When you hear trans activists and allies define lesbians as “penis-phobic” sexual “bigots” against males, a condition which can be “cured” by raping us: it is pretty clear that the transgender politic is as starkly anti-lesbian and anti-woman as a political agenda could possibly be.
There is an excellent post “There is no T in Lesbian” over at the Liberation Collective today on the topic of Transgenderism and the ways in which the “T” is at odds with the Lesbian and Gay liberation movement. Critical to the transgender movement is the silencing and censorship of all public discourse around sex stereotypes, gender, and women’s rights, and the eradication of lesbian and gay voices – even on the subject of homosexuality. This is because the goals of the lesbian and gay rights movement are in direct opposition to the platform of the transgender movement. Superficially, and to those outside of these movements, there may appear to be common ground. For example, protecting the rights of LGBT people against discrimination in housing and employment. However, there are other minorities (African Americans, Women, etc.) who seek protection against discrimination in these things, and they have not been merged into the lesbian and gay movement. Nor have lesbians and gays been inundated with rape and murder threats by these groups as they routinely have by transgender activists.
Why then has the Transgender Movement been attached to the homosexual rights movement?
Transgender activists have explained the need for this alliance several ways. They say all sorts of things:
“Our enemies can’t tell us apart- they see M2T as “super-gay” men, and F2T as “super-lesbian”, so we may as well join together since the public sees us as the same thing anyway”.
“Gays owe us support because feminine men who insist that they “are women” suffer more discrimination than feminine men who do not, and men who impersonate women while believing they actually “are women” suffer more discrimination than men who impersonate women (drag queens) without having those feelings.”
“Women, Lesbians, Gays, must serve us and center our needs and concerns because we have high rates of suicidality and psychiatric co-morbidity and criminality and you don’t”.
“A percentage of transgenders consider themselves ex-homosexual but still have social ties to the gay subculture they once were members of”.
“Those transgender men and women who are heterosexual like to call their hetero relationships “lesbian” or “gay”, and refer to themselves as “dykes” and “fags” as part of their heterosexual transgender identity. The majority of male transgenders are heterosexual, which means the percentage of “transwomen” who consider themselves lesbian is exactly opposite to the percentages among actual females. Unlike actual females, most M2T are “lesbian” and since we are forcing ourselves into the lesbian community in droves on that basis anyway, you may as well just include us in the LG movement.”
Shannon Minter, the “ex-lesbian” transgender attorney now heading the mainly transgender, hetero and male legal initiatives at ex-lesbian National Center for Lesbian Rights (which has creepily retained its old name from the days when it did represent lesbians) believes that homosexuality itself is a form of transgenderism and as such the gay rights movement should be re-framed and subsumed under the “transgender umbrella” as a wing of the transgender movement. She believes that homosexuality is transgender, because lesbian and gay sexual relationships are not procreative, and are therefore manifestations of cross-sex behavior. No different than the conservative right wing view of homosexuality, really: a misalignment of the natural order.
Conservative, right-wing, and theocratic views on homosexuality match Minter’s views exactly. We see this in surveys which show that transgenderism is far more politically acceptable to the general public than homosexuality. We see this reflected in places like Iran, which force lesbians and gays into state-funded medical “sex changes” under threat of capitol punishment. We see Minter’s view on homosexuality mirrored in Christian conservative preacher Pat Robertson’s recent declarations that while homosexuality is a sinful abomination, transgenderism is okay. We see this in transgender activist websites like “Lesbimen”, “TransAdvocate”, etc. which aim to prove that lesbians are “actually men”. We see this in the lightning-fast adoption of sweeping legal and social reforms designed to remove feminism’s hard-won gains of sex-based protections and their replacement with “gender identity” protections which accord rights based on one’s fealty to the very sex-based stereotypes the women’s liberation and gay rights movement sought to eliminate.
The elephant in the room is that transgenderism was invented as a “treatment” or medical “cure” of homosexuality. The reason the “T” is included in the LGBT is that it has been historically lesbians and gays that transgenderist cures have been inflicted on. It was upon lesbian and gay bodies that medical experiments were conducted that resulted in what we now call “transgender treatments”: often on lesbians and gays who were involuntarily committed or incarcerated. Just ask Alan Turing. Just ask all the gays and lesbians rounded up and experimented on in “forced sex-change” medical camps in South Africa as recently as the late 1980’s. Just ask all the kids being medical-tracked and puberty-suppressed as guinea pigs in rapidly growing government-funded programs right now.
The act of voluntarily “passing” as the opposite sex has also long been a survival technique for lesbians, gays, and women under oppressive sexist and heteronormative circumstances and regimes. Nothing has changed, except the influx of heterosexual pornography-soaked body-mod kinksters attaching themselves belatedly to the lesbian and gay movement. This heterosexual influx not-coincidentally coincided with the birth of the modern transgender rights movement in the 1990s.
Today’s post at the Liberation Collective includes an interesting PDF chart that attempts to briefly outline “what separates the T from the LG”. Examples include (paraphrasing wildly):
Believes reproductive sex is a feeling or mental state unrelated to biology yet includes a psychological imperative to “congruity” between mental state and the social perception of one’s reproductive biology. Sex changes are impossible, so desires palliative treatment by undergoing various bodily modifications designed to approximate the opposite-sex biology cosmetically on those body parts commonly seen socially by others (genital surgery is not undergone by a majority of transgenders).
Since bodily sex does not exist, homosexuality does not exist, except as a form of bigotry and discrimination against persons with opposite-sexed bodies.
Has exclusive sexual and romantic attraction to those of the same sex.
Requires bystanders to participate in and “affirm” their self-concept of themselves as having an “opposite-sexed brain”.
Has exclusive sexual and romantic attraction to those of the same sex.
Psychological distress is viewed as a natural manifestation of sex/gender incongruence. “Change Yourself”.
Psychological distress not viewed as a natural manifestation of sex/gender incongruence. “Accept Yourself. Change social norms.”
Lobbies for hormone-suppression and sterilization of children below the age of consent.
Against reparative therapies and medical “treatments” of children below the age of consent.
Lobbies for elimination of sex-based protections for women and elimination of same-sex rights of assembly for women and homosexuals.
Does not seek to eliminate feminist gains for women. Supports homosexual and other same-sex gatherings.
And so forth. (Apologies to Liberation Collective for my scattershot paraphrasing).