In a recent blog entry, lead gender facist Monica Helms writes about transition. Well, he (sorry, but I honestly cannot see Helms as anything other than a man) starts out talking about transition, and actually managing to raise some interesting issues, but then he goes off on a tangent about how some get "stuck." Or, more correctly, he starts defending the classic TG excuses used to show that they are really "transsexuals" and not just men who don't want to give up their manhood.
Now, I think most who are survivors of HBS such as myself would say that transition is a finite period that ends when one has completed surgery and is successfully living as their appropriate sex.
But, as I say, the real purpose of Helm's post is to justify not transitioning...or more specifically, to make excuses. But, that should not be surprsing to those who are familiar with Helms who has always tended to be strongly anti-surgery, even though he now claims to be surgery tracked. Sure, and the Easter Bunny will be bringing us all eggs on Sunday. No, Helms just wants to claim silence critics who have pointed out that he has no business commenting on transsexuals, as he is not one. Nothing has changed, and he should still stay out of matters he has no real knowledge of.
But, let's look at the excuses Helms offers:
Helms wants to claim that some simply cannot afford surgery. In truth, few can actually afford surgery. I mean really....how many have $20,000+ just sitting around? And $20,000 is kind of the cheap side, and does not include other expenses. For almost anyone, paying for surgery is a struggle. But, if one really needs surgery, one will find a way. Some max out credit cards, others take out a loan, and some simply save the money. Once I was in a position to begin, my plan was simple. I knew how much I needed in terms of income. If I worked for a given period, saved half of that income, and lived on the other half, I could make it in a year to a year and a half, provided I had my surgery in Thailand. Ironically, things worked out a bit different. I got a job with insurance that covered my surgery. There was one small problem. It was a half-time job. So, for about a year and a half I lived on half of what I should be making. Interestingly enough, after my surgery, I was able to move to a better job and now am doing quite well. But that is another story. Finances might slow one down, but it will not stop a true transsexual or someone with HBS. But, for someone like Helms, it does make a good excuse.
Another common excuse that some hide behind is "medical problems." Now, there was a time when this was sort of true. It was not that many years ago that conditions like diabetes or being HIV positive could be pretty much a permanent bar to surgery. Now, that is no longer the case. Unless one is probably going to be dead soon, surgery can be had. You might have to lose some weight (I did.), or bring your blood sugar under better control (I also had to do this.), or even shop around a bit to find a surgeon willing to take the chance. But, few are permanently barred from surgery, and those who are are probably going to be dead soon...if not from their condition then from their own hand. Unless, of course, they don't really want surgery after all..,
Now, this is the only area where Helms is sort of, kind of, honest. Not about himself, as he is still trying to pretend to be surgery tracked, but about the motives of others. He admits that some just don't want surgery. Well duh!
And for many, surgery is not a proper choice, But the term that Helms uses, "non-op" is bogus. There is no such thing as a "non-op transsexual." If you don't want surgery, you are not a transsexual. If you don't want surgery, you don't want to change your sex, and you are not a transsexual. What could be simpler? Well, if you are trying to co-opt the experience of others....well, then things like the truth are not going to be very high on your list of priorities.
But having admitted that some simply don't want surgery, Helms still insists on making excuses, offering up things like jobs, family, and marriage. Of course almost all transsexuals have to deal with at least one of these, most are going to have to deal with two, and many face all three. It is only those who want to play pretend who actually use these as an excuse.
And then there is the really silly stuff, like being afraid of surgery... Trust me, I knew the risks, I probably knew them better than most. But I knew I would rather die trying than continue to live as a I was.
No, Helms is a classic gender fascist, He wants to push his silliness on those who want no part of it, and to force them under his umbrella. But the truth is, he has never been, is not, and will never be a transsexual. He is a man who, for whatever reason, decided he wanted to play pretend. He had a successful career as a man, serving in the Navy, and apparently had no serious difficulties during that part of his life. Now, he likes having a foot on both side of the fence.
He is a classic "gender outlaw" of the same variety as Kate Bornstein. In a follow-up column he shows this when he again trashes the binary paradigm. He even shows basic ignorance of human biology. Simply put, there are really only two sexes. Now, how sex is determined might be a bit more complex, but chromosonal sex comes in only two varieties. No Y chromosome, and you are considered female, in terms of chromosomes One or more Y chromosome and you are consider male in terms of chromosomes. That is only part of the overall picture, but in terms of chromosomes, it is really that simple. Of course, Helms doesn't like that, so he tosses out the facts and makes up his own. But then, Helms is one of those idiots who thinks that having a penis is perfectly normal for a "woman." So nothing else should surprise anyone.
No, Helms should not have surgery. He should hang on to his penis for dear life. We don't need yet another case of a transgender who made a mistake and now regrets having had surgery. And who spends his days trashing those who do need surgery. Well, Helms, like some others, already does that, but at least he doesn't do so as a post-op. And hopefully he never will.