Search This Blog

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Same but Opposite?

It seems there is an ongoing debate, if that's not too mild a word, in the US at least about the differences between transsexual and transgender, with all sorts of passionately articulated arguments about the inclusivity or exclusivity of whatever term they are talking about. From this side of the pond (UK) it seems a odd argument as the words here have marginally different meanings in the colloquial usage. Think of the word 'pants' for instance. In the US it means trousers, here in the UK it means underwear, and is also used as a derogatory remark - as in that show was pants, meaning the show was rubbish. In the same vein, the Scottish Government has announced a doubling of funding for the Scottish Transgender Alliance. The word transgender here covers a subtly different meaning than the one argued about so passionately in the US which is why some parts of the debate seem lost on me.

But this article its not about that debate. (thankfully for me) It's about those parts of trans(whatever) world that are often forgotten about and not really part of that debate. The first is FtMs and hopefully we will cover spouses and families soon on T-Central too. I would reckon that 99% of blogs listed here are MtF but of all the ones I read, the postings that find most resonance with me at the moment are the FtM blogs. Funnily enough they are closer in so many ways to my own experience even though we are mirror images of each other.

As a rule there is less generally in there about adventures out, about shopping trips and things than in the MtF blogs (I stand guilty too there m'lord). But there is so much personal reflection and regard for others I find them compelling. Very very compelling. They also tend, to a man, to be more set on the road to transition, but that's maybe just because the female crossdresser is a rarer phenomenon in Blogsbourgh.

It would seem like both groups of MtF and FtM transitioners are writing converging blogs. The MtFs start with adventures and objects and as their psyche changes they speak more of feelings and relationships. The FtMs seem opposite, starting with feelings and relationships and (probably) ending with cars and beer. At some point they will no doubt pass each other going the opposite way. And it is that writing from a personal position, considering of others that I find so compelling, as where they are coming (or came) from is where I need to end up.

Here are a couple of favorites to get going with.

Paper Wilderness
FTM doctor

And if you know any more FtM blogs out there please encourage them to get their blog listed here. We need more FtMs blogs on T-Central (and spouses and families as well - but that is for another day perhaps)


  1. I beg to differ. Some of the arguments are articulate. Others are merely bigoted.

    I also dispute your characterization of the argument that is going on. It's not about, as you imply, nitpicking details. It's about identity and the alleged usurpation of it. it's also about one small group of individuals, at least one of whom is an admin of this site, denigrating others. I don't care about the denigration, but I do care about the way that denigration is strikingly similar to that offered by anti-Semites and racists.

    That is what this discussion is about.

    Carolyn Ann

  2. Carolyn Ann.
    The US argument is not one I'm involved in, and the initial point was that not only does it seem to be a MtF agrument, but elsewhere in the world (i.e. over here) the argument does not really exist to my knowledge, and T-Central for all is faults is a multi-national site, although I admit most blogs are north american based.
    However the post was primarily in praise of FtM blogs.

  3. There is no debate. A ridiculously small minority of people not wanting to be included in a umbrella term that the rest of the world uses to embrace them, and going off and inventing their own vocabulary does not constitute a "debate."

  4. As a non-admin of T-Central, I strongly disagree with the assertion that an admin of T-Central denigrates others. I read blogs. I read comments. As someone who does not identify as TS, I find that assertion to be completely, totally, and utterly untrue.

  5. So, anonymous, I'm sure this comment, from an admin of this blog listing service, isn't denigrating someone else:

    "These attacks don’t bother me quite as much as his arms do."

    The "arms" bit links to a picture of me. (Whom, I might add, is not anonymous.)

    Apparently my appearance isn't up to this person's gentle standards for femininity; my arms bother her. If passing negative comment on someone's appearance isn't denigrating, I'd really like to know what is!

    Carolyn Ann

  6. Gosh Jay! So forceful! Reminds me of the "joke": What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?
    Nothing! You done told her twice!

    I'm so terribly sorry we uppity women folk done went and upset ya by being so rude as to not want to be tied against our will to folks who's goal is to be to play girl!

    Shame on us!

  7. @Carolyn Ann

    The list of contributors to this blog is at the bottom of the right-hand column. Do you see the name of the person to whom you are referring? No, you don't.

  8. Ah. My mistake.

    I thought she was an admin of T-Central. (I didn't know that list was there.)

    My apologies. Thank you for the correction, Ariel.

    Carolyn Ann

  9. MzKnowitAll: If you were "women folk" I could probably forgive it. Actually, I'd probably just ignore it, which is my usual response to feminine antics.

    But the only difference between you'z and us is several thousand dollars of plastic surgery, and a belief that facts will go away if you make up enough gibberish to drown them out.

    Play Girl, yes. Because I'm not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes as you "women folk" are.

    Now instead of attacking me personally (typical response from the transsexual mafia) why don't you present an actual argument, with supportable facts, that upholds your case?

    Because you don't have one?

  10. holding a closed narrative for VI as well as V is for most of us the only way to function as the sex we must be without being othered back into the very world we fought so hard to leave..." ~MizKnowItAll

  11. "In 1992 Leslie Feinberg wrote a pamphlet called Transgender Liberation: A Movement whose time has come. It was Later expanded into two books called Transgender Warriors 1997 and Trans Liberation Beyond Pink and Blue 1999. Feinberg reused the word to form a political alliance for those associated with the gay community and that fell into by her description Gender Variant people who do not fit into the societal norms of men and women and suffer politically for it. Again most transsexuals are trying to fit into the societal norms of men and women so it only makes sense that this usage would be offensive and separates them from what they are trying to do which is to find comfort in their body and fit in."
    ~Lisa Jain Thompson

  12. "After reading that hopefully you can get an idea that the real bullies in all this are the ones that adopted Leslie Feinberg's recoining of the word transgender....There can be no more forced groupings or forced associations, or anymore of the we out number you so you must bow to us attitude. No group should ever be allowed to claim sole control over a bunch of people especially the LGBT when with little thought it is easy to see the vast majority of those people are heterosexual just like Virginia Prince was. Yes she lived like a woman but she was a heterosexual male by her own description.There can be no more tolerance for bullies claiming to be leaders or the moral high ground. Even more so those who are leaders of trans that are associate with the LGBT be advised your being put on notice you no longer get to control the message you no longer get to force people into your control your done its over get a life. For those leaders that understand that and haven't forced an association think outside your box and think outside the LGBT that's where the real strength and the real numbers are." ~Lisa Jain Thompson

  13. She also wrote this,

    "TS-Siis dedicated to the acceptance, legal protection, and medical treatment of individuals correcting the misalignment of their brains and their anatomical sex, while supporting their transition into society as hormonally reconstituted and surgically corrected citizens."

    Which sounds like something out of either Orwell's 1984, or some other science fiction novel.

    Hormonally reconstituted, and surgically Too bad they don't have a program like that for curing evangelical christianity!

  14. Jay! Way to GO!
    Though I'm not really sure if what you are expressing here would be classified as Misanthropy or Misogyny but Dear, to have such an obvious and deep contempt for the thing one lusts for to the point of emulating! I'm sure one day you are either going to be buying some therapist a summer home for dealing with your issues, or you are going to make some poor woman utterly miserable! But what the heck, you're not stretching out my panties, so I tell you what! You want empirical proof that I'm a woman and your pathetic umbrella has nothing to do with me? Lets go to a biker bar together! Whatta ya say? I'm sure the patrons there would be more than happy to decide the issue for us! Hey! I'm a woman remember? One of those ignorable and contemptible little bits of fluff you hate so! Anyway I'm quite sure that despite your obvious dislike for women that I'll still be treated well by the bikers as they are after all surprisingly gentlemanly, but I am rather curious to what may happen to you Dear if perchance they decide to flip YOU over for a little look see? Well no matter, I'm sure if you manage to escape in one piece the good doctors in Emergency are going to do everything they can to keep you alive! So all Jay,come on! Rather than go through all that, Why don't you just man up to your play, call it what it is and stop hiding behind my and my sisters petticoats as something you are not?

  15. Karen,

    My apologies for the tone I have taken taken in my earlier as well as the misdirect, but to espouse such contempt for both women with a transsexual history and women without cannot be left unaddressed...That said I would agree with you that the FtM segment is under-represented in most such forums, but I would postulate that this is because the motivation for the majority, ie the non transsexual in both comes from a very different and yet oddly similar place! And that place, as I see it would be a general dislike for prescribed and expected gender typical social and sexual roles! The twist is that for men, abandoning these roles to be feminine is seen as them lessening their status as men, hence the desire to attach to transsexual as an "excuse." Where as in the FtM group it falls in the opposite direction where a woman who is perceived as being mannish is seen as lesser, a woman who is BECOMING a man is seen as "greater" hence the desire once again to attach to transsexual becomes a means to an end.

    I think the good Doctor of "FTM Doctor" has one of the best ideas I have heard in a very long time to address this! Rather than taking the easy road and trying to attach to the opposite sex as "Trans" an explanation... Why not simply redefine what it means to be a man or a woman? I mean why shouldn't men be able to express an outward femininity without being "trans" or women a "masculine" hardness again without being "trans?" For the ones born with the wrong wiring, i.e. those who are transsexuals of either flavor. The incongruity must be resolved one way or the other but for the many others who are not transsexual? Rethinking this along the lines of what it means to be the sex they are may be, in the long run a much more viable and socially acceptable alternative!

  16. I'm not emulating, femulating, or, in your case, faking being a woman courtesy of a scapel and E-Juice.

    I don't want to be a woman. I think women are silly, illogical, capricious, irrational creatures that should never be taken seriously.

    Doesn't mean I don't like them, it just means I know their limitations.

    And I certainly don't "lust" for women. I do something that most of you transsexuals, as much as you claim to be women, don't.

    I sleep with men.

    Amateur psychology fail.

    My turn: Your real problem is not that you think so highly of women; it's that you think so lowly of men.

    I am what I want to be: A guy that can look like a woman, when he wants to. I get two genders for the price of one. I wouldn't want a vagina if it came with a with a million dollars.

    So, no I'm not jealous of you. Never will be. Sorry... try it on someone else, I'm not buying.

    I thank god (figuratively) that I never foolishly screwed up my life and my body as bad as so many of you people have, when I had the chance to.

    I on the other hand make no apologies for the tone I've taken. These "women folk" do this every time. They try to dominate the conversation, and bully and ridicule everyone who doesn't agree with their minority view.

    I'm not afraid to stand-up against you. You're a bunch of Nazis on estrogen.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. (other comment I used the wrong name for Jay)


    A couple quotes from the above.

    "Now instead of attacking me personally (typical response from the transsexual mafia) why don't you present an actual argument, with supportable facts, that upholds your case?"


    "I think women are silly, illogical, capricious, irrational creatures that should never be taken seriously... You're a bunch of Nazis on estrogen."

    Have you run away during your T-Central hiatus and joined the transsexual mafia, Jay? I mean, you're giving the typical ad hominem transsexual mafia response.

    C'mon now... you can do better than this.

  19. Oh My God! Jay! You're killing me here! The misogynistic drag queen who thinks he is putting women in their place by calling them silly, illogical, capricious, irrational creatures that should never be taken seriously! Talk about your silly, illogical, capricious, irrational stereotypes! This is just too darn funny you know! Heck I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried

    So what was it? What triggered your women hating? Did your Mama fumble with the toilet training? Did you see something that scared you something awful like big girl genitals?(hint there really ARE teeth down there!) Did the kid sister get better toys at Christmas? Still bitter about having to mow the lawn? Are we acting out Freudian castration worries? Are you green with jealousy that we get to do straight men and they come back for more? Oh Jay you just gotta keep em coming! I haven't had this much fun in ages!

  20. Can I nominate this for the most entertaining thread derail of 2011?

  21. More amateur psychology? No better than your last attempt. But, what one accuses others of, is often enlightening in regards to what they fear in themselves.

    Calling me a "drag queen?" Really? That's it? That's all you got?

    And that's supposed to be an insult? You have something against drag queens, too?

    Who don't you have a problem with, MizKnowNothing? Ever consider the possibility that if you are at odds with EVERYONE, then the problem may lie within yourself, and not with others?

    More personal attacks designed to diminish me to make yourself look more like what you claim to be? That is all you have presented so far. Hasn't anyone ever told you before that you can't build yourself up by tearing down others? It doesn't work.

    As I said in my original comment: This is not a "debate."

    It's just name-calling and terror tactics by a small minority of people who are ashamed of what they are, so they have to separate themselves from others like them that remind them too much of themselves.

    Maybe you shouldn't be under the transgender umbrella? Though you are not "women" as you are always claiming to be, you do seem to have a lot in common with the haters the umbrella was created to unite us against.

    Have you "women folk" ever thought of offering your services to them?

  22. I'd like to offer a dramatic interpretation of the discussion thus far...

  23. Why don't we all gather at a designated place and throw rocks at each other! I need a Midol!!!!

  24. @Jay,

    So let me get this straight, oops, sorry you are gay. I would not want to misrepresent your sexual orientation.

    So if I am correct a gay man who may or may not be a drag queen, I like most drag queens, is telling me that I am a silly, illogical, capricious, and irrational creature plus can never be a woman because I was not born that way.

    Since we do not have your picture I assume you "think" you look like awoman but because you think we are silly, illogical, capricious, and irrational creatures then all you would know is a caricature of women or some over the top RuPaul wannabe.

    Unfortunately I doubt you look as good as her. I bet you even like to be called she or her in drag or would shir or hir be more appropriate since we are such silly creatures.

    The only real name calling and insulting has been done by you but then you know that. If you are what transgender subscribes to then all of us that want out can only thank you for coming forward.

    I have saved these comments so I can bring them up when people tell me transsexuals and the transgendered are the same. You are the perfect example of why we want out from the umbrella.

    Now be a pretty little thing and get dressed up for the guy abusing your butt and make like a good little boy and bend over because sweetie being a gay effeminate boy does not in any way shape or form qualify you as transgender but then maybe the umbrella had gotten wider.

  25. @JAY

    I did not realize you were the real "Play Girl".

    I sleep with men also but as the woman I should have been. Now that I know who it is I guess I understand the comments better. I do not agree with them but i understand them better.

    By the way you really do look like a man in drag but I guess a gay man trying to deny he is gay by sleeping with you while you are in a dress will overlook a lot.

  26. @teagan lmao! That's about the size of it!


The People - Personal Thoughts

Cobweb Corner - Older Blogs, Not Recently Updated