Far From Over

c2189-transgenderprideflagThose who follow the news have likely seen a number of events lately involving trans issues that seem to have gone in the favor of trans rights. I mentioned last week that the military here in the states is looking to repeal the ban on trans service members. Earlier this week, Brianna Wu wrote a piece about how Samus is most likely trans (which made me so very, very happy). A few weeks ago, when yet another trans woman was murdered, news outlets never once referred to her using her birth name or said “was born a man” or any other form of their typical misgendering. Sadly, those are all just one side of the issue. Continue reading

Safe Space, What Does it Really Mean?

I spoke last time about slurs, and there’s more that can be said on that issue alone. However, today, let’s look at something that jumps off of that point and look at the bigger picture of the safe spaces where the arguments are going on. Not only is this slurs issue one that comes up in safe space, but so do many others. And this differs somewhat from whether it’s a generic safe space, such as one for all LGBTQ people like the youth center I volunteer at, or if it’s one for one specific group, such as a group for trans people, or even more specific such as trans youth or black trans men (which we have down here). So let’s look at general rules first, then I’ll get into some more specifics. Continue reading

Words and the Power They Have: On Reclaiming Slurs

I mentioned way back at the start of this blog how there have been issues in the past with trans men using the word tranny and this upsetting trans women. Well, this issue came up again locally with a trans man casually throwing the word around and began a bit of conflict within one of the local trans groups of some members saying not to use the word and others arguing for the use of the word. Since this is an issue that continues to be fought amongst not just the trans community, but most minority communities, I felt like talking about it today. Continue reading

Stereotypes: Good or Bad?

Back on Tuesday, Zavirevire brought up the issue of labels leading to stereotypes. This raises the question about are stereotypes inherently good or bad, and how we should address them.

We all know the stereotypes. Gay men are flaming, limp wristed, lisping men. Lesbians are ultra-mannish and don’t shave their body hair. Trans women are just men badly pretending to be women. Black people love fried chicken and watermelon. Asians are good at school, but lousy in bed. These kinds of stereotypes are based in prejudice, but not all stereotypes are bad. There’s worse ones for black people than the fried chicken and watermelon one, and lots of people like both foods. And much like labels, sometimes stereotypes help us find our identities when we’re struggling to find them. Continue reading

Trans or Cis, What’s the Point?

Someone recently said to me, “I never liked the term trans woman. A woman is a woman, no matter what’s between their legs or how they were born.”

This sparked an interesting discussion. While the sentiment is noble, it’s also both right and wrong. They were right that a woman is a woman regardless of the circumstances of her birth or the state of her genitals. However, there’s more to the argument than just that. As I pointed out, using that same logic, then the term lesbian should also be hated, as a woman is a woman, no matter if she’s gay or straight. The words trans and cis, just like gay or straight, are terms to identify with. Labels to help others understand us, and help us find ourselves as well. Continue reading

Media Portrayals of Transition

People often believe that transition is just a simple surgery and then poof, magically over. This really is the fault of the media, who are unable to truly represent it in the short span of time they have for their stories. It’s so common to make it appear easy and magical that there’s even a trope about it (and I just ruined the rest of someone’s day just by linking that). It’s such a pervasive myth that when Natalie Reed did her two-post essay on 13 myths and misconceptions about trans women, it came up as part of number three. This ties back to the whole belief of “The Op” being what it’s all about. So much so that there are many (even many trans people) who believe that transition ends after. I’m of the mind that transition is far more than the physical, and never ends. I actually ran into this a bit back, while I was visiting my dad. Continue reading

The Skinny on Asexuality

Today is two posts. Go read the other here.

Alright, so lately I’ve been running into a lot of confusion from others as to what being asexual means and what it stems from. People literally do not understand it; it’s so far outside their scope of understanding that they cannot comprehend it. My therapist thinks it stems from forgotten sexual abuse as a child. My roommate thinks it’s just being celibate and that one day I’ll find the right person and want to jump their bones constantly. My friends and associates at the local trans youth group (who are all extremely sexual) had no clue what it is. The VA psychiatrist I saw yesterday (more on him in the other post for today) didn’t understand it and had a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that I’ve never had attractions, and was about ready to make the “how do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never had it” argument until I explained that I have had it before. My grandparents were boggled that I’ve only ever had a handful of relationships in my life. Since so many people are confused by it, I thought I’d try to explain it a bit better. Continue reading