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Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Types of Gender-Related Intervention

F2M (Female-to-Male)
  • Testosterone therapy
  • Breast Reduction Surgery
  • Metoidioplasty
  • Phalloplasty
M2F (Male-to-Female)
  • Estrogen Therapy
  • Anti-Androgen Therapy
  • Facial Feminization Surgery
  • Dental reconstruction
  • Tracheal Shave
  • Electrolysis
  • Laser Peel
  • Breast Implants
  • Hair Implantation
  • Orchiectomy
  • Vaginoplasty
  • Labiaplasty
Sounds awful, huh? But wait! Everybody does it! You've seen Extreme Makeover, right? So:

Types of Sex-Related Intervention

F2F (Female-to-Female)
  • Estrogen Therapy
  • Breast Reduction Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Dental Reconstruction
  • Electrolysis
  • Laser Peel
  • Breast Implants
  • Hair Implantation
M2M (Male-to-Male)
  • Circumcision
  • Testosterone or other Steroid Therapy
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Hair Implantation
  • Viagra (lots and lots of Viagra)
I have a handout of this that I use, with images of famous transpersons in the first category and celebrities in the second. It always produces a chuckle.

But, seriously, what's going on here?

Why are we (transpeople) bad for doing these things (and must have two psychiatrist's signature for some of them), and celebrities are -- well --celebrated?

Because there's a deep-rooted taboo. You may enhance what you were born with, or get what you weren't born with, so long as it's same-sex. But stay away from the other sex's characteristics. Even though some people are born with both.

Who says so, and why?

The easy answer is religion, but there are many welcoming congregations, Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist. Willingness to allow transpeople an unharrassed and unthreatened existence has been sharply decreasing in Hinduism, increasing in some branches of Islam.

There is significant correlation between anti-transsexual activity and anti-gay activity, which is one reason why transpeople have sought to ally themselves with traditional gay and lesbian organizations to work together in education, advocacy and support -- though some gays and lesbians have been unhappy with the idea.

A less often noted correlation is between anti-trans activity and anti-choice activity: the same people who are into discrimination against transpeople are into refusing women right of access to prevention and termination of pregnancy.

Hmmm ... aha!

It's not about faith, it's about patriarchy, my dears.

Testosterone-driven heterosexual males, in other words.

Girls are supposed to be cheerleaders for the decisions of the boys. Don't question him ("I'm not lost. I don't need to ask the gas station attendant where we are"). Don't try to work around him ("What do you need those pills for?"). And don't go falling for other girls, because that limits boys' access to --umm -- something they feel they have a right of maximum access to. Or, worse tying to become a boy. Gotta be able to cause pregnancies, y'see. So, just ... obey.

And boys must be loyal to the culture of the boys. Don't fall for a guy, because guys gotta have solidarity in this dominate-the-females thing. And as for becoming a girl -- or arguing that you were one all along -- those in power have always reserved their worst invective -- and punishments -- for defectors.


Why I'm thinking about this right now is that members of Oregon's house of representatives are being inundated by calls, letters and visits from people who want them to vote against Senate Bill 2, which passed the senate 21-7 a couple of weeks ago. The great objection to it seems to be that it will allow transpeople to go rape women in ladies' restrooms.

Interestingly, all the bill does is make it illegal to fire you for sexual orientation, or deny you housing or access to public accommodations for sexual orientation.

But in the fine print, the bill includes gender identity or expression in sexual orientation. Hence the hoopla. Hysteria, really.

Dear readers, now would be a good time to write or call your representative in support of the bill -- they outnumber us in calls and letter right now 2 to 1.

Here are your talking points:

1. It is not illegal in Oregon for either sex to go into the others' restroom. Women have often made use of this legality to get to a stall in time when the ladies' room is out of order or too crowded to use in time.

2. Many people who are (illegally) denied access to restrooms are masculine looking born women or feminine looking men who are trying to go to the very restroom they were "born" to.

3. Some people who are denied access to one restroom or the other, or both, were born with primary or secondary sexual characteristics of both sexes -- intersexed. [The intersexed could be said to be God's answer to mass religious hysteria about gender!]

4. Some disabled people have attendants who are not the same sex, and who must attend them into whatever restroom is usable.

5. Male predators tend to fall into several distinct, recognizable categories. Men who prey on women don't cross-dress; they are expressing power and dress accordingly. Men who prey on children don't cross-dress; they are expressing power and dress accordingly. Men who prey on men don't cross-dress; they are expressing power and dress accordingly.

6. Cross-dressers and transvestites mostly keep to home or to gender-bending gatherings or, when "out," such as shopping, try to be discreet. There are almost no recorded cases anywhere of a true crossdresser seeking access to restrooms for predatory purposes.

7. The few instances of predators in dresses that have been recorded had nothing to do with anti-discrimination laws. It's always been illegal to assault people and always will be. Like the libertarians say, "all crimes are hate crimes."

Some of us MTFs have had full reassignment surgery. What are we doing in the ladies' room? Duh -- gotta go somewhere. And if you think I'm going in that one over there -- with its dirt, its grime, and its large, testosterone-laced, unpredictable animals -- unh-unh.

risa b


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