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Birth of a Transsexual Separatist and then Born Again

I have been asked by numerous people in the transgender community what caused my change of heart as far as TS Separatism goes. I think folks really do want to understand what makes a separatist and how I was able to leave it behind. I think it is important to tell the story from beginning to end including how I became one. I don’t blame anyone for being incredibly offended by what I did because I am offended with my own self.

I began transitioning around 4 years ago and was oblivious to the transgender/transsexual communities. It took me a long time to come to terms with my gender identity and I finally reached a point where I either dealt with it or might not survive. Anxiety, depression… all of the things that a lot of us experience until we finally choose to confront it. Maybe “choice” is the wrong word when talking about survival.

So, I began to do research thinking I was alone in how I felt. I was actually amazed at how wrong I was. I identified as transsexual and didn’t even totally understand what transgender meant. I searched for trans* resources in the Philadelphia area and came across a party that was hosted at the Tavern on Camac on Monday nights in Center City, Philadelphia.  I saw this as a perfect opportunity to meet others like myself. I went to these parties often for about 6 months. During that time I met a lot of self-identified transgender and transsexual women as well as numerous crossdressers.  On more than one occasion a crossdresser asked me if I was part time or full time and that started the ball rolling towards my questioning of the transgender label. In their minds I was an enhanced version of a crossdresser. I felt insulted that self-identified men thought I was like them.

So, I began to ask questions in the community. I asked questions of some of those considered leaders in the transgender community about the transgender umbrella and was honest about feeling uncomfortable  being grouped with crossdressers – people who knew nothing about what it meant to be a transsexual woman. I was genuinely curious on how to deal with this discomfort. I had never even heard of TS Separatist at the time so had no ideology from that group. However, the answers given to me were short and dismissive and it didn’t take long until I was called some of the most horrific names I have ever been called. I was on the fence at the time and was knocked to the other side. A TS Separatist was born.

When people feel like outcasts and are demonized in their own communities, it doesn’t take long to search out and find others who are in the same boat. I surrounded myself with those who were against the transgender umbrella and the rest is history. I created a site called TS-IS-LIBERATION.ORG and began to fight the transgender machine. After all, they made me their enemy.  I began to see the non-transgender transsexual community as an oppressed class and the oppressors were those underneath the transgender umbrella.  I saw the transgender political agenda as putting my rights in jeopardy.  I vowed to fight this agenda and dedicated a lot of time to do this.

One thing that didn’t take long to notice in my new family was how all of the bars were set just underneath their own status of what is or isn’t a woman. If someone transitioned at age 26 then anyone who was a late transitioner (27 or older) wasn’t a real woman. I had my own requirements for others and of course, they were right below where my stance was on transition. I didn’t think of myself as a hypocrite, though I did think of other TS Separatists as hypocrites. That is how it works. And you don’t call out others in that community on it. We demanded others who were not in our community to respect our identities and status as women while denying others that same right. When you are in this kind of situation you seriously don’t see the irony.

Another thing I did was to try and build a bridge between the anti-trans radical feminist group in hopes of validating my status as a woman as well as having a bigger anti-transgender army, so to speak.  Even though some of the most vile hate I have seen before was on their websites, I told myself they weren’t talking about me, they are talking about the transgender community, of which I was not part.  This was delusional on many levels. The radical feminist I was mostly talking to did a pretty good job using wording that allowed me to keep my delusion that our two separatist communities might join forces one day. During this time, I did a lot of disgusting things to try and win favor from this group. One thing I did was create a web page that had a lot of various news articles that showed men who violated women’s spaces for some kind of sexual gratification.  There were some men who dressed in women’s clothing but most of the men didn’t.  For an archive of the page refer to http://web.archive.org/web/20111227014307/http://ts-is-liberation.org/Men+in+womens+restrooms.  This article was included in a document that was sent to the United Nations by two radical feminists and at the time, I was proud to be a part of it. They referred to me as Ms. Taylor in the article so there was my confirmation!!! At the time, I saw this document as allowing myself to be included in women’s spaces but ignored what it actually meant. It actually meant a lot of my sisters would not be allowed. Here is a post breaking down my part in this by Cristan Williams.

In addition to all the above shit, I shared information I found on public websites with this group. If I saw someone from the transgender community say something that they would want to use, I would send it their way. I participated in actual harm to the transgender community. I can only imagine the pain that I caused. I became painfully aware of this when the cotton ceiling happened.  Without going into a lot of details, it was basically a group of trans woman who wanted to meet and discuss overcoming the stigma some lesbians feel about having relationships with trans women. Only women who were born in a male-sexed body were invited (which I think was a big mistake). This group of radical feminists saw this as an attack on them. Whether they perceived it as a real threat or simply ammunition against the transgender community, I don’t know. This group of radical feminists waged a war on trans* women and it was without mercy. I saw trans women being shamed and humiliated on public websites and it absolutely disgusted me. A trans woman didn’t have to do much to end up on one of these sites. Even simply existing seemed to be enough justification.

I was physically ill when I saw this. I had panic attacks and sunk into a perpetual depression over it. I withdrew my support for them immediately and went into hiding. This happened back in March of 2012 and the attacks have not stopped but have escalated. I was shocked by some of the things I saw in this attack but wait a week and you will look at that shock you had last week as minuscule compared to the new and improved version this week.

This all made me step back and take a look at myself and it didn’t take long for it to sink in that I was a bigot and suffered from internalized transphobia. I also realized how horrific my reign of terror was on the transgender community. The relentless attack on trans women by this group of radical feminists made me realize that I was acting just like they were. After intense soul searching, I began to listen to my sisters.

Once you get sucked into sucking up to this nasty group of bigots, it is hard to leave it. I was terrified at the thought that I could end up being shamed and humiliated on one of their sites. It was debilitating and oppressive to me and it was of my own making. There are a few token trans women who are currently sucking up to this group on twitter and when I look at what they are doing, I think they are idiots. They are willing to throw their own vulnerable sisters under the bus to get some kind of self-serving delusional satisfaction of being a “real woman.”  I was one of those idiots once.

I don’t think there is anything that I could say that would repair the damage I have caused to my trans* brothers and sisters but I do deeply regret what I did and sincerely apologize for it. If there was a way I could undo what I did, I would do it. Our community is one of the most vulnerable and abused minorities that exists and I played a part in the abuse. I hate myself for what I did.

If you were a victim of my abuse, I beg you to call me out in the comment section of this article. It is important to let others know how this kind of abuse affects others in our community. Who knows, maybe some of those who are now in the position I was in can see that it is a real problem.

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  • ugh

    “I was at the first No More Apologies and I helped organize the second. We were the ones at the recieving end of all that radfem bile. There was a lot of it and it wasn’t coming from just one group. You made an incorrect statement about the people invited to the No More Apologies conference and I have tried to correct you, you protested a single workshop within a different conference which was called Pleasures and Possibilities. Remember that I was physically present and you were not and that is how you are telling me what my experience was.”

    I never mentioned any of the two conferences you are talking about. Ever. I mentioned only one. Once again, I never heard of those two until you mentioned then. There may have been some radfem attacks against your other conferences but I didn’t see the shit until March of 2012, which I have stated repeatedly. The pretendbian site got created in MARCH OF 2012. This is when the shit really hit the fan. I don’t care what even you were present at or not. Why would I?

    LOOK AT THE MAAB COMMENT FOR THIS CONFERENCE.

    Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers for Queer Trans Women, with Morgan M Page

    Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling will explore the sexual barriers queer trans women face within the broader queer women’s communities through group discussions and the hands-on creation of visual representations of these barriers. Participants will work together to identify barriers, strategize ways to overcome them, and build community. Open to all trans women and >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>MAAB<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MALE ASSIGNED AT BIRTH genderqueer folks.

    This is what I said and you disputed it, however it is published on the workshop's site. WTF am I supposed to tell you to help it sink in. My experience is different than yours. However, you can't dispute a fact that is sitting right in front of you. They DID say cis women are not invited by the mere fact they said MAAB.

    • AND! I never protested any of these events. I didn’t give a shit about them because I am not a lesbian and am not as invested as those who attended.

    • I can’t comment on the other conference only on the two I attended. Anyway this is just going in circles so I’m done.

      • You can comment on the other conference, and you did: you called Dana a liar over it, and refused to be budged by the information that the two of you were speaking of different conferences. This is indeed going in circles, because you’re being hostile and stubborn.

        Now it appears that you misunderstood what she meant. Rather than flouncing off, perhaps you should consider an apology? I think she’s owed one, whatever your opinions on the wrongs she DID commit.

  • Actually Cristan now that I think of it I am listed as a host on the guest list for the facebook page for the No More Apologies Ottawa page: https://www.facebook.com/events/117613125030452/ thats all the proof I have.

  • Banging head on desk.

  • Last word on the cotton ceiling reference and I am done. I was IN the group that attacked trans women after the “COTTON CEILING” shit hit the fan. That was in March of 2012 and I left the group because of it. I didn’t know about the other conferences so obviously I am not referring to those. Don’t tell me about my own freaking experience.

    • You were in ONE of the groups that attacked trans women after “COTTON CEILING” so don’t you tell me my freaking experience either.

      • I DIDN’T tell you YOUR experience. Show me where I did.

      • I was at the first No More Apologies and I helped organize the second. We were the ones at the recieving end of all that radfem bile. There was a lot of it and it wasn’t coming from just one group. You made an incorrect statement about the people invited to the No More Apologies conference and I have tried to correct you, you protested a single workshop within a different conference which was called Pleasures and Possibilities. Remember that I was physically present and you were not and that is how you are telling me what my experience was.

  • Sorry for the multiple responses saying the same thing. My computer is a piece of junk and I thought my replies weren’t going through.

    • Wendy –

      I’ve read your fact assertion. What would be far more helpful at this point is offering an evidence-based timeline. Being snide and asserting that Dana’s wrong and that you’re right isn’t helping.

      You assert that the meeting and trolling started a year before. Please cite something other than your opinion to support that. THAT, would be helpful.

      Also, you seem to be attacking Dana for not being aware of something she wasn’t aware of. Even if she became aware of it a year later, so what? She’s describing her own process of breaking free of bigotry. She’s describing what happened from her perspective.

      If you have specific facts about the history of the cotton ceiling issue, please do share facts (preferably backed up with citations). Something like that has been woefully missing (at least to my knowledge) in this whole cotton ceiling TERF tempest in a teapot.

      • First off I am not being snide. Second of all I m not asserting an opinion, I was there. I am telling you my experience. I’m not able to give you any more citations then my own eye witness account because there are no documents, videos, or articles that can be cited. I find it strange that even though she admits she wasn’t there I’m the one who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

      • @Wendy DeWolfe

        > I was there

        So you say. Why should I – or anyone else – take on faith alone what you’re asserting to be true in the comment section of an internet blog? I’m not saying that you’re not telling the truth as you see it; rather, I’m saying that this is the internet and trolling the comment sections of blogs seems to be a fav pastime of teh internets. It would be infinitely more helpful to what you have to say if you could back it up by citing something other than your own assertions.

        > I find it strange that even though she admits she wasn’t there I’m the one who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

        This wasn’t a post about those meetings. It’s a post about Dana’s personal growth and how it happened from her perspective.

        I wrote that you were being snide because you hopped on and claimed that her sharing her own experience and perspective was hurting others. If you had more info to share about a this tangential issue, you could have chosen to present it in a different way. I called it snide because that’s how it came off (at least, to me). If you meant it in some other way, that’s not what came across.

        Also, are you sure that nowhere on the internets is there any trace of RadFems attacking the meeting for a year prior to Dana’s experience?

        • Cristan if you look at the guest list of the facebook pages I provided you can find me listed, here is the one from the Ottawa conference: https://www.facebook.com/events/117613125030452/
          Obviously that only proves I intended to go but thats all I can do because I didn’t keep one of the programs which listed me as one of the organizers. You can ask some of the other people who were there like Morgan Page if you want.

    • To add to what Cristan said. I broke off my relationship with Brennan March of 2012 after seeing her start an all out war against trans women. The war was due to the cotton ceiling, specifically. This was the time and reason that I distances myself from their entire group. That is my experience.

    • Here is a petition that was started on March 19, 2012. This is when all hell broke lose.

      http://www.thepetitionsite.com/917/570/206/support-womens-sexual-autonomy/

    • I give up. And no, the article isn’t going to be changed. This is how I experienced it and the words I used are backed up by a link I provided in another comment here.

      • You weren’t even there. You were on a computer guessing about what we were talking about at No More Apologies. Thanks for continuing to spread misinformation about what went on there.

    • Not a single mention of the “cotton ceiling” on any of those links. In this article I said then the cotton ceiling happened. I believe it was Drew that coined the term and it was specifically for the conference I linked to. The one that said only MAAB were allowed to attend.

      • Drew did coin the term and it was specifically for the first No More Apologies conference I’m not sure why you think it was coined for a conference that two place two moths after No More Apologies. Don’t believe me? Ask her.

    • Though I hesitate to do so, I’m going to jump in here to second some of Cristan’s comments about this.

      Wendy, though I understand that there are a number of issues brought up by this particular blog post that stir up some powerful emotions, I also found that you came across as fairly snide. Or rather more specifically, confrontational.

      You clearly have some strong opinions about this “Cotton Ceiling” situation. And very likely you have an interesting first hand perspective to present about the actual events involved.

      Sadly, I don’t think your method of presenting them, especially here in the comments section, is doing your opinions and your unique POV very much justice. It would have been possible to present this same information in a way which was meant to add to the already lively conversation here.

      Instead you chose to go on the attack towards a person who is trying to publicly make amends for poor decisions. And who is possibly a very valuable ally in this struggle, in that Dana is able to present a very unique and valuable POV herself. Through her, it is possible to understand how good people can come to hold such hurtful views. A very important understanding.

      The final thing I would note is that, the headline of this page very clearly indicates that this is an “opinion” piece. Not straight journalism. It is quite clear that the views and information being presented here are the perspective of a single person. Though some journalistic responsibility is still to be hoped for, it is not required that the author, in this case Dana, gets to the bottom of all the situations mentioned. Only her experience of them is required to fit the parameters of such a piece.

      If you have your own experience of these matters, I would suggest that a better way to present them would be to write a piece presenting your own perspective and first person account. That would be not only more polite, but would add immeasurably to a contentious yet important topic.

  • “I am not sure how to respond other than saying this was the original workshop that set off the attacks from radfems over the cotton ceiling workshop where they clearly state MAAB only.”

    No you are still wrong. The Pleasures and Possibilities conference was neither the first conference, it took place after both No More Apologies conferences, nor was it what started the radfem attacks. You need to correct your article and stop spreading misinformation.

  • I can’t respond to this above for some reason but you said, “I am not sure how to respond other than saying this was the original workshop that set off the attacks from radfems over the cotton ceiling workshop where they clearly state MAAB only.”

    Thats not correct either. This is neither the origional workshop nor what set off the radfem attacks. This Pleasures and Possibilities conference took place after both No More Apologies conferences. The radfem attacks began with the first conference and continued through the secon and on into the Pleasures and Possibilities conference. In fact they haven’t stopped and you spreading misinformation isn’t helping.

  • “I became painfully aware of this when the cotton ceiling happened. Without going into a lot of details, it was basically a group of trans woman who wanted to meet and discuss overcoming the stigma some lesbians feel about having relationships with trans women. Only women who were born in a male-sexed body were invited (which I think was a big mistake).”

    This is absolutely incorrect. I was at both No More Apologies conferences and I helped organize one of them and clearly you attended neither because not only were cis women invited but they outnumbered the trans women present at both conferences. Isn’t writing about stuff that you don’t understand what got you into this mess in the first place?

    • I am only going by what the site told me at the time. I just went and found it is still there and this says MAAB.

      From the site: http://pleasureandpossibilities.com/programming/workshop-descriptions/

      “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling will explore the sexual barriers queer trans women face within the broader queer women’s communities through group discussions and the hands-on creation of visual representations of these barriers. Participants will work together to identify barriers, strategize ways to overcome them, and build community. Open to all trans women and MAAB genderqueer folks.”

      • Thats not the No More Apologies conference that is the Pleasure and Possibilities conference which the link you posted clearly stated is for Queer Women. I was not at that Conference but going by the description on that page Morgan did a small part of the no more apologies conference within this larger conference. If you have questions about her presentation you should have asked her about it instead of making stuff up based on your assumptions.

        • I am not sure how to respond other than saying this was the original workshop that set off the attacks from radfems over the cotton ceiling workshop where they clearly state MAAB only.

  • Dana, I have a new found respect for you. Admitting your errs, is testament to your character. Leaving those separatists behind is like being unchained, yet again. Like you – though not nearly as engaged – I was drawn to them also. All the while feeling certain that their vilifying of the transgender community was over the top, I kept on in belief that their ideal of ‘living without exposing’ themselves was worth the attempt. Simply, for some, it can work. But, not for all. And, placing ‘yardsticks’ based upon age of transition, and facing details of having married and created children, is a fools game to chase. The rug, at your most vulnerable moment is likely to be pulled from beneath you. Separatists, I have found are the most bitter, self-aggrandizing, target moving, spiteful group of people I’ve yet witnessed on the internet.

    The worst part is the vilification of those who are transgender and do not have the confidence, yet, within themselves, the strength, or maybe the social status to be self-supportive of openly letting themselves live in their own way. That’s a shame.

    While I do not get actively involved in the transgender cause(s) today, I still do support the efforts being worked on and advances made by those willing to be open and active in their own lives. I have actually found other venues to help in not so obviously, out, ways.

    Good luck to you in whatever you do from here on, Dana!

  • Thanks for this Dana — it takes serious guts to call yourself out like this and invite criticism from the community over your past actions. I won’t lie — some of what the TERF collective has done at the behest of Cat Brennan and company has had an irrevocable and negative effect on the lives of specific individuals within the trans community. Nonetheless, I see no advantage nor honor in kicking someone who is penitent, so my best of wishes to you in your future pursuits (at least some of which will be geared towards works of atonement within the trans community, if I may be so bold).

    Also, while I hate to call anyone out here, it needs to be done. Rachael — you in no way should claim to speak for the needs and priorities of the transsexual community as a whole. Your privilege is showing BIG time, because in fact many self-identified transsexuals of color and without class advantage DO place as high or a higher emphasis on legislation and initiatives geared towards personal safety, particularly before or during transition, as assistance with medical expenses.

    • Oh dear, I claimed to speak for the Transsexual community??? Where?
      I expressed my opinions and based on my experiences.
      I speak from my experiences here in NZ and dont speak for Transsexuals of color.

      There is a world beyond America you know.
      Pull your head in.

    • Sorry for the late response. Procrastination set in and I am a total expert at procrastination!

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging words.

  • My personal opinion is that life is filled with awakenings, and some of them come with a cost. This wasn’t a problem for me, simply because I transitioned within a community that embraced what we held in common rather than squabbling about how we were different. I say that with gratitude, because in a different place and time, I could have been fighting that very same struggle. I certainly had my own share of misconceptions along the way.

    It’s good that you have been honest and forthcoming with your regrets. It’s always the first step in healing. I think what is most important now is to use that experience and continue to grow. Walking about awash in guilt doesn’t serve anybody. But you’ve now got a valuable experience in your toolbox when you see another being categorized downward.

    Just a thought. What makes a woman a woman is inside. It’s an energy, a spirit. I think we all carry varying amounts of energies from both the masculine and feminine side of the spectrum. For the transsexual woman, what is key is that her starting place is from the feminine, and she sees the world through those eyes. Some trans women and some cis women are feminists. Others are not. Some trans women and some cis women are all fru fru while others may dress full butch. The reality is, each of us has our own separate journey. We come together in community because we share something that is a variant from society’s expectation. It does not mean to be like all other’s like us, because we are not. It does suggest an openness to accepting our diversity in all it’s beautiful differences. I can learn from the experience of others, but am not compelled to live their experience.

    As for what to call me? Well it depends. Most of the time Jessi is fine. If you are defining me, woman works okay. If it has to do with my gender journey, then transsexual, transgender, Post op transsexual, depending on how specific you want to get. As a writer I’ve been called either writer or author. For job status, retiree works. What do I call others? Whatever they prefer. It works for me and them.

    Good luck on your journey Dana. It takes guts to admit when you are wrong. I miss most of the conversations about identity, and am mostly glad I do. One phrase works well for me. “To thine own self be true.”

    • A most awesome comment! It is kind of weird but when I see TS Separatists talk their talk I think it is so bizarre. I have seen these women join groups that are for the betterment of all of us and they spew out the “copy and paste” definitions of why we are all different. I can’t believe I used to be like that. Really bizarre.

  • Hey, I stumbled upon this. I have had gender confusion issues throughout my life. I was never told the word transgender, until I asked what does T in LGBT mean. So I had felt like I was the only person in the world who thought at times boy and later man thoughts, but was told was a girl. I was never a lesbian, but because I did not date and some of how I talked and my actions, women would assume I must be even asking that. After I found out there were others like me, I was happy to use the term transgender, because I had no words for explaining this before, also dysphoria, which got worse over time.

    The interesting thing I read in your statement is how as transgender woman you reached out to unite with ultra-liberal feminazis. I say that term to show how I felt since a kid about feminists I have met. They hate men and say they want equality, after saying horrid things about how men are inferior. How can you be wanting equality if you bash all boys and men as lesser humans? I think God made us all equal, just complimentary, so if you want equality you must see men as equally wonderful as women. So I have had no respect of men-haters, and lesbians I meet…there we go.

    Yeah, after I began dressing full time in mens clothing, lesbians automatically assumed I was lesbian AND A FEMINIST! They assumed I hate men too, some of them anyways. Now, I want you to imagine, you are a man inside, and now everybody not only assumes you are a woman they also think you hate all men and are a part of a movement to label all men a part of RAPE CULTURE. No, I am a man inside but I am not a rapist thank you.

    I found your trying to be more woman by joining the feminazis so scary, opposite of how I would be. I had a girl flirting with me, oh how I wanted her to accept me as a nice guy, but she is a lesbian. I told her I am transgender. She said Oh you identify as transgender? Um, yeah, I am a guy. Oh, what pronouns do you prefer he or she? Well, um, I am a guy, so um HE? Then she went on to talk about lesbian stuff and feminism. Later on, she asked if we could go to a lesbian club, if I had ever been in one. I thought to myself why would I want to go into a lesbian club? It just seemed odd, they are all girls who like girls, no other man there but me, right? Did not sound appealing. So then I thought must be a gay thing and said No, but I have been in a really gay club, a men’s gay club. She did not seem to respond to it as cool. Hmm.

    In my life, I have very few transgender friends so far, and it sucks. I really want to ask them so many questions, and I think it would be good for my soul. However, I have always longed to have more guy friends. I can make some, but then as I stop acting female and just be myself they fall in love with me. I can see why, I mean, a straight man meeting a pretty girl who just happens to make jokes and think and act like a guy, like him, who wouldn’t dream of marrying that? Only problem is…well, you know! So it ends my budding awesome friendships. Right now, I have some straight and some gay male friends, and I feel like they are my brothers. I really need them in my life, because I feel starved of all the stuff we need to talk about and just be there for each other. I bet you joined up to feminists because you felt a longing to be talking girl-talk and all the things you missed out on and need in your life so badly too, huh?

    Being told “oh over there is your group” and being escorted over to a bunch of young ladies with nylons and crossed legs and painted nails always made me so uncomfortable. I did my best to fit in, but what I would end up doing is making them think I was odd and weird. I can’t act as good as them at being “woman” because they are not acting. The worst thing was when they began talking of men, how “they are childish” and stuff. Don’t look over at me for agreement! I happen to think belching and farting is awesome! Yeah, you can see how great that worked out.

    I have also had to run to use my dorm bathroom on campus. I tried a few times to use the one with a dress on it at college, but…I feel so embarrassed. I try to wait until all the guys are not looking. A bit of my pride dies when I got to pee. I hold my head down, and open the women’s door, not really looking but at the floor. I pray nobody is inside, and nobody comes in, and that I can escape without anybody noticing which restroom I was coming out of. Coming out of the closet was nothing compared to coming out of the restroom. I was told eventually my school will have non-gender bathrooms, but I guess until I look fully male I have to be late to class and run to my dorm. The fear of women that a transWoman would really be some pervert man in a dress who was going to rape them, so they should be banned is wrong. The only way women can realize this is if transgender and transsexual truths are told openly to everybody, even on TV, not the stereotypes of murderers. Also, that means things like feminazis who want to further that fear with new zingy terms like RAPE CULTURE, which nothing is classy or cultural about a rapist, need to be addressed openly too. Men, all men, cis- and trans-, are not out to rape women either. Only rapists want to rape, men are just…you know…men. Categorizing men as out to hurt all women is hurtful to men and women having equality and healthy relationships. How can a man feel safe hiring a woman, or a woman feel safe with a male boss, if there is in our culture allowed the belief all men want to do is harm women?

    I am so happy to read you realized you had done wrong. I am sure you have affected me, transmen and transwomen, by getting the ideals of cis-gender women who have bigotry against transgender people legitimized. I think you can’t undo the harm done, but you can choose to now fight for transgender people. In the Bible, Saul thought he was doing a good thing in having others incited to violence and killing Jewish Christians who believed Jesus was God. However, he later fully recanted that, and for the rest of his life worked doubly hard to be a Christian and speak out against his past actions and exclusion of gentiles and legalism. Some Christians feared him, they felt he was still a danger, and did not ever trust him as an ally and brother, but many forgave him and accepted him as one of them. I think this will be your lot too. Some will never be able to forgive and accept you after you went out to destroy them, and others will.

    I am willing to forgive you. I hope you will learn more about us all and try to become a better real woman, because a real woman has a big heart for everyone. Same thing about a real man…he stands up for women, he don’t hurt em. *holds out olive branch*

  • I know this might be off topic, but I also know that part of this off topic starts with what has been tossed around here. It’s all about trying to understand before condemning.
    I admit that sometimes it can be real hard trying to understand, and that people can be so scarred from an experience that all they can do now is to condemn.

    Understanding. Take a kid that lives with their parents. Everything is normal until the parents find out the kid is cross-dressing or gay. Some parents will react by taking the kid and beating the hell out of them, and tell the kid, “If there’s a next time you’re cross-dressing or being gay, I’m going to throw you out of our house”. I’ve heard some “bible” based idiots tell their listeners that this is “tough love”. I’ve tried to understand that “tough love” statement for a long time, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the statement is full of crap. What we now have out on the street, are kids who are gay or transgendered, or both. These kids have no financial support. They’ve been tossed out of their homes. They have no significant career training that will land them a decent job. They have no idea on how to survive until someone approaches them and turns them into hookers or drug mules. Perhaps they turn to the art of stealing in order to survive. So what does the transgender community or the gay community do? Label them as trash, and just ignore them. In my book, this is an absolute insult to a human life. The system has no means to help these kids. The church funded groups want to make you play by their church rules, which is to first repent of your sin (that is cross-dressing or being gay). The people in the government system don’t give a hell about homeless transgendered kids or gay kids. There are a few places that will take them in, but not enough. There’s some transgendered folks and gay folks out there who are independently wealthy and could make a yearly or monthly donation to such a place. A place where kids would have a roof over their head and still go to school and get a degree, get some professional training that leads to a legitimate good paying job, a place that has a health nurse that visits, and a place where they can get legal service.
    I remember one time when a transgendered friend of mine introduced me to some of her homeless street friends. It blew off those rose colored glasses I was looking through real quick. And all I could see is, what if someone would give them a break and help them out of their rut. Perhaps I’m still wearing those rose colored glasses, hoping that there might be some influential group of people who could pull of such a place where condemnation and prejudice are non-existent. If there’s ever a need for our transgender community to have available, this is one of them. Anyone have any solid ideas on where someone has the wherewithal and horsepower to make this happen?

  • Jesus Christ…. So, the Cotton Ceiling was your “wake-up call”? You do realize that the cotton ceiling concept is rapey and creepy as hell, right? And that it comes off an awful lot like resentful dudes who are indignant that women won’t put out? Gross.

    This is really sad. There is no consistency in the messages coming from the trans community taken as a whole. How are people outside the community supposed to know what the community needs and wants if it doesn’t know itself? The umbrella is more than useless… it’s harmful.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more. With all the newly invented definitions, the continual altering of definitions, the fighting over words that are appropriate to some but not to others, the labeling and discrimination of one sector by another, the intolerance of some, the elitism all different ways, how can society ever accept us at all? How can they ever take us seriously? How can they ever be expected to treat us more than as children?

      Personally, I fully understand society throwing their hands in the air saying too complicated, dont care, pass. Lets just be condescending to Trans whatever to appease them and just carry on as before.

      Until Transgender can show themselves as a unified voice, I cant see alot changing sorry.

      • But how is it possible to even reach a consensus? There are people who aren’t trans (crossdressers, transvestites, drag performers, etc) who are still lumped in with the trans umbrella. The net is cast so wide that it even includes people who by definition it doesn’t include. It’s ridiculous.

      • Exactly Heather, you are a good example. Since when and how, by whom did CD, TV get excluded from being part of the Transgender Community? DQ have always been some say in, some say out. To me here in NZ most DQ identify as Gay men and dont want to be included (cant blame them) a few DQ are TG or TS as well though.

        As far as I have ever seen CD and TV have always been under the Transgender Umbrella.
        Who is it that makes the rules so we get consistency? Until we have a unified front we will keep getting treated like the bitchy children we act as.

        We need to learn to tolerate out differences and come together as one, not continually split ourselves apart.

    • I think this exchange (from when I Googled ‘cotton ceiling’ and got the link to http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/of-cotton-and-ceilings-lesbians/ ) says it all:

      [redacted lesbian]: Thanks. So, just to make sure I understand this, a trans woman with a penis, and who has no desire to have a sex change, is not male bodied – correct?

      [redacted trans]: There is nothing inherently male about a woman’s body, unless she identified things about it as male herself. So, no, I do not consider trans women with penises to be male-bodied, unless that is how they identify.

      So what that whole matter really is, is another ‘GENDER DOES NOT EQUAL SEX’ message that nobody transgender appears to understand; it also showcases a completely unhealthy level of mental wackiness. When it comes to having sex, the vast majority care about your sex and not whatever you identify as. That’s the way it is, and the way it will always be.

      Seems to me that the ‘cotton ceiling’ is another case of the real world versus transgender Fantasia.

      • I soooooooooooooooooo want to make a comment longer than this but…… I’d get shot and labelled and branded and ostracized and more so I will do this…..

        “There is nothing inherently male about a woman’s body, unless she identified things about it as male herself.” So years of science and medicine are totally wrong? Transgender people have the write to be whom ever/what ever THEY FEEL they are.

        BUT Transsexuals who want to be who they are, arent allowed to be and are elitist and separatists? They have to conform to what others want and say is right for them?

        Go figure, cause I can’t.

  • Didn’t take long for the transgender community to remind you why you left, eh Dana? Thin-skinned offensiveness about the smallest of things, arguing semantics in circles, rampant passive-aggressiveness about subjects like elitism or privilege, etc. Who would ever question that *these* people are mentally sound, right? I know I’m not the only one who would rather be chewing broken glass, as opposed to associating with this community on a more regular basis.

    • Ugh, you and I have entirely different outlooks on this situation. I am pro-transgender brothers and sisters and others. They are my family and I hurt them in the past. Even though I can’t make things right or undo anything that I did, I am going to do my best for my community.

      • Guess you are right about that; I prefer spending my time around saner-sounding people, transgender or not. You can’t even make an apology without in-fighting going on, and it is a small wonder that your new ‘family’ has not fallen apart by now.

        All you did was leave one group of unpleasant malcontents for another.

    • I swear, I’ve been telling myself, “Lorelei, just don’t engage. Leave it be.” For most of the past day or so. But then, your comments kept running through my head. Sooooooooooo, Hexy, I can’t help but wonder why you think you’re going to encounter anything BUT negativity? I mean, when you go making blanket statements about entire groups of people, questioning their sanity as a whole as well as individuals, it’s not likely you’re going to encounter the BEST side of that community.
      But okay, let me break it down a little.
      Every community has a–holes in it. I’m not saying that’s what everyone on this thread is, I’m just pointing it out. Fact of life time. But for those a–holes, there’s usually some very decent people too!
      Transgender people, RadFems, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, Scientists and Scientologists all have their share of jerks as well as just-swell folks. Maybe some groups have a few more of one or the other, but you get my point.
      Also, I don’t know how much time you’ve spent around outsiders and alternative types, but we do tend to argue a bit about minutiae. We spend a lot of time thinking about these things, they’re important to us. So yeah, we get a little passionate sometimes.
      Have you ever seen a bunch of punks arguing about who’s REALLY punk rock??? “People who listen to Green Day are totally posers.” Or a group of nerds (my people!) almost coming to blows about, “Who would win in a fight, Superman or The Hulk?!?”
      And those aren’t even things that affect those groups in the way, for instance, the words we use to self-identify, affect us in very real, quantifiable ways! The things we are arguing here, have a great deal of impact on our daily lives.
      I’ll admit, all the infighting bugs me sometimes. The way some people make these blanket statements that their way is right and your way is wrong, and no argument. Because that’s not really how life is. Life is grey. There’s often a lot of room for debate and exploration.
      Mind you, I’m saying this as a bona-fide advice columnist! I’m supposed to tell you, “This is Black and this is White.” But it’s not, and personally I think that’s kind of exciting!
      So take a breath Hexy. The world is not the Internet.
      In my own experience, real people in the real world are a lot more reasonable and way less likely to call you names in the middle of an intellectual argument.
      The Movement is not just Comment Threads. It’s all sorts of different people working for a more or less common cause.
      I’d love to have you join us. If not. That’s okay too. Lots of love to you!

      Slainte!

      • Note the part where I said, “You can’t even make an apology without in-fighting going on?” Dana cannot even be nice to the community, without it devolving into cattiness. My comments ‘ran through your head’ as you put it, because they’re true and I imagine that bothers you.

        I haven’t had a thing to do with any of this for the better part of two years, so your ‘world is not the Internet’ comment doesn’t make sense. Your causes have little in common with mine, especially when you share the company of people like the ones in this thread. No thank you.

      • Speaking of cattiness, I notice that your claws have been out every time you post. Why are you here if you have so little regard for this community? Seems to me that you’re just here to stir the pot because you like the bubbles.

      • Sometimes we come to put the other side. As too often people go on one way, their supporters all come in and encouragement happens. If there is no one standing up for the other perspective, it gives the impression that the one view is right and is the accepted.

        There are always two sides to a story.
        Sometimes when we are attcked as I have been, accused of being a separatist, elitist, transphobic, it hurts and makes us angry and the claws do come out.
        But often we have felt the claws of others.
        I am nothing like a separtist, Elitist or Transphobic yet being labelled those things has caused me harm. Funnily I am the one doing the standing up in NZ for Transgender folk and Transsexuals and my accusers do little more than sit on FB and attack me.

        Go figure.

        I am not defending anyone, merely offering as to why some may comment here who dont agree with the post.

      • hexy: I didn’t notice that much cattiness at all here, particularly if you compare it to the infighting I’ve observed on radfem sites (including the now deceased radfemhub.com). You may wish for the transgender community to sink into the oblivion, but it’s not going to happen any time soon. I also don’t think it’s productive to call out people’s sanity on this site like you did, particularly given the manner in which bigots commonly treat members of the trans community as being “mentally unbalanced.”

  • You wrote:
    “If you were a victim of my abuse, I beg you to call me out in the comment section of this article…”

    I’m not really sure what the point of that is.

    You realize that for a period of time, your article claiming that my post at The Bilerico Project launched a “war on women” at TS-IS-Lib came up on the first page anytime anyone googled my name? It was cited when a shot at a decent paid writing gig was withdrawn, and may also have been part of why I was declined as a political candidate.

    All you can do is say that you’re sorry. And all I can say to that is that I don’t care. /ambivalent

    Words have consequences.

    • Thanks for commenting, Mercedes. The point of asking those that suffered from my abuse is to put a real example to what kind of damage can be done to our community by people like me. Perhaps it will make others take a look at themselves.

      I have been trying to figure out what to say to you ever since seeing your comment and was hoping to come up with some words from my heart to say to you that would help but to be honest, I realize those words don’t exist. I am sorry for causing you pain and possibly screwing up a possible career.

  • WOW, all the bickering I see from this article over terminology. That has always been a problem in the transgender community. Someone will take the courage to write something positive or perhaps enlightening about “transgender” anything and the immediate response from many of their transgender peers is to shout “crucify”. Your article made me understand why I was so anti-trans while I was trying to be straight. HA. The fallacy of it all. And your article helped me to understand why I had such an unusual reaction. I think it probably better to liken being transgender and being happy with yourself, as seeing a transgender staircase. Let’s put a label on the first step. “Erotica”, the first thing a person feels when they put on woman’s clothing. A sexual feeling from it. But let’s not be too quick to judge these folks. They haven’t understood the real “Why are you getting dressed as a woman, and finding yourself continuing to have these cross dressing episodes no matter how much you hate yourself for doing it after?” The only remedy you think is to overcompensate yourself by doing manly things, but overcompensating really isn’t doing the trick. So inch by inch as you travel down your lifeline you decide to find out what this transgender thing is all about, and what are your options? Some are easy options, but many others are horrifying. The public shame, harassment, ostracization, the threat of loosing your job and career path, the legalities and pitfalls of getting divorced. They’re all there. The reasons to stay in the closet to everyone dramatically outweigh the reasons to publicly come out. Sooner or later, you get tired of this step and perhaps venture onward to the next step.

    The next step is, “Being transgender and learning to accept it”. This is where you find secret meeting groups with other trans-folk like yourself. You become happy that there are other people that are just like you. But you still have an aversion towards other trans-folk who seek to date people like being a trans-woman who wants to have relationship with a man. OMG, that’s being gay and I’m not that way!!! I’m married, or I have a girlfriend. I can’t be gay, no way. And like 85% of the other trans-folk you meet on this stair, they’re not gay either. Also there are some kinky ones who need their kinks ironed out but most of them belong to a BDSM group. And you’re not kinky either. Perhaps your wife comes with you to the meetings (or not), but make no mistake about it, you’re on a very short leash with her. Slowly, you get used to the idea of being transgender, and perhaps want to go to the next step but not now.

    And the next step is “Let’s feminize for appearance”. This is where you might take female hormones on the sneak. Or perhaps get rid of some unwanted chest hair, or the hair on your arms or legs. You study female gestures and walking. You want to be passable when you go out in public. And if you’re lucky, you find that you pass very well. And if you’re unlucky, you remain in the meeting room of being anonymous and dressed up. But the proposition of you transitioning still scares the hell out of you. But when you are ready to contemplate transitioning, you’re ready for the next step. And so on, and so on, until you reach the top step of the staircase.

    “You’ve come a long way, lady”. This is the final step where you’ve decided to get things removed surgically. You want to live like any other woman has the privilege to. But now you find things out that you didn’t know before. It’s that “transgender” word. It makes people furious when they find out that someone is. I had a acquaintance that wrote an email to all her transgender friends that said, “Thanks for all your support. Now I’m living stealth. If you see me on the street or in a store, please don’t say hello to me. I don’t want to be outed. Take care. It’s been great knowing you.” I took that as an insult. But another friend said, “That’s what all transsexuals say, once they’ve officially changed their ID for the precious ‘F’ marker on their birth certificate. Why should they have to put up with all the crap that we have to pout up with.” And you know, she had a point there. But I still felt hurt from the “Farewell, C U ” note. Perhaps some of the new her felt ashamed to be one of us, perhaps she was scared to be outed. I’ll never understand her mind set, but then again, it was her privilege to do what ever she wanted to do. That, was told to her by her psychiatrist.

    • I found your first 4 lines interesting but thought ‘here we go’ but by the end, I think there is alot of truth in what you have written. What I cant understand is Transgender folk are strongly discriminated against – all agree? Yet Transgender folk are the biggest discriminators of all to their own kind. They brand, label and boot a sector of their own community by labeling anyone who doesnt conform as ‘separatist’ or ‘elitist’. They discredit them and make snide comments and put the boot in to them.
      I am a sex change Transsexual female. I am not elitist or a separatist yet I am often labelled that when I speak up. We are all different and no one is better than another. BUT we are different. Why are we not allowed to be different? Why must we conform to what others want? I support calls from TG community things as long as I dont see them impacting negatively on TS. How can I be Transphobic? 90% of the discrimination I have recieved is from TG folk. From people who themselves are discriminated against heavily and who I will still support.
      Really liked your last paragraph. I ask the TG groups here, where are all the old Transsexuals? Where have they gone? Most have just given up bashing their heads against the wall and from being put down as elitist and separatist, when they were giving back from their experiences and have walked away. I have made myself public here on TV, magazine articles and internet to help improve understanding for TG/TS and sex workers (its not illegal here). Where I have been praised and appreciated by society, I have been labeled, branded and discriminated against by Trans*.
      Isn’t it a joke? Eventually, I know, I will also walk away and say stuff all this Trans bickering.
      Good comment thanks.

  • wow. heart-breaking. than you so much for sharing.

  • The bottom line is that each and every individual thinks for him (or her) self; this means that each person is responsible for HOW they identify same…when everyone of the Gender Non-Conforming (and expression) community reaches the point that they respect the self-identifications of the other members of that community, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THAT IS, we can become a more unified community ready for real progress…Dana, I respect your story/feelings and am glad you’ve reached that place you’ve reached…*two thumbs up*

  • I’ve been watching your progress over the past few years Dana, and I have to say I am quite proud of you. It takes a lot of courage to write a piece like this and to publicly admit to having been wrong or hurtful.

    None of us are perfect, we all cause pain in our lives. It takes a strong person to recognize the pain we have caused, to try to rectify it and move on to do (hopefully) more good than ill for our Sisters and Brothers (and Others).

    I am glad to call you a Sister, Dana. Glad to have your voice speaking out for strength and unity. There are far too many who would keep our community oppressed and powerless. It is only by standing together, setting aside our differences and celebrating our common causes, that we may rise above.

    Slainte!

  • Something I should have added to the article:

    I used to be a genital essentialist, at least in my theories. I have grown a lot since then by surrounding myself with intersectional feminists. Genitals do NOT make a woman. We are not the sum of what is between our legs. My eyes have been opened to the type of feminism I used to participate in. Pretty much the same feminism that TERFs practice. They want to liberate those who are like them and oppress women like us as well as sex workers. Their feminism truly is for a specific small group of women. They refuse to listen to trans women as well as sex workers. That doesn’t sound like the feminism I want to be involved in.

  • Kim Martel

    First of all Dana let me help you with certain definitions of “The transgender umbrella” I know that I will get a lot of hate mail but lets be honest.
    Like genetic women/men, transgenger people can be more femm or more male like our genetic models. Not all genetic females or males are 100% femm or total men.
    Cross Dressers have been described as men with a fetish of wearing their wife’s undies under their man clothes, period
    Transvestites are basically the same as CD’s except they are a little more daring and will venture out in femm clothing.
    Drag Queens/Kings are entertainers period, they entertain, change clothing, remove the makeup and go home to their wives and kids with a paycheck in their pocket.
    Transgender are exactly that, transgender men/women that are transitioning from one way of life to the other.
    Transgender Women/Man (my status is female) are transgender people that have gone the distance to fit in as a true female or male by looks, attitude, way of thinking and by every possible definition. A transgender Woman can not be confused in thinking that she is more comfortable having a P while standing up, this is contrary in “Way of thinking”
    Lastly your use of Trans, Transexual, T-Girl etc are all tittle names given for the use of pornographic movies and stars and “Transgender” which is our proper definition should always be used in describing our way of life.
    We alone are transitioning from one gender to the other.

    • Yep, can agree on some points but totally disagree on others.
      Transgender is nothing more than an umbrella term for a range of gender variant people. Gender Queer, Androgynous, CD, TV, TRANSSEXUALS, Fa’fafine, Fakelati, Hiraji, Two Spirit and more, all come under that umbrella. According to you, they dont so what umbrella do you see them under?
      I object strongly to your saying Transsexual…”given for the use of pornographic movies and stars ” What utter disgusting tripe. It would more seem you have taken the meaning for Transsexual and claim it is Transgender.
      I would suggest you clearly need to do some simple googling and looking in dictionaries as to what the definitions mean, rather than bastardise to suit yourself.
      I and many others are out there, proud to be Transsexual. I respect that some in UK and America dont like the ‘T’ word but down under we use it and own it proudly.
      Now alas Kim it would seem that you give evidence to this article in that their are separatist.
      Sorry but I will support Transgender folk and that is all Transgender who come under the umbrella.

      • Perhaps I should have been more detailed. Transsexual used to be a medical diagnosis. It is no longer the case. Gender Identity Disorder has been used up until recently which is now Gender Dysphoria. Like I said, I still identify as transsexual.

      • I dont believe ‘Transsexual’ was ever a medical disgosis but merely a description used medically. but ‘Transsexualism’ was also used medically and still is. The DSM V has replaced ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ with ‘Gender Dysphoria’ but the DSM is not the only medical authority.
        I believe the WHO’s ICD still refers to Transsexualism.

        Alas many TG have taken to refering to ‘Transgenderism’ that isnt recognised anywhere medically and again negates Transsexuals by seeking to chage the title of Transsexualism.

        Elitism can go both ways and this trying to get rid of the word ‘Transsexual’ by some TG is nothing more than elitism in itself.

        • In 1966, you could be diagnosed as a transsexual because you crossdressed once in awhile.

      • Actually, it was a diagnosis up until 1994.

        The DSM changed its terminology in 1994 away from the diagnosis of “transsexualism”

      • Let me set the record straight about why transsexuals call themselves transgender and why transgender is an umbrella term.

        In 1965, doctors were calling surgical transsexuals “transgender” because at that time, “transsexual” was an umbrella term which explicitly included men who didn’t want to take hormones and didn’t dress often as well as transgender transsexuals. Over the next decade, both terms became used umbrella terms covering all kinds of people we now take to be transsexual as well as those we now do not. By 1974, trans leaders were using the terms transgender, T*, trans, transpeople and transy as umbrella terms. To be clear, doctors were referring to surgical transsexuals as “transgenderal” in the 1970s and some transsexual surgical centers were referred to a “transgender centers.”

        In 1979, transsexual was redefined by Dr. Paul Walker in the first HBIGDA SOC to mean what it means today. Transgender retained it’s use. Some transsexuals continued to use it in a manner consistent with the 1965 medical usage, others used it as an umbrella term and many others have continued to use it as both. It’s polysemous.

    • Actually, CDs like to dress to express themselves, TVs dress for sexual gratification. I am not sure where you got t-girl from. That wasn’t in this article. Transsexual is a medical term, though outdated, it is used by a lot to describe themselves. I use transgender or transsexual depending on the circumstance.

      • Who is it that has the authority to deem ‘Transsexual’ to be outdated? It maybe you and some others opinion that it is but that sounds a very elitist comment that you believe you have the power to deem it so. There are a great many people around the world who identify as Transsexual and proudly so.
        A great cry from Transgender folk is to have the right to be who you want to be but when it comes to Transsexuals wanting to be who they are, some Transgender folk wish to strip them of that right and negate them. That is elitism in my book.

        I do agree with you about CD and TV though.

  • Interesting article but have to say it shows but your own view.
    I am often labelled as a separtist, elitist, transphobic by members of the TG community however I am one of the biggest speaker outters here in NZ for TG and TS rights. I am TS and I put TS first sorry. Not because I am elitist but because I dont see the non TS, TG here helping them. TS need hormones and surgery as number 1, not changing documentation or being allowed to use the loo.
    When TS made public calls here concerning a huge waiting list for surgery, not one TG group supported them.
    TS are not special or elite but are different and place importance on needs differently. They are the minority within the minority and alas their needs are great and costly. As there are few, they are walked over. TS dont demand they are special or elite (here) but they are different and need to be accepted, not just smothed by a big engulfing umbrella where they are lost.
    I have stood up and supported many calls by TG and as long as it isnt detrimental to TS, have no problems.
    However these days I do see many under the TG umbrella as seeking to be elite and separtist, excluding TS and not recognising and support TS needs.
    A Transsexual is a person who was born of one gender and identifies as the opposite. They believe in the binary, (MtF, FtM), most TG believe in the spectrum. MtF transsexuals seek to be as female as possible. They may have the extra but dont want it, dont like it and dont use it as that isnt being a female.
    Reality is Transsexuals are vastly different to others under the TG umbrella. Why cant they be recognised for who they are? As soon as they want to be, they are labelled separtist, elitist, transphobic for wanting to just be recognised as who they are and not dumped in a barrel.
    Yes, there are elitist and separtist TS out there but there are also dominating, elitist, separtist TG out there too.
    I wish we could all get on, but that is never going to happen when one side demands we are all in the same barrel, labels some with names and issolates them, nor when one side refuses to recognise and accept the reality is there are differences.

    • “TS need hormones and surgery as number 1, not changing documentation or being allowed to use the loo.”

      I understand your thinking but some trans* women don’t identity as transsexual. These women also need the same exact health care. There are some in the transgender community who don’t, however. Like you, I used to have a serious problem with the definition of transgender. Transgender is actually a very dynamic word that depends on the context.

      • If they need the same exact health care then they would be Transsexual and merely choosing not to identify as such for whatever reason. I couldn’t see any reason they wouldnt though.
        It is only Transsexual who would need hormones to make themselves more male or more female as my understanding the others under the TG umbrella believe in the spectrum and not the binary of male and female. Nor would they need surgeries to be more male or more female for the same reason.

        What is a Tran*woman? The * means basically ‘whatever’ so a Transwhateverwoman can be a Transsexual or a CD or even at time GQ.

    • [TS need hormones and surgery as number 1, not changing documentation or being allowed to use the loo.]

      I think that’s a bit presumptuous of you to place yourself in the privileged role for defining for transsexuals what their most urgent needs are. I know some transsexuals who went part-time before doing anything physiological. Are you saying that their transition was wrong or that the priorities they and their doctors decided on where wrong?

      I just can’t wrap my head around this statement. I mean, please let me know if you meant to be a bit more nuanced.

      [They believe in the binary, (MtF, FtM), most TG believe in the spectrum. MtF transsexuals seek to be as female as possible]

      Whoa… I couldn’t disagree more. You can be transsexual and a feminist. You can be transsexual with a female gender orientation, identity and expression and know that there are valid orientations, identities and expressions that look different that your own.

      As for your last sentence. No. Just… No. My goal in life isn’t to be a stereotype. I don’t wear makeup, I ride a harley and am therefore in army boots more often than not. Asserting that a MTF transsexual isn’t a transsexual because her goal in life isn’t to become a Stepford Wife isn’t only obtuse, it’s cruel, elitist and profoundly misguided.

      Maybe you misspoke. Maybe you meant to say that transsexuals transition from a male social role to a female social role and will take every avenue (legal and medical) open to them to transition when and as it’s feasible to to. I can get behind something like that, but appealing to BS social stereotypes about how real women look is an explict appeal to rapeculture. If a MTF wants is comfortable being a dyke, neither you nor I get to tell her that she doesn’t get to transition.

      [When TS made public calls here concerning a huge waiting list for surgery, not one TG group supported them.]

      That sounds like you have a dysfunctional community. Here, other parts of the transgender community (including intersex people) regularly help transsexuals bear the cost of transition. But then, they feel they have a stake in being there for their brothers and sisters because those same brothers and sisters were there for them.

      I can’t think of a single awesome thing that’s happened in the Houston trans community that all segments of the community weren’t showing up to work together. Maybe that’s why the community owns its own Center, its own archive, its own social services and set up its own low cost/free health care and housing programs.

      [Reality is Transsexuals are vastly different to others under the TG umbrella. Why cant they be recognised for who they are?]

      I don’t know anyone who’s claiming that unity = uniformity.

  • I was really ok with your post up until you used the word trannies to describe people other than yourself. You used it on people who you disagree with and thus were using the word as a pejorative. That is really not appropriate.

    • If I knew a better phrase, I would have used it. Suggestion?

      • Perhaps just calling them trans persons perhaps or trans woman (if they are woman) or members of the trans community?

  • Wonderful act of being accountable. I applaud your honesty. You have also helped me to learn that everyone has their own path to walk. I am in awe of you!

  • A wonderful article Dana, you are a very brave woman to write such an honest mea culpa. Respect.