Sunday, January 20, 2008

HBS bigots

I hate the smug, self-satisfying, classist, racist, sexist, heterosexist "Harry Benjamin Syndrome" transgender folk. (ETA: I'm sure there must be some HBS folk who aren't cissexist, sexist, etc, but every person I have ever come into contact with who identified as HBS, including the person I'm ranting about here, has said a great many bigoted things towards transgender, genderqueer, queer, etc. folk)
HBS is their term for trans*ism and they constantly use it to demean trans*folk who don't fit into their standards. Their standards? Straight, white, rich, gender-role conforming, post-surgery, deep stealth trans*women.

Every single time I have ever seen HBS used as an identity, that person has been incredibly homophobic and hateful towards other trans*people. people who otherwise might choose to identify as HBS, such as myself, choose not to be associated with such bigotry and stupidity.

I was just going to quote parts of this comment, but there was so much wrong that I can't choose (the non-italized is her quoting me).

"Mainstream society already saw us as freaks and fags and dykes way before he first trans* activists joined with the first queer activists–we were all perverts together you know.

Well, if your queer to begin with then your not likely to have been considered anything else. As a heterosexual I never felt that from mainstream. In fact, I was helped along by mainstream in all phases of my transition including employment. That would not happen today though since in recent years we are all considered queer. That is a direct result of the inclusion of us all in the transgender umbrella under the flag of the GLBT.

“Though I do hope that they focus on the laws that will help the poorest of us first–employment and housing would be nice”

Now why on earth should you want the United States or any other country for that matter to treat you any different than anyone else? Gays are employed and live everywhere across this nation. In fact some of the richest men and women on the planet are gay and lesbian. Seems like they didn’t need a special law to help them be who they are. Why do the transgendered need this when there are plenty of non-trans folk that cant get the same thing. You don’t see them out lobbying congress for the right to work and the right to have a home. Why are the gender queers so special? If you cant make it in society because you made the decision to transition knowing full well the consequences you faced, why should the rest of society make a special allotment for you to make up for your short fallings?

Transsexuals have been transitioning and having surgery for the past 60 years. The vast majority of them have transitioned and moved quietly into society without any help from anyone. They took the risks and lived with the consequences and when the going got tough they overcame. If someone decides to try to transition with no money or a low paying job or simply because they will have to commit suicide if they don’t transition, then they have to face the consequence of that. If they are so “female inside” yet they have little chance of even remotely assimilating as a woman yet they still decide to transition, why should employers be forced to hire them? If a person goes for a job anywhere they normally try to look their best for an interview. They don’t simply assume that an employer is going to overlook their appearance. Why should it be any different for transgenders that look hideous in their chosen gender mode? Hell, even gay owned businesses will not hire obvious trannys. Employment discrimination is not exclusive to mainstream.

The problem here is that the transgenders seem to feel that they are the victims. Instead of getting their act together they hang out on the internet and feel empowered by their “union”. Instead of looking at the way the real world works they yell and scream that they are being singled out. Its a victim mentality instead of a help yourself mentality. Those of us that have been successful at transition have either gotten their act together before jumping into the fire or had enough resources, smarts and inner fortitude to see it through transition. We knew it was financial suicide to embark on a journey with no way of reaching the goal.

Please, don’t tell me about those that “Have to transition or commit suicide” Its pure drama. If someone is suicidal about transition they have more problems than gender dysphoria. They need to sort those problems out first. Transition is not going to help them.

Transition is tough. It SHOULD be tough. It is the fire that will burn the fakers and temper the needy. It should make you stronger and make you whole and make you self reliant. If it doesn’t then you did something wrong.

Bigots like her make me want to hit someone. They are so blind to their own privilege and instead of focusing on those that actually hurt them, they choose to attack those in similar positions--people who should be their allies!

x-posted to tranny_rage and queer_rage.


Lisa Harney said...

Wow, that's like concentrated neutronium of denial right there.

I mean:

* The idea that being associated with the GLB civil rights movement made people hate us? The Transsexual Empire, anyone? Transphobia's been around for a bit longer than the T in GLBT. This is just homophobia.

* "Why would we want the US to treat us different than anyone else?" Well, golly gee, maybe the problem is that they do treat us different from everyone else, and we're trying to campaign to be treated the same as everyone else? Gay men and lesbian women have jobs so they're not discriminated against? Well, damn, that's good to know. Some trans people have jobs? I'm sure the trans women turning tricks on the street and getting beaten and murdered because they were fired from their jobs or can't get work in the first place will be happy to know that the privilege of a few like Lynn Conway and Andrea James means that they're not really oppressed.

And, oh yeah, how stupid is Leigh? Did she totally miss the whole ENDA thing, which was all about improving employment for GLBT people (before the T was removed)? You do see them lobbying for non-discriminatory employment and housing because they've been doing it for years.

Of course, most of this is Leigh's white privilege talking. Apparently, trans people of color (women, especially) are completely invisible to her. She has her experiences which are both privilege and blind or in denial to any actual oppression she has experienced, so naturally no one experiences any oppression unless it's their own damned fault for choosing to transition.

Leigh, like most HBS advocates, are living in some imaginary 1970s-filled-with-gender-clinics golden age. Completely behind the times, and no sense of social responsibility.

DanaeLM said...

Oh, damn, I was about to lash out on sight after I read your name out loud... sorry Ms Harney (whose name sadly rimes with Kearney, and whose blog is great).

Actually, from looking around, this Leigh at least claims to be either fairly dumb or quite uneducated.

And the rest are just content to be ignorant (the persistent demonisation of Virginia Prince as though ze was the source of all transsexuals' woes is rather funny in retrospect of my recent readings), but she's one of the few who doesn't claim otherwise.

Drakyn said...

I think that one of the hallmarks of bigotry is willful ignorance. Not just ignorance, but refusing to acknowledge or educate your ignorance.

Lisa Harney said...

Thank you for not lashing out, but I don't know who you're talking about (Kearney) etc.

DanaeLM said...

Oh, she's a rather major name in the HBS crowd, if only because she advertises herself as one of the people behind one of their primary websites.

Lisa Harney said...

drakyn, I agree. It's willful and deliberate. It's not just being ignorant, it's making an effort to maintain that ignorance as a shield.

dana, thanks. :)

Stassa said...

Actually, looking at the icons of the contributing members at TS-SI, I don't see where they are "deep stealth", Drakyn. They look like the typical "bloke-in-a-dress" late-transitioner to me. Matter of fact, I think that's why they make all that noise about being "true transsexuals™" and "real women™", 'cause they need an inordinate amount of justification of their decisions to transition. And I think that's also why they hate she-males so much because they tend to equate us with younger, prettier transwomen- and they're seething with jealousy.

Also, you know, where they go on about their ability to naturally fade in the woodwork even before transition, being oh-so-normal (which is where all that apparent white, middle-class privilege comes from) that too is just lies and posturing. For one thing, they don't seem to be terribly well educated to me. At least, their comments and blog posts are usually inarticulate, badly spelled and full of grammatical and syntactical errors, like they don't really know how to write. Like, look at the comment you quote. She writes "your" instead of "you're" and uses mainstream as a name, as in "I was helped along by mainstream" (like "I was blessed by God").

So, you know, I think irl they're just the opposite of what they pretend to be online. Sad people with huge issues they try to blame on everybody else.

Drakyn said...

Stassa, I don't really know if they're deep stealth or not--I was commenting on how HBS standards generally include going deep stealth. And stealth is seen as the natural goal of all "true transsexuals".

And I don't really like commenting on whether or not someone passes--we're judged on our appearance more than enough I think.

I do think that the American HS trans*women (I don't know much about how trans*ism has been seen/treated outside of the US--sorry) internalized the old standards of care along with sexist standards and roles (and of course heterosexism, homophobia, racism, classism, etc).
They're like the anti-trans* radfems' caricatures of trans*women (and may in fact be what anti-trans* feminists think all/most trans*women are like).

I know I make typos; and since I often type posts/comments in the middle of the night and/or after not sleeping those comments aren't quite up to my standards...
But I don't fuck up easy shit like your/you're. And I, even if it's a long time after posting something, fix typos I catch. Their blog is nigh unreadable sometimes!

Not to mention hateful, "I am done with the transgender bullshit. I sincerely hope they all get their third gender bathrooms, their employment laws and their hate crimes laws. As an employer myself, I simply wont hire them. If presented with a crossdressing employee I will do whatever I can to legally dismiss them. There are ALWAYS ways! If I encounter one in the ladies room I will report them."--Leigh

Stassa said...

No, hey, Darkyn, I don't judge people for their appearance and I don't attribute female privilege to the ability to "pass". I know I may come across like that sometimes. I'm just in this phase in my life, where I can't believe I finally look like a chick and it's sort of leaking out of me uncontrollably... I'll get over it.

But the HBS people adopt this posture online, like "I'm so passable, you're not, therefore I'm a woman and you're not", only it's the other way 'round really. I'm just pointing out it's absurd, 's all.

Stassa said...

I do think that the American HS trans*women (I don't know much about how trans*ism has been seen/treated outside of the US--sorry) internalized the old standards of care along with sexist standards and roles (and of course heterosexism, homophobia, racism, classism, etc).
They're like the anti-trans* radfems' caricatures of trans*women (and may in fact be what anti-trans* feminists think all/most trans*women are like).

Spot on!

Drakyn said...

Oh, okay, yeah--I guess some of them do come off as over-compensating or being in denial (like Susan).

I understand being happy about passing regularly for the first time!
I pass decently well for a younger-than-I-really-am geeky guy so I usually get called sir, son, or once--"sport". o.O
It helps that the geek stereotype isn't large or buff though.

Drakyn said...

Hey, if you lump the anti-trans* anti-gender radfems under the transgender umbrella you've also got the HBS folks' anti-transsexual, anti-straight, anti-surgery transgender caricature...

Maybe we should just lock both groups in a closet together?
In fanfiction that makes two people that are opposites and hate each other grow to love each other!

Lisa Harney said...

Heh, now that's logic!

If Susan is who I think she is, she transitioned at a fairly early age back in the early 70s. I remember one trans woman saying that it was easy to pay for surgery on minimum wage work, because she did it... in the 70s.

I love the word that some HBS advocates have (or used to have) for trans women who haven't had surgery: They're "penis people," which really means they're only half a person, because they're not whole women and they're not men, of course. It's all about a hierarchy with them at the top.

Drakyn said...

On queerty Susan said she transitioned at 27.
And Leigh did the whole "just move to some place with better jobs!" and work hard and sacrifice and it's easy to transition!

Stassa said...

Cor. There's more of that shit. Here:

Btw, the person who's writing that claims to be intersex (though she says she's a Chimera of male and female tissues, which is just some bullshit she concocted to intimidate folks who don't know what a chimera is, besides half a mythological goat.)

Which begs the question, what the hell does she know about being transsexual if she's intersex. But of course, she's not intersex. Those people are just full of flies, I tell you.

Oh and, transitioning early doesn't mean you're passable, 'm afraid. I did, and I looked like roadkill for most of my life afterwards. They just keep on banging on that drum to claim passing privilege, which obviously they don't have (or they wouldn't make such a fuss about it.)

No, I mean, honestly. Imagine a young transwoman who started out early and got it all down pat in a few years time, and went on to live happily ever after- and then imagine her regurgitating the hateful shit spewing forth from the mouth of Susan whatsername and see if it meshes at all. 'Cause I don't believe it does.

Lisa Harney said...

I commented on Susan transitioning early not because I thought it had anything to do with her passability, but because I don't think she's a late transitioner.

27's not really late, although it's not precisely early, either.

And, truthfully, I can see anyone spewing hateful bs. :(

Drakyn said...

I saw that website--I skimmed a couple of comments and got disgusted and left.
It's just as bad as when anti-trans* feminists sit there and do the same exact gorram thing.

There are hateful bs-spewing folks in every group unfortunately. I have actually 'met' a anti-transsexual, anti-medical transitioning, anti-gender transgender person. Sie posted on several trans* and genderqueer communities a couple yeas ago and was banned and/or chased out for refusing to keep hir hateful opinions to hirself (including, if I remember correctly, from the genderqueer comm).
In ftm, pretty much no one agreed with him. Even the genderqueer, non-medically transitioning, and anti-gender roles guys were commenting to tell hir off for not respecting the diversity of trans* experiences.

Stassa said...

Apparently Susan something got banned from or .org (I don't really know what that is.)

I don't like to see such people getting banned- it's better to keep them where everybody can see them and their hateful spite.

Lisa. No, hate is a disease and it is contracted in very specific manners- it can't just affect anyone indiscriminately, 'cause some of us have antibodies.

Yeah, I'm speaking metaphorically. But, you see my point.

Er. Righteous anger don't count as hate, eh? Hope so. <_<

Drakyn said...

When someone refuses to listen, repeats the same arguments without caring what's been disproven already, and disrupts/silences/derails the comments I'm fine with banning someone.
And where does it say she got banned? Did she make a comment on that trans feminist blog about it?

Stassa said...

Yeah, she put a link on the transfeminist blog to a post on her blog about transadvocate and then said she got banned from transadvocate.

Kind of a plug, I guess. ::shrug::

DanaeLM said...

A plug, you won't say ;)

I'm still surprised that
a) some of them actually read and enjoyed Julia Serano (who is, after all, at least currently, one of the "penis people"*)
b) that one of them ended up posting on a blog that lends heavily towards the trans*feminism of Koyama and Serano.

*urgh, I feel sick

Lisa Harney said...

Stassa, what I mean is, there's not really a set of experiences or circumstances that makes anyone immune to being a hater of some sort. I've seen early transitioning trans women go on hateful diatribes about late transitioning trans women, for example - and I don't mean a particular troll who may or may not have disrupted another discussion on this blog.

People on an individual basis not being haters of some kind? Sure, absolutely. Sometimes experiences do bring that about, and sometimes people just click and get it. But just being a trans woman who transitioned in her teens (and I say this as a trans woman who transitioned in my teens) isn't enough for immunization.

I'm not saying trans people are naturally haters, I'm saying that they - like anyone - can be.

Lisa Harney said...

Oh yeah, and righteous anger doesn't count as hate, or I'd be in lots of trouble by now. :)

Stassa said...

Lisa, I was thinking of you and Drakyn, when I said early transitioners haven't got many reasons to hate themselves.

What an idealised version of reality, eh?

I know. I know... x|

Drakyn, I'm also a bit surprised "Cat Kisser" and her friends have found their way on Transfeminist.

Especially after the arguments exchanged between Megan (That Fucking Shemale) and Susan (friend of Cat Kisser's) here:

(starts at about post no.45)

I guess it's something to do with pluralism and whatnot. Actually, I think it's a good thing™ they're letting them express their views (because it exposes them to unscrupulous trolls like me XD

Drakyn said...

Stassa, I actually participated in that thread in Queerty. ^.^
And Megan is on my friendslist (so I get links to all the good drama early) ^.~