I was at an event recently and ran into an old friend who I haven’t seen in a while. I knew her when she was active in the lesbian community but then she moved on to the trans community and started using a male name. We lost touch before I became a radical feminist, and I was quite pro-trans at the time. Therefore, it wasn’t my politics that drove us apart, and in truth, I don’t know what it was. Maybe she just didn’t believe she belonged in the lesbian community anymore? When I saw her recently, she had a beard, and I wasn’t surprised. I spoke to her briefly, using her male name, and told her I was glad to see her, which is true. She is a fantastic person and I rather regret that we have lost contact.
There is all this mythology out there that trans people are “unsafe” around TERFs. Well, I believe in the existence of human sexual dimorphism but I don’t do anything to make trans people unsafe. I talk to them the same way I talk to anyone else.
It’s true that I make fun of the transgenderist cult. I mock the people who make really silly claims like that men are lesbians and that the penis is female, and the people who have to change their “gender” every time they put on an outfit. If you’re being silly, I reserve the right to laugh. I fully understand that the average FtM would want to stay the hell away from me due to “transphobia.” This makes me sad, since many of these people are lesbians. But my political position is based on the facts of reality and is a pro-woman position, so I think I have the right to it. And I do not believe that having a pro-woman position makes lesbians with beards “unsafe.”
Recently a reader reached out to me and said that she is somewhere between butch and FtM and has been enjoying my blog. I was really happy to hear this, and I was really happy that she explained to me a bit about what being butch means to her. I am a big fan of masculine women, and happen to be partnered with one, so I’m very happy that at least a small minority of them feel comfortable here.
The reader who reached out to me expressed that she doesn’t think she belongs in lesbian space because she is FtM. I am the sort of TERF* who believes that lesbians with beards are still lesbians, and I personally think that they should be welcome among lesbians. They’re certainly welcome here on this blog. I know that some other women in the radfem/gender crit group think that transitioning automatically makes someone misogynist. I don’t take that position. I think it’s entirely possible for a woman to feel comfortable wearing a beard and still be pro-woman. More often than not, transitioners are against radical feminism, but not always.
Like it or not, taking testosterone is a part of the lesbian experience these days. This is part of the discussion of lesbian life in the 2010s, and I strive to have nuanced and fair discussions here about all lesbian issues.
*I fully understand that TERF is a misogynist slur. I’m using it here rather ironically.