August 19, 2006

"Hey, by turning yourselves into men, don’t you realize you’re going over to the other side?"

Is sex reassignment treatment an insult to homosexuals? It does seem to make a very strong statement that homosexuality is unacceptable. But why are lesbians rebelling about this when gay men are not?
“There is the sense that a transman is ‘betraying the team,’ joining the oppressor class and that sort of thing,” said Ken Zucker, a clinical psychologist and a specialist in gender research at the University of Toronto.
So a gay man identifying with women is completely different from a lesbian identifying with men? There is, for a woman, the idea that various privileges would come along with being perceived as a man.
Ben A. Barres, a professor of neurobiology at Stanford and a transgendered man, recently provided fodder for that view in an article in Nature and an interview with The New York Times. “It is very much harder for women to be successful, to get jobs, to get grants, especially big grants,” he told The Times.
That makes your motives impure, then? But surely the man attracted to men who wants to be a woman is after some advantages too, if of a different kind.

33 comments:

J said...

Is a woman who is sexually attracted to women but considers herself a man really homosexual? The homosexuals I know or work with are people who happen to be sexually attracted to people of the same gender, not people who want to be a different gender. I suspect homosexuality and the desire for gender reassignment are related, but I don't think they're the same thing.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, that's a way of reframing the question. The argument posed in the article is that those who seek sex reassignment are denying their homosexuality, that it's a retrograde move caving to mainstream values, a betrayal.

Jennifer said...

You know, I've been having a discussion with some friends about interracial relationships. Some of them believe that dating people of other races is turning your back on your own race. This feels like the same argument to me.

mcg said...

I have to say that I have observed that, among lesbians, there seem to be some that exhibit certain physiological differences that make them more androgynous. These differences I am talking about seem to go beyond simple style choices---though they are strongly correlated. Has anyone else noticed this? Am I just batty? The funny thing is that I don't seem to notice this much among gay men.

Ann Althouse said...

Jennifer: I think it's only like an interracial relationship if it caused a person to want surgery and drugs to change the way they look so that they could seem to change races and make it not interracial anymore!

Jennifer said...

Like Jacko?

Jennifer said...

No, I'm kidding. Of course, we're not talking about pharmaceuticals or surgery.

But, such people as I mentioned do complain about people who try to take on characteristics associated with their partner's race.

Anyhow, maybe its not an apt comparison. But both arguments irritated me.

Stephen B. said...

"There is, for a woman, the idea that various privileges would come along with being perceived as a man."

Maybe, but is a transgendered person (female to male) really perceived as a man. Can't you almost always tell. So it seems like the transgendered person (female to male, again) would still be seen as deviant by society, thereby displacing any privileges that society might grant men.

nedludd said...

I always hate this crap.

Do you have to join a team to be a lesbian? Is there a uniform (snarky comment about flannel and Birkenstocks can be inserted here) and a membership card issued?

If you feel that you are trapped in the wrong gender and reassignment surgery is the right choice for you, why should you have to run it past the "community"? I did not realize that to be a lesbian you had to put the team ahead of self.

Of course what the hell do I know? I'm a straight guy still trying to figure out if one of my then employees (a lesbian) insulted me when she told me I was every lesbian's fantasy. For 15 years I have been trying to figure out what she meant.

Elizabeth said...

nedludd, that is a great story. I love a happy ending.

Rob said...

Racial characteristics are fundamentally a societal construct. Gender differences are biological. I once saw Julianne Malveaux on one of the Sunday morning news talk shows. She was arguing against the census category of mixed-race, apparently because she felt that it would reduce the power of her perceived racial classification. She said something like this (not an exact quote): "Well, hardly anyone is pure black. Look at me, clearly I am not pure, THOUGH I WISH I WAS."

This just befuddled me at the time. Did she think being pure black was somehow superior to being a member of some other "race"? Gender differences are real. The differences between what we define as races is trivial. The sooner we get beyond race the better.

Hmm, if lesbians seeking surgery are disloyal, should the lesbians who feel that way encourage men to have sex change operations and then live as lesbians?

divine angst said...

I have known homosexuals who were baffled by transgenderism, and couldn't imagine, for instance, a woman who is attracted to other women really feeling like/believing she was a man. I think many heterosexual people have the same bafflement, but somehow when a gay person expresses that opinion it seems almost less tolerant--after all, one might think, aren't gay people *supposed* to be open to the many vagaries of sexual attraction/identity?

My opinion is that sexual identity, insofar as who one is attracted to is fundamentally different from the gender one identifies with, but a lot of gay people don't see it that way--and when they talk about it, you can tell they don't see it that way, as in the NY Times article.

Craig Ranapia said...

Ann:

Going over to the dark side - what the frack is this, a Star Wars convention? I hate to say this, but I read the linked story and thought "Hey, ladies, do you realise you're lving down to every stereotype of the lesbian as man-hating loon? I can understand people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, who find a relationship with a transgendered person impossible to sustain. But, for heaven's sake, "gender traitors"? That's flat out creepy coming from anyone, let alone lesbians or gay men - who, of course, have the same label pinned on their back every day of the week.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Sexual orientation and transgenderism are separate and independent characteristics, although for many reasons they are lumped together socially and culturally. For example, I once met someone who claimed to be a lesbian born in a male body.

Joseph Hovsep said...

To clarify, I think its a mistake to suggest, as the article does, that people who choose female-to-male sex reassignment surgery are just really butch lesbians. These people may become a part of the lesbian community, but if they're truly transgendered, then they're not really lesbians at all on a psychological level. Its the community where they are most likely to find acceptance and fulfillment in an imperfect world. If anything, I think such transgendered people are "caving to mainstream values" by joining the second-best lesbian community, rather than living fully as the gender (and heterosexual orientation) they identify with.

David said...

I work with a transgendered female. I knew her when she was a female. Now that she is a he the new persona is just as nice as the original she. Interesting that his personality is still as nice as the original.

If I think about it too long I get confused. Starting out as a lesbian/bi-sexual he still likes women. He has more guts than most men I know.

Ann Althouse said...

"Starting out as a lesbian/bi-sexual he still likes women."

I would think surgically changing into a man would leave you with the least possible potential partners. You're no longer attractive to lesbians, and heterosexual women are also likely to reject you. I find it hard to understand how you can make yourself attractive this way, though I can see how you might feel happy with yourself. But it does raise the serious question why were you unhappy with yourself in your natural form? Let's assume your natural form is man in a woman's body. Why is that something to be attacked with a knife?

PatCA said...

"Look at me, clearly I am not pure, THOUGH I WISH I WAS."

Well, on national TV, she would have to say that or be attacked for being a sellout, just like the lesbians in this article (which I have no comment on except to say it illustrates clearly how incoherent a theory PC sexual politics really is).

Craig Ranapia said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
Let's assume your natural form is man in a woman's body. Why is that something to be attacked with a knife?

Um, let's reframe the question. Why do you live in a culture where cosmetic surgery, fad diets, make-up and women's fashions are multi-billion dollar industries? Why are 'real women' in the First World apparently so unhappy with their 'natural form' it had to be disguised - or eliminated - by any means necessary?

Ann Althouse said...

Craig: It's NOT acceptable to begin your comment with "Um." That's rude. And you aren't even giving my comment its due. That's really irritating. Try to understand what I'm saying. You can blame culture all you want, but a human being has a mind and needs to think through decisions. Before you cut off your genitalia, you ought to think about what is making you feel you ought to do it. If it's the culture, you ought to say no, not go ahead and cut it off anyway. There's nothing to reframe. J started off this thread trying to reframe too. I'm asking a serious question. The reframings are less interesting questions, steering the discussion back to the obvious. So don't "um" me and don't reframe it.

Rob said...

Ms. A:
I think people use things like "Um" and "Hmm" in an attempt to make comments in a form resembling conversation. You seem a little harsh there. However, it is your place and I guess you can make any rules you like. Your willingness to discuss matters in the comments is, to me, one of the most interesting things about your blog.

Chum said...

'But it does raise the serious question why were you unhappy with yourself in your natural form? Let's assume your natural form is man in a woman's body. Why is that something to be attacked with a knife?'

Because, if you are a man in a woman's body you want your body to match your true gender.

If you had a male body but were you, a woman, wouldn't you want your outer look to match who you really are?

The lesbians in the article don't understand transexualism. It's not about sexual preference, it's about gender self-identity. Seem like a pretty intolerant bunch.

Zoe Brain said...

OK, something I actually know a bit about, for once.

Sexual Orientation is entirely seperate from Gender Identity. There are plenty of people with CNI (Congenital Neurological Intersex) aka HBS (Harry Benjamin's Syndrome) aka good old-fashioned "Transsexualism" who are Gay, or lesbian. Probably at least as many as in the general population, having the wrong hormonal mixture compared to the brain's cellular and macro structure can't help but screw you up to one degree or another. Many end up asexual.

What is Transsexuality? An Explanatory Guide

First, I'll have to explain "Intersex". Although 98.3% of people are born normally male or female, 1.7% aren't, quite. Of those, about half have trivial, insignificant differences from the norm, but some of the rest have significant differences. Some people are genetically male, but have female bodies, or the reverse. Others have their genes screwed up, so instead of being 46xx (female) or 46xy(male), they are 47xxy, or even a mix of 46xy and 46xx cells.

Now, I'll explain "What is a Transsexual". Some people have normal bodies, normal neural (brain) development, but cross-gendered genitalia. But others have normal bodies, normal genitalia, but cross-gendered brains. Genital development happens in the middle of the first trimester, neural development at the end. Little boys "know" they are boys before age 6, little girls "know" they are girls before age 6 too, and this has nothing to do with their body shape or upbringing, it depends on the neural development that was programmed in long before they were born.

Sometimes - about 1 in 500 according to Professor Lynn Conway, things go wrong to a greater or lesser extent. It's possible to end up with a wholly male body, but a female brain, and a female mind. The opposite happens too, but as we all start with a basically female template, it's easier to have a glitch that stops the masculinization of a male than to introduce extra masculinization in a female. That's why only 1 in 4 transsexuals are "Female to Male", men literally trapped in female bodies.

Many transsexuals whose "glitch" was partial can live with it, in various degrees of discomfort. But in at least 1 in 7 cases, or about 1 in 3500 people, the "glitch" is not partial, it's complete. These people, normal men or women who happen to have the wrong shaped body for their brains and minds, get a very severe degree of discomfort indeed. And it gets worse with age. Their brains just don't work very well with the hormonal blood chemistry they have, and their instinctive behavior is all wrong. Oddly enough, this has little to do with their sexual preference : many such women actually become ostensibly "lesbian" as the result of all the male hormones in their system, and the outside world thinks they're normal, straight males.

There's no "cure" for this congenital condition, but there is an effective treatment that's got a 97% improvement rate. That is to alter the sufferer's body with Hormones, and largely change it so it conforms to the brain's setup. But HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) can only do so much, some surgical "detail work" is usually required so that the sufferer can look normal, and resume their place in society, but as a member of the opposite sex. The one they've always truly been, inside, since long before their birth.

It's just a minor, and quite common, congenital abnormality. Unfortunately, it has far-reaching societal effects. Today, the problem is often picked up early enough so that intervention occurs during or shortly after puberty. But our knowledge of this syndrome is relatively recent, and due to the maternal instinct, a lot of transsexual women (those with male bodies) who were born in the 40's, 50's, 60's or even 70's are married and with children. As the discomfort gets worse with age, many are forced to "transition" at average age 45 no matter what the effect on their loved ones or careers, or suffer permanent and crippling psychological damage. But 45 is an average, some can last till 60, others have to transition before 30.

(C) 2006 Zoe E Brain - may be reproduced freely for non-commercial purposes


Most of the scientific data in support of this is only 10 years old, some of it only 3 years old, many medics aren't familar with it. But I can give URLs on request.

Start with the HBS site that gives lots of medical references.

The Deakin Law Review has a good summary of the Australian Family Court's analysis of the medical evidence as of 2003.

Try explaining all this to GLB activists. Or to the members of "Free Republic". Or even to the members of "Democratic Underground". It's not what any of them want to hear.

It's nothing to do with "lifestyle choice" or "sexual orientation", neither is it a sign of immorality, mental illness, or a Sin Against God's Will. It's a congenital anomaly, about as common as a cleft palate, which sufferers try to deal with the best they can. There are degrees of severity, some can live with it all their lives, some attempt to and end up institutionalised.

According to a Scottish study, fully 50% of sufferers of HBS self-harm before age 25. Whole-life suicide rates may exceed 50%. It's a horribly uncomfortable situation. You can try to conform to your body's shape and societal expectations, supressing every instinct you have. Or you can be a Freak, be it an ultra-butch Diesel Dyke, or a Man-in-a-Dress.

Or you can transition. Hoping that you can "pass" as normal. And hope you can keep your children, your partner, your job, your life.

And some of us try to spread the word, to comment on blogs, to refer people to the medical evidence so they can make up their own mind and not be swayed by opinions without factual support.

Zoe Brain said...

One more thing - and thanks Ann for allowing me to comment, sorry about the length.

Please Ann, if you will, imagine that you had been born with a masculine body. Otherwise exactly the same in personality, in emotions, in feelings, in instincts.

Imagine if you realised that not only could you never be a mother, but the only way you could have children was to have intimate relations with another woman. Not that you'd be very good at that, your instincts in that area would still be female, not male.

Imagine that you were exposed to massive amounts of testosterone all your life, but with a female brain that is not designed to run on that hormonal mix.

Imagine that as a child, other girls shunned you as a boy, and boys, well, you never "vibed" right so you'd have a large collection of scars and broken bones even before age 10.

Imagine when you were in your teens, and other girls were blossoming, you found you were growing facial hair.

Many girls slit their wrists then. It is exactly as bad as it sounds.

You could never walk normally, instinctively. The thick cartilege means the body can't move correctly, the skin is far too greasy and insensitive, there are a million and one purely physical effects of the wrong hormonal mix that you will feel, and they feel dreadful.

Then, you start transitioning when the discomfort is just too great to bear.

OMG the relief! You don't realise the discomfort you were in until it stops! Your body feels like an integral part of you now, it matches the "body image" hard-wired in your brain. You can laugh now, you can cry now, you can do all the things that your instincts tell you to do, hug people, look them in the eye, be open and warm-hearted. You can be You at last, not having to pretend any more.

Just one minor problem. That, er, stuff down there. Some can live with it. But if you ever want to have normal relations with a guy... or a gal for that matter... it needs remodelling. It's a source of insecurity, and a threat to other women who would misinterpret it in a shower-room. It also feels just plain wrong, perverse, un-natural. It's gotta go.

I hope this helps you understand. You see, it could have happened to you too.

Ann Althouse said...

Zoe: The article isn't about persons with an actual physical abnormality. Clearly, there are a lot of such people, and the question of surgery is very different for them. I wouldn't say to a person with cleft palate that they should appreciate their natural bodies. So a different question is presented. On the question of things that make people feel like killing themselves, however, that has long been true of homosexuality. It has been much better to change the culture to make homosexuality acceptable than to offer treatments for it, don't you think?

Rob: You're wrong. It is widely considered rude on the web. At Television Without Pity, you get banned from the forums if you violate what is an absolute rule. And it's my blog, so I set the rules here.

Ann Althouse said...

Chum: Your assuming the existence of a category they are denying exists.

Zoe Brain said...

The article isn't about persons with an actual physical abnormality.

With respect, the current scientific evidence is that it is.

Re Kevin – Significant findings of Justice Richard Chisholm in respect of the expert medical evidence in that case as to the causation of transsexualism and as strongly affirmed by the Full Court on appeal

At paragraph [247]: ‘In my view the expert evidence in this case affirms that brain development is (at least) an important determinant of a person’s sense of being a man or a woman. No contrary opinion is expressed. All the experts are very well qualified. None was required for cross-examination, nor was any contrary evidence called’.

At paragraph [248]: ‘In my view the evidence is, in essence, that the experts believe that the brain development view is likely to be true, and they explain the basis for their beliefs. In the circumstances, I see no reason why I should not accept the proposition, on the balance of probabilities, for the purpose of this case.’

At paragraph [252]: ‘The traditional analysis that they are "psychologically" transsexual does not explain how this state came about. For example, there seems to be no suggestion in the evidence that their psychological state can be explained by reference to circumstances of their upbringing. In that sense, the brain sex theory does not seem to be competing with other explanations, but rather is providing a possible explanation of what is otherwise inexplicable’.

At paragraph [253]: ‘In other words (as I understand it) the brain of an individual may in some sense be male, for example, though the rest of the person’s body is female’.

At paragraph [265]: ‘In my view the argument in favour of the “brain sex" view is also based on evidence about the development and experience of transsexuals and others with atypical sex-related characteristics. There is a vast literature on this, some of which is in evidence, and I can do no more than mention briefly some of the main points’.

At paragraph [268]: ‘It seems quite wrong to think of these people as merely wishing or preferring to be of the opposite sex, or having the opinion that they are’.

At paragraph [270]: ‘But I am satisfied that the evidence now is inconsistent with the distinction formerly drawn between biological factors, meaning genitals, chromosomes and gonads, and merely "psychological factors", and on this basis distinguishing between cases of inter-sex (incongruities among biological factors) and transsexualism (incongruities between biology and psychology)’.

And the Money Quote:

At paragraph [272]: ‘In my view the evidence demonstrates (at least on the balance of probabilities) that the characteristics of transsexuals are as much “biological” as those of people thought of as inter-sex’.

This was based on the learned Judges' careful analysis of the medical and scientific evidence as at 2002-2003.

I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. Those apparent Lesbians who want to "change their sex" to be Men are already actually Men, with Male minds, just with feminised bodies. They often think they're Lesbians, and try to fit in with Lesbians, but they don't. They don't think like women.

Lesbians are quite happy with female bodies, as Gays are with theirs. It's not (just) about sex, it's about gender, if you'll pardon my being repetitious.

Autopsies performed as early as 1995 showed Gay male and straight males to have identical structures in the BSTc layers of the Hypothalamus, while straight females, gay females and transsexual females (ie those with male bodies) had another. ( Zhou et al 1995, Kruiver et al 2000 ). Recent Dynamic MRI scans appear to confirm hitherto unsuspected large scale differences in male and female brains, and again, people with HBS appear from what little evidence we have to be Congenitally Neurologically Intersexed.

There are enormous legal and social difficulties involved with changing apparent sex. Trust me on this! But even if there weren't, would you be comfortable with a male body?

Just one more point : some men, those with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, appear to be normal girls until age 16-20, when they naturally change, without treatment. All but a handful of them are classic "tomboys" when young, they think as boys do. Their brains are male.

And a tiny fraction, perhaps 1 in 3.5 million, of women appear to be male until age 45 or so, when they naturally, but only partially, go through a delayed female puberty. But apart from that, all their lives they show the classic signs of male-to-female transsexuality.

Usually the natural process takes years, but in a few cases, it can be spectacularly fast, for reasons still unknown.

16 months ago, I knew nothing about any of this. But I had to learn quickly.

The question of making society more tolerant of homosexuality is a different one. On there we can agree - it's a Human Rights issue, and any societal mores that cause a large proportion of young people to wish to kill themselves should be changed, forthwith.

Ann Althouse said...

Zoe: "'The article isn't about persons with an actual physical abnormality.' With respect, the current scientific evidence is that it is."

Zoe, my comment represents a demand that you engage with the material in the linked article. The material you keep quoting is understood, certainly by me. Now, go back to the original article and say something new.

UW Student said...

Ann, I don't see how sex reassignment treatment makes any statement at all about the desirability of homosexuality, which is what I think your "reframing" readers are trying to get across to you. To believe that it does is to believe that the only function of gender is a sexual role, and I just don't think that's tenable.

I'm not at all sure that the attitude profiled in the Times has anything to do with homosexuality; I read the "lesbian reaction" as more about feminism than queerness. Your observation about the gender-imbalance of this reaction seems to confirm my reading. Further, I'm not at all sure that it's the dominant attitude among lesbians, and that seems to me to be central to how much discussion it's worth.

Transness brings up a lot of questions that do seem worth discussing, to me. What does it mean to feel like you're in the wrong body? How would I react if my mate wanted to switch genitalia?
How does gender identity relate to one's real and desired social niche? How do we reconcile notions of masculine/feminine with the wish to avoid rigid gender-role stereotypes?

Ann Althouse said...

Well, UW Student, think about it this way. What if someone felt that they were really dead, really a dead person inside a living person, and decided the solution was to commit suicide? Wouldn't you try to talk them out of it? The notion that what you feel you are inside is something you should try to reconfigure your body into is open to question. You're taking an ideological position and refusing to question it. The linked article is asking you to question it. Why all the resistance? The hypothesis is that there is a hard-to-admit revulsion aimed at homosexuality.

Maybe take a break and watch this episode of "South Park" first.

UW Student said...

Ann, thanks for your response. I don't love your suicide analogy, I'm afraid; I could make an equally exaggerated analogy to hair dye ("I'm a blonde cruelly trapped in a brunette's body!") and come up with the opposite conclusion ("Why not?"). I'm also not sure that I'm arguing that people who feel transgendered ought to surgically transition -- I don't have a strong opinion on the matter, actually. What I am arguing, and what seems to be a point where our discussion might touch on something verifiable, is that sexual orientation and gender identity are not of a piece. If you're right, and transness arises largely from gay homophobia, we should expect to see very few trans folk who go from straight male to gay female or the contrapositive. It's an empirical question, though I'm not sure where to find the necessary resources to answer it; there is no federal list of transpeople and their relationships, to my knowledge. ;) Wikipedia has this to say; take with your preferred number of grains of Wikisalt. Anecdotally, I know of one group (non-legal) marriage consisting of two transwomen and a "typical" woman. Hard to explain this one through gay homophobia!

UW Student said...

Addendum: A little research turned up a 2005 article on MTF transsexuals and their preop and postop orientations (Lawrence, 2005, Arch. Sex. Beh.). The intro and the results suggest a few things: 1) there's not a lot of consistency on this point; 2) there is a slight distribution shift such that most MTFs prefer women to start with, but attraction to males increases after surgery; 3) for those with strong preferences in either direction (i.e. not bisexual or asexual), the modal response is to prefer women both pre-op and post-op.

Proquest has the article, if you want to read more. The abstract is here.

Zoe Brain said...

Zoe, my comment represents a demand that you engage with the material in the linked article. The material you keep quoting is understood, certainly by me. Now, go back to the original article and say something new.
Thanks for clarifying the issue.

A quick summary so far:

1. From the article, Lesbian women see those amongst them who are ostensibly Lesbian and "deciding to live as a man" to be betraying the cause.

2. Hopefully I showed that alhough these guys appeared to be Lesbian, they weren't, and thus there's no question of "betrayal" or even "choice" in the matter.

Now to something new. UW student is spot on.

HBS makes no statement about the desirability or otherwise of Homosexuality. My experience as a person with a mildly homophobic history is that it's difficult to take such matters too seriously when you suffer from HBS.

Confronted with incontrovertible evidence that I'd been asexual to lesbian all my life, when I thought I was a somewhat weird but straight male was disorienting enough. But I accepted it. OK, so I was lesbian, no great drama. Ironic given my mild homophobia, but I was comfortable with that.

The first time after the change started that I saw an athletic guy with a singlet and couldn't tear my eyes off him was not just disorienting, but quite upsetting, and most surprising.

Intellectually, I know the psychological and biochemical changes that happen during transition do often cause changes in sexual orientation, but I never thought it would happen to me. I don't actually like guys! They're just too alien.

Difficult though it is, when one is in this situation, you just have to accept what will be. I'm scheduled for urino-genital reconstruction (not technically SRS as my anatomy isn't normally male, but close enough) in just under 3 months time, and I must just accept whatever happens. Right now, lifelong Celibacy looks like a really good idea.

Another new thing : I'm essentially the ANU (Australian National University)'s Ally program "expert" on Intersex issues. Talk about the blind leading the blind. Anyway, I've found not just a profound level of ignorance, but a profound level of misunderstanding about HBS and IS in the GLB community.

The greater community doesn't know much about HBS. But the GLB group thinks they do, that those with HBS are merely GLB but in denial. Overcoming this misconception is difficult, and there is a strong transphobic element due to the gender theories of Greer et al. and especially that monumental work of pseudo-scientific hate-speech, "The Transsexual Empire" by Janice G. Raymond.

The ignorance about Intersex is even greater, if anything. Many think it's some sort variant of Bisexuality, they don't realise its a medical issue.

And many Intersexed people don't want to be associated in any way with "transsexuals", who they often view as being perverts rather than people with a medical problem. There's a lot of transphobia there. Equalled only by the amount of Homophobia, people with female brains and female bodies but male chromosomes resent being labelled as Gay Males, especially if they've borne children.

Those with HBS meanwhile don't want anything to do with Transvestites (males who have a sexual fetish for female clothes), and little to do with Crossdressers, those with a partially cross-gendered personality, but who are comfortable with an unchanged body. And yes, some Homophobia there too.