Trapped meme, of prisons and language barriers.


Ok let’s get to opening this particular can o worms, the I am trapped in the wrong body meme has become a problem. This explanation was intended originally for one reason, to explain the unimaginable to people who could never ever in a billion years understand it, because they have no context from which to empathise, without the vital personal context trans realities are incredibly difficult, if not impossible to comprehend fully.

Explaining becomes somewhat like trying to describe a duck billed platypus to somebody who had never heard of a duck, or a beaver, or an otter.

The reality is my body is not a prison, not a cell, it is mine from head to toe, but here’s where it gets hard to explain. The issue lies in how a person percieves themselves, nobody had to tell most people they were male or female, they look at their bodies and compare to others and just know. From the day our bodies are born we have an awareness of who we are, an internal blueprint if you will. Observe a child some time in early infancy and you will see they may be a tad clumsy but even if the child cannot see or hear they are aware of their body.

They know where their feet are, their nose is, where every part of their body is that awareness is constant, even prior to social conditioning. If they suddenly grew extra parts they would no doubt be upset, why? because even as a child a brain knows what shape the body is, to suddenly alter that leads to extreme and distressing cognitive dissonance.

Now it gets tricky, the plainest evidence I can produce is the unusual phenomenon known as phantom limb. If a human being loses a limb it is a recorded phenomenon that 60 to 80 percent of cases the individual may retain sensations of movement and awareness of the presence of said limb or organ despite its loss.

This phenomenon is due to the fact the body is neurologically mapped by the brain, as evidenced by experiments showing that holding a mirror between missing and attached limb make it physically possible to stop the phantom limb itching by scratching the existing arm. Remove the mirror and the same results cannot be achieved.

In cases of transsexualism the same issue arises, the blueprints our brains are following do not seem to match to the current form of our bodies, talking therapies have of course been tested, however in all cases the experiments failed. In my life I have heard of every kind of reparative therapy you could care to imagine used in an attempt to “cure” us, from talking therapy, ammonia therapy, and exorcism, right through to electro convulsion therapy altered for use as an aversion therapy.

For proof of how ineffective said treatments are look to the barbaric case often heralded as the proof that all of a persons identity is socially defined the tragic case of  David Reimer (August 22, 1965 – May 5, 2004) was a Canadian man who was born as a healthy male, but was sexually reassigned and raised as female after his penis was accidentally destroyed during circumcision Psychologist john money oversaw the case and reported the reassignment as successful, and as evidence that gender identity is primarily learned. Academic sexologist Milton Diamond later reported that Reimer failed to identify as female since the age of 9 to 11, and that he began living as male at age 15. Reimer later went public with his story to discourage similar medical practices. He later committed suicide, owing to suffering years of severe depression, financial instability and a troubled marriage.

This is the crux of the issue, when a person states that gender is entirely social construction. I agree with that entirely gender as we currently experience it is entirely social, HOWEVER I firmly believe that transsexuality is something outside the issue of gender, something currently lacking a word as gender was never our word to use. We merely borrowed it due to absence of appropriate language to explain fully our condition. Gender is a word for the social roles a person experiences daily, we need a word that better fits the lived realities of people rather than just more words of convenience. If we ever wish to gain full agency of our full bodies, if we are ever to break the stereotypes and attain the medical care we need to transition without judgement it’s time we took our bodies back. Found our own words, and showed the world we are human beings worthy of respect not an abstract theory of some quack, and sure as hell not something to be controlled.

A gender vs Agenda, on words and dilution of meaning


Ever notice how over time some words get a little fuzzy round the edges? How slowly over time they get overused and diluted to the point where they’re no longer truly applicable in any meaningful way to any concrete meaning? Isn’t it interesting how over time they erode not only their own meaning but adversely influence others as they go? Lets take a controversial example word that all my readers will probably be completely familiar with by now , and if not they can’t have been reading much at all, let’s look at gender.

At this point if they saw me in person a lot of people would probably tell me gender has a clear or obvious meaning, but does it really?

To radical feminists Gender is a system of roles and oppressions forced upon a person against their will, a framework of conditioning socially constructed around a person who does not consent to them, but is forced and coerced into compliance with for the duration of their lifetime.

To a Transsexual person on the other hand gender is how we as individuals perceive our bodies, a gender not matched to the persons body is like phantom limb except not only one part feels wrong but all of it , the body screams out for correction. The social model has nothing to do with this until society steps in and coerces them into the role it assumes we should have, based on the body that feels fundamentally alien. Then the roles model of gender becomes a prison to be railed against while the body remains unfitted on a very basic level. To a trans feminist the social model of gender is a paradigm we work very hard to oppose and a group of stereotypes we work hard to dismantle often to the detriment of the speed of our transition itself. We agree with the radical feminist perspective of gender roles as tools of opression and sterotypical behaviour as immensely problematic and struggle to oppose both.

To gender therapists gender is something like a sausage casing, if a client is Transsexual they must be made to fit this one size doesn’t fit anybody mould before they can be given help to correct their bodies. If a person does not fit the roles they will be reconditioned and reprogrammed by the therapists to fit the stereotypical roles that do not truly fit anybody. This is done in an effort to make a person “pass” , this meaning to fit into the polite socially acceptable illusions of men and women which have been used to oppress women for millenia and still are.

To a government official gender is a convenient little politically correct version of the sex checkbox, A neat little pigeonhole into which everybody must fall, A or B? come on are you a boy or girl? it isn’t that complicated a question is it?

Try asking a neutrois, a person who seems to fit neither box, because regardless of which configuration their body takes it will feel as wrong as the transsexuals body feels to them. To a neutrois Gender is their own personal hell, a permanent limbo of a or b , one or the other with no option for none of the above.

Then we enter the realm of other categories of transgender, to a drag queen gender is a performance, a mask to be worn to entertain, a set of roles and cliches to be pointed out so their hypocrisy becomes clear to all and the entertainers point can be made. To a crossdresser gender can be very complex indeed, or it can be simply a second skin to be worn to feel comfortable. The categories go on forever, and I hope nobody will feel I erase their lived reality by any of this , or if I do not continue through every category, as I get the feeling that by the time I did this wouldn’t be an article, it’d be an encyclopedia.

The result of overuse of this word should be clear by now, gender is too complicated to be simplified down into a single word. Yet it is used for so many different circumstances. As a result gender means a lot to a lot of people, but what does it actually stand for? Absolutely nothing, it tries to be everything and as such is diluted into meaninglessness, isn’t english an evolving language? Maybe it’s time for the thinkers of our world to dream up new words, so we aren’t all constantly at odds with each other over a single word that truly stands for about as much  as a politician who just learned he won’t be getting reelected. Words that evolve beyond meaning everything and at the same time nothing.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, on words and wounds.


Ok this post isn’t gonna win me any popularity contests, is it not intended to. This post is to raise awareness of actions we as a community take that are detrimental to our own cause, and to others. Without further ado I introduce the list of stupid shit we DESPERATELY need to stop perpetuating.

1. hooo boy this is a biggie, Die Cis Scum, those 3 little words are hostile and threatening, yes odds are they were originally intended as a vent by somebody who had faced violence once too often, I understand that, but still . Words of violence are never an acceptable approach in any social justice movement, we don’t need shit like that to make our point, and all it will do is alienate and divide us from potential allies of many kinds, so please knock that shit off.

2. Cis in general. Seems harmless enough right? Wrong, regardless of what the word originally meant it is now taking on an entirely new meaning and being wielded as a dividing tool and a weapon. Our enemies have enough ammo to use on us do we really really need to make their bullets for them? In time the meanings of words often change, for instance once the word slut was a gender neutral term for an untidy person, and at that time had no sexual overtones. The manner in which it was used in later times changed that, same as the word Cis, regardless of intent has now become by basis of it’s usage derogatory and divisive.

3. Sex as a social construct. STOP, JUST STOP, there is so much wrong with this I don’t even know where to begin, sex is complex sure, but sex is no more a social construct than height , weight, , race, or species. Sure it comes with a lotta social roles and other crap attached against the persons will. That is not their fault, nor does it erase their identity . That person may need to transition due to other circumstances, they may not. That does not mean just because it can be altered that their sex is any more a social construct than any other physical attribute. Transsexuality is not about the social roles, nor is sex , and neither should be. So erasing a persons lived realities and oppressions by simplifying them down to social construction is downright insulting , destructive, and pointless.  time to stop the madness.

4. but, but, cotton ceiling. Please for the good of all that is sacred cut this shit out, some people aren’t attracted to particular genitals, this is not a fault it is an orientation, we can’t change that and should never be pressured to try. Peoples sexualities are as diverse as can be imagined, some people only desire certain attributes in their partners,  some people are attracted regardless of physical attributes, some myself included are attracted to nobody but will love a good mind, and some people can only get a boner over cars. This is their sexuality and they have a right to define it however they wish. However by the same token nobody has the right to make another individual feel lesser over said physical attributes, that is unacceptable too, but has fuck all to do with the bullshit theory that is the cotton ceiling. If you wish to talk about disrespect of a trans person do it, but quit using a rapey, creepy, theory that is about as watertight as the titanic to do so.

5. telling trans men/trans women you currently have male privilege.

I know male privilege exists however here’s the thing, Trans men do not experience it, they may experience the social pressures to conform to a male role, however unless that individual is extremely fortunate in how they appear to others they will not fit into that neat little pigeonhole of male, but fun fact nor do trans women. When a person transitions they forfeit any right to the privilege they may have have and are regarded as class traitors by many.  The human perspectives are intensely binary, when a person no longer fits either class in a way society deems acceptable they are pushed by default into the  less privileged of these 2 categories by the collective, but at the same time into a third category a ? group. People dislike an enigma and as a result both trans women and trans men alongside quite a lot of queer individuals are treated rather like a sub class. We cannot afford to divide ourselves over the presence of a privilege that none of us truly have, and may have been largely been experiencing the negative sides of from the day we were born, by coercion into a male role or a female role against our desire and without our permission.

6.This one is gonna get me a lotta hate, the dreaded bathroom meme.

If a person is trans and is not in transition then the debate should end there,they should be using a neutral facility, unfortunately idiots with victorian values block construction of such facilities. If a person is on the spectrum but is a transgendered individual who still identifies as a male and has no intention of ever being anything else they should use male facilities, male identified not transitioning == stay the hell out or use a gender neutral.

7. tranny, I’m reclaiming it.

2 words for that idea fuck and that, reclaiming a slur is immensely problematic for some of us, especially the ones who still hear that word spat at them on a regular basis. Reclaiming a word is a lovely theory, one that rarely works, and when it does it pisses off a lotta people that you can use it and they cannot. If we are to let vile words die out we need to stop using them and call others who use them until they eventually fade away. Otherwise the end result  is the still hurtful and traumatic word being used and the victim being powerless to call them on it because somebody else in the community had to claim a hollow victory being able to use the slur themselves.

8. wbw space let me come in.

We aren’t the big bad wolf here, we are not doing our community any good by huffing and puffing and demanding entry at such events, nor by pushing for their closure, if anything is to change these events need to happen. We cannot and should never try to force change. Reasoned debate outside the events is a far more sensible and less invasive way of dealing with things than pushing our way in.

We are not thugs, so why act like it. If a philosophy entirely supports itself on exclusion of us then what good are we doing if we seek entry?

None, it’s like a gay man seeking to join Westboro baptist church. Trans exclusionary gatherings will never be a good place for us to be, and our presence will only lead to conflict  , our beliefs are too different.

Besides these women owe us nothing, they have their own issues to fight, many of which we can all agree on, We should accept that, aid on issues we can both agree with if we are welcomed, and if not just grant space. After all differences of belief do not mean total emnity, nor should they. Far better unlikely allies on so many feminist causes even if we differ on 1 point than at each others throats constantly.

Anyway I’m gonna stop now while I still have at least one reader left :p