From an FTM forum:
Here’s what I did; First, I gave everyone in the class a warning about what the performance piece would be on, and told everyone that they could stand up and leave at any time if they became anxious/dysphoric/whatever.
The desks were arranged so that there was a circle of desks surrounding one desk in the center of the room, which had two chairs on either side. This was the “interrogation” desk.
I had people come up and select a piece of paper from a hat. Pink, blue, or white. I then explained what the colors meant. Blue was boy, pink was girl, white was non-binary.
For the students who’s gender identity matched with the piece of paper they drew, they got a piece of cake. The other students were asked to wait. I made a point to ask the “cisgender” students how much cake they wanted, and was very polite. I told the other students they would have to come prove to me they were their gender identity, and not the identity that the piece of paper said in order to get the cake.
I sat at the “interrogation” desk, and one by one had the students come forward. There wound up being a lot of “trans” students, which wasn’t ideal, but math just didn’t work in my favor here.
I was awful to the students who were “trans” when they tried to prove their identities to me. The first girl who came forward, who had pulled a blue “boy” piece of paper, argued with me that because she was raised mostly by women she was a woman. I told her that she was just a faggot, ect. She continued to argue with me, and I rejected everything that she said. If she said she was a woman because of her genitals, I said that her genitals didn’t prove anything. If she said she was a woman because she felt like it, I asked her to explain what that “felt” like, and she couldn’t explain it.
Towards the end she sat completely confused, at a loss for words. She admitted that she couldn’t prove her identity, and fell silent. I had decided to give students a piece of cake when they were visually disturbed, so I gave her a piece of cake then. I made it much, much smaller than the cake given to the “cisgender” students, and threw it down rudely.
There were a few people who simply gave up in order to get the cake, and said they were an identity they weren’t. I gave them cake equal to the “cisgender” students, as a sort of “reward.” There was one student who turned out to be a trans girl, although I think she was shy about coming forward at first with the other “cisgender” students. Even though she had pulled the pink piece of paper, because she was “biologically” male she wasn’t sure if she was allowed the cake. I gave the cake to her when she explained this.
There was a man who had pulled a pink piece of paper who came forward and tried to argue with me that he was just “human” and he didn’t believe in gender. I told him to fuck off and that he had taken too many philosophy classes. He tried to continue the argument, but I told him that if he wanted the cake he would have to admit he was the gender on the piece of paper. He said he didn’t want the cake. I asked him why he was there, then, and realizing that I wouldn’t argue with him, he stood up and left, peeved.
Another guy tried to do the same argument thing. He absolutely refused to identify as what the paper said (girl) and tried to turn it into an argument. Instead of playing along with the argument, I brutally shut him down. When he said that he didn’t want the cake, I told him to leave, just like the other guy. Oddly enough this guy came back again later (when most people were finished) to try and argue with me again. He attempted to ask about the “symbolism” of the cake, ect, and I told him it was “just cake” and that if he didn’t know what it represented he “needed to go back to elementary school and study the food pyramid.” He got REALLY pissed off at this point and stormed back to his desk, sulking.
A nonbinary person came forward and argued that they really just did not feel like either gender. I asked them why and they said it was because they felt they didn’t fit in anywhere. I asked them if this was because they were psychologically damaged, and instead of responding with a solid “no” they responded that they weren’t sure and became very upset. When they seemed like they were about to cry I gave them the cake. They left quietly.
Finally, a girl came forward a bit uncertainly and admitted that she could not prove her gender. After watching the other students argue with me about it, she had realized that she had “nothing” and there was nothing she could say or do that “proved” anything. She seemed deeply upset by this. She admitted that now she was unsure of her own gender, after witnessing everyone else being so throughly dismissed in their own. I gave her a piece of cake.
At the end of the performance I explained the purpose. I had based it off of the idea that in order for a cisgender person to understand how a trans person is treated, they have to have their own gender invalidated by everyone around them, not imagine themselves as the opposite sex.
We chatted as a group afterwards, and the “cisgender” students admitted that they weren’t able to keep eating the cake as they watched what was happening to the “trans” students. One student said that as he continued to eat the cake, it tasted more and more awful, and they had to throw it out. Other students who had gotten the cake shared the same sentiment.
There was an overwhelming feeling of loss in the room. The man who had argued with me twice (first about gender, then about the cake’s meaning), said that he had hoped to discern the cake’s meaning so that he would have an “edge” in the argument. After I shut him down he said he realized that he also had “nothing” and that it upset him deeply. There was a common theme of students reporting that after being interviewed so harshly about their gender that they had “nothing”, neither a discernible gender or a way to prove it. This is what upset people the most.
Many students also shared the sentiment that they now felt like they had a slightly better understanding of what it was like to be trans. They all said it had felt terrible.
After the experiment was over, I told everyone they could eat the cake if they wanted to. No one did. It had the presence of a cursed object in the room. It was really ominous, and people avoided the “interrogation” table even after class was dismissed and people were chatting. I had to take it into the hallway and give it away to someone who would eat it.
Overall I’m pleased with how it went! For me it was interesting watching the cisgender students kind of “break down” under the same pressure that trans people face daily. I had always thought that cisgender people had it together or something when it came to gender, but now I can say for sure that they don’t. Because they don’t think about it, if you challenge them on it, they freak out and shut down. Especially in that sort of intense environment, where you can’t really escape the questions. (I mean, unless you don’t want the cake.) It made me realize that the reactions of trans people in similar situations are totally normal. We’re not fucked up for being depressed, or constantly questioning our gender, or any of that. It’s the normal reaction to this sort of environment. I think my new tactic for dealing with bigots is to ask them the sort of intense, psychological questions I asked the cisgender students in my class about their gender. At least it’ll make them think, lol.
Sorry this wound up a little long! I didn’t include all of the student’s reactions because some were repetitive, mostly with the same “breaking down” and having “nothing” sort of thing. But I hope you guys had fun reading about the results! I don’t think this experiment is perfect, since I haven’t figured out a way to make people feel body dysphoria, but I did my best. I’d like to do it again, to further perfect it, if I had the chance. tldr; It went well.
Something that’s been lost (and by lost I mean ignored) in the Great Transgender Bathroom Debate of 2016 is the number of women who “identify as male” but balk at subjecting themselves to the risk of sexual assault and violence involved in using male facilities where they are vulnerable as female-bodied-persons disrobing in proximity to actual men. You know, men, those individuals with penises: the kind single-handedly responsible for perpetrating nearly all crimes of rape, sadism, and bloody mayhem in every human society in recorded history since the beginning of time. Those guys.
Passing as male may be swell when it comes to walking home at night, improving your queer dating pool bonafides and saving money on haircuts but when it comes to pulling your pants down around strange men, not so much.
North Carolina’s HB2 which legally regulates single-sex facilities may drive a stake in the fantasy heart of men who wish to use women’s facilities as validation of their gender feels and to avoid other dudes side-eying them over their wardrobe choices, breast implants and bad wigs, but to some FEMALE transgenders – women who “identify as male”- it’s a bit of saving grace.
Unlike the high profile “transmale” bathroom hoaxers who apparently felt forced to fabricate mensroom hate crimes to save face around their desire to continue using female restrooms, women like male-identified North Carolina resident Charlie Comaro seem quietly relieved by the legal mandate to use facilities based on sex, not gender.
“It’s literally against the law for me to use the men’s room, and it’s also risky. Even though I’m more than a year on testosterone—I’m getting facial hair, my hair has receded a little—I still don’t always pass as male,” she reports to MotherJones.com.
Heterosexual female Sawyer DeVuyst, who “identifes as” a gay man and produces a transgender selfie blog project documenting her body hair growth on testosterone describes the discomfort of changing tampons in the men’s restroom to Mic.com:
“You’re in a men’s room and somebody hears you rustling a paper in the stall because you’re changing a tampon — that outs you,” she relays.
Sawyer has signed on as a model for the BoyShort model of SheThinx menstruation underwear, which function as washable blood diapers for women.
“They say, like, “stars, they’re just like us!” but also, trans people, they’re just like us,” Sawyer helpfully informs fellow bleeders on their website.
For every widely promoted media story featuring hormonal moon-faced women with Amish beards who demand a spot at the table of men, there’s an equal undercurrent of male-identified females like UK food blogger Jack Munroe whose medical transformation away from womanhood is defined by harm reduction from male abuse: “The aim is to be able “to pass for a young man on public transport,” She explains succinctly.
The utter absence of female “transmen” garnering various Man of the Year Awards, Father of the Year Awards, and Sports Illustrated and Vanity Fair covers like their male sisters, and the failure of testosterone-injecting females to sweep any male sporting championship, ever, as transwomen do in female events with regularity, is duly noted. Sex matters, and women can’t identify their way out of –or into- the legacy of male violence and the eugenics resulting from generations of inbred ultraviolent male rapists.
Los Angeles Santee High School eliminated their second floor fifteen-stall female restroom, opening it up to males, after a male-identifying female student “transman” was humiliated by a janitor who momentarily “gendered” her as her “desired gender”. The student, Yasmin “Alonzo” Hernadez is a “transman” who “identifies as” male. According to the LATimes, she began demanding male pronouns and adopted a traditionally male name a year before, and wished to be perceived as male. As a result, a custodial worker accidentally perceived her as her desired gender and pointed out that she was entering the girl’s restroom. The janitor immediately corrected herself and apologized when she realized Alonzo was not actually male, but Alonzo was humiliated at having to explain that although “male” in identity she preferred female facilities due to the risk of harm to herself as a female person from actual males.
“A High School Janitor Wouldn’t Let Him Use The Bathroom. So He Started a Movement” read the headline on Fusion.net.
“When he’s out of school and in public, he uses men’s restrooms. But at school—when he absolutely has to use a facility—he continues to use the girls’ restroom because he says he does not want to make anyone uncomfortable. He said he also was concerned about being harassed,” Fusion reports.
The female restroom was changed to a unisex facility to accomodate males. Male facilities remained unaffected and retained the same number of male restrooms.
“As a Transgender Man, Choosing Which Bathroom to Use Can Be Agony“, writes Jake Damien.
“I do not enjoy using men’s bathrooms.
As a transgender man, I am not supposed to admit this. I am supposed to proclaim that I finally “feel at home,” and that I will fight for my right to access them. And I will! But the truth is, I don’t feel safe in them—nor do I prefer them to women’s rooms.
The thing is, I never felt wrong in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms; I felt wrong in my own skin. Growing up, I remember so many instances of what medical gatekeepers call “gender dysphoria”—of feeling like I was trapped in a mismatched body. After a childhood of being the only little girl playing on all-boys soccer and baseball teams, in middle school, I was ripped away from my social and athletic communities and told I was no longer allowed to play with the guys. I can still feel the sadness and confusion of that loss.”
She goes on to suggest that, like Santee High, women should sacrifice hard won female single-sex facilities and open them to men, so that women like her can continue to use them while identifying as male:
“I use the men’s bathroom now mostly because I am perceived as a threat in the women’s room. But I’ve come to believe that a long-term solution is not to make transgender people choose between two gendered bathrooms, but to make all bathrooms gender neutral.”
She describes the danger she experiences as a woman in male facilities, an experience she hopes all women will opt into by forgoing, like herself, female single-sex facilities:
“Every time I enter a male locker room, I brace for what may be around the corner. Frequently, if men in the locker room see my body as I change or as walk into the showers, they follow me. In a few horrific cases, men have pulled back my shower curtain to “better see” me, or worse, pushed their genitals at me.
In these spaces, I seem to spark a unique and terrifying mix of sexual objectification and male-to-male aggressiveness. The men’s locker room is a place where I have accidentally, and unwillingly, become a Rorschach test of people’s sexuality, open-mindedness, and ideas on masculinity. And it’s not a fun place to be.”
HUD proposed regulation forces homeless women and girls to bunk and bathe with men who claim to feel psychologically female: January 19 deadline for public comment
January 6, 2016
Julian Castro, the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (and the likely Vice Presidential running-mate of Hilary Clinton) has announced his agency’s intention to eliminate the legally protected category of sex in homeless shelters nationwide, eliminating the right of vulnerable women and girls to shower, sleep and toilet separately from homeless men.
HUD had previously issued a non-binding “guidance” document back in February 2015 suggesting that physical sex be redefined as “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics” and prohibiting those providers of homeless services who receive HUD funding from inquiring about the physical sex or sexual orientation of service recipients. Kind of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” provision. Providers were instructed to assess clients on the basis of adherence to sex-role stereotypes and make their own determination of the client’s transgender status. Those suspected of possible cross-sex identification were to be advised that the agency provides placement based on “gender-related characteristics”, and not physical sex: “where a provider is uncertain of the client’s sex or gender identity and that information matters for the determination of placement, the provider informs the client or potential client that the agency provides shelter based on the individual’s gender identity.”
HUD’s non-binding February 2015 “guidance” was similar to those recently issued by other Federal Obama administration agencies [such as the DOE’s “guidance” overturning Title IX protections for women and girls, and the DOL’s “guidance” eliminating privacy for women in workplace accommodations] which attempt to reinterpret existing protected sex categories into a cluster of unspecified psychological characteristics which the government redefines as the core human reproductive trait, overriding biology (or any other objective measure).
The proposed new rule is a modification of the previous “guidance” that HUD issued and will change federal law, officially removing sex as a protected category and creating precedent for other agencies to bypass the legislature, judiciary, and public debate in eliminating the legal category of sex under which women’s rights are protected. (HUD Secretary Julian Castro actually cites the DOE’s recent highly controversial reinterpretation of physical sex -as a subjective psychological self-perceived essence- under Title IX as the governmental authority which sets the precedent justifying his own agency’s move to elevate its internal “guidance” into federal regulation.)
Julian Castro’s new HUD rule will be the first official elimination of legal sex-based protections for private citizens under federal law by agency regulation, and homeless impoverished women in crisis- largely women of color with children, most of them survivors of male violence- are the first targets. Under this new law legal sex status will be redefined by the US government as “gender identity” defined as such:
“Gender identity means the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth.”
Biological sex will be conflated with sex-stereotypes of “appearance, behavior, expression and other gender-related characteristics” and become “perceived gender identity”:
“Perceived gender identity means the gender with which a person is perceived to identify based on that person’s appearance, behavior, expression, other gender-related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth.”
This law is designed to allow homeless males to bathe and bunk in shelters set aside for females and specifically forbids agencies to consider the rights of women and girls to bathe, bunk, and bathroom separately from men. There is no provision for “improper purpose”. There is no “right to privacy”. There are 18 references to “health and safety” issues and concerns but the source of potential dis-ease and danger is never identified:
“In deciding how to house a [transgender] victim, a recipient that provides sex-segregated housing may consider on a case-by-case basis whether a particular housing assignment would ensure the victim’s health and safety. A victim’s own views with respect to personal safety deserve serious consideration.”
“..taking health and safety concerns into consideration. A client’s or potential client’s own views with respect to personal health and safety should be given serious consideration in making the placement. For instance, if the potential client requests to be placed based on his or her sex assigned at birth, HUD assumes that the provider will place the individual in accordance with that request, consistent with health, safety, and privacy concerns.”
“..whether a particular housing assignment would ensure health and safety. It is prohibited for such a determination to be based solely on a person’s actual or perceived gender identity or on complaints of other shelter residents when those complaints are based on actual or perceived gender identity. It is likewise prohibited to deny appropriate placement based on a perceived threat to health or safety..”
“..legitimate safety concerns that may arise in any shelter, building, or facility covered by this rule.”
“..eliminate the safety risk and that has available accommodations..”
“…since it would not apply unless the facts and circumstances demonstrated a nondiscriminatory risk to health or safety that could not be eliminated or appropriately mitigated by policy adjustments and physical modifications to buildings and facilities.”
“HUD recognizes a limited exception to accommodating individuals in accordance with the individual’s gender identity when a recipient, subrecipient, owner, operator, manager, or provider identifies a legitimate safety risk that cannot be eliminated or appropriately mitigated”
“keeping a record of when a legitimate safety risk is identified.”
“accommodation is necessary to ensure health and safety. It shall be prohibited for such a determination to be based solely on a person’s actual or perceived gender identity, the complaints of other clients, beneficiaries, or employees when those complaints are based on actual or perceived gender identity, or on an actual or perceived threat to health or safety that can be mitigated in some other way that is less burdensome. In order to avoid unwarranted denials of placement in accordance with an individual’s gender identity, decisions to provide accommodations based on concern for the health and safety of the individual..”
At no point is the nature of this “threat to health and safety” identified. Epidemic male violence is apparently not only a protected government-sanctioned institution beyond reproach but one which cannot be named. While a male or male-identified transgender client’s “own views with respect to personal safety deserve serious consideration” and his “own views with respect to personal health and safety should be given serious consideration in making the placement”, women’s views with respect to their own personal safety are not only disregarded but explicitly prohibited by law: “It is likewise prohibited to deny appropriate placement based on a perceived threat to health or safety..”
Homeless males can identify as female or male and access whichever facility they prefer. Atlanta’s 600-bed Peachtree-Pine Shelter estimated that 5% of the male homeless population is transgender (using the no longer required definition: males who regularly adopt some social cues traditionally associated with females). “Women are allowed to stay in the men’s shelter — because Peachtree-Pine is not supposed to turn anyone away — but they can only stay in the lobby area overnight sitting upright in a chair, said Tony Thomas, the shelter’s spokesperson. So when given the option of sitting in a chair all night or sleeping in a cot, many transwomen will identify and “present” as male, he added.”
According to Mark “Mara” Keisling’s National Center for Trans Equality (NCTE) 49% of homeless transwomen report a history of criminal incarceration. [PDF]
Presumably this measure solely serves the desires of some men to be housed with women. Only a sociopath would suggest a female transgender (FTM) be housed among men. Toronto’s ‘Trans Communities Shelter Access Project’ claims that multiple homeless “transmen” have been gang-raped in men’s shelters: “Although a female-to-male trans person (trans man) might identify themselves as a man… the reality for many is that surgery and hormones are expensive, passing is out of reach, and men’s services are not safe for a trans man who may not pass. If an FtM has not been approved for testosterone, or had a mastectomy, (and even if he has…) then he is at risk for physical, verbal, and sexual assault in men’s dorms/ bathrooms/ and showers. There have been incidents of gang rape toward FtM’s in men’s shelters. Some FtM’s may choose to face these risks in a shelter that validates their identity… but they should not have to. There are no FtM shelters or rape crisis centers, so as men who face (or have faced) sexual assault, spousal abuse, and gender discrimination, there is, as of yet, no place better equipped to meet the needs of FtM’s than women’s services.”
As required by the Administrative Procedure Act this proposed law has been filed with the Federal Register for public comment. HUD is required to respond to issues raised by the public before adopting the law. The deadline is January 19. Comments may be submitted by mail or posted online here:
Comments must include the name and number of the regulation:
FR–5863–P–01 Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs
You can also view the comments that have been submitted. As of now, 30 comments have been received. 20 have been published. 14 have been discarded due to duplication via (transgender activist) mass mailing campaign. 4 are obviously duplicate mass mailers from transgender activists. 10 are yet unpublished. Only two comments mention the welfare of women and girls.
[bolding by me-GM]
September 5, 2015
Blood and Visions: Womyn Reconciling With Being Female by Autotomous Womyn’s Press.
An anthology of writing and artwork by 10 womyn who stopped their female to male (ftm) transitions. Personal stories, political analysis, practical advice, and resources for womyn who struggle with dis-identification from their female reality.
Excerpt: “This process lacks the intoxication of transition, goes back into friction that rubs us raw and makes us feel what we’ve spent years trying to get away from. From this we learn power you can’t pick up at a pharmacy, that’s not made in labs, not made by men. Power that comes from being a womyn, being a dyke, power we’re not supposed to know about; many womyn have been killed or defamed for being wise to it. Power they tried to kill in us or trick us into calling male. We find it in ourselves and each other; in our friendships we find the strength to continue, to think and feel what we were taught was forbidden.”
Glossary of terms:
Autotomous: Describes the ability of an animal (or metaphorically, a womon) to release a part of her body/self and abandon it in order that she may survive attack or injury. Examples of autotomous animals are lizards (autotomous because of their tails), sea cucumbers (their ability to divide), and starfish (their arms). Some autotomous creatures regenerate the parts of themselves they have sacrificed, to some extent. The creature is never wholly the same but in most cases, she does survive.
Detransition: Ceasing transition, abandoning trans identity, and no longer trying to “live as” the opposite sex. This can include actions such as going off hormones, changing one’s name back to one’s birth name, no longer binding, no longer packing, etc. Detransition does not have to include any attempts to change one’s clothing choice, hair, behavior, or other things perceived as gender-markers, nor does it necessarily include plastic surgery or electrolysis to “reverse” the steps taken during medicalized transition. Detransition means stopping transition and beginning the work of reconciling with the reality of having a female body and having survived girlhood. Often used by those who no longer understand “gender” in terms of “identity,” but in terms of patriarchally-imposed sex roles.
Deeply moving and informative for all women concerned about the wholeness of our womanhood — and our sisterhood.
SUPPORT THIS BOOK
June 22, 2015
From 4th Wave Now: “They pull no punches: they discuss Lupron lawsuits, the possibility that hormone treatments will aggravate issues like cutting/self harm, and the folly of dosing kids with hormones when their frontal lobes aren’t developed. They criticize the doctors who are too quick to diagnose gender dysphoria when many other mental health issues are prominent. They acknowledge the homophobia (internalized, as well as of professionals and parents) that feeds into transition of kids–a point of view that is pretty much heresy in trans activist circles. They even take on the biggest taboo of all: Suicidal threats by kids if they don’t get hormones and surgery. They contrast the initial glow of transition with the reality of years on hormones when the excitement fades.” Read more on the excellent 4th Wave Now site here, including a partial transcript: https://4thwavenow.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/video-advice-from-an-ftm-and-mtf-dont-take-this-rocky-road/
Our daughter in college just announced her/hir intent to start taking Testosterone. What should we do?
April 23, 2015
Request for advice and guidance from a concerned parent:
Our almost 21 year child just announced yesterday her/hir intent to start taking T and said that she was considering top surgery eventually as well but “that’s all”. Ze has been wearing men’s clothes for a couple of years now, hates having a period, and appears very butch. Seems most interested in/connected with other butch/lesbian individuals. We have tried to understand and have asked if hir intent is to transition to a male, but she claims not; stating that she’s just tired of being seen as a female, despite the butch clothes etc but does not want to be a “full male”..more like androgynous or “non-binary”.
It’s a long story, like many, but it started when she went to college and found her “place/home” in the LGBTQ community, and then changed her major to “Gender & Women’s Studies”. We are so concerned about whether this T medical treatment and surgery is truly what will make her happy versus being pressured by the environment she is currently in. She wants to change her name legally this summer. She seems attracted to other lesbians from what I can tell which may not be much! I know this may not be PC but what we’ve seen develop in her school experience feels “cultish” to us. Maybe we’re in denial? We are so very concerned about the permanent nature of this “transition” and that it is being done without any in-depth psychological evaluation or counseling. There is a possible history of abuse from a male babysitter when she was 4, but it was never possible to establish exactly what happened..she was examined and no physical evidence of anything was found. We did take her to counseling of course. She was also bullied in both middle and high school. She does suffer from anxiety and has trouble handling “stress” She has done extremely well academically and is very bright. She has always been quite nurturing and wonderful with babies and young children and even thought about becoming a preschool/elementary school teacher up until fairly recently.
What should we say to her about this upcoming transition? Should we give her any advice or information? We have tried to be accepting/loving parents but we are so afraid she is making a mistake that she could seriously regret later in life once the changes are permanent and that her decision to do this is encouraged so much by the community she is now involved with.
Thank you so much for reading this and any suggestions you can make would be very welcome.
From comment left HERE.