Transgender Tropes 101

December 26, 2010

This is a reflection on a comment left on this post:

The commenter’s words are in italics below.

I’ll prob do a revised/extended post on trans tropes in future. Feel free to add your own in comments and I’ll include them. Thanks. And thanks to niksebastian for taking the time to comment.

Have you investigated transgender people beyond Dirt’s blog?

[Transgender Trope #1- Trans questioners and critics must not be informed on the topic.]

I’m sorry you see them so negatively. Let me see if I can explain my perspective on it – I hope you’re willing to hear me out.

FTMs are not upset because they do not fit into the typical image of females.

[Transgender Trope #2. Trans people have no problem living outside of gender roles. It’s sex they want to disguise, for no social reason whatsoever.] (Of course females don’t want to fit into the typical image of females. The typical image of females is a sexist, sexualized stereotype and only males who objectify females and get off on the thought of inhabiting a female “object” would want to “fit into” that role.)

Or at least, not true FTMs.

[Transgender Trope #3- The trans person considers themselves uniquely authentic. Others disguising themselves as opposite sexed are pretenders.]

There are many FTMs who are in fact feminine, with eyeliner and manicures, and they date men. They were never “butch.” It would make no sense for them to transition because of societal roles, because they see more media examples of women like them than men like them.

[Transgender Trope #4 Males who don’t fully conform to masculinity don’t receive male privilege, men who wear eyeliner are treated socially exactly the same as women.]

They move from the comfortable position of a healthy straight woman …

[Transgender Trope #5. The social position of women is a comfortable one.]

…to the highly uncomfortable position of a gay man who is anatomically abnormal.

[Transgender Trope #6. Disabled or differently abled persons are not gendered by society.]

They realise the potential negative effects of testosterone,

[Transgender Trope #7. People don’t embrace things that are risky or unhealthy.]

the high violence rate against transgender people,

[Transgender Trope #8. “People” commit violence against the insufficiently camouflaged transgender. *psst, it’s men. MEN commit violence against other MEN and against WOMEN).

and the fact that they may lose the support of their family, friends, and government.

[Transgender Trope #9. People don’t do body modifications to marginalize themselves, or as part of belonging to subcultures.] Piercing, lobe stretching and face/neck/hand tattoos, bizarre plastic surgeries, anorexia, bulimia, BIID etc. say otherwise.]

They transition because even if everyone else finds them beautiful, even if they see a pretty girl in the mirror, that’s not what they want.

[Transgender Trope #10. People have a “right” to see their personal ideal in the mirror. And if one’s appearance is not ideal, one cannot be happy and fulfilled. Transgender Trope#11.Society treats beautiful women better than average or homely men.]

They dream as men, and wake up surprised at what they find.

[Transgender Trope #12. Humans can’t fantasize so intensely that reality surprises them.]

It’s as if a woman had a penis sewn onto her – she will always know it’s not meant to be there.

[Transgender Trope #13. Being born in a healthy body is equivalent to being subjected to a Nazi Doctor’s transplantation experimentation. Transgender Trope  #14. Trans people are physically deformed or disabled.]

Contrary to the image depicted by you and Dirt of trans as a trend, there is no trans crowd or even visibility in my area, or anywhere nearby.

[Transgender Trope #15. Behavioral memes are spread locally from person to person. The media and online trends and virtual communities have no effect on people’s lives.]

I have met two or three transwomen, in their 20s and 30s, within a 2 hour radius of my town, and only one transman, 6 hours away.  In New York, 1/3 of trans youth are disowned and kicked out of their homes.

[Transgender Trope #16- made-up statistics sound authoritative and significant.]

1/2 attempt suicide, nationwide. [*see trope #16, above.]

[Transgender Trope #17- emotional distress=authenticity of one’s delusion.]

Peers are slightly more accepting than older generations, but bullying of trans teens is practically universal.

[Transgender Trope #18 all gender nonconforming people are transgender. Transgender Trope #19-refusal of bystanders to participate in and affirm non-consensual fantasy equals cruelty.]

Trans people cannot visit certain countries for fear of death.

[Transgender Trope #20.Transgender people being treated the same as other women, or homosexuals, or gender non-conforming people is uniquely unfair.]

The insurance system has denied transmen coverage of both male and female exclusive treatments.

[Transgender Trope #21- It’s unfair for medical providers to decline unnecessary treatment for healthy people. Transgender Trope #22. For-profit insurers and providers that decline coverage for pre-existing conditions should make a special exception in the case of transgender.]

Saying transgender people are transitioning because it’s cool is like saying depressed people commit suicide for the glory.

[Transgender Trope #23- “transitioning” is like a form of suicide.]

Also, you misunderstand the “trans-trender” last quoted. “Transgender” is in fact an umbrella term, [See T Trope #1.] and it doesn’t mean that everyone who is trans is the opposite gender of their birth sex. It involves people who are “genderqueer” and enjoy presenting as both male and female at different times. Trans = transcending. Transcending gender norms.

[see Transgender Trope #18- All gender nonconforming people are transgender.] (Everyone transcends gender norms. Because the norms are fictional. Transcending gender norms has nothing to do with biologic sex, or using medical or surgical body-mod to obscure or disguise ones sex.)

You can be masculine and still be female, of course, but many people [*Many FEMALES*] self identify as both butch and trans, because they’re proud that they go outside of “binary” – the idea of two, restrictive gender roles.

[Transgender Trope #24. Females and males who reject gender roles are not truly female or male.] (Claiming that women who reject female social roles are not actually female is the opposite of revolutionary. It’s sexist gender conservatism.)

[Transgender Trope #25. Gender roles are not artificially imposed by a political system specifically to control humans who are capable of gestation, but are instead organic and tied to ones physical self biologically or neurologically according to ones sex.]

[Transgender Trope #26. A new sex-based gender binary (cis/trans) should be added to the usual one (female/male) because binaries are good.]

They weren’t at all instructing girls that they’re male if they’re not feminine, simply saying that transcendence of gender, to some extent, even applies to Dirt. [Transgender Tropes #18,19,20,21]

I’m curious – how do you explain transwomen? With this idea of it as a trend, embracing the oppressive privileged gender, transwomen would be acting contrary to logic. They not only withstand the same discrimination as FTMs, but they willingly give up male privilege.

[Well you already claimed above that there is no privilege to being or appearing male, but okay. Transgender Trope #27. Male privilege does, or does not exist, according to one’s argument.

Transgender Trope #28 Privileged people choosing to “go native” and act out their fantasy of life in the underclass are the same as those who have that class forced upon them from birth.

Transgender Trope #29 A lifetime of privilege and supremacy training can be erased from one’s learned behavior through an act of will based on one’s fantasy of occupying the lives of the underclass that one observes.]

There are two types of male trans. The vast number of transgender are hetero male “Autogynophiles” who get a paraphillic fetishistic thrill pretending they are female, that is to say those who willingly adopt an appearance to “pass” socially as a member of the underclass do so because they fetishize and want to colonize the imagined experience of the female underclass that they objectify. They are the foot soldiers of the gender conservatives, those that believe that gender roles are so entwined with biologic sex that they seek to disguise themselves as female bodies in attempt to experience inclusion in the world of females that has been off limits to them as members of the oppressor class (“going native”). That’s why most men trannify in middle age after marriage and male privileged career and children. They fashion their bodies into a woman-suit as the ultimate mid-life gift to themselves after a lifetime of autogynophillic sexual fetishism.

A much smaller number of gender-nonconforming gay males “Homosexual Transsexuals” trannify to fit in better with conservative heterosexual social norms.

They accept that they may never fit the ideal of female beauty.

It’s not about being an ideal beauty (although the more money one has to spend the “better” female body model one can purchase- of course hands and feet cannot yet be cut to smaller size.) It’s about being treated as a sexual stereotype that one believes in perpetuating and wants to occupy and “experience”.

It’s a difficult world for them, and transmen too, regardless of what you say.

I say those that are born male receive enormous privilege compared to those born female. Females that disguise themselves as male receive privilege when they are successfully disguised.

It’s a difficult world for women and girls.

*Videos are examples of Autogynephilia*


BIG NEWS today- scientists using stem cell experimentation have produced offspring in mice using DNA from two males. Gay males rejoice! Of course they still have to implant the egg into some poor female’s womb.

Or maybe NOT. Scientists are hard at work figuring out how to insert cadaver uteri into males for purposes of male childbearing. With cloning, stem cells and transplantation, male dreams of motherhood can’t be too far off.