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Trans AMA
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HKVeteran



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 91
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also this:
Quote:
I don't personally tend to set off the scanner unless my hair is wet


... made me imagine a metal-detector malfunctioning due to wet hair.

I thought it was funny.
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enchantedsleeper



Joined: 15 Jun 2013
Posts: 1031
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zilla wrote:
I do, and I like how normalized she is. It's really refreshing to have a character be trans and /not/ have it be the be-all, end-all character trait, and to show that we can be happy or have our own struggles that have nothing to do with gender.

I do still kind of wish it explored how she felt a little more, but I mean, those stories exist elsewhere, and we do need those characters where being trans is just one fact about them, and you get to see how normal we really are.


That's a good point :3

Zilla wrote:
I'm kind of waiting for Claire's turn on the drama wheel too. If anything breaks her and Martin up, it's going to be a rollercoaster of emotions.

Thanks for asking!


Thanks for answering! That makes a lot of sense. Also, maybe I'm jinxing things, but I really don't get the feeling that that's going to happen. First of all because in the past, all the relationships that ended badly had the conflict that eventually ended them foreshadowed earlier on. Dora's insecurity issues, Sven's playboy-ness (I mean, if you can even call his and Faye's thing a relationship), Padma's moving out of town... what broke Faye and Angus up was a bit more of a surprise, but I think the issues were still hinted at, particularly Faye's attachment/abandonment issues. We haven't had a hint of anything of the sort with Marten and Claire.

Secondly, I don't think Marten could continue to have relationship drama for the entirety of the comic's run; eventually he was going to settle down with someone. For that matter, I think all of the comic's current romantic relationships feel settled in some way. Dora and Tai, Marten and Claire, Marigold and Dale... the last remaining bastion of romantic drama is Faye and Bubbles, and I am SO excited to see how that one is going to play out : D *popcorns vigorously*

(Oh, and I almost forgot Clinton, Brun and Elliot and their adorable possibly-poly triangle. I'm excited for that as well!)

Anyway. That got rather off-topic, but it's something I've been thinking about lately. Tl;dr version is, I think that Claire will get to stay away from the drama wheel unless she's vigorously spinning Clinton round on it xD But we'll see!
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Strix Varia



Joined: 07 Feb 2016
Posts: 210
Location: State of confusion

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you feel trans genders in high school should use their "Before" or "After" dressing rooms during gym class?
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HKVeteran wrote:
I feel like I should have figured this out by now, but when you say "Trans Woman" does that mean you've transitioned TO a woman or FROM a woman?

I am assuming the former but I want to be sure.


So there's some linguistics here that can be difficult in terms of how this is frames, and it touches on a lot of issues in how we think about trans people in general. The easy answer is that I am a woman and this where I want to be.

The more complicated answer has to do with how that question is respectfully asked.

There's a lot of studies showing that most trans people have physical brain structures closer to the gender they feel they are than the outward sexual characteristics would usually indicate. In that sense, the person in question could be said to always have been of the gender they wish to be, and it's just adjusting the outside to match. Some people would say they've always been whatever gender they feel they are, and we're just making their body match. They never weren't a woman or a man.

But, yeah, to be simple, I'm a gal.
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strix Varia wrote:
Do you feel trans genders in high school should use their "Before" or "After" dressing rooms during gym class?


It really depends, and this question has a lot of... problematic undertones about specifically women in its asking.

Consider this.

If someone wanted to assault or harass someone else, are they really going to stop because they entered the safe zone? There are no force fields that bounce "the wrong people" out. There's this pervasive cultural narrative that men will abuse women if they are allowed access to spaces where women may be more vulnerable. It's paternalistic and really buys into the toxic narrative that men have no self control, and women need to be kept safe from those savages.

You'll also notice that nobody ever thinks about this issue in the context of trans men. There's never a moment where people are upset thinking about letting a trans guy into a men's room, but if they look masculine enough, people will want them out of the women's room too.

I didn't have any gym classes after I came out and transitioned, but I did have to use the bathroom. The school's solution was to only allow me to use the bathroom in the nurse's office. Additionally, when we went on school field trips where we slept in hotels, I got a room to myself.

This... really isn't the best.

It sent a lot of messages about how "other" they viewed me. They soared me having to shack up with boys, but it clearly communicated that I wasn't really a girl to them. Even the girls in my grade were with me on that, thinking it was unfair to single me out l ile that.

That said, it avoided any moral panic.

I think the trans people in question kind of ought to be asked what their preference is, and given some leeway in their options. For what it's worth, the statistics don't bear out that men pose as women to gain access to women's spaces. I've heard a lot saying it NEVER happens, but I'm not a fan of absolutes, and even if there are cases where it happens, I don't think it tells the full story. Would they not have assaulted anyone if only "they weren't allowed"?

Lastly, just a point of respect, but "trans genders" is generally seen as an ignorant way of saying "trans people." Thanks!
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The Victim Here



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 2922
Location: Wed May 05, 2004 8:27 am

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit of a ghost on the forums these days, so we've never interacted. If any of these questions come off as too personal, or the phrasing seems a bit eeeh, feel free to tell me to go jump.

What's the angriest you've ever gotten with someone who thought they weren't being offensive?
What's the best emotion you've had from someone who didn't think they were being kind?
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting questions!

I don't tend to remember situations where I get mad at someone who is ignorant but well meaning, but some TERFs who think they're allies and know exactly what trans people are going through... they're pretty high on that list.

That, or else, when Mom tried to comfort me about not being able to have children with that old chestnut of "there are lots of sterile women out there." That doesn't really address the problem, Mom, and it's like I'd only want to have a kid so I could feel like a woman? Like, I want it regardless of how society views women.

As to the flipside... probably the time I went to the doctor's and she asked a lot of female-only questions, and I had to be, "uh... I'm trans." And even then, I don't think she really believed me ^^;_
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wait, no, I totally have another one.

Earlier in my transition, just as I was working on my voice in a bill collections caller job, I called up a surly man who was very haggard by all the collections call. It was my first day on the phones for training, and I was putting my voice to the test.

So when he lays into me with the "listen, lady" and calling me a bitch, I can't help feeling proud of passing while dealing with this misogynist butt. It really takes the edge off the insult when it's coupled with being recognized as the right gender.
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The Victim Here



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 2922
Location: Wed May 05, 2004 8:27 am

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the answers. If no one else is gonna step up, I'm gonna keep poking gently at your life Razz

When did you first find the words that helped you be able to talk about who you were all along?
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess that depends on what "find the words" means. If it's a question of knowing terminology that helped communicate things.... I technically could have said "I want to be a girl" as early as age 7, when I knew for sure. But I also remember hearing about "sex change operations" when I was 11, and being intensely interested. I didn't know there was a process to do what I wanted to do. I thought right then and there that I would plan on disappearing at age 18 with a pile of cash so I could get the operation and start a new life as myself. I naively thought the operation was a one-and-done transition goals extravaganza. Go in looking like Brad Pitt, come out looking like Angelina.

I remember also thinking that I wouldn't mind if it made me less intelligent or disabled my ability to walk or talk or do anything, that it would give it all up so I could be the me I always wanted.

I learned about transgender people as a class of people in 7th grade health class. The teacher said the ratio of mtfs to ftms was about 9:1, and she asked why. My answer was that the male gender was so stifling and narrow, but girls had a huge range of expressions. If a tomboy wanted to be a tomboy, she could still be a girl. But guys can't do the same. Being a girl put you in a much bigger box than the tiny stifling box called masculinity.

I learned more facts about the transition process in Biology in 10th grade. I learned about hormones and intersex types. I learned that transition wasn't a single procedure, but a gradual shift.

And finally, when a girl who I had been friends with, who had moved out of state, messaged me about my 17th birthday and said I was "becoming a real woman," my facade fell. I told her, because she was safely away from me and the rest of my life, and because she seemed like she would listen.

A month later, I told another girl I was close to. I told her online. She was also attending the same school as me, so she was more of a risk, but she took it well. She linked me to Venus Envy, a webcomic about a trans girl.

A few weeks later, I told my gay guy friend. In person. In his car. Risky, but worth it. He seemed to understand, mostly.

Then I told the GSA at school. Nothing really changed. Eventually, the second girl I told and a friend of ours offered to "kidnap" me and give me a makeover. It was heart-pounding, but they really helped. We even waxed my face. Nothing can compare to the pain of that procedure!
I told my mom on a Wednesday at nearly 6 o'clock, because I gave myself that deadline to tell her. She cried for a moment about "losing a son," she gushed about how it was "so impressive that I knew myself that well," and she later took me clothes shopping and bought me a huge makeup sampler kit.

I told my school counselor at some point, and she referred me to a gender clinician. We set up appointments, and I started understanding the roadmap I would be travelling. It was... gatekeeping as heck. I could have started hormones in 6 months, "but it will be so close to your 18th birthday, why don't we just wait?"
So I did, because I didn't want to risk her support. >_<

My dad found out by finding a pamphlet in my pocket, which he had sent through the washing machine. He confronted me, demanded to know everything, so I told him everything. He said he would find a psych, I said no. I told him I was already seeing someone. I didn't trust him for a second not to try to find a conversion therapy counselor and torpedo my chances for transition.

So, uh, I guess that covers all you asked and then some?
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The Victim Here



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 2922
Location: Wed May 05, 2004 8:27 am

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The question was oddly phrased, but I'm glad you ran with it. It sounds like you had care and support around you (for the most part), with people who did their best to try to understand and be there for you.

Now, we have a bit of a split in shared experiences; a chunk of my primary and all of my secondary education (equivalence is pretty much kindergarten through high school, usually in 2 schools, but some are single blocks of education) was in Ireland, and we'd never been taught or spoken to about transgender folks. From that standpoint, your school seems extremely progressive, though the early-aughts were a different time. Also, had to have a quick check up on what a GSA was (Gay-Straight Alliance is what cropped up), as nothing we have here (at a high school equivalent level) seemed to be easily visible.

I suppose the question in this walk-about is that if you hadn't had that education, do you think you would have still tried to pull off your daring plan, or would you have taken it upon yourself to steal away whatever knowledge you could to understand the process more?


As a brain-jerking tangent, do you have any nebulous thoughts on "presenting"? Like, is it an unfortunate thing in society that to be acknowledged passively in society, you have to slide smoothly into a pre-built box and cannot have truly free expression? I was forming an "or" here previously, but I can't think of a good contrasting example and it's been 10 minutes.
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, you got the right expansion of GSA, Gay-Straight Alliance.

Next, I don't think things would have gone the way I'd planned anyway. Like, I'd probably end up doing research on how to get the surgery, and I probably would have stumbled into the right channels sooner or later. Turns out, you can't just up and get surgery without getting notes from therapists... I might have cut contact with my dad, but... that's actually no different than it is now anyway. >_>

And to the last... well, personas are interesting things, huh? I definitely had my crisis of whether I was feminine enough ^^;; Gender is kind of a weird socially constructed thing, and it turns out I was pretty reductive in my thinking of what counts as feminine or masculine... Heck, I had a complex about how I like to play competitive video games, and like wearing jeans.

So, yeah, I do think making boxes for what people should behave and enjoy based on things beyond their control is really dumb. Heck, even things that are in their control tend to make us assume things about them that really aren't true.

Take tattoos for instance. Some places won't hire people who have tattoos because of assumptions about the kind of people who get them. But most people with tattoos are just expressive, creative types, who want to use their body as a canvas. It says nothing about their propensity for riding Harley Davidson motorcycles or fighting "the Man." Even in, say, Japan, where the stigma against a tattoo is HEAVY, a person with a tattoo might me more likely to be yakuza, but you never know for sure, and even being a member of the yakuza doesn't mean they fit a specific mold. There are stories of some yakuza who are deeply protective of the common people.

So... yeah, presenting is dumb. And I think, even if anyone could be anything without judgment, I still would want to transition. It's a body I feel more at home in, and, honestly, I wish I could be a mother someday. We'll see if technology gets there.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 11324

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zilla wrote:

So when he lays into me with the "listen, lady" and calling me a bitch, I can't help feeling proud of passing while dealing with this misogynist butt. It really takes the edge off the insult when it's coupled with being recognized as the right gender.


lol, i like this. wresting little victories from the patriarchy
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 11324

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am direly curious to have you watch the contrapoints video on ~gender~ and seeing what your take on it is or where you would add to or change the idea!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_uEXzqW43c
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Zilla



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woah, I am not used to Natalie sounding so low. @_@

I like Contrapoints a lot, but I can't say I remember this one. I'll give it a (re)watch when I have a moment and let you know what I think.
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