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Nov 18 16 1:11 AM

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I like Joanna Santos' blog Musings from my Everyday Life.

She thinks outside the box and manages to put crossdreaming, crossdressing, and being transgender into a broader context.

In her latest post she writes about transitioning:
As we have expanded the acceptability of a wider range of gender expression, it should be logical to assume that less people will opt for a complete transition and by freeing the person to be themselves we will remove the hard constraints that have traditionally plagued gender non-conformity. This does not mean that transitions will disappear, far from it, but only that there will be more options for those who don’t need, wish to or cannot do so.


Read the full post here.
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#1 [url]

Mar 1 17 12:20 PM

Anne Vitale discusses "gender presentation deprivation anxiety" --

http://www.avitale.com/Essaylist.htm

There is a fairly well understood double window in natal development which determines "male" from an otherwise "female default" program in the embryo. Testosterone floods the fetus at about 8 wks which causes the genital tubercle to differentiate into a phallus, scrotum, testes. At about wk. 15, testosterone floods the brain and "gender maps" the fetus as male.

Things go awry if/when the host mother does not produce sufficient testosterone for the XY fetus, OR the fetus is resistant to the testosterone.

At any rate this process gone awry results in "intersex" and/or a "gender map" that programs the brain (ontologically/existentially) to be "female" or some intermediate variation.

This biological/natal development aspect of trans identity has been the focus of my blog these past couple weeks.

http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/

I had been very much a sort of Post-Structuralist Radical Feminist with regard to gender presentation -- that presentation and gender ID is basically socio/cultural. I'm good with the socio/cultural realm, can dress and act "non-binary" in the day-to-day." But my reading now is telling me there is a strong biological component to gender ID.

Mostly what I assert is that gender is a continuum -- with a great wealth of intermediate options. Hormones and surgery are not going to work for me. I'm nearly 69, have been living as "me" now a long time. I'm mostly these days just more assertive about my gender presentation. It's not a secret that I'm "trans" -- "trans whatever." Living in a west coastal area, everyone here wears "beach casual" which is gender neutral by and large.

No hormones, no surgery -- but still "in transition." Mostly what "transition" entails is presentation that is more ambiguous, less gender polar.

Yes, indeed I am anxious and deprived that I cannot wear a lot of my wardrobe in public. I made the comment just this morning to my VA nurse who was doing a physical exam and who sees what I wear under what I present. "I'm a stealth lesbian."

I aspire to a day when we won't be coerced into surgery and hormones to be who it is we are.

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#2 [url]

Mar 23 17 3:35 PM

Nope if you have strong physical gender dysphoria (GD), all the social acceptance of gender non conformity in the world won't change that..
If your GD is far more around visual and behavioural aspects then a non surgical transition can work, it does for many, though even with those the vast majority are on HRT and many have other procedures to make then look better (FFS, electrolysis, etc) and they live as and present as women (and of course men for trans men).

That is a TERF myth, that if it becomes more acceptable to be non-binary (who TERFs also hate by the way, so there is some dripping hypocrisy in all this) then there will be less who transition.
This is just saying they are really no trans people they really are just gender non conforming 'men' (and of course women) being 'forced' into transition by the 'great trans activist/medical establishment/ anti gay/misogynist/left wing conspiracy'.

Bit like arguing that better acceptance of bisexuals will lead to less gays and lesbians.

What is actually happening in real life is that there are far more of both now as trans and non-binary people are more accepted, and thus more 'come out of the closet'..
Those with strong GD transition (in one way or another) those with less can find an alternative in being non-binary in some way.

Sorry, I am not a gender non conforming man, I am a woman who just got unlucky at birth..

Last Edited By: LisaM Mar 23 17 4:11 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#3 [url]

Mar 23 17 8:28 PM

Even if there is a greater liberalization in regards to gender conformity, that will do absolutely nothing in regards to body dysphoria. That has been been the most chronic form of dysphoria over my life. I only really felt social dysphoria strongly in the years immediately preceding my transition, and since. For years, I just simply felt as if I was in the wrong body to the point of it making me feel physically ill.

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#4 [url]

Mar 23 17 10:07 PM

Yes April like yourself my dysphoria always centred around  (a) my body and (b) my behaviour.

 I was so pathetic, policing my body language all the time to 'pass' as a male. But the core right from the very beginning as a kid was how my body felt., just wrong. 

And socially I like being accepted now as a women, I should have been born as one, I like it when people smile at me  or stop to chat with me. I am far more comfortable, more relaxed, more at peace now than I ever was. I am a far better person now than I ever was, because the 'old me' was never real.. 

I always thought of my male 'act' as like a  suit of armour (bit like Iron Man)  created to protect the real me underneath it, that poor wee  girl who never had a chance as a kid.

Funny thing, some people think I am fairly feminine (whatever that is I am deeply skeptical about such things), but all I did was stop acting 'male' and relax and be myself. 

The endless pressure to 'act male' all the time, to fit in, heck even just to survive. it was horrible. So that wee girl, a real nice wee kid too, got shoved into the closet.. Very smart and very empathetic (maybe too much). Much of my life I felt like 'stranger in a strange land' with all these people I was supposed to be like (males) and I had almost nothing in common with them.. 

Even much later in life, when I had my 'act;' well honed, I'd always end up talking to women at parties and social occasions. I had so little in common with the guys with their narrow interests, their shallow and crude emotions (at least public displays that is) .
Women, especially smart women,  were far richer emotionally and far deeper, far more balanced and real. They were the ones I related to. 

And the endless feeling of wrongness about my body, it never felt right.  It didn't look right. either I have so few pictures of myself back then...I avoided them like the plague

And some things from that time I don't regret, the adventures and things I did ...but realistically I'd have done them as a woman as well (maybe not pushing it quite to the limit s as I did though, there was some self destructiveness there) .
When I sat and watched the sunset from the top of Ayres rock (breaking all the 'rules') it was with a Swiss cis woman travelling alone in her VW Combi all around Australia.  

I so regret not transitioning in 2000 as I thought about, I was at my very peak then, energy, intelligence and experience all combined ...that would have been an amazing decade I could have had as the real me.

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#6 [url]

May 19 17 11:49 AM

LisaM wrote:
Nope if you have strong physical gender dysphoria (GD), all the social acceptance of gender non conformity in the world won't change that..
If your GD is far more around visual and behavioural aspects then a non surgical transition can work, it does for many, though even with those the vast majority are on HRT and many have other procedures to make then look better (FFS, electrolysis, etc) and they live as and present as women (and of course men for trans men).

That is a TERF myth, that if it becomes more acceptable to be non-binary (who TERFs also hate by the way, so there is some dripping hypocrisy in all this) then there will be less who transition.
This is just saying they are really no trans people they really are just gender non conforming 'men' (and of course women) being 'forced' into transition by the 'great trans activist/medical establishment/ anti gay/misogynist/left wing conspiracy'.

Bit like arguing that better acceptance of bisexuals will lead to less gays and lesbians.

What is actually happening in real life is that there are far more of both now as trans and non-binary people are more accepted, and thus more 'come out of the closet'..
Those with strong GD transition (in one way or another) those with less can find an alternative in being non-binary in some way.

Sorry, I am not a gender non conforming man, I am a woman who just got unlucky at birth..

The TERF position is that "trans-women" do not experience the socio-cultural Weltanschauung of being women in a hetero-sexist, normative dyad, masculinist hegemony. Trans women don't have periods, don't get pregnant, don't need to manage birth control, don't need to access abortion clinics. Cis-F additionally need not manage HRT, and a brace of surgeons and medical providers.

Donna Haraway, in "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century" addresses these socio-cultural issues. Increasingly there is a call in the literature for the recognition of a "third gender" -- a space in the overlapping bell curves of gender distribution between cis-M and cis-F.

I address this issue in my blog:

http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/2017/04/trans-essay-for-rest-of-us.html

(Note here that I step off the beaten path in this essay with an aside related to someone I recently met, "Esme" . . . )

As a radical feminist I view "femme" as the hetero-sexist oppression of gender presentation. I can do "femme" . . .  I can also do "Stone Butch (Jack / Judith Halberstam, Female Masculinity). As a radical feminist I am "a different sort of Butch." Fundamentally, my presentation is "non-binary" with an agenda that seeks to "Appropriate & subvert the patriarchal semiotic hegemony of the hetero-normative dyad!" Fundamentally I find the gender stereotypes of the hetero-sexist hegemony to be unfortunate and oppressive.

The TERF agenda is not about gender presentation. The TERF agenda is about the hetero-sexist oppression of women by the masculinist hegemonic dyad. TERF argue that "trans women" buy into this masculinist, hetero-sexist dyad to the extent of masking their masculinist priviledge through surgery and hormones. Trans women, TERF argue, buy into the oppressive sexist dyad.

Jamison Green (FTM), in "Look! No, Don't!" suggests that those of us who are "trans" [queer] need to retain our identities and our socio-cultural visibility in order to assert that we constitute presentation and identification options outside the normative dyad. Jason Cromwell (FTM) in "Queering the Binaries" asserts that as "queer" (trans) we need to challenge the inherent identity oppression of the hetero-sexist dyad.


http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/2017/05/looking-at-not-looking.html

I wrote Green, suggesting that when I "come out of the closet" as queer (trans) that my putative "transition" into the other end of the dyad (male to female) is little more than coming out of the closet and heading into another closet. I don't buy into the dyad. I'm not comfortable with "male," nor am I comfortable with "female" -- and so what I present is a queering of the binaries. I am trans (queer); not male, not female.

As a trans-radical feminist, queer, butch, whatever, my lesbian colleagues and TERF recognize me for what I am. I can be who I am without surgery, without hormones, without the invocation of the masculinist medical hegemony to manage my identity. My ontology is continuous and integrated. I need not invent a "personal biography" that masks that I was born cis-M and now present as "female"

For myself, your mileage may vary, I need to present as queer (trans), not step out of one closet (cis-M) and into another closet (trans-F). When we are able to live as who we are, how we identity, the world will be a better place for all of us. We're not sick, not neurotic, not delusional, and we don't need to be "fixed." I don't require a team of medical hegemony to allow me to be who I already am.





 

Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance
http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/

Last Edited By: AllisonWunderland May 19 17 12:58 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#7 [url]

May 19 17 4:07 PM

Well I kind of agree with that, I don't want to have to change who I am or what I do greatly to find acceptance at either end of the scale. I quite like trying to focus on being vaguely 'smart' rather than pretty, and even were I to eventually have surgery in order to eventually have sex in a way that actually works for me, I wouldn't probably spend hours shaving my legs much less getting a bikini wax or whatever. 

I don't fetishise that kind of behaviour thing, hence not really being into the 'sissy' french maid outfits and so forth. 
You just want to be seen as normal female, not a parody that's trying much too hard to be something you aren't. I kind of pride myself on being quietly competant, and have some very high ideals for my behaviour that I often fail to live up to. 

That said, the HRT thing really seems to help my mental state and concentration, and while I was happy to try to self-medicate with PM I didn't really know what I was doing, I was just looking for a bit of relief from crushing depression, and it worked. But then when I 'came out' to my mum she got really worried that I was buying unknown substances over the internet from thailand, which 'could be rat poison, for all I knew', so she wanted me to see a proper doctor if I was going to go any further. 

So then I was on the more formal path with the extended 2+ years waiting time, and 7 assessment sessions spread out over as many months where I had to try to explain everything that had gone though my in the last 20 years in great detail. 

I don't think I should have to prove things to that extent or physically change things suddenly and dramatically in other areas of my life just to get a small bit of medically supervised help, but the way the system seems to be working at the moment is that you have to claim some kind of a great hardship in order to even get onto the program. 

Whatever, as hormonally female, I hope I might feel so much better that I'd be more energetic and so also then want to be fitter and eventually even try visiting a public swimming pool or joining a gym again, and I wouldn't want to stick out unduly in the changing room etc. but I hardly want to spend lots of money getting my hair or nails done every week. 
image
Can we not just be normal people doing normal jobs that just want do what works to feel a bit more comfortable in ourselves, without all this academic philosophical garbage?

I'm a software engineer, I'll stick to thinking about the hard sciences thank you.
I hardly think I have a history of 'oppressing' anyone, and I've hardly benefitted from so-called 'male privilege' either. I was basically labelled as the least-cool person, out of a class of 120 in my school yearbook, and socially it hasn't really looked up much since, except where, mostly by my own efforts and going above and beyond, I am somewhat of a national expert in one very very small niche area of domain-specific software. 

So far as I can tell, no one really takes me very seriously as it stands, I've always been basically excluded and ignored in public, if not often outright laughed at, and most of the time I just try to keep out of the way of all the 'important' people who feel they need to put everyone else down, be they male or female bodied.

Does Theresa May for example actually experience oppression for being a woman? She's far more powerful and assertive than I will likely ever manage.

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#8 [url]

Jun 3 17 10:03 AM

"Can we not just be normal people doing normal jobs that just want do what works to feel a bit more comfortable in ourselves, without all this academic philosophical garbage?" -- Xora
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Engineers think with a different sort of metaphysical perspective. As regards "academic/philosophical," it's my field, a retired academic still teaching and publishing.

Others assign gender to me. That's the way gender works. Currently, since I buy into "gender fluid," I'm looking at Judith Butler, Semiotics, Performative Speech Act Theoryl (J.L. Austin) and Gender Presentation, "Recasting the referent as the signified" and making the signified "intelligible." Current reads are Jack Halberstam Female Masculinity, Susan Stryker / Stephen Whittle Transgender Studies Reader (2 volumes), trans-radical feminists generally, Judith Butler et al.

Post-modern, post-structurals discourse is my theoretical field. These days we're an LLC in discourse, retired academic. We teach gender theory in an Encore seminar (retired academics). We need electrical engineers, You need academics and philosophers, more than you appreciate. Sandy Stone has a syllabus for this seminar, it's posted in my blog and linked below. "TRANS: Dangerous Border Violations"

At pushing seven decades, I'm "sans sexual" and "sans gendered" -- stone butch, gender queer, gender outlaw, post-structuralist radical trans-feminist. This is my identity, and being "queer" "non-binary," "fluid," and a litany of other referents and putative pathologies  . . . I'm simply not comfortable trying to "pass" as cis-gendered and "an invisible gender anomoly." per Jamison Green . . .

The masculinist, hetero-fascist medical hegemony has me on a dumpster fire load of meds -- in and out of the ER, in-patient hospitalization for a variety of issues related to being an old fart with cardio arrythmia, PTSD, and gender dysphoria. I tried Finasteride and it caused cardio issues (linked in this forum).

I shouldn't need to submit to invasive medical protocols when I'm not pathological and don't need to be "fixed,"

The blog goes on, and on, and on . . .

Let me see if I can post an image?

image

http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/2017/04/trans-dangerous-border-violations.html

Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance
http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/

Last Edited By: AllisonWunderland Jun 3 17 10:19 AM. Edited 2 times.

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