Well, yes, but…look, you’re an asshole. I agreed with a lot of the things you were saying about transmisogyny and exclusion, and still do, but you’re an asshole.
You have one interactive setting, and it’s “ballistic.” There are reasonable arguments in favor of the ball-peen approach. Unfortunately, you also have this utter disinterest in context, collateral damage, or applying the same high standards to yourself. You say ignorant and hurtful things pretty routinely, and you don’t care.
You’ve driven a bunch of people away from the “larger NOWHC discussion” by spearheading it. You aren’t a good organizer or activist, online or offline. You make enemies, not friends. And it’s not because of your politics.
During this last discussion, I kept my feelings to myself because I didn’t want to get your back up and because I feel like a fucking heather right now. But you brought a lot of dysfunction, and it didn’t help anyone, and I don’t want to see it continue in anyone’s name.
And Voz wrote this response on her livejournal:
I have to say that this is one of the more interesting tone arguments flying around the Internet lately. And somehow, a White, non trans female woman telling a twoc that she is “too angry” is not without it’s own “dysfunction,” and certainly is not paying attention to “context” in a positive way.
As far as not helping anyone, for the first time trans women are putting together a project that centers our voices. Is publicly calling me an “asshole,” telling me what my intentions and feeling are, insinuating that I am dysfucntional, declaring what you would like to see and not see in trans female activism, and totally ignoring the larger body of what I write, and the friends I have made really an improvement?
I do not agree, and we are busy doing something. Sorry if our trans female speakout does not meet with your non trans female approval.
Which, whatever, I’ve said my bit.
But then! Someone in comments asked about my history, and Voz said this:
Piny was a wannabe FtM
Piny had an aborted transition from female to male, but was disappointed in the results, specifically her “hazelnut” sized micropenis, big breasts, and poor development which she openly described on the blog Feministe. The post is all gone now, and likely has been deleted to protect the, um, hilariously petulant.
Basically, Piny was just a trendsexual, as opposed to trans, and couldn’t cut the mustard as a man. While detransition and the freedom to experiment with one’s own body are important topics, and people deserve the freedom to explore transness without censure, Piny crosses the line continually by using her dabbling with T as an excuse to insinuate herself in all things trans as a self appointed ambassador.
The arrogance and presumptuousness you see here is the end result.
This isn’t true.
The part about how I’m not really a transsexual is absolutely true, as is the part about how detransition and bodily autonomy are important topics (which is why we should refer to those people as wannabes and trendsexuals), but these things she’s saying about me? She’s lying.
I thought at first that she’d made it up out of whole cloth, but I did find the post she apparently got all this from. It has “hazelnut” and “large breasts.” It’s still up on Feministe. Here’s the relevant passage:
You know my gynecologist felt compelled to console me over the fact that my clit is always gonna be as, ahem, easy to find as it is now? Somehow, being a little better-hung than the other ladies isn’t quite as uncomplicated a physical asset as, say, having large breasts. In fact, having a hazelnut instead of a pine nut is potentially repulsive. I’ll need to very carefully prepare my partners for the sight of my gargantuan hot button. (”It’s not a toomah!”) But no. No traditional conflict over the vag in this society, no sir!
I wrote this five months after I stopped transition. The post is me roasting some assertions about female sexuality in patriarchy. The example I use is my clit. When I transitioned back, my gynecologist made sure I understood that clitoromegaly was irreversible, as though it were sad news. A massive clit is not as pleasing as a hefty rack. When I had the latter, nobody ever offered condolences. I’ve never seen anyone recoil from its shiny pink alien head, but it’s still a noticeable change. It wasn’t a post complaining about being a man with a small penis and large breasts. It was a post complaining about being a woman with a large clit and small breasts. And it was a joke.
Voz is a smart woman. She can read. It’s also not true that the post has been taken down. I found it by tapping “hazelnut” into our search tab. (It’s the second result.) I have never deleted any re-transition post. So I think that was another lie, told to keep people from looking at my writing for themselves.
Here is a recent post detailing my appearance, about two and a half years after stopping testosterone:
These are the residual physical effects of transition, more than two years post-testosterone and nearly three years post-op. I grew extra extra hair, some of which read masculine rather than hairy. I removed that hair, and left the rest alone. The hair on my head did not thin, but my hairline adjusted a little bit. This is not noticeable to anybody but me. My voice deepened, and now sounds remarkably deep and husky for a woman’s voice. While I am frequently mistaken for a man on the phone, and told often that my voice is very low, I am not self-conscious about speaking. I am still muscular, but not in any striking way. I don’t seem unusually built for a woman. I have clitoromegaly. My breasts went from large to medium to small. I have small light liposuction scars under my armpits and at the base of my cleavage. I also have a little bit of convex liposuction scarring. When my nipples are erect, there’s a slight shaving of the curve around the nipple. Most of the time, it’s shallow enough to be completely invisible.
Here is the first re-transition post I ever wrote, about three months after stopping testosterone:
I took testosterone for a little more than two and a half years. It masculinized the hell outta me. I got muscles and hair all over the place, my face squared off, my body fat drew itself onto my belly, and my voice dropped into a male range. I stopped being allowed in the women’s room–in a city that might have the highest butch-saturation levels on the planet–more than two years ago. I passed completely and continue to pass. I’ve been ma’amed a few times since stopping–especially on a vacation I’ll have to write about–but otherwise it’s been all boy all the time.
I also had chest surgery, that is, liposuction which my surgeon described as “aggressive” to masculinize my chest. I had a male chest for several months. Now I have really small breasts and softening pecs. It’s anyone’s guess as to what my chest will look like down the road.
Right now I am feminizing, at a pace that is as reassuring as it is unsettling. My face has softened. My skin has softened. My muscles are shrinking and going soft, and my body fat is being redistributed. I’m “smaller”–I don’t have the same visual mass in my back or shoulders. My hair is growing out (this makes no difference; it looks like the coif-child of Patrick Bateman and Phil Spector, and will for some time). My face is temporarily hairless, although that’s the result of laser hair removal (extremely painful, extremely patriarchal) rather than estrogen. All of that will continue. Passing as male is already becoming more a matter of presentation and preconception and less a matter of my body.
I did not transition back because I was disappointed with my “poor development.” (Like “fully-transitioned” and “real woman,” “poor development” is understood. It means that the hormones did not make me a man but a nothing. Failure to thrive under cis standards. Nasty little piece of wordplay.) I didn’t stop because I made a poor man. I stopped because I wasn’t one. That’s not entirely beside the point. My ability to pass as a man became more important to everyone, including my doctors, than my sense of self or my sanity. I don’t know if it would have changed anything, let alone for the better. I’m confident that I would have received more scrutiny if I hadn’t been so talented at turning into a dude.
It was important when I was changing back, too. The actual posts lay this out in some detail. I didn’t dabble. I arrived. I was convinced that I would never look like a woman again. A lot of people around me, including a therapist who had overseen transitions for three decades, thought I would have a difficult journey back. They couldn’t imagine me as anything else. I was told that I would need implants, along with a hundred other large and small exogenous changes to ease my body back into girlhood.
I hate saying all of this. It’s like when you complain about fat-bashing, and they come back with, Well, you’re just an obese slob, and you wonder whether revealing your weight destroys their credibility or yours. If I had been fixated on passing, if I had those pillowy breasts or that micropenis, if I had changed back because I could not pass, and if my feelings about the whole affair could be summed up with “petulant,” I would deserve more respect than this.
But again, none of this is true.
I think Voz is lying about what I said in order to give a cruelly inaccurate impression of me. Not just to ridicule me to her audience, but also to needle me with a nasty description of my body. The emasculate cock, the gropeable tits, the histrionic climax to the farce of a sex change, the hasty retreat from failure. This is tranny-baiting. Not man enough, not woman really, you stupid cunt. If someone did this to Voz–ridiculed her body for failing to meet cis standards, projected all of that disgust into her, and then ridiculed her for shame and self-hatred–she would be furious, and she would be right.
When I called Voz an asshole, I was not making a tone argument. I was talking about this, because I am not the first person to become fair game. These are not angry things to say. They’re vile. She’s not angry. She’s dishonest, manipulative, petty, and ugly-minded. She’s an asshole.