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Ask the trans woman (aka interrogate the trans woman) — Page 2

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Mrebo said:

flametitan said:

Mrebo said:

What I’ve seen of the public debate over transgender issues, one side is talking about sex while the other is talking about gender identity.

You made a remark about the difference between gender identity and gender expression and I think that goes to the point that we’re not just talking gender as that term has been generally used, but rather this compound term gender identity.

Do you agree? Do you think there’s a way to bridge the gap so people are not talking past each other?

You’re not entirely wrong about there being conflation between physical sex and gender identity; however, I feel like I’m missing something in this statement. Like, I think I get what your saying, but I can’t quite grasp it as firmly as I’d like to. Maybe some examples of what you mean might help.

As far as trying to bridge the gap so that people aren’t talking past one another, the important thing is to listen. Listen to those affected, listen to the concerns of others so that they may be properly addressed…

I hope to better grasp it myself. It seems to me that there is physical sex, there is gender, and there is gender identity. As I understand it, gender identity can manifest in any number of ways and does not depend on making physical changes nor adopting any particular gender traits. But for all of these separate concepts, we use similar or the same terminology.

As an example of what I’m getting at, today in the news is the transgender cyclist’s win. And there are many comments that the win is unfair, that males are naturally stronger, etc. On its face this denies the gender identity of an athlete. But the objectors are speaking in terms of physical sex while the cyclist and allies are speaking in terms of gender identity. Neither side wants to recognize what they other is saying, it seems to me.

First, I wouldn’t consider gender identity and gender different things, as the difference between gender and sex is that the former is about how one identifies. Rather, it would be sex, gender, and gender expression.

With that out of the way, let’s dissect the example. While I don’t know the specifics of this case, I can say this: If she’s been on hormone therapy for a significant period of time, the advantage from testosterone is more or less nuked. In fact, it’s often possible for cis women competitors to have a higher testosterone than what medical professionals lowers a trans woman’s testosterone to. This has significant effects regarding muscle to fat ratios, as well as fat distribution.

Now, it doesn’t necessarily account for bone structure that she may have been born with. It’s possible that can also provide an advantage, but to my knowledge that has more to do with weightlifting and competitions of strength, rather than cycling.

The example to me seems to be more a case of talking past each other due to one side not being properly informed of the effects of HRT, and the other side refusing to educate.

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I’m continuing this from the Current Events thread because I have some questions that seem better suited here.

snooker said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Current event that affects me (and the rest of the LGBTQ community) very personally.

I have read this article, which states:

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

Now, from what I’ve gathered elsewhere, and from the rest of this thread, is that gender and sex are two very different things. As such, I don’t really see how the bit quoted above is controversial, as that is what I’ve been led to believe for quite some time.

The main problem, far as I can tell, is that most laws were written before such a distinction was made, hence laws like Title IX will say that discrimination based on sex is not good, but did not make the distinction to mention gender. Have I got that right?

The article seems to be saying that the definition of sex itself is offensive, at least that’s the way it’s worded to me. Wouldn’t that be inaccurate?

Needless to say, I do think clarifying this all is necessary given how messy recent events have been, but to use it as an excuse to discriminate is abhorrent. It should be easy to see that all previous laws using “sex” should also extend to gender, seeing as they were written before there was such a distinction.

If I am misinformed, please do not hesitate to correct me. I don’t intend to be harmful, but this is how I’m currently understanding these events.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

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Handman said:

I’m continuing this from the Current Events thread because I have some questions that seem better suited here.

snooker said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Current event that affects me (and the rest of the LGBTQ community) very personally.

I have read this article, which states:

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

Now, from what I’ve gathered elsewhere, and from the rest of this thread, is that gender and sex are two very different things. As such, I don’t really see how the bit quoted above is controversial, as that is what I’ve been led to believe for quite some time.

The main problem, far as I can tell, is that most laws were written before such a distinction was made, hence laws like Title IX will say that discrimination based on sex is not good, but did not make the distinction to mention gender. Have I got that right?

The article seems to be saying that the definition of sex itself is offensive, at least that’s the way it’s worded to me. Wouldn’t that be inaccurate?

Needless to say, I do think clarifying this all is necessary given how messy recent events have been, but to use it as an excuse to discriminate is abhorrent. It should be easy to see that all previous laws using “sex” should also extend to gender, seeing as they were written before there was such a distinction.

If I am misinformed, please do not hesitate to correct me. I don’t intend to be harmful, but this is how I’m currently understanding these events.

Reading the article, there seems to be an issue where it uses the terms sex and gender interchangeably, which muddies matters. Is the administration defining sex, or defining gender? The article said they were defining gender in the first two paragraphs, and then switched to saying they’re defining sex, and at least once switched back to saying they were defining gender. It could’ve used another editor, possibly one with some more experience with LGBT topics to help clarify what’s going on. That said, I think I have a rough understanding of what it’s trying to say.

The issue isn’t so much defining sex and gender as different. Canada has recently done that with C-16, though that was to make it clear that Gender identity and expression are protected concepts, rather than having to find relevant examples of case law which ruled that gender was protected by the same acts that protected sex.

Like you said, the issue is about the fact that this is an excuse to rollback protections. It would be one thing if they were doing an American equivalent of C-16, and then tighten up the definition of sex, but they’re not. They’re defining it so that they have an excuse to discriminate against trans people. They don’t intend on adding gender identity to Title IX; they want to erase that concept entirely.

Unrelated, but I’m actually kinda laughing at using chromosome tests to determine one’s sex like the administration suggests. There are a lot of problems with that, from Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, Klinefelter’s (XXY chromosomes), Turner Syndrome (only one X chromosome), cases where the SRY gene has been replicated on an X chromosome allowing for an XX chromosome male…

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I think that’s basically right, flametitan. Journalists often flub issues that concern law, science, and other areas of specialized knowledge. Frustrating they didn’t link the memo itself. I’m no expert on Title IX but as it prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex,” but not gender, it appears that is what the fight is about. For obvious reasons, not least of which it’s not the best use of your thread, I’m not going to dwell on that. It does however bear upon my questions about people confusing what they’re talking about and getting people to understand each other and engage in productive dialogue. I’ve enjoyed your answers.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Mrebo said:

I think that’s basically right, flametitan. Journalists often flub issues that concern law, science, and other areas of specialized knowledge. Frustrating they didn’t link the memo itself. I’m no expert on Title IX but as it prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex,” but not gender, it appears that is what the fight is about. For obvious reasons, not least of which it’s not the best use of your thread, I’m not going to dwell on that. It does however bear upon my questions about people confusing what they’re talking about and getting people to understand each other and engage in productive dialogue. I’ve enjoyed your answers.

I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my answers. Sometimes I feel like I’m not quite getting my own point across as clear as I’d like, or that I might be missing something in the question, so it’s reaffirming that people are finding them informative. Likewise, I’ve enjoyed the questions so far. They’ve seem to come mostly from a place of genuine interest, rather than trying to get me to confirm or deny your own biases, or a deliberate attempt to trip me up.

In particular, yours has me thinking about it hard, as while, “Are the people in the debate talking past each other?” seems like it should have a straightforward answer, it really doesn’t. It’s more multifaceted, owing to a combination of deliberate or accidental spreading of misinformation, people reporting on it getting terminology mixed up, simple talking past one another, people being unwilling to educate others, people being unwilling to listen, etc. Probably doesn’t help that I have some obvious biases 😉

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What’s your take on dysphoria in terms of rating its cause to be physically caused verses psychological?

I mean take apotemnophilia or xenomelia? Both of these are obviously disorders. Obviously. I mean I’d have a hard time thinking anyone anywhere really thinks that wanting to cut your own limbs off is ever gonna be accepted as normal enough to have its own parade. They’re both accepted as caused by physical breaks in the brain. They’re not even so much psychological as physical brain wiring problems.

Now compare that to pedophilia or SSA? The view I’ve gotten is SSA’s moved from being classed as a psychological problem to just a sub-type? But I don’t think the same’s been agreed about pedophilia. I mean I still think people assume that’s more something a guy should go to a doctor to try to get a cure from. I think most people are assuming a pedophile deserves jail time if he doesn’t fight his ‘disease’. I think most people seem to think that’s a psychological failing.

But having a good pal who’s a pedophile I can tell you honestly that I seriously doubt any level of psycho-analysis is seriously going to fix his pull. I mean it’s all so much against what he wants to be? But it’s so so close to who he is at the same time. Still, he and I agree that my SSA and his problem have a common link. He figures it’s based on something mental. Or based on some sort of cause and effect. It’s a long story. But he figures it’s based on something that maybe could be unlearned. He’s hoping for treatment. Maybe even a cure. But I’m not so sure.

So what do you think? Is dysphoria more likely to be caused by something physical or psychological? And I mean if there was treatment for it (other than surgery) would you even want to take it?

K. Let’s have this ride.

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Not all transgender people have Genital Dysphoria, which seems to be what you’re getting at.

Trident said:

And I mean if there was treatment for it (other than surgery) would you even want to take it?

There are many treatments for Gender Dysphoria. A whole lot of people take hormones. A lot of people don’t. I think it’s both physical and mental as it’s your brain fundamentally disagreeing with how your body is.

I won’t even get into how awful your other topic is.

DESTROY ALL JEDI

My name is Sprite Pepsi and I’m abstinence till I die!

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What is SSA? And fuck any attempt to compare or link LGBT orientations to pedophilia. I have no tolerance for that.

The Person in Question

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‘Same Sex Attraction’

And I whole-heartedly agree with you.

DESTROY ALL JEDI

My name is Sprite Pepsi and I’m abstinence till I die!

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Ye, definitely. Putting SSA and pedophilia in a paragraph like that seems disingenuous, to say the least.

That said, I’ll dissect the question more thoroughly when I get the chance. Not so much for trident, but more to make it more clear what is wrong with those insinuations.

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moviefreakedmind said:

What is SSA? And fuck any attempt to compare or link LGBT orientations to pedophilia. I have no tolerance for that.

Why? He’s not linking them on a moral level, he’s linking them on a psychological level. Clearly, there’s a difference. Both are attractions that are not evolutionary beneficial (neither can lead to procreation if pursued). Are we basing whether or not something is a disorder on whether or not it is “moral” in and of itself? That’s seems awfully arbitrary to me.

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An adult wanting to have sex with prepubescent children should not be compared with two consenting adults minding their own fucking business. That shouldn’t need explaining.

DESTROY ALL JEDI

My name is Sprite Pepsi and I’m abstinence till I die!

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snooker said:

An adult wanting to have sex with prepubescent children should not be compared with two consenting adults minding their own fucking business. That shouldn’t need explaining.

Unfortunately, we’re not quite at that point yet.

Arrivederci.

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moviefreakedmind said:

What is SSA? And fuck any attempt to compare or link LGBT orientations to pedophilia. I have no tolerance for that.

Why the fuck do I care what your tolerance level is?

I’m talking about the real world. I’m talking about a group I’m a part of. We hang together and share our stories and don’t judge. Unlike you, you prick.

If you knew this guy? You’d know he has a heart of gold. He’s really fighting this. He’s doing all the right things. The only difference is he’s honest about his pull. He’s not some monster hiding in your childhood closet.

Honest to God some people here are such assholes.

Like what gives you the right to judge this guy? What bloody right makes you all that and more?

K. Let’s have this ride.

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snooker said:

An adult wanting to have sex with prepubescent children should not be compared with two consenting adults minding their own fucking business. That shouldn’t need explaining.

It’s not his choice though. Just like it’s not mine. And just like, I’m assuming, it’s not the OP’s. The only difference is what the pull is. Not the choice. I figured this would be the last thread where a guy would feel judged.

Seriously

K. Let’s have this ride.

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I can’t abide that. I’m sorry, I just can’t.

I’m the most progressive person I know but that shit is repulsive.

DESTROY ALL JEDI

My name is Sprite Pepsi and I’m abstinence till I die!

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snooker said:

I can’t abide that. I’m sorry, I just can’t.

I’m the most progressive person I know but that shit is repulsive.

So it’s ok to have problems as long as you agree with them? What kind of shit is that exactly?

Thank God I don’t need your permission to hang out at the Y.

News flash buddy. We don’t all get to pick what we are. We just don’t. I seriously don’t see why you’re sitting up on a high horse over this anyway.

I mean maybe I’m not getting what you’re saying? But it just seems so full pretentious.

This guy was so so so reluctant to talk about his issues with the rest of us. He was so tired of being slammed down to the ground for it. We coaxed him. We made it a safe and fair place to speak up. We all knew what it was like to be that animal in the eyes of someone else. We all knew what it was like to be misunderstood and judged. We were over it in about 10 minutes from revelation to relation.

What makes guys like you think you have all the answers?

K. Let’s have this ride.

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Trident, your initial question was alright, though the psychological is often physical in the sense it’s not caused by experience but rather is baked in (which you recognize). And if we’re talking about solely about the latter, the question that follows yours is what difference it makes? That’s a sincere question for you.

Your last question is essentially whether flame would take a pill, were it available, to make the dysphoria go away. Any given person may have a different answer and it’s complicated by the internal sense of identity one has had and the idea that a pill would destroy that, rather than fix something.

Unsurprisingly your examples get in the way. I get what you’re saying but they don’t really support what you’re getting at.

The blue elephant in the room.

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First of all, I’m not a guy.

Secondly, you’ve implied that being gay is a problem in the same way that being a pedophile is. No.

I’m the bad guy for saying this?

Being gay isn’t a serious mental health issue in the way that pedophilia is. Being gay is being different; with nothing inherently bad or damaging to others. Being a pedophile is also different, but bad in every single way and they need serious help.

Also, how am I on a moral high horse if my moral is ‘kids shouldn’t be found attractive’!?

DESTROY ALL JEDI

My name is Sprite Pepsi and I’m abstinence till I die!

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Mrebo said:

Trident, your initial question was alright, though the psychological is often physical in the sense it’s not caused by experience but rather is baked in (which you recognize). And if we’re talking about solely about the latter, the question that follows yours is what difference it makes? That’s a sincere question for you.

What difference does any question make? I’m curious. I’m beyond curious.

You’ve got to understand where I’m coming from. I’m looking at this from a couple of angles and different world views.

I grew up in a really strong and strict conservative household. Admitting my SSA was a non-starter. Instead I buried it as best I could and managed to screw up a few lives by the wayside. So I’ve got that want to know what’s up with all this. I’m part of a group who get together online to trade pain and share hope. We’re all from different backgrounds. Some of us have SSA. Some of us have dysphoria. Some of us have different leanings all together. But where we’ve got a basic understanding is that we all struggle with our identities in context of our religious views. Most of us are from Christian backgrounds. Most of us grew up our whole lives being told God looked down on what we wanted to do with our bodies. Most of us had families who had a range of different views from what we have. So a lot of us are still closeted. A lot of us only share with each other what we’re really feeling. We’ve made a safe place to be honest with at least someone else on the planet.

Many of us want to live a normal life. As much as possible. I mean we want to understand what makes us what we are. We’re trying to join together the idea we have of recognizing our identities without having to give away family, friends, or our religious beliefs.

Now of course that’s a conflict. Of course there’s a lot of disagreement with that whole line. Because some of us say this is a physical problem? While others insist it’s all in our heads. One of our main members is a doctor who’s convinced his SSA is caused by his environment. Another is an author who is convinced her dysphoria’s a physical extension of what she really is. Full stop.

So sometimes the arguments go back and forth? But what’s true about most of us is that given the choice? We’d take a pill to drop this leaning. Most of us are strong enough in that camp. But that doesn’t mean we’re placing that want on anyone else. I mean most of us also have a lot of Side A friends and we’re cool with how they roll in their own way.

But sometimes the question’s meaningful for a different reason. I’ll give just a quick example.

I’ve got a friend with gender dysphoria who leans on me to give advice. He wanted to know if he should tell his family? Or just suck it up and try to bury it deep inside. I told him to tell them. I told him not to live that lie. I told him he needed their understanding and not to live that life I had to live.

I was basically pretending to be someone I wasn’t for so long that it led to some pretty bad happenings. Some stuff I don’t want to get into. Some stuff that got me to a really bad place. So I didn’t want that to happen.

But then this guy wants to know what I thought of the operation. Now here I was mixed because it seemed like such a 1-way trip. I mean what if he changes his mind later? He was only 18 at the time of first asking (now almost 20). I told him to wait. I told him to take my example. I told him to try a Side B life for a bit and see what happens.

I told him he could always go through with it later. Like maybe 10 years from now?

Look. This guy isn’t really like the OP. He’s not as well thought out. He’s got Asperger’s along with other things. So he has almost zero contacts he can share his world with. He’s got a very odd POV on other things too. So I saw this thread and I thought I’d ask that question. There’s nothing wrong with asking it. I wanted to know if it was felt to be physical instead of psychological. I wanted to know what sort of research the OP must’ve done when first getting into it. Because if physical? Then I’m handing out the right advice to go ahead and get the operation at some point. If psychological? Well I’m not sure. Does it bring this guy forward to get his operation at all? Or will he just go down some other way instead? I mean is the dysphoria of today just going to turn into a new type of “not-feeling-right” about his new body instead?

I’m already well aware of the suicide rate with the transgender group. I’m already well aware that a lot of them are in a tricky place from the conflict they live. I don’t want to go and suggest my friend get counseling vs get an operation only to find I’ve taken the wrong leap? But at the same time I don’t want to just telling him to wait and see. Wait and see. As if that’s helping his torment any more than anything else. Because what might be a fix for me might not be a fix for him.

So I brought in my pal with the other problem as a way to widen the circle. Because on the one hand? I’m ok with telling my one friend to accept what is. To go ahead with what needs to happen. But on the other hand? I’m conflicted because I’d never tell the other friend the same thing. Clearly I’d tell him to keep his cool and fight it. So it just seems a bit of a mix for me right now.

Your last question is essentially whether flame would take a pill, were it available, to make the dysphoria go away. Any given person may have a different answer and it’s complicated by the internal sense of identity one has had and the idea that a pill would destroy that, rather than fix something.

Unsurprisingly your examples get in the way. I get what you’re saying but they don’t really support what you’re getting at.

Well now I think you’ve got the whole view. All 5000 words.

K. Let’s have this ride.

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I don’t want to be transgender but I am. If I could just be cis, I would. But I’m not. The only treatment (I can see) is to transition.

The only treatments that make trans people cis are the same ones that make gay people straight. Don’t exist.

I admit, I was a little harsh in my first reply because when I was a kid I had a few run ins with pedophiles. Not fun. I just can’t see myself including them amongst the LGBTQ+ community. They aren’t the same. Being a pedophile isn’t ‘gender-nonconforming’ like the other ones are.

DESTROY ALL JEDI

My name is Sprite Pepsi and I’m abstinence till I die!

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snooker said:

First of all, I’m not a guy.

Secondly, you’ve implied that being gay is a problem in the same way that being a pedophile is. No.

I’m the bad guy for saying this?

Being gay isn’t a serious mental health issue in the way that pedophilia is. Being gay is being different; with nothing inherently bad or damaging to others. Being a pedophile is also different, but bad in every single way and they need serious help.

Also, how am I on a moral high horse if my moral is ‘kids shouldn’t be found attractive’!?

It’s the same from the sense that both start with a person struggling against an identity. Read my other post for a full backdrop. I understand you don’t know me. I understand you don’t know my background or what I’ve been through. And so I’ll accept the same towards you. I’ll try to read you as making this about “them” and “us” in some different way that doesn’t make me flinch. I’m sorry if I get testy about that? But I guess we’ve spent so long trying to understand each other in our group I’m still a bit surprised with the judging that goes on outside our fence. The gut reaction that this guy is somehow a completely different type of person just because his pull is in a slightly different direction from mine.

Because the way you’re reacting is exactly how people used to treat me. It’s the same way. And while I’m glad you’re accepting of a bigger group than others I’ve found? All I’m asking is not to judge those you haven’t maybe met. I mean a guy who’s got a leaning towards kids is a bit of a mystery from our view for sure. But it does make sense when you talk to him. He explains why he feels the way he does. He explains what it’s like knowing you can never have what you want the most. He explains the pain of self-hatred that comes with knowing what you want is no good for those you’re after. It’s his honesty that wins him points here. And it’s that honesty that lets me see myself in him sometimes. Because I grew up feeling the exact same way. I was taught that self-hatred too. I was taught that need to forget about what I really wanted and to try to repaint my walls from the outside. So I totally understand him.

The fact that I get to have my cake if I want it because society’s a different place now? Well that’s great for me I guess? But it still leaves him locked in a place where I once was. And I guess being Side B only helps me understand.

Am I making this any clearer or am I just adding a pile of words on top of something I could probably say in a simpler and easier way if I wasn’t so caught close to it like I am?

Peace.

K. Let’s have this ride.

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Oof. I think my reply missed you.

I think that’s the last thing I’ll say on this topic.

DESTROY ALL JEDI

My name is Sprite Pepsi and I’m abstinence till I die!

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It’s always dicey to mention homosexuality and pedophilia in the same sentence. They’re obviously not the same thing as one is between two consenting adults and the other is completely morally reprehensible. This almost doesn’t need saying.

But judging by the reactions, I don’t think anyone is really even willing to consider the perfectly reasonable possibility that Trident is putting forth: that these two completely different phenomena could both be the result of the physical wiring of someone’s brain.

No one is comparing the two on a moral level and it’s disappointing that we can’t talk about it in a more clinical and analytical way.

EDIT: At least I hope no one is comparing them on a moral level.