Change Your World-NOT your Body

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Transition isnt EVER Inevitable
















An important email I wanted to share, one which highlights the dangers of trans/queer spaces and illustrates the harmful pro-ana type atmosphere being breathed in those spaces. Equally if not more important though, is that with the right support systems and inspirations the trans disorder need not be something one succumbs to. Some times all it take to love ourselves is seeing ourselves through the loving eyes of another or hearing our own true voice echoed by another.

dirt
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27 comments:

  1. I really have to share about this.
    My current partner, who is Butch, once she got online, and began to flirt with/cyber other Butch on Butches, so many of them were 10 years or more her junior, were flirting with gender, genderqueering, and then considering transitioning, rather than owning up to the beautiful/handsome WOMEN they are, as Butch Dykes, so eager and ready to trade in their femaleness, kept asking her when SHE was going to transition, ect. ect. ect.
    And my partner(before we met) was a LONGTERM BUTCH DYKE OF AT LEAST 15 YEARS OUT!

    It was almost like a cult, they draw you in, tell you what you want to hear, 'love bomb' you, and/or flirt with you, acknowledge you as a Butch in ways you've never heard before, but like ALL cults there is a heavy price to pay...

    It fucked with her head so bad, she ALMOST considered transitioning, she had packers, and dildos galore, packing everyday with either softies or hardies, even to work, ect. ect. ect, cuz all the rest were doing the same.....that out of all this, she decided not to date anyone for two years so she could figure out where she was at with all this.

    This questioning NEVER happened to her UNTIL she got online. Once she got online, the bombardment and pressure to transition or genderqueer was enormous, just like so many of the young ones are getting today, rather than the pride I got through Dykes in the Lesbian movement, where we were going to change the world, as Amazons, as Warriors as "an army of lovers can never fail", an old Lesbian saying that was new back then, well sadly, we HAVE failed. Even though back then what with our new institutions we were quickly creating, lesbian music recording companies, bookstores, events, festivals, printing presses, ect. ect..our OWN cultural institutions BY AND FOR OURSELVES......so many of them gone, gone, gone. Other Butches taught me PRIDE IN BEING FEMALE, a different KIND of Female, with power and strength, and holding our space as the Warriors for Women, the take no bullshit no man is gonna tell me what to do!

    Now instead, they're becoming 'men'. That Dyke Female pride has been sadly lost.

    Well, she figured out after two years of this journey she DID NOT want to have her breasts cut off, and she was PROUD to be both Butch and Female, she went back to dating both Butches and Femmes. But it was online that fucked with her head, and because she had been a longterm OUT Butch Dyke in a difficult part of the country to be out, she had more strength than most, who have NEVER been out yet as a Butch Dyke, with that kind of Female Dyke herstory...just new on their journey, and detered offcourse and caught up in the promises and excitement of the trans movement. But the price is a heavy one to pay...not just renouncing one's Femaleness, or even Dykeness, but in having one's body physically altered through painful surgeries, and then to go on hormones that do who knows what to the body in the longrun! All that just to 'fit in'?

    I for one am glad, and when she met me, as a Female Identified Butch, I told her she didn't have to 'prove' any of this to me. She could put away the dildos and packers and such, and show me her Female side without fear....and we have both found the kind of match that we know these days would be very hard to find 'out there'. We celebrate our Butchness, our Femaleness, our Dykeness and ultimately our Amazon natures together....AS WOMEN. We LOVE each other's FEMALE bodies...instead of despise them, and from each other's admiration of our bodies, we learn to love our own bodies too....

    I'm so glad this woman came to her senses through reading your blogs Dirt.
    -In Butch DykeAmazon Sisterhood,
    -MasterAmazon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Something that inspires hope :)

    You a wonderful womon dirt, and I'm glad that there are womyn like you out there, encouraging genuine self love and acceptance instead of this pseudo-acceptance and love of self-mutilation that these t(y)rannie sites love to foster.

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  3. I have almost cried when reading this testimonial.

    Also: never ever forget that the trans frenzy started because of event like the "True spirit conference". Those events were funded and hosted by plastic surgeons in the 90's at a time where enlargement boobs surgeries were not trendy anymore. Those guys needed to find new market and new incomes and so cynical as it may look: removing the boobs of butch women after a good old brainwashing to make you discover your "inner self" (hence the cult love bombing) was the new way for them to develop their turnover...

    Sadly as it may look, the so called genderqueer and FTM are just collateral damages of greedy capitalist who see in butch women $$$$....

    Never forget that...

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  4. MA,

    I think more dykes need to voice the experiences they've had both with over coming severe body/gender dysphoria and having that dysphoria created or increased when they began occupying trans spaces/hanging around trans individuals.

    Currently the majority of females who seek transition do not suffer from dysphoria until (like your partner said) they find trans "community". A "community" that relies on each other to reinforce/reflect their trans disorder back to each other.

    dirt

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  5. Anon,

    I think we're LONG past the handful of Butch women who became victims of the trans money making machine from 20-30 years ago.

    The victims now are much younger, most dangerously under 25, I say dangerously because their brains arent able to appreciate (as we regularly see) the full consequences of their actions.

    This obviously hasnt hindered the mass monies copiously being made hand over fist case after case by the same scientific medical community that brought us that scientific fact.

    The good news is there are more and more academics/feminist/doctors writing about/discussing the relationship between postmodernism/queer theory/neo-liberalism and their couplings with capitalism. In short, I agree. Transgenderism/sexualism IS a business.

    dirt

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  6. I have read online (blogs/videos) that this blog is "transphobic". I do think that people who claim it is transphobic have never read it...
    This blog is not against transpeople (either FTM or MTF), (for sure, there are people who need to transition) but this blog is against a fashion, a trend that may lead to permanent damages of the body and the mind of young butches inconfortable with their butch identities and body and sexual orientation. Those young butches are surrounded by a very cult like environment (love bombing, pressure to transition by so called community and surgeons, no guardian role played by psychologists) which does not allow them their freedom of mind to decide what is the best for them and who does not allow them to take the time (2-3 years maybe more) to solve the issues they have.
    Again: transition (and taking T and body modification) is not the cure to body acceptance, sexual orientation oppression or butch oppression. A good therapy is.

    One should make education material against transition and its effects, the same way, education materials were done in the past to protect those kids from drugs (see the anti-crystal meth called "meth faces campaign")...

    Last point: this very rich content blog may benefit from a category or tag cloud menu...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just found your blog. Fascinating. Disagree with you on virtually everything, but that's neither here nor there really.

    I am curious about your take on one aspect of the FTM "phenomenon" as you might call it. Where do Gay Transmen fit in your world view? Are they straight self-loathing women who hate themselves so much they'd rather mutilate their body and accept a lifestyle rejected by the majority of Americans to get away from being a woman? Or are they simply the ultimate in opportunistic parasites, seeing advantage and profit in being male but not willing to be with women?

    I don't subscribe to either view personally, but I am very curious because you have a very strong opinion on all these matters.

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  8. Anon,

    "category or tag cloud menu"?

    dirt

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  9. Anon,

    Regarding "gay trans(men)", like any trans person, their condition is a combo of both socio/familial making.

    dirt

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  10. @Anonymous on 10/5/10, 7:05am. Since you just found this blog, why not take the time to read it? If you are, as you say, genuinely curious, there are several posts that address the subject of gay FTMs.

    Also, you should realize that most people can, in fact, recognize a straw man, even when it is presented in the form of a question. Perhaps you're not really "curious," so much as "concerned" -- as in "concern troll."

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  11. @ The Anon above interested by gay FTM, why not having a look there ?(click only if above 18 - otherwise do not click):

    http://www.xtube.com/watch.php?v=gBv3b-G133-

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  12. @Dirt, don't know where to post as I don't think you made an article about Youtube role.
    Just want to raise every FTM wanabee attention about the misleading role Youtube video channels done by FTM in the making play.

    For example, on this channel made by Meiko Xavier (http://www.youtube.com/user/MeikoEliasXavier), you can read this comment:
    "hey meiko, thats really awesome that all those people have helped you out!!! thats amazing...well i hope to see more videos of your transition and how your doing from it...im going to see a therapist to see if im fit for transition myself...and even tho you dont know me i freaking love you!!! and your amazing...even tho its my choice,you have inspired me a lot!!! "

    It is written by a person described on her channel as "lesbian" or "dyke". So someone who clearly says she was influenced and then is considering going for transition after seeing those videos.

    Also on Warren Kunce channel, she clearly explains that she started her own transition after having seen every FTM possible video on youtube (see the transition story here: http://www.youtube.com/user/sillyyetsuccinct#p/u/24/3u4bjjIrpyo)

    So for the youngest of us lesbian, don't forget : those videos show only one face of the coin, the sexy and happy like one.
    You think those people look cool: of course they are, they are in their 20's, they have nice tattoo or piercing, cool underwear, have appealing life style (ie polyamory) but what youtube does not show you is the way their body will be permanetly damaged and the way it will evolve. Sure that when they will be tottaly bald @ 30 hence hairy, you will find them less cool.

    You don't see those people posting video when they feel crappy or have huge doubts about the damages they do to their body.

    Also note that a lot of channels disappear or stop their activity (no video uploaded anymore) which tend to proove some FTM have just stopped their transition or have changed their mind (de-tranistion and live happily as butches again) and just don't publicise it...

    Another point : if you get obsessed by a topic (here transition but it can be fly fishing although less damaging ;) for a long time by watching non stop video or being involved in a community that state being butch = you have gender identity issue, it is likely that you will "choose" to conform to this community and so here transition.

    You will choose it not because it is good for you but because you want to fit in, to conform to the standards of the group you want to belong to (basic sociology and psychology) and so under this group underlying pressure, you will transition. Moreover if you are a student and live non stop in a trans friendly dorm' and visit your lgbtqi center at Uni and so can't take a step back (and a deep breath outside). Also let's be honnest, when you are in your 20's, you may have a ton of questioning about your future, how you will fit as young adult in our world today & how you will live so you may feel insecured ...
    and transition may be the worse answer to your fears.

    Yes transition is so confortable with its process: it gives you a roadmap for the next years and provide you with a nurturing community as long as you accept to be the slave of their rules (taking T having boobs removed....) but it is also permanently damaging your body and makes you an hybrid (you never cross the "other side").

    It is not different from the process and pressure you may suffer from cult members to conform to the cult standards and they who discover after years it was a cult and that they lost everything: money, social circle, job...

    Here for transition, think twice 'cause at the end, you are the only one living in your body so before doing something permanent that will impact your health and also your outer social self, why not choosing soft help like a 2/3 years therapy ...?

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  13. What about de-transition ?

    Related video are here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPfaEuHiTjU&feature=watch_response_rev

    Just wondering what could be the step by step process of a post-op "FTM" (without bottom surgery) who may suddenly realised he went too far and want to be a butch again ?
    Just correct me if I am wrong but the FTM would have to go through the same process a MTF will do :
    1/ stop T
    2/ go for hair removing techniques (laser)
    3/ maybe boobs reconstruction ?

    But what will be the permanent changes ? Will she recover her voice ? Will she be permanently bald ? And what will be the cost of de-transition ?

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  14. @Last Anon, totally curious to know if the enlarged dickclit some FTM are obsessed with (and who may be main triggers of taking T) stays at the same size once T is stopped ?

    And do they retrieve their hair or is the hair loss permanent ?

    What about the muscles ? Will the muscles disappear after T is stopped ?

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  15. Anon regarding youtubes role,

    I will work up a post on that front shortly. It is important to shed light on the visual many early ftM's present, a visual only and one that is short lived. The unhappy reality, continued dysphorias, depressions and ugly mutilated bodies which never "match" the ideal needs to be in the forefront.

    Regarding the few years of therapy, thats a problem in and of itself. Transition IS the therapy that the medical community is using to "cure" gender distress. We in the lesbian community who see the trans disorder for what it is, understand its development, need to create spaces/practices where lesbian girls/women can grow past their gender distress. Because right now, if we dont do it, no one else is going to.

    dirt

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  16. @ Dirt, is there any lesbian therapists group that may be interested in supporting studies about this ? ie to study the prevalence of false positive (ie wrong) dysphoria diagnosys among young butches whereas they are just uncomfortable with themselves at this point of their life ?

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  17. @ Dirt, quoting you "the visual many early ftM's present".

    I fully agree : it happened a few times in my life to have the possibility to see for real/in real life "FTM posters guys" I have previously only seen on Youtube or on Photography and what stroke me the most were in order of priority was :
    1 - The awful acne scars on the face and also the huge back acne spread. I remember I was drinking a beer when I saw this transguy I knew only in photo and I almost vomit it right away when his girlfriend put a tender kiss on his back full of acne...
    2 - The size. It may sound crazy but even if knowing the guy is a FTM sometimes when you see photos or video, you expect the "guy" to be taller but in fact, they are all super small like Yoda, sometimes you are taller than them : it is disturbing.
    3 - The voice . The first minutes I heard the guy in real life I was surprised by the voice. They sound like the alien visitors in V science fiction the series. Sometimes, I just can't help but I want to laugh ...oops
    4 - The scars - frankly some surgeons are real butchers (even the ones in SF). it is really awful to see someone who paid 6000 $ to have those ugly scars...Moreover when you are at a party where every hypocrit around is claiming "it is sooo beautiful"...
    5 - The weird body - it is surprising to see a mix of muscles , body hair and female curves...Except for some FTM who were thin and managed to grow muscles with a lot of effort, most them ends up with a strange body they have to hide. Real/bio male have "drier" (more muscle/ less fat / different bones) body
    6 - facial hair and hairr loss - I don't find the contrast between facial hair/beard and male bald pattern very sexy. They all look like Bin Laden to me. Will you date Bin Laden ? ;) ?

    Sometimes when I see photos or videos of those "guys" pre-transition, I say to myself "too bad, she was such a sexy butch".

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  18. Anon,

    Regarding de-transition, first you should understand is it is only a rare few Butch lesbians who transition. The majority of females transitioning are dykes, many of which seek butches through transition, but find on masculinity instead.

    As to changes, once a female stops taking "T", it depends on what she's had permanently done. Obviously breast/uterus that have been removed will not return. So yes, if she were to desire to have breast again she would need implants. Facial hair growth will continue, but it will be thin and slow, body hair will mostly reverse (fall off/grow back thin),receding hairline/baldness will remain, voice will remain similar and body fat will redistribute to that of a normal female.

    I will have to do an individual post on this subject.

    dirt

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  19. Anon,

    Other than myself who talks about Butch Shame, which isnt just something a Butch suffers as an early age, it is something Butch women deal with on some level as adults, so no, I know no lesbian therapist that deals with this. And the "false/positive" stuff is non sense, it leads people to think that their are "real" transsexuals, which their isnt. Transsexualism was created in a lab, originally for the sole purpose of "curing" homosexual men via changing them into "women".

    No one is born in the wrong body, we are born in the wrong society. Were there no straight jackets on male/female lives, were misogyny reduced, were all ranges of male/female lives visible, the trans disorder wouldnt exist.

    dirt

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  20. @ Dirt "Transsexualism was created in a lab, originally for the sole purpose of "curing" homosexual men via changing them into "women". "

    This cure is still used in a democracy like Iran...where people have the choice bewteen transitionning or being sentenced to death when prosecuted for homosexuality.

    It is sad that in a country of freedom like the US, the answer of the medical staff to "Butch shame" is to go for the "transition cure"...like islamic extremists...

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  21. Part 1 of 4:

    Some thoughts on the current cultic surgical and hormonal body modification trends:

    The original guinea pigs for the first experimental radical surgical gender modifications were the intersexed and “traditional” transsexuals: those who were tormented by obsessive dysphoric desires to alter the public perception of their sex to the appearance of the opposite sex. This coincided with the “wild west” years of radical medical and surgical experimentation, sans ethics boards and consumer protections now (somewhat) in place. The age of lobotomy, eugenics, electro and insulin “shock” treatments, immersion treatments, etc. The field of biopharmacology was in its infancy and only the bluntest of psycho-pharmaceutical instruments were in use (thorazine etc- instruments of sedation for the benefit of caretakers and institutions for the mentally ill and neurologically impaired). There was no awareness of the neurological biochemical impact or origins of depression, mood disorders, bipolar, OCD, schizophrenia, autism and other disabling “mind” diseases of the day.

    Even under those conditions, in the dark ages of psychiatry, the only candidates for experimental GID “treatment” were those that could effectively “pass” as the desired gender pre-surgically. Men with prominent brows and chins over six feet tall with broad shoulders and large hands and feet, and Women with girlish features, wide hips, under five feet tall for example, were not considered good candidates for “treatment” because they would never be seen as members of their desired gender regardless of hormone dosage and surgical reconstruction. (This was prior to the start of experimental radical FFS= facial feminisation surgery).

    Back then the goal of “treatment” was to stop the torment of the obsessive repetitive thoughts of GID sufferers by successfully altering the sex appearance of the patient’s body to allow them to live the desired social gender role. Not too dissimilar to treating BID by putting anorexics on diets, although in the case of GID the “treatment” (medically/surgically supporting the legitimacy of the patients unrealistic dysphoria) does not always cause morbidity as it would in the case of anorexia. Surgical removal of healthy limbs in the case of BIID might be a better analogy. Still, same basic “treatment”, a blunt instrument left over from the dark ages of psychiatry – one which changes bodily structures to match the unrealistic dysphoric thoughts of the patient, rather than treating the dysphoria itself.

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  22. Part 2 of 5:



    Trans activists are fond of repeating that “Therapy does not work” to treat GID, and that may be so. Therapy does not treat bipolar disorder or OCD or schizophrenia either in most cases. Pharmacology does. These are largely biochemical disorders. Where is the transadvocacy for research into modern pharmaceutical treatment for GID? What about all the GID sufferers who will never “pass” even in the most casual circumstances regardless of surgical and hormonal body modification? Trans activists don’t care. They want their dysmorphia to be medically assisted and sanctified, and any success of modern (psycho-pharmaceutical) treatment for the dysphoria itself would further marginalize the pro-dysphoria “sex-reassignment” industry and their access to it. If this pro-dysphoria lobbying results in the agony of those with GID who are not surgical candidates- well, that’s too damn bad. Any mention of dysphoria treatments or research on GID are met with cries of “transphobia”! The idea that women should live in whatever gender (or any other) role they want in the body they were born in: “Transphobia!” Let GID sufferers who need alternatives to radical surgical body modification and hormone dosing be damned, according to them.

    There is a huge psychiatric/therapeutic/medical/surgical industry that has grown up to support this. Many well-paying careers are dependent on preventing modern research and treatment of GID. It’s an excellent career choice for a surgeon- most of the patients are healthy, for one thing. Surgery on healthy people is so much easier than those problematic sick ones. All the patients are “private pay”, so no pesky insurance companies nosing around. Plus it’s interesting. Surgery gets boring after a while- no creativity. Same old bodies. If you’ve seen one appendectomy you’ve seen them all. Boring! Plus the patients very rarely sue for malpractice- it is experimental elective surgery after all. If the inverted-penis “lady cavity fuck-hole” the surgeon creates from tissue meant to remain on the outside of the body granulates, stinks, gets infected and grows internal hair, well, you signed the consent didn’t you? Or if the doc uses part of your bowel to create the cavity where a vaginal organ would be on a female and that tissue produces so much intestinal lubrication that you have to wear a diaper for the rest of your life? Too bad. Not to even mention the perforations and colostomies. All part of the “treatment” you consented to. Chronic lifelong bladder infection? Part of the “treatment”. Nerve damage and the rotting off of your nipples? “Treatment”.

    What is really transphobic is the fact that this is still the “treatment” for transsexuality. Sex Reassignment Surgery boards of review? Nope. Ethics Boards? Nope. Surgical Standards of Care? Not at all. Who needs them? It’s only transsexuals after all. Not like someone with a wonky gallbladder.

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  23. Part 3 of 5:



    This history of the “treatment” of transsexuals is what flits through my mind when contemplating the post-internet fad of FTMs and reading Dirt’s comment stating: “
I think we're LONG past the handful of Butch women who became victims of the trans money making machine from 20-30 years ago…”

    I think that’s really true- most women seeking to FTM now would not meet the criteria of being “able to pass post-treatment” and I think the same is true for most MTFs receiving “treatment” now as well. No amount of hormones or surgery will allow them to “pass” as their dysmorphoric ideal, but they are undergoing body modification anyway. Why is that? Why would a patient undergo treatments that they know will never work? In some cases for the same reason an OCD patient washes their hands even though they “know they will never be clean”. An ethical practitioner would never advise an OCD handwasher to start washing their hands with bleach for a better result. But doctors and “gender therapists” are doing just that- knowingly administering radical treatments that can never work, and protesting any attempts to research or attempt alternative treatments. Even someone with BIID who gets a limb amputated will receive a successful “treatment”. But many in the current GID boom will never, ever, achieve their dysmorphic ideal no matter what they get cut off or how many hormones they inject- they will never, ever, “pass”. And as the wider public becomes more aware of obvious trans characteristics (giant hands, midget voices, etc) the chances of passing will decrease even further over their lifetimes. So why do they do it?

    I can think of several reasons why dysphoric people undergo “transitions” that will never be successful.
    Dysmorphic fantasy and denial clouding their vision.
    Social pressure, love-bombing, and evangelization by a dysmorphia subculture
    -upon whom one depends for support- clouding one’s vision.
    Authority figures such as physicians and therapists stating authoritatively that the only cure for dysphoria is to indulge the unrealistic dysphoric ideal as much as possible medically and surgically, even if the results are partial.
    Romantic/Sexual/Affectational targets that overtly or covertly require adherence to a misogynist subcultural gender hierarchy as a condition of their affection (See Social Pressure, above)
    But the biggest reason I can think of for the current post-internet boom of transsexuals who seem to be undergoing treatments that will never work is: They are not transsexual. Not in the clinical sense. They undergo hormones and surgery not because they desire to live in the target gender role but because they desire access to a growing transsexual subculture. They are “Transfans”, “Transsensual”, “Tranny-chasers”. They want greater access to the transsexual subculture and to their transsexual fetish objects. Seriously.
    A true transsexual wants to transition to the opposite sex (I know that’s impossible but that is what they want). Transsexuals are therefore: Female Transsexual To Male, or Male Transsexual To Female. These new TransFans are: Female To Transsexual and Male To Transsexual. They do not transition or seek to transition to “Male” or “Female”. They seek to transition to “Transsexual”. They seek entry not to the world of males or females, but to the subculture of transsexuals. It’s the ultimate body-mod trendy thing to be. A hip counter-cultural movement of our times, one based in body modification and misogyny.

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  24. #6 of 6:

    There is incredible cultural pressure on Butch Dykes, Nelly Fags and Drag Queens to have their “defects” corrected medically and surgically by the Trans and TransFan orthodoxy. In this way we can see how the TransOrthodoxy is an extension of the patriarchal metaculture. Young dykes and fags may be especially vulnerable- especially because butch dykes and nelly fags remain outside the mainstream of our own gay and lesbian subcultures and communities, which are currently so focused on normalizing and integration. So I do worry about the young ones under the love-bomb onslaught of the female to trans and male to trans counterculture who want to medicalize gays and lesbians who organically fail to gender-conform or trans-conform. But you know what? Butch lesbians and Femme gays have survived through all sorts of hatred and misogyny and pressures, and we will survive through this, and will help the youngsters by continuing to speak up as Butch and Femme survivors who are proud to be butch women and femme men and for us the current bodymod transfan trend is yet another attempt to marginalize us as the perfect creatures we were born as. To younger Butches reading this: get used to it! It’s a new trend but nothing new really. The powers that be will always try to put down anyone whose existence proves that gender is a patriarchal construct meant to destroy anything female, or natural and free. The medicalized TransFan trend is a new incarnation but the claim that femme men are not “real men” and that butch women are not “real women” is older than god. Or at least as old as patriarchy. Under the recent transorthodoxy, dysmorphic men are women, but butch women are not women. A new twist on a very old prejudice against femme men and butch women. Young butches- get used to it!

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  25. To the last Anon,

    There are a few points I disagree with you on, but thank for a wonderful, thought out, intelligent comment.

    dirt

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  26. This email is fantastic. I love the statement about how she wasn't born in the wrong body, but the wrong society.
    I like that you go through different reasons that one may be going through gender dysphoria and that it's not that you are definitely transgendered. I appreciate that you lat out more options. As a gender queer person, I believe it is important for our society to be a sexually and identifiably fluid as possible. Why does someone need to transition to affirm an identity? It's not the person that needs to be fixed.
    I find myself identifying more and more as gender queer instead of as a transman because I find that it is more and more acceptable. And I AM NOT A STEREOTYPE! :P
    Once again, I believe the blog you write here is a great start for communicating to today's youth about acceptance. Thank you for sticking it out over the people who don't understand that conversation is our first freedom.
    Theo

    ReplyDelete

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