thoughtfully put Stacy
Im going to add that politically it might be easier to define "transgendered behavior", as opposed to a "transgendered" group of people. Everyone has a different personal identity, and I don't think its necessary to catagorize - especially for legal reasons.
"Thou shalt not discriminate on the basis of varied gender expression." Now there's a law for ya! Afterall, its the expressing of gender variation that "invites" trouble from the ignorant, small-minded and wicked. We could argue about who dresses when or how people express themselves or what label they want to use - but it bothers me that fighting to put "TG" in laws designed to protect people is a foregone conclusion.
I think there is a smarter strategy. I would advocate (instead of inclusion of TG in a list of groups) for laws prohibiting discrimination (in housing, employment, etc) based on acts of "varied gender expression".
Legally, "Transgender" would seem to imply a "group" of people all marching under the same banner. I think it is a mistake to focus on a "group". For example, once "varied gender behavior" is specifically, legally recognized as arousing widespread discrimination in our country (like freedom of speech, or freedom of religion) services for "transgendered people" (a necessary social grouping) could begin to blossom with state and federal approval (this is OUR country too, afterall!). Also, once Varied Gender Expression (lets call it VGE shall we?) is legally recognized to arouse bigotry, intolerance and violence - it could be more easily dealt with on the streets and in the courts. This way, any person (you might say, a 'transgendered' person) can express "transgendered behavior" with access to services and with recourse to the criminal justice system - in other words, without fear.
I think if you care about TG expression and/or the freedom to be yourself in whatever form, you have to be prepared to rethink the strategy. The humans who attack because you don't fit their idea of gender WHATEVER don't ask what the fuck you call yourself before they punch you in the face or verbally assault you. They only see your gender variation, your "act" of deviancy - and they hate it.
[This message was edited by Jade on 06-03-02 at 02:21 AM.]