November 6, 2006

In the transgender vanguard.

New York City is considering letting individuals change the sex listed on their birth certificates. No sex reassignment surgery is required:
Under the rule being considered by the city’s Board of Health, which is likely to be adopted soon, people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that their proposed change would be permanent....

The change would lead to many intriguing questions: For example, would a man who becomes a woman be able to marry another man? (Probably.) Would an adoption agency be able to uncover the original sex of a proposed parent? (Not without a court order.) Would a woman who becomes a man be able to fight in combat, or play in the National Football League? (These areas have yet to be explored.)

CORRECTION: I had the wrong link before. Sorry!

87 comments:

Joan said...

(The link is going to bloggingheads, which is all election coverage. I did find this article from late September in the NY Daily News, though.)

I have one question: why? How many people does this really affect? Is this some vital service this tiny constituency has been clamoring for?

I don't get it.

Internet Ronin said...

Everything is relative these days.

(I was going to write, "Close but no cigar," but the odds are... never mind ....

Zeb Quinn said...

I'm just surprised that the State of New York doesn't have a statutory scheme and state agency apparatus already in place that would prempt this kind of unilateral municipal action.

I'm not a member of the NY bar but the states where I am admitted certainly have statutes that make matters pertinent to issuance and corrections of birth certificates a state level function.

DannyNoonan said...

I used to play in the Madison Ultimate Frisbee league. The league was co-ed and you always had to have three men and three women on the field at a time. There was a huge discussion on the MUFA message board when a man who identified himself as a woman wanted to know if he counted as a woman or a man. There were lots of people that thought that if he considers himself a woman, he should be counted as a woman. Some thought that letting a dude that was 6'3" count as a woman would defeat the purpose of a co-ed league when a woman would have to guard him. I wish I could find the thread but it seems to have been deleted from the MUFA website.

Greg D said...

Will a man be able to declare himself a woman, and then compete in women's sports events? Use women's locker rooms at the gym?

Gahrie said...

I've always considered myself a lesbian trapped in a man's body......

Derve said...

"If a Frisbee-playing transgender marries my dad, who would be my mom?"

ed said...

Hmmm.

Ummm. This is New York. New York!!

How many slimeball guys in NYC would get their official genders changed and then spend their free time trolling the multitude of ladies rooms all over the city?

Man this along with the semi-transgendered getting to use either gender's bathroom makes life pretty tough for women.

Thomas said...

Sounds like identity politics run amok... maybe it would be better to have birth certificates indicate XX or XY rather than male or female. Biology need not be destiny, I suppose, but why run from it? Another option: add descriptive labels to ID cards - "XY with a twist" or "XX Bacardi Limon on the rocks".

Jib said...

You know what this means? Unisex bathrooms, a sensitive topic to our host if memory serves me.

Seven Machos said...

Is the NFL men only? That would be shocking to me.

Also, what's Ann Althouse's deal with unisex bathrooms? Pros: very progressive. Cons: men in boxer shorts.

Revenant said...

people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex

It seems to me that any doctor capable of looking at a person who has (a) one X and one Y chromosome and (b) a penis, and saying "yep, this person's a woman", has pretty much demonstrated that he's unfit to practice medicine. Unless there's ambiguous genitalia or something, at least.

Bruce Hayden said...

It won't matter for example in the Olympics, which already does at least some genetic testing. I seem to remember a couple of years ago that some of the women who won medals in Alpine skiing in the 1960s or so lost their medals after much belated genetic testing showed that they was genetically male. This despite up until then considering themselves, and being considered by society, female.

And that is probably the best solution to sports, since the characteristics that distinguish males from females in sports don't change with gender reassignment surgery. Indeed, this is why the Olympics treats XY as male and XX as female is just that, that an XY with female genitalia still puts on muscle mass, has fast twitch muscles, etc. more like a guy than a gal.

One place not discussed above is in college admissions, etc., where it is now easier to get into elite colleges for guys, given (IMHO) the feminization of K-12 education. The girls just have overall better grades than the boys do any more.

On the other hand, I think that if this becomes widespread, that it should be a viable way to get out of having to register for the military draft. I don't think that many guys are going to contest that anyone willing to lose a certain part of their anatomy to get out of the draft probably, in the view of most guys, didn't have such to start with.

michael a litscher said...

What about ancestry re-assignment, or species re-assignment for that matter?

Oh, I guess alternate species identity hasn't become fashionable among the left, yet.

michael a litscher said...

Hell, why not period re-assignment, so you could change your birth date to match what you feel deep down inside is when you were meant to be born.

Bruce Hayden said...

I like ancestry reassignment. Actually, I know of a case - one kid was raised White until HS, but then in order to get admitted to a private school, she became Black. And she used that to get into an Ivy League college.

In this case, the father was Black, the mother White, and the kid spent almost all of her time around White kids and the White side of her family. But legally, she could claim her African-American ancestry, and so ultimately did.

Bird Dog said...

I'd like to change my certificate to make me into a Labrador Retriever. Any problem with that?

Al Maviva said...

Okay, nobody has said it yet, and it has to be said... this is a completely batshit insane notion. The idea that your state of mind somehow overcomes the reality of your plumbing can only be taken seriously by people lacking any sense of reality. You can't wish away the facts that fire burns your hand, that 2+2=4, or that boys are different from girls. Sorry. What kind of collective insanity possesses our society that this kind of thing is not met with a gigantic howl of derision? The only upside to this that I can see, is that in the wake of the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill in the 1980's, those individuals who were deinstitutionalized at least seem to have found gainful employment in NYC politics.

tjl said...

"What kind of collective insanity possesses our society that this kind of thing is not met with a gigantic howl of derision."

If you think this is surreal, just wait and see what Speaker Pelosi comes up with.

Pogo said...

Thucydides described when "Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them." What had once been considered extreme and unreasonable behavior, he said, was now considered acceptable.

Here we have yet another example of the deletirious effects of Foucault and Chomsky, who redefined truth to tell us that only power matters. So we similarly redefine man and woman, marriage, even murder, to conform with what we wish to be true, rather than what is.

Wherever emotion trumps reason, words lose their meaning, and truth itself is dead.

While some things are so stupid only an intellectual would believe them, it takes a true believer to turn idiocy into law. Here, women can say goodbye to any presumption that dressing rooms and toilets will discriminate in favor of those with XX chromosomes. Instead, anyone who can find an MD (noting that disability insurance scammers easily find willing doctors) to sign a form can go in that sanctuary, including rapists, pederasts, and pedophiles, and all quite legally.

And to all the people posting who have bitched about the "slippery slope" argument, you were wrong. The evidence mounts for it. Most people don't seem to notice the slippery slope until they hit the bottom of the hill.

Palladian said...

Pogo, while I find this decision to be ridiculously wrong-headed and dangerous, I do so on the basis of biology; sex is an immutable biological fact if you're human. But you're lumping marriage and morality in the same category as sex, which is just as decidedly wrong-headed as pretending that sex is "relative". As important as social institutions are, and however they may be the result of innate genetic factors (there's evidence that basic morality transcends religious or cultural traditions), they're not the same thing. Sex is a fact, which is why there's little to debate about this decision except the degree to which it's stupid.

Pogo said...

"on the basis of biology"

People argue about marriage for that same reason. Permitting redefinition allows one to claim that biology is nothing anymore.

Plastic surgery can create an external female form indistinguishable from those with XXs on testing. So why should chromosomes trump a mutable exterior? Why should mere biology count for anything?

Once words lose their meaning, norms are discarded, and everything is permitted, given a sufficient veneer of intellectual support and legal coercion. Palladian, why would you think that support for a redefinition of marriage wouldn't lead to a redefinition for everything else? It's all the same phenomenon, not separate and unconnected events. people who support one notion are necessarily supporting the basis for the other.

Next? Laws against speaking out against stupid laws like this (becasue of hate speech, etc.)

altoids1306 said...

This is utter idiocy - legislative fiat at it's best. NYC can call a man a woman until they're blue in the face. Doesn't make it true.

Anonymous said...

This issue of transgendered athletes really could be a big issue in women's rugby, a sport I have played for 12 years.

I received an e-mail about a transgender player (male-to-female) at my rugby blog and it ignited a huge discussion about why/why not on allowing transgender players to play on a women's team in a full-contact sport.

You can see it all here if you're interested.

Sadly, the debate is one no one wants to really touch in our administrative circles and so the questions remain very gray for any teams that have a transgender player.

AJ Lynch said...

I am not making this up- a caller to Rush Limbaugh's show just said he believes this is a "back-door" way to get gay marriage approved.

PatCA said...

This is a politician with way too much time on his (her?) hands.

TMink said...

This is an instance of a foolish legislature trying to rewrite the law of nature. What is next? Outlawing gravity? Aging is now illegal? That whole space/time contiuum thingy makes me uncomfortable too.

Trey

Mortimer Brezny said...

This IS a back-door way to get gay marriage approved.

1. It vests the person before the clerk with the right to say what goes on the state license. So "Parent A and Parent B" instead of "Husband" and "Wife". Now the clerk can't say "based on what I see standing before me, the law tells me otherwise".

2. It makes the gender argument more powerful. If a biological man and a biological woman want to get married, why should the state stop them just because they both think of themselves as men?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Whoops, almost forgot:

3. Two biological men come before the clerk. One is registered with the state as a woman. One is registered with the state as a man. It's a man and a woman. Can they get married?

Mortimer Brezny said...

The point is: this makes prohibiting same-sex marriage as irrational as preventing a biological woman and a biological man from getting married because the woman won't wear skirts.

word verification: uxpuf

"Ux" (as in uxorious) goes "poof"!

No more wives.

Harkonnendog said...

Would a woman who becomes a man be able to play in the NFL???

This assumes women would be playing in the NFL if only men would let them compete. Crazy.

Nicole said...

Gods you people have a poor understanding of gender. Change it to XX and XY? What about Turner Syndrome (XO)? Triple X syndrome (XXX)? Kleinfelter syndrome (XXY)? XYY Sydrome? De la Chapelle syndrome (XX male)? Swyer syndrome (XY female)? Hell there are those with more chromosomes. There are enough variations the idea would be useless.

Biologically male or female? How does one define that? The genitalia that one is born with perhaps. No that would be ridiculous as it does not account for intersex individuals who were born with ambiguous genitalia that the doctors make the choice of male or female. A choice that often leaves the child with gender dysphoria later in life. That discounts the practice of doctors changing male babies to female if the penis is under 1/2 an inch or changing female to male if the clit is deemed to big. Often done without informing parents. Hormones perhaps? Guess that makes women with menopause transexuals since they buy their hormones. Ability to reproduce? Well there goes sterile/ infertile people. Or, you could simply identify the people according to what they identify as.

As for the concerns that perverts will use this to use restrooms for perversion and harrasment, those are pretty dedicated perverts. Hell to get your license changed you have to provide substantial proof that you are undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy. Do many perverts wish to lose their ability to reproduce as well as losing ability to even get much of an erection just so they can peek? Perhaps they will stop peeking when they have started developing their own breasts to ogle. But the again the hormones generally decrease one's libido so maybe they will lose interest in being perverts.

Joe Baby said...

Bizarre gender arguments are really at the center of the gay marriage and other societal arguments yet to come.

What is a spouse?

What is parenthood?

What is a mother?

The loony idea that gender is determinable (or non-existent!) is nibbling at the base of these discussions.

Wolfgang said...

Transsexualism is a very real birth defect, not a whim. Biology IS destiny. We transsexuals identifiy as the oppsite sex of our bodies because of hormonal imbalances in the womb that affected the gendered development of our brains. We must be able to change our birth certificates and other identity documents in order to function in our ID-obsessed society.

Many trans people can't afford genital surgery. Others, especially many female-to-males (FTMs) don't want it for perfectly valid reasons. Most transsexuals of both sexes take hormones. Removing the surgical requirement was a great step toward ensuring fairness.

Trans people in competitive sports is a whole other issue, and a difficult one. An MTF on estrogen loses muscle mass, but she still has more than most women. Likewise, an FTM on testosterone gains muscle, but not as much as most men, and generally, not even as much as the MTF on estrogen. In other words, He's has a physical advantage over female athletes and a disadavtage with non-trans males. Same for the MTF. You're unlikely to see either playing football because of its physical demands.

And muscle mass is just one aspect of athletic ability affected by hormones. Athletic trans people need to think about this stuff before they begin transition. It wouldn't be right for non-trans women to compete against either FTMs or MTFs. Both would be at a disadvantage competing against non-trans men. But there are plenty of sports for which gender isn't an issue.

Harkonnendog said...

Biologically male or female? How does one define that? The genitalia that one is born with perhaps. No that would be ridiculous as it does not account for intersex individuals who were born with ambiguous genitalia that the doctors make the choice of male or female.

Not really... it would be ridiculous not to use the traditional and obvious definitions because a tiny minority doesn't fit into those definitions. Intersex individuals are the exception and should not define the rule.

Nicole said...

There are to wide of variances of athletic ability in men and women to determine that they should be sex separated. It enforces gender sterotypes. Sure hormones can cause differences that can be advantageous but then not everyone develops the same way and often women have often proved themselves fully capable of holding their own against men in traditionally sex segregated games.

Harkonnendog said...

Nicole,

Please provide some examples of traditionally sex segregated sports where the best women can compete with the best men.

Thanks.

Revenant said...

People argue about marriage for that same reason. Permitting redefinition allows one to claim that biology is nothing anymore.

On the basis of biology, the correct social arrangement is for strong, successful men to have many wives and weak men to get nothing. That's why the male body is built for (a) lots of sex partners and (b) physical conflict.

So put me in the category of people who is glad that so many people have learned to ignore their biology, and settle into the distinctly unnatural state of lifelong monogamy.

Mortimer Brezny said...

So put me in the category of people who is glad that so many people have learned to ignore their biology, and settle into the distinctly unnatural state of lifelong monogamy.

Spoken like a weak male ripe for extermination. Do you have any sisters, wives, property, or food?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Gods you people have a poor understanding of gender. Change it to XX and XY? What about Turner Syndrome (XO)? Triple X syndrome (XXX)? Kleinfelter syndrome (XXY)? XYY Sydrome? De la Chapelle syndrome (XX male)? Swyer syndrome (XY female)? Hell there are those with more chromosomes. There are enough variations the idea would be useless.

This is like saying there is no such thing as vanilla ice cream because there are many flavors of ice cream, some of which include vanilla and chocolate and caramel and nuts and some of which lack vanilla.

Or like saying there is no such thing as intelligence because some intelligence tests are flawed.

We may have a poor understanding of gender, but you have an even more fucked up understanding of sex.

Mark Angelo Cummings said...

What does it matter if someone wants to correct their misaligned gender and sex. Who does it hurt? does it take food away from anyones table? Why must people get so bent out of shape when someone is persuing their happines?
This is a biological condition that was started at 8 weeks gestation in our mother womb. We are all females until 8 weeks time. Where the presence of androgen ( masculinizing hormone) lead by the sry gene,attached to the y chromosome creates the differences, if all goes well. Gender and sex are mostly congruent in the average individual. 1 out of 100 births do no fit nicely into your regular Adam and Eve Mold. So America grow up, stop being babies. What does it matter to you if nature made a mistake, and we are just trying to fix it. Heck, People with big noses get nose jobs, why cant we correct our gender and sex misalignment?

Atleast our is not comsmetics but a life or death situation. I like to see you walk around with the wrong genitals and body.


view this link to learn more

http://www.mtra.org.au/library/index.html

Harkonnendog said...

What does it matter if someone wants to correct their misaligned gender and sex. Who does it hurt?

You are talking about redefining the way people think about sex and gender. You are all for it, but others may not be... the question is not why should people NOT WANT to completely change the way they think about fundamental aspects of human nature, about reality, because you want them to, the question is why should they want to do so?

who are you to decide that everybody in the world, now and throughout history, except you and a bunch of other nutballs, has it wrong, and everybody should defer to your way of thinking?

Nicole said...

This is like saying there is no such thing as vanilla ice cream because there are many flavors of ice cream, some of which include vanilla and chocolate and caramel and nuts and some of which lack vanilla.

It is more like saying there shouldn't be only the choice of vanilla and ice cream since there are many other variables like chocolate syrup out there that allow for larger amount of choices then what most would suppose.

We may have a poor understanding of gender, but you have an even more fucked up understanding of sex.

Oh? Please explain this dualistic concept and how it is applicable given the large amount of variances. I like how Kate Bornstein put it. Sex is who you want to do it with, how, and with what. Gender encompasses gender assignment (What doctors announced you at birth. Generally androcentric), gender role (do you wear skirts, pants, etc), gender identity (what you see yourself as) and gender attribution (what others see you as. Generally androcentric as well).

Not really... it would be ridiculous not to use the traditional and obvious definitions because a tiny minority doesn't fit into those definitions. Intersex individuals are the exception and should not define the rule.

So we shouldn't use a better definition that will better define the population simply because you deem a portion of the population is not big enough to award merit? Is this big enough? http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency How large does it need to be to challenge the definition? Why care as the only one it effects is those who are changing gender anyways?

Nicole said...

You are talking about redefining the way people think about sex and gender. You are all for it, but others may not be... the question is not why should people NOT WANT to completely change the way they think about fundamental aspects of human nature, about reality, because you want them to, the question is why should they want to do so?

Are you saying gender is fundamentally a dualistic system in human nature? If so I say you should look into culture more as cultures have historically included different values for gender. For example look at hijras in South Asia. The definition of gender is constantly in flux. Why should people change the way they look at things? Because it is a flawed social construct that serves little benefit probably.

Nicole said...

Please provide some examples of traditionally sex segregated sports where the best women can compete with the best men. Hmm well there is Mia Hamm. http://www.womensoccer.com/biogs/hamm.html
She was voted best player male or female 1994-1996.

Kit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kit said...

The simple answer to all this bickering is that the male/female dichotomy is a false dichotomy. That's not how bodies work and that's not how brains work. There is no one thing that defines a person as a man, as a woman, or as something entirely different. There are dozens of factors involved, creating endless variations in sex and gender.

Reality is that people are asking for the government to make a decision as to what criteria it is going to use to determine who is male and who is female. That's what they did- they made a choice. It's not perfect; it's not going to make everyone happy. But doesn't it make more sense for a person to have at least some amount of say in it rather than some doctor at the moment of birth making an unchangable gender declaration?

TMink said...

Hey Nicole, I noticed you wrote: "There are enough variations the idea would be useless."

Then you list of several RARE birth DEFECTS as examples of how dualistic gender categories are improperly constricting if not irrelevant. Later you site Mia Hamm as able to compete with male soccer players and an obscure society that does not conform to the elsewhere universal female/male distinction.

While I appreciate your enthusiasm for the task your data and ideas are not persuasive to me. Using rare defects or cultures remarkable for their differences does not shake the majority orientation.

I have worked with folks who were obviously trapped in the wrong gender. Theirs was a sad situation, one woman was clearly a man, but her partner LIKED her being a woman. Very sad. She was not comfortable with the idea of surgery either, which seemed a good choice from my perspective. So I am aware of the rare wiring/plumbing problems, and sympathetic as well.

But it takes more than a doctors note to change gender! To paraphrase Frank Zappa, "In the fight of you versus biology, bet on biology." The legeslating of gender is the height of folly to me. But perhaps Speaker Pellosi can make some headway with it.

Trey

TMink said...

Kit wrote: "The simple answer to all this bickering is that the male/female dichotomy is a false dichotomy."

Easy to type, difficult to support. Just because we feel it should be so does not make it so. And gender is not assigned by doctors, they is silly! The sex of a child is an interuterine event that sometimes, sadly goes bad. Rarely, but sometimes.

People are hurt in the gender wars, and trauma leaves scars, but ouf hurts, wishes, and feelings are not enough to rewrite biology and reality.

Trey

Nicole said...

Then you list of several RARE birth DEFECTS as examples of how dualistic gender categories are improperly constricting if not irrelevant.

You did see the statistics on the prevalence of intersex yes individuals yes? http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency This is ignoring transgender people. Perhaps you can explain how large a group needs to be to be noticeable.

and an obscure society that does not conform to the elsewhere universal female/male distinction.

First off argumentum ad populum. Secondly off whos fault is it that many Americans are to stupid to know things about foreign cultures. Hell hijras are large enough to get India to include a third gender on passports and other documents. Universal? Sure if you live in a Western Christian world devoid of other cultures. Two Spirits were part of Native American culture long before colonization and is still part of the culture. Fa'afafine in Polynesia, Sworn Virgins in the Balkans, Khanith in Oman, sekhet in Ancient Egypt, kur.gar.ra from Sumer, eunuchs of Greece were considered third gender, quariwarmi among Incans, etc. Fuck universal. Universal just means people are to self absorbed to look outside their small sphere of experience.

I have worked with folks who were obviously trapped in the wrong gender. Theirs was a sad situation, one woman was clearly a man, but her partner LIKED her being a woman. Very sad. She was not comfortable with the idea of surgery either, which seemed a good choice from my perspective. So I am aware of the rare wiring/plumbing problems, and sympathetic as well.

Do you work in the mental health field? I would be a bit hesitant myself given how much more FtM surgery needs to be developed. Though whether or not to have SRS is a personal choice of all trans people. Rare? What do you define as rare?

But it takes more than a doctors note to change gender! To paraphrase Frank Zappa, "In the fight of you versus biology, bet on biology." The legeslating of gender is the height of folly to me. But perhaps Speaker Pellosi can make some headway with it.


Yes your right. That is why allowing people to determine their own gender identity is best. The attempts to keep it in a rigid dualistic system is a stupid fight against biology. Nothing in nature is dualistic. There is to much variance and grey area for that.

Nicole said...

Easy to type, difficult to support.

Err we supported it already. You have given jack shit to disprove us other then an appeal to popularity that falls on its face when you take even just a half assed look at other cultures.

Kit said...

Easy to type, difficult to support. Just because we feel it should be so does not make it so. And gender is not assigned by doctors, they is silly! The sex of a child is an interuterine event that sometimes, sadly goes bad. Rarely, but sometimes.

If you had bothered to read the rest of my paragraph of the male/female false dichotomy, you would've found the support right there.

The proof that the male/female either/or attitude is bullshit is that there is no one thing that makes a male or a female. Most people in this culture will say it's about the penis. But if a soldier steps on a landmine and loses his penis, nobody says he just went through a sex change. Chances are, he lost his testicles, too, meaning that he is no longer producing testosterone in large amounts...and yet he's still not a girl. Must not be hormones either, then. Maybe it's the fact that he has XY chromosomes? That -could- be a good argument if XX and XY were the only two options and if chromosomes were checked upon birth before the doctor declares, "it's a boy/girl!" But they aren't and they don't, so for all we know that poor gonad-less soldier is not XY. So why do we still agree that he is male? Because he feels he is. He identifies as a man. And that needs to be respected. Just as everyone's identity needs to be respected, even if it goes against this culture's popular notions of how things should be.

TMink said...

Why do you folks always cuss when someone disagrees with and challenges you? What's up with that? (By the way, my wife was reading over my shoulder and pointed that out. Vive la difference! No s.)

Trey

Nicole said...

Why? Because cussing conveys stronger feeling. Because it was early in the morning and I was feeling pissy. I was being rather polite towards you personally despite cussing. I could be much more bitchy then I have been in this issue but I haven't. You have actually earned a little of my respect for your demeanor and response so I hold you in a bit higher regard then I do the others (though that isn't saying tons.) Now quit avoiding the issue and respond to the actual argument.

TMink said...

Well, I certainly invited the charge of ducking your arguments didn't I! Sorry, I had typed a quick comment between patients and did not have time to consider your points. But I will try to now.

First, thanks for the website, it is interesting and helpful. I have saved it and will be happy to use it with patients that would use the info. I did disagree with one point on the website, well, maybe a concern more than a disagreement. In terms of waiting for surgery until the child is older, say around puberty, I worry about the ridicule the child will face until puberty. Wrong and unfair ridicule, but likely and harmful, so I need to think about the timing a bit.

Everything that I read that I understood had statistics of less than one per hundred. Most of less than one per thousand. Now statistically to be significant takes about 4 per hundred. So, aside from the one in 660 that I did not understand, these are all rare, most quite rare. And you cannot just add them together because many are co-occuring.

Please understand that I am NOT saying that these conditions are not important to the people that suffer from them and the people who love them. I am talking about how most gender works out very well for most people. And it does.

Sorry about the argument ad populum, I did not even know that existed until you educated me, thanks. I was trying to argue ad statisticum. That is different!

I disagree with you about American culture. That which you singularize, I pluralize and I believe I am more accurate about that. It is American CULTURES. Read the other post about glossolalia, then even think of snake handlers, native Americans, the gullah folks etc etc etc. A nice rich tapestry. Secondly, these are still minority cultures that stand out in their sifferent views of gender. I must admit you certainly are well versed in them, and they sound fascinating. So that is cool.

About the poor soldier that gets his genitals blown off, of course he is still a man. While I certainly agree that sex/gender is more than the package (it is hormones and brain structure and culture and lots more) I remain unpersuaded that the norm is not male/female.

My point was that the legislation was frivolous. Biology cannot be legislated. I stand by that.

And it is certainly fine with me if you cuss, and even if you are bitchy, but I think your ideas are most persuasive when you don't. But thanks for giving me a chance to disagree and giving me a chance to not be labled a shithead even though I disagree. I appreciate that.

To end, mistreatment because of sexual orientation or gender difficulties is awful and I abhor it. I do not have to agree about the plasticity of gender to support equal treatment under the law and respect for all people. We disagree about some things, but I bet we agree about this last point and I would back you up on that. Honest.

Trey

Nicole said...

My point was that the legislation was frivolous. Biology cannot be legislated. I stand by that. Here is my largest contention. The fact is biology is already legislated by the system that defines it to be dualistic. Whether this legislation was passed or not it is legislated and is an issue for those that have to mark M or F on legal forms. If anything this bill loosens restrictions and legislation on biology. If you don't want biology to be legislated then if anything you should support the government allowing for gender to be defined by the individual. It does not mean that people can't identify as male or female it means they can be what they feel. Sure transgender people are a minority and can be seen as rare but how much of that is because of societal pressures to conform to gender? I think most people in NYC probably won't even be aware of this bill unless it affects them.

Hee I hadn't heard of that logical fallacy. I figured you might be busy with work. I am sitting in class bored so have plenty of time. Though now I am off for a few hours!

TMink said...

Arguement ad budweiser is another. I heard plenty of that last night! OK, you wrote: "Whether this legislation was passed or not it is legislated and is an issue for those that have to mark M or F on legal forms."

I accept that marking the M or F is an issue for a few people, but frivolous legislation won't help them. It may get lots of attention, just like the Emancipation Proclomation did. Lincoln, in a brilliant political but cowardly moral move freed the slaves in the terretories that he did not control. In a similar way, making it a law that you can change our gender on a form is puffery. Well, so thinks I.

Keep writing, your posts are interesting.

Trey

Nicole said...

Err how is it frivolous exactly? With the increasing security our nation uses for daily things, ones ID is regularly shown. Do you realize how embarrassing it can be to a person to show a stranger a license which, while having the correct name and picture, has a big old M or F when one is presenting otherwise? It certainly helps open the doors for prejudice especially when involving traffic violations. In July the U.N. questioned representatives from the US about not only the high rate of transgender murders but also police brutality reported against trans people.

The legislation is hardly a holy grail for trans people and falls short on somethings I wish it didn't but it doe provide a measure of safety at least to trans people.

Harkonnendog said...

Nicole,

Do you honestly believe Mia Hamm could have competed on a men's professional soccer team, much less actually have been the best soccer player in the world?

She may have dominated her female peers more than any male dominated his male peers, but to translate that into thinking she was better than men is ridiculous.

You really need to take a hard look at yourself and recognize how disconnected from reality you are.

TMink said...

We all live with embarassment everyday. With my dyslexia, I spell like an 8 year old. It is embarassing. But I deal with it.

I imagine that gender fit discomfort is a bit more embarassing, obvious birth defects are. It is not the F or the M. And most cops I know have much better things to do than bother people about the F or the M. That is what makes the legislation look like moonbat nonsense to many of us. Maybe most of us.

The UN is an organization with a mission. For many members, that mission is to attack Israel and the United States. Who questioned us about human rights? Libya? China? North Korea? They have all been members of the human rights comission of the UN.

I understand from one of my transgendered clients that Irag gives free sexual reassignment surgeries. I am skeptical. They do that because then the people aren't gay any more in their view, and gays are worthy of execution to them. Is that laudable?

Again, I do not support bigotry or prejudice against anyone for any reason, it goes against my religion. But changing the F or the M and thinking that will solve anything is, well, at best naively misguided. An I am really being charitable.

I see you disagree, perhaps some more folks can chime in with their thoughts on the matter.

Trey

Wolfgang said...

Trey wrote: "My point was that the legislation was frivolous."

Frivolous? Not if you're a transsexual trying to get a job, board a plane, buy beer, or any number of ordinary activities you take for granted. Not if you're a transsexual who gets pulled over for a broken tail light and hauled off to jail because the gender designation on your license doesn't match your physical appearance.

If you think this legislation is frivolous, then you are an extremely selfish and callous individual.

TMink said...

Wolfie, what is the transgendered community embarassed about? Be T and proud. Say it loud, I am T and I am proud! "Officer, there is a M on my license because I was born a man but had that rectified. Would you like to see the before and after pictures?" That would put the cop in his place! It would probably get the person out of a ticket!

So I am not just selfish, but extremely selfish? Ouch. And callous too? That would hurt my feelings if I were not so, well, callous.

I believe that the legislation is frivolous. That may make me wrong (I don't think so, but I am wrong enough for it certainly to be possible) but it does not define my tendency toward narcissism or emotional vulnerability now does it?

Disagree with me using ideas, not judgmental, moralistic name calling. I don't quote the Bible at you now do I?

Again, bigotry against people for any resaon is heinous. That is my opinion and I am NOT wrong on that. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working for a few transgendered individuals and lots of glb people. They said it was really healing for them to work with a straight guy who was accepting of them. I guess they could not see the real me like you do.

Sigh.

Trey

Nicole said...

Trey sure your dyslexia can be embarrassing but then how often does it lead to violence and discrimination. Are you legally required to show officials most places you go (other then educational facilities) that you are dyslexic despite it not being their business? You seem to be under the impression that things are going fine for trans people and that discrimination and violence is a thing of the past. Most cops you know? How nice perhaps we should poll you about the cops nation wide. You seem to know them all apparently. Nevermind findings show many reports of police abuse around the country. http://www.amnestyusa.org/outfront/stonewalled/

Yes Iran's policy towards GLBT people sucks but that is not really to surprising.

My aren't we a bit anti UN? Here is the report if you want to look over it.
http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/LGBTI%20shadow%20report%20final.pdf

You seem to think it frivolous because you have a poor grasp of the issues transgender people face. And don't tell me you do because you know some trans people or because you are a psychologist because neither automatically mean anything.

Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wolfgang said...

Okay, Trey, I'll take back the insult because you seem to be naive when it comes trans issues. I like your suggestion. In a world where the police dutifully serve and protect all citizens justly, it would be an excellent solution.

Unfortunately, the last thing a TS person needs is to be outed to the police. There have been several recent cases of us being harrassed, raped, beaten and tortured by police officers. Often, when a TS calls the police after an assault, the TS, not the assailant, is arrested, and suffers more abuse in their custody.

There is an incredible amount of ignorance out there. Violent crime against TS's is a very serious problem in this country. Being out to everyone who asks for our ID is dangerous, but that's what happens when we aren't able to change our ID documents.

TMink said...

I will try to take the main points one at a time.

Well, sometimes my dyslexia is painfully obvious, liek almost every time I type! (OK, I did not correct the typo on purpose, I did catch that one, but it was genuine!) Does it lead to discrimination, absolutely, violence, no thank God. Being transgendered does not lead to discrimination, neither does a M or a F, hate and bigotry lead to disrimination. And that is cured through relationships, not through legislation.

I deliberatly wrote "most cops I know" to show that I was NOT saying that I know all the cops. Come on here, you do a good job arguing the facts and making your point without deliberate manipulation of what I say. We are having a conversation, not a contest. But some police are indeed bad, even some students are bad. I have found that the Amnesty organizations have lost their way and become dazed and confused into an anti-American stupor. They no longer hold much interest for me.

I would not characterize myself as anti-UN, I prefer to refer to myself as a realistic consumer of information. Check out UN Watch for some interesting facts and info.

And I did not and WILL not say I know the issues because I have worked with these folks and learned from their courageousness and strength. But I could. And I will not say that I know this because I have an advanced degree and 15 years experience sitting with brave people listening to what helps, but I could.

Cause my point is not that folks are not getting hurt, my point is that THE LEGISLATION WILL NOT HELP!!!!!! And these folks could use some REAL help and support. Not fluff legislation designed to manipulate.

Let's try to stay on point here, I know it is tempting to paint me a bigot or neanderthal because I disagree with your progressive ideology, but that is ducking the point and beneath you. We agree on the problem, we disagree about the solution. That should give us a base for discussion.

At least that is what I think.

Trey

TMink said...

Hey Wolfie, thanks for cutting me a break! The M or the F is not why the TG folks are out. It is one of the reasons, but the other is that many folks are obviously TG. You can see it.

(Typical prebuttal to try to avoid being called a bigot follows.) Not that it is anyone else's business or concern. Not that having a birth defect gives anyone the right to assault. Not that the sad difficulties mean anything about the souls and hearts of the TG community.

Changing the M or F will not effectively protect you folks from renegade cops. Throwing enough of the cops in prison will. And I am ALL for that.

See, legislation does not change prejudice. Relationships change prejudice. I worry that getting all exited about the M or the F will distract from the real solutions to the real problem. Prison time, lots of it, for cops who assault innocent people will be a good start and a step in the right direction. I suggest you take your considerable verbal and organizational skills (I read your blog, awseome work)and use them to lobby for extra prison time for cops who assault civilians. That would work.

Trey

Mark Angelo Cummings said...

Education is what will change a bad situation into a better one. I agree that changing the laws will not change the hearts of views of many. But educating the majority on what this condition is all about and having them see who we are, showing them our pain and suffering, and most of all making them aware that it can happen to anyone. I have done much research regarding this condition. First of all I am a transexual man. Look at my profile which gives you my website and information. The ever changing environment that is now filled with excessive endocrine disrupting chemicals is creating a greater variance in gender variant children. Please make sure to catch the Montell Williams Show airing this friday november 1oth. I am part of the show and share much needed information to the world. My goal is to creae tolerance and awareness and can only hope that this will decrease the bigotry in atleast half the folks. The law enforcers and correction officers need much education on the subject. All they know are the prostitutes they consider trans. They are a small part of the transgender umbrella, but if we knew why they resorted to that lifestyle, then we wouldnt be so quick to judge. Try not being able to hold a job, because you look different than what society deems a female should look like. Try getting respect when your outside does not match with your insides, yet you full heartly express yourself as the gender your heart and mind tells you, you are. Its a hard road, one that no one would choose. So definetly, we need to educate and educate some more.

TMink said...

God Bless you Mark Angelo. Your post was touching. We agree. My heart breaks for your pain. Thank you for your perspective.

I think the power of your post was in how personal it was. You focused on your experience. I also appreciate the idea that TV prostitutes have affected the views of the police.

I think another part of the anger and bigotry of some people is that they view TG folks as freaks rather than hurting people with a birth defect that is not of their choosing. That is wrong, so wrong. Sadly people in my Christian community have not been helpful in working on this matter. Too much distraction concerning homophobia I bet. God will judge us for that, as well He should.

But God bless you.

Peace.

Trey

Nicole said...

Would legislation leading to longer prison time for police who do that be helpful? Possibly though some would disagree. Does that mean that this legislation is useless? No, it helps protect transpeople from detection from those renegade cops. But then it depends on how well they pass. In addition, it allows transgender people to function easier in their gender identity. Does discrimination happy whenever one reveals oneself as transgender? No though evidence would indicate there is lots of discrimination to contend with. Yes education is what needed, it would be stupid to say otherwise since most people do not half of what transgender is. However legislation that is Trans friendly help with public acceptance. Not quite the same to the status of sodomy laws and the level acceptance to the gay community.

Was I trying to paint you as a bigot or Neanderthal? No if I wanted to do that I would say something like "bigot". Unaware of needs of transgender community != bigot/Neanderthal.

TMink said...

Actually, ignorant is not the same as racist. I wish I had Ann's not equal sign!

And what I said is that it is tempting to call me names, not that you were. But come on, admit it, don't you want to just a little?

That is the way things are taught now by the institutionalized, academic left. Been there, done that, now in recovery. You (not you, more aptly they) take a position then ignore any criticism or disagreement by writing off the critic.

Nicole, you do not do that much, that is why I so enjoy your posts. But it is rampant in progressive circles, and I encourage(d) you to fight it.

The ignorant are potential allies, the bigots and racists are the enemies, people like me who think differently and take the time to discuss are not the ones to offend. If I am wrong, convince me!

Trey

Nicole said...

Errr Ann's not equal sign?

!= Inequality. Used to test the equivalence of two expressions.

I was saying you weren't racist or anything. Or I am misunderstanding the sign.

As for name calling. It could be fun. We could call each other bad things. And go and invoke Godwin's law.

TMink said...

Sorry, Ann had a not equals that she used in a post, it was awesome. The old = with a line through it. It was a thing of beauty in one of her posts in comments. Nerd heaven.

Sorry again, I did not recognize your not equal sign, I am an old fart and some things swoosh over my head so hard my hairs stands up.

I did not hear (read) you calling me names, I was commenting on the many folks who do.

But I am sick and tired of you reffering to things like argument ad populum and Godwin's law and other such. I need no help feeling stupid and undereducated!!!!!

Fun talking to you, especially when I can understand your highfalutin edumacated terminology.

Trey (who is mostly kidding)

Nicole said...

Oh do you mean something like this? =/= It is what I usually use really. To be honest I was confused about who this Ann was until I searched the page for the name. I stumbled on this blog rather then being a regular reader and didn't even know who wrote it.

Old fart you should go back to using the abacus for your computing needs. Leave the internet to those of us who haven't been stuck in retirement homes or see Hitler as a "kid with some new and good ideas".

<3 Nicole

TMink said...

OK, let me clarify, old enough to remember 300k modems, not old enough to remember crystal radios.

Black and white tvs, check
Paul before Wings, check
President Johnson, check

President Kennedy, nope
women wearing gloves, nada
men wearing hats, none other than baseball caps.
Frank when he was with Tommy Dorsey, missed that one

Riots after Dr. King was murdered, yes.
Reactions in the paper after Lincoln, missed it by this much.


As for retirement home, you never checked out MY blog with my 4 year old triplets. I only dream of a retirement home. Well, one with a batv, wifi, and room for my wife.

Trey

Nicole said...

Hee I was kidding. You are younger then both of my parents if you are only 46.

Wolfgang said...

Thanks for the compliment, Trey. You're alright after all.

I see what you're saying. Targeting the bad element among the police is definitely important. But the ID issue is too.

Think of all the times you have to show ID and imagine that you appear as a different person than the one on your ID. Writing or cashing a check, getting a prescription filled, buying a hunting or fishing license, renewing a driver's license (in my state, people have to show a birth certifcate), renewing car tags... the list goes on. In some states, people can't even vote without showing a photo ID.

You're right that many transsexuals are easy to spot, but that applies more to transwomen. Transmen usually blend right in with the rest of the male population after "completing" transition. This is largly because testosterone does a much better job of masculinizing a female body than estrogen does of feminizing a male body.

Sadly, many T-guys disappear into the woodwork because they just want to live their lives in peace, as men, and forget that they were ever transsexuals. That doesn't help the communtity or the next generation. But our movement is still at a fairly early stage. We've got a long way to go.

Hey, Mark! Aren't you the guy who wrote "The Mirror Makes No Sense?" Wat to go, man!

TMink said...

Compliment earned. I am much more honest than I am kind!

I appreciate your points, but I remain unconvinced that the legislation will do what you hope it will, and remain cynical that it is merely a thrown bone rather than a real world solution. Hope I am wrong.

Funny you should mention the id thing, I have lost weight and grown a beard since my id was last taken, and people do indeed look twice. The difference is that I have not been shamed as TG folks have. So it is easy for me to laugh off the comments. One guy checking my id looked at me hard and said, "It is you, the eyes never lie." Whatever, if I were Ms. Monroe, it takes little imagination to see the situation as very different.

One thing that certainly would help is having TG people have 10 comments ready in explanation. I do this with very shy, asperger's syndrome, and brain different or damaged people all the time. We work out 10 different things to say when people notice. Asperger's people tend to stare, and when other people notice, one choice they have is to say "Sorry, people fascinate me." That sort of thing.

All the TG people I have worked with either had attitude to spare or were laying low till they could get corrective surgery, so I have not worked this angle before. "The stupid people at the DMV got my sex wrong and now they won't change it despite all the nude pictures I sent." Blaming the bureaucracy should work. Well, except for the police.

How about "I ruled as a woman, so I am trying out the man thing for a little challenge."

Or "You think you are surprised, you should have seen my gynecologist." Ohhh, I like that one!

You get the picture, they all don't have to be funny, but a few should be. You get a good menu of one or two liners to use and then choose whatever is most appropriate. You should be able to go to town with the idea.

Of course this is not a perfect solution, and will only stop SOME persecution, but the cool thing is that it comes from the individual and is beholding to nobody. Also, the self-sufficient nature of the approach can help build a more realistically positive self-esteem.

Work on it if you wish, and send me a comment on my blog so I can enjoy the ones you post.

Peace.

Trey

Nicole said...

Sure being silly and being able to deal with people is a good and necessary skill though joking at someone doesn't generally help if they are hostile I believe. Personally I have fun with being trans. Like throwing my falsies at friends while I still need to wear them.

Mark Angelo Cummings said...

Hello Wolfgang,

Yes that would be me, the Author of the Mirror Makes No Sense. Thanks. Hey did anyone catch the montell william show? It was a great program today regarding transsexuals. I was one of the panalist. They will repeat it on tuesday the 21st for those that miss todays show.

Wolfgang said...

I like your suggestions, Trey. I can certainly laugh at myself most of the time, and I try to be humorous about this stuff when possible. I'll keep those in mind.

Personally, I haven't gone through the ID change yet. I don't even pass as male yet. I just started the testosterone a month ago, and I'm starting out with a really feminine body, so things will take awhile. I'm doing transition a little differently than the old school way; The "real life test" is impossible for me, so I'm just going with the flow and waiting for the external changes. I haven't even changed my name legally to Wolfgang yet. This stuff costs money and getting a hooterectomy is my top priority right now.

When strangers start calling me "sir," then It'll be time to deal with the ID issue. Hopefully, by then, laws will have changed here in the Midwest.

Okay, I understand what you're saying. It certainly leaves plenty of problems unsolved. It makes our lives a little easier though.

I saw your blog. Nice pictures! Made me reminisce the occasional fun moments of my childhood.

TMink said...

Hey Wolfgang, you rock sir.

And Nicole, you are a sexy mama.

I have never had som much fun with TG folks in my life.

Peace. God bless you both

Trey

Wolfgang said...

Yeah, nice meeting you all. Trey, mark, nicole, if you run across any hot blogs full of fundies in need of an edukayshun, you know where to find me. We can get together and enlighten folks.

TMink said...

Here is the funny part, I AM a fundy!!!!! Southern born again Christian, that is me! Happy and proud of it. Does that not rock your world?

All we disagreed about was the efficacy of the legislation, not the safety needs and rights of the TG community.

But let's be real here, birth defects happen. I do not use that term as a put down or bash, but as an honest appraisal. You guys are a man and a woman in the wrong body, wow that is sad. Is it God's will for you to suffer when you can be healed? I think not. I think it breaks God's heart that these things happen.

In my Book, God loves you two and me both, and He wants us to be healthy and to fit in our own skins. So you guys need more help in that department because of an accident of birth, there is no sin in that. And if there was, big deal. I sin enough for all three of us and God has forgiven and loves me. If it is sin, join the club, the water is fine and there are lots of friendly people here!

But I see no indication that it is sin pr perversion or whatever. It is just sad and incredibly difficult for ou guys. Love and acceptance come from God, the best does. I am so sorry that mean people calling themselves Christians have caused you and yours hurt. That sucks, and rather than break God's heart, I bet it makes Him mad.

So God bless you both, for real.

Trey

Wolfgang said...

Funny, I consider myself a born again Christian too. I suppose if you want to call yourself a fundy, that's your religious identity, but you might need to start taking anti-intellect hormones and transition, because you come off as intellectual to me. :)

I agree with you that transsexuality is a birth defect. That's the angle I've been promoting. Some TS folks don't like that designation, but honestly, if something needs medical treatment to be fixed, it's a defect. That's language that everyone can understand; precisely the tool we need to explain our condition to society.

Mark Angelo Cummings said...

I concour with you both. There is no sin or crime in being transsexual. It is a variation of nature, which can be called a birth defect. My research and readings have led me to believe that the endocrine disrupting chemicals have altered the communication between receptors and hormones that play in the alignment of gender and sex. It sadens me to have a group of people that call themselves Chrisitans attack us and show little to no compassion of our condition. There is a group called free republic they badger us all in the name of Christ. Oh and what about the traditional family coalition, they are down right rude. Trey you are all right in my book, I can only hope that all other born again can learn from you. Nichole and wolfgang you both rock, lets keep fighting the good fight, and help turn this world around.

TMink said...

Thanks for understanding my use of the term birth defect. I was tense when writing it, worried that it would come across as ugly. Ugly was not where my heart was, but on the screen, much nuance is lost to a blunt writer like myself.

I attended a seminar on gender and brain science, and I think Mark hits it squarely.

About being a fundamentalist, to me that is equal with serious Christian who treasures the Bible. I know it often conjurs mean, anti-intellectual, closed minded shit head. And not without reason. But that is only a selective sample of a diverse group. Sadly part of us, thankfully not all of us! Maybe like the TV prostitutes you referred to, but with less class.

OK, that was kind of ugly to my folks, but they are embarassing.

Trey