Trans activist and Redefining Realness author Janet Mock focused attention on the invasive and frankly stupid nature of the questions she’s often asked during interviews last month, after she accused news anchor Piers Morgan of “sensationalizing” her life following a particularly heated discussion about her gender identity.
Mock has constantly addressed the need to begin “a discussion” about trans identity to prevent the kind of misunderstanding that breeds questions like “Do you have a vagina?” and “Why is the term ‘she-mail’ offensive?“
What Mock and fellow activist Laverne Cox have called for is a complete overhaul of the way we understand gender and sexuality (for starters, they have nothing to do with one another). “I was born a baby, not a boy” Mock told Piers Morgan in March; it’s a concept many just can’t understand.
This week, Mock turns the tables by hammering Fusion reporter Alicia Menendez with the kind of inappropriate questioning she feels she’s subjected to “even in the good interviews.”
“Who was the first person you told you were cis?” she asks, a half beat before overpowering Menendez with questions like “Do you have a vagina?” and “When did you begin to feel your breasts budding?”
Mock asks “Do you use tampons?”
“I thought we were going to talk about my show,” Menendez says.
“I think we need to get through this, though. These are just the preliminary questions,” Mock responds.
Many other journalists have been criticized for focusing their interviews with trans role models and activists around genitalia and gender reassignment surgery. This kind of questioning ultimately reduces a complex question of identity into one of physicality. But it’s tough to imagine just how invasive and humiliating those questions can be until you’re standing in their shoes.
Remember this the next time someone tells you Janet Mock is being “too sensitive.”
its unfortunate that janet mock feels its ok to call someone cis because it fits her vocabulary. for the majority of us and i mean 99% of us, we were born a boy or a girl. why the trans community thinks the rest of the world should bow down to them is beyond me. try to teach others don’t force things on other people. janet mock would not be relevant if she was born a real woman. face facts.
cis people will freak out if called cishet or apparently even just cis but somehow think they have the right to tell transwomen what “real women” are
@buybioniconitunes: real women do not have prostates
@gskorich: why? because you say so? and who the eff are you? lmao
@gskorich: Women who are assigned female at birth mostly (leaving out intersex cases) have an analogous structure called Skene’s gland. But nice try, though. Would you like to use some other biological essentialism-centric argument?
@Thedrdonna: assigned at birth? so you mean born with right? in the case we are talking, janet mock, was she born with this?
If you need the term “female assigned at birth” explained to you the internet is somewhere very nearby. Try google.
@Thedrdonna: can i ask who is doing this assigning? how ridiculous can this get
The attending physician. I have no doubt that straight pundits said, when the gay rights movement started asking to be allowed to marry, “how ridiculous can this get”. That doesn’t make them correct or in the moral right, though, because it’s not really a response, it’s an admission of inability to understand. That’s on you, friend.
if we are to believe the trans community then we shouldnt call our babies boy or girl until they identify what they are, so they just hang out for a couple years until they come to this decision? really? no one finds anything wrong with this? no wonder the rest of the world is sitting back and laughing
Humans are curious people.Doubtless this can be anoying sometimes.? Do not understand the Problem with Transgender/Transexuell people .They get paid the operations here (Public Insurance) .
@Thedrdonna: getting married is not a ridiculous goal, not calling a child a boy or a girl is
Funny that transexuals get all offended when someone is curious about it. If you don’t want people to ask about it, don’t tell them.
As a gay man, I’ve had to answer a lot of awkward questions. If you don’t want to answer them, just politely tell them so. There is no need to act offended when someone is interested in your life story. It could be worse, they could be telling you that you are going to hell for your life choices.
God, what a perfect way for this freak to keep shis name in the paper. Enough already with this nonsense. I’ve never had my eyes roll so far in my head when I heard the term “cisgender.” The correct term is normal….no need to fabricate a term to further put people into groups and isolate them.
@AxelDC: janet mock would not be a public figure if she were not transexual. her story is about her life, which assumes she started as one thing and became another but don’t aske her what
@TinoTurner: when i heard i was cis male i had to look it up. it means i identify with the gender i was born with. i did not place this label on myself, the trans community did. why is it so easy for them to label others
@gskorich: Actually, a lot of places in Europe are ahead of the US in this. If they’re laughing, it’s at people who refuse to understand trans issues, the way we laugh at backwards bigots like Brian Brown and Cliven Bundy.
Trans people aren’t saying to avoid calling someone a boy or a girl, they’re saying to respect that person’s wishes when they tell you to address them in a way you wouldn’t expect to. The usage of phrases like “assigned female at birth” is really only necessary when you’re making distinctions between transgender and cisgender people, like you were doing with the whole prostate thing.
@gskorich: “Transsexual” was invented by cisgender people. i did not place this label on myself, the trans community did. why is it so easy for them to label others
@Thedrdonna: do you want to play games or make a point
@Thedrdonna: “the cis community did”. Trans people didn’t invent the word transsexual.
I’ve made my point, and rebutted the incorrect ones you’ve made as well. Are you here to talk about anything other than how you don’t like trans people and are offended by normal words that were invented by german sexologists (not trans folk)?
“cis” is redundant, a man is an adult male human, a woman is an adult female human. Transwomen are pseudo-women at best.
What a great interview. Juxtaposition is a great tool to show people another person’s perspective.
It’s like that movie with John Travolta, “White Man’s Burden” which deals with racism, and Juxtaposes a world where African Americans are dominant in politics and media and elsewhere, and John Travolta plays a poor white man in a ghetto.
I love that movie because it shows things like TV commercials with all African Americans, kids playing with African American action figures and dolls, African American superhero icon’s etc.
This does the same thing for transgender people, and it should make people uncomfortable, because we need to see things from another person’s perspective.
What’s really incredible, is the sheer amount of discrimination towards trans people that I see in the comments on a gay site. It’s really disgusting.
There’s no difference between how some people on here are commenting, and the fundamentalist Christians saying “God made man and woman to be Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”
They have the same arguments against gay people, saying that “your penis is meant to go into a vagina, not some dude’s rectum” and other really inappropriate comments like that.
And they can back that up with biological science, it is true, that a penis and vagina are biologically meant for procreation.
And, sexual orientation doesn’t quite work that way does it?
And from what I’ve seen, neither does gender identity. We need to be respectful of the fact that other people’s experience does not necessarily match our own.
@Saralikesyarr: why is it when the trans community is confronted it is always discrimination? why can’t there be a conversation? who decided the needs of the gay community are the same as the transgender community?
@gskorich: If someone who was straight “confronted” the gay community by implying that their love or relationships weren’t as real as straight people’s, that would be discriminatory as well. There are conversations around trans folk, but the word you’re looking for is “harangue”, and it’s not quite the same thing.
Just for the record I didn’t much care for the discrimination I read in this thread either. But they’re not the kind of people I normally bother with anymore, whether their discrimination is against gays or trans.
Just a note to any trans (and same for bi while I’m at it who also catch a lot of grief) reading this, the comments you’re seeing here don’t represent all or even most of the gay/lesbian community (distressingly common as it must sometimes feel), and many of us appreciate allies rather than needlessly alienating others who are different in a different way than ourselves. I expect in many cases it’s gays who still feel haunted by shame of their orientation trying to make themselves feel better by tearing you down (just like the compulsive cheaters, masturbaters, and pedophiles among Christian fundies try to make themselves feel better by tearing all of us down) and if those gays were straight they’d be just as condemning of the rest of us as that’s just how they’re wired.
Unlike gay/women’s/black liberation transsexuals thrive on constant validation of their identities. Pix I am not a self-loathing gay, there are legitimate questions like how transsexuals enforce gender roles and the fact that conservative countries like Iran and India accept transsexuals yet criminalise being gay.
@hex0: Actually, many trans folk don’t reinforce gender roles. There’s a vast number of trans identities that exist outside the binary: genderqueer, bigender, two spirit, androgyne, the list goes on. Only by simplifying the trans community into femme MTFs and butch FTMs could your line of logic make sense, and the only way someone could do that is if they have no experience with trans folks.
As for how other countries treat trans folks versus gay folks, many places are ahead on gay rights while trans rights still lag behind, like in lots of European countries (and also in the good ol’ USA). That doesn’t mean that most gay people in those countries are actively against trans rights, so why would you try to imply the reverse is true in countries where trans rights have made it further?
Is this not the very woman who sensationalizes her own life journey by writing a book about it and having these interviews to market it? Seems like a pot kettle situation to me.
When will her 15 minutes of fame be over?
@vive: Yes, she writes about her LIFE, not her genitalia. If you can’t figure out the difference, why don’t you go on national television and answer questions all about YOUR anatomy?
@vicious lies: he whole story is about change and how she dealt with it. unfortunately for her and her supporters its has a lot to do with what she was born with and what she has now
@gskorich: So, since being gay is about loving someone of the same sex, you’re saying that if someone is interviewed about their experience as a gay man it wouldn’t be disrespectful to ask a bunch of questions about how they have sex, who takes what roles, that sort of thing? Straight people are naturally curious, dontchaknow.
@gskorich: “try to teach others don’t force things on other people” Wait, where have I heard that expression before? Oh I know, THE WHOLE DAMN STRAIGHT COMMUNITY, in other words you are using the same excuse the gay community has been fighting against for decades! If someone says they are male, they are male if someone says they are female they are female it’s as simple as that and it does not require a physical examination.
@gskorich: @TinoTurner: @hex0: @vive: I am not transgender and strongly disagree with the statements by the individuals this comment is in reply to. Being transgender is only as difficult as those who are not transgender make it to be. Don’t constantly try to tear others down because their experience is different from yours.
@gskorich: “why is it when the trans community is confronted it is always discrimination?”
I suppose for the same reason that when the gay community is confronted about the legitimacy of their sexual orientation, it’s considered discrimination.
People who try to guilt trip me into supporting their cause by calling me cis have lost my support.
I treat strangers with respect by default. If you give me attitude I won’t be around you for long.
I find it interesting whenever a transsexual says non-transsexual people are ‘obsessed with genitalia’ or they wonder why genitalia is so important to us. If genitalia is so irrelevant, then why do transsexual people put themselves through horribly painful surgical and hormonal treatments to modify them?.
Also, this person wrote a book about her experience as a ‘transwoman’, which included her growing up as a boy, as well as her condoning and even glorifying her experience as a child prostitute so she could afford her ‘transition’. The fact that her genitalia along with the rest of her appearance changed IS what makes her a transsexual, but somehow because it makes her uncomfortable talking about it, no one is allowed to ask questions about it?. Transsexuals are afraid of discussing genitalia because deep down they know it really comes to that when establishing some one’s sex(with the exception of intersex peopled who genuinely have ambiguous sexual attributes).
And the word ‘cis’ is offensive and it is unnecessary. No, it is not analogue with the word ‘straight’ because being gay is one of several perfectly natural sexual orientations. Being straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual does NOT require change, it does not require surgery, therapy, or hormonal treatments of any kind. Being gay/lesbian/bi IS in fact perfectly natural. Being transsexual is the exact opposite of that; by their own words it’s a medical problem that needs to be fixed, so what the word ‘cis’ really means is ‘someone who does not have the medical condition of trassexualism’. We don’t make up words to refer to people who don’t suffer of other medical conditions just to make those afflicted feel validated.
“@jayj150: “I find it interesting whenever a transsexual says non-transsexual people are ‘obsessed with genitalia’ or they wonder why genitalia is so important to us.”
I think it’s because one of the first questions that comes out of a person’s mouth, when they meet a transgender person is to ask them about their genitalia.
Somebody’s private medical history is nobody else’s business. It’s not polite conversation in any context unless you’re actually dating the person, or in an intimate relationship with them, or are a medical professional, and even then, it’s a very sensitive question.
Guys get just as sensitive when talking about the size of their penis with a perfect stranger, and any woman would be just as sensitive about talking about her period with a perfect stranger, or whether she had an enlarged clitoris, or PCOS, or any other medical condition involving her genitalia.
Discussing anybody’s genitalia or medical history is off limits other than to the most intimate friends and family, and doctors.
@jayj150: Actually, there’s the phrases able-bodied, healthy, well, hale, etc, etc. The main people complaining about the use of the word “cis” are those who want to paint trans folks as abnormal or mentally ill. I wonder if you fall into that camp?
@Thedrdonna: You are being deliberately disingenuous. There’s no word for referring for people who don’t suffer from any particular medical condition; we don’t have a word for non-diabetic people or non-heart diseased people. ‘Cis’ simply means ‘people who don’t suffer from the medical condition of transsexualism’ and therefore it is unnecessary. We have words for generally healthy people, some of which you mentioned. If transsexualism is in fact a medical condition, as you people claim when you sue the government and insurance companies to pay for your surgeries, then yes, the right word to refer to people not suffering from it is healthy, able-bodied, hale, or my personal favorite: NORMAL.
@jayj150: Well, you pretty conclusively answered my ultimate question. However, not all trans people require medical intervention. A subset of trans people do, and that is due to severe gender dysphoria, but people who have gender dysphoria aren’t the entirety of the trans identity. And, therein lies the part that you don’t seem to get: identities aren’t pathologies. Someone who is trans isn’t sick. That’s why there’s a need for a complementary phrase.
@gskorich: How unfortunate for them
@Thedrdonna: I don’t want to lump myself in with the negativity that always comes up when trans issues are discussed, so…I’ll be careful. Being gay is solely and only a “problem” when external factors–hatred, discrimination, rejection, etc–come into play. This is what people are referring to when the say “Who would ‘choose’ to be gay?” Other than those factors, gayness is affirmatively a positive thing.
Would you really say that about being intersex or transgender? It’s not a cause for contempt, insensitivity, discrimination or anything else, but even if the whole world were 100% compassionate, inclusive, understanding and evolved on the issue, living in a body that is at variance with your true gender would still be a ‘problem’–one that others should respond to with sensitivity and supportiveness, of course, but still–unlike being gay–a problem, and not something anyone would wish for themselves.
So no, I don’t identify as ‘cis’, any more than I introduce myself with “Hi, I’m a ten-toed person!” I think that’s assumed unless I say otherwise. (And there’s also nothing objectionable about or cause for hatred in being born with nine toes)
By the same argument Jay, straight people aren’t “straight”, they’re just “normal” because they use their penises for biological reproduction as “nature intended”.
Gay people would just have a “medical condition”, that they need treatment for. After all, they’re just exhibiting “deviant behavior”.
Now where have I heard such terms used before to describe the gay community…
Oh yes, the psychological profession, the medical profession historically, fundamentalist Christians, etc, etc.
You’re not in any better boat than transgender people are, when talking about “natural” or biology.
The only reason we know about bisexuality and homosexual behaviors in animals now, is because very recent science has bothered to look for it. There are actually examples in nature of animals that will mimic the behavior of the opposite gender.
There have been historic examples of people who were obviously transgender (like Roman emperor Nero) and in many native cultures such people were considered holy.
The idea that gender orientation is linked to the presence or absence of a penis, is no more accurate than the idea that sexual orientation and who you are attracted to, is determined by biological reproduction.
By the same argument, if you’re born with a penis, you should be attracted to women. After all, that’s what a penis is biologically for.
Orientation, whether gender or sexual, very obviously doesn’t work that way.
There are often Interviews/Documentations in German TV.The people here are talking openly about their personal feelings , sex live and genetalias .You can see public genetalias in every public Sauna here.Nudidity\Genetalias are not always so sexualised or private here.
@DuMaurier: At issue is that sometimes we need to discuss things that make a distinction between trans and cis folk, the same way sometimes you need to make a distinction between straight and LGB folk. Most of the people who dislike the term cis don’t have a really acceptable alternative that doesn’t alienate or pathologize trans identities. By painting it as “trans vs normal”, the implication is that being trans is abnormal. I’m perfectly willing to use another word if someone has a better one that doesn’t alienate trans folks, but the people who generally complain about the word cis aren’t interested in actually fixing anything, they just want the whole awkward concept that some people might be advantaged or disadvantaged by their gender identity to go away.
@Saralikesyarr: She is a self-proclaimed ‘trans activist’. She goes to media outlets to discuss her experience as a ‘transwoman’ and then explodes when someone asks her something like ‘who was the first person you told you were trans?’. Really? Is that the kind of educational conversation she wants to have.
She is a completely irrelevant, irrational person, whose only concern is for people to validate her as a woman, to see her as a woman, to call her a woman. She is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the ‘T’ next to the LGB, or feminism for that matter. While LGB activism and feminism have fought for decades for ACCEPTANCE of non-conforming people (women and sexual minorities) to live outside patriarchal societal norms, people like Mock actually embrace those norms because she finds them validating and empowering. She takes offense with virtually every question about her life, but the one thing she ALWAYS makes sure to emphasize is she is a ‘straight woman’.
Transseuxalism is another way to push sexual minorities to conform, just like the Religious Right’s Conversion therapy, except transsexualism is more cruel and dangerous. LGB activism should promote the idea that is OK to be a boy or a girl whose interests don’t match society’s expectation for their sex. For transsexual people if a boy likes pink, glittery things and ballet, then it obviously means ‘well it’s because she’s really a girl!’.
Transsexualism and LGB activism are not only not the same struggle, they antagonize each other: LGB people want nothing but ACCEPTANCE FOR WHO THEY ARE, NO CHANGE IS NECESSARY. Transsexuals want TO CHANGE EVERYTHING ABOUT THEMSELVES(EVERYTHING FROM THEIR NAME TO THEIR GENITALIA) SO THEIR BODY MATCHES WHAT THEY THINK SOCIETY EXPECTS FROM THEM BASED ON THEIR INTERESTS.
I think you’re just voicing your own opinions Jay.
The LGBT movement is very much in sync with this. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
What we’re fighting against is fundamentalist Christian norms that have been placed on western society and much of the world for hundreds of years.
The same people who say that polyamorous people are not ok, that say that transgender people are not ok, that say that gay people are not ok, etc, etc. Are the same people fighting against all of us.
What we’re fighting for, is a new normal, not influenced by fundamentalist Christian and puritanical norms.
That says that people can just be who they are, and they don’t have to conform to some religion’s view of what their family should look like, or their sexual activity, or their gender orientation, or how they, dress, etc.
To just let people be themselves. Within responsible reason.
Activists bring these things up, because that is their job, to bring it to the surface. I know people who when AIDS legislation was being threatened to be passed to force people infected with AIDS to register on a public registry, they covered the legislators houses with giant condoms. And threw blood on the state senators.
That’s what activists do; they shake stuff off, put it in people’s face. That’s their job.
You know, I see gay people saying the same things about bisexuals still. That they’re fake, that they’re on their way to gay ville, etc, etc.
Just because somebody has a different gender identity or orientation than you, doesn’t mean it’s invalid.
Diversity exists, and we’re all fighting against the same enemies.
@jayj150: As I said above, many trans people identify outside of the binary. Your continued use of that trope makes me think you’re intentionally pushing that lie, in addition to others (no trans person insists that if a boy likes pink sparkly things he must be a girl), in order to discredit trans folks. I’m trans and I like paintballing, rock climbing, riflery, computers, building things, woodworking, math, and many other things that aren’t stereotypically feminine. Only someone with an agenda to push would intentionally ignore that many, if not most, trans folks are like me in that we don’t easily fit gender norms.
And I should tell you, you know, girly girls exist, even among non-transgender women. That’s not some “patriarchal creation”, some people do just like to wear cute dresses, and wear makeup and do their hair all girly. Everybody’s in this fight for a different reason, but we are fighting against the same enemies. Feminine people exist. Submissive people exist. If you’re a guy and want to wear pink and glitter that’s ok. And if someone is a girl and wants to wear pink and glitter, that’s ok too. People who identify as transgender, don’t do it because other people say they are, they do it because from within, they strongly feel that that is who they really are, just as gay people strongly feel gay and attracted to men.
It’s just a different experience is all.
Everybody experiences the world somewhat differently, and that’s ok.
The word “cisgender’ is beyond ridiculous.
@AlexM: I’m sure some straight people feel the same way about the term “heterosexual”. What’s your point?
its as if the trans community want those of us who are good with what we were born with to forget that we are boys and girls just because they identify differently from what they were born with. maybe this isn’t the best example but i was watching ‘becoming chaz’ and the ‘Buck Angel’ story, its seems all you need to be a ‘man’ in this world is no tits and some testosterone and to be a woman you need tits and estrogen. doesn’t seems to matter anymore about the bottom bits. thats what is confusing to most people. when you have a story about a man giving birth but then you realize its a trans person who identifies as a man but has lady parts then the story gets confusing. buck angel said you don’t need a dick to be a man, really? but you need testosterone?
@gskorich: Some trans folks don’t want or need to transition. Some trans folks don’t identify as either gender, or both. You must be pretty insecure if the existence of trans people’s genders is a threat to yours. It’s as sad as a straight person claiming that the mere existence of gay people undermines straight sexuality.
Let my try rephrasing your sentence with some substitute words to give you some juxtaposition perspective.
“its as if the [gay] community want those of us who are good with what [biology intended us to be] to forget that [genitalia are meant for reproduction] just because they identify differently from what [biology intended them to be].”
@Thedrdonna: LOL love it when people try to test my securities or insecurities just because i have an opinion. trans people are no threat to me but when their agenda is making gays look bad because for some reason these two groups are associated then i take notice.
@Saralikesyarr: really? biology is what you are born with? you can’t change that. what you believe yourself to be has nothing to do with your biology, if it does then your argument is mute
@gskorich: I wasn’t testing your insecurities, I was demonstrating the basis for the statements you made. Whether or not that specifically applies to you, or maybe you’re just a bigot, doesn’t actually matter: your statement was ridiculous and I demonstrated as such. You didn’t do very much to counter my reasoning.
@Saralikesyarr: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Interesting. Let’s talk about Iran for a minute, one of the, if not THE most horribly homophobic government on the planet, where teenagers as young as 13 years old are publicly stoned to death for being(or simply for being perceived as) gay.
Unspeakably homophobic, theocratic Iran is also, interestingly, second only to Thailand among countries that carry the most sex change operations in the world. Not only that, but the government pays for up to half of the costs for those needing financial assistance and a sex change is recognized on the birth certificate.
Iran illustrates very clearly my problem with transsexualism. Its hatred of gay people and its acceptance of transsexuals are not separate or fortuitous: one is the direct consequence of the other. Iran’s government, like many transsexuals themselves, see a sex change as way to ‘cure themselves’ from being gay.
A United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’s report on sexual minorities in Iran had this to say: ‘it is not possible for presumed transsexual individuals to choose not to undergo surgery – if they are approved for sex reassignment, they are expected to undergo treatment immediately. Those who wish to remain “non-operative” (as well as those who cross-dress ) are considered their biological gender, and as such they are likely to face harassment AS BEING HOMOSEXUALS and subject to the same laws barring homosexual acts.’. It is illegal for a woman to dress as a man, or for a barber to cut the hair of a woman short (out of fear that doing so would facilitate cross-dressing). Likewise, men who cross-dress or are deemed too effeminate will also face harassment or criminal charges. Transsexuals are granted immunity from these regulations.’
In the mind of religious, homophobic bigots, transsexualism is OK because it ‘cures’ gay people. If you are a butch woman who prefers short hair, there’s something wrong with you, but if you ‘transition to be a man’ then you are OK. Ultimately, transsexualism is about CONFORMING. Ultimately, transsexualism harms non-conforming LGB people because it makes assumptions about people’s interests based of their sex, and that is horrendously homophobic and misogynistic. In the end of the day, people like Mock don’t care at all about gay people, and why would she, she went through very expensive, difficult medical procedures just she could be a ‘straight woman’.
Many gay and bisexual individuals in Iran are pressured to undergo sex-change operations to ‘become women’ and avoid legal repercussions. Please, let that sink for a moment: gay/bi men are being forced to undergo castration in order to become ‘women’ and adjust to society’s normality in order to avoid legal penalties. Very much what we have in the US in the form of ‘Conversion therapies’, except ours is a more civilized country and won’t force people to mutilate their genitals; although ‘Conversion Camps’ are still very much legal. There’s a very powerful documentary about the issue, awesomely called ‘Be like others’ by Tanaz Eshaghian.
Shockingly, while GAY MEN are being forced to go through medical castration to ‘become women’ and cure themselves, “gay” groups like GLAAD invest enormous amounts of time and effort in battling the evils of the ‘she-mail’ TV segment, but, have virtually nothing to say about this.
So, no ‘Saralikesyaar’. We don’t have the same enemies, we don’t have the same struggles, in fact, they are diametrically opposed. Mock wants people to call her woman because she went through expensive medical procedures to make her body to resemble that of a woman. Gay men want to be ACCEPTED AS NORMAL for who they are, without having to change anything about themselves. Janet wants to CONFORM so she can be ‘normal’.
@Thedrdonna: telling me i must be insecure of my identity isn’t testing them? telling me i might be a bigot because i don’t agree with something isn’t the right way to get a follow up, next i will be transphobic and homophobic, i am waiting for that one
@gskorich: Feel free to rebut my statements, then, in a way that makes it clear you aren’t a bigot.
really? biology is what you are born with? you can’t change that. what you believe yourself to be has nothing to do with your biology, if it does then your argument is mute
Biologically your penis is meant to be used to impregnate a woman. So, if you’re gay, then you’re going against biology.
Maybe sexual orientation doesn’t work that way.
We’re not talking about people’s biological sex, we’re talking about their gender identity, or sexual orientation, both of which have nothing to do with their body.
Janet does want to be accepted for who she is. That her body doesn’t match her gender identity does not mean that that is not “who she is”.
Here’s a good analogy. Imagine a world, where everybody only drives pickup trucks and Volkswagen Bugs. All the windows are tinted. And normally, most men drive pickup trucks, and most women drive Volkswagen Bugs.
Now, occasionally, that’s not the case. Sometimes a woman is driving a truck, and man is driving a Volkswagen Bug. Now, for a woman driving a truck, or a man driving a Bug, there’s not much they can do in this world to change the fact that that’s the vehicle they are driving. However, they can do some things to make it more comfortable for them to drive, and also make it clear to others, that there is a woman driving the truck, or a man driving the Volkswagen Bug. The guy could paint is Bug black if he got a pink one, and could put flames on it. He could give it masculine looking rims, and put red ground effects on it. The woman could do similar touches to her tuck to give it a feminine touch. She could paint pretty flowers on it, and give a it a pretty paint job, and redo the interior with with more feminine upholstery. She could put girly rims on it.
Some people might take this quite a distance, but it’s their vehicle, they can do what they want with it.
In a situation like that, those people aren’t “not being themselves”, on the contrary, that’s exactly what they are being. They are making it clear that there is a woman driving the truck. Or a man driving the Volkswagen bug.
Also in this world, when people park their vehicles in garages, it’s nearly always a Bug with a truck in the garage. And for people where two guys park their trucks together, or two women park their Bugs together, some people look at them funny for doing so.
But diversity exists. Some people driving a truck are women. And some people driving a bug are men. And some men like to park together, and some women like to park together.
It’s just the way it is.
Just to reply to myself:
“In a situation like that, those people aren’t “not being themselves”, on the contrary, that’s exactly what they are being. They are making it clear that there is a woman driving the truck. Or a man driving the Volkswagen bug.”
This is actually necessary, because, remember, the windows are tinted. People can’t look in and just “see who the driver is.” It is actually necessary to give people some indication that it is a woman driving the truck, or a man driving the Bug. Otherwise, how would they know?
If people never come out of their “vehicles” in this analogy, then people would just assume a truck= a man, and a Bug= a woman.
But if the driver makes some changes to it, the it’s more clear, and more comfortable not only for themselves, but for other people.
I mean I think the problem, Jay, is that you’re assuming that people aren’t being honest with you, (just because you can’t imagine how that would be, or feel for yourself) when in fact they are being honest with you, and themselves, and other people.
Just like how Christians sometimes “insist” that being gay is a “lifestyle choice” because “obviously” God and nature and biology made people to be heterosexual, otherwise our organs wouldn’t be used to reproduce,
So too are you basically saying transgender people are lying or being dishonest with you about their experience.
You’re saying their being disingenuous with you at best, or delusional at worst, just like people have long said about gay people.
I’ve seen gay people say the same things about bisexuals, because since for them, gender is such a strong factor in their sexual orientation, they can’t imagine how for some people gender might not be a factor in their attraction.
It’s a matter of empathy, and trying to understand, that there are perspectives and experiences outside of our own, and the way we view and experience the world.
If straight people can accept that gay people exist, even if they don’t fully understand that perspective, then surely gay people can accept that transgender people exist, even if they don’t fully understand how someone’s gender might not match their body.
You know, at a certain point, when you’ve got thousands of people saying this, you’ve kind of just got to take people at their word.
Otherwise you’re just calling them all a liar.
As well as saying that their experience, which they’re painfully trying to share with you, is not correct.
Gay people don’t like it when other people do that to them either.
It’s great to SEE a T speak on TV (ummm, television) and in video format in general. Without Miss Mock one would believe that Ts were just bloggers relegated to the depths of cyberspace.
One wonders, though, if Miss Mock has become a spokesmodel for the Ts because she is photogenic and presents somewhat femme. What would the response be if the viewing audience were to see the vast majority of the bloggers on TV speaking about these issues? Isn’t it time to see the real Ts on TV?
@Thedrdonna I don’t know any straight person who gets offended by being called straight.
Dear GOD what is with all the Transphobia coming from gay men? You know, recently I had been getting annoyed by the blanket statements certain Trans* women were making in the media without qualifications that generalized gay men as a group as transphobes. I felt personally slighted because I have always been very supportive of my Trans* brothers and sisters. But when I see the f****ed up comments like the ones under this article I can kind of see why some Trans* women feel like making these remarks. I am absolutely ashamed that I am seeing so many gay men respond this way, calling trans* women “psuedo-women at best” and “real women don’t have prostates”. THAT comes from a place of hate and DON’T tell me that it doesn’t because it comes from the same kind of place of hate that homophobic opposition to same sex marriage comes from. PLEASE guys, get a clue and stop behaving exactly like the homophobes! We gays are *supposed* to be better than that! Let’s not become exactly like our enemies! Enemies that we *share in common* with our trans* siblings. They already have to contend with the people that hate *us* why would we *add* to the strife that they already have to deal with? Why can’t we show the ‘phobes how people SHOULD act?
And all the people who are angry about the term “cis” why is this a problem for you? Its not a slur, its not an insult and furthermore the irritation you feel at being “defined” or “labeled” by Trans* people? That is the same kind of irritation that many straights who oppose same sex marriage feel about marriage being “redefined”. And that comes from another place of hate. Hate plus insecurity. C’mon guys. We are *better* than this! Let’s act like it! This transphobia coming from people who KNOW what its like to be marginalized is absurd beyond belief!
And for the gay men who are SO incredulous about the fact that Transgendered people are associated with us, its because they have been with us since Stonewall. They are our family.
@jayj150: You bring up one messed up fundamentalist country where theocrats have used transsexualism as a way to “cure” being gay and all of a sudden that underscores the entire concept of transsexualism? I call BS.
To put it in perspective my mother absolutely adores gay men. When I came out to her and told her I was planning on transitioning because of my physical dysphoria she told me that I should just be happy as a gay man and did whatever she could to push me into being a gay man. I have friends who are gay men. In my social circles I would have gained more acceptance being a gay man. My state(Michigan) is one of the ones right now waiting on it’s overturning of a previous gay marriage ban to be heard by a higher court. I live in one of the more socially liberal parts of my state. It is hard to conceive of how it could have been any easier to just be a gay man in the life I was born into. However that didn’t matter because the issue at play wasn’t that I like dudes and wanted to be normal(being gay would have been more “normal” in my circumstance than being trans) it was my gender dysphoria and dysphoria over my sex characteristics.
If I just wanted to enjoy penis and be feminine then I wouldn’t have put myself on the other side of a 20% wage gap, taken hormones, spent a decent amount of money on surgeries, given up multiple friends and family who were perfectly cool with me being into dudes but teh trans was too strange for them, given up my reproduction capability, and removed my ability to go back into the military for the foreseeable future. Seriously I wouldn’t wish gender dysphoria on any but my worst enemies. There is only one treatment for gender dysphoria and that is transition. Transition while difficult has made my life better, allowed me to stop completely disassociating from my body, stopped the suicidal thoughts, and caused me to feel like there is hope for the future. I no longer walk around waiting for a death that I was too cowardly to inflict upon myself. For once in my life I am actually feeling pretty good with myself.
Gay men and straight trans women can easily co-exist because it’s not a zero sum game. Every straight trans woman does not mean one less gay man in the world and vice versa because straight trans women aren’t gay men in denial any more than gay men aren’t straight trans women in denial.
@vklortho: Bravo! I mean brava! I’m a regular ol’ gay male and I am sick of my obtuse gay brothers who are so heart-hearted on this issue. Why is it that people who have been judged for being different are so quick to turn around and judge others? It’s a miracle that we “regular” gay folk have made the strides we have. Let’s not pull up the ladder just yet.
@DonW: Thank you. 🙂
So many of us seem to fight over so many things but the people who hate us aren’t going to have any appreciation for subtle nuances between gender identity or sexual orientation. To them we’re all just 50 different types of gay.
I went to MBLGTACC this year with other people at my college and it was amazing having what must have been 50 or 60 different people from all different parts of the alphabet soup who might not normally interact with each other riding a bus together down to Kansas City. There were gay men, lesbians, bi people, trans people of various sexualities and identities, and intersex people. Of course we had our own little cliques we were used to but at the same time we got to meet so many new people and bond on a whole new level. By the time it was over it was hard not to consider so many of these people in our community as siblings.
Even with all of this fighting about slurs and who belongs in what community and even though I am a straight trans woman on some level I think that there are just some shared experiences between many LGB people and trans people that non-LGBT people just won’t understand and that gives us some greater connection.
@DarkZephyr and vklortho, bravo. ^_^
@Saralikesyarr: Thank you Sara. 😀
@vklortho: *Thunderous Applause*
@Thedrdonna: @gskorich: @Saralikesyarr: Alright already, sheesh. Get a room or something.
@DarkZephyr: maybe because it has absolutely nothing to do with being gay or gay rights
There’s an obvious reason that many gay men are upset by trans identities. Most of us have struggled with feelings that might be considered “feminine” and “inappropriate” for a person born with a male body — and part of that struggle involves accepting the bodies we have (or more properly, the bodies we ARE!) as nonetheless consistent with those feelings, and accepting the feelings as fully consistent with our bodies.
Furthermore, if there’s a “mismatch” or “mismatched wiring” between mind (or brain) and the remainder of a person’s body (potentially requiring a surgical remedy), that’s clearly a disability, whether or not the person in question chooses to have it surgically remedied. Disabled people should be accepted for who they are, but they shouldn’t be attaching their struggles to those who’ve fought long and hard for a recognition that being gay is NOT a disability.
As for those who transcend or go beyond binary gender, or who don’t seek surgical correction — transgender but not transsexual — more power to them! Gender is the problem, not the solution. People shouldn’t be confusing reality with performance art. Sorry if that’s “essentialist”; I can live with an unfashionable buzzword (but if you prefer, I’ll [likewise] gladly call you a bigot for using it).
There’s a big difference between freely choosing the object of one’s affections and (barring disability) failing to be at one with (and accepting) one’s body. The analogy doesn’t hold, even if some homophobic bigots would (like some of the trans commentators here!) like to equate rejection of the equipment itself with gay people’s ostensibly “unnatural” choice of partners. What a red herring!
By the way, I have nipples and I like them played with; I also occasionally have a desire to be mounted or penetrated by a man. That doesn’t make me female — though then again, each of us is ultimately unique. There’s no contradiction between those two statements — as for intersex individuals, that’s the (relatively rare) exception that proves the rule: after all, they, too, can accept their born bodies, and they have my support as such in doing so.
Ultimately, the entire “trans” formulation seems to depend on an acceptance of a mind/body duality, and a notion of gender as a factor of identity independent of biological sex. This is ultimately about a holistic notion of self-acceptance. One isn’t born into the “wrong” body; one is who one is: no intervention necessary. That’s where growth (by nature) starts — and that’s a truth that cuts across all spiritual and philosophical traditions — except, perhaps, the extreme Western conceit (or arrogance) that gave us DDT and hormone-treated dairy cows.
@OneSelf: Being trans* has nothing to do with your erotic and sexual wants. You are implying what many other transphobes sometimes outright say. That transwomen are in some way “failed gay men”. But a lot of trans* women are lesbians and many tran* men are gay. You THINK you have it nailed but you don’t. Your problem from where I am sitting is that you are projecting your own life and experiences onto others. This is one of the problems that homophobes have and bi-phobic gay and straight people have as well. I THINK you are making a quasi-attempt at being polite, and I certainly don’t pretend to speak for Trans* women, but your words here:
” Disabled people should be accepted for who they are, but they shouldn’t be attaching their struggles to those who’ve fought long and hard for a recognition that being gay is NOT a disability.”
They are mind blowingly offensive and insensitive and frankly arrogant.
First of all, as I mentioned earlier, trans people have been fighting alongside of us for as long as the modern day Gay Rights movement has been in existence. Trans* people didn’t just wake up one day and arbitrarily “hitch” themselves to our movement. They were with us at Stonewall. MANY of them fight for OUR rights even when they do not overlap with THEIR struggles. Sometimes we have shared goals, sometimes we don’t and yet there are transgender people who are LGBT activists who fight HARD for the rights of their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and rejoice when we have victories and successes. We haven’t been doing this alone. A recent example of a trans* woman fighting for the ENTIRE LGBT community and SUCCEEDING as the *single voice of descent in that area* is Pamela Raintree who stood up to ouncilman Rob Webb, daring him to stone her because he was using his religious beliefs to justify trying to enshrine discrimination against LGBT people into law. Her bravery caused the man to completely withdraw his proposal. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/19/pamela-raintree-stone_n_4627051.html
How can you even imagine for a even second that we are making great strides all by ourselves and our Trans* brothers and sisters have not been there with us and have nothing to do with it? Trans* women were right there at Stonewall. The modern LGBT rights movement is *just as much their history & heritage as it is ours*. There is nothing you can say that can justify the transphobia I am witnessing here. Its shameful. Absolutely shameful.
@tricky ricky: “@DarkZephyr: maybe because it has absolutely nothing to do with being gay or gay rights”
First off, let’s pretend you aren’t very wrong here. Let’s pretend it has nothing to do with gay rights. So? How does that exactly justify transphobia? Please explain.
That being said, like I told @OneSelf: transgendered folks have been with us since day one.
What is with you gay men who have no understanding about Stonewall?
@DarkZephyr: That would be “dissent” and not “descent” and “councilman” and not “ouncilman”. *sigh*
The generalizations here that all trans woman deny their birth gender prove to me at least that woman like Janet Mock and others like her to do not speak for all trans persons. They got picked because the media likes how they present themselves in pictures and in controversy.
Yes Adam and Steve hetero America is using them because they are attractive. You wont see overweight ugly queens like myself on the cover of People.
I didnt pick her as the spokesperson and quite honestly after the fiasco with Peirs Morgan I believe she needs some education on dealing with and working with the media.
Its unfortunate that the gay community doesn’t remember that if it wasn’t for the queens and kings in 1969 there probably wouldn’t have been a Stonewall to celebrate, nor would you be where you are today as far as freedoms go.
Id also like to point out to those who want to separate the struggle of trans persons and the gay community. It is the hetero community that joined us together. A man wearing woman’s clothes was a faggot to Hetero America. Just as every man who slept with men who ID as men were. So your constant complaining that we trans woman are degrading your the gay community by being so flamboyant is redundant. Especially when so many of you fem gays go prancing around like queens sans the make up and dress.
I am a trans woman and I am because I was born in the opposite body that my mind identifies with. Im not on hormones or having surgery as of today because quite frankly for a person of my age the risks outweigh the benefits for me. All I ask is you respect my identity and not judge me as your community has been judged by society in the past.
@DarkZephyr: Trans woman and men lead the way at Stonewall…..
So we should define ourselves and our movement by what bigots think of us? Should we include pedophiles in the “LGBT” movement then?
Even the most feminine gay man isn’t delusional enough to think he’s a woman.
@DawnTrans: Actually, transmen ans transwomen did NOT lead the fight at Stonewall. Transvestites lead the fight at Stonewall. Nice attempt at rewriting history.
There are way way too many label queens and PC Police in the trans community. I have friends who are trans and NEVER question their identity, nor do I ask inappropriate questions about the process of transformation. In fact, I am in awe that transfolks have had the courage to embrace change and live true to who they are.
When I meet people in different settings, I often ask “how would YOU like to be addressed, is it ok to call you by your first name,
last name, etc? I NEVER ask anyone what I should call others.
With trans friends, I see only their true gender identity as THEY see it. But, I do not feel compelled in any way to buy into the labels that some in the trans community adopt to refer to those who simply are NOT trans. The “cis” term comes to mind. It smacks of political correctness and forces the user to adopt the terms and vocabulary someone else has chosen for someone else.
That doesn’t mean we should attack or not respect one another’s perspectives and opinions. However, “we”, and by that I mean each and every single one of us, is not at the center of the Universe telling others how to think or feel.
By the way, I love you all…To me, y’all are QUEER..ie, not normal..and you should celebrate that because the world would be a sad place without you. Peace to all my brothers AND sisters.
@Curtispsf: Curtis back in 69 the only transwoman were known as transvestites. The only terms availible were transvestite and transsexual, Butch and Fem for lesbians. Im old enough to know better. But you go ahead and write history the way it makes you feel comfortable.
Back in 69 there was more cohesion between the Trans and gay men because of the fact that they were discriminated against on a equal basis. But trans persons always stood out to hets because a Gay man can hide his gayness a trans person wears their identity for all to see.
@DawnTrans: As did Transvestites. Back then Trans* women and Drag Queens hung out together.
@Curtispsf: I don’t know about Transmen but Transwomen were indeed present along with the Transvestites. Marsha P. Johnson, a transwoman, was there. As well as Sylvia Rivera. At the time they co-mingled with the Transvestites and Drag Queens which might be why there seems to be debate or confusion about who “lead the charge”, Transgendered women or Drag Queens.
@DawnTrans: By the way there are a great deal many Trans* folks living stealth lives. As for ME, I was never able to “hide” who I was no matter how hard I tried and have gotten my backside handed to me time and time again by homophobes who could never keep their damned fists and feet off me.
wow she sure showed everyone who’s boss
personally idgaf if you ask me questions about my junk. to each his/her own
A plea for compassion toward gay men who struggle to accept their “feminine” feelings in a male body gets called out as “transphobic?” Fine, I call homophobia! Recognition and sensitivity cuts both ways.
I’d venture a guess that many of the trans people commenting here weren’t even born at the time of Stonewall. I’m 64, and I’ve been an activist since the very early 70s. The “B” and “T” were added onto the “community” nomenclature in the 90s, at a time when gay men were weakened in the wake of a genocidal epidemic. From Stonewall onward through the 70s, we were busy shedding the “trans” legacy as a residue of pre-liberation ghetto culture.
(For that matter, I knew Marsha Johnson, whose death was a heartbreaking, grisly murder. That doesn’t change the politics.)
FWIW, I’m not ignorant of history; I merely interpret it differently. The same is true across this entire issue: evidently, no divergence is permissible from the party line. That’s truly sad. For that matter, I’ve learned since then to acknowledge mismatched wiring (or “dysphoria”) as a very real, painful disability. That’s not offensive, insensitive or arrogant; it’s recognition of the truth. Stop associating gay men’s problems with yours. That’s truly arrogant. If bigots want to lump us all together, they need to learn from us, not the other way around.
“Questions about my JUNK”?!!! That’s the problem in a nutshell! Respect your body!
@OneSelf: do you know what you sound like when you “call for compassion” by denying trans* women’s identity and insisting that they are mentally ill gay men? You sound like those “compassionate” and “sympathetic” anti-gay Christians that “love the dinner but hate the sin” but still have “compassion” for our “struggles with sin”. That is homophobia and hour position IS transphobia. It’s no less so just because you deny their identity with a sympathetic smile. And what did I say that was homophobic? Nothing. I AM a gay man. A cis gendered gay man. That you assumed I was trans* merely because I am standing up for my trans* brothers and sisters to a couple of my gay brothers is a very depressing indictment about how common transphobia really is among the Ls and the Bs. And by the way, just because the “T” is a more recent addition to our ever growing alphabet soup, it does NOT mean that they haven’t always been a part of the community. Adding the “T” was NOT the adding of the Transgender community to our family. It was the acknowledgement of what was always true from day one. Your transphobia with a smile is the most insidious kind. Just like homophobia with a smile.
@DarkZephyr: and that would be “sinner” and not “dinner” and “your” and not “hour”. I hate autocorrect. Lol
Please reread my “call for compassion” ( toward gay men who struggle to accept their “feminine” feelings in a male body) and address what I’ve said, rather than merely indulge in name-calling.
This isn’t about hate; it’s about a difference of opinion, a divergence of viewpoints. Trans”*” people are entitled to their opinion, and to live their lives as they see fit. That doesn’t mean that their views are immune to criticism. Disagreement isn’t hate. Call me hateful and deluded, and I’ll extend the same courtesy — for the same reason.
Incidentally, I’ve never claimed that trans women are “mentally ill gay men.” My point was merely to call attention to gay men’s vulnerability, given the difficulty of reconciling “feminine” feelings with a male body.
Meanwhile, regarding genuinely trans”*” people, I’ve acknowledged the very opposite of “mental illness”: that “dysphoria” may be a painful neurological (physical) disability resulting from “mismatched wiring” between a (female) brain and a (male) body.
what is it with people going through people’s comments and making corrections? life, it’s more than a four letter word. as for people saying gay men have issues with masculinity and femininity. I was born gay am gay and never wanted to be any other way. I haven’t struggled with it or been embarrassed by it. it is what it is. it is who I am.
@gskorich: Lots of gay men have gender issues as children, and it can be a very difficult time depending on their parents’ abilities to cope.
This is why many of us are concerned about the push by trans activists to administer hormones to children with identity problems in to delay the onset of puberty.
The point of all this is; Whether we’re born with XX,XY,XXX,XXY,or XYY chromosomes, YY is symply impossible because our original creator was a simple single celled asexual X chromosomed microorganism, which evolved into sexual reproduction later, proving that the heavenly godfather and his theory of creation science fiction is a false god/religious theory and all the religious believers in him are false god worshippers. Believing in this false masculine creator causes psychopatholgy, psychotic delusions, one of which is Apotemnophilia, an obsession with wanting to cut off normal functing body parts, as can be seen in religious,ritual, and routine infant circumcisers, and transgenders wanting a sex change.
@inbama: “Concerned” about them Ol Debil Trans Activists who are so powerful.
Sure you are.
Why not do some reading first.
The treatment of adolescent transsexuals: changing insights. Cohen-Ketternis et al, J Sex Med. 2008 Aug;5(8):1892-7.
“Professionals who take responsibility for these youth and are willing to help should yet be fully aware of the impact of their interventions. In this article, the pros and cons of the various approaches to youngsters with GID are presented, hopefully inciting a sound scientific discussion of the issue.”
The problem Trans and Intersex people have is that it’s not just the superstitious Religious Reich and their anti-scientific nonsense we have to fight: it’s the spite and malice from a not-so-small minority of Transphobic GLB’s. As proven by the comments here. And on JoeMyGod, AmericaBlog, etc etc etc.
Trans people were the first to condemn Iran for mutilating GLBs, before it hit the Gay press. Why? Because in Iran they’re surgically creating Trans people, brain of one sex (anatomically), body of the opposite. Trans people know just how hellish that situation is.
@inbama: They shouldn’t be administering puberty blockers just because a boy feels feminine or a girl feels masculine but if a child has dysphoria over sex characteristics then administering blockers is the moral thing to do because an unkind first puberty can be one of the worst things that can happen to a trans person. I’m one of the lucky ones who ended first puberty at a whole 5’8″ and somehow with pretty wide hips which means I generally escape a lot of serious discrimination and self loathing because my body isn’t that visibly trans. However I turn around and look at all the trans women who can’t even leave their house without serious disgust from people and who end up killing themselves because they believe they will never see anything but a man in the mirror and I think “there but for the grace of God* go I”. Seriously letting an actual trans person with physical sex dysphoria go through first puberty can basically be condemning them to a life time of suffering and even an early death.
*I am actually agnostic but I think the phrase is a very useful one for the general idea of it.
Maybe I was wrong in asserting that trans”*” identities spring from the Western belief in a mind/body duality. After all, I just received the following from a Buddhist center in San Francisco: “We are anxiously awaiting the government approval of an R1 Visa for our resident translator, Monica Hung”!
Lighten up, folks!
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