National Center For Transgender Equality's (NCTE) executive Director Mara Keisling had the following to say in response to a question about Cher's daughter, Chastity Bono announcing plans to transition to male, "The whole media fixation on surgery is kind of misplaced, almost no transgender people ever have surgery. We don't have any idea how many do." No argument there...at least from me, and any one else who is not married to the idea that transsexuals are part of the "transgender community." I mean, that is pretty much what a lot of us have been saying for some time.
So, how does a gender fascist like Sandeen respond to this? Why they simply blow and fuse and go on a rant! The horror! Sandeen had the following to say:
At a time when trans folk and our allies want to see health care benefits provided by the workplace increased for trans people -- including genital reconstruction surgery that has been determined to be good for the health and wellbeing of many transsexuals -- Mara's phrasing for CNN seems at best unfortunate, and at worst actually damaging for increasing health benefits for those of us trans folk who actually identify as transsexual.
First off, Sandeen shows his invincible ignorance by referring to people who "identify as transsexual. Being transsexual is not an identity. It is a state of being that one is born with. You cannot "identify as a transsexual" which would imply that being a transsexual is simply a matter of choice. There might well be people who really, really, really want to be transsexuals, because in the insanity that is known as the "transgender community" there is this silly idea that being a transsexual is "better" than just being a crossdresser, but that does not change anything. In fact, that pretty much pushes one into the world of autogynephila.
Now you have to remember, Sandeen, who for many years was an avowed "non-op" (granted, that is an oxymoron) has become a "born-again transsexual." That is, in an attempt to gain some crediblity, Sandeen has announced that he is now going to have surgery...on of these day...in the far, far distant future...if someone else pays for it...and he can't come up with an excuse not to. In fact, Sandeen basically indicates this:
In other words, for me it would be nice for me if the Veterans Administration would do genial (sic) reassignment surgeries, but her comment "Almost no transgender people ever have surgery" makes it sound like my peers and I don't want those surgeries for ourselves -- so in the personal sense it sounds like she's saying to the general public that I don't want or need the VA to cover it.
Now I agree, it would be nice if the VA could do some surgery, any surgery, that would make Sandeen more genial, but such miraculous surgery is still beyond the abilities of modern medicine.
But seriously, while I would completely agree if that was what Keisling was saying, I think what Keisling might hopefully be trying to say, or perhaps slipped up and actually admitted, is that most transsexuals, or better, people with HBS, simply do not identify as transgender. And that those who identify as transgender are not, with some exceptions, transsexual or HBS.
Transgender is an identity. It is a subjective social construct that has no objective definition. Transsexual is a medical condition that one is born with. One cannot adopt it as an identity.
But as I said, Sandeen, for a very long time, denied any interest in surgery, seeming to suddenly decide to pursue it as a means of gaining credibility. You have to remember, Sandeen spent 20 years in the United States Navy, serving very successfully as a man, before deciding he was really
"transgender." And then, years after that, suddenly becomes a transsexual when he realizes that no one is willing to accept him as having any crediblity concerning transsexuals.
And it is clear that he still, really doesn't get it:
The reality is that insurance doesn't often cover genital
reconstruction surgeries, so most transsexuals can't afford the $15,000 to
$60,000 for male-to-female genital reconstruction surgery, or the $30,000 to
$150,000 for female-to-male genital reconstruction surgery out of their own
pockets. Economics are often the main reason why the transgender people who
identify as transsexual don't have genital reconstruction surgery. Some
transsexuals actually do identify as non-operative transsexuals, but my
experiece is that those folk aren't how most transsexuals identify -- most who
haven't had genital reconstruction surgery identify as pre-operative even if
they anticipate never being able to afford surgery on their genitalia.
Now, this sort of silliness is typical of the gender fascists, especially those who wish to claim a desire for surgery, but who don't really want it. No, surgery is not cheap. It can be a major financial impact. And yet, people who have HBS somehow manage to find a way. I myself got by for several years on less than half what I should have had in order to pay for it. And mine was paid for by insurance. But, in order to keep that insurance, I worked half-time, living far below what was reasonable. Ironically, my plan, prior to getting that job, was to do pretty much the same thing. And I know others who have followed very similar paths, struggling to save money. The cost of SRS can be compared to that of a relatively low-end automobile. Many borrow the money. But, for those like Sandeen, who always seem to have an excuse, money is a favorite.
And what about those transsexuals who truly believe that they will never have the money? A lot of them simply cannot face going on as the are, and the results are tragic. They don't identify as "non-ops." There is no such thing. That is an imaginarly concept for people like Sandeen who want to claim to be women, but are really not willing to give up their penises.
And then, Sandeen goes on to make a statement that is at the heart of the transgender paradigm. The sort of thing that truly separates those who identify as transgender from those who truly are transsexual or HBS, and from any grasp of reality:
I believe that what Mara was trying to say was that for transsexuals, when we are born what's between our ears doesn't match the genitalia usually associated with that gender. However, having genitalia that doesn't match one's gender identity shouldn't be used by media or politicians to say that trans men aren't really men, or trans women aren't really women -- Genitals don't trump identity.
That pretty much sums it up. The true agenda for the transgender is to claim that one can be a woman with a penis, or a man without one. And that is just silly. Yes, one's gender is between the brains, but gender will drive the desire to be correct. Simply put, if you are comfortable with having a penis, then you are not a woman. If you are comfortable not having a penis, then you are not a man. Yes, genitals do, ultimately, trump identity. You can claim to be a woman all you want, but the moment people find out you have a penis, especially if you want to keep it, the vast majority is never going to see you as truly a woman.
Finally, Sandeen gets things completely backwards:
And too, not everyone who identifies as a transgender person is a transsexual person -- there are crossdressers, genderqueers, and such that may identify as transgender, but not as transsexuals.
Sandeen simply refuses to allow that one might be a transsexual and not identify as transgender. Again, transsexual is an objective fact, transgender is an identity. But, Sandeen wants to reverse things. But in Sandeen's fantasy world, he wants to make the opposite true.
When I challenged Sandeen to admit that transgender was an identity, and should not be forced on anyone, he lied and said he never did that. Here he goes beyond that. He tries to reduce transsexual to an identity and imply that transgender is the reality. Simply put, he just doesn't have a clue.