A War of Words Over Words
A war of words over words.
I rarely post, I've done my activism, both trans and lesbian; I've had the rad-fem censures of the sort described in some posts and yet been accepted as a woman by other cliques of lesbians with nearly equally second wave beliefs.
To me, and for me, transition is someting that I did once, not that different than going to med school. And though I never stop learning medicine, medical school ended over two decades ago. I grow in my life as a woman, but that is the nature of all women.
There is simply no way to develop a neat, crisp and accurate nomenclature and taxonomy for trans people. This is or will be the likely shortcoming that will stymie the DSM committee; we are simply too different. Everyone experiences transition differently, everyone arrives at the threshold of transition differently. Attempting to add unrelated, broadly assumptive criteria, such as the likely requirements of sexual orientation presupposes mind/body discord as being from one or two causes only.
Cis: Am I cis now that I have completed transition? I define myself as a woman, others treat me as a woman. I live a woman's life, my life. Is not my inability to be acknowledged as cis now akin to others noxious refusal to recognize women with a history of transition as women? Or am I adhering too much to a binary model of gender?
Which leads neatly into the problems of recognizing that different individuals perceive and live gender differently. Binary vs spectrum, moveable spectrum, and all other variations on the theme are equally valid because there are people who live, experience and have referential points to gender in one or the other of those conceptions.
Most people that I come into contact with do not know my life story, my history, my narrative, call it what you will. With those casual aquaintances do I possess cis priviledge? Is it something that can, therefore, be present or absent depending upon the milieu?
I am not a classic transsexual. I don't fit the criteria, nor do I fit the autogynophile model, I do seem to fit in the role of woman quite well, “La Doctora” as many of my patients refer to me.
In my best medical opinion, the taxonomy attempts are doomed to failure because they are overly broad and presuppose a static and unchanging state, making no room for the countless exceptions to this or that critria. Similiarly with trans and cis. Both terms carry with them a boatload of assumptions about characteristics, assumptions that at least part of the time are inapplicable to some, or to perhaps all of us.
TG vs TS, Cis and Trans…it has all become a war of words over words.