Letters Volume Sixteen
This is Volume Sixteen of the collected letters.
Wherein can be found the anonymous texts of actual letters written to me, and my answers in return. They are included because it has been suggested that the discussions are of value. The letters are presented as a rather loose, ongoing continuous dialogue between a hypothetical questioner, and myself.
You can write to me, too!
These are the sixteenth set of letters
Reference Topic Index
Relative ONLY to this volume:
For the complete list see main letters page.
of my personal 1999 "Weirdest Letter Award": Topless TG's
and the Law
I am asked to define 'Heterosexual' in context to all of this
Is Transsexuality a form of escapism?
Cheating on the COGIATI test?
Surgery as 'mutilation'?
well i know this person and i think she or he is one how will i be able to tell
I KNOW THIS WILL PLOBABLY SOUND LIKE A PRANK QUESTION AND WON`T GET ANY RESPONSE, BUT I WAS PONDERING THIS QUESTION FOR SOME TIME NOW AND DIDN`T KNOW WHO TO ASK.
HERE GOES,,, IF A MAN IS A TS/TV TG WITH REAL NICE SAY (38D)
BREASTS IS IT AGAINST THE LAW FOR HIM TO GO TOPPLESS? TECHNICALLY HE IS STILL A MAN ONLY WITH BREASTS. PLEASE DON`T THINK I TRYING TO BE CUTE OR JUST ANOTHER BUTTHOLE WITH AN ATTITUDE ABOUT TRANSGENDERED PEOPLE
BECAUSE I REALLY NOT. I PERSONNALLY FIND MOST SHEMALES VERY ATTRACTIVE.
I HAVE TRIED TO CONVERSE WIT SEVERAL OVER THE NET, BUT NEVER GET A RESPONSE. SO PLEASE IF YOU GET TIME SEND ME AN E-MAIL WITH YOUR
ANSWER, OR JUST TO DISCUSS THIS TOPIC.
Your letter was just so very, seriously damn weird, that in effect, you won my personal "Attention Span Lottery", and I will try to answer it.
Such a situation has not, to my knowlege, been resolved in court, or otherwise suffered the test of law. I may be wrong on this, but I simply cannot find evidence of any test of this matter. It certainly could potentially become quite a media circus, and result in far too many Jerry Springer appeances.
I do think I know what would happen regardless of the lack of any clear legal status on this matter. There is an absolute probability that, over time, some citizen would call the police about a topless person, and the police would rush to the scene. Once there, I estimate a 87.4 percent chance that the Nations Finest would beat the living tar out of the topless transgendered individual the second that the staus of actually being transgendered was known. Additionally, anyone in the company of said transgender would also be solidly beaten. After much more embarrasment, violence, and other forms of defacto torture and punishment, the individuals involved would eventually be dumped out on the street so that they could enjoy the choice of dragging their sorry tails home, or pursuing a futile and expensive attempt to hopelessly sue for some sort of justice in the matter.
So, it really does not matter what the legal status of a topless transgendered individual is at all: the bottom line is that eventually, Very Bad Stuff Would Happen.
We live in a patriarchal society where White Christian Males make the rules, and enforce them with the power of the gun. Anything that looks like a female breast is tempting, and therefore an annoyance, to the weak-willed power structure, and therefore must be kept out of view. Male nipples, and flat male chests are fine, because, well, males make the rules, etc., etc.
I hope this answers your question sufficiently. Bottom line: if the cops never find out the person is transgendered, then it's no different than for any woman going topless. If they find out, or can guess that the person is transgendered, it's clobbering time with no recourse to 'justice'.
In either case,
it is just plain insane that female breasts are considered obscene.
Well... WHITE female breasts, anyway; you will note that there are
zero problems with films and magazines dealing with anthropology to
show the breasts -indeed the entire naked bodies- of people of color.
The only problem is with having WHITE naked people. So, it's racist
crap too. Sexist, racist bullshit, and if you get beat up, too bad.
The law is not even a consideration in the matter. So that's the
answer I have for you.
A quick random
question from the bowels of the geek/hacker
suburbs of the net.. What does the word 'HETEROSEXUAL' mean to you,
in a world where Gender, Physical Sex, and Sexuality are not as
hardwired with one
another as most people would feel comfortable with?
That is a
complex question. Makes my brain itch. Good.
Here is my take on the matter.
"A heterosexual is a person of normal sex and gender who is exclusively attracted to persons of the biologically polar opposite normal sex and gender."
In the above, 'Normal' refers to the statistical average of all life on earth; in this case to the basic, all but absolute (with the exception of worms, certain rare fishes, amphibians, and single celled creatures), biological polarities of physical sex and appropriately associated gender. Since the natural world has overwhelmingly selected for a bipolar sexuality and gender (sex related behavior), heterosexuality would be the baseline average, the true norm for all multicellular life on earth, including the animal known as Homo Sapiens.
So that is my current definition of 'heterosexual', in my own words.
How would this relate to a post-op transsexual woman or man? Transition is the normalization of an abnormal mix-up of a gender inappropriate to the physical sex that is associated with it. Once the body is altered to fit the gender, the person becomes effectively 'normal' ... their gender matches their body, and thus they can -if they are actually attracted to the opposite physical sex- fit my definition to a 'T'. Pun intended, of course.
So, in short, a post-op MTF transsexual woman who loves men, is a heterosexual woman. A post-op FTM transsexual man who loves women is a heterosexual man. Normal.
In practice, however, because humans are self aware, the memories of having been transsexual remain, and thus one can never be completely 'normal'....the very experience of being transsexual is very exceptional and unusual. But on a unsubtle level, I think my definition works. I may never be 'normal', especially since I am Queer, and not Het, but my gender issues are repaired. In that way I have become physiologically normalized. This is good; I no longer hurt like living hell. I can be happy.
Still, remain a transsexual, I am genderqueer despite having my issues addressed, and being physiologically normalized does not alter my past, or erase my experiences. I still count myself genderqueer, just not walking wounded.
Now I get a very great number of letters from around the world, and recently I have gotten a few that have issues with how sex and gender issues are represented and even worded. This makes me sensitized, and so I shall go on a bit with regard to my definition above.
I disagree with what seems to be your apparent premise as stated; for in point of fact, sex, gender, and sexuality are indeed quite hardwired. The complexities of sex and gender occur in at least two logical ways stemming from this:
1. Some animals (certain primates and cetaceans) are able, under some circumstances, to temporarily overide sex and gender hardwiring for various reasons or needs. This can be seen most commonly amongst otherwise heterosexual animals in traumatic situations. Examples in Man include, but are not limited to, certain forms of sexual expression in prisons, on sea voyages, in dormitories and boarding schools, and in times of war.
2. Rarely, errors occur in the developmental process of sexual differentiation which result in diverse unusual sex and gender combinations. Some of these combinations include homosexuality, transsexuality, and transgenderism, as well as intersexuality.
Now some people take issue with the use of words such as 'normal' and 'errors' when referring to things such as sexuality and gender issues. This is political nonsense, and a sure sign of crippling insecurity. 'Normal' does not automatically imply 'better', or 'right'. Normal simply means a baseline norm, the overwhelming commonality.
The biological accidents that result in the developmental errors responsible for homosexuality, transsexuality, and intersexuality are just that: accidental errors. Normal - overwhelmingly average- development becomes interrupted or interfered with, resulting in complicated and not always predictable results. There is no reasoning way around this: being Genderqueer is an exceptional thing, it is not normal. This is neither good nor bad, it is just biology, just life, and life...is far from perfect. Life is messy, and erros and exceptions occur. Sometimes they are beneficial, and they confer an advantage, which is passed on. The advantage dominates. The very reason we are here at all, the basis of evolution itself.
Being genderqueer is to be a freak; a mutation, and an accident. This is reality. It is not normal to be genderqueer. But it is real, and it is OK to be such. Whether 'genderqueerness' will turn out to be, or already is, a useful evolutionary advantage remains to be seen. Personally, I think it has indirect value to species, as I have stated in one of my articles.
have found being exceptional, not normal, to be more of a blessing,
in the long run. Normality is rather plain, if you think about it.
As it was stated
sex and gender are different, so it could be
the characteristic of feeling content with ones self regardless of whether
or not one proceeds to try to mimic the target gender in all aspects known
to economics. The notion one can tell the difference between a
crossdresser, a transgenderist and a transsexual therefore is built upon
the false premise that the trait of not feeling content with one's body is
related only to gender dysphoria. Many people as they age do not feel
their body is failing them sexually, are they different too?
If sex and gender
really are two different characteristics, then any aspect
of changing ones gender role, is equivalent cure to gender dysphoria, even wearing a hair piece. If sex and gender really are two different
characteristics, then there should be a term called sexual dysphoria.
Thus being different, sexual dysphoria can appear in people, regardless of
being gender dysphoric and "fixing" ones sexual organs is the cure but not necessarily because of a gender problem, perhaps more of a feeling of not being content with life in general?
I believe that you are confusing the concept of a gender role, and socially defined gender behavior in general, with actual gender. You are apparently aware that sex and gender are separate issues, but there is yet another complexity to the mix.
Gender roles are can be reflections of gender, but they are not of themselves gender, and in many cases are arbitrary behavioral constructs that can serve purposes other than those related to gender.
Gender, actual gender, is more than a moiety or a performance, it is a neurological construction essentially as ancient as the primal chemistry of the molecules for estrogen or testosterone. It is this biological, electrochemical issue to which transsexuality is concerned, and at the basest level, the issue is a mechanical one.
Gender roles can be used in complex ways, including escapism, religion (such as shamanism), art, even as a symptom of disease...such as in some forms of schizophrenia (one of the reasons for such caution prior to granting surgery).
But transsexuality is not concerned with gender roles, social or otherwise. It is a mechanical illness, or at least critical disfunctionality, involving processes of the amygdala, hippocampus, and to a degree, the overall structure of the brain, and how that brain is organized with regard to function, relative to the body that houses that same brain. It is a disparity between the machinery of the brain and the machinery of the body.
than this, may claim itself transsexual, and even may find some
satisfaction of whatever form in changing sex or transforming the
body, or even just in dressing up, but is not true transsexuality. Transsexuality
is a disparity between neurological gender and physiological sex.
All else is fantasy.
I found the COGIATI
very interesting, although to be perfectly
honest, after spending 51 years taking these types of
psychological quizzes for various different purposes (military,
employment, etc.), I can see where particular questions are
going most of the time, and -- if I wanted to be dishonest
-- could select answers to obtain a higher or lower score.
reason, are only as valid and true as the person taking them. Anyone
can cheat at anything. Anytime. Even murder is easy to get away with,
if one bothers (of course, anyone who cannot think of any option
better than murder is totally useless). I have no time for
dishonesty, in tests or otherwise. The gender tests exist only to
help a person who seriously requires a tool for helping themselves,
and any person motivated to try to cheat themselves....it is like
trying to pickpocket your own purse....what the hell is the point?
Let stupid people cheat at self-administered tests. Screw 'em. They
are buffoons. When they grow up, the tests will still be there.
I have begun to look at
men as the opposite sex. I have explored your web site and all of
the three tests indicate what I already know, that being a
woman is what makes me happy. Whether I have to physically "mutiliate"
myself to satisfy the boxes that society would like to put me in, is
The only way that sex reassignment surgery is mutilation, is if the person having it is not really the gender they claim to be. This can sometimes occur, do to sveral conditions such as Munchausen syndrome or some forms of schizophrenia. For a person clearly of a gender mismatched to the body they possess, surgery has nothing to do with social role or expectation. Rather, it addesses a basic neurological conflict between the actual body and the physiological map within the brain.
As to what you
may choose to do...my advice is to consider surgery ONLY if you are
unquestionably female. Unless you are female, surgery would leave you
in the position of a pre-op transsexual: your body would not match
your neurological 'body map'. Worse, there is no effective way to
reverse sex reassignment surgery: you would be worse off than a
pre-op transsexual, in that you would truly be 'stuck', unable to
cure your new physical dysphoria.
Why, exactly, would you actually want to 'be able to tell?'. Think about this. If a person is going though, or has already finished, transition, then their whole life and world depends on the heartfelt hope that they can just be accepted normally. All any transsexual wants, really, is just to be accepted completely and without question just as any person is.
It is very painful to be trapped in a body of the wrong sex. On top of this, -if anyone knows, if word gets out- there is much rejection, bigotry, people making jokes and comments, and sometimes even violence. Almost all transsexuals have to suffer through some level of this until they finally become more or less 'passable'. Until their bodies and faces change to the point nobody gives them a second glance.
Some people never are so lucky, and are forever not 'quite good enough'. People can kinda tell. Then they live for the rest of their lives in a kind of hell. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to live your entire life worrying about who can 'tell' -who is going to mock you, hurt you, kill you, or destroy your life, every moment of every day?
After years of study, after being TS myself, I can tell. I know secrets of how to 'tell' if even the most successful person is 'T' or not...because I have learned a kind of 'gaydar', or in this case, a 'T-dar', based on subtile factors the average person would never even begin to know. You go though something, you know it.
I would never tell anyone though. Why? Because such understanding could, and would, be used for the greatest evil...ruining the lives and happiness of people who have been driven by a birth defect to suffer a society that does not accept them.
Do you have any kindness?
If you do, ask not how you 'can tell' if someone is transsexual. Just treat any person as they appear. That is all the politeness you need to know. Treat others as those others appear to want to be treated.
Notice how that is a little better than the stupid 'Golden Rule'...it requires a person to think about what others might need.
If the person you know wants you to know any secrets, then they will decide whether or not to tell you. If you are determined to be worth such a trust. It's a BIG trust.
Otherwise, what business of yours is it? Such knowledge cannot but hurt them, and it really serves nothing but curiosity on your part.
Just be nice,
and don't fuss over who is, and who is not...anything! Just treat
people as people...if they are nice be nice, if they are not, act accordingly.