Thursday, March 6, 2008

Of Transsexuals, Transvestites and Transgenders.

It was loathsome. Two transvestites humiliated themselves doing a ridiculous sexy dance in a show of feigned ‘feminity’ in order to get into the finals of the Miss Say Yes annual ‘pageant’. I am one of the contestants for this week’s heat at the request of my friend who was PR manager at the place. But the applauses were given more to the transvestite contestants for making a fool of themselves then the serious transsexual contenders.

I am very tempted to withdraw from this show of utter drag flamboyance, but for my friend’s plea. It is not that I am in any way intolerant of transvestites (cross dressers, drags alike) but I am starting to feel the serious implications of lumping both transsexuals and transvestites, two totally different sets of people into one label we call transgenders; especially in a society that already finds it hard to differentiate between the two subsets.

I recently chatted online with Marti of; and I told her that I completely support total separation between transsexuals and transvestites, but I also shared to her that as not one transvestite can judge transsexuals like me for wanting the surgery, we transsexuals cannot judge transvestites for wanting to cross-dress as women even thought they identity as men. A pot and a kettle still belong in the kitchen I told her.

Getting a layman to understand the differences is already difficult. Then, battle lines were drawn for the past few months within the transsexual groups, when transsexuals who do not wish to associate with then term transgender starts to condemn those transsexuals who are comfortable with the term. They are called Women Born Transsexuals (WBT). Confused? I too when they went on to attack transsexuals who chose not to go for SRS.

Now I believe everyone has the right for self-determination and interpreting the Harry Benjamin Syndrome and Standards Of Care. But to use it in order to justify bigotry against transsexual sisters by calling them men in women dresses is also uncalled for. A transsexual is a transsexual is a transsexual. A lot of transsexuals cannot undergo SRS because of religion. If they do so they would be flogged, jailed or even killed in prison.

So how do we define “men in dresses”? I apologize, but let me tell you something. I am not a transvestite, I know I am a girl born with an abnormal mutation, but I have friends who are transvestites. They will willingly admit to everyone they are men and just like to cross-dress. Just like a lot of my tomboy friends would tell you they are still comfortable females. I am a pre-op transsexual, and that certainly does not make me a transvestite.

In any case, it would not even matter soon because I am going for SRS in June, so not one WBT would have anything on me because I would had, in their terms, being ‘born’ a transsexual. Which for me is still not accurate. I am born an incomplete girl. But going to be a lady. So there needs to be clarity here. A transsexual may not have an operation but could still remain a transsexual. Like a man that lost his dick in an accident is still a man.

In the end, WBT and transsexual should be separated from what is transvestite. Actually I find both transsexual groups do fit into the transgender category, but not transvestites. Why Virginia Prince invented the word ‘transgender’ to mix transsexuals and transvestites together is beyond me; transvestites have more to do with transfer of clothes rather than transfer of gender. A social construct should never be used to represent human beings.

Yuki's Thoughts: Yes, I will withdraw from the competition for the sake of my WBT and TS sisters.

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