The roots of trans oppression

One of the reasons that Leslie Feinberg researched the history of trans people is to find out whether they have always been oppressed and why their oppression began. She discussed the historical examples she found of cross dressing or sex change in her book Transgender Warriors  and traced the rise of discrimination against such people. Page numbers in this post will refer to the book Transgender Warriors.

Feinberg searched for trans people in history by looking for any mention of cross-dressing or sex change in historical texts. She did find lots of mentions of cross-dressing, but I’m a bit skeptical about whether anything she found actually constitutes sex change.

Here’s an example of something I’m skeptical about. She quoted Deuteronomy as an example of early bigotry against male-to-female transgender expression. “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter the congregation of the Lord” (p 50). This quote displays bigotry toward men who have lost their genitals, but does this have anything to do with transgenderism? In early societies men could have lost their genitals due to illness or accidents. They were doing physical labor and didn’t have modern hospitals. I don’t think we can know whether the writer of Deuteronomy had male-to-female expression in mind while writing this, or whether feminine men in this time period ever removed their genitals for transgender reasons. I am always skeptical of modern people taking these historical texts and interpreting them in terms of our understanding of transgenderism today. It seems like that is likely to turn out inaccurate.

I don’t doubt that there have always been cross-dressers and people who have been different from what we normally expect from men and women. I also don’t doubt there have always been people born intersex. It’s the way modern people interpret these things that draws out my skepticism. I do agree with Feinberg on one important point here, and that is that patriarchal societies discriminate against cross dressers and people who have a different gender expression than expected.  I view this through a feminist lens and I would describe this as patriarchal systems enforcing rigid gender roles on people and punishing those who deviate from the norm in order to reinforce patriarchy.

In addition to using religious texts and historical accounts, she also drew from communist theory for her theory of the development of trans oppression. This means that she blames the class division and patriarchy for trans oppression, which comes pretty close to my own theories.

“The accumulation of wealth in the form of herds, agriculture, and trade led to deepening class divisions among the Hebrews, so no wonder the religious beliefs and laws began to reflect the interests of the small group who owned the wealth and their struggle to strengthen their control over the majority.” (p 50.)

The invention of private property led men to need control over their wealth and their wives and children and this also led to strict divisions between the sexes.

She draws on the work of Frederick Engels to describe the overthrow of communalism and the rise of private property.

“In every society in which human labor grew more productive with the use of improved tools and techniques, people stored up more than what they needed for immediate consumption. This surplus was the first accumulation of wealth. Generally, men, who had primarily been wild-game hunters, domesticated and herded large animals, which represents the first wealth. Men, therefore, were in charge of stockpiling this abundance: cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and the surplus of dried and smoked meats and hides, milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Prior to this surplus, tools, utensils, and other possessions were commonly owned within the matrilineal gens. As wealth accumulated in the male sphere of labor, the family structure began to change, and men began to pass on inheritance to their male heirs. Those who had large families and other advantages gathered and stored more surplus. These inequalities, small at first, became the basis of the enrichment of some male tribal members over the women and the tribe as a whole.” (p51-52.)

“Shackling a vast laboring class meant creating armies, police, courts, and prisons to enforce the ownership of private property. However, whips and chains alone couldn’t ensure the rule of the new wealthy elite. A tiny, parasitic class can’t live in luxury off the wealth of a vast, laboring class without keeping the majority divided and pitted against each other. This is where the necessity for bigotry began.

I found the origin of trans oppression at this intersection between the overthrow of mother-right and the rise of patriarchal class-divided societies. It is at this very nexus that edicts like Deuteronomy arose. Law, including religious law, codified class relations.” (p52)

She even names some points about the development of patriarchy that agree with radical feminism.

“Once property-owning males ascended to a superior social position, those categories could not be bridged or blurred without threatening those who owned and controlled this new wealth.” (p62)

“The heterosexual family, headed by the father, became a state dictate because it was the economic vehicle that ensured wealth would be passed on to sons.” (p62)

“Males who were viewed as “womanly” were an affront to the men in power.” (p62)

“Hatred and contempt for women partly accounts for the growing hostility of the ruling classes toward men they considered too feminine.” (p62)

While reading these chapters I found that Feinberg had described the rise of capitalist patriarchy and named that as the source of trans oppression. She gave considerable attention to the way the European Catholic Church eliminated matrilineal belief systems and communal living. These earlier cultures tended to accept and even celebrate cross-dressing and include it as a form of expression in cultural and spiritual ceremonies, but the Catholic Church, representing the interests of ruling class men, eliminated these cultures and outlawed cross-dressing in order to protect its own power. I agree with her about this, although I would use slightly different words to describe it.

In my own words, the rise of capitalist patriarchy led to the discrimination against people she describes as “trans” because it created a hierarchy between men and women and separated the sexes into distinct roles. This means that people who blurred the lines by taking on roles not allowed to them by capitalist patriarchy were subject to corrective violence. This corrective violence was done to protect the patriarchal system and the ruling classes—both the economic ruling class and the ruling sex class (men).

Feinberg doesn’t specifically name the enforcement of gender roles as a method of protecting patriarchy, although I think she did understand this, she just didn’t put it into focus. Rather than focusing on the female sex class she focused on all cross-dressers as a group. I think it’s a mistake to consider both males and females to be part of the same oppressed group, since this disappears the sex hierarchy. Both male and female cross dressers are discriminated against, but they still have different places in the hierarchy. Men are expected to take their place as head of the family, husband and father, while women are expected to take their place as domestic servant and breeder. Both groups aren’t subject to the same discrimination.

To repeat a quote that I mentioned above:

“A tiny, parasitic class can’t live in luxury off the wealth of a vast, laboring class without keeping the majority divided and pitted against each other. This is where the necessity for bigotry began.” (p52)

It looks like she saw bigotry against cross-dressers and gender variant people as a deliberate strategy by the ruling class to keep the working class fighting each other so that they wouldn’t overthrow their economic oppression. This is a decent theory, because the ruling class does indeed introduce social issues in order to distract the proletariat from forming class consciousness and working together to fight for their own class interests. We can still see this happening today. However, I see the bigotry against gender variant people as rooted in the need for sex hierarchy between men and women and the enforcement of cultural beliefs  about men and women that are used to protect that hierarchy.

It’s important that communists, particularly communist women, analyze oppression on the axis of biological sex as well as economic class. Just as we need to create class consciousness among the proletariat, we need to create class consciousness among women, and we need to see ourselves as a class of people with a common class interest. I think it was a mistake for Feinberg to focus on both male and female cross-dressers as a group, rather than identifying with her sex class. All women are harmed by the enforcement of gender roles coming from capitalist patriarchy, although that harm will look different depending on whether we conform or not to feminine gender expression.  Women whose political analysis doesn’t come from viewing the female sex class as a distinct group will ultimately create politics that don’t support women’s best interests.  For example, Feinberg was against Michfest, even though it was created with women like her in mind, because she considered her political allies to be cross-dressing males rather than the female sex-class. Of course, feminists need to also be cognizant that they are listening to butch women and not doing things to alienate them from the movement.

One of the biggest failures of the left is the failure to recognize sex-based oppression and that other forms of discrimination flow from it. I think Feinberg’s analysis came close to the truth but just stopped short before getting there.

The lesbian creation myth

Intro: There was a small conversation between two commenters here saying that we need a lesbian creation myth. Miep said that sounded like something I would write, and I thought, ‘indeed it is’! What I came up with is a story of the creation of life on earth which culminates in the creation of lesbians. It loosely imitates the Biblical creation myth while turning all the male-centered ideas into female-centered ones. Every radical feminist blog needs some Earth-Mother-Goddess-Hippy stuff once in a while, right? I am an atheist, and I wrote this purely for entertainment. It should not be taken as my literal beliefs–it’s just to make you smile. I very much enjoyed writing this, and if anyone else has a lesbian creation myth waiting to be written, I’d love to read it!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In the beginning, when Mother Earth created life, she first made tiny organisms that could withstand the harsh conditions of her newborn planet. Earth was cooling and creating solid surfaces of rock and water, and the Mother’s fertile spirit moved across the newly-formed land and oceans, leaving bacteria to flourish. She was pleased with her creation, since there was something living for the first time in the barren landscape. Then the Mother commanded, “Let there be photosynthesis,” and algae grew, and it began to use light from the sun to make food.  Once again the Mother was pleased with what she saw.

The Earth continued to change, and eventually there was an ample supply of free oxygen. Mother Earth saw that her planet was ready for more advanced life, so she commanded, “Let fish fill the sea, and plants grow on land.” An abundance of new life covered the Earth. The Mother saw how successful her small animals were, and she was encouraged. She knew she could do even better. She changed the conditions on her planet again, so her first creatures died out, and then she prepared the planet for the next era.

When her planet was ready, Mother Earth commanded, “Let there be giant animals to rule over the land” and many new species of birds, reptiles and mammals covered the Earth. They were greater and stronger than the animals she had made before, and she was pleased with her creation.  Mother Earth enjoyed her creation for a time, and continued to introduce new species whenever she was in the mood, and then one day she decided she wanted to make a more intelligent creature than ever before. It would have consciousness of its own life the way the Mother did, and it would have new abilities that other species didn’t have, like the use of advanced tools and language. She decided that the ape was a good prototype for her new primate, and she began to give some of them the new traits.

Her new species, which she called Woman, evolved quickly. She helped the species along a little but its genetic coding also helped it to evolve on its own. The species flourished and it grew in both number and power. It continued to improve until Mother Earth’s enemy, the Devil of Death and Destruction, noticed how well the creatures were doing, and decided to interfere. The Devil was a malicious and effective demon, who took it upon himself to destroy the lovely things that Mother Earth created. He attacked the male of the species, giving him a deeply-embedded desire to destroy everything Mother Earth held dear: her Women, her other animals, and her plant life.

Mother Nature did the best she could to stop the evil from spreading. She added extra compassion to some of her new creatures so they would have the desire to defend all life. She was pleased to see some of them make good progress against the Devil’s plan. But it wasn’t enough.

The Mother had created Woman in her own image, fertile and conscious animals who would create and protect life. But her creatures had to mate with the males of their species and some of the males had become quite evil, obviously causing distress to the women.  The Mother loved her women and wanted them to be happy, so she decided to give them a gift. She created a special kind of woman who would defy the Devil’s wickedness by not mating with his hateful brutes. Instead, they would mate with their own sex. This wouldn’t result in a baby of course, but it would result in extra protection for all of womankind, because of their love for the female of the species. Not only would they be immune to the Devil’s tricks, but they would protect other women from them too.

The genetic coding that turned some women toward their own sex also occurred in some of the males, and they too turned toward their own sex. The Mother considered this an acceptible by-product of her plan—after all, it wasn’t a whole lot of them, and it wasn’t stopping the rest of the species from procreating.

Once the woman-loving women were created, they began to defend all of womankind, as the Mother had planned. She was very pleased that her plan had worked, and finally took a day off to rest.

The evil encoding that the Devil of Death and Destruction created still exists in some of the male genes, but a league of exceptional women created in the Mother’s image are leading the battle against it, and expect to succeed before long.

Feeling creeped out by the forced-birth crowd

Earlier this year I deliberately sought out some anti-gay articles to find out what homophobes are saying these days, and I discovered they are obsessed with breeding. I was surprised to find out that anybody still thinks humans should grow our population when we are facing a climate crisis, dwindling resources and overpopulation.

Recently a friend shared an article from the conservative blog The Federalist that said our population problem is actually too few kids rather than too many. I ended up clicking on a tag “fertility rates” to see what else there was and I found there were lots of articles under this topic. The Federalist regularly publishes articles saying we should be having more kids. (And by “we” they mean white Christians in rich countries.)

One of these writers claims that “Humanity is threatened by too few people in the near future.” Evidently conservatives think that 7.5 billion people on the planet is a threateningly low number. Reading through a few articles on their site, it’s clear to me that they don’t believe in global warming, don’t believe there is a serious environmental toll on the planet from overuse of resources, don’t believe that any more than 10% of people live in poverty, are against abortion, and think that science is a left-wing conspiracy.

Ironically, they make fun of scientists because they perceive them to be biased, while they ignore factual information and believe in nonsense. God, I hate the right wing.

In reality, humans are living on a finite planet and have an economic system that is based on endless “growth” through massive consumption of resources and production of waste. We are causing large numbers of species to go extinct and entire ecosystems to be destroyed. If we continue on our present course we will destroy ourselves too, because we are living animals and a part of the environment we are destroying.

The Federalist has two very similar articles that hate on Bill Nye the Science Guy because he talks about the problem of overpopulation and suggests that we limit the number of children we have. This is really good advice because having fewer children means that there might actually be a living planet left for those humans who are still around.

The right-wing writers on the Federalist think that even suggesting that too many humans on the planet can cause problems is rooted in an evil hatred toward humans and is comparable to eugenics. They bring up abortion frequently in these articles, and they seem to be imagining that the left wing is anti-human and wants us all dead. Actually the left-wing wants to protect the environment so that we can protect life.

It’s incredibly creepy when men who don’t believe in women’s rights insist that we should be having more kids. They will be using women’s bodies to create those kids. There are still many women and girls around the world who do not have the option to say no to sex and who are impregnated against their will, which is exactly what caused overpopulation in the first place. American right-wing men want this here too. They want to reverse the gains that the women’s liberation movement have made and they want women to have no say in reproductive decisions and men to have free reign to use women’s bodies for their sexual pleasure and to make babies for them as they see fit.

As a radical feminist, I think that women should be entirely in control over our reproductive decisions and we should not be forced to create an army of soldiers for men to use in their battles with other men over resources. We should choose to have the number of kids we can reasonably take care of with the resources we have. When women are given the option to decline having kids, and when we have birth control to use, we make responsible decisions. Women who are given options have fewer children than women who are subject to male control.

Right wing men believe that they have the right to overuse the planet’s resources to the point of depletion and they believe that human females are some of the natural resources for them to use. They do not believe in our humanity and they don’t believe that non-human animals matter either. It is the right wing who is anti-life.

Quote: passing is a product of oppression

I’m still reading Trans Gender Warriors by Leslie Feinberg. I’m working on a post about the roots of trans oppression, but it’s not ready yet. Tonight I’m sharing a quote that I thought was absolutely amazing. Check this out:

“We have not always been forced to pass, to go underground, in order to work and live. We have a right to live openly and proudly. When we are denied those rights, we are the ones who suffer that oppression. But when our lives are suppressed, everyone is denied an understanding of the rich diversity of sex and gender expression and experience that exist in human society.

I have lived as a man because I could not survive openly as a transgendered person. Yes, I am oppressed in this society, but I am not merely a product of oppression. That is a phrase that renders all our trans identities meaningless. Passing means having to hide your identity in fear, in order to live. Being forced to pass is a recent historical development.

It is passing that is a product of oppression.” (p88–89).

This is amazing because this is exactly what I think. It’s okay to be a masculine woman or a feminine man, but people don’t think it’s okay, because they’re bigots. So masculine women have to pretend to be literally male and feminine men have to pretend to be literally female so they will be safe from the bigots who think their gender has to align with their sex. Passing means making people think you literally are the sex that corresponds with your gender expression. Not passing means that people know your sex as well as your gender. If it was okay for anyone to present how they want, then there would be no need to pass. Interestingly, radical feminists do think that anyone should be able to present how they want. The bigots are those who maintain that everyone who is feminine is literally female and everyone who is masculine is literally male. Strangely enough, modern trans activists are promoting this bigoted position toward their own community. I keep waiting for them to notice that they are transphobic, but so far, no luck.

I keep saying that Leslie Feinberg only lived “as a man” because she couldn’t live as a masculine woman. The reasons she couldn’t live as a masculine woman are called sexism and homophobia. Here it is right in her own book: being forced to pass as something you are not is a product of oppression. How refreshing, and surprising, to hear this from a trans activist!

If trans people weren’t discriminated against, then they wouldn’t have to pretend to be literally the opposite sex in order to live their lives. They’d be able to accept both their sex and their gender expression and everyone else would accept it too. There would be no rules that only certain gender expressions go with certain bodies. So, along the path to trans liberation, we need to be honest about sex and gender, rather than trying to hide one or the other. It’s okay to admit that transwomen are biologically male and that transmen are biologically female. No harm done in speaking the truth. Humans come in all types, some of us don’t look the way men or women usually look, and that’s okay! It doesn’t need to be hidden. It’s not bigoted to know who people are and accept them as is.

Also: she talks about not being a product of oppression in the middle paragraph. What she means by that is that she was not “passing as a man” in order to escape women’s oppression, as some people suggested. She was born unusually masculine for a girl, and she didn’t manufacture this deliberately as a strategy to escape women’s oppression. Just in case anybody’s wondering about that paragraph.

Sometimes I very much agree with Feinberg on something, but then other times we disagree. Following this amazing quote she talked about how we can’t define ‘woman’ in any way because defining it would leave people out. *sigh* You can’t win ’em all.

Video: Growing up butch

This is a video by the excellent vlogger Mainely Butch!

This made me think about whether I could describe what it’s like growing up femme. I think that would be hard to do though. Women describe what it was like growing up butch by naming the reasons they were different from other girls. So how do you describe growing up the same as other girls?

I was pretty typical when I was a kid. I enjoyed lots of the activities and clothing that was assigned to girls. I played a hell of a lot of Barbies. However, I wasn’t a total princess. I liked playing outside, and I generally wore pants, not skirts. As a teen I didn’t understand makeup or underwire bras and I didn’t want them anywhere near me. (I do wear underwire bras now, but still no makeup.) No one ever mistook me for a boy though. Even if I put on men’s clothing, which I sometimes do, I still look like a woman. Clothing can’t hide my obviously female shape.

I didn’t suspect I was a lesbian when I was a kid even though I did have noticeable “warm and fuzzy feelings” toward other girls, followed by explicitly sexual feelings as I approached puberty. I was taught to believe that everyone is heterosexual and so I assumed I would be, until the truth finally made itself undeniable.

I would say that every point that I could make about what’s it’s like being a femme is something that comes from my adulthood.

For example, I remember being at my first party for lesbian and bi women. I wore a tight pair of jeans and a pink sweater. At that particular party, there was a lipstick lesbian couple and a few androgynous-looking women and one masculine lesbian. The lipsticks were pretty to look at, but there was one woman in that group who made me totally nervous, and that was the masculine one. She saw the fear in my eyes and she knew something about me even before I did. Not long after that day I realized I was attracted to her in a way I wasn’t to the others. She knew it, too. I found out weeks later that she still remembered the outfit I wore at that party, and that detail lit a fire inside me. She was already involved so we didn’t do anything, and I don’t know her anymore. But later on another butch lit me on fire, and we are still together now.

I am happy with my feminine body and I love when my partner calls me pretty. Although the idea of being a wife to a man makes me nauseous, I love being my partner’s wife. Being a butch’s girl is the absolute best thing in life.

Being a femme means feeling different on the inside even though you don’t look any different to other people. Straight women will often assume I’m one of them, but I always know I’m not. Sometimes a coworker will say something to me about a man being handsome, and I just feel surprised and confused. How do they know? It seems arbitrary to me, deciding which men are handsome. To me, they just look like men. But show me a photo of k.d.lang and I’ll need a fainting couch to swoon onto.

I’m still exploring what it means to be femme, and it really helps when other lesbians talk about their experience.

Thanks for the video, Mainely Butch!

Olive Yang, butch hero

I was very pleased to come across this article about an Asian butch lesbian named Olive Yang, who spend her life as a cross-dressing warlord.

From the New York Times:

“MUSE, Myanmar — She was born to royalty in British colonial Burma, but rejected that life to become a cross-dressing warlord whose C.I.A.-supplied army established opium trade routes across the Golden Triangle. By the time of her death, last week at 90, she had led hundreds of men, endured prison and torture, generated gossip for her relationship with a film actress and, finally, helped forge a truce between ethnic rebels and the government.

Olive Yang grew up as one of 11 children in an ethnic Chinese family of hereditary rulers of what was then the semiautonomous Shan state of Kokang. According to relatives, she wore boys’ clothes, refused to bind her feet and frequently fell in love with her brothers’ romantic interests.

Concerned about their unconventional daughter, her parents arranged for her to marry a younger cousin. Shortly after she became pregnant, archives show, she left her husband to pursue a life among opium-trafficking bandits. Her son, Duan Jipu — named for the American jeeps Ms. Yang had seen in the Chinese city of Kunming during World War II — was raised by other family members.

Ms. Yang’s pursuit of a career as a militia leader and opium smuggler grew in part out of her desperation to escape traditional gender roles, her relatives said.”

Now, I’m not trying to say that leading the illegal drug trade is heroic, but defying traditional gender roles is. I am proud of this woman for escaping from a marriage she didn’t want and dressing how she wanted and pursuing relationships with women. Her bravery reminds me of Joan of Arc. Long live gender rebels!

Responding to a Reddit comment

Here is a lesbian who feels better while taking testosterone but doesn’t identify as a man, and she finds herself in between trans ideology and radical feminist ideology. On very rare occasions, I run into someone on the Internet in this situation. I think these people are interesting and I enjoy hearing from them.

Link to Reddit thread here.

Quote:

“Does gender crit ideology have a problem with people who choose to medically transition AND are able to acknowledge biology/stay out of spaces made for the opposite sex? I ask this question because I’d probably lean more towards this category of human. I am 100% aware that I’m a lesbian (biologically female interested in females), but have wanted to masculinize my body since learning it existed in 2007 (have also taken T previously). What I felt while on testosterone was relief from mental health issues I’ve never been able to feel relief from (and I’ve been treated with many psychiatric drugs, years and years of therapy, and tried multiple ‘alternative’ methods, generally involving healthy living/exercise).

“Since puberty hit, I developed debilitating panic disorder that I do believe was/is hormonally induced (in fact, the biochemical shit that happens during PMS absolutely narrows this down…increase in estrogen, decrease in GABA, and my genetics must hold the predisposition for this, many of my fam are PD diagnosed/have alcoholism and other issues trying to solve this). Not only this, but no other medical intervention has made me feel legitimately healthy. I’d never experienced the confidence, the physical strength, or the happiness that parallels what HRT gave to me for the few short months I was on it.

“My conflict came because I became critical of the trans ideology itself…mostly due to learning of ‘the cotton ceiling’ and being concerned about pediatric transitioners (and just how booming of a fad transition seems to have become). However, I’ve always been ‘misgendered’. I’m used to not knowing which pronoun someone will use, and no pronoun feels ‘preferred’ or ‘correct’ to me. The only ‘incorrect’ pronoun feels like ‘it’, because it’s dehumanizing.

“I guess I’m posting this because several days ago I came to a realization that I don’t have to ‘identify’ as anything to take something that helps my mental and physical well-being, helps me feel better about my appearance and the way I feel in my body (I felt more connected to my physical experience than I have since puberty hit). I almost feel torn between ideologies.

“I don’t completely agree with transgender or radical feminist ideology (who honestly can say they do agree 100% with anything). I already feel isolated, so feeling conflicts with very core aspects of two opposing ideologies has felt extra isolating, as if I cannot be fully honest in either group.

“I guess I’m wondering what thoughts are on people who decide to make this personal choice but also recognize the rights of others to organize in spaces that don’t necessarily fit us into that group. What are your opinions? Is it possible to transition without negatively impacting others? Also, it almost feels like damage control at this point…I feel like I hurt people in my life more being unhappy than when I feel good and confident in my body (which I’ve been trying to do, for the most part, without medical transition for the past 14 years). Those who respect the boundaries of others, understand that biology is really important in dating (I don’t really want to get with anyone who has a penis either) and political spaces specific to one sex….are we okay?

“Is there a way to transition (helping the mental health of oneself) without getting in the way of others? I very much feel like testosterone is the closest thing that I’ve ever had to treating the physical and emotional discomfort I experience as a GNC female day to day, and I’m beginning to realize that I can’t completely give up my happiness for others who only will accept me in very specific circumstances, but I also want to know what I can do, as someone who feels critical of some inherent identity ( I do think there are biological factors that may play a role in this degree of GNC lesbianism…I didn’t make some choice to be this way, it’s inherent, but transition is obviously is a choice), to sort of meet in the middle. Taking the concerns of both my own mental health and the ability of females to organize exclusively into consideration.

“Does this make sense? I’ve been a bit hesitant to post this. Very unsure of the response this will get and somewhat embarrassed to put this out there. But it hit me that there has to be someone else feeling like this somewhere. :/”

/end quote

Well, since you asked, I am gender critical and I think we would get along just fine. I have problems with transgender politics as they are currently playing out due to the removal of women’s rights and the constant lying about biology, among other things. So if someone is trans but not denying biology and not taking away women’s rights, then we’re cool.

I think you have a good attitude toward your situation, because you are accepting of yourself as a lesbian and accepting of your body. You are also respectful of people’s genital preferences when it comes to relationships.

I definitely think you can transition without getting in the way of others. There are some trans people who are trying to make the entire world bend to their ideas, and this is wrong. For example, there are trans men who give birth to babies and breastfeed but still want people to think of them as men, and they also want organizations that help women with birthing and breastfeeding to stop using the word “woman” when referring to the class of people who can give birth and breastfeed. This is absolutely ridiculous and this is an example of “getting in the way of others” while transitioning. If you are doing what’s right for you while staying in touch with reality and not trying to control other people’s accurate thoughts and language, then we’re cool.

I am pretty skeptical that taking artificial hormones is ever a good idea, but I can’t say that I understand everything about the effects of hormones in the body, and if someone can honestly say that artificial hormones are the only thing that can help them feel better, than I’m not stopping them. I do not advocate for eliminating the existence of artificial hormones.

I feel relief when I meet someone who takes hormones to feel better but still lives in reality. I am pretty chill about a woman with a deep voice and a beard who knows that she is biologically female and isn’t trying to get me to accept nonsense or lies. I would even advocate for gender neutral washrooms and removing the sex marker from driver’s licenses on her behalf, if that’s gonna help.

I am totally accepting of people who are different. The only things I won’t accept are misogyny and lies.