o hai etc

Hi y’all.  I’m Queen Emily, one of this week’s guest bloggers.  Some of you will know me from as one of the bloggers at Questioning Transphobia, or possibly my personal blog where these days I mostly talk about what pop music is amazing (girls with synths) and what is rubbish (boys with guitars).  Thanks to Jill for inviting me, and a big wave to Holly, Cara and the rest of the usual bloggers here :)

Things you need to know about me: I’m a white able-bodied trans woman from Australia, currently in Louisiana with my lovely girlfriend and our four cats.  Also, I have a PhD and I’m not afraid to use it. 

I’m mostly going to be blogging about trans rights – in particular the on-going revisions of the DSM, why immigrating to the US is a bloody nightmare if you’re trans, health care, and why I don’t like filling out forms. 

Now, I hate to do this, but since trans threads on big blogs have a habit of turning ugly, beyond the obvious rules Feministe has right up front I’m just going to lay out some fairly basic cissexist comments I may reject:

Un-gendering.  Trans people are the genders they say they are.  A story about a trans woman means female pronouns, and male pronouns for one about a trans man.  Don’t use third gender pronouns (eg “ze” and “hir”) on a binary identified person.  For genderqueer people, they may use third gender pronouns, or they may not.  If you’re not sure ask (but don’t be surprised if you get an exasperated response, this may be the eleventy billionth time). 

De-railing.  Ok, any thread is going to have a bit of drift, but it can be remarkably hard to get cis people to focus on actual instances of discrimination against trans people.  Not every thread is appopriate for a trans 101 question.  If I’m talking about immigration, I don’t want to have to stop that necessary conversation by answering what “cis” means or why I felt the need to transition.  If someone repeatedly insists on making a thread about the oppressor, and not the oppressed, then the mod hammer’s coming down.  Believe.

Transphobic bingo.  Feminist transphobia has a long and not so distinguished history.  Some common memes include: “but why do they have to modify their bodies,” “reifying gender binaries!11“, “trans women has patriarchal privilege,” “my theories are more important than your lived experience (aka What Would Judith Butler Do)” and “I’m not cis, I’m normal.”

Now that’s probably a bit, but I just wanted to get that clear from the get-go, so hopefully we can minimise the drama.  Ok, so now we’ve got all that out of the way, onto the posting…  Any questions?


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163 comments for “o hai etc

  1. June 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Yay! I’m excited to see you here.

    Thank you for explicitly laying out those few guidelines. I do use “sie” and “hir” when I am talking about a hypothetical person (who could ID with any gender, and still apply in the hypothetical), or about a person who has not made known how they ID (like the young child Pop in a recent thread); I do my best not to use it for specific (not-hypothetical) people, who presumably ID one way or another, making it rather disrespectful to refuse their right to have their identity recognized…. does that make sense; am I understanding correctly? I def. appreciate the nudge, either way.

  2. June 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Super excited that you’re going to be guest-blogging here, too! :)

  3. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Hi, good to see you here too :)

    Yes, that’s right, and a good point about broad hypotheticals or unknowns. In those cases, it’s not disrespectful (unless you’re talking about a hypothetical were a binary ID would apply).

    But yes, I was talking about real people mostly. For genderqueer people you can’t assume ahead of time what pronouns they’ll prefer, but for binary ID’d trans people, you definitely can and it’s disrespectful to use others.

  4. Kristin
    June 29, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Hi, QE! Can’t wait to watch you wield that PhD mallet!

  5. Butch Fatale
    June 29, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Welcome! I look forward to reading your posts!

  6. June 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    yay! great guidelines for commenting – i appreciate you laying out concrete expectations for people participating in discussions. looking forward to you guesting!

  7. shah8
    June 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Where can I find a discussion about transexuality where it talks about differences between that and body image pathopsychological disorders such as what athletes, actors/resses, and body builders sometimes deal with. Or against eating disorders like anorexia and bullemia.

    If there was a pill a person could take that would “cure” transexuality, would trans people take it (even without social pressure to do so)?

    I’m assuming that transexuality is different from being unsensitive to sex-typing or rebelling against sex-typing. Thus, isn’t really about cross-dressers…

    As you can see, I don’t really know much…

  8. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Shah8.

    By “any questions” I meant, “any questions about what I’ve just said, not any stray questions you have about transsexuality. However, as I’m feeling kind.

    1. I don’t know.
    2. I wouldn’t.
    3. And yes, it’s not about cross-dressing or rebelling against gender roles/sex stereotyping.

    Questioning Transphobia (link above) has a good set of 101 links in the sidebar for you to peruse to get a basic feel for trans issues..

  9. Maggie
    June 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I’m curious about your comment about Judith Butler…I’m only vaguely familiar with her theories, but for some reason I always thought of her as a trans-rights supportive feminist. Could you point me in the direction of something that talks about this further? My brief google search didn’t yield me any immediate results…

  10. June 29, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    SERIOUSLY?

    Wow. *speechless*

    To answer Maggie’s question, it’s my understanding (and I could be wrong), that the problem is not with Butler’s writings, but frequent misinterpretations and abuse of them by transphobic feminists.

  11. Zan
    June 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Shah8:

    Actually, all the trans people in the world got together to take a pole on that very question re: pills that “cure” transness. Seems like about 15% say Yes, 45% say No and the rest decided a question that ridiculous was too stupid to bother answering.

    Seriously, the question equates being trans with a sickness that requires ‘curing’. The only reason to assume THAT is if we assume that social norms are correct and we should all conform to them, and if that’s the case, what the hell are we doing with all this feminism nonsense? We’ve got sandwiches to make and beers to fetch!

    Honestly, would you ask any other group of people subject to social discrimination the same question? Would you ask POC if they’d take a pill to ‘cure’ their skin tone? People with disabilities? The only reason those kind of questions come up is when the issue at hand is assumed to be abnormal and unacceptable. (No one is asking white folk if we’d take a pill to ‘cure’ our lack of melanin, are they? Would anyone even dream up such a question?)

    Emily:

    You’d better not go taking any pills! Some of us prefer you exactly as you are. :)

  12. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Right, Cara – mostly. The interpretations have taken it well into places she never imagined. There are some problems with the theory itself in places, however.

    The general theory of gender performativity that Butler outlines in Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter has been selectively applied to trans people’s genders, suggesting ours to be illusory, performed etc – whilst leaving intact cis people’s genders. This is partly because of the fact that Butler used trans people and drag queens to exemplify her theories, so the real-world practices and identities at stake became disconnected and turned into rhetorical devices for how ALL gender works.

    And yet, because the autheticity of a trans person’s gender is already contestsed (which is what the theory relies on, the transparently inautheticity of transness), it ends up being a fairly objectifying experience. Her analysis of murdered trans woman Venus Extravaganza in particular in BTM is really dodgy.

    There’s a good critique of that in Jay Prosser’s Second Skins, and in Viviane Namaste’s Invisible Lives. Butler herself has largely recanted those early works, and to be sure Undoing Gender was much better (though a bit wtf in the section on Boys Don’t Cry)….

  13. William
    June 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Just poking my head in to say hi and say I’m looking forward to the discussion of the revisions coming in the DSM. Honestly I’m not too hopeful because, barring some major change in their batting average, I’m kind of assuming that DSM-V is going to be complete crap. But hey, its still worth talking about and publicly shaming the psychiatrists involved.

  14. piny
    June 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Em? Welcome, and thanks. (And good luck with everything.)

    Look, is there any interest at all in a new thread for the “cure” thing? I can go ahead and start it, if that would be appropriate. I’m aware that it doesn’t make sense either to generalize about trans people or to ask one trans woman to generalize about them, but there might be some use in a discussion about–like Zan was saying–the implications of a cure model. It might even make an interesting sidebar, if you’ll be discussing the DSM/Zucker. The role of medical professionals in defining, regulating, and “treating” transsexuality is bound up in all that.

    Unfortunately, I’m not smart enough to start a Judith Butler thread.

  15. June 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Piny,

    Just my two cents, which are probably not worth very much — an intelligent post on the topic sounds like it could be excellent. An open thread though sounds like super bad news.

    Em,

    Yeah, I’m not surprised that there are some problems with her work as well. Most of the critiques I’ve come across personally online and off have just focused on misinterpretations. Admittedly, I’ve only read parts of Gender Trouble, and that was years ago, so I’m super far from an expert :)

  16. June 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Can’t wait to read your posts, fellow guest-blogger!

  17. William
    June 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    if you’ll be discussing the DSM/Zucker. The role of medical professionals in defining, regulating, and “treating” transsexuality is bound up in all that.

    Just a side note: theres still a pretty active discussion over whether or not psychological services in general are medical services within the clinical community amongst people who do more than just proscribe meds or give a some homework. Some of the people who would be responsible for providing “treatment” for transsexuality would object to the idea that what they do is medicine on top of objecting to the idea that transsexuality is sickness. Just saying…

  18. June 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    (Er, should specify “most of the critiques I’ve come across specifically related to transphobia,” to clarify that I wasn’t assuming anything about trans oriented critiques based on the many other types of critiques, or that I’ve never seen a critique regarding Butler that was actually based on her work.)

  19. piny
    June 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Oh, definitely. I wouldn’t just throw the question up there.

    And thanks, William–I appreciate the appendix.

  20. June 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    shah8@7:

    If there was a pill a person could take that would “cure” transexuality, would trans people take it (even without social pressure to do so)?

    oh i totally would. i can’t *tell* you just how *icky* i feel when i look down at myself and see those seams and scales. and i’m really getting tired of slithering along and biting cis people in the ass. it’s a bad habit! and it leaves so many people butthurt! so i definitely need a pill.

    hmmm, too bad there isn’t another pill to inoculate me from people who ask such intrusive, nonsensical, and othering questions.

    now, wanna ask me the same question about my asperger’s? funny how trans folk and pwd’s and trans pwd’s especially all get treated like we’re broken and defective.

    maggie@9: mebbe u kin reed sum butler ‘n decide fer yerself? see i’ve lived this for 50 years. so maybe you can spend a couple of evenings at your local library. ya think?

  21. Marlene
    June 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Yay!

  22. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    @William Yeah, there’s a lot to get to grips with there. I don’t feel tremendously hopeful given the influential position of Zucker in this revision, but the more criticism there is, the better. I hope we can build some momentum on it, but it’s going to be a long fight before we can get something like a workable system of treatment, way beyond DSM 5.

    @Piny and Cara Yeah, agreed.

  23. William
    June 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    @ Queen Emily: I dunno, at this point I’ve just gotten so disgusted and disheartened that I simply try to hold back the damage the DSM might do to my clients. I mean, the bottom line is that regardless of who they have writing it, the DSM is a document that is intended to label psychological problems in such a way as to open them up to medical treatment. Its make work for psychiatrists, a menu for drug companies, and something for insurance companies to argue with you over in an attempt to deny claims. I’d like to see the trans* diagnoses disappear, but people like Zucker (and his less extreme compatriots)stand to make a lot of money from defining trans-people as sick. Criticism is always good because it raises awareness, but as long as the DSM is put out by a psychiatric trade group its always going to be foxes in the henhouse.

  24. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Yeah, fair enough. I’m not sure about the wisdom of totally removing trans diagnoses at this point, unless we can find a way to keep coverage for those that have it. We need to make sure that there’s insurance coverage in the US and government listing those countries with universal health care like the UK or Australia. I couldn’t see hormones therapy that intersects with cis women disappearing, but surgery? Yeah.

    Long term, that means really a strictly medical diagnosis – my problem is not being trans, but transphobia. Bu that’s a ways off, and I don’t think simple removal is the answer yet.

  25. Melancholia
    June 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Is it transphobic if a cis person will not date a trans?

  26. June 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I’m looking forward to your posts, Queen Emily!

  27. June 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Melancholia@25 – is it self-defense if a trans person will not date a cis person who asks questions like this?

    c’mon peeps!! do you not read the post and earlier comments? this is not a trans 101 thread.

  28. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    @Melancholia a trans what? A transformer? Far be it for me to stand against robot-human love.

  29. June 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Long term, that means really a strictly medical diagnosis – my problem is not being trans, but transphobia. Bu that’s a ways off, and I don’t think simple removal is the answer yet.

    This is so compelling.

    I came to this understanding through the disability movement, but it feels familiar here:

    – The medical model tries to define the problem as the individual’s particular deviation from the “default person.”
    – The social model defines the problem as society being built around the needs of the default person.

    Part of the problem is certainly the medical community defining the world around that default, constructing variation as deviation, and so forth.
    however, it would slip the rug out from under “the rest of us” if suddenly, we stopped giving our medical diagnoses, treatment referrals, certain statuses (to be able to access benefits/etc.)

    Society is still built around the needs of dominant folk, and we are still forbidden access in many areas.
    And fucked up tho the medical model is, it is also the only way we can access a lot of things that make our quality of life much better (eschewing “treatment” here because it implies something “wrong”) right now.

    queen emily — does this all make sense, does it feel applicable?
    I try to be very careful, because while certain analogies can be drawn, the two different issues (in this case, trans and disability) are still separate and distinct with their own mechanisms and their own effects, so we can’t draw *equivalence.*
    But what you’re saying struck a chord with me on that level.

  30. June 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Okay, WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE.

    Queen Emily is here to blog at Feministe. We are very glad to have her. She is not here to answer ridiculous 101 questions that are quite often offensive and invasive, not to mention include language like “a trans” without the very necessary word person affixed to the end.

    So cut it out. Now. This is not difficult. At all. I know that people here are actually smarter than this. But everyone just seems to forget basic manners and commonsense when trans issues come up.

    Relearn them, or don’t comment.

  31. Melancholia
    June 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Sorry I just don’t know anything about transsexuality. Didn’t mean to irk everyone.

  32. Kristin
    June 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Melancholia: Yes, you dumbass, it’s transphobic.

  33. voz
    June 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Welcome, Queen Em, A pleasure to see you and all that. I think you are in for some “living in interesting times.”

    I hope they are also rewarding ones.

    @Cara Welcome to trans rage. Have fun taming the trolls. :D

  34. Kristin
    June 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Um, I don’t think this is “irksome.” It’s unbelievably othering and offensive. One need not “know anything about transsexuality” in order to show basic human decency.

  35. June 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Melancholia:

    Is it transphobic if a cis person will not date a trans?

    No on account of we have gross cooties. Perfectly understandable and stuff!

    *ahem*
    Queen Em, nice to see you blogging here. Looking forward to what you bring to Feministe!

  36. Drakyn
    June 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    I do ~love~ how people are just completely incapable of clicking on the links in the OP before asking their inane questions.

  37. June 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    I just got through reading the commentary on this thread and it is appalling. Whatever happened to the belief that it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to teach the oppressor? Did it occur to you that instead of asking these ridiculous question, you could hit google and find your own answers? If there is a true desire to learn it must begin with you and not by demanding that a group that we have socially marginalized serve up the answers with ice cream and pie.

  38. June 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    But Renee, I do so love baking pie.

  39. June 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    this thread has already been an amazing illustration of cis-privilege. these offensive and othering questions are aimed at queen emily simply because she entered the feministe space and identified herself as a trans woman. the fact that she exists and spoke in this space seems to have given these commenters the impression that they can ask her anything without even thinking about it first. none of the questions have been about queen emily herself and her experiences, but have been about the status of being a trans person in general.

    being reacted to in that way must be exhausting. and maddening. having her self elided into a larger whole of all trans people everywhere feels to me incredibly dismissive – as if all questions directed to obama were not about his governance or policies but about his blackness.

    this thread has underlined for me the strength of transphobia, even in progressive communities like feministe. queen emily, i hope you are treated with more respect and dignity in future threads.

  40. June 29, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Emmy’s fuckin’ RAD.

    per “cure” or “well, is it okay if I don’t want to date THEM?” someone please do homework on history of other marginalized groups mkay? extra credit if you can insert your own and connect the dots. How would YOU feel if someone put you on the spot like you were an exotic alien? How DO you feel? Sheesh.

    and yeah, just google Questioning Transphobia and read some of the links lalready, will you?

  41. June 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I’ll take care of the ice cream. Strawberry all right with all the cis folk?

  42. June 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    GallingGalla,

    “now, wanna ask me the same question about my asperger’s? funny how trans folk and pwd’s and trans pwd’s especially all get treated like we’re broken and defective.”

    I’m so glad you said this, because I was just about to say something about this. It seems to me (from my cis-gendered position), that some people really do see all people who are transgendered as PWD simply because they are transgendered.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Emily’s posts this week!! ;)

  43. Marissa
    June 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    “Right, Cara – mostly. The interpretations have taken it well into places she never imagined. There are some problems with the theory itself in places, however.

    The general theory of gender performativity that Butler outlines in Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter has been selectively applied to trans people’s genders, suggesting ours to be illusory, performed etc – whilst leaving intact cis people’s genders. This is partly because of the fact that Butler used trans people and drag queens to exemplify her theories, so the real-world practices and identities at stake became disconnected and turned into rhetorical devices for how ALL gender works. ”

    This is how I have seen it used in my field – Art History – and how I have often used it myself – using self-portraits of trans individuals to show gender as performative for ALL people and as a strategy to undermine sexism and gender essentialism and so forth. (Which does bring up a whole range of issues between what representations theoretically mean versus the lived-experiences of trans people.)

    I am actually curious which authors tend to use Butler’s theories in anti-trans ways. I am posing this question to anyone reading who may have some examples, not just Q.E. I am going on to further study these issues so it would be really helpful to know how NOT to use her theories and also to have examples to argue against.

  44. June 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Yay, glad you are guest blogging here Emily, and once again kudos to Feministe for having space for the voices of trans women.

    As far as the pill to stop being trans… well… I tried that once, woke up the next day in a different town without any shoes, and I was still trans, so I’m not trying that again.

    Oh, and not dating someone because they were a trans woman (which is usually the issue, now) is not only transphobic, it’s kinda foolish, because a lot of us are pretty damn hot.

  45. Melancholia
    June 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Okay I’m sorry once again for being a dumbass. I read the link about reifying gender and thought it interesting but I cannot google my way to undertanding. At some point you have to talk to real people who have experienced being labelled “other.” It’s not because it’s her job to educate us but she came here partially to raise awareness I presumed.

  46. June 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    “I was informed there was to be punch and pah!”

  47. June 29, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Melancholia @45: you say you couldn’t google your way to understanding if a cis person refusing to date a trans person because of their trans status is an example of transphobia?

    i google ‘transphobia definition’ and the first result is this page which defines it as “an irrational fear of, and/or hostility towards, people who are transgender or who otherwise transgress traditional gender norms.” so let’s apply that to a situation where a cis person is refusing to date a trans person because of their trans status. that seems like a form of hostility towards someone who is transgender, thus fitting the definition of transphobia. that same page has links to other articles about trans people and trans issues, allowing you to read more on the topic.

    either you totally suck at google or you are just not trying.

  48. June 29, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    At some point you have to talk to real people who have experienced being labelled “other.” It’s not because it’s her job to educate us but she came here partially to raise awareness I presumed.

    Oh for goodness’ sake. She opened herself up to questions, but the reasonable assumption would be that is questions about what she *wrote*, not to turn her into an advice column for cis folk. Don’t assume that because she is trans that you can take liberties.

    She IS talking to real people. That doesn’t mean she opened herself to anything you want to throw at her. A little bit of common decency would be nice.

  49. June 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    The general theory of gender performativity that Butler outlines in Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter has been selectively applied to trans people’s genders, suggesting ours to be illusory, performed etc – whilst leaving intact cis people’s genders. This is partly because of the fact that Butler used trans people and drag queens to exemplify her theories, so the real-world practices and identities at stake became disconnected and turned into rhetorical devices for how ALL gender works

    Oh, Judy B. Everyone loves Gender Trouble so much that they don’t notice that she throws folks with marginalized identites under the bus to prove her point. Take, for instance, how she cites women of color resisting the essentialism of the feminist movement, and then never citing a woman of color’s argument or really mentioning it again in her text.

    However, I don’t think she meant that trans people’s genders alone were performative–all gender is performative, everyone’s performance matters, and cis folks can disrupt the gender binary as well. But putting us up for the ultimate “see, this is how you disrupt gender” is really problematic.

    I haven’t read everything by Butler though, and it’s good to know that her later works get better…

  50. June 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    oops, forgot actual page link, altho it is the first result for googling transphobia definition.

  51. Kristen J.
    June 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I’m sorry Em, you’re wrong, utterly and completely wrong. Human-robot love is going too far. Don’t give into the Battlestar Galactica propaganda…its all part of the radical, left wing agenda of the robot rights movement.

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/12/11/the-perfect-woman/

  52. June 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Queen Emily: yay you, I love your writing over at QT & am super excited to see more of it, always! also, I somehow didn’t know about your personal blog, but I just checked it out and it turn out your taste in music is awesome (i have never been so happy to learn about the existence of a song as i was about “young adult friction,” it’s like they know me) and also eerily similar to that of a(n awesome) friend of mine. but i must know: how do you feel about girls with guitars????

    this comment thread (with notable exceptions): um wtf? if you want to learn about trans-related issues, maybe start with clicking the links in the post.

  53. Melancholia
    June 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    All right I’ll shut up and read.

    I can just hear the collective sigh of relief.

  54. Marle
    June 29, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Do trans people eat food? Do trans people like kittens? I juuuust want to understand!

    WTF is wrong with this thread. lol

  55. June 29, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Kaninchen Zero says, through gritted teeth, “Define ‘cure.'”

  56. June 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I’m one to think that Butler’s theories are so dense they’re made to be misunderstood.

    But: Hi, Emily! Glad to see you here!

  57. William
    June 29, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Yeah, fair enough. I’m not sure about the wisdom of totally removing trans diagnoses at this point, unless we can find a way to keep coverage for those that have it

    I’ll admit, I’m kind of uncomfortable with any kind of diagnosis when it comes to an issue of who a person is. Medicine, as I’m sure you know, doesn’t tend to be very good at dealing with people in any capacity other than judging their relation to a statistical mean and then trying to push them in that direction. I tend to err on the side of caution because I’m not particularly confident that the medical community knows how to do anything other than address and cure disease. On a gut level, I see asking doctors to treat trans-issues with a medical diagnosis as kind of like sending Marines to do peacekeeping: sure the jobs might resemble one another, but the training and mindset tends to doom the whole operation unless you have extraordinary individuals.

    That said, I get that the realities on the ground suck and that trans-people who currently have some kind of diagnosis would be in a bad position if trans-related diagnoses went away. Its a shitty situation in largely uncharted territory. Which, really, is why I’m looking forward to a discussion.

  58. June 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Oh, and not dating someone because they were a trans woman (which is usually the issue, now) is not only transphobic, it’s kinda foolish, because a lot of us are pretty damn hot.

    that and the whole, “Nobody asked you, ma’am, she said.”

    always reminds me of the other charming phenomenon where straight people reassure you, nevously, upon The Big Revelation which may or may not even have been known by you to have been a Revelation until just now:

    “But you know I’m, not…that way, right? I mean, I like you -as a friend-, okay, right?”

  59. June 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    “She IS talking to real people. That doesn’t mean she opened herself to anything you want to throw at her. A little bit of common decency would be nice.”

    Yes, this.

    See, she’s here. She’s talking. But those “real people” aren’t listening, they’re going “ooh! ooh! talk about what I want you to talk about, answer all MY questions! Because it’s my desires that are important, not yours!”

    Gosh – it’s almost like… no, wait, it’ll come to me… oh, yes – CluelessMan in FeministSpace!

  60. June 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Welcome, Queen Emily!

  61. A.W.
    June 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Goodbuytjane,
    “Oh, and not dating someone because they were a trans woman (which is usually the issue, now) is not only transphobic, it’s kinda foolish, because a lot of us are pretty damn hot.”

    Did my dating prospects in the men’s department raise when I wasn’t looking? Because I don’t remember finding any, and last I checked I wasn’t exactly…popular material.

    # Melancholia says:
    June 29th, 2009 at 5:48 pm – Edit

    Okay I’m sorry once again for being a dumbass. I read the link about reifying gender and thought it interesting but I cannot google my way to undertanding. At some point you have to talk to real people who have experienced being labelled “other.” It’s not because it’s her job to educate us but she came here partially to raise awareness I presumed.

    You’re – absolutely – right. You have to have some sort of empathy and the ability to consider words, Google just won’t cut it. Now here’s a thought, radical I know – those same people who wrote the articles on QT identify as trans, to the best o’my knowledge. So it’s just like asking the same damned repetitive questions to a real human being, only said human being won’t actually have to listen to it. Again and again and again. You’ve brought up – nothing – that hasn’t been asked before, and Emily didn’t put her intro for another Trans 101 “Question Me” fest. It isn’t anyone’s job to convince you of what you’ve read and people have no obligation to describe their lives to you, especially after you’ve already seen articles detailing the subjects.

  62. June 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    also, the tacit assumption that QE lives in this magical protected bubble apart from the “real world,” and has not in fact fielded this and much worse 1 billion times before, which is precisely why she’s tired of answering it.

    “but gosh, aren’t feminists just a bunch of ugly man-haters? It was just a question! So touchy! Well, you’re going to have to deal with the real world SOMEtime, princess…”

  63. A.W.
    June 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Belledame,
    ““But you know I’m, not…that way, right? I mean, I like you -as a friend-, okay, right?”

    Oh, now that’s familiar. S’even nicer coming from gay people, you’d think they’d have some sort of clue, but no….

  64. shah8
    June 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Apologies.

    The questions I had had been percolating in my head for a long time.

    ooh! A transgender person to ask!!!

    I’m cool with Queen Emily‘s response.

    I dislike the degree of harshness toward all the idiot questions I don’t really know *anything* at all. I mean, I read about transgender issues on websites like these, but they rarely ever say anything about trans people themselves but about transgender issues.

    Also, it’s just much easier to ask someone. Not saying that it’s okay all the time, but you know, whenever people ask about my deafness, I answer even stupid with patience because very few white people (in my experience) know anything at all. Black people tend to know someone who is deaf, and they wonder that my diction is good as it is… And good lord, the sort of questions a black person gets overseas!

    So really, good cheers, everyone, Queen Emily’s got this.

  65. Jadey
    June 29, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Queen Emily, I was just on QT earlier today and it’s lovely to see you posting here as well for the interim. Welcome! I’m really sorry that even your explicit explanation about derailing/101 comments was apparently not enough for some of us.

  66. Ethyl
    June 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    This is for people asking totes Trans 101 questions, maybe it will help you!
    http://lmgtfy.com/

    Enjoy!

    Also, welcome Queen Emily! I’d curtsey, but it’s me knees.

  67. Kristen J.
    June 29, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    “But you know I’m, not…that way, right? I mean, I like you -as a friend-, okay, right?”

    Belle,

    Stop making me shoot diet coke out my nose. It’s painful. Seriously…people say that…I mean sure when you’re in 8th grade you say that to everyone, (ah the narcissism of youth) but I assume the people you’re speaking of are over the age of 18.

  68. June 29, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Marle you made me giggle aloud. I will never forgive you.

    Welcome to the show Queen Emily! Looks like it’ll be…interesting…

  69. June 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Marissa@43 – i was gonna go on a big rant about you using trans folk as instruments for your theorizing, and why not use cis people, are cis people not available to be examined and put under the microscope, but yah know what?

    ho hum.

    actually ho hum all over the place.

    and if this thread keeps getting sidetracked, there may very well be pandas.

    and welcome, Em!

  70. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Wow, this is quite a thread. To answer the most important question first:

    Isabel, I felt ambivalently about girls with guitars. If used poptastically then good, if not then no. My girlfriend’s got more earnest girl guitar music than you can poke a stick at it though, so it’s always on the stereo..

  71. eastsidekate
    June 29, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Yay! Welcome Queen Emily! I was just thinking today about how I need to check out QT.

    @Marle: I for one like kittens and food, but do not like kitten food or kittens as food. I’m trans, too, so it’s safe to assume that all trans people share these views. Also, based on me, all trans people like deep fried okra.

  72. June 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    marle@54: Do trans people eat food? Do trans people like kittens?

    well me personally, i eat kittehs and like food. i keep big plates of food around as pets and feed the kittehs to my kyoot little foodehs. we “trans” are like that, as compared to “cis people”

    :o)

  73. June 29, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    oops just saw eastsidekate’s response. i’m apparently being contradictory. jeez us trans folk are *so* frustrating, cos yah just can’t lump us together, darnit!

  74. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    @amandaw Yes, that absolutely strikes a chord with me. I think there are so many similarities in terms of the ways that we’re treated (like bint said), but the regimes that institutionally manage us as populations are different. And I suspect that while a trans body and a disabled body are both symbollically weighted down with *too much meaning*, I suspect that trans women’s bodies at least are more sexualised. But that’s a long, interesting conversation we might need to have in a more focussed thread..

  75. June 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Kristen: alas, yes.

  76. Harumph
    June 29, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Queen Emily– and how do you feel about girls playing pianos as if they were drums?

  77. June 29, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    A.W.:

    “Oh, and not dating someone because they were a trans woman (which is usually the issue, now) is not only transphobic, it’s kinda foolish, because a lot of us are pretty damn hot.”

    Did my dating prospects in the men’s department raise when I wasn’t looking? Because I don’t remember finding any, and last I checked I wasn’t exactly…popular material.

    Sorry, I honestly don’t understand the question. I apologize if I talked over your experience, I referred to trans women because it is my experience, and in feminist, queer women’s spaces, it’s almost always the idea of dating a trans woman that is abhorrent. The willingness for cis queer women to date trans men is problematic in its own right, but I don’t think I am going out on a limb or erasing people’s experiences by pointing out that, in queer communities, that trans women are seen as desirable far less frequently than trans men.

    In any case, if that came across as something offensive, I apologize, my intent was to be lighthearted and actually set trans women in the terms of being hot or desirable, which we rarely get to experience.

  78. June 29, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I’m glad you’re here, Queen Emily, and look forward to your posts. :)

    Also, fellow cis people… what the pancake? Queen Emily made her post very clear, and even if she hadn’t, come on, you can reasonably assess whether such comments are appropriate.

  79. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Hi to all the people who’ve said hullo, btw. How’s you?

  80. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I approve of that Harumph. All instrument sshould be played like drums, except drums, which should be played like a drum machine. ;)

  81. June 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    How’s you?

    Oh, fuckin’ awful. I got me one of those weighted-with-meaning-type bodies combining being trans and having fibromyalgia. But hey I look good right? And I’ve got drugs that should be helping any day now.

  82. June 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Hey Queen Emily,

    So excited that you are here. I love guest blogging time.

    To weigh in on the whole DSM crap. I work in mental health and I can say that a lot of us blatantly ignore some of what the DSM includes because it is so influenced by the pharmaceutical corporations and Doctors.

    Also, the arguement that including gender identity in the DSM so that it will help cover is frustrating because including it by it’s very nature insinuates that there is a space for someone else to decide on someone’s gender identity and it’s validity. Also, much of any negative experiences people experience are not because of their gender identity but because of the way the rest of society reacts to their gender identity. Once again allowing a “normal” view without allowing that it’s harmful to others.

  83. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    @karinchzero That’s rubbish you’re feeling awful. Have you been on them for long? I just asked my girlfriend what drugs she takes for her fibro, and she listed six drugs. Between her and me, we have most of a pharmacy in the cabinet..

  84. June 29, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    @Queen Emily, I just started a new batch last week, and a couple of them are the kind that take weeks to kick in, so I am cautiously optimistic. Also often dizzy. Sorry to hear about your girlfriend; this is a bastard of a disease. Though I’ve joked that since it’s a disease that predominately affects women, it’s just a malicious universe’s backhanded way of confirming that I am one.

  85. A.W.
    June 29, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Godbuytjane,

    Typed a response, the damned thing ate it. The reason I asked if my dating prospects were suddenly improved was because the situation is paralleled wrt trans men and the cis gay/bi guy community. You just said ‘dating’ so I figured you meant dating, period. There is indeed a problem with fetishizing trans men in the cis queer women’s communities, but the opposite is also in the cis gay male community. Least according to the various forums and blogs and ‘discussions’ I’ve eavesdropped on. ‘just us boys’ is particularly horrid for it, though y’can’t exactly search for trans men or ftm in the forum search, as despite their profile options that’s not what the posters actually call us. I’m a bit bitter.

  86. June 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Welcome, Emily, I’m looking forward to reading your posts!

    I’d like to ask a logistical questions about comment moderation. I’m totally on board with the cissextist comments you list in your OP, which you said you’d reject. But all these ridiculous cissexist comments are showing up on this thread – obviously frustrating the majority of commenters, who understand they’re precisely the kind of comment you forbade in your OP. Why do these comments show up in the first place? If comments like these have been explicitly forbidden by the writer, why are they allowed to appear and derail the thread?

    Of course, I know y’all at Feministe have day jobs and responsibilities and it’s certainly not your job to ensure that no one says anything stupid. I’m just unsure, procedurally, how this can be a safe space. Hope this isn’t a stupid question; I’m just unsure how comment moderation works and wondering how you’ll approach this issue in the future.

  87. June 29, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Hai Queen Emily, I am very excited to see you here! Guest blogging season is also y fav part of feministe – I kinda feel bad, like I’m saying the regular bloggers are boring. But they’re not – it’s just that new perspectives are awesome.

    What do you have your PhD in? I’m just starting my MA in history (about disability, fwiw) and so I’m all eeeeee! about higher education at the moment.

  88. June 29, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Well I am getting personal whether anyone likes it or not! I need to know how Queen Emily is managing the struggle of living with a partner who will hip check her into the floor boards for the last Dr. Pepper. I mean sure, she’s also beautiful, hilarious, imaginative, intelligent, and absolutely adorable, which does tend to mitigate the hardship somewhat. Even so, it’s the last damned Dr. Pepper! How do you cope???

  89. June 29, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    So sorry, that initial sentence should read that “I’m on board with the guidelines against cissexist comments.” Not that I’m on board with the cissexist comments. Obviously …. !!

  90. Kristin
    June 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    mzbitca and William: Emily’s point was that, if trans identity is completely separated from the medical model–as problematic as it may be–trans people will have difficulty getting medical insurance coverage for hormones and for transition-related expenses. This is a very real problem for real people, whether or not people in the mental health industry have problems with the so-called “medical model.” The people who must rely on it in order to get the kind of care they need? I assure you–many of them do too. Doctors have way too much gatekeeping power, for instance, and tend to operate according to really stereotypical ideas about “what it means to be trans.” The thing is, regardless of any theoretical problems that anyone may have with the medicalization of many kinds of care, it’s what people are forced to interact with on the ground, you know? So, it’s not terribly helpful to wave your hands about how trans identity should be de-pathologized right away. That would throw a lot of people who *need* care under the bus. I think you need to make a choice: Are you interested in having a philosophical discussion about the problematic implications of including trans identity in the DSM? Or are you interested in coming up with practical solutions that help real life people who are forced to operate within the confines of the medical model on a daily basis?

  91. William
    June 29, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    . I work in mental health and I can say that a lot of us blatantly ignore some of what the DSM includes because it is so influenced by the pharmaceutical corporations and Doctors.

    Which creates the constantly magnifying problem of insurance companies, government agencies, and the like trying to get us to stop ignoring standards. Which causes us to ignore their new standards. On an on with patient autonomy and privacy taking a little hit every goddamn time.

    Also, the arguement that including gender identity in the DSM so that it will help cover is frustrating because including it by it’s very nature insinuates that there is a space for someone else to decide on someone’s gender identity and it’s validity.

    Don’t forget that when you put something next to 300 or so other things viewed as illness pretty much everyone is going to assume its illness. Having diagnostic criteria for trans* experiences implies that those experiences are illnesses.

  92. June 29, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    We should have had a contest to guess how many comments this would have by the end of the day. I’m guessing over 126 — 12 of them worth reading!

    The DSM, coupled with private insurance companies, makes accessing quality mental health care with a competent professional in confidence nearly impossible. Courses in sexuality aren’t even required to become a school counselor or professional counselor, so a lot of counselors don’t have any formal instruction (let alone practice) in counseling trans people. And before this comment gets too long, I just want to say that this lack of education is only turns out more and more transphobic counselors.

  93. Kristin
    June 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    William: Then what do you propose for trans people who need medical insurance coverage for surgery and other costs? I don’t think anyone here is ignorant of the problematic implications of viewing trans identity as a “disorder.” It’s just that actual trans people who are not independently wealthy have to worry about whether or not insurance will cover the needed costs. That’s kind of…important.

  94. June 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Hey Ellen,

    I think I can likely answer this one. We’ve covered it here a few times at Feministe before, but it’s an ongoing problem. The comments show up because not every person is on moderation. Comments go to mod the first time you comment, if we specifically put you on mod because you’ve been a problem in the past . . . and sometimes random stuff that should be published instantly gets stuck in the mod queue, and we’ve never been able to quite figure out why.

    The problem is that because we get so many comments, it’s impractical to put everything on moderation and have to manually approve every comment. It’d bring discussion to a standstill. And the problem also is that if someone hasn’t been an asshole in the past, they have free reign to suddenly start being an asshole out of nowhere.

    Unfortunately, we’ve yet to find a way to also turn comment moderation on for all comments on a particular thread, which is an option I’d really love to have open.

    As we’ve mentioned before, we’re always open to suggestions in this area. There just aren’t any good solutions, only a handful of bad ones. So Emily can choose whether to approve or delete the comments that go to mod automatically. And she can also choose to delete comments that are published that she doesn’t want on the post. That can just be difficult when the mod get to it until a whole bunch of people are already discussing it.

    Did that answer the question? I assure you that I probably like the answer a lot less than you do, but there it is . . .

  95. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Ellen. Well, at the moment they’re set up to go through automatically, and I can then delete them or not. As I’ve been away from the computer most of the day, the thread went a bit wrong without me deleting anyone (yet). I didn’t really think that my first thread would get many comments, but here we are.

    For the rest of my time here, I’m probably going to have to be really quick off the mark to keep things on track.

  96. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Ah, Cara got there first.

  97. June 29, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Welcome Queen Emily! I love your writing at Questioning Transphobia. I’m looking forward to your posts here a Feministe.

    Oh, and welcome to the Unite States, too!

    Some of the clueless questions have been truly annoying, but the return snark has been hilarious. Almost makes it worth it… but not quite.

  98. June 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    “There is indeed a problem with fetishizing trans men in the cis queer women’s communities, but the opposite is also in the cis gay male community. ”

    This would actually be the opposite in the cis gay male community if those communities fetishized and worshipped trans women the way that a whole lot of urban, hipstery dyke communities do trans men. It definitely varies from place to place, and there are plenty of gay communities where dating any kind of trans person is considered weird and un-gay somehow, but there are very, very few queer communities where being a trans woman is hot currency the way it is in a lot of “oooh hot trans guys” dyke circles. Of course, there are plenty of trans guys who are really squicked out by that kind of fetishization and trannychasing — but if you want to compare notes on the “trannychaser” front, would you rather get chased by a creepy, sexually-angsted-out tranny-chasing straight guy, or a post-women’s-college dyke who thinks transmasculinities are so hot? Oh wait, neither of these are good choices. I’m going to go think about various trans-fetishizing people i’ve dated now, and throw up.

  99. Queen Emily
    June 29, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    @Donna It is a particular pain that I bear. But I always get the last jellybean which is important.

    Anyway, kittycats, I’m being called to bed. Play nice yeah.

  100. June 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve never had a health insurance policy that didn’t include a clause specifically excluding ‘any and all treatments relating to transsexualism.’ I don’t think this is unusual for health insurance in the United States where the DSM has the most influence. What insurance would we be giving up by ditching the medicalisation of trans identity? I’m going to have to scrape up the money for genital surgery myself anyway, so I’m not really seeing the bad in getting rid of the (frankly insulting) standards of care that put primarily cis people in gatekeeper roles. I don’t consider myself mentally ill because I’m trans, though trying to act like my birth-assigned gender made me sick nigh unto death.

  101. Kristin
    June 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Right, but it isn’t just the US that uses the DSM IV.

  102. June 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Good Lord–

    Ok, so first, welcome Queen Emily!

    Second, believe it or not, the first time I read the thread I thought all the transphobic comments were people being hysterically ironic–as in “Oh hai, I is dumbass, and you are??”

    Annnnnd then I read it again. Sigh.

    (as for the Judy Butler thing. Oh, Judy Judy Judy. How great and yet how easily abused you are. and occasional head-up-rear.)

  103. June 29, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    So which countries use the DSM where trans people can get top and/or bottom surgery with health insurance that would be adversely affected by not pathologizing us any more?

  104. William
    June 29, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    This is a very real problem for real people, whether or not people in the mental health industry have problems with the so-called “medical model.”

    Its not just about having a problem with the medical model. While having trans* diagnoses certainly help trans people in some situations, it also actively harms. Doctors like Zucker make a career of doing real damage to real trans people in the name of curing an illness and people diagnosed with mental illnesses can and do lose a wide variety of their rights. I get that trans people need access to medical care and that the current system helps some trans people access those services and we need to figure out how to maintain their access, but considering the harm done by a method is just as important as considering the good.

    The thing is, regardless of any theoretical problems that anyone may have with the medicalization of many kinds of care, it’s what people are forced to interact with on the ground, you know?

    I do know, and my “theoretical problems” are largely based upon my experiences working with trans people (and other people who have been given mental health diagnoses). On one side of the spectrum diagnoses help some trans people by giving them access to treatments they need. On the other end of the spectrum they get some trans people in four point restraints because they refuse to stop wearing a dress even though they’re clearly “a man.” The system we have now sucks, which is why I’m all for having a discussion.

    Are you interested in having a philosophical discussion about the problematic implications of including trans identity in the DSM? Or are you interested in coming up with practical solutions that help real life people who are forced to operate within the confines of the medical model on a daily basis?

    The former is part of the later. But hey, go ahead and keep imagining that the privileged side of how the mentally ill are treated is the only one salient to the discussion.

  105. dgbelfo
    June 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Hey Queen Emily,
    I’m new to this site, so pardon my lack of knowledge and naiveness. Anyways, I’m a college student currently taking a Gender in Humanities course and have been assigned a project to find websites that discuss controversial topics, with which I can comment and converse with lots of people. I stumbled upon this blog and read all of the comments, finding them very interesting.

    I do have one question for you. Do you see/feel a difference in the way transsexual people are treated or looked at in America, as you did in Australia? I’m interested to know if transphobia is an American creation, or if it exists just as strongly elsewhere in the world.

    Sorry ahead of time if my question is out of line,overly intrusive, or just plain 101-esque.

    Thanks!

  106. Jadey
    June 29, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    … dgbelfo, for future reference, try Google. Try Googling “transphobia”. No, seriously, if you are intending to be in college for any length of time, you will need to learn other strategies than getting someone else to do your homework for you. It’s been stated multiple times within this thread (which you claim to have read) that this is a welcome post/thread, not open season on Queen Emily.

    I’ll give you a hint: America did not invent transphobia. Google awaits.

    As for engaging in conversations on this blog, there are usually several new topics posted daily. Find something on-topic. Read more, write less.

  107. June 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Oh, and welcome to guest blogging, Emily! Thanks for being willing, and sorry about all the dumbass questions. We’ll help you swat flies, derails, inane questions, etc.

  108. June 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Holly-
    Yeah, but with the “post-women’s-college dyke” set you’ll be oh so urban queer hipsterey hot in scene, and in the -with the guys, you’re stuck with slimy craigslist dudes. I’d love to see a post or two about this.

  109. June 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Sorry, poor spelling there.

  110. Alison
    June 29, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Welcome Queen Emily! I’m glad I get to read your stuff in another blog now!

  111. dgbelfo
    June 29, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    @ Jadey-107
    Yes, I know that I should be using Google in certain cases to reap knowledge, but the assignment is to post something in a blog-type setting, where many people will read your post and engage in responses. Sorry that I mis-interpreted Emily’s post, in which she states “Any questions?,” and “any questions about what I’ve just said.” I felt that my question related to what she originally wrote. With my last words, I’d just like to say that I will never return to this website, because I find a lot of you to be very disrespectful to new comers. Sorry I wasted your time.

  112. June 29, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    i don’t know, william, but it doesn’t matter which “side” of the keep the code / dump the code / wev debate you are on – what’s ticking me off a bit is that you are a cis person trying to speak for us trans people and lecturing us on privilege.

    you want to raise points? raise them. but don’t be prescribing right or wrong approaches when you don’t live our lives. frankly i’ve been screwed over by enough so-totally-caring cis mental health providers to appreciate your ‘grand knight in shining armor riding your trusty steed to save the day’-style approach.

    you might try listening to us rather than speaking for over us, yeah?

  113. June 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    crap only the word “for” was supposed to be struck out.

    for over us, yeah?

  114. June 29, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    aww dgbelfo did we hurt your widdle cis fee fees while you waz trying to do your widdle school project? here, have a winnie-the-pooh bandaid for your boo-boo.

  115. June 29, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Cara and Em, thank you for clarifying the moderation issues.

  116. June 29, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks so much Cara and Emily for the answers regarding comment moderation. I appreciate you taking the time, and I really appreciate all your efforts to make the blog a friendly place. In general, I feel you’ve succeeded!

    I don’t know what kind of comment moderation, Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose seems to have it down in terms of moderation. Maybe I’m imagining it, but I rarely see trolls on their threads. Maybe everything they do goes to mod.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question! Back to the meat of the thread at hand …

  117. June 29, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    dgbelfo, “it’s for my sociology class!” is rather tedious. In fact, there’s a whole wiki set up to discuss “it’s a social experiment!”

  118. Lyndsay
    June 29, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    “So which countries use the DSM where trans people can get top and/or bottom surgery with health insurance that would be adversely affected by not pathologizing us any more?”

    One website I found said, “In surveys conducted by the Gender Identity Clinic, most countries with socialized health care plans cover SRS.” But I don’t see why you have to be pathologized to receive free treatment. Can’t being trans be a medical condition that is not a disorder? Most medical conditions that receive treatment aren’t considered a disorder.

  119. A.W.
    June 30, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Holly,
    Is the urban, hipstery dyke community larger than the subsection of the gay community that fetishizes trans women, or is it just condensed in one spot? There doesn’t seem to be a demographic that the cis gay guys gravitate from – they’re scattered and clump together in lots of little subsections on different websites, whereas with the cis gay women they’re sort’ve…clumped together under a heading of ‘hipster dykes’ on a few big ones, everyone knows who everyone else is, roughly, because they’re working t’wards the same goals. I’m pretty sure, though not positive, that it makes it seem bigger. I mean, trans women are hyper sexualized in western culture, I’ve a hard time thinking that sexualization would mostly miss the goodly sized chunk of the cis male community it’s aimed at, even allowing for some of the websites/blogs that didn’t have much of it. Would be interesting to see a post on it, though. A poll surveying the people would be nice, but I doubt that’s possible. It also occurs to me this is quite a derail, so m’going to bed.

  120. A.W.
    June 30, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Lyndsay,

    Most medical conditions in some form are somewhere on that kind of ‘it’s a disorder/illness!’ spectrum. That is, something to be – cured -. If it’s unlisted, then there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with it, hence, it doesn’t need help being cured/managed, at least in the way of therapy, prescriptions or surgery. So no funding. It has to fit somewhere in the current medical scheme, and illness of the mind is the only place to wedge it in there. And I really do need to go to bed, lack of sleep is affecting.

  121. June 30, 2009 at 1:26 am

    dgbelfo – if your assignment is to post in a place where others will engage in what you’re saying, you’ve succeeded, maybe you should entertain the notion that the reception you’ve received is part of the lesson.

  122. Deoridhe
    June 30, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Queen Emily: Fantastic to see you blogging here.

    William: Yes, there are serious problems with how the DSM handles …just about everything, up to and including trans gender issues and gender dysmorphia. The depth of these problems won’t be fixed by simply removing these things from the DSM; the issues within the DSM are reflective of the problems within our culture itself.

    Right now there are a few work arounds in place to help some trans gendered people get their needs met. Closing those without making sure that we’ve opened doors so that their needs get the legitimacy and support all needs should is both shortsighted and hurts the people who can, frankly, afford to be hurt by it the least.

    kaninchenzero: I believe a lot of the benefits to getting diagnosed with gender dysmorphia and then “cured” by successfully transitioning to being perceived accurately (obviously the model of illness and cure is profoundly damaging and wrong) are on the governmental level, in terms of being able to change the myriad of documents upon which that “m” of “f” is written down for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, this still currently reinforces a system where cis gendered people are gatekeepers, but I think it explains why some trans gendered and cis gendered people don’t want the current system to be removed without something else in place.

    The other advantaged to the current system is that if non-discrimination laws pass, those medical exclusions could be removed, but that’s highly speculative.

    About the current situation in general, and not aimed at anyone’s statements particularly, I tend to see the current debate over whether to Game the System or Drop Out of the System as one of the reoccuring differences in a lot of marginalized groups. On the one hand, it can be used as a basis for creating and enforcing horizontal oppression within a single group. On the other hand, it is a very important debate to be had; sometimes creating a new system is the best response to one which fails us so profoundly as the DSM and Governmental Psychology/Psychiatry currently does.

  123. June 30, 2009 at 3:46 am

    a trans what? A transformer? Far be it for me to stand against robot-human love.

    I’m glad you’re not going to stand against my love for Optimus Prime and his sexy, sexy voice.

    Welcome to guest-blogging, hon. :)

  124. June 30, 2009 at 5:00 am

    In Australia, the diagnosis of GID is effectively not recognised. You see, the medications under the PBS – pharmaceutical benefits scheme – are restricted to certain diagnoses. There are none approved for GID. Worse, trying to get medications not on the PBS is nigh impossible. Importation of certain classified drugs, such as hormones, is prohibited without a license.

    So hormones get prescribed under some creative diagnoses. For Androcur, this means the patient has to be prescribed it “to reduce sex drive in deviant males”, and put on a register of sex offenders who are voluntarily undergoing chemical castration to avoid jail time. Now you can avoid this by paying market price – about $450 a month, just for this one drug, as opposed to $30 with the subsidy.

    While there is coverage for MtoF SRS under the ICD-10, the out-of-pocket expenses vary from $9,000 if you have full top-of-the-line health insurance (costing $3000 a year plus), to $15,000 without.

    Many women, and virtually all men, go overseas for surgery. It’s no more costly, and the surgeons have vastly more experience. Thailand for the girls, Serbia for the boys. Currently, there are no Australian surgeons who do FtoM surgery, after a succession of less than stellar results, but they may resume one day. Neither private nor public health insurance covers treatment outside the country.

    The “Universal Health Care” we have actually works pretty well in the majority of cases. For those who are below the poverty line, prescriptions are $5 a time rather than $30 for example, and doctor’s visits may even be free, as opposed to $75-$150. Those who are moderately wealthy are taxed extra if they don’t have private health insurance in addition. In terms of the quality of health care, there’s no difference.

    The problem with the trans issues we’re trying to get solved through the ongoing Human Rights enquiry.

  125. June 30, 2009 at 6:41 am

    All instrument sshould be played like drums, except drums, which should be played like a drum machine.

    This reminds me of the joke:

    What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?

    You only have to punch the information into a drum machine once!

    I’ll get me coat

  126. June 30, 2009 at 7:18 am

    hey there Queen Emily! very pleased to meet ya. i’ve been away from the internet for a long time, but upon return i’ve been seeing your name come up in a couple of different places, so i’m glad i stumbled upon your guest stint here!

    just one getting-to-know-you question: do you practice any kind of spiritual/religious/faith/wisdom traditions? until recently, i myself never used to think of this as one of the ‘vital stats’ (nationality; race/ethnicity; gender; cis/trans; age; class; abilities), but now i think it is, or can be, an important one. if you feel like sharing :)

    peace,

    katie

  127. Zan
    June 30, 2009 at 7:35 am

    *eyes Donna* Listen, that Dr. Pepper is MINE, got it? She knows it, the kittens know it, Goddess herself knows it! Besides, I’m only being a good partner — Emmy can’t have that much cafeinne!

    Also, girls with guitars rock. Emmy will one day see the light.

  128. woland
    June 30, 2009 at 8:40 am

    The DSM hasn’t stopped various Canadian provinces from de-listing SRS (for purely transphobic reasons – the amount of money saved is laughable.)
    Ontario is considering reinstating public health coverage of SRS, but one problem is that people used to have to go through the Clarke Institute (a mental health facility) to be cleared for surgery, and a lot of people found their treatment demeaning/pathologizing/otherwise inappropriate. So people are calling for the reinstatement with pre-surgery treatment to be done through places like Sherbourne Health Centre, which is a general health centre that strives to be trans-affirming.

    I don’t know what impact removing trans diagnoses from the DSM would have on public funding in Canada. As problematic as they are, they do help lawyers/activists argue that denial of treatment is a health issue (the de-listers often claim SRS is cosmetic, which grrr.)

    Sorry to focus on SRS- I don’t actually know the status of other treatments because we don’t have universal coverage for drugs – I don’t know if the public plans cover hormones. I don’t think electrolysis is covered. I know some employer-provided plans offer comprehensive coverage- I was in a union that fought for and got it through the collective agreement.

  129. June 30, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Emmy! :D Looking forward to your posts here.

  130. June 30, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I do think it would be an interesting conversation to have — non-privileged folk might want to prioritize certain types/areas of “progress” over others, to take things in a certain order, because even an isolated incident of “progress” in one particular area might leave things significantly worse off in the practical picture.

    A lot of privileged people seem to have the attitude of “beggars can’t be choosers,” that you’re complaining when we just did something good for you, you ingrateful meanies, etc. I have a somewhat similar reaction when people attack the pharmeceutical industry — they’re my lifeline right now, evil or not. Baby, bathwater, etc.

  131. Melancholia
    June 30, 2009 at 10:09 am

    What is all this talk about cis gays going for trans men and staight guys too etc? I didn’t see that in any of the stuff she linked to. I’m assuming by the tone of the comments this is perceived as offensive to trans people.

  132. ClassicsGrad
    June 30, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Queen Emily, welcome – I look forward to reading your posts. Thanks also for the commentary on Butler that’s already turned up on this tread – my theory reading group is tackling Gender Trouble this week, so I shall keep an eye out for the problematic use of the trans experience that you describe as I work my way through the text.

  133. June 30, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Holly,

    Re: your comment at 99: I would so love to see a post/more thoughts on this someday, if you have time.

  134. Persia
    June 30, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Queen Emily, welcome aboard. I’m depressed to see so much derailing/trans 101, but happy to have you here.

  135. Kristin
    June 30, 2009 at 10:50 am

    So, I’m pretty sure Melancholia’s a troll, y’all…

  136. Melancholia
    June 30, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Um why Kristin? Because I don’t know as much about this as you? You have been quite rude to me and I ignored it until now. You do not have to be so arrogant – we get it, your erudition in transtheory is astonishing and your sensitivity a model for us all to follow.

  137. William
    June 30, 2009 at 11:01 am

    i don’t know, william, but it doesn’t matter which “side” of the keep the code / dump the code / wev debate you are on – what’s ticking me off a bit is that you are a cis person trying to speak for us trans people and lecturing us on privilege.

    I apologize for coming off that way. I was coming at this primarily from a mad-lib perspective and my work with vulnerable/chronic clients has exposed me primarily to the worst the system has to offer. I wasn’t trying to lecture, but I let myself get more hot than I had any right to, and clearly I didn’t keep myself in check enough.

    you want to raise points? raise them.

    The major point I’d like to raise here is that having DSM categories helps and hinders not because of theory but because of class, race, and other intersecting areas of difference. People who have enough access to insurance to worry about whether it will cover SRS get desperately needed leverage from a diagnosis. The woman I mentioned earlier gets to be homeless because living as a woman was seen by staff as a symptom of a disease on her chart, a disease which the staff refused to “collude with.” When she became justifiably angry that staff constantly called her out of her name, she first was with a PRN until she stopped struggling. Eventually, after becoming too angry too often, she was kicked out of the nursing home she lived in with no real options. Keeping diagnostic criteria in order to help some real people access health care necessarily means that some other real people will have that same criteria used against them. Thats the point I feel needs to be raised. We can discuss the good that diagnostic criteria can provide for people of a certain socioeconomic class, but we cannot at the same time deny the damage that it does to people of a different socioeconomic class.

    frankly i’ve been screwed over by enough so-totally-caring cis mental health providers to appreciate your ‘grand knight in shining armor riding your trusty steed to save the day’-style approach.

    I’m not trying to white knight here and I’m sorry if I gave that impression. That said, I’d appreciate it if you dropped the assumptions. I’m not going to play the oppression olympics, but you aren’t the only person who’s been left broken and utterly fucked by bad mental health care providers with the best of intentions. I’m not here trying to tell you how to live your life or trying to save the world.

  138. June 30, 2009 at 11:08 am

    The last jellybean? Wow and I bet it’s a popcorn flavored jellybelly. Those are worth a hundred times their weight in gold! I see you and Zan have a true give and take relationship. I will now in good conscience be able to forever hold my peace at the wedding.

  139. Marlene
    June 30, 2009 at 11:19 am

    There’s no pie here. I was waiting for the pie.

  140. Zan
    June 30, 2009 at 11:20 am

    They are, in fact, popcorn flavored jellybeans. Only the best for my Emmy. Also, she gets all the olives and I keep the fridge full of Welch’s Strawberry soda. It really is the perfect partnership.

    Also, anyone who doesn’t keep their peace at the weeding gets bricked. *brickbrickbrick*

    Ahem. :)

  141. Laura
    June 30, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Wow, I feel late to the party. Hi, Queen Emily! I’m excited for your guest blogging; I waste far too much time on the internet (you’ve given me another reason to stick it out in grad school, ps, because I’m looking forward to being able to say ‘I have a PhD and I’m not afraid to use it’) so it’s like an internet bonus when bloggers I enjoy reading and whose sites I wish I had time to read on a regular basis show up in forums I let myself frequent ;)

    I’m particularly interested to hear your thoughts on the DSM. I was trying to write out some of my thoughts on the matter, but … aagh. I was adding asterisks and parentheses to qualify the parenthetical asterisked qualifications of the ambivalent statements. Suffice it to say, I’ve got conflicted feelings about the matter. And I’m interested in thinking about the intersection of trans-phobia and stigma regarding psychological anything with regard to this issue. Hopefully when you get to this issue I’ll be able to marshal my thoughts a little more coherently!

  142. Spicy_Tofu
    June 30, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Wow, crazy thread. It’s like people looked at the OP to figure out exactly what they shouldn’t do and then did it anyway.

    Queen Emily, I’m excited that you are guestblogging here and looking forward to your posts. I definitely love trans rights posts (there are never enough of them, especially ones that have respectful discussion in the comments!) but was also wondering if you would be interested in posting something about grad school. Since you said you have a PhD (and aren’t afraid to use it!), I was wondering what your experiences/opinions were going through grad school and pursuing your doctoral degree as an activist and trans woman. I am considering going for my PhD and in addition to all the typical questions (can I handle that much work? how will I afford it? can I really deal with that many more years of school?), I’m wondering how well my activist, feminist, queer, POC self will fit into the equation. Did you face a lot of discrimination that impeded your progress in school? Were you able to focus in on research areas/questions of your choosing even if they made some faculty uncomfortable (if you did that in your program)?

    I hope this makes sense and I’m certainly not trying to derail anything, just offer up something that I haven’t seen covered much. Or if any other people would like to post on this subject, that’d be cool too. I imagine the comments on the post would also be fairly enlightening.

    One last note…it’s hard to write something along the lines of “I’d love to hear your thoughts on X subject” without sounding demanding or like you’re here to educate me or carry out my requests. I hope I didn’t come off like that and I’m sorry if I did! It’s just that you’re a much-respected and intelligent writer whose take on this would be great.

  143. A.W.
    June 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Melancholia

    132 What is all this talk about cis gays going for trans men and staight guys too etc? I didn’t see that in any of the stuff she linked to. I’m assuming by the tone of the comments this is perceived as offensive to trans people.

    You know, I’m damned positive neither of us said that. I even scrolled up to double check. Your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired. That or you’re fishing, hoping to cause trouble.

    137 Um why Kristin? Because I don’t know as much about this as you? You have been quite rude to me and I ignored it until now. You do not have to be so arrogant – we get it, your erudition in transtheory is astonishing and your sensitivity a model for us all to follow.

    Then perhaps you should follow it instead of parroting mistaken, mangled excerpts. If you do not understand what you read, – read it again -. If you still don’t understand, well, that’s not my bloody fault now is it? Go reread something, start microscopic and work your way up. It’s supposed to be an introduction thread, there’s been quite enough derails in Emily’s Debuit. Doubt I would’ve participated in it last night but consistent bad sleep gets t’me. So. Back to the important matters of jellybeans and pop, thank you. Wish I had some of those grass flavored ones, they taste…light green. Need to buy some, haven’t had any in ages. And I seem to remember the pink ones were good, too…

  144. Zan
    June 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I personally adore the pear and apple flavored jellybeans. Which is funny, because I so rarely eat the fruits themselves. But our home has a non-discrimination policy when it comes to jellybeans. All flavors are welcomed and all will be devoured. Except licorice. Does ANYONE eat those?

  145. Marissa
    June 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Re GallingGalla: “Marissa@43 – i was gonna go on a big rant about you using trans folk as instruments for your theorizing, and why not use cis people, are cis people not available to be examined and put under the microscope, but yah know what?

    ho hum.

    actually ho hum all over the place.

    and if this thread keeps getting sidetracked, there may very well be pandas.

    and welcome, Em!”

    I am responding in my defense here, and please everyone feel free to critique, criticize, and so forth. I apologize in advance for any ways in which this may be offensive to anyone, because as much as I work to be sensitive and research the experiences of individuals within all marginalized groups, I still do have my own levels of privilege and ignorance to work through.

    As I was trying to express in my previous post, my studies actually are looking at self-portraits by artists in the early 20th century using gender fluidity themselves to undermine gender essentialism. I do not believe I am using trans individuals as pawns for my own bidding or whatever other horrible possiblities, but more along the lines of studying how some artists themselves have used gender in non-conventional ways to undermine sexism in the art world. If anything, my goal is to bring visibility to certain artists’ political expressions and their methods for undermining the sexism they themselves faced.

    Many of the individuals I am interested in are women artists who take on trans images and identities or play with their own gender presentations in their self-portraits in order to undermine the restrictions placed on all women and other marginalized artists – essentially if they appear more like men or prove gender to be more performative and fluid in some cases, then they can undermine the absolute denial of women artists from any success or recognition. I am not using these artists as pawns, but examining what they are doing in their own work to benefit all marginalized individuals. Also, the artists I study tend to be situated in the early 20th century, thus they are exploring and creating new ways of expressing identity, and they cannot be judged under the exact same criteria one would use today. What I mean is that many of the artists I study are pioneering new territories of identity expression and presenting these new options to the world visually, and I would like to bring visibilty to this cause at this moment in time.

    In my post I mentioned I recognized the difference between looking at artist’s own self-portraits in terms of theory versus the lived experiences of many trans people. I realize in full how problematic this is, and my own reasoning is that I am specifically not looking at real people just living their lives and theorizing how their very existence politically benefits others. One’s lived experience _should not have_ to be a political statement. What I was referring to in terms of research interests are those artists actively chosing themselves to make political statements with their identities. I was also trying to continue the discussion from earlier posts about how Butler’s theories are often misused, as I am hoping some of those who posted on this topic wouldn’t mind referencing a few names for me to look into. Again, also with the interest in learning how NOT to do it so to speak.

    Q.E., I very much look forward to your posts here.

  146. June 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Queen Emily, I’m glad to see you’re guest blogging.

  147. Marissa
    June 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm
  148. meg
    June 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I am loosely professionally associated with psychology and I find the DSM rahter icky. Beyond the problems that people have stated about the medical model, and pathologizing people’s experiences, it has also contributed to some pretty icky “services” for people with these types of “disorders.” I personally don’t know of any examples specific to trans persons, although I would bet they exist, but there are still people who call themselves professionals out there who believe that shocking people’s genitals is a “treatment” for lesbians and gay men, and of course homesexuality used to be listed as a disorder in the DSM. On the other hand, I do see the tension with making sure that trans people do get services that are actually helping them, and that currently as icky as it may be a DSM diagnosis is a path to that.

    On top of that, I feel like professionals labelling people with “disorders” is really incredibly othering- it smacks of I am the professional and get to put you in the correct box. In the case of trans people, yes the person identifies as a trans person, and maybe they want the professional to give them that diagnosis so they can get the access to services, but why the hell does somebody else need to be the one checking the box so that they can get services?

    So, neat to see you here and looking forward to the discussion, as the conundrum of the DSM hits close to home.

  149. A.W.
    June 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    My mother does, and I think my father likes them as well. I can’t stand black licorice, myself, though the red’s alright. I’ll eat whatever jellybean is put in front of me. Bertie Botts has a bunch of flavors that I’ve yet to try, the cherry tart and the leather looks promising. Their beans taste quite a lot like things smell, so I might avoid the hot sauce.

  150. Queen Emily
    June 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    @spicy tofu (and everyone else who asked)

    My PhD was in English and Cultural Studies, that weird hybrid of “literary and cultural theory” we do in Australia in some parts.

    I feel like discrimination was mostly invisible rather than in-yer-face. I had some horrible experiences true (especially the queer theory spouting “friend” who dumped me when I transitioned medically.. not radical enough dontchaknow), but for staff, I mostly felt extremely isolated–and having networks and allies is just so important in academia.

    Despite my extremely high grades, I *just happened* to always get passed over for teaching work, even for people who were less qualified, less well published, etc etc. eg one time a good friend of mine tried to get me to do a lecture on transness, and the unit co-ordinator stepped in and gave it to a *cis* woman.

    No-one pressured me about my work, as my PhD was on religion, but I have no doubt given the cold reception I got from some Women’s Studies lecturers I would have struggled to attract a supervisor if I’d done one on trans women’s issues.

  151. Onegin
    June 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    First question:

    >now, wanna ask me the same question about my asperger’s?

    Yes actually. Well not, the same question, but I’d love to hear you talk about your Asperger’s syndrome as it relates to your identity. As someone with that (but straight, white, able-bodied), I would love to hear how you view it in relation to other . Not to re-open the can of worms above about the pill option, but it was when I realized that if I were completely cured of Asperger’s it would completely erase who I was. At the same time, I get nervous when Aspies* try to simply throw the framework of gay rights onto the struggle of people with Asperger’s. And I don’t also I don’t like using “NT” to describe people without Asperger’s. But enough derailing. A separate post would be nice, though not requested.

    Also, Emily- is your post title a reference to The Room?

  152. Spicy_Tofu
    June 30, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Queen Emily, thanks for the response! A great point about the isolation and the importance of networks – definitely something to keep in mind. I’ve been looking for schools that are more ”progressive” and have on-campus activist groups, but it’s hard to find all that AND a program that fits. Also, supposedly progressive people might turn out to be pretty disappointing (see some women’s studies students/faculty, as you pointed out).

    The trans lecture going to a cis woman is outrageous! Anyway, I don’t want to go on and on since I don’t want to derail, but thanks SO much for sharing your thoughts and experiences on the matter!

  153. Harumph
    July 1, 2009 at 12:39 am

    I think it would be a good idea for all students here to do a tolerance check at their respective schools. I know MassArt has more than two sex/gender options on it’s application, and has transmen and transwomen in it’s student body and faculty and people who don’t tolerate it are seen as jerks in general. S’part of why I’m proud of where I go to school.

  154. July 1, 2009 at 3:11 am

    I think licorice flavored anything is one of those love it or hate it deals. although now i think of it i don’t loathe it as strongly as i used to. but, yeah, not a fan.

    Bertie Botts scare me.

  155. July 1, 2009 at 3:14 am

    “a trans what? A transformer? Far be it for me to stand against robot-human love.”

    I’m glad you’re not going to stand against my love for Optimus Prime and his sexy, sexy voice.

    Hmf. “Here I am, brain the size of a planet…”

  156. July 1, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Holly @99 I think A.W. was actually saying “is the opposite” to mean what you’re saying there. i.e. it’s the opposite experience of the cis gay female->trans men fetishization & chasing, w/cis gay men & trans men.

  157. July 1, 2009 at 3:28 am

    i.e., I think A.W. was saying, if you’re a trans man who’s into dudes, then being fetishized or chased is not your issue.

  158. Drakyn
    July 1, 2009 at 3:48 am

    I don’t like jellybeans.
    Except for grass flavored ones & Nerds Jellybeans.
    (please don’t banninate me Emmy! I is just Speaking My Truth)

  159. July 1, 2009 at 4:51 am

    btw, Lina @ Loserdust has conveniently gathered many 101 links (as in, the ones that have already been written and were already conveniently available in the sidebars of QT and other findable places, so really “even more conveniently”) into one post here, inspired precisely by this comment thread.

    http://littlebitcheaper.blogspot.com/2009/06/dont-assume-right-to-101.html

  160. Hanna
    July 5, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Just want to ask people talking about health care to check their privilege in re access to health care. Most trans people don’t have access to any health care at all. Personally, I’d never even heard of the DSM before I started transition. Most of us will never see a therapist, let alone a doctor. Most of us will get our hormones off the street.

    How many people wanna bet the upcoming health care bill in the U.S. will have an explicit exemption of any kind of trans health care in it?

    Things are going to get worse before they get better.

    Grats on the guestblog score, Emily. Please, I beg of you, to be careful with your tendency towards conflation of gender and sex. Best wishes.

  161. July 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Hi! Nice to meet you.

Comments are closed.