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Mudcub educates himself by drinking a lot
I read a great book a few months ago: Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano. The book infuriated me, but also taught me a lot. One of Serano's points is that TV shows about transwomen always love to show several iconic scenes: the transwoman putting on makeup, laying in a hospital bed after surgery, the tearful "reveal". As if the story can't be told without those important plot points.

I think I understand her point. To cisgender people (i.e. those who are the same gender they were both with), sometimes we think it's All About The Dick. Did she get it cut off? Did that hurt? What does it look like now? Does it still work? Most guys *love* their cocks, and can't imagine living without it. So, for someone to voluntarily give up their penis is strange and terrifying to some men.

Of course, this ignores transfolk who don't have surgery, queer folk who don't claim a gender, and ignores the individual experience that makes each person unique. In fact, I think concentrating solely on dick ignores why trans people are trans. If someone asked my how it feels to be a cisgender man, and then kept asking me all about my blue jeans, repeating, "Now, please tell us about your PANTS," I'd be pretty offended. My gender, my sexuality, and my life is not about what I wear. It can be related (heh... I have tons of kinky gear fetishes {grin}), but simply putting on clothes does not make me what I am. Transwomen are more than the sum of their makeup, shoes, and underwear.

So, after reading about ABC's "Primetime: Family Secrets" on the website Pam's House Blend, I had to grab myself a bottle of tequila and play alone with the Trans Documentary Drinking Game!



(Listed below are places where I took a shot, as well as actual quotes from the show that I found funny. Note: I quickly started to water down the tequila with margarita mix, and then I got kind of drunk and my blogging got more and more sloppy, but I hope you get a feel of what the show felt like)

Shot 1. Ted driving riding lawnmower
Shot 2. Washing face in bathroom
Shots 3 and 4. Picture of dad (first shown off by son, then framed on the wall)
You know, Ted's much "prettier" than Renee
Shot 5. Hospital bed
Interviewer talks about Ted's "gigantic plunge into womanhood"
Shot 6. Ted liked Tonka trucks "I was a boyish boy"
Shot 7. Lots of shots of women's underwear (Ted had a shopping fetish)
"The secret that would change the prince family together"
Lots of slow-motion shots of underwear
Ted's motorcycle accident
Ted finds out he has Klienflelter's Syndrome (sp?)
Shot 8. "Are you aware of your XXY chromosome?"
The bee sting resets Ted's endocrine system, giving him breasts
(Really? No... really?)
Shot 9. "Ted started to explore his secret persona"
"Ted exploring authentically his female self was devastating"
Shot 10. Tons of photos of intersex dressing
"Ted existing in a gender no-man's land"
Shot 11. Huge montage of photos
Ted's co-worker "Ted? Why are you wearing a bra?"
We find out that Ted chose the name Chloe
But for some reason, the show still calls him Ted
"My dad did not take this well initially"
Dad watched while "Ted slowly disappeared"
Dad "I was thoroughly ashamed of myself"
"It was a suicide attempt that finally got through to Ted's father"
Shot 12. Ted's suicide attempt on a motorcycle accident
"Ted, now Chloe, forged ahead"
Shot 13. "Her penis was refashioned to form a vagina"
"I removed a birth defect"
Cut back to Renee crying in the kitchen, supposedly after surgery
"Ted returned from Thailand a new woman... literally"
Shot 14. Before and after photos! Side by side!
"And you also described it as opening a Pandora's Box?"
Repeat of the face-washing scene. Weird. Maybe it's a fetish
Shot 15. Chloe talks about herself in the third person
Renee "I'm not a lesbian. I warned him that I can't do that"
"The physical affection ends with a hug. There is no intimacy"
"I miss being able to and hug him and kiss him in public."
"I just want a normal run-of-the-mill quiet life"
Shot 16. Chloe at the computer surfing dating sites
Chloe packing up all her men's clothes
Oh! Now we're using the female pronoun and Chloe's actual name
Renee crying, "I'm fine, I'm fine"
"It's just a sad thing to say goodbye. It's unworkable"
"next... inside one of the most unusual conversations to take place between and parent and her child"
"...when we come back"
Shot 17. Random photo of Chloe getting her hair done
...and now we get to exploit the children for a bit
Son: "Mom Chloe woke up as a girl"
"You get the benefit of having two moms and a dad"
Shot 18. Chloe's shirt says "100 kisses" (?)
Dr. Angelo, a serious looking gender expert with spiky hair
Shot 19. Dr. Angelo says completely reasonable things that are no surprise to anybody
Good thing they had an an expert
"If I did not do what I did, there would be a gravestone with my name on it"
Two sons: "We just want them to be happy they have children"
Shot 20. Putting on mascara nowhere near a mirror
Shot 21. Kissing a former girlfriend in a surprise visit
"You look beautiful!" "You do too!"
"For a moment I actually questioned myself - did I make the wrong choice?"
Chloe is kind of a bitch
"She had been through too much to question her decision now"
We get told that the transition cost $70,000
Renee pissed at talking about the 70k that Chloe raised by borrowing on her 401k
Shot 22. Shots with Chloe and men with blurry faces
"You find yourself attracted to men now?" "All the time!"
"I get hit on all the time! Yeah!"
Chloe operating a weedwhacker
Again on the riding lawn mower
Chloe lifting heavy things and climbing up telephone poles for a living
Dad one last time: "He wears different clothes. And he smells better."
Shot 23. Renee "I still love him. Her. I'm not trying to be funny."
Shot 24. Again with the face washing!
Chloe "What we're going to do is... breathe"
Chloe back in Thailand to fix "scar tissue"
Shot 25. "And Renee has a secret of her own"
"This is pretty shocking stuff... maybe it's God's way of saying No More Secrets"
"For all of us at Primetime and ABC, I'm Juju Chang" (sp?)
Mudcub goes to bed more than a little drunk


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"Lady GaGa -- Poke Face"

The Freudian slip with Lada Gaga's song title made me chuckle.

Re: "Lady GaGa -- Poke Face"

Better than her other hit song, "Just Dunce"

Re: "Lady GaGa -- Poke Face"

Better than her other hit song, "Just Dunce"

D'oh! I'm always getting song lyrics wrong. I thought it was "Just Prance!"

Re: "Lady GaGa -- Poke Face"

I only like her for what she wears. <_<

Serano is great. I loved her book.

I had mixed feelings about that book, bout I agree it *was* quite good. My review is at:


plus now we know mudcub is a fruit with a fruit (aka Mac user)

I find it amusing/gratifying how many frightfully smart people I know (mudcub being one of them) drive Macs, given The Other Side's relentless efforts to portray Mac users as non-techies, artists, web developers, and other "not serious business" uses. :/

Also, since I know you know a few F2Ms in Denver, as I do (in fact, I think I know as many F2M TS folks as I do M2F) I found it slightly odd that you spoke about the TG phenom primarily as being all about the dick. By which I mean, mostly M2F. Admittedly, M2F does still seem to be far and away more common.

i am not the most educated person to talk about this topic - so i'm saying this from a place of almost total ignorance - but i still think it's all about the Dick. FTM or MTF. Whenever some (if not most) cisgender people meet a transsexual person, i think the first question that comes to their mind is "How do they do it? Who do they do it with? Do they want to do it with me?" It's all about me me me, not *you*.

My ex's niece was devastated when she found our her uncle was gay. He finally figured out that she wasn't upset about his sexual orientation as much as the *way* she found out. She was one of the last people in the family that he told, and it made her question her role and worth in the family. It had nothing to do with my ex.

Maybe i'm projecting. But i think the same thing happens with gay couples. The first thing people think about is, "Which one is the bottom?" {grin}

Slides up to the table

I love that you point out that people's first thought after finding out that someone is trans revolves around the cock question.
I find that in my personal experience is that this is so true! I get sick of trying to justify that what lies in my pants does not define my gender role. I mean REALLY! Does a small cocked man make him any less of a man? Oh and like no one's ever used a dildo when fucking even if they were born with a cock.
At this point in my life, being a transguy is merely just a part of me, it is not what defines me.
Cheers for the thought provoking entry.

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