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Captain Trips
May 23, 2013
The sudden reminder that I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about

I'm a straight white male in my late 20s who, up until last fall, lived in small towns in Ohio. That's when I moved to "the big city" of Columbus, and I was immediately and thoroughly overwhelmed by the diversity of the people I was meeting on a daily basis. It wasn't their race or creed that I couldn't cope with, though. It was their sexuality.

Up until then, I'd known a handful of openly gay people, and they were the stereotypical flamboyant types who elicit statements like "you know he's gay". Now, all of a sudden, I'm face to face with people who are gay, but I'd never know it unless they told me so. But I like to think I've come to accept that as part of my everyday life. They're my friends, and we have fun hanging out, and sexuality is never an issue. In that way, I feel I've grown as a person since I moved here. The issue of gay rights used to go in the "meh, whatever" column of my political and personal opinions. Now it's solidly in the "this is a thing that we need to focus on" category.

The one thing that I still can't wrap my mind around, however, is transsexuality. The idea that someone who was born physically a man, but feels more like a woman, and uses hormones and surgery to physically become a woman (or vice-versa, as the case may be)? All of that is totally foreign to my brain. I can't process the idea for some reason, probably because I've never had that experience where I questioned anything about my own existance.

So I'd like the fine Goons of A/T to do their best to educate me on the subject. How does this occur? Is it a gradual thing, or a sudden thing, or just something you always feel? What are the motivations that lead people to make that change in their life and identify openly as the other gender? How can I, as a "cis" male, better understand people whose gender may or may not be totally solidified in their own mind?

Disclaimer: If any of this post causes offense to any trans people (or anyone else for that matter), I wholeheartedly apologize. Chalk it up to my ignorance of your situation and my subsequent inability to describe it. But that ignorance is the motivation for this post. I'd like to understand this better, but I don't know any trans people well enough to broach the subject.

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Steampunk iPhone
Sep 2, 2009


The Walking Dad
Dec 31, 2012


Captain Trips posted:

I can't process the idea for some reason, probably because I've never had that experience where I questioned anything about my own existance.

Really? Maybe you should, like, start, man. You have to understand yourself if you want to understand the world around you. Get metaphysical and lock yourself in a cabin with a bottle a' hooch and some earthy pharmaceuticals.

Are you a sexual person? Do you have sexual feelings? Do socially accepted gender roles ever appear convoluted or arbitrary to you?

I am sure that at some point in your life you have been forced to pretend to be something you are not or fulfill some role that you weren't suited for or felt uncomfortable in.

Now just imagine that feeling but latent within you, always there in the background.

We are moving towards a future where people are defined not by society, but by themselves, and this is confusing and maybe even scary to many people. You'll also need to make the leap from thinking about gender in terms of what sort of gonads people are born with to a fluid spectrum based on how people identify themselves.

You seem like a good guy so I doubt anyone is going to jump down your throat. You are making a serious attempt to understand and empathize.

The Walking Dad fucked around with this message at May 14, 2014 around 08:27

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Reppin' the Row since 1536.



The thing I've never been able to understand is, how do you feel like a man or feel like a woman? I don't even know what that means. I don't feel like I'm supposed to be male or whatever, I just am. If I were somehow magically transformed into a woman then I imagine it would take some getting used to, but I'm not aware of any reason that I couldn't get used to it. I am male, but I don't have any innate sense that that's the way things are supposed to be.

How can you even tell that what you're feeling is that you're male or female? What possible frame of reference could you have? I've never been a woman so even if I did feel like a woman then I wouldn't know that's what I felt like because my only experience is of being myself.


The Walking Dad posted:

I am sure that at some point in your life you have been forced to pretend to be something you are not or fulfill some role that you weren't suited for or felt uncomfortable in.

Now just imagine that feeling but latent within you, always there in the background.

I've felt like I don't know what to do, but I don't see how that translates. You don't have to do anything to be male or female.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Tiggum posted:

The thing I've never been able to understand is, how do you feel like a man or feel like a woman? I don't even know what that means. I don't feel like I'm supposed to be male or whatever, I just am. If I were somehow magically transformed into a woman then I imagine it would take some getting used to, but I'm not aware of any reason that I couldn't get used to it. I am male, but I don't have any innate sense that that's the way things are supposed to be.

How can you even tell that what you're feeling is that you're male or female? What possible frame of reference could you have? I've never been a woman so even if I did feel like a woman then I wouldn't know that's what I felt like because my only experience is of being myself.


I've felt like I don't know what to do, but I don't see how that translates. You don't have to do anything to be male or female.

I've had this discussion before a few times, and anecdotally men feel this way a lot more often than women. It has been suggested to me that the kind of comfortable unawareness of your own gender as a man is a result of the de facto assumption of maleness, and general privilege.

I think I can mostly go along with that interpretation. I definitely think "you don't have to do anything to be male or female" is a statement that a lot of people will disagree with. If gender is a cultural construction, then of course you must be fulfilling certain criteria in order to fit inside that role. Gender isn't sex.

Jeffrey
Dec 22, 2005



Tiggum posted:

The thing I've never been able to understand is, how do you feel like a man or feel like a woman? I don't even know what that means. I don't feel like I'm supposed to be male or whatever, I just am. If I were somehow magically transformed into a woman then I imagine it would take some getting used to, but I'm not aware of any reason that I couldn't get used to it. I am male, but I don't have any innate sense that that's the way things are supposed to be.

Yeah this is how I feel, thanks for writing it. Are there people who are not trans, but who strongly feel like their assigned gender and would feel such dysphoria if their body changed overnight?

Kansas City Royals
Apr 6, 2006



OP, think of the person or thing you hate the most in the world (for me it's mayonnaise, ick!). Then put that thing or a picture of that thing on your penis. This will start to show you what it's like. I did not achieve understanding until I spent a few weeks feeling hate and revulsion at my nasty mayo covered dick.

pointers
Sep 4, 2008



Jeffrey posted:

Yeah this is how I feel, thanks for writing it. Are there people who are not trans, but who strongly feel like their assigned gender and would feel such dysphoria if their body changed overnight?
There is evidence for this. Norah Vincent lived as a man for 18 months for 'Self Made Man' and felt very uncomfortable with how she was living by the end of it and very relieved to go back to living as a woman.

Lightanchor
Nov 2, 2012


Tiggum posted:

The thing I've never been able to understand is, how do you feel like a man or feel like a woman?

Disclaimer: I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. But it might be easier to imagine it as feeling not like a woman or feeling not like a man, hence why it's gender dysphoria, not euphoria. So rather than searching yourself for feeling like your sex, imagine dressing up as and pretending to be the other sex for some period of time, and how that would feel. Some things can only be felt as a lack.

Similarly, I hardly feel oppressed by my surname, but Malcolm X had a reason to be. Understanding his situation is not achieved by observing my own surname really closely.

Lightanchor fucked around with this message at May 14, 2014 around 22:59

ashgromnies
Jun 19, 2004


Tex Murdock DDS posted:

OP, think of the person or thing you hate the most in the world (for me it's mayonnaise, ick!). Then put that thing or a picture of that thing on your penis. This will start to show you what it's like. I did not achieve understanding until I spent a few weeks feeling hate and revulsion at my nasty mayo covered dick.

What if you don't hate things though? My penis could be bees, I don't really care. If that's what it is, so be it, that's fine.

I don't have an opposition to anyone changing something about themselves, but I can't help but feel it's an unskillful handling of stress that prompts the change for many people.

What is being male like? What is being female like? It just "is", any relative sense of meaning is imposed by society. There's no way for a person to objectively experience a biologically "male mind" and a "female mind" at different times in their life, so no real experiential or quantitative experimental comparison can be made.

So is it people getting surgery to match a socially constructed idea of what a "male" or "female" is? I just don't understand why the body has to change -- it indicates an insecurity and set of expectations for what's "right" similar to elective plastic surgery, which I also don't find appealing. It seems like the body isn't the enemy, there is no enemy, just thoughts that should be investigated. What does it mean to feel like you're the wrong gender? What are you currently feeling? How can it be characterized as "male" or "female"? Would having surgery change the experience? Would it change the thoughts that you have?

This post only applies to trans people who get surgery, by the way.

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005


ashgromnies posted:

What if you don't hate things though? My penis could be bees, I don't really care. If that's what it is, so be it, that's fine.

I don't have an opposition to anyone changing something about themselves, but I can't help but feel it's an unskillful handling of stress that prompts the change for many people.

What is being male like? What is being female like? It just "is", any relative sense of meaning is imposed by society. There's no way for a person to objectively experience a biologically "male mind" and a "female mind" at different times in their life, so no real experiential or quantitative experimental comparison can be made.

So is it people getting surgery to match a socially constructed idea of what a "male" or "female" is? I just don't understand why the body has to change -- it indicates an insecurity and set of expectations for what's "right" similar to elective plastic surgery, which I also don't find appealing. It seems like the body isn't the enemy, there is no enemy, just thoughts that should be investigated. What does it mean to feel like you're the wrong gender? What are you currently feeling? How can it be characterized as "male" or "female"? Would having surgery change the experience? Would it change the thoughts that you have?

This post only applies to trans people who get surgery, by the way.

Isn't there evidence that most people who have the reassignment surgery experience a drastic improvement in their happiness and quality of life? If so, that's really all the argument that's needed.

rivid
Jul 17, 2005

Matt 24:44

There's a whole album about it. Here's the first track -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFgFGgjNQ4E

ashgromnies
Jun 19, 2004


Ytlaya posted:

Isn't there evidence that most people who have the reassignment surgery experience a drastic improvement in their happiness and quality of life? If so, that's really all the argument that's needed.

It's hard to get a read on a person's happiness and quality of life, self reporting can be flawed. Regardless, it seems like with the medical treatment of gender reassignment being where it is right now -- a person might pass if they start in their teens and probably not if later, and given the difficulty that people face from a society with gender-based expectations of appearance, a trans person might be under quite a bit of stress post-transition as well, if they feel like their appearance doesn't match what they thought the idealized differently gendered version of themselves was.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Reppin' the Row since 1536.



Lightanchor posted:

So rather than searching yourself for feeling like your sex, imagine dressing up as and pretending to be the other sex for some period of time, and how that would feel. Some things can only be felt as a lack.
That's the thing though, I don't see how pretending to be a woman would make any difference to how I feel. I'd still just be me, but looking a bit different.

LtSmash
Dec 18, 2005

Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind.

-Sister Miriam Godwinson,
"We Must Dissent"



Captain Trips posted:

So I'd like the fine Goons of A/T to do their best to educate me on the subject. How does this occur? Is it a gradual thing, or a sudden thing, or just something you always feel? What are the motivations that lead people to make that change in their life and identify openly as the other gender? How can I, as a "cis" male, better understand people whose gender may or may not be totally solidified in their own mind?

Disclaimer: If any of this post causes offense to any trans people (or anyone else for that matter), I wholeheartedly apologize. Chalk it up to my ignorance of your situation and my subsequent inability to describe it. But that ignorance is the motivation for this post. I'd like to understand this better, but I don't know any trans people well enough to broach the subject.

First I don't think you are gonna offend anyone by trying to understand better. But trans threads tend to turn into train wrecks. E/N has has the trans megathread which has both a lot of info and resources as well as people willing to answer politely asked questions and a varying amount of trolls an poo poo posters. But you did say you are "cis" which is kinda offensive since you probably wouldn't say you are "hetero". Cis and and trans are both greek prefixes meaning same and across, respectively, and are used in chemistry and physics and any number of other fields. So you are cisgendered just as I am, no quotes needed since its not a made up term.

Imagine if one day everyone simple started treating you like a woman (even ignoring the physical aspects). They would use the feminine version of your name and feminine pronouns. If you used a men's restroom they would flip. They would insist you wore a skirt or dress, or at the very least a woman's cut of clothing. That you had a woman's haircut. That you wore makeup. That if you had mostly male friends they assumed you were sleeping with them and call you a slut behind your back. You shouldn't play football because its a guy's sport and have you considered softball or sewing instead? That if you objected to any of it you were simply being unreasonable and why were you making such a fuss? Everyone knows you are a girl, everyone can see it so why don't you just shut up and wear the drat skirt and why are we having this argument for the hundredth time?

Everyone does it. Everyone. And never with any doubt. But you still know you are a guy. But if you tell anyone they will probably call you crazy and make fun of you or hate you or attack you (as violence is a very real threat statistically) so after a while you probably do wear the skirt, especially if you are a child and can't actually make the choice. But you just want to be recognized as who you feel you really are. What that actually entails can vary a tremendous amount from person to person and there isn't a correct way to be trans. You would probably insist on them using male pronouns and your male name and letting you wear male clothing and use mens restrooms.

Obviously this is only kinda the social dysphoria and not the physical part but that's not something I can relate to as well.

Frank Viola
Feb 12, 2014


Go look on Tumblr, come back and join E/N. Then you too can join in the hatred of all cisgendered white hetero male overlords. Close Thread.

Lightanchor
Nov 2, 2012


Tiggum posted:

That's the thing though, I don't see how pretending to be a woman would make any difference to how I feel. I'd still just be me, but looking a bit different.

It won't matter when you're playing video games and watching anime, but it tends to matter a whole lot when you're interacting with other people.

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005


ashgromnies posted:

It's hard to get a read on a person's happiness and quality of life, self reporting can be flawed. Regardless, it seems like with the medical treatment of gender reassignment being where it is right now -- a person might pass if they start in their teens and probably not if later, and given the difficulty that people face from a society with gender-based expectations of appearance, a trans person might be under quite a bit of stress post-transition as well, if they feel like their appearance doesn't match what they thought the idealized differently gendered version of themselves was.

I'm not sure why it's so tough to understand why a person might be very upset if their body doesn't match their ideal "self" and they're not comfortable as a result. Even if it's something as simple as a trans-male (is that how you refer to a woman->man transsexual?) wanting to be able to fulfill the penetrative/"male" role in sex, that can still be a big deal to someone.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Reppin' the Row since 1536.



LtSmash posted:

But you did say you are "cis" which is kinda offensive since you probably wouldn't say you are "hetero".

Wouldn't you? Is that considered offensive? It seems like a pretty straight-forward abbreviation to me.


Lightanchor posted:

It won't matter when you're playing video games and watching anime, but it tends to matter a whole lot when you're interacting with other people.

Oh, I realise that people are treated differently based on their perceived gender, and yes, the sexism would be bad because it is bad. But that's not inherent to being female, that's just people being terrible. If instead of suddenly being female I were suddenly black then I would experience a lot more racism than I'm used to, but that seems like an entirely unrelated issue. Discrimination and bigotry are bad and people should be treated the same regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, whatever. But I don't see what that has to do with feeling male or feeling female.

Lareine
Jul 22, 2007


LtSmash posted:

Imagine if one day everyone simple started treating you like a woman (even ignoring the physical aspects). They would use the feminine version of your name and feminine pronouns. If you used a men's restroom they would flip. They would insist you wore a skirt or dress, or at the very least a woman's cut of clothing. That you had a woman's haircut. That you wore makeup. That if you had mostly male friends they assumed you were sleeping with them and call you a slut behind your back. You shouldn't play football because its a guy's sport and have you considered softball or sewing instead? That if you objected to any of it you were simply being unreasonable and why were you making such a fuss? Everyone knows you are a girl, everyone can see it so why don't you just shut up and wear the drat skirt and why are we having this argument for the hundredth time?

This hasn't really been my experience as a girl. I don't wear dresses or skirts, don't wear bras, don't shave my legs, don't wear make up and nobody gives a poo poo. At most, they just assume I'm a lesbian.

I echo the sentiments that people are feeling about "not feeling like [insert gender here]" I suppose it also helps that I don't really identify strongly with any label. Who cares if I'm a female, heterosexual, cat-loving, leftist-leaning, depression-prone, somewhat overweight person who sometimes plays video games? I certainly don't and am not concerned what other people think.

I am a person. I exist.

African AIDS cum
Feb 29, 2012


I LOVE BUYING GAMES



Lareine posted:

I'm a female, heterosexual, cat-loving, leftist-leaning, depression-prone, somewhat overweight person who sometimes plays video games

Make this person a mod ASAP

Plom Bar
Jun 5, 2004

hardest time i ever done

It's a brain thing. Just like you probably can't fathom what it's like to have severe autism, schizophrenia, or other conditions resultant of neurological abnormalities, you probably can't really fathom what it's like to be transgender. (Disclaimer: I am not claiming that being trans is the same as being crazy. I AM saying that it is the result of abnormalities in the brain, which is empirically supported.)

The good news is, you don't have to. All you have to do is accept that such people exist (because they do), that such people pose no actual threat to you or your safety (relative to other groups of people, also true), and that such people are as deserving of your respect and basic human decency as anyone else (because they are).

Forget what other people are saying using analogies involving socially constructed gender roles. That's all horseshit. No one in the world conforms to every single gender role for their gender, and expecting either cis or trans people to do so in any context is idiotic. Everyone, on some level, chooses which roles to accept and which roles to reject.

Plom Bar fucked around with this message at May 15, 2014 around 06:46

LtSmash
Dec 18, 2005

Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind.

-Sister Miriam Godwinson,
"We Must Dissent"



Tiggum posted:

Wouldn't you? Is that considered offensive? It seems like a pretty straight-forward abbreviation to me.

My point wasn't using cis or trans or hetero or homo but putting quotes around them as though they were of a dubious validity. At this point I don't think anyone would put quotes around hetero or homo as they are in common usage but he did put quotes around cis, presumably without any ill intent. I was just trying to point out that he could have unintentionally caused offense by doing that. Its much less offensive than saying something like "I'm not gay, I'm normal" but I feel it carries at least a twinge of that sentiment and when groups get trolls or outright attacks being careful is often a good idea.

Lareine posted:

This hasn't really been my experience as a girl. I don't wear dresses or skirts, don't wear bras, don't shave my legs, don't wear make up and nobody gives a poo poo. At most, they just assume I'm a lesbian.

There is of course a huge diversity of experience. For simplicities sake I was painting in excessively broad strokes that are probably unlikely to match any particular person. I imagine that you at least use female pronouns and women's restrooms and probably don't play on men's only sports teams. Since you are cis that doesn't bother you. But if you were trans the gist would be that people and society treat you like someone that you feel is drastically different from how you feel you really are.

There are also some interesting studies about the prevalence of trans people in countries with different socially acceptable gender expressions, where IIRC generally the less rigid the gender roles the less likely people are to identify themselves as trans despite the often much more difficult time of being trans in those places. Presumably because if they are freer to fit somewhere more in the middle as a butch lady they don't have to go whole hog and transition to being a guy to escape the rigid role of fem lady or reverse with men.

Miijhal
Jul 10, 2011

I keep looking. Why do I keep looking?!


The best way I can describe it is that I view myself relative to other woman more than men, but that's a bit of a simplification. I'm not exactly the crowning example of stereotypical femininity, and I don't particularly care to be. I just kinda see myself as a woman.

Though frankly the social aspect has never been quite as much of a problem for me as my body has. It just feels wrong. Like, it's not just that seeing myself physically male is uncomfortable, there's a general, constant sense of physical discomfort that comes with it. And inversely, when I started hormone therapy, that sense of unease was significantly lessened and I went from having panic attacks at random on a weekly basis to having three or four over the course of an entire year.

It's kinda like my brain just goes "WELP! Something ain't right here!" and responds accordingly.

Miijhal fucked around with this message at May 15, 2014 around 07:13

jneen
Feb 8, 2014

*/o/* ------------ *\o\*

ashgromnies posted:

This post only applies to trans people who get surgery, by the way.



Okay, lemme take a crack at this. Fair warning: I have exactly one stupid effortpost worth of patience for this, and if it doesn't work I give up. Cheers. You may also find enlightenment on http://transwhat.org/ and inspiration at http://reddit.com/r/transtimelines .

Your question is difficult because gender dysphoria is actually not that well understood objectively, so there's not a whole lot of answers to "why" other than "that's how it is."

It took me a long time to figure out I was trans. Normally, I have a pretty good ability to get over stuff - change what foods I like, what music I listen to, deal with difficult situations, etc. So for a long time I didn't believe that things like my physical appearance should affect my well-being so much. But it did. No matter how many "gender is a just social construct anyways" and "why am I just being insecure" arguments I made to myself, it would Just. Not. Go. Away. There was no reasoning with it, and it was *infuriating*. I wanted soft skin. I wanted breasts. And I didn't know *why*. And every time I had to get out of bed and look at my hairy body I wanted to crawl into a corner and die.

So that's the physical experiece. Let's talk about the social experience.

Interesting factoid: I used to make all sorts of fedora-style arguments about how women had it so much better than men, and it really seemed natural to me that all men would want to be women (obviously!). Then I met some trans men who patiently corrected me on that score.

Gender comes with rules and assumptions - it's part of our language. Being seen as a woman is very different than being seen as a man, and not just because of sexism (although it's impossible to extricate from sexism). These assumptions are subjective, and really culture-dependent, so any attempt to really tie them down is going to come with a lot of "not ALL..."-style exceptions.

For trans* people, the messages associated with the gender we were assigned at birth Do Not Fit. Now, you might ask why we feel the need to conform to these gender-essentialist stereotypes - people act outside of gender norms all the time![1] Or as my mom so tactfully put it, "why can't you just be a feminine man!?"

This was a question that puzzled me for a long time. In the end though, the physical stuff aside, swimming against the current of social assumptions gets old super fast. I'd barely have been introduced to someone and find myself having to convince them that I'm not <list of 1000 things they think they know about me>. Ain't nobody got time for that. It doesn't help that I'm actually a bit tomboyish, and do a lot of stereotypically masculine things. I still don't want to be a man.

So, yeah. The main point is there is something about a person's innate sense of gender that is immutable and not susceptible to logic.

Good luck and goonspeed.

[1] Sometimes. Let me know the next time you see a male banker go to work in a dress.

e: also why are people so obsessed with other people's genitalia. honestly how much tail do you get that other peoples' junk is relevant to you

jneen fucked around with this message at May 15, 2014 around 07:18

Lightanchor
Nov 2, 2012


What you're saying is analogous to claiming not to understand depression, because you feel happy. I'm saying things like 'imagine not enjoying things you used to enjoy, you're tired all the time, you stop wanting to see other people' and you're saying 'I feel perfectly happy, though?'

You seem to be thinking that the trans idea requires that males generally 'feel male' and females generally 'feel female', and the exceptions are trans people. And in fact, most people almost certainly would feel uncomfortable if they had to act as and be regarded as the other gender. You're right that your 'not feeling male' problematizes this picture. But it's not the right picture in the first place. Forget about all that. All the trans idea requires is that there are some people for whom acting as their sex is so intolerable that they are willing to risk alienation from their friends and family and constant stigma from almost anyone that becomes aware of their status, in order to present as the other gender. This doesn't require feelings of 'being male' or 'being female', but it does entail the feelings of some people of 'not being this gender' and 'taking refuge in this other gender which fits me much better'.

Your inability to completely relate just means that you don't have gender dysphoria. You might not even have it if you woke up tomorrow as a woman. But you can still understand it abstractly.

groundspeed
Dec 6, 2013


Tiggum posted:

The thing I've never been able to understand is, how do you feel like a man or feel like a woman? I don't even know what that means. I don't feel like I'm supposed to be male or whatever, I just am. If I were somehow magically transformed into a woman then I imagine it would take some getting used to, but I'm not aware of any reason that I couldn't get used to it. I am male, but I don't have any innate sense that that's the way things are supposed to be.

How can you even tell that what you're feeling is that you're male or female? What possible frame of reference could you have? I've never been a woman so even if I did feel like a woman then I wouldn't know that's what I felt like because my only experience is of being myself.

I've felt like I don't know what to do, but I don't see how that translates. You don't have to do anything to be male or female.

I transitioned, and I feel pretty much the same way. For me it was mainly that there were aspects of my body that felt very wrong and I wanted to medically fix that. As a kid I didn't really go around talking about gender, just started counting down till I was "old enough to get surgery". I didn't want to transition to become my true self or something, I just wanted to transition.

I transitioned years ago, so if everyone suddenly switched what gender they saw me as it would be weird for awhile, but I wouldn't mind as long as I didn't get my pre-transition body back along with it. This seems kind of unusual going by other trans people I've talked to, but I guess it's different for different people. I just don't give a poo poo about gender roles, honestly.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Reppin' the Row since 1536.



Lightanchor posted:

What you're saying is analogous to claiming not to understand depression, because you feel happy. I'm saying things like 'imagine not enjoying things you used to enjoy, you're tired all the time, you stop wanting to see other people' and you're saying 'I feel perfectly happy, though?'
The key difference being that your description of depression is entirely understandable to me despite the fact that I have never suffered from depression.

Lightanchor posted:

You seem to be thinking that the trans idea requires that males generally 'feel male' and females generally 'feel female', and the exceptions are trans people. And in fact, most people almost certainly would feel uncomfortable if they had to act as and be regarded as the other gender. You're right that your 'not feeling male' problematizes this picture. But it's not the right picture in the first place. Forget about all that. All the trans idea requires is that there are some people for whom acting as their sex is so intolerable that they are willing to risk alienation from their friends and family and constant stigma from almost anyone that becomes aware of their status, in order to present as the other gender. This doesn't require feelings of 'being male' or 'being female', but it does entail the feelings of some people of 'not being this gender' and 'taking refuge in this other gender which fits me much better'.
But you seem to be ignoring the fact that there certainly are trans people who do say that they "feel (fe)male" and I want to know what that means because the words don't map to any concept I'm aware of. I'm not having difficulty with the concept that trans people exist, that's a pretty clear fact.

Lightanchor posted:

Your inability to completely relate just means that you don't have gender dysphoria. You might not even have it if you woke up tomorrow as a woman. But you can still understand it abstractly.
Apparently I can't though?

groundspeed posted:

I transitioned, and I feel pretty much the same way. For me it was mainly that there were aspects of my body that felt very wrong and I wanted to medically fix that. As a kid I didn't really go around talking about gender, just started counting down till I was "old enough to get surgery". I didn't want to transition to become my true self or something, I just wanted to transition.

I transitioned years ago, so if everyone suddenly switched what gender they saw me as it would be weird for awhile, but I wouldn't mind as long as I didn't get my pre-transition body back along with it. This seems kind of unusual going by other trans people I've talked to, but I guess it's different for different people. I just don't give a poo poo about gender roles, honestly.
See, this I understand. I haven't experienced it, but I comprehend he meaning of the words. But this is apparently an atypical experience and brings me no closer to understanding what it means to "feel (fe)male".

bilabial trill
Dec 25, 2008

not just a B


Lightanchor posted:

acting as their sex

What does this mean? And why can't one just simply act as the other sex? This doesn't explain the desire for surgery.

Alastor_the_Stylish
Jul 25, 2006

WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING IN LIFE.



Ytlaya posted:

I'm not sure why it's so tough to understand why a person might be very upset if their body doesn't match their ideal "self" and they're not comfortable as a result. Even if it's something as simple as a trans-male (is that how you refer to a woman->man transsexual?) wanting to be able to fulfill the penetrative/"male" role in sex, that can still be a big deal to someone.

I'm in favor of trans people getting whatever they need medically and socially because it must be torture to look in the mirror and see something that you know is not actually you and every moment everything about how you feel is wrong. Am I logically compelled to support other people who are tortured by the fact that their outsides are different from how they feel mentally, like a while ago when it was en vogue to make fun of those people who truly believe that they are supposed to be amputees?

LtSmash
Dec 18, 2005

Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind.

-Sister Miriam Godwinson,
"We Must Dissent"



Alastor_the_Stylish posted:

I'm in favor of trans people getting whatever they need medically and socially because it must be torture to look in the mirror and see something that you know is not actually you and every moment everything about how you feel is wrong. Am I logically compelled to support other people who are tortured by the fact that their outsides are different from how they feel mentally, like a while ago when it was en vogue to make fun of those people who truly believe that they are supposed to be amputees?

Well yes and no. You are logically compelled to support them getting help because those (wishing to be amputees) people have serious problems that are probably negatively impacting their quality of life. The support they need is stuff like therapy because if they did go through with amputating a limb it would not actually improve their quality of life. Trans folks too get a lot of counseling before the more medical aspects of transitioning both because there are usually co-morbid issues like depression but also because no doctor will ever touch them without tons of double checking to make sure they are really sure so they don't get sued (also ignorance or transphobia sometimes too).

So you aren't compelled to help people cut off their legs but to get them the adequate care they need. At the same time its a time honored tradition of SA to make fun of weirdos on the internet be they wishful amputees or trans social justice warriors screaming about cis scum. Everyone should have access to healthcare and equal protection and all that as well as equal right to be mocked when they make fools of themselves on the internet.

KelJu
Jul 18, 2004
IT WAS A MISCLICK

I don't see why it is so hard to understand. OP, are you a heterosexual male? If so, then you know 100% what it feels like to be a heterosexual man. Use your imagination and think about how you might feel if you were born the way you are now, but into a female body. Can you imagine how awful that might feel?



LtSmash posted:

Well yes and no. You are logically compelled to support them getting help because those (wishing to be amputees) people have serious problems that are probably negatively impacting their quality of life. The support they need is stuff like therapy because if they did go through with amputating a limb it would not actually improve their quality of life. Trans folks too get a lot of counseling before the more medical aspects of transitioning both because there are usually co-morbid issues like depression but also because no doctor will ever touch them without tons of double checking to make sure they are really sure so they don't get sued (also ignorance or transphobia sometimes too).



How many people with Gender Dysphoria or BIID have been cured with therapy alone? Also, how many people who have gone through with the surgery for either situation claimed that their decision was a mistake after the fact?

I can't find any good information to answer either question. I know quite a few transgendered women, and none of them have ever said that they think their decision to become a woman was a mistake.

Jeffrey
Dec 22, 2005



KelJu posted:

I don't see why it is so hard to understand. OP, are you a heterosexual male? If so, then you know 100% what it feels like to be a heterosexual man. Use your imagination and think about how you might feel if you were born the way you are now, but into a female body. Can you imagine how awful that might feel?

I am not the OP but to me this doesn't seem like it would feel awful at all. I'd certainly experience more sexism, but if I woke up with a female body I wouldn't feel any need to fix it or like something were wrong with it. That's why I asked if there are people who are cis, but do feel strongly like their assigned gender(ie would experience dysphoria if it changed), and someone suggested there were, which I find interesting but also can't really relate to.

Captain Trips
May 23, 2013
The sudden reminder that I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about

KelJu posted:

I don't see why it is so hard to understand. OP, are you a heterosexual male? If so, then you know 100% what it feels like to be a heterosexual man. Use your imagination and think about how you might feel if you were born the way you are now, but into a female body. Can you imagine how awful that might feel?

If I was born with the brain of a hetero man, in a female body? I'd just be a lesbian.

I guess I'm not one of those guys who feels "defined" by the fact that he has a penis?

KelJu
Jul 18, 2004
IT WAS A MISCLICK

Jeffrey posted:

I am not the OP

I know, I didn't mean for that to be directed at you.

KelJu
Jul 18, 2004
IT WAS A MISCLICK

Captain Trips posted:

If I was born with the brain of a hetero man, in a female body? I'd just be a lesbian.

I guess I'm not one of those guys who feels "defined" by the fact that he has a penis?



Being gay and having gender dysphoria aren't even close to being the same thing.

There is more to it than having or not having a dick.

Captain Trips
May 23, 2013
The sudden reminder that I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about

KelJu posted:

Being gay and having gender dysphoria aren't even close to being the same thing.

I realize that, but the question was if I had my mind in a woman's body. I'd still be attracted to women, which would make me a lesbian.

I guess I still can't imagine myself as the other gender, because I don't have any experience with being a woman. So it's still a hard question to answer.

Miijhal
Jul 10, 2011

I keep looking. Why do I keep looking?!


Just because you logically don't think you'd be affected by being the other sex doesn't mean you wouldn't be, because it's not something that can be rationalized. The dysphoria is a feeling, an automatic, unconscious response. It's not like I woke up at some point and went, "Oh, yeah, I think I should be a woman. Which means I have to feel bad about my body!" I just started feeling more and more uncomfortable with my body as puberty progressed, until it became impossible for me to ignore or brush aside. Obviously there were some pretty clear indications that my sex was the source of these feelings, but going into detail is a bit too personal for me.

And believe me, I've tried to rationalize these feelings away. Many, maybe even most of us have at some point. But in the same way you can't rationalize physical pain away or make allergies disappear in a puff of logic, you can't just make the dysphoria vanish by considering it illogical.

Also, yeah, I definitely don't see how you got that we think gender=genitals. There are trans woman and men who don't get SRS, and are perfectly happy that way, because they still feel like they've hit the point where they're comfortable with their body and feel it matches their self-image well enough. The transition actually has a ton of points where one can decided "that's enough for me" and stop there, because different people have different needs.

For me, my body has definitely been the main issue, and I feel like fully transitioning is the right course for me, so my perspective obviously reflects that. But it varies from person to person.

I'm admittedly pretty terrible at describing this kind of thing, especially since it's a very complicated topic.

Miijhal fucked around with this message at May 15, 2014 around 21:00

jneen
Feb 8, 2014

*/o/* ------------ *\o\*

Captain Trips posted:

If I was born with the brain of a hetero man, in a female body? I'd just be a lesbian.

I guess I'm not one of those guys who feels "defined" by the fact that he has a penis?



Tell us more about how being trans is the same as being gay

Also you're onto something! What if being a man *isn't* defined by having a penis?

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LtSmash
Dec 18, 2005

Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind.

-Sister Miriam Godwinson,
"We Must Dissent"



KelJu posted:

How many people with Gender Dysphoria or BIID have been cured with therapy alone? Also, how many people who have gone through with the surgery for either situation claimed that their decision was a mistake after the fact?

I can't find any good information to answer either question. I know quite a few transgendered women, and none of them have ever said that they think their decision to become a woman was a mistake.

I can't speak to BIID but I know that there are at least a few trans people who were / are trotted out that claim that they regret it the same way there are ex-gays trotted out by conservatives. Its part of why the bar is so high now to medically transition. Some people did feel they regretted it and I believe they were involved in a malpractice suit against their doctor and/or insurance company. They probably had lots of other issues going on as well and their actions were probably not the most freely chosen. When those you most rely on tell you you either repent or get tied to a fence with barbed wire well I don't know about you but I for one would start loving Jesus.

But the fact is most trans people do go through a lot of therapy and it does not cure them of being trans because being trans is not something that you get cured of anymore than you get cured of being gay. It does help them come to terms with it and help them navigate the difficulties of being trans. Being trans is also not an all or nothing thing. There are varying degrees of gender dysphoria so some people may be able to simply get by being a fem guy who wears nail polish sometimes or whatever and don't speak up or identify as trans and thus don't stand out.

Tripps: Have you ever shaved your head or something to really change your appearance and the next day did a double take when you saw your reflection and gone who the gently caress is that until your brain caught up? I've had gender dysphoria described somewhat like that but with your physical body as well. You just always kinda feel out of sorts in the back of your mind. And when something reminds you of your body its just like who's body is this? Because its clearly not mine. And then your brain catches up and you just kinda go 'drat' instead of 'oh yeah I shaved my head'.

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