Not everyone is of a gender-focused view about different phenomena, how trans people should be grouped, what is best for us.
When transsexuals try to say we’re about the need to be the other physical sex, our opposite sexual response…we get slammed (see below) by the much larger group of transgenders (B, below), or their advocates, who promote the trans sex culture of secrecy.
As an older trans person, I’ve learned the importance of owning ourselves, the way we self-discriminate and enable hate crimes if we don’t own our true selves. I stand with all trans people in support who struggle to own real issues, literally hand in hand. Breaking this ground is hard but is necessary if we’re ever to fully integrate into society as who and what we really are. If we don’t, we cause many of our own problems.
Example arguments transgenders (B and C) and their supporters make against “I’m transsexual, not transgender”:
1. “That’s old fashioned”: The sexes are not old fashioned. They’re current and vital to most of the world including most transgenders (B), who just try to hide it. For me, SRS was a matter of life or death. I believe the need from birth to be the other physical sex is neurological, not a matter of fashion, will not change with the age, but may be suppressed when oppressed. The transgender paradigm is a political movement based not just on promoting gender change but also in downplaying issues of physical sex, genitalia, and sexual response as male or female.
2. Extreme: “Transsexual is just an extreme transgender with an extra surgery.” No. Someone can be transgender (D) with that SRS “final surgery,” but that is not transsexualism. We’re not the same thing in the head with different genitals. Sex and gender are different things; transsexual and transgender are about different things. Transgenders make it about gender identity, gender role in society, because that’s transgenderism. But transsexuals and transgenders are opposite each other in sex identity (as male or female), sex expression (genitalia), and sex response (as male or female). and that deserves recognition as much as any male vs. female. Transgender living would have killed me.
3. Continuum: “There are so many variations, where would you draw the line? There’s a spectrum.” There are many variations, more than most people realize because the transgender coalition plays down much of what it’s about. You may not be able to see the difference between colors of 5,600 and 5,700 Angstroms, but many colors are distinctly different, worthy of recognition: Red is not yellow is not blue.
4. Marginalizing: “You shouldn’t say “transsexual”; “transsexual is a slur.” I’ve been told this to my face, and I periodically refute these. That is demeaning, hurtful. I am not a slur. I should be able to say who and what I am without fear, to accept myself and be recognized as much as anyone else.
5. Agreement: “But we’ve all agreed.” Not true. That’s a hope, negotiation, or maybe even denial, the transgender view in advocacy for its stance. Transgenders (B) are the largest group, the best funded, but we (A) exist, also. Transgender radicals slam dissent from public figures, legislators, researchers and corporations—and pressure them to use “gender,” not physical sex references—who often give in and make life harder for us to be ourselves.
6. Appearance: “We look the same.” Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Appearing similar on the outside with our clothes on, does not mean similar on the inside, behaviorally, or sexually: All Asians are not Chinese.
7. Common Element: “We all change gender.”
(1) The transgender paradigm doesn’t just make it about gender; it also marginalizes physical sex issues. For example: Gender is part of my transition, but I’m about something much more; living transgender would have killed me (see Chapter 4). Our physical sex, genital, and sexual response needs are opposite. Many of us live or die, based on this.
(2) Transgenders (B) don’t want to change physical sex yet do cross clothes, so why aren’t they cross dressers with extra hormones? Because they’re doing something much more significant than clothes. In the same way, transsexuals aren’t transgender. It’s not that it’s a common element; gender is the salient issue of transgenders (B), the largest out group. Using their same term for everyone is marketing, social engineering. It should be something truly neutral like “trans person.”
8. Elitism: “You think you’re better than us.” No, just different. No human is worth more than another. Sex issues are simply different from gender issues.
9. Exclusion: “You’re excluding us.” No. It’s not a club. These terms are descriptive of phenomena; “transgender” (C) is also used as a political orientation. We’re just different.
10. Homology: “Genitals are homologous” [the same, same source or structure]. While similar as an early fetus, before differentiation, in the transgender (B) world, that phrase is sometimes used to marginalize male/female differences as adults, as “What I have doesn’t matter.” After differentiation, physical sex tissues are very different—a penis certainly is no vagina, and male sexuality is different from female. This difference is vital to people such as me (A). My experience is that genitalia and sexuality/response tends to be very important, even among the gender-focused people (regardless of SRS). It’s just not opposite or cross, and so is more subject to shaming or rejection if not “consistent” with gender, hence the marginalized reference.
11. A Majority: “There are more of us than there are you.” Believe it or not, I’ve heard this one, too, which belies the basic concept of minority rights and recognition, as if we’ve learned nothing.
12. Unity: “We have to stand together.” As transgender (C), that is a political grouping. Why not as fellow trans people of our different kinds? Why must it be under the banner of just one of the sub-groups of all trans people, “transgender” (B), others having to bend their issues to fit and be marginalized? Why must it be about gender all the time, obfuscating physical sex issues? Because the larger group is dominating transsexualism out of fear. If transsexualism is recognized, the next question is, “What’s the difference,” and then hidden qualities or quantities are highlighted. Transgenders fear rejection, shaming, so they hide not wanting to be the other sex.
13. Timeliness: “You’re old fashioned.” I’ve been actively in this since the 1970s, switched in 1981 (A), but I’ve been seeing the transgender paradigm (B / C) take a path of obfuscation and subterfuge largely since the beginning of the 21st century. I advocate for openness, that transgenders and transsexuals alike sell the truth of their phenomena, not hide their sexuality so a stigma may be quieted or to help other people hide theirs. Truth is not old fashioned; hiding is based on fear and directly affects choices on where to integrate, caps inclusion midway, perpetuates a separateness from others in society. It must be owned and sold as alright, not avoided, hidden.
14. Accusations: “If you disagree, you’re transphobic!” No. It is harsh and cruel to label people with a phobia because they disagree—the cry of insecurity or outright pressure to make people stop disagreeing, a technique of radicals. In my case, I point out that sex and gender are different things, that we hurt ourselves in life if we hide major issues, that the transgender paradigm encourages, even demands, that kind of hiding of sex/sexuality issues, so I encourage people to embrace themselves, own their real issues. Only then can society begin to adjust to what we really are. Only then can real social inclusion and acceptance be eventually gained.
15. Physical Threats: I’ve gotten those, too, for existing or sharing my own views—and from people who demand acceptance for difference. It’s because of their fear, insecurity. Acceptance of self is primary, before you can ask for acceptance from others.
Transsexualism (A) and transgenderism (B) are different phenomena. Referring to both as transgender (C) is a conflict of interest that benefits transgenderism (B) and marginalizes transsexualism (A).
I need to exist and be recognized / valued for my own real issues, and as ol’ Auntie Jen, an older, long-term trans person (which should be C), all trans people should also own themselves and be valued as such.