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September 8, 2007 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Boys Don't Cry increased the visibility of female-to-male transsexuals with its shocking story of Brandon Teena. Previously a historical footnote, they've since used the Internet to come into their own, building communities (some geared towards TG youth and families of TGs | 2) and disseminating information, including practical resources such as how to pass as a man in public, standing to pee and shaving guides. Many have come out as transgender and lead successful lives as men. Personal stories include blogs and audio biographies. I can't fail to mention the first male porn star with a pussy, Buck Angel. (Wikipedia) Meanwhile, a debate rages in the lesbian community.
posted by desjardins (66 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
The last link is a very good piece by Loree Cook-Daniels. I've always been disgusted by some feminists' treatment of MTF transsexuals, but I never have given much though to how some feminists deal with FTM transsexuals. The most common reason I've heard for barring MTF transsexuals from "woman only" events has been that they can't help but bring their "male energy" to such places, which I find terribly insulting and simply a cover for their own disgust at gender reassignment. But if that logic was applied universally, then shouldn't that faction of feminists embrace FTM transsexuals at such events? (I know that response to that is obvious, but it does undermine the MTF stance).
posted by Falconetti at 9:40 AM on September 8, 2007


Thanks for this. There's a transman in my office -- I don't know him well, and would never have known about his "trans" status if a coworker hadn't told me. I found out by commenting to someone on how much I enjoyed the guy's classic masculine sense of style -- so, obviously, he's doing a hell of a job passing. Thanks for answering questions I didn't have the nerve to ask.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:41 AM on September 8, 2007


I've known a few transmen in my time, and what always startled me was the effect of testosterone therapy on their personalities. Almost immediately they became more aggressive and hypersexual. It makes me wonder how much of gendered behavior is simple chemistry.
posted by desjardins at 9:47 AM on September 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Being a man, like being a woman, is something you have to learn," Aaron Raz Link. For an amazing literary and poetic perspective, read "Trans" by Hilda Raz about when her child came out as transgender, and then "What Becomes You," essays about being a transman by her and her son. Every time I think about this issue, I'm reminded of her poem from the book: When I used to look in the mirror it was blank, says Aaron of Sarah./ And then Aaron says Mom! I’m the same person./ You’re the one who had the sex change./ I’ve always been as I am. You bet.

It's the idea they haven't changed, but the world's perspective of them has, that I find haunting.
posted by barchan at 10:02 AM on September 8, 2007


I know a guy who's a female -> male transsexual. I've known him for ten years, we shared an office for five and we've grown vegetables on a plot rented from local government for the past three years. I didn't find out until two years ago. That was an odd day.

He'd just broken up with his boyfriend and obviously he was upset. They'd both come from out of town to be students at the university we both worked at, though I didn't know them then, and I casually asked what Scott was planning to do now. He didn't work, and had no other friends here really. Would he be going home? It was that that prompted him to tell me their story.

They'd both come to university as women. They met through the lesbian and gay society, discovered that they had been going through the relevant programmes and would be commencing treatment at about the same time. My terminology lets me down a little here, but by my conception they were lesbians, were briefly a heterosexual couple for a few months, and have been gay men ever since. Really though, they were just two people in love with an enormous shared experience that they went through together.

So anyway, Scott would not be going home. Scott wanted to live. The two were mutually exclusive.

That's the only time we've ever talked about it. It wasn't an issue for him before and it isn't an issue for me now so I guess we've never needed to. Besides, he's the brains of the operation and if I offend him my cheap access to broad beans disappears.
posted by vbfg at 10:04 AM on September 8, 2007 [4 favorites]


I dated a ftm for about a year and a half. She never had any surgeries or hormones. She hadn't made up her mind that she wanted to do it. In addition, she was dealing with a pretty serious case of bipolar disorder and I was under the impression that people with mental disorders this severe were not allowed to do sex reassignment (at least, not with a legit US doctor).

In any case, I always wondered whether she had higher than normal levels of testosterone in her body, because her sex drive was off the charts. I shudder to think what it would have been like with exogenous testosterone added into the mix.
posted by Clay201 at 10:12 AM on September 8, 2007


Testosterone is powerful stuff in bodies that didn't grow up with it, I tell you what.
posted by blacklite at 10:15 AM on September 8, 2007


I dated a ftm for a few months about 3 years ago, just as he started hormone therapy. The almost immediate changes in his personality were to say the least startling. I'm sad to say that its what ended up breaking us up, I just didn't like the person he seemed to be becoming, intense aggressiveness, intense mood swings, and cheating being the chief issues. I have sympathy for people going through it though, I can't imagine how tough that transition must be, even having been there for at least some of it with my ex...
posted by Aversion Therapy at 10:26 AM on September 8, 2007


I've had a post in mind ever since I saw TransGeneration (the miniseries, not the Sundance cut) but never got it off the ground. So thanks. And check out the series if you haven't seen it; I picked it up on a lark from my library and it was fantastic.
posted by Tuwa at 10:45 AM on September 8, 2007


Also of note is the Brandon Teena Story, a documentary about the events on which Boys Don't Cry is based.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:55 AM on September 8, 2007


Also Pat / Patrick Califia.
posted by localroger at 11:09 AM on September 8, 2007


Jazz musician Billy Tipton.

Jamison Green. There was a good article about FTMs and their partners in Girlfriends that included him a few years ago. I don't see a digital version anywhere though.

Also there is the bathroom issue: "Bathrooms are a common place where transgender people are assaulted or ridiculed simply because someone does not like the way they look or act."
posted by Tehanu at 11:17 AM on September 8, 2007


One of the high points of my internet life was getting email from (at that time) Pat Califia, thanking me for a review of her then current book, Public Sex, that I'd posted to alt.sex.bondage. At the time, I was doing some work in television and had planned on pitching a Pat Califia documentary -- simply because I so much wanted to get to hang out with him/her. Alas, it wasn't to be, and that's one of my great regrets.

Girlfriends do think it's somewhat sad that she's abandoned the sisterhood to become what they regard as a faux male. Personally, I don't care. I can't think of anyone writing on the subject of sex whose work is more important or influential than Califia, so whatever she wants to do with her body is fine with me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:24 AM on September 8, 2007


Funny, we were just talking about this at work yesterday. One of my coworkers is going to a party being thrown by her college roommate now that she's finally becoming a man. The discussion got really heated when another coworker claimed the whole transgendered thing was bollocks and a result of people being confused or misinformed or some such nonsense.

How do you typically deal with a situation like that? The company dynamic (and most of the employees) is very liberal, so many people in the conversation got pretty annoyed with the guy.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:37 AM on September 8, 2007


Wow, Peter, that's so cool. I first read A Secret Side of Lesbian Sexuality when it was published in Weinberg's S&M. This was back in the 1980's when there weren't many information sources at all about such topics. I was blown away by Califia's candor and subsequently sought out everything she/he ever wrote, which got me a few weird looks at the checkout register.
posted by localroger at 12:06 PM on September 8, 2007


PeterMcDermott; I'd like to ask you a question in private. Am I understanding your profile correctly? You prefer to be contacted you at your snail mail address? I wanted to be sure, because ordinarily I'd be hesitant to do that. My email address is this screen name at gmail. Thanks.
posted by Clay201 at 12:22 PM on September 8, 2007


backseatpilot-
i'd simply ask a simple pointed question: why would you or i be more cognizant of someone's gender than they themselves?

her/his opinion about the reality of it is irrelevant in the face of a transperson's (or any human's) right to self-determination.
posted by RedEmma at 12:31 PM on September 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


The first time I saw a naked picture of Buck Angel, I thought, "Great, another shopjob," (thanks, 4chan), but after further investigation, I found out it wasn't. Amusing bit: Buck Angel's ex was dating the Wachowski brother that is now a sister.

Although not a member myself, the trans community is about the only place I've been able to find reasonable information (or just bundles of anecdotes) about the potential effects of hormone therapy.
posted by adipocere at 12:35 PM on September 8, 2007


I didn't search around enough to find a relevant link, but I wonder, given the prevalence of MTF porn purchased by straight men, I wonder if FTMs have an appeal to straight women? I'm not a stellar example of heterosexuality, but for me, masculinity is predominantly what I'm attracted to, and whether it comes in a XX or XY package doesn't much matter.
posted by desjardins at 12:45 PM on September 8, 2007


excuse sucky grammar - I'm B.C. (before caffeine)
posted by desjardins at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2007


This episode (Act 2) of This American Life that explored some of the issues transmen navigate when dating, desjardins. It might be of interest to you. It doesn't address straight women having a specific interest in FTMs, but there are some comments from a straight woman dating a transman, if I recall correctly.
posted by Tehanu at 1:53 PM on September 8, 2007


Buck Angel's ex was dating the Wachowski brother that is now a sister.

Or maybe not.
posted by deanc at 1:58 PM on September 8, 2007


From the last link ("debate rages"):

We also need to be aware that while the personal is political, the political is also personal. The debates that we as a community have in the abstract have profound impacts on individual lives. As an example, I have been privy to some lesbians debating the "place" of lesbians who decide to stay with their transitioning or transitioned FTM lovers. Some of these lesbians have decided that such women should not be called lesbians but "allies."

One great thing about white male heterosexual able-bodied, etc. privilege is that I don't have to deal with this kind of goofy shit.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:10 PM on September 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


> her/his opinion about the reality of it is irrelevant in the face of a transperson's (or any human's) right to self-determination.

Aha. Out of all the possible aspects of our common reality-space, here's at least one that's individually determined rather than socially constructed. Fuller makes note of that in little staying-hip notebook. (Approving note, fuller hastens to emphasize. Where there's one such aspect there may be others.)

Has anyone addressed the obvious question? Question being 1. if transgendered men really become women rather than just guys in extensive and complicated drag, and transgendered women likewise really become men; and 2. if males are rapists and oppressors in their inherent nature; then Q. are FTMs rightly regarded and treated as rapists and oppressors? If not, why not? How does the dogma work out here so as to avoid contradicting itself pretty comically?
posted by jfuller at 2:26 PM on September 8, 2007


Also from the last link: What does it mean that we believe women are better than men not only according to our own personal, erotic compasses, but emotionally, socially, psychologically and politically?

This is fascinating.
posted by motty at 3:03 PM on September 8, 2007


JFuller: quick terminology nitpick: A transgendered man is an FTM; a transgendered woman is an MTF (transman and transwomen are often also used). The second viewpoint you noted is not necessarily the 'dominant' one among feminists, so there's not necessarily a contradiction. It's also worth noting that there is still a significant amount of prejudice against transpeople in parts of the feminist and queer communities, so the first viewpoint you noted is not always held. PeterMcDermott mentions of people who, "do think it's somewhat sad that [a given transwoman ha]s abandoned the sisterhood to become what they regard as a faux male", so that may be relevant to your question.

On a separate topic, I'd be interested to hear from someone who knows what the correct terminology is to use for someone who is post-transition (in this case, referring to transition as the identity and social transition, not necessarily the medical/physical one) when referring to their pre-transition, pre-questioning life.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 3:37 PM on September 8, 2007


@Clay201.

Actually, I'm really just a lazy fuck who has been suffering from email bankrupcy for the longest time. I have about four email accounts, three of which have hundreds -- perhaps thousands of unread emails, so I tend to tell people that if you really need to contact me, best to call me on the phone. However, if someone is trying to send me documents, I'll make a note and keep an eye out.

However, if you wanted to send email to peter.mcdermott at yahoo dot co dot uk, I'd keep an eye out for it.

I first became interested in her also in the eighties, when I read about the fuss at the Barnard Conference on Sexuality in response to the presence of people from Samois.

Of course, when it comes to the internet, your past is inevitably out there to haunt you. Here's that original review.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:39 PM on September 8, 2007


btw, localroger, are you the same localroger of blackjack series fame? If so, then you're kinda the reason why I'm here in the first place. Your blackjack series brought me to Kuroshun via Slashdot, and links from Kuroshun brought me here.

The Alex Reynolds/drama queen flame out was started me reading the comments and *really* got me addicted though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:46 PM on September 8, 2007


In Canada, see also www.queertransmen.org (NSFW).
posted by mrmcsurly at 3:51 PM on September 8, 2007


spaceman_spiff, I believe the polite thing is to refer to the person in accordance with their identification. I think it's really up to the individual--discussions of self-delusion and biological determinism and sex versus gender aside--I believe that would be the polite thing to do.

The transition process is more akin to a gay person coming out than it is to a change in identity. I imagine that while they may have been in a long period of "questioning", they may have never really known a life of pre-questioning.
posted by cytherea at 3:58 PM on September 8, 2007


I had the opportunity to correspond with Buck Angel and work with him on (non-porn) project. I found him very down to earth. While enthusiastic about his porn career, he was a bit reluctant to be an icon of the FTM community. In fact, he's gotten quite a bit of blow back from the transgender community. But over all he is a very approachable, interesting guy.
posted by kimdog at 4:13 PM on September 8, 2007


it is patriarchal, sexist, and regressive for femmes to wear male- designed high heels and butches to wear ties?

To people actually sit around and think thoughts like this? Wear whatever the hell you want and let others do the same. End of story.
posted by jonmc at 4:55 PM on September 8, 2007


Peter -- yes, I'm kuro5hin localroger and slashdot localroger, of the Casino Odyssey, The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, and Get Your Teeth Fixed in Mexico kindasortainternet fame.
posted by localroger at 5:23 PM on September 8, 2007


backseatpilot writes "The discussion got really heated when another coworker claimed the whole transgendered thing was bollocks and a result of people being confused or misinformed or some such nonsense.

"How do you typically deal with a situation like that? The company dynamic (and most of the employees) is very liberal, so many people in the conversation got pretty annoyed with the guy."


Speaking as a liberal, you respect the other guy's views, while respectfully disagreeing. Speaking as a liberal atheist who works in an office dominated by Xian conservatives, few things in an office are worse than fearing you can't speak in opposition to the prevailing "company dynamic".

Do all us "libs" a favor, and seek your co-worker out on Monday, tell him that despite disagreeing with his viewpoint, you fully respect his right to think differently than you, and it'll have no bearing on your professional relationship with him.
posted by orthogonality at 5:49 PM on September 8, 2007


What does it mean that we believe women are better than men not only according to our own personal, erotic compasses, but emotionally, socially, psychologically and politically?

yes, fascinating, and also very messy. it's a major reason lesbian feminism doesn't work well for me. had to leave when i could no longer abide the artificial separatism inherent in this idea. not to mention that i was a bisexual in denial. i'd let women who believed in this construct to persuade me to this sort of feminine-superiority dead end.

if the point is to equalize the genders, and then one becomes aware of the scientific and cultural realities of the non-duality of gender... it's impossible to stay in that superior position. it just is.

separatism only works, IMO, for personal healing. you have to come back, or languish.
posted by RedEmma at 5:52 PM on September 8, 2007


orthogonality -- interesting perspective there. I'm a liberal pervert atheist, and my mostly Catholic coworkers know about most of that. Things are usually cool even though, for example, some of them have read my novel.

We used to have a nice older lady G who worked for us. (Nothing bad has happened to her; she just retired.) One day at the common lunch table she asked when I was going to marry Y. (I eventually did, because of health insurance, but at this time we were going on 15 years of unmarried cohabitational bliss.)

"We don't see any reason to let the government into our relationship," I replied.

"But what if you have kids?"

"We don't plan to have kids."

"But you could anyway by accident; what then?"

"It's very unlikely. Y is on the Pill, most failures are due to not taking it, and Y is one of the most scrupulous people I've ever seen about such things."

"Yeah, but it STILL could fail, what THEN?"

I put down my fork and said "Well, you never know another person's heart completely, and if she became pregnant and decided to have the child I'd probably marry her and deal with it. But as long as I've lived with her I'm pretty sure her immediate reaction would be to schedule the earliest possible appointment at the closest abortion clinic."

Dead silence at the table. "And what would you think about that?" G said very weakly.

"What I think about that doesn't matter," I said confidently. "I don't have to bear the child or have the procedure. I take responsibility for my role either way but she makes the decision."

It's the last time the subject ever came up.
posted by localroger at 6:07 PM on September 8, 2007


Wow.
posted by humannaire at 8:11 PM on September 8, 2007


Oh hell, I almost forgot...

You've seen drag queens. But did you know there were also drag kings? I'm told they sing a lot of boy band songs, but I've never actually seen them perform.
posted by Clay201 at 9:32 PM on September 8, 2007


I found these Scientific American articles from May and June 2007 interesting:
Going beyond X and Y
and
When a Person Is Neither XX nor XY: A Q&A with Geneticist Eric Vilain

Also, here's the finale from
"Le Bolero Rouge" by Takarazuka Revue, a Japanese all-female musical theatre group.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:59 PM on September 8, 2007


"Sex reassignment" is for those who haven't learned to separate physical sex, "sexual preference" and gender. Especially in "MTFs": it shows you're too much of a sissy to live as a queen and so mentally weak that you totally give in to internalized homophobia. I don't have as strong an emotional reaction to "FTMs" but my opinion is the same: you're a dyke, get used to it. There's nothing wrong with being queer.

When you think about it "transsexualism" is ultimately conservative: true liberationists seek to change the Society to accomodate the "different" person, not the other way around.

I'm sure I'll get flagged and flamed for my "insensitivity," thus showing the tyranny of PC.

(On preview. note that I'm not taking about truly physically "intersexed" people; there's a difference that's usually quite easy to see.)
posted by davy at 10:09 PM on September 8, 2007


Vilain proposes relabeling the condition
"intersex", "Disorders of Sex Development".
(actually, he spearheaded a working group or two that eventually concluded this).

Suprisingly, the intersex community, which was not consulted, is not happy about this.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:34 PM on September 8, 2007


"Sex reassignment" is for those who haven't learned to separate physical sex, "sexual preference" and gender. Especially in "MTFs": it shows you're too much of a sissy to live as a queen and so mentally weak that you totally give in to internalized homophobia. I don't have as strong an emotional reaction to "FTMs" but my opinion is the same: you're a dyke, get used to it. There's nothing wrong with being queer.

When you think about it "transsexualism" is ultimately conservative: true liberationists seek to change the Society to accomodate the "different" person, not the other way around.


I think I see what you're saying. Insofar as I like to sometimes dress like a boy I need certain gender differences/stereotypes to remain true. Which is conservative.

But I think you'll find a new crop of trannies who don't care; treating it a bit more hedonistic than all that. Certainly there's a biological feeling of being the wrong gender, but moreso, it's like, hey, why not just become the right gender because I can. (Which really does change society because tranny-dense San Francisco is pretty different than Idaho. And on that note, why should gay people come out of the closet, what's the difference there? Actually that line of reasoning really loses me. I think you're being kind of opaque. Unless you mean to say that, sigh, you've finally caved to catering to queers, but really, do I have to make this extra leap to accommodate everybody? Because if so, yes. You pretty much do.)

Plus, you take for granted that femaleness is akin to queenness. And that's very much not the case. Though I'm too ignorant to know what is the case, I think there're probably varied concepts of femaleness that best represent whichever MTF's brain we're inhabiting. Sort of like many females find different ways to be in the world. Sort of like we all do.
posted by birdie birdington at 10:37 PM on September 8, 2007


"Sex reassignment" is for those who haven't learned to separate physical sex, "sexual preference" and gender. Especially in "MTFs": it shows you're too much of a sissy to live as a queen and so mentally weak that you totally give in to internalized homophobia.

My FTM ex wants to have a cock and balls. That's not the same thing as craving female tail. (Which she does also, by the way).

And I've just got to point out here... in the realm of science, there is no corallary for the term "mentally weak" as you use it here. Taken at face value, it's nonsensical. "Minds" are not "weak" any more than they're "strong." We might be able to determine that person A can handle a given stressful situation wile person B cannot, but we'd never know precisely why the difference exists. There are just too many factors at work there (physical health, age, genetics, diet, economics, individual experiences, etc.) to ever sort it all out. We'd never be able to say "Oh yeah, person B's mind is weak." So as far as I'm concerned, the term is without meaning. Well, unless you count "I don't like those people over there, I can't be bothered to try to understand them, and I need to justify my loathing somehow."
posted by Clay201 at 10:47 PM on September 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, what about a MTF who also happens to identify as a lesbian? Such a woman exists, and is a dear friend of mine. I would not classify her as "mentally weak" at all; she has to put up with a world of shit of which you have no possible conception, both from the straight world and the lesbian community. You can't be weak and survive that.

I also doubt you would have the same strong "emotional" reaction... every time I have walked into a room with her, every male jaw is on the floor, and every eye is on her. She's a KNOCKOUT.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:22 PM on September 8, 2007


(and a really , really good shot. )
posted by louche mustachio at 11:23 PM on September 8, 2007


My old mum used to tell me that she dated Britain's most famous MTF, April Ashley, several times during the late 40's or early 50's, back when he was still George Jamieson.

According to my mum, George just wasn't like other lads. I think that meant that he never used to make a dive for the crotch at every available opportunity.

Now, perhaps it's just me, but 'weak minded' would be the last thing to describe somebody who was prepared to travel to Casablanca to undergo gender reassignment surgery back in 1960 or so. Great big brass bollocks springs more immediately to my mind, but your mileage may very well vary.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:41 PM on September 8, 2007


Great big brass bollocks that were subsequently removed.



But remained in spirit, I'm sure
posted by louche mustachio at 12:00 AM on September 9, 2007


I don't have as strong an emotional reaction to "FTMs" but my opinion is the same: you're a dyke, get used to it. There's nothing wrong with being queer.

Absolutely agree with you: being queer is ace.
That's why I transitioned from straight female to gay man.

I was identified female at birth but had difficulty living as a girl. I heard about MtF "sex changes" but FtMs never made the news. I was the typical tomboy & it seemed like I was going to be a butch lesbian when I grew up, except for these strange feelings I had about boys & men. When I first realised the possibility of living as male existed (as a teenager in the early 90s) I got the impression that wanting to have sex with men made me a freak. As you say, who the hell wants to give up hetero privilege?

So I got into guys & thought that maybe I could make being a straight girl work for me (it was certainly easy to get laid). I managed to ignore the subconscious doubts about my self-identity for a few years until my early 20s, when I began studying cultural history & found myself oddly fascinated by the relatively new discipline of masculinity & men's studies. Resumed my online research into things FtM (via many of the links posted above) and found, to my surprise, a huge trannyfag subculture. Not only was it OK to want to be a gay guy it was so common among FtMs it was almost passe. Within a matter of months I was living as male (& surprise, I no longer experience major depression almost every day).

I don't know what the stats are, but I get the impression there is a far higher percentage of queer males in the FtM community than in the regular XY population. Certainly the traditional tale of tomboy to butch dyke to guy is no longer the dominant transitional paradigm. Add to that the increasing number of young FtMs who never bother to live through the butch dyke phase because they are able to discover for themselves at an earlier age their true identity...
posted by hgws at 12:02 AM on September 9, 2007


Y'know, I think I could be a gay man if I could have sex exclusively with female to male trannyfags. The upside might be that they'd hopefully give up the buttsecks easier than straight girls. The downside, on the other hand, would be the prospect of strap-ons in my anal vicinity.

OK, scratch that. The promise of more buttsecks is definitely outweighed by the threat of the strap-ons, combined with whiney ex-women who have now become persistently demanding men. "Oh, go on. Just let me try it this once. It doesn't hurt that much, honest -- and I let you do it to me..."

I wonder if there's such a thing as femme FtM's? They'd be more up my street, I'm guessing.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:10 AM on September 9, 2007


Also:

"Homosexuality" is for those who haven't learned to integrate physical sex, "sexual preference" and gender. Especially in "gay men": it shows you're too much of a sissy to live as a man and so mentally weak that you totally give in to man lust. I don't have as strong an emotional reaction to "FtM" but my opinion is the same: you're a girl, get used to it. There's nothing wrong with being straight.

I'm sure I'll get flagged and flamed for my "insensitivity," thus showing the tyranny of PC.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:26 AM on September 9, 2007


You had me at "buttsecks."
posted by louche mustachio at 3:24 AM on September 9, 2007


I'll come in and be contrarian as well, and boy howdy is it odd what's contrarian on Metafilter as opposed to the real world. While I'm certainly all for too each his own for whatever doesn't effect my life, it doesn't make a lick of sense to me that you'd remove what are probably some perfectly functional bits in order to replace them with some subpar medical science imitation of the other kind of bits. People like this Buck Angel dude actually make more sense to me than someone who goes completely through with it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:21 AM on September 9, 2007


*affect, fuck I woke up too early this morning.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:35 AM on September 9, 2007


TheOnlyCoolTim

Okay, I'm going to assume from your screen name that you're male, biologically and otherwise. If you woke up tomorrow and the gender fairy had paid you a visit in the night, turning you from a guy into a full-on, biological female... would you rather go through a series of surgeries to restore what used to be yours - albeit in subpar, imiitation form - or just get used to being a chick?
posted by Clay201 at 5:13 AM on September 9, 2007


If the gender fairy won't come back, I think I'd have to deal with it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:03 AM on September 9, 2007


Yeah, I think I would deal with it too. I've been through enough major identity revisions already in my life, and this would be just one more. But then, I've never been that attached to my gender as a form of self-definition. I've been uncomfortable with most gender expectations for most of my life anyway.

It would take a bit to get used to the equipment, though.

I wouldn't really miss the boobs, I don't think.

The unfortunate thing, it seems to me, is that we appear to live in a culture that can't accept an in-between place. Among the transmen I have known, there has been a tacit agreement that they will not ever just be normal guys. They will always been somewhat different with different perspectives. They are a kind of true third gender. I think that's a good thing, and I think the world would be a kinder place if we were capable of letting go of a bit of gender conservativsm by letting people sit at the mid-way point, or create a new point altogether. The binary is stifling for everyone.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:15 AM on September 9, 2007


If you woke up tomorrow and the gender fairy had paid you a visit in the night, turning you from a guy into a full-on, biological female... would you rather go through a series of surgeries to restore what used to be yours - albeit in subpar, imiitation form - or just get used to being a chick?

I suppose I'd stay a chick. and buy some hot outfits and go get laid. I imagine it'd be easier.
posted by jonmc at 8:55 AM on September 9, 2007


louche mustachio writes "You had me at 'buttsecks.'"

Just so long as we're clear that you're not having *me* at buttsecks.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:15 AM on September 9, 2007


I commend this thread for not having been invaded by transsexualists who insist that nobody else may talk about them and that, incidentally, gay men are transgendered. I’ve witnessed the former over and over again and had the latter stated about me.
posted by joeclark at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2007


If what I am hearing is that there are woman - who become [really hot sexy masculine] men - who want to get with another man...then where do I sign up?

Because everything about this sounds right for me!

In fact, anyone who fits this description can email me. I can imagine we have a lot to discuss, and I can travel.

Like I said before, wow.
posted by humannaire at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2007


They said that gay men are transgendered--about you?! Well that's just mean*. I know I cried for a week when people said that Pepsi was Less FillingTM about me. I mean, how dare they infringe on your right to self-identification! And then they go and insist on being able to define their own identity. Well, doesn't that just smack of hypocrisy?

You know what I think you should do to get back at them? You should go into civil discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation and post about how transgender women are really super effeminate gay men, and how transgender men are really just super butch dykes.

That would show them who's boss.

*Unless, of course, they were just trying to explain than the umbrella meaning of transgender includes things like women wearing pants.
posted by cytherea at 5:09 PM on September 9, 2007


Every MTF tranny I've ever met, since 1976 when I was 13, in Baltimore, Columbus, Berkeley, Oakland, Chicago, L.A., or tranny dense San Francisco (and in the latter place we're talking dozens in the last two years I lived in on Polk Street alone, 1998-9), swore she wasn't "really" a gay man but a straight woman trapped in a male body. That seems to be canonical.

I'm sure there are occasional exceptions but they must be pretty rare. In fact, I've only read about these exceptions in magazines or on the Net, and I've only conversed once with someone claiming to be a lesbian trapped in a straight man's body who claimed to be actually "transitioning" (and that on IRC yet); so as far as I know all the atypical cases could all really be one cigar-chomping troll in his mom's basement.
posted by davy at 10:04 PM on September 9, 2007


It's funny you say that, davy. Gabbie in TransGeneration was born male but didn't identify with the male genitalia at all, was attracted to women, transitioned MTF, and apparently is with a man now (Where are they now --> Gabbie).
posted by Tuwa at 1:22 AM on September 10, 2007


buck angel is dead sexy.

watching a non-op FTM on a double-headed dildo with a biogal....H-O-double-T.

and i'm bi in orientation, and asexual in practice.

go figure.

go buck!!!
posted by CitizenD at 12:16 PM on September 10, 2007


buck angel is dead sexy.

watching a non-op FTM on a double-headed dildo with a biogal....H-O-double-T.

What CitizenD said.
posted by humannaire at 3:46 PM on September 10, 2007


I took some gay male friends to a drag king show. I guess one wasn't paying too much attention to the event flyers, because he leaned over to me and whispered how hot he found one of the performers. I laughed and informed him that the performer was biologically female, to his disbelief, and then to his horror.

I've also let gay male friends rifle through my copy of Body Alchemy, gawking at the pictures, and gasping when they figure it all out.
posted by desjardins at 1:10 PM on September 11, 2007


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