Friday, September 18, 2009

Harming Loved Ones or Being Harmed By Them? Perspective and Assumptions and Transgender

This is and will remain for a long time a central issue for the Transgender population that is, by birth gender identification, considered opposite-sex attracted.

It's a big issue for crossdressers, for genderqueer, for mid-to-late-transitioning transsexuals. And holds true for many others.

It's one ruled by accusations of selfishness.

The TS who anounces the need to transition after years of marriage or after father/motherhood. The crossdresser who is discovered or who comes out to their family in the same situation. The ones that want to be out, or open, or even activists.

They are said to be selfish. Selfish for transitioning, selfish for exposing their family to transgender, selfish for putting their families through it all, selfish for exposing families to ridicule, selfish for every moment spent crossdressing and not playing the male husband role or female wife role for their spouses, selfish for getting married or having children in the first place.

These are thoughts based on certain assumptions.

* That a TG person should be able to be self-aware of and open about their issues from the start before a relationship starts and that it is selfish if they hide it.

The TG person conversely may feel that they must stay closetted and hide and repress this part of themselves in order to protect parents, family and friends which may lead in to forming relationships and families while still fighting with this. An attempt at selflessness and self-sacrifice from the TGs perspective is then considered selfish from the Cis peoples perspective. That it may take years for them to admit they are TG to themselves, that they may have to overcome deep repression of this is of course ignored.

* That Transgender is something that exposure of children and family to and experience of causes harm and that the responsibility of that harm is the TG persons.

The society being transphobic and having removed TG accepting traditions is not taken into account. That overcoming transphobia is, no mater how painful, still an important thing all people really should do is not considered. The possibility that TG is hereditary and that children or grandchildren may be TG themselves or have TG children of their own or even the possibility that the descendants will go to school with, be friends with, work with or fall in love with TGs is not considered.

* That being publicly transgender will bring judgement hostility and more onto the family.

That this is caused by societies transphobia is again not considered. Again this is seen as the fault of the TG and not the fault of society.

This can be seen in the concentration in documentaries and tv programs on transitioning TSs on the 'impact' of the transition on wife and children. The way they are protrayed as victims of this even when they are supportive of their partner.

Essentially the concerns of Cisgender Cissexual people are put forward as more valid because they are 'normal' and must endure the 'other' of transgender in their lives.

This also plays through the minds of Transgender people. It's often how they view these situations themselves . It's why the vast vast majority of CDs remain closeted, one of the reasons many TSs who can go stealth and more.

Because in most cases TG people were raised with an absence of TG culture they grow up with a cis-society focus, a Cis-concerns focus. Even though cultures have existed where Trans and Cis coexist well transphobic cis culture is protected. It is assumed to be the normal, the natural, the safe and harmless and right when in fact it is closer to the opposite.

And in fact often amongst some crossdresser groups and sites challenging these assumptions can get a very hostile reaction.

Challenging this way of looking at things can be very confronting to those CDs sacrificing their needs to reduce the short term suffering of family, confronting to the assumptions of selfishness of those who do not restrict their transness sufficiently on behalf of the transphobia and cis concerns of their families, challenging to those spouses and families who pride themselves on being long-suffering of the TG's TGness and who wear whatever extent of tolerance of the TG they have like a medal earned, or like a bargaining chip in their relationship.

Challenging the way we look at these circumstances challenges the basis of much transphobia. Is a CD who must choose between CDing and spending time with their family being selfish if they CD? Or is it the family being selfish for not choosing the TG family member over their transphobia?

Ah, thats a question many do not wish to face! And an essential one to overcome transphobia and reform our bigoted and skewed society. And we have many of our assumptions, especially of selfishness, weakness and harm totally backwards.

And what about choosing our and even our families comfort while passing the buck and not doing something about the transphobia in society resulting in other families in the next generation being in the same dilemma.. is that not selfish?

2 comments:

LadyVIolence said...

Let's see Pseudo Hitler try to sink her claws into this blog!
Good job babe, always love your posts. No, I'm not biased at all =P

I like that your words still reach out to some people, even if you're purposefully stifled and shut up elsewhere. <3

Love you!
~Tamsin~

Battybattybats said...

The sudden closing and removal of my thread that compared the difficulties for Suffragettes and Black Rights protestors who had to consider the effects of their efforts on their families but considered their actions in the long-term best interests of their families and their descendants and everyone elses in the same boat and the difficulties of Transgender peoples effects of being openly transgender on their families etc as well as some similar ones just before my banning does suggest that i was bringing up ideas and questions that really scared some people.