Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trans Trendering-Who is Transitioning


I'm going to use this space this week to also comment on the discussion post I started last week on these same posts.

I began the WIT posts because there has been a long held myth that most female transitioners were/are Butch (in gay/lesbian circles) or mannish women (per the general public). I wont go into the whys of the myth, but I will say as a Butch who has been in or around the Butch/Femme community for several decades, I knew the myth to be absolutely false. Youtube presented a way to dismantle the Butch/trans myth since there were no shortage of females using YT to glamorize their transition.

What became immediately apparent when looking at YT were the massive amounts of teenage girls and young women transitioning, none Butch btw. So what began and a simple way to illustrate who was actually transitioning, quickly turned into a weekly post illuminating a growing trans trend. A trend that hassteadily grown since I started the WIT posts, with ever more young females jumping onto the trans bandwagon weekly.

The girls chosen for each weekly post are properly represented by a pic (usually from their ftM intro video) accompanied by a link to said video. Only videos that are completely public, specifying  a desire to transition or in the early stages of transition and already using a male names/pronouns are used. Not one female has ever been made fun of by me, as I do not find female self hatred to be something one pokes fun at. It is as serious as it is tragic.

These posts have never been aimed at female transitioners, they have always been made to illustrate to lesbians and the general public just how serious an issue female transition has become post queer theory. I have said many times here before, I do not write for those floating in the ocean, but those still on the beaches who have a chance to be saved from drowning in the waters of female self hatred. If there are female transitioners who find something useful in my posts, great. But again, this is clearly a female centered space. If there are female transitioners regularly reading/commenting here, I would suspect it is because they truly do not believe themselves to be real men and are secretly searching for help and some kind of female closeness. Very few real men (if any) would have much interest in what is posted here.

So to sum up, these posts or any posts here, are not written for a trans audience. And the WIT posts are posted specifically to shed light on what has become a trans trend among young females sans any real feminism.

dirt
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58 comments:

  1. When you say none of these girls are "butch", they all look pretty butch to me, like I did when I was in my baby butch phase. Speaking of which, who are you to decide who is butch and who isn't, and at what level of masculinity does one female bodied person consider themselves butch?

    Do you not realize that everything in this world is a social construction? "Butch" does not hold the same meaning it did in the 70's/80's/even 90's when you were probably first coming out.

    Discuss?

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  2. While I agree with almost everything Dirt says in this post, I do have to disagree with the butch part. There is no one All Mighty Butch out there who gets to deem who is or isn't butch.

    But I do understand from Dirt's words that she is specifically refering to 'butch' in how it is used within the butch/femme community within Lesbians only. The word 'butch' used within that community describes a different 'butch' used by gay males- or even by women who are straight that some might call 'butch'.

    Sure these young girls are trying desperately not to appear traditionally female. But to all or our eyes they still appear very female. They just look like tomboys.

    Do I worry about these young girls? No. It is a trend and like all trends will end.
    I do feel sad that many will do damage to their bodies while they are so young and still figuring it all out. But at the same time I have tats and piercings I regret now. They just want to be/feel special. And they have been taught since birth that women are second class citizens who are sex objects. Of course that sucks- or course they want to escape.

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  3. It would be interesting to have a discussion about what "Butch" means to different people. I personally don't see anything even remotely butch in any of the girls pictured. To me "butch" is not about a short haircut, etc.
    It sucks for these girls (if they transition) way more than a tatoo or piercings would, because just imagine you never get to experience the fullfillment of being loved for your honest self.

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  4. Early on (late 80's-early 90's), some of the early adopters of the trend were butch. I knew a woman who "transitioned" around 1989- she was definitely butch, in fact, I remember her getting a lot of grief from some folks in the lesbian community, as well as society in general, for being as butch as she was. She got hassled for going in the women's restroom, etc.
    When she "transitioned" she went on to say that people treated her a lot better. I find that very sad, that she couldn't feel acceptable as a female. She was a cool person.

    It seems to me that some of the FTMs find more of a community when they transition than they found in the lesbian community. I think for a lot of people that could be a big part of the problem. Although I'm not the kind of person that gravitates towards community to any major extent, there are a lot of people for whom this is important. So I think that's a part of the puzzle as to why women do this.

    But yeah, these kids don't seem very butch to me either.

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  5. I come here because I know that many of the people posting their false assertions about trans people are actually trans themselves and are just trying to process new information. I think that's okay to have a process. I think good feminists are naturally mistrustful and naturally prone to categorizing all social phenomena as the actions of the patriarchal machine. And all females as victims. There are other perspectives that take into account the more complicated reality.
    When you condemn, judge, or speak in anger against trans people, you are damaging yourselves-not other trans people. People who have transitioned have done the work of accepting that the world will judge and reject us, but have moved on and done what we needed to do for ourselves. I don't see the evidence of trans people not being loved for who they are, drowning in self-hatred, or dying in isolation. What I see here are some very sad people who are a bit obsessed with the the trans thing and trying to figure it out. I'd like to see you do less damage to yourselves in the process. There is usually a personal motivation or emotion that drives this condemnation. Maybe you wish you had the opportunity to transition when you were younger, or maybe you feel like you will lose your friends and family, or maybe you are afraid to eat all the words you have spoken that are beneath you. Either way, if you are coming here to repeatedly bash on, question, deny, or condemn transmen, there is something very important going on with you that you need to pay attention to. You are not saving young "women" by coming here, you are hurting the part of you that is afraid of accepting your trans status.

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  6. 3:19

    absurd!

    do you think you're the first person to come here and say that anyone who is opposed to transitioning is actually trans themselves?

    trans means nothing - it's all illusion deceit denial posing and primarily about others' perceptions

    for me it's not about female victimhood, i think male-to- females are equally ridiculous

    i am a somewhat 'boyish' lesbian in my 30's and have never considered transitioning- to me it's an utter cop-out (for ftm's especially because of course it's easier in society to be any kind of male than a non-conforming female)

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  7. Are people vocally opposed to anorexia just closet-anorexics?

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  8. This is why I listen to Tool instead of listening to assholes on the internet;).

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  9. Anorexia?
    Oh right, because transitioning from female to male is just like starving yourself until you die!

    And with that, I'm off to have breakfast (and by breakfast, I mean knitting a sweater).

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  10. So what you are all saying is that Dirt is jealous of FTMs because she isn't one? I could see that.

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  11. @Anon 6:16PM

    MainlyButch has that theory about Dirt and other butches who are against trans people too.

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  12. to Recel

    no but anorexia is similar to gender identity disorders in that both anorexics and trans people both claim to not see their real selves in the mirror and take action to try and create that 'real self' that exists only in their troubled heads

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  13. so do the transsexuals who post here think that that group of girls are actually 'young men?'
    any reason why?
    just because they say so?

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  14. I don't believe that everyone here is secretly trans and afraid to come out. There may be other disorders that would lead a non-trans person to be obsessive about this issue.

    I believe that certainly some of you are trans. I know many straight people and gay people who don't understand transition but for them that falls in the same category as anything else they don't experience. Most people are very busy with their own lives and concerns. Too busy to assert that another type of person is actually not who they say they are. Its only people here who actually feel *encroached* upon by the transness of others and I'm saying there is a reason for that. Even if you don't believe me now, you will certainly have to face it when you finally tire of your obsession with us and our choices. You'll have to confront yourselves after all the anger and hurt and betrayal has worn off. You'll have wonder what exactly *the fuck* is wrong with you that you cannot let this go. There is much good work that needs to be done out there against REAL OPPRESSION and you won't be able to do it if you're so busy fighting yourself. It's a waste of time and energy and you've only got this one life. I feel for the people on this list who are suffering.

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  15. I was wondering what Ezra said. How do you determine if someone is or was butch? I know women and girls who look much like these people and certainly call themselves butch.

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  16. @June 10, 2011 7:54 PM

    @June 10, 2011 3:19 PM


    The key thing with what you (both?) stated is that theory also works in the reverse.

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  17. why would it be a 'disorder' to be of the opinion
    that people should be who they naturally are?
    that's the talk of this heavily over-diagnosed times we are living in.

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  18. Anon at 8:22

    Of course I realize that the theory works in reverse. But if you look at the kind of posts we have here, you'll see that many ftm's are angry, justifiably, because Dirt is lying about our lives as we experience them. It reads like bigotry, not care. What you *care* about is having more non-gender conforming females around so that YOU feel better in the world. You don't care about the individuals themselves. Anyone but a corpse would be justified in trying to set the record straight about our ACTUAL lives and experiences, even if it's impetuous. But when you look at the quality of the posts here from people hating on us, you really have to wonder what their motivation is in knocking us in the way that they do. There is something else behind it and it's *not* feminism. It's fear and hatred and prejudice disguised as feminism. If you were not over-identified with ftm's in the first place, this would not trigger you.

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  19. Many, many people would be DEAD if we took that logic to its extreme. But I don't need to do that to prove my point. I'll admit that I probably wouldn't have killed myself if I weren't able to transition, but I would have been very, very, very unhappy. The disorder I'm thinking about is not being able to focus on your own shit-the shit that causes you to have too many opinions about what other people should do with their lives. Have you ever wondered why there are straights and gays and butches who don't react to trans people at all? Who literally have *no* feelings come up for them about it? I think that it's because they truly know and accept and love who they are so they have much better personal boundaries. I have compassion for people who are processing this. It's fucking hard and it challenges you. I don't think everyone here is trans, but the sooner you can figure out what exactly it is that you *are*, the sooner you can stop harming yourself.

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  20. & I'm pretty damn sure there is no such thing as 'feeling trans.'
    & for me this feeling has nothing to do with feminism, only with common sense and an absolute respect for nature.

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  21. why do people have to "figure out what exactly it is that they *are*" ? especially when it's limited to such a silly and societal aspect of life as gender ? i consider it thinking very small.

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  22. I guess they don't. Even though I transitioned I don't always feel I needed to know exactly who I am to know that I am trans. And I suppose you don't need to know everything to know that you are a woman. Life is a learning process and gender is certainly not the most fascinating mystery in it. You are right, it's pretty boring. But people who get so triggered by this stuff are lashing out in the same way that closeted gays commit some of the most heinous hate crimes. Why is there so much passion there? It has potency and I don't think it would if it weren't hitting some really raw nerves. I consider it a person's moral obligation to confront themselves when vitriol is raising a red flag.

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  23. "i consider it thinking very small."

    But yet you are thinking about it all the time anyway.

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  24. Before I knew what the word trans meant I was trans. No matter what anyone thinks about me or anyone else who is trans, I don't care. I have never been happier in my life than I have been over the past 2 years since I finally decided to transition after all my years of doing my own research. There is no one or anything that can bring me down because I have never been happier or never been freer than what I am now. There is nothing or no one that can bring me down.

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  25. I wonder why Dirt keeps going into malecentric spaces all day long. Clearly the boi sees himself as a male or he would not keep going into malecentric spaces and talk about malecentric people 24/7. He thinks he is a woman. He does not know what he is talking about. Just look at his picture. You can tell he is not a butch and is truly a confused man. He has betrayed the male community and sold out so he won't have to work and have female privilege. All you have to do is look at his picture to know this. He is dysforic and is full of himself and delusional attempting to be the woman he is not. I know he says he is a woman, but he is just confused. He is just following a trend.

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  26. I wonder how long some of the words they use to describe themselves will stick around. Probably about as long as the trend. It seems like more and more FtM's are calling themselves "genderless" now. I think Dirt is right that these girls don't necessarily want to be men, but they definately DON'T want to be women.

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  27. I think Dirt is right that these girls don't necessarily want to be men, but they definately DON'T want to be women.

    Can you blame them? If this is what femenism and being a butch lesbian has boiled down to, who needs it? Everything seems so black and white with todays femenists and butch lesbians. Cruelty and cutting words do not fall short with femenist and butch lesbians. ALL and NOTHING seems to be what they understand best. I remember the days the overall lesbian community used to say I hate labels.

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  28. "But people who get so triggered by this stuff are lashing out in the same way that closeted gays commit some of the most heinous hate crimes. Why is there so much passion there? It has potency and I don't think it would if it weren't hitting some really raw nerves. I consider it a person's moral obligation to confront themselves when vitriol is raising a red flag."

    Hi "Anon",
    I don't appreciate vitriol from either side of the debate either. However I am actually very bored of the dismissive argument coming from some trans people that this hits "raw nerves" in some women because they are either trans or mentally unstable.

    Their are a whole range of reasons why women, especially feminist women, would be concerned about ftm transitioning. Could one reason be because a few of them are trans? Possibly. But it is far more likely that women are concerned about this stuff because of other reasons. I will list a few off the top of my head: that in many cases there is unchecked misogyny in transmen, a history of being sexual abused, transmen have access to male privilege once they "pass", a growing number of very young transitioners have almost identical youtube videos, many transmen have childhood experiences/personal preferences/body issues that are not distinct from those of butch or masculine women, often women/masculine women whose friends transition lose kinship with those women/men as they enter the "trans masculine world" and/or feel pressured to transition themselves.

    These are just a few of the reasons I can think of that would explain some women "getting triggered by this stuff", none of which mean they "are trans". I understand that every trans person has their own reasons for transitioning but every dissenting woman also has her own reasons for her disagreement with it. So comparing the words of the women who post on this blog to the most "heinous hate crimes" against gay people is just absurd and emotionally manipulative.

    Elliot

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  29. At Elliott,

    I see what you are saying, but I still don't clearly understand a few things. First of all, dissent implies the refusal to go along with the majority. Transsexuals are a minority and hold no power over anyone in the larger system. If we are only talking about a smaller queer minority, I don't suppose I feel alot of sympathy towards a group of marginalized people who feel oppressed by another marginalized people. To me that seems like scarcity economics: no one would be pissed off if everyone had what they needed. It's like a bunch of pigeons fighting over the scraps begrudgingly handed down to them by those in charge of resources.

    Even if I could agree that there are reasons to be skeptical of young transmen or judgmental about their level of feminist consciousness, I cannot be sure that any of these young people are NOT trans. Therefore it is not upon me to judge or decide. My thinking has always been that it is necessary to instill feminist critique in young transmen as they go out in the world-not to convince them that they are not who they say they are. For one thing, that's a losing battle. I truly do not care what shape a human takes as long as they are sentient and thoughtful. I'd take a straight, white, male ally with a truly good heart over a feminist who does not question her own intention any day.

    It's also my belief that a woman might disagree with transitioning for *herself* strongly but should stop short of judging others for their decisions. Because she does not actually *know* what it's like to be another person. That's where I believe humility comes in. I am sorry for the loss of kinship that comes along with rifts between butches and transmen, but I am strongly judgmental of the lack of imagination that causes us to intentionally misunderstand each other after the fact of transition.

    All of that being said, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and absence of vitriol.

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  30. @Anon 5:11

    First of all, I'd like to thank both you and Elliot for your respectful dispositions in your posts. It gets tiresome reading through a bunch of spiteful comments.

    I do agree that we can not know what it is like to be in another person's mind. My own main concern about this "trans-trend," however, is the fact that nothing else is offered to them. If they say they're trans, they're automatically trans, and it's a hate crime to suggest otherwise.

    Girls who are not trans run the risk of going through the transition and late realizing that they made a terrible mistake. If we don't give alternative viewpoints on the matter, we're doing nothing short of ignoring and abandoning those girls. I don't know of any true feminist who would be willing to let a young girl be fooled into an extreme, irreversible, and unneeded change like a trender's transition.

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  31. The trouble also is people cannot push anything on another person. If you try to they will put up a wall of resentment for that person and whatever they are saying. To be able to get the point across that their are other options than transitiong other tactics need to be tried. Putting someone down saying they have a mental disorder, to young to make decsions, and ect are not the way to go. People resent that, mostly young people and that seems to be wear the "tend" is taking place.
    Otherview points do need to be set out but in the correct way.

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  32. Ant,

    You seemed to have missed the point of the WIT posts and this blog in general which clearly I stressed with this post. Read again please.

    Also mental illness isnt a put down, that you see it as such, says a hell of a lot more about you, than me.

    dirt

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  33. Yes, there is no clear line where non-butch stops and butch begins, but, yeah, these girls just don't look very butch to me.

    And I'm not butch, or a lesbian, so I'm not holding them up to some "impossibly high standard of butchness", or whatever's been implied about Dirt or other butches doing.

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  34. I think you failed to acknowledge the enormous difference between butch women and transmen. I agree that transitioning may seem like a trend. In fact, I have personally witnessed this. However, butch women do not suffer from gender identity disorder. They are happy being women. I don't believe you would have anything to write about if you felt like you were born in the wrong body. You would have no blog at all. You would be trying to do whatever it takes to get help. Transmen are not butchy women who are selling out to become men. They are men. Be a butch women and leave transmen alone. I don't care who you are and if you want to live your life dressing and behaving in a manly way, that is your prerogative but trans people have nothing to do with this. Transitioning may be a choice, just like you being butch is a choice but suffering everyday with GID is not a choice. Believe me, NOTHING you write will make any trans person suddenly comfortable living in the wrong body and reconsider their transition. They have tried for their entire lives to do that.

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  35. Clearly Shane, you dont know any Butches.

    There isnt a Butch alive who wouldnt be diagnosed with GID based on its current definition.

    The difference between a trans person suffering from body/gender dysphoria and a Butch suffering from the exact same thing is one chooses to medically sport the gender straight jacket and one doesnt.

    You might wanna familiarize yourself with Butch Shame and its heavy impact on Butch lives and loves.

    dirt

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  36. What does a butch look like? Just because they are trans they don't look butch? What is a butch supposed to look like? They look like baby butches to me.

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  37. Considering Butch Invisibility, that doesnt surprise me at all Anon. But not a single one of these girls would pass or pass as Butch in BF circles.

    dirt

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  38. A good example of a a few proud beautiful Butches:

    http://www.outtv.ca/images/enews/skylercooper.jpg

    http://www.somedizzywhore.com/.a/6a0128769a17f0970c0120a83595a2970b-800wi

    Yes, some of us Butches have AWESOME tits!

    dirt

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  39. None of them appeal to me. All but one looks like they had top surgery. Just not appealing to me at all but then again I am only into women, not men. UGH!

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  40. "pass" as butch? Now you have your own system of judgment and appropriateness for butchness in the BF world, just like the straight world has theirs for passing as male or female. You somehow get to negate other people's identity. And you are somehow convinced that butchness is so special. From what I can tell, the people who would pass as butch to you are just women who have a higher testosterone level than most and whose features read accordingly. Thin-lipped, gruff, with weathered, masculine looking faces. That's not very magical or special either as an "identity" and half the blue-collar women in the Midwest would "pass" as butch to you.

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  41. I don't mean this as a hateful comment, but I would not be at all surprised if some of the "butches" in those pictures actually are intersexed.

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  42. Personally I think that butch invisibility effects older butches more than younger.

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  43. "real men" as you put have no desire to post here because you are not talking about them. If you were talking about " real men" they probably would be here talking like the transgender guys. Because well they are all men with alot of testosterone pumping through them.

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  44. Actually Butch invisibility affects Butch children and young Femmes most. Once we know we're Butch, we can begin working on dismantling the Butch Shame Butch Invisibility helped create.

    dirt

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  45. Anon@3:15pm,

    Exactly. Since every post is about female and issues affecting females, males naturally arent going to have any interest.

    dirt

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  46. @Shane

    Butch women have been diagnosed with GID too. There have been butch women here who have explained that they too were diagnosed with GID. I thought the same that only trans people were diagnosed with GID but I was obviously wrong.

    Butch women have been subjected to all types of experimentation to make them more "girly." It's not too far from the case on CNN about the "sissified experiment" of a young gay male who ended up killing himself.

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  47. dirt i never gave you permission to post my picture on your blog. i respect butch women with all my being but feel completely disrespected by you putting my picture on your blog and referring to me as "she."please remove my image.
    -kyler

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  48. @7:09

    How can you believe that when pepople think what lesbians are doing to their bodies and with other women is WRONG? Silly silly accusations.

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  49. Anonymous said...
    @7:09

    How can you believe that when pepople think what lesbians are doing to their bodies and with other women is WRONG? Silly silly accusations.

    June 11, 2011 7:37 PM

    Explain what? You need to read. I never posted any accusations. I posted the exact opposite.

    Fail.

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  50. Really honestly, please take a breath and listen to yourselves. You deliberately sought out this particular blog for the express purpose of arguing with someone who holds an opinion which is different than yours.

    And what is your complaint, precisely? Well, come to find out your complaint is: "Dirt deliberately sought out opinions which disagreed with her own".

    Hypocrite much?

    And if that's not bad enough, next you have the sheer unmitigated gall to demand that Dirt TEACH YOU better alternatives than what you can devise on your own. Entitlement much? Gender dysphoria is YOUR problem; it isn't the responsibility of random strangers to offer solutions or water down their argument until their "tone" is gentle enough to satisfy your insecurities. People who are opposed to transgenderism are obligated to clearly explain their objections. And that is all.

    But if you notice, Dirt does in fact ever so gently tell you how to solve your problem but instead of actually discussing THAT, you avoid the issue entirely by pretending everything Dirt says is roooooood. Yet genuine rudeness is quite distinct from merely expressing a different perspective and you should all be old enough to know that by now.

    Dirt is a very kind-hearted person and watching you all abuse the hell out of her in thread after thread with the same manipulative bullshit is seriously annoying, especially after it has been called to your attention a few thousand times before. If any of you want to be given the respect due an adult then fucking act like one.

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  51. A lot of butch women have been diagnosed with GID. I am myself not butch, or a lesbian, and when talking to a therapist who had worked with trans issues earlier, she told me that if i would try to get an official diagnosis i would get it easy. I had all the symptoms and she gave me info on where to get an official diagnosis and basically said that to get it would be a piece of cake for me, as i very clearly suffered from GID. But today i have no longer any gender dysphoria, something i had suffered from since as long as i can remember (age 3 or 4 maybe). Just because someone has GID, it doesn't mean gender reassignment is the only way to get over it. Actually, any form of transition (i tried natural transitioning for a while) vey often worsen your dysphoria. The more masculine your body becomes, the more you want it to become even more masculine. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what you think about is how more flatter your chest could become, how more realistic your packer could look, how more hairy your arms could be etc. The more you masculinize your body, the more you get reminded that your body is still not male. That really doesn't help with GID at all.

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  52. Ben, despite the masculinisation of your body, whatever maybe the hormone or the surgery, you are still a XX, a person born in a female body, socialised as female, who has no clue it is to be born (or to have) a penis so you are a she.
    You just behave like a pro ana who thinks she is fat and so wants the world around to agree when she says she is fat.
    I am straight and you are not a mle to me. Males have dick. Or if they don't have one, they go for a phallo surgery. Something you will never do because you are a sissy poseur...

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  53. "I don't mean this as a hateful comment, but I would not be at all surprised if some of the "butches" in those pictures actually are intersexed."

    I don't know what's giving you that impression, unless you're mistaking Morrissey and his backing musicians in the second pic for "butches". (Dirt obviously posted the picture because of Phranc.)

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  54. Cizz from europeJune 13, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    "I know that many of the people posting their false assertions about trans people are actually trans themselves"

    What the fuck? Sorry I don't want to destroy my body just because I like typical men stuff or hate dresses. You are so self absorbed that you think that people who don't agree with you must be of course secretly trans.

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  55. It's no wonder some people on here can't tell who's butch and who's not if they think Morrissey's a butch woman. Obviously some commenters' perceptive abilities are severely impaired.

    P.S. God, I love Phranc.

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  56. Ha! I thought that was Morissey, but I wasn't quite sure. I've seen butches that were just about that physically masculine, but not quite...


    God, I love Phranc and I love Morissey.

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  57. Shane,

    You are soooo wrong. I have never met a butch woman in my life that did not have BID at one point in her life. Did you not realize that other women besides ftm's have BID?! Jesus. Even straight women have BID.
    Maybe you're new here, maybe you're new to the whole queer/trans/lesbian/whatever life as a whole- but come one really?!
    Do you know how easy it is to get diagnosed with BID and trans?! It's really simple. Which is one of the reasons why it concerns women. When it's that simple to get diagnosed as trans, and to transition it MUST be questioned.

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