Mittwoch, 14. Dezember 2011

What does it matter to you?

I've been reading some of Natalie's fantastic articles on gender, transgender and privilege on Skepchick lately, and I've been wondering: Why do people care so much?
I don't mean on a personal, intimate, concrete level. I admit that I don't know what would happen if my husband came out as transgender, but somehow I doubt that I need to worry much about this possibility. And as a straight, cisgender, married woman, the whole business is pretty far removed from my personal life.
That's what makes me wonder:
Why do other people care so much? Even people who are not bigots, who consider themselves to be allies.
Why?
Why do people feel entitled to give a different asnwer to the question "Is somebody male/female " than the actual person it concerns?
I have no answer. Do you?

Kommentare:

julian.francisco hat gesagt…

No data, numbers or real trends. Just what I've noticed.

For many people, having a firm hold on 'reality' is important. Reality, of course being, their impression of the world and how they've organized it in their minds.

In atheists this organization is an intricately woven series of rationalizations, models and personal theories that define everything. All of which are backed by something that to the individual is solid and concrete.

Trans-people seem to run contrary to everything that 'concretely ' defines gender. Testicles, ovaries and XY chromosomes should be a clear indicator of what the person is. Not so with transpeople.

Anyway that's just my thinking (which is pretty muddy on this issue anyway.) I've only just started learning about trans issues.

Tigger_the_Wing hat gesagt…

What about transgendered grandmothers (tranny grannies!)? I've long ago accepted that I am a gay male brain in a female body.* Having confessed to my husband more than a decade ago, recently I have found the courage to 'out' myself to some of my children and some of my friends.

*In other words, I'm the opposite of Eddie Izzard, who has described himself as a male lesbian.

For fifty odd years (very odd, most of them) I've been addressed as female, mostly; on occasion some people (strangers) have assumed I was male, and my friends' nick-names for me have always been male ones.

Although I don't mind at all which I'm called, I am happy to address my transgender online friends by whatever gender they prefer. For instance, I wouldn't refer to any of my M-F friends and acquaintances as 'he'; that would be rude since they have all declared they feel themselves to be female and that doesn't bother me at all.

Had I been able to choose when I was young, I possibly would have chosen to be male. When I was little and found out that being female wasn't a temporary state, I did get quite upset.

However, I've followed 'male' career and hobby options whilst taking advantage of being outwardly female to do things gay men often couldn't do (or couldn't do at the time, though increasingly they can do some of them); like not being bullied for my sexual preference, being able to marry my husband, give birth, have straight male and female friends, wear 'masculine' or 'feminine' clothing, etc.

If your husband 'came out' as transgendered, I expect you'd still love him just the same, just as my husband still loves me.

And, because I still love him, I won't ever go for gender re-assignment treatment.

Giliell hat gesagt…

Tigger, that's an interesting comment.
To me, whatever the other person tells me is fine. Who am I to question their sexual orientation or their gender? I clearly think that they are the ones who know best, just like I'd feel hurt and condescended if somebody told me I needed to explore my "lesbian side"*.
Just like I, although I quite liked doing "boystuff", always knew that I was female, in spite of people mistaking me for a boy, I have no reason to doubt that other people know that about themselves, too.

What would I do if my husband came out to me tomorrow? Honestly, I don't know. That's the only answer I can give you. I love him, and would support him along the way, but I don't know if the romantic love would survive a full male to female transition. Probably a different kind of love would replace it.

*I would say that I have a very mild tendency for bisexuality. Enough to enjoy watching attractive women, but I couldn't say I ever fancied one.