Somewhere along the line, I became a Transinista. I don’t know how it happened — there was no recruitment drive — I just found myself looking at a photo of myself dressed in combat boots, mirrored sunglasses, floppy angel wings trimmed with sequins and feathers, and sporting a lit stogie dangling out of my mouth. “Holy Jeebiz,” I muttered. “That’s got to be Photoshopped. And I don’t appreciate the moustache.”

Now, I think my credentials are pretty good. I’m not a litigation activist, my focus has been on community-building. Part of this has meant learning a lot of perspectives (our community is incredibly diverse), and then trying to teach T-folk what the other groups of T-folk are all about. And learning what I could about Intersex, crossdressers, gender renegades, drag performers, Two-Spirits, non-op transsexuals as well as those who clearly need the operation has introduced me to a wide experience of unique people who I respect. I never assume that my experience of being trans is the only valid one. It’s the approach which drove me to write “Transbigotry?

Maybe this is sort of the equivalent of the cartoon squirrel who scurries up with an olive branch, squeaking, “why can’t we all just get along?” before someone pulls out an M16 and perforates her, a note of satisfaction for the far right-wing and far left-wing types who resent “bleeding heart peacemakers.” But I’ve actually found diplomacy to be an approach that most people — both at the grassroots level and in the online world — to be usually quite open to. There are, however, always people of strong opinion who won’t be swayed:

This colours my point of view just as those who identify as some brand of trans come from an entirely different point of view. I see the world through the eyes of a feminist woman who has studied history and is also a pagan theologian. I live within the greater world where the dominate viewpoint of gender is a strictly bi-gendered one where most people’s understanding of gender is limited to there are men and women and if slightly more enlightened, some people are born intersexed and some are born transsexual but both these groups get put in either the male or female bin. — Cat Kisser, from “Not Ready For Prime Time, Or: How the TG Rights Movement Went Insane By Talking Only To Itself.”

Recently, I commented on a post at Bilerico:

You want to get technical Sue? In the strictest definition, you’re not female. The distinction between the “sexes” is that a female has the ability to produce ova, and the male has the ability to produce produces sperm. Your “sex” isn’t based on an organ but on your reproductive ability. For that matter, your neo-vagina isn’t even an “organ.” An organ is tissue or a group of tissues that constitute a morphologically and functionally distinct part of an organism. Your “vagina” isn’t a social construct, it’s a surgical construct. And an incomplete construct at that! Go find your bartholin glands….

And in the above scenario, the woman wasn’t afraid of genitals, but because of other physical characteristics. It’s more about passing privilege than genital configuration. And judging from the pictures I’ve seen of you, ya got your own passing issues. So you might want to jump off that high horse of yours.

Pretty strong statement eh? I said this in response to Sue Robins, who said:

A ladies locker room is no place for Man and if you have male genitals you are a Man end of story.

I’ve been over at Feministing all day, writing responses to “You learn something new every day.” The post is a response to The BBC’s recent coverage of a debate with Julie Bindel. Julie believes that sex reassignment surgery is a “mutilation.”

The debate over there is one of the best I’ve ever encountered. There’s a whole lot of cross talk and listening, and very few personal attacks. This is the first time I’ve ever posted about this in a forum where I didn’t feel like I was talking to a wall.

I’ve included some of the comments, and my responses, under the cut.