Author Topic: So what IS transgender, anyway?  (Read 14576 times)

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Offline Sleepy

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 11:25:58 am »

* bisexual people are not inherently transphobic and anyone who says that is an asshole.


...

Who the hell says this?

Some people try to say that when distinguishing between bisexual and pansexual.
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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 11:30:27 am »
I wouldn't be surprised if gender roles serve to intricate the dysphoria experienced by trans people, but they're not the causative factor. The fact that gender identity exists apart from gender roles and biological sex has been pretty thoroughly demonstrated by a multitude of medical and psychiatric studies, as well as cases like that of David Reimer.

It's also worth noting that transgenderism isn't some radical new SJW idea -- it's been accepted as a legitimate condition by the medical and psychiatric community for decades, and observed through the centuries across numerous cultures.
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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 11:39:46 am »
Just to toss another question out there, is there a meaningful difference between transgender and transexual? Or is the difference a matter of semantics again?

And just to rain on a few parades, how exactly does David Reimer demonstrate that Gender is separate from Sex? Given the gender enforced upon him when he was young was not his birth sex, and he actively rebelled against it, if anything it would imply there's a serious connection between gender and birth sex regardless of social conditioning. Not to mention the initial study is easily one of the most inhumane abuses of children in the name of science I've seen in the later half of the 20th century. I'm not exactly up on the field, but it seems absolutely obvious the psychologist behind it was full of shit and destroyed the guy's life in an attempt to prove something that at the very least wasn't true in his case.

Edit:
I'll move this to society, as it's one of those kind of questions.

Offline The Right Honourable Mlle Antéchrist

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 12:19:18 pm »
I should have been clearer. David Reimer is an example of the distinction between gender roles and internal gender identity, rather than an example of gender/sex discontinuity. His case doesn't prove transgenderism, but it does offer a counter to claims that gender identity is entirely determined by the expectations that society puts upon each sex -- an argument that is often brought up in tangent to the "transwomen are just men who like traditionally girly things" claim.

I think most people would agree that the psychologist who tried to coerce him into living as a female was a colossal douchebag.

As for transgender/transsexual: It does seem to be a matter of semantics.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 12:23:40 pm by Mlle Antéchrist »
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Offline JohnE

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 04:03:01 pm »
It's already been brought up, but something I've been wondering about: If it were more societally acceptable to behave in ways that don't conform to standard gender roles (such as dressing in ways expected of the opposite sex), would that have any effect on a trans person's desire to change their physical sex? Like, if a trans woman could dress, talk, act, whatever in a feminine way without changing her physical sex and people accepted her for who she and didn't try to enforce a more masculine behavior, would the desire to change sex still be there? Would it still be just as strong?

I hope this question doesn't offend anyone. I'm just trying to understand better.

Offline Sleepy

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2012, 05:10:32 pm »
It's already been brought up, but something I've been wondering about: If it were more societally acceptable to behave in ways that don't conform to standard gender roles (such as dressing in ways expected of the opposite sex), would that have any effect on a trans person's desire to change their physical sex? Like, if a trans woman could dress, talk, act, whatever in a feminine way without changing her physical sex and people accepted her for who she and didn't try to enforce a more masculine behavior, would the desire to change sex still be there? Would it still be just as strong?

I hope this question doesn't offend anyone. I'm just trying to understand better.

I can't speak for the transgendered folks here, but I think the desire would still be there because of body dysphoria. Folks could still feel uncomfortable about their primary and secondary sex characteristics, and that could still urge them to legally switch to the opposite gender.
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Offline Osama bin Bambi

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2012, 05:39:04 pm »

* bisexual people are not inherently transphobic and anyone who says that is an asshole.


...

Who the hell says this?

It's a surprisingly common sentiment. Supposedly bisexuals are inherently transphobic because they have "binarist" thinking - that is, because "bi" implies that they believe people always fall within a certain gender "bi"nary. Because fuck the actual definitions of things.

A similar variation is that bisexuals simply can't be attracted to genderqueer people, and any bisexual who claims that they are is actually "pansexual."
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Offline davedan

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2012, 05:53:37 pm »
Does anyone esle picture a huge bull with stripes and a military cap when someone says "Major Beef"?

As for the topic I wouldnt have thought a less rigidly gender defined society would make too much difference. Although funnily enough there is a bit of a phenomena in places where there are rigidly enforced gender roles for homosexuals to be shoe horned into fitting transgenderism, Hijras in Bangladesh and the preponderance of iranian sex change operations come to mind.



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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2012, 06:03:01 pm »
Does anyone esle picture a huge bull with stripes and a military cap when someone says "Major Beef"?

...Well, I'm picturing it now.
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Offline erictheblue

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2012, 07:46:41 pm »
It's already been brought up, but something I've been wondering about: If it were more societally acceptable to behave in ways that don't conform to standard gender roles (such as dressing in ways expected of the opposite sex), would that have any effect on a trans person's desire to change their physical sex?

It's no secret that trans-women seem to be more prevalent than trans-men, which raises a question similar to this. Why? Is it because there are just fewer trans-men? Is it because trans-men tend to pass easier, so are less likely to be obviously trans and are more likely to stealth? (In other words, there are as many men as women, but the men hide better.) Or is it because it is more socially acceptable for a woman to appear and act masculine than it is for a man to appear and act feminine?

I have always seen being trans as a continuum - it isn't yes/no. This is seen a lot with trans-men, as there are so many levels to which someone wants to transition. (Anywhere from just binding breasts and cutting their hair, to going for full-bore genital surgery.) This would indicate that there are people right on the edge between being trans and not being trans. For those people, society's views may be the difference in the steps they take. A XY-person may be tipped in the direction of transition because they believe society will not allow them to be a "feminine man" (especially if they are attracted to women), whereas a XX-person may decide not to transition because they believe society will let them be more masculine (especially if they are attracted to women).
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Offline Smurfette Principle

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2012, 09:22:00 pm »
For the people who are asking about the difference between transgender/transsexual (prefacing this with I'm not trans so I'm going solely from conversations I've had with my trans friends and not actual life experience, so I could be totally wrong): from what I understand, it is actually possible to be transgender but not transsexual, or vice versa.

Example: some people have sent me questions on my blog saying stuff like, "I'm a woman, and I know I'm a woman, and I know I'm not trans because I am comfortable as a woman, but I keep feeling like my breasts are not supposed to be there and I feel the need to keep them down with sports bras because even accidentally touching them horrifies me," or, "I know I'm not trans because I feel female inside, but I cannot be comfortable thinking about my genitalia unless I think of it as a penis."

Like, it sounds a lot like dysphoria, but minus the gender part. Just the body part. Which is kind of fascinating.

Now, why that is might be for a lot of reasons (completely armchair neurology, but I'm wondering how much body mapping has to do with it), but it does call into question how gender is different from physical body.

Additionally, there was a trans female speaker who came to our school. To her, getting facial feminization surgery was more important than bottom surgery, because for her it was more how she was perceived and what pronouns were used automatically rather than her parts. So that would be I think where the divide between transgender and transsexual came in, too.

So, basically, from talking to my trans friends: most but not all transgender people are also transsexual, but there are exceptions. There are also some people define transsexual people as fully transitioned people, though it depends on what your definition of "fully transitioned" is.

Offline Sylvana

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2012, 02:39:10 am »
It's no secret that trans-women seem to be more prevalent than trans-men, which raises a question similar to this. Why? Is it because there are just fewer trans-men? Is it because trans-men tend to pass easier, so are less likely to be obviously trans and are more likely to stealth? (In other words, there are as many men as women, but the men hide better.) Or is it because it is more socially acceptable for a woman to appear and act masculine than it is for a man to appear and act feminine?

The main reason for this according to the medical fields has to do with the way they believe transsexualism occurs. It is believe that during pregnancy there is a hormonal imbalance on behalf of the mother that changes the developmental process of the brain. This is also believed to be one of the primary causes of homosexuality.
Now given that all fetuses start out female in all aspects except genetically, the base human form is that of a female. As a result in order to have the fetus develop into a male, the application of the developmental hormones needs to be triggered. However, because the males are not the default developmental form of the human body, there is a greater potential for things to go wrong, especially in the development of the brain which is especially sensitive to the hormonal levels in the process.

As a result, all things being even, there is less chance that during development that a female will not develop properly while the chance of a male not developing properly with regards to brain structure is noticeably higher. Hence the higher incidence of trans-women than trans-men. Think of it this way, for a trans-woman to be developed, all that is needed is for there to be too little male developmental hormones during brain development, a deficiency in chemicals can happen easily in nature. While a trans-male would require an unusual spike in male developmental hormones during brain development which would be less likely to happen. Remember though that the brain is especially sensitive to these hormones so said spike or deficiency need not be particularly large to result in cross gender brain development.

Again on transsexual and transgender, I was led to believe that there is a very distinct difference between the two. A transsexual is someone with gender dysphoria (regardless of transition status or desire to transition). However, I was never able to really understand the definition of a transgender.
For me I used to see it as transgender is what a transsexual is before physical transition. Hence I used to call myself a transgender, however I eventually was informed about the difference, and changed that to transsexual. However, like I said I still don't understand the real difference.
The main thing to my knowledge is that transgender people do not transition at all, not even living as the preferred gender. If I remember a transgender person is more similar to a transvestite in action, than a transsexual. I personally think it brings an unnecessary layer of complexity to an already complex issue and terminology. Personally, I would rather see it as a transgender person is someone before physical transition while a transsexual is someone during and after transition. Alternatively, I also vote for both terms meaning exactly the same thing, but I know there are people who identify as either term who would take great offense at that (for reasons that I don't understand.)

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2012, 08:39:24 am »
Or is it because it is more socially acceptable for a woman to appear and act masculine than it is for a man to appear and act feminine?
I'm going to point at this and scream yes.

When my fiancee goes around in doc martins and a bald head it's considered rather cute. I get funny looks over the fact that I'm generally the one who cooks. Throwing meat over fire is apparently not a manly enough activity for some people.

On the gender vs sexual business. From what I can see in a bit of research there's no real consensus on just what the difference is. The term 'true transsexual' starts popping up and I get the feeling poking the subject with a stick is a rather bad idea. The core definitions are more or less the same, deviating from the expected role of their sex, however beyond that you get into prickly as shit questions which I doubt lead to much productive discussion. If I was going to guess as to the difference people want to find between the terms then Smurfette got it. you can't really toss around any 'true' transgender claims out there as gender is pretty much an in the head deal, while physical sex is a much less mutable and more provable characteristic.

And I have to say Dr Money was one creepy mother fucker. The more I read the less of it I want to remember.

Offline Material Defender

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2012, 01:50:52 pm »
I've never worried terribly much on the terminology and just how it is physically expressed in actions and emotionally through desires. I wonder if that makes me a terrible boyfriend since my boyfriend is a trans-something male.

There are two things that are missing from this debate though... which is liable to make it more confusing. Intensity, or the power of this desire. Someone might be trans, but really, really doesn't care that much what they are. There is the continuum aspect as well with intensity, so less of a line and more of a square thingie with intensity as the Y. I've yet to hear mention of that aspect, which is liable to effect how strongly people they move one way or the other.

Finally... it is slightly adjustable. Y tends to be more prone to it than X, and sometimes it is more or less realizing where your X is that can increase the trend of Y. Could be since females are more pressured to be demure by society that their Ys are not as high as more aggressively intended men, but this is little more than guessing.

I know I've been around all over on the X and Y. Why? I don't know and this is all anecdotal. But it was linked heavily to my exploration of sexuality. Before I knew I was bisexual, I came to really regard my male body as ugly as well as all other male bodies. Just a huge pressure to stay away from it and uncomfortableness with it. Realizing my bisexuality in turn gave me a lot stronger love for the male body, mine and others. Almost a reactionary and strong urge to be extremely masculine. Since then I've slowly slipped to the middle and probably had my Y drop down pretty hard. I'm less comfortable and more unconcerned, I think. But I'd probably be CIS.

Sexuality is a lovely continuum too. Being in the middle is weird. Feminine men and masculine women. Since there's intersex, sure, but no hermaphrodites in the human species.
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Offline Old Viking

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Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2012, 06:19:13 pm »
I'd contribute, but my eyes are glazed over.
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