alot of things have got me to thinking of late.
about misogyny, sexist and cis-ist attitudes and
the liberation movements that have engendered the
acceptance of various groups in the last few decades.
reading a blog by a transgender woman a while back
enlightened me to the fact that while the goals of
the lesbian, gay and bi-sexual communities have much
in common with those of the transgender community,
it is sometimes felt by members of both communities
that the other gets in the way of their purpose; of
being accepted or acceptable.
i was well aware from my time in the gay community that
some folk felt that the transgender community when
included under their own umbrella, served to make the
acceptance of gays as ‘just like you’ to the straight
people an impossible venture if there were inclusion of
the oh so NOT ‘just like you’ transgender folk.
the blog i read had the opposite point of view.
that transgender issues are not served by being lumped in
with the gay communities agenda.
the writer acknowledged that the gay liberation movements
indeed paved the way and was of inestimable value to the
beginnings of a path to equality for transgender people,
but took a ‘what have you done for me lately’ tone,
and as the blogger pointed out,unless the transgender
person is also gay, the two groups don’t really merge.
at issue was the fact that cis-ist attitudes are rampant
in the gay community as in the straight world. gay men often
don’t get why a man would want to be a woman, after all,
he can still be with men as a man. this point of view might
reflect more on misogyny than the sense of loss of possible
sex partners to the gender to which they have no desires.
but for whatever reason it is there.
in the lesbian community, trans-women are often excluded
from all women’s events unless they have had the ‘bottom
surgery’. and often even in the event that they’ve gone
“all the way” some lesbians say they ‘could never’ really
go there, as far as a relationship with a trans-woman.
trans-women have not only the cis attitudes to deal with,
but are often under intense scrutiny to be ‘feminine’,
whatever that means. and they are put to far higher
standards with regard to ‘beauty’ (whatever than means)
than are cis women.
this misogyny exists, furthermore and inexplicably,in both
the minds and attitudes of straight women and lesbians
toward these women, who are in fact ‘sisters’ to them
in every way, save one!
now, to accept a trans-woman who has had the ‘surgery’ but
not the one who for whatever reason, has NOT is hard to
fathom. is it only our bodies that make us women? does the
presence of a body-part incongruent with societal dictates
for female invalidate? what if a woman hasn’t the money to
get required procedures? what if she simply knows who she is
without getting them? why would ANY woman, straight or gay
discriminate against another woman?!
i am raising a trans-girl. she is only eight right now, but
has known, (and informed me and everyone else) that she is
a girl ever since she was a little more than three years old. as a pre-pubescent person, the differences that make male and female bodies discernable have not yet come into play. so for now, no one is the wiser.
she loves to wear dresses, and climb trees. she plays with
dolls (tho she’s outgrown them lately) and trains. (altho
these days it’s more video games) she will be raised as the
girl she knows herself to be. before puberty she will take
cross hormones and testosterone blockers so that she can
begin to grow into her life as a young woman, right along
side other girls in her peer group.
so who will dare to tell her that she is not a woman?
already she knows that she is attracted to girls, wants to
marry one someday and adopt children together. (she is
adopted after all, and knows that adopted kids are never
an accident) she worries only that she’ll fall in love
with a woman who isn’t gay. altho i’ve told her that i have
had women decide to be lovers with me who ‘weren’t gay’.
i worry more that the woman she decides to be with will
reject her because she is transgender.
what a world!