Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historic Moment....

Well, as of noon Eastern Standard Time on January 20, 2009, our country has a new President. And this was a moment of major historical significance as it represents the first time that an African-American has become President. It is an exciting time for the country. There has been a lot of speculation about what this means for various factions, including the "transgender" community.

Personally, I wonder what Obama's taking office means for those who have Harry Benjamin Syndrome. It has become obvious that more often than not, that which is sought by the "transgender" activists may not be acceptable to those who have HBS, and may even be detrimental. Obama has already stated that there will be no discrimination in his administration's hiring on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It will be interesting to see how that works out in actual practice. Of course, for most with HBS, this would not be that much of an issue, as they would not want that fact made public.

And I know, during the transition, one local "transgender expert" was called to meet with the transition team to provide advice for the Department of Health and Human Services. I don't know exactly what actual advice was offered, but I have concerns since this person has strong links to some who represent the more extreme elements of the "transgender community."

There are, of course, more practical issues of concern to those with HBS. For example, how will the new administration implement the Real ID act? This law caused a lot of concern because it appeared that it might lead to problems for those who had left their previous lives behind. It has somewhat faded as an issue, since full implementation has been put off until 2011.
Another area of concern regards passports. There was some talk, early in the Bush administration, that the policy of issuing temporary passports with the sex marker changed for those traveling overseas to have sex reassignment surgery would be ended. Apparently this did not happen. Again, it seems likely that this will not be a problem under Obama's administration. But there is a possible danger that the laws might be loosened too much.
The bottom line is, what those with HBS most need is simply the right to be recognized as being members of their reassigned sex, and to have their privacy protected. Unfortunately, that is a not at all a priority for the transgender crowd, who are more interested in forcing society to accept men as women, and vice versa.

One thing is clear, this is a time of renewed hope. Many are more than willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, and to look ahead with optimism. Only time will tell whether he will be a great President, or a major disappointment.

But I have to say, I am very disappointed in the behavior of many who did support him. There has been a lot of nasty comments about George Bush. Bush was certainly not a great President, and there were certainly a lot of mistakes made. But he was hardly the monster he has been made out to be. And he was hardly the worst president ever. At least two others come to mind that I would consider worse, one Republican and one Democrat. Those attacking Bush would no doubt be among the first to be offended at the least slight against Obama. Once again, it appears that irony is dead. No one likes a sore loser, and a sore winner is even more offensive. It remains to be seen if Obama represents a major change in American politics, or if we will return to the conservatism that has dominated before. Only time will tell.

3 comments:

Anonymous T said...

This isn't an attack. I just don't understand something.

You really hammer the HBS thing hard in an attempt to disassociate yourself from the transgender community as a whole. And the more i experience with the transgender group as a whole, the more i can understand why you might be driven to feel that way.

But i'm a technical girl, and i'm a realist. And i'll call something out if it just doesn't quite smell right.

1.) Harry Benjamin himself stated that some transsexual women (so-called moderates) are 'legitimate' without needing or having surgery, and simply settling for estrogen therapy.

i'm high-intensity, and *need* the surgery. But despite the irritating behaviour of some 'transgender rebels', i would not deny the womanhood of a few T whose behaviour has clearly demonstrated a female mind to me, even though for whatever reason they are non-op.

2.) On a practical level, we as transsexuals are along for the political ride with transgenders, whether we like it or not. To deny association with them is only possible with those who blend without notice.

And that is an ugly little implication that seems to be vaguely implied in blogs such as yours. You are only 'real' if nobody notices you, and you fit in flawlessly.

i'm not going to lie. i burn with a need for that. i was treated and thought of as female by all strangers before puberty crippled me and ended my life. i want to return full circle to that.

But angrily expounding any qualifier that resembles that, or even vaguely implies it, is just a little too second-cousin to Aryan thinking for me to be comfortable with.

3.) 'HBS' is not a scientific term. It is not a technical diagnosis. It is not officially recognized in any medical journal.

i can understand your desire for a label more easy for the general public to accept than 'transsexualism'. i've used the HBS terminology myself before.

But no matter how much you try, you can't re-write reality to suit your wants.

And even if you were to do so, it would be the height of intellectual dishonesty to go through a body of work, and pick and choose only that which suits you (see point one).

i think we've all had about enough of that with Christians in general, and their 'intelligent design' in particular.

4.) You seem to loathe those who openly proclaim their T status. But then you obviously support work that other privacy-oriented transsexuals find socially vulgar, like 'Transamerica'.

i'm not a 'liberal trans looney'. i'm very pro-gun. i'm pro-Israel. Bush did more for the African HIV - AIDS crisis than anyone ever has.

i want to ally myself with some such as you. But it's all just too inconsistent. It all piles up as circumstantial evidence that you have some serious anger issues over *something* that you experienced, and it has clouded your logic.

Just Jennifer said...

First off, it is not an "attempt." I am NOT part of the "transgender" community in any shape, form, or fashion. "Transgender" is an artificial social/political construct that has no objective basis. One is a member if, and only if, one is willing to be a member. It is an identity, and it is an identity that one can simply reject.

Now, Harry Benjamin Syndrome is not named that because Harry Benjamin invented it, or even discovered it. It is named that to honor his early contributions to understanding the condition. But, his research and writings are not infallible, holy writ. He wrote those things in a different time, and a different context than we are today. I have little doubt that he might well see things differently today. And he said nothing about their "legitimacy." He simply recognized that there were some who did not feel the need to transition as strongly.

Now, I have to ask, if these people are so dead set on keeping the primary symbol and indicator of their maleness, how can you see them as having a "female mind?" I mean, what woman wants a penis? I am sorry, but if one claims to be a "non-op" they are not really a transsexual. And ultimately, that is what HBS is about. It is simply a replacement for "true transsexual."

And no, the practical approach is to separate ourselves from transgender as soon, and as far, as we possibly can. Yes, they want to use us, and at every chance they will try to shove us to the front and make it appear tha they are "just like us."

Now, one of the biggest mistakes that people seem to make, early in transition, is assuming that they have to have some level of feminine perfection to "blend in without notice." And yet, if one simply looks around, you will realize that women come in all shapes, forms, and fashions. Almost all, with just a little effort, can blend in. There might be a few exceptions, but I haven't really met any. I have met plenty who make no effort, or worse, are incapable of making any effort.

No, you have it reversed. It is not that those who blend in are the only ones who are real. It is that those who are real will blend in. I have seen drag queens who look quite female, but they are clearly drag queens. No, it is the "gender rebels" who don't want to blend in who stand out.

Now, some may require facial feminization surgery. For others, hormones do a lot. But women come n a variety of appearances, shapes, and sizes. At 5'10" I am tall, but I am also the same height as Princess Diana, and two inches shorter than Michelle Obama. My figure could be better, but I see a lot of women who have the same shape. I am far from perfect, but I am a woman. Period.

And there is an effort to get HBS adopted. We have had some success, and we are in contact with various medical professionals. No, it has not been adopted, but there was a time when "transgender" was not widely recognized either. We are making a stand, and we will not be intimidated.

And not everyone who backs the HBS paradigm shares my view of "Transamerica." I felt the movie did a good job of showing what a transsexual is, as opposed to someone who is simply "transgender." Bree wanted to be a woman, not a freak. The movie was mot perfect, and it raised some troubling questions. But, it was probably the most accurate portrayal to date.

At the heart of HBS is the fact that our condition has a physical basis. It is not a choice, a whim, or a lifesyle. For most transgender, that idea is anathema, because they know they did make a choice.

sue_ann_robins said...

T;
We are not a part of the transgender community.
our gender as you and others call it was not the problem, our bodies were not in alignment with our female neurology.

As to Obama;
He is not what he seems and Pay attention to what goes on in the first 120 days of his rule.

S