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A response to Transgenderism and the Delicacy of Sexual Identities

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“I am a strong proponent of the idea that the T should be knocked off the LGBT acronym mainly because inclusion of the T promotes the idea among cis/straight lay peeps that sexual orientation and sexual identity are related.”

Lay people don’t think that because of an acronym. They think that because the psychological community used to say that trans women were really just super gay men, or had a paraphilia sexualizing themselves as women in order to explain lesbian trans women. It’s institutional, not because of an acronym. To the bigots, we’re all just queers anyway, so we might as well stick together. Especially since the origins of the gay rights movement were riots started mainly by qtpoc and trans women. Even if it has been subverted by the most privileged amongst us since then.

“I also feel that within the LGB community … wait no. The LG community …there is very little wiggle room when it comes to sexuality.”

We live in a cissexist and transmisogynist society. Why should that not affect them, just because they are queer? That’s a continuing battle that we have to fight all the time.

“Maintaining the “born this way” lifetime rigidity of a gay or lesbian sexuality is extremely important for lesbian and gay individuals to combat prejudice and bigotry. Drawing a parallel between the “innate” sexuality of a straight person and their own “innate” sexualities is also an important point of negotiation and education when it comes to having conversations with more closed-minded straight people.”

Born this way is a flawed argument anyway and should be discarded. It isn’t useful, and it doesn’t convince anyone. It isn’t an important point of negotiation. It’s lazy activism and useless sloganeering. It appeals to the naturalistic fallacy instead of arguing based on the merits of the fact that it isn’t actually wrong to be queer and that if someone thinks it is, then they have to show what harm it causes to non-queer people.

“As I happen upon more and more casual conversations where I hear lesbian and gay individuals deny the fluidity of sexuality, I see that in many ways the sexualities of bisexual and transgender people can be extremely challenging and even threatening to the lesbian and gay rights movement. If a bisexual can “change” from liking women to liking men, then can a gay person be changed? Can a lesbian? Are re-education camps onto something?”

As a bisexual/pansexual woman, I don’t change from liking women to men, I like them both. I might be fluid as to how attracted I am to differently gendered traits on any given day, but that isn’t any different from saying I would prefer scotch to beer or wine tonight, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like them all. And queers don’t need to be reeducated because we aren’t doing anything wrong. The born this way argument is the argument of “please don’t hurt us, we can’t help it. We’re bad but we didn’t choose to be bad.”

“I understand the fear that people with more fluid sexualities will undermine the gay rights movement. I really do.”
Why? If the gay rights movement is that fragile, it needs to be destroyed and rebuilt.

“But I think it would behoove anyone to open their mind to the possible fluidity of their own sexuality.”

Why is this in contradiction to gay rights? It should be an argument for them. Yes, you too, Mx. heterosexual, might one day be attracted to someone who it isn’t “proper” to be attracted to.

“. Transgender MEN who might still identify as lesbian:
i once witnessed a lesbian tear into a trans*man for “kind of” still being a lesbian and for dating homosexual women. I know in my useful terms area i define lesbian as “a woman, trans or not, who is attracted to other women.” A trans* man, by definition, is not a woman. So is it okay for trans* men to date self-identified lesbians or bisexual women? To seek partners in lesbian spaces? Does this make him less trans?

In my opinion, that is the prerogative of the man in question. If he is okay with his girlfriend liking his vagina and identifying predominantly as lesbian while acknowledging room to be attracted to transmen as masculine entities, then that is his business. in many ways it is easier to find women who will want to have sex with you among communities where women are guaranteed to like vagina.”

Yeah, if someone sees herself as a lesbian and dates trans men, she doesn’t see her partner fully as a man. If a trans man is willing to put up with that cissexism, that is his prerogative, and doesn’t make him less trans. And non-monosexuals of any gender would be willing to date men and women, and some will date non-binary people as well. How is that in any way a contradiction. Oh, and plenty of lesbians date just women, trans and not, and don’t give a fuck what’s in your pants.

“maybe if cisgender lesbian and gay people would make that distinction between homo/hetero and straight/queer, those lesbians that feel comfortable dating transMEN MEN MEN as MEN not as WOMEN might feel more free to define themselves as homosexual women who have straight inclinations without being ostracized by other lesbians.”

This is taking that bullshit cissexist differentiation of sex and gender, which are both social constructs, and defending it instead of rejecting it, playing into the cissexist, heterosexist, transmisogynist tropes instead of working to destroy them and make society better. My body is not male. My sex is not male. I do not have male genitals. I am a woman. I have a penis (though I don’t usually call it that) but my arousal doesn’t work like a man’s. My body has changed through hormones, and my sexual responses are completely different from when I had testosterone running through my veins. My nipples and back are more responsive than my genitals. My orgasms are totally different. I have higher estrogen levels than cis women, and lower testosterone levels. I have tits. I have typical female fat distribution. My skin has changed. My scent has even changed. So exactly what percent of me is male again? How is my cis girlfriend who exclusively likes women, both trans and cis, in any way bisexual? Why are you calling me male? I’m a woman. My body is a woman’s body. My girlfriend is attracted to women. She isn’t bi. And implicit in your categorization of sexuality is the idea that trans people even want to use their genitals.

That being said, I do take issue with most sexuality identity labels. They are useful inasmuch as they help organize around issues of privilege and marginalization, less so in describing who you are actually attracted too. I have very specific likes and dislikes. The pool of people I’d consider dating is smaller than most people’s. But because I will date and fuck people of many different genders I’m considered pansexual, and most people think that this means I will have a larger amount of people I’m attracted to.

“My partner still identifies as straight, which does bother me sometimes – because in my head straight men date women, and i am not a woman. If there were room for cisgender people to, again, make that distinction, perhaps he would feel less like his sexuality was being undermined by my transition.”

The problem here is a misogynist, heterosexist, cissexist society, not that his sexuality is being undermined. Get rid of the toxic bullshit in society, and the issue goes away, instead of catering to the society to appease them. What you are willing to deal with in regards to your partner is no one’s business but your own, but please stop asking us to cater to the bigoted majority.

“4. Hormones change things. i’ve actually known a lot of people whose sexual identity changed during HRT. Most of the time it is transmen who were attracted EXCLUSIVELY to women pre-T and who, after starting HRT, have slept with/formed relationships with cis men.”

Yeah, sexuality can be very fluid. I know trans women who used to be bi who are now exclusively attracted to men. I also know trans women who used to consider themselves exclusively androphillic, who are now pansexual.

“While the mainstream “LGBT” rights movement is inundated with “accept yourself” messages that are absolutely valuable and important and necessary for young cisgender queer people, this does not ring true for transgender people.”

I disagree. We have to do a shitton to accept ourselves as trans in this cissexist transmisogynist society. We can’t just go along with society and hate ourselves for being transgender.

“When I came out to my family my father, a very non-normative man and a lifelong example to me of the many faces of masculinity, wrote me a letter about how great girls are and how i should accept myself for being female even if I’m not a “typical girl.” My dad, who I have seen cry more than my mom, who i an emotional man, who loves the ballet and hockey and has to lie to his coworkers about seeing the football game when he was really crying at King Lear with my mom, is able to accept himself as a man because he is cis.”

Ummmm, the reason you can’t accept yourself as a girl is because you aren’t one. If you tried to be a girl, that would be the opposite of accepting yourself. Stop playing into cissexist narratives.

“Just because our personal identies and journies involve more conscious decision and active change does not make our identies less legitimate.”

Quoted for Truth

“This is getting long so I’m going to crop it here. I am totally fine with cis- LGB people having their own rights movement,”

I’m not. I want all my movements to be intersectional. And a lot of trans people are LG and B.

“but they do not speak for transgender people. They barely understand us.”

Which is why they should listen to us, and let us speak for ourselves within their movements, instead of ignoring us.

“And for that reason, in the interest of respecting the cis- LGB experience,”

Stop catering to the cis majority.

“We can still advocate for our queer, yet cis-, allies while advocating for ourselves and making a sharp distinction between our needs and theirs.”

Which is why we need inclusive movements instead of to split off.

I really fucking hate assimilationist LG culture.

So, I decided to sit down and waste some time watching “the Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam.” I figured it would be bad, I mean no even token nod to the rest of the GSRM community, but this shit was fucking horrible. These folks are no more my people than Cis, Straight, Evangelical, hard line conservative Christians.

It started out with a transphobic joke. The first fucking line of the show. Well Y’all can go fuck yourselves right back. It was fucking terrible, misgendering and deadnaming someone, and appropriating “transition” all for the sake of a really shitty joke.

So much racism, bi-phobia, cissexism, and out right transphobia, as well as gay male misogyny. Don’t forget the classism, pro-militarism, and rape culture bullshit. Oh, and we can’t forget the gender role enforcement even within gay culture.

I’m sick of seeing any type of queer folks upholding this kyriarchical bullshit, but the Cis Gay and Lesbian scene has made an entire culture surrounding it. “We’re just like you, only we are attracted to the same sex.” Yeah, and fuck you too. Our entire overculture is toxic, and you want to reflect and be part of those power structures instead of tearing them down. You are not my family. And they will never want you. Call me when you wake the fuck up. We’ll be here waiting like we always have been.

Start spreading the news.

I’m moving to San Fransisco/the Bay Area in August!!!

The place I’m living is getting more and more unsafe. I need to leave soon. And I have friends and loved ones in the Bay. But moving is very expensive. I can’t rely on my parents to help me out here. I’m going to come out to them in mid-July, and they may just disown me. So I need those first month expenses covered.

Everyone who donates will finally find out where I live, and what I look like.

If we reach the $1500 mark, I will post the recipe that made my girlfriend say that I beat out all the best restaurants in San Francisco that we had eaten at while I was there.

I’ll take suggestions for the $2000 mark, and the $3000 goal.

https://www.wepay.com/donations/help-me-move-to-san-fransiscothe-bay-area

spread this as far around as you can please!

Emily <3

long hair and dysphoria

The last time my hair was this long, I was in junior high. I don’t know why I cut it. Oh yeah, the high school I went to didn’t allow boys to have long hair. I’ve told myself so many times that I look horrible with long hair. The problem was never that I looked bad. It was an excuse. Before I realized I was trans, anything that coded as for girls, on me, made me hate myself because I just saw a guy.  Now, sometimes I see a woman in the mirror and smile. Other times, I still see that guy. And I hate it.

But on low dysphoria days, I can say, the guy in the mirror is attractive. I’d fuck a guy that looked like that.

So much for that autogynephilia diagnoses. It’s funny being a pan trans girl sometimes.

I really need some time in queer space.

I’ve had a hellacious couple of days. Things I’ve been subjected to:

  • Transphobic jokes and remarks from just about everyone I know.
  • Homophobic rants, including one from someone who knows that I’m bi going off about their straight cis boss calling him a, “Queer ass, cock-sucking  ass-fucking, son of a bitch.” and someone else who doesn’t know about me talking about how he doesn’t hate gay people, but he doesn’t want to see them kissing in public. Well, there was a lot more detail, but let’s just leave it at that.
  • More than the average homophobic jokes on my double shift at work today
  • Having to witness some extreme sexual harassment of a co-worker, and not being able to stop it. At least she knows that I’ll be a witness for her if she wants to go to HR.

So yeah, Straight cis people, I really don’t want to hear from y’all right now. I think I’ve heard enough.

Well Christmas, Thanks for the Shitty-ness

If I ever hear the phrase, “rape jokes are always funny,” again, it will be too soon. This comment was made by Tim as he was showing me the movie “Ted” made by Seth MacFarlane. The rape joke in question was a victim-blaming, “raped because of what I’m wearing,” joke made by the male protagonist. That movie is filled with sexism, homophobia, and especially egregious racism towards people of Asian backgrounds. I also got to sit through white-splaining about Kwanzaa which was ended by a statement that was racist enough that the people who were spouting unexamined racist statements even reacted with a WTF moment and changed the subject. “[racial slur removed] just want their own holiday.” That comment was made by Tim’s brother in law. Then there was Tim’s mom, making jokes about a male dog that Tim’s sister had put in doggie clothes. Transphobic and homophobic jokes. I assume that Tim didn’t tell them that I’m bisexual. I asked him to not spread that around.

I’m very open about being an atheist, but I guess Tim never mentioned that to his family, because they all acted like they were in the presence of fellow Christians. I didn’t bother to correct them because, hey I’m a guest at Christmas dinner in their house, and no matter how shitty they are being, I’m not going to do that.

Theories about a one world government leading to the end times a la “revelations.”

Christian Supremacy and lack of tolerance for people who aren’t Christian.

The entire day was infuriating and disheartening, except for seeing the movie “brave.” That was a great little movie, with a wonderful soundtrack. It has problematic elements, but overall is a net positive in terms of self-agency.

So, yeah, Christmas sucked for me.

Fuck it….. I guess I’ll write about this tonight….. Emotions, Anger, and Dealing with Harassment

I woke up angry today. Even when I’m enjoying myself, even when I’m laughing, lately there has been a low grade anger burning underneath the surface that never really goes away. Less suicidal thoughts and more violent ones. Luckily, I learned to deal with my violent tendencies when I was much younger. I’ve been trying to figure out the source of this anger. There are plenty of things that it could be. Things that I deal with on a day to day basis. But those things usually just make me angry while I’m experiencing them. Like Tim.

What could it be? Could it be a reaction to the trans-misogyny rampant in society? Is it related to my depression, some weird new form? Is it a side effect of dysphoria? Resentment from having to pretend to be something I’m not all day long? That last one is definitely a part of it.

Whatever it is, my workplace environment is amplifying it. Today I had a conversation with a co-worker who was convinced that gender inequality exists, but that it favors women. Luckily for me, it was the only rational person I work with. (Hint: It’s not the other atheist.) I was able to completely turn his views around. Yay feminism. But this usually isn’t the case. My job is a hotbed of sexism and misogyny, perpetuated by the women and the men. I do what I can, but it doesn’t accomplish much. The people are also extremely homophobic, which even though no one, except for the aforementioned rational person, knows that I’m bisexual (he doesn’t know that I’m trans*), I can’t help but take personally. Not to mention that there is a rumor going around that I’m gay.

And being an atheist doesn’t help my situation there. I don’t face rampant discrimination for it most of the time, but, with a few exceptions  people treat me differently after they find out. They are still cordial, but there is a wall between us that wasn’t present before. Then there is the fact that one of my managers is a deacon at a local church, and another one is recruiting people I work with to go to church with him.

Not to mention that I have to go behind lazy people and do their jobs after them.

But along with all the other stuff I’m dealing with, I’m being sexually harassed. I’ve actually experienced work based sexual harassment in several forms from different people at different jobs. And this is while everybody assumes that I’m a cis straight guy. Well maybe they don’t always assume that I’m straight. Gives me a mere taste of the metric fuckton of harassment I’ll get to experience once I’m further along in transition. One time, at a different job, One of the owners, a gay guy was the culprit. And his husband, one of the other owners, was the chef. They both did occasionally. Many feminists talk about the male gaze. Well, I know exactly what they’re talking about. But they would also  “joke” in a sexual manner with me. One time they were talking about coming in when the restaurant was closed for a heavy cleaning day. One of them told me that the dress code for the day was tight jeans and no shirt. You should have seen the look on his face. A different time, after I finished closing up the kitchen, one of them told me that I should come back to the bar later, that they were having a wet underwear contest. No, it wasn’t a gay bar, but it was a gay and lesbian friendly hangout for an older crowd. These are only two of the many instances from that job.

Another of the instances of sexual harassment was done by a woman I worked with who was not in management. It got so bad at one point, that she was literally rubbing her body ( and I don’t mean the side of her body) up against me while I was trying to do my job. She’s the only person who has ever harassed me that I was able to get to stop. All it took for her to stop was a conversation. By then, I was at the breaking point, and I think it showed in my face. I think the thing that got her to back down were the words “Please stop.” I didn’t say them very assertively though, almost begging in tone.

Now to the harassment I’m currently facing. It’s coming from the other atheist, who I’ll call Bob, and it is a different type of sexual harassment. There have been many instances, but the most egregious happened recently.

To give a much needed setup, I need to introduce one of my co-workers that I haven’t previously mentioned. Let’s call her Angela. Angela is one of the few people, along with her daughter who also works there, who hasn’t changed her disposition towards me after finding out that I’m an atheist. That might change if she found out the rest of the facts about me, but for the moment, she is one of the best friends I have at my job. People joke about us as if we are a couple, and there was even a rumor that went around briefly. Heck, we even joke about being together romantically, though the relationship is nothing like that. Even though she’s active with the state republican party, and a committed catholic, she doesn’t treat me any differently for being an ex-catholic atheist, and that simple kindness goes a long way. If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know this, but I’ve been growing my hair out, and people comment on it. Angela hates my hair being long and keeps after me trying to get me to get it cut. I won’t do that. Fuck that. It makes me look more feminine. I love my hair, and I’m going to keep growing it out, but I can’t tell her the reason for that.

So one day, Bob hollers out loud so everyone in the kitchen can hear him, “We all know that Angela really likes your hair. She’s just covering up the fact that she likes to pull it while she fucks you up the ass with a strap-on.”

Yeah.

No one is willing to corroborate my story with HR even though they think it is harassment. If they did, they might just have to examine their own behavior towards the women I work with.

See, they don’t think what he did is wrong because of the nature of it, he jokes about me all the time. They just think he crossed a line because he got that specific about describing a sexual behavior. Most of the time his jokes are more of the nature of, “We need to get [birthname removed] a hooker and some Viagra.”

So yeah, I’m angry, I’m dealing with a bunch of shit that is aggravating it, and I can’t even tell my parents what I’m dealing with, and I really want to be able to lean on them, cause fuck trusting Tim with anything personal.

Well……. That was a fucked up conversation.

So, I just got off the phone. Somehow, despite my best efforts, Tim brings up atheism. He always does this late at fucking night when I can’t think right. Fucker. He starts going on about how atheists are just like 9/11 truthers. “They’re always asking for more evidence, They get really mad when you don’t agree with them, come on man, you know I’m right, YOU’RE just like them.” What the Fuck? Seriously. That’s how you escape the burden of proof. Fuck you. The difference is that the 9/11 truthers are offering a theory that contradicts the evidence. Of course I didn’t say that. Instead, I told him that I would rather not get into atheist/christian debate right now. I told him that if we got into it, we probably wouldn’t remain friends much longer. This guy.

So then he goes into how much it pisses him off when someone tries to change the subject. Now get this shit. He says that if I really piss him off, “I could really fuck up your life with one phone call.” He’s referring to outing me as bisexual to my parents. I go dead silent. What the fuck do you even say to something like that? It’s hard to even describe how that made me feel. What a fucking betrayal. A slap to the face. An utter repudiation of everything that we have ever done for each other. I think that my ability to hear even went out momentarily. Next thing I hear over the phone is him saying “hello?” I respond that I’m still there. The next part is a little blurry, even though it just happened. I tell him that I need to know if what I just heard was what he meant, that he would out me to my parents if I pissed him off enough. He got mad at me for believing that he would actually do that, that he was joking around. That, “after all I’ve done for you, do you think that I would do something like that to harm you?” You know what, I didn’t say this to him, but that is exactly why I don’t trust him with anything personal anymore. I don’t fucking trust him. He’s manipulative. He’s constantly tearing me down. And now, because I trusted him, he has power over me until I come out to my parents as Bi. This is one of the many reasons he doesn’t know I’m trans*. He doesn’t even bother to hide his contempt for me for being an atheist like I showed above. And I never knew how ridiculously homophobic he was until I came out to him. Why the fuck did I ever waste so much time, effort and emotion on this guy? And now, I have to pretend like everything is normal, because he holds power over me. I’m even going to hang out with him tomorrow. I feel like crying.

The stupidest fucking debate.

Bisexuality vs Pansexuality.

Yes. I’ve seen this five times in the last week alone. Can we stop doing this. There are so many different definitions of both of these terms, and they mostly overlap. If someone says that they are pansexual, and you don’t know what they mean by that, ASK THEM. Don’t ask them to tell you the difference between that and bisexuality. If someone says that they are bisexual, don’t assume that they are enforcing the gender binary, won’t date trans* people, and aren’t attracted to non-binary trans* people. If you aren’t sure about what someone means when they say that they are bisexual, ASK THEM. Don’t ask them to tell you the difference between that and pansexuality. Personally, I use the terms interchangeably to describe myself, though I actually prefer the term non-monosexual, but that will never catch on so I usually just say bisexual, because most people know it and it gives them a general idea of who I am capable of being attracted to. Please stop policing other people’s sexual orientation.