My mother to a friend at a party as we hit the dance floor.
We would probably dance whether she called me her son or not, but it’s a cute thing to have said.
My mother to a friend at a party as we hit the dance floor.
We would probably dance whether she called me her son or not, but it’s a cute thing to have said.
it’s been a while since I posted anything. Sorry ya’ll. Life’s getting hectic these past few weeks. I promise I’ll be my verbose self again soon.
I really like this. It’s not exactly how I feel about my body, but it’s got some similarities.
hell yeah, but not people I know. And in all honesty, I think my androgyny and occasional genderfuckery are less of the reason than my crazy hair colors. Or maybe it’s that my hair calls attention to me which makes people notice my androgyny and occasional genderfuckery which makes them make fun or point. Which I suppose I want; I mean, I know what I’m getting myself into when I dress in a manner that aggressively confronts people with my gender reality and loudly calls attention to my presence in any given space. The problem with saying it that way is that there are other situations in which people are said to be “asking for it” and that’s not at all a valid argument. I think what I mean is that I’m asking for the attention, I’m asking for people to think, and I deserve to live in a world in which people do not react violently or aggressively to anyone’s appearance.
Anyway, most people who show any of that sort of “interest” in me are more curious than mean-spirited. I hear a lot of conversations (that people think I can’t hear) about whether I’m a boy or a girl. I hear them in a bunch of languages too. If it’s happening on the subway, i’ll usually wish them luck just before I get off. Sometimes people ask me about it. Sometimes they just stare. Still, I’ve had to learn to tell the difference between a hostile stare and a curious one (and a friendly one, that happens a lot too). I have different responses to each, of course. I have a lot of confidence and security in my gender and don’t really leave room for people to try to make me feel bad about it.
It’s funny though that while I was coming up with an answer to this question yesterday I was called a freak by a man who was driving by me on the street. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time anyone’s called me a freak in a derogatory manner. In high school I was part of a group that called itself the freaks, so this word holds a lot of positive connotations for me and I just sort of laughed. I was too distracted to get his license plate number or the name of the company on the side of his van though. Too bad. I also hear little stupid things sometimes. Like one time I was walking around (in the village of all places!) and this couple (two women) walked by me and one of them said, “what the fuck was that?” Very strange.
These attacks don’t hurt me personally, but they make me worry for the safety of my community, especially those who aren’t as thick-skinned as I am. I’m a lot more concerned about transphobia than about personal insults from people I don’t know. If somebody wanted to hurt me, they would have to become a close friend and *then* consistently invalidate my identity by not using the right pronouns for me (this happens. And if it’s someone who doesn’t know better, I gently correct them and we learn; I’ve been trans long enough that I only shrink a little when someone is too blind to notice all my gender cues. If not, it’s just a shitty feeling to think that someone who thinks they know me doesn’t understand why pronouns are important to me) or by implying (or down-right asking) that I should not talk about my identity as fully as I live it.
milkybanana asked: Ok this is kind of a weird question/comment type thing and I’m not even sure how to word it.
But reading the articles in which people are referred as zie and hir and all of those special pronouns… I feel that they work toward the opposite of what LGBTQ is working for. This whole equality thing you know? Special pronouns only serve to further segregate us from being “normal.” And by that I mean having us be considered normal by everyone else, because we /are/ normal. If pronouns are made up for those that are outside the gender binary, it makes other people (those that aren’t as informed as others) think that we think we’re special or different or something. Particularly those of us that are younger and always accused of being something for attention or to be “the most different”, even if we don’t use those pronouns. I stick to saying “s/he” and “they” when I’m not sure what pronoun someone would prefer to be used. But honestly if someone told me they wanted to be referred to as zie/hir/whatever the rest are, I probably wouldn’t speak to that person because that comes across as completely backwards to the equality thing. I am bigendered and pansexual by the way, and I have nothing but an open mind for all of this. And I’m aware that there are people that are neither he or she, which is where “they” comes into play for me. I just want someone to explain to me how these special pronouns help prove us LGBTQ (Or OGSM as I am trying adopt now because it’s more all-inclusive, “outside the gender / sex(uality) mainstream) people as equal to those that are cisgendered and heterosexual? I also posted this question at pansexual pride, I’m trying to gather various viewpoints.
Enoch: This reminds me of when I was around 12 and I was realizing my attraction to women. I had this theory that there was no real difference between gay people (that was the term I used as a catch-all before I discovered queer, which works so much better for me) and straight people, and that coming out served no purpose but to widen the imaginary divide between gays and straights. The result of my theory was that I ended up being in the closet for two years without really understanding it was happening.
When I finally realized how much not talking about it had meant avoiding talking about it and being afraid for it to come up, I was quick to do everything I could to rid myself of shame. This meant coming out very publicly, joining my high school’s G/SA, and, most importantly, finding my local queer youth community program and learning that there really was a difference between straight people and queer people. A big, beautiful difference. And that difference is the reason I identify as queer, a word that, before it came to represent my community, meant strange or odd. To me, identifying as queer shows that I recognize and embrace the fact that I am different from what society wants me to be—that I am not, as you would put it, “normal.”
I feel that way about being trans now too. There’s a difference between transpeople and cispeople, and it has to do with the oppression and rigorous self-exploration that I think all transfolk go through in some form or another. The idea that I should have to make my process invisible in order to convince someone they should accept me is appalling to me, and completely invalidates all of the work I have done to free myself from the rules I was taught I had to follow.
I think that words you would call “special” such as “ze” and “hir” further our bid for equality on our terms. I think a more appropriate way to refer to these words are “specific words” or “words that actually fit our lives.” You identify as bigendered and pansexual, aren’t those “special” words? Couldn’t you instead use the words an uninformed society uses when they refer to you, like “he-she” and “greedy-and-indecisive-person?” Of course you couldn’t. Those words are offensive and grossly misrepresent your experience, so instead you use words that are specifically created to fit your life and empower you.
By making new words for ourselves, we create linguistic space for our actual existence, we ask for the language to recognize us as we are and we know that it currently doesn’t have any way to do that. So we look into ourselves and we find words that work for us and we make them part of the language. Language evolves all the time, and usually nobody blinks an eye, every year the Oxford English Dictionary adds more words it never had before.
“She” is not considered a special pronoun, yet it only applies to people who are woman-identified or perceived woman-identified, and “he” is also not considered special. Those words reflect the realities of the people who use them in ways that empower them to hold their identities at the forefront of the way they are referred to. Asking me to use “they” instead of “ze” implies that I should not have that right equally to the way that cisgendered people do. They is not a singular pronoun; it does not reflect my experience as a singular person, and furthermore makes my trans identity invisible and trivial. I’m not looking to be equal if it means not expressing myself as fully as cisgendered and heterosexual people can. In the end, can that really be called equality?
Raven: Personally, I see ‘they’ as being a kind of double-informal, where it seems we’re not addressing the person personally, even if we *are* using pronouns. Whereas (s)he would fail to describe somebody’s gender in an ordinary situation, the other multitude of words would suffice. Language changes all the time and borrows from other ones as well :)
Adelaide: Ok, so I’m bigendered, and generally use “they” as a pronoun. However, I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t prefer to use it (either in reference towards myself, or towards their own self), because it can sound like they’ve got multiple personalities. Which sounds silly, but I guess I understand that. The thing is, it’s not a “special” pronoun. It’s just a better way for a person to reference their own self. You can’t just say “I’m not going to talk to you if you don’t call yourself this and this,” because 1) that’s rude 2) if “he” or “she” doesn’t fit, what ARE they supposed to call themselves if zie/hir/etc. Doesn’t appeal to you and they don’t feel right using “they?” Also, I don’t see how LGBTQ is exclusive.
Shaan: I get what you’re saying and I sort of agree. I think that having so many sub-labels and cultures does nothing but alienate us further from where we want to be as a community. However having genderless pronouns such as zi, hir, and etc also helps cater to those who don’t adhere to the typical he and her. Using “they” is fine if you don’t know the person personally or in common passing, but if you know the person. Sometimes using “they” can confuse a conversation because you could be referring to multiple people or the word just might not fit. Random fact though: Facebook uses your method. Before I set my gender to “male,” it would say “Shaan has new status update! Click here to comment their status.” So it’s effective, just has the potential to confuse.
P.S. - One of our members runs Pansexual Pride so you may get the same answer twice.
Tony: Hmm; I think we’ve discussed this before, Ruski. Note: to all people wondering, the person who asked the question is my best friend, so the name Ruski refers to them. I agree with you, to a point, but there is a lot of different situations. I like the other pronouns, because sometimes people wish not to fit into any gender pronoun - for example, andrgynous people or other non-genders. It’s a personal preference, I suppose. Even here at Transpride, we ask which pronouns would be preferred.
Zoe: That’s funny that you say using ‘they’ gives people the impression of having multiple profiles, because for the longest time and still, in a discovering stage for people seeing their places outside of the gender binary, these individuals were either considered or considered theirselves of having some form of multiple, independent personalities. Anyway, I would not hardly say that incorporating zi/hir/etc enforces selictivism and/or separatism it is quite the opposite. It shows an ever growing expansion of the LGBTPQQIA (that’s the actual full length that is seldomly recognized) and further proof that there is so much more outside of the gender binary. Now I can however, see partyl where you may be coming from-in certain forms that ask for a persons gender and only male and female are available. However, it must be noted that you are never required to answer a question about your gender on a formal or even legal document, this is very specific wording that is used for purposes of human resources, equality records, etc. If you are a person that identifies as zi/hir/etc you don’t have to answer to what your gender is, same way that even if you do identify as one of the two genders (or even both genders) you don’t have to answer it neither.
Hey! Welcome to New York! I guess the best way to check out Khane is to go to his facebook group. It’s got his hours, contact info, address, and hundreds of pictures of what he can do. I’ve gotten him to give me a cut and then do pretty intricate fades (there’s the tree in that picture, and I got an elephant once, which ended up actually being pretty simple), and he spends as much time with me as it’ll take and if you tell him what you want, he’ll quote you a price and tell you how long he thinks it’ll need and he’ll stick by the price even if you take longer. I’m not positive on this because I haven’t been to him in a while (too busy being too far from brooklyn), but I think it usually costs me about 30 or 40 bucks including tip, and I tip him pretty heavily because that’s so much cheaper than what it’s cost me at other places. And the quality is higher.
If Brooklyn’s too confusing or far for you, Astor Place Hairstylists is a pretty queer-friendly place, though it’s not so much that they’re aware as that they don’t give a fuck. As far as my experience goes there’s someone in there for everyone, but my hair is pretty cooperative when it comes to cutting and styling and doing whatever I tell it to, and I don’t know if yours is. I’m asking some queer Asian friends for you just in case. Prices and skills vary depending on who cuts you, but you’re likely to find a cut you want at a price you’re comfortable with and it’s close enough to Chinatown (if you’re a New Yorker who likes to walk a lot) that you could fudge the facts for your family by saying you got it done downtown.
Mercedes Ruehl (via xyxrebellion)
I hear this a lot, and I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I’m not down with the message this sends, particularly in the phrasing, which implies both that no individuals have chosen a trans identity and that no individual ever would want to. There are lots of different ways to be transgender, and maybe some of them stem from some influence nature has over them, but that’s not everybody’s truth.
My trans identity springs from a long, rigorous process of introspection, self-analysis, and interacting with social constructions. It comes naturally to me, but it is not a force of nature, and I don’t ever worry that it’s somehow less valid. I know that my discomfort with the gender system I was brought up into is real. I built my identity myself because I reject the notion that gender is inherent in any binary form. We can call our genders binary names, but in my opinion they do not naturally fall into a binary.
My issue with the research into the “causes of transgender” (and by extension GID as a gating diagnosis for access to medical transition), or claiming that “it’s not chosen, it’s nature’s fault” is that it feels to me like a way of downplaying the revolutionary aspects of trans identity, of saying, “hey! Don’t hate me, it’s not my fault. I’d totally be normal like you if I could, but I can’t.” And also, “Look, my claim to space in your gender hierarchy is valid because my brain chemistry proves I’m just as much of a man (or woman) as all you cismen (or women). Don’t worry, all I need are a couple of surgeries to make me look just like the norm for my gender and then we can all forget that this mess ever happened.”
That’s not at all how I feel about being trans. To me choice has been an important part of my exploration. I chose to start examining the systems I live in and I chose to identify using terms and practices that placed me outside of the norms of some of those systems. I chose to allow my discomfort to stir me to action. I don’t know much about brain chemistry (which, I believe, is the current way we’re trying to prove our validity through science), but I imagine that my brain looks a lot like a lot of binary-gendered people’s brains even though that’s not how I identify.
I also know that science and data are often manipulated to rationalize oppression and that they can therefore be used to falsely enforce acceptance. No matter how necessary and wonderful that acceptance is, I think it should come on our terms—with people accepting us because they recognize that we have a right to challenge prevailing notions of what divides people, not because science says we’re just like them, or worse, that there’s something off about us that maybe someday science will be able to fix or prevent. Besides, saying transgender is caused by some biological process creates a binary (read: hierarchy) of trans validity: those whose claims to trans identity can be backed up through scientific tests and those whose cannot. Do you want that for your community?
and to this i say,
You can take a stand against oppression and dominant cultures without appropriating the cultures of the people being hurt by them. Appropriation actually enforces oppression, it does not stand against it. Appropriation is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Why White People Should Not Wear “Mohawks” or Dreadlocks
re-blog please. oh colonial whiteness, you are not dead.
There’s a new Tumblr user reblogging pictures of white girls with dreadlocks from my Tumblr. They have added captions, making fun of these women for disrespecting blacks or something through their hairstyle. Guess what: dreadlocks are a natural hairstyle for people of many different skin colors, untraceable and historically unassociated to any specific culture. You’re just being more racist than the racists you’re fighting by assuming they are associated with some race. Nice try, though!
OH HAI I HEARD YOU LIKED TO CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE STUFF SO I MADE YOU THIS REAPPROPRIATIN’ CULTURALLY APPROPRIATIN’ BLOG SO YOU CAN CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE CULTURAL APPROPRIATION WHILE I REBLOG YR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION SO YOU KNOW YR A CULTURALLY APPROPRIATIN’ PIECE O’ SHIT
lolz @ ‘disrespecting blacks or something.’ flame wars ftw.
I think that the person from fuckyeahdreadlocks needs to figure some shit out and reason their arguments better, but I understand the point: this pamphlet offers a blanket statement that looks to categorically close off certain practices from an entire group of people. Any time we fall into the trap of policing people’s bodies and aesthetic practices across the board, we need to take a step back and think about what we’re really fighting for. Because if it’s freedom from oppression, we’re not reaching our goal.
I don’t have dreads or a “mohawk” and I never have. I’ve considered the latter and decided against it for reasons that had nothing to do with my anti-racist politics because I admit that I hadn’t thought about it. I had an aversion to dreads on white people for somewhat-less-than political reasons (I think that it had something to do with the fact that it’s more difficult for a lot of white people to dread their hair and I didn’t really trust the process they used) and I voiced them to a partner who was allowing her hair to dread. Though she never really talked to me about her reasons for dreading and implied that it was partially because she simply couldn’t be bothered to prevent it and liked the look, I know that she, as an aware black woman, had put some thought into what she was doing.
She asked me to be more reasonable in dealing with my prejudice against white folks who chose this hairstyle, to ask them about their motivation for doing it and about their methods. She made it clear that my assumptions and, if I’m honest, blatant discomfort (dare I say disgust?) about white people dreading were laden with offensive judgements of her and her practices as well.
She prompted me to ask a woman at my school who had done it, and I did. This woman told me that her hair was naturally very curly and she had decided for college that it would be simpler and lower maintenance to lock it. I know that this is a reason a lot of people of various background cite for choosing certain hair styles. I also know that dread maintenance can be very taxing in some cases.
My point is not to dismiss what has been called for in the article, just to point out that it’s not a universally held view among all politically aware people. I think that we can recognize that dreads do actually come naturally for people of various colors (let’s not completely ignore that Nordic and Anglo Saxon people also historically dreaded their hair) and that people of various colors get them for different reasons, not all of which are strictly political (though in our current society dreading almost always has a political connotation in addition to whatever other thinking goes into wearing them; depending on a person’s experience, the thinking is different).
Different dreads on different people mean different things. It is not our place to assume that we understand each person’s reasoning because we think we have their history and mindfulness pegged. I think dreads have room for variety, so long as everyone is taking the cultural and political implications into account when choosing them.
“Mohawks” I think are a different story. I know the history of the Carlisle Schools and I know that such schools actually still exist in some form, mostly for women who never had access to that hairstyle under their own cultural norms anyway. While I agree that cultural appropriation that has taken place, it’s important to recognize that the style comes from many cultural sources, not just Native Americans. I also see that “mohawks” have taken on new cultural meanings in punk scenes and then queer movements and then mainstream culture.
While these new meanings can clearly be traced back to the oppression of certain Native Americans and other cultures, I think the symbol cannot be fully returned to the people who originated it. Appropriation happens so often from so many cultures to so many others (sometimes that’s called cultural exchange) that if we all gave everything back, I wonder who would have anything left. All of our cultures have pieces of other cultures in them, and we are richer for it. To say that oppressive or colonial cultures are the only forces that cause this cross-influence unrealistically fetishizes indigenous cultures in a way that is ultimately just as harmful to their empowerment.
I am not going to ignore this manifesto simply because its arguments are flawed. I know that in my own practices I can advise people of the appropriation that has taken place and I can choose not to use these hairstyles on myself, but I don’t think that I can judge a person whose politics I usually feel safe in and who, possessed of all the information, chooses to continue wearing this hairstyle.
I’d love to hear anyone’s response to this.
I rarely have dysphoria anymore. I think when I was starting my exploration I thought I was supposed to have some kind of issue with my body, so I made it happen, and I was never in a place of emergency or needing change, but I felt delicate with regards to my body and had to spend a lot of time looking at it trying to figure out what it actually looked like and remind myself what was there. It helped me a lot to do that.
I never had a set idea of what I wanted my body to look like, so I’ve mostly always known that medical transition can’t give me any more of a sense of contentment than I already have with my current shape. At some point I started to really love my body. I usually feel really lucky in it. I see this as a queered body image because I am able to understand my body as beautiful for the things that are true about it, not the things that I want to be true of it, and because I don’t see it as disconnected from who I am as a queer person or a transperson.
I’ve always known, though, that one of the major helps in my acceptance of what I look like is that my body is one that I would personally probably find attractive on another person. This is especially true of my chest, that ever-contentiously gendered part of the anatomy. The more I’ve come to encounter female-contoured chests in my life, the more I’ve come to appreciate my own female-contoured chest as a particularly appealing one. To me, anyway. I’m not one to assign universal aesthetics, but I know that my chest is one I would be attracted to on another person. And that’s been so helpful.
It’s one of those things where I look at my chest and think, gosh, well it would be a real shame for this chest to be gone from the world. Sure, it’s vain, but it gets me through the day. The true shape of my chest has become integral to my comfort in my body. My style of genderfuck, which I see as the most true expression of my gender identity, takes full advantage of this comfort with my chest and that’s part of what I love about it.
So that part I think is less queer. But I have to admit, something even less queer than that happened to me the other day:
I tend to undress in front of the mirror. Earlier in my exploration I found it helped because I could do it slowly and adjust to how I looked in each layer; I didn’t have to go from seeing myself bound to suddenly being naked and having this protruding chest. I’ve kept the habit.
So as I was undressing, I noticed that the shape of one side of my chest had changed slightly. I panicked. Big time. It seemed to me like it was a completely different shape, and I felt it and it felt like a completely different consistency, and I looked at it from a bunch of different angles and it seemed to have changed entirely. I’d heard that binding could do things to the shape of your chest, but I bind differently from everyone I know and I’ve been doing it for three years almost every day and had never noticed any changes before.
So in that moment, I questioned everything I had learned about my body image. All of it was based on my ability to find myself attractive, and what if this change continued? I already liked that side a little less than the other, and and wasn’t excited about this little shift, it could only get worse and worse.
I felt terrible about even thinking about it, but I couldn’t help it. How would I feel if I weren’t attracted to the shape of my body? How would I cope as a transman, as a queer person, as a person? And how could I, as a person who is attracted to female-bodied people, place those kinds of standards on my own body when I would never think it appropriate to even think about them on others? It would probably change everything.
I think it’s gone back to normal now, but that’s not the point. The point is that I don’t know how to love my body without being attracted to it and I think that’s problematic.
Make an art piece with them!
If you like getting angry at terrible people who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about, check this out.
Without doing any research besides reading and making racist snap comments about the description of an event held by the University of Wisconsin - First Wave and Urban Word NYC, two organization that offer high-quality hip hop and spoken word education to youth for free (First Wave is a full-scholarship 4-year college program which heavily focuses on bringing hip hop into the classroom, and Urban Word NYC offers 5 free spoken word/slam poetry workshops in Manhattan and Brooklyn a week for teens, saving lives and offering support, scholarship opportunities, and college application assistence), Debbie Schlussel attacks the idea that hip hop is culturally relevant or uplifting to anyone, insults our entire generation’s intelligence, and makes personal attacks on the artwork of friends of mine without having seen it.
I know it’s just a shock-and-awe piece pandering to racists-on-the-right and that it’s so unfounded in anything that it’s not worth my attention, but the fact that she makes fun of my friend without cause made me read it in the first place. It wasn’t until I read her bio that I got scared. She studies radical Islam and is clearly racist not just against black folks and participants in hip hop culture, but also anyone who practices Islam. She seems to have the power to turn her prejudiced ideas into racist actions on the part of the government and the public. SHE’S GONE UNDERCOVER INTO MOSQUES TO INVESTIGATE THEIR POLITICAL LEANINGS. Also, she’s proud that she was “Attacked as “Enemy #1″ by Ms. Magazine (”Women to Watch … and Watch Out For,” February/March 2001).” People like this scare the shit out of me.
hooray for birthdays and being born!
I understand you, and want to reiterate that I was not angered or hurt by what you said, I just felt the need to weigh in on it. I think you and I did interpret the question differently, but I think we also seem to use words to mean different things, which happens a lot in our community and is pretty cool in my opinion. I think the person who asked the question was simply referring to drag performance and we all kind of took it to different places from there.
As to your confusion, I’ve learned that there are some people who revel in being trans and some people are trans because it’s something that happened to them and they’re looking to rectify a life-long wrong. Both of these ways of approaching one’s trans identity are equally valid and brave, but I come from the former experience and so I can speak to it more fully.
As a person who revels in being trans, I think I would always go through the bother of transition (though medical transition is not my goal, my transition involved a lot of changes. At some point I’m going to make a post about what a non-medical transition can look like, because it’s not necessarily just social), no matter my starting point. This is, of course, pure speculation because who knows what would have been different about me if I had been raised as a boy, but I know that I *want* to be trans. I never want to be cisgendered, so while, yes, sometimes it’s a struggle, it’s easy for me to imagine intentionally othering yourself through transition. For instance, i’m jealous of the ciswomen who get read as transwomen. I don’t mean the ones who are told they’re “not pretty enough to be real women,” though there’s power in that too, I mean the ones who have a certain underlying masculinity or maleness to their features that never questions the femininity and/or womanhood they present. There’s a quiet beauty in having built yourself, and it’s sort of like how we insist that there’s no difference between queer people and straight people, but there is and we build community around it and see so much beauty spring from it.
Also, with my own identity: I identify as a male-centered androgyne. If androgyny is a coming toward the middle, a muting of binary-gendering characteristics, then almost all of use must start from one end of the supposed spectrum (I really prefer a globe theory but there’s no time for that here), and layer on traits of the other end until we reach the middle. Very few of us are lucky enough to just naturally have very few identifiable binary-gendering traits. The way that I conceptualize it is that I pulled myself to a male-like base so that I could use femininity to build my androgynous appearance (rather than the masculinity of female-based androgyny). I made myself look more male so that I could be more comfortable in the trappings (hehe, what a fun word for objects-representative-of) of womanhood and femininity. I know that this confuses people and I like that about it.
The reason I like to think this works with the term FTM is because to me that term is indicative of people who undergo medical transition regardless of their gender identity. To me it is an embodied sex/gender term rather than simply an internal gender identity. And while it can be used to cover both (in the way that male and female can), to me it says more about a body and its origins and modifications than about a mindset. Sure, I know FTMs who would never be willing to get into a dress, and I know FTMs who don’t respect womanhood and femininity enough to parody it through drag, but I don’t like to assume that people feel that way until I learn more about them. I always try to encourage people to expand their ideas of what their gender is capable of.
My SN on AIM is outofmytoga, if anyone wants it.
and P.S. Yeah, that’s me.
This is a later post by the Tony I just railed against. Ze (sorry tony, don’t know your pronouns) visited a conference and says ze learned a lot. Thanks for calling my attention to this, Tony. I appreciate it.
Anonymous asked: is an ftm dressing in drag as a female wrong?
Tony: Hmmm. Nothing is ‘wrong’ in life (other than things outlined by law). If you feel you are a FtM, then there you are. If you enjoy women’s clothing, then there you go, too. I do, however, always think that FtMs who say “I’m a dude in my mind, but my body doesn’t match up with my brain gender - BUT I like to dress as a woman” are probably bi-gender or gender confused. If you want any further info on bigenderism, then don’t hesitate to ask us about it.
This is not meant to be a personal insult or attack, I just am making my opinion known: I believe that FtMs give up the right to be a “woman” in any form when they become physically male. This is probably something that was influenced by my old mentor. If you are a guy, and you want to match your body to your brain that much, then you shouldn’t also have a strong desire to wear female clothing. This is why I think you’re probably bigender, and this is why I usually abstain from these questions - Transpride is not for me to give my opinion. So I’ll give it once and abstain from any further questions on this matter.
Shaan: I have to correct a bit of Tony’s response…this section of Transpride is actuallytotally based on opinions and personal experiences. “Q&A With Transpride” is more or less a way to get to know our members and their views a little better. So whatever is said, be it offensive or not, cannot be held against the blog as a whole but instead only the person who said it.
That off topic mini-rant having been noted…
I don’t think it’s wrong, but I do think it’s confusing if you’re doing it on a daily basis. If you’re just being a drag queen for shows, parades, or whatever other occasional event that’s fine…but if you’re dressing as a woman and fully presenting yourself as such on a regular basis - it’s just one of those “I don’t get it” moments. I don’t understand the point of going through all the trouble of transitioning from FTM, only to turn around and wish to be seen either as a woman or a “man in a dress” by the public. But to each their own.
Gabriel: An FTM dressed in drag is not wrong. If bio-guys can do it, we can do it too. Don’t let random idiots deter what you want to do.
Stephanie: Nope, nothing at all.
Zoe: Nothing is wrong with it.
For some reason I couldn’t reblog or respond to this post, so I copied and pasted. I want to respond to Tony and Shaan’s comments.
I could probably do it altogether, but in order to make sure I recognize that each had a different opinion, I’ll start with Tony’s:
It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered such sexist, cisgenderist rhetoric on a blog for transfolk. I had figured that’s most people blogging specifically about their gendered experiences had by now gotten down the basic tenet that there are all different kinds of gender identities and that no one can tell you what you can and cannot do on the basis of what word you use to describe yourself. That is the very definition of gender oppression. At least you’re so very out in the open about it. I’m sorry your mentor taught you such hateful and affronting ideas about what it means to be a man, and furthermore, a transman. We have to give up *rights* to be trans? Really? We already have the government trying to tell us that; we certainly don’t need it from our community.
You seem to have this idea that all people who medically transition have the same motivations and the same gender. I can imagine a person who medically modifies to a male body *in order* to wear dresses and still be perceived as a man; if I chose to modify, that new ability would be something I would see as a positive, as a reason to consider doing it. As I wear dresses now, I have to work extraordinarily hard to genderfuck and have it be noticed, and if I modified, it would be a lot easier for me. Our bodies, our clothes, our labels are tools we use to present ourselves in ways that people understand (or intentionally in ways people don’t understand), they’re not boxes in which to confine ourselves. A man can wear women’s clothes as a man, as a drag queen, as a woman, as a gender-non-conforming person of various identities, just for the whim of it; it NEVER changes the fact that if he believes himself to be a man, he IS one. Also, the person asking never claimed to be a man, only an FTM, those can be different identities.
I guess it’s mostly in the second paragraph of my response to Tony, except that I found this response much less problematic. I know you think an impulse to respond to every little thing that bugs me is immature, but my experience has been that we’re a community that is trying to learn about one another, trying to expand our ideas about what gender and inclusion can be and so sometimes people won’t listen, but I know that if I wrote something that somebody felt some type of way about, I would want to hear it. I’m looking to learn how to be a better ally to people of mine and other marginalized communities, and I can only do that through discourse, through putting my opinions out there for someone to interact with and respond to, negatively or positively.
There are so many reasons why a person might be FTM and wear dresses on a regular basis. Many of them, I think, come back to not having a binary-male identity, but it’s not hard for me to imagine an individual who identifies as the kind of man who regularly cross-dresses and feels himself to fit perfectly into the word “man.” As someone who believes that having a male body never makes a person a man (I believe that only an internal idea of oneself as a man makes a person a man), I don’t see transition as a way to make your body match your internal gender or any of the other ways transfolk now imply that they are “trapped in the wrong body,” I see it as a way of making your body look the way you want it to. For many people, the way they want their body to look is intricately tied up in their ideas about their gender and the body that that gender should have, so that particular motivation can be called making your outside match your inside, but stating that that’s the only reason for medical transition devalues all of the other reasons that someone might do it.