Texas Says Trans People Aren’t Real, Definitely Can’t Get Married Or Be Happy Ever

One of the worst moments for any elected official is when they realize their administration accidentally allowed a marginalized group some basic rights of citizenship, and that they now have to go to all the time and trouble of taking it back. That’s the situation Texas governor Rick Perry is in; although right now trans people can marry partners of the opposite sex, Perry says that he “never intended” to sign a bill allowing that privilege, and is now threatening to ban marriages for transgender people.

THIS GUY

According to Perry, this is a commonsense interpretation of Texas’s legal belief that “marriage is between one man and one woman.” Apparently the governor reads that (deeply inherently flawed!) edict as obviously referring to biological sex at birth with no possible room for ideas about gender. His idea would, of course, also have consequences for intersex people and possibly other groups; his considered and compassionate response to this is “It is an emotional issue. I can appreciate that.” No word yet on what “appreciating” this means, as it appears not to mean taking into account the lives or families of the people who would be affected by it. His thinking is apparently based on a 1999 court decision that legally defines gender at birth:

“The legislation by Williams, of Houston, and Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, of Brenham, would prohibit county and district clerks from using a court order recognizing a sex change as documentation to get married, effectively requiring the state to recognize a 1999 state appeals court decision that said in cases of marriage, gender is assigned at birth and sticks with a person throughout their life even if they have a sex change.”

Well! That sounds enlightened, doesn’t it?

There’s concern that if this proposed change were to pass, it would not only prevent trans people from marrying, but invalidate all current marriages of trans people in the whole state. For instance, there’s the case of Nikki Araguz, whose late husband’s family is trying to keep her from inheriting any of his estate by claiming that their marriage wasn’t legal in the first place, because Nikki’s gender is really male.

No one seems to know whether or not this would really come to pass. There seem to be more questions than answers with the governor’s plan overall – maybe most obviously, how do you “unintentionally” sign a bill?

The current legal stance on marriage for trans people was a provision to a larger bill that passed two years ago, but it doesn’t seem to have been a case where the clause about marriage was buried in the fine print in between a bunch of zoning laws, where someone whose entire job it is to read and understand the laws they’re enacting could have missed it.

Nikki Araguz

Furthermore, the provision has for the last two years allowed trans people to marry the opposite sex with proof of sexual reassignment surgery – while it’s not acceptable to define trans status solely on surgical history, it does show that the state at least has a criteria after which it agrees to accept someone’s gender identity. Is Governor Perry outlawing that, too? Also confusing: if trans marriages to people of the opposite sex are to be made illegal because they’re actually same-sex marriages, does that mean gay or lesbian trans people can now marry people of the same sex? Somehow it seems unlikely that Perry will be willing to let that happen, even if it is perfectly permissible according to the back-asswards logic he’s trying to turn into law.

The bottom line is that the premise that the state of Texas is basing this move on is deeply disrespectful to trans people and completely inexcusable. Perry’s claim that a trans person marrying someone of the opposite sex violates the “marriage is between one man and one woman” policy is an attempt to invalidate trans people’s lives and identities; it’s a straightforward statement from the government that’s supposed to protect our rights that trans people are no better than liars or delusional, and that they therefore don’t deserve the rights that others do.

Given the incredible hardships that many trans people endure in order to live the lives they were meant to, and the sacrifices and losses they are forced to undergo because of their trans status, this officially sanctioned outright dismissal of their identities and their struggles is worse than misguided; it’s cruel, and it’s horrifying to think that people like Nikki Araguz could have the marriages and families that they’ve fought so hard for suddenly pulled out from underneath them by an official with a backwards agenda. But hey, Rick Perry and his staff “welcome your comments and concerns” according to their website, so why not let them know how you feel?

Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you're able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?

Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.

63 Comments

  1. It’s scary how people that stupid can get elected into office. Furthermore, I hope he chokes on a giant barbecue rib and then has his marriage become invalid because obviously real men don’t choke on barbecue ribs.

  2. I was talking to this trans girl I go to school with a while back and we were discussing things that changed for her legally after she transitioned. One thing she mentioned was that her car insurance payments went down, which we both thought was funny. Another was that she could marry a man or a woman, depending on the state she settles down in.

    I think she explained that this is because she’s from Texas and Texas doesn’t let you change the sex on your birth certificate at all. Some states go by that and some states go by what’s on your driver’s license, other legal documents, etc. Sort of an interesting way around the whole gay marriage ban issue. Although she is straight so she wouldn’t really be taking advantage of that loophole.

    I don’t quite understand where Rick Perry is going with this, though, because it doesn’t make sense. Is he just going to ban trans people from getting married altogether? What an idiot.

    • Actually, Texas does allow you to change the sex on your birth certificate after SRS. (There are a few states: Ohio, Tennessee and Idaho which do not allow you to change your sex on your birth certificate at all).

      The more complex issue in Texas is whether you can get married after you change your legal sex (I mean a trans woman marrying a man or a trans man marrying a woman). There was a legal decision in the late 90s called “Littleton vs Prange” where a woman who was trans married a man, her husband died several years later in what appeared to be a case of medical malpractice. Ms. Littleton attempted to sue Dr. Prange and he defended against the suit by (unfortunately successfully) arguing that Ms. Prange was a trans woman and their marriage was ‘same sex’ and therefore invalid. Whether this decision is binding in all of Texas is still up to debate and to add to the confusion, the Texas legislature recently said that proof of SRS is one of the documents Texas residents can use for proof of sex when applying for a marriage license.

      • Oh okay well it must not have been Texas then because it was a state where you couldn’t change your sex on your birth certificate. Also this was a few years ago so I’m not sure if things have changed in whatever state she’s from.

        I don’t know much about the whole history of trans people and marriage in Texas but I think the whole issue is fascinating.

  3. thats such BS. People are so narrow minded.

    I saw this yesterday on tumblr:

    A transgendered woman gets beaten senseless in a McDonald’s just because she was trying to use the bathroom in Baltimore. Right in the middle of the restaurant, in front of everybody. No one would help her, and the employees encouraged the ones who were beating her. The woman had a seizure. I’ve never seen something so terrible in my whole life. If you care at all, join the petition. It’s completely safe. Do not watch this video if you’re having a good day. Remember: We’re all humans. Love is love. Watch how this poor helpless woman gets almost killed just because she’s transgendered. One person can make a huge difference. Please reblog.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/demand-that-the-employees-on-duty-at-mcdonalds-be-held-responsible-in-the-beating-of-a-trans-woman

    antiwestborobaptistchurch:

    This is the type of thing that has made me lose faith in humanity.

    No amount of ignorance, fear, or intolerance should warrant an attack like that. People really need to think about what if I was in those shoes? What if those were KKK members beating a black man/woman senseless simply for entering the restroom. Is this honestly how it is in other countries? I’m betting not. They have unisex bathrooms, where both sexes are forced to share whether they like it or not in some areas. Simply having a fucking penis (I’m not even sure if she got bottom surgery but you get the point) shouldn’t warrant an attack like that. I’m betting those bitches are slutty ass whores like the rest of the intolerant population.

    ^ The above writing with it, is not mine.

  4. While this bill clearly has implications for trans* people, it should be noted that Nikki Araguz has the intersex condition Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. This means that while she was technically assigned male at birth, she, like most individuals with AIS is very much female. I do not mean to imply that transwomen are any “less” female, but the differences between trans* and intersex people are often conflated and almost always misunderstood.

    If anything, a case like Nikki’s, and the existence of intersex people in general (myself included), simply proves that the rigid sex/gender binary is a complete fallacy, even with respect to the arguably patriarchal institution of marriage (anyone notice a bit of queer activist irony here?).

    If anyone’s interested, here’s an informative article on Araguz and AIS: http://thenikkiaraguztrial.blogspot.com/2010/01/nikki-araguz-and-androgen-insensitivity.html

      • From my understanding, the asterisk symbolizes the inclusion of any identity under the “trans” umbrella, or perhaps to put it another way, any gender identity that defies the heterosexist binary.

        As such, some intersex people are trans*, because they do not identify with the gender to which they were assigned at birth, or identify with some other conceptualization of gender. However, the majority of people born with intersex conditions are actually not trans*. Many do not identify with the LGBTQ community at all. Before I accepted my queerness, I certainly did not (at least not outwardly). For example, in an interview of Araguz I watched, she says that she identifies as a “normal” heterosexual woman. This is typical of most AIS women.

        That went beyond your question, but I rarely have the opportunity to expound upon the intersection of intersex and queer issues, so please forgive me! :)

        • I’ve always asked myself the same question everytime I’ve seen it written this way but was afraid of asking, and I barely knew anything about AIS and intersex people in general.
          Thank you very much for the thorough explanation and insightful link.

        • Thank you! I’ve been wondering that for a while. Definitely interesting. Thanks for being so willing to share all of your knowledge! Personally, I don’t know much about trans or intersex people so it’s always good to learn more.

    • Just a clarification about AIS… you sound as if you’re talking about CAIS (complete androgen insensitivity syndrome). I’ve never heard NIKKI say that’s her condition and given she had SRS, it’s not what she had. AIS can be ‘graded’ in multiple stages of resistance to androgens. Stages other than CAIS (called PAIS… partial androgen…) can look female, genitally intersex or, in milder cases, phenotypically male depending on their level of the condition.

      • You are absolutely right, Nikki most likely has PAIS (like me!). I didn’t want to complicate things further with a discussion of the various grades of the condition, but like everything else in this world, AIS exists on a spectrum (I believe the accepted ‘grades’ are 1-7?).

        CAIS (grade 7) is by far the most common form – such cases indeed do not involve SRS (sexual reassignment surgery) and are generally diagnosed much further in life, as the child is born looking phenotypically female, without any “ambiguity.” Those with milder forms of PAIS, who are thus able to process more androgen, are less likely to have a female gender identity.

        Based on what I’ve seen and read about Nikki, she most likely has a higher grade form of AIS, although not complete. This is evident in the fact that she developed as a female even before the surgery or HRT (this is because excess androgens that the body cannot process are turned into estrogen).

        As someone who struggled with my queer identity among an AIS community who was mostly adamantly straight, I really shouldn’t have discounted the individuals with AIS who don’t identify as female. Blanket statements are bad. I just got excited about a topic that rarely comes up I guess.

        • Hey, thank you for posting. I learnt a lot about AIS which I otherwise wouldn’t have, and am really grateful you added your voice to the discussion here.

          I am not an American, but in Australia marriages involving people with intersex conditions used to be invalid. Following this decision, it was also held that marriages involving a trans person were invalid. When a Court ruled a couple years back that a marriage between a FTM man and a non-trans woman was valid, intersex marriages became similarly permissible, provided that the intersex person ‘affirms’ their gender by living as male or female. People who have no gender listed on their birth certificate b/c of physical difference stemming from intersex conditions are still unable to marry – it makes me crazy.

          Sorry if this is a rant – your earlier comment that trans and intersexed people are often conflated made me think of how it occurs in legal terms. There’s a case involving intersex issues, another court picks it up in relation to trans people, another trans case, which then covers intersex poeple. No one even bothers to consider whether it’s appropriate to think of trans and intersex as interchangeable phenomena.

          • No problem! I was excited that intersex was even brought up on autostraddle.

            Thanks for the info on Australia – I must admit I knew very little about the laws there. It’s interesting that you mention people who have no gender listed on their birth certificate, as I didn’t think this even happened (at least not in the U.S.). As far as I know, even among current intersex advocacy groups who are vehemently against early ‘corrective’ surgeries, it is advised for the child to be assigned one gender at birth (which they should be able to affirm or change later). In any case, it’s all just pretty obvious that people should be able to marry who they want, if they want. Or, yknow, we could also provide the same benefits to people who choose not to get married…but that’s another story.

            And yes, it’s really unfortunate how taboo intersex still is in the general public. It makes sense that it is primarily associated with the trans movement, since those are generally the people most vocal about these sorts of issues. Because they kind of have to be, in order to try to live as themselves without overt discrimination (clearly not close to that yet).

            It certainly doesn’t help that there is even transphobia among people with intersex conditions, who are thus less likely to try to associate themselves with any part of the larger community. Unfortunately, when the state of your body is inextricably shrouded in secrecy and shame, thanks to the medical establishment and heterosexist society as a whole, being vocal about things is difficult.

    • Just to add, you can be both trans and intersex. I transitioned to male and then later learned I had an intersex condition, so i identify as both trans male and intersex

  5. You have to LOVE Texas and the backwards directions we take. Rick Perry is a humiliation to Texas Citizens. All this intolerance is simply predicated on peoples’ fears. Personally, I believe that if you want to live a nice and stress free life, get the hell out of Texas. That woman should sue the state. Look up “Cruel and Unusual Punishment” followed by “HUMAN CIVIL RIGHTS!” This state’s policy makers, from local on up, make me very disappointed and ashamed to have been born here.

    A.Y.

  6. As a Texan, I am just consistently saddened and occasionally horrified at the homophobia, transphobia, and outright hatred that is quite legally leveled at our queer brothers and sisters here all the time. Rick Perry, unfortunately, is only doing what it takes to be re-elected in our state: and it is we Texans who should be ashamed of ourselves.

  7. Gah! Perry is one of those people I end up breaking my “Lydia, you’re not allowed to hate anyone” rule on. Seriously.

    I, personally, have never met anyone in Texas who likes him or says supportive things of him. Not one frickin’ person. And I happen to know a boatload of conservative republicans since I’ve lived in Texas my entire life. I haven’t even heard support of him in the Sunday school class that turned an entire lesson into a ‘hate Obama fest’ (which was ended promptly when they all suddenly remembered I was there). Yet every frickin’ time there’s an election here Perry is still around and my family is left going “Whyyyyyyy!!!!!????”. And if EVERYONE in my family can unite against something politically you know it’s messed up.

    And stuff like this is why I want my friend Adam (transitioning ftm) to escape too. He’d like to stay in Texas if it were possible. Heck I’d like to stay in Texas (I love summers here) but it’s just so darn messed up and the lack of LGBT rights and conservatives everywhere just screams, “OUT! OUT! GET OUT OF HERE! SAVE YOURSELVES!! IT’S THE ONLY WAY!!!” to me. It’s home, but it can’t be home. If things suddenly magically turn super awesome and rights all around, I’d stay and I know he would too. We keep talking about what we’re doing when we’re older, where we’ll be. And the plan is for me to be there when he gets his first T shot, but at this rate it won’t be here, it may never be. But God, I wish it could be.

  8. This is straight up bullshit. I’m so very, very tired now. All this hatred and self-righteous cruelty our so-called leaders enshrine into law just takes it out of me.

    I really, really can’t wait to leave.

  9. I really, really feel miserable for these people (LGBTQ esp. trans and intersex people in this case) who are treated wrongly and cruelly. The government should do something to protect these people and not tolerate the violence and discrimination against them.
    I am from Philippines and I am sure there are also many incidents of cruelty and discrimination to LGBTQ in my country, even though I don’t know specifically. Officials here are not even close in acknowledging that we exist. No rights for us and no rights for us.
    But now, knowing that they even hurt one of us. This doesn’t surprise me but this is so fucking unfair.

    • Hey, now! I’m in it! Don’t I get something to say? There are lots of nice things about Texas, we don’t have to get rid of it! There’s the Alamo, and Six Flags, and bluebonnets, and pecan pies at my uncle’s chicken farm, and Fourth of July when it’s 105 and the watermelon in your mouth tastes so sweet you think you’ll burst! There’s Dallas Pride, and all these beautiful, beautiful queer people who love each other, and my family is here. My home is here.

      I just… have mixed feelings about it sometimes. But really: I love Texas with a very special place in my heart. Please don’t get rid of it. <3 :)

          • e is from Texas! We have to keep her. I have a better idea. Let’s just get rid of the parts of Texas we DON’T like. Then everyone who lives and loves Texas can love it even more without things like rampant homophobia in the governor’s office.

          • Texas selection! I like it.

            Actually I have a friend from Texas that I’d like to keep too…

            she has long blonde hair, a thick accent, wears heavy eye makeup, and votes Republican, but she also buys me boxer briefs and sometimes we scare people in the locker room when she straddles me in order to fix my back.

            I guess what I’m saying is Texas is like an ogre/onion/parfait, IT’S GOT A LOT OF LAYERS.

          • thank you, dani. please don’t throw e out with the bathwater, if i got stuck on an island with the stupids of texas, i would impale myself with a longhorn.

          • I definitely had a pair of red cowboy boots when I was little. I know I have a picture of kindergarten me in red cowboy boots and a jean jumper somewhere.

  10. What is disrespectful is when the author of this essay refers to this issue as having anything to do with “trans.” It certainly might (operative word “might”) be disrespectful to base being “trans” on “surgical history”, it is beyond downright insulting, humiliating, and ignorant to refer to a heterosexual woman who has had GRS as “trans”. This issue is not now nor has it ever had anything to do with anything, whatsoever, with “trans”, “transgender”, or the GLBT as a whole.

    Perhaps you might like Ms. Araguz’s take on this issue:

    http://iameverywoman.blogspot.com/

    Can’t you transgender and gay types simply leave us out of your politics?

    • Ok back, with less snark and more seriousness.

      Reading the post purported to be by Nikki (I find it a little odd that it’s not on her official website) I’m more confused than ever. So apparently an intersex condition like AIS is a medical condition, by this definition…and she seems to insinuate that being trans is a choice? “Gender and lifestyles”? Sexual orientation and gender identity are NOT chosen.

      I mean, I doubt this is her…I think it’s someone trying to stir up shit. But nevertheless it’s disturbing, especially if you look at the profiles of some of the people who commented (e.g. the url “gotohelltrannys.blogspot.com,” which makes me sick).

      I believe and hope that these are the views of a few strange fringe persons…and that others who are intersex/AIS/etc (sorry, I’m not terribly familiar with everything at stake here, but I am trying) also stand up for their LGBTQ siblings. Just like I will stand up for you.

      Even if you want us trans and gay types to leave you out of our politics. This particular issue affects all people.

    • Susan,

      Certainly when it comes to Nikki’s case and receiving the benefits she deserves, it’s understandable for her to want to disassociate herself with anything trans- or gay-related, as clearly it’s only hurt her case in the eyes of the oh-so-progressive Texas legal system.

      However, while I can understand the desire for people with intersex conditions to deny any association with the queer or trans movements (particularly as I felt that way myself for a long time), perhaps you can understand why there is this tendency? Rather than denying our association to the “transgender and gay types” perhaps we should examine it more closely? And question *why* people are so insulted and humiliated by such associations?

      It’s always easier to go out of your way to be as ‘normal’ as possible than to acknowledge how ridiculous that standard even is. But when it comes to making our society better for ALL people, regardless of how well they conform to those oppressive norms, sometimes it’s necessary to take the hard road.

      • AISgal…

        Thank you for the polite reply.

        As much as I support Ms. Araguz, and having watched or read most of the media coverage of her case, as well as also being a married heterosexual of transsexual operative history (I was married in Louisiana where laws were passed in 1968, 43 years ago specifically so that we could change our birth certificate in order to enter into heterosexual marriages), my take on this case may be a bit different than many. Be that as it may, a lot of “facts” have been thrown around, one of them being that Nikki is AIS. As she most definitely had GRS at one point, she if she is intersex at all she is probably PAIS. My point is that whether she is intersex, is AIS, CAIS, or PAIS has yet to be proven. Please do not misunderstand me; I am an ardent follower of her case and very much hopes she prevails. I’m only saying a lot of things have been said by both sides and stated as “facts”, but until the case comes to trial no one, not me or you, know what the real truth is.

        In addition, most people who are intersex are not even aware of it. Many endocrinologists do not even consider chromosomal aberrations in and of itself to be intersex at all. Some feel that unless the persons genitals do not appear, the person is NOT intersex, and that includes one who is CAIS but doesn’t realize it until they fail to have a period or are unable to become pregnant. The fact of the matter is there is not even a consensus within the medical community on the definition of intersex.

        Further, those who are considered intersex by the rather indecisive medical community, in the very vast majority, are perfectly content with the sex they were assigned at birth. Also, the very vast majority of those considered intersex have no more of a propensity to to be gay/lesbian than the mainstream. Lastly, also in the very vast majority, those who are intersex have no more of an inclination toward changing their birth assigned sex than society at large.

        In the world of “transgender” one would have to be a hermit not to know that there is a huge group of transsexuals who resent any representation by the GLBT…it’s a running war. We are insulted in every possible way when we bring it up, called every name in the book in a withering onslaught one has to experience to appreciate. But our need for separatism is not based on being homophobic or transphobic, or even not being supportive from a human rights perspective of their goals, but simply that we feel we have nothing whatsoever innately in common with the GLBT. Believe me, it doesn’t matter how we phrase it or how we parse the words, we are crucified in the debate if we even insinuate we feel separate from the GLBT. For there part, the GLBT says “go, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Yet, as Ms. Araguz said so eloquently, the GLBT claims to represent us anyhow, continues to refer to us as “transgender”, and misrepresents our truth.

        As far as I know, I’m not intersex. A part of me would like to know, but the truth is I really don’t care one way or the other and finding out is somewhere at the very bottom of priorities. I transitioned many years ago; I’m almost 61 years old. I transitioned long enough ago to remember when “transgender” first became a buzz word and synonymous with transsexual. No big deal, right? And, then one day, years later, I woke up to find that transgender no longer meant transsexual, but covered every conceivable gender bending human one could imagine…and, was joined somewhat like Siamese twins to the GLB movement. In short, transsexualism was colonized and appropriated by the GLB…against the wishes of the many, many of us who simply have GRS and go on with our lives. Again, as far as I know I’m not intersex, but I do keep up with the research and follow intersex politics. And, way more than a few of the intersex, as well as their organizations, are not too keen with having an “I” added at the end of GLBT…some are downright militant about it. So, just as I watched over the years as the GLB colonized and appropriated transsexualism, I’m now watching the GLBT do the same thing to the intersex.

        Now, in the Araguz case, Nikki said she was a heterosexual female, was intersex, and had a transsexual history…those are her words, not mine. She is in a situation where for the past two years the Texas Family Code has allowed marriage licenses to those who could prove they had a sex change. Granted this is being contested, but as I type this, that is the law/regulation…it exists, RIGHT NOW. So, my question is where are the hoards of GLBT activists fighting to preserve this law that allows post ops to marry. Certainly you are aware of the huge brouhaha over the recent proposed Maryland legislation. There were marches, phone banks, virtually every day the GLBT blogs were publishing e-mail addresses urging mass internet mailings to the legislators…they urged phone calls en masse as well. So, again, where is the GLBT on the Araguz case. The GLBT, including the author of this piece label this issue a “transgender” issue. So where is the outrage? Where are the “call to actions?” Where are the solicitations for mass e-mailing? Mass call-ins? NOWHERE, that’s where. The GLBT, specifically the GLB apparently think it’s much more worth while to try to pass legislation in Maryland, THAT DOESN’T EXIST, and that everyone involved KNEW would be an uphill battle at best…than to put forth any sustained effort to protect a Texas statute THAT ALREADY EXISTS…AT THIS VERY MOMENT. That redefines incrementalism…”Hey, you down in Texas, give up the rights you’ve had for two years to marry and join us…we’ll come back for you later and help you get the rights YOU ALREADY HAVE back.”

        I don’t think so, GLBT, but thanks for the offer.

        Whether one is homosexual or a heterosexual transgender (of any flavor), they are absolutely deceiving themselves if they think that anything about the GLBT is about them. The GLBT is about the GLB…period.

        I don’t think Nikki indicated that “gender and lifestyles” were a choice, just the opposite, she said: “My birth defect is a medical condition, and has nothing to do with “gender and lifestyles”.

        You said: “And question *why* people are so insulted and humiliated by such associations?” I’m not insulted or humiliated by associations with those in the GLBT, in fact I support their quest for human rights…but, simply put, I have nothing in common with them and resent them claiming I do. I could name a number of minority groups or movements that I’m not in the least insulted or humiliated to associate with and support…but I am not a member of their groups and, more importantly, they do not claim I am.

        Please forgive the long post, and thank for your response to mine above.

        • Susan,

          No problem, and thanks for elaborating your position (and personal experience).

          You are absolutely right that no one has the right to define Nikki’s truth for her, and until the actual facts come to light, we should probably stop speculating.

          Also, I am very much aware that the vast majority of people with intersex conditions identify with the gender* they were assigned at birth (*as I’m sure you understand, biological sex is not assigned) as well as with being ‘heterosexual.’ I actually also explained this in a previous comment above.

          As a disclaimer, I do not claim any right to classify your experience or opinions, or those of anyone else in the “huge group of transsexuals who resent any representation by the GLBT.” I can only state my opinions and observations. To me, as an outsider, the idea that a transsexual person can have “nothing whatsoever innately in common with the GLBT” sounds a bit strange. At first you state that this is just how separatist transsexuals ‘feel’ and again, that may very well be ‘your truth,’ but then you later claim that you in fact, “have nothing in common with them and resent them claiming [you] do.”

          The notion that this has *no* relation to homophobia or transphobia seems a bit naive. I don’t mean to suggest that you have any personal ill-will towards gay or trans-identified people, but there is a difference between one’s intentions in feeling or saying something and the social and institutional implications of such ideas. Surely you can acknowledge the fact that there is an underlying adherence to heteronormativity (the basis of homophobia and transphobia) in the distinct separation you so desire between those who “simply have GRS and go on with [their] lives” and the “other,” as you define it: “every conceivable gender bending human one could imagine.” Basically, your position seems to be that what so concretely separates you from the rest of the “gender-benders” is having the means to obtain a surgical procedure. Is that right?

          I certainly don’t blame those who would rather not challenge the heteronormative framework of our society and instead choose to live their lives under the heterosexist radar. When your outward presentation and identity fits within that framework, this is certainly the easier choice. But to say that you, in fact, have NOTHING in common with those who choose to visibly challenge that framework just doesn’t make sense to me.

          And I should point out that the LGBTQ movement is not a monolithic entity. I don’t know what groups or organizations made you feel so uncomfortable with the movement as a whole, but no matter who it was, they are not THE voice of all queers. The fact that your voice and identity were “colonized and appropriated by the GLB” seems to suggest that you do, in fact, associate with the “T.” In fact, you rightfully complain about the GLBT movement not advocating on behalf of post-ops whose rights would be taken away by the proposed change in law. “Where is the outrage?” I don’t know. I would certainly agree that most mainstream gay rights groups do not actually represent or advocate on behalf of those who fall under the “T” umbrella (though I guess you really don’t like to be under that umbrella…?). This is a real problem for all trans people, not just those who have been able to legally affirm their identity through the medical establishment.

          I’m truly sorry if this feels like another “crucifixion.” Again, I do not mean to deny your feelings or experience. I’m simply trying to understand your position. If I’ve offended you, I’m truly sorry.

  11. Just as an aside… maybe people should be aware that Milton Diamond – over in Hawaii – believes that TS individuals are intersex. And he’s been around and studying it professionally for a lot longer than other so-called experts.

    Maybe you could class everyone who isn’t an alpha male or alpha female as intersexed….. – in which case how do you manage to support discriminations of any kind?

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!