Now, Cooke has finally stopped sipping the "transgender Kool-Aid" and started downing it by the gallon. She talks about "acknowledging our differences" but the end result is the same. She wants to join the transgender movement, provided she can pretend to maintain the illusion of separation. Sorry, but "No thanks!"
Part of the problem is, Cooke has long been "transgender" in all but name. She has always had a tendency to embrace her differences. In a way, this is not surprising. Cooke's attitude reminds me of the famous quote from the Marlon Brando movie. When Brando's character is asked, "What are you rebelling against, Johnny?" he replies, "Whaddya got?" That pretty much sums up Cooke, who mostly fills her blog with self-aggrandizing stories of her glory days as a revolutionary.
Cooke, and her partner who is also a transsexual, take credit for coming up with the term "Women Born Transsexual," which apparently was meant to play off of "Women Born Women." Originally, it seemed to serve as a strong denunciation of the transgender model, but that has begun to change. Shortly after she started her blog, Cooke began increasingly to embrace transgender activism, calling for transsexuals to join her in fighting for the goals of the the TG community.
Further, Cooke has increasingly adopted the transgender model of identifying as being out side the binary paradigm. For example, in her blog she states:
Actually, I was not disappointed at all. In fact, I would be quite alarmed if Cooke were to try to co-opt the Harry Benjamin Syndrome movement. Now, while I do not agree with everything that Andrea James and Lynn Conway say, I don't have the animosity towards them that some have. But it does seem that Cooke is actually drawn to then for the same reasons many disagree.
When I started this blog the first thing that happened is that a few people made snide remarks about Andrea James and Lynn Conway. They wanted me to embrace things like “HBS” and “Classic Transsexual”. I probably disappointed a number of fplks (sic)when I embraced neither.
Cooke, in her next statement, solidly aligns herself with what is, essentially, the transgender model:
I actually like the term “Transsexual” for the name of what I was born. Not so much as an identity but it gives clarity to the oppression I endured as a transkid and it doesn’t hide the reality of my life journey behind a bunch of jargon aimed at obscuring.In another words, she wishes to embrace her "special status" and separate from those she has derisively referred to as "normborns." And, ironically, by adopting the term "transkid" she actually seems to be, perhaps inadvertently, aligning herself with the Blanchard-Bailey model. This term is widely used by their supporters to describe those who Blanchard would term "homosexual transsexuals."
Or perhaps Cooke is just insecure in her own identity. This would explain this rather odd remark:
What makes this all very strange is that Cooke feels it necessary to denounce the term "classic transsexual" because she fears, quite erroneously, that it is linked to sexual orientation. "Classic transsexual" is not a synonym for "homosexual transsexual." Quite the opposite, it is part of the overall rejection of Blanchard's model. What makes all of this even stranger is Cooke's assertion that she has always identified as "bisexual," given Cooke's history of cruelly attacking post-op transsexuals who had been married as "skin transvestites." But then again, as I have observed, Cooke is now partnered with another transsexual, apparently one who was a later transitioner.
As for “classic transsexual” I recognize it for what it is, a post-moderning term for heterosexual transsexual. as such I tend to see it as both homophobic and as a slam against sisters who come out later in life. It goes against my theories that the root cause of transsexualism is the same for almost all transsexuals and the truth can be found in the narrative. Reading biography after biography leads me to this conclusion that actual people with TS knew as early as their first conscious memories.
Then again, perhaps Cooke simply longs for her glory days when she was a major leader in a movement that had not yet become know as "transgender." It does appear she wants to be one of the big dogs again.
Whatever Cooke's motivations might be, what she proposes is simply unacceptable. She tries to compare her "compromise" to that she claims resulted from the rise of Anita Bryant, when it was decided that the term "gay" was not appropriate to describe both male homosexuals and lesbians, which resulted in the adoption of "gay and lesbian" to describe the community. Cooke suggests something similar:
A similar compromise would be Transsexual and Transgender Communities. LGBT/T or TS/TG and putting those into usage.The problem with such a suggestion is that it still results in the appearance that those with a legitimate medical issue (HBS or classic transsexualism) are in common with those who choose to subvert the binary.
Personally, I think Cooke should just drop the pretense and admit that she is effectively "transgender." I suspect she will be much more comfortable with herself, and perhaps no longer feel the need to try to deny her true feelings in order to maintain an identity that is not legitimate.