As it stands now, I’m ashamed to be associated with the current transgender rights movement, so much so that I’ve started to publically identify as “a person who suffers from Gender Identity Disorder” or “a gender non-conforming male” as opposed to a transwoman. I have always had certain misgivings about subsets of the community, especially the behavior of its more outspoken members, but I held my tongue so as not to harm “my people.” I was under the impression that it was for the good of all gender-queer/gender non-conforming/whatever-the-fuck-label people that the transgender movement succeed. I now feel that it would actually be better for those same people if the movement failed in its present iteration–or rather, reformed into something less dogmatic and more flexible. So, until or unless that happens, for my own well-being I’ve decided to stop associating with the label and just do my own thing.
I realize that just by criticizing the currently accepted group-think, the hot button hobbyhorse of the modern left-wing, I’m going to be dismissed as another “pick me”/”I’m one of the good ones” transperson, similar to Blaire White and Caitlyn Jenner. I’d probably get “canceled” from my non-existent platform as well, if enough people actually knew this blog exists. Anyway, despite the optics of it, I think it’s important that those of us in the community call out our own for unhelpful behavior and push those who choose to be publicly associated with our label to a higher standard, as opposed to letting the toxic elements ruin our public perception. I think it’s better that these criticisms come from within, as a measured and honest account, than for us to wait for the inevitable backlash from outsiders who have no sympathy for our plight. We can’t shut down all criticism forever, we’re going to have to adapt to them or alienate people, and unlike the social conservatives chomping at the bit for that to happen so they can roll back our rights, I’m just trying to point out the negatives so we can change course into something less polarizing before it’s too late.
Before I dive into my issues with the transgender movement, I’d like to take a moment to discuss how I see myself now, so that readers may understand the perspectives and biases with which I’m addressing the topic.
Moving Beyond the Trans Narrative
For the most part, everything I’ve said about my experiences in my first two blog posts about being transgender still hold true despite what I’m about to write below. I still think women are the preferable sex in just about every conceivable way. I envy the freedom of self-expression afforded to them, the traditionally feminine attributes they’re allowed to enjoy, as well as the miraculous experience of pregnancy. I’ve wished I had been born a girl since I was 7 and continue to wish it today. If I had the magic button that’d transform me into a biological female, complete with anatomically correct genitals and chromosomes, I would still push it in a heartbeat. I feel comfortable saying my life would have been objectively better as a woman, all other things being equal. For one thing, there would not have been an uncrossable barrier between me and the women in my life whom I wished to socialize more closely with. I would not have been bullied for being feminine, but celebrated for it, and so my natural personality wouldn’t have been snuffed out over the years.
Despite what I’ve just said, biological reality is a thing and we need to stop pretending it isn’t. As much as I wish I were a woman, I’m objectively, scientifically and empirically not. I have XY chromosomes, I was born with male genitals, I was socialized male. It sucks, but it cannot be changed not matter how many times I take hormones or how many times someone tweets “transwomen are women” for social brownie points on my behalf. I wish I lived in a perfect world where I was born looking like Grace Slick and there were no wars, poverty or famine…but we live in this shitty, fallen world where everyone has something they dislike about their body and circumstances. Like it or not, we have to deal with that. It’s okay to be a feminine male or masculine female and dress up as you want, call yourself what you want, date whomever you want…but we can’t expect everyone else to go against observable truth at all times in all circumstances because of our internal hang-ups. And we can’t forcibly silence anyone who dares question the current trans dogma; certainly it’s not winning us any favors at least.
From the beginning, I have often felt a twinge of discomfort insisting I’m a “real womanTM,” especially if I’m having a bad hair day or eating messy chicken wings or I just farted or I’m talking on the phone and my voice slips into male range. I know women have stuff like that happen too, but I still feel silly about the inherent contradiction. Also, while I greatly prefer femininity to masculinity, I often felt the need to be performatively hyper-femme especially in my early transition to compensate for any residual male features. Part of it was making up for lost time, IE I never got to wear makeup and pantyhose outside before, so I’d do it all the time–even to the supermarket to get milk. For a few years it was empowering to do this, but lately it’s started to feel just as restrictive as my dad forcing me to play sports as a kid. I felt like I always had to stress out about looking “feminine enough” when I went outside…otherwise I might get clocked or reflect badly on other transwomen. I would sometimes like my appearance in pictures or in the mirror but still worry I didn’t look womanly enough, that a certain masculine feature was peaking through and people would clock me or think I was an insult to the female form. It got to be very defeating when this whole transition used to be, and was supposed to be, liberating.
That’s why I’ve reached a point where I’m just not worried about labels, or passing, or representing the community well, or being 100% unambiguously woman in front of others anymore. I am just going to wear what I want, use makeup only if I really want to, and just be myself. I know some trans advocates will say “good, you can do that and still be a ‘real womanTM‘ / transgender representative!” I guess technically they’re right, but I’m not going to go out in a sloppy flannel and sweatpants with visible peach fuzz and correct people on pronouns or demand they see me as a real womanTM if they clearly don’t. Yeah, cis women can be unfeminine and still be women, but they have biological markers to fall back on and I don’t. I’m just an approximation of the real thing: I still enjoy getting as close to the feminine ideal as I can, I still believe that should be my (our) right to do so, but ultimately I’ll never be 100% the same…and that’s ok.
I just feel silly demanding other people placate me and I don’t like making a scene over something that ultimately doesn’t matter. If Joe Schmo clocks me as male, as long as he leaves me alone and/or rings up my order the same as anyone else, I don’t care enough to police his thoughts. Ultimately I can go my way and do my thing, and he can do his. That’s called living in a free, non-police state society, and that should be the goal of every liberty-aligned person. We all have our private assessments of other people which they probably wouldn’t be flattered by, but that’s life. I’d like to be a millionaire too, but I’m not going to force everyone I meet to pretend that’s true either. I’m not willing to expend political capital nor emotional energy to die on the hill that I be seen as a “real womanTM” with she/her pronouns. I just want the freedom to be as feminine as I choose to be without getting abused for it, and if society deems me an effeminate guy or a masculine woman, I no longer care. Call me the most extreme form of gender non-conforming, call me the least extreme form of intersex. Or just call me “Cassandra.” It’s whatever.
Now that we’ve established that, I’m going to explain very thoroughly all the issues I’ve had with the community that caused me to finally walk away from it.
My Negative Experiences in the Community
At least half of the transgender people whom I’ve interacted with personally (online or in real life) have been objectively awful. I offered one who was going to be homeless a place to stay and she was rude, threw her weight around, never said “thank you” and made fun of my fashion sense before I kicked her out. I dated one who outright lied about what she wanted from the relationship and tried to manipulate me to live out her weird body-morph fetish against my will. I’ve been harassed online for any small criticisms of the current Democratic party and/or wider social justice movement. I’ve been lectured to about “being trans wrong,” flamed by FtMs as “giving up male privilege for a dress!” and by MtFs who were jealous of my ability to pass and for transitioning younger than they did. Apparently I’m not allowed to go stealth, reclaim the word “tranny” or make some extra money in the porn circuit either (had I wished to); some strangers on the internet said so. In my personal experience, it’s a toxic, hopelessly balkanized community built on endless in-fighting, silencing of well-meaning or harmless dissent as well as collective self loathing.
I hate the very much earned stereotype of an average transgender person (and “ally”) as this pink-haired obnoxious virtue signaling poser who spends all their time policing other people’s language, whining about how no one will date them and how all their problems are because of “transphobia.” Nobody likes a crybaby, especially a condescending self-righteous one who castigates them for not being hip to the latest made-up lingo of a community they’re not even a part of. Because of these professional victim-mongers, I can tell that certain non-trans people I know are walking on eggshells around me, afraid to say the wrong thing, because they assume I too get offended over every little thing. I am embarrassed to even be tangentially associated with any of it anymore and I hate how it hangs like a shadow over every other facet of my nuanced worldview and personality. My everyday existence has become a walking billboard for “woke” SJW Democratic Party culture war talking points. Well-meaning people send me stupid links about Biden putting a obese transwoman who did a terrible job running Pennsylvania’s COVID response in his administration, or Contrapoints videos as though that’s what I care about. They think it’s my entire identity, the sole focus of my every waking moment, and then presume to dictate how I’m supposed to vote as a result.
I’ve seen some members of the community give terrible advice to newcomers as well. I’ve seen stupid memes shared around with the caption “No I DON’T have to tell you I’m trans if we’re dating, and if that matters to you then you’re not good enough for me.” (Or words to that effect.) That may be how things ought to be, but in the real world that’s how trans people get killed. The trans panic defense is horrifying but we live in a world where lots of guys feel “tricked” and beat the shit out those of us who don’t disclose our status early, so we have to adapt accordingly to stay safe. I’ve also watched people advise others that they can use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms without taking HRT or (at least making an honest attempt at) passing as female first, which is just another way to set them up for trouble. It’s like so many transpeople tell each other to operate in the way they want things to be, rather than the way things are. I’d like to live in a reality where people can fly, but I wouldn’t tell someone to try to jump off a cliff and flap their arms.
What’s most annoying of all is that, even as a transwoman myself, I could never discuss these reservations (and those to follow) with anyone else. If I expressed any slight criticisms of trans discourse on the vast majority of online spaces I’d get called a Trump supporter, a covert TERF or banned for “hate speech.” If I confided them to trans friends of mine, I’d get hit with gems like “I think you’re dealing with a lot of internalized transphobia!” as though any slight criticism of any aspect of the movement amounts to irrational fear/hatred. I’ve had non-trans people presume to lecture me for not being accepting enough of my own community. The most delicate mention of “I don’t think medically transitioning kids is a good idea” or “I don’t think non-binaries should be in exactly the same label/group as binary transgender” got me a patronizing lecture about “not attacking other people.” It’s completely ridiculous how no one, not even one of our own, is allowed to raise even the most moderate misgivings towards any of the dogma. It’s like everyone is so concerned with being performatively supportive of the lifestyle that they’re no longer actually supportive of its individual members. They want to be seen as a paragon of tolerance so badly that they silence members of the very group they claim to be allies for. It’s not about protecting actual people, it’s about protecting the narrative at all costs.
Ridiculous Cognitive Dissonance
and Hypocrisy in the Community
I resent the transpeople who put absolutely no effort into passing as female, yet throw a fit if anyone slips up on their pronouns even once. I’m sorry, but I don’t think putting on a pink skirt and overdone eye shadow as an unambiguously masculine-looking person gives you the right to demand equal status with women who’ve spent their whole lives molded by the positive and negative experiences it entails. (At least not in all circumstances it doesn’t.) I can absolutely understand why some women feel insulted when we belittle their unique lived reality of fear, catcalling, periods, and pregnancy (etc) by saying that throwing on a dress and taking estrogen is all a woman is. If we were being honest, or just the tiniest bit sensitive to others, I think more transwomen might appreciate how that could sometimes come across as dehumanizing. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be allowed to express our own femininity, just that we are not exactly the same as biological women.
Humans are evolutionarily programmed to discern whether someone is male or female in order to size them up as a potential mate or rival. You can dress however you want, wear makeup or fake tits if you please, it’s a free country. You even have the right to get angry if your presentation doesn’t match the self-image in your head and people call attention to it in public. You do not have the right, or shouldn’t in any case, to de-person someone for pointing out what they honestly see with their own eyes. And if you get confrontational over honest mistakes and slips of the tongue, you’re alienating potential allies as well as the ambivalent independents we need on our side. Again, you can conduct yourself however you want, but I think it must be exhausting to put yourself in a position where you’re always getting upset at random strangers who don’t know (or want) to play along with the fantasy.
It isn’t fair, but the unfortunate reality is if you don’t pass, the whole world is not going to indulge you at all times. Maybe they ought to, but realistically it just isn’t going to happen. In my experience, even if you do pass then people who know you’re trans still won’t see you exactly the same as they would a biological woman either. I hate admitting that, I wish it wasn’t so, but that’s been my lived reality. They’ll be nice and use your name/pronouns but you’ll never get the same treatment as cis chicks. Anyway, a lot of people are born ugly, or deformed, or disabled and they certainly wish that wasn’t the case either. Society makes certain accommodations for those people, like wheelchair ramps, but only up to a point. (Nobody puts a paraplegic in the regular Olympics, colorblind people can’t be pilots and no one plays along with paranoid schizophrenic delusions, nor should they be expected to.) I understand that what I just said is harsh, but someone has to be honest about the cold hard realities of life; it’s a big shit sandwich for (mostly) everyone and we all gotta take a bite. Blame God(s) if you don’t like it, not the messenger. And if you lived before modern medical science or abundant food production, believe me, your “gender identity” would be the furthest thing from yours or anyone’s mind.
ASIDE: Ironically, the developed world’s freedom from other struggles, so that our biggest worry is addressing the “gender identities” of 0.5% of the population is the very definition of “privilege” these SJWs throw around so much. But of course, the developed world is not actually free of struggle, with climate change and infrastructure decay and wealth inequality worse than ever before, which makes our focus on bathroom bills and inclusivity circle-jerking even more ridiculous. Fifty years ago, if you said that mankind would waste its final years before calamity arguing about this shit, no one would believe it, yet here we are. And that’s why I hate it when people assume trans issues are my biggest priority just because I’m trans–we have far bigger fish to fry.
On that note, I dislike how we’ve lowered the bar for what it means to be transgender from “has clinical gender dysphoria” to “whoever wants to be trans is trans” and thus opened the floodgates for trans-trenders and social exhibitionists to define the narrative. I’m not saying all or most or even necessarily many people who call themselves trans are just doing it for attention…but it’d be ridiculous to pretend that doesn’t happen at all. There are some I’ve seen, mostly online admittedly, who openly did it for social clout, as a socio-political statement, as a trauma response, to fit in with any community (even our toxic one) or as a fetish. We either need to set standards for who’s really trans or let ourselves be defined by the worst and weirdest who don the label. But no one’s allowed to say that or else they get branded as “transmedicalist/truscum.” Well, if you want us to be understood as a voluntary social movement instead of a genuine medical condition that we can’t control… then you must prepare for the inevitable and justified criticisms against said lifestyle choice. You can’t have it both ways. One has the right to be considered a protected minority class akin to race, sex or disability, while the other is just a weird voluntary social club. If we’re going to settle for the latter, we need to grow thicker skin and accept that we can’t force everyone to like what we’re doing and the way it effects them. That’s true of any lifestyle choice (like stoners, or emos, or evangelicals) and we don’t silence critics of those because that’d be ridiculous.
I’ve seen some people defend non-dysphoric transpeople with the concept of “gender euphoria.” IE, for transwomen it’s not that being a man causes them great mental distress, but that being a woman makes them euphorically happy. Now, I can speak firsthand to how exciting it is when you can finally go outside looking the way you always wanted to look. My first few times going out as a woman are some of my happiest memories, and tackling the many elements of being feminine (like learning makeup, growing out my hair, dating as female, practicing how to carry myself, buying clothes, etc) was a lot of fun. However, I do have to warn others that it wears off after awhile. Around the 3 year mark, it all becomes routine, mundane and even outright boring. There comes a point where having to spend an extra ~45 minutes getting ready for social engagements to put on makeup and coordinate outfits starts getting outright annoying. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes conforming to the feminine ideal feels as restrictive to me now as manhood used to. If that’s the only reason you’re undertaking this very expensive, widely stigmatized journey where you risk losing everyone you know, plus job opportunities and dating prospects…you’re gonna have a bad time. In my opinion, anyone pushing that mantra to encourage transitioning is setting others up for failure. They’re either irresponsible or too young/new at it themselves to recognize how fleeting that “euphoria” is.
As far as dating goes…I’m sorry but it’s perfectly acceptable to be discriminatory with regards to your future sole life partner. People are allowed to have genital/sexual preferences and pick whomever they choose to date. You don’t get to virtue signal about evil “”cishet”” white men forcing themselves on women while forcing yourself on others. The very word “transphobia” means nothing if you apply it to anyone who has valid dating standards, or who doesn’t conform to the latest terminology/dogma you just made up on tumblr. I hate the word “transphobia” because functionally it just exists as a way to shut down uncomfortable realities about the inherent contradictions of transgenderism. Basically it’s become: “Wah! Someone hurt my feelings by saying a thing that goes against my very individualized and always fluctuating gender labels! They should lose their livelihood immediately and forever!” Sorry, but I don’t support witch-hunting, censorship and morality policing–nor should anyone in a modern, civilized democracy.
The ultimate irony is, despite their demands for unremitted acceptance, the trans community never seems to shy away from attacking other people for their conditions at birth. Many trans people I’ve seen take their newfound “certified minorityTM” status and run with it, wasting no time going to social media to whine about how “those awful ”cishet” white males” are ruining the world. That always made me uncomfortable, because when I still identified as a male I really resented how so many people were ready to blanket blame me for shit I had nothing to do with and have actively campaigned against myself. Plus, “white males” have universally been my closest supporters and friends in transitioning, so I hate seeing them collectively dismissed as an antagonistic force deserving of public ridicule. The most belittling and hurtful people to me in transition have been other transwomen, and that’s a fact.
When I first came out, I used to buy into the “female brain/spirit born into a male body” narrative but even so, I have remained sympathetic to the plight of modern men. Guys have it rougher these days than they’re given credit for: from circumcision to social isolation, emotional repression and forced conformity to masculine stereotypes. (Which women enforce just as thoroughly as men, despite what the twitter mob would tell you.) But if I ever called other transwomen out like “hey come on, they have it bad too. You were there once, you know what it’s like.” They’d get all haughty and say “no I don’t know what it’s like for men, because I never was one! I have always been a woman!” before the inevitable block. And to me it’s like okay yeah fine…but you still had a male body, male socialization, male friends, male role models, male expectations thrust upon you…you should still have some understanding of and appreciation for the challenges that men face too. I mean, if you’re going to berate other people for not being completely empathetic to you, why not practice what you preach? I don’t think being spitefully obtuse in the service of propping up the dogmatic “woman born into a male body” mantra is doing anyone any favors.
Jazz Jennings & Transgender Kids
These thoughts have been building in me for years but the straw that broke the camel’s back was the Jazz Jennings rabbit hole. I came across an article about how she’s recently ballooned up to 240 pounds and clearly unwell. I wanted to know what happened and because of hug-boxing/safe-space nonsense on most websites, who take it upon themselves to censor “transphobic” language, (IE anything that makes anyone remotely uncomfortable) I had to delve into this topic starting with Kiwi Farms of all places. While they’re definitely more crude than they need to be about it, the posters there do sometimes raise legitimate points about the insanity of transitioning teens and even prepubescent kids in the name of “progress.” (More on the general phenomena of trans kids in a moment.)
The more I delved into the show, the more it’s clear to me that 1) Jazz was too young to come up with this stuff at 3 years old and was coached by an awful stage mom, 2) Jazz was pushed through the hoops of puberty blockers, HRT and genital surgery way too quickly and forcefully without having time to work things out between each step and 3) Jazz now deeply regrets what’s happened but can’t speak out or she’s letting down the whole movement and her family’s meal ticket. I believe the binge eating is her small way of rebelling and that we’re going to get a horrifying tell-all book about this story sometime in the next 10 years. The whole thing is an honest to God horror show, and I think it’s going to end with Jazz either dying young (intentionally or slowly through mistreating her own body), killing her wicked mother, detransitioning publicly or some combo of the three. It gives me no pleasure to say any of this, I hope that she finds some measure of happiness in life, I want her to pull through okay.
Aside from the personal tragedy for Jazz herself, any of the previous scenarios would also be disastrous for the cause of trans rights as it currently exists and maybe even drag the entire LGBT rights movement down with it. I see a great backlash on the horizon brought about by activists’ overzealous push to transition kids and die on every hill related to transgenderism in general. If the movement as it currently exists doesn’t reform and bend on some of its demands, it will break. That’s not a threat, it’s an unfortunate fact we need to start being realistic about. And to go back to the unfortunate person at the heart of this mess, Jazz has been unfairly dealt an impossible burden as the face of a community she never wanted to be as a preteen. Society failed this child, and all others like her, but nobody’s allowed to say it for fear of being lumped in with the alt-right or “bigoted racist/sexist/homophobe/transphobe ”cishet” white males.” Every transperson I’ve seen cheering on this slow motion nightmare needs to take a long hard look in the mirror, ask themselves what they’ve done and if it was really worth it. For my money, everyone involved in this child’s transition ought to be ashamed, especially the irresponsible Dr. Bowers.
Before, I’d been mostly ambivalent to the trans kids phenomenon. I figured “hey, they’re doing this through the medical community so I’m sure it’s all monitored and regulated and safe.” Part of me always thought sub-18 let alone sub-13 was too young to make huge life changing decisions about such a complex issue with largely untested medical procedures…but I trusted that the doctors knew what they were doing. I no longer hold that view. I’ve heard of psychologists feeling pressured by trans activists into pushing this lifestyle on an inordinate number of cases so as not to be perceived as gatekeeping. And whether it was their idea to push it or not, I’m sure the healthcare industry isn’t complaining about all the extra money from drugs and surgeries, which may be another facet of why transitioning is being pushed so hard lately. Even if someone had presented me with the option to get hormones/blockers and surgery when I was 13 (much less younger), I really don’t think I would have been comfortable doing it, nor would I begrudge my parents from stepping in to stop me in such a scenario. (In fact, my greatest source of resentment towards my parents/doctors is that they rushed to alter my body without my consent by having me circumcised against my will.)
Overall it’s way too risky, too experimental and really a lot of these kids probably would have learned to embrace their birth gender if given enough time anyway. (A few potential special cases aside, perhaps.) Just because you played with Barbies when you were 5 doesn’t mean you should be set on this expensive, dangerous, politicized, sterilizing cavalcade of adhoc medical interventions. Puberty is confusing for everyone, and most girls go through a phase of hating their body before learning to love it. You can’t know you hate (wo)manhood if you’ve never even tried it yet. I really think that a lot of fully grown transpeople project their own miseries and regrets onto these children and push them into it without giving the kids time to process their own thoughts, much less read all the pesky information that runs contrary to their narrative. I think a lot of well-meaning parents mistakenly push their kids into this path thinking it’s what they have to do for an otherwise healthy but socially non-conforming child these days. I also think a lot of ill-meaning parents, like Jazz’ mom, push kids into it for fame, political clout, attention and out of social conformity. Most kids grow out of it anyway.
Trans kids were always an objectively stupid hill to die on, it’s taken over the political narrative with a losing issue, plus it’s given our critics an easy (and well-deserved) cudgel to bludgeon us with. I truly feel that if we don’t distance ourselves from this now, then the community as a whole will not survive the inevitable backlash, for better or worse. At the very least, the Democratic party needs to stop making their support of this unpopular issue the face of their modern political campaigning. (Really, no one wants to say it, but the entire trans topic itself is an albatross around the neck of the modern left-wing. It’s sacrificing real progress for all in order to virtue signal for less than 1% of the population–utter lunacy.)
The juvenile puberty blockers are always framed as “it just pauses puberty, then you can go back if you change your mind, no biggie!” But it IS a biggie. You can’t just stop puberty from happening and expect a person to develop normally. There’s no data for the long term health effects this treatment has, and even if you try to induce natural puberty later, after a certain biological window has passed it will never be the same. You’ll start getting changes back to your birth-sex sure, but nothing like what would have happened if your body had been allowed to follow its natural course. And really, hormones and blockers only do so much anyway. Estrogen might soften your skin complexion and redistribute fat to the chest/hips, but your skeletal figure remains the same. It’s irresponsible to frame the argument as “letting kids choose the sex they want to be” when really, the majority of cases will result in someone who’s unpassable and ridden with maladies. If you had the genetics to be 6’4″ and wide-framed with a huge jawline like Dwayne Johnson, no amount of hormones will ever make you look like Audrey Hepburn. Doctors/activists need to be honest with the results of these to newcomers, especially if we’re really gonna try to justify giving these drugs to children. I’m not saying that people with male features shouldn’t be allowed to medically transition if they’re 18 and really want to–I believe in individual liberty–but we ought to be realistic with prognoses and manage expectations.
On that note, I really hate it when people see my body and ask “how long have you been on hormones?” impressed with how feminine it is. I always tell them that I was genuinely born this way, with a hairless hourglass-shaped figure, wide ass/hips and small hands/feet. Hormones didn’t do that, genetics (and possibly microplastics) did. All hormones accomplished were softening my skin, regulating my mood and causing me to grow breasts, which I appreciate, but again it’s only so much. To anyone who sees this as me bragging or gatekeeping, let me tell you I suffered for this body in my younger days. Among other things, kids accused me of shaving my legs in gym class all the time, and it was brutal trying to fit in as a guy with a dainty frame. Once, a girl I was interested in dismissed me as a non-entity after we played footsies and mine were smaller than hers. I was harassed for the fat distribution around my ass all the time, even by my own mother and “friends.”
Same with SRS, we need to make it clear to people that the shredded remains of their penis could be left numb to sexual stimulation. Neo-vaginas won’t clean themselves like the real thing because they lack that unique acidic environment. You won’t be able to get pregnant; the only life in those flesh-pouches are going to be smelly bacteria. If that were not enough, it may fall apart or have horrific complications from the outset until you die. Oh, and dilating is extremely painful. Telling everyone that the wonders of medical science can construct an anatomically correct vagina out of a penis is not only wrong, it’s dangerous and leads people to make regretful decisions. A lot of people with bad SRS results are silenced or shunned from our community for going against the narrative, but it’s inconvenient info that other trans people deserve to know.
Given those harsh realities, I think many in this day and age would opt to just be an effeminate man or tomboy. I’ve seen so many horror stories of SRS going wrong and no other surgeons being able to fix it or even tell what the other surgeon did because there’s no standard practice for these surgeries. Literally it’s just a few hotshot surgeons promising the sky, winging it, and then abandoning patients with complications to move on to the next big
payday, er customer. Despite what some people say about how “even doctors can’t tell the difference!” the truth is neo-vaginas are not the real deal. If that’s what you want, it’s a free country, but selling the idea as a cure-all for dysphoria is a step too far, especially to minors. Doctors and activists downplaying the risky side effects are irresponsible and should be charged with malpractice.
To some extent, the transgender narrative feels borne out of an outdated world where gender-bending wasn’t allowed at all, so it really was easier to just transition to the other sex in order to be yourself in public. We largely no longer live in that world, and while still controversial, feminine men are more accepted than ever. And really, I wouldn’t wish being trans on my worst enemy. It’s expensive, often dehumanizing, stigmatized, you don’t fully fit in with either sex, you get asked invasive questions all the time, you’re lumped in with a bunch of weirdoes, people presume to know all about you because they read some dumb article, you’re a walking political advertisement even when you don’t want to be…and the list goes on. It’s cruel and inhumane to sell this existence to people as an empowering lifestyle choice, or a fast track to “curing” their gender non-conformity. We ought to embrace feminine guys and masculine women, not “cure” them; transitioning should only be a last resort in extreme circumstances for people with crippling dysphoria who are old enough to know what they’re getting into. Anything else just forces back all the social progress we’ve made tearing down toxic gender roles and stereotypes.
Addressing the Concerns of Feminists/”TERFs”
I want to contribute to the ongoing legacy of femininity however I can, because I think it’s the most inspiring saga in the history of the world. I empathize with historical figures as well as fictional characters of both genders, but I identify far more strongly with women. In my formative years, most of my closest friends were women and I always felt disappointed when they did “girls only” activities I wasn’t invited to. Unfortunately, these arbitrary distinctions only mean so much as far as knowing what womanhood actually entails. I’ve received a taste of what it’s like to be afraid of going out after dark, but I wasn’t molded by it. I’ve been catcalled and crudely propositioned, but as a twenty-something who was used to being ignored, not a 12 year old just trying to be a kid. I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant when I engage in casual sex. I will never know the pain and inconvenience of periods, hormone fluctuations, menopause, morning sickness or lack of physical prowess. In short, I’ve only experienced a facsimile of the female reality and I, as well as other transwomen, need to be respectful of that. Liking stereotypically feminine activities/attire or wanting a vagina does not necessarily mean we have the right to call ourselves women in all contexts and be included in all things thereof.
The fracture that’s formed between feminism and transgenderism honestly breaks my heart. It may not be my fault per se, but it was never my intention that my lifestyle or the community that’s built around it should impede on women’s rights and safety. While the whole “bathroom predator” myth is an overblown scare tactic, there have been incidents of trans women flashing (inadvertently or otherwise) cis women in locker rooms and making them unreasonably uncomfortable. There are online spaces for women to discuss their issues as understood from a biological female perspective which have been overrun with trans people. Now we have lesbian subreddits dominated by transwomen posting selfies asking if they pass, where discussions of how awesome vaginas are get derailed with “don’t forget about girl-dick!” Lesbians aren’t allowed to have genital preferences (which is invalidating to everyone, especially other queer people) because it’s “transphobic.” Instead of anything concrete and describable, lesbians are apparently expected to be attracted to the nebulous label “real womanTM,” which seems to have less barriers to entry with every passing day. Instead of respecting these spaces as they existed before our movement, trying to be mindful and blend in, many of us are just throwing our weight around. Does no one see the irony of us stomping all over other peoples’ boundaries even as we demand they cater to ours at all times? It’s a genuine insult to multiple communities we need support from, like feminists and other LGBTs.
When cis feminists rightly call out these trends, instead of listening to them we ignore their points and dismiss them as “transphobic TERFs,” when we’re not calling them gendered insults in our own gated spaces. Is it any wonder that biological women should equate us more to the domineering men who’ve talked over them all their lives and not “real womenTM” as we demand of them? I’m sorry but I see some valid criticisms of transgenderism in gender critical discourse even if I am “trans” myself. And if I had been born female, I’d probably hate most of these weird unfeminine transitioners crowding what was once my separate community too. I’d resent the fact that I can no longer speak freely and must instead tiptoe around some attention-seeking whiners who are lacking in basic self-awareness, with perspectives that don’t match my own and pushing annoying transient lexicon on me if I should acknowledge them at all. I think it’s insane how so many “real womenTM” seem so nonchalant about unironically disregarding women’s voices, forcing them to do things they’re uncomfortable with. Apparently we’re only supposed to listen to women when they accuse “cishet” men of sexual assault, not when they express their feelings on anything else. This whole phenomenon is legitimately embarrassing and has convinced me to abstain from female spaces altogether, for fear of being perceived as one of the rabble.
This may sound like simp behavior, but I now believe the title “woman” is something that has to be earned on a per-individual basis, like “imperator” in the Roman Republic. It should be for women to proactively decide to include me in their spaces of their own free accord when/if they decide I’d be a positive contribution to them. It’s not for me to muscle my way in, make a big show of my “right” to be there despite flaunting the group’s established norms, and then cry “transphobic bigoted TERF” when anyone raises the slightest reservations. At the very least, there must be certain spaces allotted to biological women alone, where sex rather than gender determines categorization, such as sports. On the professional level, athletic fairness and safety must come before inclusivity. We don’t put the special Olympic contestants together with those of the regular Olympics for the same reason. When it comes to school-affiliated sports, the school board or a referendum of the parents should decide policy. If they choose to exclude trans athletes, it really isn’t THAT big of a deal to just try out for the other team. I’m sorry, but if your worst trauma coming out of a modern high school is “I had to play on the men’s team instead of womens!” consider yourself lucky. It’s not like outside leagues don’t exist or can’t be started either. This is not a life or death struggle for anyone except the female athletes getting their skull fractured.
All that said, I don’t put women on a pedestal either. This section is not about me trying to score brownie points and be a good little male feminist. Women can be just as awful as men, they are just as ignorant and cruel on average as men. Women enforce the same toxic masculinity they complain so much about, and in my experience they have a higher tendency for manipulative or disingenuous behavior. Some of the worst people I’ve ever known have been women. This modern trend of never being allowed to criticize female-led media or female public figures is totally asinine. Many popular feminist talking points, like the wage gap are complete bullshit. And in my opinion, society is long overdue for a movement challenging modern social injustices against men. Both sexes have their faults, and I hate how so many transwomen love to shit all over all things manhood while treating women’s clubs like a mystical harem of tolerance, sensuality and enlightenment.
Personally, I now think a good deal of popular trans discourse is actually built upon sexism in both directions. This is both ironic and disappointing, since my experiences crossing the gender barrier have actually given me a deeper insight into both, and I feel we are in a unique position to bring the sexes together in a common understanding, if only anyone was actually interested in that. Unfortunately, as a transwoman, if I stick up for men’s issues I get dismissed by women/feminists as just a covert male agent bent on undermining them from within. And, as a transwoman, if I try to tell my old guy friends about the misogyny I’ve noticed firsthand, I’m accused of being a traitor or getting brainwashed by the modern pro-feminist SJW social agenda. I can’t win and nobody wants to hear what I have to say.
Non-Binary Makes No Sense To Me
My final point of contention with the modern trans movement is the sudden propagation of non-binary discourse and especially this neogenders / xenogenders fad that’s cropped up in the last few years. I have genuinely tried in good faith to seek out information explaining what this subgroup is and why they feel the need to glom onto our community and the trans label specifically. I swear, I’ve sought out some real substantive info explaining this condition…but there’s just nothing. All the sources I can find on it are just op-eds or social media posts of people proclaiming it’s a thing with no empirically verifiable benchmark…and that’s it. The scientific literature I’ve found neglects what the medical basis for this condition is except the subjective statement that “gender is a spectrum.” (More on that latter.) With binary transgender, there is (or used to be) the scientific explanation of “a woman’s brain in a male body” (or vice versa) and/or hormone imbalances in the womb during development. Those studies have come under criticism, but they were there. For better or worse, I see no concrete medical criterion for being non-binary except people’s subjective feelings.
It seems like nothing more than a state of mind, a social statement, an impulse, and that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. I don’t care if someone wants to identify that way, I just think it ought to be kept separate from transgenderism or transsexualism or whatever we’re calling clinically diagnosed dysphoric people. Gender non-conforming people always existed, some ancient cultures recognized multiple gender roles etc. But from what I can see, most of these were understood to be eunuchs, primordial androgynous ancestors to male/female, intersex people, infertile women as well as sexually submissive and effeminate men. Most of them were a way to “other” undesirables and people who didn’t conform to gender roles or sexual function. The modern conception of non-binary is not the legacy of some ancient Hebrew or Native American “two-spirit” gender that they didn’t even bother to research except as a useful “gotcha!” in social media arguments to “prove” the narrative they’ve already settled on for themselves. No enby I’ve ever seen has been able to explain these historical third genders beyond a cursory mention with a very obvious lack of context or cultural understanding. It feels like they’re using them as a prop to shield themselves from criticism.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter anyway. The concept of gender is a nebulous, subjective and evolving abstraction that may not even be scientifically real, at least not in a way that’s useful. I, for one, no longer believe in the idea of an inner “gender identity” as it relates to trans discourse. I think gender is a mostly outdated leftover feminist colloquialism these days, used to differentiate between the biological reality of sex and the traditional roles associated with it. If we must insist on the continued existence of “gender,” it’s clearly a spectrum between what a culture considers masculinity and femininity, based on the two observable, biological sexes and what is deemed appropriate behavior for each. I do not doubt that “non-binary” people exist in the sense that many people don’t neatly fit into one or the other extreme in 100% of circumstances. Neither do I, and I’d guess neither do 99% of people. So, if everyone is some degree of non-binary by definition, then nobody is…or at least it’s a useless term. No matter how one defines gender, what never changes is that there are only two physical, phenotypical sexes of male and female. Those with intersex genitals and XXY chromosomes represent biological mutations but they are a small minority and not indicative of some “third sex,” anymore than twelve-fingered people or conjoined twins.
When someone purports to be so special, so “beyond gender norms” that they need their own labels and pronouns it’s a tad insulting to everyone else, in my opinion. It presumes that the rest of us are single-minded, one-dimensional beings who uphold gender restrictions as opposed to the nuanced individuals we are. Not only that, it needlessly confuses outsiders to the trans community, complicates the discourse for no discernible benefit except placating someone’s desire to be unique, creates strawman arguments (“36 genders”) for our critics and diminishes the struggle of people who “have to” transition in order to alleviate real, clinical dysphoria. I really don’t understand why we all can’t just agree that gender is a wide spectrum encompassing many unique iterations, if we must define it at all. Why does there have to be a million contradictory labels, pronouns, pride flags and symbols arbitrarily defining every conceivable step along that path? Why can’t we just be individuals without cramming ourselves into a million tiny boxes? What’s wrong with just classifying people by sex–the thing that’s scientifically defined and observably apparent–and letting us act/dress however we want? I think what we’re doing now is counterintuitive and only serves to divide us all into useless labels with competing agendas rather than unite us under a common human experience. It’s a step backward for inclusivity, alienating almost everyone in order to placate a small fraction within the .5% of the populace that’s trans in the first place. (See also: the Latinx fiasco.)
So, whatever, despite my misgivings I reiterate that I’m not here to police how people behave nor censor the language they use to describe themselves. I’m just offering my own opinion, and being honest that I don’t understand it at all. As is, I’ll play along and use “they” pronouns if someone asks me to, though I personally think it’s silly to insist such a thing is necessary. That’s just basic politeness. Be whatever you wanna be and I won’t advocate against you, it’s a free country. Just don’t tell me how hard it is to be non-binary and how oppressed you are when, far as I can honestly tell, the only thing you deal with is constantly reminding people to use awkward singular “they” pronouns. That’s it. You’re not officially barred from doing anything that anyone else can do and you can easily just pass as your given sex if you want/need to in order to avoid trouble. It’s not the new civil rights struggle of our time to demand everyone recognize something that cannot be empirically deduced because you feel like it, and it’s not the natural ally of those who suffer from crippling dysphoria (aka binary trans people) and didn’t willingly choose to be transgender.
I’ve seen some non-binary people claim to be dysphoric, but they can’t tell me what they wish their body could turn into. It’s not “I get distressed when I see my genitals,” it’s “I just think ‘gross’ when I imagine myself as male or female.” I’m sorry, I guess I lack the infinite wisdom of the woke crowd but that just doesn’t make any sense to me, nor does it give me much sympathy for the idea of turning society on its head for a handful of people’s irrational thoughts. Truth be told, I believe the whole thing delegitimizes real trans struggles by equating us with androgynous, terminally-coddled, special-snowflake, blue-haired teenagers whining that someone “just assumed my gender.” As someone who’s been exploited by people I trusted countless times, relentlessly bullied, estranged from family, sexually assaulted twice and physically assaulted in public…I don’t want to hear about how “misgendering is violence/traumatic!” if you haven’t known what it’s like to suffer through nightmares for years, deal with actual panic attacks, flashbacks, trust issues or diminished emotional affect, then you don’t know trauma. And if you really experience those symptoms because someone slipped up and said “(s)he” instead of “they” (which I doubt) you’re too fragile to conduct yourself in public. It’s time to touch grass as they say, and accept that your feelings don’t always trump everyone else’s.
Neogenders/Xenogenders Are Ridiculous
My feelings go from befuddlement to outright exasperation when it comes to the xenogenders who make up their own special individualized pronouns that have never existed and unironically identify as a fairy and/or make up their own completely arbitrary and useless labels like “polygender,” “agender,” “pangender,” “dreamgender” and “catgender.” (Yes, I’ve personally encountered those in the wild.) I see these people as either delusional Gen-Zers chasing a fad while they struggle with adolescent self-identity (as we all did to some degree at that age) in the best case scenario or, at worst, deplorable attention hogs intentionally co-opting the struggles of a medical ailment for the lulz. They muddy the waters so it’s harder to explain to outsiders what being trans is, they champion self-defeating poison pill initiatives like New York’s “36 genders” ordinance, and they have turned large segments of the trans community into something that’s…not what I signed up for. When I came out as trans I thought it was a medical condition wherein the brain/mind/psyche of a person did not match their biological sex and transitioning was the pursuit of rectifying that. Now it seems to be “anyone who ‘feels like’ they’re somehow indescribably different from the billions of other people who’ve ever existed and wants attention must be placated in all demands, at all times, or you’re a bigot who must have voted for Trump.”
I remember a National Geographic cover story in 2015 titled “The Gender Revolution” with a picture of a trans kid. The article and its implied messaging, that we trans people were here to force our “revolution” in everyone’s face, that made me very uncomfortable at the time but I figured it was just clickbait journalism. I “knew” that most of us are rational people who just want to alleviate our psychological turmoil in peace, without making a spectacle of it. Now I genuinely believe our medical issue has been co-opted by some radical post-genderists looking to push their worldview and use those of us with gender identity disorder as a shield from criticism or blowback. They hitched their ideology to our medical condition and bolstered it further with these misguided youths looking for a way to rebel without leaving the comfort of their computer screens. I didn’t sign up for this shit, I just wanted to transition in private and enjoy as much of femininity as I can without being shamed as a “faggot/sissy/wuss/twink” like when I was an effeminate male growing up. Either these new xeno-people aren’t transgender or I’m not, and the community seems to have made its choice so I guess I’m out. To be honest, I haven’t missed it.
It’s ironic that transpeople should get a taste of their own medicine by experiencing the very same dilution of their spaces which they themselves have inflicted on women. Suddenly it’s not politically correct to talk about the process of transitioning, or some self-important, bearded-lady, quasi(modo)gendered hermaphrodite criticizes you for “using speech that alienates those of us who don’t transition.” You’re not allowed to answer back with “what the hell are you talking about, that’s what being trans is…” without getting banned for “discriminating against non-transitioning non-binary and/or neogender people.” Soon enough the xenomorphs will be calling us binaries out for our “hormone privilege,” because at least a transwoman can take drugs to become an approximation of a woman, but the poor little oppressed “astralgender” can do no such thing. Once again the left eats itself while the wealthy elites laugh all the way to the bank, as is tradition.
Neogenders represent the pinnacle of middle class privilege and mediocrity, with lives so boring and pampered that they literally invent their own problems. It’s “cool” to be a persecuted minority for some people, it’s easy social clout if you’re a dreaded “”cishet” white male,” so they wear it like a fashion statement. I guarantee at least 98% of these people will move on from this phase in the next 2-3 years once the novelty starts wearing thin. Those who don’t belong in the insane asylum. I’m sure I’ll be raked over the coals for being so blunt about all this in the meantime, but I don’t care. It has to be said, because society’s collective fear of hurting people’s feelings has misled our children and driven our popular discourse off a cliff. I’m sorry, but if you don’t have dysphoria and decided you’re some kind of third way trans offshoot because that’s what’s trending on social media these days, then you have no real discrimination except that no one is willing to use your made-up pronouns. If that’s the biggest struggle you have going on in life, it’s time to count your blessings and stop complaining. Go watch a WWII documentary, or just wait 10 more years until civilization collapses from climate change, and then tell me about “hardship.”
It used to be that people identified as an attack helicopter as a joke to delegitimize the binary trans narrative. Now we’ve somehow accepted it with open arms with nary a critical thought spent in the process. I half-believe it was a false flag operation, to trick us into accepting a self-defeating ethos, in order to prove that the entire mainstream/binary trans mantra is also a lie and that the left will swallow anything. Once I started tugging at that thread, for me, it all unraveled. Part of the issue is that it’s hard to discount the supposed claims of these “I identify as a dinosaur!” people without poking holes in the binary trans narrative. That, I suspect, is why many are too afraid to call them out as attention-seeking tweens with no respect for the movement they’ve made mockery of. If you say to someone “you aren’t a pixie, there’s no physical evidence you are, if you really believe that you’re delusional,” then what’s stopping a conservative from saying I’m not a woman? For awhile, this cognitive dissonance bothered me a lot. Eventually though I just decided that, whether I’m really a woman or not, I can still be feminine and that’s what matters.
I’ve had enough of the labels, the oppression hierarchies, confusing lingo, ever expanding number of subcategories, virtue signaling and placating unbalanced people who are inherently selfish in their actions. I’m tired of having to defend bad behavior from “my” community or remind people that we’re not all crazy/confrontational attention seekers. I’m sick of having to conduct mental gymnastics to justify my own transgender existence while explaining how the transrace woman and transage man on the news are not valid in turn. I’m done with all of it, I just want to be me…whatever that means anymore.
I identify as transgender simply because I want to. What community? there is no community! I’ve never voted as part of, or donated money to any group who had the balls to make claims on my behalf or promoted policies I got to approve. What we have here, just like anywhere in the world, are self invested noisy do-gooders. They believe they lead a movement – they don’t. I don’t associate with those self inflated idiots and no one should. We should be calling them out, “You don’t speak for me.”
Your article goes on for too long, and tries to be all encompassing, you give these people more cred than they warrant. “They” claim to have changed the world on your behalf. In fact it’s the 1000’s of quiet transwomen going about their business who have changed the world.
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Thanks for the comment. I agree with a lot of what you said, especially the last sentence.
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I’m her husband, and I support this message.
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Cassie, this is a very well written and thought out opinion essay. As you are my only connection with anyone who is transgender I can only see this issue through your point of view, and you have logic and reason on your side. I am very proud that you are my best friend. While my own vanity gave me extra pride when we went out with you wearing glamorous make up in sexy dresses, I am still very proud to be seen with you without makeup in a flannel shirt like you wore on our walk in the park yesterday. Fat or thin you will always be my best friend. And I will always be proud to be associated with you. Beauty is as beauty does and that makes you with or without the trimmings about the most beautiful person I could ever have the pleasure of knowing. I’m sorry this reply is not more about the substance of what you wrote about. We have talked privately about all the issues you wrote about. I understand the issues and how you feel about them and since you are my only reference for anyone who is a trans person your point of view is the only one I know. Since you are now very much the most important person in my life aside from my children and grandchildren, I am very happy I have the opportunity to read your thoughts about this and other things in your blog posts. I want to know all I can about the the special person I am so proud and privileged to have as my best friend. As always Great job Cassandra!
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Thanks for posting this. It was a really interesting read and gave me a lot to think about
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You’re very welcome. I felt like it needed to be said, and from someone who used to be a dyed in the wool transwoman.
Once again, your intelligence and thoughtfulness shines through cassie! Found this Blog through Femina Ridens, stayed for the intelligent young lady writing.
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Thanks so much!
I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. I’m trans as well, and while I like interacting with other queer people and try to be as respectable as I can, I don’t put too much emphasis on my labels, I’m simply doing what I want, for me to feel relief.
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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.
While I agree with much of what you write, I think you’re way off about conservative thinking & voting people and the republican party as juxtaposed against the other significant party.
” I AM TRANSGENDERED”, and have been uncloseted for about 25 years, though less out and about now, being more of a target due to today’s trans-crazies creating the hostile environment. I also know many other realistic and reasonable conservative transgendered people. The trans-movement has sadly been hijacked.
Aside from saying this one thing, I will not burden with political opinion:
The angry tribal echo chambered political environment of today, heavily influenced and Controlled by the cultural Marxist Intelligencia Academics and Media are the serious threats (among others), not the “reasonable Conservatives” or the Republican party. To be sure extreme flanks of left or right are dangerous. To be clear, history has shown that both ultra Left & Right tyrannical political groups, once acquiring power, would and have eliminated LGBT …. people.
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