Cliff Notes on the Meaning of Transgendered

by Accidental Bear

The headlines are dominated by stories of transgendered folks lately. The bad news is that it is usually the result of an attack or discrimination.  Now is the time, I feel, with so much attention on the issue, for a whole migration of transgendered folks to come out of the close. Strength in numbers and visibility is what breaks down walls. Having the word trans rolling off the tongues of ignorant haters will eventually become an acquired taste to them, and through exposure to “real life” transgendered folks will put hate in the closet , where it belongs. NO MORE VIOLENCE!

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Corvino: The meaning of transgender

via By John Corvinocolumnist, 365gay.com

A friend recently asked, “Do you ever have doubts about the whole transgender thing?”

My friend has a habit of referring to anything she hasn’t wrapped her mind around as a “thing,” which has the unfortunate effect of making whatever it is sound like a trend or fad. (As in, “What do you think of the whole ‘skinny jeans’ thing?”)

At first I was tempted to respond, “I’m a philosophy professor. I have doubts about everything.” But knowing my friend, I recognized that she meant the question sincerely. I thought she deserved a serious response.

Here’s my take on “the transgender thing”: I don’t have “doubts,” but I do have a question. It’s a question that others might share, and that some might misinterpret as a doubt.

First, some preliminaries.

Generally speaking, I think it’s good policy (not to mention good manners) to treat individual adults as the experts on their own lives. As a gay man, I don’t like it when opponents of homosexuality tell me what I “really” am deep down, and I wouldn’t presume to tell others—including transgender people—what they really are deep down. That’s for them to determine, perhaps in dialogue with significant others, friends, or professionals.

I don’t have many transgender friends, although two of my closest lesbian-identified friends are married to trans men. (Lesbians married to men? There’s a reason Facebook invented “It’s complicated.”) Having spent time with these guys, I have no more doubt about their maleness than I do about my own. It strikes me as “natural,” to use a loaded but appropriate term. READ MORE

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