"Thanks! I made it myself!"
Anonymous asked: One thing I noticed is that both of them are seriously dismissive of trans women who they deem too young or new. They are more or less saying that having opinions that aren't in line with their own just means the rest of us are all very new to being trans and it's just some sort of loud early phase we'll get over.
Yeah, it’s condescension as substitute for argument, discourse, or actually engaging with anyone’s points.
It’s also an example of generational gap in attitudes. In their day, it was more common to see transition as “becoming female” through a rigorous training series. The finishing school attitude toward transition. Trans women now are more like, “I’ve always been me, and I’m gonna be me a whole lot more.” Older generation trans women see it as a process of learning external “feminine skills”. Younger trans women are more likely to see the process as “unlearning fake behavior I used to survive”.
there’s this bit in nevada that i think about it lot. it goes like, does acknowledging the limitations of female identity and bursting them not make you not a woman, just empowered, and thus is genderqueer an identity mainly available to female-assigned people in college with punk haircuts?
here is the thing: i vocally identified as nonbinary & genderqueer for kind of a while. when i came out it wasn’t like, i’m a woman, it was like, i don’t know what i am but i’m not a dude and i am pretty sure i’m not a trans woman because that’s way too terrifying to consider. but my only models for nonbinary existence were what i saw on tumblr: mostly thin, white, “androgynous” female-assigned people with short hair. even my therapist who i started seeing for gender shit fell into that category, and i desperately tried to imitate them and all of the images i was surrounding myself with online.
but i’d been trying to do this for a while prior anyway without realizing it, so i didn’t really change my aesthetic a whole lot when i first started transitioning. i was just on antiandrogens for a while, and when i finally did start estrogen it was on an extremely low dose. so nobody really knew anything was up unless i told them, hey, please use gender-neutral pronouns, i’m not a dude.
but the thing about insisting on yr identity, even vocally, is that the world doesn’t see identity, doesn’t make decisions about how to treat you based on it. i would get flustered whenever someone accorded me male privilege, assumed they were in the company of a man, things like that. and i stressed out for a long time about moving into a more binary position, of presenting as a woman. for a bunch of reasons: firstly because i had internalized some fucked-up ideas about the Inherent Conservatism of trans women and felt like by moving into that space i was betraying the Gender Revolution. secondly because i had internalized a whole bunch more fucked-up ideas about trans women, like: trans women are ugly and undesirable and basically men with tits. i had a bunch of stuff to work through with every tiny step i took. like, wearing a dress, growing my hair long, everything brought another little crisis, like i was desperately trying to keep distance from myself and other trans women, like i was trying to convince herself that i wasn’t like them, not really.
i’m not saying that there are no nonbinary male-assigned people. but i’m frustrated by the ways we can’t seem to talk about nuance around different kinds of experiences, different relationships to identity. like how for certain male-assigned people who’ve been exposed to so much queer and feminist theory that hammers into our brains how awful and regressive transsexuals are, nonbinary space seems to function as a safe way to move into womanhood rather than a thing we want to embody for the long haul. or else we realize that regardless of how we feel ourselves to be, the rest of the world doesn’t see that, and we decide that being read as female feels better than the other option.
(i guess this is part of why i get so mad when community conflicts are reduced to “nonbinary people” versus “trans women”, because many trans women i know have identified or currently identify as nonbinary — it’s just that we have different experiences when it comes to moving through the world and different priorities as a result.)
A lot of good here. I’ve struggled with this a bit myself, in a different way. When I first transitioned I clung tightly to the label of “woman”, but now I don’t see myself as having a gender. My transition was about changing my body into what I know it’s supposed to be. I have body dysphoria but don’t find any meaning in gender. I’m more “female” than “woman”, though obviously both those words have no consistent definition and include problematic assumptions.
Does that make me non-binary? Even though I fit fairly well within the constraints of “woman” and use that language to avoid having to explain myself to people? Others treat me more correctly when I say I’m a woman than they do when I say I’m non-binary or genderqueer. But they still project inaccurate things onto me because of this concept of gender.
ALA jerks about their Nevada description
(x-posted from my Facebook)
Okay, uh so: yesterday Tom Léger posted that Imogen Binnie’s rad book NEVADA (which everyone oughta read) was listed on the 2014 Over the Rainbow List, yay! This list, published by the American Library Associations’s LGBT Round Table, lists 74 fun LGBT-centric books published for Adult Readers in 2013, giving you EASY ACCESS to excellent LGBT works published in the past year. (Also on the list: the Zan Christensen-edited Anything that Loves, and Seven Stories Press’s Mundo Cruel, congrats!)
The problem was the description used to allow readers of this list to decide whether or not they wanted to read the book. I wish I had the original description, but it was something pretty close to this:
"Punk trans woman Maria Griffiths, who is too poor to afford surgery, breaks up with her trans girlfriend and, as her life unravels, travels to Nevada where she encounters surly James, a twenty-year-old who likes to look at pictures of men who have become women."
In other words it’s THE WORST POSSIBLE DESCRIPTION OF NEVADA IMAGINABLE, both (1) factually inaccurate and (2) super insulting. Fortunately, a lot of griping on the Internet happened, and OUR VOICES WERE HEARD with this new description:
"Transgender person Maria speaks in the 3rd person from a "personal" view and gives voice to a powerful transgender manifesto within the novel."
Q: Is this like a really inept attempt to make amends, or an attempt to punish and other trans women for complaining about a mainstream LGBT organization (or at least the LGBT branch of a mainstream organization) once again just kinda not giving a shit?
The original description sucked, make no mistake. What’s really really objectionable is that it was replaced by maybe the most passive aggressive thing possible in a way that’s clearly either contemptuous or punitive. In either case, the thought process of whoever made the edits can be pretty easily mathematically reduced to: “Don’t like my description? Well, fuck you! Find something to complain about with this one!” You can view that basic emotion with as much charity as you like—“Oh no, my description offended! I’d better avoid getting too specific about anything in order to placate these clearly irrational individuals” is about the most charitable I can imagine—but it’s still essentially either contempt or punishment. FOR A BOOK THEY ARE HONORING.
Like of course people are going to get things wrong, of course like It Takes Time, of course it’s cool that the ALA has an LGBT roundtable to create lists like this, sure, count yr blessings. But it makes me pretty mad because NEVADA is REALLY REALLY GOOD and does not deserve this.
This reminds me of that thing where you call out a cis person for misgendering you and instead of calling you by the correct pronouns or names, they do enormous feats of linguistic gymnastics to avoid referring to you by your actual name or pronouns or giving any sort of respect whatsoever.
IT’S EASIER TO JUST RESPECT US, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.
You know they purposefully chose the phrase “transgender person” instead of “transgender woman”. You know they purposefully chose those scare quotes.
Jesus fucking Christ.