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Thread: Trans thread :)

  1. #16
    Senior Member Bastien's Avatar
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    It's understandable, I was looking up books online and have yet to find anything really worth while. I'll check that out! Thanks!

    I'm more just looking to get myself more informed about the community anyways. If there are ANY books about transsexualism, please share!

  2. #17
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity.
    This is pretty dangerous territory, though. I know a lot of hateful stuff has been written about the trans community, like Janice Raymond's The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male and J. Michael Bailey's The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender Bending and Transsexualism. Although there are pretty obvious cues in the titles as to the transphobic slant of those books.

    Honestly, I would also check out the internet. I've read a lot of smart, passionate writing on trans issues/ the trans experience on sites like Feministing, Tiger Beatdown (particularly the archives), Shakesville and Bilerico. There used to be a great queer/ sexuality and gender website called Below the Belt, but I don't think it's operational anymore.

    ETA: you might also want to check out Kate Bornstein! I hear her stuff is really good. Although it isn't very historical either, it's more like creative nonfiction/ personal essays.

  3. #18
    Why is this happening to me? beanstew's Avatar
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    Beautiful and moving post on HufPo by Gretchen Peters about her transgender son
    My least favorite word when people ask me about my son is "become," as in, "When did he decide he wanted to become a man?" When do we decide to become the gender we are? Does it happen at toddlerhood, at school age, at puberty? My son has always been male. The only difference between him and me and probably you is that his body betrayed him, once at birth and again, traumatically, at puberty. Being the parent of a transgender child has led me to some interesting analogies. Being trans is a state which most of us cisgender folks can't quite wrap our heads around, at least initially. But this question of becoming vs. being reminded me a lot of something that's bothered me about the music business (I'm a singer-songwriter) for years: people used to ask me the same question after I'd had success as a songwriter and was making my first album as a recording artist. "When did you decide to become an artist?" I felt a similar sense of indignation. I've always been an artist. You just didn't know it.

    Learning that my child was transgender was like turning a key and feeling all the tumblers fall into place. Everything made sense: his firm conviction at 3 that he was a boy, his refusal to wear dresses, his persistent dis-ease throughout childhood, his reaction to puberty (horror), and, most alarmingly, his bouts during his teens with suicidal feelings. He knew who and what he was -- he always had. When he finally told me, I knew in my bones that it was true. I'd even had inklings before he summoned the remarkable courage to come out. None of that makes the emotions any less raw upon learning that the child you raised as a girl for 26 years is, in fact, a boy. This is the child to whom I gave a girl's name, imbued with my own girlish hopes, nurtured the mother-daughter bond that I had with my own mother -- a bond based, it seemed to me, on our common gender. What was my relationship with this person if he is my son? How do I learn how to have a son? I'd thought of myself as the mother of a daughter for a quarter of a century.

    As a songwriter, singer and musician, I explore the emotional terrain of everyday life on a regular basis. I am interested in shining a light into some dark corners, even compelled to do it, to take the secrets that we all keep and bring them into the light, give them a name, treat them with compassion and humility, but, above all, to tell the truth. Art has the power to transport us into other people's lives, and thus, ultimately, into our own hearts. The act of empathizing with another, no matter how different, breaks down the walls built by secret-keeping and fear, and forever binds us together in our humanity. So naturally, I turned to music to help me process this sea-change in my life and my son's.

    I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I thought about my struggle to own my identity as an artist in the world. I thought about my son's struggle to stand up and be seen for who he is. So many people prefer you to assume a role that makes them comfortable. But life is not about making other people comfortable. This idea seeped into the songs that were coming out of me -- the old adage, "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." I wanted to say what seemed unsayable. That life is tough, heartbreaking, unfair -- and short. And that there is unspeakable beauty to be found. My son unknowingly gave me a tremendous gift last year when he bravely shared his truth with me. He gave me the courage to share mine.
    She makes wonderful music too.
    Maybe for once, someone will call me "Sir" without adding, "You're making a scene."

  4. #19
    Senior Member DavidIX's Avatar
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    ^
    That is so touching.

  5. #20
    Administrator Ryan's Avatar
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    I saw this today on Towleroad.

    Twin Boys, One Transgender, Become Brother and Sister

    As early as age 4, Wyatt Maines asked his mother, "When do I get to be a girl?" And he told his father he hated his penis.

    Wyatt always liked girl's clothes and movies, while his twin brother Jonas played with traditional boy toys.

    Born identical twins, the siblings share the same DNA, but their gender identification took divergent paths. Now, at age 14, they are brother and sister, as Wyatt's transition to Nicole is well under way.

    Nicole is 5-feet, 1-inch tall and 100 pounds; her twin brother is 5-feet, 6-inches and weighs 115 pounds -- and they are best friends.

    Their story -- marked by tearful emotions, bullying at their first school and eventually a lawsuit and a move to a different town -- was chronicled in the Boston Globe on Sunday.
    Also:

    “Dad, you might as well face it,’’ Wayne recalls Jonas saying. “You have a son and a daughter.’’

    That early declaration marked, as much as any one moment could, the beginning of a journey that few have taken, one the Maineses themselves couldn’t have imagined until it was theirs. The process of remaking a family of identical twin boys into a family with one boy and one girl has been heartbreaking and harrowing and, in the end, inspiring - a lesson in the courage of a child, a child who led them, and in the transformational power of love.
    More at the link.

  6. #21
    Senior Member Bastien's Avatar
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    That's a beautiful story. I'm really happy to see so many cases nowadays where parents are fully accepting their transgendered children. Nicole is VERY pretty! It's amazing how different the twins look, since they are identical.

  7. #22
    thundering blissful towards death stillorbiting's Avatar
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    I fully admit I cried when I read the entire story at the Globe. Especially the parts about the father coming around to it and the close bond between her and her brother. You hear about so many shitty things every day, you know? It's draining. And it was just so nice to read about a transgender girl who has the full support of a loving family for a change.

  8. #23
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    You may have seen or heard of the Genderbread Person infographic that explains gender using continuums instead of ticking boxes. However, the person who made it is trying to make it better and is looking for input: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/...eed-your-help/

    This is the current version:



    p.s. that website also has a post on 20+ Examples of Cisgender Privilege which is well worth a read if you're a cisgendered person who has never really thought before about everyday issues trans people face on a regular basis.

  9. #24
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    I saw the genderbread person on facebook! It doesn't seem to me to be very trans-inclusive though? I don't know. The only module which seems to account for trans identity is gender identity, but not so much biological sex. Which can and does sort of make it complicated when it comes to trans people (like, at a certain level, isn't my trans identity just as biological as it is "how you, in your head, think about yourself"?), especially for trans people who've had genital surgery but don't have ovaries/ testes and chromosomes that match up with those of their "target sex". It sort of leaves us all in this weird grey, unaccounted-for space that the diagram doesn't really explore. In a way, it also feels a bit delegitimizing to me, as in "oh, you may look like a woman, but you'll never be a real woman because you don't have ovaries, a uterus and xx chromosomes. Your womanhood is false." Which I get probably wasn't the intention at all, and is probably just me projecting my some of my own personal experiences onto this diagram, but there it is.

    I do think it's a useful teaching tool for people who are still new to these concepts and have a hard time understanding them, but from my perspective it's also a bit reductive and oversimplified.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Mori's Avatar
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    Well, there's always room for improvement with that Genderbread Person. In ebby's post, he said the person who made it is looking for input, so maybe you can suggest that the bio part of the diagram needs to be changed.

  11. #26
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
    I saw the genderbread person on facebook! It doesn't seem to me to be very trans-inclusive though? I don't know. The only module which seems to account for trans identity is gender identity, but not so much biological sex. Which can and does sort of make it complicated when it comes to trans people (like, at a certain level, isn't my trans identity just as biological as it is "how you, in your head, think about yourself"?), especially for trans people who've had genital surgery but don't have ovaries/ testes and chromosomes that match up with those of their "target sex". It sort of leaves us all in this weird grey, unaccounted-for space that the diagram doesn't really explore. In a way, it also feels a bit delegitimizing to me, as in "oh, you may look like a woman, but you'll never be a real woman because you don't have ovaries, a uterus and xx chromosomes. Your womanhood is false." Which I get probably wasn't the intention at all, and is probably just me projecting my some of my own personal experiences onto this diagram, but there it is.

    I do think it's a useful teaching tool for people who are still new to these concepts and have a hard time understanding them, but from my perspective it's also a bit reductive and oversimplified.
    I'd argue it's exactly the opposite and instead shows the difference between gender identity and biological sex, and how they're not the same thing. It's designed specifically to be trans inclusive - showing that someone's biological sex may or may not align with their gender identity, and that this may change over the course of a physical transition. Hence the arrows at the end of each line - showing that it's not an A or B scale, but that people identify all along the line. That's the intention.

    So you find people filling it in like so in trying to explain their identity to someone:




    The fact that people fall in the "grey areas" is precisely the point. It's also meant to be a more mutable scale, which reflect changing identities or biological sex. It can explain clearly that someone who was born biologically female, but whose gender identity is male, then has this conflict between their biology and their sense of self. It also shows that gender identity is a separate thing from both sexual orientation and gender expression - a number of trans people I know have talked about how they initially questioned their trans identity because they didn't feel they were a feminine woman / masculine man, and that this caused issues for them until they realised that they can be a trans woman who is a butch woman, or a trans man who is more feminine and that gender expression is a separate thing from biology or gender identity.

    But, even at that, it's not perfect, and is still being tweaked and worked on to be a gender and sexuality version of the Kinsey Scale, for want of a better comparison.

  12. #27
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
    In a way, it also feels a bit delegitimizing to me, as in "oh, you may look like a woman, but you'll never be a real woman because you don't have ovaries, a uterus and xx chromosomes. Your womanhood is false."
    That's because there are multiple definitions and meanings of sex and gender. For instance, genetically speaking, a trans person, regardless of identity, expression or sex organs, will always be what their karyotype says they are. Phenotypically, they will be their original sex pre-op, and their desired sex post-op. So yes, there will always be differences between say, a trans woman and a woman who was born as such. People need to be educated in the sense that even though these differences exist, they need to respect the gender identity and expression the trans person assumes and acknowledge said person as a member of the gender with which they identify. You won't get anywhere telling people that a trans woman and a cis one is the exact same thing, because it's simply not true and pretty much everyone is aware of that.

    As ebby said, that graph points out the differences in a way that people can understand and respect them. If that's not a good thing, I don't know what is.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Andyland's Avatar
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    I think these discussions can get touchy when the science differs from the way people experience their lives. A transwoman may feel that she was born a woman, but simply also had a biological error or complication.

    But I do agree that there's no sense in pretending that there aren't differences between trans and cis folks.

  14. #29
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    My response! Spoilered for length.

    Okay, let me attempt to address these concerns. One by one, to prevent confusion!



    I guess, when I get down to the brass tacks of it, my own view of gender, sexuality, identity and the intersections thereof, are far more complicated/ conflicted than this graph represents. Which, in essence, is to be expected, because a graph is reductive in nature- it reduces a set of data to its simplest, most coherent elements. But when discussing the complexities of human identity, I think we need more than that.

    Also, I wish more/other trans people posted here, as I'm curious about what they'd have to say. To the best of my knowledge, there's one other trans poster, but she isn't very active, so.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Mori's Avatar
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    Genderqueer here. I lean more toward androgynous/femme. And I agree, it's never a simple as "it's either this, that or somewhere in the middle". I consider myself a sliding scale from one day to the next.

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