I'd like to write a couple of blog posts about transgender issues. This is
fraught with more than a little risk: a friend of mine said that I was
"the most trans-clueless person they had ever met" (!) So, I apologize in
advance if I seem a little rude or ignorant in these posts. I want to
remain respectful... I really love and care for all the trans people I've
met in the last year, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
At the same time, I'd like to be a little blunt and honest. I'm trying to
be brave by putting some thoughts out there, and perhaps some of my
opinions aren't as well thought out as they could be. Please let me know
where I'm wrong. I'm not really trying to start an argument, but I'm
hoping to start discussion on some difficult issues. Please tell me where
I'm wrong, or educated be if I'm complete off base. Still, I'm at a
handicap here.... for example:
* Total amount of time I've spent thinking about gender issues = less than
one hour in 39 years
* Total amount of time the average trans person has spent thinking about
gender issues= Probably every hour of every day of their life since before
Why haven't I thought about race or gender or age? Simple answer... because
I never HAD to. That's one wonderful thing about gay white male
privilege: I don't have to think about minorities. Trans issues don't
directly affect me. Somehow, us non-trans people are still allowed to vote
on laws and "referenda" about gender that don't apply to us. They will
affect the lives of trans-folk a daily basis... but we get to form snap
judgements without reading or studying gender issues at all! Weird, huh?
No offense, but please don't recommend that I just read a book, unless
it's really funny and has a lot of pictures. I don't think books alone
will educate me. I bought Kate Bornstein's excellent "My Gender Workbook",
and saw TransAmerica, and I like to read some excellent blogs on
LiveJournal from people more knowledgeable than I am, but that's about it.
What I'm looking for in your blog responses is a frank peek at some of the
more challenging issues about transgender issues.
For example, I will sometimes educate people about leather by explaining
"safe sane and consensual" sex. But, I don't talk about popper use during
scenes, or extreme sadism, or fearplay, or slavery. I consider those to be
"advanced studies" and they just muddy the issue for beginners. So...
what are the difficult topics that transgender people talk about when the
non-trans people have left the room?
My biggest fear writing these posts is that I might lose some friends, or
potential friends. If you aren't in the mood to "play a little rough",
please skip my LJ today. You won't miss anything... tomorrow I'll resume
blogging about gay sex again, and I won't bring up trans issues ever again.