How am I sexist for being a binary identified trans woman?

Today I learned that I am a sexist because I am a binary trans* person. renetascian commented on a blog post by mx. punk. And I quote, “I did have another thought about your blog about being sexist. I am non-binary, but I realized if you were a binary transperson you would be sexist.” Oh really, I had no idea that because I happen to be a woman and not genderqueer that I am a sexist. Go on. “One example would be a transperson insulting another person for not getting surgery, or displaying hatred for cross-dressers.” Um, I probably will never be able to afford the surgery, and am afraid of losing all sensation, so I am non-op. That doesn’t make me non-binary. Even if I did get SRS, I would never judge someone for not getting it. I don’t hate cross-dressers, I’m just not one, and I don’t want to be told that I am one any more than you want to be told that you are a binary identified trans* person. How am I a sexist again? I don’t buy that gender is binary. I think that gender roles are bullshit. I believe that all genders should be equal. Why do you think that I am sexist again? And yet, you think less of me because I am a woman and binary identified. How are you not sexist? And by implication, you are saying that anybody who is cisgender is sexist, so why do you single out binary trans* folk? Why do you hate me?

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10 thoughts on “How am I sexist for being a binary identified trans woman?

  1. Hmm, you are quite right… Being binary trans* doesn’t make you sexist. I don’t have clear memory of what of what context and meaning I intended with it, but I’ll try to extrapolate. I apologize for my comment, and I assert that it is not my belief that being a binary trans person is sexist. One can not be sexists on the basis of a passive trait, such as one’s identification as either male or female in a binary way, or through any non-binary or other gender identification through one’s gender experience. My own comment is actually confusing to me looking at it in hindsight, and I have been trying to “as I type this” to relate to what I am able to discern about my own comment in hindsight. It’s been more than a year, and I am disabled in a way that affects my memory, cognitive ability and fluency, so give it a moment.

    (2 Hours Later)

    The only potential context I can draw out of that is this; a reference to binary identified, gender enforcing transsexuals who police the genders of other trans people in accordance with trans/cis/heteronormativity, as that was the point in time I initially became aware of trans separatism and gender policing in the trans community. Perhaps the statement should have read “binary identified, non-binary intolerant trans* people”. Being non-op doesn’t make one less of a woman, less binary, less valid or anything of the sort. Also, I share you sentiments about being transsexual, and being referred to as a “cross-dresser” as I don’t identify with that. I have had this happen to me, and I dislike it. I am an androgynous, gender-fluid, woman, though I still see cross-dressing as valid for those who do so, and feel no need to attach stigma to it.

    I accept all my trans* siblings, and try to be sensitive to that, and in my wording of that comment I failed a little. I am also in a similar situation where it is incredibly difficult to afford surgery, and I am dysphoric about that, and a lot of my trans* siblings are in a similar situation. The reasoning for your choice is totally valid. And to be clear, I don’t hate you. Why or how could I? I do however, believe it is sexist for the “binary enforcing, non-binary exclusionary trans people” to attack other trans* people for being homosexual, queer, or non-conforming to trans/cis/heteronormativity, for not having or even not wanting surgery, and for their hateful criticism of cross-dressers, transvestites, and drag queens. I am also a transfeminist, and I dislike similar scorn that is vacuous of reason from other feminists, especially trans exclusionary radical feminists.

    Erica on http://inchoaterica.wordpress.com refers to them as “True Transsexuals and HBSers”. That is the context I believe in reflection that was the group I was referring to. I agree with your position, and hate is not a word, or emotion I feel for you. Your frustration with my comment is understandable, and for that I apologize. I hope my comment specifies and clarifies rather than convolute the meaning I intended. I am very confident that my extrapolation is correct, as my beliefs were similar at the time.

  2. Thank you for the clarification. I apologize for taking you out of context. Reading that comment just got under my skin, because I hear that I am a sexist for being trans* from self described feminists, and I didn’t expect to hear it from other trans* people. I fully agree with you about the “True Transsexuals and HBSers”.

  3. Oh believe me, I’ve gotten it too… And I had a real doozy of one once…

    http://renetaxian.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/stereotypes-and-gender/ (commenter: Rose Verbena)

    As for the expectation of other trans people, I have ran into more than a few very sexist trans people in my still rather recent transition… I mean, I guess 2 1/2 years isn’t recent, but considering how much of my life it occupies it feels recent. 2 – 4 years is what people take to get better at a job, so I figure 2 – 4 years in transition is the time when most of us really understand it to a reasonable degree. However, we grow through out it, and everyone is different. But point is that I have found myself at odds with a lot of trans people for being non-binary, vocal, visible, a feminist and so forth. There are a lot of gender stereotype defending trans people, and there are many who will automatically resort to ad hominems the moment you talk about passing, and other phenomenon that relate to the social constructs of gender, or how they harm trans people. I even dislike the wording of that comment because I have no intent or desire to support sexism. I also understand why it’s triggering, as you’ll see in my own commentary when it happened to me.

  4. Thanks, I appreciate that. I didn’t think it was terribly awesome myself, as I was more or less ranting at the time about the bullshite I kept finding on feminist blogs, moreover radical feminist blogs. As for that, I wish you luck and send you my support for doing all of that when the time comes. It can be tough sometimes, but ultimately totally awesome, not to mention incredibly transforming.

  5. Pingback: An apology to Reneta Scian (Xian) « Call Me Em

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