Listening to Partners of Trans* People

Originally posted on First Time Second Time:

This Valentine’s Day, Transgress Press is coming out with the first essay collection of writings of partners of trans* people, titled Love, Always: Partners of Trans People on Intimacy, Challenge, & Resilience. I am excited to have an essay in this collection. Here’s a quote from my essay, which is titled “The Blessings of Change”

I could write about what is was like to support my partner through a grueling shift during which he doubted himself every step of the way, had to make decisions that terrified him, and coped with days seemed to alternate between presenting new kinds of pain and new kinds of elation. Or I could write about what it was like to shepherd my kids through this change. Our daughter Leigh was five when her little brother insisted that “Mama is a man!” Leigh fiercely stood up for Ezekiel insisting, “Mama is a woman” and looking to me…

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Why FAAB Non-Binary People Must Recognize Transmisogyny

Originally posted on captainglittertoes:

Trigger Warning: transmisogyny, transphobia, non-binary erasure, violence against trans people

NOTE: I know not everyone uses the words “masculinity” and “femininity” for themselves (I don’t), but for the sake of brevity I’m using them here.

themanicpixienightmaregirl:themanicpixienightmaregirl:Hey Nightmare Girls, this is going to be the first t-shirt. Eh?http://www.cafepress.com/manicpixienightmaregirls

Source: http://themanicpixienightmaregirl.tumblr.com/post/109631076432/themanicpixienightmaregirl

A few weeks ago, I saw a MAAB student start wearing some new clothes to school–a sparkly striped pink, purple, and blue shirt; a red sweatshirt with silver rhinestones. The clothes complimented their rainbow pink light-up shoes very nicely.

As I saw this student finally able to make some changes in their school wardrobe, I was excited, for sure, and scared for them, hoping it was going OK. I also realized something–I think I knew it in theory before, but it hit my gut that week.

This student wearing glitter and purple and pink and rhinestones–the censure they face is fundamentally different from the censure I face as someone who is (and is…

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Chicken Soup for the… Vagina?

I’ve had two women family members, just in the last week, separately offer to take me to Victorias Secret sometime before my surgery because “I deserve to treat/feel good about myself”. One of those women being my mom, who I came out to about being trans.

Am I missing something, or..?? How many times do I need to tell people how ecstatic I am about having this procedure done before they actually believe me?

Normophilic Privilege Revisited

Content warning: passing mention of pedophilia, suicide, and dubious consent.

Alright, so, it seems that the tumblr callout machine (I fucking hate tumblr callout culture, it is such useless bullshit) has gotten hold of the Normophilic Privilege Checklist and is not really getting it. Granted, I wrote it over a year ago and likely phrased some things poorly, but seeing as how tumblr hates everything with the word “fetish” in it, I feel the need to… expound a few of the ideas I had back then.

So first off, someone, in a comment on the checklist itself, asked if I thought that only straight people are normophilic. Normophilic was in scare quotes too, which is confusing to me– it’s a well-established term in medicine and psychology:

normophilic: Referring to sexuoeroticism which conforms to the dictates of custom, religion or law.

In a short paper called “Yet Another Paraphilia Definition Fails“, the author makes a pretty good observation:

According to Blanchard (2009a), the current DSM para-philia definition (APA, 2000) isa definition by concatenation (a list of things that are paraphilias), but he believes a definition by exclusion (everything that is not normophilic) is preferable. The change is not substantive as normophilia (formerly a definition of exclusion) now becomes a definition of concatenatio(a list of acceptable activities). Nevertheless, it seems odd to define a paraphilia on the basis of what it is not, rather than by the commonalities among the different paraphilias. Most definitions are statements of what things are, not what things are excluded or lists of things to be included.

He goes on to assert that there really is no objective line between paraphilia and normophilia, and that it depends almost entirely on cultural context, which I fully agree with. Gender and gender roles are very similar: the line between gender conforming and gender non-conforming, or cis and trans is sometimes pretty nebulous and arbitrary, especially where non-Western cultures are concerned who may have their own ideas of what gender means.

Ok? Ok. If you can’t accept that the concept of normophilia exists, then you can just stop reading right now and go away, because you’re not going to be contributing anything even remotely constructive here. Read the literature and educate yourselves.

Anyways, am I “seriously saying” that “only straight people” are “”””normophilic””””? Of course not. I kinda said that in the original post:

Normophilic is defined here as being whatever the wider culture defines it as, whether that “culture” is a radical feminist space, a strip club, a Presbyterian congregation, the entire western world, and so on.

Let me explain what I mean by this. If you have straight privilege but are also paraphilic? You have less privilege than the normophilic straight people around you. If you’re straight (whatever that means to the proverbial you in this situation) and trans, and are paraphilic, then you have less privilege than the normophilic straight trans people around you. In other words, all other things being equal, you have less privilege than a normophilic person.

Every time that someone on TV makes fun of someone else for being into feet? That’s paraphilic non-privilege. That guy that was arrested and listed as a sex predator for getting it on with a bicycle in the privacy of his own hotel room? That’s paraphilic non-privilege. The countless people who lose their children or their jobs every year because they engage in consensual BDSM? That’s paraphilic non-privilege. People who get dumped for having a harmless fetish like watersports or bootblacking? Paraphilic non-privilege.

These things are co-exist alongside LGBT oppression. There are tons of examples out there of this; I’ve heard a few stories about the hostility that lesbians who are into power exchange get in those communities. But I’m not a lesbian, and I don’t know the details of these interactions; I’ve only heard stuff second-hand. But I can use myself as a meager example. Unfortunately, I discovered my sexuality and my orientation only after getting into a long-term relationship that wound up turning into my marriage. I didn’t really have much opportunity to discover myself on my own, and I definitely didn’t have an opportunity to learn about myself with other people, so I wasn’t a paradox from the very start, but I wound up being one for a time.

My husband had a rather hard time understanding how I could be asexual AND have what I later came to call a paraphilic orientation. Now that I think about it, this feels a lot like the trouble people have in understanding how someone could be agender but also have a definite idea of what their presentation is or should be. Anyways, paraphilia is sex, right? How can I be ace and have a real fetish too? I think my paraphilias undermined my ability to take myself seriously as someone who would identify as asexual for a year (and who now identifies as gray-lith more or less). That’s… paraphilic non-privilege. It would also seriously damage my ability to relate to myself as someone who wound up not being all that interested in “traditional” penetrative sex in the long run. I grew up thinking that I was your “”””normal”””” straight girl who thought she wanted to follow the bases shit like everyone else. For a very long time I had no reference for what a healthy paraphilic relationship looks like; what a healthy D/s relationship looks like; what sex with my partner could look like being that I was interested to really weird ways of expressing intimacy. That’s paraphilic non-privilege.

I have lots of stories, some small, some big. There was an instance where I found myself coming to the understanding that it’s more socially acceptable to express pedophilic tendencies (because being a grown-ass man that finds teenage girls hot is normo-fucking-philic in the culture I live in) than for me to talk about my mild interest in soft vore. The shit is that about? Fuck that.

The other thing someone brought up was that I was “saying” that homophobia is based on the dominant culture seeing it as a fetish. Well… yes and no? I mean, are there not a lot of bigots out there who have said that homosexuality is a misdirected, debauched, or otherwise fucked up “version” of heterosexuality? Are sodomy laws not mostly relating to the way same-sex intimacy can be expressed? (At least according to common tropes and narratives about what “gay” and “lesbian” sex is and isn’t?) Have people not plainly said that their opinion about homosexuality is that it’s just another fetish?

BDSM is one of the easiest lenses to look at this tangle of horseshit, what with the immense variety of D/s relationships and the immense complexity and variety of the people in them. Unfortunately, gender and sexual orientation both get caught in the crossfire and used as ammo against the people whom heteronormativity, normophilia, and patriarchy try to police. Straight men with male dominants are one good example of how messy this shit can get. Hell, even straight men with female dominants. The paraphilia of the men in these relationships call into question everything else about them, and even in the off-chance that those things are allowed to be established to begin with, there’s always the “haha, well Bob still likes getting his dick locked up” or “I can’t believe Steve cleans that guy’s house for nothing, what a freak”.

Normophilia is a word that needs to exist, end of. I don’t like sex because it’s the “normal” and “healthy” thing. I like sex because shit is strange and bizarre to me, and the only way for me to make sense of it is to twist it so much that it no longer means itself. I don’t fetishize much, but the whole concept of sex is definitely one of em.

(I think I’ll write on the differences between words like “sexualize”, “fetishize”, “eroticize”, etc.)

At any rate, this is a discussion I’ve been jonesing to have for fuckin’ years now, and I’m disappointed to find that this is how folks are wanting to talk about it. I knew a pedophile once; a real one. He told me how often he’d wanted to kill himself because he couldn’t stop from thinking about pre-pubescent kids, and how little he found himself wanting to think about his adult girlfriend who he loved dearly. And I just think to myself that yeah, sure, it’s political suicide to want to talk about the people out there like him, because he is the extreme case, but there’s a lot of folks out there on the spectrum from me to him who are sick to our stomachs at the thought of harming someone. And yet, the thoughts don’t ever seem to stop. And it wasn’t just him either. I’ve heard horror stories about mere kinksters weighing the worth of their fucking lives because of this.

So I am here, ALWAYS here, to support the people like him, and the people like me, who haven’t hurt anyone, who simply find themselves guilty of compulsive thoughtcrime. I will always stand with you in solidarity.

Things are Nuts

So a lot has happened recently. So much so that I’m just going to list them and maybe find the energy at a later date to break them down into complete thoughts.

  • Hysterectomy is booked! December 19th is the date.
  • Came out as trans to my mom in an email. She took it REALLY well.
  • I found myself having a public rant on FB, mostly addressed to family, about what is and isn’t OK to talk to me about regarding my hysterectomy. Apparently having this procedure done without having kids means that all boundaries break down and my bodily autonomy is completely up for debate. I felt it necessary to put my foot down. Fortunately, everyone (but my grandmother, for whom everything is about her) respected that.
  • Husband and I discovered that we were  both 100% OK with him getting some cam girl action from MyGirlFund. I want him to be able to have his sexual fun, even if that means without me. Honestly? That takes some pressure off of me haha. I told him that I want to be able to talk about his adventures with him, I want to know what kind of girls he ends up going with, and so on.
  • In return, he told me that I was allowed to bottom for other people (only women when he’s not around). I don’t see myself pursuing this option until I’m living with/near him, though. Dunno. Just not particularly interested in involving myself in a kink scene unless he’s readily available for topping, for learning, for support, whatever.
  • A journalist shot me an email last week, wanting to interview me for a piece she was writing about being Latinx and asexual. I should be speaking/chatting with her sometime this week.

Neither pity nor a fetish

Originally posted on a gentleman and a scholar:

Trans/cis relationships?

For a fair while I was pessimistic – running the gamut of ‘cis people confronted by trans object of desire’ will do that for you. The two main relationships of my life so far had broken down, in part, because the cis people I was with couldn’t hack the fact that their trans partner was, as stated before we even began dating, trans. I’d had chasers of all genders and orientations try it on, and a lot of ‘I’ve never been attracted to a [slur redacted] before, but you’re DIFFERENT’. And the inevitable ‘ask you out when they’re drunk, pretend it never happened when they’re sober’. I was sick and tired of it, and, while it saddened me to think of prejudging people, I could understand why some trans people decide to only date other trans people.

Fast forward a year and, as a few of you know…

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Take the AVEN survey

Originally posted on The Asexual Agenda:

I have a special announcement:

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is performing a large-scale survey.

We are looking for any respondents who are part of the asexual spectrum, as well as people who are not part of the asexual spectrum. This survey includes some sensitive questions about sexual topics. Please distribute this announcement.

The survey is open for some time. Later, statistical results will be published, providing crucial information about the demographics and needs of asexual-spectrum people.

The survey can be accessed here.

For any inquiries, please see our FAQ, or e-mail info@sexuality.org

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