How to think about trans people

*incoherent screaming*

Hypatian wrote:

Lawmaker Wants To Pay Students $2,500 If They See A Transgender Person In The ‘Wrong’ Bathroom
(Zack Ford, ThinkProgress, 2015-01-15, h/t SocialChamelon)

Moreover, Embry wants to actually punish schools (like Atherton) that respect trans students’ identities. The bill provides that any student who encounters “a person of the opposite biological sex” in a bathroom or locker room shall have a legal cause of action if it’s because the school gave the trans student permission or didn’t explicitly prohibit the trans student from using that facility. The “aggrieved” student would be entitled to $2,500 from the offending school “for each instance” he or she encountered a trans student in a sex-divided facility in addition to monetary damages “for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm suffered” and attorney fees.

This sh*t is getting worse. Ugh.

Make the monetary damages “for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm suffered” -$2500 and you have yourself a deal. You get $2500 for seeing a trans person and then lose $2500 for being an asshole.

So, Mount Holyoke has canceled their annual performance of the Vagina Monologues for not being trans inclusive enough. Article from Reason via my old classmate (who is probably a TERF) that argues this is stupid.

bleh, lately I'm encountering a lot of the

Spoiler:

'why would anyone want to give up being a man?! that's like giving up a winning lottery ticket!'

type mentality in trans-discussions, I'd like to be a good ally and use it as an opportunity for education but that crowd doesn't seem terribly interested in being other than feeling superior and being right.

It's also saddening knowing that trans* people get the same and worse directly at them every day

A story about a transgender couple that had two sons naturally. The interviewer makes a few mistakes that are considered rude but they don't call her out on them. Really good looking couple and their kids are also beautiful. I wonder if they will be able to get play dates after this.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

A story about a transgender couple that had two sons naturally. The interviewer makes a few mistakes that are considered rude but they don't call her out on them. Really good looking couple and their kids are also beautiful. I wonder if they will be able to get play dates after this.

While it seems like well intentioned ignorance, presented without judgment, there is a whole lot of seriously problematic wording in that video.

(ASIDE: Is discussing the usual bullsh*t that comes up in reporting, and life in general triggering for people? I'm putting my response in a spoiler in case it is.)

Spoiler:

"Born a boy". "On the surface, they look like a normal couple". No, they are a normal couple. Then there is the usual focus on genitals, especially when it comes to sex. No, Bianca using her penis during sex does not mean she is "reverting" to being male.

On the whole though, I guess positive, if flawed, broad exposure is better than not.

Here's what I actually came to post: Thailand to recognize third gender

Austin's single stall bathrooms are gender neutral. they have been for about six months now. I'm posting this in this thread because while this change affects many people - including men with young female children, people with tiny bladders, and people who frequent places where the line to one gendered bathroom is often stupidly long - it clearly also helps to solve the confusing problem of Trans people and bathrooms. Confusing because I don't know why it's a problem for anyone. If we're segregating bathrooms, it should be by elimination type, not by person.

My college had unisex bathrooms since it's founding in the late 60's. When parents of prospective students noticed and expressed surprise (which was less often than you'd think), I'd nod and say you're right, it's weird, since we all have separate male and female only bathrooms in our homes... Right?

That got them thinking "Oh, right, we do shared bathrooms at home", which was enough for about 95% of them. The other 5% were shocked by the blatantly liberal nature of the school anyway, and their kids were not going to be joining us if the parents had anything to say about it.

My tv show had unisex bathroom. Ally Mcbeal we called it. Was home to a dancing baby. Many people refused to watch a man and a woman sharing a bathroom. They'd turn away and call us dirty liberals. I didn't turn away though. I watched them tell jokes in that bathroom and laughed for days.

Now a days with don't have tv shows with unisex bathroom. Sure there was BSG but that isn't on any more and wasn't at all funny. BSG took it [email protected] seriously. All I did was cry when I see a man and woman, probably a toaster, in bathroom together on that show. They were washing off the blood of war in those bathrooms. So sad, so sad.

I don't know. Maybe there are other tv shows with unisex bathrooms. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough. I feat they are gone now, flushed down the drain of time.

I'm all for unisex bathrooms. I've been known to go into the men's bathroom at a gas station where both bathrooms are single seat. And (kind of a digression here) it would be a good idea to have diaper changing facilities in ALL public bathrooms. My husband got some nasty looks when he changed our daughter in a women's bathroom, because there was no family bathroom and no way to change her in the men's bathroom.

Thailand to recognize third gender

I'm actually curious as to our own trans member's reactions to this. I haven't had time to do a deep dive... but it's long been my understanding that SE Asia has always been far more trans-inclusive than the West... but the idea of a third separate gender rather than being viewed as a member of their chosen gender seems odd to me.

EDIT: Amusing timing for this story too, as I'm reading through John Burddet's Bangkok series of books... where book one heavily features a transsexual, and the rest of the series gives the main character detective (Sonchai) a trans partner (Lek) to explore the various views on the trans community (describing some phenomena like males being sick of being the patriarchs in a patriarchal society; getting into the idea the common acceptance of the idea of a female soul/spirit inhabiting a male body and how that needs to be changed for a true life to begin, etc....

I'm not particularly up on Thai culture, but they do have a cultural basis for a third gender, as do a lot of SE Asian cultures. As a binary trans woman who's a product of Western culture, I'd be unhappy about being referred to as a member of a third gender rather than a woman, but there are trans folk who do identify that way.

I would need to know more to get into the specifics of what the Thai government is doing, though.

SocialChameleon wrote:

I'm not particularly up on Thai culture, but they do have a cultural basis for a third gender, as do a lot of SE Asian cultures. As a binary trans woman who's a product of Western culture, I'd be unhappy about being referred to as a member of a third gender rather than a woman, but there are trans folk who do identify that way.

I would need to know more to get into the specifics of what the Thai government is doing, though.

From my limited understanding, they're actually far more accepting, more so than they are with gay rights. It's actually an interesting quote from the second book of the series I'm reading right now. "Gays are a western import, katoeys are as Thai as lemongrass." The more I'm reading from the series and it's exploration of the culture though, from a more trans-aware perspective now, largely thanks to this thread and especially thanks to Hyp, the more I'm wondering if it's not very different there in other ways. There are those who feel themselves to be born in the wrong body... but there's also discussions of men considering it to dodge the need to be the family patriarch or men going through with it to make it in the red light districts to make money for their family.

While the writer spent a long time living in Bangkok, I'm curious how much of this is fact and how much is stuff just relayed to him as a "farang".

The type of people who argue about how many days there are in a week, are also capable of being completely accepting and supportive of trans people.

http://np.reddit.com/r/swoleacceptan...

Do you even uplift?

There's also the difficulty that different people experience things differently, as filtered by our preconceptions. This includes cis and trans people both, and people from different cultures. I've heard of at least one trans woman in India who identifies [em]as[/em] a trans woman, and not as hijra in the sense of being separate. I think there's some cultural cross-pollination that's happened, in terms of euro-american people embracing non-binary identities as well as people from cultures with traditional ideas of gender variance adopting some of the euro-american ideas of trans-ness.

Consider as an additional example that cis people in U.S. society—even non-hetero people—often conflate trans-ness with homosexuality. Our lingering cultural traditions tend to lump all gender non-conformance into the bucket of "gay". That's changing, as there are more conversations about the complexities involved.

My personal take on who to trust: If you're not hearing the words of the people involved directly, take it with a grain of salt. And that includes being skeptical of people who are gender-variant in some way: there are definitely trans people in the euro-american tradition who are bigoted against non-binary people, and that kind of idea tends to clump as folks learn about how to interpret themselves from the people they meet. Because of that, it would be very easy to pick up a viewpoint that's missing something.

All together: If you want to know how good things are, you need to look for primary sources talking about their personal experiences. Any other source is likely to be missing part of the picture. And if you hear a dissenting voice from someone talking about their own experience, trust that what they say is right… for them.

In the absence of primary sources, base your trust on the distance from the concern, and understand that there are different ways to be distant. There are ways that kathoeys have more understanding in common with euro-american trans people than with cis Thai people. There are ways that kathoeys have more understanding in common with cis Thai people than with euro-american trans people.

A euro-american cis person who has lived in Thailand and spoken with people there is likely to understand the lives of kathoeys (in general) better than a euro-american cis person who hasn't—and may or may not have better understanding than euro-american trans people, or cis Thai people, or any combination, depending on who they talked to. (Did they talk to a lot of kathoeys directly? Did they talk with a lot of kathoeys in different situations? What were the power dynamics of those conversations? What were the barriers in communication stemming from lack of shared understanding, assumptions, etc. on all sides?)

So, we do the best we can, take things with a large chunk of salt for every extra step of translation (kathoey to cis, kathoey to euro-american trans, Thai to euro-american, and even additional dimensions like poor to well-off can make differences in understanding), and cheer improvements while wishing for even more.

For myself: I am not third-gender, nor do I want to discard my trans-ness. Being trans is part of my relationship with my gender, but I am at heart a woman. If I didn't have the option to change my ID to be marked "female" but instead had to change it to be marked "trans", I would be furious. Contrariwise, I know people who would dearly love to mark "X" for none of the above, because neither "M" nor "F" works for them. I suspect that in Thailand the situation is similar, although the balance of who wants what would change because of different ideas about the space of gender.

The optimal solution would probably be to not mark gender on identification in the first place.

Hypatian wrote:

there are definitely trans people in the euro-american tradition who are bigoted against non-binary people

I guess I'll take this as an opportunity to thank y'all for not being those people. It would be a lot harder for me if I had people telling me I wasn't invited to the tea party.

Hypatian wrote:

Contrariwise, I know people who would dearly love to mark "X" for none of the above, because neither "M" nor "F" works for them. The optimal solution would probably be to not mark gender on identification in the first place.

I'd prefer X, but I have kind of complicated feelings about whether not marking at all on ID would be best.

Well, the primary argument is: what purpose does it serve? Nobody should be using that, for anything.

In practice, however, having that "F" on my ID makes me feel more than a bit more secure about using the correct restrooms, because I can always pull it out and say "LOOK" if somebody with any legal standing gives me crap. (On the flip side, that's a down-side for people who can't get it changed so easily, and it's no real protection against bigots even for those of us who have gotten it changed.)

Bruce wrote:

The type of people who argue about how many days there are in a week, are also capable of being completely accepting and supportive of trans people.

http://np.reddit.com/r/swoleacceptan...

Do you even uplift?

Holy f*ck.

That is am awesome thread. It's like all of GWJ suddenly became heavy lifters.

My 8 year old and I are big Steam Powered Giraffe fans. After watching the most recent video on their channel I got to have a long conversation with my kid about transgender. I'm doing my best to make him an accepting and tolerant human being so here's to hoping I did the talk "right".

Oh wow. I hadn't heard about Isabella--I only had a passing acquaintance with Steam Powered Giraffe from seeing some of their videos a while back. Wow! Neat!

And that song and video is pretty powerful, too.

It's always such a great feeling when someone you know, even as passingly as "saw some videos from their band a year or two ago" transitions. You just know how much their heart has opened up and are so happy for them.

Being on the outside looking in it just got me when she sang about just wanting to be accepted for who she is. It really is that simple. It still boggles my mind that so many people have such a huge issue with just letting people be who they are. Why do we have to go around telling people who they are or aren't? It makes no sense.

Kehama wrote:

Being on the outside looking in it just got me when she sang about just wanting to be accepted for who she is. It really is that simple. It still boggles my mind that so many people have such a huge issue with just letting people be who they are. Why do we have to go around telling people who they are or aren't? It makes no sense.

Pretty much this combined with the fact that a lot of people don't ever reach the Post-Conventional stage of moral development. Changing things really requires a cultural shift, which takes a generation or two to accomplish.

Caught this in my FB feed this morning.

A Story of Love and Top Surgery in Words and Images

complexmath wrote:

Pretty much this combined with the fact that a lot of people don't ever reach the Post-Conventional stage of moral development. Changing things really requires a cultural shift, which takes a generation or two to accomplish.

It just seems like if my 8 year old can grasp it, then shouldn't others? Once I explained, in a very tiny nutshell, what being transgendered meant he just kinda' shrugged and said "Well, that's kinda weird but okay." And he's EIGHT! I tried to work on the "it's weird" statement but one step at a time here. From that point on he started referring to Isabella as she instead of he and no longer asked "why's that guy dressed up like a girl?" he just accepted it and moved on because it didn't make a hill of beans worth of difference to him. If he wants to be she now? Okay.

There's also a follow-up video on the Steam Powered Giraffe page where she talks about her transition in more depth and how early on she'd never thought she could truly transition in public. That socially it just wasn't an option but luckily she's been proven wrong.

As Justice Department Weighs In, Saks Backs Down On Claims In Trans Discrimination Case
(Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed, 2015-01-26)

WASHINGTON — Saks Fifth Avenue has reversed its position in court on whether transgender people are covered by existing federal anti-discrimination laws.

In a filing in federal court on Monday morning, the company withdrew a Dec. 29, 2014 court filing in which it asserted that transgender workers are not covered by the sex discrimination ban in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That position runs counter to most recent court decisions, rulings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Obama administration.

This is a good thing, although it's still disturbing that they even reached for that argument as a possibility. I have to wonder just exactly how pissed off Saks is with their lawyers right now.

Saks [em]did[/em] say things that backed up their legal position, while at the same time saying "we totally support LGBT rights!" I sadly suspect it's the flurry of bad press combined with the sudden interest of the NY AG and the US AG that lead to them backing off, rather than the sudden realization that the argument they were making would set back trans rights by decades if it succeeded.

Very moving story that could have gone really bad at at couple of points.

Kehama wrote:
complexmath wrote:

Pretty much this combined with the fact that a lot of people don't ever reach the Post-Conventional stage of moral development. Changing things really requires a cultural shift, which takes a generation or two to accomplish.

It just seems like if my 8 year old can grasp it, then shouldn't others? Once I explained, in a very tiny nutshell, what being transgendered meant he just kinda' shrugged and said "Well, that's kinda weird but okay." And he's EIGHT!

Yes but he doesn't have decades of antithetical learning to combat. My (6.5 year old) daughter came home last week and told me about Martin Luther King Jr., because it was MLK day and so they were learning about him at school. She was talking about segregation and how he ended that, but I could see that she didn't really get it. So I gave it to her in a nutshell, and she boggled at the notion of treating someone different just because of some trivial difference like skin color. The idea didn't even make sense to her.

There was something posted on slashdot years ago about a study that basically discovered that if a person believes a conspiracy theory or something along those lines, when presented with concrete evidence to the contrary, rather than reconsidering their beliefs it actually strengthened them. There's some quirk of human psychology where people tend to be defensive about their beliefs, to an irrational degree. But as an 8 year old probably hasn't even thought about the notion of being transgender before...

My wife signed up for a King Country library card this weekend and on the form there was a question about gender. Not sure they they need to know, but given that they do, I think they handled it well.

"What is your gender identity? ____________________"

That seems preferable to a list of choices.

SixteenBlue wrote:

My wife signed up for a King Country library card this weekend and on the form there was a question about gender. Not sure they they need to know, but given that they do, I think they handled it well.

"What is your gender identity? ____________________"

That seems preferable to a list of choices.

Libraries thrive on statistics, and providing reports to government and library organizations - that's almost certainly why they need it. Great way of handling, though

SixteenBlue wrote:

My wife signed up for a King Country library card this weekend and on the form there was a question about gender. Not sure they they need to know, but given that they do, I think they handled it well.

"What is your gender identity? ____________________"

That seems preferable to a list of choices.

I am a terrible person. I would write "motherf*cking sorcerer".