Monthly Archives: December 2011

open letter to transphobic cis people

angry/transphobic binary cis people,

if you know non-binary trans people exist, you may think we are weird/gross/delusional.  you may think that non-binary trans people are unnatural– constructed/synthesized/wrong.  you probably can’t imagine being trans, can’t imagine feeling that your body doesn’t always belong to you.  you probably don’t know what it’s like to experience something like motion sickness because too many people think you’re something you’re not.  maybe you’ve never attempted/considered suicide because you knew that you couldn’t do it anymore– the lies were chewing you up with their yellow teeth while the people around you smiled whitely.

know what?  i can’t imagine being a binary cis person; i’ve never been a binary cis person.  i don’t know what it’s like to have my gender appear on my passport/my birth certificate/application forms.  i’ve never seen a movie featuring characters of my (non-binary) gender.  there are no bathrooms/change rooms for people of my gender and i can’t imagine knowing what bathroom/change room to choose.  i don’t know what it would be like to be proud of my assumed reproductive capabilities instead of being revolted by them.

i can’t imagine being you, but i believe that you are fucking real.  seriously.  i believe that you are who and what you say you are– i have nothing to go on but your word and i might as well take it.  i believe that you, like me, sleep/love/fail/fuck/shit/eat/strive/change/win/die and that you deserve respect.

i also know that i am fucking real and that transness feels pretty natural to me.  my word is all you have to go on; why not just take it?  whose word would you take instead?

if you have anything to say about this, write me a letter.  i want to know you with all my bones.

sincerely, mx. punk

*   *   *

k, you can tell me what you think even if you aren’t an angry, transphobic cis person.  i think cis people probably DO experience a lot of the same things (non-binary and binary) trans people experience– tell me about it.  let’s confabulate, peoples.

i can wrap presents! see?!

i don’t believe in sex

(this post is where i think about stuff asher wrote: not your mom’s trans 101.  go there.)

it’s true.  i no longer believe in sex.  allow me to explicate.

i still believe in the rough/sweet noisy/muffled wet act of sex– just not the concept of sex as opposed to gender.  see, i used to say shit like “gender is between you ears and sex is between your legs”, “sex is physical, gender is emotional/social”.  i used to try to carefully untangle these two closely related ideas.  i used to say that my gender was “other” and that my sex was “female” as an easy way to explain my transness– but no more.

my body belongs to me, lovelies.  i do not belong to my body.  i am not a woman, so this body can’t be a “woman’s” body.  it’s my body.  this body is a non-binary trans person’s body.

our bodies do not come with words attached to them; we attach words to our bodies.  we attach the word “female” and all its connotations to tits and pussies.  we attach the word “male” and all its connotations to cocks and balls.  even when we expand the word “sex” to include our voices, our hairiness, our various dimensions and textures– we are still attaching concepts to our concrete bodies.  sex is not separate from gender.  rather, sex is gender attached to bodies.

if sex were only about bodies, not the gender of bodies but the physical characteristics of bodies, cis women who have had hysterectomies would not be women.  men with tiny dicks would not be men.  if sex were only about what bodies look like, doctors/nurses wouldn’t pronounce a newborn a “boy” or a “girl” based on its genitals and parents wouldn’t assume their babies’ genders based on their genitals.  sex isn’t about facts, lovelies.

sex isn’t about pussies and cocks, who has what and all those gossipy-juicies.  sex is not about what part you play in reproduction– we aren’t as straight-forward as flowers.  not everyone who is assigned a binary gender (male or female) even takes part in reproduction.  some people/couples are infertile with or without medical intervention.  some people choose to remain childfree.  some intersex people entirely defy classification based on their reproductive organs.  some people “get fixed” and others get cancer and have hysterectomies.  sex has little to do with procreation.

sex is about OTHERING people, dehumanizing people, categorizing people.  sex is about being othered, being dehumanized, being categorized.  sex is not about facts.  sex is about saying, “we are this and they are that“.

for the above reasons, sex is not simple, peoples.  it’s not an easy way of dividing humans into 2 groups for categorization purposes.  i don’t get why people think it’s ok to dumb down this complex and personal issue.  sure, lotsa people fit neatly in the gender/sex binary; most people are neither intersex nor trans.  but that doesn’t mean humanity fits the gender/sex binary.  humanity doesn’t look like this:

and this isn’t cute, by the way.  the plug and outlet joke is not cute.  reducing humanity to pussies and cocks is not fucking cute.  it erases trans people (op and non-op), intersex people, and anyone who considers themselves a person as opposed to a reproductive system.  i don’t know about you, but i don’t tend to think of women as pussies and men as cocks.  aside from being disrespectful, it’s simply fallacious.  i tend to think of people as, well, uh, people:

peoples

i don’t think sex is a meaningful concept.  if my gender is non-binary, then my sex must also be non-binary because sex is body-gender.  so why bother?  why not just call myself “non-binary” and move on?

i don’t think making a distinction between sex and gender is very helpful.  yes, it helps trans people explain their transness to cis people (“i’m a man born in a woman’s body”).  and yes, it helps parents decide what color to paint their babies’ rooms (based on their babies’ genitalia).

but wouldn’t it be MORE helpful if we stopped simplifying things and we started sharing our experiences and ideas without editing them first?  our discourses would become increasingly involved and reciprocal, enriching our understanding of human diversity.

and why not admit that clits don’t like pink, penises don’t like blue?  your baby’s genitals don’t care what color the bedroom walls are.  why not wait til your kid is old enough to declare their gender themselves?  just paint your kid’s room your favorite fucking color–   bedroom walls shouldn’t have anything to do with genitalia.

unless you’re talking about a vertical sex move.

*   *   *

so tell me how you feel about this, peoples.  is the concept of sex valuable?  is sex simply anatomical configuration– or is it body-gender?  the perceived difference between gender and sex is important to manymany people, so this is an important discussion.

i’m not saying that i don’t think you should make a distinction between gender and sex, by the way.  i understand and respect that some trans people specifically state that their sex and gender don’t coincide.  i’m just saying that i don’t make a distinction between my gender and my sex.

*   *   *

i would like to assert that i DO NOT advocate pretending that your body has different medical needs than it truly does.  get your mammograms, prostate checks, pap smears etc. as needed!

australia is less transphobic than, like, everybody

so we all know that australia passports now come with a third gender/sex option, right?  the gender/sex markers are “f”, “m”, and “x”.  well, that piques my curiosity; i’m so used to having my gender invalidated by the people around me that i’ve come to EXPECT it.  so i checked out the passport australia website and i found it a little ambiguous.  for example:

“A letter from a medical practitioner certifying that the person has had, or is receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to a new gender, or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth, is acceptable.”

what constitutes “appropriate clinical treatment”?  if your transition involves surgery and/or hormones, ok.  that’s “clinical treatment”.  but what about someone whose transition is largely social/emotional?

and where is the assurance that the australian passport peoples recognize non-binary gender?  cuz where i live,  most people don’t.  when i come out as non-binary trans, most people call me a pervert and walk away.  sometimes, they tell me i’m not “trans enough” and walk away.

so i emailed a request for clarification on the perquisites for obtaining an “x” gender/sex marker in australia.  i received this email from a veryvery prompt and helpful person with australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade:

“Dear mx. punk,

“The letter from the registered medical practitioner needs to state that
he/she has a doctor/patient relationship with the applicant and has treated
the applicant (or whose medical history I have reviewed and evaluated) and
declare that the applicant identifies as Male, Female or Indeterminate.
The doctor does not have to provide details of the treatment, but they do
need to be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

“Regards,
D______

that pretty much clears it up for me.  i mean, “indeterminate” is NOT how i would choose to describe myself, but it’s close enough.  i’ll take it like i’ll take your fingerpaints if you leave them unattended.  i mean, at least it isn’t “male” or “female”.  and i fucking love fingerpaints.

so, um, now i want to move to australia.  i’m totally willing to relocate to another continent in order to gain legal recognition as a person of non-binary gender.  fuck yes.

what about you?  do you think having a third gender/sex option is awesome?  would you move somewhere in order to obtain an “x” gender/sex marker?  do you think the concept will SPREAD?!  cuz that would be corking.