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Old 06-03-2002, 05:49 PM
astro astro is offline
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Do transgender people see themselves as "gay" or not?

In their own view of themselves do transgender (ed/ing) men place themselves in the "gay men who want to be more feminine or enjoy imagining being women" camp, or is it a different context entirely where there is no male gender identification (gay or otherwise) whatsoever, and they see themselves as essentially and utterly female in their emotional and mental landscape but trapped in an alien male body?

As a tangential question do post op transgendered men find they are accepted by gay women as "sisters" (even though the sexual orientations differ) or do gay women still view them as "men".
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Old 06-03-2002, 05:56 PM
wring wring is offline
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why is this a debate, vs. a poll? IOW - to me, I wouldn't begin to attempt to answer, since I'm not a transgendered person.

And, from those I've met, their answers wouldn't necessarily be the same for each person.
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Old 06-03-2002, 05:57 PM
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I think it both depends on the person... Some transgendered people will view themselves as homosexual if they like other people of the gender they actually feel. Others will feel themselves as simply a heterosexual of the opposite gender. It really does depend on the person. And I can't answer the second at all.
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Old 06-03-2002, 06:15 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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I don't see the question; it's more like asking "do Lesbian women see themselves as black?" -- which is of course answered by saying that those of Congoid (i.e., "African" in a quasi-racial sense) do and the others do not.

"Gay" refers to sexual orientation -- i.e., to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted, given their phenotypic gender vis-a-vis one's own. "Transgender(ed)" refers to sexual identity -- i.e., never mind what I've got on my chest or between my legs, am I really a man or a woman inside, in my sense of who I am, where it really counts? Some transgendered people conceive of themselves as a man (unfortunately living in a woman's body) attracted to other men, or a woman (in a man's body) attracted to other women, and are therefore gay; others as conceive of themselves as being of the opposite sex as their body type would suggest but attracted to people of the opposite sex from what they feel themselves to be, and would therefore consider themselves straight -- but notice that a third-party observer would make the exact opposite diagnosis of gayness/straightness from the transgendered person. (This is presupposing prior to sexual reassignment surgery, and ignoring what state law says that they "really" are under the law.)

Note further that there is a commonalty of interest between the transgendered and gay communities, in that each is often discriminated against and misunderstood by the uninformed straight majority. This is the main reason for the T in the GBLTA activist organizations -- "we must all hang together, or we shall assuredly be hung separately" - B. Franklin.
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Old 06-03-2002, 07:52 PM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
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There was a fascinating documentary called Southern Comfort on HBO a few months ago. It was about a f-t-m trannsexual who was dying of ovarian cancer. (Nobody would treat him because it would "embarass the other patients.") Anywho, he said he hid in the gay community and had a "lesbian lover" for 10 years before he finally admitted to his friends and family that he was really a man, not simply a lesbian woman. He ultimately fell in love with a m-t-f trannsexual. I would say neither are gay.

Of course there are some transgendered people who, after the change, are attracted to the same sex. (ie f-t-m who still dates men.) These people, I would say, are gay, but only by virtue of sleeping with the same sex post-op.

Of course, I'm neither gay nor transexual, so what do I know? This is just the impression I got, and if I am indeed mistaken in some (all) cases, I do apologize.
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Old 06-03-2002, 07:58 PM
astro astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polycarp
Some transgendered people conceive of themselves as a man (unfortunately living in a woman's body) attracted to other men, or a woman (in a man's body) attracted to other women, and are therefore gay; others as conceive of themselves as being of the opposite sex as their body type would suggest but attracted to people of the opposite sex from what they feel themselves to be, and would therefore consider themselves straight -- but notice that a third-party observer would make the exact opposite diagnosis of gayness/straightness from the transgendered person. (This is presupposing prior to sexual reassignment surgery, and ignoring what state law says that they "really" are under the law.)
I'm taking you seriously and I'm trying to follow this. There are men (physically) who feel they are women (mentally) but who are attracted to women sexually, so they are essentially lesbians trapped in a man's body? This sounds like an old joke.
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Old 06-03-2002, 08:20 PM
Netbrian Netbrian is offline
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What is the problem you see with that Astro? As Polycarp pointed out, sexual orientation and sexual identity are two seperate things. People can be anywhere across the spectrum of several dimensions. For instance, there are the highly masculine homosexuals, most definately male, but with a different sexual orientation than normal. Then there are the highly feminine homo and heterosexual males (as well as bisexual), that may not consider themselves a women, but act quite feminine, and may even cross-dress. Then there are transgendered people, and that's simply another dimension of this whole meter. Some of them will be straight people of a different gender, and some are capable of being homosexual or bisexual people of the other gender. The fallacy here is trying to group these two characteristics together, it simply doesn't work that way. Someone can truly feel that they are a male inside, and yet be attracted to males despite their physical and mental gender. There are no barriers to this, and no reason whatsoever to view these people as being any less "real" than transgendered people whom are attracted to the gender opposite of what they truly are.
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Old 06-03-2002, 08:41 PM
tracer tracer is offline
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pepperlandgirl wrote:

Quote:
It was about a f-t-m trannsexual who was dying of ovarian cancer. (Nobody would treat him because it would "embarass the other patients.")
"I'm sorry, but we can't remove your tumor. It would be too embarrassing."

Huh?!
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Old 06-03-2002, 11:18 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tracer
pepperlandgirl wrote:

Quote:
It was about a f-t-m trannsexual who was dying of ovarian cancer. (Nobody would treat him because it would "embarass the other patients.")
"I'm sorry, but we can't remove your tumor. It would be too embarrassing."

Huh?!
Me too. Why would other patients even know what he was being treated for? Medical records are (supposed to be) confidential.

Besides, I can't imagine that the AMA and/or various government authorities would be too pleased with this idea... ??
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:24 AM
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I teach a medical school Human Sexuality elective, and we have a TS/TG panel. They now prefer the term "intersex," which is somewhat more accurate. Just as there is a continuum of sexual orientation, there is a continuum of gender identification. This includes people who identify very strongly with their gender at one end, to cross-dressers slightly off of that (IIRC most cross-dressers are completely heterosexual) to transsexuals somewhere in the middle to true intersex in the middle (identify with no gender) to transgendered at the other end (identify with the other gender).
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:36 AM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
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Quote:
pepperlandgirl wrote:



quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was about a f-t-m trannsexual who was dying of ovarian cancer. (Nobody would treat him because it would "embarass the other patients.")
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"I'm sorry, but we can't remove your tumor. It would be too embarrassing."

Huh?!
He didn't want the tumor removed, he wanted an entire hysterectomy done. He explained that there no doctors willing to perform this operation. As he died a horribly painful death less than a year after his diagnosis, and as he left behind the love of his life, friends, two sons, and a grandchild, I'm inclined to believe that he exhausted his means. They discuss this in the documentary, and I'll pull it out and rewatch it, but I'm pretty sure the resounding reason was "It would be too embarassing for our other clients."
Who says bigotry has to make sense?

Quote:
I'm taking you seriously and I'm trying to follow this. There are men (physically) who feel they are women (mentally) but who are attracted to women sexually, so they are essentially lesbians trapped in a man's body? This sounds like an old joke.
It may sound like an old joke, but it most certainly is not. I can't speak to how common this is, but there are people who "lesbians trapped in men's bodies."
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Old 06-04-2002, 10:40 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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Not much to add here, really, as Pepperlandgirl, Netbrian and Polycarp have put it pretty succinctly. "Who you are" and "who you're attracted to" are two entirely different matters. If you're not sexually attracted to anyone, do you not exist? If you're bisexual, are you a hermaphrodite? 'Course not. If I were a lesbian, it wouldn't make me any less of a woman.

I suspect—and this is entirely guesswork—that there is more bisexuality and homosexuality in the transgendered community simply because we have been forced to closely examine and think about our sexuality in a way others have not.

To answer the OP, I always thought of myself as being female. As for the causes, my mother was given DES in her seventh week of pregnancy, and that's pretty well been proven to play ducks and drakes with one's brain chemistry and hypothalamus—though that may not be the only cause; not enough study has been done.
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Old 06-04-2002, 11:10 AM
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(Slight Tangent)
edwino, I was always under the impression that intersex was the term for people who physically were both genders somehow... When did this terminology change? Or did it just enter common usage in a different way?
(End Tangent)
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Old 06-04-2002, 02:11 PM
toadspittle toadspittle is offline
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Quote:
I'm taking you seriously and I'm trying to follow this. There are men (physically) who feel they are women (mentally) but who are attracted to women sexually, so they are essentially lesbians trapped in a man's body? This sounds like an old joke.
No joke. I have a friend who is in this same situation he (becoming she) has been dressing as a woman for a few years and just started on hormones last month.

He married a perfectly ordinary woman a year and a half ago.

Of course, he's effectively making her a lesbian, too ...

Boy, sometimes I'm really glad my life is so nice and boring.
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Old 06-04-2002, 07:42 PM
KellyM KellyM is offline
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Re: Do transgender people see themselves as "gay" or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by astro
In their own view of themselves do transgender (ed/ing) men place themselves in the "gay men who want to be more feminine or enjoy imagining being women" camp, or is it a different context entirely where there is no male gender identification (gay or otherwise) whatsoever, and they see themselves as essentially and utterly female in their emotional and mental landscape but trapped in an alien male body?
Well, it depends.

If by "transgendered men" you really mean male-to-female transsexuals, then it's the latter: there is no male gender identification; male-to-female transsexuals identify as female. A MTF transsexual is gay if and only if she is a lesbian.

On the other hand, if you mean persons of male sex who are transgendered but not transsexual, then you will get all sorts of different answers.

On the third hand (warnings: aliens in the building), if you mean female-to-male transsexuals (which is what I would normally take "transgendered man" to mean), the question really make no sense at all.

Quote:
As a tangential question do post op transgendered men find they are accepted by gay women as "sisters" (even though the sexual orientations differ) or do gay women still view them as "men".
Again, if you're referring to post-op male-to-female transsexuals (which is what would normally be referred to a "transsexual woman"), the answer is "not generally". Far too many lesbians are prejudiced against transsexuals, even those who are also lesbians. If you're referring to post-op female-to-male transsexuals, you would expect to find little acceptance from lesbians since such individuals are male. However, there are apparently quite a few women out there who claim to be both lesbians and in sexual relationship with female-to-male transsexuals. So who the hell knows? I don't understand lesbians.

To answer your more general question (and skirting your ignorance of proper terminology), the answer is "only if they're also gay". Transsexualism has nothing at all with sexual preference.

BTW, edwino, whoever told you that transsexuals prefer to be called intersexuals was an ignorant idiot. Intersexuality is a completely different thing. An intersexual is an individual whose genetics are neither XX nor XY, or whose genitalia do not match their chromosonal sex. Transsexuals have normal genetics (as far as we know) and normal genitalia for their chromosonal sex.

astro, yes, it's a bad joke, and it makes life as a transsexual lesbian especially annoying.
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Old 06-04-2002, 08:41 PM
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[hijac] A little OT, but in a related vein I was wondering how heterosexual transvestites are regarded generally within the gay community.

I used to frequent a drag club/cabaret and there were some men who came in who claimed to be hetero, and there is the Ed Wood deal (he was purportedly a transvestite in r/l, but dod not engage in hoimosexual activity). I'm not currently friends with any gay people to ask, so I thought I would ask it here.

[/hijac]
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Old 06-04-2002, 10:19 PM
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I don't know that I have anything to add. But, I've always found this a fascinating suject.


I reccommend the book Body Alchemy
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Old 06-04-2002, 10:41 PM
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zen101, from what I've seen, the reaction of the homosexual community to such people tends to be fairly close to how the heterosexual community views them. Some will simply accept what they say, and decide that if they lie, it really is their own buisness. Some will wonder if they're closeted transgendered people or homosexual people, no matter what their outward sexuality may be. Some will view that they give X community a bad name, and without them, more steps would be taken. As with heterosexuals, it really depends on the specific people involved.
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Old 06-05-2002, 06:53 PM
edwino edwino is offline
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OK, I defer to the experts. Sorry. But I swear, we had the panel entitled TG/TS panel and they mentioned to us that "Intersex Panel" would be less cumbersome.

Just as an afterthought, most intersex (as I am reinterpreting it) are XY or XX. There are many many hermaphroditism syndromes, pseudohermaphroditism, and other steroid pathologies which cause ambiguous genitalia. At one of the spectrum is testicular feminization or complete androgen insensitivity. These individuals are XY but are outwardly female. Many others range from complete indifferent genitalia to small malformations like urospadiae and hypospadiae and hyperplastic clitorises. There are a host of others, but true hermaphrodites are very rare. These have both ovarian and testicular tissue, and this is due to very severe genetic and developmental malfunctions. Rarely, they are XY/XX (or XY/XO) mosaics, often occuring when twins fuse during embryogenesis or chromosomes are lost or gained very early in development.
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Old 06-05-2002, 07:02 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by astro
I'm taking you seriously and I'm trying to follow this. There are men (physically) who feel they are women (mentally) but who are attracted to women sexually, so they are essentially lesbians trapped in a man's body?
Yep. Anecdotal only, but I know someone ( a somewhat distant acquaintance ) that fits exactly into that category.

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Old 06-05-2002, 09:02 PM
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In my practice I find that sexual identity and sexual orientation are completely unrelated. I have several transgendered patients (all M to F) and while most see themselves as heterosexual women my original transgendered patient (and the one who is the longest post-surgery) is in a multiyear steady relationship with another women and freely identifies herself as "a big bull dyke" (her words). Yes, the joke is old, but my patient never felt herself to be a heterosexual male; in her mind, she was always a homosexual woman.
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Old 06-05-2002, 10:53 PM
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The proverbial lesbian trapped in am man's body rears its ugly head. Well, it's not a man's body, because it belongs to her and she is a woman. It just has this figure flaw and hair where it shouldn't be.

I'm doing my best to help my lesbian lover transition physically. I am getting fairly good at electrolysis.
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Old 06-06-2002, 11:09 AM
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Kelly, if anyone uses that old and sick joke, you might just smile sweetly and say, "Well, I'm letting my inner Lesbian out, and if you want, I'll be glad to give you a head start with the surgery required."
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Old 06-07-2002, 07:54 AM
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I have to admit to being one of those lesbians who has a minor prejudice against transexuals. Three of my lesbian acquaintances were born as men, and while that makes no difference to my friendship with them, I would be uncomfortable about the idea of dating them. I think it's because we often have to defend our sexuality to others, and anyone who blurs the borders - transexuals, stone butches, bisexuals - makes our 'territory' harder to defend. It's not a laudable mentality, of course, and I do hope that as society as a whole accepts gay people more, gay people won't feel the need to be on the defensive so much. For myself I've been out for less than a year, so I'll probably get more relaxed with time.

Just because you're homosexual doesn't mean you're automatically freed from all the prejudices we all grow up with. That goes for the transexuals themselves too, of course.
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Old 06-07-2002, 08:15 AM
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Well, QueenAl, as long as you admit it's your prejudice and that it is irrational and you're trying to overcome it, I don't think anyone could have a problem with that. Everyone learns and changes as they meet more kinds of people! You seem quite reasonable and self-knowledgeable, so I don't think I could even begin to class you as someone "anti-trans."

If I promise not to go to a "Womyn's Gathering," you'll promise not to throw me out of it?
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Old 06-07-2002, 08:39 AM
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LOL

I don't actually think Womyn's gatherings would be my thing (though you never know). However, if you ever went to one of my lesbian bars, I wouldn't throw you out, as long as you got the drinks in.
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Old 06-07-2002, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by QueenAl
I have to admit to being one of those lesbians who has a minor prejudice against transexuals. Three of my lesbian acquaintances were born as men, and while that makes no difference to my friendship with them, I would be uncomfortable about the idea of dating them.
I'm not at all bothered by that. Who you date is entirely your own business.

The sort of prejudice that I am bothered by is the often-expressed attitude that gynophilic male-to-female transsexuals are not entitled to be lesbians -- or even women -- and cannot be trusted to enter "women-only" or "lesbian-only" space. That's the sort of insult that I find truly offensive.
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Old 06-07-2002, 08:54 AM
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See my above post regarding my own feelings on transexuals entering lesbian bars. However, I don't own a bar, and I'm unsure about the policies of those who do. Not that they'd be able to spot a transexual and turf her out on the spot even if they wanted to, but how would they react if, say, the London Transgendered group asked for use of one of their rooms for meetings? And how would the other customers react? I'm fairly certain that my friends would be OK with it, but maybe I should just ask them.
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Old 06-07-2002, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by QueenAl
Not that they'd be able to spot a transexual and turf her out on the spot even if they wanted to, but how would they react if, say, the London Transgendered group asked for use of one of their rooms for meetings?
There have been reports of DNA testing at the door by some "womyn-only" groups (most notably the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival).

In my opinion, they should be obliged to let them use the room as long as they agree to abide by the establishment's rules. After all, as an innkeeper they're obliged to serve anyone and everyone who keeps the peace and pays their tab. That's been the common law of England for five centuries, no reason to change it now.

You might look up Norah Vincent for an example of a prejudiced (and rather annoying) lesbian with the antitranssexual attitudes I find so offensive. I think she writes for Salon now; the piece that best exhibits this attitude, though, is this little gem that she wrote for the Advocate a couple years ago. (She took a lot of heat for that one.)
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Old 06-07-2002, 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by KellyM
There have been reports of DNA testing at the door by some "womyn-only" groups (most notably the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival).

In my opinion, they should be obliged to let them use the room as long as they agree to abide by the establishment's rules. After all, as an innkeeper they're obliged to serve anyone and everyone who keeps the peace and pays their tab. That's been the common law of England for five centuries, no reason to change it now.

You might look up Norah Vincent for an example of a prejudiced (and rather annoying) lesbian with the antitranssexual attitudes I find so offensive. I think she writes for Salon now; the piece that best exhibits this attitude, though, is this little gem that she wrote for the Advocate a couple years ago. (She took a lot of heat for that one.)
DNA testing on the door? For real? Wouldn't that be extremely expensive, difficult to administer, and require customers to wait for days while their results were confirmed?

Pub landlords, as it usually says somewhere near the door, 'reserve the right to refuse service' to any customer, without giving a reason. They are not obliged to serve everyone. In any case, some all-female bars are actually private clubs, where you have to register as a member before you enter. (Of course this usually means nothing more than writing your name and address in a log-book). So they would not be obliged to let them use the room, but I do hope that they would choose to.

I posted at my regular board asking about attitudes towards transexuals - I'll let you know what they say, though they will probably go for the middle-ground response.
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Old 06-07-2002, 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by QueenAl
DNA testing on the door? For real? Wouldn't that be extremely expensive, difficult to administer, and require customers to wait for days while their results were confirmed?
The MWMF has been reported to have demanded a DNA karotyping proving that the prospective attendee has two X chromosomes before permitting admittance. They don't care how long it takes (it actually only takes a few hours, from what I understand, since all you're checking for is XX vs. XY), what it costs, or how inconvenient it is; what matters is keeping those dangerous female impersonators out of their precious "womyn-only" space. Any "male energy" in the vicinity would ruin the experience for them. (They allow the male offspring of attendees to be present in child care, though. I guess immature Y chromosomes aren't dangerous.)

I believe that they've backed off from this position; now if you don't have a penis anymore and don't actually tell anyone that you weren't born that way, they'll leave you alone. But if they find out -- any way at all -- you're outta there. Amazing that radical feminism has its own version of "don't ask, don't tell", isn't it?
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Old 06-07-2002, 10:11 AM
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Then again, Kelly, I guess we should be grateful that those particular institutions are saving us from the horror of having to associate with such po-faced louts as themselves.
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Old 06-07-2002, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KellyM
The MWMF has been reported to have demanded a DNA karotyping proving that the prospective attendee has two X chromosomes before permitting admittance. They don't care how long it takes (it actually only takes a few hours, from what I understand, since all you're checking for is XX vs. XY), what it costs, or how inconvenient it is; what matters is keeping those dangerous female impersonators out of their precious "womyn-only" space. Any "male energy" in the vicinity would ruin the experience for them.
I wonder what they would have done in case of Turner's (XO) or KLeinfelter's syndrome (XXY)?
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Old 06-07-2002, 05:48 PM
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Good grief, Doc. Bigots don't have to deal with details like that. Whether they're fundaloonies or "womyn-born-womyn" exclusivists.
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Old 06-07-2002, 07:17 PM
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They'd make you take a written, 600 question exam to prove your true womynhood of course!
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Old 06-09-2002, 12:15 PM
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That Was Kind Of My Point...

A lot of wommyn's groups spot off about the repression and prejudice of phalocentric society. But their gynocentrism is just as bad.


Gender bias becomes even more ridiculous when you examine just how blurry the distinctions are.
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Old 06-09-2002, 01:08 PM
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I agree. One of the things that I'd truly like to see changed in my lifetime is the idea of gender being binary. After what I've seen and read, it's a multidimensional continium. Unfortunately, this trend seems here for the long haul.
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Old 06-10-2002, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KellyM
The MWMF has been reported to have demanded a DNA karotyping proving that the prospective attendee has two X chromosomes before permitting admittance. They don't care how long it takes (it actually only takes a few hours, from what I understand, since all you're checking for is XX vs. XY), what it costs, or how inconvenient it is; what matters is keeping those dangerous female impersonators out of their precious "womyn-only" space. Any "male energy" in the vicinity would ruin the experience for them. (They allow the male offspring of attendees to be present in child care, though. I guess immature Y chromosomes aren't dangerous.)

I believe that they've backed off from this position; now if you don't have a penis anymore and don't actually tell anyone that you weren't born that way, they'll leave you alone. But if they find out -- any way at all -- you're outta there. Amazing that radical feminism has its own version of "don't ask, don't tell", isn't it?
That is truly sick. What a bunch of enormous fucking assholes. However - if "legally" you are recognized as female, then isn't there a civil case there if you are denied entry? Seems like a nice embarassing lawsuit would nip that in the bud...

I know that "real" lesbians are typically very uncomfortable around M->F TG/TS lesbians, and you know what? That's really too bad for them. That sort of intolerance and insensitivity is a slap across the face of the very definition of the female mind. Like it's not hard enough trying to find acceptance with both yourself and in society - being denied acceptance by the very group you actually belong to is quite sad. No wonder suicidal thoughts and suicide are so common among those suffering with the 'stigma' of being TG/TS.

Let's not foget too that many TG/TS people do face hatred and abuse from gay men as well - those who see them as "betraying" maleness by trying to "leave" it (as if one was actually ever really male...).

lee - too bad they don't make affordable home laser kits, huh?
  #39  
Old 06-10-2002, 07:01 AM
KellyM KellyM is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthracite
However - if "legally" you are recognized as female, then isn't there a civil case there if you are denied entry?
Well, MWMF is a "private club". In general, nondiscrimination laws do not apply to private clubs. Since they own the land they use for the gathering and do not have any public involvement, their decision to exclude transsexuals (as well as men) is not subject to review under antidiscrimination law.
  #40  
Old 07-16-2002, 06:03 AM
Tansu Tansu is offline
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DNA testing?? Holy HELL. That's simply heinous. Just goes to show there's a lot of bigotry and hate around. Nice to see that these idiots feel that everything they amount to can be reduced to one chromosome. I wonder how they manage to feel any pride in anything they do or feel, since in their eyes it's not what they do with their lives, or what they feel deep down that counts; but just one little chromosome.

Personally, I don't understand why some people find it hard to accept that chromosomal sex, gender and sexual orientation are three unlinked things. I suppose that once they have a system of categories to put things in, they are stubbornly resistant to the idea of modifying those categories. But then, you've got to modify your world view when confronted with new evidence. It's only good and right to adapt your hypotheses to form a coherent theoretical network sufficiently underpinned by empirical evidence.
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