Tag Archive | trans women

Let’s talk about institutional trans-misogyny.

Notes: I use trans-feminine to refer to trans women and non-binary camab trans folx I use trans-masculine to refer to trans men and non-binary cafab folx. They aren’t perfect terms, but they’re what I’ve got to work with.

Time to Kick the Hornet’s Nest

Oh HAI there. It’s been a while since I wrote an explicitly political post. Since some people seem to think that trans-misogyny is just trans women being upset about fucked up queer space dynamics (that some folx don’t even believe exist) I thought I’d go on and tell you a little of how trans-misogyny fucks over trans-feminine folx in favour of trans-masculine folx.

for decades, all the big women’s colleges accepted trans masculine folx, but not trans-feminine ones. Most still have exclusionary practices. And some of the few that actually accept trans-women have policies in place to make it extremely hard for trans women to be accepted. One of the least horrible about it has wording requiring trans women to present full time and be accepted as women in their daily lives. Yes, they will be judging us by our femininity, and while they accept non-binary cafab folx without reservations, they don’t allow non-binary camab folx. These schools employed Janice Raymond.

If access to education isn’t bad enough, let’s talk about Planned Parenthood and access to lifesaving healthcare. Many Planned parenthoods all across the southeast US will prescribe testosterone but not anti-androgens and estrogen for trans feminine folx.

Now let’s talk about crisis centers and women’s shelters that allow trans-masculine folx while trans feminine folx sleep on the street. Yeah. Trans women have died in the fucking cold because of this.

I’m not saying trans masculine folx shouldn’t get services. I’m saying trans-misogyny specifically is real on an institutional level and costs lives.

So don’t anyone ever come to me saying I’m whining about dating circles and queer cliquishness when I talk about trans misogyny and the ways in which trans masculine folx are privileged over trans women and CAMAB trans folx.

Surgeries available for trans women and CAMAB non-binary folx.

A 101 guide to get you started.

Not everyone will want or be able to have any or all of these procedures done.

Part 1. Genital surgery

A. Orchidectomy: the removal of the testicles, a surgery that can be done on its own, or as part of another form of genital surgery. It is the procedure with the least amount of risk, and least amount of recovery time. As with any procedure, there are risks including but not limited to chronic pain and infection. If done prior, it can complicate some forms of vaginoplasty, but it will not prevent you from being able to get a vaginoplasty later should you so desire.

B. Vaginoplasty: the construction of a neo-vagina and vulva. Prep includes getting permanent hair removal via laser hair removal or electrolysis from the penis and scrotal sac. Each surgeon will have their own guidelines for this. And each surgeon will have a slightly different proprietary technique.All of these procedures have risks including but not limited to: chronic pain, infection, and death. Typically you will need at least 2 letters from different licensed psychologists and another from your doctor to be able to receive a vaginoplasty. Following are the most common procedures

      1. Penile inversion: The penis is disassembled and parts are repurposed for the clitoris and vaginal lining. The urethra is shortened, and the scrotal tissue is used to form the labia. This is the more common technique used in North America and Europe
      2. Scrotal inversion: Sometimes cannot be done after having an orchidectomy prior due to problems with skin elasticity. In this procedure, the scrotal sac is used to create the vaginal lining and parts of the penile tissue are used for the clitoris and the labia. This is the most common technique used in Thailand.
      3. Shallow canal vaginoplasty: Harder to find, and how it works depends on the surgeon. This is useful if you have certain health problems that won’t allow you to have other forms of vaginoplasty or if you aren’t interested in penetration. Healing is easier and quicker than other forms of vaginoplasty. More commonly available in thailand, but I believe Dr. Marci Bowers performs this technique as well.

Other non-standard genital surgeries are available but extremely hard to find, and usually are more expensive as well. Also they entail more gatekeeping.

Part 2: Breast Augmentation.

Also known as Mammary augmentation. Not recommended for people who haven’t been on hormones for at least 4 years. Your breasts will still be growing in that time, and that can severely mess up the results. Many types of implants and techniques are available, so consult the surgeon you will be working with. The three main materials used for augmentation follow.

      1. Saline: one of the safer materials. If your implants pop, it will be absorbed by the body.
      2. Silicone: much more dangerous but can create a more “realistic” feeling breast.
        1. Multiple types of silicone implants are used
      3. Fat transfer: Liposuction is used to take fat from another part of the body which is then implanted in the breast. Creates a natural feel, but can only be used for small size increases.

Part 3: Other procedures

A. Voice feminization surgery: Raises the pitch of your voice. Voice training is generally more effective, and doesn’t carry the risk of complete vocal loss. Vocal feminization surgery alone will not change the way your voice is perceived. Over half the women I’ve talked to who have had the procedure have regretted getting it done.

B. Tracheal shave: Reduces the appearance of the adam’s apple. Sometimes performed as part of facial feminization surgery. Voice needs to rest for 3 weeks after the procedure.

C.Facial Feminization Surgery: A group of surgeries performed together to increase the femininity of the face. Can include but not limited to

      1. Rhinoplasty: commonly referred to as a nose job
      2. Forehead contouring: removal of part of the bone from the head, eyebrow lift, and a scalp advancement
      3. Cheek augmentation: to create fuller cheeks. Multiple techniques are used.
      4. Mandible contouring and chin surgery: to create a more feminine jawline.

Part 4: sources.

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-augmentation.html#content

http://www.supornclinic.com/

http://marcibowers.com/mtf/

all the various trans women I’ve known over the years

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaginoplasty

http://professionalvoice.org/feminization.aspx

http://brownsteincrane.com/facial-feminizing-surgery-ffs/

A response to “I’m attracted to Trans women”

I keep seeing this fucking article. It’s so gross. It means well, but it’s super fucked up. At first all I saw were criticisms by trans women. Now I see “Allies” posting it around and praising it, so here’s a response you can link to.

About four years ago, I was an exchange student in Thailand, a country known for its large, open transgender population. While most men avoided trans women, I saw no difference between them and cisgender women (women who were born biologically female). I was attracted to trans women, in other words, and I spent the next three years of my life in confusion and shame.

Well, lets talk about how he talks about Thailand later, but first, “Shame.” Because it’s so fucking shameful to be attracted to us. This is transmisogny, cissexism, and homophobia. It’s shameful because “we aren’t really women” so it’s gay. Fuck YOU.

I came across two terms that described what I was feeling. Trans-attraction and trans-orientation. Neither one is official or common, but their use is growing due to the increasing demand for a way to categorize people who are attracted to transgender people.

Also known as, you aren’t really women, you’re something else entirely. Because trans men and non-binary people don’t exist I guess? Fuck YOU.

I don’t always describe myself as trans-attracted, but the label helped me feel like I had a place in the queer community and it helps others understand my sexuality.

And here we have the straight guy appropriating queerness. They only way you would think of yourself as queer is if you don’t see us as women. Fuck YOU.

My year in Thailand made it a second home for me, and I returned last spring for a study abroad semester. Once again surrounded by the transgender community, I started thinking about my sexuality almost every day and this inner conflict re-arose

This comes off as some really fucking creepy racialized fetishization. Why does this guy keep making a big deal specifically out of Thai trans women.? Creepy.

Also, inner conflict. Yeah, that only happens because you don’t see us as women. Fuck YOU.

It was the shaming of trans-attraction that was ridiculous — not my sexual orientation.

Well then thanks for increasing all that shaming in the first half of your article. And your sexual orientation isn’t anything but straight.

 One was fear of rejection. It must be so painful to be turned away and shunned by someone you like because he does not see you as a “real” woman, whatever that means.

Oh, you mean like someone who will adopt a whole new label just to distinguish his attraction to you from attraction to cis women. FUCK you.

 Finally being open about my sexuality was liberating for me, too.

Says the straight guy.

I’ve had enough of this shaming. It’s created a disgusting culture of trans-attracted men using trans women for sex but never forming a committed relationship with them. Most trans-attracted men are only trans-attracted at night. Then, during the day, they run back to their heteronormative relationships with cis-women of whom they are not ashamed.

Yeah, people treat trans women like shit. Why are you giving these assholes an excuse?

So yeah dude. GO FUCK YOURSELF.

A response to Transgenderism and the Delicacy of Sexual Identities

Link

“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.

Bullshit—> “transphobic feminists are a tiny minority of feminism”

So, I’ve been hearing this lately, “Transphobic feminists are a tiny minority of feminism,” mostly from liberal cis feminists. Bullshit. And if you’re cis and you say this, Fuck you that isn’t for you to decide.

  1. When 10000 cis women are attending Michigan womyn’s fest, don’t tell me that transphobic feminists are a tiny minority. [source]
  2. Most cis people are transphobic, why should we expect the subset of Feminists to be any different. Just because most of them don’t make it their main talking point, doesn’t mean that they aren’t transphobic.
  3. I will accept that only a tiny minority are actively making it their business to attack trans women, but I do not accept that only a tiny minority are transphobic.

 

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