Tag

transexual

Are Trans Lesbians Real Lesbians?

I came across a meme on the internet that read: “Trans lesbians are lesbians, get over it.” 

Copyright (C) 2017 / Pixabay

Are trans lesbians real lesbians? Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

What is a real lesbian anyway?

Without falling into a game of semantics, we can all agree that a lesbian is a woman who is exclusively attracted to other women. Right?

There is no easy way to approach this topic, but as a transsexual lesbian, this is what I think, and I welcome everybody to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Gender identity, just like sexuality, doesn’t develop overnight. It’s a lengthy process for the most part so, naturally, there will be people who know they are women inside, who are legitimately attracted to other women, independently of the way they look, and this is basically what being a lesbian means.

It doesn’t mean that other lesbians will perceive you socially as a lesbian, it only means that you believe that you ARE one.

The disagreement stems from the socially-perceived image of what a woman should be and, the most discriminatory one: How a woman should look like. 

The most radical lesbians have some high standards for what makes a woman a real woman, and therefore a lesbian woman, a real lesbian woman.

There are lots and lots of discriminatory standards, but the most common ones are:

  1. Real lesbians should have XX chromosomes
  2. Transgender lesbians should be passable if they want to be taken seriously
  3. Transgender lesbians should do a “full transition” (which is strictly referring to performing a vaginoplasty)

The problem with these three statements is that they don’t stand to logic, or any rational thinking, for that matter.

Now, to debunk some myths:

The chromosome excuse always struck me as some kind of half-bothered attempt at trying to exclude transsexual women from womanhood in a rather uninformed and childish way. As a neurobiology student, I can confirm (with tangible evidence) that the gender of humans is determined by a small region in the nervous system, which has nothing to do with whatever set of chromosomes you were born with.

Some people heard about the myth that all women are XX and all men are XY without knowing very well what a chromosome pair is and what does it do. I, in turn, know what a nervous system is and how it works.

The passing excuse is a bit far fetched and discriminatory on itself. Every time I hear this argument I think to myself: Who sets the standard?

 

When it comes to anatomy, I know a lot of cisgender women who are much taller, wider and masculine-looking than myself. Would you say that, for example, a super pretty woman like Taylor Swift is trans just because she’s taller than me? Probably not.

Would you say that Ellen Degeneres is trans because her voice pitch is lower than mine? or that Hope Solo is trans because she’s bigger and stronger than me?

So who sets the standard?

 

The surgical reconstruction of genitals is not ideal. This reconstruction is known, in the transgender world, as GRS or SRS, which stand for Gender Reassignment Surgery or Sex Reassignment Surgery, respectively.

These procedures do not convert masculine genitals into female genitals. These procedures eliminate the testicles, reduces the size of the urethra and converts the penis gland into some kind of clitoris, where in most cases, for all intents and purposes, works like a working vagina.

But transsexual women who perform any of these surgical procedures on themselves are not getting working female genitals. Science still has to come a long way until some major breakthrough in these procedures provides transsexual individuals with a working uterus and ovaries. Transsexual women who perform an SRS/GRS still need to shoot themselves with estradiol shots since their main organ for producing a sex hormone is gone, and they have no ovaries to produce oestrogen naturally in large quantities.

My advice, as a psychologist, and as a somewhat-experienced transexual woman, would be to simply wait. Upon doubt, just wait. We don’t know if, within five or ten years time, a fully working reproductive system will be a reality. Don’t settle for something you may not absolutely need when you can wait for better options. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you are incomplete because you don’t want or cannot get surgery in your private areas.

So if no vaginoplasty is required to obtain your woman card, no anatomy can determine what your gender is, and chromosomes are proven to determine sex but not gender, then who can tell, apart from yourself, what a real lesbian is?

If you consider yourself a woman, independently of your biology, and you are sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women, independently of their biology, then you are probably a lesbian, but then again, the decision is exclusively yours.

 

By Ellie Hope (@elliehopeauthor on Facebook/Twitter

 

 

The Concept of “dead-naming” is No Bueno

In my almost 5 years of transition, I have seen and heard the term “deadname” quite frequently, and honestly, it makes me wonder what are they really trying to say.

I remember, during my first years in the school of Philosophy, in University, how we talked about who we really are and What Are We. It sounded confusing at first, but it all made sense as classes went on.

Basically, our lecturer was saying that we are subject to many changes, but they can be divided into two categories: Accidental Changes and Substantial Changes.

Basically, when we talk about Accidental changes –assuming we apply this concept to humankind– we are talking about the changes a person goes through, from the moment they are born, until the moment that they die. For instance, I went from child to teen, from short to long hair, from short to tall, etcetera. You get the point. These changes, even including changing your socially-perceived gender, are not substantial changes but accidental changes instead.

Substantial changes are a bit simpler to understand since they only happen twice in a lifetime. First Substantial change occurs at the moment you were born. The second one; when you die. You either exist, in whichever form you want, or you don’t exist as a human being anymore.

What is “Deadnaming” and why “old name” is a much better term

To those who are not familiar with the term deadnaming, often used by many transgender people (whether they are non-binary, genderfluid, male-to-female or female-to-male transgender people) it basically means the name they had prior to their transition, the name assigned by their parents, guardians or tutors when they were born.

The term doesn’t make much sense, since these people are still pretty much alive, and they’re the same person they were before their transition.

Ok, some might argue that transition brings a lot of behavioural (psychological) and physical changes and they feel like a whole new person. Poetry aside, however, they are still the same person.

Why? Because most transgender people who transitioned have one thing in common: They struggled with gender identity issues most part of their lives. Living under their old socially-perceived gender was not their true gender to begin with!

Most people who transitioned as adults waited for social conditions in their community to be somewhat apropriate. That was their window, and they came out of the closet. When the conditions were right, they did it. Whether they think they should have waited or not later on, they did what they thought was right with the knowledge and the tools that they had at the time.

In a nutshell: Their old social gender was their cover, and their new gender is their true identity.

So these people had been on a lifetime journey to discovering their true identities but this in no way means that they were born again, or died.

The problem with terms like deadnaming is that the word itself, compound noun (in the case of deadname), contains the word death, and people would naturally turn it into a much bigger deal than it really is. Don’t get me wrong. It is really nice when people get the names and the pronouns right, but accidents and stubbornness will happen.

So instead of saying “Please stop deadnaming me.” saying “please stop using my old name.” Will cause more of a positive impact in the lives of people, most of whom would be more likely to respect and understand what you are going through.

There is a blurry boundary between expression and identity, and terms, that strike people outside community as exaggerated or dramatic, might cause some confusion.

In a world where we are trying to build bridges between the LGBTQ community and the rest of our societies, these terms may be causing more harm than good.

 

By Ellen Hope Crowe (@elliehopeauthor) 
ellie@girlthings.net

 

 

Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning Prison Sentence

The White House says that Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening.

Chelsea Manning / Uncredited / AP

According to experts, commutations and pardons cannot be undone by Donald Trump after he is sworn in Friday as the nation’s 45th president.

Manning is set to be freed from Fort Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045, The New York Times reports.

Her lawyers said in her nearly seven years behind bars, she had already served the longest sentence of anyone convicted of leaking secrets in United States history.

Many of the mainstream media reports included a detail irrelevant to her imprisonment: her former first name, given at birth. The military reluctantly agreed to adopt her chosen first name, Chelsea, in her medical records, although an Army doctor refused to change her gender marker.

What about Edward Snowden?

A White House spokesman told reporters there was a “pretty stark difference” between Manning’s plea for mercy and Snowden’s, noting what he called “some important differences.”

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” Earnest said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

 

 

Whose Line Star Defends Transgender Daughter from Haters on Twitter

And his comeback was fabulous..

Comedian Colin Mochrie revealed that he and his wife, Deb McGrath, have a transgender daughter when he went on twitter to defend LGBTQ rights.

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The “Whose Line Is It Anyway” star revealed that he’s the father of a transgender girl when  he questioned people who can’t accept transgender people.

“My 90-yr-old mother-in-law and 87-yr-old mother love and acceptance of our trans daughter warms me. Wonder why some who are younger can’t,” Mochrie tweeted.

“The negative is that my mom refers to the community as BLT. It’s a learning curve.”

Mochrie hasn’t spoken publicly about his daughter, but he and McGrath performed in May at an event to fund the Welcome Friend Association’s Rainbow Camp, a one-week camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth that “honors creativity, individual choice, and social justice while having fun.”

L’ORÉAL PARIS ANNOUNCE FIRST TRANSGENDER SPOKESPERSON

L’Oréal Paris announced their first transgender spokesperson.

The French-based cosmetics giant has chosen a transgender woman as a spokesperson.

American transgender model, Hari Nef, has been chosen as the new spokeswoman for the brand.

Viewers of Transparent will recognise Nef as the actress who plays Gittel. She also made waves as the first transgender woman to front a major commercial magazine in the UK when she graced the cover of ELLE.

Props to L’Oréal!

 

Times are changing <3

Pakistan: Transgender Population To be Counted In Population Census For The First Time

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the population census will recognise and count Pakistani transgender people

The Lahore High Court on Monday instructed the federal government, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the interior ministry to include the transgender community in the census while hearing a petition filed by a transgender individual Waqar Ali in November 2016.

Ali in his petition had called for the enforcement of the community’s fundamental rights, including enrolment in the upcoming census and issuance of national identity cards specifying their gender.

A deputy attorney general from the federal government was present in court during the hearing and assured the court that the transgender community will indeed be part of the upcoming census.

RELATED: Pakistan Passed law Allowing Transgender People to Legally Marry under Islamic Law

Ali’s petition, filed through Advocate Sheraz Zaka, had pleaded that the transgender community in Pakistan has been marginalised, citing an event witnessed in Sialkot where a transgender was tortured.

Pakistan’s sixth population census will begin on March 15, 2017.

India Opens First School for Transgender Students Who Dropped Out Of School

Teachers are also transgender

Reuters

A residential school for transgender people has been opened in the Indian city of Kochi, to help adults who dropped out of school finish their education.

Transgender people can face judgement and hostility in India, and around half of them fail to complete their schooling as a result.

Sahaj International is the first school of its kind in India.

It will welcome 10 pupils, aged 25-50.

The students will be prepared for India’s Class 10 and 12 board exams, normally sat when students are aged 15-16 or 17-18 respectively. The curriculum will also include some vocational skills.

Transgender activist Vijayraja Mallika, who heads the school, told the BBC: “The school aims at making transgenders eligible for taking decent jobs and living a dignified life.”

“We have admitted six candidates so far, all male-to-female persons, from 14 applicants. Of the 10 seats, we have reserved one for female-to-male and one for the disabled.”

Teachers are also transgender

The school is in Kerala, which is the first Indian state to adopt a transgender policy against discrimination. It promotes inclusive education, and offers free gender reassignment surgery at government hospitals.

The centre’s organisers said they had arranged sponsors for all the students, to pay for their food, accommodation and studies.

The teachers also belong to the transgender community – a measure designed to protect and encourage the pupils.

The decision comes after India’s first transgender college principal, Manabi Bandopadhyay, resigned from her post claiming that some of her students and fellow teachers had agitated against her because of her sexual identity.

India has an estimated two million transgender people, and in 2014 the country’s Supreme Court ruled that they have equal rights under the law.

As well as the right to marry and inherit property, they are also eligible for quotas in jobs and educational institutions.

But abuse and exploitation are still common. Many transgender people are thrown out of home by their families, denied jobs, and forced into sex work, begging, or dancing at weddings to make ends meet.

‘700 people turned us away’

Even finding a venue for the school was a challenge, as nobody was willing to rent the founders their premises.

“We approached some 700 people and 51 households, and all of them turned us away. They seemed to think that we were looking for space for prostitution,” Ms Mallika said.

Finally, a suitable site was found.

All of the school’s first students come from Kerala, but Ms Mallika hopes to gather more from beyond the state.

“This is a model centre. Once proved successful, we will expand the facilities and admit more people, from across India,” she said.

“Kerala has some 25,000 transgenders, and 57% of them were forced to drop out of school due to stigma. They all should get a decent accommodation the policy initiatives envisaged.”

The school was opened by activist Kalki Subramaniam, who is a transgender woman herself.

“This day is historic for me,” she said.

Reporting by Ashraf Padanna in Trivandrum, Kerala

BBC News

Pakistan Passed law Allowing Transgender People to Legally Marry under Islamic Law

Gay marriage is still illegal, though.

Pakistan might have become the first muslim nation to give legal status to transgender people, and perhaps the first country in the world where the T comes first as regards equal rights.

Last monday, Pakistan declared that marrying transgender individuals is permissible under Islamic law, Reuters reports

The religious leaders also announced that transgender people have full rights when it comes to Muslim burial ceremonies and Islamic inheritance law.

 

AP / Screen Capture (Fair Use)

The fatwa — a ruling on Islamic law — said that only a “female-born transgender person having ‘visible signs of being a male’ may marry a woman or a male-born transgender with ‘visible signs of being a female,’ and vice versa.”

This leaves homosexual transgender women and men unable to marry, just like cisgender homosexual couples.

The controversial document, which refers to cisgender people as “normal”, concludes:

“Normal men and women can also marry such transgender people as have clear indications on their body,” it states.