Shrinking to survive: A former trans man reports on life inside queer youth culture

Originally posted at 4th Wave Now

There is power in naming. It’s how we find each other, how we connect to our histories, how we connect to our futures. Driving us apart from each other is the easiest way to keep us from learning to recognize attempts to redefine our realities.

I didn’t know this then. I subscribed to an incredibly misogynistic set of beliefs for years. “DFAB privilege” was a common phrase in our community – “designated female at birth privilege.” It was accepted fact that being born female gave you a lifelong advantage over a male who transitioned. This included men who used transition only to mean using different pronouns on Tumblr and having an anime girl as their avatar. We believed that, as “dfabs,” we needed to shut up about our petty problems. We could never have it as hard as any “dmab women or non-binary people.” Everyone in the trans community agreed that it was our responsibility to uplift “dmab voices.” None of this seemed outrageous or strange to me; it felt pretty intuitive. Growing up under male domination is a grooming process that leaves many girls and women extremely vulnerable to manipulation.

The first experience that did make me start to feel suspicious of male transition was when I was 18 and a genderqueer-identifying man who had never pursued any kind of transition raped my best friend, a woman unacquainted with insular trans community politics.

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G.S.A. now means Genders & Sexualities Alliance

Originally posted at Purple Sage

Gay-straight alliances were originally created to support gay and lesbian students, but young people don’t want to identify as gay or lesbian anymore, even if they are actually homosexual. These designations are old-fashioned now, and much too “binary.” The cool thing to have now is not a sexual orientation, but a gender. In fact, sexual orientation is bigoted; anyone who has a sexual orientation is exclusionary and therefore oppressing people (especially if they are female and their orientation excludes males).

The goal of a gender and sexualities alliance is not to support gay and lesbian students, it’s to desegregate school washrooms and promote the idea that there are infinite numbers of genders that people may choose from, and that bodies need to be medically altered to reflect people’s “gender.” This does not help gays and lesbians at all, and in some cases it harms us. It reinforces sex stereotypes by claiming that anyone who is masculine is male, therefore lesbian women are encouraged to identify as male and change their bodies so that they appear male, instead of identifying as lesbian women. In addition, gender theory does not allow for lesbians to exclude males from their dating pool as long as those males “identify” as women, which is abuse toward women who are exclusively lesbian.

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Hitting Peak Trans and Becoming a Minority of One

Originally posted at Gender Critical Dad

I have a beautiful, witty, smart wonderful daughter. She’s always been quite quiet, shy but determined when she sets her sights on something. Late to puberty, lost her last milk tooth only a few weeks ago age 17.

A couple of years ago, she told us she was lesbian, our reaction was that we wondered when she was going to tell us, as far as I can tell we were totally relaxed about that, then after a while she was bisexual, fair enough its all a bit academic in my view until you start fooling about with other people.

She developed an interest in drag culture, fair enough, Ru Paul was all over Netflix, I thought it was all a bit sexist and shallow, but tried not to bang on about that.

She asked permission to cut her hair, we’d never said she had to have long hair, I thought it was a fine idea, she could never be arsed to look after it, and had the bone structure and long neck to carry it off. She got it cut and looked fantastic, you could see her smile so much more and her lovely eyes.

She got into wearing men clothes more and more, and wearing sports bras, then a binder, but hey I dressed like a fright at her age.

She dropped hints about trans stuff, nothing specific, just a bit of Social Justice Warrior rubbish that kids say.

In her small group of school friends, people seemed to be changing sexual orientation, then gender identity became the latest trendy thing, we decided to just ignore it, wait for the next thing to come by. She started going to a gendered intelligence support group, which I imagined to be a bit like a feminist consciousness raising group.

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Unavoidable

Originally published at Words by Maria Catt

I have a real problem with coincidences. There are so many moments in my life where I want to announce to the universe, “OK you don’t have to lay it on so THICK, back off.”

Last Friday morning was one such moment. I was at work. A gay boy I work with was talking about his genderqueer friend, female, who just a little over two months ago was raped. He was saying they are transitioning to using “he” and identifying as  a guy, and he thinks their emotional instability over the years was because of this fundamental mismatch with not being seen as male.

He says this, and I look down at my hands. I don’t talk about transition stuff in my day to day life. Because I’ve only had one person who didn’t experience dysphoria actually listen to what I was saying. The people who haven’t experienced dysphoria think they are hearing me, and then they say a bunch of condescending bullshit. This is why I don’t hang out with people who identify as trans allies. When someone says they are “committed to social justice” I have to immediately get away from them- I’ve just had to be the Person They Help too many times to be around that story.

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Am I transgender….?

Originally published at A Feminist Roars

If I accepted your worldview I would be under the transgender umbrella. I’d be genderqueer, agender or maybe even bigender.

Thing is, I don’t accept your worldview. I don’t believe that genderqueer, agender or ‘whatever the hell you like’ gender are useful descriptive categories. In fact I think the opposite. I reject the ideology that comes with queer theory, particularly the incessant obsession with pigeon holing and shoving people into labels and rigid boxes. I know the history. I see how it’s embracing neoliberalism, the primacy of the individual and centering men’s rights. I see how harmful it is to women. I think it’s regressive bullshit.

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Non-binary people: A helpful guide for TERFs and non-TERFs alike

Originally posted at Feminists Unknowns

  1. How do I know if an individual is non-binary?

A common mistake is to think it’s okay simply to ask. Please don’t do this; it’s rude and individuals could find it triggering. Fortunately there are easy ways to tell. Is this individual a human being? If the answer is yes, then this person is inherently non-binary (NB one can be human regardless of whether one is male or female).

Gender is, after all, a hierarchical system of oppression arising from sex difference. People express and identify themselves in ways which overlap with presumed manifestations of sex-based oppression and/or dominance. Why they do so depends on many factors: social conditioning, class, fear of violence, caring responsibilities, economic advantage, innate personality traits. They ought to have every right to do so, but no one can claim to be more “non-binary” than the next.  No one naturally identifies with being oppressed and no one is simply born to be considered inferior.

  1. Hang on, I thought only me, my mates and a few famous arty types, most of whom are male, were allowed to be non-binary?

Then I am guessing you are young-ish, quite possibly a student or a writer, certainly not a post-menopausal woman (urgh! cis!), and your beliefs are based partly on a very sensible critique of gender and partly on a fuckload of privilege.

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