Transgender and gender roles

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Relish in Chaos:
still thinking about how "male" and how "female" brains can be different, yet both males and females are still just as human as each other

That's pretty much due to every single brain being different.

The genders do come out with different averages but mostly there's a lot of overlap where individual differences trump gender differences.

There's a few exceptions of course which do influence the brain, such as different quantities of certain hormones, but for most things it's generally little trouble to find a man who's more 'female' than the average woman or vice versa.

an annoyed writer:

Beautiful Tragedy:

manic_depressive13:
I won't lie, I don't see how anyone can care about what genitals they have as long as they're functional. They have nothing to do with the person you are. I realise I'm probably being ignorant but I just don't understand.

At least for me, it's a sense of completeness. I was born a man, but i have, since age 5, that i was a girl. I'd just like to 100% feel and look on the outside how i have felt on the inside for 35 years.

Seconded. I may be half her age, but yeah, same situation here. Plus I'd like to travel via airliner without drawing any "special attention", if you know what I mean.

No I don't know what you mean, would you care to elaborate that?
I just can't wrap my head around why you would get "special attention" on an airliner just because you happen to be trans.

Beffudled Sheep:

I wish I could understand. I have never felt a sense of not being "complete" and have always been happy with how I was born. If you can try and explain it to me as best you can I'd appreciate it :) I also have absolutely no personal experience with a transgender person or group, all of my local LGBT groups also lack transgender representation :/

Alright, well, as I've said it's not the easiest thing to explain, but I'll damn well try.

Okay, for starters, I'm going to assume that you know that there are some principle differences between men's and women's brain chemistry: due to hormonal differences and the like. Why is this important? I'll get back to that in a bit. So the first thing that you're probably asking is how this came about: the truth is that the phenomena that creates us is actually nothing new to the world: our kind have been around for much longer than most would think(Ex: "twin soul" people in Native America, pre-colonization). It's just that the perception of us culturally has shifted to the negative as of late due to the Abrahamic religions' influences and value system.

So what is this phenomena? Right now the answers aren't quite clear, but we've generally narrowed it down to two factors that can cause such a thing: a chromosomal shift, and the results of the in-uetero chemical wash that unborn kids get in the womb. The first is simple: genetically speaking, you are simply predisposed to being a trans person. The second is a little more complex to explain: you see, during development in the womb, the fetus experiences several chemical washes, including hormonal washes. These help build the brain chemistry of the developing child: too much of one chemical, or too little of one, and the developmental process is upset and someone with a different brain chemistry than normal usually comes out. You know how I highlighted the fact that men and women have different brain chemistries? That's important here: when a person affected by these hormonal imbalances develops, they quite literally develop with the mind of one gender and the body of the other. This can have devastating consequences when untreated or opposed: an obscene amount of us have simply self-terminated due to a combination of social pressures and internal pressure. The internal pressure comes from an overhanging feeling of something feeling quite wrong about yourself: your brain is simply not wired to match the body you have. Other disorders can and will intensify this, and depression is almost guaranteed. The reason you don't feel these feelings is simple: your brain chemistry matches your physical body. Consider yourself lucky.

Anyway, to counter these adverse effects we've developed a system that generally starts with therapy, then hormone treatments, then body modification. The idea is to basically reformat the body into a form that matches our brain chemistry: while imperfect and far from the final results that we're reaching for, it's a decent start. The current system has its flaws: basically, the younger you go in, the more you'll get out of it. Start hormone treatments at 10 and you'll look indistinguishable from one of your cisgendered counterparts: only minor surgeries follow. Start later though, and you'll need more and more surgeries as each decade passes, generally speaking. Unfortunately societal pressures push the other way: transphobia is generally something that affects how we can get treatment: parents, peers, and other factors often force us into hiding, as was the case with me. That fact, combined with the general stigma of our kind generally means that even when fully transitioned we don't often mention it. That's why there isn't a whole lot of trans representation in many LGBT groups: most of us prefer to live "stealth", or quietly, only letting those closest to us know of our trans status. Also notable is the fact that other types of people in LGBT groups can be as hostile, if not more so, than straight people. I've been called a"gay man rejecting himself" before, even though my primary sexual interest isn't even men, and some rather "colorful" lesbian individuals have called me a "girly man-whore" over it.

I hope that clears up some things for you. I know it was something of a long read, but like I said the breadth of the subject warrants it. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.

Calibanbutcher:

an annoyed writer:

Beautiful Tragedy:

At least for me, it's a sense of completeness. I was born a man, but i have, since age 5, that i was a girl. I'd just like to 100% feel and look on the outside how i have felt on the inside for 35 years.

Seconded. I may be half her age, but yeah, same situation here. Plus I'd like to travel via airliner without drawing any "special attention", if you know what I mean.

No I don't know what you mean, would you care to elaborate that?
I just can't wrap my head around why you would get "special attention" on an airliner just because you happen to be trans.

Then you don't seem to be familiar with the TSA full body scanners that they have: these build a full 3D model of your body and the guards can, for all intents and purposes, see you completely naked. Some people have prejudices that get in the way of doing their jobs: imagine being a transitioning person: physically speaking you don't match their criteria of the target gender, and thus it paints a target on your head in their eyes. You know what happens when such people have poor impulse control? They assault people like me. Do you like getting your ass kicked? I don't.

well, it would be nice if we hadnt had those social gender roles. It would make the life of a lot of people easier. That would solve my problem of being transgender, but I am also transsexual. So for me to have a fullfilled sexlife, I need genitals that work in a female way. I remember the suffering the higher testosterone level and incapability to serve certain needs caused me, even the way my body was born was never disgusting to me, just not right for me.
Its also not just a physical thing, I feel more compleet the way my body is now and being able to be like that with my beloved boyfriend is something I would deeply miss.
So thanks to great german surgeons and their effort for improvement.

an annoyed writer:

Beffudled Sheep:

I wish I could understand. I have never felt a sense of not being "complete" and have always been happy with how I was born. If you can try and explain it to me as best you can I'd appreciate it :) I also have absolutely no personal experience with a transgender person or group, all of my local LGBT groups also lack transgender representation :/

*snip*

Go back a few posts for what I snipped.

No really, go see it, first wall of text I could actually be bothered to read, very interesting.

So people are born with ideas about what their body should be like?

I've heard that amputees often feel a kind of "phantom limb" do people with mind and body of different genders get something like that?

I have had discussions about this with transsexual and transgendered people.

RadioactiveMicrobe:
Is it weird that I still don't understand gender?

Like, the most I got out of it is say, a girl who doesn't like doing girly things. Which I think, "...big deal?"

manic_depressive13:

That's what baffles me. I don't know what it feels like to feel like a girl. I currently have a female body, but if I woke up tomorrow and had a male body I would of course be surprised, but then I would continue my life as if very little had changed- because in reality very little would have changed. I mean, they're just genitals, aren't they?

P.S. Thank you for taking the time to explain this to me.

I'm naturally like this. As a child, I had trouble telling if people were male or female and I didn't understand why it mattered to people. But I was under all kinds of pressure from my environment to act in a certain way (as I was a girl) that I had issues with coming to terms with being a woman. If there wouldn't have been such strict gender-roles, I would have been fine.

I've always felt that I'd be equally okay with being a guy, it doesn't matter all that much to me. had I been born to a society with extreme gender-roles, maybe I would have grown up to be totally transsexual? Who knows.

I believe that there are different levels of trans-people. Some would have always felt that there was something wrong with their body, some have biological predisposition for it that is affected by the environment, and how bad it becomes.

But there are definitely people who feel there is something wrong with their bodies. I have talked to transsexuals who have told me how they only felt like themselves after starting the hormone-therapy, or how they'd alway felt like there was something wrong with their body.

But strict gender-roles will definitely make the life more difficult to those who don't fit into them, and make it more difficult to tell what the root problem is, and to deal with it.

an annoyed writer:
That's why there isn't a whole lot of trans representation in many LGBT groups: most of us prefer to live "stealth", or quietly, only letting those closest to us know of our trans status. Also notable is the fact that other types of people in LGBT groups can be as hostile, if not more so, than straight people. I've been called a"gay man rejecting himself" before, even though my primary sexual interest isn't even men, and some rather "colorful" lesbian individuals have called me a "girly man-whore" over it.

LGBT-groups I hang out with are welcoming to trans-sexual people as well, so depends on the group. Those I'm familiar with more define themselves as groups for any kind of people who don't feel like they fit to the hetero-mold.

I think the probelm with transpeople dealing with homo-sexuals comes from the difference in their problems. Transsexual people are sick, gays are told they are sick.
So a lot of the kind of support gay-people need, being told it's okay to be the way they are, will only annoy or anger transsexual people. And it doesn't help either that a lot of people don't seem to know the difference between transsexuals and homosexuals. (Including people who struggle with problems like this, it's not like they will automatically know 'I'm gay', or 'I'm trassexual', you need time to figure that out, everyone needs time to figure out their sexuality when they're growing up.)

I can't count the times I've been told "sometimes a soul/mind ends up in a wrong body" as an explanation to homosexuality, and for some reason, some people consider it wrong for people to love the same sex, but not if one of them is actually transsexual. And even point out to bi-sexuals and transsexuals as an argument against gay-rights.

But taking that frustration out on transsexual people is obviously wrong.
Similarly, in my experience, transsexual people can be hostile to gays who are just trying to help, and some gays would just rather be in a group where they can be away from problems transsexual people bring with them.

Quite a lot of problems come from people not understand each other.

Also LGBT-groups can feel being under stress from the society and turn against those that they feel will be harmful to their rights, which is generally sad to see.

I am not sure because I am not a transgender, nor have I wanted to be one, but I think even if you are not transgender many people can feel like they are in the wrong body.
Gender roles can add to the discomfort and if any procedures can help them match the inside with the outside, then I think it worth doing.

Coppernerves:

an annoyed writer:

Beffudled Sheep:

I wish I could understand. I have never felt a sense of not being "complete" and have always been happy with how I was born. If you can try and explain it to me as best you can I'd appreciate it :) I also have absolutely no personal experience with a transgender person or group, all of my local LGBT groups also lack transgender representation :/

*snip*

See previous post for what I snipped.

No really, go see it, first wall of text I could actually be bothered to read, very interesting.

So people are born with ideas about what their body should be like?

I've heard that amputees often feel a kind of "phantom limb" do people with mind and body of different genders get something like that?

Pretty much, yeah. That feeling is something of a comparable phenomena. The original body's dimensions feel awkward to someone who is afflicted with Gender Identity Disorder: the more in-line the physical form can be brought to with the mental "blueprint", the better. Most people don't feel it due to their minds and bodies matching their established "blueprint".

an annoyed writer:

Calibanbutcher:

an annoyed writer:

Seconded. I may be half her age, but yeah, same situation here. Plus I'd like to travel via airliner without drawing any "special attention", if you know what I mean.

No I don't know what you mean, would you care to elaborate that?
I just can't wrap my head around why you would get "special attention" on an airliner just because you happen to be trans.

Then you don't seem to be familiar with the TSA full body scanners that they have: these build a full 3D model of your body and the guards can, for all intents and purposes, see you completely naked. Some people have prejudices that get in the way of doing their jobs: imagine being a transitioning person: physically speaking you don't match their criteria of the target gender, and thus it paints a target on your head in their eyes. You know what happens when such people have poor impulse control? They assault people like me. Do you like getting your ass kicked? I don't.

So it's not the airliner but rather airport security.
That one I can get my head around, but the airliner part had my wondering if maybe you get special meals or drinks or some sort of secret handshake in-flight.

Joking aside:
It sucks that the TSA doesn't seem to be ready, willing and able to do their jobs properly and rather decides to go against those who are different.

(And to answer your question: I do not particularly enjoy getting my ass kicked in a public setting)

Calibanbutcher:

So it's not the airliner but rather airport security.
That one I can get my head around, but the airliner part had my wondering if maybe you get special meals or drinks or some sort of secret handshake in-flight.

Joking aside:
It sucks that the TSA doesn't seem to be ready, willing and able to do their jobs properly and rather decides to go against those who are different.

(And to answer your question: I do not particularly enjoy getting my ass kicked in a public setting)

I'm glad to have cleared that up for you. And to be clear: the TSA may not be responsible for the discrimination in of itself: it's the employees it hires, and their individual viewpoints influence on how they work. You can make all of the rules and regulations in the world, but the truth is that bullies are going to be bullies. Luckily in most sanely handled cases their poor impulse control is punished in some way. Unfortunately we've yet to come to an ideal situation in regards to that.

an annoyed writer:
the TSA may not be responsible for the discrimination in of itself: it's the employees it hires, and their individual viewpoints influence on how they work. You can make all of the rules and regulations in the world, but the truth is that bullies are going to be bullies. Luckily in most sanely handled cases their poor impulse control is punished in some way. Unfortunately we've yet to come to an ideal situation in regards to that.

Airport security can be kind of...
I'm sure a lot of them are very good people, but it's always the ones who let the power get to their heads who you remember.
Just ask anyone who even looks like an arab or has a name similar to that...
But, to play Devil's advocate, they are expected to find stuff that's out of the norm, and they might not necessarily realise what they're looking at.
Maybe they think what they're seeing could be a bomb, or something, I'm not sure how something like wrapping your breasts might look like on the scanner.

I think there's a risk of becoming paranoid if you face persecution and start seeing things that aren't there. I know it has happeed to me. I have been assaulted for being gay, among other things, and when people are jerks to me, I have to wonder, whether they're being jerks to me because of what I am, or just because they're jerks to everyone. Or have legitimate reasons.

an annoyed writer:

Calibanbutcher:

an annoyed writer:

Seconded. I may be half her age, but yeah, same situation here. Plus I'd like to travel via airliner without drawing any "special attention", if you know what I mean.

No I don't know what you mean, would you care to elaborate that?
I just can't wrap my head around why you would get "special attention" on an airliner just because you happen to be trans.

Then you don't seem to be familiar with the TSA full body scanners that they have: these build a full 3D model of your body and the guards can, for all intents and purposes, see you completely naked. Some people have prejudices that get in the way of doing their jobs: imagine being a transitioning person: physically speaking you don't match their criteria of the target gender, and thus it paints a target on your head in their eyes. You know what happens when such people have poor impulse control? They assault people like me. Do you like getting your ass kicked? I don't.

Thats awful, I was trying to figure out why it would be a problem until I saw your post. It honestly didn't occur to me that a government agency would behave like that, I figured there would be rules on equality and that a government agency has no right to tell anyone what clothes they should be wearing. You must face so many issues in life like this, I cannot imagine how tough it must be at times.

Edit

an annoyed writer:
And to be clear: the TSA may not be responsible for the discrimination in of itself: it's the employees it hires, and their individual viewpoints influence on how they work. You can make all of the rules and regulations in the world, but the truth is that bullies are going to be bullies. Luckily in most sanely handled cases their poor impulse control is punished in some way. Unfortunately we've yet to come to an ideal situation in regards to that.

Read this, so its down to individuals instead of the agency as a whole. Still a problem you are left to deal with though, its still unpleasant when the bigots manage to behave themselves but you can feel the hatred coming off them.

J Tyran:

an annoyed writer:

Then you don't seem to be familiar with the TSA full body scanners that they have: these build a full 3D model of your body and the guards can, for all intents and purposes, see you completely naked. Some people have prejudices that get in the way of doing their jobs: imagine being a transitioning person: physically speaking you don't match their criteria of the target gender, and thus it paints a target on your head in their eyes. You know what happens when such people have poor impulse control? They assault people like me. Do you like getting your ass kicked? I don't.

Thats awful, I was trying to figure out why it would be a problem until I saw your post. It honestly didn't occur to me that a government agency would behave like that, I figured there would be rules on equality and that a government agency has no right to tell anyone what clothes they should be wearing. You must face so many issues in life like this, I cannot imagine how tough it must be at times.

Edit

an annoyed writer:
And to be clear: the TSA may not be responsible for the discrimination in of itself: it's the employees it hires, and their individual viewpoints influence on how they work. You can make all of the rules and regulations in the world, but the truth is that bullies are going to be bullies. Luckily in most sanely handled cases their poor impulse control is punished in some way. Unfortunately we've yet to come to an ideal situation in regards to that.

Read this, so its down to individuals instead of the agency as a whole. Still a problem you are left to deal with though, its still unpleasant when the bigots manage to behave themselves but you can feel the hatred coming off them.

It is an unfortunate consequence of my existence, and it's not going to change anytime soon. Luckily there is hope: Change will come if we will it, and having open discussions like this thread really help. Like I've said before, I'd be happy to provide answers to any questions regarding the subject. I can't speak for all, but I can provide a decent snapshot of what goes on with us and how things affect the average trans person.

Lieju:

LGBT-groups I hang out with are welcoming to trans-sexual people as well, so depends on the group. Those I'm familiar with more define themselves as groups for any kind of people who don't feel like they fit to the hetero-mold.

I think the probelm with transpeople dealing with homo-sexuals comes from the difference in their problems. Transsexual people are sick, gays are told they are sick.
So a lot of the kind of support gay-people need, being told it's okay to be the way they are, will only annoy or anger transsexual people. And it doesn't help either that a lot of people don't seem to know the difference between transsexuals and homosexuals. (Including people who struggle with problems like this, it's not like they will automatically know 'I'm gay', or 'I'm trassexual', you need time to figure that out, everyone needs time to figure out their sexuality when they're growing up.)

I can't count the times I've been told "sometimes a soul/mind ends up in a wrong body" as an explanation to homosexuality, and for some reason, some people consider it wrong for people to love the same sex, but not if one of them is actually transsexual. And even point out to bi-sexuals and transsexuals as an argument against gay-rights.

But taking that frustration out on transsexual people is obviously wrong.
Similarly, in my experience, transsexual people can be hostile to gays who are just trying to help, and some gays would just rather be in a group where they can be away from problems transsexual people bring with them.

Quite a lot of problems come from people not understand each other.

Also LGBT-groups can feel being under stress from the society and turn against those that they feel will be harmful to their rights, which is generally sad to see.

You hit it the nail right on the head there with the point that there's a lack of understanding that the issues my kind face are different from those that homosexuals and bisexuals face. the problem is that everyone always assumes, and it doesn't help anyone. The group that I saw lacked the cohesion and capability of being able to discuss the problems and s a result it wasn't exactly the most successful group out there. I decided I wanted none of that poisonous atmosphere and left. I'm glad my experiences don't speak for all.

I have a very hard time considering the subject to be honest as it requires I start from a proposition I simply cannot accept. In my case it would be "I should not be male". I can say that, but there is no known power in the world that would make me believe it. The closest I've come to any sort of consensus is simply that, no matter how far you take the procedure, you won't ever actually be the gender you self identify and as a result I take mild offense when someone attempts to officially identify as something other than their actual gender.

But, as I said to start, I can't come to a cogent opinion on the subject in general simply because I cannot place myself in a situation where I can understand. It's like trying to cook with coconut - I simply can't do it because I have no idea what the hell makes people think that vial stuff is meant for human consumption.

an annoyed writer:

Lieju:
snip for length

You hit it the nail right on the head there with the point that there's a lack of understanding that the issues my kind face are different from those that homosexuals and bisexuals face. the problem is that everyone always assumes, and it doesn't help anyone. The group that I saw lacked the cohesion and capability of being able to discuss the problems and s a result it wasn't exactly the most successful group out there. I decided I wanted none of that poisonous atmosphere and left. I'm glad my experiences don't speak for all.

It is sad that one of the groups you think would have had enough understanding to educate themselves before acting like bigots treated you that way. I am not that well educated about the issues and challenges you face in life or even the reasons you are who you are but even I know its nothing to do with sexuality and its about gender, although I am guessing sexuality is another layer added on top and mixed in with all the other issues too.

Eclectic Dreck:
The closest I've come to any sort of consensus is simply that, no matter how far you take the procedure, you won't ever actually be the gender you self identify and as a result I take mild offense when someone attempts to officially identify as something other than their actual gender.

I don't understand. Why would you take offense when it doesn't directly affect you in any way?

Uhura:

Eclectic Dreck:
The closest I've come to any sort of consensus is simply that, no matter how far you take the procedure, you won't ever actually be the gender you self identify and as a result I take mild offense when someone attempts to officially identify as something other than their actual gender.

I don't understand. Why would you take offense when it doesn't directly affect you in any way?

It is a statement that I see as being untrue. Biologically, hell, genetically at the least, you are whatever gender you are. That is not mutable. Introducing yourself as something other than what you are because that's what you think you are makes the entire purpose of identifying a gender largely meaningless.

It's the sort of offense you take if someone says "the sky is purple". Basically, I'm rejecting the proposition because the fundamental idea is alien to me.

Lieju:
I think the probelm with transpeople dealing with homo-sexuals comes from the difference in their problems. Transsexual people are sick, gays are told they are sick.
So a lot of the kind of support gay-people need, being told it's okay to be the way they are, will only annoy or anger transsexual people. And it doesn't help either that a lot of people don't seem to know the difference between transsexuals and homosexuals. (Including people who struggle with problems like this, it's not like they will automatically know 'I'm gay', or 'I'm trassexual', you need time to figure that out, everyone needs time to figure out their sexuality when they're growing up.)

IMHO, it's often much simpler than that. Lots of straight people are horribly transphobic, lots of gay people are horribly transphobic the exact same way.

A lot of people say they understand being oppressed for X because they've been oppressed for Y, and there's some truth in that. But then a lot of people angry with oppression are only angry with the oppression that they personally suffer for, and are willing to ignore or join in with the oppression of others.

Relish in Chaos:

Well, to be honest, I think it's hormones rather than chromosomes (I don't think medical science is technologically developed enough yet to change that) that determines your gender...or sex. Whatever (I know the difference between them, but it's all about matching them up, right?).

While various physical and mental aspects are affected by hormones, the genetic component is what drives the production of those hormones. And given that correcting for that requires (at least my understanding asserts this) a regular regimen of drugs to essentially introduce a different chemical state than your body would produce of it's own accord, it seems the genetic component is especially important.

Beyond all of that, there are various physiological considerations but my knowledge of that are is sadly incomplete save for the fact that I've seen plenty of people who easily pass for the gender they identify as.

Relish in Chaos:

Also, why would you take "mild offence"? If they believe themselves to be whatever gender, then the only option you should take is to treat them with respect, and not act like a jerk, say, "Once a dude, always a dude, 'cos of chromosomes, hurr hurr!", and make an innocent person feel like shit. It's just as bad as people denying bisexuality, because "you have to be one or the other".

Taking offense and lacking tact are two very different things. That I don't like that identification for what amount to entirely silly sentiments doesn't enter into the fact that their decision doesn't affect me in the slightest.

Relish in Chaos:

Can I say that I take "mild offence" at your "mild offence", because you're coming across as a not-so-latent bigot right now? But "ignorance is bliss", etc.

You are free to take offense. Of course, then you and I end up in a bit of a circular cycle of offense taking wherein you take offense because you disagree with my statement regarding reactions based on personal perception based upon the same criteria.

The only way gender should matter is the biological way; i.e. only your biological gender should determine if you're male, female or hermaphrodite. Social gender - i.e. gender roles - are completely bloody useless.

Say that you're quite buff, you drink beer and you talk in a loud, deep voice, you wear pants and you like sports. This is typical "masculine" behaviour but it does not automatically mean that you're a male of the species Homo Sapiens: this is (in any sane society) perfectly acceptable behaviour for a woman as well. You are only to be defined as male or female (or neither) by your genitalia.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQvnZOR_oIk

Your biological gender DOES matter in matters of medicine and certain neurological behaviours can be linked to gender as well. However, if you let your gender define you as a person... well, aren't you just a bit of a fucking bore? Call that a personality, you shallow person?

Now, those are my thoughts. Hope it wasn't offensive to anyone.

thaluikhain:

Lieju:
I think the probelm with transpeople dealing with homo-sexuals comes from the difference in their problems. Transsexual people are sick, gays are told they are sick.
So a lot of the kind of support gay-people need, being told it's okay to be the way they are, will only annoy or anger transsexual people. And it doesn't help either that a lot of people don't seem to know the difference between transsexuals and homosexuals. (Including people who struggle with problems like this, it's not like they will automatically know 'I'm gay', or 'I'm trassexual', you need time to figure that out, everyone needs time to figure out their sexuality when they're growing up.)

IMHO, it's often much simpler than that. Lots of straight people are horribly transphobic, lots of gay people are horribly transphobic the exact same way.

A lot of people say they understand being oppressed for X because they've been oppressed for Y, and there's some truth in that. But then a lot of people angry with oppression are only angry with the oppression that they personally suffer for, and are willing to ignore or join in with the oppression of others.

There's some truth to that, but when people don't understand each other, even honest attempts to help can end up offending.
Part of the problem is lumping transsexuals together with gays and bisexuals. It's not the same thing, and solutions offered for others (like seeking medical help) can be horribly offending to others.

In my experience, opressed people can turn on other opressed people because they are scared that assosiating with them will end up harming them.
For example, some gays dislike bisexuals because they are afraid that they will be used to support an argument that gays can be 'cured', or to deny things like gay-marriage. Which happens, but you should be mad with idiots making such claims, rather than bisexuals themselves.

Eclectic Dreck:
[quote="Uhura" post="18.398381.16295739"]It is a statement that I see as being untrue. Biologically, hell, genetically at the least, you are whatever gender you are. That is not mutable. Introducing yourself as something other than what you are because that's what you think you are makes the entire purpose of identifying a gender largely meaningless.

It's the sort of offense you take if someone says "the sky is purple". Basically, I'm rejecting the proposition because the fundamental idea is alien to me.

This is somewhat how I feel.

The issue especially becomes evident in the realm of sports, where there is a line drawn between male and female participants. If I recall correctly there was a champion athlete (100/200m sprint I think) who stirred up controversy when "she" was actually found to be a "he". A lot of people agreed that it didn't matter whether the guy believed he was a woman and had gone as far as gender surgery, his body/muscles still had the physical performance capability of a man (i.e. superior than a woman) and that shit was simply not acceptable. The boundaries could keep getting pushed until whole groups of men claiming to be women started applying for female events leaving actual females in the dust, and rendering the whole purpose of gender segregation in sports pointless. Forget opening a can of worms, that would be like opening a can of black-hole singularities.

Even our brains (by which I mean most "normal" brains) are incredibly hard-wired to subconsciously associate EVERY person we meet with their gender first. Age is a close second, but gender always comes first. Even when talking on the phone we first identify the voice as male or female. Most people WILL look twice if they notice a person whom they can't immediately identify as male or female, it will send a whole bunch of confused messages to their head - they don't know the person, they probably will never see them again, but the brain still needs the question to be answered...it's quite an interesting phenomenon :P

I'm a woman myself, and quite comfotable with it but my childhood friend came out as transsexual about one and a half year ago so while I don't have any experience I have at least a close friend to look to for it. Here's what I've gathered from growing up with her-soon-to-be-him.

The gender role, social gender, giryness, manliness or whatever you call it, the social binary code we use to define male and female personalities are compleatly and fully irrelevant if you are transexual. Becuase that's all about how you act, it's in your head.

The physical gender, that's what matters here. Looking at yourself and thinking "this is me", being able to feel/look like you think you where supposed to.

So. The concept of male and female roles has no real inpact on trangender-oriented people, in the same way manly and femenine have no inpact on your sexuality. A lot of people might think it does, but these people can call a pear an apple and still be as correct. So, I believe transgender people will still feel like their bodies are... incomplete, for want of a better word, even if we lived in a society where we where all refered to as humans, without drawing attention to how this human looks.

And to all of you trans people in this thread (and elsewhere), you all deserve a big pat on the back for going through your lives as you want. Takes some real courage, no matter how accepting people around you might be. :)

an annoyed writer:
snip

So it is a biological issue then? Okay that was the part I was most confused about. I was under the assumption (due to lack of contact, explanation and decent research) that it wasn't a biological issue at all and more of a purely mental one. Thank you for taking the time to explain I actually understand the whole thing a lot more now.

Another thing I don't understand (and never want to) is the hatred and discrimination that gets thrown towards transgender people :/
People suck... Well I just know that I'll be campaigning for your (as well as the other facets of the LGBT movement) rights to live as you wish without the discrimination and other social stigmas getting thrown in your face. I hate discrimination...

And this is a bit of a personal question and you don't have to answer if you don't want to but... How does sex feel for both you and your partner? Unpleasant, different, more or less the same?

Thank you for taking the time :)
Oh and don't worry about long reads haha, I'm the type that reads War and Peace for fun xD

Rawne1980:

Beautiful Tragedy:

I was born a man

That must have been one painful birth....

Get it? You said man and not baby meaning fully grown...

It was a funny...

No?

Okay, i'll be leaving then.....

oh i'm gonna slap you! or rather i would but you'd like it ;P

adding an edit here (as i have skimmed the rest of the thread)

gender roles have NOTHING to do with my decision to fix my birth defect. My brain is feminine, my body WAS masculine, I am just trying to align them the best i can. I found a fascinating article the other day i will try and find it for people having difficulty understanding.

Its pretty simple really. In a world where gender roles are completely broken down, we'd still have Gender Identify Disorder. We might not have other Transgener groups like cross dresseres (because their would be no real differnation between what is considered male and female choltes beyond the way its cut), but we'd definitely have Transexuals. Its hard hard thing to convey to people in an age where "artificial beauty" is so chastised, but when you look good you feel good, and you if you look like the opposite sex in your mind, you don't feel good. For transsexuals its pretty fundamental, for other trans people its a wide range of things so it depends. Thats the best I can explain it.

thaluikhain:
This happens to be a major point for Radical Feminists.

Most RadFems seem to be absurdly transphobic for various reasons, most charitably because the idea of transgenderism is based on the gender binary. OTOH, Dworkin[1] simply believed that once the gender binary was done away with, there'd be no need for transgenderism. IMHO, that's probably an over-simplification (radical feminism is often a bit myopic like that), but nobody can really say for sure.

Is she the same one that said the only reason Transsexuality exists was so men could rape women in female only spaces like public bathrooms? And that Trans people are supported by the patriarchy? Anti-trans feminism says some pretty crazy things, hell one of the prominent ones believed that FtM transsexuals where just a myth.

[1] Who was very influential amongst radfems, and is notable outside them for being the feminist that you say said something awful when you want to discredit feminism. It's always her for some reason

that was quick! I found it

http://www.cristanwilliams.com/b/2013/01/11/the-missing-link-gender-orientation/

also, it's not gender identity disorder anymore...it's not Gender Disphoria. changes in the DMS V

I do agree gender is a social construct. Personally I am not trans*though I do know a few people on here who are. Greatest people ever. Me personally? Well according to my 'scapist profile I am female. But I change that depending on how I've been mostly feeling. I'm genderfluid. I am neither male nor female all the time. Sometimes I am more one than the other. Other times I am more the other. And then there are times when I am just there. I am neither male nor female. I am just me. And as I get discriminated a lot because I typically present myself as female and I tend to gravitate towards more "male" types of jobs. Because I am good at them. But I get told I can't because I'm female. Or because I don't have this or that to cover up the blatant sexist discrimination that I can sue people for. I think the world would be a lot better if we let people define what they feel they are without any pressure and have no more gender roles period. But that's me living in my fantasy world again...

Personally though from what I understand about trans* people is that THEY feel incomplete themselves. It doesn't always necessarily have something to do with society on why they do/don't transition. It is a huge decision to make and their decision of course. All society does is just make them feel even more inadequate. I could be completely wrong about that but from the ones I've talked to that is the general feeling I've gotten and a few have actually flat out said so. I've been thinking for a while that society needs a huge re-vamp on their feelings as a whole. But again me living in my fantasy world again in which discrimination, racism, bullying, and all that other bull shit doesn't exist and the world itself doesn't exist outside of my head.

Eclectic Dreck:

Uhura:

Eclectic Dreck:
The closest I've come to any sort of consensus is simply that, no matter how far you take the procedure, you won't ever actually be the gender you self identify and as a result I take mild offense when someone attempts to officially identify as something other than their actual gender.

I don't understand. Why would you take offense when it doesn't directly affect you in any way?

It is a statement that I see as being untrue. Biologically, hell, genetically at the least, you are whatever gender you are. That is not mutable. Introducing yourself as something other than what you are because that's what you think you are makes the entire purpose of identifying a gender largely meaningless.

It's the sort of offense you take if someone says "the sky is purple". Basically, I'm rejecting the proposition because the fundamental idea is alien to me.

To be honest, I wouldn't give a shit if I knew someone who genuinely believed that the sky is purple. But don't compare the two. I mean, it's not as if there's any known disorder that makes someone believe the sky to be a different colour than it is.

"Offence" is an odd word to describe something that doesn't even affect you.

J Tyran:

Thats awful, I was trying to figure out why it would be a problem until I saw your post. It honestly didn't occur to me that a government agency would behave like that, I figured there would be rules on equality and that a government agency has no right to tell anyone what clothes they should be wearing. You must face so many issues in life like this, I cannot imagine how tough it must be at times.

I'm glad I haven't had to deal with TSA when I fly.

I flew twice when I was still pre-op and fully living as female, but I didn't have any problems, I think it was only because of where I was flying to and from. Both times I was flying from Montreal (Canada) to London (England) and back. The only comment I had was when leaving Montreal the first time, the check in person looked at my passport and said "This says female, was that a mistake?" (My passport had my current photo), I just responded "I'm working on it", got back an "Oh, okay", and checked me in. Every other time I showed my ID there wasn't even a flicker of "Huh, what'?" in the eyes of the person looking at them. I just don't think a lot of them even bother looking at the sex marker on an ID most of the time?

I'm glad though that for the flights I didn't have to go through a full body scanner. (I don't even know if Montreal has any, maybe for the american bound flights? They're in a different section that the rest of the international flights)

Nice to see you had no problems, the TSA do seem to be the bane of any traveler that flies to or out of the US but even more so for things that should be private or treated with understanding.

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