Somewhere on Facebook

By Julie Slowinski

Somewhere on Facebook. . . . 

Person 1: I think those that transition are beautiful human beings. I admire their strength and it pains me to see how they are treated in society. As a CD I know a little bit about being stigmatized for just trying to be who you are. 

Person 2: STFU, you know nothing about my journey. You’re a CD, which means you’re filth. 

Person 1: Actually, I might not be a CD. My dysphoria has ramped up recently. It’s rather intense. But, I don’t think I can transition — my family needs me. 

Person 2: Why didn’t you say so? I’m sorry — if you have dysphoria you’re definitely part of the sisterhood. 

Person 3: What?!? That cis-het garbage is not part of the sisterhood. Not until they actually start transitioning, HRT at least, can they call themselves trans. 

Person 4: I have no dysphoria, no surgeries and am not planning to start HRT any time soon. But, I also live authentic full-time. Are you saying I’m not trans? What gives you the right to determine who is and who isn’t trans? 

Person 5: Hey, could one of you ladies help me out? I’ve never dressed in women’s clothes before. I don’t even know where to start. I can’t do it at my place. Maybe we could meet up at your place and you could make my dreams come true. 

Person 2 and Person 3 in unison: STFU!!! Crawl back into hole from whence you came. 

Person 5 (to themselves): Wow! That was really stupid of me – “go over to their place”? Who in their right mind would accept such an offer? But, I’m so desperate. I wish I could find someone to help me figure out who/what I am. Maybe I should try fetlife? Hmmm, what’s this sissy stuff? Maybe that’s what I am?

Person 4: Hey Person 5, sounds like you’re in a lot of pain. When I first started discovering my true self, I too was in a difficult family situation. You want to meet up for coffee and talk about things? No dressing, just talking. 

Person 5: That would be great, thanks. I have so many questions. By the way, do you know what they mean by a trap? 

Person 1: Hey, could I join you two?

Person 6: All of you people are sick in the head. Women are oppressed people. The last thing we need is men, who think they are women, invading our female only spaces. 

Person 3: It’s not us. It’s those crossdressers. They’re the men invading female spaces. They’re the fake ones and they go back to their male privilege whenever it’s convenient. We hate those sick fetishist fucks too — jacking off in their wives’ panties. Trans women (the real trans) truly are women. We have the physical and emotional scars to prove our authenticity. On top of that, society treats us worse than cis-women. 

Person 6: I don’t care what you call yourselves. Do what you want in private (with or without your wive’s’ panties), but stay away from my daughters.

Person 7 (your friendly neighborhood Julie): The problem with gatekeeping is that it’s always a reflection of the one drawing the line. The line always seems logical, but it’s actually emotional. Why is it that the person drawing the line is always on the noble side? Why does every line require exceptions to include people we ‘feel’ should be in the tribe, but don’t meet the always flawed criteria? If you’re into gatekeeping, you might want to consider this theory from an armchair psychologist:

The Imposter Syndrome: That little voice in my head saying that I might not be what I say I am. That nagging feeling that everyone can see right through me. My natural response is to resort to bullying — seek out and mock those that are what I’m afraid to be seen as — not unlike the classic middle school bully, who seeks out and mocks the socially awkward, hoping it will mask their own social anxiety. The alternative response, the response I seek, is to face my fear and recognize that who I might be, it is not a cause for shame, but merely evidence of the human condition. Once I acknowledge that each of us can be judged for who we are and decide not to judge myself, then I will not need to judge or rail against others.

The one thing I have learned about our community is that we are infinitely diverse — full-time, part-time, pre-op, post-op, non-op, HRT, dysphoria, euphoria, fetish, under-dressing, MIAD, enby, fluid, CD, TV, TS, drag queen, drag king. The list goes on and on. And for many, we are best described by a combination of labels. Personally, I identify with 3 of these labels. I’m probably best described as 1/3 drag (I glue my eyebrows, over-contour my makeup and would never think of going out without my foam hip pads), 1/3 trans woman (except for work and family, nearly all of my social interactions are as Julie — some might call that socially transitioning) and 1/3 fetish CD (can you say autogynephilia?). Of course, all of this might be transient and could change over time.

We should also remember that drawing lines enables transphobes and empowers them to draw lines to eliminate all of us from society. Seems like a better approach is to work toward a world without lines — everyone with a gender incongruence is part of the tribe and welcome in society. Open the doors wide and embrace the spectrum — including the tucute and the fetishists. Embrace a trans positive attitude — all trans people, regardless of their place on the spectrum, are valid and should be celebrated for pursuing their own personal happiness. Based on the cis people I have come out to, and there have been many, I know that our allies are disgusted by this division within our community — it goes against everything they understand about inclusiveness and civil liberty. This, IMHO, is the only way we will get to a society in which gender freedom is not only a right but, achieves the ultimate goal of being inconsequential.

14 thoughts on “Somewhere on Facebook

  1. Julie,
    Can’t agree with you more! As someone said some years back “Can’t we all just get along!”
    Wonderful entry.
    Stay beautiful-Sherry

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    1. I have noted this for years and it’s nice for me to know “it’s not just me”. It is affirming to have others confirm some of the experiences I have had, including positive experiences like our ability to go out with a high level of general acceptance.

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    2. Thanks Sherry. It would seem that we cannot. But, the good news is that most trans women are very accepting and understand that we are sisters – or at the very least cousins.

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  2. Preach it, sister Julie! The other quote that comes to my mind is “When you meet one transgender person, you’ve met one transgender person.” But we are all part of that spectrum and deserve the same respect and support.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie,
    You continually make me think, and to re-evaluate myself.
    I am happy with who I am. I just wish I could “be” a lot more.
    Jocelyn

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  4. A brilliant piece of writing that all folks should read. Haters come in all flavors as well as those who believe we are all one consciousness. Anyway, when I was in a gender group thirty years ago you had that between some of the TS’s members toward the plain old CD’s (men in dresses). A lot less of that exists now as I think most of us older folks, wherever we are on the spectrum, just accept everyone.
    I had to look up tucute though. Now I know a new word. Yippie.

    Angel Amore

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    1. Thank you Angel. This post originated as a comment I made to some hater on Facebook – so it was more of an “in the moment passion” than a well thought out thesis.

      I totally agree that older folks seem to be more accepting – possibly because they have seen more of the world than hookup websites where catfish seem to dominate.

      I think the place where I truly began to understand the haters is while watching this video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vRBsaJPkt2Q
      It’s long, but about half way through Natalie gives an example of how there is this massive community who hate on this autistic trans girl. The odd part is that a large fraction of these haters are also autistic. On the surface this makes no sense. But, a deeper look reveals that the haters are trying to distance themselves from someone that they are afraid to be like and someone who makes them feel like they are the ones worthy of shame. It’s not unlike those who use homophobia to hide their secret homosexuality. I’m interested in your thoughts on this thesis.

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      1. I agree Julie. We tend to hate in others what we hate in ourselves.
        On another note, say a heterosexual couple unite in marriage and form one spirit. The wife is a very compassionate person. She is very accepting of trans women and of males who express non-binary gender types.
        One day, her loving, masculine husband, comes out as trans. She goes ballistic. Her life to her, seems like it’s over. She hates the concept of her mate being a woman or even a cd. So how can a person who is very accepting of trans-ness in others. be so rigid about her own husband?
        Angel

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  5. I read this and Julie I just went wow, a really well written and thought out piece.
    I’ve never really experienced any negative from TS folks at least those I’ve met.
    But yes I know it’s out there.
    For me as one who did go full time for a short period while thinking I would transition I’ve seen both sides
    Who we are as T girls or CDs really doesn’t matter as long as we all recognize we need to support this community.
    Being who we are is difficult and we don’t need to few bad apples making it harder.
    So thank you for such a great piece on our community
    Keep being you
    Rachael

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    1. It’s funny, people are so much different when in person vs online. I’m not sure if it’s because people are more honest with their feelings online, but I’m glad there’s much less of this strife in person. If it was the same as online, I suspect the altercations would escalate beyond just words.

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  6. This post reminds me of a song that just came out from one of my favorite songwriters (who is also a fetish kink CD) about being bullied in a bar for not being trans or queer enough and who got into a ‘gender pronoun bar fight’ over his CD-ing in pubic.

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  7. Thank you Julie! I so much reasonate with your 1/3, 1/3, 1/3rd analogy! Wonderful to not feel so alone. Yes, these days we can be too quick to demonize others. When it comes to the trans world we need to be open. If we have trouble explaining ourselves, is it any wonder that others have trouble understanding,?

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