A lot of time is spent talking about the fetishistation of some kinds of trans guys and faab gender variance. I want to talk about this and that will lead to generalizations so I want to start with making clear that while binary ided trans guys, faab genderqueers, and female ided faab butches are thrown into one big bucket they can have very different experiences, for a start, only some of them are men, Right moving on.
I have personal have only experienced the very edges of this, most of my partners are straight ided men, who wish I would stop mentioning the whole trans thing, and wear dresses more often. Which give me a different perspective I think than men and gq’s who have spent more time in queer women spaces and women and trans spaces.
My experience of these spaces is surprise that anyone wants to sleep with me when I am not in drag. I am yet to get laid out of the wonder of trans fetishisation, I don’t fit the ideal, some how the “radical superbutch” loving lesbians wander off when I start enthusing about the new McQueen collection. I’m not thin, I don’t pass, and I live as female.
I have on occasion passed well enough as “radical superbutch” to attract attention and while it switches one uncomfortable drag for another it is in marked contrast from the hetro world I mostly move in (I suspect that gay men want nothing to do with me, sexually).
One thing that marks my experience of sexuality is that I need to present a fake me to get laid, a more feminine, straighter, cis version of me, being hot and being seen as sexuality available means presenting as femme, and sometimes I am quite ok with if that is what I feel like, but I know (most) my partners have preferred it, and I know that there are times where I have sacrificed my mental health for that.
I am going to a sex positive blogger/twitter meet up tonight and while I quite like the idea of meeting potential partners, I can’t bear femme drag right now, so I am going in my pretty gayboy getup, which is fine and all, except that I wish I could work out how to signal interested in men and available without having to trip up my dysphoria.
A friend of mine said recently, “I don’t know what trans guys get out of butch femme communities, except for misgendering” Well, I have put up with plenty of misgendering in an attempt to get a little bit of love and companionship, I had one partner of then 18 months tell a friend of mine that he wasn’t really ready to date a trans guy, and he left me when I started T, to date a cis women. So if I will put up with that for love, for companionship, I cant imagine why a straight trans man would be any different, and I know how attractive fetishisation can be, when the alternative is a world that can’t imagine you as sexual.
I am invisible
So says the badge that often sits on the back of my bag.
I am not sure where it is from, but I keep it because it is true, in a whole lot of different ways.
Invisibility is contested territory when trans people talk.
But the process, watching myself become invisible is fascinating, I am not read as male by those who do not know me, and as someone who is genderqueer, I will probably never be correctly read by the vast majority of people.
I am invisible
Unlike most trans guys I know I was reasonable femme as a girl, and reasonable attractive by mainstream standards for a lot of my childhood* adolescence and young adulthood, I was a target, I was public property, my interactions with men are still based on that dance of fear, when I always have my guard up, and I never smile at strangers.
Failing to present as male, and managing to present as an ugly girl, butch dyke, lesbo! gets me a lot less attention, in the most part and fuck it is good, and I am not the only one who has noticed this.
I wrote a couple of times before about the privilage of being left the fuck alone, and I am glad of it.
[trigger warning: sexual harassment, child abuse]
Their are exceptions, I was surrounded on a train four or five big guys, kids but I know I probably couldn’t have taken one of them, abused, told that I should be “raped straight” with detailed discussion of how they would like to do it, and then having had their fun they left,
I will probably not ever be completely free of this, their will be people willing to make me bleed for being a not sufficiently masculine man, just as their where for being either a fuckable, or non fuckable women.
But this whole experience reminds me why I am a feminist, because no body, deserves this treatment and whatever I can do to stop it happening to other people, I will do that.
*I was one of those young girls who got marked as adult and therefore suitable to adult attack on my sexuality young “if their is grass on the pitch it ok to play” I personally knew what that mean, knew that threat before I left primary school.
You know, I probably wouldn’t have written about this, cause in a lot of ways the “butch flight” dog wissule isn’t my issue, I am not exculively gynophillic, I am femme as fuck and I tend to laugh at those who talk about butch flight.
So why am I writing about it? Because kate fucking bornstein linked me to this peice of transphobic crap.
The Kate that wrote gender outlaw has decided that hating on trans guys and other ft* people is totally feminist and not at all buying in to the same cisexist crap that she herself dealt with.
I don’t want to write up all the ways it is wrong, I don’t have the energy and that wasn’t why I started writing this blog.
I write this blog, because their wasn’t a whole lot of useful stuff I found when I started really dealing with the medial system on stories of femme trans boi/genderqueers, about how feminism and gender idenity interact and colour our perceptions, and that is what butch boi and Kate bornstein miss in totality, they make the same assumptions about my gender and sexuality that the wider cis community do they assume that I am butch (darling? really? ) that I date women exclusively (don’t get me wrong, the right kind girl can make me weak at the knees but I dig the boys and the those who are neither as well)
One thing that frustrated me when I into the medical system was the way I was treated as if this had been something that occured to me yesterday, rather than something I had been struggling with for a very long time, I was asked within the medical system to prove my male-ness by proving my masculinity, it was expected, and treatment would be withheld if I didn’t perform a butch dyke script, I avoided parts of it, I refused to misgender my partner to produce the butch femme narrative they where expecting, even though on the basis of his house, his cd collection and his cats I am clearly dating a lesbian.
I am reminded of the older style gender clinics that complained about how transexuals (women) lied about there histories to access hormones, knowing that if they didn’t present “the narititve” they wouldn’t be able to access treatment.
Butchboi sets up a senario of insufficent bulling of ft* people, zie wants me to have suffered more, I would have explored butchness instead of genderqueerness.
Further more, butchboi seems to be obsessed with gentials, here zie agians fits right in with the doctors, who are also obsessed with trans peoples gentials, to a much greater extent than trans people themselves, I believe that the vast majority of ft* people never get gential surgery, and of those who do get gentail surgery the more minor* procedure metaoidioplasty is much more common than more major* surgeries.
In the end, what kate linked to, and what butchboi wrote assumed that ft* people, where/are lesbains, belong to lesbains more than to themselves, will or should regret medical treatments and go the extremes rather than seeking the treatments which they need to deal with there dysphoria.In the end butchboi idenifies themselves as moving towards being a trans man without transtion, which I totally support, it is hir pissing on everyone else to do it that gets on my *not yet surgically mutilated tits*
I don’t believe that trans people are stupid, or misguided, or need to be talked down to, not by butches and not by gender outlaws who want to stop them experiencing their gender.
If you are worried about trans people regretting their transitional treatments, I recommend first talking to some latter transtioning people, as many of them may regret not transitioning earlier, who may talk about the difficulty of continuing a life where most of your resume says, “jill” and if you don’t, and if you don’t empathise with those trans people, please ask yourself, what are you doing when you talk about the what trans people should do for their own good?
Edit to add: And this doesn’t even touch the butch dykes who are trans, and probalby aren’t going to detranstion, who seem to be always missing from the conversation (I was guilty of that in my post about sewing suits)
*With regard to surgically complexity, recovery time, and so on.
Because this made me smile, and I wanted to share it.
There is this misbegotten notion that transmen and women are about playing dress-up and fooling people. But to be trans is to feel the truth so acutely you can’t fake it. It is to be so consumed with the truth of who you are that you are willing to risk everything to inhabit it. To refuse to be what other people have decided you are—this is an act of courage few individuals dare try. I know I didn’t.
– a women on oprah talking about her trans partner.
It’s the little wins, the little signs of a world less ugly.
I really like a softer world, but this one grabbed me particularly, their is a discussion of it at socialogical images where all most of the commenters so far have assumed the guy in question is cis, but that wasn’t my reading of it.
I much prefer penetrative sex to clit/dick based sex, I hate being reminded that the cock I expect to be there isn’t, and it can be really dysphoric, I can’t stand people going down on me.
I believe this is unusual, however it is how I negotiate sex with a body that isn’t always what I expect.
Of course the post could also be read with a pre-op/no op trans women, or male assigned genderqueer expressing hir lack of good vaginal sex.