Laverne Cox inspired my 14-year old brother to ask what 'transgender' means. He had no problems grasping the concept, was more concerned about making sure if his body could/would have to birth a child

  • Me: some people are born girls but they have a penis or a mixture of sex organs so people decide they're boys, but if they grow up feeling like they're a girl, then they're a girl and they might call themself a transgender woman.
  • Him: So some girls have penises?
  • Me: Yeah. Some people have surgery to remove their penises and shape the skin into a vagina, some people don't.
  • Him: Can boys have vaginas?
  • Me: And uteruses and all sorts of stuff, yep. They might call themself a trans* man. Some people don't identify as boys or girls, or identify as both or something else entirely.
  • Him: Some people aren't boys or girls?
  • Me: Right
  • Him: So what are they?
  • Me: People have lots of different words, if someone sometimes feels like a boy and sometimes feels like a girl and sometimes feels like neither, they might identify as genderfluid. If somebody didn't feel like a boy or a girl they might say gender neutral or gender non-conforming. There are lots of words for gender and everybody can choose which ones fit them.
  • Him: Ok. I still feel like a boy.
  • Me: Ok. That's called cisgender, when the gender someone decided when you were a baby ends up being true to the gender you identify as.
  • Him: Has a boy with a uterus ever had a baby?
  • Me: Yes
  • Him: I don't have a uterus right?
  • Me: Not that I know of
  • Him: Ok because I don't want to push any babies out of my penis.
  • Me: You couldn't push a baby out of your penis anyway.
  • Him: Oh.

Because if you haven’t seen AJ McKenna’s brilliant response to RuPaul a while back, you should.

tonidorsay:

thetime-wastingprick:

the-bi-furious-whovian:

Gender is a social construct.

I think the term you’re looking for is gender identity.  Gender means sex, see below for that.

Patriarchy is a social construct.

Which doesn’t exist in most first world countries, correct.

Sex is a social construct.

The inherent differences seen in members of most species based on reproductive role are not, no.

Feminism is a social construct.

But of course.

Liberty is a social construct.

This is also technically true.

Childhood is a social construct.

Not quite.  Ideas associated with childhood may be social constructs, but traits of physical immaturity are not.

Liberty is a social construct.

Deja vu.

Marxism, socialism, capitalism, all are social constructs.

True, an economic policy kind of requires a society to adhere to or enforce it.  Although as an aside, the first is effectively one attempt at the second.

Man is a social construct.

Once again, not really.  Whether you’re describing man as the male of a species, or man as humanity at large, both exist independent of society.

Woman is a social construct.

Women, too, exist independent of society’s choice to recognize it.

Male is a social construct.

Female is a social construct.

See; sex.

Race is a social construct.

Yet again, only in the vaguest sense of the term ‘social construct.’  Even without society, visual and genetic differences between races exist.

Poverty is a social construct.

Depends entirely on the definition of poverty.  Relating to monetary wealth of society, yes, because economies rely on a society to function.  Relating to personal wealth, not necessarily.  A person can be poor regardless of society - poor in resources, poor in opportunity, emotional poverty.

Law is a social construct.

Potentially.

The act of identifying one of these things as a social construct means understanding that the rest of them are as well.

Not really, no.

Most people do not understand what social constructs are.

Read that again. Of the 7 billion people soon to stand on this earth, the vast, overwhelming majority do not know what they are.

Yourself included.

They also do not understand that to argue using social constructs means you cannot argue any form of essentialism, and remain honest.

Because that’s entirely your opinion.  Essentialism is not necessarily opposed to social constructionism.

Nor do they understand why that is so.

Probably because, objectively, it isn’t.

This has been a factual post.

Semantics aside, these facts are largely subjective and oftentimes outright nonfactual.  That is to say, not only are many of these facts wrong, some are outright opinions and don’t qualify as facts in the first place - right or wrong.

Incorrect.

Each and every thing on there is a social construct.  You are correct that gender identity is also a social construct.

Fortunately for both of us, you selected a most appropriate and accurate user name, as you are a prick, who is ignorant and incompetent and thinks that they understand something they do not.

We know this because you make several errors relating to social constructions throughout, including one that affects the source for social constructions, wherein you describe a concepts derived from an existentialist basis as not being oppositional to an essentialist based structure.

Enjoy trying to figure out why it is that I am being nice to you, you pathetic waster of time who is a dick. Perhaps you should be wasting less time and spending more learning just how wrong you are.

image

tonidorsay:

http://www.dyssonance.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Introduction-to-Transness_update1.pdf

It does not matter if biology claims trans women are males.

Biology is not concerned with the violence done to people. Biology is not a shield to do violence to people, and indeed, the admittedly flawed models of colloquial biology often cited against trans women have also been used to justify and make excuses for violence against minority populations in oppressive systems.

Violence is still violence.

It is still immoral, still unethical, and defending it is immoral and unethical.

Psychology, sociology, anthropology, physiology, medicine — these sciences have all proven that calling a trans woman a man is violence.

So it doesn’t matter if biology says male when biology, itself, is being violent, according to other sciences.

Because that violence is still violence.

Violence is not limited to broken bones and bruised flesh and physical damage visible to the seeing (an ableist concept itself, so compounding the violence there).

It is words. Ask those fleeing persecution, read history, talk to survivors of child abuse and domestic violence and prison violence. Words are just as physically damaging - and according to many measures more so, since the brain treats those words no differently than it treats the body blows. It sends the chemicals out to the flesh and the organs and it sears synapses and it lasts long after the bruises and the broken bones have mended.

It has physical, measurable consequence, and it endures and we know that this applies even when it is strangers. The science establishes it.

This is fact. Not opinion.

Calling a trans woman a man is an act of violence, an assault, and those who do so are being violent, are being immoral, are being unethical. Silence in the face of violence is complicity, especially when that violence is social. Defense of calling a trans woman a man is defending violence.

Liking it, re blogging it without calling it out, these are forms of complicity. If you cannot tolerate violence against a woman, yet you can against a trans woman, who is also a woman, what sort of a person does this make you? What sorts of lessons are you teaching? How can you only oppose violence against some women?

Name it what it is. Don’t dress it up, don’t reduce it, it is violence. It is unethical. It is immoral. Shame those who do it, teach them it is wrong.

Because not doing so means you are complicit, means you are supporting, means you are not trying to stop violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and even straight people.

It means you are not trying to stop violence against people of color, against immigrants, against the disabled, against the poor.

It means you are standing by watching as someone does violence to another person. And that is immoral, unethical, and shameful.

Regarding why trans people say they have always felt like x or y, what they are trying to express in colloquial and layman’s terms is the concept of gender identity, now more commonly referred to as either social sex identity and physical sex identity, which it two concepts, each distinct.

Roughly translated, the whole thing means that a Trans person is aware that they are a woman, man, both, or neither, at the same core level as they are aware of themselves as a person, distinct from other people.

Some people would prefer to argue that what this is suggesting is that there is a “brain sex” — and yet, that’s not what this is describing. It is describing a sense of self-awareness — which, while decidedly part of the brain’s physiology, is really part of the existential notion that one exists, and therefore is not part of that argument, nor even related directly to biological systems (though many studies indicate such, I’m not going to reference such as biological essentialism of that sort is somewhat contrary to existential systems such as Transcentrism).

What that means, as well, is that this description has nothing whatsoever to do with biology, and, therefore arguments about biology aren’t valid when contradicting it. It would be akin to saying that the United States army shouldn’t exist because of broccoli.

This all comes together in the core aspect here: like sexual orientation, this is part of what creates the sense of self in people, and it therefore is part of how they know that they exist as an individual human being, and is a part of that.

So the same question of how you know can be answered in as many different ways as there are people, and it is the still same way that those asking the question know what their social sex identity is.

This effectively makes it the trans version of the question “how do you know you are gay?”, with the same accurate answer “I just do, because I know I exist.”

The answer may not satisfy those seeking some sort of concrete answer, but it is inevitable that they themselves, will discount any answer because for them the same question remains unanswered in a way they would accept from a trans person, usually due to cis privilege.

telegantmess:

angryboygirl:

I met Laura and told much she and her music means to me. Also, I showed her my back tattoo and SHE LOVED IT SO MUCH SHE JUST KEPT SAYING “HOLY SHIT THAT’S AMAZING” AND TOOK A PICTURE OF IT ON HER PHONE. And I hugged her and cried.
The energy and crowd were so intense last night. I even crowd surfed when she played Bamboo Bones as an encore. I’m not wearing my glasses in this picture because I lost them in the mosh! It was so exciting and I got punched in the jaw and bruised my hip but everything was amazing and I’ve never been so happy in my whole life.
Me and my friends were talking to Laura about how important she was was and seeing her doing her thing was so great and wonderful and how much she mattered to us. And then Laura told us all that we mattered to her as trans queers just trying to do our things and survive. Laura Jane Grace told me I mattered and she’s so wonderful and inspirational and I’m so happy.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

And then Laura told us all that we mattered to her as trans queers just trying to do our things and survive.

So very important to remember that.

(Source: )

"

Among my male and female friends, there are a few who are of either a completely Uranian [transgender] or a bisexual disposition. I have found these individuals far above average in terms of intelligence, ability, sensitivity, and personal charm. I empathize deeply with them, for I know that their sufferings are of a larger and more complex sort than those of ordinary people.

It is a tragedy, I feel, that people of a different sexual type are caught in a world which shows so little understanding for homosexuals, is so crassly indifferent to the various gradations and variations of gender and their great significance in life.

"

Emma Goldman, queer and trans positive in 1934. Eighty years later some in the feminist movement are still catching up … (via servile-masses-arise)

And this is why I have always wanted a time machine so I can dance with Emma Goldman.

(Source: class-struggle-anarchism, via telegantmess)

image

arghmybabydaddy:

blue-author:

Lies.

If radical feminism believed I was fine the way I was, it wouldn’t try to scream and beat me out of existence for existing in public the way that I am.

If radical feminism believed that girls like me are fine the way we are, it wouldn’t try to prevent us from accessing life-saving medical treatment that the way we are necessitates.

Radical feminism doesn’t understand the way we are and chooses not to accept what it doesn’t understand. In the process, it adopts a position that is functionally equivalent to patriarchy: chromosomes = biology = identity = destiny, with a footnote that somewhere down the line they’re going to redefine gender roles in an even stricter and more biologically essentialist way (note: this is called “abolition”, for some reason), just as soon as they can rid the world of patriarchy’s most powerful and privileged agents, the sinister creeping trans women.

I would be the pink dude if I could get proper hormone treatment to grow a flowing beard to go with my flowing hair. Radfems insist I am actually the blue woman. There is no way they think I’m fine the way I am.

(Source: themutantgene)

Tags: terf trans

destroyedforcomfort:

gcvsa:

genderbitch:

Let’s face facts, if there’s anyone who should feel triggered seeing someone in a safe space when it comes to cis women and trans women, it’s trans women seeing cis women.

I’ve already talked about how trans women are raped more frequently than cis women are and rape less than cis women do. I’ve already talked about the disturbing frequency of cis woman on trans woman rape (often in spouse or relationship situations, often during the more vulnerable period of early transition, often by cisgender self described straight women) and the almost zeroed out numbers in the other direction.

We can forget all that because of the very fact that breast and crotch “checks” exist.

That cis women will fondle a trans woman against her will to see if her parts are “real” and/or present (depending on which parts), that this is normalized and that this is endemic, that it is always directed at erogenous zones (breasts, genitals, sometimes other parts of the body like the ass), that it is common and has happened to virtually every trans woman multiple times, done by multiple cis women, who don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong. 

That’s sexual assault.

So temporarily forget about the rape rates and dv. 

The very fact that virtually every single transgender woman has been sexually assaulted by multiple cis women in a normalized ritual of transmisogynist policing of our bodies should make it abundantly clear who should fear who, who would be triggered by who.

If you really think someone should be kicked out of women only spaces for people’s safety and comfort, then it should be [predatory] cis women who are kicked out.

Just saying.

That cis women will fondle a trans woman against her will to see if her parts are “real” and/or present (depending on which parts), that this is normalized and that this is endemic, that it is always directed at erogenous zones (breasts, genitals, sometimes other parts of the body like the ass), that it is common and has happened to virtually every trans woman multiple times, done by multiple cis women, who don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong. 

That’s sexual assault.

This needs repeating. Over, and over, and over, and over again. As loudly and in as many places as possible, until it sinks into people stupid fucking skulls.

It’s uncomfortable for me to admit to and share this, but incidents like this really are appallingly common.

I’ve been non-consensually groped many times (even in public) by many people, mostly cis women, especially during the early part of my transition when my confidence was shaky. It was very traumatizing.

It’s uncomfortable to talk about because the prevailing opinion is apparently that we somehow “want” this; as if violating our personal space, deconstructing and (implicitly at the very least) challenging our presentation and identity, and non-consensually fondling us is some sort of “favor” that they are bestowing.

Because deep down, they still think of us as men; they think we have the sexuality and socialization of men. They are wrong, and they do not seem to care about the damage they cause because of those assumptions.

I don’t care how much sex I’ve had or how open I am talking about it; having my genitals groped by a complete stranger (or even a “friendly” acquaintance) in public is vastly humiliating and unwelcome.

I have literally no idea why I should even have to type that out.

I don’t get why cis people don’t get this.  Except for how they think trans* people, especially trans women, are less than fully human.

(Source: punwitch)

telegantmess:

diaharan:

GOOFUS only cares about white binary well passing trans men and frequently speaks over trans women and uses language that erases their experiences and existence. GALLANT uses his position in the queer community to amplify the voices of his sisters and bring attention to their struggles

:D

(via kiriamaya)

laurelai:

genderbitch:

What’s Wrong with Transgasm.org

lucypaw:

More on the problem with Transgasm.  Including how it’s an all trans men organisation even as it claims it will fund surgery for trans women, too.

See Buck wants trans women to do the work, so that he can pay for trans mens surgeries.

Given the large difference in surgical costs for common surgeries for trans men and trans women, it looks like that would happen even without assuming any intent on anyone’s part.

(via smallvoidthing)

More on the problem with Transgasm.  Including how it’s an all trans men organisation even as it claims it will fund surgery for trans women, too.

I don’t know if people have heard about Buck Angel’s multi-level marketing aka pyramid scheme to supposedly fund trans people’s surgeries but you really need to read Emi Koyama’s article about it.  TL;DR version is that we don’t need victim-blaming magical thinking and scamming of poor trans people.

arghmybabydaddy:

vicoactus:

queerness-and-coffeebeans:

fuck all you cis folk for trying to force apologies out of trans folk when we express our anger, frustration and fear as a result of your words and actions.

I recently was asked to apologize / ‘called out’ for making a trans guy feel bad.

He…

Dear trans guys: Do not do this shit. Just fucking don’t.

image

tits-on-a-tlacuache:

buzzfeedlgbt:

Undocumented transgender immigrants in the United States are among the most vulnerable to discrimination and violence in employment, housing, healthcare, and opportunities for citizenship under current U.S. immigration law, according to a new report being released Friday by the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“It is more difficult to be an immigrant who is a trans person,” Johanna Vasquez, 32, told BuzzFeed, speaking through a translator. “They treat you differently when you are detained.”

Vasquez fled El Salvador at age 16, after she was beaten and raped by community members who tormented her for being transgender. She missed the one-year asylum filing deadline. After 12 years, she was detained by authorities and placed in a detention facility where she was beaten and sexually assaulted.

Without legal defense, she was deported back to El Salvador in 2009, then returned to the U.S. where she spent seven months in a detention facility, before she was deported again. After returning to the U.S., she obtained the help of a public defender, who obtained a withholding of her removal.

“You are put in a cell where you are by yourself and experience a lot of violence that straight people or cis[gender] people do not experience, but you experience when you are a trans woman,” she said of her time in detention.

Just days after House Democrats released new comprehensive immigration reform legislation, advocates at NCTE and dozens of partnering labor and immigration rights organizations involved in the report are calling on lawmakers to pass “common sense” reforms that they say would ensure the safety and security of an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 transgender immigrant adults living in the U.S. as non-citizens.

Undocumented transgender immigrants, many of whom have fled their countries to escape anti-LGBT violence and persecution, are sometimes at greater risk of danger and inequality living in what advocates call a “double minority status,” which creates barriers to their success in the United States, they said.

(via pineapplexjuice)

Explaining the “Transgender Narrative”

lisaquestions:

alexandraerin:

auntyorthodox:

I’ve railed against the “transgender narrative” a number of times in the past few months without giving a proper explanation of what it is. 

Either every single word you use in whole paragraphs of this post has an entirely different meaning that I’ve never heard before, or you’re using a weird double standard to undermine the legitimacy of “the trans narrative” you disagree with.

I mean, if your criticism of “I’ve always felt like a girl” is that it’s based on an external identification, how do you turn around and say we should focus on “not belonging as boys”? Isnt’ that every bit as much an external identifier, and arguably more so?

I don’t actually need another girl to point to say that I feel like a girl. I do need a whole class of boys to define myself against in order to say that I don’t feel like one of them.

How would you label what you experience “sex dysphoria” without resorting to externalities in the first place? I don’t understand how that would happen. If you were alone in a void, the only person on earth, and you raised yourself and had no language that you had not constructed for yourself and no thoughts that didn’t originate with you, how would you explain yourself to yourself?

We can’t define ourselves without resorting to things outside ourselves, and in that regard, all identities are circular and fuzzy. The idea that there’s something particularly so about the trans* female identity is an example of how pernicious and prevalent transmisogyny is. And if you’re going to tell me there’s no such thing as transmisogyny, then I hope you have an alternate explanation for how you set your brain to write this post where you proclaim that “I’ve always felt like a girl” must be false because it’s based on externalities and we should focus on “I’ve never felt like I belonged as a boy” as if that’s a thought that can possibly arise from within.

But what’s the alternative? To keep pretending that we are the same as women? That biology doesn’t matter? That being raised as males and spending a significant portion of our lives walking the earth as boys and men doesn’t change us? 

The alternative is to reject the binary.

No, not *that* binary, but the false dichotomy that has you believing that if biological sex isn’t the beginning and end of everything then it must be nothing (and clearly it’s not nothing, so it must be the beginning and end of everything), that being raised in a society that views us as males either has no effect or is the most important formative thing of our lives with an effect on our lives and psyches that’s essentially identical to that of men (and clearly it would have some effect, so we must be basically men, full of male entitlement).

Drop that idea… I’m not even saying change your basic ideological positions on these questions, just for now, drop the idea that it’s got to be one or the other… and maybe you’ll notice that the people you see as trans ideologues aren’t as extreme as you believe we are. We only look that way because you assume if we’re not in position 0 with you, we must be at position 1 at the far end of the universe. Because that’s how binary works. It doesn’t allow for anything other than absolute extremes.

I mean, what does “the same as women” even mean?

Am I the same as you? I mean, we’re both trans. If we sat here and listed off everything about ourselves, how much of it would be “the same”? Even if we just restricted ourselves to things that seem really relevant to the experience of transness, we wouldn’t be “the same” in an absolute sense.

There are cis women out there I have more in common with than I do with you and there are trans women out there I have more in common with than I do with you. None of us are “the same” in an absolute sense… cis women aren’t all uniformly the same even in their experience of being cis.

If you would ditch this false binary you cling to, maybe you could understand that none of us are saying we’re all “just the same”… we’re saying that we’re all women, for whatever differences we have.

To me, aunty orthodox’s desires for trans people to adopt the kinds of narratives she describe strikes me as dishonest. Or at least, adopting those narratives would be dishonest. If I tried to reconstruct my history in such a manner, I would have to lie extensively about my own history, both through omission and commission. And I mean, I admit I had periods of rather intense “I am definitely not a boy” to go with the “I am definitely a girl.” Both are valid, but neither of them should be mandated by someone else’s agenda. My agenda is to be honest about my own life, not try to force it into someone else’s preferred version of what trans lives should look like.

I think superficially looking at common transgender narratives in a critical sense sounds like a good idea, but in reality what it amounts to is interrogating people about whether or not they really had the life experiences they say they do. In essence, placing someone else in the position of being an expert on our lives.

This doesn’t mean there is no room for a critical perspective, but rather that such a perspective has to account for the fact that we’re talking about real lived lives, and theories about those lives need to fit the facts of those lives, not the facts that the critic would prefer to be the case.

In any event, I don’t think trans acceptance or trans existence needs to be contingent upon having an approved narrative or not.