One of my favorite blog websites is enthusiastically (and sexily) encouraging to transsexual girls. I love the website, with one major exception. The author tends to use the word “faggot” a lot.
In the US and UK, cultural opposition to homophobia has grown to where there’s often a knee-jerk negative reaction to that word being used anywhere, and though I think that’s an improvement over using that word as a derogatory term, the issue deserves more careful consideration. So, no, my issue isn’t with that word being used at all, because the lady who uses is does so in a well-intentioned context.
As an example of what I mean: in my favorite novel, Atlas Shrugged, there is a clash of cultures. One sub-culture works on the premise that earning money is good and noble, and the other sub-cultures oppose that concept. One of the heroes in the novel, Nr. Nulligan, is a banker who is very successful at earning money. He gets the nickname “Midas” because everything he touches turns to gold, as a figure of speech. By the standards of the anti-wealth sub-cultures, his success at earning money makes him exceptionally evil, so this nickname was intended as a slur. Mulligan fundamentally disagrees with these standards (as do I) and he takes the nickname as a compliment. He cheerfully explains that he carefully chooses what he touches, i.e., he chooses his investments rationally so the process is a lot less mystical and involves a lot more due diligence and hard work than is apparently to a clueless observer. He proceeds to have his name legally changed to Midas Mulligan, thus fundamentally rejecting the moral premise of his adversaries. What they irrationally consider to be shameful, is for him a source of pride — and he’s open about it.
I learned of another example today while reading up about the origins of the word “faggot” on Wikipedia. The article explains that someone’s car, presumably a gay lady, had “fag” spray-painted on it by homophobic vandals. The picture shown here is of her car after she had it repainted in a way that makes it clear she is unashamed of, and instead openly proud of being gay and living as such. She even named her car “The Fagbug” and “embarked on a trans-American road trip to raise awareness of homophobia and LGBT rights that was documented in a film of the same name.”
I love her attitude. She fundamentally challenged the premise of her adversaries and threw it in their homophobic faces.
Another example is from the era of the Founding Fathers:
In the spring of 1765, the recently enacted Stamp Act was the prime topic of political conversation in the American colonies. In Virginia, [in] the current session of the House of Burgesses … Patrick Henry, who had held his seat for only a matter of days, celebrated his twenty-ninth birthday on May 29 by offering a series of resolutions related to the current crisis …
On May 30, Henry gave his maiden speech in the assembly and defended his resolutions. He expanded the scope of his criticism to include not only Parliament, but the king as well. Speaking of George III, he stated that, “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third — .” At that point he was interrupted by cries of “Treason!” from delegates who easily recognized the reference to assassinated leaders. Henry paused briefly, then calmly finished his sentence: “…may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.”
Back to the t-girl lady with the website. She uses the word “faggot” in the same spirit as the above examples, the VW Bug owner in particular. I’d paraphrase her point as: “If you’re a t-girl and you feel attracted to men and want to be sexual with them, there’s no moral issue whatsoever with being a faggot, so go be gay — proudly.”
I love her attitude. The problem I have is … with her logic.
Premise check: the now-obsolete definition of male is “someone with male-shaped body parts ‘down there.'” For lack of a better idea, that’s still used at birth. But, as a transsexual child develops, it becomes apparent that the child has a brain structure that’s the opposite of her officially assigned gender and so then it’s time to change things over, to correct the initial mis-categorization.
The brain-structure premise is the logical basis for someone being considered transsexual. But, until recently the basis for that logic was the science of psychology, and only recently that has been supported by medical science, as in: autopsies performed on girls who, while alive, claimed to be transsexual girls, and then the autopsies showed them to truly have had a female brain structure.
Anyway, there’s a certain mindset that considers the contents of one’s underwear to be basically more important that the contents of one’s head, and unsurprisingly, this mindset continues to classify people based on the shape of their visible body parts ‘down there,’ at birth, period. By that standard, the basic concept of being transsexual is a fantasy or delusion in the mind of the transsexual person, and so by this standard transsexual people are all mentally ill and need to go to “conversion therapy” so that they can start behaving properly, dammit. Some people even propose to kill transsexual people to do them a favor, supposedly to let a deity sort it out.
Whatever the supposed solution to the supposed problem, I have a fundamental problem with that entire idea set, including the notion that a transsexual girl is somehow “really” a male.
A transsexual girl is a girl. Period. The shape of her body ‘down there’ is secondary. One of my favorite R-rated images on this subject is a full frontal nude picture of two ladies, one of them transsexual and the other one not. The caption reads “some girls are born with innies, some with outies.” I think that sums it up well. That terminology is generally used to refer to belly buttons, and it really puts things in perspective to have it used with reference to the ladies’ body parts ‘down there’ too.
So, back to the lady who authors the website and tells t-girls that it’s totally OK to be attracted to men, i.e., to be a faggot, as she phrases it. She means well and is trying to oppose and undo the effects of the many years of shame that most transsexual girls have felt. But, she’s being fundamentally imprecise. A girl, transsexual or otherwise, who is sexually attracted to men is the precise opposite of gay.