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Intersex and Trans demands

I found this on infoshop.org, it's good info for people not familiar, or at least not totally aware of, intersex or trans issues to read.
Here are two separate lists that a few of us developed in Atlanta. We initially wrote the list because we had found other lists in regards to sexism to be good, but incomplete and lacking in our own experiences.

 http://www.geocities.com/gainesvilleavengers/intersextransdemands.htm

INTERSEX & TRANS DEMANDS

April, 2004

Here are two separate lists that a few of us developed in Atlanta. We initially wrote the list because we had found other lists in regards to sexism to be good, but incomplete and lacking in our own experiences.

The trans demands are lacking in MtF voices. This list comes out of our community. The list is far from complete, but is good to start discussions around these issues. We wanted to make sure we sent them out before the SEAnet (South Eastern Anarchist network) Gathering in April [2004]. We encourage everyone (particularly SEAnet organizers) to take the time to read them.

INTERSEX LIST OF DEMANDS

Don't assume you know someone's sex based on how you perceive them or their gender.
Don't assume all women have a vagina, uterus, etc.
Don't assume all men have a penis, testes, etc.
Don't fetishize our bodies.
Don't use the word hermaphrodite to describe us unless we identify that way and give permission.
Don't feel sorry for us.
Respect our sex identification.
Don't exploit our existence to discredit biological determinism or other academic ideologies.
Know the difference between sex and gender.
Know the difference between intersexed and transgendered.
Don't ask us or try to picture what our genitals look like.
Don't ask us if we have sexual sensations.
Don't assume you have the right to know intimate details of our bodies. We have the right to privacy and safety like all other people.
Realize we have historically been mutilated, fetishized, and made into freak shows. Understand how this affects us and our safety.
Don't say "cool" or "weird" or treat us differently when we tell you we are intersexed.
Educate yourself!!! Read books on intersex.
Girl, woman, female; boy, man, male are not always interchangeable.
Don't assume all intersex people are queer.
Realize that not all people with intersex condition are out.
Realize that not all people with intersex conditions even know that they are intersexed.
Remember that we are 1 in 100, and that is not rare at all!!!
Don't call our conditions "disorders," "retardations," "abnormalities," etc.
Realize that bodies come in all different shapes, sizes and with different parts.
Realize how fucking strong we are to speak up about the medical abuse and victimization we have been through and that we deserve mad props.
Don't write us off as rare and unimportant. Don't put off educating yourself for other "more important" issues.
In situations such as gender caucuses, keep in mind that not all the people who identify as women have similar genitalia, etc. Understand that we have been taught that our bodies are "wrong" and "ugly" and that it reinforces this when people say they love being women because of their vagina, uterus, etc., this reinforces those feelings. Woman does not necessarily = female. Man does not necessarily = male.

TRANS/GENDER LIST OF DEMANDS

Don't assume someone's gender identity.
Don't constantly reference someone's gender identity in an attempt to seem OK with it. Likewise, don't think we care if you're OK with us or not. No one asked for your approval.
Don't trip up on pronouns- if you fuck up, simply correct yourself and go on.
Don't glamorize someone's gender identity or think it's "cool" or say that you're "into it."
Read trans/gender theory. Know the difference between: transgender, transsexual, gender fucking, gender blending/bending, gender vs. sex, binary gender, passing, transitioning, binding, tucking, packing/stuffing, third genders, drag queens/kings, androgyny, butch, femme, crossdressing, boi, MtF, FtM, tranny boys, tranny dykes, boydykes, transfags, etc., etc., etc.!!!
Know the difference between intersex and transgender. Think about how you would really feel if someone you loved transitioned. Think about your fears and why you have them.
Recognize your own transphobia.
Know about transitioning and surgery and hormones.
Don't just name yourself a "trans ally" one day.
Realize that some of us have struggled with our gender identity for a long time. Don't think that we just woke up one day and decided that we would identify as transgendered. So when we finally find a space that we're comfortable in (even if temporarily), don't co-opt that space or try to make it yours too.
Even if you think fucking with gender is hot, don't talk about it in an objectifying way.
Realize that it can be hard existing in in-between spaces and really know that trans oppression and transphobia exist. Know the fear of not being able to determine when you pass, the fear of being arrested/strip searched/thrown in the wrong holding cell, the threat of violence, the annoyance of having to "come out" about your gender identity constantly, etc.
Understand the privilege of feeling at home in your body, using a public bathroom, knowing which M/F box to check, having people assume your gender identity and them being right, etc.
Realize that there is a gender community and that the validation we receive from that community can be incomparable to what you could ever offer us and let us seek refuge there.
Recognize how class and race fit into these equations.
Recognize and respect someone's gender identity regardless of whether or not they choose to have surgery or take hormones. Similarly, don't judge someone for transitioning or not wanting to identify as "transgendered."
Don't think of a transgender identity as "political."
Don't partner with us out of some weird transitioning or coming out process for you. Don't ask us how we fuck.
Question your own gender! (But don't then tell me, "You know, I've never felt like a 'real man'/'real woman' either." -What this means is don't assume our experiences are the same.
Don't ask questions about someone trying to determine their "real gender."
Don't think that FtM are dealing with some kind of internalized sexism.
Don't assume our gender identity, render it invisible, or think it doesn't matter because of who we choose to partner with.
Don't label our gender or sexual identity for us. Recognize the difference between the two!
Don't think of our experiences and identities as monolithic.
Don't think we are a "recent emergence" that somehow came out of gender/queer theory and academia.
Realize that there are a variety of trans/gender expressions. Don't assume that people should express their gender similarly just because they both identify as transgendered. Likewise, don't judge someone because you think that their trans identity and gender expression conflict.
Think about the language you use to differentiate between trans and non-trans people and if it's even necessary to differentiate.
Don't assume trans people have a "shared experience" with people assigned the same gender.
Don't assume FtMs are "better" than other men, or MtFs are not "as good" as other women (especially in terms of sexism).
When doing introductions at a meeting, say the pronoun you prefer for that space along with your name, etc. (Facilitators should make sure this is done.)
Be sensitive to pronouns you use for someone when dealing with authority, police. Keep in mind that people's pronouns/gender identity may not always match up with their I.D.
Don't include us in your process of learning about intersex or trans issues unless we ask you about it

add a comment on this article

observations 15.Jan.2005 18:52

White Lilac

these demands are all firmly grounded in negatives ... don't do this, don't do that.

also sounds like whomever came up with this list is dealing with a lot of pain/repression/self-loathing.

seems like a better approach would be to talk about these issues in a less demanding/confrontational way. remember that this list doesn't speak for all intersexed or trans people, and not following all of these points doesn't mean you're a mean-spirited person.

Intersexual is not trans 15.Jan.2005 19:28

Queer Planet

Okay first of all, one out of every two thousand children in America is born intersexual (125,000 living in the United States today--enough to fill a good sized city). Not one out of a hundred.

Intersexual people are born that way, with the characteristics of both genders intermingling in various ways.

However, transgender is a completely different story.

If you go to the national transgender sites online, and look up the current research on trans people you find something rather startling.

There is a very high rate of depression, suicide and chemical abuse. Most have suffered violent abuse as children. Furthermore, after going through the medical procedures to "transition" this rate of depression, suicide and chemical addiction does not drop.

So what's going on here?

Can a man become a women using medicine and surgery. No, they can not. A woman has a a different body than a man, such as a womb. They also have different DNA, chemicals and different bone structures.

So you have these people who suffer from mental disabilities going to doctors who are more than willing to take their money, and they go through many expensive and very dangerous medical procedures, only to find themselves equally unhappy.

One has to ask some difficult questions. For instance if a child was abused because of being a gay man, and this gay man grows up depressed and suicidal over this, then has a chemical addiction over it, do we really want him to find the answer in gender reassignment medicine?

Isn't that just a very dangerous closet for him to hide in? Could he be thinking that if only he were a woman he wouldn't be gay?

This extends into other gender types as well. If you have a straight man who wants to become a woman, it could be because of past violent abuse, and according to the studies being released it most often is.

So, yes, intersexuality raises marvelous insight into the diversity of human gender. But transgender people raise deep questions about what causes people to be unhappy with the way they are born.

Intersexuals are VERY unhappy that medicine interferes with the way they were born. Yet, you have chemically addicted people getting surgery and hormone therapy and that is supposed to be something we support.

Sorry. Dress whatever way you want. But until there is scientific evidence of a condition called gender dysphoria, and so far there is not, I do not support people using surgery and medicine to change the way they were born.

Certainly not when all evidence shows these same people have serious emotional distress from past abuse. Certainly when the evidence shows that this medicine and surgery does nothing to alleviate the unhappiness.

Don't believe me? Look it up yourself. Ask the scientists and psychologists working on this issue. Go the the national sites and ask about the rates of suicide, depression and addiction AFTER the medical procedures, and before.

I had a friend who was doing this medical routine to change his gender. At first, being a good liberal, I supported him. Then, I realized he had a serious drinking problem. I realized soon after that his medicines could kill him if he continued to drink. (Why didn't the doctors realize this? It was obvious he was always drunk.) Then I found out his parents tore him apart for being gay. So he hid in the closet for decades. Then he "found out" he was transgendered. It just didn't add up, and the obvious answer seemed very likely. Still I didn't want to judge him.

So I did the research. I was really stunned by what I found. He really was the classic example of the person dealing with trans issues.

My support for people with gender issues would be for them to get therapy from a counselor who supports women, gay people, and has a history of helping people with chemical addictions and violent abuse.

Again, I think everyone should be allowed to wear whatever the hell makes them comfortable. But I also think that doctors who give these dangerous meds and surgery to people with obvious problems should have their licenses taken away.
If we support people who want to change their gender using these methods, we must also support people who are having limbs removed due to a fetish. While some may say, okay fine, you have to ask yourself who profits the most from this? Statistics show it's not the person having the surgery.


As for intersexuals, well, the universe is full of wonderful surprises. The two party system of gender has always been a fraud.

But, they are not human beings running from a disaterous past hoping that surgery will end their emotional suffering. In fact, quite the opposite.

To White Lilac, 15.Jan.2005 19:43

mneb

I agree with you, in that these lists don't speak for all intersex or trans people, but it is NOT UP TO YOU, or any other person to in/validate the experiences and reactions of any person or group. This list is a reaction to the things that trans people deal with everyday, frankly, from people like you.

"...whomever came up with this is dealing with a lot of pain/repression/self-loathing." there are a lot of seriously fucked up implications in this comment, and it is obvious that you don't get it. I really shouldn't have to explain it to you, either. So do me a favor: Shut up and listen, do some reading, let other people talk about the oppresion that they deal with because of their gender expression/identity, and DON'T TELL SOMEONE THAT BECAUSE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THEM, YOU WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR OPPRESION. I doubt that you can see this, but that is what your comment was doing, by essentially saying that you didn't want to hear the message because (fill in the excuse). Which really means that you don't understand the issue, and are denying other people experiences.

Queer Planet, GO TO HELL 15.Jan.2005 19:50

nes

I am a trans peson, and the absolute shit that was just smeared all over indymedia and the lives of trans people is enough to make me want to vomit. I cannot believe you, and how fucked up you are. You think trans people need therapy? You need some too, and I forgot to mention, to die. fucking die

A case in point 15.Jan.2005 21:11

Queer Planet

The above comment says, "I am a trans peson, and the absolute shit that was just smeared all over indymedia and the lives of trans people is enough to make me want to vomit. I cannot believe you, and how fucked up you are. You think trans people need therapy? You need some too, and I forgot to mention, to die. fucking die"

What shit was just smeared ALL OVER Indymedia? There is a discussion going on about trans and intersexual issues. If you disagree with what I say, please tell me where I am wrong. Show me where I am wrong?

You see, this is exactly the attitude I have come across when discussing trans issues with trans people. You either accept them on their terms, or they get very nasty with you. Yet, there is nothing in the medical literature to show that what they're doing has any validity.

A good example would be homosexuality. Many people think this is caused from abuse, or an over- nurturing mother. Yet, psychological studies have showed over and over again that this isn't the case. Homosexuals come from every manner of family, from nurturing to abusive and everything in between.

Some have suggested that homosexuality is a disease, yet there is no medical evidence that a homosexual has any medical disorder. Any hundreds, if not thousands of studies have been done.

The same is true for intersexuals. They are just born that way. Nothing wrong with it, just a variation in nature.

But when you do the same type of research for trans people, you find something completely different.

This isn't about judging how people choose to dress.

This is about serious medicine and surgery, neither of which alleviate the problem.

So, do tell me where I am mistaken. Show me the research. I will gladly apologize to you if I am wrong.

As for going to hell, well no thank you, I have been there and back with people like you telling me what I can and can not think. My expressions and opinions about what I experience in life are just as valid in yours.

If I see a gay man hiding in the closet hoping to be a women through meds and surgery, using drinking and drugs to hide the pain, then I call it as I see it. If the person demands that I define him as a woman, then too bad. You do not control my mind nor my expression. I've never met a happy, stable trans person personally. They are often brutally mean and rigid in their thinking.

This doesn't mean they don't exist of course, but if the trans person demands that I accept them for who they are, then they have to take the good with the bad.

However, again, if you can show me where I am mistaken in my opinion, I will gladly change my mind.

As for getting therapy myself, well been there done that. Having grown up in a violent family myself, I know the anger and rage of living in that pain. It never truly goes away totally, and I am often easily threatened.

But thankfully I never went to a surgeon for help while taking drugs and drinking myself into a stupor.

mneb 15.Jan.2005 22:32

White Lilac

I think you've misunderstood my comments. I'm not denying the reality of others' experiences--on the contrary, I'm pointing out that this list seems to be the product of people who have experienced a lot of pain, and are coming from a place of frustration, righteous anger, repression and other negative emotions. It does not have to be that way, in the same way that growing up gay today is a world away from growing up gay a generation ago, even in the most conservative families and communities. There are everyday folks everywhere you look who are very accepting and supportive of trans and intersex people. That statement is not meant to invalidate the pain that they feel. I could just as easily say that there are everyday folks everywhere who are repulsed and shocked by trans and intersex people. But we should be seeking to minimize this pain, and create nurturing, affirmative spaces.

Think about how the authors could have taken a different approach. Had they been coming from a positive space, they could have said something like:

"We are a group of 23 people of mixed ages, races and ethnicities who want to share with you our collective wisdom about what it means to live as a trans or intersex person in the south today. You may never have shared the experience of watching one of us metamorphose into our preferred gender, or be able to understand the implications of being assigned one of two genders at birth, when in fact your body claimed a third. That's ok, but we'd like to change that. ... " Etc. Isn't this more than just window dressing, but instead crucial language that doesn't alienate people? Why would I even bother to read more than one or two of these demands if I knew nothing about these issues?

Telling someone to 'shut up and listen, do some reading, let other people talk about the oppression that they deal with' seems very unnatural and imbalanced to me. I'd rather interact with living people, rather than reading the proscriptions we're given. Should I memorize it as a catechism, something to recall every time I reach for a pronoun or meet someone new? One can read extensively in queer theory, gender theory, oppression theory and can still know absolutely nothing about what it means to be trans, in the exact same way that being well-versed in critical race theory is a world away from having a relationship with your neighbors. Letting others talk about their oppression is important, but a one-sided recital does not constitute a dialog. The very real oppression that trans and intersex people feel will not go away by simply telling the world, in highly articulate and exhaustive detail, every nuance and permutation of their oppression. Such an exercise may have cathartic and educational benefits, but in my opinion, it's not going to cause legions of oppressors to realize and understand their privileges and how they are abused. We've got to come up with a more palatable (that phrase will be used against me, I'm sure) way of getting the message across instead of basically yelling. I had to look twice at the list to make sure that the caps lock was actually off, so aggressive are these demands.

Instead of getting lost in abstractions, let's look at the text. (Always a good thing to do!)

The authors want me to "Know the difference between: transgender, transsexual, gender fucking, gender blending/bending, gender vs. sex, binary gender, passing, transitioning, binding, tucking, packing/stuffing, third genders, drag queens/kings, androgyny, butch, femme, crossdressing, boi, MtF, FtM, tranny boys, tranny dykes, boydykes, transfags, etc., etc., etc.!!! "

I am to learn the definitions of these nouns, verbs and adjectives not by talking to an actual person ("Don't include us in your process of learning about intersex or trans issues unless we ask you about it"), but by "Read[ing] trans/gender theory."

As I've stated above, I think that reading theory is much less preferable to speaking with, living with, interacting with, and learning from real people. One of the very biggest problems with theories, in my experience, is that they almost exclusively lump people into groups: black v. white, gay v. straight, FTM v. MTF. These groups may be refined, such as limited to a certain time period or geographic area, but they are groups nonetheless. When I've finished reading, I have a idea in my head that reads something like 'the author feels that trans people [exhibit some behavior, are oppressed, etc.] because of ______." As if all trans people feel that way! In other words, there is a strong tendency to adopt that groupthink mentality--a stereotype, in fact--rather than just making a new friend, as free as is humanly possible of labels and stereotypes.

Do the authors account for this? They just lecture us, "Don't think of our experiences and identities as monolithic." As pointed out, this is exactly what happens when you sit in the chair reading an essay when you could be meeting a real person.

Nothing works as well as person-to-person relationships.

Finally, a gentle reminder that if you truly feel I do not 'get it,' you can just pick up your keyboard and steer me straight. (Is that homophobic language?!) If you decide that you 'shouldn't have to explain it to me,' you're leaving me to wander around until someone does.

Or you could also take the admittedly easier approach of nes and simply wish death upon me!

Yikes! 16.Jan.2005 00:55

B

As I think White Lilac was saying, this statement could have been worded better. As it stands is sounds very authoritarian, just more people telling others what they can and can't think or say. Just more thought police trying to control language.

It would have been great if the text encouraged people to question gender, and showed how the gender binary system effects us all, not just those who identify as transgender. But instead we have just another separatist text, another possibility wasted by angry identity-based politicans.

trans is not intersexual continued 16.Jan.2005 08:08

Queer Planet

Well, yes and no. We do have identities. I am not heterosexual, and I am homosexual. There a millions of people like me, therefore we are a group defined by that identity. If another group, say Christians, singles out homosexuals for oppression and violence, then anger towards the Christians is nothing less than righteous activism.

These attacks on identity politics is just more Fox news propaganda if you ask me. Gays and lesbians do exist, they are oppressed and they as a group can and should unite to fight back and demand justice and civil rights.

That's identity politics at it's best.

It's also possible that homosexuality provides unique attributes to a society. This has been found in other species where homosexuality exists. Homosexuality brings with it unique properties to create unique social environments. That's another way to look at identity groups.

So, again, intersexuals are born that way. Intersexuality exists in many species, in some butterflies for instance. They bring with them attributes that make our society what it is and should be accepted as full human beings just the way they are.

Any oppression against them should unite them as a group.

But trans is different. We move into different territory there. A person who is taking powerful medications and having surgery to change their body appearance does not fit into the "born that way" category. If so Cher would have her own sub-species.

Some people have tattoes. Some people modify their bodies to include horns, pointy ears, remove or add limbs and fingers, add or remove hair, and on and on and on, right down to putting on makeup. Where exactly does trans fit into this body modification? Is it really an identity group, or a fetish, or an expression of a mental disability?

For istance, when I see men attempt to "become" a woman, they usually do so in very similar ways. The woman template they choose has coifed hair, polished nails and all the rest of the clothing and accessories of a particular type of woman. However, most of the woman I know wear jeans and t shirts and never do much with they hair except cut it. So, what's up with this theatricality when it comes to trans people? I see this too when women attempt to create themselves as men. It's a particular kind of man. Rugged, very macho and often working class.

So you have this theater of the macho man along with the spritzed, polished and coifed feminine woman.

Then, in what has to be the height of irony, we are asked not to limit our definitions of what makes a man and a woman! Ok. So you want to be a different gender than what you are. Why put on these particular clothes that represent the worst of myopic gender definition? Why not just put on jeans and a tshirt and call it a day?

Finally, it bears repeating, medicine and surgery creates a whole scenario of problems. It's an extension of the above problem. You want tits, nice hair and no dick, and you're willing to go to extremes to get them. Isn't this just more of the same myopic definition of gender? And it doesn't change your gender. Gender is in your DNA. You can't change that. So it's all just theater to re-create these templates of what the person considers gender identity.

Have you ever seen a man go in for surgery to have his beard INCREASED, so that he looks more like a woman? I mean really, some woman do have beards and moustaches, so if you're really open-minded about gender, that should be a possibility, right?

That doesn't happen though. It's always the most stereotypical definitions of gender that they attempt to recreate. The trans "women" look like my mother in the 1960's or some 1980s big hair chic, and the "men" look like mechanics.

So again, do the research on trans. It will open your eyes to a larger issue of body modification and what that means psychologically and physically. As for the politics of it, well, let's just say no one is forcing you to get the surgery nor take those meds. If someone harasses you for the way you're dressed, then fine, we can stand behind that. But, again, you can always put on different clothes.

Gays, lesbians and intersexuals can not just go to the closet and put on a new set of DNA.

Case in point 16.Jan.2005 13:17

seventeenfifty

Queer Nation is not trans, so really should not be telling us what we are like.

I have been trans my whole life. I was never abused, I grew up with 2 loving parents who are still happily married. I have no addictions, nor have I ever done any drug other than weed.

Although you can base your case on numbers, you cannot account for me, and therefore cannot make a general statement. You are stating objective proof, but as long as people like me exist, it is not objective, or proof.

Gender is a construct. If you don't think people should not be getting SRS, fine, but don't tell us we are freaks, don't tell us we are sick, don't tell us to get help.

Personally, I am pretty happy in life.

Gender is in my DNA? 16.Jan.2005 13:29

seventeenfifty

"Gender is in your DNA."

No, it is not. Funny thing is, that one of the things demanded is that people understand the difference between gender and sex.

This is from a dictionary:

Traditionally, gender has been used primarily to refer to the grammatical categories of "masculine," "feminine," and "neuter," but in recent years the word has become well established in its use to refer to sex-based categories, as in phrases such as gender gap and the politics of gender. This usage is supported by the practice of many anthropologists, who reserve sex for reference to biological categories, while using gender to refer to social or cultural categories. According to this rule, one would say The effectiveness of the medication appears to depend on the sex (not gender) of the patient, but In peasant societies, gender (not sex) roles are likely to be more clearly defined. This distinction is useful in principle, but it is by no means widely observed, and considerable variation in usage occurs at all levels.

One of the demands is that the word gender be used with these scientific definitions.

umm, no 16.Jan.2005 14:23

a gay bio-male in case anyone cares

Queer Planet, I don't understand what you're trying to accomplish here; are you a long-winded troll? I've been reading your posts and just shaking my head in disbelief, because the transgendered people whom I have met and become acquainted with are nothing like what you've described. Huh, maybe I live in a magical bubble where all the cool, well-adjusted, non-stereotypical, charming, sylishly-dressed FTMs are.

this is insane 16.Jan.2005 14:50

me

I have a few trans friends, and none of them would hold me to any of this.

the best thing i think with trans friends is just to not make a big deal about it.. sure i'll call my friend who was born male "her" and "she," and I don't care much about her sex life, or any of my other platonic friends.

i dont have this big crazy list of rules for my trans friends, i just treat them with the same respect I do any of my friends. when we're lounging on a couch watching a movie or strolling around the neighborhood its just not an issue.

Phew! 16.Jan.2005 15:10

B

Queer Planet, when you say gender is DNA you are mistaking character armoring, of which gender plays a major role, for physicality. Understanding the difference between sex and gender is one of the most important steps in really understanding how gender works.

As far as your description of transgendered individuals as hyper-feminine MtF or macho-masculine FtM, I would say that this is the stereotypical image of "transsexuals" presented by the mainstream media, but that image, which for a time I even believed after seeing some documentaries on TV as a kid, is shaped by mainstream ideas of gender. Its unlikely that a trans MtF who doesn't wear makeup and high heels, who doesn't fit into an already solidified gender foundation, is going to get any attention from the mainstream media.

Inform Yourself 16.Jan.2005 15:26

Voice of Reason

Unless you have been there personally, or are a psychiatrist, counselor or an endocronologist specializing in the treatment of gender dysphoric patients, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

I've never read such a bunch of rubbish in my life as some of the stuff put out in this thread. While there are always exceptions, peoples' lives - on the whole - are improved by the strictly delineated process of transitioning and treatment laid out in the internationally-recognized Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, Inc. medical Standards of Care( http://www.altsex.org/transgender/benjamin.html).

Individuals who are unstable or unsuited to successful transitioning are identified in the preliminary stages of counseling and are NOT referred for surgery unless, or until, they resolve these problems. Early psychiatric counseling also serves to separate the truly gender dysphoric from those who have other issues.

Until not so very long ago, homosexuality was classified by the DSM as a mental disorder; that has changed and eventually the classification of gender dysphoria (which now appears as a disorder requiring treatment in the DSM) will also be reworded.

I know quite a number of transgender or FtM men (who prefer to be addressed as and considered simply as men) who do not look like mechanics, do not identify as queer, and who are living happy and successful lives as a result of transitioning. While transitioning is often more physically challenging for the MtF, there are many happy transwomen in our community and I guarantee that - depending upon their stature and the amount of money they were able to spend - you would not be able to pick them out of a crowd.

Generosity of spirit and the dignity that you would ordinarily accord any human being is what is called for here, and nothing more.

uh hmmm well, gee 16.Jan.2005 16:41

Queer Planet

I don't watch television, so mainstream images really don't play a role in my perception of trans people. I have, however, in my 30 years of being out in the gay community known my share of trans people. True some go for the inner city, pierced and died look. Yawn. But most go for that middle class housewife going to the mall look, for female looks, and the beer drinking mechanic for male looks. Whatever.

So you know trans people who dress fashionably, the both of you. Gee, that's swell. The fashion hag in all of us applauds them for their sense of color and good taste. So now what do you want? You're kinda sorta missing my point dearies.

This all started because a person was demanding that we follow a dogma regarding trans people. I refuse to agree that trans people are in the same situation as gays, lesbians and intersexuals. So much for the dogma.

Now I know that thinking gives you wrinkles and it's so hard to find the right makeup to cover them, but alas, some ideas require more thought than just telling someone to go to hell, die and oh yeah, calling someone a troll.

It's about human rights. In the order of importance, I simply don't find body modification as a fashion statement very important compared to people who are born a particular way being killed for the way they are born.

Don't ya know, trans people who say they were born the wrong gender have absolutely no scientific evidence showing this is the case. And LOTS of studies have been done. Again, what they do find is repeated patterns of abuse and chemical addiction. Go figure. Again, prove me wrong and I will apologize, but I just researched this a few months ago. But maybe things have changed.

In the meantime, wouldn't it be nice if parents didn't beat their children into submission so that we wouldn't have all these damaged people walking around seeking happiness through surgery and chemistry. Gee, I think so, how about you?

That being said, I could give a damn about what the mainstream media says about anything. But when it comes to people telling me how I MUST think of them, even though the reality is different than their demand, then honey, they just have to get over it. George Bush demands that I see him as our patriotic president. Well talk about deluded. The local priests demands that I see him as holy. Uh, not gonna happen. The trannie demands that I call him a she and she a he. Well, not until you take care of that DNA problem hon.

Dress how you like, but don't expect me to be in awe of your body modifications. And if you're a drunk and a drug addict seeking these modifications, I feel nothing but sorrow for you, and hope that you find the help you so desperately need.

Intersexuals, gays and lesbians have been trashed for too long by these body image fetishists, from the gym queens to the seperatists dykes, to the trannies. Fine, go take hormones, steroids, cut your hair, shoot up silicone, build up your abs, wear pants, wear a dress, and don't forget to get a tattoo. Just don't expect EVERYONE to feel it's a cause celebre. Please don't call it oppression when we say it's a tad shallow and a lot of dangerous bullshit. Because until these trans people who have had the surgery and the meds stop committing suicide, you're just flat wrong.

Okay, I know, you're brain has been tired by my length. Those thinking wrinkles are popping up all over and you're face piercings ache.

Do me a favor. Go online and type in Transgendered. Go to the national sites. Look under current research. Especially look under depression, suicide and chemical addiction.

You may yourself have all of the above and find what I'm saying too confrontational. But, the initial post confronted us to accept your dogma or else. Well, toots, there is an elephant in the room, and the drunk demands we ignore it one more time.

Sorry. Don't go there anymore.

AND PHEW 16.Jan.2005 16:54

Queer P;anet

Character armoring? Did you make that up?

I think the definitions get a bit muddy here. Is gender identity the same as the gender you were born with? I'm talking about the latter.

That can not be changed. The former, well you can do all kinds of things to your body. I just read where some woman is having wings attached to her body so she can be more bird like. What do we call her when speaking. Polly?

If I met this woman and she asked me to refer to her as a bird, I would just laugh in her face. She's a human using meds and surgery to act out her bird fantasies. That is not a bird. Maybe if she laid an egg I would reconsider.

Gender armor is nothing more than pretense. Those with the most money to spend on doctors get to play out their pretenses longer and more fully, no matter how dangerous and shallow. You will always find a doctor willing to do just about anything for money.

my story 16.Jan.2005 16:59

andrea pdx

so hello

i had sex reassignment surgery about 4 years ago. lets see during the past four years: i have not attempted suicide. I have not thought about committing suicide. I am not a drug user. Before I started therapy around my gender issues, i did not identify as a gay male. What i was still trying to do was fit into being male but that did not work for me. This was something that I had been trying to do since early childhood.

I had been married twice and I have a 27 year old daughter. I even spent two years in the army. However I did not fit into the male sterotypes. I was not athletic. I had no interest in sports. I was not interested in cars. I am not mechanically inclined. I had one date during high school because i thought i should go to the junior prom to fit in. But I was not interested in having girlfriends as sexual partners. I did have girl friends as friends.

so i had lived my life accepting that i was an odd ball. but i reached a point in my life that I could no longer go on with the charade that i was male.

however i discovered that because our culture is rather rigid as far as being able to accept someone who adopts an androgynous presentation. I wound up going down the path towards sex reassignment.

for example, as an an androgynous person, I discovered that some people are annoyed if they make a mistake about your gender and there are other people, young males in particular, who feel the need to use the faggot word and engage in other harassing behavior.

on the other hand now as someone who seems to be in the "female" category, I fortunately havent experienced the same kind of harassment as i did in my non female state.

as to my female presentation I rarely wear a skirt or a dress. I wear what the other women in my work place wear which is jeans with some light make up.

the main difference for me is that i no longer walk around with a "split" personality in my head so to speak.

But seriously 16.Jan.2005 17:11

seventeenfifty

QP - I agree, being asked to accept someones dogma is total bullshit.

However, debasing the entire population asking for the acceptance is shitty.

This is not my list of demands, I think some of them are rediculous.

Instead of first saying "Following dogma = the bad", you attacked everyone gender queer.

What really, really, really blows my mind is that you are openly gay, but attack the gender queer, saying "there is no scientific evidence etc etc". There is no scientific evidence that says that you were born gay. You are making a choice! You are sick! Every gay person is depressed and hooked on drugs! Raaaaar!

Do you get my point? You are still making generalizations. I don't think anyone takes issue with you disagreeing with the demands being made. Personally, I take issue with you calling me a depressed drug addict.

Character armoring, some definitions 16.Jan.2005 18:50

B

QP,

"Character armoring" is a term used by Wilhelm Reich for when the ego undergoes structural changes in order to carry out the inhibitions demanded on the individual by the culture they live in. For example, our culture says that you must be either a boy (blue bedroom, football, G.I. Joe, etc) or a girl (pink bedroom, Barbie, dolls, etc). I wasn't born wanting to play football, but our culture says that all good hetero boys play football so I must too. These gender stereotypes are socially forced upon us and inhibit us from our natural inclinations to BE OURSELVES.

As for the definitions, SEX (male, female) is biologically founded, while GENDER (man, woman) is a socially constructed notion of what is feminine and what is masculine. Understanding this is elementary. Different cultures have different understandings of what is feminine and what is masculine. Personally, QP, I don't think your "queerness" is scientific either. In my opinion, homosexuality AND heterosexuality are just as socially constructed as the feminine and the masculine.

Look at it this way 16.Jan.2005 18:58

Queer Planet

A gay man walks into a doctor's office and says, "People are calling me faggot. I am being harassed for being a gay man. I do not fit into the straigjt male sterotypes. I am not athletic. I have no interest in sports. I am not interested in cars. I am not mechanically inclined. I had one date during high school because i thought i should go to the junior prom to fit in. But I was not interested in having girlfriends as sexual partners. I did have girl friends as friends.

Please doctor can you help me?"

Now, seventeenfifty, I ask you, how difficult would it be for you to imagine a doctor saying, "Well sure we can help you. Please fill out these forms, and we can get you into our reparative therapy clinic by next week."

Reparative Therapy!!!!! Eee gad!

Okay, that's my first point.

Now imagine that this gay man does go through the process of reparative therapy, and when asked if he's really changed, he says, "Yes, I have and fortunately havent experienced the same kind of harassment as i did while being gay. What's more, the main difference for me is that i no longer walk around with a "split" personality in my head so to speak."

Yes, you ask, but have you really changed your inclination for sex with the same gender?

Okay that's my second point.

Now, how many specied go into a doctor's office and have medical and surgical procedures in order to change gender?

How many species does homosexuality exist in? (See the work of Bruce Bagemihl)

Is being gay genetic? Okay you got me on that one. LeVay has yet to prove a direct link between genes and homosexuality. He keeps getting stalled by "scientists" who have an christian agenda. But there is every evidence of correlations, and again, homosexuality exists in many species so why not humans?

However, there is no correlation nor evidence that surgery and medicine changes the way a person feels about their sexuality and gender. (See reparative therapy.)

Finally, this surgery and medicine just came into being around 1960 or so. Prior to that how did trans people define themselves? The answer to that one is complicated, but it included men who dressed as women to try to fit in, and not be seen as faggots.

This issue is far more complicated than just gender reassignment and those who can afford to have it. To demand that we accept all trans people denies that many trans people have difficulty accepting either their homosexuality or their androgyny.

As with gays and lesbians the answer is not in therapy, medicine and surgery, but in helping them accept who they are.

Are people born a blank slate with no gender identity attached? Is it something we learn or is it part of our genes? Or both?

Probably both. And the part that is genetic, the part that makes you androgynous or homosexual or feminine by birth will never change. Society may not like you for it, but surgery won't change that. You will still be who you were born to be.

Do I think trans people are sinful and worthy of abuse. No way. Just the opposite. I think that extensive counseling and friendship and community works best. But that does not mean accepting their desire to change. If a gay man told me he wanted surgery and medicine and therapy to change, I would not buy into that either, and for good reason.

There is absolutely no evidence that it works, and there is plenty of evidence that it's harmful in the long run. Same with people wanting to change genders.

It's an opinion for sure 16.Jan.2005 19:20

Queer Planet

Socially constructed homosexuality?

Well, if you can offer any proof of that one, other than from a reparative therapy site, I would love to see it.

Why would someone choose to be gay in this society?

I would choose to be gay just to have all the great sex and love from men it brings, but then again, I don't like all the getting beaten up and killed for christ part. You know that last part is kind of a bummer.

Furthermore, which parents have you seen saying, "Okay Johnny and Billy, this is how you play house. Johnny, you get to be the bottom." I mean who exactly is doing the constructing? Can you give me an example of homosexual construction in the upbringin of children?

"Mary, before you play wedding with Angela, you have to wash your hands!"

I mean where are you getting this stuff?


Then you say "Character armoring" is a term used by Wilhelm Reich for when the ego undergoes structural changes in order to carry out the inhibitions demanded on the individual by the culture they live in.

This is the guy who brought us orgone, let us remember.

The ego undergoes structural changes. Is it a seperate entity, a blank slate, molded by society? Or does the ego have properties of it's own. Well both probably. So then you say...

"For example, our culture says that you must be either a boy (blue bedroom, football, G.I. Joe, etc) or a girl (pink bedroom, Barbie, dolls, etc). I wasn't born wanting to play football, but our culture says that all good hetero boys play football so I must too. These gender stereotypes are socially forced upon us and inhibit us from our natural inclinations to BE OURSELVES. "

Be ourselves. Okay. I can do that.

So what if society tells me to play football. I don't fucking want to play football. I am part of society. Everybody else can take a hike.

Why is it that some people, rather than learn the above statement, are allowed to have medicine and surgery so that they can then play football and not get harassed, metaphorically speaking?

I am gay. You don't like it, tough. Beat me up, kill me. So what. I will still be gay, and you will be a violent idiot, hopefully rotting in jail.

See it's easy. It just taking the time to consider the options.

I could go to the christians and ask to be changed. They could hook me up to all those torture devices and electrocute my genitals, and all that. When I got out I would still be gay, but really really really guilty about it, and probably would not want to touch my genitals for a very long time.

That's not reassignment. That's insanity.

So you have a man who's effeminate, androgynous, and the boys beat him up for it. Well, then, give him medicines and cut off his dick! Obviously that's the answer right?

OR, show him how to tell the boys to fuck off! Show him how to be himself.

Which has the more liklihood of success?

Reich was good hearted, but really really misguided on so many things. Since his time we have had the gay and lesbian liberation movement, which has so much more to offer by way of really being ourselves.

I am gay. I did not choose it. If I did choose it, I am not aware of it. No one showed me how to be gay: certainly not my parents and certainly not society. I did not even know another gay person until I was 19. I didn't even know the concept nor the word. But I knew from the time I was very young what I wanted from sex and relationships. I wanted men.

That pretty much defines genetic attributes. It's just a matter of time before LeVay gets around the christian idiots and proves it once and for all.

People need to just accept their androgyny or the effeminacy and tell the bullies where to get off.

We here, we're queer, we're not taking our hormones!

Heh. 16.Jan.2005 19:33

B

Well, I tried. You obviously have problems with trans-people, which is distracting your from any sort of semblance of real thought. Sorry you can't get over it. Ramble on, QP. Ramble on.

BBB 17.Jan.2005 07:03

Queer Planet

I just love when discussion end in insults, don't you. Rather than show me where I am wrong, I am just a rambling idiot incapable of real thought who obviously has a problem with trans people.

Not that I provided an ounce of argument that might raise some valid issues about why people have surgery and take meds to change their bodies.

Just that I'm a ramblin idjit.

Well B. Take your new age religious beliefs and find someone else to trash with them.

Body modification is not all good.

Sigh. 17.Jan.2005 08:06

B

What I hate about IndyMedia is that I always have to repeat myself. I'm tired of trying to explain shit to people like you, QP, over and over again, people who either refuse to read or simply lack comprehension skills. Your post are full of misrepresentations of what others are saying, and that's why you got called a troll in the first place. Lets stop the nonsense before this whole thread becomes about you.

hey QP 17.Jan.2005 09:44

clamydia

Why don't you take your elitist bullshit and shove it up your ass? Just because you had to fight hard to gain acceptance as a gay person doesn't mean you have to turn around and act like king of the hill when other people even "weirder" than you want the same thing as you. Sit down, shut up, and listen for a fucking change.

. . . 17.Jan.2005 09:57

seventeenfifty

"What is the difference between reparative therapy and gender reassignment?"

There really is no difference. And personally, if someone wants to have reparative therapy and be a good Christian or whatever, I am fine with it. Just like you should be fine with it if someone else wants to have gender reassignment.

Like I said, raising issue with the demands being made is understandable, and I would love to continue a discussion along those lines.

However, your arguements seem to hinge on trans people being mentally ill, which, although you have "sources" to back that up, is no more provable than its adverse.

You don't believe that people should have SRS. That is fine, don't have SRS then. But let other people live their own lives.

Beyond that, every arguement you have made against the gender queer was at one time used against the standard gay population. I still find it baffleing that you are so entrenched in your fear/hate/discomfort of trans people.

Politically, I believe america is a pendulum, and it could swing either way right now. On one side, we have equal rights for gays, gender queers, trans, intersex, the whole lot of us. On the other side, we have laws against homosexuality, homosexuality being understood as a disease, etc etc. The more you attack trans people for being mentally ill, the more justification you give the right wing to condemn all that is queer.

A point I would like you to ponder is this: What if drug use and depression amoung trans people is the result of unacceptance?

I think your arguement goes like this (please correct me if I am wrong): Person is gender queer; person is prone to addiction and depressiom; ergo: person is ill.

My counter arguement is this: Person is gender queer; person tries to deal with it given technology and science or just plain old skirt wearing; this causes person to deal with people laughing, statements about he/she being ill, etc etc; person turns (idiotically) to drugs and depression to cope with being labeled a freak.

My arguement, in a nut shell, is that in the cases where trans people get depressed, hooked on drugs etc, it is a result of unacceptance by his or her (or its) peer group.

Your comments is a perfect example.

Perhaps someone who is just getting grips on their gender has read this article, and is ready to be themselves. Then they read your comments, which to the gender queer come across no softer than the rhetoric on godhatesfags.com, and it depresses them. They decide there is no hope, etc etc.

The gender queer have found a home amoung the gay because in many ways they are similar. They do things differently than the rest of the world. Unacceptance of the gender queer from the gay culture is just the icing on the cake. It essentially says "You have no friends, no allies, you cannot live with the straight people, and you cannot live with the queer people, you are alone. PS: you are mentally ill."

Maybe SRS and hormones are not the most healthy way to deal with being gender queer, but you still can't condemn the entire population based on a few cases.

apparently 17.Jan.2005 09:58

Queer Planet

Apparently there are a LOT of christians and new age types who just LOVE to see people use surgery and medicines to change into hetero-like humans.

Rather than tell these religious types to fuck off, it's sad that so many fall prey to their nonsense, much less the exploitations of greedy doctors.

Anger is good clamydia. Now take a look at my question and answer it.

What is the difference between reparative therapy and gender reassignment.

You think gay people are weird? Well good. May your next doctor, nurse, waiter, son, daughter, mechanic, and etc be one.

We are everywhere, and you're brand of heterosexist "liberal" bullshit is in the way of our civil rights. Get lost. Get a life. Get fucked Whatever.

Take your normality some place else and stay the hell out of the way of my civil rights.

wow... 17.Jan.2005 10:06

seventeenfifty

"We are everywhere, and you're brand of heterosexist "liberal" bullshit is in the way of our civil rights."

Uh, dude, not to jump on the bandwagon, cus I am trying to actually have a discussion here, but clamidya was not saying gay people are "weird"

Clam was saying that perhaps you have a problem with the trans scene because YOU feel they are weirder than you. The implication being that someone being more gay than you are, which you have based your identity on (your name is queer planet), does not jibe with you, and that your anger and such are a result of that.

It was not heterosexist, it was just asking if maybe you are just jealous.

Not that I agree with the statement, but I wanted to clear that up for you.

oh okay 17.Jan.2005 10:23

Queer planet

Weirder than me. Well they'd have to really work at it. nyuk nyuk.

Sorry if I misunderstood.

No I could care less about the scales of normality and oddity. In fact, that's my point.

We are being asked not to be so rigid about gender idenitity, which makes it's best case in the intersexual person.

THEN, we are being told that some people are not comfortable with their gender and must have surgery and take meds to change that. So why are they so rigid about their gender identity. Why not just be happy being adrogynous, effeminate or butch? This is what people did before surgery and etc.

Why go get surgery and take meds to change all that? Isn't that capitalizing on gender rigidity in order to make the person feel better in a homophobic, gender phobic, heterosexist society?

I don't think trans people are weirder than me. Fuck no. I don't even think about it in those terms. It's just drag.

But I do think gender reassigment medicine and surgery are no different than reparative therapy and I think it's wrong for doctors and all else to exploit them for whatever reason.

And often the reason to support them in reassigment comes from heterosexist and religious types who want everyone to just be heterosexual and normal. Sure we will give you surgery if you would just stop being an effeminat man. Sure we can make you a man, if it means you won't be a butch woman.

Do I think this is the case 100 percent of the time. Well I am willing to say I'm not sure. But I am certain it's the case in many instances. There's enough evidence of this that the whole issue needs to be re-examined. From what I read, the professional psychologist and psychiatrist are in complete agreement. You know, the sames ones who say that homosexuality is not a mental illness and just a fact of nature.

I just sent an email to many of the national trans groups with my questions and comments. So it will be interesting to hear what they have to say about it.

argh 17.Jan.2005 10:36

clamydia

I'm not a christian or a new-age type. New-age types were not responsible for adding gender dysphoria to the DSM, either. This was done by established medical professionals in light of numerous studies that all pointed to the same thing: gender dysphoria is a real ailment that affects real people who need real treatment. You are obviously happy with your physical gender and because of this and a number of other reasons you are unable to relate to transgendered people. This doesn't mean, however that you have to be an asshole about it. Your responses to this article have become so steadily meaner and more disrespectful to transgendered people as a whole, I wonder why you are still posting under the same name. I for one would feel pretty goddamned ashamed if I had insulted an entire group of people who I didn't even know via stereotype.

And you can put down your gay pride gun. I'm definitely NOT a heterosexual, and while I will admit that somewhere, somehow, it must be possible to be both gay/bi AND be heterosexist, it's not the case with me. If you'll reread my post, you'll note that I put quotation marks around the word "weirder". Perhaps you are unfamiliar with some the various uses of quotation marks in writing, but I believe that most people would understand that in the context of my last post it is meant to indicate facetiousness/sarcasm.

The difference between reparative "therapy" and gender reassignment are many. Here are two lists that exclusively (in comparison to one another) describe the two.

Reparative "therapy":

  • It's a misnomer.
  • Its intent is to solve the conflict between a homosexual and the heterosexist aspects of society by changing the needs and desires of the individual. The individual has to change/conform, and the thing bugging the individual stays the same.
  • In this it fails.
  • It is championed by right-wing extremists and mostly intolerant, heterosexist bastards.

"Gender reassignment":
  • Its name states exactly what it is.
  • Its intent is to solve the conflict between an individual and the body they inhabit by changing the body to better fit the needs and desires of the individual. The individual stays the same, the thing bugging them changes.
  • It is championed by progressives who for the most part seem to advocate tolerance and acceptance.

Seventeenfly 17.Jan.2005 11:11

Queer Planet

"What is the difference between reparative therapy and gender reassignment?"

You say, "There really is no difference. And personally, if someone wants to have reparative therapy and be a good Christian or whatever, I am fine with it. Just like you should be fine with it if someone else wants to have gender reassignment."

You are fine with it! Amazing. Do you know what reparative therapy is?
Do you know that every medical and psychological group condemns it? It's basically torture. But, hey if someone wants to go in for a little torture, that's just dandy. No reason to try and stop them if that's what they want.

No reason to try and show them another way to deal with their problem.

There are plenty of ways for someone to deal with discomfort over their homsexuality. Becoming a christian and using torture to "cure" it is not one of the, and studies show over and again that it does more harm than good.

You do the homework. Just use your search engine.

Okay....

"However, your arguements seem to hinge on trans people being mentally ill, which, although you have "sources" to back that up, is no more provable than its adverse. "

Well, I didn't think I was going to write an essay here, but that's how it's turning out. The resources are online, and since YOU are online, it would take you the same amount of time to look it up.

Well what do YOU call a person who was abused as a child, violently, for being who they are, hides in the closet, avoids social situations, and often uses drugs and drinking to hide the pain? I didn't use the word mentally ill mind you.

But I do think they have mental disabilities, which surgery on their bodies will not heal.

Okay....next

"Beyond that, every arguement you have made against the gender queer was at one time used against the standard gay population. I still find it baffleing that you are so entrenched in your fear/hate/discomfort of trans people. "

Fear. I don't fear trans people. I do fear surgeons and doctors making a buck off of gender bigotry.

Hate. I don't hate trans people. In fact, I care a lot about people being pushed into gender reassigment as the only way to deal with their pain. It is a lot like gays and lesbians being pushed into reparative therapy.

Discomfort. Well honey, you and I don't know each other. Believe me, the only discomfort I feel around people seeking gender reassigment is that they are making a huge mistake. But I still see them as human beings.


Okay... then.

"The more you attack trans people for being mentally ill, the more justification you give the right wing to condemn all that is queer."

I am not attacking them as being mentally ill. I am attacking those that exploit their pain and use surgery and hormones to treat mental disability.
It's just ridiculous that the left doesn't see this. I mean, we hear constantly about the greed, bigotry and fraud in the medical establishment. But suddenly, they are this enlightened bunch with only the best interests of people in mind. Suddenly they can see beyond the homophobia, the greed and the heterosexism and make rational choices to help people uncomfortable with their gender. PUH LEEEZE!!!!!

While you're doing research, try this on for size. Go onto a trans chat room. Ask people on there how many went to doctors without first getting psychological evaluation. Ask how many just went directly to the doctor with cash in hand, no questions asked. Please. Do that. Then tell me what you hear. I did just that. I was stunned by the answer.

Doctors are greedy, corporate puppets, who will sell you drugs and surgery if you can afford it. A person comes in who doesn't like being androgynous and honey, chances are this doctor is not exactly enlightened about gender and sexual social roles. OR ..... OR OR OR OR!!!! This doctor sees someone with enough cash to pay for surgery and to hell with gender social roles and the effect on the patient. OR OR OR OR OR..... they hate androgynous people and a little surgery is just the thing to set them STRAIGHT! You know, make them a normal person.

Any leftist who disagrees with this is just deluded and trying to support trans people without seeing the entire environment that this issue lives in.

okay then...

"A point I would like you to ponder is this: What if drug use and depression amoung trans people is the result of unacceptance? "

Yes, well what if it is? Well then get them to the surgeon immediately right?
We don't want them to deal with the discomfort. Let's just change their bodies and everything will be ok. Right?

Wrong! That's my point. You have people in pain using drugs and drinking going to doctors who just proceed with the surgery and the hormones.

While you're doing your research, take a look at the mixture of hormones and achohol. Blood clots happen when you mix the two. Yet, many of these people don't get any counseling for their drugs and drinking, nor do they stop, during the medical procedure. DO the doctors care? Yeah right. Have you ever been to the doctors lately? They could give a fuck. The insurance and drug companies run the whole show. And business is booming in the gender reassigment department.

okay then...

"My counter arguement is this: Person is gender queer; person tries to deal with it given technology and science or just plain old skirt wearing; this causes person to deal with people laughing, statements about he/she being ill, etc etc; person turns (idiotically) to drugs and depression to cope with being labeled a freak.

My arguement, in a nut shell, is that in the cases where trans people get depressed, hooked on drugs etc, it is a result of unacceptance by his or her (or its) peer group. "

Yes, their pain is the result of unacceptance. I totally agree with you.
So again, what is the answer. Send them to the doctor for dangerous medicines and extremely dangerous surgery, or do you help them deal with the unacceptance?

Gays and lesbians were sent to mental hospitals for lobotomies in MY LIFE TIME!
In fact, my first boyfriend and I had to run away and get out of state, because his parents were about to have this procedure done. This was only 25 years ago. They had the legal authority to do this even though their son was 22 years old. Times changed only when gays and lesbians stood up and said, "It's not our problem, it's yours!"

Now, hey, why not? If it works then go for the lobotomy right? It ends the discomfort of being gay. Right? So why not support people who just want the discomfort to end and give them a lobotomy?

Why not send someone in, give them hormones, change their bodies, start cutting up their bodies and whatever else they wants, just to end their discomfort over being androgynous? Hey, if they can afford it why not?
It's their money and their bodies.

Well sure it is. But, don't you care about them more than that? Isn't there another way?

okay... and then...

"Perhaps someone who is just getting grips on their gender has read this article, and is ready to be themselves. Then they read your comments, which to the gender queer come across no softer than the rhetoric on godhatesfags.com, and it depresses them. They decide there is no hope, etc etc. "

Please. Stop the guilt trip. If anyone is reading this and is suddenly deciding to give up hope, please let me know. I will gladly talk with you about alternatives to surgery and medicines pushed by greedy doctors. Or better yet, find someone in your area who counsels people about gender, somone who's livelihood is not made by gender reassignment, and have a good long talk about what's going on.

Or, better yet. If someone is bullying you about being adrogynous, either tell them to fuck off, or find some nice buff gay man to kick their ass.


That being said, some of the more responsible trans groups INSIST that people end all drug and alchohol use, get years of counseling and accept that surgery is not the end all and be all of solutions for androgyny.


Okay then....

"The gender queer have found a home amoung the gay because in many ways they are similar. They do things differently than the rest of the world. Unacceptance of the gender queer from the gay culture is just the icing on the cake. It essentially says "You have no friends, no allies, you cannot live with the straight people, and you cannot live with the queer people, you are alone. PS: you are mentally ill."


Man, you really know how to lay on the guilt. Again, they suffer from mental pain that is disabling. Mentally ill sounds like I'm standing on the street yelling at trannies, "Hey retard!" Disbaling mental pain comes from a stupid christian society that only wants people to be heterosexual and of 'normal' gender, (whatever the fuck that means."

I'm just saying that they can accept themselves as in between, androgynous. Why the need for all this medicine and surgery? I'll tell you why, again.

Doctors can be bigoted and use their talents to change people suffering from their androgyny.

Doctors can be greedy. Duh.

Doctors can be good hearted and misguided by the insurance and drug industries who see these procedures as a great way to make a little extra money.

Now, one last time, is it possible that gender reassigment surgery and a life time of expensive and dangerous medicines works better than showing the person who to live in peace with their androgyny? Or is it possible to teach someone to ignore, or even confront society on it's stupid gender rules?

Gender Dysphoria. The debate rages in medical research. No one has found how to define it. No one has found evidence that it really exists.

Yet millions of dollars are made every day on people who want their bodies changed for one reason or another. So, if someone has the money, and they are feeling discomfort about how they were born, we should just support them for their decision to have surgery and take meds to change their body, according to you and others on here.

Even if that discomfort comes from a society that needs to get over androgyny, we need to support these people. Even if the person has been so damaged by the pain they don't make rational decision regarding this issue, we should support their decisions. Is that right?

IF androgyny shouldn't be regarded as an illness and should be accepted, then fine, let's do that.

And listen, please do me a favor, if nothing else look up reparative therapy and the damage it does. I mean really. If you want to talk intelligently about these issues of medicine, sexuality and gender, you simply must know that reparative therapy causes immense damage to the person.

From the studies I've read, so does gender reassignment surgery and the medicines that go with it.

you sure do like to hear yourself talk (see yourself type) 17.Jan.2005 11:42

clamydia

Gender Dysphoria. The debate rages in medical research. No one has found how to define it. No one has found evidence that it really exists.

whaaat?

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

Wikepedia? 17.Jan.2005 13:53

Queer Planet

Since when is Wikepedia a source for psychological and medical journals?

Oh I know, here's how we can decide if gender dysphoria has been verified in scientific studies as a real illness. We can just ask people on the street.

You people are so fucked up. If I spend time explaining myself I'm a long winded jerk. If I don't then I should just shut up and die because I hate trans people.

Talk about disabled due to your inner pain. What? If it's not explained in short sentences like on Wikepedia it's not real?

Talk about the Ritalin generation. Fucking can't hold a thought for longer than a minute.


Later....

Oh and clamydia 17.Jan.2005 14:01

Queer Planet

I just love your made up definitions of reparative therapy and gender reassignment. Did you have help making those up, or did you think of those all by yourself?

No where in any medical journal does it prove that gender dysphoria exists.

And just because someone brings up valid questions about why a doctor would use surgery and medicine to fix a societal problem, does not mean your insults will change the questions.

So, go get all the surgery and medicines you can afford. I hope you find happiness there.

read the article, you impatient fuck 17.Jan.2005 14:04

clamydia

You spend so much time pissing and moaning about your position you forget to read other people's arguments. Thus you end up ignoring half of what they are saying, and coming across like an arrogant prick. The wikipedia article cites sources for every fucking point it makes, and it even makes a point at the end that leans toward your side of the argument. Fucking learn how to listen, jesus christ!

oh yeah 17.Jan.2005 14:05

clamydia

And fuck you for insulting people with ADD. With homos like you, who needs neocons?

Hahaha 17.Jan.2005 15:58

B

Its like I read the fucking future. I take a nap and when I wake up this thread has become ALL ABOUT QUEER PLANET. What an asshole.

I now understand the anger of the original post.

More Comments 17.Jan.2005 20:11

B

QP's rejection of clamydia's definitions of "reparative therapy" and "gender reassignment" is based on pure stubbornness. The difference between the two is obvious. "Reparative therapy" is conforming to the exterior world, to the "superego" in Freudian terms, while "gender reassignment" is an attempt to appease the individual's interior, emotional needs.

Does "gender dysphoria" exist? As long as someone is unhappy with his or her gender then "gender dysphoria" exists. "Dysphoria" is not a medical term. It simply means "a state of feeling unwell or unhappy." Does "gender identity disorder" exist? I would say no, not really. People who refuse to conform to our culture's standards of gender do not have a "disorder" anymore than anarchists or others who refuse to do what they're told have a "disorder". Of course, I'm sure the state would love to make all forms of dissent an official mental illness (they'd probably call it "political identity disorder").

Also, it seems that much of this discussion has centered around sex changes and one individual's objection to them, but transgenderism is more than just transsexuals, as the original statement demands: "Read trans/gender theory. Know the difference between: transgender, transsexual, gender fucking, gender blending/bending, gender vs. sex, binary gender, passing, transitioning, binding, tucking, packing/stuffing, third genders, drag queens/kings, androgyny, butch, femme, crossdressing, boi, MtF, FtM, tranny boys, tranny dykes, boydykes, transfags, etc., etc., etc.!!!"

to queer nation 18.Jan.2005 19:37

biotchic

i haven't got to the end of these posts yet, BUT i will say, I have a trans friend, and she is nothing u describe. In fact she often does wear jeans and a tee shirt and doesn't dress in a sterotyped way at all like u talk about. You are stereotyping the so called sterotypes. She's not pathological or coming from a dark twisted childhood either. I think when you know someone and they're trans, and they're your friend it's hard to listen to the kind of intellectual stuff you're spewing...i mean i try to stay away from theories and studies and just perceive people with my heart which seems to work better.

andrea pdx 18.Jan.2005 20:06

biotchic

what you said is compelling and interesting to me. I certainly related to the part about society being uncomfortable with androgeny.

My situation, well, if i can share it here, is i was crossdressed as a child by my family for many years. This left a deep feeling of gender confusion inside me which was brought about by not being allowed to express my gender preference, which happened to coincide with my actual gender. So for me, even though i changed how i dressed later, i still feel like i would like to have surgery to make me a woman. The only problem is, i am already a biological woman. But inside I feel like a man who wants to become a woman and that feeling never leaves me, no matter how much i conform to female sterotypes.

i guess what i'm saying is that it hurts to be treated and dressed and forced to present yourself as a gender you do not prefer. Whatever that may be. The repression is the issue.

No Personal Experience? It Shows 18.Jan.2005 20:33

Been There

Some of the more mistatements made by Queer Planet, plus additional commentary:

"Oh I know, here's how we can decide if gender dysphoria has been verified in scientific studies as a real illness. We can just ask people on the street . . . No where in any medical journal does it prove that gender dysphoria exists."

It not only exists, it is a genuine psychiatric term and it appears in the by DSM-IV-TR (latest version - 1994 of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association). At this time is is considered a "Disorder" with recommended diagnoses standards and recommended treatment, but don't forget that until fairly recently the DSM also categorized homosexuality as a "disorder." That has changed, as I am confident the categorization of "gender dysphoria" will be as well. Distinct categories such as "gender dysphoria" do not appear in the DSM until and unless enough cases have been identified that the category merits distinct delineation and treatment guidelines.

"I care a lot about people being pushed into gender reassigment as the only way to deal with their pain. It is a lot like gays and lesbians being pushed into reparative therapy."

I have seen no one who was "pushed into 'reparative therapy' (a term that is alien to gender therapy, in my experience)." You have repeatedly asserted/inferred two things: first, that all doctors who perform sexual reassignment surgery are in it for the money and second, that if an individual is rich enough he or she can simply go out and get the surgery they desire. These assertions are not correct.

The guidelines governing counseling and surgery for gender dysphoria are strict and begin with psychiatric and gender counseling. If anyone is unstable, not truly gender dysphoric, or not in an acceptable mental/physical/monetary position to continue along the path towards sexual reassignment, they will NOT be referred for surgery or hormones. I can't begin to get into the detail involved in the process, but believe me, beyond being vetted by a therapist, timing is crucial in establishing legal name and sex changes with the County (the latter being something that cannot occur without written letters of recommendation from therapists and surgeon), social security update, etc. etc. All pointing to the fact that NOBODY goes through this process on a whim and it takes tremendous motivation, courage, and no small store of intelligence.

Take a moment and educate yourself by visiting the page detailing the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care which are recognized internationally and adhered to by all therapists and SRS surgeons. You will find this a better source of factual information than dropping into a "trans chat room":  http://www.altsex.org/transgender/benjamin.html

These people have reputations and standards. Sure, there may be some back office wacko who also puts horns and wings on people who would conduct surgery on a blithering idiot if he had the money, but I could almost guarantee you he's not certified and his letter would not hold up in court.

"While you're doing research, try this on for size. Go onto a trans chat room. Ask people on there how many went to doctors without first getting psychological evaluation. Ask how many just went directly to the doctor with cash in hand, no questions asked. Please. Do that. Then tell me what you hear. I did just that. I was stunned by the answer."

Any "Trans Chat Room" that you can simply drop in on is not a legitimate forum. The serious, supportive trans lists are selective about who they admit so that they can avoid looky-loos, weirdos and people who have no interest in pursuing legitimate process. These people who claim that they can get anything with enough money are the fringe, as are whatever doctors they claim to be going to. I'm not naive enough to believe that there aren't slime doctors out there - hey, somebody is making those "SheMales" - but that's the FRINGE. It doesn't represent those who are legitimately gender dysphoric or legitimately transitioning. There's a lot of sensationlistic "trans" sites on the web and these are an enormous headache to most trans people because they are little more than titillating, thrill-seeking garbage.

"THEN, we are being told that some people are not comfortable with their gender and must have surgery and take meds to change that. So why are they so rigid about their gender identity. Why not just be happy being adrogynous, effeminate or butch? This is what people did before surgery and etc."

You really do not understand. You have never been in a position where your body did not reflect who you were. When you are gender dysphoric, you cannot just get over it. It has nothing to do with rigidity. Maybe if it were possible to be androgynous without repercussions some would be content with that. But most gender dysphorics have lived through years of confusion and pain as others continually sought to force them into the gender role their body represented, when their mind did not.

"Repeated of abuse and chemical addiction"? Lots of suicides? I didn't find that there was any larger amount of that in trans people than in the general population. Talk to the doctors and the endocrinologist who sees hundreds of trans men and women. They will tell you that they see happier people, motivated people, a high percentage of professional people who continued to work in their fields despite the first difficult year of physical transition. One of the most apparently damning studies was conducted years ago in the Netherlands and utilized a significantly insignificant database. In fact, this is one of the reasons you do not find truly definitive studies on this group of people. Once out of therapy and beyond transition, many of them prefer to disappear into the population except for regular doctor and endo appointments.

True gender dysphoria and true homosexuality cannot be "cured" by religion, cold baths, or therapy - anything whose aim is to force the gender dysphoric or homosexual to be "normal". Surely you, Queer Planet, realize that. The difference between gays and lesbians and the gender dysphoric is that gender dysphoria is an unreconcilable difference between the physical and mental gender of an individual; gays like being men and prefer men and lesbians like being women and prefer women. No counseling, hormones or surgery are required in the case of true homosexuals to reconcile and confirm their positions except for those who desire it to help them overcome bigotry and abuse heaped upon them by people with no tolerance or understanding.

I don't admire dogma myself and personally don't like being lumped in with the growing rabble of drag queens and kings, "bois", piercing and body modification addicts, etc. The goal of a majority of my trans friends is to just BE . . . and that doesn't mean being "out" so that they can insist that people tiptoe around them and follow a list of demands. They just want to BE their own man or woman . . . gay, lesbian, straight, bi . . . with body and mind reconciled. They just want to be happy and a lot of them don't give a rat's ass about every "accepting" and "understanding" them. And a great many of them don't look like 1960s housewives or mechanics. They look and act just like a lot of other regular old people on the street.

You did say one true thing: "It's all about respect." Amen to that.

Que Sera Sera 19.Jan.2005 08:11

Mr. Pride

My two cents:

I have never assumed that just because someone is gay that they understand trans issues. Why would they? Queer Planet is stating his beliefs...so be it. So he doesn't get it? Oh well...move on. If the trans community is looking for acceptance in the gay community...good luck.

I am trans (for the record: happy, adjusted, no surgery, no suicidal thoughts) and when I first started transitioning I got the least support from my "friends" in the gay community. The people I knew (I am not saying this of all people in the gay community) couldn't get that it had nothing to do with just dressing the way I wanted and why did I want to join the patriarchy?

Being transgendered (I'm speaking only for myself here) has NOTHING to do about what clothes you choose to wear when you go out the door or what body parts you do or do not have. I think that's where people get hung up. For me, it's about feeling comfortable in my own body and the fact that for 37 years I did not feel comfortable in a woman's body.

Transitioning has been the most wonderful experience of my life. Just ask my mother who couldn't be happier for me. You know why? Because finally her child is happy.

The only "dogma" I ask from my friends and community is respect. Respect to be who I feel I really am. I don't give a damn if gay men or lesbians or straight people don't "get" me. Oh well.

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