It never fails. Every time this TS/TG bullshit comes up over Pantheacon or whatever else in the greater umbrella community, there’s always aging second-wave feminists, too caught up in their own identity as the victims to see the actual progress that’s happened in the last thirty-five years, at the very least, who have nothing better to say but going on and on about The Plight of Wombynnes Everywhere, and how simply having a uterus is like walking about with a target on your back.
And my gut instinct is to defend myself.
But I don’t, at least not in the comments on other people’s blogs, because well, on the ultimate hand, I’m very secure in my gender and very secure in my knowledge of my perceived opponent’s ignorance. On the lesser hand, I really don’t have the time or patience to waste on such ridiculous people, especially not one-at-a-time. Last year, I had several urges to make a post similar to this one, explaining some of my experiences as a man of TS history and why, contrary to what some very ignorant and prejudiced people may believe, is not simply some perverse “ultimate manifestation of a woman’s self-hatred” (as one such person I can’t be bothered to remember to source once described men of my condition), but something I struggled with for years. Part of this struggle was because of a somewhat feminist upbringing, and part of this was because, being sexually oriented toward other men (and overwhelmingly cissexual men, but that’s simply because of my penis obsession), it’s honestly a helluva lot easier, in many ways, to live with an outward form more apparently female than it is to do so with an apparently male form.
My parents were probably rather unusual for people their age (mother thirty-five and father forty, at the time of my birth —and I was the second offspring of each, my mother having her first child thirteen years before me, and my father having his first seven years earlier) to have the idea to pretty much let my younger sister and I pick out our own toys and cartoons, within reason. My younger sister was actually more of a tomboy than I ever could have been, as I was “that weird bookworm kid” who spent all my spare time at the library or, after library hours, watching old movies, usually with my mother or maternal grandparents. I never saw a film, outside of anything nominally “for children”, made after 1969 until I was maybe eleven years old. I’d put on a lot of my own little versions of Broadway musicals with soundtracks either from my father’s record collection or copied onto compact audio cassette from the library. At the same time, though, I rejected anything pink, loudly protested the notion that my stuffed animals or “playing Barbies” with my sister meant that I “played with dolls”, and after coming home from school, I couldn’t wait to get out of my uniform dirndl and into a pair of jeans because I simply wouldn’t stand for the notion that I did anything “for girls”; eventually, this protest morphed into “doing anything [my younger sister] does” because my mother was seriously becoming distraught with this apparent gender confusion, so I changed it to please my mother —after all, it was only fair that I did so, because when I was six, I overheard my parents in an argument over whether or not to enrol me in this school for the gifted, my mother in favour of this, my father stubbornly against it because my younger sister (who everybody knew was his favourite) “would feel bad”, and my mother eventually blurted out (believing I was asleep and not at the top of the stairs eavesdropping) “That kid is smarter than the two of us combined and deserves this..”, and in spite of my advanced cognitive abilities, I was also clearly six, and since I knew my score, I interpreted this very literally and looked up something at the library the next day, after which, I had concluded that my parents were both borderline retarded, so clearly they just weren’t going to understand a lot of things.
I’m dead serious, too. I believed my parents were mentally handicapped until I was nine years old and it just suddenly clicked with me that it was highly improbable for my mother, a registered nurse, to be mentally retarded, nor was it probable for my father to be so, either (while my father was basically a rag-and-bones man, or as a family friend once put it, “the white Fred Sanford“, I can attest that at least somewhat-higher-than-average intelligence is needed for that work, and he also occasionally worked construction and other manual labour that would be unkind to those who weren’t quick-enough in thinking —I’d hesitate to wager that my father was as high-functioning as my mother was, but he was no Peggy Hill, either, much less a Corky Thatcher ).