a woman in your head/heart and you don't want to at least live as a woman, then you are not transgendered. trans is a very specific prefix. it means:


Denoting or relating to a molecular structure in which two
particular atoms or groups lie on opposite sides of a given plane in the...: "the trans isomer of stilbene"
ie. opposite.

if you want to be a male who has a penis and uses it like a man does, it doesn't matter what you are wearing, to me, you are a guy. Drag Queens, sexually fetishitic TV and Crossdressers fall into this bracket. you could be a 'meta' sexual, i guess. (beyond). androgyny can fit in there too.

unfortunately a whole lot of these 'meta' people want to claim legitimacy by jumping under a transgendered 'umbrella' and calling some kind of alliance with transpeople. (excluding transpeople who are transitioning , who pass through various stages on the way)

flame away, TG community.

and these guys have been causing the trouble. on MY behalf, they've been saying that the 'trans community' is offended and disgusted and will die of suicide and murder because of this advert. ridiculous.

firstly. lets look at who is in this advert: a drag queen, and a 'cis-woman' (this is what the transcommunity is supposed to call women, to differentiate them from transwomen) (i'm assuming she actually is. it can be hard to tell some times).

obvious portrayal of a transwoman? nope. gee, look, the title is "tampons drag it".

i polled my TG 'support group'. funnily enough, no drag queens were offended. that's because there were none in the group. Drag Queens, on the whole, identify as gay males. Sandee Crack (one of the stars of the advert) is unapologetically a Drag Queen. Drag Queens generally don't identify as transwomen and vice versa. it may be a secret fear for some transwomen (oh my god, i look like a drag queen, i better hide in a cupboard) but if you've got any sense you get over it and don't behave like one.

incidentally. drag queens 'caricature'  women. they over do it. its funny, and act. transwomen may accidentally overdo it, in their quest to 'be' female, but hopefully they get over it and just start being.

so. are we really 'sure' this is a drag queen? (apparently some TG peeps were in doubt). taking hormones (turning off testosterone production prior to orchidectomy and taking oestrogens and progesterones) has a huge effect on your body. it shows. the queen in the ad does not exhibit any signs of hormonal manipulation. so, either a really new transitioning female (in which case she wouldn't have got into that cat fight) or, a drag queen. the makeup and shadow's a bit of a clue, too. yes, in my younger days i'd put on some glitter and lashes, but that was in places were the other girls were dressed up the same, so it was not over the top... fitting in...

where have we got to?

oh yes. what is this all about? why are some TS folk, and a lot of TG folk getting offended for themselves, or on my behalf?

i think it is down to fear.

its a big thing to change gender. a big thing. it took me years to deal with it. i became a goth so i'd have an excuse to wear skirts and makeup (which i practiced in secret from the age of 12). i'd known since i was 4, so puberty was a bitch. I was unaware it was even possible to change until i was in my 20s. i thought i just had to deal with what i'd been given, and even tried being a guy for a few years. (with increasing stress and drug reliance to stop the suicidal urges). when i finally went for it, having discovered a source of hormones and with a lot of support, it was petrifying. i was scared of rejection, scared of violence and scared of looking like a man in drag. and, at 6 foot tall, i probably looked quite a lot like a man in drag. going to the toilets in bars and clubs was a minefield. some women would have a go. (and i'd avoid them or defend my rights), some women would mock (i'd ignore them). most would ignore me. i learnt to not make too much eye contact and be a mouse. probably didn't help! no one called the cops on me (my greatest early fear).

still. being who you are, not pretending anymore, gives you a bit of a boost, and i know i looked fabulous in my favourite short sparkly dress.

(nowadays, if anyone gives me any shit, i'd either give them some back, or say 'bitch' under my breathe)

so, i can understand that toilet dynamics are a scary area for transwomen, and perhaps that's what's caused the issue. "we are scared that we look like guys in drag when we use the loo and this advert has triggered that fear"?

so instead of facing up to the truth, they've got all cognitively dissonant about it and decided to try and silence the stimulus instead of accepting their fears?

who knows? who knows the motivation of the non-transwomen who have got offended on my behalf?

at any rate, they've decided this ad is transphobic and become very vocal about it.

and now i'm annoyed!

i live in a small town. i've been here 8 years. when i first arrived, the general consensus was that transwomen (ie, me) were gay men. last week, i'd say the general opinion is that i'm flow, and i'm a transexual woman. a few of the more closeted boys still have an issue, but most people accept me for who i am.

so, through years of being me, and being part of my community, i've achieved a small thing.

and then the bitching and complaining whinging TGs messed it all up. they got upset about an advert with a DRAG QUEEN in it, and plastered all over the internet the idea that GAY MEN are TRANSWOMEN.

fuck. FAIL.

i tried to argue on facebook about this, but this 'transgender umbrella' kept being waved in my face. it wasn't until later that i thought about the logical fallicay of the umbrella. anyone know set theory? the larger set (the umbrella) contains many sub sets (seemingly whoever it is that wants to be). one small sub set of this is featured in an advert. suddenly it is claimed that this reflects on the entire super set, and therefore me, off in my own little TS world and quite unaffected by the advert, am pulled into a claim that another (unaffected) subset have been discriminated against, despite the fact that the original set (the drag queens) think the whole thing is hilarious.

this is nonsense. the complainer's have simply projected their own fears and prejudice onto this advert, then twisted it to their own ends.

here's my original reaction:

serena (New Zealand)
10:55 AM Tuesday, 3 Jan 2012
The trans community is not speaking for me here. (I'm a 10 years post-operative transwoman)

the character is clearly a drag queen, the advert is gentle and funny, and a whole lot of people need to lighten up, they are NOT helping the trans community in any way be being up in arms about nothing.
How can people be "disgusted and offended" by this? next they'll get upset by knicker and bra adverts.
I'd love to be able to disown the lot of them.

fortunately, the NZ public is fairly sane. this is the most liked comment, so i know i'm not out on my own.

here's a quote from our TG group:
NZ thinks the trans community are a bunch of insecure, humourless fucks now, for fuck's sake the ad was not the Hell's Pizza ad. We did not have the moral high ground here so poor disaffected, white hetrocentric, middle class, middle aged male NZ jumped all over this, using it as an excuse to bash the PC brigade. The rednecks won this one. 

i've been trying to talk sense, eventually got this advice:

Give up Flow while you are ahead these folks see discrimination around every corner and if there is none they will turn it into a drama.

pretty much says it all. 

and from libra's facebook page:

to me it seems it is the transgender people themselves complaining that have made people think transgender people are in fact drag queens, I find the whole thing a little bizarre

to recap. funny ad turns nasty.  understanding of transgendered women rolls back 10 years as everyone now thinks we are drag queens.