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.

Continue reading…

Advertisements

Letter to a “TERF”

Originally posted at Bauhaus Wife

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It’s interesting to me that you seem to take offence to my pointing out biological facts about my son’s body.  He does indeed have a penis and testicles, that will, at some stage in his life (I assume, as all signs point to his body being healthy and functional) produce sperm.  My understanding of science is admittedly rudimentary, but he is clearly a male human and as such, he will never become pregnant through sexual intercourse, or give birth spontaneously to a child.  How could such a simple observation be contentious?

And I’m really not sure what you mean by “TERF-Y”.  I have heard that this is an acronym for “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist”. Who exactly am I “excluding” by observing the material reality of biology? I cannot fathom.

I agree entirely that the body does not always dictate our gender–this is, in essence, the underlying point of my original article: “Gender” is simply a set of social conventions and societal attitudes that inform, suggest, and sometimes even enforce, through subtle and not-so-subtle pressures, notions of masculinity and femininity.  “Gender” conventions shift and change from era to era and from place to place–that which is considered masculine at one time or in one culture, may be considered feminine in another.  “Gender” and what this means also varies greatly among individuals.  There is no metric to measure or quantify “gender”, and every human is “gender-fluid”–incorporating elements of that which is considered masculine and feminine, to some degree or another.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

Schools ask three-year-olds what gender, if any, they identify with

Originally published at Brighton & Hove News

Hundreds of parents found out yesterday which primary school their children will be attending in September, and were asked to fill out a council form to accept the offer.

After the tickbox for male/female, a note explained that the national recording system only gives these two options, and asked parents to “support your child to choose they gender they most identify with or if they have another gender identity please leave this blank and discuss this with your child’s school”.

The wording of the letter is already under review after the council was made aware of concerns about the new policy.

One Brighton mother, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being attacked by transgender activists, said she objected to the question because it reinforces dangerous stereotypes of what makes someone a man or woman rather than challenging them.

The mother also argued that children of this age don’t have a sophisticated enough understanding of gender issues, and asking them to make a distinction so young could have harmful ramifications later in life.

Continue reading…

Non-Men

Originally posted at Echidne of the Snakes

We are told that the category “non-male” is to be used for Green Party candidate selection.  The quote does not tell us if candidate selection is related to the numbers of individuals in that group who are female, non-binary or gender-queer, or if all those sub-groups are deemed to be of equal size.  Or if, perhaps, one half will be reserved for the category “male” and one half is to be split between everybody else in the category “non-male.”

Continue reading…

Woman by Proxy

Originally published by Julian Vigo on Medium

What the non-binary/gender fluid/transgender (et al) movement has completely missed is that women have been articulating their discomfort with gendered constructs through various precise and eloquent feminist discourses for decades. I have steadfastly maintained that all humans — especially females — are non-binary through the performatives of the everyday and the political and social constraints imposed upon their lives and bodies. Sexism functions on the assumption that females should match the singular, social definition of “woman” and it is against this monolith of gender against which women have historically fought as women have had to negotiate the interstices of gender, straddling the contradictions, negotiating the discomforts. That struggle took the form of women defying their bodies and families, deracinating the mechanisms and political codes of gender, and transforming their bodies into a socially and politically tendentious vehicle for political and even personal liberation. Women have always known that gender was never real simply because they had to become so well-versed in manoeuvring around it for survival.

Continue reading…