Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, February 4, 2011

Open Day!

Hope everyone is having a Happy Friday!

dirt
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97 comments:

  1. Hi Dirt,

    I'd like to publicly ask that you sometimes allow coherent, cogent comments by FTMs in the comments section of your blog. Unless a particular post is labeled "woman's space only," I think some of your readers are actually interested in what we have to say. I, for one, have tried to explain my perspectives on a number of topics and you haven't posted the comments, yet you post the ones that say things like "fuck you, rot in hell."

    Honestly, the more I read your blog, the more I fear the lesbian community; I think some of your readers will think this is great and will keep me out of lesbian spaces (which I never intended to enter in the first place), but it also makes me less likely to consider you my allies or even take you seriously. What goes around, comes around.

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  2. ftM,

    As I have said repeatedly, when I and others have full access to trans sites/forums, I will gladly open my blog up for discussions.

    As you are a female transitioner, through your self hatred you arent an ally to lesbians. You clearly have no female pride, and it takes female pride to live up to ones lesbian nature.

    dirt

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  3. Dirt,

    Fair enough: until you get airtime on FTM blogs and forums, why should FTMs get airtime on your blog. Makes sense.

    As to your second point, let's suppose for the sake of argument that my transition is motivated by self-hate (I'm not saying it is; this is hypothetical). I still posit that I have something to offer the lesbian community. Having ID'ed as a butch lesbian for most of my life, I've already benefited the community through participation in "dyke marches" and other rallies, financial and personal support of lesbian causes, entering a profession that allows me to fight for women's (and lesbians') rights. I've been a role model for the idea that you can look however you want and still be a woman; I've taught that lesson to adults, but more importantly, their children.

    Three months into hormone therapy, that's all negated and gone? Even supposing I hate myself, do I now have nothing whatsoever to offer the lesbian community, by way of supporting the rights of lesbians, continuing to participate in my lesbian friends' lives in a positive and supportive way, and giving money to support lesbian causes?

    If your answer to this is "no," then I have nothing more to say to you, and I'll be very selective about what lesbian causes I'll choose to support. If your answer to all this is "no," then go take the "L" out of the LGBT community and have a nice time isolating yourselves from people that can love and support you. If you really want nothing to do with men, transmen, or anyone else who doesn't have the "female pride" to "count" when being supportive of lesbians, you're going to lose a TON of allies.

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  4. @AnFTM

    She doesn't post our intelligent comments because she wants to give the impression that everyone who disagrees with her must be insane, hatefilled, immature, aggressive, etc.

    I also think she deliberately only posts the comments that she has an intelligent response to. Why would she let comments go up that leave her stumped? In a funny, pathetic way it reminds me of totalitarianism such as that in 1984.

    And by the way, when I say "our" comments I do not just mean FTMs, as I am not trans myself (I'm a lesbian in fact) and I disagree with a lot of what Dirt posts here. Not everything, but a lot.

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  5. Dirt,

    As a pansexual woman, I am routinely excluded from "all woman" spaces because I do date men. What I do with my body is my business and I'm certainly not harming anyone else, so why preoccupy yourself? The same goes for the FTMs you bash so repeatedly on your blog. You are creating a dialogue of hatred that then makes it okay for anyone else, queer or heterosexual, cisgendered or otherwise, to bash these people.

    What you are doing is oppressive, in short. While you are entitled to spew whatever you want to in this open forum we all call the Internet, I am curious as to why your agenda is so often one that is against other marginalized groups, given that all forms of oppression do have similar roots.

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  6. It is a happy Friday indeed! I ordered a bunch of books and dvds that were listed in one of your other posts and am expecting them all tomorrow. So excited!

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  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl2cHjfqQLg

    With a girlfriend like this, there is no turning back possible. It must be awful to have the most important change in your life becoming the "property", the "creation" of your girlfriend...I don't call it supportive, I call it oppressive...What a glue!

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  8. Hi Dirt, you only show on your blog transguys who do not pass and have very female curves, I would be more keen to listen to your advices if you were backing up your post with pictures of transguys who "passes" in a certain way...

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  9. I've also submitted intelligent and reasonable objections to Dirt's rantings, and been censored out of the discussion. So many of my ftm friends have no time whatsoever for the type of hatred found on this blog, but I feel compelled to strike back against the fear and hatred found here. If only to make the point that lesbian hatred of transmen cannot be purely isolated from society's hatred of transsexuals. If you live in this society, you probably don't trust that transsexuals are who we say we are-that's not your fault. We have been characterized as clownish, pathetic, tragic, misled, mentally ill, and countless other less-than-human ways. It pains me to know how patently *untrue* and unfair this is. But it pains me even more to witness some of the gender-questioning individuals who post here allow their fear of being trans turn to hatred for ftm's. Projecting your own body discomfort, your own desire for more physical power or power in the world, your own *stuff* basically, and assuming you know other people's stories based on your own story is not going to work in this world. What you are doing, when you guess *why* we transition is simply revealing the reason why YOU would transition, not why we did. You'd have to run the risk of listening to us and seeing us as human to understand. You'd have to accept the fact that there might be some things you don't know about the world at this point, and I don't think any of you have the guts.

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  10. Oh, and happy Friday! Thanks for the open comment day.

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  11. Women need to lobby our governments to stop the practice of state-issued fictional gender markers. The ability to obtain a government issued legal "sex change" started back in the fifties when the populace was still ill-informed about science and transgenderism. Now that we know that there is no such thing as the ability of humans to "change sex" the government should cease the practice of issuing these fictional gender markers. Most "discrimination" against trans people is caused by the issuing of false gender markers by the government, and we can support trans people by lobbying our elected officials to stop issuing false gender markers. Government statistical markers should be based in science, not fiction, or religion, or fantasy. Please contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cease the government practice of issuing false gender certifications.

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  12. My FTM 40 years old partner and I think this blog is sometimes crossing the line but on the "who is transitionning", we agree...
    Transitioning is not a cure for boredom, T is not a diet or anxiety pill and all surgeries should be carefully planned...

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  13. @More- I must disagree with your assertion that Mentally Ill=Less than Human.

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  14. Fuck you dirty bitch

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  15. @GallusMag:

    You said: "Most 'discrimination' against trans people is caused by the issuing of false gender markers by the government.

    Uh... what the heck does that mean? Right now, I face discrimination because I can't get my birth certificate altered to reflect my new gender marker because in the state I was born, that requires surgery which I can't currently afford. I can't get a new driver's license with my new name and sex on it, which means every time I make a financial transaction or something similar, the person is going to look at my bearded face and deep voice and think I'm either nuts or committing fraud. I'm not nuts, and it's not fraud to use my own money to buy things. And if I'm ever stopped by a cop? A bearded, deep-voiced person with a female legal name and gender? You think that'll fly? Talk about government discrimination!

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  16. An open question to all transguys here : a lof of you complain or suffer from high surgery costs.

    In the same time, some European countries are offering those surgeries to residents (students for example) for free: it is the case of Finland and France.

    So instead of chipin' your surgery, why not studying abroad (the study are free or cheaper too) and have your surgeries there ?

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  17. @ Anon 4:22

    Hmmm... well, that would be a great idea, except that if one could afford to relocate to one of those countries and go to school, one could probably afford top surgery. Also, what if you're disabled and can't work or go to school?

    @GallusMag

    I don't think More was implying that mentally ill = less than human, or if s/he was, it was only in the sense that SOCIETY sees the mentally ill as less than human. But it was probably just an error in syntax.

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  18. you really shouldn't wish for your comments to be posted, because on the rare occasions this happen you'll only get bitchy puns from dirts following ravagers... been there, done that.
    i gave up on seeking discussion here, because clearly it isn't desired. when using dirts logic this could imply that rational thoughts fear the residents, but i'd rather not go there.

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  19. oops, i did. sorry.

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  20. Yeah, my point was that people will say anything they can think of in order to discredit us. It's much easier to project than it is to realize our belief system may be erroneous.

    Also, I'd love to have an email conversation with you, anftm, at some point. I think we share some of the same concerns/ history.

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  21. @AnFTM- It means that if the government is going to issue false sex identifications to people who "feel like another sex" then to require individuals to undergo surgeries and hormones to obtain those fictional government papers is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. If the government is going to issue false ID's they ultimately have to offer them to everyone. Which ultimately renders the purpose of gender identification in government matters (such as medical research funding, statistical data collection, etc) meaningless. Most discrimination against trans people comes about due to the issuing of these false gender markers by the government. And yes, as awkward as it may be for a female FTM with a beard to be "outed" by a gender marker that correctly reflects that she is female, it also reflects the reality of her sex, thus preventing her from being placed in a male prison, for example.
    You can read more about it here:
    http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/“injustice-at-every-turn”/

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  22. @AnFTM,

    For a 29€ entry fee, in France as a foreigner you benefit from a full healthcare coverage (see there: http://www.dossierfamilial.com/sante-psycho/assurance-maladie/universal-health-care-in-france-cmu,4538) far better than any insurance in the US.
    The flight return tickets cost around 600-800$...
    The university tuition is 200$-400$/year (yes you read 200 or 400 $) except in some business schools...
    The 200$ does not include books and housing and foods and beers ;)
    But as a student you have a student accommodation financial help that covers most of your rent/housing...(see there: http://www.smeno.com/etudiants/1510_financial-help.html).

    And the usual grants...


    For Finland, see there: http://www.youtube.com/user/Number1AlphaFucker

    Do your math, but it is cheaper than the usual 6000-8000$ a top surgery costs and you come back with a nice experience abroad...

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  23. @ GallusMag:

    Why would the government have to issue "false ID" to everyone if they issue it to people who have changed their sex? How exactly does that violate the ADA? If anything, it sounds like you're making an Equal Protection argument, which fails because transpeople are not simularly situated with people who just want fake ID.

    @ More:

    Sure! How can we securely exchange email addresses?

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  24. @ Anon 5:15:

    Thanks for the info. Something to consider, absolutely. As long as I can bring my dog, those actually sound like possible options. France in particular is supposed to be awesome.

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  25. @AnFTM, the forum for transguys in France is here: http://www.ftm-transsexuel.com/forum/

    And you can see top surgery results there: http://www.ftm-transsexuel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1047

    Just click on the green links, the results are classified by doctors, location of the hospital, and then by techniques and then by month.

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  26. @AnFTM- Well, you believe that men should be able to change their government gender marker to female if they want to join the women's gym near their house or reduce their car insurance payments, right?
    And if you say "No", then exactly how do you believe this should be prevented? If you say by the trans person undergoing medical and surgical treatments, then how exactly does that not discriminate against trans people who are economically deprived or unable to undergo such medical treatment, due to health issues for example.
    So I ask you again: Under what circumstances do you believe the government should issue false gender markers, those that declare males are female, and females are male?

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  27. @AnFtm - my email address is more.light9@gmail.com

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  28. Hey, everyone:

    http://questioningtranssexuality.blogspot.com/2011/02/light-on-other-side-of-black-hole-of.html

    Everything I pretty much have to say on trans. Peace & love.

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  29. Gallusmag, we all agree anybody can't change its markers but in the same time, I find it so awful to have transguys forced to be sterilised just to have a paper changed.
    If you look at page 22 of this document: http://www.tgeu.org/sites/default/files/eurostudy.pdf

    You will see that in most EU countries, trans can have their sex markers changed just after a few months on T and at no cost!

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  30. @GallusMag:

    Do you really think there are tons of men out there who would love to legally change their sex to "female" in order to reduce their car insurance payments? This whole thing should be self-policing, because people who want to remain men or women don't generally have the desire to legally change their sex. The man who wants cheaper car insurance, for example, if he's married, has serious problems if he lives in a state that doesn't recognize same-sex unions.

    As for the economic argument: I do think it sucks that economic issues affect transpeople's ability to obtain surgeries that "prove" they deserve a new gender marker. I'm going through that right now. We could make a much less restrictive test for who should be allowed to change their gender marker, and that would be great. For instance, the 3 months of therapy that are already required by the HBGDA would suffice. Heck, one month of therapy at a free clinic could suffice. We just have to invent a fair, equitable test that doesn't require that a person have lots of money. That would be totally fine with me.

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  31. Dirt, I don't understand why you block the intelligent replies and don't delete the offensive ones. This is doing your objective no good. Fair is fair on every side.

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  32. @AnFTM- according to your political beliefs, any man that gets a letter showing that he's been in therapy for 3 months should receive governmental carte blanche to hang out in women's locker rooms.
    Thousands of men risk (and are) arrested for such activities. And you suggest such men would not be troubled to file a paper at city hall that makes their activities legal? And that women should allow men to be "self-policing" about their rights to enter women's spaces? Considering that even criminal prosecution doesn't prevent men from lurking in women's spaces, (bathrooms, locker rooms, using shopping bags to take pictures up their skirts in public, surrepticiously filming them naked in tanning salons, etc.) why on earth do you think it's in the best interest of women and girls to allow them to "self-police" themselves?????

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  33. @AnFtm 2:56 PM

    Curious that you still want credit from the lesbian community for a period in your life that you essentially renounce by transitioning, presumably in pursuit of "your true authentic self".
    You talk about how you were a "role model" for others in regard to women being untraditional, but to me, yes, the act of transitioning negates all of the role modelling you have done,since transistioning signifies your belief that you cannot be your true authentic self in the body you were borne with.

    In conclusion, you cannot be an ally of a community that you undermine through your actions.

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  34. @GallusMag:

    No, that's not what I'm suggesting. A professional, such as a licensed psychologist or doctor, should have to write that letter after careful consideration of conversations with the person, and being satisfied that they really do identify as members of the other sex. There ought to be a solution to this gatekeeping problem that doesn't discriminate against transfolks who can't afford surgery. (Maybe require that the person be on hormones, because I can afford those myself and I'm on disability?)

    You know something else? I'm sort of put off by the idea that random male strangers are the biggest threat to women. I lived as a woman for 30 or so years and the only physical or sexual violence I ever recieved was either (a) from members of my own family, or (b) from black men because I am white. (And no, I don't hate my family or black men.) Statistics show that the vast majority of crimes of violence/sexual violence against women are perpretrated by men who are either related to or who know their victims pretty well (boyfriends, etc.). You might do better to fear cis-gendered fathers and step-fathers much more than a random transman with a beard standing on a street corner.

    @ Canadian:

    To each their own, but I think you're a fool.

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  35. @Quark February 4, 2011 3:04 PM
    "I am curious as to why your agenda is so often one that is against other marginalized groups, given that all forms of oppression do have similar roots."

    And just want are you insinuating?
    That expressing reservation in regard to tranitioning is akin prejudice against say blacks?

    It is arguements such as these that discredit the MtF/FtM position.

    As to your other point about being pan sexual and being excluded from womens places, to me that is wrong, assuming that you do not want to bring men into these spaces.

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  36. @Anon February 4, 2011 5:34 PM

    I suspect that the sterilization requirment exists to preclude these newly minted men from having children, which in fact has happened.

    How do you feel about Ftm's who decide to bear children...how does that line up with their "true authentic selves"

    And don't even think about trotting out the arguemnet about women who can't concieve for various reasons...Men can't give birth because they are incapable of it because of genetics that is the difference.

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  37. @AnFtm February 4, 2011 6:13 PM


    Well if I am such a fool it should be easy for you to explain why...BRING IT ON

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  38. @ Canadian:

    I think you are a fool for repudiating everything positive I've ever done with/for the lesbian community, and for denying me as an ally, because if you want the support of the "GBT" in "LGBT", you'd do better not to refuse us as allies. That's a lot of allies you're missing out on.

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  39. @AnFTM: "You know something else? I'm sort of put off by the idea that random male strangers are the biggest threat to women."
    Who said this and where? Please point it out to me. I didn't see anyone downplaying familial violence against women. Please point out the quote you are responding to.

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  40. "And just want are you insinuating?
    That expressing reservation in regard to tranitioning is akin prejudice against say blacks?"

    Any fool knows you can't draw perfect parallels between different forms of marginalization, but any fool can see that fear and mistrust partially inform racism and transphobia. And it's a good thing that we fear and mistrust people we don't know based on irrational assertions, because only god knows what kind of liberatory mischief we could get into if we all came together and extended the benefit of the doubt to others!

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  41. @ftM,

    And who besides the male medical machine is educating the "professionals" that are giving the go ahead for the males claiming to be females to enter womens private spaces?

    Because currently the male medical model isnt something women can trust. Hell we only have to look at you for example to see their very serious non feminist flaws.

    dirt

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  42. @AnFtm...
    That is a really pathetic arguement.

    1)First you make the assumption that by expressing reservations about transitioning Lesbians are isolating themselves from, and not supporting Gays and Bisexuals, can you expain why this is so? I am also curious about the threat engendered your implication that lesbians who question transitioning risk losing the support of gays and bisexuals. That sounds to me like the age old partiarcal threats that women best keep their mouths shut or face the consequences.

    2)Lesbians really don't need allies who brag about being untraditional role models as women and then turn around and transition into traditional male role models.

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  43. @Canadian: the only transition you should be "expressing reservations" about is your own. You have no knowledge, authority, usefulness or place in determining the course of someone else's life.

    As far as undermining a community through transitioning goes, i realized a long time ago that staying female-bodied and angry about it was undermining my capacity to be human, and therefore my capacity to add to *any* community. My feelings about my body were never, ever going to change despite all the trans-negative rhetoric I tried to dump on myself through self-hatred. Despite all that, I still LOVED my body and regard it as beautiful-then and now. It's my earthly vessel, for goodness sake.

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  44. @More
    "Any fool knows you can't draw perfect parallels between different forms of marginalization, but any fool can see that fear and mistrust partially inform racism and transphobia. And it's a good thing that we fear and mistrust people we don't know based on irrational assertions, because only god knows what kind of liberatory mischief we could get into if we all came together and extended the benefit of the doubt to others!"

    Right..and those you accuse of being "transphobic" for asking questions are "fearful and therfore,possibly/probably racists...now that is a "rational assertion"...

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  45. @More February 4, 2011 6:50 PM

    Why should I not question the whole premise of transitioning and the reasoning behind it? Why should I keep my reservations to myself...?

    The second part of your comment is so full of contradictions to the point that I really don't know where to start.

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  46. @Canadian:

    One thing is perfectly clear to me: you and your cohort aren't just simply and harmlessly questioning transsexuality. You're questioning whether we EXIST at all. You're characterizing us as potential rapists and perpetrators of violence against women. You say that we are delusional, self-hating, misogynist, incapable of having real relationships with women (or if we do, then it's because that woman is crazy and hates herself), incapable of rational thought, narcissistic, and generally bad people who have nothing but a miserable, bald, fat, lonely future to look forward to. That's hardly merely "questioning" transsexuality. If I "questioned" lesbianism the same way, I'm sure you'd be pretty offended too and not want to have anything to do with me.

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  47. It's simple. I love my body, and I desired the physical maculinity available to me (or whatever words you want to use, it's all the same to me). There is a myth perpetuated that you must despise your body to transition. Some do, but I didn't. I just made some adjustments. And the desire for that was never, ever, ever going to go away no matter how much self-hating I tried.

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  48. @AnFTM February 4, 2011 7:03 PM

    To start with, I have never stated that FtM were rapists etc.
    My questioning of tranistioning revolves around challenging the assumption that transitioning is the solution for those who feel alienated from their physical gender. I never question the fact that this alienation exists.

    Lesbians are not alienated from their bodies to the extent that they feel the need to change them in order to conform to societal norms like ftms do. Lesbians by their very existance, defy the norm, that is the difference as to why lesbianism is not questioned.

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  49. @More February 4, 2011 7:12 PM

    Whatever...your comments make my point better than I could.

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  50. And what was that point, Canadian?

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  51. What is a woman?
    Is it simply whoever has an XX set up on the 23rd chromosome?

    Is it someone with the history of being a "baby girl" and then a "girl"?

    Is it someone who made it through puberty without growing facial hair or any other "atypical" "womanly" body hair pattern?

    And, what is womanly?
    Is there a definitive scent? A definitive demeanor? A definitive shape? Or, an optimal one? Who determines it? Who defines it?

    Who is closer to Truth? How do you know?

    What does love look like? Is it valuable?

    What does suffering look like? Can an action create both suffering and good at the same time? How do you determine if you are good?

    How free are you?

    Is it urgent the same set of gender terms and orientations be perpetuated?

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  52. QS,

    If woman wasnt something definite, there would be no females transitioning away from it.

    dirt

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  53. What is a woman?
    Is it simply whoever has an XX set up on the 23rd chromosome?

    YES

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  54. @ Dirt
    Is it possible that "woman" exists for some transitioners and not others? Does the existence of a societal construct mandate its absolute existence in reality?

    @ mouse
    Does your answer still apply if the person with an XX genetic code has non-reproductive anatomy harken to what is likely deemed as "male" to the mainstream, thereby raising this person in society as male, complete with experiences in the boys room, boys locker room, etc...? Does your answer still apply if another person with the XX genetic code naturally produces enough testosterone to grow a beard, have little to no curves, etc...?

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  55. c'mon, those things are very rare and have nothing to do with healthy 'normal' girls transitioning.

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  56. Also, is a person with the set up of XY who does not respond to testosterone and therefore has a "vagina" and "breasts" and is raised at "female" who later goes on to be sexually attracted to "women" a heterosexual "man" infiltrating "women-only" spaces?

    And what are the folks with other code set ups? What kind of legal rights should be granted to such variations? What should their gender marker be? Should there be genetic testing at birth? Is science infallible? Can science be separated from scientists?

    Does crossing over occur during meiosis? Do random mutations occur during meiosis? What deems a mutation appropriate and still capable of producing a "non-freaky" human? How can we spot these variations and eugenically dispose of difference?

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  57. @ mouse

    Whose definition of "healthy" and whose definition of "normal" are you using? Is it possible that these definitions are rooted in patriarchy? If they are, are they bad? Are they wrong?

    Does a rare occurrence negate the experience? Am I mistakenly noticing that humans, the human experience, and human structures are extremely complex and full of variation?

    P.S. I gotta get going. It is decently warm out and I am craving a bike ride. Happy Friday!

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  58. GallusMag,

    "then to require individuals to undergo surgeries and hormones to obtain those fictional government papers is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act."

    Actually, no. Jesse Helms got the ADA amended to bar trans people from coverage.

    I don't think identification should include gender markers at all. It enables discrimination; it doesn't do much else. I don't think female-only spaces should rely on governmental identification to decide who is female and who isn't, either.

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  59. "I don't think identification should include gender markers at all. It enables discrimination; it doesn't do much else."
    It helps women. By enabling statistical data collection on women, such as in employment, which illuminates areas of discrimination. By ensuring equal funding of health initiatives. Statistical data collection for medical research. Equal funding in government supported education. And sports. Enabling sex-specific prisons. Etc. etc. etc.

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  60. of course there are loads of natural variation in humans
    once one relies on external influences to force one's body in any direction in order to meet some imagined criteria of gender the realm of bullshit is entered
    but that's what being 'queer' is all about
    i don't give a shit about women's only spaces or solidarity with the poor discriminated against minorities either self-made or nature-made
    you is what you is
    if you wouldn't do it if you were alone on an island then you are doing it for others not yourself
    i consider it very regressive and closed-minded what you consider the opposite
    there can be no understanding here
    i'm done with this place!

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  61. QueerSocrates

    There may be many ways to determine if someone is a woman, but there are a few which determine very clealry thatt you are NOT a woman. If you have or have ever had: a prostate, penis, testicles you are NOT a woman. If you have or have ever had a life where you were known to be a man, you are NOT a woman. Women are not defective men, we are functioning beings all of our own. If you do in fact have a functioning uterus and have given birth to a child, you are a woman. If you have XX chromosomes, no penis, prostate or testicles and have always been known as a agirl and then woman, you are a woman. Are there intersex people? yes. absolutlely. do they deserve to have the N option available to them on the M/F question, yes. Do we need to create a thrid washroom universe. yup. absofuckinglutely. Do Men who take birth control pills, wear dresses and tuck get to enter Women only space. FUCK NO.

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  62. Cassaundra, I was suppose to be a twin, and unfortunately my twin died in utero. I was born with what they thought was a third ovary and at 3 because of excruciating pain, I had surgery. It was found to be a testicle from my twin that was evidently male.

    I'm a man? Damn, I thought I was a dyke and proud of that fact!

    In all reality, some freaks of nature happen, and while your description may in fact be close, it isn't always the case.

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  63. Dirt, I just want to thank you for being a Butch role model. I'm 19, and I have always been different from other girls; bigger, more muscular, hairier, flatter chest. I always thought I was some monstrous freak, and puberty was an absolute living hell. My attraction to girls wasn't what frightened me, but the fact that I just never looked or acted like hypersexualized, feminine women on tv did. I spent so many years hating myself and being harassed in junior high/high school that sometimes I don't know how I'm still here.

    While I was questioning transition, and involved in various FTM communities online, I came across your blog. It saved my self-esteem. It proved to me that 'Butch' wasn't an ugly word, but something strong, something beautiful, not just an image, but a lifestyle to be proud of. Your blog has shown me that I'm every bit as female as Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie. That it's okay for other people to touch me, that I don't have to hide my body.

    Last week I discovered I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which explains a lot about my more 'masculine' appearance. If I had known this before reading your blog, I would've seen my PCOS as a sign from God, proof that I was meant to be born male. Now, I'm logical enough to realize it's nothing more than a genetic disorder, and I'm no less female because of it.

    Sometimes I think your blog is too harsh, and I disagree with you plastering young, innocent FTM faces across its pages for readers to leer at. But it’s your blog, your space, and I hungrily pore over your posts practically every day for inspiration. I can’t, and won’t, speak for FTMs. I only know that after accepting my feminity and realizing there’s something wrong with our society, and not my body, I am so much happier.

    So thank you again, Dirt. I’m not sure if I’m Butch, but you’ve taught me it’s okay to be a woman who's a bit different, it’s okay to be me, Samantha.

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  64. Cassaundra,

    No one ever said that women were defective men. Period.

    Get your shit straight.

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  65. @ixchel:
    "I was suppose to be a twin, and unfortunately my twin died in utero. I was born with what they thought was a third ovary and at 3 because of excruciating pain, I had surgery. It was found to be a testicle from my twin that was evidently male."

    Umm, sorry but this makes no sense. The only way that would work was if you were identical twins, no? Which you clearly weren't.

    Not trying to be a bitch. I'm just really confused. But if I'm just being really stupid about biology here, then call me out on it.

    Maybe you're intersex?

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  66. On that note, I have a question for DIRT.

    DIRT,

    what is your opinion on intersex people?

    Because you know, if you take that into account, all of your opinions about trans people go out the window.

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  67. @Mere,

    It actually only works if she and her twin were fraternal, not identical, twins. If they were identical, she would be a he.

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  68. I am an ftm.

    I have not transitioned, there are several reasons, but I may eventually choose to do so in the future. Therefore I come to you in an unaltered hormonal state, if that makes a difference to you.

    I do not hate myself. I have a sound mind and a good heart.I contribute to the world in a positive way.

    I do not hate my body. It has it's nit-picky flaws, but I am overall healthy and able bodied. It feels awkward to me and has since puberty, but it allows me to interact with the world. It is a gift, not a curse.

    I do not hate women. I was raised by a strong, capable, and proud single mother. I have friends that are women. I have many female coworkers who are equally competent in the workplace.

    I am over 25 years old, so my frontal lobes are capable of sound decision making.

    I am not, and never have been, a butch lesbian. I am quite effeminate, actually, and I am attracted to men. Gay men.

    I have never felt like a girl. I have known since early childhood that something was not quite right. I have known since about age 12 that I preferred sexual activities commonly demonstrated by gay males. I realized I was male identified at age 15. I put this all together as being trans at age 23. None of these convictions or feelings have ever changed or wavered.

    I am not a victim of the "male medical machine" because I have never seen a psychiatrist or pursued surgery. No insurance. So there is no one trying to brainwash me.

    I am not attention seeking. I am only out to a few select friends, and my partner. I do not have a youtube, a tumblr, a blog, etc.

    I am not an activist, and I do not seek special privileges of any kind. I do not benefit from being trans in any way.

    In fact, being trans is really not that big of a deal in the overall picture of my life. It simply is. I have accepted this rift within me, and moved on.

    Dirt, and those who agree with her, knowing these things, you still would dare to tell me that I am stupid, crazy, living in a fantasy land? That I really hate myself, but am somehow not aware of it? That I am a "not born in the wrong body, but born in the wrong society" even though I have no issues with society as a whole? That I am simply a "different kind of woman?" If so, what kind of woman is that, exactly? The typical answer here is "butch lesbian who hates herself because of nonconformity to society's expectations of the female role"? Because that is quite obviously not the case.

    Also, something I have always wondered: If most of the young transitioners you show here really are just girls with self esteem problems, do you really think the best solution is to publicly mock them, tell them how wrong and stupid they are? It seems as if you truly cared about the well being of these fragile young minds, you would have a blog about ftm outreach an intervention, not hatred and condemnation.

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  69. @ Adam,

    What a great, composed, and welcome comment on this issue. I'm an FTM coming from the butch lesbian life history, but I REALLY value hearing the stories of people like you who fall outside Dirt's closed little narrative about FTMs. I have a friend who's FTM who was a married straight woman, and I really enjoy his perspective on things too. Thanks for posting.

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  70. Although i read this blog i feel it is NOT needed for someone to HAVE to explain THEIR life to a bunch of people who will never understand, most trans people dont understand why they are the way they are, its like most men or women dont know why they are the way they are, its life...
    if you truely want change make a voice for your OWN community dont put down another to try make your self look bigger or better, white people tried that world wide aganst native/colored people didnt work, hitler tried it didnt work, so if a few women think that posting a picture or say a few words will change people, then obviously they are the ones who need help....

    BTW to reproduce you DO need a man as it is NOT possible for two women to make a baby.. without both men and women you are fucked lol

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  71. why are you people so hung up on being in 'communities' of like-minded people?

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  72. adam
    yes you are a different kind of woman
    you can not possibly be anything else
    even though you decided differently at age 12?
    because, what, you want to fuck guys in the ass?
    special.

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  73. @Adam:

    What made you come to the conclusion that you were "male identified" besides wanting to have sex with gay males?

    On a side note: We do have people who post on this site who are not butch lesbians and do not fall into the "butch lesbian" stereotype, like blues traveler.
    You complain about our generalizations of Ftms yet go on to make generalizations of your own.

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  74. @Mere

    Actually, it was much from my understanding as the parasitic twin phenomenon where as the babies develop one dies and attaches itself to the living twin.

    While yes, I think it usually happens with identical, it can happen that the second twin, identical or not is "absorbed" instead of attaching for lack of a better word into the living twin, instead of on.

    This is just what I gain from what I have been told. It is not something that defines me, and nothing that has cased me any strife in life, so I have not researched it further.

    I was actually not told of this for some time, so even for me it is hard to understand to be honest. It was something my parents had always played off as an appendix surgery until my appendix really almost ruptured and the had to come clean.

    And no, I am not inter sexed. Normal clit, C cup breasts, medium high voice, Menses and have been a surrogate for friends of mine.

    I'm very proud to be a Lesbian woman, and woman alone.

    My point was just to say not everything can be placed in a neat little box. I accept that there are things I can never fully understand and can never fully define with words, because I am one such "thing."

    I feel being a woman goes well beyond words.

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  75. Anon 9:27 am:

    You're an asshole.

    If all Adam wanted was to fuck guys in the ass, he could have bought the book "Bend Over Boyfriend" and a stap-on. Is that all you got out of his post? Really?

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  76. I'm a femme who has dated bio women and MtF women. I have also been a loud activist for the gay and lesbian community through my journalism work, where I primarily covered health issues affecting these populations (women-on-women violence, etc.).

    Therefore, I don't take lightly or kindly to the hatred and discrimination toward transpeople on this blog. It's eerily like the hate-speech I hear against women like me, coming from the less self-censored and more deluded members of the American Religious Right.

    No, actually, it's EXACTLY like that.

    I will be an ally for all women. But I draw the line at championing activities like labeling an entire community "mentally ill" (have we forgotten the days not long ago when gays and lesbians received that exact label?), and posting photos of naked, underaged children on the Internet to mock them, all with the end goal of making the FTM community humiliated, silenced, scapegoated, invisible, and irrelevant. The very things, incidentally, this blog fights against for bio-women!

    Bullying, plain and simple. Strip away the fancy, pseudo-intellectual rhetoric, and that's all it is.

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  77. obviosuly trans is a mental problem; it's surely not a physical one
    and if it's not a 'problem' why is it trying to be 'corrected?'
    i'm just a plain old fashioned lesbian, not trying to fix a thing

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  78. Adam is a heterosexual woman with an imagination. Nothing more, nothing less.

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  79. When I read this blog, and all the angry FTM commenters, I am happy to live outside this community called LBTQI...People are so narrow minded, their language is limmited to a few words and all this close community feeling leads to one thing: paranoid instincts...You see hate evreywhere!

    Wake up! Go out! Life is different out there! Why on earth some people go for a transition to still get stuck with same morons? Are you afraid of changes?

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  80. I am a straight woman and I fuck bio males (and trans males). I don't need to be trans to be allowed to do it. I just need a strap on.

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  81. i'm not sure i understand the poll question
    does trans passing hurt the importance of lesbian visibility
    how can importance be hurt?
    i'm totally against the idea of transexualism but i answered no
    besides people often take me for a boy
    because gender roles are quite polarized at this moment
    even in manhattan!

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  82. Everyone read anon 12:36, great points have been made on that side of town.

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  83. When I read this blog, and all the angry FTM commenters, I am happy to live outside this community called LBTQI...People are so narrow minded, their language is limmited to a few words and all this close community feeling leads to one thing: paranoid instincts...You see hate evreywhere!

    I'm the femme woman who posted earlier today, and while I find many of the FtM comments to be quite reasonable and rational in their presentation, I agree with part of your sentiment.

    One reason I stopped actively participating in public discussions of issues affecting the gay and lesbian community was because I was tired of the infighting. Lesbians hating gay men, gay men hating lesbians, both hating bisexuals, bisexuals hating transpeople, transpeople hating biowomen, biowomen hating transpeople, and on and on and on.

    These days, I identify myself as a professional in the software industry. My sexual orientation and gender don't define me. I enjoy living in a world where what skills I bring to the table trumps my gender identity or sexual orientation.

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  84. @2:43 PM, I had the same issues that is why I have left the "community". I really feel better. Sometimes I am approached by people who know my activist past and want me to join a new initiative but I always say "no".
    I define myself through my job, my mixed bloods origins, my hobbies, the persons I love...
    And you know why? I am happy!

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  85. Anon at 12:36 just schooled y'all! Nicely done! Leave it to a femme to be the mature, clear-headed, fierce, and articulate one in this conversation.

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  86. I stopped my transition and I've been so depressed since.

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  87. @anon 9:27 AM
    You tell me I am a different kind of woman. I will never deny that I am female, but a woman? If your world is too small to separate the two, then I am sorry. (For example,intersex people usually ID as either man or woman, even though, for some of them ie, true mosiacism, they are not male or female.)

    To all the anonymous people who made comments about my gender identity being directly related to, as one person put it "wanting to fuck men in the ass", it is or at least should be obvious that you are grossly simplifying it. Sexuality is not directly related to gender identity, for me it was just an early awareness of "not a girl" feelings. By your logic,do you "feel like a woman" because you like to have oral sex with other women? Finger them? Receiving end? Of course not. Would that make straight men women? Of course not. Sexuality is about every interaction you have with your partner. I want my lover to touch my chest, without breasts in the way. I want him to feel the stubble on my face because I haven't shaved yet that day. To know when I am turned on because my pants are tented. I want him to be aroused by my masculine scent, turned on by my male body, touch me in places I don't have and pretend as best as possible that the ones I do have don't exist. And if I do want to "fuck a man in the ass" (which honestly isn't often, if you really want to know) I want it to be able to feel it, to have the physical connection that everyone else takes advantage of. Beyond the purely sexual, gay relationship dynamics are different, gay men have typical characteristics I am attracted to, etc. It's hard to quantify, and I am not too great with words, so I guess all I can really say is it just vastly different from being a straight woman with a strap on. SO no, being gay is *not* why I feel trans. I can't give you that answer, the feeling is abstract. How do you FEEL like a woman, beyond the physical?

    To Canadian, "You complain about our generalizations of Ftms yet go on to make generalizations of your own." You are the ones making the generalizations. Where do you think they came from? Do you think that is the way I normally introduce myself?

    And if being trans is a mental problem, not physical, then why on earth would you be so cruel to someone with a mental health problem? Do you tell people with crippling agoraphobia that they are really just lazy people who don't want to hold a job, so are just pretending to be unable to leave their house? Post weekly pictures of them with captions like "Who's lazy this week!" It also amazes me that so many of you think you know more than doctors, psychologists, decades of medical and mental researchers, or even the world's best in their fields who dictate the guidelines of the AMA or DSM. That is true arrogance.

    I know I don't have to defend myself, because my thoughts are no one's but my own, that is not why I am here. If there are any young trans people reading your posts with fear and horror, I want them to know there are trans people who are confident in themselves, who are relatively smart, successful and content, and who have more to say than "Fuck you Dirt!!!" No matter what may or may not be wrong with us is irrelevant. WE ARE PEOPLE. So are you. If everyone treated everyone else like they were people, no more no less, there would be no issues here. Lesbians and women in general feel oppressed or threatened by men? That is what trans people feel coming from you. Hate does not reduce hate, it multiplies it. You certainly don't have to agree with someone with different views. But you do not have to lead a campaign against them either. This blog is a step backwards. Being a strong, proud, butch, lesbian woman need not involve so much negativity to others.

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  88. Anon @7:31- Maybe it would help to get support from other de-transitioners. BlueTraveler could direct you to such support as she is in contact with several de-transitioners. Why don't you contact her?

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  89. @ Adam:

    You're awesome. :)

    ReplyDelete
  90. @Adam February 5, 2011 7:38 PM


    "Sexuality is not directly related to gender identity, for me it was just an early awareness of "not a girl" feelings. By your logic,do you "feel like a woman" because you like to have oral sex with other women? Finger them? Receiving end? Of course not. Would that make straight men women? Of course not. Sexuality is about every interaction you have with your partner."

    I think other posters latched on to the sexual acts because you yourself indicated that your attraction to gay men was for you ane early indication of your FtM orientation. Unfortunately, nothing in your most current
    post does anything to dispel the notion that your FtM orienation is based largely on your attraction to gay men. In the absence of other evidence the bulk of your post would seem to contradict your initial contention that "sexuality is not linked to gender identity" in your case.
    I do agree that gender identity goes beyond sexuality. If the opposite was true we would not have gays,lesbians,straights and bisexuals. However, I your case your gender identity appears to be drawn soley from your sexuality and this leaves me confused as to what your point really is.

    "It also amazes me that so many of you think you know more than doctors, psychologists, decades of medical and mental researchers, or even the world's best in their fields who dictate the guidelines of the AMA or DSM. That is true arrogance."

    Well now this is ironic..
    The history of psychology and psychiatry is littered with examples of "experts" whose theories have been discredited over time.

    One perfect example is the belief that homosexuality is an illness and it was listed in the very same DSM, that you want us all to take as gospel.
    Another is the use of lobotomy, insulin,electric shock and LSD as "therapies" for mental illness.

    To suggest that we blindly put our faith in "experts" with such a history of questionable theories and treatments is naive.

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  91. I also left the LGBTI community as i also found there was to much hating towards each other, i also found that the LGBTI community are as bad if not worse then there "hetrosexual opposition" and i see the term "trans trend and trans cult" being thrown around but really being "trans" you are accepted no matter wat you gender sexuality lifestyle (with exceptions but wont be judged on sexuality or gender) and so on, you arent forced to take hormones your not forced into surgery to be a "true trans" you are who you are, most of the people here are judging on info they are given before knowing the person more trans people just slip into society and you cannot tell the difference unless they tell you.

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  92. @Adam

    Thank you for having the courage to tell your truth to such a hostile audience. Many would like to dismantle your sense of who and what you are by pointing out contradictions in your narrative. This, I feel, is a necessary deconstructive process people go through when they contemplate transness. I really believe that there are many, many female-born people who are attracted to women, who do not feel female at all. Who've never really even conceived of their bodies as female. I think being presented with the concept of transness rankles because it throws into sharp relief what had been an amorphous, fun blob of gender for many lesbians.
    Us saying we are men sounds to them like we are saying "I'm a man, I'm gonna transition, you are not transitioning, so you must be a woman". This rankles, but it especially rankles those who have contemplated transitioning themselves. The truth doesn't just hurt-the truth is absolutely terrifying.

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  93. Canadian, I get the feeling that nothing I say is going to allow you to understand, which is probably a combination of you approaching me with skepticism and me not being able to fully express how I feel. But I'll take a stab.

    "However, I your case your gender identity appears to be drawn soley from your sexuality and this leaves me confused as to what your point really is."

    It is absolutely not drawn solely from my gender identity, that is just the first way I noticed, in a concrete way, that I did not feel like a woman. I have always felt a nagging uneasiness, but being gay was the first thing I could put my finger on. It is also the only aspect of being trans that bothers me on a regular basis. As I said in my first post, I have, at least for the most part, accepted my life as it is and moved on as best as I can. I can deal with my body separate from sex well enough because it serves it primary purpose, I am okay with not passing because my personality is more important than my gender, and I can deal with the annoying little things like periods and mood swings decently enough. It's not perfect, but it will do. But there is nothing I can do about sex. No amount of testosterone and surgery will make me physically male. I understand some people's need for it, but my overall dysphoria is just not strong enough to justify T. It is quite painful to not be able to have the "right kind" of sex. Of course I have an ass, but I don't have a prostate. I can use a strap on, but it has no sensation. I cannot achieve male orgasm. There is a vagina and breasts there that doesn't feel like they belong. Most significant, though, I cannot give my lover the same thing he gives me. I have been with him for almost 10 years, and he is wonderfully accepting of my needs and limitations, but it is still extremely painful. Several times a week I am faced with this. So I am sorry if this part of me stands out. I am much more than my sexuality, it is just the part of being trans that I can't seem to get over. (How comfortable would you be trying to have lesbian sex in a male body, if you still had the exact same mind?)

    Another aspect of this the inability to be recognized as a gay man. I can't nod and smile at the grocery store, I can't tell dirty jokes with my coworkers at lunch, little things. Not a big deal at all, really though. Isn't being a lesbian a big part of who you are, that you want to be proud and celebrate? I can't do that.

    Other than being gay, a very non-female thing, I cannot describe what "being a guy" is like, too abstract, and I am no writer. So once again, how does it *feel* like to you to be a woman, other than your physical body? You probably *just know*.

    "The history of psychology and psychiatry is littered with examples of "experts" whose theories have been discredited over time."

    This is quite true, but medical science has improved vastly since the days of LSD and lobotomy. They aren't sticking leaches on us, this is well documented medical practices which are considered, for the most part, successful treatment. The way it is handled in the future may be completely different and hopefully far better, but I am sure that the debunking will come from medical researchers and doctors, not from a random internet blog. Do you never go to the doctor for fear that the treatment you need will eventually be "debunked"?! To suggest that we *do not* put any faith in "experts", aka, those with doctorates and PHDs and decades of experience, with such a history of ever progressing and improving treatments, that is the thing that seems naive. The doctors may not have all the answers, but their answers are probably much more accurate than those of accountants, store managers, waitresses, etc.

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  94. "I really believe that there are many, many female-born people who are attracted to women, who do not feel female at all. Who've never really even conceived of their bodies as female. I think being presented with the concept of transness rankles because it throws into sharp relief what had been an amorphous, fun blob of gender for many lesbians."

    Yes, this is because you are embracing the highly polarized male-female dynamic that progressive-minded people wrongly assumed we were moving away from and which has come back with a vengance.
    The world is polarizing in many ways right now, this is just one unfortunate example.
    It's too bad we're losing thousands upon thousands (does anyone have real numbers?) of what could have been interesting non-conforming women in the process.

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  95. Adam,


    "How do you FEEL like a woman, beyond the physical?"

    YOU CAN'T! There's no such thing as "feeling like a woman/man", just a very restrictive society.

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  96. "Do you tell people with crippling agoraphobia that they are really just lazy people who don't want to hold a job, so are just pretending to be unable to leave their house? "

    No, but would anybody encourage them to live that way? Surgically implant something in them to help them live that way more successfully? And that anyone who questions the wisdom of this is just agoraphobiaphobic?

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  97. To people who were asking for a "detransitioners support group", I'm planning to make one. In the meantime, be patient please :S
    And always remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU ARE NOT A "FREAK". No one is a "freak". I'll sure contact Dirt when I'll make the group :)

    ReplyDelete

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