in Community

The Problem of Evidence for TS Separatists

Views: 9689

I recently did a 2-part article for the Bilerico Project on Trans History and how it is relevant to some of the debates taking place on the internet over language . Starting off the article I noted:

Additionally, I’ve noticed that there are a number of distinct arguments going on. They seem to be blending together in a way that makes meaningful discussions about this topic somewhat difficult. For example, one person might raise an issue of taxonomy — what do we call ourselves? — only to have it attacked on the basis of identity. From what I’ve seen, there are no less than five debates going on concerning this word and the idea of community. (Note: when I use the term “non-cisgender,” I refer to people who, in the broadest possible sense, identify as gender variant in some way, shape or form.)

1. Taxonomy debate: Should we group together people of a non-cisgender history, experience and/or expression? Would a word other than “transgender” be more useful? If so, would we still have people who are not happy with a new taxonomy?

2. Identity debate: Is it useful that transsexuals – or any constituent group member – should experience pressure to cease identifying as such, and instead only identify as being the generalized taxonomy (e.g., transgender, gender-variant)?

3. Historical Context debate: Is it historically accurate to claim that there was nothing analogous to the “transgender community” in the 1970s and 80s? Is it historically accurate to claim that, prior to the 1990s, transsexuals of the 1970s and 80s did not self-identify as transgender? Can we say that transsexuals identify as “transgender” nowadays because they were forcibly assimilated by non-transsexuals? Was working together as a community of diverse constituents seen as being useful in the 1970s and 80s?

4. Cultural Context debate: In the 1970s and 80s, what did the medical community mean when they used the word “transgender”? Did the non-medical community understand the term “transgender” in the same way? Might the use of this term by non-trans people have contributed to the way our American culture currently uses this term?

5. Usefulness debate: Is working together as a community of diverse constituents useful today?

This article will only briefly touch on two of the above five arguments currently taking place within the community: the Cultural Context and the Historical Context arguments. The first is addressed in this Part I, and the second will be addressed in a later post. My goal isn’t to push any specific belief system. Rather, my goal is to simply add to the available historical record and to invite you to think about its implications.

That last little piece is important because a lot of the arguing surrounding the Historical Context and Cultural Context debates arise from certain assertions some separatists tend to make:

  • “I strongly resent the fact that so many women of transsexual history are treated as something other than women as a direct result of this “trans” and “transgender” labeling.”
  • “Forcing men and women of transsexual history into LGBT and TG against their will resulting in a third gender treatment is a form of misgendering and bigotry.”
  • “We are deliberately being co-opted, plain and simple. Both you and Cristan have been talking down to me as well. I know what’s going on. I’m not dumb.”

And here’s a sampling of the way some separatists dealt with being asked to cite objective evidence supporting their position:

  • “@Christan…I don’t see how you seem to require that we prove anything. This is how we see it from our perspective and that should be good enough, since so many state the same position… If you haven’t listened to us in the past why would we think you would listen to us now? I don’t understand how you could or why you would make this some kind of “requirement”, just to be heard. I can scream loud.”
  • “What she was doing was very similar to the way abusers usually try to convince their victims that they have no escape, no alternative, that no one will believe them, that the abuser knows and has power with all the people in authority, that everyone else will be on the side of the abuser and will just ridicule the victim, etc., etc..”
  • “The whole basis of this original article is a deceptive argument designed to use history to prove that transsexuals are now part of the transgender umbrella. Despite the fact that many of us oppose this you demand us to show you facts that aren’t even relevant. If I tell a significant other I do not want to go out to eat tonight but would prefer to eat at home I’m not required to provide multi-sourced evidence to prove why I don’t want to go to a restaurant. Likewise, we don’t owe you anything either.”
  • “You tell people they may only say how they see things if they meet your conditions. You are asserting that you control their freedom of expression and identity.”

Now, lets review a point I made in a previous post:

I’ve taken some heat because I dared to say that in order for me – or people like me – to give the separatist position some serious consideration, we will need to be able to review the objective evidence that supports their claims. Here’s my last response in the tread:

Despite the fact that many of us oppose this you demand us to show you facts that aren’t even relevant.

Well, no; actually what I said was there’s either unsubstantiated assertions/premises or ones that are substantiated. I’ve only pointed out that – for whatever your reasons – you’ve consistently chosen to not substantiate your assertions/premises.

What I have said – repeatedly – is that in order for me to view your assertions/premises as being credible, you’ll need to simply substantiate them with objective evidence.

Again, let me once again refer you to this comic strip to illustrate my point about evidence and assertions of fact: http://www.cristanwilliams.com/b/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/logic.png

 

If I tell a significant other I do not want to go out to eat tonight but would prefer to eat at home I’m not required to provide multi-sourced evidence to prove why I don’t want to go to a restaurant.

Can’t you see the differences between a personal preference and the fact statements you’ve consistently made? The following is a truth statement and not a statement of personal preference: “We are asking you to stop co-opting us.”

Either the transsexual community is being co-opted or it isn’t. Your preference and/or subjective opinion has nothing to do with the objective fact. Without providing objective evidence to support your assertion, you’ve not provided your audience with what we need to take your assertion seriously. I mean, without evidence, I can assert that there is no co-opting going on, that you’re mistaken and have only upset yourself needlessly. Without evidence, you should not regard my statement as being the gospel truth; without evidence, I should not regard your statement as being the gospel truth either. This is why objective evidence is important.

Let me give you another example: Either “transgender” was created by Virginia Prince from her 1978 term “transgenderist” or it wasn’t. My preference and opinion has no bearing on what the objective truth is. Either the word “transgender” was used before Prince came up with the term “transgenderist” or it wasn’t. If it was used prior to Prince’s term, then Prince didn’t coin the term “transgender”. The question is about an objective truth, not my personal opinions.

 

We do not accept being co-opted into the transgender umbrella. We are asking you to stop co-opting us.

Can you now see that the above statement is an assertion of fact and not an assertion of personal preference? Either you are being co-opted or you aren’t and the only way to know that is to present the objective evidence because people’s opinions can be mistaken. It’s possible that I am mistaken and that you’re right. However, without the objective evidence, one cannot truly draw a reasoned, evidence-based conclusion. A conclusion drawn without supporting evidence is just an opinion. Do you understand? I have nothing against you or your position; I’m only asking to see the evidence that backs up your assertions of fact so that I have an opportunity to draw a reasoned conclusion.

 

That is why this is a sophism. You are using false arguments to allegedly prove your agenda. Guess what? It isn’t working.

Either I’ve written the above paragraph as a crafty effort to make you think that you must now identify as being transgender or I’ve not. If I have, then you’re right; it’s a sophism. However, if you’re mistaken, then your incorrect perspective is getting in the way of meaningful dialogue. Which is it? There’s only one objective truth. I’m either trying to assimilate you into the borg (Swedish Chef: “borg-borg-borg”) or I’m trying to actually engage you. Either I’m really deceitful and don’t care about your position or I would like the opportunity to be able to draw an educated conclusion about your position.

borg-borg-borg

“… borg-borg-borg”

So why the Swedish Chef? It seems that my fact-checking articles have inspired some separatists to officially declare me a Borg:

image

The above attempt at what seems to be intimidation is just silly and it should be given an appropriate level of seriousness from readers. Therefore, when you read the word “Borg” in reference to the trans community, it should now and forevermore be read in the Swedish Chef’s voice.

2013 NOTE:  The TS Separatist who wrote the above has issued an apology and is no longer a TS Separatist.

Who the hell publishes a hit list for trolling you might ask? Well, I’m guessing the same sort of people who write things like this:

image

A while back, two of us got together and formed an internet group.  We formed with just one premise, i.e., to speak individually, but as one voice, in challenging the transgender at every opportunity.  We don’t sit around writing endless narrative.  We don’t sit around quoting the latest research.  We are coordinated. We act.  We respond.  And, we do so consistently, persistently, and reasonably.  Our group is growing and we’ve succeeded in shutting down threads spouting TG non-sense.  When someone’s name is brought up for membership in our group their position on the gender debate is discussed in depth.  Each of us come from different spheres of internet experience, all of which are related to the gender debate.  Once we decide amongst ourselves if there is someone out there of whom might share our position we approach them…present a little information, ask if they think they might be interested in joining.  Some have accepted.  Some have declined.  Most have not been asked to join.  All of us share one thing in common:  a sense of loyalty and unity in our quest to speak with one voice to the transgender.  If one of us goes at someone, we all go at them.  If someone attacks one of us, they may as well attack each and every one of us.  We know who our allies are…and aren’t… for sure.

- Susan

All of this sound and fury is as intellectually uninteresting as it is unnecessary. All I’m asking is to be able to have a chance to look at the objective evidence separatists apparently have so that I have an opportunity to make an informed conclusion concerning their various assertions. Over the past month, I’ve become increasingly skeptical of their claims because when I’ve investigated them for myself, I’ve found that the evidence does not…

There is a truth to be known about the above; they’re either fact-based assertions or they are not.  None of the above claims made via the above links are assertions of opinion; they touted as being absolute truth. If they are true, it is vitally important that all trans folk know about the facts. If they are not true and one is intellectually honest, these beliefs should be immediately abandoned. Truth claims are easily proven by objective evidence.

  • Either Virginia Prince should be credited for coining the term “transgender” in 1978 or the word was in use years before 1978 by people who were not Virginia Prince.
  • Either there has been an inclusive trans community for the last 40+ years or their hasn’t.
  • Either the term “Transgender Community” was used in it’s modern form years before Leslie Feinberg’s pamphlets and books were published or it wasn’t.
  • The transsexual community was colonized by non-transsexuals or it wasn’t.
  • Either a new term/acronym is different from the word “transgender” or it isn’t.

Falsifiability is like a bedrock for reasoned thinking. Since many separatists seem – for whatever reason – to refuse to put any objective evidence on the table so that the rest of us can draw educated conclusions based upon the assertion’s falsifiability, I – as my blog’s name suggests – did my own investigating.

  • Virginia Prince coined the term “transgenderist” in 1978. The term “transgender” was in use (and referred to the transsexual experience) years before – and directly after – Prince coined her term. Here’s the evidence.
  • There has been an inclusive trans community for the past 40 years. Here’s the evidence.
  • The term, “transgender community” existed in it’s modern usage years before Feinberg published on the topic. Here’s the evidence.
  • The colonization of transsexuals by non-transsexuals does not seem to have happened. Here’s the evidence.

The only assertion I’ve not yet spent a great deal of time investigating is the following:

  • Either a new term/acronym is different from the word “transgender” or it isn’t.

I’ve not done so because the truth seems self-evident and therefore uninteresting to me:

Definition of Term ABC: Refers to all the diverse constituent groupings who share a common history and/or social, economic and political interest who share some common characteristics.

Definition of Term XYZ: Refers to all the diverse constituent groupings who share a common history and/or social, economic and political interest who share some common characteristics.

Definition of acronym A.B.C.X.Y.Z.: Refers to all the diverse constituent groupings who share a common history and/or social, economic and political interest who share some common characteristics.

(Note: the definitions I’ve used above are based upon the English language definition of “community”.)

Yes, we’ve decided to call ‘up’, ‘down’… but how has that – in any meaningful way – changed the characteristics of ‘up’? To me, this question seems like an utter waste of time.

So, this may very well be my last post on this subject on TS separatism for some time. Unless the separatists want to engage in an intellectually honest fashion by making evidence-based assertions, their rhetoric is meaningless to me. They are the immature burblings of a hubris mind. Who is so self-important that they believe that they can make extraordinary assertions about the nature of reality and expect all to accept it upon faith alone? What sort of movement is this adverse making reasoned arguments? Why the trolling, the hit list, historical revisionism and the ad hom attacks? Attacking me because I’m not willing to take your word on faith alone is a bit dogmatic (IMHO) and smacks more of a belief system than of any objective reality. Just because I won’t blindly believe whatever you tell me to believe doesn’t mean that I hate you; it only means that I’m skeptical (I mean, the title of this blog “ehipassiko” hopefully offers people a clue that I a bit of a skeptic). I tend to think that if the separatists were truly interested in furthering their cause, they should probably spend more time making reasoned arguments and less time trolling.

Also, if it’s taken more than a year to collect just half of the 500 signatures you’re looking for to “let my people go” from the Transgender Borg (Swedish Chef: borg-borg-borg) then, maybe you need to better communicate your position. If you care about getting people to care about your position, put the multi-sourced, mutually supportive objective evidence out there to make a reasoned argument. I’m not asking you to do anything more than what I’ve already done myself. If you’re unwilling to put forth the same effort that I’ve put forth in just satisfying my own curiosity, then I’m thinking that you’re not really invested in moving any actual movement forward; I’m thinking that you’re just interested in internet drama.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

30 Comments

  1. I find it ironic that my name is included in this “borg” “hit list”, since the post the author of the list apparently is upset about simply argues that the “transsexual” vs. “transgender” is irrelevant to te fight for equal rights for ALL gender variant people, a goal I hope we all can share: http://arizonaabby.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/why-t

    Also, like you, I have been waiting to see sone examples of how the inclusion of transsexual women, like me, under the transgender umbrella has harmed them. So far, I haven’t seen it, which leads me to the conclusion that the primary motivation for the “TS separatists” is simply their personal distaste at being associated with crossdressers and other members of the trans community who they don’t consider to be as “real” or deserving of respect or protection as they are.

    • BTW – Your post mythbusting the whole "trans protections won't work because it doesn't exclusivity state that it's transsexual protections" argument is beautiful!

      The more I look at this, the more I'm deciding that the "TS separatists" should just be ignored. They are chronically full of opinions, conjectures and claims of victimization unsupported by practically any objective evidence at all. I've yet to see one scrap of objective evidence cited by them.

  2. Hi Christen

    As you know, I don't identify as "Transgender" in the meaning that it has today, as opposed to in historical times. That's a personal thing though, and others will differ. I personally fit the gender binary pretty well, just as I don't fit the sex binary well at all.

    The Separatists seem to me – and I could be wrong here – to have two gripes.

    First, there's AutoTransphobia – the feeling of unease when someone calls them Transgender. They may have nothing in particular against anyone who transgresses gender norms, but they don't see themselves as doing that, and resent it when others arrogantly tell them who and what they are.

    I have a bit of that myself, though it's not that important to me, I have to associate with all sorts of people I don't identify with – gays, butch lesbians, gender outlaws etc etc – in order to get human rights for all. Not just me, but everyone who suffers from societal Transphobia or Homophobia, an injustice for one is an injustice for all. And of course by associating with them, I get to know them as people, not as cyphers, and somehow my prejudices seem quaint and a little on the nose.

    The second gripe concerns medical issues. That's particularly strong for those who are Intersex in addition to transitioning. There are real problems here – for example, the most effective medication I have to take has just been discontinued, lowering my life expectancy by an estimated 3-5 years.. Other hormones I have to obtain from overseas, with no pharmaceutical benefit scheme co-pay, they're not available where I live.

    Most Transgender people don't have such concerns, and are entirely oblivious to them,. just as many GLBs are entirely oblivious to the concerns of Trans people of all types. On that basis alone, there's a real distinction, a divide. How significant that is is debatable, but yes, I think there's a genuine divide between those who require medical intervention to maintain their health, and those who don't.

    I think a lot of the TS separatist motivation though is straight out Homophobia. They don't want to be associated with "those people". I got over that – my homophobia is more a memory now than anything else – but some haven't. A lot of that comes from quite understandable insecurity, having been labelled Gay etc etc and persecuted on that basis.

    Thanks for setting the historical record straight, BTW. You've done us all a great service.

    • I tend to agree with you on all counts there Zoe. This indeed seems to be the case.

      I also appreciate that you draw distinctions between subjective observations and statements of fact.

      "The Separatists seem to me – and I could be wrong here – to have two gripes."

      You've clearly stated that what you are about to write is a subjective observation and should not, therefore, be taken as being a statement of fact. I don't think I would have any objections to what the Separatists espouse if they would by this honest when they communicate. For instance, someone named "PurpleGirl" just posted:

      "Transgenders are a type of sexual pervert and a subset of the LGBT. "

      That's a baseless assertion of fact. Furthermore, assertions like this seems to support your opinions.

      I really appreciate the effort you tend to make in explaining things in a way that readers can easily grasp. I've rarely – if ever – seen you lose your cool.

      • I agree with Zoe as well, but I would add a third observation. This, of course, is my own conclusion based on reading some of the separatists' postings, comments, and articles as well as close personal friends that are post-op transsexual that had surgery in the late 60s and early 70s.

        According to the old TS friends, they were treated as a medical curiosity and upon transition and surgery we treated as any other female. This attribution of "normalcy" by cis-gender people to the TS women, seems to be rarely observed today with new transitioning TS people.

        I blame much of this on humor campaigns such as: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLrrFxXZ3rk . It seems to me that many legislators and community leaders see transsexual people as simply part time cross dressers that have taken their fantasy too far. Using this belief, they find it hard to justify offering civil rights or protection to a person that is simply wearing a costume or living out a part time fantasy,

        I believe this troubles transsexuals because they truly struggle to assimilate into society. Their need to transition is caused by physiological anomalies. Their life and transition is not something they can wash off at the end of the day. There is no "normal" life for them to go back to. For them, this isn't a weekend "activity".

        Consider legislation being debated in some communities to allow transsexuals to use the bathroom in peace without being harassed. To make this thought experiment work, we have to first accept the idea that segregated bathrooms for male and female are acceptable. Now, should we expect that legislators would want to allow drag queens or cross dressers that do not identify as female but are dressed as such entry into a women's restroom?

        I don't expect that they would. I also don't expect that they should. That then leaves us in a quandary. How can the law accommodate a transsexual woman that truly does identify as female? How can the law make a legal distinction between the two types of people? one type of person is definitely transsexual and the other type is what?

        I supposed that if state and federal agencies allowed transsexuals to change the gender markers on their official documents without a requirement for surgery, then a legal distinction could then be made. Barring that, I don't have a solution to the problem. The only problem, I might add, that is the true kernel of the separatists' argument.[youtube WLrrFxXZ3rk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLrrFxXZ3rk youtube]

  3. I hate labels, I'm me, a person who just wants respect for who I am as a person! The problem is that in reality I must assert myself in ways that include social and political labels to attain that respect. As a minority within a minority within a minority, etc one must find ways of obtaining the necessary capital and power to achieve such. By affiliating with as many as possible based on common characteristics or goals, more can be achieved. Sometimes it is a social and political enemy that may defines us with our natural allies.

    We must "get real". Do I have anything in common with "crossdressers"? Hey, at one point in time I labelled myself as such. Do I know CD's who would transition if they could keep their jobs and family? Yes! Do I know intersex people who id as TG? Yes! Do I know IS folks that do not? Yes. Do all of us have many things in common? Yes! Would comprehensive non discrimination laws and societal acceptance help all?

  4. Hit list? Seriously? No FUD here, I see.

    I think Zoe hit a lot of important points outside of the homophobic comment. I am bisexual and am not homophobic. However, I can't speak for everyone else in that aspect. And I see Cristan isn't calling Zoe out to show proof. That only lies on us evil separatists.

    • And I see Cristan isn't calling Zoe out to show proof. That only lies on us evil separatists.

      Why the sarcasm? Why is it apparently offensive to you for me to simply ask to be given to option of looking at the objective evidence you have? I mean, you obviously came to your current stance on this issue through some sort of process of drawing a conclusion; why would you want to deny others the opportunity to doing the same?

      I have only one bias here and that is that I want to stand firmly on the ground of objective facts and not on subjective opinions. If the objective evidence I've presented is incorrect, then all you need do is show how I've misrepresented something. For instance, either the term "transgender" was used before Virginia Prince coined the term "transgenderist" or it wasn't? Since I've provided muti-sourced evidence to prove that it was used prior to Prince's term, I've either created the images in photoshop (which some on your side claim and which can easily be proven as a fake by fact-checking) or I haven't and reality doesn't support the Virginia Prince narrative favored by folks in your camp. Which is it?

      Either you're interested in facts or you're interested in a belief system. Which is it Dana?

  5. I'm a proud TS separatist, I feel it's pretty simple. We are becoming a collective group of transsexual men and women who want and need to be seen as simply male or female. We do not wish to celebrate the gay transgender parade, or sissy dress up time. We want complete and absolute succession from TG/LGBT mislabeling of us as those who can switch gender at will. We give youand all the other transgenderist your happy I'm glad to be TG umbrella to do as you wish with. We do not want to be seen as part of it. Our words are very simple, we don't need to right a 10,000 book to explain being transsexual as you and so many other TG's seem to need in order to make you case… We are simply men and women… Now what's so freaken hard for you to understand about that?

    • Um… if it is your personal goal to live in stealth, why aren't you doing it. Why is it that you seem to require that all the world validate your reality for you instead of you just putting on your big-girl pants and just getting on with your life as the woman that you are? Why the kamikaze crusade?

      "We want complete and absolute succession from TG/LGBT mislabeling of us as those who can switch gender at will."

      *rolls eyes* Since I am apparently the leader of the TG Borg now, by the power of this office I do decree that Coletta Hughes is NOT a transgender person and that she has the right to refer to herself in whatever way she wants. Furthermore, I expel her from the Borg collective, the TG umbrella and the GLBT community. I furthermore ban her from all Pride festivities. Coletta Hughes is now free to live her life in stealth as the woman she is.

      Happy? No… I didn't think you would be.

      • I am very happy and no I do not live in stealth, nor do I care to hide and not do my part to further transsexual rights. I have a passion for the equality of transsexuals and who we are. Seems for every other part of the TG/LGBT it's ok to be anything goes, but once a transsexual speaks their mind, especially the m2f TS's, out comes all the insults from the gays and their genderist thugs. But I'm quite use to this sorta response from gays and genderists, it's nothing new in the transsexuals world. What is new is how many TS's are saying the same things these days and how many of us are getting active in make our point heard. As history will tell you, transsexuals have been marginalized since Sylvia Rae Rivera was kicked to the curb by Gay Liberation Front. But today many of her views are alive and well in the hearts and minds of true transsexuals. This is our history and we have much reason to be proud of being the beginning of all LGBT equality. TG's seem to forget; back in the daays of the stonewall riots there was only two camps transvestites and transsexuals. But in the TG world this history is being blur by genderist who have no interest in what it really means to be female, least of all our rich history. I could go on and on but you will just find a way to turn what I say around… I'm very use to gays and TG men doing this it not a new tactic. Face it gays and TG's It's been transsexuals leading the way since the beginning. Transsexuals and TG's can and did work together, but under the same umbrella transsexuals only get used.

        Here's a lil quote:
        At the 1973 Stonewall rally, a feminist leader objected to the trans and drag persons as mocking women. Sylvia and Lee jumped on stage and shouted: “You go to bars because of what drag queens did for you, and these bitches tell us to quit being ourselves!”.

        • “I am very happy and no I do not live in stealth, nor do I care to hide and not do my part to further transsexual rights. I have a passion for the equality of transsexuals and who we are.”

          Then you accept that being transsexual is a medical condition that entailes successfully dealing with and overcoming cultural gender stereotypes others associate with the sex you were assigned at birth, correct?

          “Seems for every other part of the TG/LGBT it’s ok to be anything goes, but once a transsexual speaks their mind, especially the m2f TS’s, out comes all the insults from the gays and their genderist thugs. “

          Really? I think I would hate to live where ever it is that you do. I love the Houston community. I mean, the drag community does regular fundraisers to pay for transsexual surgeries. We all get that we are not the same and we respect that. The way we show our respect for each other is that we choose to support each other… at least that’s how it is in Houston.

          “What is new is how many TS’s are saying the same things these days and how many of us are getting active in make our point heard. “

          Hrm… I think this may be a matter of opinion. From what I can see, the trans community deals with huge terminology wars ever 5 – 10 years.

          “As history will tell you, transsexuals have been marginalized since Sylvia Rae Rivera was kicked to the curb by Gay Liberation Front.”

          I don’t know that it is as monolithic as that. I made a video about gay bigots that you’d probably like:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nql6IegCdQ8

          There are a number of supportive gay folks. Even so, those who are/were not supportive seemed to hold up the entire possess.

          “TG’s seem to forget; back in the daays of the stonewall riots there was only two camps transvestites and transsexuals.”

          Hence my posts on history. We recognized as respected that we were different and that we shared similar culturally-based problems, but we worked together in common cause as a community.

          “TG’s seem to forget; back in the daays of the stonewall riots there was only two camps transvestites and transsexuals.”

          I’ve heard this claim made over and over again, but I’ve yet to see the multi-sourced mutually supportive objective evidence to support this premise. Would you please cite the sources that lead you to accepting this idea as being true?

          ” Face it gays and TG’s It’s been transsexuals leading the way since the beginning.”

          Well… except for the gay crossdresser who invented transsexual medical care… or the gay man who invented modern transsexual medical care… or the queens who started the first riot in 1958… or, well… you get the picture. The historical record shows that it has always been a collective effort between the transsexuals and non-transsexuals. If you’d like, I will cite my sources.

          “Transsexuals and TG’s …”

          Are you one of those people who – in the face of an historical record that proves otherwise – still dogmatically chose to believe that Virginia Price coined the term “transgender”? You do realize that the term was use about a decade prior to Prince (who coined the term “transgenderist” in 1978) as being a word meaning “transsexual”? Again, I will gladly cite the sources for you.

          “… can and did work together, but under the same umbrella transsexuals only get used.”

          Can you please cite your objective source? I get that this is your firm belief. However, until the Separatists are able to substantiate this claim, it can only be regarded as someone’s cherished opinion which may or may not be valid.

        • This is something I have been saying for years, I didn't just start due to you and your TG Borg. I'm not saying I'm against cross dressers and wishing bad on them. I just don't want to be associated with them as being their outcome should they decide to transition. I don't think a person can just pick their gender. "Oh, Think I'll be a french maid today." What could you really wish for out of this other than to blur the lines between male and female so much that the beauty of femininity is completely lost and gone. I also agree with at least one thing the right wing says that stops trans protections from getting passed… Besides, why do you think the gays keep writing us out of the ENDA bill. It doesn't take rocket science to figure that one out. If I was the mother of a little 8 year old girl, I sure as heck wouldn't want her to be sharing the bathroom with some 60 year old male cross dresser and to boot having to do so by law. I'm sorry but there are private spaces where only women should be. Hell, I wouldn't want to be in a bathroom with a CD who goes in and out of male mode. I feel my personal femininity is a sacred place that is not to be seen by males unless they are someone special in my life. A man putting on a dress does nothing to make me feel better about him being male. Here's a real life example why I feel this way. Years ago I used to go to this trans club in LA to dance and hang out with friends. But there was a few things I hated very much about it and is part of the reason you'll never see me in a place like that. I can't tell you how many times in the ladies room I had CD's gawking at me and asking rude questions that only a man would ask a woman. Or how many times I would get hit on over and over again by men in dresses calling themselves lesbians. I'm sorry but it's it's kinda hard to be a lesbian when you don't even have freaken boobs.

        • This is something I have been saying for years, I didn't just start due to you and your TG Borg.

          Please define "This".

          I just don't want to be associated with them as being their outcome should they decide to transition.

          You are hoping to live in a world where you will never be associated with a crossdresser? I'm sorry to break it to you, but this isn't going to happen. There will always be someone somewhere who – even if it's for political reasons – choose to misrepresent your experience.

          I don't think a person can just pick their gender. "Oh, Think I'll be a french maid today." What could you really wish for out of this other than to blur the lines between male and female so much that the beauty of femininity is completely lost and gone.

          Who is making this argument? Please post a quote and/or link.

          Besides, why do you think the gays keep writing us out of the ENDA bill.

          I think they do that as a political move to try to limit the right wing making the same strange assertions about trans folk that you seem to have just made.

          Here's a real life example why I feel this way. Years ago I used to go to this trans club…

          *facepalm*

  6. I'm a proud TS separatist, I feel it's pretty simple. We are becoming a collective group of transsexual men and women who want and need to be seen as simply male or female. We do not wish to celebrate the gay transgender parade, or sissy dress up time. We want complete and absolute succession from TG/LGBT's mislabeling of us as those who can switch gender at will. We gladly give you and all the other transgenderist your happy "I'm glad to be TG umbrella" to do as you wish with. We do not want to be seen as part of it. Our words are very simple, we don't need to write a 10,000 page book to explain being transsexual as you and so many other TG's seem to need in order to make you case… We are simply men and women… Now what's so freaken hard for you to understand about that?

  7. Then again, there's the possibility that the "TS separatist movement" may ultimately be just as important and easy to understand to the broader culture as regards gender variance as the distinction of "Bear convention" is them when they think about the Gay male community.

  8. I dunno Cristan. How is you're telling me I'm transgendered really any different from my father telling me I'm male? He's got a pile of logic to back his arguments, too.

    I'm transsexual because I identify as female but was assigned male as a child. Simple as that. I don't identify as transgendered, or third sex, or any other "reject the binary" stuff. Just female.

    So you disagree. My response to you is much the same as that to my father.

    • How is you're telling me I'm transgendered really any different from my father telling me I'm male?

      Post into a reply where I told you – or any transsexual – that you must identify as being transgender.

      Can't do it, can you? That's a problem then for your premise, isn't it? Hence then title of this post.

      What I have said is that you can choose to not identify as being transgender. However, you are – according to the English language – transgender and losing it when someone uses the word in a manner consistent with the current English language is lame. I think I've said the previous statement in a video. The fact is that the when you look at a current English language dictionary, transgender has a specific definition and that definition is inclusive of transsexual people (along with other types of trans folk). Both you an I can choose to not self-identify as being transgender, but blowing up on someone because they happen to use the word in the way a dictionary tells them to is over the top – which is the only comment I've made concerning this issue.

      How you identify is non of my business. If you want to self-identify as only being transsexual, I think that's fine. Will I refer to you as being transsexual? You bet.

      If you read Separatist sites, they will tell you that I'm out to force you to stop self-identifying as a transsexual. They make these claims about me with no evidence and separatists – unfortunately – believe it. Just as you will have a problem finding a quote from me where I'm making this claim, so will any separatist… because that quote doesn't exist. Again, thus the name of this post.

      • The word transgender hasn't been in the dictionary very long. From looking at your blog, it's clear you've gone to extreme lengths to find early examples of it's use.

        Much of the language surrounding trans topics is new, and is still being debated. The use of transgender to refer to transsexual people (in a legal sense) came about in the late nineties when many jurisdictions were grappling with ways to offer protection to not-just transsexual people. It wasn't a word that transsexual people chose, but rather a word that was chosen by the beaumont/triess side and the cissexual lawmakers.

        So just because transsexual is a subset of transgender in some dictionary now is no guarantee that it will be in the future. The language is being refined continually, and appealing to history just won't cut it.

        I think it's really only with the logic behind cisgender and cissexual that the whole transsexual and transgender language has been clarified.

        So the way I see it is like this:

        Cisgender people have gender presentation that matches the expectation for their sex. They fit into the binary.

        Transgender people don't fit into the binary. They identify as third gender, or the cross-dress, or they do genderfuck, or whatever.

        Cissexual people identify as the sex they were assigned at birth.

        Transsexual people identify opposite the sex they were assigned at birth.

        So it's perfectly reasonable to be transsexual but not transgender – all those thousands of transsexual men and women getting about their business and not upsetting the binary – the ones you seem to hate with a passion.

        Similarly, it's possible to be transsexual and transgender – for example mentioning that you're post-op on the subtitle of your g+ profile – something that's not terribly binary.

        Crossdressers and drag queens are a good example of cissexual transgender people – happy identifying with their assigned sex, but fucking with the binary at every opportunity.

        And then of course there are cissexual cisgender folk, most of whom haven't the slightest clue that any of this debate is even going on.

        So yeah – that's how I see the language as evolving – it's not about hating the crossdressers (though clearly some on the transsexual side do), and it's not about heirarchies. It's just about separating identity and presentation. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • From looking at your blog, it's clear you've gone to extreme lengths to find early examples of it's use. Much of the language surrounding trans topics is new, and is still being debated. The use of transgender to refer to transsexual people (in a legal sense) came about in the late nineties

          At this point, the word transgender is at least 40 years old.

          See the following:

          Citation #1: http://research.cristanwilliams.com/2011/08/15/tr

          Citation #2: http://research.cristanwilliams.com/2011/08/15/tr

          You're commenting on a post that shows that the most famous US transsexual rejected the term "transsexual" in favor of the term "transgender" since the 1970s.

          The word was used in the 1970s to refer to transsexuals. In the early 1980s, the word became conflated with Prince's term "transgenderist" and was appropriated to mean something other than transsexual in some circles for a few years. Then in around 1984, the word became used to refer to both transsexual and non-transsexual trans people. That's the demonstrably true history of the word; that's what the historical record has to say about it regardless of whatever narrative is favored by any ideological group.

          The language is being refined continually, and appealing to history just won't cut it

          No, the language is not "continually" changing. It began life 40 years ago as a word that that meant transsexual and then 27 years ago the term became inclusive all all types of trans people. Those are the facts. Claiming that one cannot "appeal to history" when trying to understand the evolution of terminology is one of the bigger logic fails I've yet heard come from a separatist.

          So the way I see it is like this: Cisgender people have gender presentation that matches the expectation for their sex.

          Yes, you can choose to see it that way, but make no mistake: just because you choose to see it that way that this is what the term mean. Dr. Kristen Schilt, the person who is largely responsible for popularizing the term, was sitting with me in the Transgender Archive last Friday. Seriously, the definition you're giving the term is not what the term currently means nor is it in agreement with the definition Dr. Schilt gave it when she popularized the term.

          Transgender people don't fit into the binary.

          It's a fact that some don't. However, grab an English language dictionary and please post into a reply what that dictionary defines the word as. Again, I get the definition you'd like to give the word, but you're definition is, in fact, not consistent with the current English language.

          So it's perfectly reasonable to be transsexual but not transgender – all those thousands of transsexual men and women getting about their business and not upsetting the binary – the ones you seem to hate with a passion.

          That's and ad hom attack. You're trying to set up the premise that I disagree with you about the history of the term because I hate Separatists. I demand that you post into a reply where I claimed that I hate "all those thousands of transsexual men and women getting about their business and not upsetting the binary". Can't do it? Hence the title of this post.

          It's just about separating identity and presentation.

          I have no problem if you not choosing to self-identify as being part of the transgender community. I do have a problem with you telling me, a post-op transsexual women who passes so well that nobody would know if I didn't disclose that history, that I cannot identify as being part of the very community that saved my life and allowed me to transition.

        • Okay, here's a quote from the dictionary. This one is the Collins English Dictionary, third edition, published 1991. This one was particularly annoying, because Justice Chisholm held it in rather high esteem. Lucky for all of us he came around and decided to take other things into consideration as well:

          "Male. adj, 1. of, relating to, or designating the sex producing gametes (spermatazoa) that can fertilise female gametes (ova)."

          "Female. adj, 1. of, relating to, or designating the sex producing gametes (ova) that can be fertilised by male gametes (spermatazoa)."

          Sucks for all of us. I most definitely don't produce ova, and I'm pretty sure you don't either.

          Of course I have conversed with a number of people who identify as transgender who are quite happy with that dictionary definition, because they identify as their assigned sex.

          Oh, FWIW, the same dictionary (it's about three inches thick – I bought it when I was writing my thesis) has no definition of transgender. Goes straight from transfusion to transgenic. It has a definition for transsexual though.

          So don't use the dictionary against me. People have done it too much before for me to take any stock in a dictionary definition as an argument. I've been around the block enough times to know that language evolves.

        • So, to be clear: When I asked you to post the definition of transgender because I stated that the definition of transgender is currently inclusive of transsexuals, you post a definition for male and female from a dictionary that was only 12 years old at the time? Right? Again, hence the name of this post.

          Oh, FWIW, the same dictionary (it’s about three inches thick – I bought it when I was writing my thesis) has no definition of transgender. Goes straight from transfusion to transgenic

          So, are you trying to claim that despite the evidence staring you in the face… your school dictionary from 1991 didn’t have transgender and therefor the word hadn’t yet been coined?

          People have done it too much before for me to take any stock in a dictionary definition as an argument. I’ve been around the block enough times to know that language evolves.

          First, this is a strawman argument. Post into a reply where I claim that language does not evolve.

          Second, it’s also a non sequitur. Yes, the English language in not a dead language but neither is it a sloppy mess that, as you claimed “constantly” changes so that no one can put stock in the current meanings of worlds.

          Your logic is fallacious.