Sunday, April 29, 2012

media misgendering and rebuttal



Jillian posted : in the montreal gazette a most infuriating article, that suggested we should accept misgendering by media organisations.

http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/04/28/transsexual-vs-transgender/


this is my rebuttal:

for us here in NZ, "transgender" is defined as:
   "A person whose gender identity is different from their physical sex at birth"

this conflated two issues. Gender identity, and physical sex identity.

a different dictionary says this:
   trans·gen·der  (trns-jndr, trnz-)
   adj.
   Appearing as, wishing to be considered as, or having undergone surgery to become a member of the opposite sex.


this definition is clearly WRONG, as it excludes 95-99.5% of people who currently label themselves as TG.

the DSM-IV say this:

Between the publication of DSM-III and DSM-IV, the term "transgendered" began to be used in various ways. Some employ it to refer to those with unusual gender identities in a value free manner-that is, without a connotation of psychopathology. Some professionals informally use the term to refer to any person with any type of gender problem. Transgendered is not a diagnosis, but professionals find it easier to informally use than GIDNOS, which is.

which boils down to "transgendered refers to unusual gener identities"

and common use says transgender refers to anyone who does not fit into the gender binary.

the HRC defines transsexual as:
Transsexual

The term 'transsexual' refers to a person who does not identify with the biological sex designated at birth and who adopts the social role of the gender they identify with. Because this is a phenomenon of identity, rather than biology, it is now more common to use the term 'transgender'


again, conflating a physical issue with a gender role issue,

the diversity of definitions show that there is no accepted standard. Transgendered is a word with no meaning, and so has come to mean too many things. Cross dressers, sexual fetishists, 'weekend women'. whoever wants to label themselves TG can do so, without issue. It even applies to drag queens.

all of these definitions miss the fundamental and unavoidable basis of transsexualism. HAVING THE WRONG BODY. there is only one cure - surgery.

social gender role disorders - TS aside, the basis of the TG 'umbrella' are NOT treatable with surgery. Surgery would be a life destroying error.

that is the root of the distinction between TS and TG. Surgery.

it may be some TS are happy without surgery, merely playing a different gender role. Given free access to surgery, 24% of dutch TS women chose not to have surgery, so the field of TS is not uniform.

97% of post-operative TS women ( Kuiper & Cohen-Kettenis, 1998 ) are happy with their results and no longer suffer from Gender Dysphoria. The study does not talk about gender roles, as gender roles are irrelevant. As is often said by post-op TS women, "we can play any gender role we like. all that mattered was our bodies."

There are no similar statistics for the non-TS TG populations. It must be remembered, TS is a diagnostic label (now no longer used, as it has been replaced by GID, but once very clear) TG has no diagnostic value. its diagnostic equivalent is GIDNOS, which is distinct from GID.

the TG umbrella is an invention with no foundations. it is innacurate, lazy and could potentially be applied to every person on the planet who has ever wished they could wear make up, or pee standing up. That is why so many of us reject it utterly. That, and the fact that so many TG 'activists' who demand  to be recognized as 'female' are wielding operative male sexual organs and have NO issues about it (hence cannot be diagnosed with GID and hence have a different medical diagnosis to TS women)

TS do not have "gender problems" or "unusual gender identities". We, for the most part, fit neatly into the gender binary. We are women.

and Jenna, yes, she chose to be in the spotlight, but she spoke in the spotlight to define herself as "transsexual" and "a woman". GLAAD's campaign to mis-gender her as 'transgender' is not acceptable, no matter what a patently incorrect dictionary may say. The dictionaries take their cues from organisations such as GLAAD so this is not a game of factual information. This is a propaganda game being played by GLAAD to mis-appropriate the TS voice, and TS social gains (Jenna, for example) to further their agenda, which appears to be to make a mockery of the gender binary.

Friday, April 27, 2012

the real life test


it used to be that a prospective candidate for SRS, or 'sex change' surgery had to pass a 2 year "real life test". the idea was that she legally changed her name and lived full-time as a woman.  She had to either have a job, study or be in some way socially integrated and function as a female. I suppose this was to weed out those who would not be able to cope with a permanent change in sex and gender role. We were allowed hormones and testosterone blockers, and we supposedly given a lot of support (i saw the psychiatrists at charing cross GID three times. once at the outset, and twice towards the end for the paper signing and clearing for surgery).

Those of us who didn't pass well would have had a hard time, and i wonder how many gave up and decided to live as men, after all. It was a reality check. Out in the real world, could we survive? could we cope? it was a taste of what would be a permanent way of life, post surgery.

in NZ, the gatekeepers seem to expect people to start this test WITHOUT hormones, which seems unduly difficult. 

Dr Richard Green (who was horrid, and one of my 'gatekeepers') said: "it is advisable to postpone your testing of the new identity until the hormones administered by your physician produce adequate physical changes."

Testosterone is a significant hormone. It has physiological and psychological effects. the pattern of muscle deposition, metabolic rates, responses to stress, mating behaviors etc. The effect on one's mind is immense, and the effect of removing it even more so. the flavor of the world changes. the shape of it, the texture of it, the feel of the world, all change immensely when testosterone is removed. For me, turning the stuff off was like being let out of jail - a constant, ill-fitting, twisting of my perception was taken away, and the world finally started to fall into the right place.

Testosterone also plays a significant role in non-conscious social interactions. Our Pheromone system is far more significant than most people realize. We are constantly sampling our DNA and expressing it via our scent glands, and constantly sampling other's pheromone releases and analyzing it for reproductive fitness. These systems are facilitated by sex hormones. So, if you have a testosterone driven hormonal physiology, then you will read as male on a deep, subconscious level. Essentially, you are outed before you are even seen.

Why on earth a woman should be forced to pass a real life test prior to accessing hormone blockers is beyond me. It seems criminal - especially as the delay in access can be up to 10 months. For a pubescent TS woman, that is the difference between gaining irreversibly positively male forehead, cheekbones, facial hair, jaw, hands, shoulders, height, voice, chest hair, musculature, pelvis and feet  and avoiding the physical ravages of male puberty. It is the difference between a lifetime of standing out, being obviously different and passing easily. It is criminal to deny access to T blockers.

Oestrogen is also a significant hormone. think about what effects testosterone and estrogen have during puberty. children become men and women. The effects are undeniable and life changing.
Oestrogen also changes physiology and psychology. It plays in balance with progesterone to change one's responses to others. as the balance between the two alters, we change from nesting behavior to mating behavior to social behavior to family seeking. Very few people realize how much and how strongly this occurs. A common cause of relationship breakdown is when a woman stops taking birth control, and suddenly she finds she doesn't like her partner any more. This is exceptionally well studied in mice, who have a large vomeronasal organ, which mediates the pheromonal processes. Quite simply, their partners stop smelling right, and out they must go.
When taking estrogen, you start to 'smell' female. it helps you fit into a group of females and changes the way males view you.

Physiologically estrogen changes the texture and 'glow' of your skin. it changes the way fat is deposited. it softens sharp curves and alters muscle structure. eventually it promotes breast growth, changes in body hair and causes the typical female body shape to grow (although it does not alter the skeletal form once age related growth has stopped). It really helps in 'passing'.

So, again, why a woman should be expected to have any success in 'passing' without the aid of estrogen is beyond me. It is a cruel and unusual form of torture, and i think it should be illegal.

Indeed, there is little evidence that a real life test is even necessary, although i'd say that for the person in question, its probably worth testing, just in case!

If anyone feels the same, perhaps we should get together and put together a challenge to the current twisted rules, which do NOT follow WPATH, DSM-iii, DSM-iV or the putative DSM-V recommendations.

Taking hormones is also supposed to be a reality check. It has such a significant effect that it is pretty obvious very quickly whether it is right for you or nor. For me, it was a powerfully affirming action. I felt a way i had always known i should feel, without ever getting there. I'd been using recreational drugs for many years, as a way with dealing with a world that i didn't fit, and i suddenly had little desire to keep taking them. I felt good, in a way i had never done before. I felt right in a way that had only been hinted at by my ecstasy use. Thank god. The suicidal depression that had plagued me for my entire adult life lifted. i had hope.

For others, i hear, it can quickly show the opposite.

i've got completely sidetracked from where i was when i sat down to write this.

The reason i started was because i've been heavily bullied by trans LGBT members over having experience and viewpoints. The latest round of abuse was because i suggested that having surgery and taking hormones changed your body and psychology and made passing easier. I consider that to be a no-brainer statement. Of course, removing testosterone from your system changes your psychology. It is a hugely powerful drug that is designed to create male stereotyped behavior. Of course it changes your physiology. Its purpose is to create a male phenotype body and to cause male phenotype social interactions through mediation of the pheromone system. Everything about testosterone promotes male-ness.

Yet, i was accused of transphobia (again) elitism (again) and privilege (again). Simply because i've had surgery, live as a woman, paid attention to what was happening along the way and dared to talk about what i see as sensible things.

I took a close look at the people making these statement. I know it is not PC to do so, to check out people's presentation and have opinions about it but really… Their clothes were not appropriate for their body shapes. They often have facial hair. They present as both male and as wearing dresses. They say very provocatively male things...

we took a "real life test". We HAD to fit in, to become a normal part of society, to cope, in order to access surgery. thousands of us succeeded (in the UK alone). We completed the test. We didn't whinge and complain and try and bully people into accepting us. We modified our behavious and tried to fit in, smoothly.

It was not necessarily easy. We are trained in gender correct social interaction and behaviors from birth. Very little of the training is overt. It lies in the micro-gestures of interaction, the subtle pushing and pulling of acceptance and rejection. It is a subtle and pervasive conditioning. 

Many studies agree that male/female behavioral and cognitive differences arise from social conditioning - not from any innate qualities. 

That lays an awful lot of responsibility at the door of society, and a massive job at the feet of the transsexual. If we want to FIT into society, then we need to pay attention to ourselves and root out patterns, habits and ways of being that are due to male-conditioning and replace them with female appropriate ones. It is a huge job. since we grew up as boys, every single female interaction with us was skewed along the lines of a male female pattern and every male interaction along the lines of a male-male pattern. Unless we've been very lucky or observant, we've never been on the receiving end of female-female specific training, or male-female training with us as the female.

It is a huge deficit to overcome. It takes years and years of attention and giving a damn to fix it. I still catch stray male-trained responses. I then need to track down their inception to let them go.

With many of the TG bullies who attack me, they don't give a damn. They demand acceptance as women from the outset. Without hormones, without surgery, without even recognizing that their every smell, every look, every behavior is male phenotype. Then they get angry when i say something as true as "hormones help you pass", as if it is their RIGHT to pass. (and by pass, i don't mean pass the RLT, i mean pass as a woman).

When i say "pass as a woman" i don't mean: be a beautiful head turning stunner. I mean: be like most other women on the planet; Come across as female. Its a simple thing, and there are lots and lots of very masculine looking and behaving natal females around. They are NOT mistaken for men and neither should we be. If someone really cannot pass, it is not only down to looks. It will be down to the movements of the body, the tone of the voice. The patterns of speech and action. The tiny little things that our minds are constantly assessing. Things we actually have control over.

Whilst searching for references and quotes i came across this blog. Very much in the same vein as mine: http://tgnonsense.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/tg-failure-of-the-real-life-test/

This TG attitude is wrong on so many levels. The real life test is not something that you pass or fail. Its a personal test, that asks us "do we want to do this?", "can we cope with this?", "can we deal with the consequences of this?". It asks us "can we live in society, as women?", "can we fit in, be normal?". It asks us "are we sure?". If you come across as a guy in a dress, then it is going to be hard. If you act like a guy in a dress, then it is going to be really hard. I don't know any TS women who are like this, though. There may be odd moments when we seem like a guy. The same is true for all women. There may be moments when we get spotted, and outed, and our past rises up to haunt us. Those are the trials, which we learnt to accept during our RLT.

That is real-life, though. We have to be able to live it. For the people who can't be bothered to try? Why should society accept you?


It will be a very limited world in which you live, TG honeys.

Here's some links onwards:

Someone who hates the RLT. not surprisingly, they don't want surgery:

A very personal account of the whole journey:

Someone else who has taken it, and doesn't see what else can replace it:


An awesome analysis of the psychology of those taking the test:

I like that last one a lot. here's a quote: 
"However, I believe the RLT, or as I (and the WPATH SoC) would prefer it was called, the RLE (experience), is still fundamentally flawed in many clinical practices. It's practice is often set out in such a way it focus's the patient's mind on PASSING the test, whether by; 'passing' , or, more likely, by persuading themselves that they are passing, or by pretending they are passing —- or as the French psychoanalyst Collete Chiland might say for the majority ; by deluding themselves or by an illusion of themselves."
I love that concept, the understanding that we are capable of deluding ourselves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

how can someone honestly say "i am a woman" when they were born otherwise?

As ever, the TS /TG groups have descended into another swamp of:

"My self-expression is the single most important thing - comparisons to an external reality are invalid"

That's paraphrasing, by the way. What they actually said was endless variants on the idea that: "I'm a woman. i like my penis and will keep it.")

Obviously, i feel that i am a woman. I've had surgery to get my body to fit, after all. I believed i was a woman, prior to surgery, so i must have some belief that being a woman is not solely dependent on having a female body. Its true. i believe you can feel female, even if your body isn't. That is a very large step from actually being female, though, as far as i am concerned. I like to keep things grounded and grounded says "physical form is paramount". Therefore, to truly BE female, i believe that surgery is necessary.

Is it sufficient?

Is simply having surgery enough to BE female? There are enough examples of people who had SRS and who then regretted it and 'reverted' to being men. Therefore, the answer must be: No, surgery is not enough to actually BE female.

There's this other thing, an internal self-image, perhaps, a soul? A personal state of being that is in some way female? As opposed to a delusion, that crumbles in the face of reality (as in the case of the regretters)?

What is it, that leads so many people to say "I am Female" when we demonstrably are NOT?

How can we KNOW what is is like?

Most women are born that way. It's not a choice, it is a physical reality. They grow up with their female bodies and become women. There is no doubt "am i a woman?", rather an accepted reality. However, if you start to look at what makes up a cis-female, what do you find? You find variance and an awful lot of it. Nearly every supposed difference between males and females is a distribution, with large overlaps. here's a good look at some physical measures (its long!) sugar and slugs - sex differences
another study claims that there are massive differences. We've got lost in comparative stuff, though. Suffice it to say, that merely comparing our personalities to another's is not enough to make an unambiguous call.

How is it that we can, then, as a 20 year old male-bodied person, say "I am a woman"? Where does this come from? For the TS it comes from a belief that our bodies are wrong. I'm sure many of us question that belief - wonder if we are right - try and be male for a while, until the pressure of the wrong physical form (and its concomitant responses, feelings and implications) gets too much to bear. Maybe that's just me! I know several post-op TS women who were so completely certain that they never harboured doubt.

The acid test, so to speak, is surgery. Afterwards, you get to see if you were right or not. Thousands upon thousands of us discovered that we were, after all. Our re-designed bodies fitted us properly at last. The sheer level of good outcomes is indicative that we were, in some way, correct in our beliefs. Our bodies cease to be major, life-threatening issues and we become part of bi-gendered society.

What of the non-TS? I come across many young people who say that they know they are women, but who have no issues with their bodies and have no desire to have SRS. They are happy with their male genitalia. So how can this belief be?

There are some second-wave radical feminists that say ALL male bodied imaginings of being female are based on misogynist projection. A boy is brought up to view women in a certain light, to project their requirements for correct female behaviours and roles onto all women. Men are incapable of truly seeing or understanding women as all they see is their own desires and prejudices projected outwards. In this picture, a male-bodied individual can only ever pretend to be an abstraction of a female. At best, the male born individual will only ever be a caricature, a mockery. In other words, the TG person looks at the gender roles and gender expression of women and says 'that is me". In doing so they fail to see what really makes a woman a woman and instead become lost in a misogynist gender role play.

I'm not saying i agree with that view! I cannot deny it's potential reality, though. It applies, potentially, to me as well. However, most post-op TS did not have the social sophistication to be aware of these gender role differences at the time that they realised they had the wrong body. It is a realisation based on anatomy, not on society.

So where else can a belief of being female, whilst male-bodied, come from if not from anatomy?

I'm stumped. I honestly don't know. I've tried asking, but each time, the people who claim womanhood but decry surgery refuse to answer and instead revert to accusations of *phobia and *ism. I'd really like to understand.

So please. If you are one of these people, or you have some insight into my question, comment. Let me know. I do not like having gaps in my understanding, i then fall into the error of being heartless or cruel, without meaning to.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

is this a case of history repeating?

It may surprise some, but i don;'t like the idea that i'm arguing from a bad place. When i make a stand, it is generally because i've thought things through and i have an understanding that seems logical to me.

Since i've had such a lot of abuse recently, (apparently i'm a racist, transphobic, bigoted, c**t) i thought i'd step back and look at things again.

The first thing i noticed was a parallel, between post op TS women's demands to be recognised as women, and non-op TG people's rights to be recognised as women. Am i unwittingly passing on the struggle between post-opTS and the radfem to the next lot of people down the line? Is my right to be legally identified as female based on the same logic and reasoning as a non-op penis wielding TG person's rights?

Lets look at it.

The first thing that happens when we are born is someone takes a look, and says what sex we are. Its a visual thing, based on physical form.

They say "she's girl!" or "he's a boy!" or "oh, better get the doctor!" (in the case of our intersex babies). I've always thought it would be cool to be born hermaphrodite, but the few personal accounts i've read of the 1 in 80,000 of us who are born intersex indicates it isn't actually so great. Oh well.

It turns out that genetics - our chromosomes, are not decisive in predicting what it is the midwife is going to say. That is, you don't need to be XX to be physically female at birth. Neither do you need to be XY to be physically male. This is pretty important, i think. It means that the fundamental thing that sex determination (and i'm not going to use the word gender as it is far too abused) is based on is a visual examination of genitalia. What we look like. At birth. This isn't a western thing, a modern thing, a sexist thing. Its a human thing. It is how the human race determines the sex of its children. Since forever.

I'm not going to get into an intellectual discussion of the rights and wrongs of that. As an aside, the Olympic Committee (as of 1991) no longer tests for chromosome compliments but does rely on visual examination to determine whether a person is male or female …

how does this relate to the post-op TS's demand for recognition as female, and the non-op TG's?

by medical definition, a 'true' TS seeks to have their genitalia changed to match their internal physical gender identify - not simply getting their "balls cut off", or undergoing "amputation" but rather the replacement of the incorrect genitalia with the correct genitalia. If we could get ovaries and a womb in the process we'd do that too, since this isn't about sexuality, its about having the right body. it seems from recent news that we are close to getting our testes converted into estrogen producing ovaries, but the womb is still a way off, unless our mothers want to donate.

once we have done that, we want to be fully recognised as female. Why? well, we always thought we were. once we've changed the physical form - the bit that is used for the primary and 'at birth' visual determination of sex - we are women. we look like females, and looking like a female is THE basis of being called female at birth.

Many pre-ops want legal recognition as female prior to surgery. I know i did. I wanted my documents to match my (clothed) appearance. With assessment by professionals (who are there to make sure we aren't mad, deluded, liars or in some other way not actually what we say we are) we are allowed to get that documentation. That's ok. That makes life easier. That doesn't make us fully female, though, that just grants us protection under the law. It makes being in the halfway house a lot easier and safer for us. It is a good thing that this is available to us.

Why does it not make us fully female? Well, if you stripped us, we'd not get through the primary 'at birth' test for sex without getting a "he's a boy" or "better get the doctor". This is not a demeaning or discriminatory statement. I'm not in the habit of discriminating against anyone, and i'd happily have this conversation with my past, pre-op, self about it. We'd agree, because i thought the same thing then. I was not a full woman until i had surgery. That was a reality accepting statement. One that takes into consideration the fundamental, undeniable facts; boils them down to basics; falls back on the simplest and earliest measures and accepts them as valid. It does not require intellectual twists and sophistication, It requires honesty with one's self and an acceptance of how things are, on the physical plane. If you have a penis, no midwife is going to call you "she". we will keep coming back to this "midwife test".

So. the radfems deny the post op TS woman her woman hood. They describe SRS as mutilation, and say that once born a boy, always a boy. They are a minority, if unpleasant voice, in the feminist world. Mostly, we are accepted, unless we behave badly. That's acceptable by me. I've never come face to face with a TS hating radfem and i imagine it would be hurtful. I feel so secure in my female identity that even though i'd have to concede that yes, i was born male, yes, i probably have XY chromosomes, no i cannot bleed, cannot carry children; i'd still be unshaken in my own womanhood, even if the radfem would not let me play in their corner of the playpen. Are the radfems right? i hope not. If so, i am severely deluded, and i'm pretty sure i'm not, so that would be a scary level of mad.


Now. Moving on. To the non-op TG vs the post op TS.

I'm not sure i actually understand what the non-op TG are saying. They say stuff like:

"Not everywhere fits within those two binaries and to assume that a transwoman who enjoys using her penis yet presents as a woman everyday in life is any less "trans" or a woman would be the same kind of prejudice when people say that a woman born a man isn't a real woman"

and
"To be perfectly honest, to keep the view that anyone with a penis or would like to keep their penis is not a woman (and vice versa with men) is pretty much as bigotted as you're not a woman if you have a Y chromosome."

and
"why should that be any different if the person has, in their mind, fully transitioned as they have gotten to the stage through hormones etc where they feel comfortable and happy as a female (or vise versa) . Should we not be treated the same as someone who has had bottom surgery and feel that they have fully transitioned?
Is the idea of transitioning not defined be each individual to go as far/as little as they themselves feel they want/need to in order to live their life happily in there chosen gender? "

There was a long rant recently, but i've been blocked by the ranter on facebook and i can't access it anymore.

So lets look at these statements: "Not everywhere fits within those two binaries and to assume that a transwoman who enjoys using her penis yet presents as a woman everyday in life is any less "trans" or a woman would be the same kind of prejudice when people say that a woman born a man isn't a real woman"

Paraphrasing: "to assume a TG who fucks like a guy but presents as female is not a woman is the same as saying a post-op TS isn't a woman"
Reduced again: "to assume a guy who looks like a girl but has a penis that works is not a woman..."

What would the midwife say if we held them up? She say "he's a boy".
(I'm going to recall my rape at the penis of a crossdresser again... to remind people of what it is that boys do to girls and why we care about the difference.)

So, Sorry. I don't get it. Would someone care to comment and tell me what i'm missing? I know that, according to the TG, to judge someone's sex by their sexual organs is NOT OK. Presumably because then lots of TGs would have to admit that they are not actually the sex they say they are. In some cases (the pre-op TS, fulltime TG on hormones, etc) that might be ok. These people would have the ID they need to stay covert, but really, they'd not be fully female. They'd pass the visual at-birth sex test as "he's a boy" or "call the doctor".

So i think the tg-ts and ts-radfem thing breaks down here, because i'm using the visual test (since the chromosome test doesn't actually work, see here and here and here)

What about: "To be perfectly honest, to keep the view that anyone with a penis or would like to keep their penis is not a woman (and vice versa with men) is pretty much as bigotted as you're not a woman if you have a Y chromosome."?

I've already discounted the Y chromosome thing. This is probably the closest we can get to the TS-radfem situation, though. It is undeniable that most post op TS women have a Y chromosome. It is pretty hard to know, though, and its not very obvious. I think the women who were born women and also have Y chromosomes might be a little angry at the concept that they are not women simply because they have a Y, so i'm not sure it is a generally accepted concept. Indeed, the olympic committee thinks the visual examination is a better test than a chromosomal one, as does the midwife.

So the statement boils down to: "saying that because it has a penis its a boy is bigoted". Poor midwives worldwide, you are a bunch of bigots, apparently. That, or the statement is utter fucking nonsense. I prefer the latter idea. please correct me if you know better, with an actual explanation.

Now to the good one: "why should that be any different if the person has, in their mind, fully transitioned as they have gotten to the stage through hormones etc where they feel comfortable and happy as a female (or vise versa) . Should we not be treated the same as someone who has had bottom surgery and feel that they have fully transitioned? 
Is the idea of transitioning not defined be each individual to go as far/as little as they themselves feel they want/need to in order to live their life happily in there chosen gender? "

This is tougher. It calls on us to consider how the transitioning person feels. It asks us to be kind, to be compassionate and to temporarily not apply logic. I think it conflates gender expression with physical sex (one of the problems of using a word with three distinct meanings).

Let's reword it.


"Why should that be any different if the person is comfortable and happy playing a  female gender role . Should we not be treated the same as someone who has had bottom surgery and feel that they have fully transitioned?
Is the idea of transitioning not defined by each individual to go as far/as little as they themselves feel they want/need to in order to live their life happily in their chosen gender role? "

That reads better to me. It is actually asking us to treat gender role the same as physical gender (sex).

THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. The feminists the radfems and i (and, i hope, you) all agree. Gender roles are a societal construction. On the most part a misogynist, patriarchal, social construction. Putting on a dress, believing you are a woman (rightly or wrongly) and behaving in a fem manner changes nothing about your physical form. Lots of women find it a bit offensive, even, that some men think wearing bad frocks and nail varnish, batting their eyelids and calling themselves Dana Fuxgood (for example) in any way qualifies them to be women.

Being a woman and being a TS woman has absolutely nothing to do with social gender roles, appearance, behaviour, etc. It has everything to do with your body. A woman, born that way or post-operative, can be whatever she likes. She can wear suits, be butch, dominant, masculine, loud, obnoxious, misogynist, fart, interrupt, decry women and use the bloke's loos. It does not stop her being female. * The midwife doesn't care.

But, should we consider gender role as the most important thing? Perhaps. Perhaps it is all that matters, in the end. Perhaps having a penis is no barrier to being female, inside (even though all the post-op TS women who have been living stealth, happily accepted as women without any problems, would disagree). If it was a committed thing, maybe? What would the midwife say? "she's a girl?", well, no. The basic, at-birth, visual assessment of physical gender (sex) would still say "he's a boy", or "call the doctor".

What of those 'women with peni' who actually have working ones, who father children, penetrate women (or men) with it and at any stage could drop the gender role and continue as males? Do we grant them temporary womanhood? Is this not akin to mockery, where a guy can imitate their idea of what a woman is, and demand acceptance as such, and then, the next day, turn around and be wearing full male privilege again? Is there not a concept of 'paying dues', of 'making a commitment'? of needing to discard male sex (physical gender) in order to embrace female sex (physical gender)?

Can we not have, rather than a demand for a female birth certificate (and the confusion of midwives) an adoption of a "trans" gender? (obviosuly, allowing post op TS who comply with physical gender norms to ID as female) Then those who wish to keep their penis can simply stop being called male and start being called transgender? It would be so much more - fitting - , obvious, in-sync, logical.  The TS passing through could even be transgender for a while, then.

*There is obviously a caveat here for F2M TS males. Bottom surgery for TS males sucks. It is super expensive, super invasive, not necessarily that great and hard to get. A woman born who is transitioning to male is very unlikely to pass the midwife test as male. Until such a time as they can, i think the whole concept of female to male TS is really fraught. It is a good job that we have protective systems in place so these people can get access to documentation that they need. It is my personal belief that until such a time as they can get a constructed penis, they are not truly male. The midwife is not going to say "he's a boy". But really, that is their fight. i've not really thought about it, and i don;t believe gender is symmetric, so i've not spent much time talking with or trying to understand. Perhaps i should shut up?

And that's it. With that statement i understand.

Until post-op TS women can get ovaries and wombs, we are not fully female. We are close, but not fully there. The radfems have a valid point. It is not a choice on the part of the TS women, though, but an unsatisfactory state of modern medicine. (Caveat again. the CAIS XY women would lynch me about here, as would all women born without an uterus or without ovi, so that is a pretty flawed statement)

Until we get good bottom surgery for TS men, they are not fully male (according to the midwife). Yet - we still accept that they should be called so. Why? without Hysterectomies, are they not still female? Or are the few cases of pregnant 'men' simply genderqueer mindfucks? Is the swedish demand for sterilization prior to sex change recognition applicable?

If we are willing to extend physical maleness to people without peni, can we not extend physical femaleness to people with them?

so close! the answer, for me,  is NO. The FtM guys are not choosing their state. It is forced upon them by circumstance. We make exceptions for women who can't get surgery, and we make exceptions for men who can't. Let us not extend the exceptions beyond their limited application and make them general rules.







quotes from wikipedia:
In the English literature, the trichotomy between biological sex, psychological gender, and social sex role first appeared in a feminist paper on transsexualism in 1978.[2][6] Some cultures have specific gender-related social roles that can be considered distinct from male and female, such as the hijra of India and Pakistan.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

birth certificates and peni

sigh:

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120420/120420_transsex_certificate/20120420/?hub=CP24Home

has the mind numbing quote: ""They're requiring you to surgically change some aspect of your body in order to get a letter changed on a piece of paper," Ursel told The Canadian Press."


yep, its true. apparently, in order for your birth certificate to be changed from M to F, you have to get your body changed from M to F. astonishing.  more astonishing is that apparently this isn't a good thing.

i'm getting called 'transphobic' a lot these days. apparently some kind of internalised thing, since i'm unaware of it. i think it stems from me not understanding some really simple things - like the concept that your sex has nothing to do with what's between your legs (otherwise known as, your sex).

i can understand that lots of people think that the labels "male" and "female" are old-fashioned, and really make little difference, so why should it matter if people want a F when they are an M?

i think this is dumb. yup. dumb. its a myopic view built out of too many closeted meetings surrounded by like-mindless people, getting lost in intellectual spaces and losing touch with reality, drowning in the TG bog.

reality is, men have cocks. they use them to impregnate women (who have vaginas) and make them pregnant. this happens a lot, often against the will of the women.

due to the unsymmetrical nature of this impregnation, we've developed a whole bunch of social gender roles, behaviours, ideas and laws. lots of the laws are there to protect women against rape.

now. some of us are born transsexual. we have female identities (souls, even) in male bodies, and vice versa. (i'm not going to talk about F2M since the surgery is currently crap and they have a whole different set of issues, gender being asymmetric.)

so, for a while, we are women in men's bodies. Of the transsexuals i know who are now post-op, none of us pushed to be recognised as 'female' until we started to transition - in other words, until we began to present full time as the women we were, took hormones and prepared for surgery. perhaps some do: i find it that idea hard to understand, since we begin to transition when we stop trying to be guys, stop trying to fit our bodies., when we accept that we are women. some of us do it young, some of us struggle with it for ages. all of us are really happy once we've had surgery (if it worked ok). So, until we stop trying to be guys, we don't try and be called women. at the moment that happens, we are in transition. we are pre-op TS women.

this is the bit where the TS worlds and the TG worlds collide. for a while, pre-op a TS woman has a penis. She's on her way to not having it anymore, but its there. She'll be presenting full time as a woman, be on hormones, have made up her mind.

so it is simple to say "yes, she should have female documentation". of course she should. otherwise she's going to get outed all the time.

birth certificate changed, though? that's a bit different. the birth certificate purportedly shows your sex at birth. it really should match up with your genitalia, since that what was looked at in the first place. its also a very rarely used document. i need to use mine, to gain citizenship or to change my name, but that's it. It is not something that outs you. i'm ok with the idea that you need surgery to get your birth certificate ammended if you are M2F. it keeps things in sync with manifest reality - the fundamental component of life on earth.

to think otherwise seems to be to say that all gender markers are worthless...

what about the gender queer. the men who present as females yet retain their testosterone, who retain their ability to impregnate women? do they get access to female documentation. they seem to want to.

what about those who 'choose not to have surgery because they want children'. do we let prospective dads change their birth certificates to say female, even though they want to impregnate a woman (ie, be a male)?

i think the big problem with discussions is most of us argue from the rational cases - from the places where of course it is ok for that person to get granted female documentation even though they have a penis. so many of us have identified with the TG concept that we forget it is so nebulous that it includes some very dangerous people. in fact, the cases we argue for are quite exceptional. I raise the points i do because it is important that we consider the whole range of people that may have access to any rights granted, to make sure that we keep things safe. Legal Gender is not simply paperwork. it grants access, changes liabilities, removes protections.

i understand how many people want the concept of gender differences to not matter - that seems the basis of these demands. if your sex is just paperwork, then it matters not what you are called, you can decide. 

unfortunately, its not like that. males and testosterone make for them to be different creatures to women, which is why there is a concept of female safe spaces, female refuges. we are the target of sexual predation. face facts. face reality, then make the laws carefully.

this mix of wanting a working penis and wanting to be considered female is extremely problematic. it isn't based in any kind of reality. its based in a mix of gender roles (the female appearance), gender identity (perhaps, a person feeling that they are female) and physical sex (having a cock). 

we've allowed physical sex to be re-labelled as gender. then redefined gender as the gender role you play, the way you appear, and then said that therefore your clothes define your sex. it is the ultimate in denial and double talk.

if you strip away the clothes (which, apparently, is extremely insulting) then you have the problem identified. you've got a guy.

with a person who has been on hormones and testosterone blockers, you've got a half-man half woman, with a shrunken (and mostly useless) penis, breasts and hips. I guess these are the people for whom these laws are really aimed (certainly who are most vocal in defending them) - the not-quite-women who are for whatever reasons not having surgery to become physically female, who are holding onto their penis? (and as ever, i have to add caveats for those people who want but cannot get surgery, and for pre-op TS women who are passing through)

with a post-op TS, you've got a (perhaps masculine) appearing woman.

but i have to stop. i was imaging a room full of naked people, with each person stating their sex, and seeing a male body move like a female and say "i'm a girl". and, maybe, its true. but then, that is what changed ID is about. changed passports, changed driving licences etc. they are a layer of legal ID protection that already exists that allows that person to back up their assertion with documentation. Reality is also maintained, for that person ALSO has a birth certificate that explains their physical form. so we have a paper trail of description and identification that makes sense.

this is the case that gives me the most issues. i was having an argument with one individual who was likening the TS knowledge of always being female with her experience, although she'd chosen to keep her (working) penis and did 'drag' instead (a dichotomy of self-expression i found a little odd. how can you say you are female and then say you do drag (ie, pretend to be female). ) She insisted that she was a woman, even though she functioned as a male (and had a most of the time male persona). To me, this is pretty out of touch with physical reality. 

am i brainwashed by the state in believing that documentation is important? is it actually irrelevant in this day and age? i'm not so sure. before the internet we had the idea of the akashic records - a spiritual copy of every act and deed. these days, we are seeing that concept made into a data reality. even posting this blog adds to it. 

the concept of privacy and rights is an odd one for me. i've never thought i could hide anything from the watching eyes of the universe, from karma, from god. so i've never felt the loss of personal privacy a big one. maybe that would change if people started picking on me publicly? maybe that lack of understanding is behind my lack of comprehension of the TG bog's demand for these legal changes?

does it really MATTER if a sexually active male body gets to have a birth certificate that says 'F'? apart from being irrational?.

i can only call to mind my rape. By a crossdresser. under the proposed changes, he'd be able to get female documentation. he'd be able to stroll into female safe spaces without fear of ejection. he'd be legally able to access women's refuges, women's safe houses. when we took him to court, he'd be able to sue us for mis-gendering him when we accused _him_ of rape.

why? because we are being too loose with our definitions. we are allowing this to be applied to "transgendered women", without looking at what "transgendered" means.

the right to women's ID needs to be restricted to Transsexual women. those of us who ARE women. its a great word, transsexual. it has a medical definition. here is a neat summary: http://ts-si.org/guest-columns/31542-removing-transsexuality-from-the-transgender-umbrella

those of us who are NOT transsexual need to start fighting for a right to a transgendered ID. they are not women, they are something else. even they say it, fighting against, denying and belittling the gender 'binary'. Why on earth would any sane person accept this denial of male and female and then also grant the same deniers access to male or female gendered ID? at the very least, something is not right. most likely, the person is in some deep loop of self-deceptive denial. they need counselling, not ID.

i'm all for the acceptance of genderqueer ideologies. May gender boundaries and roles be swept away! lets break down the inequalities of privilege and expectation. Men should be free to wear whatever they like, speak any way they like and do whatever they like. and vice versa. Why do we even have gender markers on ID (except its a really quick way of checking the validity of the holder)? what does it matter?

here's a cute site about it: http://thefeeloffree.tumblr.com/post/2882286703/stfu-binarists-binary-gender-privilege

That's a different story to the proposed ID changes. The disposal of the gender binary means making new genders, and embracing them. it means releasing people from the strictures of male and female and what all of that means. It must be a voluntary thing, of course, some of us acknowledge and appreciate it, but that does not mean that variance cannot be embraced. If this proposed legislative change brought in a voluntary "trans" identification then great. I'd support it. a few years ago, before i broke free of the TG bog that had so subtly drawn me in, i'd even had embraced it. i managed to have an X on my driving licence for ages, while i was battling with the TG rubbish polluting my mind, post op.

mis-representing sex on fundamental physical ID - the birth certificate - that's a step too far for me. and, i hope, for many.







Tuesday, April 3, 2012

an awesome TS blogger

I've been reading Elizabeth's blog. She's another intelligent, articulate and annoyed TS woman (and she's beautiful to boot). She's such a good writer, i'm breaking my blogging pattern to link to her... remember to come back here after!
http://ben-girl-notesfromthetside.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/transgender-blindness.html


sagebrush does well, too:
http://tscongenitaldisorder.blogspot.co.nz/2011/12/growing-up-transsexual.html

really, i'm so impressed by the quality of the TS blogs. Perhaps it takes a lot of common sense, self awareness and strength to survive the journey and be able to talk about it afterwards? at any rate, i've read more informative and educational works in TS blogs than in any medical literature. These girls truly understand their (our) condition. One has to wonder why it is non-transsexual crossdressers, medical prefessionals and therapists who speak for us, and tell us what we are. Do we not understand it best?

Monday, April 2, 2012

getting personal, in the hopes of reaching TS lost in the TG bog

Why is the TG umbrella or spectrum such a nasty nasty idea?

i upset a young TS today. she got really miffed when i challenged her assertion that TS is part of the TG umbrella. She really didn't get it.

it made me think. why is it so obviously wrong to me, and not to others?

i only have my life experience to go on. i've not done any surveys or held any talks to find out more. What i did do is commit suicide, get brought back from the dead (unexpectedly) then decide to rebuild my life, starting by deconstructing my own belief systems. and this is what i learnt….

The TG agenda - that there is a 'spectrum' of "trans-ness' is an insidious thing. I was TOLD i was transgendered by the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, back in the 90's. i just accepted it. it was a bit of an uncomfortable fit, as i'd figured out i was TS before going to see them, to gain access to surgery. 

unknowingly i'd also accepted a whole lot of baggage.

i used to dread going to the clinic. there would always be some sad looking guy in a dress in the waiting area, or leaving. I tried to be kind. i thought they were like me (i'd been told they were) - i believed therefore that i was like them. I'd bought the idea that TG and TS were part of the same syndrome.

it was scary. it led to a lot of self doubt. Did i really look like that to others? I could not discount the idea that i did. I don't like delusion, so need to gain external feedback for verification. but who would tell me if i looked like a crossdresser with no self esteem and no dress sense?. People were really supportive, but what if they were just being kind? i've seen kindness in action, its called lying. people tell other people what they want to hear, as opposed to the truth. Where the hell was i going to get a trustworthy answer? the seed of doubt was sown. Because - i was told that me, and those guys in dresses were the same.

that's the TG agenda in a nutshell. the destruction of the distinction of being a woman born TS against being a male with gender identity issues.
the confusion of a surgically correctible birth defect and a identity issue treatable with counseling and clothes.
and it starts when you first accept the label your medical professional gives you.

so what did this do to me? well. i thought i was ugly. I gained a secret fear that i was a sexually deviant male crossdresser. I subconsciously equated myself with men in drag.

one redeeming moment in this whole mess was an interaction with one of the psychs at charing cross. Dr Green. he was a wanker, literally. he wanted me to fit into his misogynist picture of how a poor TS girl must feel, how miserable i must be etc etc etc. i hated him and his expectations, and so decided to let loose, and tell him what i thought of his ideas. So he signed off on my surgery, calling me a most unpleasant woman. Why was this so important? it meant that i'd received an affirmation from someone who had no reason to lie about me being female. how pathetic is that? that someone so horrid could make me feel good about myself? 

i went ahead and got surgery. even though i actually looked fabulous, sexy and attractive, i carried around in my head this kernel of self doubt. Instead of gloriously claiming my identity, now my body was fixed, i shrank a little. yes! i'm me! (but, perhaps i'm wrong).

so, my every social activity was tainted. instead of allowing myself to respond to a lover's touch without reserve, that little doubt would creep in: "what if they discover i'm really a man?" so i held back, and so i generated a social/physical dynamic that re-enforced my doubts. my lovers felt my reserve, and barriers were formed.

so, i killed myself. very successfully. i was dead. as it happened, i was also dead in the arms of a boat load of lifesavers who happened to be passing (and apologies if you've heard this death/rebirth tale before). I had been granted a second chance at life, like it or not.

i deposited my body in a small town, and worked my way back into life. and watched. Foolishly, because i had no self-worth, because i was still believing the TG idea that a TS is an extreme male crossdresser, i told people i was TS. this was to pre-empt them finding out (as if they would have without me telling them? Actually, i doubt it. i was hot. very hot. sexy, skinny and 30, with a trim body and nice curves, i made a fantastic boyish girl. people asked me "are you a boy or a girl?" because they couldn't tell. i could have said "a girl" and it would have been believed, but i did not have the self belief to do so, because i STILL believed the TG bullshit.).

So, inevitably, i got shit. the young boys in town, undeniably attracted to me, were fighting with their own "am i gay?" issues. in response i could have said, had i been as i am now, confident in my womanhood, "of course not, you've got good taste". instead, i took on their projected issues and added them to my own. As i feared that i was, after all, a man in surgical drag, i began to behave less fem, began to wear less fem clothing so that, IF it was true, i'd not be trying to be something i was not. Instead of embracing being a sexy, intelligent, female, i hid from attention, in case people saw through to the fears i hid. Absolute NONSENSE, and due purely to the TG agenda bullshit i was unaware i believed.

this went on for 7 years. 7 years of trying to hide in gender non-specific clothing, 7 years of trying to embrace a "trans" identity, a bit of male, a bit of female because some TG propaganda had seeded in my mind and i hadn't found it yet.
7 years of accepting less than respectful sex, less than respectful relationships, because i didn't have respect for myself. Of course, i could not embrace the trans identity properly, because IT WAS NOT ME. of course i felt depressed, suicidal (still) because I was NOT being myself.

the turning point was seeing old photos (yes, telling the same old story again). instead of looking at a man in drag, i saw a stunningly beautiful woman. but… but… that was me? all i could remember of those times was the fear and doubt that i was carrying. and here was the proof that i was mistaken. that moment revealed to me the grain of TG 'spectrum' belief sitting quietly destroying my self-image, and i could pick it out and excise it for good. It was as if a massive weight had been removed from my shoulders, a veil lifted from my mind. i was FREE of the borg.

I could say, without doubt. "I am a woman". it does not matter what anyone else says. fuck them. I will happily argue with anyone, if they enjoy it as much as me. there is no doubt left in me, because i've removed the seed of doubt. the Erroneous (false) belief that a TS woman is anything other than a TS woman. 

looking back, it is ridiculous. I've read the stories of CD males. i know how they identify. NONE of them talk about a lifelong and abiding desire to remove their penis. I've read the stories of the genderqueer / TG. NONE of them would rather die than have to live with a penis any longer. that is because THEY ARE NOT WOMEN.  (i'm talking soley m2f here, reverse for f2m). they are NOT TS, and TS are not they.

there is no thing in common. Who cares about the brain studies trotted out? I'm a published neuroscientist. I programmed MRI machines and worked in the world's leading psychiatric research university in the functional brain imaging department. I know how to analyze a study, and none of the studies add up yet, they are all flawed, which is why none of them are in Nature magazine yet (the holy grail of science papers). as a recent study showed, taking hormones ALTERS brain structure. We do not have enough data to say anything. So, don't get drawn into beatdowns backed by brain studies, they are nothing but hot air.

look at the fundamentals. How you feel, how you felt, what you want.

I was always uncomfortable with my body. it never went away, a constant issue my entire conscious life (until surgery) it was always an alien thing.

i played the male gender role well. Of course i did, i like being good at what i do. so what? this is one of the things by which the TG borg (perhaps i should shorten that to TG bog, since it sucks you in and kills you) grabs your subconscious. "But if you are REALLY a woman, how come you were so good at <insert male gender role here>?" 

fortunately, the Bog itself comes to the rescue. Societal Gender Based Roles are unfounded in anything concrete (beyond the procreation roles). So, a woman can be as good at as many male gender roles she likes (and so can a TS woman, prior to coming out and surgery and beyond). just because i did some male stuff well, didn't make me a male.

i used to rock climb. it was fun. i got to turn my alien body into this comically efficient muscle machine. i used to giggle when i made the individual muscles in my arm stand up. For me, it was a relief, i'd found a way to turn something i hated (being male) into something that gave me satisfaction (those cool muscles and hanging off 100m cliffs by my fingertips). that didn't make me not a TS woman. it didn't make me TG. that was simply something i was doing.

i was good in bed (or so i'm told). since my penis was an alien thing strapped to my body, i had no problems with learning how to control it through breathing, how to make it pulse, shrink, widen. I wasn't really into the feelings it gave me, so i had more time to spend reading my partners (female, since they were attracted to me, and because i didn't want to go there with guys because i had the wrong bits) so i learnt to play them, make them scream. That did not make me less of a TS woman, nor did it make me TG. it was just something i was doing. If you'd asked me, i'd have said i was a girl stuck in a man's body. 

why am i saying all this? this is getting really personal! It is because i'm hoping to reach other TS women who are lost in the TG bog. I hope that by sharing some of the stuff i did, some of the ways i felt, that perhaps there will be a shared experience, a shared feeling, and that can be used as a lifeline for them to pull themselves out.

From what i read, the essential difference, pre-op, pre decision to have op, between my sexual experiences and those of a male or genderqueer TG are how i felt. I was not fully identified with my penis. it was an alien thing. even during the most physical and passionate sexual encounters, i shied from my body's responses, hated the role i had to play. It will be hard for any of my ex partners to read this, so i hope they don't, but if they do: I loved you. deeply. i tried really hard to make you happy. I'm truly sorry that it was impossible for us to completely connect, and i'm sorry if i deceived you. i really enjoyed the way you enjoyed, it made me feel good.

If i'd been TG, going on what i've read from CD and TG writers? I'd have been correctly identified with my physical sexual role and gained great pleasure directly from it.

and consequently, i'd never had had Sexual Reassignment Surgery.

and then i'd never have found out just exactly how fucking amazing it is to have sex the way that fits you. i've not tried with a girl and a strap on yet (the first time i tried wearing one post op was too much of a mind-fuck and turned the mood from sexy to hilarious). perhaps that would be amazing too. i've certainly not stopped finding girls sexy, but some element of body chemistry is missing and i don't get hit upon by women anymore.

If i had been TG, then i'd have been happy looking fem. perhaps i could have taken hormones to accentuate the femness, got some breasts, got some curves. i could have zapped my facial hair and manicured my nails. I could have lived my whole life presenting as female, but kept my penis. i would have been enjoying sex with my female partners. Certainly a spot of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy would have helped me come to terms with my gender role issues. I may have wished to get a "F" on my ID, so save embarrassment, although a "T" might have been better. i'd not be seeking entrance to women only spaces unless there was no choice between the M and F loos (The disabled loos were always a good bet pre-op). A bit of societal acceptance and perhaps i could have used the boys loos (although they are generally disgusting and manly men are pretty intimidating). I could have fathered children and been a TG parent.

unfortunately i was not TG. i was and am TS. its a different ball game, so to speak.

CBT didn't work. that disconnect between body and self had been there since i was 4. the penis attached to me was alien, if trainable, and i needed it gone. i hated it. T blockers and hormones helped, but surgery was inevitable.

i'm TS. not TG.

Still. it took a long time to break free of the illusion that men can become women. I was always a woman. in a man's body. from what i hear of 99% of my post-op TS friends, they were always aware they had the wrong body. none of us 'decided' to become TS. none of us really felt we were male, no matter how well we played the gender role games. We were NEVER TG. not for a moment. we were not cross dressers (although it may have appeared so from outside) we were never gender queer (again, although it may have appeared so). we were women born with male bodies. women.

Are you hearing me, TS women who've bought the TG line? you are women. not men. you never were male, you just may have acted it well (or badly, or extraordinarily well, whatever). If you've always had a desire to change that anatomy, would have always passed the 'magic machine' test, then you are TS. not TG.

When I was first dealing with this, i hunted down the information. I rejected all the non TS stuff i found because it was not me. even so, i allowed my self-identification as TS to be overruled. I allowed those in positions of authority to re-label my SRS as GRS. why? i placed my faith in the wrong people.

when we first come out, and start to express who we really are, we are in a position of incongruity with the society around us. TS is not fully accepted everywhere. Our peers, their and our parents will find it hard, most likely.

in situations like these, people often cling to the labels given to them (or self-chosen) and instead of allowing themselves to feel small instead wear them proudly, wave that label in other people's faces as a challenge, to get people to back off. there's probably some cool sociological term for this, but i hope what i'm saying is understandable without.

Its one of the reasons, i think, that so many TS hold the TG label dear. we are told we are TG. we are told what it means. it doesn't fit right, but we need it, so we construct defenses to prevent ourselves looking to hard at the faulty definition. we bury the problem so we don't have to deal with it, but instead can use the term to support ourselves. we proclaim "i am TG", and don't look too hard, because what it implies actually frightens us. What we do is set ourselves up for years and years of self doubt and weak self image. We set ourselves up with cognitive dissonance.

one of the things about cognitive dissonance is that it causes internal conflict. incoming data that threatens the faulty belief state cannot be given consideration, because the person knows, deep down, that the belief is faulty. Rational discussion cannot be entered into, because the outcome is already known. the only option is a rejection of all discussion. a refusal to consider other points of view. An easy out is to become personal, to attack when a discussion gets too close to the bone. it is easy to see this occurring in nearly all TS / TG bog discussions. As soon as any thread of inquiry or discussion gets too threatening, the subject is changed and or the person bringing it up is personally attacked.

learn to recognize the signs in your self. if any subject causes a heightening of stress, causes uncomfortable physical responses and leads to you attacking someone (with words, or perhaps physically) then you are probably suffering from a delusional belief. take a deep breath and have a look at it.

there's lots of work to be done to further TG acceptance in society, and lots of it is really hard. these are deep issues. the whole female safe space access thing is fraught, as TG males, presenting as female, need them too. at the same time, an active penis is a threat. There's not many women i've met who have NOT been raped by one. how can a person with a penis use a female toilet?

many TS have been through this. Post coming out, pre-op, we have male apparatus. for a while, before hormones kick in, it may even work.
so we feel for TG people. we may even identify with them. their situation is different, though, so don't take it on board too much. They are male (or genderqueer), we are female. get it straight and clear in your own mind. Just because we may look similar, and have similar issues, it does not mean we are the same. think about it.

do you really want to believe that a TS woman is an extreme version of a crossdressing male, or a male that finds male gender roles uncomfortable?
does that fit with your experience?
if you do believe that, how can you believe that a TS woman has any right to call herself a woman? does that not mean that she will forever be a male, or trans, at least?

that's my challenge. Imagine seeing the two as separate states. having separate needs, separate ways of dealing. look beyond the superficialities to the conditions beneath. Do not refuse to consider the physical, just because the TG agenda says "the physical is unimportant". it IS important, and that is why TS women seek surgery. think about why that is. think about the real differences between men and women. Is it merely the (gender) roles we play? or is it something deeper, something that is only satisfied on a really physical level? for me, and for all the rest of the pre and post op TS women i know it is all about the physical, and very little about the role. and that is where the difference between TG and TS is most apparent. in the physical.

and that is why the TG 'spectrum' is a nonsense. there is no continuity. there is a clear divide.
the 'umbrella' is insulting, based on a superficiality - appearance. it denies our differences. it denies our womanhood.