Sunday, May 20, 2012

compassion for our sisters

It is easy to get polarised by the nonsense that spews from TG bog supporters.

It is easy to allow the idea that since so many TG are nutcases (by which i am referring to the actual males who think that calling themselves sally, speaking in a girly voice and wearing shiny sateen panties over their eager cocks makes them in any way, shape or form, female), that all are.

It is easy to forget to be compassionate and to forget to acknowledge the range of individuals who do not desire or gain SRS.

It is easy to forget, because males who wear dresses outnumber everyone else so incredibly.

So, we hear their voices disproportionally. We have to be regaled by monsters like Sandeen, telling us that transsexualism has nothing to do with sex, and we should reject 'sexualising' surgery, simply because he/she doesn't want it (and so therefore feels the need to try tell all of us who've had it, and the general public that we didn't need it and shouldn't have access to it). We have to listen to people say that crossdressing, convicted peadophiles have rights, and that those rights are feminist rights. We have to repeatedly hear our TS sisters be misgendered in the media and called 'transwomen' instead of 'women', or  'TG', instead of 'women' (TS really should only be an issue when raised by the woman in question). All because the lunatics run the asylum. (LGBT organisations and GLAAD)

How many people, born with the wrong body, but for some unknown reason don't want surgery get lost in the noise? How many of our sisters do we reject, simply because we've become polarised, we've hardened our attitudes to defend our condition, TS, against colonization and misappropriation by men?

I'm sure there are a few. 

What spurred this line of thought? I was having a shower today, thinking about women. I've been pretty heterosexual since my surgery, with only one non-sexual love affair with another woman. I'm clueless as to what women do when in bed together. I had a look at sex toys, checking out what is marketed at lesbians. There's some fun stuff - harnesses with inward 'plugs' and outwards dildos, a weird contraption which is supposed to slot into your bum and vagina and extends out like a penis. (i know! the one i saw was black, too, it kind of looked like one of the scary aliens from signourney weaver's movies clinging to the model's body). Tools of penetration.

And all just a little ickky. scary, even! Maybe its because i am heterosexual (well, i thought i was), but sex seems like its supposed to have a good component of penetration in it. it certainly feels amazing to be on the receiving end. Would sex with a female partner be lacking in some pivotal way without it? Perhaps i'll find out one day.

So, i thought. What if... what if i'd been in love with a woman, prior to surgery, and my revulsion for my boy bits was less strong than my love for my partner. Wouldn't keeping a neat biological strap-on, far more advanced than anything you can buy in a sex-shop be far preferable to spending heaps of money on surgery? For me, it wasn't. the whole thing was too much. (although now i'm thinking having a cast done prior to hormones would have made for the most hilarious strap on). Perhaps for some of us, though, that equation is different. Not through attachement to parts, but through love of another (and love of screaming sex). Perhaps some of those people who say "i am a woman", even though they've got a penis, really are women?

Can't imagine it, from a personal perspective. Playing with sex toys could well be a bit of fun, and the tool of penetration would be both exchangeable and expendable. You'd have to have a really twisted idea of servitude to your sexual partner to want to keep a deformity, and to miss out on the joys of a good, hard, ... well. hopefully you know what i mean. Perhaps you'd even be lost in some mental game of wanting to be a stereotype of female, so therefore sterotypically submissive, so therefore willing to pretend that keeping a penis is an act of love as opposed to and act of attachment?

But that's my opinion. Maybe some of you reading know better?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"surgery does not make you a woman"

or so said the almighty Harry Benjamin. (paraphrased)

what does that mean for post-op TS women? Is the guy who named our condition saying we'll never be female?

I've read a few nasty TG bog blogs that say exactly that. they delight in finding that statement and use it to attack post op women. Declaring that either the concept of transsexualism is wrong, or men can never become women. They seem to take perverse delight in undermining the womanhood of women born TS, as if denying it grants them some kind of transgendered superiority. I feel that they are trying to 'take down' people that they themselves have put on a pedestal. more on that in a later blog.

How valid is that claim? If it is valid, then there are a lot of very deluded men out here, myself included, because we see ourselves as female. Fully female. Are we mad? Is the Law that acknowledges us mad? (as indeed, the recent Argentinian law that allows men to legally declare themselves female without examination or surgery indicates it may be) Are our lovers and family mad?

If the claim is not true, then what about the rest of Harry's work. do we ned to throw it all out, because we don't like that last bit (as the TG bog explicitly claims we do).

I think that there is no direct connection between the infamous statement of surgery not making us female' and the rest of HB's work. There are no assumptions being breached. There are no causative links being challenged. The rest of the work and that statement exist in isolation, so we could, if we chose, reject it without invalidating the rest of his work. It is a moot point, since the days of TS are long gone, and we are now diagnosed with GID (although with much the same requirements), or, if we are not actually TS, with GID(not otherwise specified), or, if we are not diagnosed, 'TG'. (This is in the medical world, not in the crazy world of GLAAD media manipulation.)

However. I think it is true. Surgery cannot make you female. It is impossible. We are born male, or born female. In our selves, not in our bodies. Our bodies mostly fit, but occasionally. To use the medically derived TS figure:1 in 20 or 1 in 30 thousand, not the more common TG figures of one in a few hundred.
We know pretty early on in the piece: "i've got the wrong body". Not, "i've got the wrong social role", although that may also follow. Neither, "i've got the wrong clothes", although, again that may follow. The fundamental marker is "i've got the wrong body". For a woman born in a male body, that means she knows she is female, from really early on. From there grows the struggle between self-understanding and societal stereotyping. Between Nature and Nurture. Eventually that woman may access surgery to correct the issue. That surgery does not make her female, because she already was. It simply adjusts her body to match who she knows she is.

If a man, for some reason fetishizing being female (and really, who would? it is not the easiest path in life, for anyone) to the extent that they can pass the gatekeepers, accesses surgery; what then? Well, they are still a man. Surgery cannot make you female.

This is one of those things that we, as women born TS need to accept. Instead of rising to the insult intended when the TG bog proponents throw this challenge, we need instead to face it head on and re-affirm it. Surgery cannot make a man into a woman. It is true.

At the same time: Surgery cannot make a man into a woman. So anyone not born transsexual needs to be aware of this. The knife is not going to perform magic, all it can do is change your body. If you are transgendered, not transsexual, and you are considering surgery. ARE YOU SURE? you may be able to provide the correct answers to fool the gatekeepers, and you may be able to play a good enough role to pass the real life test. However, if you think that surgery is going to overcome your actual male identity, then you are in for hell.

I'm happy with this concept. I've looked at it from many angles, talked about it, taken time to let it settle and mature. Its annoying. Why? because it means that there can be women out there who truly are women, but who simply don't want surgery to correct their male anatomy.

I've met natal women who, when asked about it, said that if they'd been born with a penis, there's no way they'd have them removed. The idea of power, or penetration of others, of privilege is too tempting, too alluring.

So, it becomes harder to say to the very strange TG people who have active male sex lives yet claim to be female: "you are not female". perhaps they are. Or perhaps, my argument to allow acceptance of HB's irritating statement was too clever, and deconstructed the idea of 'female' to such an extent that i broke my understanding of it.

What do you think?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

shh... stealth.

Ah, new day. new thoughts.
Why is it "mentally ill" to be stealth? Another militant TG proponent claims it is. I'm not linking to their blog, its full of too much horror for me to want to associate with it.

I'd have thought the opposite but i'm trying to understand. Perhaps, if being stealth is a stress, a constant fear of being caught, then yes, it is bad. That wasn't my experience when i was doing it.

Being stealth meant going out into the world and doing stuff like everyone else. If someone said "you've got a deep voice" the response was "sexy, eh?" instead of an explanation. It meant sidestepping unpleasantness and enquirys into history (i'm 6'2" with an adam's apple, i got a few!) and having a bit of fun instead. It wasn't mentally ill, it was liberating.

NOT being stealth is a constant pain in the arse. I'm out in my small town, due to being a non-self-respecting moron. So most people know. The odd passing ship in the night doesn't, so i don't tell them. Why should i? Do i need to perform confessional each time?

The argument: "that since some of us can't pass, all of us shouldn't" is solidarity turned into little yellow stars and pinned on our dresses. If you can't pass, go home, look in the mirror and do something about it. Its a call all of us had to make pre-surgery. "Can i do this? Do i need to do this? Can i live with being obviously mtf? Can i live pretending to be a man?"

Being TS is not the biggest thing in our lives, although perhaps it is for some. Living a good life, that's more important.