Friday, August 02, 2013

A Trans-Woman Who Lives As A Woman

That was what Lt Colonel Cate McGregor in the Australian army used to describe herself and it resonated with me. Because that is how I identify; she goes on to say that she knows that she will never be “a woman” and that she will always be transgender.

I sometimes say that “I am a woman with a unique history” I believe that no matter how much you pass and assimilate into society you will always know your history others might see you as a woman, but you will know your history. I was talking to a friend today and the topic about scouting came up; I said that I made cattail pancakes in the scouts. Now we both knew I meant the Boy Scouts, but if she didn’t know my history she probably would have thought Girl Scouts.

I was talking to a trans-woman at a conference who was saying she was talking to the woman next to her on the plane who was noticeably pregnant, when the other passenger saw a picture of my friend’s daughter she asked her if she had a difficult labor. What would you say if you were asked that question, no I’m really her father?

At a support group meeting once there was a woman crying that I had never seen at a meeting before and I thought she was a spouse of a member. When we did our check-in it turned out that she was in deep stealth and had transitioned over 30 years before and was married with adopted children. They went to buy a house and the credit check came back AKA John Doe and the husband wanted to know what that meant; when she told him he threw her out of the apartment, changed all the locks and filed for divorce.

So when I hear a trans-woman say that “I’m a woman” I think “really?” Would a woman have to think twice what say about childbirth? Would a woman have to think twice before saying that she was in scouting?

That is why I like what Lt Colonel Cate McGregor said, “A trans-woman living as a woman” and I would add that before I transitioned I was a trans-woman living as a man.

I don’t really care if you say “I am a woman.” But I would say ask yourself, really?

9 comments:

Caroline said...

No mater how much you find yourself accepted, and that can be far more than you ever thought possible, Your past cannot be denighed. You will be an immigrant from another sex, nothing can make you a native born but that does not mean that you should ever consider yourself unworthy of your new place in life.

Many immigrants make better citizens than those who just arrived by their accident of birth...

Diana_CT said...

I love your analogy, it fits perfectly.

Shirley Anne said...

Well Caroline I do not consider myself an immigrant from another sex. Although I grew up as a male and functioned as one I was always a woman trying to escape from within. I thought like a woman and had female traits and habits and always knew that one day I would be free to be who I really was. I cannot deny my history but I never speak about it as it was. Whenever I am asked questions about my past I give answers that are expected by those posing the questions. Naturally I cannot do this with those who know my past but everyone else will assume my past is typically a female one. Personally speaking I think those who consider themselves anything but who they are as real women (or men)are to some extent imposters. This is why transition is a misnomer, I actually do not think that one can transition, all that anyone can do it alter one's appearance. If you are or were a woman in the wrong body you were and are still a woman.

Shirley Anne

Coline said...

No mater how much you find yourself accepted in your new body physically and chemically modified to match your true self, and that can be far more than you ever thought possible, Your past existence as physically male cannot be denighed. You will be an immigrant from another body and upbringing, nothing can make you as a native born but that does not mean that you should ever consider yourself unworthy of your new place in life.

Many immigrants make better citizens than those who just arrived by their accident of birth...

I stand by the spirit of the first version, the second hopefully is less open to various interpretations. At least Diana liked it...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I read stuff around the various TG blogs and a simply sigh at the crass stupidity of what I have just read and other times I laugh out loud. In both circumstances I usually leave the blog without making comment. Most often because on one hand I know that what I say will be attacked with the vehemence of a rabid dog and on the other because I doubt what I say will be given any serous intellectual consideration.

I doubt the voracity of the story you relate regarding your 30 year post transition example because on one hand most credit records have no interest in records that far back and no access unless they involved criminal fraud and on the other because someone who has a 30 year established female history is unlikely to be stupid enough to make admissions in the way you describe. So either your "story" is fiction or you do not have all the facts. Your second example of the woman who showed pictures of her daughter to a pregnant travel companion should have simply said "I adopted my daughter/son. The question of labour is then inapplicable. Someone who has survived 30 years and is genuinely TS would most likely have enough experience to avoid such social traps. Don't invoke the "no true Scotsman" contra because it may be that the person in your example is simply stupid. It is also unlikely that a genuine TS has fathered children though admittedly it is not impossible.

You should be aware that what you are doing and what the vast majority of TG "activists" are doing is playing with words and descriptive in order to make the unacceptable acceptable. However, it does not alter facts and it is facts you should be considering not subjective descriptive.

Cassandraspeaks

Diana_CT said...

That was the story that she told at the support group, she said that she transitioned in the late 70s. When she married I have no idea, but I don't doubt her story that her past came out in her credit history. Since the support group was affiliated with the clinic and a member of the clinic (who was at the clinic since it was foundered in 1974) was facilitating the meeting I do not doubt her story and that she is TS.

And about the "pregnant travel companion" that is my point, you have to make up a story to cover your past.

Diana_CT said...

P.S. These were two different women, the woman on the plane transitioned probably a little over 10 years ago. She also told the person next to her the truth and had a conversation with her for the rest of the flight. But that was not my point, which was you have to make up a story to cover your past if you are stealth.

Anonymous said...

I have said this elsewhere before, stealth is really not something that you create it is something that comes to you. I disagree with your statement about history. I have found that transsexuals have a history that quite contrary to your statement is a history true to who they are and the rest is simply a birth defect.

That maybe hard to understand but then you do identify as transgender and and from your post clearly as a trans woman.

Women never have to think twice about what to answer about pregnancy, childbirth and raising of children. Only trans women do.

Caroline, contrary to popular transgender belief no woman denies her past especially when befallen with a birth defect that makes child bearing impossible. And no woman will ever immigrate from another sex. The confusion sowed by the transgender notion of immigration, the notion of "as a woman" instead of a woman makes itself felt everywhere.

Cassandra has this right, sometimes you have to grip your forehead to make it hurt less when you read this kind of stuff.

Kathryn

Anonymous said...

The immigration anaolgy is staggeringly spot on. Maybe it could be amended and expanded: immigrants who already speak some of the language or much of the language, immigrants who are just inclined to pick it up quickly, immigrants who simply don't feel at home at "home"? It's brilliant.

And you can't, you just logically can't, say you once functioned as a male but did not at that time inhabit the world of male functioning. If you ever *functioned* as male, you emigrated.

The very term trans: across, fer chrissakes. Embracing the wide variety of experiences of girlhood and womanhood means not erasing the experiences of others, in this case people who were socialized as female from birth and have never, ever functioned within the social hierarchies of life as males, functioning males. Experiencing what to you are inherent "female habits" and "female traits" is also wholly subjective. This is not a universal female experience either (ask millions of cis girls and women...and if stereotypically (offensively so! /subjectiveexperience) feminine behaviors and "habits" (no, just no) were inherent we wouldn't have had to be instructed constantly our entire childhoods and beaten up for not playing along! The amount of energy the world expends teaching girls to be girls is pretty silly if we're all born like that. And pretty much every woman I know, including trans women, are Nitschean superpeople, because most women I know have very little of that tiresomely "inherently female" crap left in them...teachings that go against your nature don't stick).

That subjective experience also doesn't make someone who once lived outwardly male someone who is a native to the full experience of being socialized as female from birth. It makes you someone who felt that your personality was female, and the more power to you for fighting to become yourself. But I never experienced inherent female anything, and I am female too. One's subjective experience doesn't make her exempt from the world's lived realities. And frankly it doesn't make her not an immigrant to a place that has been shaping plenty of other women since the moment they first drew breath.

It's important to acknowledge the vast diversity of the female experience. Claiming yours isn't a migrant's trip to womanhood erases others' experience. The very arguments here are proof of this immigration: natives simply don't have to concern themselves with things like what to tell people about their past gender identities and presentations in this particular way.