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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Non-op transgender ?

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Author Topic: Non-op transgender ?
WhiteFox
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I have recently began to read a lot about gender identity and transgenderism. One thing I have noticed though is that there are some transgender women who have had SRS that seem to look down on those who haven't and have no interest in it?

What is the reality with SRS and non-op trans women and trans men?

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Redskies
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I think I've come across some examples of the sort of attitude you refer to here.

Before I really say anything, though, I feel like I'd like to be clearer about what you're asking. What do you mean by "the reality" - are you asking about non-op trans people's experiences and attitudes, or about how society in general views them or treats them, or how other trans people view and treat them, or something else?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Just FYI, if you're asking for numbers on who is trans and has done hormones or surgeries and who hasn't, I'm not sure those numbers are going to be so easy to come by, simply because those who HAVE been in the former group will be people more easy to "count" since they're had services where they can be counted, if you get my gist.

That said, SRS surgeries are expensive -- as any surgeries are -- so there's a lot to say about how many people who do want any of those procedures can even have access to them.

I guess what I'd also add to this is that trans people are like any people: not everyone's a saint, super-compassionate, or can see well outside their own lens. So, just like we have cisgender women who look down on other women for things having to do with their choices or appearance, the same is going to happen with some trans women.

I think this issue is certainly a lot more complex than if someone, say, wears hose or not, to say the least, but still, just because people are members of the same group never means everyone is going to be awesome to each other.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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(Btw, this is one of those things where I think you're really best going to the source.

In other words, that it's probably best asking the person who has expressed those attitudes to you directly, even though I recognize that it's tough to try and have a conversation when you feel someone is looking down on you.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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WhiteFox
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Okay I guess I didn't phrase my question very well-my bad.

Okay what I might by 'the reality' was why would a transgender woman with all the money and resources to have SRS choose not to have SRS. I understand that the answer is most likely is different from person to person, that's fine, I'm only asking for people's opinions and experiences.

The reason why I ask this is because I had a conversation recently with a non-op/pre-op trans teen(she is on the fence on whether or not she want's srs) One of the things she told me about was some trans women who do look down on her for her maybe, maybe not approach to srs.
The most extreme version of this is one trans woman who said she is not really trans just confused-she does not want srs.
She herself said could not really answer this question because she doesn't even know if she wants the srs yet.
So I've brought the question here. Any thoughts ?

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September
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It is still not quite clear what you are asking.

Are you asking why your friend is not sure yet whether she wants to have SRS?

Or are you asking why there people who are not supportive of her in this?

Because either way, we cannot really answer that. Becasue, well, these are individual opinions of individual people, and they all have their reasons for thinking the way they do. If you want to know their motives, you will hae to ask them. There is no grand "reality" here that we can tell you about.

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Johanna
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Redskies
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I think I might understand some of what you're asking, WhiteFox - if you're asking why some trans people choose not to have surgery?

Obviously, the first huge important thing is that every person has their own reasons, sometimes quite complex and unique. A broad point about this, though, is that as I understand it, some trans people don't feel much or any dysphoria about their body - they feel ok in the body they have. Gender isn't dependent on genitals or on any other physical feature, so there's nothing that would "automatically" make a trans person want to have surgery. A trans person may want, or have a dire need for, surgery, if they experience dysphoria or serious unhappiness or disconnection from their body. Being trans and experiencing body dysphoria often go together, but they don't always.

I think it's important to remember too that there are a variety of different surgeries, which have different importance for different people: these include chest surgery, facial surgery, and genital surgery.

Another important point to remember is that any surgery is a serious medical procedure with some degree of risk and less-than-perfect outcomes, and each person will weigh up their own needs and wishes against any possible downsides. A few people have a lot less of an option regarding surgery because of complications from other health conditions.

I do believe it's wrong for any person to think that any other person's gender is any more or less legitimate simply because of body parts or choices around surgery. As a non-trans person looking in on discussions between trans people, I can't possibly grasp all of the range of nuance and issues. However. Regarding the minority of trans people who are less accepting of those who don't have surgery, I think it's very important to consider this in the broader context. Trans people are very marginalised and usually have to fight very hard to have their gender recognised. It seems to me that whatever decisions individual trans people make can be used by bigots or prejudiced society to hurt trans people collectively: for example, in many places in the world, trans people who direly need surgery are still denied that, either medically or financially or in other ways. Trans people who don't need/want surgery can be used as a weapon by bigots against trans people collectively with the false claim that just because Some people are ok without surgery, then All people should be, and being trans isn't a real thing anyway... Conversely, trans people who have surgery can be used as a weapon by bigots to reinforce the gender binary, to say that just because Some trans people physically change to fit the gender binary, then All trans people should, or they're not "really" trans and we don't have to give them proper rights or respect their gender, etc... In far too many countries in the world, it's still a legal requirement for trans people to have had genital surgery before they can legally be considered their true gender. The state insisting that someone has invasive surgery and body modification in order to be recognised as their true gender is, in my and others' opinion, a human rights violation, and nothing that any state has the right to insist upon.

Those are just a few basic points, but I hope they illustrate what I'm trying to say. Personally, I don't have any time at all for viewpoints that deny and delegitimise any other person or group of people's experiences and rights to their own gender and body; however, I would see the basis of this problem among a small minority of trans people not to be with those people themselves, but with the extreme prejudice and difficulties that trans people face from wider society.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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WhiteFox
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I recognize the word 'reality' was a very poor term to use for me to have used-I'm really only asking for opinions and experiences. I know there is no grand reality to this type of thing

I was asking for two things really, 1) why would a transgender person choose not to have SRS if she or he has the money, time and resources to do so?

2)why is it some transgender women hold the attitude I was referring to ? (some other trans people may do this but I haven't heard about it)

I am not asking about the transgender girl I spoke about before about why she was unsure of srs, I recognize that her reasons are her own and no one here is a mind reader-the only reason why I brought her up was to provide was context to questions I was asking.

@Redskies Yes that was what I talking about thank you.

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Robin Lee
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Why would a transgender person not choose to have SRS? Well, it could be that they have other medical problems that would make surgery inadvisable. Some transgender people also prefer to work with and redefine for themselves genitals that are fully functional rather than having surgicallt-developed genitals that may not function physically the way they'd like them to.

Also, what someone's body parts mean to them differs from person to person. What someone's gender means to them differs from person to person.

For example, I read about the transition of one noted author and activist, in which he shared that because his nipples became very sensitive when he started taking testosterone he opted not to have them trimmed into smaller, more "male" looking nipples when he had a double mastectomy.

For many transpeople, transitioning to the gender they feel themselves to be in whatever way possible is paramount. For others, it's more comfy and desirable to forge a body they want, not one that conforms. I think it's often more helpful to think of being trans as an infinite series of possibilities, not a category.

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Robin

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Heather
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I'd also add that we have to bear in mind that in the past, SRS was something much more "required," when it came to someone being accepted -- by the medical community and cisgender people, primarily -- as "real" per their gender and per being trans gender.

In other words, while it's still nothing close to Valhalla in this department, attitudes have been changing about SRS really being a choice -- or how much or how little srugery, hormones, etc. -- as compared to in the past.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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