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View Diary: Why be out? (220 comments)

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  •  Yes, to you there is no deception issue (1+ / 0-)
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    Got it.  And that solves everything except what is perceived, in the unsafe confines beyond this diary, as the deception issue.

    I don't feel deceived by Robyn at all.  Why would I?  We don't have any interactions in which her gender affects me.

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 09:00:03 PM PDT

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    •  Strange (3+ / 0-)

      I would have described it differently: beyond the "safe" confines of a discourse in which people politely accept our identities, there is still rampant transphobic bigotry in the society as a whole.

      But we already knew that.

      It is never surprising to learn that someone is a transphobe; when I was a child, there wasn't even a word yet in the English language for what I was. Everyone was a transphobe.

      So I am never surprised to meet yet another transphobe. I am always slightly surprised, still, when I meet someone who is not a transphobe.

      •  That gets into what the suffix "phobe" means (1+ / 0-)
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        It's taken to mean both hatred, fear, and simple aversion.

        You're absolutely correct that there is rampant fear and hatred of transsexuality in our society.  I deal with it all the time in the company of one of my closest political allies in my county (for whom my daughter interns, among other things.)  So let's agree that such is the environment in which policy regarding transsexual and transgender rights and equality will be litigated (often literally.)

        The view presented here has been twofold: (1) that it is OK for transpeople, out of very realistic and understandable fear of violence and ridicule, to hide their history from their sexual partners; and (2) that even suggesting that there are considerations on both sides of the argument is an act of bigotry because it does not accept as an axiom that transpeople "really are" their professed gender.

        I put "really are" in quotes because those are the words I have trouble with, but as has been suggested I'll address that in a separate diary.

        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

        by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:16:15 PM PDT

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    •  Look (5+ / 0-)

      Robyn laid down only a single rule in this diary.  And that is that you accept the gender identification of transpeople.  If you have a problem with that, then I think that's your issue.

      And let me just spell it out here.  If your concern with "deception" revolves around the possibility that some poor straight man might unwittingly have sex with a transwoman, then relax.  Since transwomen are women, having sex with a transwoman doesn't make you gay.  There.  All better?

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:05:42 PM PDT

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      •  I don't think that will make it better (3+ / 1-)
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        FogCityJohn, Oh Mary Oh, Matt Smith
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        These guys believe in their guts in an absolute, essentialistic gender binary -- i.e. they are gender authoritarians. Their own identities as men are entwined with that belief. That is why they are constantly compelled to deconstruct us as "males" practicing "deceit". Nobody would have such an obsession with us unless they have an identity issue of their own.

        So nothing is worse for these guys to think that they might have had sex with a transwoman without knowing it. It means to them that something might be wrong with their own gender identity.

        Daddy said so.

        •  That's precisely my point. (4+ / 0-)

          And that's why I said downthread that this is about both transphobia and homophobia.  As you can see from the comments in Robyn's diaries last week, a lot of straight men are terrified that they'll end up in some kind of Crying Game scenario.  It's this absurd level of discomfort with the idea of having sex with another "man."  

          I really wish they could just get over it.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:47:48 PM PDT

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        •  See my reply to FJC above (0+ / 0-)

          Actually, I reject a gender binary, period.  There is lots of middle ground.  In your mind, you think you're on one side of a binary; in my mind, you're just not easily classified -- but that only matters when it comes to other people's sexual autonomy.  For civil purposes -- legally and otherwise -- I think that you should be treated according to your declared gender.  But sexual choices are different: people have to be allowed to decide for themselves.  That, at least, is what I learned at the revolution.

          By the way, there's been a problem with some recs accidentally turning into hide-ratings, which I assume is what Robyn's is above.

          Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

          by Seneca Doane on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:11:19 AM PDT

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          •  My gender is not your call (1+ / 0-)
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            That's the heart of the argument. You believe you have the right to assign a certain label to someone who rejects your label.

            This is a fight over control of language. You have chosen the losing side.

            Watch us winning it, day by day.

          •  Think about the optics of this struggle (0+ / 0-)

            Trans women put our lives on the line when we transition. We are literally willing to die for recognition of who we are. Many of us do die for lack of that recognition.

            Are the transphobes willing to die to deny us that recognition?

            Of course not. That means we have the moral high ground in framing the issue. And we know how to use it, and have been using it effectively.

            As I wrote elsewhere, there wasn't even a word in English that would apply to me as a child. There was no script in our culture for a child to say to her parents anything like "Mom, I need to be a girl."

            Today we have words, we have scripts, and we even have access to hormones so long as you have Internet and a credit card. And no matter how isolated we are in our geographical communities, we have each other, via
            the Internet. We have a modest political movement with a few victories.

            We are winning this thing. It may take another generation before transphobia has become legally as  unacceptable as racism is now, but that day will come.

      •  I decided not to expand the discussion here (0+ / 0-)

        You'll find my long response in this tip jar, in the separate diary you suggested that I write.  It's not so much my view from a straight guy's perspective; mostly, it's a counterfactual that should explain the problem I see with your analysis.

        If you prefer to read the entire diary that you suggested, you're welcome there.

        Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a taped episode of Glee to watch.

        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

        by Seneca Doane on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:07:52 AM PDT

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    •  I have had interactions (9+ / 0-)

      in which someone's gender affected me. That person was my husband, is now my ex-husband, is a woman, and is a dear friend and extended family member to this day. Believe me, being married to someone who turned out to be female affected me greatly (this even though I am bi; I was staying far into the closet at that point myself)!

      Thing is, though, I accept her as a woman. I accepted her as a woman shortly after she told me she needed to move to San Francisco and live fulltime as a woman. I accepted her as a woman who was born into a male-expression body. For her, that body didn't conform to who she knew she was, and she needed to do something about that. The complete journey took 17 years. I accepted her as a woman years before she changed her ID, years before she had her reassignment surgery, easily within a year of us getting divorced. It was a lot harder for me to accept her as a woman like the rest of us women, just a woman, rather than putting the 'trans' modifier in front of the word
      'woman', but I did it.

      And I have to say this, as someone who has been through the interactions: I never once felt that she had deceived me, even though we were supposed to be in a straight marriage (heh - neither one of us is really straight; she's a lesbian and I'm bi). Never once, Seneca. I thought she was a man; so did she. She thought she was a man who liked to crossdress for a while. I was there when she first accepted herself as a woman. That exposure may have helped my own acceptance of her as a woman, too; maybe and maybe not. But I swear to you by everything I hold sacred, never once did I feel she had deceived me.

      Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

      by Kitsap River on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 01:21:08 AM PDT

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