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Author Topic: Dan's Confused  (Read 3735 times)

Feral

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Dan's Confused
« on: March 10, 2007, 06:58:30 AM »

I'm confused.....

Quote
Since I really can't call myself a member of the LGBT community, there are occasions when I detect some animosity between the different groups and I have to ask what it's all about.  Most notably the willingness of a sliver of LGB and allies to toss around the word "trans" as though it were a school yard insult.

I saw it as much the same when somebody casually says 'fag'.  I don't necessarily believe that there's transbigotry in the gay community, rather I believe there's some trans-insensitivity, in much the same way that there's gay insensitivity.

All things being equal, I get the clear feeling that the LGBT blogosphere treats trans folks as a side show, little more than peripheral issue and I do get the feeling that sometimes trans folks are given similar pariah status to bi folks.  At least, that's the feeling that I get.  Maybe I'm off the mark - but it's just my observation.  

...

I guess I have a few questions to help me understand what's going on here:

1.  How did the T get into the LGBT?  What are the specific common interests, besides fighting gender discrimination?

2.  Is this difference in image of the hows/whys the reason for the trans community sometimes getting picked on by the LGB community?


First off, I think Dan (who is both a conservative and a straight ally, and I wish there were about 20,000 more just like him) has been drinking too much of the "we're a happy family" kool-aid. "I don't necessarily believe that there's transbigotry in the gay community" -- come now, Dan needn't qualify it like that. There is transbigotry in the gay community, a fair amount of it. In fact, I think it might be inappropriate to suggest that there is significantly less transbigotry in the gay community than there is in what passes for the straight community. Less -- probably in a mathematical sense that is true; significantly less... nope. If Dan really wants to water it down to just trans-insensitivity, I'm afraid I'm going to have to call Dan a trifle naive. But yes... there is a boatload of trans-insensitivity in the gay community as well.

ON to this idea of the LGBT blogosphere treating trans folks as a side show... I'd have to know who he reads when he says something odd like "LGBT blogosphere." I'm guessing that Dan is actually reading the "gay blogosphere" and not the "LGBT blogosphere." Gay issues are paramount in the gay blogosphere... hence the name. All other issues are side shows. Some gay bloggers actually suffer poor reputations on the basis of the excess of these side shows they cater to. I have no idea if bi folks give trans folks a pariah status -- the bi folks are quite good at speaking for themselves. Now technically, 'pariah' DOES mean peripheral, but the word is too loaded. Lots of issues are peripheral in the gay blogosphere... it doesn't make them less worthy, it makes them not gay issues. There's nothing wrong with issues that aren't gay. You just aren't likely to read about them all that often on the larger gay blogs. Fortunately, there are ample other venues for non-gay issues. This is the chief problem with the LGBT acronym... people use it as a one-size-fits-all euphemism for gay or lesbian or bi or transgendered. Such a word is useless. People should stop using LGBT to mean "gay" if "gay" is what is being discussed. Gays are not the same thing as lesbians, gays and lesbians are not the same thing as bis, and orientation is not the same thing as being transgendered. People should say what they mean. One transgender blogger does not make a reading list LGBT if it's otherwise full of gay men with a few lesbians for perspective.

On to the questions:

1. It was a marriage of convenience. In my neck of the woods the 'T' turned up in the 80s. Prior to that everyone used the word 'gay,' the words 'gay and lesbian' (or 'lesbian and gay,' depending on how much we were fighting at the time) or the acronym GLB. My neck of the woods was pretty much the sticks though... I do not doubt that the 'T' turned up earlier elsewhere. Specific common interests? We have the same enemies. The gender discrimination thing is by no means universal. Oh, its popular enough. The only specific common interest I know of between gays and lesbians and trans folk is that we have exactly the same enemies. Beyond that, there is loyalty. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, but in the case of the transgendered, they have always, always been there. The 'T' belongs in GLBT, and the G and the L and the B should cough up what they owe... with interest.

2. The difference of image -- being gay is not a medical condition / being transgendered is a medical condition -- is very likely NOT the reason the trans community gets "picked on" by the LGB community. It is more likely a mix of sexism and just plain bigotry.

There... I'm off my soap box. Anyone else want to take a shot at it?
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berto

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Dan's Confused
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2007, 07:39:48 AM »

Quote
Anyone else want to take a shot at it?


I don't think I could add much. Excellently summarized, Fer.
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vanrozenheim

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Dan's Confused
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2007, 05:48:29 PM »

Very good summary, Feral. Only few things to add from my perspective:

1) The word "gay" was initially used to embrace homosexual males and females and the trans people too. Accurately speaking, there is no such thing as "gays and lesbians" but instead: "catamites and lesbians". I would advocate to re-install the use of "Gay" in its more universal meaning, so we could get rid of this tongue-breaking "LGBT" thing. This might cause some confusion by times of whom we are actually speaking, but in case of necessity one can always specify, right?
2) Those certain diversion between "gays and lesbians" and trans people is not only coming from the gay side. There is indeed a number of trans people who do not feel belonging into the gay world - they feel like "normal" men/women in wrong bodies, and after the re-adjustment they live perfectly "normal" lives as heterosexuals. Others remain "gay" for the rest of their lives.
3) It is nothing wrong with speaking openly about differences in needs and interests. But it must be also clearly said (especially to gay men) that one should know one's friends and one's enemies. Trans people are clearly friends of gay men, and in many battles with our enemies they used to be the first raw of the phalanx.
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Feral

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Dan's Confused
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2007, 07:28:30 PM »

Quote
I would advocate to re-install the use of "Gay" in its more universal meaning, so we could get rid of this tongue-breaking "LGBT" thing.


It is my understanding that this is what is intended with the new usage for the word "queer" (which, for example, 'Berto uses frequently but I rarely ever use at all). While there is certainly a place for a more readily used word for "LGBT," I do not think that such a word is a pressing concern. It is over-used as it is, and used wrongly. Too often people say "LGBT" (or worse... "LGBTQII") when what they are talking about is homosexual men and women. This reflexive insertion of the transgendered into matters which do not much interest them, coupled with a habitual failure to move forward on matters which DO interest them, is abusive. As it happens, I habitually use the older Americanism "GLBT," which is conveniently pronounced "glibbit." It is an admittedly silly sounding word, but then I rarely pronounce it outside of sarcasm.

Quote
Trans people are clearly friends of gay men, and in many battles with our enemies they used to be the first raw of the phalanx.


And gay bodies and gay cash should be at the very front of their phalanx... wherever they should draw up the line of battle.
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Vizier

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Dan's Confused
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2007, 04:50:33 PM »

Quote from: "vanrozenheim"

... I would advocate to re-install the use of "Gay" in its more universal meaning, so we could get rid of this tongue-breaking "LGBT" thing. ...


I refuse to use LGBT. With the movement towards equality of gender came the abdication a woman's prerogative to enter a room first, thus the idea that L should precede G and therefore it should be LGBT instead of GLBT is moot, as far as I am concerned.

If I must put up with the nonsensical "Ms." to placate those of the opposing gender, I am not about to give in to their outrageous demands by putting them at first place in our little acronym. Instead, I think we should immediately go with an alphabetical approach - therefore from now on, I decree everyone should use BGLT (pronounced Biggelt, of course). Please take note and adjust your habits accordingly.  And make sure you tell everyone else...

 :lol:
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Kyleovision

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Dan's Confused
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2007, 11:18:54 PM »

The only thing that I could add to the above is this: nobody-- gay, str8 or indifferent-- used to know what a 'transexual' was (I'm talking right up into the early 80s) and for even longer there wasn't alot of knowledge about how a transexual differs from a transvestite. (Or, how a proper transvestite differed from guys who just liked drag.) I mean, you either liked to dress up in clothes generally reserved for the other gender, or you didn't. Nobody particularly cared what your motivation was: cross-dressing as neurosis, transexualism, or just the desire to be faaabulous. No one minded.

It's 1978. Where on Earth is a transexual going to go but the gay bar when out on the town?

The original realtionship between transexuals and queer people was formed back then, when those queer attitudes held more sway. So, the trans-folk have been around from the beginning. They get an initial in GLBT; why not?
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vanrozenheim

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Dan's Confused
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2007, 01:49:40 PM »

Quote from: "Kyleovision"
They get an initial in GLBT; why not?


My point was not about exclusion of the trans folks from the acronymes, my point was about abandoning the tong-breaking acronymes as such in favour of a beatifull, encompassing "Gay" = "Gai" = "Fröhlich" = "Весёлый" (and so on).

GLBT = GAYLIBERATION.  :wink:
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Vizier

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Dan's Confused
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2007, 10:14:42 PM »

Quote from: "vanrozenheim"
... The word "gay" was initially used to embrace homosexual males and females and the trans people too.


Sorry, V, but I take issue with that statement.

All historical research on the use of the word "gay" in the context it is used here points to the fact that the word was used originally almost exclusively to include male homosexuals only. The term itself first began surfacing as a moniker for us in the later 1960s in the Castro in San Francisco and spread eastward from there. Before then, "gay" simply meant happy...

Lesbians have almost always objected to being included under what they perceive as a pejorative "catch-all term," gay.

Bisexuals have also almost always taken great pains to distinguish themselves as such, rather than to be included in our "wrapper," for fear people might think them gay and thus "tainted" by the same stigmas we face daily. (This coincides with my own personal belief that most bisexual males are just gays who have not yet taken the "coming out" plunge or are to cowardly to do so.)

As for "transsexuals," I personally do not like to see them included in the trendy but horrid "GLBT or LGBT" monikers (depending on who is composing/using them) as many people belonging to the "T" group are much different from those of us (whether gay or lesbian) who are homosexual. Many are content after "reassignment surgery" and are decidedly not homosexual, nor interested in our way of life, lifestyles and culture.
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