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Old 03-23-2019, 04:57 PM
Ronald Raygun is offline
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Those of you who are sick of us transgender people, what do you actually want us to do?


I find that most discussions about trans people, particularly when they don't actually include trans people, quickly turn into hardline stances about the nature of gender and trans-ness. I know I'll inevitably see some of this:

"Men have XY sex chromosomes and a penis; women, XX and a vagina. Trans people are deluded or have a mental illness. Why should I have to buy into their delusions?"

And then the discussions can get abstract:

"Gender is immutable. There's no gender 'essence'. Words mean what they mean."

At this point, the discussion is no longer helpful to trans folk. Regardless of how you perceive them in your heart of hearts, the fact is that they exist (the USA currently has more trans people than it has people living in Wyoming), and they often have needs that are not adequately or safely met by society. To keep the discussion focused, let's talk about me. I'm not interested in what you think I am. The indisputable facts are
  • I (likely) have XY sex chromosomes.
  • I have a penis. I intend to have my testicles removed in May. I'll still have a penis. I'm OK with that.
  • I have visible breast development, and most of my facial hair is gone except for some along my neck.
  • I "present" as female. This includes unambiguously gendered clothing and hairstyle.
  • I'm 5'9", 130 lbs.
  • I "pass" to people who don't interact closely with me or who don't get a good look at my face -- panhandlers asking me for money at night, for example. It is very obvious that I'm trans, otherwise.

Which restroom do you want me to use? If your answer is the men's room, how do you propose that I do so safely? Consider that I've been verbally harassed and physically assaulted in men's rooms. At this point, as soon as I enter a men's room, I am guaranteed to confuse people, because most men are not going to study my face while they're standing at a urinal. "Miss, I think you're in the wrong restroom!" As I'm exiting and passing people coming in: "Shit, is this the men's room?"

How are you going to enforce this? Have someone check my genitalia? How will this work for those of us trans women who received a vaginoplasty? What happens if you bar a non-trans woman from using the bathroom on the basis that she's not "feminine"? Are you also going to check her genitalia?

How will your policy impact people who have transitioned "the other way" (I'm simplifying and excluding a lot of people in the process, but as an example: XX chromosomes, vagina, taking testosterone)? How will you determine that *I'm* not transitioning "the other way"? Should everyone carry papers?

Do you want separate restrooms for anyone who looks a little queer? Where will they be built? How will they be paid for?

How do we currently enforce bathroom access? Does it work? Will your solution be better?

Extend these questions to homeless shelters, crisis centers/refuges, changing rooms, etc.

If you think I have a mental illness, what should I do? What if I can't afford medical care? Consider that I have a medical diagnosis of "transsexualism". I currently am in weekly psychotherapy and often discuss gender. I am on psychiatric medication. The accepted treatment is for me to live "in a role consistent with my gender identity". Do you disagree? If so, why? What do you recommend I do? Why does your recommendation carry more weight than that of the psychiatric community? What should be the ultimate outcome of transgender care? I currently am far more functional and capable than I ever was pre-transition.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:05 PM
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They want things to go back to the way they were. They want people to go back into the closet and stop upsetting their antiquated worldview as to how things should be. They want the world to work the same way it did back in the 60's when they were growing up watching Brady Bunch and My Three Sons.

I realize this does not help you at all, and they're doomed to disappointment. I'm sorry for what the jerks of the world are putting you through.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:10 PM
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Finally, if you're someone who has strong opinions about transgender people -- on either/any side of the "debate" -- and a lot of these questions are things you haven't thought about, why is that?
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:10 PM
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You've done a good job pointing out the logical contradictions that run all through transphobia, and the fact is that those making such transphobic arguments have no coherent answers at all when you point out their logical flaws. They don't want to debate the answers to these questions. All they want is for us to stop existing. That's their entire program. We're not going to stop existing. That's why they will ultimately lose. All they can do is harass, harass, harass until our continued existence and fight for our equal rights will make them get tired eventually and give up harassing.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:14 PM
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I've noticed you put "debate" in quotation marks, which is good. Because there'll be no "debate" about people's right to exist who were born this way. To even set up such a "debate" is dehumanizing and vile. I won't debate anyone who believes I ought not to exist, I just scorn their evil bigotry.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:15 PM
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I identify as a trans ally. And I don't care what bathroom you use. The ladies' room has stalls, anyway, so no one is going to notice what bits you have, unless they are a creep who peers into occupied stalls.

I wish you the best of luck dealing with society.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:38 PM
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Relevant exchange snippets from me in a concurrent thread, which will hopefully take care of some of the standard transphobic talking points before any transphobic posters actually show up:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Plutonium Kid
There's no such thing as transgender.
Well, actual neuroscientists seem to think there is, or at least that the hypothesis of the physical reality of transgender identity is biologically plausible and is worth scientific study. Why should we believe the unsupported opinion of some angry rando on an internet messageboard more than the findings of qualified scientists who've actually studied the subject? [...]

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Plutonium Kid
Most people will never accept so-called "transgender" as an actual, physical reality.
Of course we will. Heck, India alone has nearly one-sixth of the world's population, and their culture has long accepted the non-binary gender identity of "third sex", and as of 2014 has recognized transgender status as a legitimate gender identity in law. Several other countries already legally recognize transgender or indeterminate gender status, and all the evidence indicates that acceptance of this norm is going to go on increasing. [...]

You sound, in fact, like the people from a quarter-century ago who declared that it was absurd and unthinkable to refer to a lesbian woman as another woman's "wife" or to a gay man as another man's "husband", because obviously only a man can have a wife and only a woman can have a husband. A quarter-century from now, your furious insistence on misgendering transgender people is going to sound just as quaint.

Last edited by Kimstu; 03-23-2019 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:23 PM
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I'm not your target audience, but I think that when transphobic people eventually show up in this thread, someone should link to that beautiful transwoman model and super-buff transman, both of whose names escape me right now, and ask which bathroom they should use.

In fact, I think someone should put together a set of slides with cis- and transwomen and men and ask people to identify which is which, just to show how silly the bathroom issue is.

This isn't the guy I was thinking of, but I think he should probably use the men's room:

https://mashable.com/2016/03/14/tran.../#blVEnIieCGqb

And, these should probably use the women's room:

https://viraluck.com/viral-facts-transgender-models/

RS
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:04 PM
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I may not exactly be what you may me seeking but you might consider me trans confused. With that being said, I want to state the following clearly and unambiguously.

- I do not fear you, who you are, how you live your life or how you choose to express yourself either in public or in the private moments with those you love. Thoughts and actions based on fear breed negative results. Thoughts and actions based on shared understanding and honest communication with people who have different perspective than I breed positive results.
- I don't care how you dress or what restroom you use. I've got more important concerns.
- I have no interest in attempting to define who you are or who you should be. You and I are different and attempting to define you in my terms is somewhere between futile and insulting.

With that being said, I do have to plead ignorance regarding modern gender terminology. This is a good thing for the simple reason that ignorance unburdened with either fear or hate is a correctable condition. I'm old school, somewhat socially issolated and relatively unconnected to modern thought. When I grew up, things were simple, binary. Now, I just don't know what terms the hip (Do people still say "hip"?), young, "woke"(?) people use these days. There's no point in trying to label other people but I would appreciate some help in learning what labels people are self applying. I could really use a glossary.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:18 PM
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They want to not have to think about or reminded about the fact that you exist.

It’s like when people complain about things like Gay Pride. “Why do you have to wave your sexuality in our faces?” As if did-Herero people’s sexuality isn’t always in everyone’s faces.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
They want things to go back to the way they were. They want people to go back into the closet and stop upsetting their antiquated worldview as to how things should be. They want the world to work the same way it did back in the 60's when they were growing up watching Brady Bunch and My Three Sons.

I realize this does not help you at all, and they're doomed to disappointment. I'm sorry for what the jerks of the world are putting you through.
And didn't know that Robert Reed was gay.

What about people who are intersex, anatomically and/or genetically?
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:28 PM
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As if did-Herero people’s sexuality isn’t always in everyone’s faces.
I'm guessing "cis-hetero"?
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:34 PM
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I'm guessing "cis-hetero"?
Yes.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:34 PM
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I'm not your target audience, but I think that when transphobic people eventually show up in this thread, someone should link to that beautiful transwoman model and super-buff transman, both of whose names escape me right now, and ask which bathroom they should use.

In fact, I think someone should put together a set of slides with cis- and transwomen and men and ask people to identify which is which, just to show how silly the bathroom issue is.

This isn't the guy I was thinking of, but I think he should probably use the men's room:

https://mashable.com/2016/03/14/tran.../#blVEnIieCGqb

And, these should probably use the women's room:

https://viraluck.com/viral-facts-transgender-models/

RS
A lot of things don't make uncomfortable, but this sort of thing does for several reasons. With regard to the trans community as a whole, this privileges trans people who "pass", and soon we'll be talking about how some trans people don't deserve to do X based on how well they adhere to some physical standard. I have a trans guy friend who is not shy about his frustration that Laith Ashley has somehow become the face of trans masculinity. It also has a sort of "wow, look at this woman, she's really a man" feel to it, and I dumped an electrologist because of a similar attitude of hers regarding her young and pretty Instagram-model clients. I'm reminded of the (deserved) blowback RuPaul's Drag Race got when they aired a "Female or Shemale?" segment.

Secondly, when I was in my 20s, I had a very Andreja Pejic sort of vibe, to the point where I'd regularly get asked if I modeled, or why I wasn't modeling. Of course, I was closeted, and my internal answer was "I'm too 'manly' or large or disgusting or whatever." Now, in my mid-30s, I look at myself in the mirror, and I kick myself for not jumping at the chance. I still complain about my body to my guy friends, who are frequently six inches taller than me and twice my weight, and they're always like "What the fuck is wrong with you?". My cisgender wife is taller than me when I'm in heels, but that doesn't stop me from saying stuff like "Yeah, my hands are long and slender, but the nailbeds are the wrong shape". It's falling in a dysphoria rabbit-hole that, while it isn't the norm, it certainly is a norm that I see among people in the community. So I'm pretty sensitive to physical standards, because while I'm very lucky, I also know how painful these issues are for a lot of us. Plus, I know plenty of trans people who are absolutely gorgeous but are obviously trans.

Also, you meet some of these people in real life, and you're like -- wow, there's a lot of magic that happens in the make-up chair, the production studio, etc. What the hell kept me back?
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:50 PM
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And didn't know that Robert Reed was gay.

What about people who are intersex, anatomically and/or genetically?
I would wager that they would say intersex people are suffering from a birth defect and should make the best of an awkward situation by staying quiet and not disturbing the closed-minded people of the world.

I work with a guy who believes that transgenderism doesn't exist because once somebody's done transitioning, the DNA hasn't changed, as if he'd be okay with transgenderism if there was some miraculous transformation involved. I didn't have the energy to ask what he thought about intersex; I just don't talk to him any more.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:55 PM
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... that doesn't stop me from saying stuff like "Yeah, my hands are long and slender, but the nailbeds are the wrong shape"...
Pardon the hijack, but do men and women tend to have different shaped nailbeds? I can guarantee you that's a detail I've never noticed. What's the difference?
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:07 PM
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transgenderism doesn't exist
I've seen this expressed online now pretty regularly, although I've never heard anyone say it in person. I don't understand what is implied. I can understand disagreeing with what being transgender "means", or what it implies about a person, but to say it doesn't exist? The only thing I can think of is some idea that being trans is learned behavior or is some sort of choice. I guess that taking steps to transition or to live accordingly is a "choice" in a sense, but -- and maybe this is why I don't understand it -- there's a state of mind that I often recognize in trans women in a "we know our own kind" sort of way, and this state of mind precedes transition.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:12 PM
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My take on it is that I don't live in your body and you do, so that makes you the expert on it. I don't live in your mind and you do, so that means you're the expert on that as well. My opinion or beliefs regarding your gender presentation are immaterial and it's up to me to keep my opinions to myself, just as I expect others to STFU about whether they think I'm attractive or not or should gain or lose weight or should wear makeup or different clothes--because they don't live in my body or my mind so their opinion of what's going on in there is meaningless.

I don't give a shit where you pee or poop, so long as it's not somewhere I'm likely to step in it or smell it days later. Use whatever bathroom you like and feel comfortable in--same with changing rooms and workout spaces and the rest. You know where you belong and my opinion doesn't matter. Just don't be gross or creepy or I'll tell you to fuck off with that shit because I don't appreciate anyone being gross or creepy in a space where people are naked and/or vulnerable.

I simply do not care what's in anyone's britches unless I'm interested in getting up close and personal and since I identify as ace these days that means I don't care about anyone's bits and bobs. I don't care if you have no breasts and can grow a beard but still have a uterus and decide to gestate a baby with it all the while you identify as a man--yes, some men have uteruses and some women have penises and anyone who can't deal with that should just shut the fuck up about it until they've learned how to behave in polite society.

I also don't care how good your gender presentation is or how "passable" you are, just as I wouldn't have given a shit regarding your color and how that defined your race in less enlightened times. I'll take your word on it at 100% face value and will do my level best to remember your pronouns. If I fuck up I'll apologize too, because to continue to argue with another person when they tell you you're wrong about something you've assumed about their gender is the height of arrogance, privilege and assholishness and I do try not to be those things.

Does some of this mean I've had some uncomfortable moments over the years? Why yes it has but about a million other things changing around have also been uncomfortable and frankly a person's unconventional gender identity is way less disconcerting than a lot of other societal changes. What do I want y'all to do? Mostly to be happy, do what's right for you and continue to insist on your right to be just as comfortable in society as anyone else. Diversity is fun and those who resist it are, basically, pretty much just giant gaping assholes. Fuck those people.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:13 PM
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Pardon the hijack, but do men and women tend to have different shaped nailbeds? I can guarantee you that's a detail I've never noticed. What's the difference?
I don't know. But I feel like my palm is a little blockier than a cis woman's, and my knuckles just a little too knobby, and my nailbeds a little too squared-off and shallow. This may be a lot of bullshit, but I've somehow internalized this due to... pervasive beauty standards in media? Wearing a full set makes this go away, I think because it balances the proportions, which is funny because I invariably have cis women asking me how the process for getting acrylics is like, as they've never done it.

Last edited by Ronald Raygun; 03-23-2019 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:25 PM
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I'm not your target audience, but I think that when transphobic people eventually show up in this thread, someone should link to that beautiful transwoman model and super-buff transman, both of whose names escape me right now, and ask which bathroom they should use.

In fact, I think someone should put together a set of slides with cis- and transwomen and men and ask people to identify which is which, just to show how silly the bathroom issue is.
I'm not sure that emphasizing trans people who happen to be ideal physical examples of their post gender is such a good thing. I think it's important to emphasize everybody's rights even if their appearance wouldn't trick a cis-person into thinking they're cis.

Last edited by I Love Me, Vol. I; 03-23-2019 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:34 PM
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I'm not sure that emphasizing trans people who happen to be ideal physical examples of their post gender is such a good thing. I think it's important to emphasize everybody's rights even if their appearance wouldn't trick a cis-person into thinking they're cis.
I'm very happy that we're moving towards this as a community. Boosting "non-normative" or non-conforming trans people has been extremely helpful for my mental health and self-esteem.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:39 PM
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I've seen this expressed online now pretty regularly, although I've never heard anyone say it in person. I don't understand what is implied. I can understand disagreeing with what being transgender "means", or what it implies about a person, but to say it doesn't exist? The only thing I can think of is some idea that being trans is learned behavior or is some sort of choice. I guess that taking steps to transition or to live accordingly is a "choice" in a sense, but -- and maybe this is why I don't understand it -- there's a state of mind that I often recognize in trans women in a "we know our own kind" sort of way, and this state of mind precedes transition.
I don't think he's done enough research to have any kind of coherent opinion about it; so far as he knows, he's never met or spoken with a transgender person (ironically enough, he probably has...), and it's not something he wants to have anything to do with. He probably latched onto the idea that transgender people are confused, misguided, or just plain crazy, and he's good with that.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I View Post
I'm not sure that emphasizing trans people who happen to be ideal physical examples of their post gender is such a good thing. I think it's important to emphasize everybody's rights even if their appearance wouldn't trick a cis-person into thinking they're cis.


Thanks for saying this, I was thinking the same thing.

There are a lot of shades of trans, and creating a very high standard for how “extremely passable” a transwoman or transman could be really leaves out a large swath of the population, most of whom are the ones who most need our collective support and encouragement, to be whoever and however they are comfortable.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:08 PM
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(the USA currently has more trans people than it has people living in Wyoming)
Heh, I'd never seen it put in these terms before. Does this mean that trans folks need to be guaranteed two Senators and three electoral votes, to avoid tyranny of the majority?

But to make a serious attempt at an answer to the OP: I think that a lot of folks don't have any clear idea of what gender identity actually is. In fact, I'm one of them: If you ask me what my gender identity is, I'm liable to answer "How would I know?". But I'm willing to take other peoples' word for it that it is something that's very real and very important, at least to them.

I imagine, though, that there are some people who are just as confused as I about what gender identity means, but who think that because they can't understand it, nobody can (heck, if there are people who can think that way about math and physics, there are people who can think that way about anything).

What really puzzles me is people who very clearly do have a notion of gender identity, but who are nonetheless intolerant of trans people. For instance, someone who can claim that God is definitely unambiguously male, despite not having any anatomy or DNA (or, I suppose, having all of the anatomy and DNA in the Universe). Why can't they accept that a person can be male in the same sense that God is (whatever that sense is), despite possibly having a female body?
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:04 PM
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I think it's important to emphasize everybody's rights even if their appearance wouldn't trick a cis-person into thinking they're cis.
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I'm very happy that we're moving towards this as a community.
Me too, partly because it's healthier for cisgender people as well. If we make acceptance of male or female identity strictly contingent on looking very stereotypically "feminine" or "masculine", then not-entirely-gender-conforming cisgender women and men are going to get swept up in the "restroom purges" too.

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I think that a lot of folks don't have any clear idea of what gender identity actually is. In fact, I'm one of them: If you ask me what my gender identity is, I'm liable to answer "How would I know?". But I'm willing to take other peoples' word for it that it is something that's very real and very important, at least to them.

I imagine, though, that there are some people who are just as confused as I about what gender identity means, but who think that because they can't understand it, nobody can (heck, if there are people who can think that way about math and physics, there are people who can think that way about anything).
Yeah. I think a lot of us cisgender people have no idea what our gender identity feels like---I don't either---just because it parallels our physical sex and our assigned birth gender so closely that we mistake it for empirical physical knowledge. What does it feel like to identify as female? I don't know, it feels like me! My femaleness is just obvious to myself: look, this body has all the female parts, how could I not feel I identify as female? Anybody who has a body like this but doesn't think of themselves as female must just be delusional, because gender identity is just a conscious recognition of physical reality, right?

Wrong: as you point out, there are plenty of things that have a real existence even if some of us don't understand them. RR, I really mulled over something you said in your "Ask the trans woman" thread from a couple months ago:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Raygun
It's not like I want to literally be in a different body. Rather, it's when I look at the mirror, all of the secondary sex characteristics that signal "male" to my brain -- the facial hair, the jawline, the broad shoulders, etc -- distress me. [...]

For example, I have breasts now. I started growing them about two weeks into hormone therapy. They aren't particularly notable (except that they're on a trans woman), but I'm very comforted by how they occupy a space on my chest that always felt empty. I know that doesn't make sense. It's not like I look at my right hand everyday and think to myself, "Well, thank God that's there! What a relief!" Then again, I've always had a right hand.
THAT RIGHT THERE about the "always felt empty". I think it's fascinating, but not at all something I could have figured out for myself, how your brain's instinctive sense of your body didn't (used to) match with your brain's conscious empirical sense of your body. You are not delusional---you saw and knew that there were no breasts on your chest, you weren't hallucinating the physical presence of something that didn't (yet) exist---but you had an instinctive sense of something missing. Ghost breasts.

I really wish that there was some kind of cognitive "neurological illusion" experiment that could temporarily give cis people something like that sense of physical mismatch so we could understand the subjective experience of gender identity and gender dysphoria a little better. Because I think our profound ignorance of the nature of this kind of brain/body divergence is ultimately behind a lot of transphobic insistence that "there's no such thing as transgender".
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:33 PM
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I don't have much to add, except to say that I'm glad to be a member of this community of rational and accepting people.

My daughter is transgender. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this possible. But it's a fact, and love and acceptance is paramount.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:44 AM
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I'm not sure that emphasizing trans people who happen to be ideal physical examples of their post gender is such a good thing. I think it's important to emphasize everybody's rights even if their appearance wouldn't trick a cis-person into thinking they're cis.
My instinct is to disagree with you. I think that what it does is to really shake up their assumptions and throw those assumptions into stark relief. First ask, should this obvious man use the woman's room? How would you like that guy going to the bathroom with your daughter (which always seems to be their biggest fear)? Maybe then they start to understand that there is a spectrum of gender and sexuality.

On the other hand, almost everything I've learned on the subject, I've learned from here -- I barely know one transwoman who I used to work with 20 years ago and otherwise have no interaction with that community. So, I'll trust the feedback I've received here.

I still think the slides would be a good idea, to show the huge variety of cis- and trans-women and men, and really highlight the existence of gender spectrum.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:12 AM
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...I also don't care how good your gender presentation is or how "passable" you are, just as I wouldn't have given a shit regarding your color and how that defined your race in less enlightened times. I'll take your word on it at 100% face value and will do my level best to remember your pronouns. If I fuck up I'll apologize too, because to continue to argue with another person when they tell you you're wrong about something you've assumed about their gender is the height of arrogance, privilege and assholishness and I do try not to be those things...
Confession -- if you tell me you are a girl but my gut perceives you are a boy, I'll probably use your name and avoid gendering you at all. I apologize for this weakness on my part, but I'm old and it's really hard to change old habits.

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I don't know. But I feel like my palm is a little blockier than a cis woman's, and my knuckles just a little too knobby, and my nailbeds a little too squared-off and shallow. This may be a lot of bullshit, but I've somehow internalized this due to... pervasive beauty standards in media?...
Interesting. By that standard, I have male hands. I identify as a woman, fwiw, although not very strongly.

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...Yeah. I think a lot of us cisgender people have no idea what our gender identity feels like---I don't either---just because it parallels our physical sex and our assigned birth gender so closely that we mistake it for empirical physical knowledge. What does it feel like to identify as female? I don't know, it feels like me! My femaleness is just obvious to myself: look, this body has all the female parts, how could I not feel I identify as female? Anybody who has a body like this but doesn't think of themselves as female must just be delusional, because gender identity is just a conscious recognition of physical reality, right?...
Honestly, I have very little gender identity. I think if I were 20 I would identify as non-binary, or possibly even trans. Other than the breasts, which have always felt like they were in the way, I'm quite satisfied with my body, though. So I "get" the idea that someone might have have gross bodily dysphoria, but I don't really "get" the people who have some internal sense of gender unrelated to how they feel about their body. But my daughter (who is cis) feels strongly female. She delights in female protagonists in a way that I never cared about, for instance. I can acknowledge that there are some parts of the human experience that go over my head.

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My instinct is to disagree with you. I think that what it does is to really shake up their assumptions and throw those assumptions into stark relief. First ask, should this obvious man use the woman's room? ...
I think it depends where in the conversation you are. With someone who has never seriously considered the possibility that there might be any ambiguity about sex = gender = genes = presentation I like to bring up the existence of natural hermaphodrites, and the fact that Talmud recognizes that there are people who don't neatly fit into either the "male" or "female" category, and that there are whole cultures that recognize other genders and have forever. Those trans people who completely "pass" in the gender they identify with can be part of that initial exposure to the idea that this whole gender thing is a little more complicated than you might have realized.

When dealing with someone who has thought about the idea but has decided to be an asshole, I think that's less useful. And most of the real problems that real people have dealing with society and gender come up when someone doesn't exactly conform to the binary gender ideals.

If you look like a guy but identify as female, which public bathroom should you use? I mean, I think people of good will don't care, but there are nasty dangerous people out there. Most men don't sexually harass women. Almost all women have been sexually harassed. I hope we have reached the point where most cis people don't harass trans people. But I'm sure that trans people still have to live their lives assuming they will face a certain level of harassment. So do you use the ladies' room? The men's room? Do you look for that unisex "family and handicapped" restroom? Maybe you use the ladies' room at work, the men's room at the theater, and the unisex room at the airport. That's why I think the law should be generous, and let people use the facilities they are most comfortable with RIGHT NOW, under whatever conditions apply at the moment.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:04 AM
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"Men have XY sex chromosomes and a penis; women, XX and a vagina. Trans people are deluded or have a mental illness. Why should I have to buy into their delusions?"
I'm not sure if this is on- or off- topic, but I find it helps to shoot down this assumption:

Because actually, no, not everyone is born with either XX or XY chromosomes, not all babies are born with genitals that can be easily categorized as male or female and there are other relevant conditions like being immune to testosterone (such people can have XY chromosomes yet are physically female in most ways).

I realize that this is not the same thing as trans, of course, but it can be useful to point out that, even just talking about physiology, it's just not true to say humans all fit into one of two buckets. That's a good starting point for then discussing psychological gender (gender identity) and the ridiculously overblown non-problem of where people go pee.

Last edited by Mijin; 03-24-2019 at 11:07 AM.
  #30  
Old 03-24-2019, 11:50 AM
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I'm not your target audience, but I think that when transphobic people eventually show up in this thread, someone should link to that beautiful transwoman model and super-buff transman, both of whose names escape me right now, and ask which bathroom they should use.
This suggestion reminds me what abolitionists did to convince white people that slavery was wrong. They would show photographs of the whitest-looking slave children they could find. Of course that helped white people see the horror of slavery....but only because it reminded whites that if kids who looked like that could be enslaved, so could their kids. It didn't actually convince white people that black people were just as human as they were, though.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:14 PM
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Okay, I'll bite.

I feel very very slightly annoyed when people present an ambiguous gender, or when their gender is highly ambiguous in context. Like when they look and dress and sound non-gender specific.

The reason for my annoyance is that I feel that they are laying a sort of social trap: I will probably use the wrong pronoun and If I do, they become all huffy and I'll be labeled a bigot and impolite and it will all be awkward as hell.

I'm perfectly fine with people being non-gender-binary; but I do feel that as long as the default setting is that in general,
1. people are insulted if you treat them as the wrong gender, and
2. people look at me funny if, out of precaution I would use those new fangled genderless pronouns, and..
3. it is also impolite to just call everyone "Hey you"....
...then the polite thing to do would be for genderqueer people to make clear how to to adress them. So, to treat them as either male, female, or something else (specified as needed). How? I don't know. Maybe a symbol on a chain, if they don't want to go the traditional route of dress, hairstyle, acessories, make-up ? A short sentence when introducing themselves, like people do in writing on fora? "Preferred pronoun: she/her or they/they".

Okay. Now tell me my feeling of awkwardness is not the problem of LGBT people, that it is a temporary problem, and their discomfort at having to tick a narrow box is much bigger then my social discomfort. I even agree.

But the OP wanted to know why people might have a problem with transgenders, and I tried to answer the question honestly.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:21 PM
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I don't understand what is implied. I can understand disagreeing with what being transgender "means", or what it implies about a person, but to say it doesn't exist? The only thing I can think of is some idea that being trans is learned behavior or is some sort of choice.
I think I understand where they're coming from. I hesitate to post this because it's not my own view—I hope I know better—but it's what I could imagine a stupider or more naive or less empathetic version of myself saying:

Once you say "I have XY sex chromosomes" and "I have a penis"—you're a male, end of story. For you to "present as" or dress as or act like a female is either you pretending to be something you're not (like a child pretending to be a dinosaur), or it's a mental disorder where you think you're something you're not, just as if you thought you were Napoleon or Superman or Jesus Christ. You may "present as" Superman; you may wear the red-and-blue outfit; but you still can't fly.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:42 PM
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Okay, I'll bite.

I feel very very slightly annoyed when people present an ambiguous gender, or when their gender is highly ambiguous in context. Like when they look and dress and sound non-gender specific.

The reason for my annoyance is that I feel that they are laying a sort of social trap: I will probably use the wrong pronoun and If I do, they become all huffy and I'll be labeled a bigot and impolite and it will all be awkward as hell.

I'm perfectly fine with people being non-gender-binary; but I do feel that as long as the default setting is that in general,
1. people are insulted if you treat them as the wrong gender, and
2. people look at me funny if, out of precaution I would use those new fangled genderless pronouns, and..
3. it is also impolite to just call everyone "Hey you"....
It's pretty easy to talk to people without their gender ever needing to come up. Nobody's laying a trap, but if their gender is unclear....it's not that difficult to just sidestep it, right? Talking to people in the second person ("you") is kind of the default for social interactions. If you've got to reference someone in the third person and that person is there, just say "[person's name] should do [whatever]"...and if you don't know the name, you can always just ask "what was your name again?" I'm not trying to make you feel dense or anything, but isn't this pretty straightforward?

Quote:
...then the polite thing to do would be for genderqueer people to make clear how to to adress them. So, to treat them as either male, female, or something else (specified as needed). How? I don't know. Maybe a symbol on a chain, if they don't want to go the traditional route of dress, hairstyle, acessories, make-up ? A short sentence when introducing themselves, like people do in writing on fora? "Preferred pronoun: she/her or they/they".
I see this frequently, so it is in fact a thing. Once I went to a veterinarian and ....they...were wearing a button that said "my pronoun is [something]." (Unfortunately I'm forced to just say "they" because I can't remember what it was anymore.)
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:53 PM
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I think I can kinda relate to what Maastricht said. I never considered myself hostile to transgendered people, but I admit to being frustrated a time or two by the apparent dismay whenever I used the wrong pronoun, which is something I've encountered a few times. But I get it - it can't be easy to keep having to fight that battle for respect and acceptance and it doesn't matter if the slips are unintentional - they still hurt.

I admire the courage it takes to be honest about gender identity, and I wish all those who arrive at that awareness all the best, and they've got my support.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:10 PM
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I don't think anyone on the SDMB is going to say they're "Sick of transgender people," so to whom is the OP addressed?

I will freely state that I am absolutely opposed to transwomen playing in women's sports, especially if they have undergone no medical intervention at all related to transition. It's preposterous to have physical men playing women's sports. That is, though, one pretty small and specific issue in the grand scheme of things, and despicable jerkwads like Rachel McKinnon are not representative of all trans people, as much as they may want to be.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:10 PM
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I find that pronouns are hard. Fortunately, in English, the first and second person pronouns are all genderless. (I, we, you) so I rarely mess up someone's pronouns to their face.

I have seen pronoun-preference badges. Mostly, they say "they/them" or they say the pronoun you would have assumed.
  #37  
Old 03-24-2019, 01:17 PM
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Confession -- if you tell me you are a girl but my gut perceives you are a boy, I'll probably use your name and avoid gendering you at all. I apologize for this weakness on my part, but I'm old and it's really hard to change old habits.
Grey's Anatomy just tackled this last week, with an older doctor presented with a genderfluid person who uses they/them pronouns and he got gently taken to school by some of the younger doctors--it was a nice little lesson, kindly told and even if you don't normally watch the show I'd urge you to check out this episode because it's a good one for those of us who aren't genderfluidity natives (to coin a phrase!) and who can feel a little awkward trying to keep up with societal changes of this nature.

One experiment I've been trying for some time now is to remove as much gender specific language from my vocabulary as possible and to see how that changes my thinking--answer is that it does, quite a bit, and in a good way. Entrenched language patterns enforce entrenched thought patterns and vice versa, so being conscious of how much gendered language you use is helpful in understanding the systemic categorization and enforcement of gender identities in our society.

Bottom line is that it hurts no one to leave space for those who aren't comfortable with rigid binary roles to carve out a spot that feels comfortable to them--this lowers the ambient anxiety level of society a bit and helps us all feel a bit less stressed. It's tempting to grasp at the nebulous certainty that people had in the past regarding gender roles on the basis of "times were simpler then" but the fact is that they were only simple on the surface and the emotional and physical toll those gender roles inflict on a large percentage of people is not an acceptable price to pay to be able to go through the world without having to think about what you do and say. Privilege is a bitch--it seems nice when you have it, but it means your comfort is purchased by another's pain and if you can go through life knowing that and still be okay with it, well then, you're not a very nice person.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 03-24-2019 at 01:18 PM.
  #38  
Old 03-24-2019, 01:29 PM
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I don't think anyone on the SDMB is going to say they're "Sick of transgender people," so to whom is the OP addressed?
I Don't Get and Am Sick of Trans-Stuff.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:52 PM
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I have only (knowingly) met and interacted with one transgendered person. A transwoman coworker.

She's nice and everything, but I admit there is something about her that slightly irritates me. Her style of dress. Everyone else in the office wears conventional business-casual mundane clothing. Meanwhile she's wearing mismatched multicolored knee high socks with the bright red sparkly Doc Marten boots. And for awhile, her work email signature said something cutesy and juvenile like "Rainbows and kittens for everyone!"

There's a part of me that feels like she's probably just coming into her own, so I should cut her some slack. Eventually she'll figure out a look and start blending in better. But I also kind of feel like she can come into her own at home, on her own time, just like everyone else manages to do. If everyone else is having to conform to a dress code, whether we want to or not, why shouldn't she? I'd love to be able to dress like Punky Brewster too. But I want people to take me seriously.

I think the transgressiveness of trangsgenderism probably makes it easier for some transgendered people to flout other norms. And onlookers who would otherwise say something don't because they don't want to step on any landmines. Like, if I dared to come to work looking like Punky Brewester, I know at least two female coworkers would pull me to the side and ask me what the hell was going on. They would say it lovingly (maybe), but they would make it clear that my outfit was crazy. But would they ever say that to my transgendered coworker? I don't know, but it is doubtful.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:58 PM
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Quoth Mijin:

I realize that this is not the same thing as trans, of course, but it can be useful to point out that, even just talking about physiology, it's just not true to say humans all fit into one of two buckets.
Actually, I think this is completely relevant. There are some people out there who naturally have both breasts and a penis. There are some people out there who have both breasts and a vagina, but XY chromosomes. There are some people out there whose genitals can't easily be identified as either a penis nor a vagina. Some people might not be happy with this fact, but I think that everyone at least acknowledges that it's true: There are some people who are naturally intersexed, with some traits of one sex and some traits of the other. And it's not due to any choice or action on their part: That's just the way they are.

Well, once you grant the existence of mental gender (which, again, many people, including many transphobic people, do), transsexuality is just another example of an intersex condition. Just as you can have a person with male chromosomes but female genitalia, so too you can have a person with male chromosomes and genitalia but a female mind.

Further, suppose that you do have a person who's physically intersexed (say, XY chromosomes but female genitalia). Just what gender "should" that person identify as? If they identify as female, then they're "delusional" about their chromosomes, and if they identify as male, then they're "delusional" about their anatomy. If everyone must mentally identify as what their body is, then those folks are in a no-win situation.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:01 PM
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Think about it--if you grew up cisgendered you had all those formative years to figure out how to dress and behave and you had cohorts to set you straight when your fashion sense veered too far out of line. If you transition into a different gender at an advanced age you don't have all that experience of being that gender and don't have all that accumulated knowledge of how to behave and dress and present yourself and of course you're going to default to the most obvious examples available in media. It can be kinda awkward to an onlooker to watch the process, wondering if a kindly meant little chat on the subject would be well received and we all have to decide how we handle it on a case by case basis but in the long run it sorts itself out. I mean, I know women who've been women from birth who're so annoyingly, childishly girly that it sets my teeth on edge so I can't be TOO upset about a transwoman who's just working out the kinks when some clueless ciswomen never really get it figured out.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:06 PM
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I don't know. But I feel like my palm is a little blockier than a cis woman's, and my knuckles just a little too knobby, and my nailbeds a little too squared-off and shallow.
Whenever I hear a transwoman say this I think "which ciswoman are they comparing with their hands?" Because I have very broad hands, as wide as most people six inches taller than me, and I am definitely a ciswoman.

I can't help but think this is part of the whole comparing transwomen to a feminine ideal ciswoman are neither expected to meet nor can meet - no one can meet it. Much like all women are held to impossible standards in our society.

Because it's your body you see what you consider the flaws in it. Most of the rest of us don't notice that, not in the least because we're preoccupied with our own perceived flaws.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:13 PM
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I don't know. But I feel like my palm is a little blockier than a cis woman's, and my knuckles just a little too knobby, and my nailbeds a little too squared-off and shallow. This may be a lot of bullshit, but I've somehow internalized this due to... pervasive beauty standards in media? Wearing a full set makes this go away, I think because it balances the proportions, which is funny because I invariably have cis women asking me how the process for getting acrylics is like, as they've never done it.
I'd prefer you not use the term "cis" which unfortunately has turned into a pejorative. I was asked to stop using "tranny"- and except when referring to a cars transmission, I have done so. Reasonable request.

I dont care what bathroom you use, and in fact if bathroom facilities are limited I'd prefer them to be unisex.

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Old 03-24-2019, 02:32 PM
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I will freely state that I am absolutely opposed to transwomen playing in women's sports, especially if they have undergone no medical intervention at all related to transition. It's preposterous to have physical men playing women's sports.
The notoriously bigoted homophobe Martina Navratilova used to agree with you, but she has thankfully evolved and is now sufficiently Woke.

(meaning that after she went on record with this tidbit of common sense that 20 short years ago, 99.95% of all humans on Earth would have wholeheartedly agreed with, she got a panicked call from her agent telling her that she better change her tune toot sweet, as the Transgendered now outrank lesbians in the Oppression Olympics)
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:57 PM
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... if their gender is unclear....it's not that difficult to just sidestep it, right? Talking to people in the second person ("you") is kind of the default for social interactions. If you've got to reference someone in the third person and that person is there, just say "[person's name] should do [whatever]"...... I'm not trying to make you feel dense or anything, but isn't this pretty straightforward?
You'd think so, but it isn't. For starters, I'm bad with names; also, it feels really unnatural to use a person's given name several times when referring to him/her/they. Sooner or later I have to use a referral word. And the referrald word "they" is really not common usage yet here in the Netherlands.

But I also find I have a distinctive mode of talking to men that differs how I (feel when I) talk to women. Clearly gay men or women, yet another mode. I also have different modes of talking to people I perceive to be of different political colors, degrees of education, social subgroup...but the underlaying distinction is always firstly male of female, and adressing someone who is not clearly either throws off my whole social compass.

I'm more then willing to create a new mode of adressing non-cisgendered people, but first I have to know that is what they self-identify with, so I don't make the other error.

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I see this frequently, .......they...were wearing a button that said "my pronoun is [something]."
I've never ever seen these in the Netherlands, where I live. Such a button would certainly solve my problem.
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Last edited by Maastricht; 03-24-2019 at 02:58 PM.
  #46  
Old 03-24-2019, 03:07 PM
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I have seen pronoun-preference badges. Mostly, they say "they/them" or they say the pronoun you would have assumed.
I wouldn't mind wearing one of those myself, since I've been calling people "they" since before transgender issues were even on people's radars, since it's easier to just call all individuals and groups "they" by default than to keep track of gender and quantity. I would gladly have people call me "they" if it meant not having to keep track of that any more (even though I guess I identify as male -- as a cisgender person I never really had to think about it that much.)
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:08 PM
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I've noticed you put "debate" in quotation marks, which is good. Because there'll be no "debate" about people's right to exist who were born this way. To even set up such a "debate" is dehumanizing and vile. I won't debate anyone who believes I ought not to exist, I just scorn their evil bigotry.
I have a question for you. I can't decide whether to characterize it as a serious question or as morbid curiosity, but I would like you to answer it.

How would you feel if you heard a child molester say those exact words?
  #48  
Old 03-24-2019, 03:19 PM
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I have a question for you. I can't decide whether to characterize it as a serious question or as morbid curiosity, but I would like you to answer it.

How would you feel if you heard a child molester say those exact words?
This post's implicit comparison of transgender people with child molesters is hateful and disgusting.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:23 PM
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Think about it--if you grew up cisgendered you had all those formative years to figure out how to dress and behave and you had cohorts to set you straight when your fashion sense veered too far out of line. If you transition into a different gender at an advanced age you don't have all that experience of being that gender and don't have all that accumulated knowledge of how to behave and dress and present yourself and of course you're going to default to the most obvious examples available in media.
OK, but the media provides many more examples of "business casual" than the Punky Brewster aesthetic. I'm certainly not a fashion plate myself and I've suffered my fair share of scornful looks about my clothing choices. But I really don't think it takes years to figure out that red sparkly Doc Marten boots don't fit in a workplace setting, unless you're just trying to be the office oddball.

My coworker has another affectation that bothers me. She calls everyone "hon". I totally understand that this is a term of endearment common in the transgendered community, and I respect that. But being called "hon" is something I can only tolerate from a very small number of people--all of whom are elderly enough to have earned that privilege. A 20-something man or woman calling me "hon" will almost always elicit an eye roll from me. I'm down for extra compassion and sympathy, but that doesn't mean stuff still doesn't work a nerve.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:31 PM
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I have only (knowingly) met and interacted with one transgendered person. A transwoman coworker.

She's nice and everything, but I admit there is something about her that slightly irritates me. Her style of dress. Everyone else in the office wears conventional business-casual mundane clothing. Meanwhile she's wearing mismatched multicolored knee high socks with the bright red sparkly Doc Marten boots. And for awhile, her work email signature said something cutesy and juvenile like "Rainbows and kittens for everyone!"

There's a part of me that feels like she's probably just coming into her own, so I should cut her some slack. Eventually she'll figure out a look and start blending in better. But I also kind of feel like she can come into her own at home, on her own time, just like everyone else manages to do. If everyone else is having to conform to a dress code, whether we want to or not, why shouldn't she? I'd love to be able to dress like Punky Brewster too. But I want people to take me seriously.

I think the transgressiveness of trangsgenderism probably makes it easier for some transgendered people to flout other norms. And onlookers who would otherwise say something don't because they don't want to step on any landmines. Like, if I dared to come to work looking like Punky Brewester, I know at least two female coworkers would pull me to the side and ask me what the hell was going on. They would say it lovingly (maybe), but they would make it clear that my outfit was crazy. But would they ever say that to my transgendered coworker? I don't know, but it is doubtful.
I have several trans friends, and some non-binary and gender-nonconforming friends. One close friend is a guy who spent a few years exploring whether he is really a trans woman, and ultimately decided he identifies as a non-gender-conforming man. He wears women's clothing. And when he first really came out, he wore really cute little-girl clothes. A gay friend commented "if he wants to wear women's clothes, can't he at least wear stylish women's clothes?" But you know what, he wore the clothes that 3 year old girls delight in. Because he didn't get to do that when he was three. So he's doing it now.

That was a couple of years ago, and while he still wears some frilly little-girl things, a lot of his wardrobe is now ordinary grown-up women's clothing. I don't think he delights in it as much as the fluff, but it's good enough.

Anyway, my advice is to cut her some slack. Most women got to wear that stuff as much as they wanted when they were three. Your co-worker didn't. And wearing it in public is an import part of being able to own that stuff.
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