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January 30, 2008
The (lack of) space between homophobia and transphobia
January 30, 2008

Gender Fundamentalists

Many of us in the LGBT community are painfully aware of the religious fundamentalists who have such a wonderful time coming up with lies and fear tactics to throw out to the uneducated masses. They know full well that a great deal of those Americans will believe anything they are told, if you follow it up with “Praise the Lord.” Of course, their true God is the Almighty Dollar, which they get in abundance from those people who don’t know any better.

We hear a lot about the Islamic fundamentalists and how they are such a threat to America. In many ways, they are ranked amateurs compared to the Christian fundamentalists here in the US. Oh yes, we hear of gays being executed in the country that has no gays, Iran. I’m sure that every time that happens, Beverly LaHaye, ChairMAN of the Concerned “June Cleavers” for America, salivates, hoping we get a Republican President who will support that as well. I’m sure she would like it if President Eddie Haskell “gave us the business.” (The “June Cleaver” comment is not to put down the beloved character in “Leave it to Beaver,” but to emphasize the time period their mindset is in.)

Not to make light of it, but the Christian fundamentalists are a dangerous group of people, even if there weren’t any gay people for them to hate. Mike Huckabee’s comments on wanting to change the Constitution to reflects God’s laws instead of the Founding Fathers’ wonderful ideas is a prime example of the danger this group of Americans can be.

But, I didn’t title this article “Christian Fundamentalists.” There are plenty of others who can talk intelligently on that subject. My article is on a growing number of transsexual women who use their post-operative status as a symbol of their superiority over any other gender-different people. I can guarantee that as soon as this article sees the light of day, they will rise up out of their holes and swoop down on me like the creatures in the movie, “Pitch Black,” with Vin Diesel. I’m not afraid of the dark.

My interest in this started several years back when I heard of the term, “Women Born Transsexual.” I am aware that this subject has been broached by some good writers, such as Gwen Smith in her article called “What’s in a Name?” (The link is no longer working.) Also, Marti Abernathey wrote a wonderful piece called, “Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya In The @!#*!!”.

Those who identify as “WBT” no longer see themselves as being a transsexual, stating that “surgery made me female.” They can identify however they like, but if all the facts are taken into account, SRS/GRS/SAS cannot make any male-born individual into a female. It’s just not biologically possible. (I don another layer of Kevlar.) In a 1000 years, an anthropologist will lay out the bones of a WBT and say, “Male, age . . . Oh, wait, this was a Woman Born Transsexual. My bad.” Yeah, right.

The person who invented the term Women Born Transsexual, Susan Cooke, has an interesting history. She had been involved in various rights movements in the 60’s, cutting her teeth on Civil Rights and anti war issues. She took on many issues back when some of us were still trying on our sister’s clothes. I have had several conversations with her and grown to respect her viewpoint. Today, she openly opposes the Iraq War and is advocating for environmental issues.

Susan every once in awhile speaks up when these issues come up for discussion. I’m sure I will hear from her after she reads this. But, through all of our conversations, I get the impression that she wants to focus on other things, leaving others to take on the WBT fight. These others are the “Gender Fundamentalists” I wish to focus on.
One of the things I notice these Gender Fundies like to do is bitch about what Virginia Prince said nearly 50 years ago. What is the relevance of that today, in 2008? Many in out community see Virginia Prince as a pioneer, but the things she said in the late 50s and early 60s are about as relevant as the space race and 45 RPM records. Gees, Virginia is nearly 100 years old! Give the lady a break.

The WBT people blame Prince for “inventing” the word “transgender,” but in reality, it was a collaborate effort. They say that you don’t change your gender, because it is in your brain. Changing your body is changing your sex. I tend to agree with that. However, the word “transgender” has come to mean a lot more than transversing gender norms. It now covers anyone who changes their gender expression from their birth gender, either permanently of temporarily. This includes the Gender Fundies. The WBT people say they don’t accept the word and the rest of the world shouldn’t either. They have come up with screens and screens of words on the Internet trying to justify on why they are right, but never once do they show the courtesy to allow others to use it.

Their hatred for the word would be the same thing if Ford Motor Company said they don’t like the word “automobile” because it is not correct. Since a human has to operate the vehicle, then there is nothing “auto-matic” about it. They want to call them, “manualmobiles” and they will chastise anyone else who calls cars the hated A-word.
I also noticed that several of the so-called stealth WBT people have been equally vocal and condemning of HRC and Barney Frank on blogs and lists as the rest of us have. Yet, they happen to mouth the exact same words that Frank used in justifying keeping transgender people out of ENDA. That is about the shower issue. I have even heard some say that a person with a penis is still a man. They don’t either understand or care that their comments are what Frank uses to keep us AND THEM out of ENDA.
I remember bringing up to Frank in one of our face-to-face confrontations about the situation where a Female-to-Male, with a full beard, hairy flat chest, balding head goes into a woman’s shower because he still has a vagina. How do you think the women would react when he walks in? Frank admitted he had never thought of that. The “Women” Born Transsexuals also forget about the men in our community, because they just don’t seem to understand them. The existence of trans men throws their whole “logic” out the window. When confronted with their existence, the WBT people dodge the question.

Speaking of chastising people, this has become the standard operating procedure for many who identify as WBT. If you don’t have an aftermarket vagina or plan on getting one soon, then you’re nothing more than “fetishists” or “perverts.” They also resort to calling people “transgenderists,” as if the word will hurt others like it hurts them. I have to really laugh at that one.

It doesn’t matter if a person cannot get surgery for medical reasons, or that the finances are not in place. If you don’t follow the strict teachings of those “self appointed leaders” in the WBT movement, then they are, she-males, transvestites, crossdressers, or just “Mr.” I’ve been called “Mr. Helms” many times, which also makes me laugh, because I wasn’t born with the last name of “Helms.”

I used the “self appointed leaders” term in the previous paragraph because this is something else that the WBT people like to harp on. Marti Abernathey covered this very well in her article. What they don’t seem to understand is that the majority of the leaders in the transgender movement have been appointed, elected or hired by others who feel they can do the job. It is true that I co-founded the Transgender American Veterans Association, but to remain President, I have to face an election every two years. Many others, like Marti, are considered leaders because they actually go out and help the community. WBT people don’t have a history of ever doing that, except for Susan Cooke.
Another interesting phenomenon I have noticed is that the WBT people are the first to scream (and I do mean scream) for respect, but never once have I heard any of them show even an ounce of respect to anyone else, for any reason. The only ones they “respect” are the people who are exactly like themselves. Deviate just a little and heaven help you. Respect works both ways, at least in the real world.

Part of my research into this segment of our society, I opened up and read various web sites having to do with the phenomenon known as the “Harry Benjamin Syndrome” (HBS.) This appears to be a made up “condition” that is not found in the DSM4, so the APA doesn’t recognize, and it is not a real medical condition, so the AMA doesn’t recognize it. Some of those people pushing HBS as an “intersex condition” in hopes that it would somehow legitimize it, but you won’t find it mentioned anywhere on the web site for the Intersex Society of North America.

So, what is HBS really? The closest analogy I can come up with is that it’s like the local ethnic restaurant that is really a front for organized crime. “Yo! Iffin’ youz got HBS, then youz part of da ‘family’.” Okay, okay. So, my Italian background dribbles out every once in awhile. Suddenly, I’m hungry for my mother’s lasagna.

n most cases, HBS has become a front to try and provide some form of legitimacy for people who are basically homophobic and transphobic transsexual women. I came across a wonderful web site from a person who had seen the inside of the HBS society first hand and discovered how they acted toward others. She even discovered the sudo-science they use to justify their hateful rhetoric. The woman, Laura Amato, confronted one of the HBS’s self appointed leaders, Charlotte Goiar in an open letter. Some of what I wrote here came from Laura’s writings. Laura is a person who has embraced the HBS concept, but took out all of the hate and would like it to be recognized in the proper fashion. She would like one day to see HBS become a true recognized condition. This is a very brave woman for going against the hateful beliefs of the other HBS people.

Laura points out that the people who created the term “Harry Benjamin Syndrome” took the name of Harry Benjamin without permission. This condition that has been created using his name is not anything he came up with. It is almost as bad as the Christian fundamentalists evoking the name of Jesus when advocating their hate. Harry Benjamin was no Messiah for transsexuals. Some even point out that his writings were not very complimentary toward transsexuals. But, that’s no excuse for hiding behind his name, using it as a shield, while they lob out their hate grenades.

One should note that any transsexual woman who considers themselves a lesbian or bisexual are also called fetishists and perverts by the hard core HBS people. The same for those transsexuals who stay married to their spouses after finishing transition. This shows a strong homophobic attitude. I have to laugh sometimes when I hear on a Yahoo Group list one of these women saying, “I’m not a transsexual any longer and I live a stealth life.” Yet, there they are, name as plan as day, on a transgender discussion group. So much for stealth.

If you want to follow all of links I listed here, then I warn you that it is a lot of reading. I feel that it is important to know where these people are coming from. I suggest people be cautious when reading the opening pages to any WBT and HBS web sites, especially new people.

In Laura’s letter to Charlotte, she points out another problem that has occurred with new people visiting the HBS Yahoo Group. Whenever a new person signs on and starts asking questions, the members of the group automatically start attacking that person and call them various nasty names. In the early stages of a transsexual’s transition, they are vulnerable and emotional, afraid of doing something wrong or being found out.
There is a lot of fear in those early days. To be chastised by so-called experts can be a very emotionally scarring experience. Laura knows of some who have attempted suicide multiple times. This is why she has a website where she and others provide help to trans people attempting suicide because of these people. Another resource for help is the Transgender Help Line at 877-427-3230. This is maintained by long-time activist Ann Marie Knittel.

I want to emphasize that even though I’m shining a not so complimentary light on the WBT and HBS people, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am all for people wanting to identify any way they wish. The problem I have is when people think that their identification is the one and only right way and anyone who disagrees with them or even wants to discuss it is called all kinds of nasty names. When another person’s hatred toward other gender different people causes someone to take their life or even attempt to then I will have a problem with it. I have to bury three of my friends who have committed suicide in the nearly 11 years I have lived as Monica. We don’t need trans people – our peers – pushing others to follow my friends’ paths.

Now that this article is done, watch the comments on the various blogs and you will see first hand how nasty some of these people can be. This article is like honey to bees. They cannot resist commenting. By their own words, they will validate everything I have written here.

cross posted from Trans Universe 

115 Comments

  1. leigh says:

    ….well beat me with a stick and send me to bed hungry!

    …………..
    Victoria’s Secret
    Well their stuff’s real nice
    Oh but I can buy the same damn thing on a Wal*Mart shelf half price
    And still look sexy
    Just as sexy
    As those tranny’s and TV’s
    No I don’t need no female penis, to make my man want me
    You might think I’m trashy
    A little too hard core
    But get in my neck of the woods
    I’m just the girl next door

    Cause I’m a redneck woman
    And I ain’t no TG broad
    I’m just a product of my raisin’
    And I say “hey y’all” and “Yee Haw”
    And I keep my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year long
    And I know all the words to every Charlie Daniels song
    So here’s to all my sisters out there keepin’ it real
    Let me get a big “Hell Yeah” from the redneck girls like me
    Hell Yeah
    Hell Yeah

    ……………

  2. Marti Abernathey says:

    @Felix:

    yes… when I get an image. :p

  3. Felix says:

    LOL! No, no – hot is cool! 😀

  4. Monica Helms says:

    Sue doesn’t realize that she is setting herself up to be dumped by Cox if enough people tell Cox that she is a spammer and an internet abuser. I’m in the business, so I know how that works.

    Cox Communications Consumer Affairs in San Diego is 619-266-5474. Leave them a voice message. Sue’s primary Cox E-mail address is sue-ann173@cox.net and her IP address (very important) is: 68.8.105.20. Call them and leave a message that she is an E-mail abuser and spammer.

  5. leigh says:

    ugh … well if you put it in without quotes you are going to get hits for sue and robbins and transsexual. However if you put it in with the name in quotes and the transsexual without then google returns 2 pages with about 3 or 4 real hits.

    I put in george bush transsexual and got 74,900 hits so I am thinking ole georgie isn’t telling us something 😉

    Why would anyone use their full name on the internet? .. defies belief.

  6. Monica Helms says:

    “Respect?” Not in my lifetime. I have about as much contempt for you as I have the religious right, HRC and Barney Frank. You have been the perenial “victim” for about as long as I’ve known you, and it wore thin a decade ago.

    Did you know that I have had a chance to talk to a licensed therapist who has had the bad luck of running into you. She said that you have strong narsistic tendencies. After looking at some of the things you do, I tend to agree. Shall we review?

    One of you famous tactics is to constantly let people know what you did as an activist back in the Stone Age of our movement. That is very narsistic. “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!” We look, but we see nothing that has substance. Then you gravitate to all the people who did you wrong over the years because you have to show everybody that you are a victim. Narsistic.

    Over the years, I have seen dozens of people thank you for your words, support your position on issues and even stand up for you. I even have at times. But, never once have I ever heard you thank anyone. Zero. Zippo. Nadda. A narsistic person feels it is owed to them, so they will not acknowledge support. AND, in many cases, you have taken some of the words people have said in support of you, twisted them and turned a supporter into an adversary. Can’t stand not to be absolutely right. Narsistic

    Not only are you incapable of thanking people, but the many times you have been wrong, you have never once admitted it, or apologized for making a mistake. I’m not talking about the people like me who have a low opinion of you. I’m talking about all of those people who have supported you. Narsistic people never think they are wrong.

    You did a wonderful thing when Katrina hit, and TAVA and myself supported your efforts. Our organization donated $1500 to the relief effort, but you never thanked us for the help, or anybody else for that matter.

    So, don’t ask for respect when you can’t even respect yourself. And, I noticed you didn’t answer the question. Redirecting an issue is another narsistic tendency.

  7. Cathryn says:

    Monica you really are a pill…..
    You write a blog entry that all but straight out calls those of us who don’t buy into your genderless wonderland Talibans of gender..then bitch when you are replied to, that’s called trolling dear. Something that as well as blatant self promotion you are very very skilled at.

    “Go be an activist”…..gee, I was one and my reception and repayment consisted of death threats, magazine bombings, being turned into Homeland Security as a terrorist, outed on my job and so forth…..blackballed from events when I was stupid enough to still offer workshops, banned from most activist communications lists for being a separatist…but none of you listened to me about that back then…..separate TS issues and then have a united community of TGs and TSs with both sides free to speak and asking only that the community stop the promoting (it was active promoting) of the umbrella usage that was so much an issue then and still is, and use transgender and transsexual instead.

    I even joked at one point that if I posted on those lists a recipe for bread I would be flamed for it. Guess what? Once I did exactly that and both you and Marti flamed me to toast, clearly without bothering to read the posting, just reacting to my name and the subject line.

    I work for lesbian rights within the greater Woman’s community, no need to do it within a GLBt “community” that still pretty much ignores lesbian concerns still to this day. I work within the greater Woman’s community for my own rights AS A WOMAN….here in NY the Richards decision still holds for those of us female bodied, we are legally women.

    You like to respond to me with what have you done lately bitch?……..ask Ethan. You and Marti and others like you made it impossible for me to do your style of activism and after the sh*t I saw during SONDA where activists like you were filling buses from NYC with crack addicted, literally drooling in the shoes, totally inarticulate street girls….lured onto the buses with ham sandwiches and then parading them in front of the state legislators (you cannot make up crap like this, it really happened) I swore I’d never do it again. It was then I realized most of you are in fact insane. Had I been a rightwing fundie fanatic I couldn’t have come up with a better way of ensuring trans rights would never get included in SONDA.

    Yes, today I am in favour of civil rights for medical model transsexuals and not for fetishists…..live with it. Yes it can be handled so it covers FtM transsexuals too. If I ever lobby again, it will be on that basis as I found it an easy sell even in republican offices back then. Or have you forgotten I walked out of a republican’s office on the Hill in 97 with the offer to WRITE and sponsor a letter for inclusion of trans hate crime statistics by the DOJ? Riki nixed it the next day with Dana Prising. It wasn’t on HRCs agenda and they were bought and paid for (Riki and Dana)

    Ask AC about my abilities within a Legislators office sometimes……

    Sarah Fox and I almost singlehandedly changed the Ohio birth certificate mess…….that’s right, we worked on it via an intersexed infant’s needs for six months and almost had it locked when the damn legislator died on us. Neither of us born in Ohio and both of us then under constant attack from crossdressers not liking us being activists, we both said screw it at that point rather than renew the effort with the wife who was appointed to fill out the term. For a period of four years the ONLY people lobbying the Ohio legislators was Sarah, myself and one gay guy from Akron……and we still almost moved mountains. We had to do that work with the OPEN opposition of the ED of Stonewall Columbus btw, not to mention very nasty and outspoken crossdressers.

    You and Marti don’t have the only activist creds out there, I get sick of hearing you both imply you do.

  8. Felix says:

    You know I really don’t “get” this. Are the HBS people yelling about the “T” being put on the end of GLB? Is that it? They don’t want to feel they are being forcibly included in a political movement that is of no relevance or value to them? OK.
    Here in the UK, transpeople who are activists are MORE likely to shout when anything advertised as “GLBT” DOESN’T cater for the “T”. There is considerable ignorance among homo, bi and heterosexual people about how gender identity and sexual orientation may interact and we work to help correct a lot of wrong assumptions. For example, a safer sex healthcare session advertised under the “GLBT” banner for gay men may not include content for transmen who identify as gay. In other words it will focus on biologically male bodies and not include matters related to the vagina or to the use of a prosthetic penis. A session on breast care run by a lesbian group may not also be inclusive of transwomen’s (WBT) needs. Those of us working to raise the profile of transpeople within broadly “GLBT” events are aiming at our full inclusion as men, women or other.

  9. MonicaH says:

    We are all painfully aware that we don’t speak for you, so why don’t you just f—king leave? Is that too hard for you to understand. No, I guess not. You just are too dense to understand it. You don’t want to be with us. We sure as hell don’t want you, so why don’t you just go away?

    So Sue, is this need to be a f—king pain in the ass come from your autogynophilia? I was told you support Michael Bailey. Is being a s-head the result of this? Seems SOP for Bailey supporters.

    And, by the way, I know many non-trans women who can cuss better than a sailor. So don’t think you’ll throw that crap up at me about my f—king cussing. If you can’t handle it, then leave. Oh wait. You must not have a life. Being a s-head IS your life.

  10. Monica Helms says:

    “I don’t want to be under your umbrella!” If that’s the case, then what the f-word are you doing here bitching and moaning, on a blog that IS the umbrella. Get your own damn umbrella and leave this blog. Seems to me that for people who don’t want to be part of our umbrella, they are spending so much time pushing people around under the umbrella. Stand in the f-word-ing rain for all I care. You’ll get wet, not us.

  11. Jillian says:

    It is sad how little room we as a group afford for each other. People, try some compassion. I don’t have any problem with WBT wanting to secede, or those who say surgery doesn’t change gender, or what have you. I actually don’t care what your gender philosophy is; this is not philosophy class. If you’re a trans-something, then I’m on your side. The important thing is that we are all hated equally as gender non-conformists, no matter what our stripe. On that basis, let’s put aside our differences within the activist space and work towards ending discrimination so we can each go off and do our thing.

  12. Val says:

    > Or do you really not give a damn about anyone else?

    Zoe Brain tried to make this point, suggesting that working for the rights of GLB citizens was not necessarily any more contradictory for trans people than for anyone else, on the simple grounds that it’s the right thing to do.

    It sort of fell into the black hole.

  13. Felix says:

    I’m intrigued by how far the disassociation with GLB rights goes for HBS people. My straight, non-trans friends support equal rights for GLB people. Do any of you care to join in activism for GLB rights just like any other non-trans person? Or do you really not give a damn about anyone else?

    • Cathryn says:

      Typical….told I prefer Cathryn except among friends, which you never were, you won’t even show that small measure of respect.

  14. MonicaH says:

    Could be that nudist colonies are bit more open minded than some trans people are.

    Monica

  15. That makes two of us.

  16. Sue says:

    Honey i have been Post-Op for over four years now.

    it seems you missed the point of the article. Or just skimmed it.

    I for one wouldn’t have been seen in a locker room or a (since i don’t care for them) a nudist colony Pre-Op.

    Sue

  17. Sue says:

    One more thing Ethan
    I like how you try to pigeon hole people
    I never was a crossdresser although i have friends who are and i respect their right to be who they are.
    Try respecting my right to be who I am.

    You want acceptances
    Learn to be accepting FIRST.

    Sue

  18. Sue says:

    No Ethan
    I lived FULL TIME
    What were you doing in 1980?

    and before you start in with the same tired crap Marti has…

    I have always stated i had a TS history.
    That is just to keep you from repeating the same crap Marti has, you know the person who called me and every other Post-Op a man.

    Good going Marti.
    and what i find sad is your friends over at Bilerico didn’t have anything to say about that comment.

    It’s no wonder I and many others no longer identify as TG or TS.
    Some community….
    You can keep your umbrella term it’s nothing more then a construct like the Easter Bunny.

    Sue

  19. Sue,
    I honestly don’t understand. Are you saying that from 1980 until 2003, you were a cross dresser?

    • Monica Helms says:

      Dr. Weiss,
      I hesitate to say either way. Since humans are very diverse in they psychological make-up, then for some it can be one, for others the other way and for even others trans women, a mixture of both. In the 10+ years I have been involved in this community, I have seen all kinds. You would have to decide one person at a time.

      The biggest thing is treat a person as you see them. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck, regardless of whether it started off life as a chicken.

  20. I think the highlight of this article for me, Monica, is when you call out those who think that their way “is the one and only right way and anyone who disagrees with them or even wants to discuss it is called all kinds of nasty names.” As a community, we seem to have a lot of black and white absolutism about gender identity, surgery, alliances, advocacy, politics, et cetera. “My way or the highway.” I ask you, is that masculine competitiveness or feminine cooperativeness at work?

  21. […] recent entry on Transadvocate has given me a good opportunity to expand on a few things in a different mode than purely reactive, […]

  22. Val says:

    I’m combining a couple of replies to Leigh, because they’re related, and because the threads of this conversation I think need to be drawn together:

    > If it is that all those that SAY they are transsexual ..ARE transsexual…

    I didn’t say that. It’s the overreaching generalizations that make this conversation so difficult.

    What I do say, however, is that it is no more valid to say that “no transsexuals are also transgender” than it is to say that “all transsexuals are also transgender.”

    And that has to do with my perspective on what “transgender” usefully refers to. My own observation is that even many “classic” transsexuals shift their gender performance over time, in order to function in the world. I agree that gender is in some respects innate – I’ve had too many conversations with too many mothers to think otherwise, and if I didn’t believe it in myself – if I didn’t have what seems to be a kind of lodestone in my nose – I would probably have felt no need to transition. But it is also a social process – again, as most natal women will tell you.

    Or at least, as they have told me. I am not delusional. I know very well that I am in some ways “tolerated” but I am tolerated fairly well because I don’t walk in, say “Hi girls!” and start yakking like I own the place (and I am not suggesting that you do). I let people know me, and I listen to them a lot, and that gives me an opportunity to learn who they are, and that’s partly how I discover who I am. Because that’s how socialization works.

    And as part of that process I’ve had a lot of time to talk to women, not about how they see me but how they see themselves, and that’s where I learned that many natal women don’t have the death-grip on their “sense of gender” that most fundamentalists seem to claim for themselves. When I feel comfortable discussing transition with these people they “get it”, not because they’re happy I’m “joining the club” or some such nonsense, but because as modern adult women they’re more aware of the action of gender as a social system… they are, after all, the living legacy of the feminist revolution.

    Too much of this conversation is dominated by absolutes, by imperatives and irreconcilable declarations, in the face of complex realities. No one has the authority to say “it is thus” in any context but their own experience.

  23. leigh says:

    In the “For what it’s worth category” :

    I am taken back to the late 70’s when I was in transition to share an experience I had. It taught me a very valuable lesson that I have never forgotten.

    I frequented a straight bar a few doors away from where I worked. I was known in the bar and was treated with respect by many of the men and women that frequented the place, even though my status was known. Well I had a gg friend, she was dating the bartender and we would often sit at the bar and chat and sometimes I would flirt openly with the bartender and my friend paid no mind to it.

    One night a girl came to the bar and started hitting on the bartender. It was obvious they knew each other and obvious that the 2 girls knew each other. A huge fight ensued. Later, I asked my friend about it and I asked her why she was so pissed at the other girl for flirting with the bartender when she had never gotten pissed at me when I did it.

    Her answer .. “You’re not competition”

    The moral of this story is not that I was not competition but that when you are pre-op, females may treat you as and respect your courage to transition, but the reality is they do not consider you a true female. Once you have transitioned and you have the ability to become competition .. its a whole other story.

    The reason I mention this is because val’s comment about women aquaintences taking a far less rigid view of themself, the world and her, is a familiar story for me since I found that to be the case too when I was pre-op and known. However, I think its prudent to be aware that if they know about your transition you are given “honorary” status which is not the same status they give to other females. It’s easy to believe this isn’t the case. Certainly I would not have thought my friend was anything but supportive and considered me to be just another female. It was an interesting enlightenment for me, one I never forgot.

  24. Felix says:

    “I remember bringing up to Frank in one of our face-to-face confrontations about the situation where a Female-to-Male, with a full beard, hairy flat chest, balding head goes into a woman’s shower because he still has a vagina. How do you think the women would react when he walks in? Frank admitted he had never thought of that. The “Women” Born Transsexuals also forget about the men in our community, because they just don’t seem to understand them. The existence of trans men throws their whole “logic” out the window. When confronted with their existence, the WBT people dodge the question.” (Monica Helms, above)

    YES YES YES YES YES YES

  25. Val says:

    I am motivated to make a clarifying comment that is relevant to too many threads, so I’ll just post it here.

    I know that crossdressers and I have little in common. I’ve had the oft-narrated experience of going to a single meeting of a local “gender group”, seeing that it was largely devoted to the interests of straight men who wear frocks, and deciding it had little to do with me. I’ve met enough actual crossdressers in real life to have that sense of dissonance. But I don’t bristle at the “transgender umbrella” because I don’t understand it as an identity collective. The possibility that crossdressers and I may share some experiences or face some similar issues doesn’t threaten me, because I am comfortable with the differences, and their action in the real world.

    There are overlaps. People do evolve (now there’s a critical difference between me and a fundamentalist). But affinity and alliance are not identity, and those of us who are comfortable with the alliance know that.

  26. June says:

    “However, the word “transgender” has come to mean a lot more than transversing gender norms. It now covers anyone who changes their gender expression from their birth gender, either permanently of temporarily.”

    Such annexation, working in the same manner as male dominance, is easy to understand. Tranvestites constantly want others to look as bad as they do.

    “If we are to be consistent and insist that biology and anatomy are not that important, then I think this is a point where we could give ground without any offense to our own principles. ”

    Penises are dangerous and no one electing to have one should be considered to be a woman.

  27. Sue says:

    I agree what does it matter if someone chooses not to be a part of the TG community.
    Why should TG folk be all outraged because I and others identify differently.

    Is it really nasty comments over?

    The nasty comments say more about the author then the woman they are directed at.

    Sue

  28. MonicaH says:

    Val,
    As always, you have some good things to say. I really appreciate it.

    Monica

  29. Val says:

    I think I failed to emphasize something… namely, that it does no harm for someone to believe that their surgery makes them “really female.” It is, after all, what sits at the deepest heart of most transwomen, even if a more worldly attitude tends to seep in over time. The only harm done is when their inward belief becomes an outward mandate.

    Which, I confess, tends to be what happens… as it does for anyone who invests themselves so heavily in any kind of identity.

  30. Val says:

    > Those who identify as “WBT” no longer see themselves as being a transsexual, stating that “surgery made me female.” They can identify however they like, but if all the facts are taken into account, SRS/GRS/SAS cannot make any male-born individual into a female.

    Yeah, but so what, really? We (the non-fundamentalists) sometimes make too much of a point in waving that in their faces, I think. If we are to be consistent and insist that biology and anatomy are not that important, then I think this is a point where we could give ground without any offense to our own principles. The fact is that most trans people really do transition in a fairly normative context, and there is no inherent wrong in that. I might have a stricter view of biological reality, but that view – fortunately – does not pertain in the area, for instance, of legal recognition of sex… nor, by our own principles, should it.

    I recognize the frustration. The fundamentalists make much of cherry-picked and lovingly displayed physical facts, and it’s tempting to just pound away at the obvious contradictions.

    But to what end? It advances little, I think.

    I am of the political opinion that separatism of any kind is a failure. But who am I to say “thou shalt not secede?” I just wish that in doing so, they didn’t seem quite so adamant about pulling down straw giants behind them.