Reply to "Can We Build a Less Prejudiced TG Sense of Community?"

When the umbrella term "transgender" started to encompass everyone on the Benjamin scale, from 1 to 6, I welcomed it. I remember how the NYC Drag Queens fought to not be included under that term at Stonewall 25, in order to have a separate marching contingent from Transgender. I was saddened by that at the time, but now have more understanding. There is really very little that an active transsexual (I make that distinction as I have encountered so many on the net that call themselves "transsexuals" but only because they say that one day they will make the transformation in their lives) has in common with say a Transvestite or Cross-Dresser, who otherwise expresses themself as a male in every way, but has a compunction to "dress" occasionally. The worst case example would be members of a national organization of Crossdressers called Tri-ess (the Society for the Second Self) who are notorious butch "Men in Dresses" with a rabid anti gay or bi code in their rules and bylaws. As far as commonalities between the various shades of transgender, I have found far more to relate to among Drag Queens than Cross-dressers.
I do however love to be among mixed peoples rather than all of the same type. I have always thought that to be a big plus with the Mother Parties in the past. I particularly used to love Click and Drag because it had such a wonderful mix of peoples (gay, straight, trans, Drag, Goth, Vampire, Rocker, leather, what have you?) But when we speak in terms of "community" I also have that knee-jerk response of "we don't mix." But in what sense are we speaking of community here? I applaud you Sweetie for saying that there is a comon ground of a need for support among anyone who is discriminated against or bashed in any way for simply expressing shades of gender variation. In that way, I certainly have much sympathy for anyone else who is ridiculed or discriminated against by members of society for being different in any way. Certainly one would think that there would be much common ground
among all those discriminated against for their gender expression. But Crossdressers are only public when they go to parties, so how much can they really know about this?
Speaking as one who live her life in a transformed body and personna that is different than my societal birth role, I also get tired of having TG thrown in my face. It's not my handle, but it is what I am. It must be like being black and having those around one and those who one encounters day to day, incessantly reminding one that they are black. For those who lead two lives, there is a great hunger and thrist for this TG identity when they come out to play, or perhaps even when they are sitting at home in their closets, but when it's your full-time life, you like to give it a rest.
But still, support is vital. I have used what support exists for me more than once (The LGBT Anti-Violence Project, The Gender Identity Project, and others). Support and Counsel are both important, but the scale of how important is going to vary as much as the transgender scale varys, from perhaps the guy who might dress up once in a while for "kicks" to the high intensity True Transsexual who will commit suicide if their genital conversion surgery is too long delayed, and all who fall in between. Perhaps I am being pessimistic.
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