You’re Only as Transitioned and Stealth as the Next Person Says You Aren’t

[alert type=”notice”]Editor’s Note: This is part of a series on “stealth.” The goal of this series to examine the nuanced ways trans opinion leaders conceptualize stealth and how they feel about it. Suzan Cooke kicked off the series with her article, The Many Shades of Stealth. It should be noted that TA is not endorsing any one view, definition or conceptualization. As with the elephant parable, each perception presented in this series represents one representation of the truth; taken together, it’s hoped that this series will provide a more comprehensive conceptualization of stealth and what it means to an oppressed community.

Articles in this series: The Many Shades of Stealth | A Rant About MTF “Stealth” | Passing and Stealth: Two Words We Should Lose? | Stealth Doesn’t Help The Trans Community | You’re Only as Transitioned and Stealth as the Next Person Says You Aren’t | Not Against Stealth But For Being Out[/alert]


Jillian Page in the Montreal Gazette:

“Where is it written that someone who has transitioned MUST help the (transgender) community?” asks reader Karyn Maynard in response to someone else on the comments board of a GLAAD post about Dawn Ennis.

Karyn makes a good point, and the fact of the matter is, most people who transition move on from trans issues. They don’t actually see themselves as transgender people, even if they embraced the cause of “transgenderism” at some point in their journey. But they don’t live between the gender binary as so many transgender people happily do: the transitioned MtF person IS a female, and the FtM person IS a male.

That’s true.  I’m female.

So is the person who Page held up as an example as someone not wanting to be a human torch:

The media use the word [transgender] gratuitously because it draws readers. Make no mistake about it. The “transgender” word and its variations are hot these days. To many readers, it is almost exotic and erotic; it’s sexy. That’s why headlines about Jenna Talackova, for example, are always preceded by the word “transgender,” even if her courageous battle to compete with born-women in the Miss Canada pageant was all about her bid to be recognized as just one of the girls, with no asterisk beside her female designation.

The problem is that she negated the entire premise of that paragraph and her entire column with this paragraph, which preceded it:

When the media does it, they are essentially qualifying the womanhood or manhood of transitioned individuals, saying basically that they are something less than women or men. The “transgender” word is essentially an asterisk . But I can tell you that there is no asterisk beside the “female” designation on my birth certificate, driver’s licence, medicare card etc.

Uh huh…

There is no asterisk until someone – someone with the power to make their opinion stick – says there is.

And then you need a torch-bearer to vindicate the non-asterisk portions of your identity papers.

Maybe Tacklova went to the non-trans Gloria Allred to light a torch under Donald Trump’s ass simply because Allred is a good, albeit obnoxious, attorney (one who, I’m sure, has no more use for Donald Trump than Rosie O’Donnell does.)

But maybe Tacklova went to the non-trans Gloria Allred only because certain people and organizations who claim to speak for women like Tacklova – and Page and myself – have ensured that even within organizations who claim to speak for women like Tacklova – and Page and myself – that asterisk is substantive, hardwired and an absolute bar to women like Tacklova – and Page and myself – ever being considered as an equal to those within those organizations who are not like Tacklova – and Page and myself, thereby ensuring that Tacklova never sees anyone like herself when looking toward those organizations when needing to force someone like Trump to educate himself sufficiently so as perform the legal  task of recognizing her womanhood for purposes of his Miss Universe pageant.

[alert type=”info”]Cross-posted from ENDA Blog II[/alert]