That quote comes from a discussion between friends of this letter to the editor about ftms interacting sexually with gay men (the first one), which is in response to this article. You might want to read the article first.
(I know you’ll let me know if the links are broken.)
(Also: I would prefer that this not become a discussion about the politics of BDSM,* rather than a discussion of the politics of sex, sexual spaces, separatism, segregation, and so on. It’s an interesting topic, but a potentially distracting one.)
The dick referenced is not the one this guy was blessed with, but the ones he wants to get close to. I’m gonna do that thing Amanda does where she quotes, mocks, quotes, mocks, quotes, mocks, you get the idea. From the letter:
As a long time gay leather man, I am extremely offended by the ongoing insults and attempts at turning the community against gay men who won’t sleep with them by the transgender women who are saying they are men
Why would anyone ever call you transphobic?
I once had an insulting encounter with a transgender pretending to be a man. I did not go psycho – I just got dressed and left.
And we can’t thank you enough. I mean, we understand that you totally could have gone James Frey–for real, though–on that twisted little ladyboy’s (boylady’s?) ass. But you didn’t. And for that, you deserve a blowjob. I mean, a figurative one. Please don’t hit me!
But get it clear: This was a sexual assault.
Was the sexual assault the part where you rejected him, or the part where you put your clothes on and left?
I am not attracted to women and I’m sick and tired of being put down by the transgender/surgical community as “less than” because my sexual orientation is to members of my own sex.
That’s it! Gay transmen and the gay men who support them are homophobes!
And I do completely support anyone’s right to alter their appearance in any way, shape, or form – but when you begin to try and force me to have sex with you and you are the wrong gender, that’s way out of line. That is sexism.
AND SEXISM IS WRONG. BECAUSE IT HURTS WOMEN. Transmen are lesbians, and lesbians hate sexism, and I say it’s sexism, so we’re done here! I don’t know what’s sadder: that he considers it sexual assault when transmen go into gay male space without alerting everyone around them that they’re transsexual, or that he can’t condemn sexual assault in language any stronger than “sexism.”
I’d say over 95 percent of the gay men I know feel the same way, but to say so publicly is to be attacked as “politically incorrect.” That’s why so many of us are remaining silent about our true feelings. We are unanimous in our being tired of hearing the tranny BS about male genitals and “what a man really is” – that’s such girl talk.
Wow. Transphobic and misogynist. And bad at math! I hope I accidentally fuck you someday.
What the women who are claiming to be men are doing to the gay leather men’s community is no different than the straight women who, upon discovering the man they have been attracted to is really a gay man, manipulate other men to attack the faggot.
Actually, dude, you’re the one trying to use bigotry to excuse violence. Can you say, ‘trans panic?’ I knew you could!
Basically, what Peter Fiske is asking the community to do is ostracize the men in the leather community that won’t have sex with Fiske or other women who are surgically disguising themselves. In other words, kill the faggots. Imprison the faggots for being “bad.” Make them social outcasts for being sinners against the community.
We’re not just homophobes, we’re homophobic murderers! And that whole Badlands scandal a few months back? All those people protesting against racist bouncers? They were just like a lynch mob! Yeah, you heard me! JUSTICE FOR LES NATALI!
What you are failing to see is that we already see ourselves as the bad boys – the sexual outlaws. If you continue to come after us, there is going to be a war.
Right. You’re such a badass that you wet your pants in terror at the thought that the guy giving you oral you might have a vagina under there somewhere. I’m shaking in my pack’n’play. And excuse me, but who’s assaulting whom here?
I suggest that you, the transgender community, work on growing up emotionally and realize that you cannot force or manipulate others into having sex with you.
Someday, you’ll learn that adults threaten to beat the shit out of each other instead.
You will never be a part of any sexual scene that I am having in my home – there is no way you can pass the real criteria once we begin the open, honest, naked (drug free) sexual play.
Because if orgies advertised in the paper and BDSM-themed events attended by thousands of people are forced to be inclusive, can the privacy of our homes be far behind?
I think I may have to step out of sarcasm here, because this apparently can’t be repeated in earnest often enough: NO ONE IS GOING TO FORCE YOU TO HAVE SEX WITH US. ANY OF US. Okay? Not fat people, not homos, not hairy-legged women, not those icky man-hating feminists, not the women in the Dove ads, not bisexuals, and certainly not the trannies.
It’s not politically incorrect to say you aren’t comfortable with transsexual bodies on or in yours, okay? Gay transmen frequently draw those boundaries in their personal lives (I know! A transsexual actually rejecting someone willing to lay his pathetic self, how nuts is that?). It’s politically incorrect to say that transpeople can’t bring those bodies into the sexual space you’re sharing with dozens or hundreds of people. It’s politically incorrect to say that transpeople should be ejected from sex-themed events because you don’t want to acknowledge trans bodies or trans sexuality. I don’t want to picture your orgasm face. Does that mean you should be ejected from my orgy?**
You don’t have the equipment.
A DSL connection? A flogger? I have no idea what you’re referring to here.
It is the transgender community that is bashing the gay men’s community and a lot of us guys are getting really fed up with it. (You do not want us to start reading your beads back – we’re far too good at it.)
We have indeed been served.
I don’t have to apologize to the tranny, the straight, or the bisexual community for the fact I am a man who is attracted to other men. Neither my brothers nor I will accept social sanctions, censorship, or punishment for our sexual orientations.
I’d just like to say again how deeply impressed I am by your sensitivity. And by “social sanctions,” do you mean things like exclusion? Harassment? Threats?
So given that this issue has been pretty invisible even to queers, I should probably give you all some background. The article the letter responded to lays it out pretty well: basically, transguys are starting to come to the attention of gay men and gay male spaces in significant numbers. Ft?*** people, like transpeople in general, are also starting to make visibility an activist strategy. Rather than being “stealth,” that is, passing as our post-transition gender and not telling anyone we’re transsexual–which is a great way to protect oneself from transphobic discrimination and harassment–we’re demanding inclusion as men who are openly transsexual. Now, many transguys are not out in gay male space, because of problems illustrated in this letter and because many transguys want to simply be men. An ftm doesn’t necessarily want to think about his vagina when he’s getting off, either.
So gay male events, play parties****, groups organized by sexual preference or proclivity, etc., are formulating policies about transguys. From what I’ve heard, and contrary to Jordy Jones as quoted in the article, those policies are frequently exclusionary, even in instances where a transguy would never have reason to out himself. (He may be speaking more of San Francisco than the country at large.)
This is a thorny issue. On the one hand, sexual boundaries are of course different from other social boundaries. On the other hand, we’re talking about sexual space, not a sexual encounter. And if you’re willing to share that space with any non-transsexual gay guy with a valid driver’s license and twenty bucks to spare, how exclusive are you? And if you can’t tell, why do you care? (Most of the transguy snark I’ve heard in response to this letter was some variation on, “I’ve already had sex with you, and you were lousy.”) Why not ask rather than assume?
And being included as transsexual men is not necessarily what all transguys want. Preconceptions about transpeople–our bodies, our appearance, our behavioral cues, our genitals, our socialization, our motives, our desires–are legion, and they slam into place the instant we come out. As the anonymous transmale scenester says, it’s not a terribly sexy can of worms to open.
Like the letter, the article illustrates some of the problems with the terms of the debate–and some classic arguments against inclusion:
“It is a sexual competition,” explained Mike Zuhl, president of DCI Productions, which is based in Pittsburgh, which runs International LeatherSIR/Leatherboy. “The contest is about male sexuality. There’s a jock strap competition, and a lot of skin showing along that line, and the people who compete should all be on the same fair footing.”
Transmale bodies are less attractive by an objective standard. (Why that isn’t the transguy’s problem to deal with, I have no idea.) Transmale bodies are not attractive or aesthetically pleasing as male bodies. Transmen have no place in a taxonomy of gay male desire. Note that he’s also falling back on the, “My erection, my choice,” argument made by the letter-writer, albeit in oblique terms.
The group is defined in such a way as to render exclusion a contradiction in terms. Transmen are not men, period:
“The reason we stay with male sexuality is because that’s what we’re about.”
Tradition–i.e. a history of discrimination–is invoked as though it means a damn thing:
“I’m just the keeper of that tradition.”
Partial inclusion is introduced as an argument against full inclusion; inclusion elsewhere is introduced as an argument against inclusion here:
“If transgender men want to compete in a leather contest there are vehicles in which they can do that.”
Buzzwords are deployed at random in an increasingly desperate attempt to keep their slips from showing:
“I totally empower the trans people.”
Equality in practice is switched out for equality in theory:
“I support them and do not have any issue with it.”
Other activism–never specified–is mentioned as proof of good faith:
“We’re there to support, help, and empower them and give them anything they need to support their cause.”
And, my favorite:
“He [an mtf contestant] was male identified when he entered the contest,” Zuhl explained. “Then he came out as a transgender woman, with six weeks of his title left. He was very nervous, but I said, ‘This man deserves to be who he needs to be, and we need to empower him.’ Nobody was going to take his title away, because they’d also be stripping down his dignity. As a human being with compassion there was no way I could strip that from him.”
Zuhl added that if the MTF titleholder had known her identity prior to the contest, and disclosed that on the application, “it would have been a whole different story.”
We’re not inconsistent on those terms! We’re inconsistent on these terms! We honor some transsexuals as men! And how dare you take away his medal, I mean her medal! Shame on you!
I’d love to hear from all of you in comments. I have to admit that this wasn’t how I envisioned bringing up trans inclusion.
*And Twisty, I know you’re way too polite to make any snide remarks about karma.
***”ft?” describes people who were assigned female at birth and who are now something…else. It includes transsexuals as well as genderqueer people. It serves as an umbrella term.
****San Franciscan for “orgies.”