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  •  Question for you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rei, martini

    I lived in the Bay Area myself, and have never personally known someone who was transgender (that I know of).

    It sounds like you went through a great deal of emotional (and I would imagine physical) pain for the treatments and surgery.

    What motivates transgender people to go through it? If someone is attracted to people of the same sex, it seems to me life would be easier just being a homosexual male or female. So I would think there's much more to it than sexuality.

    You mentioned it was well worth it. What are some of the positive things you've experienced since the transformation?

    "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

    by USArmyParatrooper on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:25:00 PM PDT

    •  No Trolls! (7+ / 0-)

      ~ No Trolls! ~

      •  Actually I was trying to have a meaningful (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        El Tomaso, Rei, martini

        discussion so I can learn about the transgender community.

        I've been on Dailykos for four years with a strong history, so I'm obviously not a troll. But if the real issue is you dislike me, I can respect that. I won't speak to you directly if that's what you prefer.

        "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

        by USArmyParatrooper on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:39:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  She owes you no answers (10+ / 0-)

          I suspect she is quite aware of your recent record on transsexual issues here on DKos.

          •  I never said she owes me anything. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            martini

            My "record" is summed up here.

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            Also, here's what a prominent transgender Kossack (who shall remain nameless) had to say on the matter in a PM to me.

            I just wanted to say that you have my sympathy.  You stepped into a wasps nest on Friday and said some things without realizing how much offence you were causing, and you got an anvil dropped on you for it.  A firestorm even including a rec-listed diary talking about how to deal with "trolls" like you.  I know that must really hurt, and you don't deserve that.

            And I say this as a trans woman.

            What you really could use, however, is some better dialogue, some better understanding between you and the trans community, in a less hostile environment.  Don't you agree?

            Which is actually what I was attempting to do. But it's cool if you just want to keep the barriers up.

            "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

            by USArmyParatrooper on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:52:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There you go again... (2+ / 0-)
              You stepped into a wasps nest on Friday and said some things without realizing how much offence you were causing, and you got an anvil dropped on you for it.

              In your original comment in this diary, here, you once again said things that are offensive and hurtful. And then followed up with more offense and hurt.

              I take you at your word that was unintentional.

              So how 'bout you take me at my word-- if you are truly interested, curious and friendly, you should consider that the best way to proceed might be to shut up and listen. I know that is difficult to do, I have a helluva time doing it myself. Just listen.

              I'm often amazed what I can learn if I just shut up and listen.

              -Jay-
              
              •  If you don't mind explaining - (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                martini

                Which part of this is offensive?

                I lived in the Bay Area myself, and have never personally known someone who was transgender (that I know of).

                It sounds like you went through a great deal of emotional (and I would imagine physical) pain for the treatments and surgery.

                What motivates transgender people to go through it? If someone is attracted to people of the same sex, it seems to me life would be easier just being a homosexual male or female. So I would think there's much more to it than sexuality.

                You mentioned it was well worth it. What are some of the positive things you've experienced since the transformation?

                "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

                by USArmyParatrooper on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 06:50:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The part that assumes she would be... (5+ / 0-)

                  ...attracted to someone of the same sex before transition and transitions in order to be heterosexual.  This is not an assumption anyone is free to make about transpeople, sometimes including even the transperson involved.

                  As someone else said to you, transgender/transsexual is not a subset of gay.

                  Transwomen are not gay men and transmen are not lesbians.  How long is it going to take to get you to understand that?

                  •  Thanks you Robyn! (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JayBat, CA TreeHugger, kyril

                    For example, I am a transman who once lived as a heterosexual woman and now lives as a gay man. (Though I have occasional flings with people of all sorts of genders and with all sorts of physical sex characteristics...)

                    I wish it were possible to let those who wish to understand trans* simply live in the wrong body for several weeks.

                    What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding? - Elvis Costello

                    by bluesheep on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 12:56:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I'd say we can split sexuality into a few (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayBat, hpchicago, bluesheep, martini, wader

          couplings: there's biological gender, identified gender, and sexual preference.  You seem to be conflating the latter two and assuming that the transgendered also have a sexual preference for the identified sex opposite their biological sex.  That isn't necessarily the case.  One can be, say, biologically male, identify female, and still have a sexual preference for women.  Or: transgender people aren't some subspecies of gay people.

          •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bluesheep, martini

            I'm having a difficult time understanding the identified gender side of it.

            From what you're saying, it's entirely possible to be a biological male who's attracted to women, but from a mental/emotional standpoint considers himself to be a woman.

            There's an old straight male joke, "I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body." So you're saying such a thing is quite literally possible?

            I haven't ever considered my own self-perceived gender. I've just always known I'm a male who's attracted to females. My first crush was Kindergarden, a girl named Jenny Rankey (I couldn't be misspelling her last name). I've also always been interested in stereotypical "man" things, like cars and sports. And nerd things like chess and numismatics.

            I guess I just have a hard time getting the gender identity thing. Sexual attraction I recognize, so I've always known I'm straight. As for gender, I've always had a male body and there's never been a question of should or shouldn't. It just is.

            "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

            by USArmyParatrooper on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 06:07:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Gender identity and sexual orientation... (9+ / 0-)

            ...are separate issues.  Transpeople have sexual orientations, but they are not always what people expect them to be.

            •  On that point: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril, rserven

              In the video below (actually the one that follows it), one participant in the group says (at the end), "I know if I'd stayed as a male, I wouldn't have a problem finding a partner...but I may not find anybody now."

              Can we assume anything about her attractions and the gender partner she's seeking?  She doesn't clarify it in any way.

              I used to be Snow White...but I drifted.

              by john07801 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 07:21:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I don't see gender as being binary. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              EdSF, bluesheep, kyril, wader

              Gender is often used as a tool to oppress and exploit, whichever gender it might be for the case before the court, notwithstanding the powers that be (begging forgiveness from our omnipresent ubercon, overlords).

              If gender bias is presented as as it really exists in general society, it might be just so Mid-wives or Obstetricians can proudly (sic) announce, it's a (gender of your preference) . And it makes a mother happy to know that after all of the suffering, her child is OK.

              Nor do I see gender as a simple continuum between degrees of 'straight' and 'gay'. Because then we could just take some standardized test and be labeled and put into comfortable little pigeonholes along the one dimensional line of our sex and gender role(s).

              And even to think that human sexuality and gender identification could be represented by a three dimensional matrix is to over-simplify, IMO

              My conclusion is that we need to be accepting of everyone, especially those that are different. It usually seems to be that those that are considered 'different' by the mainstream, are eventual considered to be the innovators that make the breakthroughs by pushing the very boundarys that constrain them.

              To boldly go... should be held up not as a parody, but as an imperative.

              If we brag on being 'tolerant', then we need to walk the talk. Empathy and tolerance can lead to acceptance, but it is an uphill fight.

              Never give up. Never surrender.

              Peace and Love,

              It is not certain that everything is uncertain. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

              by BusyinCA on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:27:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you'll accept my effort to help by (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CA TreeHugger, kyril

        my posting of that clip.
        BTW, powerful diary!

        Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

        by ChiTownDenny on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 05:01:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe this will help you understand. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, CA TreeHugger, kyril, bluesheep, wader

      I think this is a complex issue and I think if one participates in discourse about this issue, he should be sensitive to the complexities or avoid the discussion altogether.

      Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

      by ChiTownDenny on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 05:00:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  USAP, (7+ / 0-)

      I'm not the diarist, but I'll take my best shot at answering your question from my perspective.

      I'm a gay trans man.

      Objectively, it's infinitely, infinitely easier to live as a heterosexual woman with the standard expected anatomy than as a gay man with nonstandard anatomy. If nothing else, it's orders of magnitude easier to get laid.

      The problem, though, is that I was never a woman. I could never think of myself as a girl. I had to constantly remind myself that I was female. I never internalized that identification - from the very beginning, when I heard something directed at "boys," I thought they were talking about me.

      I think the weirdest mindfuck, the one that made it most clear to me, was the topic of sexism. When women say something like "men are pigs," I just instinctively get angry. When I hear from feminists "all men are potential rapists," it really stings, I have the urge to fight whoever says it. But when I hear sexist language used against women - even though I consider myself a feminist - there's no automatic emotional impact. I have to consciously remind myself that they're talking about me. Even then, my opposition, my anger at sexism, comes from a place of "I know this is wrong and I have to defend the underdog" rather than one of "I'm being attacked."

      I couldn't think of my body as female either. I seriously have a mental image of myself with male genitalia and no breasts. Always had it. Can't shake it. I flinch when I see another guy get hit in the balls. But I was just confused when my soccer coach taught us how to cover our chests with our arms to protect ourselves from the ball. I was confused when my voice didn't drop, even more so when I lost the low register I'd been using to sing tenor in middle school.

      So that's the gender identification stuff. That, technically, was livable for me. What made me decide to transition was the fact that female hormones were going to make me kill myself. Quite literally. I'd been suicidal for two weeks out of every month since I was a teenager, and for months on end when I was pregnant. Antidepressants never helped me, therapy never helped me, I reached a point where it was either try testosterone or give up trying to live. I tried it. It worked.

    •  I've had several transgendered friends, and ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Transactivist, martini, rserven, kyril

      I know that sounds patronizing -- like some of my best friends are transgendered.  But I think you are genuinely trying to figure something out, so let me give it a try.

      A few decades ago, most biologists and psychologists thought there was little difference between boys and girls, except chromosomes and genitals.  This was during the height of feminism, when women were moving into the labor force, and most progressive forces were trying to get across the idea that we're the "same."

      But around the 90s, with MRIs and other new technologies, biologists were able to discover that although men and women are equally competent, men and women are not the same.  There really is such a thing as a "male brain" and a "female brain."

      Many male to female transsexuals, it was proven, are literally female brained people who were born with male genitals -- and the reverse is true for female to male transsexuals.  My transgendered friends describe it as always having known they were girls, from like the age of 3 to 5.  When it was time to "play house," although nominally boys, they just "knew" they were supposed to play the mom.  It's not a question of who they wanted to have sex with.  It's a question of who they are, in their innermost identity.  That's why a transgendered person can even be a male to female transsexual lesbian -- a woman born in a man's body who is attracted to other women.  It's not about sexual preference or attraction.  It's about biological gender identity.  

      There are lots of different scientific explanations being developed.  Some focus on the hormones that mothers secrete during pregnancy.  

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