It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman who also happens to have bipolar disorder. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that myself and others like me, face every day.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Thoughts on Transphobia

After some of my experiences lately I think a post on transphobia is exactly what tonight's post calls for. Who better to use for example quotes than the good ole Traditional Values Coalition. They're running a little campaign that opposes ENDA, and quite honestly some of this is laughable. I'll let you be the judge. I seem to have a stalker currently that's coming off as highly transphobic, so I may throw in a few comparison quotes here and there too.

The TVC says: "Do you want men dressed as women teaching your kids?"

My response: I had no clue we were all men in dresses that teach children. I think they forgot about Female to Male trans-people too, seeing as that's the title on their ENDA hurts kids website.

The TVC says: "Under the so-called, Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), your children will be trapped in classes taught by drag queens and transgender activists."

My response: If only you could see my face when I read this. I'll give you a hint, an eyebrow was definitely raised. I then proceeded to laugh until I was red in the face. After I settled down, I thought about this quote. Have they turned classrooms into prison cells now? Do they have bars on the windows and locks that only open from the outside? I don't seem to remember that from my days in school. I also didn't know that drag queens taught at schools. I thought their thing was performing at shows, hence the term "drag queen". I don't know about you, but I've never met a drag queen who wanted to walk into a school and teach children in drag.

The TVC says: "Students will be indoctrinated that “alternative lifestyles” are no different than traditional lifestyles. Young children will be forced to learn about bizarre sexual fetishes"

My response: Wow, has sex Ed really made that big of a leap forward in the 4 years since I graduated high school? I didn't know it was possible to teach anyone a sexual fetish, that must be one of those new advances in electronics or something. I wonder if they could have taught me how to not be lesbian too.

The TVC says: "The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is the lesbian, gay, and transgender movement’s “holy grail.” It is prized precisely because it will foist the LGBT agenda into our public schools as a federally-protected right."

My response: We have an agenda? Oh shit, I really need to get on the ball and find out where to get a copy of that.

The TVC says: "A person can have a so-called sex change operation, but their DNA is unchanged. Maleness and femaleness are in the DNA of a person. No one can truly change from one sex to another."

My response: That seems to go against all the studies I've read about which prove exactly the opposite. I'm curious as to how they would explain why many trans women have been proven to have brains that more closely resemble female than male. Also what is their explanation for a number of different animals and organisms that can actually change their physical sex at will? Is it the work of the devil. or do we just fake it? I really want to see their proof that maleness and femaleness are solely determained by DNA.

The TVC says: "If ENDA becomes the law of the land, she-males will become teachers."

My response: You mean those trans girls that do porn on the internet? I thought that was their job, not teaching. I also had no clue that every trans person in the world wanted to be a teacher. I wonder if that's something you want after a certain amount of time on hormones, or if it comes after surgery. I haven't experienced that desire yet.

My stalker says- "so i guess your goal in life is to be known as a crossdresser, drag queen or a man in womans clothes for the rest of your life? because ya know thats the only way TG people will be seen by the majority of the public, and if you think you can change that.. your nuts."

My conclusions to all of this: Some may see the words of this organization as proof that trans people will never be seen as anything more than crossdressers and sexual deviants, but I don't. I see it as proof that a number of transphobic people are trying to infringe on our civil rights. They make outlandish claims which they can't back up with proof, and outright lie about many things as well. This is something I'm not surprised to hear from right wing conservatives that fear having to learn to tolerate LGBT people. Honestly, I say they need to suck it up and get over themselves.

I am, however, surprised to hear some of the same things from the trans girl that's currently stalking me. I guess it proves that even one of us can become intolerant and bitter after going stealth. It's something I knew existed, but was shocked to actually run into. I am open about myself online, and I do it for sake of helping others like me. I do it in the hopes that I may inspire other trans people to not be ashamed of being trans, as it is obvious that this person is. It's just such an attitude that I feel provokes feelings of transphobia in many people. Choosing to be stealth is one thing, but doing so and then turning on people in the exact same situation and telling them to do so as well goes too far. It creates a climate of fear and paranoia that many non trans people see as our desire to trick or fool them.

Some people have good reasons for being stealth, but doing so simply because you think that everyone will hate you, pass you over for jobs, or hunt you down and kill you, isn't the best way to go. I've found that many times people are far more accepting than I expected. Transphobia is rooted in the beliefs that trans people are something to be feared, mocked, or gawked at like a sideshow. If not for those of us that choose to be open about ourselves and fight for our rights, then that is what most of society would still see us as. I hope this person remembers that the next time she gets a refill on her hormones. If not for those trans people who chose to stand up and say we refuse to be treated as second class citizens, she may never have been able to transition.

Take what I say how you will. I in no way look down on those who choose to go stealth, I just choose to fight transphobia by being the change I want to see in the world. I prove every single claim by the TVC wrong simply by being myself. So that's all I have to say for now, and happy Beltain to anyone out there of the Wiccan persuasion.


Max said...

I knew transphobia was out there, but I didn't realize that people who were also trans were like that. That's very hypocritically, like the pot calling the kettle black. Why would someone want to be ashamed of who they are and let the negative, of what and who they really are take over them? By doing that you are just letting the people who are transphobia win and letting the trans community down, if you are trans and bashing against other trans people. If you don't want to be affiliated with other trans people and you are trans, then why are you trans in the first place is all I have to ask.

Anonymous said...

Sage, as always I love what you have to say and how you say it is so eloquent and unique to you... don't ever stop being 'you' ( not that you ever would ;) ). I talk a little bit about transphobia amongst the trans after going stealth in one of my videos on youtube. I pretty much feel the same way as you, but to my detriment, I do get a little pissed off at trans people who behave this way after going stealth. You're a better person than I... keep it up :)


Melissa said...

Excellent post Sage! The amount of ignorance in the general public about being transgendered is appalling, and the people you site are some of the most ignorant of all. Thanks for taking them head on, and straightening out some of their misconceptions!

Sorry you have to deal with a stupid stalker, but that's the price of having an open blog, and a private blog isn't worth much, since very few people ever see them.

Melissa XX

Melissa said...

@ Elizabeth

Hey sweetie, can you give us a link to your video?

Melissa XX

Sage Fallon said...

Thanks everyone. =)

@Max, You make a good point, I just wish she would ask herself that question.

@Elizabeth, I do get pissed off at them myself, but I just post my blogs and use the power of public opinion to my advantage lol. :P

@Melissa, It's a pain to deal with, but I'm not letting her force me into making my blog private. It comes with the territory I guess. Of course the people I quoted irritate me more than she does.

Laura said...

I can say that this age is still filled with fear. Transphobia is a good term for the kind of simple minded people that fear us. They don't understand us and fear. Then as you watch they stand up on the might soap box to yell their words to any who listen and draw in those that think the same kind of deal. Great posting and had to add to it with my own thought. Sage Keep up the great work. and you look great too.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the good 'ol appeal to emotions, the Right's ultimate weapon in the Culture Wars(TM). Anita Bryant made a career of crying, "Just think of the children!" when she was out campaigning against gay rights, and here we have it again. OMG! Men in dresses teaching in our schools! Isn't that awful?!

Notice they never give a reason why it would be so terrible, because any attempt to back up their condemnation would be transparently absurd. It's the irrational, gut-level reaction they want, not reasoned reflection. Besides, that sort of mamby-pamby liberal "let's think about this" approach just doesn't fly with all those red-blooded 'Mer'cans out there.

Birdgirl said...

As a biology person, I have something to add about DNA. While yes, technically sex is defined by the DNA (specifically, the X and Y chromosomes) there is so much else at work there. The X and Y chromosomes are more of a guidebook than anything else, and only really function to define sex in utero. Many of those genes are only used in development, kind of a one-shot deal. Once a person is fully formed, that's it, the sex forming parts of the DNA are more or less done with. And even so, studies have been done that show that levels of hormones in the womb may have even more effect than simple gene expression. What about those intersexed (born with ambiguous genitalia) people who had their genitals 'fixed' after birth and raised as girls? None of them are accused of being drag queens, even though technically they had a sex reassignment surgery at birth and may in fact have XY chromosomes. What about Androgen insensitivity syndrome, where they're genetically male but insensitive to testosterone, so are physically female having never developed as male? What about 5-Alpha-reductase deficiency, in which they can appear externally female and then masculinize at puberty, almost going through a natural sex change? The way I see it, transsexuals are merely another form of intersex. Something went wrong in utero, and when the individual is of a cognizant age they can ask for it to be put the way they want it. (I'm against the 'fixing' of intersex genitals at birth, because they decide your gender for you.) But no, the Traditional Values people have a bit of a misunderstanding. The mere presence of sex chromosomes doesn't matter as much as the in utero hormones do in terms of development.

Anonymous T-Girl said...

You're talking about people who openly reject the science of evolution.

Expecting them to understand the subtle mysteries of stunted androgen receptors in a fetal brain is going to be a bit above their ability.

Just ignore them. A reaction is what they want.