Friday, March 12, 2010

In Defense of the Town Tranny

From my friend Susan:

There is an implied attitude that "real" transsexuals are stealth, or make every effort to be so.

Not all women are from a cookie cutter mold, neither are all men, but some how nobody is telling super butch women that they should be acting more like the cookie cutter variety of women, and the same is true for the varieties of men, i.e. drag queens, CDs, and effeminate straight men, etc. Yes, I know, straight assholes, who are threatened by gender diversity, do like to make a lot of noise. But when it comes to the transsexual community, why is diversity in transsexual expression ridiculed.

Not every transsexual person is capable of going stealth. So, does that mean that s/he should not bother. Perhaps it is better for them to stay in the closet so the rest of us don't get embarrassed by their existence.

My neighbors and friends are always telling me about the television show they watched about transsexuals. Often the same shows have caused us to get plastered because of the "tranny drinking game." I see nothing wrong with the fun and humor of the tranny drinking game, if it is understood that it is an "in house" joke, and that in reality we have compassion for those who are doing what they feel they need to do.

Anyway, my neighbors and friends tell me how much they learned from the different shows, and I have never heard anything negative from them about any of the shows. Of course, I don't know anybody that watches Jerry Springer or that ilk. I'm thinking more of shows put on by Oprah and Barbara Walters.

If it were not for these transsexual people willing to step forward, many of us would still be in the dark thinking that we were the only ones. These people that talk to the media, write the books, make the movies, and live daily lives being open about their transsexual history are the ones that are making it easier for the rest of us.

Now days, most people have heard of transsexuals, but only about 20 years ago, nobody had heard of them. There are many historical parallels that can be drawn when comparing transgender people with gays, blacks, and other minorities. Some of us remember how the straight looking gays shunned and put down drag queens, but it was the drag queens, by their being open and out, launched the gay pride movement.

When I hear about people like Dr. Deborah Bershel, Jenny Boylan, and others, that are willing to step forward, and not keep their transsexual history in the closet, I, for one, am really grateful.

Because of many circumstances that are often beyond a person's control, many people transition late in their lives. For some this makes going stealth virtually impossible. But, this does not mean they are "failures" at being trans women. They are simply a different variety of trans women. It is this attitude that "true" transsexuals want to be seen only as women, and that to choose otherwise makes them suspect of not being truly trans.

I am a transsexual female person. Whether I am a woman or not, that is something others may decide. I know that I am female to the core of my being. I make no pretense about trying to pass. Sometimes I get startled when I realize that I have been passing, but to be perfectly honest, I really don't care whether I pass or not, as long as I'm not seen as a man. Being seen so would be an anathema to me. That may seem like a contradiction, but it is not. If I am seen as a transsexual woman, I am not being seen as a man. I may not be being seen as a woman, but being seen as a woman was never my goal. My goal is to be me. My goal is to live my life as who I am. For us late transitioners, that may be the only goal that is attainable.

Many late transitioners are never going to achieve stealth, but we can still enjoy being who we are. I get to wear what I want; I get to express my femininity, and I never get treated as a man. I honestly think men just don't see me as the same "species," which is fine with me. So, why the "failure" label, or why make snide remarks that we go around showing our surgery photos. I don't feel like a failure in the least bit, and I have never shown any surgery photos. I have given several talks on transgender 101 for various classes and for several different diversity weeks, and plus I have spoke several times in church. None of these times did I feel a need to talk about any details of vaginoplasty--mine or anybody elses. I am not defined by my genitals any more than anybody else is. I am a unique person, and if my existence does not fit in somebodies worldview, then I know where they can stick their worldview.

28 comments:

miriam said...

Thank you for pointing out that it's not even a "if you can't pass, still transition" - whatever passing means - but also speaking to gender diversity as important.

idappaccayata said...

The meaning of stealth has changed in the last decade (at least here in Houston). I here people who go to TG support group meetings, activities and who run TG e-groups claim to be "stealth" now. When I came out, going to TG support group meetings, activities and running TG websites was the definition of being out in a big way!

Pretending that being "out" now means telling the everyone you meet you're TG is BS. Associating with others in the TG community while claiming to be stealth is a mischaracterization of what stealth is.

Stealth is pretending to everyone that you're a biological female. It means living in fear that the husband you lied to will find out that you didn't actually have a hysterectomy. It means always wondering if your friends would really like you if they knew the truth. Stealth is running away from or verbally running down your trans brothers and sisters so that others won't make the connection. Stealth means that you hide being trans.

Stealth is about shame and nothing more. Not telling the grocery sacker that you're trans is not stealth. Trying to get your parents to lie to your new boyfriend is being stealth. Not telling every co-worker in the building that you're trans is not being stealth. Not telling your best friend is being stealth.

If you're associate with other trans people, you're not in stealth because your putting yourself in a position of allowing more and more people to know the truth about your past. Isolating and hiding your past is what it means to live in stealth.

Stealth people say things like "I just want to get on with my life as the woman I am" - a sentiment that sounds rational enough. The problem is that it's also a delusion. Stealth people rationalize their lies by believing that being trans was just a medical problem that was fixed. If you believe that, remember that I said that you're delusional when your best friend, your husband, your boyfriend, your adopted child, etc finds out that you lied.

Anyway... pretending to be a biological female is stupid and never works. You can never destroy every piece of history documenting your true past and you certainly can't kill everyone how knows the truth. Choosing stealth is a shame-based way to live because it supports the belief that being trans is bad and should be hidden. Being a transwoman is just another way of being a woman. If you want to save yourself a lot of misery, be truthful about the history that made you into the wonderful person you are today. You don't need to tell the gas station attendant, but the point of transitioning is that you get to live authentically. Don't put yourself into a position that you have to go back to living a lie; don't go from one closet to another.

SuzyQ said...

Stealth is a chimera that is defined differently by everyone.

The oddest thing about it is the number of people posting all over the internet on every trans-site there is, on every mailing list one can find under a hundred sock puppets all traceable by any blog owner who uses "Whois" on dubious commenters.

I get attacked from both sides over at my blog Women Born transsexual.

I'm too out/I'm too stealth. I'm too separatist/I'm too transgender friendly.

Most of the people claiming to be stealth who are attacking me fo being too TG friendly are sooo easy to track to not only their ISP but to the block they live on with picture view of where they live it is embarrassing.

Maybe if one is totally off the grid and got SRS back when I did, but no one on-line ranting and raving about how stealth they are has a clue as to how out they are.

And yeah I still have my Transsexual Menace t-shirt, I just treat work and personal life as different spheres.

I'd have to lose 60 pounds for the shirt to fit and I have other causes these days.

idappaccayata said...

Also...

Some might say that there is a fundamental difference between being stealth and woodworking. I call BS. You can't woodwork without being stealth. It's like saying that the word "hide" and "conceal" fundamentally different. If you're going to conceal something, you have to hide it; if you're going to woodwork, you've got to be stealth. Some say "stealth" just means privacy. Again, I call BS. Privacy is not telling my sex partner that I had my appendix removed; stealth is not telling my sex partner that I had my penis removed.

I want to acknowledging that some live in situations whereby they must be stealth or risk being harassed, beaten or even murdered. My post is not geared towards people who are stealth because they are just trying to stay alive; rather, my post is geared towards those who claim to be stealth when they really aren't. People who glorify stealth as if it's something to aspire to either don't know what stealth means or needs to go back to therapy.

You can completely erase your history. The truth always come out.

I could probably try to be stealth. Every boyfriend I've had told me that they would have never known unless I had told them. I tell them because I'd rather cultivate real relationships with people worthy of my time than fake relationships with people who would hate me if they knew the truth.

Emily said...

I'm really fighting with the issue of 'stealth' right now. I've moved to a new industry where nobody knows me, I'm living 1,000km away from where I transitioned and I am so enjoying being just 'Emily' not 'that transsexual, Emily'. However, were it not for non-stealth transsexual women, I wonder if I'd ever have made it this far.

If I go stealth, I lose the chance to share my experiences and my path with others like me. I have my blog which does that a bit, but I hide so much that it's not going to help a lot. It's only really by embracing and being open about the condition which left me living a chunk of my life pretending to be male that I can help others like me.

However, if I come out that way, I lose the chance to just be 'Emily'. I don't know if I have the guts to do that again. This normal life where I just live as who I am is so nice.

However, why should this be because I'm ashamed? Why should I be accused of running away when all I'm wondering about is the loss of the chance of a normal, non-special life? Why is it so wrong to want that? I find idappaccayata's anger and hatred of me being attracted by this normal life so sad.

I have some thinking to do. Either way I gain a lot and I lose a lot. However, the hatred spewed forth by idappaccatata and others like her isn't going to change my viewpoint. This is about my life and I have the right to decide how I want to live that without that sort of attitude deflecting me.

SuzyQ said...

Emily,

As a word of advice from some one nearly 40 years post-SRS.

Even if you go relatively stealth keep a circle of close sister friends. Someone you can call and write to maybe visit with once and a while.

it is truly a sanity saver to have someone else who know and has been through the same thing.

I'm very concerned that my best friend ever since I had SRS way back when and who followed me a year or so later may have early onset Alzheimer disease along with numerous other physical problems.

It is hard to be alone. She's married and I have been her listening post because I'm the hippie lezzie activist and feminist.

I have other sister friends, she doesn't anymore because so many of us live fragile lives sans health care and most of our circle is dead.

I've never been all that stealth. I just practice DADT as a method of information control and avoid the subject at work.

suzyj said...
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Jude said...

I do think there is some place on the spectrum between stealth (as idappaccayata describes it) and being out and proud or a trans-activist. I have called my life woodwork (but I'm decidedly not stealth) - certainly not the definition of woodwork described here. But if not woodwork, what word then?

So although I am out as trans to dozens of people, my history is evident on the web in a number of places, and I transitioned in place after years of community involvement, it's not something I lead off with. I don't blog about the trans for the most part, I'm not advertising myself as "the trans anything". AS I am wont to say, if being trans becomes the 6th or 7th most interesting thing about me, that's just about right.

Do I snub trans acquaintances when I see them out and about - no. But do I socialize within the community based solely on our shared identity? Also no. I'm polite but I'm not looking for new friends.

I agree with SuzyQ - I have a small circle of transitioned peers from around the time I spent in the community. For the most part they have moved on - and as we all age issues do come up and we end up supporting each other as we can. Somewhat sad that the local support spaces do not seem to work for those who have transitioned and moved on - because I do feel like there is a need for support. But inevitably the needs of those just coming out or transitioning are more acute and demand attention, and long time transitioners find themselves giving more than getting, until they drift away.

helen_boyd said...

a friend who would rather remain anonymous had this to say:

"idappaccayate wrote:

"Stealth is about shame and nothing more."

I dispute this. If you identify as trans, then yes, hiding your identity is shameful.

However, many people who have a trans background don't identify primarily as trans. Many of us identify as women, perhaps with a trans background.

The trouble with telling people you're trans is that it's not something that can be untold. Once the genie is out of the bottle, you're trans forever to that person. You never actually get to be acknowledged properly as a member of the gender you might identify with, because you're trans instead. Sure, they're likely to be quite polite about it, and be sure to use the right pronouns, and perhaps even be quite complimentary about how well you pass or whatever, but you're still always trans.

So as a stealth person, I choose not to divulge details of my genital configuration as a child. This is not lying at all, because were I to divulge these details I would give entirely the wrong impression to someone about who I actually am.

See the key point here is that I identify as female, so telling someone that I'm trans is more of a lie than telling someone I'm cis. It implies that I identify primarily as trans, when in fact I don't.

You clearly identify as trans, so telling people you're cis is a lie for you."

idappaccayata said...

"Shame has nothing to do with it. It's a matter of identity, and ensuring people respect that identity. "

"A lot of people with a trans history, myself included, don't particularly identify as trans. Instead we identify as women, generally women with a trans history."

You seem to opine that someone with a transgender history might not be trans because they choose to not identify as such.

Let me ask you... what are the only kind of people in the world with a trans history? You don't have to identify as being trans to be trans. If you have a trans history, your trans.

Some say that “stealth” means one thing and “woodworking” another. I call BS. You can’t woodwork without being stealth. It’s like saying that the word “hide” and “conceal” fundamentally different. If you’re going to conceal something, you have to hide it; if you’re going to woodwork, you’ve got to be stealth. Some say “stealth” means privacy. Privacy is not telling my sex partner that I had my appendix removed; stealth is not telling my sex partner that I had my penis removed.

Refusing to take on the transgender cultural identity does not stop one from being trans. Owning the truth of my male-to-female history does not make me any less of a woman. The fear that it might in the eyes of others is what I mean when I refer to as shame.

"For those of us who identify as women, not telling people these intimate details of our childhood is simply telling the truth."

No, it's a lie of omission in the context of the relationships you value. If you don't believe me, wait until someone you care about finds out from someway other than your own lips. They will react as if you were dishonest.

I've noticed that some have fallen back to the idea that out means wearing a "nobody knows that I'm a transsexual" t-shit. Again, I call BS. Being out means not being hidden. Out does not mean giving up your privacy; it means living without shame.

Gina said...

@ idappaccayata:

Way to dump even more judgement on people who already get judged every day of their lives. Now they're "delusional?" Doubt the trans women on whom you're sticking that label will be opening their hearts to your advice.

People have one life, they should live it in the way which feels right for them. Just as I'm uncomfortable having passibility and stealth be some kind of "gold standard" I'm equally uncomfortable having every element of transsexuals lives being deconstructed and even demeaned or shot through a queer lens. One person's version of 'authenticity' dumped onto others isn't sharing or advice... it's control.

idappaccayata said...

@ Gena:

You might really want to believe that holding your hand up to an open flame won't burn you, but it will and your perception is illusory if you think it won't.

Believing that lying about the history that made you, "you" to your husband, best friend, adopted child, etc won't burn you in the end, then you're perception is illusory. You might not like the term delusion, but it's fitting.

It is not a judgement to say what is so. Passively encouraging people into situations that will create suffering under the guise of a live-and-let-live philosophy is, IMHO, irresponsible. Allowing your trans brothers and sisters to cling to notions that can put them in situations that could end in death - literally - is just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

If your trans, you need to be truthful with your sex partners, your perspective spouse, your best friend, your adopted child, etc or else you are setting both you and your loved one up for suffering... or worse.

Gina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina said...

Let's be a little over dramatic shall we?

How many people do you know who actually live in stealth (their partners/children don't know)? I've met hundreds of trans people and have actually encountered about 4 who, at some point in their lives, actually fit into that category. (and 2 of those 4 transitioned in the 60s). I meet a lot more people who are under the "delusion" they're stealth in intimate situations/relationships when I doubt they really are.

Of all the issues for trans people to worry about, I put that one real low on my list.

Btw, whoever wrote this original story... I find title "town tranny" pretty offensive. Whether you "pass" or not, how about having a little self-respect for yourself as a woman.

idappaccayata said...

@ Gena:

I have known girls who were beaten when their boyfriends found out... though and admittedly small number (3). However, how many murderers use the trans-panic defense?

I've known one who lost her finance. Another got SRS when the gender program was starting at UTMB in Galveston, TX in 1970. She was encouraged to be stealth by he doctors, but returned to the TG community in 2007 because her isolation had become too hard to bear.

And yes, I recently had a discussion with a newly post-op transwoman who wanted to go stealth, adopt a child and not tell anyone - including the child - about he history. She really thinks she can do it and she certainly has the money to make he past go away as much as possible... but I feel bad because the kid will find out one day.

But all of the above is just anecdotal information. Check out Psychiatric Times. Vol. 21 No. 12 for what happens to people when they choose to be closeted.

Privacy is good, but going into the closet (ie, going stealth) is just a decision that produces suffering. Believing the opposite is magical thinking.

Gina said...

The trans-panic defense is overwhelmingly a bs tactic invented by defense attorneys. If you really study most of the cases involving this type of violence, the perpetrator knew or had a very strong suspicion the person they were having sex with was trans. What sets it off is not stealth but a third party calling them on it (as with Gwen Araujo's case) or other people suggesting the "straight man" is gay (as in the case of Angie Zapata's murderer Allen Andrade). There was a recent case in Russia of a trans woman who was murdered when her partner found out, but we really don't know that much about the details of the case. Trans-panic is overwhelmingly an excuse, not a reality.

Again, you're talking about someone transitioning from 1970... yes, there were some people in those days who lived in stealth on the advice of the gender program they were in in a very different era. I doubt if many of those people are still living that way (and many of them aren't passible enough to do 2010 stealth anyway) and it could be said that, in terms of safety and the level of acceptance in that era, stealth wasn't a crazy idea. Who are you to say they were wrong... were you there?

As someone who has an adopted child (prior to transition), I can say it would be virtually impossible to adopt a child in the US while living in stealth. Your homestudy and security check involves FBI background checks so, unless you got your first social security card before you transitioned, there's no way you could actually be in stealth in that situation. That's her fantasy, not a reality.

Psychiatric Times... no thank you. I don't have great respect for the psychiatric communities take on trans issues.

I suggest speaking for yourself, not for the rest of us. While I'm happy to listen to your perspective (and at best, I'm only in stealth with certain work situations and among strangers), judgmental advice I don't need.

idappaccayata said...

@ Gena:

Yes, I agree. The trans-panic defense is a BS attempt to blame the victim. I also agree that not all... or even most of criminals didn't actually know. I'm not arguing for the trans-panic defense. I'm noting that in situations were the TG is stealth or the TG couple is stealth, suffering happens. You make my point that stealth is usually rooted in shame.

Yes, a lot of docs gave us bad advice in the 50s, 60s and 70s because they had little in the way of empirical data (relative to today) to guide their counsel.

I also agree that adopting a child in stealth is not possible, but it didn't change the fact that it was her delusional intention. Noting that this person's view is delusional isn't a judgement; rather, it's simply stating what's so.

"I'm only in stealth with certain work situations and among strangers"

Which means that you do not live you life in stealth. You are out and acknowledge that you have a right to your privacy. Out does not mean that one must tell every single person they meet. It means that you choose not hide.

While I don't tell everyone, I wouldn't sell myself out or lie about my history either. Being stealth means being in the closet.

Are you saying that there are situations in your life that you'd be willing to pretend that you have periods, that you had a hysterectomy, etc? Are you saying that you would feel good about betraying the truth of your history in order to escape the discomfort of telling the truth? If the answer is no, then I submit that you are not in stealth.

Being in stealth/in the closet isn't a synonym for privacy and I wish people would give up trying to normalize being in the closet by validating it as a healthy choice to make.

We have about 50 years of good research that conclusively proves that being in the closet is bad. You don't need to respect a community of professionals to understand the validity of interlocking and mutually supportive evidence from a variety of fields (psychology, anthropology, sociology, etc.)

Just because Zucker is an asshat, does not mean that psychology, anthropology and sociology have nothing beneficial to offer the TG community's understanding.

As to your charges of judgement, I would ask you to reread your comments to me and ask yourself if they we not, in fact judgmental.

"Let's be a little over dramatic shall we?"

In fact, I never claimed that stealth people were stupid or any other judgmental term. I referred to illusory/magical thinking as being a delusion, which it is.

Believing that you can adopt a child and keep your past a secrete is a delusion. Believing that you can marry and the truth will never be known is also a delusion.

According to Webster, a delusion is, "something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated."

Believing that being stealth is good and will work out is a belief in something that doesn't seem to be true and is known to be harmful to one's psychological wellbeing.

I suppose we will have to differ on this issue.

Gina said...

My name is GINA, not Gena.

'Delusion' has a strong tinge of pathology and is a very loaded term... as such I think it's considerably more judgmental than saying someone is dramatic.

Moreover, your friend who wants to adopt in stealth might just be naive, inexperienced, uninformed or hopeful. Again, 'delusion' sounds more like a diagnosis.

While I admit some people who've been in stealth might have shame about their trans history, to say that about everyone who's been down that path is painting with a very wide, loose brush. Moreover, many of the stealth strategies you're talking about sound like extreme hearsay (eg. telling a doctor you've had a hysterectomy).

As has been said by other people on this thread, stealth need not be total... it can be on a person by person basis and done in certain environments and not in others. Some people are stealth in certain locations and more open in others. Sorry, you don't get to be the final arbiter on what constitutes everyone else's sense of stealth. I think I'm done with this conversation.

idappaccayata said...

@ Gina:

"'Delusion' has a strong tinge of pathology and is a very loaded term... as such I think it's considerably more judgmental than saying someone is dramatic. "

Which is your judgement of the term. I gave you the definition so that you would better understand my meaning. I don't know what more you are asking of me or really what point your trying to make other than you personally didn't like the word.

"Moreover, many of the stealth strategies you're talking about sound like extreme hearsay..."

Which is why I wrote, "But all of the above is just anecdotal information" and went on to try to point you to scientific journals that deal with the negative impact of being closeted.

"stealth need not be total."

I challenge that logic. If a stealth bomber isn't hidden, is it stealth? If you partially hide something, is it still hidden?

Webster defines stealth as "proceeding furtively, secretly, or imperceptibly." If you're in stealth, you life history must, by definition, be defined by furtively, secretly, or imperceptibly. If that is not the case, then you are not in stealth.

While one might throw around terms in a colloquial fashion, it does not mean that the actual meaning of the word has changed.

Choosing to believe that stealth can mean *partially imperceptible* does not change the fact that the actual definition means imperceptible.

Something is either perceptible or it isn't. If you only perceive something a little bit, you are nonetheless perceiving something because the object of perception is not in stealth.

Privacy does not equal stealth. Again, privacy is not telling my sex partner that I had my appendix removed; stealth is not telling my sex partner that I had my penis removed.

Surely you can see the difference in the above example. Surely you will concede that the definition of a word gives the word it's meaning. If we can't agree on these two points, then we will have to simply disagree.

Battybattybats said...

"Not all women are from a cookie cutter mold, neither are all men, but some how nobody is telling super butch women that they should be acting more like the cookie cutter variety of women, and the same is true for the varieties of men, i.e. drag queens, CDs, and effeminate straight men, etc. Yes, I know, straight assholes, who are threatened by gender diversity, do like to make a lot of noise. But when it comes to the transsexual community, why is diversity in transsexual expression ridiculed."

It's not just straight people who spout hate about non-binary S&GD people or who argue in favour of gender conformity.

I have encountered more than a few Cis Gays and Lesbians too who have been very hostile to non-binary folk and the amount of hate of non-binary folk from some transsexuals has repeatedly stunned me.

Crossdressers, Drag Kings and Queens, Genderqueer et al are often left out of legal reforms that protect transsexuals. And transsexuals have fought against equal rights for non-binary TGs. At the Australian Sex and Gender Diversity consultation there was objections to the presence of non-transsexuals and a radio comment objecting to their even being 'transvestites' on the online forum (they were referring to me) nevertheless we got some good results from that consultation and I was pleased to see the first Sex-Not-Specified documentation in line with our reccomendations.

So it's very much not just straights that are threatened by gender diversity. Some transsexuals are so threatened by it to oppose the Human Rights of large parts of the S&GD community!

Oh and by the way there really are genuine FtM Crossdressers despite common views to the contrary. Not only do I know some I'm in a relationship with one!

Gina said...

Delusion:
"Psychiatry defines the term more specifically as a belief that is pathological (the result of an illness or illness process). As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, "incorrect" dogma, stupidity, apperception, illusion, or other effects of perception."

Since you're the one bringing up psychiatry, let's go by what the term means in that milieu. If I label someone trans as "sick"... that term has loaded meaning. Yes, it might mean they have a cold or it more likely would mean 'sick in the head'. Delusion is a loaded term often applied towards transpeople that they can change their sex or aren't who their birth certificate or chromosomes supposedly say they are.

Your analogy of a stealth bomber is apt, but not the way you meant. There are times when a stealth bomber shows up on radar. There are times, when the technology is enabled, when it doesn't show up on radar. That is very much as I was saying. It's not like it's half-hidden on the radar... it shows up or it doesn't. A chameleon is perceptible in SOME SITUATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTS and not in others. So I totally disagree with the way you're describing perceptibility. (nor do I think it's on the topic)

You're also saying some information is private but "having your penis removed" (a very transphobic take on SRS) is something altogether different. Yes and no. In the real world I agree SRS is a stigma. But there are many other stigmas. Is serving time in prison and not telling someone privacy or stealth? Is telling about addiction privacy or stealth? Is being bipolar and not telling privacy or stealth? Having prior abusive relationships? Is being sexually abused as a child and not telling privacy or stealth? Those are all other occurrences in someone's life which could have a profound influence on a relationship. Are they in a different category than having SRS? How soon do you have to tell? What does your rulebook say?

Yes, you are trying to speak for other people and no, we aren't going to find common ground.

idappaccayata said...

@ Gina:

"Since you're the one bringing up psychiatry, let's go by what the term means in that milieu."

No, how about we use the term in the way I defined for you. You are now engaging in a straw-man argument.

I explicitly stated what Webster defined the term as in an effort to facilitate a better communicate with you. Can't you see that?

"There are times, when the technology is enabled, when it doesn't show up on radar."

Yes, you made my point precisely. We refer to that class of military hardware as being stealth because it isn't detectable to others. If you are able to perceive something, the thing is not stealth.

Your logic:

- There is a thing called a stealth bomber;
- It can be detected sometimes; therefore,
- Stealth means being detected sometimes.

Again, I provided you with the actual definition. If you want to pretend that stealth means something other than what it means according to the dictionary, then please go ahead. We will just have to disagree on this point.

"a very transphobic take on SRS"

Which is a judgement on your part. While it is certainly a blunt way of putting it, given the context of the point I was making, it was fitting. Taking the comment out of context and then attacking it without addressing the point of the comment is yet another straw-man argument.

My point is that lying to the people in relationships built on trust is wrong because it is harmful. Not saying that I had my appendix out is not important in a sexual relationship; the fact that I was born with a penis might me. Not respecting my partner enough to give them a chance to deal (or not) with that info is a lie of omission and is a breach of trust. It is the dictionary definition of what it is to be stealth. If you disagree with this paragraph, then we will have to just disagree.

Please deal with the definitions I provided when responding. To do otherwise is to argue points nobody's actually made. I don't mind friendly debate, but please address my actual points instead of arguing against points I didn't make.

Gina said...

No, how about we refer to terms in the context of our how society actually does when talking about certain groups. If you use 'delusional... transsexual' that does just mean what you wrote. Overwhelmingly when people think of delusion in relationship to trans people they think of it in the psychiatric sense. Believe it or not, you don't get to define everyone's context.

Believe it or not, dictionaries in our society are overwhelmingly written by white, middle class, cisgender academics, not people who know crap what we're even discussing.


"- There is a thing called a stealth bomber;
- It can be detected sometimes; therefore,
- Stealth means being detected sometimes."

Please read before you interpret. This doesn't represent the analogy I said in the least. Some trans people are in stealth when they facilitate efforts to do so. Other times they don't make those efforts and are not in stealth. That is closer to reality. Stop trying to quote your Rhetoric 101 books. Stealth as it exists in the trans world is NOT an absolute, that's your little construct, your little assumption.

No, talking about trans women cutting off their penis is always transphobic. Your mention of it wasn't ironic, it was meant to be a shock technique within a discussion and therefore, highly offensive. Nice try.

An appendectomy is totally irrelevant to what we were discussing. Last time I looked, relationships aren't impacted by appendectomies but they are impacted by prior sexual abuse, substance abuse, incarceration, phobias... so why don't you respond to what I wrote instead of going off on some tangent of your own. Are those more/less important than SRS. When do you HAVE to inform the other person? You seem to think being trans is far more important than one of those highly impactful experiences and I have yet to see you make any kind of point about why.

Lies of omission are judgment calls. You may exercise your sense of judgment but stop acting like you're the moral center of the universe. No one is questioning a need for candor and honestly with partners, but I do question your assumption that not being "out" with someone is DIShonesty.

"Stealth is pretending to everyone that you're a biological female" is a statement with no basis in fact or, seemingly, real world experience within the trans community. You just pulled it out of a hat and are deluded to think you can therefore define it for everyone else based on... the old white man's dictionary. Good luck with that one.

idappaccayata said...

"If you use 'delusional... transsexual' that does just mean what you wrote."

Again, this is a straw-man argument. At this point your argument is fail because you are starting out with a fallacious premise. Please provide quote where I wrote: 'delusional... transsexual.' If you can't do it, you're again resorting to a straw-man argument.

You are arguing against made up issues I never brought up.

"Believe it or not, dictionaries in our society are overwhelmingly written by white, middle class, cisgender academics, not people who know crap what we're even discussing."

I've pointed to specific citations and you have disregarded them. Now you apparently claim power to rewrite the dictionary in a way the suits your argument. If you don't like the fact that an English language word has a specific meaning and want to use words in a colloquial way, then fine. Just don't go around claiming that other people are judgmental when they use words in the context of the actual definition rather than your interpretation.

"Stealth as it exists in the trans world is NOT an absolute, that's your little construct, your little assumption."

No, stealth means what the English language defines it to mean. For you, it apparently means something else... which is fine.

"No one is questioning a need for candor and honestly with partners..."

THANK YOU! Finally, we agree that being out of the closet is a good thing and that being in the closet is a bad thing! Yay!

"... but I do question your assumption that not being "out" with someone is DIShonesty."

Wait... What? Didn't you just say that... *facepalm*

Look, can't you see that the first part of your sentence contradicts the second?

You've consistently and purposefully disregarded all independent 3rd-party evidence that supports my premise with logical fallacies (straw-man and ad-hominem arguments). Now you are making statements that confuse me. The quoted statement above... Maybe you meant something else and it came out wrong? Certainly you didn't just mean to argue:

1. Truthfulness in relationships is good;
2. Lying in relationships is good; therefore,
3. Idappaccayata's argument is invalid.

"Lies of omission are judgment calls."

This is the opening line of your next paragraph, so maybe the above outlined premise is your argument. If so, could you please explain it in another way because it's not making sense to me. Seriously... maybe I'm dense and I'm not getting it, so could you please expound on the above quotes?

"'Stealth is pretending to everyone that you're a biological female' is a statement with no basis in fact or, seemingly, real world experience within the trans community."

If you're pretending to not be a transwoman, what then are you pretending to be?

"You just pulled it out of a hat and are deluded to think you can therefore define it for everyone else based on... the old white man's dictionary."

I noticed that you used the D-word. Was that a dig (an ad-hominem argument) or were you using it in the way I used it (the dictionary definition)?

I will look forward to reading your reply. I'm probably not going to respond to it because you seem to be invested in being obtuse at this point. I've provided supporting evidence while you've provided personal opinions. I've addressed your premise while you've responded with straw-man and hominem arguments. As I said, I don't mind debating, but if you're not going to actually engage my arguments, then I'm wasting time... yours and mine.

Véronique said...

It's too bad the comments got hijacked. Stealth means something specific -- no disclosure whatsoever, hidden past. Apparently we need a new word to mean "selective disclosure," which is how I live.

I don't have a problem with diversity, and I don't think anyone should stay in the closet, especially not if it makes them miserable.

The "tranny drinking game," by the way, makes fun of the producers of the shows and the way they always go for clichés (like putting on makeup), not of the people they feature. If documentaries and talk shows help your neighbours learn, that's good. The only problem is if they're learning the wrong things about us.

I don't have any surgery photos to show.

Gina said...

Love it when the very people who attack and judge other people use terms like ad hominem.

I'm going to make a wild guess you love Ayn Rand.

No one needs to be psychoanalyzed by and branded as delusional by someone who clearly has some things to work through themselves.

Gina said...

Veronique... well then, by that definition, there never have been stealth people. If that's the definition it's always been a fiction, not a reality. Any accounts I've read (and the few ones I've known in 3D) from people who lived in "stealth" in the 60s-80s (including ones who went through University Gender Programs like Stanford) none of them were in a position of disclosing to NO ONE. They all had confidants, people who knew, personnel managers, ex-lovers, friends, people from their pre-transition lives, relatives, doctors (sorry, but an OB-GYN knows what a real hysterectomy looks like) and old school SRS wasn't that convincing.

I almost never hear people even using "stealth" anymore, they talk about selective stealth. Btw, stealth as a word in the trans community didn't even come into usage until the mid 90s.

And I agree, this thread was about "unpassable" people who are okay with that and not being ashamed about it... the OP was never about stealth. So... apologies for my part in the derailing.

idappaccayata said...

@ Véronique:

Well said!