Friday, December 18, 2015

The Gender Review Board

Will we all have to go before a “Gender Review Board” to see if we “pass” (I hate that word, I prefer integrate instead) in order to be trans? Who will determine who passes and who does not? What happens if a cis gender woman does meet the criteria?
Second Nexus
By Haley Pollock
December 14, 2015

Popular culture appears to have moved quickly to embrace transgender celebrity. Transgender actors, runway models, and reality television stars abound, and actors portraying transgender characters have received a haul of television and film awards. There is, it appears, money to be made from rising transgender stars.

But despite the speed of this bandwagon, it ignores an uncomfortable fact: Only transgender celebrities who “pass” make it into the mainstream. “Passing” privilege illustrates the hypocrisy of our popular culture, which only welcomes a few while pretending to welcome all.

We saw this in pre-Civil Rights America. Black Americans with lighter skin and straightened hair enjoyed more socio-economic privilege than their dark-skinned and textured-hair counterparts. Those who could “pass” for white were given more opportunities, better employment, housing and education. Still, they tiptoed through such an existence, vulnerable to anyone who might call out their blackness, conflicted about having to disassociate from family and friends to maintain their status. Echoes of this resound today.
Here is a comment that I received from my blog post “Umbrella” (which I didn’t publish)
Take a look into the mirror if you want to see the real face of cultural appropriation and as you call it, lateral hostility!"

You have absolutely no idea how much damage you do to women like me, or like Nikki everytime you open your big yap! We were born transsexual, not transgender and there's absolutely nothing common between your kind and mine! But does that stop you? Ohhh noooooooo! You see, it comes down to "Cui Bono," who benefits? And I've got a news flash for you, It's not us, it's YOU! You need us! You feed on us! You always put us out there again and again as the face of "trans" to hide the fact that you and the other 90% are still packing a penis, and that you intend to keep the precious! Take us out of the equation? You know exactly what will happen... you'll be laughed off the street! God forbid! And that's why you're so intent upon that never happening! Male privilege much?

So instead, you do everything humanly possible to obfuscate and appropriate our narrative solely for your own benefit! Oh you can call yourself an activist all you want, but to women born transsexual? You're an effing terrorist!
Compare this to what Ms. Pollock wrote about light skin blacks, do you see any comparisons?

In a research paper by Judith B. White and Ellen J. Langer titled “Horizontal Hostility: Relationships Between Similar Minority Groups” wrote this,
In each of these instances of horizontal hostility, the target – a black person who is light skinned, a deaf person who uses oral language, bisexuals – are willing to be identified with the more distinctive minority group, who may view the targets of horizontal hostility as “wannabes.”
Notice any similarities between the groups?

They all have internalized phobias they do not want to be associated with a marginalized minority. Ms. Pollock goes on to write,
Within the trans community, “passing” means conforming to the stereotype of gender. The more like a woman a trans woman appears, the fewer hackles are raised. As a result, American popular culture can claim to be progressive and tolerant of trans persons, yet ostracize those who are gender nonconforming.
Similarly, must a transman sport suits, ties, short hair and embrace male-dominated pursuits to be welcomed? Is it acceptance if the culture only embraces transpeople who represent themselves as an idealized or quintessential version of their gender?
The trans purist do not believe in the gender spectrum for them they see the world in male and female if you do not conform to the binary you cannot be transgender. For them you must have surgery even if means losing your life in the operating room. They adhere to the archaic Harry Benjamin model that has been discredited by the medical community.

The article goes on to say,
… The fixation with surgical status goes beyond likeability. In many places, the right of trans people to change legal documents, such as driver’s licenses and other forms of identification, depends on transition surgery. This means that unless transpersons undergo costly surgery, they cannot legally be classified as their true gender. It also means that each job, loan, college application, voter registration or medical form outs them to potential employers, lenders and care providers. This could open the door to discrimination against transpersons without any real recourse.
Luckily many states have realized that surgery shouldn’t be a requirement to change your documentation including your birth certificate and Connecticut is leading the way.
There is thus a certain insincerity behind the interest, awareness and acceptance of the trans community. If it is truly the case that only those privileged and wealthy enough to “pass” are worthy of the cisgender-dominant culture’s praise, then how far have we really come? While it remains revolutionary that highly visible and influential transgender people are now celebrated, this is at best conditional acceptance: Popular culture supports only the Good Transperson, the one who acts as a walking, talking, informational pamphlet to satisfy the public’s often lurid curiosity.
We cannot have a gender police who tries to enforce the gender binary standards. Nature does not do things in a binary fashion and we cannot deny a person the right to self-determine their gender just because it doesn’t fit some other person’s gender binary.

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