Friday, October 12, 2012

From One Extreme to Another

For years, Suzan Cooke was a terror on the Internet.  Cooke took a pretty absolutist position that, quite frankly, was more akin to Charlotte Goiar than anyone else. Cooke would mock anyone who admitted to being delayed in their transition. In Cooke's extremist view, the information was all there...we just weren't motivated. That, of course, was a complete load of crap.

Cooke claims to have known from the age of four or five. Not quite the "I was three years old, sitting under my mother's piano..." narrative, but close. I've often joked, my mother didn't have a piano, to I was a bit delayed.

 Cooke would make a big deal out of having transitioned early. Some of us simply did not have that luxury. Cooke seemed to be immune to understanding that not everyone fell into that time-line sweet spot where April Ashley and Christine Jorgensen were common knowledge.

 But to hear Cooke tell it, if you didn't transition as a near teenager, you were at the very least, suspect. Basically, the bottom line was, if you weren't Suzan Cooke, you were suspect, but that was not quite said, just implied.

 Now, Cooke has gone to the complete opposite extreme. Now Cooke will buy almost any load of crap spewed by anyone remotely claiming to be trans-anything.

 Yes, there are a range of stories. But there is still a big difference between legitimate, and the silliness we get from kooks like "Autumn" Sandeen and as mentioned in another post, "Colleen Francis." No, such people are not transsexual, and they are not women, trans or otherwise.

When someone comes along and tells about how they had a successful career in the military, retiring after twenty years, and then "suddenly" realized they are really a woman (if they are honest they will include the fact that they were strongly identified as a crossdresser) I am sorry, but I have to cry foul.

 Yes, some of us were delayed in our transitions. In my case, I knew something was wrong as a child. But I simply did not have a frame of reference that allowed for any realistic possibility of correcting my situation. Boys who felt like girls were called a "sissy," and well, being a sissy got you a world of hurt, both from one's father, as well as from your peers. I learned to hide my feelings and desires. Not always very well, and I still suffered a lot.

I discovered the term "transvestite" from a Dear Abby column, and I researched the topic as much as I could at that point in time, but it never quite seemed to fit. But it was the only term I knew. The first I ever heard about the concept of transsexualism was on a show called The Joe Pyne Show. He did a show about Christine Jorgensen, but it was extremely vague on details. I learned that there was a way of "changing sex," but I could not imagine how it would work, and the show made it seem very sordid. The first I discovered in terms of details was in the book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex by Dr. David Rubin. There it was described in such horrid language that I thought it all horrifying. I forget the exact words, but it was something like "an open wound where their genitals used to be." Not remotely the actual results of surgery but I did not know better at the time.

When I was in college, I discovered Canary Conn, and for the first time I realized that SRS was possible. I immediately hit the library and what I discovered convinced me I could not possibly pursue that path. Having grown up with an abusive father, and such, I was literally afraid of men. Like many women in such situations, I thought I was attracted to other women, and I would be a lesbian after surgery. But everything I read said this was not possible. You had to be attracted to men. Now, Cooke has tried to claim that bisexuality, and even lesbianism was acceptable to therapists, but I didn't have any idea where to find one, and what I read, that was written by supposed experts, told me there was no need to bother.

 So, thinking I had no choice, I got married, to get away from my father as much as anything else, and the marriage produced one child.

 It was ironic, when I learned that transition was possible, and actually began, I discovered that I was attracted to men after all. I had some setbacks along the way (being married has a way of doing that) but I made it, and I am happy.

 But, and this is important, my life was a mess as a man. I never had a successful career, and most of my jobs ended after a relatively short period. I spent years keeping house. It was, quite simply, the role I was more suited to. Now, I am happy, successful, and getting on with my life. Unlike so many who transition and wind up on mental disability as they seem suddenly to be non-functional. Funny, but that alone should tell them something.

Cooke, for years, made people miserable by attacking their histories. Now Cooke is trying to tell us all that anything goes, and we should accept even the most ridiculous claims. The real truth is, transsexuals remain rare. Perhaps our stories don't always fit the "classic narrative" made famous by Christine Jorgensen, Jan Morris, and ironically, Renee Richards (who probably lied about a lot of it). But they do have a certain resonance, and some just don't fit at all. I wonder if there is anyone Cooke wouldn't accept now.

Cooke is like some people I have met who, after joining Alcoholics Anonymous, and becoming sober are convinced that anyone who has a single drink is an alcoholic in denial.  Even if you drink with friends one evening a week, you, in their mind, should join AA and get sober.  Cooke has, for reasons that probably have more to do with being romantically involved with someone who transitioned later than would have been acceptable, has "seen the light" and now will accept almost any silliness.  Sad really, as Cooke is contributing to people who basically are doing more harm to themselves, and others, than good.

 As I say, from one extreme to another...


Misanthropic_Buddhist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Jennifer said...

Uh, you do realize that there is a major difference between serving in the military as a woman, and serving as a man? We are not talking about people who served for 20 years as a woman. We are talking about men who had absolutely NO problem fitting in as a man among other men. The male environment in the military would be near impossible for a person who is actually transsexual to survive, let alone thrive in. So, no, I am not buying it, and I am calling them what they are...MEN! As to "Natalie" Reed, and "Monica" Roberts (who loves to go on about that "neoclit" he is packing in his panties, I have never misgendered them. They are men, and nothing else. The only way I could remotely misgender them is to say they are women.

Nicky said...

Same goes for people like Colleen Francis who likes to claim to be a woman, but is in reality a Man like "Natalie" Reed, and "Monica" Roberts

Just Jennifer said...

I have one rule here... No invasion of privacy. A commenter violated that rule, and has been removed.