A Place of Safety
I expect simple behaviours here. Friendship, and love.
Any advice should be from the perspective of the person asking, not the person giving!
We have had to make new membership moderated to combat the huge number of spammers who register
















You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Trans Issues
Trans Issues  [message #68824] Thu, 01 January 2015 14:33 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



I have long wondered why people persecute Trans folk. And we have now learned of a teenage girl whose parents tormented her with christianity in order to make her remain a boy, and who killed herself by use of a truck. This is not the first child to die in this manner, nor for this reason, nor will she be the last.

Other people are covering the story of her death, and well enough for us not to do so here. WHat I hope we can explore is our prejudices.

Why is Trans so difficult for some folk? Why do we need to fit people into a genital defined box. What is your reaction to Trans? Do you know someone who is? Does it affect your opinion of them as a human being? Does it affect how you act around them? Are you Trans? What does it mean to you to be Trans?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Trans Issues  [message #68826 is a reply to message #68824] Fri, 02 January 2015 11:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



One thing has struck me. If you read the usually awful Transgender section of Nifty it is clear that almost all the writers there haven't a clue what being Trans actually is. I dip in sometimes and have always wondered why I have!



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Trans Issues  [message #68827 is a reply to message #68824] Fri, 02 January 2015 11:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW   United States

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1531



Quote:
timmy wrote on Thu, 01 January 2015 14:33What is your reaction to Trans? Do you know someone who is? Does it affect your opinion of them as a human being? Does it affect how you act around them? Are you Trans?

--

I hope that my reaction to Trans people is accepting, and where necessary supportive.

I've had various long chats on a couple of gay websites with trans people, and a friend of mine is trans. He started transitioning several years ago - not easy, as he's raising two teenaged daughters (one of whom is autistic) on his own. He's had a difficult time with the parents of his kids' schoolmates not understanding. I only got to know him after he'd started hormones and had "top surgery", so there was no "before and after" for me to get used to physically, although we've talked a lot about his different experiences as a female-appearing mother and a male-appearing father. I wouldn't necessarily have started such discussions (it could come across as intrusive), but he knows I have a longstanding interest in such things dating back to courses on sex/gender roles at Uni some 35 years ago, and he seems to find me sympathetic.

As for affecting my opinion of him as a human being ... ummm ... well ... I don't think any the better of him, nor any the worse of him, because he was born in a female body. But being trans is part of the complete picture of him, and inevitably forms part of how I think of him. I suspect that he thinks of himself as "trans", whereas I  tend to think of him as a "guy" who used to have a woman's body.

As for it affecting how I act around him, well, it probably does subconsciously in some way. But I'm not aware of it doing so, which makes it rather different from a friend who's a wheel-chair user, or one with a prosthetic leg (I'm always half looking out for physical barriers to access, for example), and certainly different from being around someone who's screamingly camp, which I tend to find wearing.

Am I trans? No. In some ways I'm gender non-conformist (according to stereotypical Western views of gender roles) of course, but for the past 35 years I've self-identified as an "out gay man", and very happily so.

I think it can be really tough on the families of trans people to manage acceptance. Many are still in the state of ignorance and denial that the families of gay people were sixty or seventy years ago (and, sadly, some still are). While I don't think there are as many commonalities between the trans experience and the LGB as many assume, and I do have reservations about always grouping them as LGBT, I think that supporting and accepting trans folk is a fairly vital part of breaking down the categories into which society tends to dump people, and work towards just reacting to individual humans as we find them.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Trans Issues  [message #68829 is a reply to message #68827] Fri, 02 January 2015 12:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



"NW wrote on Fri, 02 January 2015 11:07"

... I do have reservations about always grouping them as LGBT....


--
I am in agreement that it is a separate issue, not a sub issue, nor one easy to group with LGB. but I support that rationale for including the T in LGBT. It is a minority which is not dissimilar to LGB, though shares almost no issues except those of being misunderstood and often persecuted.

My homophobic cousin, before I told him he was dead to me, used to worry in a prurient way whether our M2F cousin was gay or not because "he" has sex with men and "she" has sex with women.  So I asked the lady herself how she considered her sexuality on the simple basis that she was in the best position to judge.

"I have no idea," she said. "I just enjoy sex, and I enjoy it a bit more with ladies than with gentlemen."

We considered whether the label 'Bisexual' was appropriate and came to the conclusion that it was not. She is just a sexual being. She thinks homophobic boy is a twat, too.

Homophobic boy would disagree, because, for him, sexuality is defined by who does what and with what sort of genitalia.

[Updated on: Fri, 02 January 2015 12:39]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Trans Issues  [message #68868 is a reply to message #68824] Tue, 13 January 2015 08:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



Somehwat simplistic:



And yet somehow not.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Trans Issues  [message #68869 is a reply to message #68868] Tue, 13 January 2015 10:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolyon Lewes   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: SW England
Registered: September 2012
Messages: 58



What a very moving little film.

I know nothing about the topic it presents but watching it had me close to tears.



Jolyon
Re: Trans Issues  [message #68870 is a reply to message #68869] Tue, 13 January 2015 12:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



"Quote:"
Jolyon Lewes wrote on Tue, 13 January 2015 10:24What a very moving little film.

I know nothing about the topic it presents but watching it had me close to tears.

--
In my opinion that is the dawn of knowing even a little about it. Trans is one of those hidden things that ails folk. It is as real as arthritis, as heart disease. Yet it is not a disease, not an ailment. It is just a set of facts that are 'inconvenient' for other people and very difficult indeed for the person affected.

Consider the simple idea: Why would every mixing of genes at conception produce perfect human beings?

We know about loads of imperfectly constructed people who are born with things that beset them, almost always things we can see. Discovering as one grows into a child, then a teenager, then an adult, that one has genitalia that is inconsistent with our inner knowledge of who and what we are, this is now, at last, being recognised as something that is not a mental illness, at least in the civilised world.

Imagine being that child. Imagine looking down and wondering why you have a penis when you know you are a girl. Imagine wondering why you have a vagina when you know you are a boy.

Now imagine the despair at needing the surgeon's knife to put this right, especially after your body has gone through puberty.

And that is without even considering who will ever love you, without screaming into your pillow or crying in the rain because you can't find "the right" person attractive, and because society seems to be about to condemn you if you "get it wrong"

And then there's the humiliation of school or work and the imbeciles who think that you are in the wrong toilet, or that you are some sort of freak or pervert.

I'm glad I'm G. I cannot conceive of being T.

But I can imagine it, in my own way.

[Updated on: Tue, 13 January 2015 15:16]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Trans Issues  [message #68871 is a reply to message #68870] Tue, 13 January 2015 16:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



And T folk can be targeted for violence. The nasty little shit will spent half of his sentence in jail and will be released on licence for the remainder, if he behaves in jail



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Trans Issues  [message #69170 is a reply to message #68871] Sun, 01 March 2015 21:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



We have, of course, covered Trans issues to an extent in our stories. We have The Girl For Me, which certainly covers one element. It came here two years ago. And there is a Literary Merit thread on it

[Updated on: Sun, 01 March 2015 21:21]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Trans Issues  [message #69175 is a reply to message #68824] Tue, 03 March 2015 07:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
bisexualguy is currently offline  bisexualguy   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: United States
Registered: November 2012
Messages: 30



The Girl for Me, by Failte200,  was an excellent story. mentioned by Timmy earlier in this thread.  I had read it on another website before it appeared here, but I enjoyed reading it again here, as well.

I know one trans individual personally.  I met this person when he was supervising me and transferred into the retail place where I worked.  He has been a she for about 12 or thirteen years, and she is just as great a person now as then.  

But her path was not smooth.  After years of research, she went to Canada for the surgery to switch physically from male to female.  She said that she only received one call checking on her while she was in Canada, though she had given several persons the number before she left.  I talked to her for about half an hour, and she really appreciated that.  In the store where she had worked as a he, she said only two persons treated her the same as before she left-- myself and one female.  The rest looked at her weirdly, avoided her, talked to her as little as possible, or called her by her previous male name.

Interestingly, her pastor at that time seemed to have no problem with her becoming female,  even though he is homophobic.  Since she had gone through the surgery, he treated her as if she had always been female. 

We need to respect all forms of trans persons, wherever they are on their journey. 
Re: Trans Issues  [message #69177 is a reply to message #69175] Tue, 03 March 2015 09:23 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



"Quote:"
bisexualguy wrote on Tue, 03 March 2015 07:31The Girl for Me, by Failte200,  was an excellent story. mentioned by Timmy earlier in this thread.  I had read it on another website before it appeared here, but I enjoyed reading it again here, as well.

I know one trans individual personally.  I met this person when he was supervising me and transferred into the retail place where I worked.  He has been a she for about 12 or thirteen years, and she is just as great a person now as then.  

But her path was not smooth.  After years of research, she went to Canada for the surgery to switch physically from male to female.  She said that she only received one call checking on her while she was in Canada, though she had given several persons the number before she left.  I talked to her for about half an hour, and she really appreciated that.  In the store where she had worked as a he, she said only two persons treated her the same as before she left-- myself and one female.  The rest looked at her weirdly, avoided her, talked to her as little as possible, or called her by her previous male name.

Interestingly, her pastor at that time seemed to have no problem with her becoming female,  even though he is homophobic.  Since she had gone through the surgery, he treated her as if she had always been female. 

We need to respect all forms of trans persons, wherever they are on their journey. 

--
Meeting a person for the first time is far easier than having known them a while before they became the person they have always been. My cousin Lindy is a fine woman, now in her early fifties. She was a lovely boy, too. And, because I have known her all her life, it is sometimes hard to use the correct pronoun. The old one arrives in the mouth and escapes by accident because of long prior use. But using the prior name is offensive. That is nothing to do with long prior use. That is a determination to be contrary.

Her family of siblings is determinedly contrary. Her brother refused to allow her to attend her father;s funeral unless she was in a man's suit, something rather hard with a decent pair of breasts. Her brother is a pig ignorant shit, though Smile. Lindy is the youngest of four. One sister almost gets it, the other not so much.

Her sons still call her Dad because she actually is their dad, but that's between them. It only confuses others. I think and hope they are proud of their dad, but I have never met them, and feel it would be intrusive to ask.

I asked Lindy to my mother's funeral. I called her and asked if I was speaking to my cousin, using the original forename. Then I asked "What do you prefer to be called?" and we went from there. I asked her specifically to come, and in whatever way she felt comfortable, an awkward way of asking, but polite, something that is essential. She came, and as herself. It was the first time her sisters had ever seen her as Lindy. I think she was extremely brave. She appreciated that I had cared for her feelings. I appreciated that she came. She and my mother had always got on.

My homophobic cousin was, of course, pruriently interested and ritually disgusted. But he is a stupid man. Lindy's elder brother was and remains out of the country. He has fewer brains than homophobic boy, but was invited out of courtesy. My mother's younger but antique sister never knew the difference. She remembered the boy, she accepted the lady, probably without even understanding, but her daughter "kept her safe" form the knowledge, which I found distatseful.

[Updated on: Tue, 03 March 2015 09:26]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Previous Topic: Look! LGBT folk are just folk
Next Topic: Welcome "Matthew®"
Goto Forum: