Yeah, fuckface! Get ready to be beaten down. Grrr! Internet ain't so safe now is it motherfucker! Shit just got real! Bam!

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Messages - Zenpeanut

Alright, I'm sorry. I got really upset last night and couldn't think all that well. I do think that it's important to deconstruct what a man or a woman or someone in between is. These are hard questions and concepts for me to grapple with and it's important for me to be able to do so.

I think my sensitivity in this is coming from me constantly having to defend against mis-labeling. That dude on the bus gave me labels of male and gay. I can laugh that off because it doesn't really affect me and the guy acted ridiculously in doing so. I had to spend a month walking home to use the bathroom when I was at work because my HR manager as long as she possibly could before I could use the women's restroom. This is a bit harder to laugh off. Especially knowing that other trans people in my company's employ didn't understand their rights and didn't fight against the false option of using the wrong bathroom or moving to a different store. A less cut and dry example would be that I feel that almost everyone who doesn't know me labels me as a gay male and this ends up seriously killing my chance of getting a relationship.

I hope we reach some kind of common ground on this, since I don't want to lead to some lame agree to disagree scenario, but I just don't see any sort of reality where labels honestly don't matter. My past partner did their best to not apply a label onto themselves and I respected that, but that still didn't stop everyone around us from slapping a female label on her. English language doesn't allow for non-labels (outside of the awkward ze/hir thing or they/them that my past partner preferred). Yes, the queer community has a huge load of labels, but they aren't used to constrict people into stereotype shaped boxes, but to be able to find some group of people with a common characteristic or to organize under some sort of umbrella term like LGBT or transgender in support of rights for everyone under them.

Yeah, fuck it. Nevermind. I tried putting some sort of a positive thought and story to a topic drowning in tales of legitimate people either getting raped and beaten to death or jumping off a cliff because of all the tales of people getting raped and beaten to death. I should have realized it would have taken a turn into talking about how identity and labels don't matter despite the fact that in order for rights to be given or for proper recognition, you need some sort of a flag to run with.

If anything, I'd say the barstool applies to that. It's lunacy to think that labels don't matter, when in reality, they determine whether I get to be a human or a sub-human.
Hoo boy, there's a lot to cover here so I guess I'll just dig in.

Nigel, your focus on seems to be centered more on SRS and practices surrounding it. I agree wholeheartedly that the criteria for having SRS is abysmal. The Standards of Care (health criteria for trans issues) was, and still is, decided by cissexuals. As such, they're inadequate for really understanding trans issues. The "one year" requirement definitely is ridiculous in its requirements. They've improved over time, certainly, but it's still an unreasonable requirement. (It used to be that wearing pants, or being anything but extremely feminine, would be grounds for denial.)

Having said that, I hate that SRS becomes such a huge focus. Tons of trans people don't do it and are perfectly happy. Having a penis doesn't make anyone a man just the same as having a vagina and vulva doesn't make anyone a woman. However, some people honestly do need SRS to feel comfortable with themselves. And it doesn't always have to do with societal pressure to do so. Often times, they can't get past their uncomfortableness over their current genitals to enjoy sex. SRS, in this case, enables them to have a comfortable relationship.

Another issue is pursuing legal status in your sexual identity. Many states require SRS before granting any sort of legal change in gender. This leads to dangers such as a trans woman being put into an all-male prison. Luckily, this situation is slowly changing as states are changing their laws. I believe my state (Washington) just recently changed their law away from this practice as late as last September.

As far as the transsexuals that you have met, I can't really speak for them. I do know that many are more than satisfied with their SRS and seem like supremely awesome people. I would also like to state that I don't think of SRS lightly. It is a step of transition that is only for "extreme" cases of dysphoria and I really don't think I need it. It really comes down to understanding the risks involved with a botched operation and the limitations of even a perfect surgery and weighing those out against the benefits. For some, it is well worth the risk, and for others, it isn't. I don't feel I need it to be comfortable with myself personally, but I won't begrudge anyone else who thinks otherwise.

Okay, so now hormones. Again, you've got to weight benefit versus risk. The massive difference between hormones and SRS is that most aspects of hormones are completely reversible. The only ones that aren't are sterility and breast growth (which usually doesn't even begin to show up for at least 3 months). I could probably fill up an entire page with all the different effects hormones have, but I won't. What I will say is that the cool thing about hormones is that they make a fabulous assessment tool, though they also have a semi-long waiting period. When hormones are taken, you also immediately know if they are right or not. If they are, you end up feeling far less dysphoria and a lot more comfortable. If not, they'll make you feel terrible and then you stop. Keep in mind that this is entirely anecdotal and, while I have begun the waiting period to get them, I haven't ever taken them yet. This description is given by multiple people trans people though.

One other issue that I'm seeing is that when I say that I identify as a woman, I don't mean that I focus on making myself as feminine as possible. While I was pretty feminine compared to many other guys when I was a boy, I'm not all that feminine of a girl. While I do feel a lot more comfortable in feminine clothing, I still curse a lot. I still have a competitive bent often times.  When I say I identify as a woman, that doesn't mean I want to be overtly feminine. If I wanted that, I would just be an effeminate man. 

Now for Alty. I completely agree with you. A huge part of remaining sane during this past year is not diverting head space to fuck heads who won't accept me. It's simply a the ability to recognize that you shouldn't give a damn if someone whom you don't like anyway, doesn't like you. It's just not worth the time, effort, and thought to worry about bigots accepting you.

As for your point on transgenderism determining someone's identity, as I said for Nigel, my femaleness doesn't govern me. My personality has remained constant throughout my life and won't change in the foreseeable future. My coming out and changing appearances a year ago was me showing how I honestly felt. My pretending to be a boy for nearly a year after my gender identity switched was what felt entirely overwhelming. My coming out felt more like a freeing of my ability to be myself rather than as latching onto one identity.

On a side note, you mentioned the absurdity of the opposition towards this, you wouldn't believe how goddamn hilarious it is to watch people lose their shit over me just existing. Like when I walked onto a bus, this one guy leaped up screaming "faggot faggot" again and again and asking the bus driver if she saw that a man was wearing a dress. He ended up getting off at the next stop. my transsexuality makes for the easiest real life trolling ever. It's the equivalent to just registering onto a forum and without even doing anything, having someone throw up a 10 page thread saying how terrible you are.

Also Cramulus, thanks. It took a whole lot of thinking and rethinking to get the nerve to finally write up the letter. Well, that and more anxiety and stress than anyone could imagine. I'm just happy I live in Seattle, which is comparatively cool with this sort of thing than elsewhere.
I need to leave, so I'll give my definitions and come back to this thread later tonight.

My definition of transsexuality is the phenomenon when someone who is male-bodied feels an innate sense of femaleness or who is female-bodied feels an innate sense of maleness. This does not mean that any means of transition (cross-dressing, hormones, numerous surgeries) has taken place.

Transgenderism is any person who goes against mainstream gender ideas. This includes cross-dressers, transsexuals, transvestites, drag kings, drag queens, genderqueer people, and any whom identify as either neither or both male and female, or those who reject the male/female spectrum entirely.

Gender is a lot harder to define. For instance, I make a distinction between femaleness and femininity and maleness and masculinity. Another hard point is regardless of one's sex or gender identity, society gives one a gender. It becomes necessary to then split it into personal gender and perceived gender with personal gender tied towards either femaleness or maleness. Perceived gender is determined through both femaleness/maleness and femininity/masculinity.

I can't stress it enough that these are my personal definitions and not anything absolutely official. Because of how immensely misunderstood gender, and anything to do with gender is, everyone is entitled to their own definitions of these things. However, if any good discussion is going to occur, it's necessary to present these definitions.
I feel like we're defining things differently and that's causing some confusion. What is your definition of transsexuality? How about transgenderism? Or gender for that matter?
Quote from: Nigel on December 14, 2011, 08:21:06 PM
The concept of transgenderism is a product that was sold to you along with color-coded science kits for girls. Gender itself is a product. Congratulations, you bought it.

This is an entirely false concept. While gender is highly exaggerated by society and certainly someone can act out being a boy or girl, there is definitely an innate sense of boy or girl for the majority of people. Many others don't have this sense and do fall out of the male/female spectrum. Gender is way too complicated to attribute to one source and there is still far more that is unknown compared to what is known.

Saying that transgenderism is merely a product and that all trans people are dupes for buying it is incredibly insensitive to the sense of wrongness that is dealt with on a constant basis before coming out.

I can say this with certainty because my gender identity switched completely about 2 years ago. There was no trigger for it and it was a very explicit feeling. It's really hard to properly emphasize how profound this change because most people are born with matching identity and body and never change from that. It becomes a really hard concept to grapple with because there is nothing to compare it to. An overly cliched analogy would be comparing it to attempting to describe water to a fish.
Quote from: The Good Reverend Roger on December 14, 2011, 07:56:21 PM

Being born rich is a blessing.

Being born outside of equatorial Africa is a blessing.

That thing the pope does from his balcony is a blessing.

Your sexual orientation is about as much a blessing as being right or left handed.

What I'm arguing is that having spent male identified for 20 years and then having the switch to female has given me a unique viewpoint of male and female perspectives. I find this rare bit of knowledge to be a blessing (not in a religious sense, but as more of a luck based thing)
Today, as I was reading an anthology of short stories by other transgender folk, I realized that some of the basic principles of Discordianism applied as the essential positives of transsexuality. Discordianism states that, rather than scorning strife and discord, we should embrace it as a driving force for enacting positive change. It's also about deconstructing basic issues and assumptions of systems in order to use them for your benefit. In this, Discordianism and transsexuality come together.

All transsexuals are astoundingly tough individuals and not necessarily through inherent personality, but through basic necessity of our transsexuality. We are tough because our environment demands that we be tough. Another benefit of transsexuality is our ability to gain insight towards how gender works. While others see gender as simply something that is, we get to see the inner workings. Our transsexuality has given us a backstage pass to gender. Which is not to say that gender is nothing but performance. No, gender is a very complicated beast, but only we see that. And some of us see this machine and start pulling levers and throwing switches in ways that others can't. They just see the shiny smooth business end of it.

CT Whitley, a trans man in a corporate office, did just that. He manipulated gendered behaviors to advance up the corporate ladder by understanding the crucial social interactions and speech patterns of both men and women and was able to switch between them depending on who he was talking to. As a result, we was known as the best communicator in the office, and served as a crucial bridge between the women and men in the office, especially in times of stress. The best part is no one even knew that he was doing that. All they saw were the results.

People often assume that transsexuals are timid, shy creatures, terrified of being found out and poked and prodded. I've found that the opposite is true. When I was a boy, my self-confidence was nil. I never got a real date, and it was during that period that I was worried about being found out. When I came out, that was the very peak of self-confidence. In fact, I found my first girlfriend just a month after coming out.

Us trans folk have a special confidence in our gender because, rather than being handed it at birth, like someone handing you a cup of pre-made soup at the store, we have hand crafted ours. For us, gender isn't some lukewarm thing that just happened, it is a fiery passion piece that we have made our own. We aren't confident in spite of the strife of others, we are confident because of it. Transsexuality isn't a curse, birth defect, or mental disorder. It's a goddamn blessing.
I normally don't get into these huge debates, but speaking as someone who is trans, hormone therapy is NOT a harmless thing compared to facial or genital surgery. There can be major health complications due to hormones causing sweeping changes throughout the whole body. I'm personally really reluctant to go on hormones because the huge variety of side-effects caused by such including mood swings, a dead sex-drive, and risk of blood clotting.

Also, as was stated, hormone therapy isn't going to fix depression. Being comfortable with oneself and having a caring support network will. For example, I was often times depressed before I came out, and once I did come out and switched out my wardrobe for more feminine clothes and didn't lose any friends over it, I haven't felt depressed since. I really don't need hormone therapy at the moment.
How the hell are you guys doing this? I've eaten 8.5 so far with another bag of 7, but 8 pounds? Lunacy.

Also, the house now officially wreaks of citrus
Quote from: Jerry_Frankster on December 16, 2010, 06:32:31 PM
Is because sperms do not has mitocondriums.

Eggs has mitochondriums.


Sperm is actually packed full of mitochondria, way more than the egg, but its the egg's mitochondria that gets replicated.

Is actually narrative palindrome, but still has one regular one and one palindrome by word in the middle.
The obvious solution

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Re: Spagbook
October 09, 2010, 09:55:20 PM
Quote from: Rainy Day Pixie on October 09, 2010, 05:13:00 PM

he went to the store to get tobacco cos the closest one is about to close.