Comments

  1. Alexander says

    Even as a gay man i still have a hard time grasping this T concept only because it takes a surgery to be who you think you are. I don’t get it but I won’t hate it either.

  2. Dev says

    Wait, now Ts are allies again? They started off as allies then they became one “people” with LGBs, apparently by fiat. Now maybe they are allies again.

    What mindless rubbish. There is no such things as LGBT. Ts are, at best, allies. But they are not and never will be one “people” with LGBs, as they are not defined by sexual orientation, but by gender identity.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    Hi, Alexander:

    It’s ok the way you put it. You’re not being bigoted.

    I sometimes wonder if some Gay men come out (start going out) in cities or towns in which there is total segregation between Gay and Trans folk. In Philly in the 1970s there was no way you could be “coming out” to the “gayborhood” of 13th street or 12th street and think you were separate from drag queens.

    Some drag queens were transsexual and wanted to eventually have a sex change. Other drag queens were GAY and never wanted sex change surgery. And they perfomed sex the same way any other Gay man would–many of them versatile when it comes to anal sex (tore up “rough trade” booty, child).

    I was at a small party a year ago and we got on this topic. A Gay guy said, “Transgender people are not Gay”. Of course, the guy who said this has never been openly Gay, and actually thinks he can pass for straight when he’s in public. He thinks he’s on the “down low”. NOT.

    In other words he was IGNORANT of Trans folk–had never talked to one or read anything about one–never even looked up the definition of Transgender.

    How the f.ck you gonna’ have such strong opinion about something that you don’t know a goddamn thing about? ….and don’t want to know? It’s called bigotry, I guess.

  4. TheDrDonna says

    And Dev is back, pushing some strange form of separatism that only people on the fringe could get behind. I haven’t actually met anyone IRL who thought that was workable, logical, or ethical. All the trans people I know feel a strong sense of community with the greater LGB movement, and all the gay people I know (including one of my best friends, whom I’ve known since we were in kindergarten, and my own brother) feel that trans folk have myriad ties to the greater queer movement.

  5. says

    It’s 2012 – the internet exists. There’s no reason to not understand who our transgendered or transitioned brothers and sisters are.

    Youtube is your friend – check them out, listen to their own stories.

    This is a wonderful project. We’re stronger when we stand in solidarity together.

  6. Confused. says

    So…with Ts…is there a general tendency to be attracted to the same sex or the opposite sex? And is that same- or opposite- to the biological birth-sex, or identity-sex?

    Either way, that lawyer is pretty cute.

  7. esperando says

    I’m probably going to get a lot of crap for saying this, but I really don’t think the “T” is grouped with the LGB just as a matter of political convenience; there are essential connections between us as well. We often talk about a spectrum of sexuality; the Kinsey scale is a good example. Most people are not exactly on one end or the other; we have preferences for one sex or another, but most of us do have a degree of fluidity in our sexuality that allows for some level of attraction to others (even if we may never be interested in acting on it). I think transgenderedness works the same way; some of us are very near the gender expression expected of our biological sex (the cisgendered), and some manifest a gender expression that is very nearly the opposite of what is socially expected of their sex (trangendered). Most people (gay, straight, and everything in between) transgress some norms of their socially-expected gender expression; Most men are not Rambo and most women are not Stepford wives. Transgendered folks are vilified for transgressing most or nearly all of them. But feeling attraction for members of one’s own biological sex is inherently gender-atypical. This means that gay and lesbian folks are – to a greater extent than most straight folks – somewhat transgendered; we tend to be closer to trans folks on that spectrum than cisgendered straight people are. IN addition, prejudice against trans and LGB folks come from the same place: sexism. Underlying the whole notion of sexism is the idea that men and women are completely separate (opposite, in fact) who have different roles and are valued for different reasons. If we want acceptance as LGB folks, then we need to make room for everyone who doesn’t precisely fit into that rigid idea of a gender binary, from straight tomboys all the way to the intersexed.

  8. says

    Esperando, it’s an extension of what many, including folks like Harvey Milk, talked about: the USs.

    the marginalized. the misunderstood. the forgotten and ignored.

    ethnic and cultural minotiies. gays and lesbians and bisexuals. the elderly. our trans brothers and sisters. the disabled, or differently abled.

    we’re not “the same” – but we share something that should unite us all. and those of us with compassion in our hearts and integrity in our veins do indeed stand united together.

  9. Derrick from Philly says

    Thank you, Esperando.

    The whole topic is very difficult to explain. That’s why I tried in my comment to make the language as simple as possible (using the term “drag queen” instead of transwoman–trying to make it simple). But it’s still complicated. Still, there’s one very simplistic part to this whole discussion: don’t be a bigot!

    Go to a Gay Pride in New York (it’s like making a pilgrimage to Mecca) one year. You should be able to see why the T is included in LGBT. Those that are Gay are fierce (snap). Well, some of them are lunatics also, but every group has those.

  10. TheDrDonna says

    @Confused: the most recent studies on the matter have found that there’s a pretty even 3-way split between heterosexual (relative to self-identified gender), homosexual, and bisexual. There’s a lot of low quality or bad information out there, though, because this hasn’t really been subject to a lot of study in the past. I would point you towards the “Transgender Sexualiy” page on Wikipedia if you want to learn more.

  11. TheDrDonna says

    @Confused: Well, I’m a trans woman, and I identify as lesbian. Of the other trans people I’ve met, they’ve all either identified as homosexual or bisexual, or pansexual. That’s anecdotal, of course, and I would never try to tell someone what sexuality they should be, but in my experience trans folk are also overwhelmingly LGB.

  12. TheDrDonna says

    @Confused: Well, I’m a trans woman, and I identify as lesbian. Of the other trans people I’ve met, they’ve all either identified as homosexual or bisexual, or pansexual. That’s anecdotal, of course, and I would never try to tell someone what sexuality they should be, but in my experience trans folk are also overwhelmingly LGB.

  13. Shaunie says

    Derrick From Philly Said: “using the term “drag queen” instead of transwoman–trying to make it simple”

    And this is the problem many transgendered women have with certain gay men. Do NOT compare them to drag queens, they are NOT drag queens, or MEN who perform as women. They are women.

  14. Derrick from Philly says

    Shaunie:

    The term drag queen was used when I first made friends with Transwomen in the 1970s. It just didn’t refer to drag performers like Lady Bunny or RuPaul. We also used that term for Transwomen who present their feminine selves 24/7 (Lady Chablis or Marsha P Johnson or Pepper LaBeija).

    I do use the the term Transwomen among people who have educated themselves on the new (and more appropriate) terminology.

    I used the term drag queen when arguing with some Gay men about the fact that many Transfolk are Gay. When I use the term Transwoman they automatically think Transsexual. As you know many Transwomen are not Transsexual–they are Gay.

    There are some Transwomen who are offended by the older term “drag queen”, and others (usually older, or less educated) who are not. I apologize for offending you.

    It takes time for people to learn new appropriate language. My father still refers to his own race as “Colored people”.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    Oh, and Shaunie:

    I just didn’t befriend Transwomen in the 1970s. Everybody thought that was the direction I was headed. I guess that’s why the topic gets me so emotional. I remember the bigotry coming not only from Straight folks but from Gay folks also.

  16. TheDrDonna says

    I think the exchange between Shaunie and Derrick has underlined a problem I’ve been noticing among trans folk of a certain mindset: that words are extraordinarily important, and using the right ones is paramount. For instance, personal pronouns are obviously incredibly complex when it comes to trans individuals and getting it right can be a touchy subject. However, that said, it’s important to also recognize that some words are less important, and context matters. From what I’ve read by Derrick thus far he is obviously a strong supporter of trans folk, and we can assume that he is not operating from a position of ignorance. Further, based on what he said nearer the top, he was explaining how trans and LGB cultures developed side by side, as two branches on the same tree, and how the vocabulary has changed over time. It’s really vital to recognize when someone is using certain words in certain ways because they have no idea or are bigots, and when they are using those same words from a position of knowledge. I think that trans folk have just as much work in not alienating allies by insisting on one condoned set of words, as they do in educating people who don’t know anything about trans issues. Being defensive and confrontational solves nothing, and just serves to push away people who may otherwise be on our side.

  17. TheDrDonna says

    I think the exchange between Shaunie and Derrick has underlined a problem I’ve been noticing among trans folk of a certain mindset: that words are extraordinarily important, and using the right ones is paramount. For instance, personal pronouns are obviously incredibly complex when it comes to trans individuals and getting it right can be a touchy subject. However, that said, it’s important to also recognize that some words are less important, and context matters. From what I’ve read by Derrick thus far he is obviously a strong supporter of trans folk, and we can assume that he is not operating from a position of ignorance. Further, based on what he said nearer the top, he was explaining how trans and LGB cultures developed side by side, as two branches on the same tree, and how the vocabulary has changed over time. It’s really vital to recognize when someone is using certain words in certain ways because they have no idea or are bigots, and when they are using those same words from a position of knowledge. I think that trans folk have just as much work in not alienating allies by insisting on one condoned set of words, as they do in educating people who don’t know anything about trans issues. Being defensive and confrontational solves nothing, and just serves to push away people who may otherwise be on our side.

  18. TheDrDonna says

    I think the exchange between Shaunie and Derrick has underlined a problem I’ve been noticing among trans folk of a certain mindset: that words are extraordinarily important, and using the right ones is paramount. For instance, personal pronouns are obviously incredibly complex when it comes to trans individuals and getting it right can be a touchy subject. However, that said, it’s important to also recognize that some words are less important, and context matters. From what I’ve read by Derrick thus far he is obviously a strong supporter of trans folk, and we can assume that he is not operating from a position of ignorance. Further, based on what he said nearer the top, he was explaining how trans and LGB cultures developed side by side, as two branches on the same tree, and how the vocabulary has changed over time. It’s really vital to recognize when someone is using certain words in certain ways because they have no idea or are bigots, and when they are using those same words from a position of knowledge. I think that trans folk have just as much work in not alienating allies by insisting on one condoned set of words, as they do in educating people who don’t know anything about trans issues. Being defensive and confrontational solves nothing, and just serves to push away people who may otherwise be on our side.

  19. Dev says

    @TheDrDonna:

    Sorry, as much as you want to pretend that LGBT is some sort of state of nature, it isn’t. It didn’t even exist before the mid-1990s. Somehow, every gay and lesbian and bi person on Earth was a “separatist” prior to 1995 because they didn’t use your alphabet soup jargon?

    No, this isn’t about separatism. LGB and T are inherently discrete groups because they are defined entirely differently. This is about an artificial, forced conjoining of the 2. Unelected activists did this for political purposes. Trans activists are happy to have LGBT because it allows them to dictate priorities to LGBs while benefiting from their money. Ts by contrast, give virtually nothing to “LGBT” groups, even while they maintain T-only groups. And they happily take gay money, such as large grants from Jon Stryker, to fund their T-only groups.

    This is an unhealthy, parasitic relationship which disserves both groups. LGBT is a lie and you can’t base a community on a lie.

    @LittleKiwi:

    Harvey Milk never used the term “LGBT”. He never suggested that gay people are one “people” with transsexuals and transvestites, and made a point of educating Americans that it was a discredited stereotype to equate being gay with being a cross-dresser. He did talk about building coalitions with other groups, but he never confused that with collapsing all the coalition partners into one bogus alphabet soup “people.”

  20. says

    Dev, as long as cowards like you can only spew their unintelligent opinions from a place of complete anonymity, i take solace knowing your idiocy will not be spread in the real world.

    Your complete lack of understanding of historical context is brilliant, too. next you’ll be saying that the pre-Stonewall characters from “The Boys in the Band” were “unliberated”. 😉

    We’re strong when we unite together. When folks refuse to unite we become…well. … real people who stand united and cowards who annex themselves and then b***h online.

    so thanks 😀

  21. niles says

    Disturbing reports are coming in nationwide about the refusal of trans groups to support same sex marriage equality campaigns. It is a fact that in Maryland the trans portion of Equality Maryland, although it receives funding from donations, has come out against gay marriage because they do not feel their rights have been properly addressed. This certainly makes one wonder if T inclusion is such a great idea – or if the gay organizations are just being used.

  22. TheDrDonna says

    Miles, care to post a link? I’ve seen a few people making that claim, and they also have failed to give any real evidence, especially that it’s a widespread trend. Could you post some links so I can see where this “nationwide” phenomenon is happening?

  23. Derrick from Philly says

    DEV,

    I can tell you what Transgender folk (who were not Transsexual and were not Straight Transvestites) called themselves 2 decades ago. They called themselves Gay.

    Yes, most of the people under the “T” called themselves Gay pre 1990s.

    THEDRDONNA,

    thank you for your patience with my strategy of not using what is now the appropriate language on this subject–trying to get my point across to a certain audience.

    Shaunie’s point is important also. I don’t think I’ll use this strategy of using “old timey” language anymore. I’ll use the term Transwoman even when I’m talking to those who haven’t yet learned the word. They’ll learn.

    As I said, the personal memory of the hatred coming from some Gay men toward Transfolk is something I’ll never forget (and unfortunately, I find the bad memories hard to forgive).

    I appreciate both Shaunie’s and your comments.

  24. Dev says

    Miles, not only were trans activists not supporting marriage equality, they were actively encouraging other trans people to vote no. These are vile, malicious people who see LGBs as a bank account and a source of cheap, obedient labor. Like gay people are supposed to not pursue equality because they have some “duty” or “obligation” to non-gay transsexuals and crossdressers to focus on their bathroom issues. When gay people fail to toe the line, these trans activists lash out hatefully and often violently, vandalizing lesbian property in Michigan, stalking and hurling heavy objects at the head of Dan Savage, intimidating gay filmmaker Diego Luna, and on and on.

    This is what LGBT has wrought. If Ts and LGBs were allies, we could help them when WE decided that it makes sense for us to do so. We could decline to help when it doesn’t make sense for us to get involved. But when you concoct a phony “community” in which Ts are one and the same as LGBs, we are stripped of our right to say no. The trans activists no longer have to ask for help, they can demand not only that we help, but that we subordinate our most important goals to theirs. “LGBT” must die if gay, lesbian and bi people are to recover their movement.

  25. TheDrDonna says

    Dev, once again, you’re painting the whole based on the actions of a few extremists. As has been discussed at some length, most people recognize that the community exists, and that LGBT is not a made up idea but a description of reality. I have no odea what circles you move in, but they must be pretty constrictive if you don’t think trans folks have anything in common with the LGB community. And don’t kid yourself, creating division and sowing animosity between the subsets of the queer community are nothing but detrimental and bigtoted.

  26. United States says

    @Dev: But not all GLBs agree with marriage equality either. Does that mean that we’re not all part of the same community? Are thy not real GLBs? Or are those of us who DO support marriage equality not real GLBs? Does a difference of opinion on a single point obviate a community? Does that mean that our mutual interests on OTHER aspects of equality count for nothing?

    You seem to be trying to divide instead of trying to unite. I am not convinced. Or impressed.

  27. Dev says

    @TheDrDonna:

    Too bad you don’t address anything I say and instead impugn my motives and my social circle. This shows you really have nothing to say of substance.

    Needless to say, I have never said that Ts do not have “anything in common” with LGBs. Of course they do. So do lots of other groups. That doesn’t mean we are one “people” with every group on the planet with whom we have some things in common. The objection isn’t to being allies with Ts. The objection is to the fake concept that LGBs are one people or one unitary community with transsexuals, transvestites, hermaphrodites, and all heterosexuals who in some way operate outside of “traditional gender norms.” LGBs went along with this nonsense for a time, but as the costs mount, we aren’t having it any longer.

  28. TheDrDonna says

    Dev, what could I possibly say at this point? You’ve shown a dedication to promoting divisiveness in the past, and I’ve made plenty of points that you either ignored or redirected. Do you have any source on that unsubstantiated rumor about trans activists telling people to vote against marriage equality? I’ve asked about 5 times now and you always carefully ignore it. What can a rational person say when they are confronted by someone who denies reality? How can a person engage in meaningful debate when all the other side does is redirect and use throwaway “facts” that they refuse to back up? I’ve made my points. They stand unchallenged.

  29. TheDrDonna says

    And further, Your motives are obvious and disgusting. You just claimed that trans activists “are vile, malicious people who see LGBs as a bank account and a source of cheap, obedient labor.” That isn’t someone who’s interested in mutual understanding, that’s someone who wants to push apart groups, create the divide and then widen it. Don’t try to pretend otherwise.

  30. Dev says

    What I said about trans activists is true. Every word. However, trans activists are not synonymous with all trans people, although maybe you think otherwise. If I understand you correctly, criticism of “trans activists” is now illegitimate because it makes one “divisive” and “disgusting.” Sorry, but I couldn’t care less about your judgments. Trans activists – bitter, hostile, and emotionally unbalanced – are uniquely unqualified to judge others.

    As for your demanding information from me, I again couldn’t care less. I don’t take orders from you or any other trans activist. Get it through your head: gay people are not your servants. If you want data, give data. Let’s have some hard data as to what the “trans community” contributes to LGB orgs or to marriage equality. Don’t cite wikipedia, OK? You’ve already embarrassed yourself with that several times. By “contribute” I mean something valuable in terms of money or labor. Making demands and criticizing gay orgs does not count as a contribution. Give me a real answer, and I’ll answer your question.

  31. TheDrDonna says

    I’ve donated time and money to pro-LGBT organizations. I am a conscientious voter who always votes for a progressive, forward looking and inclusive agenda. In my dealings in my day-to-day life, I go out of my way to make it clear I’m supportive of everyone, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. You’re a coward trying to stir up anti-trans sentiment using this trans activist straw man. Instead of providing information, or backing up your claims with data, you call names and push for division. As for Wikipedia, well, I can understand how the idea of actually looking at footnotes and doing research is tiring. I’m not trying to write an academic dissertation here, I’m having a chat with other folks on the Internet. The only thing embarrassing is the idea that by simply referencing Wikipedia, I’ve compromised myself. That’s dated and belies an inability to use the Internet like a responsible, knowledgeable adult. Are you still going to avoid providing verifications, links, anything for your claims? And, by opposing you in your bigoted views, I automatically become one of the reviled “trans activists”? That’s pathetic.

    And I haven’t been criticizing gay organizations, I’ve been criticizing you for your hateful, divisive, selfish, misleading words. You aren’t representative, thank god, so stop trying to take on the royal “we” when you push your own opinions.

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