Hmm. Okay. Thanks for the advice people.
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Hmm. Okay. Thanks for the advice people.
I don't really travel by plane at all (can't afford it) so I'm not sure how I feel about this new development.
What PT said could be relevant, though. I mean, if there's a "mix up" about gender, then that could cause some extra attention and probably hurt feelings.
Meh. I'm not really "T" in any way, but my take on it is that for any such system to get close to getting my approval — and I'd still be holding my judgment until I knew more — the only thing it should show is whether or not it hits anything that can't be attributed to clothing or human tissue, and that's it.
This is my concern. I actually preferred the idea of a 'naked body'. Some might not, but at least security can see you, and not let a machine judge what's an anomaly and what's not.
I've been unfortunate enough to never receive a free massage from the TSA, or go through a body scanner. But when I saw this, I thought, yeah, here comes the problems.
Any transwoman who's pre or non-op, who goes through that machine? They're going to have an anomaly in their underwear. Same with their breasts if they're implants. It's probably easier, if not embarrassing, to declare this to a TSA officer and let them see a naked body. I assume any anomaly in a transwoman's underwear, without a true image, is going to require a search.
I can see this system, designed to be less intrusive, making things really messy for the trans community.
Recently, our very own, much beloved, Mara was involved in a thread in the P&CE forum on the subject of changes to birth certificates. Though many posters demonstrated an understanding of the problems of trans folk in this regard, many others showed a clear lack of concern, bordering on contempt for our kind. Poor Mara, feeling all too clearly the blantant disaregard for trans rights of some posters, decided to abandon that fight and that forum in a fury. I don't blame her one bit. However, I did send her a PM, which I intended as a little humorous jibe, but may not have come across that way, and I'm sorry.
This is what I was trying to say:
It's not about our hurt feelings. We're going to have those anyway. If we will not fight for our own rights, who will? If we will not explain the problems we face in this world, who will? How can we expect things to improve for all those that come after us, if we will not engage in debate, no matter how hurtful it is to us? The relative ease that transfolk have in society today, compared to a generation ago...did not happen because our foretrans hid and did not engage society at large in debate...it happened because they did. Our debt to people like Christine Jurgensen, Rene Richards, Tula, etc. is enormous. And I feel, and have always acted on the feeling, that we owe it to those who come after us...to make life easier for them.
Is this easy to do? Of course not. Is this mandatory for all trans people? Of course not. However, we have reaped the rewards (as meager as they appear today) of the work of those who refused to cowtow to majority opinion, who engaged actively in puplicizing our plight at their own expense, and I for one, feel that that debt must be paid forward.
I ask you all, in whatever situation, especially online, because many of us have the gift of anonymity here, to not give in to your initial flight response, but to stand your ground, and say your piece. Make a stand, if you can safely do so. Otherwise, how do we expect others to learn? How can we expect things to change for us and those who come after?
There is a strength, a powerful strength that only we have. The strength to stand up to the world, and say, no, this isn't who I am...this is. And be damned the consequences. That strength is our greatest weapon. It is conviction beyond doubt, it is a courage, it is a battle against the expectations of society, and in some cases nature itself.
I am so proud of all of you.
anyway, thanks for listening. And, dearest Mara, I'm sorry if I offended you. I do understand. But, I am asking you to return to the P&CE forum from time to time. You are needed there. Best.
Okay, I wrote a really long reply at first, but I've trunked that. I'm going with a novella instead of an epic fantasy.
On average, not counting cheering up various friends who are talking about severe depression and sounding suicidal, I spend about an hour a day on trans advocacy, especially outreach, at the personal level.
My persona here is different than my persona other forums (and Facebook and offline), where I'm sorta developing a reputation as an unusually patient and approachable trans advocate. I'm Zeea on rpg.net, for instance, which probably means nothing to the majority of people here, but there I've spent a huge amount of time doing outreach, and most people get along with me. I'm not going to try to talk myself up, but trust me, I do a lot of this stuff. Much more effectively than I feel I do here. (My girlfriend just found out about this post and suggested I say I'm the Official rpg.net Trans Crusader. That's not too far from the truth, although I'd say I'm about fourth in line, at best.)
Here, I tried to have a somewhat different persona, mainly because I'm using this site for writing. Somehow, it's become a persona that I don't always entirely like, mainly because I seem to crave attention or something, and come across as weaker and less experienced than I am. I originally tried to actually be less aggressive on trans issues, but somehow that just made me feel hypersensitive. Then I felt like I was reinforcing the harmful belief that "trans people are oversensitive and just need to get over it," so I started considering that maybe I needed a forum ban. Then I got upset the most recent time, so I decided to ask MacAllister for a forum ban.
Most of my posts here lately have had nothing to do with writing, and part of that is due to me not writing much lately. I'm frustrated with myself for that. I keep finding excuses not to do it. I was writing 2000-3500 good words a day, and now I'm lucky if I can churn out 500 bad ones. I just need to practice BIC, but I felt like maybe eliminating distractions could help. That was another reason I'd already been considering the ban.
Even though it reinforces the "craves attention" appearance, like I was just acting out so people would call me back, I'm going to ask to cancel my requested forum ban. But I swear, I had no original intention of doing that, and I didn't do this for attention. (I did make a big deal about it in my post, and that was juvenile, and I regret doing that.)
But I'm going to try REALLY hard to change my persona here to my better and more patient persona, because I'm tired of acting like this. And the more embarrassed I got about it, the more sensitive I got, so I'll have to try really hard not to let that happen again.
Anyway, sorry for the drama, and I'll try not to let it happen again.
I can never remember to update this signature.
I know the whole "trans people are oversensitive and have to get over it" thing. My parents made sure I had a sense of humour so I could survive as a transperson. I firmly believe that desirable qualities for TG people are being quite kickass, a low tolerance for crap, and a sense of humour. Have all three of these things and you're set for life.
But never, ever, "oversensitive." Oversensitive is taking offence at a subtle trans joke your best friend has dropped into conversation which took twenty minutes to drop. Or a guy saying "I really like you as a person, but I'd never sleep with you. Just saying." Or someone saying, "Wow, your breasts are real?! Medicine can do that?!"
Defending yourself, defending trans people, or defending people generally against ignorance or bigotry, is definitely not oversensitive. It's necessary. And I'm proud of anyone who does this.
I've seen detransitions and suicides because certain transpeople couldn't cope with how their cards have been dealt in life. Standing up for rights will save lives.
I think you're terrific as you are (persona-wise) and learn much from your insights.
I just don't like to see people run away from a fight that you would win, if you stuck it out. I know you well enough to know you would win. In some ways, you did win, because no amount to intellectualizing would compare to your empassioned flounce to get the point across.
Once again, I'm apolozing to you. And my epic speech a few posts ago is directed to everyone here, and I understand that many do far more than I do as far as trans-avocacy (although there in early 2003 I was in the running for "next posterchild for transgenderism in the United States" according to the Traditional Values Coalition), and that some feel they can not do so. I understand, and yet I hope that those that can do something, not give into fear or god-forbid "Oversensitivity", and do it.
I love you all.
Erm. Here's where I wish I was in a place in my life where I wasn't hiding behind stealth. Advocacy.
Basically, I found out that my final assignment for a sociology class is to make something, and present it to the class in terms of social issues, being all intellectual about it etc. but it also is supposed to be something that you feel strongly about, because there will be 10 minutes of Q&A after your 20 minute presentation.
Naturally, my first thought was to do it on trans issues - I know quite a bit about those issues, and I'm sure someone here could clue me in to the issues I haven't personally experienced yet. (I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to do research, which I suppose could include interviews.)
But a part of me doesn't want to do the assignment on trans issues, because it's supposed to be personal, and I'm trying to go stealth. Somehow, a class full of people realising I'm trans doesn't sit well with my "stealth for now" attitude...
Not sure what I'm going to do... It's a tough one.
But that class has just started. So I've got about 3.5 months to figure it out.
You will have to tell people eventually, and a class full of people is the best place IMO. It's an intellectual discussion, closely supervised, by people who don't really know you and shouldn't judge you - and with sociology, should be open-minded about things anyway.
I'd say go for it. It's personal to you. It fulfills the criteria of the task. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the reaction. And I'm sure that'll be good for you.
Also, when I was at university, I turned in about three essays on gender identity. It was basically academic laziness, but my grades and comments were very good. I wrote intelligent, original essays, apparently. Then they found out I was trans - not so intelligently original anymore. But the knowledge and passion was there, which ultimately obtained the grades.
Feel free to interview me if you need it. I did exactly the same thing on one of my essays.
I can't imagine any remotely half-decent implementation would rely on the operator's input of "male" or "female" to detect "anomalies," and I would expect them to look for anything that isn't human tissue (or not on the exceptions list), so if a pre-op trans woman's "anomaly" is flagged, I would consider that a very incompetent implementation of such a system.
Again, not to say that the current implementation is good. I have no idea, since I don't have any access. But it should certainly be possible to program such a system in such a way that common implants are ignored, and the presence or lack of certain organs wouldn't be noticed.
I realize it's not the same, but in a communications class I had to take recently, I gave a presentation about autism spectrum disorders. I never mentioned I was an Aspie. In my case, not because I was uncomfortable with anyone knowing, just because I didn't want to say something that might distract my audience from the material in my presentation.
Just because it's an issue that's important to you, and you want to present it, that doesn't mean that it's anyone else's business how you identify, nor does it mean that you have to tell anyone. Purely from my opinion as far as giving presentations go, you will probably be more effective not mentioning it at all, at least until the very end, even if you decide you do want to tell them, because as far as giving a good presentation goes about something that matters to you, it shouldn't matter at all.
Good points Kuwi and Becca.
As per Becca: Actually, the co-ordinator knows someone I went to high school with. A lot of those high school people gossip between themselves and have stayed in touch (I haven't with any of them - I was a total outcast in school). So there is the small chance that the co-ordinator will tell her cousin, who was in my class, who might tell others. Small chance, but it's something I would worry about anyway.
I think all the people in that room would be nice about the whole thing, though. We have a lesbian in class and nobody minds about that. So maybe a trans lesbian might not be such a big deal either...
As per Kuwi: Yes, I understand that being trans myself shouldn't affect the competency and influence of the presentation. But I also think (85% sure) that someone in the class would then ask me if I was trans. I'm not comfortable lying in response to such a direct question about my gender identity. Normally in the course of my stealthy activities, if someone makes a comment such as "That's a bit feminine of you," I'll just respond with, "That's fine by me," and leave it at that. Not exactly lying - it is fine by me - but not the whole truth.
I've never had anyone just come out and ask me, "Are you a transexual?" I'm not sure what I'd say about that, but I'd probably just say "Yes."
So it might not effect my grade or anything, but it might make me uncomfortable.
But thanks for the comments both of you. I have plenty of time to decide how I want to go with this. We'll see what I do...
In other news, I got my Wii today! Woohoo! I've already spent about an hour on Wii Fit Plus.
I need to take 1 fitness game back to the game store, because it was supposed to include some props, and it didn't. It was second-hand game, so I'm not sure if they have the equipment out the back or what...
And I only got 1/3 the way through creating a profile for My Fitness Coach before I had to go out. Even that 1/3 was killing me - I dread to think what the actual game will do to my body.
Eh, I'll get used to it.
But apparently I wasn't even able to do 2 minutes of jumping jacks. I got 1.5 minutes in and had to sit down. All to measure my active pulse rate! *headdesk*
But on the whole, I'm happy with my purchase. I've already burnt 127kcal on Wii Fit Plus. Not a huge calories/minute rate, but it's still more than I usually do on my exercise bike.
Anyway, that's what's happening in Cliffland right now.
If you decide against transsexuality, is there something else you feel equally passionate about?
If not, then I'd agree with Kuwi that going ahead but keeping it quiet is worth doing. You could have a wide knowledge of it through a friend or relative. My best friends and family could talk confidently about gender identity purely because they know me.
Be prepared for this, because if it is someone close, then just "Yes," won't be sufficient for them.
Not every transperson has the luxury of choosing their moment. My best friend threw this question at me when I least expected it (and this was when not one single living soul knew I was planning on transitioning) and I had to tell my mum in the heat of an argument.
So yeah, my advice is have an answer and/or small speech planned, just in case
I'm not sure I have any other topics I feel as passionately about. At least not on a sociology level, anyway...
Hmm. Last night after catching up on this thread, I started thinking about what I would do if I suddenly woke up as a girl one day. After a lot of thought, it struck me that I didn't think it would bother me too much, other than the financial setback because I would want to re-do a lot of my wardrobe. I'm happy being a guy, and it's not something I'd seek to change, but after thinking about it for a while, I feel I'd be fine with it either way. I'm not sure if that's strange or not. It probably is.
Perhaps that would make you pangendered? (Yay, I think I just made up a word!)
I don't think it's weird. I mean, I remember you saying you were bisexual, so you probably wouldn't have the stigma of "guys like girls, and girls like guys" attached to the whole "waking up female" aspect. You'd probably have no personal stigma about being attracted to whoever you're attracted to.
The style of sexual activity would change, sure, and there'd be all sorts of social differences. But I don't think being fine with that outcome is all that weird.
Then again, I've actively chosen to be female, so the only part I'm having trouble with is that you'd be fine being a guy. I kid, I kid. It's not something I would choose, but I can see how others would greatly enjoy having a male body, whether they choose to be stereotypically masculine or not.
Even if it's not so terribly weird that I don't feel I'd have much of a problem being a girl, it's got to be a little weird that what I think I would find most troublesome is the overhaul I would have to make to my wardrobe? Not that I have any hang-ups about what men or women should wear, but if I were to be a girl, I'd want some cute dresses, dammit!
Well I can certainly say I'm not stereotypically masculine, but I don't dislike this body, other than the bit of belly I've accumulated around the middle.It's not something I would choose, but I can see how others would greatly enjoy having a male body, whether they choose to be stereotypically masculine or not.
I don't know. It's just something I've found myself thinking about lately.
Well, I know you pride yourself on your wardrobe... So I'm not too surprised that the first concern for you would be a new wardrobe. Especially considering my earlier point about not having the stigma of a new sexuality re: being attracted to whoever you want to be attracted to.
I'm sure there's plenty of people in the world that don't strongly identify as either gender and thus would be ok with being either sex. So it's not that odd.
"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." - Socrates
A good friend of mine who is bisexual happened to have had this same discussion. We have been friends since elementary school and were raised in the same church. We were always in trouble for being to masculine, independent, etc. We were both commenting how our spouses are more the traditional female in so many ways and we are more the masculine role. It would be very easy for both of use to switch genders and be just as happy.
You are not that uncommon in your gender identification, but that is not to say you are still not very special
Going back to wardrobes, I just thought I'd share this music video.
The singer, Alissa White-Gluz, in this video at least, is wearing the sort of clothes I'd love to wear if I were comfortable wearing women's clothes. So I thought I'd post this link to give the people in this thread an indication about what I like.
(Note: I don't only like these sorts of women's clothes. And some of these clothes could feasibly be worn by a goth/metal man anyway. I also happen to like more traditional dresses, and definitely skirts of most varieties. Skirts!)
I especially like what Alissa is wearing in the on-the-stairs scene.
Okay, so I've made a decision rooted in optimism and confidence.
I'm going to submit something to AW's spec fic competition, and if I get my entry accepted into the anthology, I'll choose to be published under the name of "Cate Black," the name I want post-transition.
Act first, explain later. That's my motto. Right now at least...